ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/show en-us 40 Documenting Impermanence: The Films of Gordon Matta-Clark <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&ldquo;Why hang things on a wall when the wall itself is so much more a challenging medium?&rdquo;&nbsp; </em>&mdash;Gordon Matta-Clark</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With the term <em>conceptual art</em> so much a part of our everyday language these days it&rsquo;s sometimes possible to forget what motivated the early conceptual artists to adopt it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of the key objectives of conceptual art was to subvert the artwork as a singular unique object, a fetishized commodity suited to ownership and trade. A painted image can be owned, assigned value, but what about the idea of an image, the mere concept of its production?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Much of what Gordon Matta-Clark made in the name of art is, physically, non-existent. In many cases all that remain are films and filmed performances, many of which you can currently see at Galerie Thomas Schulte, where a total of eighteen films are being shown simultaneously on screens hung around the space like canvases.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The idea of art as an ephemeral transient moment runs throughout the works. In cases such as <a href="http://www.ubu.com/film/gmc_freshkill.html" target="_blank"><em>Fresh Kill</em></a> (1972)&mdash;a film documenting the destruction of the artist&rsquo;s pick-up truck (punning <a href="http://radicalart.info/destruction/metzger.html" target="_blank"><em>Auto-Destructive Art</em></a>?) that might have been inspirational to Mark Pauline and the industrial mayhem of Survival Research Laboratories&mdash;the very moment of its creation was shared with that of its demise. <em>Bingo (</em>1974) captures the moment when the outer wall of a house is sliced into geometric segments and removed, revealing its interior. The finished work was destroyed just hours after its completion.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140416105703-Gordon_Matta-Clark_Films_installation_views_Galerie_Thomas_Schulte__Berlin__April_5-May17__2014_3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Gordon Matta-Clarke</strong>, Installation view of <em>Films</em> at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, April 5 &ndash; May 17, 2014; Courtesy of Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Matta-Clark was interested in interrogating the perceived permanence and integrity of buildings and structures. The material of his work is a mixture of the ruggedly physical&mdash;bricks, walls, steel, beams, structure/infrastructure&mdash;and the transient and ethereal&mdash;voids, performances, soft structures like ropes and nets, an afternoon in the sauna, a plate of food. With his architectural training and a pro-situ approach to unleashing the potential of the city he worked with existing buildings as a sculptural medium, creating a sort of urban Land Art of hacked structures.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Matta-Clark worked secretly for two months in a warehouse on an abandoned New York pier, searching for &ldquo;the beach beneath the paving stones&rdquo; to create a &ldquo;sun and water temple.&rdquo; A large semicircular section of the pier&rsquo;s cavernous iron shell was removed to suggest something like a vast camera obscura. The process is documented in the film <a href="http://www.ubu.com/film/gmc_daysend.html" target="_blank"><em>Day&rsquo;s End </em></a>(1975): as light breaks into the darkness of the warehouse interior the result is something like a breathtaking indoor solar eclipse. City officials were less impressed at the time and sued the artist for criminal damage.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Matta-Clark also was a great lover of food and saw cooking as a sort of alchemical process. He began turning eats into art by frying Polaroids and ritually spit roasting a pig beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. He went on to open Food, a Soho restaurant run by his artist and performance friends which can be seen in the 1972 <a href="http://www.ubu.com/film/gmc_food.html" target="_blank">film of the same name</a>. Matta-Clark&rsquo;s signature dish was bone soup. The skeletal remains were scrubbed by a waiter and strung onto necklaces for the diner to wear home.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There are a great many stories, anecdotes and myths about Matta-Clark. Just as his art exists without the object, myths exist <em>in the air</em> and proliferate without making demands of material evidence. As such they could be seen as part of his oeuvre and legacy, and in the tradition of folk art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A personal favorite is that in 1976 he came to Berlin with a plan to blow up a section of the Berlin Wall. There&rsquo;s scant information available on just how serious he was or whether he had carried out any research or preparation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Matta-Clark was a daredevil; he seemed to have a thing for heights, clambering around dangerous buildings and hanging suspended on ropes. Something of a performer, a show-off even, with a desire to prove how easily the impossible could be achieved. In the same year as his Berlin visit he shot out the windows of the New York Institute for Architecture and Urban studies with an air rifle. Nevertheless, it's hard to imagine the explosive demolition of a structure like the Berlin Wall, crawling with armed guards, was ever intended to go beyond the conceptual. The mythographers would have you believe otherwise.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140416105750-Gordon_Matta-Clark_Films_installation_views_Galerie_Thomas_Schulte__Berlin__April_5-May17__2014_5.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Gordon Matta-Clarke</strong>, Installation view of <em>Films</em> at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, April 5 &ndash; May 17, 2014; Courtesy of Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Apparently he was talked out of the project by friends and instead performed an action at the wall which was filmed and has recently been edited and given a soundtrack. <a href="http://www.ubu.com/film/gmc_wall.html" target="_blank"><em>The Wall</em></a> (1976) is somewhat less like a Steven Seagal movie than the original idea might have looked but a fascinating time capsule nonetheless. There's some early billboard <em>d&eacute;tournement</em>, graffiti, stencilling and a telling-off from a mutton-chopped West Berlin cop. The wall itself looks intimidating and photogenic as ever (there's not a Thierry Noir piece in sight but Stewart Home's <a href="http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Jy3Yx5OlH0MJ:blog.stewarthomesociety.org/2013/07/30/the-berlin-wall-considered-as-a-work-of-conceptual-art/+&amp;cd=1&amp;hl=en&amp;ct=clnk&amp;gl=nl&amp;lr=lang_en%7Clang_nl" target="_blank">observation</a> that the wall itself can be viewed as a piece of conceptual art in the tradition of Christo's <em>Running Fence</em> might spring to mind).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Gordon Matta-Clark: architectural school dropout and rebel, avant-garde chef and restaurateur, urban explorer, choreographer of happenings, proto-street artist, radical urban planner, vandal and prankster. If you find any of the above of interest seek out his films or better yet go and see them all at once at Galerie Thomas Schulte. But make haste, they won't be there forever.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS">Guy Parker</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Gordon Matta-Clark,</strong> Installation view including <em>Office Baroque </em>with Eric Convents and Roger Steylaerts, 1977-2005, 44 min, b&amp;w and color, sound, 16 mm film on video; Courtesy of Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin)</span></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:52:19 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Blanking the Canvas: The image of women in fin-de-siècle Paris <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It was a very nice hospital. It had a view and a private sitting area in the room. I had tubes sticking out. Some to drain fluids, others to pump fluids in. I was given observation and pain management, modern medical euphemisms for the twin social ailments of boredom and drugs. I ended up staying an extra night. Doctors often keep business hours and no one else was authorized to release me. Either as apology or just further negligence, I was treated to an extra night of pain management, melting away creeping anxieties about the logistics of returning to everyday life, and for a while, melting away the desire to return to it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">* * *</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Only a few of the hundred or so prints, drawings, etchings, lithographs and watercolors on view in <em>Tea and Morphine</em> actually depict tea and morphine. Mainly these pictures of women, all authored by men, could be released in fin-de-si&egrave;cle Paris. They are all, frankly, beautiful. It&rsquo;s a hard pill not swallow. Feminine self-imaging will be calibrated to this for years to come.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The title is intriguing though, conflating image as theme, unifying a range of styles and methods. Tea and Morphine not as opposite ends of a spectrum, but two socially differentiated sides of the same coin. The types are diverse, but the subject is the same. Morphine as morpheme.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140415173441-p.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Alfredo M&uuml;ller</strong>, <em>Beatrice</em>, c. 1899, Etching and aquatint, 25 x 19 &frac12; inches (63.5 x 49.5 cm); Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum; Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean; Photograph by Brian Forrest.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I&rsquo;m grateful for Mary Cassatt&rsquo;s 1890 drypoint sketch <em>Tea,</em> her heavy-lidded woman bored but thoughtful. Degas&rsquo; picture of Cassatt is striking among the limpid wraiths draped on couches and stout modistes peeking into shop windows. She's standing in front of a painting at the Louvre, leaning on her umbrella like a dandy on his cane, looking louche and confident. I always thought of Mary as Our Man in Paris, the American who got off on a technicality. Her pictures were perhaps no less typically feminine, but certainly less timid and nervous-looking than, say, Berthe Morisot's.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140415173257-450.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Eug&egrave;ne Grasset</strong>, <em>La Vitrioleuse [The Acid Thrower]</em>, 1894, Photo-relief with water-color stenciling, 22 7/8 x 18 inches (58.1 x 45.7 cm); Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum; Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean; Photograph by Brian Forrest</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Excerpts from Eug&egrave;ne Grasset&rsquo;s decorative study of women&rsquo;s emotions are undeniably the most striking and graphic&mdash;graphic in the literal sense: hard lines, blocks of color, easily read. He is not a portraitist but a gleeful taxonomist of misapprehensions. To call the series a "study" at all brings to mind the other, rather oppressive 19th century soft sciences like physiognomy. <em>La Vitroleuese</em> (1894) is a gorgeous pioneering example of Art Nouveau. More obliquely, the green-hued skin and murderous stare seem to presage the cartoon witch, the feminine Disney villain, visaged with a rainbow of colors. This is probably not a big deal. Sontag considered Art Nouveau pre-eminent camp: silly, delightful, and life-affirming. I feel the same way about cartoons.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But cartoons aren&rsquo;t real women, are they?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<span style="color: #d62867;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/214407-christina-catherine-martinez?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #d62867;">Christina Catherine Martinez</span></a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Paul Albert Besnard</strong>, <em>Morphinomanes ou Le plumet [Morphine Addicts or The Plume], </em>1887, Etching, drypoint and aquatint, 12 3/4 x 17 in.; Courtesy of Hammer Museum)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:12:05 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Of Police and Poverty: LAPD's first museum exhibition <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The title says it: <em>Do you want the cosmetic version or do you want the real deal?</em> <em>Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2014</em>. When John Malpede founded the LAPD (a play on the police department&rsquo;s name) thirty years ago and began collaborating with the homeless and formerly homeless to stage performances and confrontational theater, it was a decade before relational aesthetics was coined by Nicolas Bourriaud, and more than two decades before MFA programs in &lsquo;social practice&rsquo; began sprouting. In light of all that has come since, LAPD and their first museum exhibition feels particularly refreshing. The methods, settings, and goals of LAPD&rsquo;s work fuse arts and activism, while so much &lsquo;politically-engaged&rsquo; art maintains the professionalized, middle-class stances and practices of the art world under the rhetoric of activism.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">LAPD began and continues to be based in Los Angeles&rsquo;s Skid Row: a longstanding homeless enclave, and a constant battleground between the residents who have formed a community there and the combined muscle of the police and developers. How many of the social practitioners of today, who discuss issues like war or poverty, are themselves at the frontlines of those struggles, or cultivating sustained engagements with those who are?</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140415155230-6_4x5__1_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>State of Incarceration</em>, 2010-ongoing,Performance view, Queens Museum, January 31, 2014; Courtesy of Queens Museum.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition itself is half traditional survey and half an update and staging of some of LAPD&rsquo;s recent works. One gallery is devoted to the performance piece <em>State of Incarceration </em>(2010-ongoing), stacked wall-to-wall with prison-style bunk beds. The audience is mixed in with the performers, who offer monologues and reenact scenes from prison. They shout about remaining silent, of obeying authority; the formerly incarcerated take on the roles of both prisoner and warden. It is a theater piece, but strips away the glamour of staging, lighting, and design. It is performance, but the experiences related are concrete, lived by its performers.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This productive tension between performance and testimonial runs throughout LAPD&rsquo;s work. The exhibition offers an archive of LAPD&rsquo;s past actions and performances, some thirty hours of video for the dedicated visitor. In <em>South of the Clouds</em>, a series from 1986, members enacted rote motions they had learned&mdash;e.g. boxing routines&mdash;as stimulus for their monologues. Like many of the other pieces on view, the works navigate between truth-telling and performance, narrative and reflection. 'Homelessness' as discussed by media and politicians tends to imply a lack of agency. These performances defy and complicate that assumption, not only giving ownership of stories to homeless people, but allowing them to decide to what degree they tell &lsquo;their&rsquo; stories or the stories they want to tell.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In another piece, <em>Is there History on Skid Row?</em> from 2002, and <em>Skid Row History Museum</em>, staged at the Box Gallery in 2008, the collective acts as curator and archivist of their neighborhood. Homeless communities are barely acknowledged by most institutions, much less thought to have histories and textured pasts. The LAPD turns that generalization on its head, pointing to the area&rsquo;s 'amazing community assets.' The installation, like any exhibition or museum display, was created to 'highlight the cultural, civic and political initiatives and the community people' who created the neighborhood. The installation includes a timeline of notable moments in Skid Row&rsquo;s history, photographs of community leaders, and proposals for monuments and plaques to be installed in the area.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140415155348-LAPD_installation_1__2_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Do you want cosmetic version or do you want the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department 1985 -2014</em>, installation view, On view at Queens Museum, NY&nbsp;January 31 &ndash; May 11, 2014; Courtesy of Queens Museum</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">LAPD&rsquo;s first exhibition, some three thousand miles from Skid Row, feels surprisingly at home here. Queens is not unlike Los Angeles; its inhabitants are largely immigrants and working class, speaking dozens of languages, reliant on cars, and spread out over a large mass of land. It bears little resemblance to the glittering images of opulence and celebrity associated with the Manhattans and Hollywoods projected around the world. And questions of police presence, urban development, and public space are ever-present. Sometimes the local is not adjacent.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/329714-ryan-wong?tab=REVIEWS">Ryan Wong</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <em>Call Home, </em>1991, Free payphone on Skid Row, Los Angeles; Courtesy Los Angeles Poverty Department)</span></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:52:38 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Rone: Debut UK Exhibition <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Similar to St Marks place in New York or the Venice Boardwalk in Los Angeles, East London&rsquo;s Brick Lane is a small stretch of road whose reputation is both its blessing and its curse. In the heart of Shoreditch, this once &lsquo;gritty&rsquo; mile of curry houses and industrial brewery buildings was the YBA 90&rsquo;s hang out. Now, twenty years and many Lonely Planet write-ups later, Brick Lane often feels like a playground for tourists in search of a one-stop shop for East London cool kid culture replete with overpriced vintage clothes, trendy pop-ups and a heavy rotation of street art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Just south of Brick Lane you can find StolenSpace, an airy two-room gallery that specializes in urban art (namely street art and graffiti). The premise in itself is a conflicting one, the hot potato of the art world. On one hand, the idea of legitimizing a somewhat rogue practice and giving unorthodox artists a platform for representation is something that is not just commendable, but necessary, for the privatised art world. However, on the other hand, one is faced with the problematic nature of trying to commodify the un-commodifiable, and the inevitable dilemma of translation from site specificity to white box gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140413161752-IMG_7074.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">At the heart of this paradox is Australian street artist Rone. A talented painter, Rone&rsquo;s modus operandi is his slightly stylized and closely cropped female faces in mammoth proportions that can be found on urban facades around the world. He juxtaposes sharp graphic features with effortless washes of paint to produce images that are both etherial and striking. His first UK solo show <em>Wallflowers</em> is currently on view at StolenSpace.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Rone&rsquo;s muses are cinematic; their eyes are deeply expressive, their scale is commanding and their beauty is undeniable. On the street, each femme fatale has an agency of sorts amongst the buzzing street culture that surrounds her. Moreover, the friction between beauty and decay, which is paramount for the artist, is readily apparent as the images bind to their textured architecture and their pristine beauty is subject to the natural elements.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140413161844-IMG_7070.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">However, for <em>Wallflowers</em>, the artist has chosen to work on a decidedly smaller scale. Producing his muse Tereasa Oman&rsquo;s face on paper and wood from reclaimed shipping crates, the artist uses stencil, brushes, spray paint, and collage in an attempt to reproduce the finish of rough, urban exteriors.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Over a dozen paintings occupy the back room of StolenSpace, given a corresponding flower title: <em>Blossom, Bells, Lilly, Poison Ivy, Rose Thorn</em>. The name game of anthropomorphized flowers corresponding to female characteristics is cute at best, and slightly sexist at worst. When brought inside, the original <em>oomph</em> of Rone&rsquo;s muses have been compromised. Their modest size, serial presentation and pseudo-patina read like a flat-lined recreation of the work that made him famous. On the street Rone is able to create an actress, whilst <em>Wallflowers</em> simply reads as models&mdash;they are, unfortunately, silent, decorative, and a bit boring.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140413161926-IMG_7073.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Devon Caranicas</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(All images: <strong>Rone</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and StolenSpace Gallery)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 21:12:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Black as midnight on a moonless night <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">"Black as midnight on a moonless night."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That&rsquo;s how Special Agent Cooper <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PcoMrwEa5o" target="_blank">likes his coffee</a>, and that&rsquo;s what I thought of when viewing <em>SUPERBLACK </em>by Jordan Tate, at Transformer Station in Cleveland, Ohio.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;That&rsquo;s pretty black,&rdquo; says Pete Martell, as he pours a cup of coffee for Cooper in that first episode of <em>Twin Peaks</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>SUPERBLACK </em>is pretty black all right. In fact it&rsquo;s the blackest black you&rsquo;ll ever see. It&rsquo;s&hellip; excuse me&hellip; really fucking black.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Tate became fascinated by the concept of the blackest black in 2012 after wrapping up his book <a href="http://www.jordantate.com/files/gimgs/40_gamut-warning.gif" target="_blank"><em>Gamut Warning</em></a><em>, </em>and thinking at the time of space as &ldquo;the master gamut.&rdquo; He stumbled across a British team working on creating a superblack and was &ldquo;kind of hooked from there.&rdquo; The endeavor turned earnest after a conversation with and commission from Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell (of the eponymously named foundation and collection, which runs Transformer Station along with the Cleveland Museum of Art).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140412070201-174-173.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #525552;"><strong>Jordan Tate</strong>, </span><em>New Work #174,</em> 2013, Munsel Soil Color Chart, Mylar tape, aromatic cedar frame, 24 x 46 inches; <em>New Work #173</em>, 2013, Munsel Soil Color Chart, Mylar tape, aromatic cedar frame, </span><span style="font-size: x-small;">24 x 36 inches; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Tate, trained as a photographer, has since been on a quest to find the blackest black. No kind of ink, or paint, or photographic paper will give you perfect black. He ordered black, non-reflective foil, the stuff they line the insides of telescopes with; that was pretty black, but &ldquo;not mind blowing,&rdquo; as he put it. Finally he got his hands on a material that absorbs almost all electromagnetic radiation, visible (and invisible) light: carbon nanotube arrays.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With help from the laboratories at the University of Cincinnati and an industrial designer in Germany, Tate made <em>SUPERBLACK</em>: a white box, its interior lined with a multi-walled carbon nanotube array and ultra-diffusive light absorbing foil. An aperture on the face of the box allows the viewer to peer in at the complete and utter darkness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">First of all, it&rsquo;s smaller than you think will be. It&rsquo;s not the yawning void, the inescapable black hole you might imagine. It&rsquo;s quite modest, sitting there on a white pedestal about the height of an average person, flanked by two powerful yet diminutive HEPA filters (to control dust and provide some white noise). It&rsquo;s approachable and somewhat anthropomorphic, this void, in the same way that HAL is in <em>2001: A Space Odyssey. </em>Only slightly suspicious. During the opening I kept glancing over at it, getting the feeling that it was watching us. And indeed it was, absorbing all of the visual information around it, all the light reflecting from our bodies, our clothing, the room&mdash;mute, stoic, giving nothing back.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The allusion to <em>2001 </em>is not accidental; the exhibition catalogue features an excerpt from Arthur C. Clarke&rsquo;s novel describing the black monolith that appears: that mysterious harbinger, representing the ultimate unknown. In the catalogue&rsquo;s glossary, the cultural connotations and scientific explanations of darkness and lightness are surveyed, from dark matter to the Enlightenment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140412070410-SUPERBLACK_X.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><span style="color: #525552;"><strong> Jordan Tate</strong>, </span><em>SUPERBLACK</em>, 2014, Multi-walled Carbon nanotube array, Ultra-diffusive Light Absorbing Foil, Cast acrylic, Wood. 12 x 12 x 36 inche;&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Tate further explores the dark/light binary in two large-scale, monolith-shaped prints: one a vision of the black night sky, the other a view of a polar ice cap. As Tate explained to me, both photographs (sourced from the internet) were ostensibly taken from about the same elevation in orbit around the earth: one looking out, one looking in. &ldquo;The contrast between black and white sits at the very apex of their hierarchy of universal terms: that is, all languages will make this basic distinction and make it before they make any others,&rdquo; wrote the linguist Charles Goodwin.<span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_edn1">[i]</a></span> In <em>Twin Peaks </em>there was the White Lodge and the Black Lodge, a place of great goodness and a place of dark forces, the light and the darkness, good and evil.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Let&rsquo;s go back to <em>SUPERBLACK. </em>What struck me most about viewing this work was my eyes&rsquo; inability to truly perceive this pure blackness. Dancing across the surface of my vision were familiar striations and faint static, what appears when you close your eyes tight. I couldn&rsquo;t gaze into the blackness&mdash;almost as if my own mind stepped in to insert the visual equivalent of white noise, to protect me from truly glimpsing the void.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The flaws of human (and machine) perception and our efforts to counteract them form the basis of Tate&rsquo;s other primary focus, which he explores in the other works on view. On the west wall, a diptych: two photographs taken by the Mars rover with scales of measure indicated on them, though, as Tate pointed out to me, those scales were essentially useless without taking into account the position of the camera; as a gesture of that uselessness, Tate introduced soil color sample charts onto the photographs, practical for use on Earth, but pointless to compare the soil on Mars. On the north wall: a photograph of an ancient statue&mdash;Tate was careful to select a Greek statue of uncertain provenance and authorship, whose art historical credentials were supplied and verified only by the institution that houses it&mdash;and a sculpture comprising an archaeologist&rsquo;s grid propped on the wall next to a mylar backdrop on which is arranged a level, a shim, and a plaster statue, modeled after a Greek bust, which the artist fabricated, broke, and then re-plastered. The grouping brings to mind the futile yet relentless measure of art history, the malleability of perception, and our need to quantify, to measure, to evaluate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Next spring, <em>SUPERBLACK </em>is scheduled to travel to New York, to Denny Gallery on the Lower East Side. If you&rsquo;re lucky enough to be in Cleveland right now, you can gaze into the void long before New Yorkers get a chance. Concurrently on view at Transformer Station, and on the absolute opposite range of photography, is the phenomenal project <em>Redheaded Peckerwood </em>by Christian Patterson.</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ednref1">[i]</a>&nbsp;Quoted in the exhibition catalogue, Jordan Tate, <em>SUPERBLACK </em>(Cleveland, OH: Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation, Transformer Station, 2014).</span></p> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/11505-natalie-hegert?tab=REVIEWS">Natalie Hegert</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Jordan Tate</strong>, <em>New Work #185, </em>2014, Pigment prints, Left image printed on Canson High Gloss, Right image printed on Hahnemeuhle Ultra Smooth Rag, 36 x 74 inches each; Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:22:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Speak Your Plural: Chapter One of Slow Frequency <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Affirmation, fulfillment, declaration; these are all terms used to describe motivational speaking. This form of address is designed for the masses. Though they prey on the singular, all these words refer to an inherent plurality: which is to say, yourself in others. Affirmation is mirrored through encounters, fulfillment is only expressed to a counterpart when it is lacking, and declaration depends on an audience of listeners. Yet, while these definitions point towards self-help culture &ndash; lifted in fact from Roland Barthes&rsquo; <em>A Lover&rsquo;s Discourse</em> &ndash; nowhere in his lexicon does Barthes include <em>aider</em>, &ldquo;to help.&rdquo; Rather, only actions that approach a similar, though distinctive, definition of self-love are indexed. Beyond these terms, which lie at the ethos of &ldquo;the motivational,&rdquo; the only other synonym offered is perhaps <em>d&eacute;pendance</em>, &ldquo;dependency.&rdquo; Though the term implies weakness, it resists tenderness or sentiment &ndash; two emotive responses that lie outside of describing what it means to enforce the self. It is not an action defined by one word, but described by many; it is its own discourse. The dated advancement we match to this phenomena &ndash; imagine, of course, suburban conferences, TED talks, tapes found in department store book aisles &ndash; hinge on their direct opposition to doubt. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Or, in opposition to art. Vancouver-based Kyla Mallett&rsquo;s first solo exhibition in Chicago,<a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/326066-personhood"><span style="color: #b443bc;"> <span style="color: #b443bc;"><em>Personhood</em></span></span></a>, at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/42431-paris-london-hong-kong"><span style="color: #b443bc;"><span style="color: #b443bc;">Paris London Hong Kong</span></span></a> is an exception to that rule.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140411142412-KMPersonhood.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kyla Mallett</strong>,<em> Personhood,&nbsp;</em>2012, Archival pigment print, 40 x 28 in, Edition of 3; Courtesy of the artist and Paris London Hong Kong</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Five large-scale prints resembling posters and covers of books are evenly spaced throughout the small gallery. Texts borrowed from book titles such as &ldquo;Being Yourself, 24 Ways to See the Light,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Personhood, the Art of Being Fully Human&rdquo; echo new-age ideals and in that vein belong to a design aesthetic of the late '70s to early '80s. In <em>Personhood</em>, a work synonymous with the title of the exhibition, a thin, white outline against a high-key graphic red background denotes a nearly symmetrical illustration of two heads facing one another, the only difference being that the one on the left is demarcated with a perfectly placed tear drop, both connected by a rainbow extending from the eyes. It evokes the type of illustration you would find on a paperback copy of <em>A Brave New World</em>, or something similarly utopian tinged with science fiction while referencing the myopic, single-minded vision of a <span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_vase"><span style="color: #b443bc;">Rubin&rsquo;s vase</span></a></span> &ndash; a flatness that depends on a limited psychology, though not without depth. In other works, compositions are equally as harmonious, while anxiety prevails in the text &ndash; such as &ldquo;When I say no, I feel guilty,&rdquo; or &ldquo;What do you say after you say hello???&rdquo; Mallett&rsquo;s choices in pairing image with language are smart, deceptive, and directly poetic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What makes them tender is their illusion; the form of the book cover is a strategy to disarm the viewer, and though the form itself returns, it is not repetitive. Instead, the images become softer upon interaction; the language is cold, but its delivery is not. While the pieces address the individual in the same way motivational conferences focus on <em>you</em> &ndash; unnamed, distant, and unfamiliar &ndash; in a room of thousands, they remain plural because of their open associations. Approaching the structure through Barthes again, these works contain something the original form does not, and it is Mallett&rsquo;s expansion of the terms we can attach to self-love that is precisely/paradoxically their inclusivity. To quote from <em>tendresse, </em>&ldquo;tenderness&rdquo;: &ldquo;Where you are tender, you speak your plural.<span style="font-size: x-small; color: #0fb9ef;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1"><span style="color: #0fb9ef;">[1]</span></a></span>&rdquo; In the realm of questionable practices (the pejorative figure that teaches self-help is an uncertain academic after all, an <em>inexpert</em> by trade), this tenderness is essential. The doubt Mallett introduces matches the translation of the overly definite preaching she appropriates into an acceptable art &ndash; starting where the changeable and less static definitions of new-age enlightenment begin, and certainty end.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140411142830-KMSubconscious.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong> Kyla Mallett</strong>,<em>The Power of Your Subconscious Mind</em>, 2014, Archival pigment print<em>, </em>40 x 25 in, Edition of 3; Courtesy of the artist and Paris London Hong Kong<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With a measure of doubt and pride, Mallett ventures into images that complicate the very boundaries of defining a dated take on a current issue. As the first chapter of a larger program entitled <span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://www.three-walls.org/exhibition/slow-frequency/"><span style="color: #b443bc;"><em>Slow Frequency</em></span></a></span><em>,</em> an exchange between Chicago (<span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/6330-threewalls"><span style="color: #b443bc;">threewalls</span></a></span>, <span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2232-devening-projects-editions"><span style="color: #b443bc;">devening projects + editions</span></a></span>) and Vancouver/Berlin (<span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/13480-or-gallery"><span style="color: #b443bc;">Or Gallery</span></a></span>) galleries, this first installment, curated by Dan Devening, is one of many to come between now and 2015. Following soon is the exchange of Chicago artists <span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://troybriggsart.com/"><span style="color: #b443bc;">Troy Briggs</span></a></span> and <span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://www.corbettvsdempsey.com/artists/david-hartt/"><span style="color: #b443bc;">David Hartt</span></a></span> for solo-exhibitions in Vancouver at Or Gallery, as well as an exhibition of Canadian artist Ron Terada to open at threewalls within the next year, his second in the city since <span style="color: #b443bc;"><a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/ron-terada-being-there/"><span style="color: #b443bc;"><em>Being There</em></span></a></span> at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, in 2012.</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"><span style="color: #0fb9ef;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #0fb9ef;">[1]</span></a></span> <em>A Lover&rsquo;s Discourse,</em> Roland Barthes, p.225.</span></p> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<span style="color: #f84006;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #f84006;">Stephanie Cristello</span></a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top:<strong> Kyla Mallett</strong>, Installation view, (from left)<em> Personhood,&nbsp;</em>2012, Archival pigment print, 40 x 28 in and <em>When I Say No I Feel Guilty,&nbsp;</em>2013, Archival pigment print, 36 x 21.75 in; Courtesy of the artist and Paris London Hong Kong]</span></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:50:27 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Withdrawal Symptoms: Public Space, Capital, and Boycotting the Biennales <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>On Friday, April 4th, a conversation abo</em><em><em>ut</em> <a href="http://english.hebbel-am-ufer.de/programme/schedule/2014-04/phantasmn-and-politics-6/939/" target="_blank">Art in the Public Sphere</a><em> was held at HAU, Berlin, between Alice Creischer, Oliver Marchart, Simon Sheikh, Sarah Vanhee, and Joanna Warsza, moderated by Helmut Draxler. The evening was a part of HAU's </em>Phantasm and Politics<em> series, and discussion revolved around the upcoming </em></em><a href="http://manifesta.org/2013/02/announcement-manifesta-10/" target="_blank">Manifesta</a><em><em> in</em> St Petersburg.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Afterwards, we had our own conversation.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RICHARD PETTIFER:</strong> Having to pay &euro;8 for a discussion about public space is the perfect ironic summary of what was discussed on stage. Increasingly, what is &ldquo;public&rdquo; is defined by capital, and sapped of its potential.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>SONJA</strong><strong> HORNUNG:</strong> I wanted us to go so we could write on it! But doesn't this draw out a strange dilemma that emerges, when faced with the option of withdrawal? Either engage, and retain some sort of voice in the dialogue, or withdraw, and risk being excluded and silenced.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RP:</strong> I was charged for a ticket to discuss the relationship between art and public space&mdash;a discussion that must surely happen in public. In attending, my political voice was subsumed into a system of dialogue that becomes an aesthetic item through its separation from the public.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There is no reason why art should not look for concrete ways to intervene, and maybe the upcoming Manifesta will do this. But Friday night certainly didn't intervene in squat.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>SH:</strong>The relationship between art and public space is a fractured one. But it is not just a case of art colonizing and aesthetizising politics (as some critics of the Berlin Biennale, for example, would have it). There are a range of complex positions and they are context-dependent. For example, in Sydney, <a href="http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=35622" target="_blank">a number of artists threatened to withdraw</a> their work from the Biennale due to commercial links between its primary sponsor and the offshore processing of refugees. In Istanbul, Fulya Erdemci <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/37086">withdrew her Biennale</a> from the public spaces of Istanbul due to the tense situation generated by the Taksim protests. And in the upcoming <em>Manifesta</em> in St Petersburg, local artist collective <a href="http://chtodelat.org/b9-texts-2/vilensky/chto-delat-withdraws-from-manifesta-10/" target="_blank">Chto Delat? have recently withdrawn</a> in solidarity with Ukraine. Curator-in-chief Kaspar K&ouml;nig <a href="http://manifesta.org/2014/03/manifesta-10-will-stay-in-st-petersburg/" target="_blank">defended the right of art to autonomy from political discourse</a>, but meanwhile, the Kiev Biennale itself <a href="http://www.biennialfoundation.org/2014/02/the-second-edition-of-arsenale-the-first-international-biennial-of-contemporary-art-in-ukraine-is-postponed-to-2015/" target="_blank">has been postponed indefinitely</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These responses to political pressures on the biennale system have one thing in common&mdash;artists are requested to use the publicity created by the institution to interrogate the values of the institution. This makes the institution <em>appear </em>open to critique, open to public dialogue, open to democracy in its broadest sense. Should we be suspicious about this?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140411063153-6035_hau_opening_63.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>HAU 2</em>; Photo &copy;Marcus Lieberenz / Courtesy Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>R</strong><strong>P:</strong> For me the whole conversation about whether to withdraw or not becomes invalid when the conditions of entering the dialogue itself are the contradiction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What you're talking about is a kind of false permissiveness or liberalism from biennales. It says &ldquo;you can do anything you want,&rdquo; but meanwhile, capital is taking away basic freedoms. This is basically my concern with placing too much focus on public space&mdash;it's just symbolic distraction from capital crisis. You can have a very liberal public space where you can do anything, but that is totally pointless if half of the people sleep in it because they don&rsquo;t have homes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>S</strong><strong>H:</strong> So in your view, a discussion about public space, or even about art, shifts the narrative away from the real issue at stake: the hegemony of capital. Perhaps you're right. The reason for protest always boils down to capital. Gezi Park was a protest over a proposed capital development. The Ukraine crisis was caused by that government backing away from a free trade agreement with the EU. The Occupy protests happened in the context of the Global Financial Crisis, and the Sydney Biennale debacle emerged due to its corporate structure.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">However, all of these events become <em>visible</em> in public dialogue, in public space, don't they? Not just physical spaces, but also figurative ones, or spaces online, where conflict can be played out in dialogue and resistence can be built.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RP:</strong> But a contradiction is present here. As Oliver Marchart said, on one hand there is a multiplicity of public spaces, and on the other hand this idea of an &ldquo;audience with the King.&rdquo; In the first case, the creation of a public space is possible anywhere; in the second, grievances can only be aired under the permission of the ruler. I am much more likely to favor the latter as an illustration of contemporary political life because it says something active, whereas the first is a meditative statement. However in both cases artists/citizens/scholars are free to do whatever they like as long as they don't interfere with the capital frame. This suggests simply that in order to be effective, art should do just that&mdash;especially in a time of capital crisis.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>SH:</strong> I was also interested in Oliver's definition of the public as &ldquo;an audience with the King,&rdquo; to me a play on Kaspar K&ouml;nig's authoritarian position as King of the <em>Manifesta</em>, in all its autonomous glory. An audience with the King never occurs on equal terms. If you reject this inequality and wish to build a different modus operandi, you need to withdraw and create an alternative, and that alternative can only be built in public space, whether this space is physical or figurative.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Let's look at Sydney, for example. Some sort of artificial wall maintained between art and its political and commercial context has been broken, which means that every conversation about the Biennale (and every media report) has to also be seen in terms of the withdrawals and Australia&rsquo;s horrendous refugee policy. Art that addresses political questions <em>within</em> the institutional framework remains somehow safe, even if it bleeds into the public spaces of the city (as happens in every Sydney Biennale, as will happen in St Petersburg). But withdrawal opens the frame out to public scrutiny; it creates public space. It forces us to recognize that the causes for inequalities have a name and an address, as Alice Creischer puts it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Of course Sydney is an entirely different context to St Petersburg, and the parallels can only be pushed so far. But I was wondering whether you might consider it possible to see the withdrawal of Chto Delat?, for example, as a vital way to keep the Manifesta public&mdash;or to keep the <em>public</em> public?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140411160302-tower9.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>CHTO DELAT?</strong>,<em>The Tower: a Songspiel</em>, 2010,&nbsp;single channel video, color + sound, 36:51 minutes, video still, edition of 10; Courtesy of the artists and Postmasters Gallery, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em><span style="color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RP:</strong> Of those examples mentioned, Gezi is the only one where the cause of the protests can perhaps be considered a matter of public space. The others (Euromaidan, Occupy, Sydney) are directly responding to capital situations. And even in the case of Gezi, it was a heavily capitalized commercial project, so it's arguable whether people were there for the space, or capital, or both.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>S</strong><strong>H:</strong> I beg to differ&mdash;in the case of Gezi, capital interests were impeding on public space. Occupy and Euromaidan were efforts to claim public space as a platform to fight against its repression. I would read the Sydney Biennale in terms of an attempt to hold public conversation about immigration policies that the public no longer have a say in, that are controlled by double-barreled national and commercial interests. Calls to reclaim public space, whether by artists or activists, are a means to redress this situation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Look at the <a href="http://asylstrikeberlin.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/presse-erklarung-der-gefluchteten-aktivistin-der-baumbesetzung-auf-dem-oranienplatz-und-der-gefluchteten-im-hungerstreik-in-solidaritat-auf-dem-oranienplatz/" target="_blank">self-imposed closure of the refugees' occupation on Oranienplatz</a> in the middle of Berlin. As we write, the last of the refugees who have occupied the site for over one year have &ldquo;vertically withdrawn,&rdquo; and climbed a tree. They are surrounded by police and a fence, and until very recently were denied food, water, and blankets. Up there is the last bit of public space in Oranienplatz, but even here, this withdrawal is forcing people to talk, to take notice. You can't ignore a person who is hunger-striking in a tree.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>R</strong><strong>P:</strong> You're right about withdrawals affecting the dialogue, but again this doesn't address the capital&mdash;it just addresses the dialogue. There's little point in tarnishing the brand of the Sydney Biennale if the ensuing dialogue effectively quashes change. This is a matter of the form or quality of the dialogue&mdash;<em>how</em> it is said is more important than the content. We talk about &ldquo;withdrawal&rdquo; as if it is a simple action that universally means the same thing, but there are many different ways to withdraw, and they mean different things. Withdrawing is a positive action. It creates something more than just a space for public debate. What should be looked at in the case of Sydney is not what is not there (&ldquo;the proposed artworks&rdquo;) but what was created&mdash;the press releases, the empty spaces. Dialogue is only a small part of that.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the case of <em>Manifesta</em>, there would seem to be very few ways it might be helpful to the situation in Russia and the territorial invasion of Ukraine, which began with the capital situation of the failed EU free trade agreement. Addressing that now would not be helpful. Now it would be more helpful to address Ukraine's flailing economy which is in a directly vulnerable position. For example, there have been people in Euromaidan protesting in sub-zero temperatures for four months. What about them? And where are we at with this free trade agreement now? Will living standards in Ukraine improve?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Or was the only result of the protests to jettison a much-loved piece of territory and four months' wages?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What will make or break <em>Manifesta</em> will probably be its ability to address these issues in a concrete way.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Here is a satirical fantasy version of how insulting this potentially is: an event at <em>Manifesta</em> called <em>Art in the East after Euromaid</em><em>a</em><em>n: a dialogue/intervention </em>that charges &euro;8 entry.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>SH:</strong> This very conversation we are having now will become, on ArtSlant, an aestheticization of political issues.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RP:</strong> Depends on the readers.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/336198-sonja-hornung?tab=REVIEWS">Sonja Hornung</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/380435-richard-pettifer?tab=REVIEWS">Richard Pettifer</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>CHTO DELAT?</strong>,<em>The Tower: a Songspiel</em>, 2010,&nbsp;single channel video, color + sound, 36:51 minutes, video still, edition of 10; Courtesy of the artists and Postmasters Gallery, New York)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:14:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Child's Play: A Couple Kids Interview HIN <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">From a background in illustration (clients have included the Swing-pop band The Correspondents) Hin started putting his paste-up series on the streets of East London (where he has been a resident for almost a decade) a few years back; his derisive depictions of the world&rsquo;s worst political leaders &ndash; among the most popular, Gaddafi on a tiny bike, Berlusconi, and Putin &ndash; have become irrepressibly popular with the local audience, as much as his collaborations with artists such as Pablo Delgado and Cranio. I call them in my head the Peter Pan Posse &ndash; a bunch of solo artists dwelling in East London, who don&rsquo;t really fit into the conventional graf crowd, not so much street artists as people who refuse to grow up, and like making their art into a kind of public game, and if it&rsquo;s a little bit cheeky, then that&rsquo;s good too.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">A recurrent theme in Hin&rsquo;s work is childhood: the irridescent allure of our innocent dreams and the brutal interruption when they are coarsely chopped by the delusions and anxieties of adulthood. You can see it in the way his drawings, crafted with the technical precision of a fine artist, are painted over with naive playground fetishes, as if vandalising his own work with a school kid&rsquo;s hand.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Given this exaltation of infant reverie in Hin&rsquo;s work&nbsp;&ndash; and his ongoing creative projects with actual children too&nbsp;&ndash; I thought I would exploit the two children of my life (thank you to my nephew Rio and my niece Millie Mae, age 5 and 9 respectively), to come up with some questions for this interview. They came up with goods&hellip;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410183846-Look_pretty_you_can_be..01small.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>HIN</strong>, <em>Look pretty you can be</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <hr /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Do you like macaroni cheese?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I used to but once my ex-girlfriend made it and burnt the cheese so bad and I almost vomit. It left a scar on me.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What is your nickname? And if you could change your name, what would you change it to?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I have a lot. Some friends call me &lsquo;Lin&rsquo; in Hong Kong. Which means 'boob' in Cantonese. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">If I could I might change my name to Ding Dang Dong so I can be a living stereotype.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410191316-Wonder_Mary.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN</strong>, <em>Wonder Mary</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">If you were a girl, where would you buy your clothes?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Barbie shop.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Do you admire Banksy?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I have huge respect for him. Celebrity without a face is much more interesting. At least they don&rsquo;t make you want to lose weight.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What inspired you to create your art?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Stupidity. I am trying to remain stupid for the rest of my life, but you have to be very clever to achieve that.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410184208-IMG_2466.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Why do you do graffiti?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Because sometimes I want to say something (something fun or angry) but I don&rsquo;t want to use my Facebook wall. In most metropolitan city, many people are desperate to share but too 'busy' to do so. I guess that&rsquo;s why most graffiti are in the city.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What is your most embarrassing moment?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I had so many but my memory isn&rsquo;t so good with these things but I remember once I was in the tube full of people. A woman who looked pregnant was standing in front of me so I offered her my seat thinking &lsquo;man, I&rsquo;m such a good person.&rsquo; But she looked at me like &lsquo;thanks but why me!?&rsquo; I was confused so I pointed at her belly and said &lsquo;because you are pregnant.&rsquo; Which was really stupid of me. She looked at me like she was going to slap me and left the tube. People around looked at me like a criminal. I guess she wasn&rsquo;t pregnant.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410184625-Super_Jesus.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN,</strong> <em>Super Jesus</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Who is the most inspiring celebrity you know?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">There are many but for me Bob Dylan is someone I feel connect to. For good and bad.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What was your favourite kids TV show?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">mmmm&hellip;the only kids TV show I watched was because you can win Lego if you participate but other than that is Dragon Ball which isn&rsquo;t very much a kid's show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When you were growing up, what did you want to be?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The first Cantonese footballer to play in the Premier League.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410190333-Home.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong><span style="color: #000000;">HIN</span></strong><span style="color: #000000;">,</span><em><span style="color: #000000;"> Home</span></em><span style="color: #000000;">; </span><span style="color: #000000;">Courtesy of the artist</span></span><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><br /></span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What&rsquo;s your favourite animal?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">A tiny monkey that doesn&rsquo;t trash everything around.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What do you do with your bogies?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When I was a kid I used to just eat them but now I&rsquo;m an adult I understand I must share it around also.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What is your favourite art piece to do?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I don't think I have any favourite piece to do but 1 of the most important piece of my mine is a giant painting that I did 10 years ago. It's a piece that I'll never sell.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410190705-Catwoman_street02_bright.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN</strong>, <em>Catwoman</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Who is your favourite artist?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I don't have any favourite. I'm a big fan of Outsider Art. One of the most powerful thing I've seen is from an Outsider artist called Raymond Morales.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What shampoo do you use?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I use whatever shampoo that creates lots of bubbles.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Why did you do this interview?</span></em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I'm normally open to written interview. The fact that the questions are done by 2 kids makes it more appealing.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410190840-Flying_police02_s.jpg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>HIN,</strong><em> Flying Police</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>Hin&rsquo;s work appears as part of a group show &lsquo;Consequences&rsquo; curated by the Qabinet at London&rsquo;s Red Gallery, in Summer 2014. </em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://hin-art.com/" target="_blank">http://hin-art.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410191708-Iron_lady_street02.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN,</strong> <em>Iron lady</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410191953-Reborn.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN,</strong> <em>Reborn</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410192126-Osama_Skipping02.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN</strong>,<em> Osama Skipping</em>; Courtesy of the artist<br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410193158-Walk_into_my_life_small.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>HIN,</strong><em> Walk into my life</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410192830-HIN_logo_clean.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><em>HIN logo</em>; Courtesy of the artist<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>HIN</strong>, <em>Gadaffi;</em> Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:35:28 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list A Major Minority: Widening the Definition of Urban Art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In a relatively small, white-walled room, 1AM Gallery legitimately pushes the meaning of the phrase &lsquo;group show.&rsquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When visitors enter the current exhibit, entitled <em>A Major Minority</em>, they encounter walls full of pieces. Rows and rows of artworks cover each wall and showcase the talent of more than 100 artists from more than 18 countries. Many sections include multiple pieces by the same person, giving viewers more than a small taste of each artist&rsquo;s work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">At first, the sheer amount of pieces might seem overwhelming but the show is a lesson in slowing down. The reward for spending a decent amount of time with each piece is seeing the smallest details reveal themselves.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">After scanning each wall, it&rsquo;s easy to see the connections between even the most disparate works. The pieces range in mediums, from photography to drawing to mixed media. Some works are presented in frames, others on materials like wood. Curator Poesia put these particular artists together to address the widening definition of urban art. The works all convey a certain edgy beauty and make clear references to graffiti even when they do not use spray paint or reference tags.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410141538-major1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Some pieces look especially sculptural and architectural. Kwest&rsquo;s works especially stand out for their shiny, three-dimensional rendering of the angles one might find in graffiti writing. In fact the two pieces in this show are entitled <em>S Refraction</em> and <em>W Refraction</em>, clear hints that Kwest might have used letters as his inspiration. Though not created fully in the round, the pieces entice the viewer to gaze from all viewpoints in order to absorb each angle.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Christopher Derek Bruno also tackles the medium of sculpture in his brightly colored works. The Minimalist-like pieces do not make overt references to graffiti or urban art as Kwest&rsquo;s pieces do, but they still offer viewers the chance to reflect on color&mdash;something that many graffiti works do as well.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>Abstract House 5</em> by Drew Tyndell does something similar. Its wooden slabs fit together like colored puzzle pieces; the smoothness of each colored piece seems to suggest acrylic paint but Tyndell actually uses spray paint. That medium choice makes the viewer look a little more closely at the places where the colors meet in curves and sharp angles.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410141636-major3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Bom.k</strong>, <em>Urban Kontortion 4</em></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Many of the pieces in the show also lean towards figual explorations of specific places and familiar faces. When it comes to capturing the character of the urban landscape, the surreal exaggerated portraits of Bom.k definitely stand out. The Paris-based artist recently had solo shows in both his hometown and Known Gallery in Los Angeles. The pieces in this show display his knack for intricate detail in portraits of exaggerated, creepy, yet familiar faces. These could be people viewers run into on the street, but their limbs are oversized, their eyes beady and their mouths terrifying. The figure in <em>Urban Kontortion 4</em> pulls down his lip to reveal a tattoo but shows a ghastly-looking gap in his teeth and horribly wrinkled gums and lips that ultimately draw the eye in closer.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The work of See One offers a more Pop Art approach to the figure with its bright colors and high contrasts. In <em>Only You</em> a woman looks down at something the viewer can&rsquo;t see while colors and shapes explode all around her. Chunky graffiti letters that look like See&rsquo;s tag float in the back of lightning bolt-like shapes of color. The figure&rsquo;s face also shows strange shapes along with dots that feel like a Lichtenstein treatment. The elements come together in a way that happens in most graffiti murals; the characters initially draw the viewer's attention and then little by little other details come to the surface. <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">As much as the pieces fit nicely into rows on the white walls in the gallery, they retain this overall sense of&nbsp; outdoor urban art and graffiti that influences their production in one way or another. The photographs included in the exhibition tie that concept together nicely. Snapshots like <em>4</em> by Clams Rockefeller show graffiti artists at work or their pieces in conversation with local people hanging out on the streets.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140410141714-major4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Basik</strong>, <em>Celebratio Lupi</em></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Although overall some pieces feel stronger than others, the range of works makes for a fascinating introduction to the works of a group of artists who share a common inspiration. Even taken out of the context of urban art, many of the works stand alone as clear expressions of strong aesthetic directions and explorations. For the art lover not able to travel the world to discover new works of urban art and graffiti, or pieces influenced by these styles, <em>A Major Minority</em> might serve as a satisfactory alternative.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Eva Recinos<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Kwest</strong>, <em>S Refraction Series, </em>All images: Courtesy of 1AM Gallery)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:04:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Can war photography be beautiful? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;Are you an artist or a journalist?&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Marcel Feil, the Deputy Director of artistic affairs at Foam, wasted no time getting to the big questions. The recipient was Richard Mosse, who had arrived in Amsterdam that morning for the installation and opening of his exhibition <em>The Enclave</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Once the jokes about typical Dutch candor died down the Irish photographer swiftly dismissed the idea that he might be a journalist: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m an artist, though I&rsquo;ve got documentarian blood.&rdquo; Journalists, he said, work on tight deadlines, report to editors, and&mdash;perhaps most significantly&mdash;have to do things like &ldquo;fact-check.&rdquo; &ldquo;Human experience,&rdquo; Mosse reflected, &ldquo;is not limited to facts.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The Amsterdam exhibition comprises four large photographs from Mosse&rsquo;s series <a href="http://www.richardmosse.com/works/infra/" target="_blank"><em>Infra</em></a>, but the heart of <em>The Enclave</em> is the eponymous six screen film installation that formed the centerpiece of the Ireland Pavilion presentation in last summer&rsquo;s Venice Biennale. A psychedelic pink palette characterizes the photographs and films, which were shot between 2010 and 2012 when Mosse was embedded with rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The bubblegum pink and radiant magenta, present wherever one would expect lush, tropical greenery, are the results of Kodak Aerochrome, a now discontinued film developed by military strategists that registers infrared light invisible to the naked eye.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140409134346-First_we_take_Manhattan_2012_C_Richard_Mosse__Courtesy_of_the_artist_and_Jack_Shainman_Gallery__New_York.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Richard Mosse</strong>, <em>First we take Manhattan</em>, 2012; &copy; Richard Mosse / Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Expression of the invisible is a key function of the project, both literally and metaphorically. The ongoing Congolese conflict is not black and white; it lacks clear-cut conceptual and geographic dichotomies like evil/good, rich/poor, north/south that might make it nominally easier to understand. Some thirty factions operate in the region, with ever-changing alliances, and the number of casualties is astonishing: it&rsquo;s estimated that as many as 5.4 million people have been killed since 1998. <em>The Enclave </em>depicts a war that in its opacity and complexity has gone widely unnoticed by the outside world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As much as <em>Infra </em>and <em>The Enclave</em> document this conflict, the medium is also the message. In spite of their ostensive subject matter, Mosse&rsquo;s candy-colored portraits and landscapes are beautiful. Can war photography be beautiful? <em>Should</em> it be? History paintings glorify battlefields, yet photography&rsquo;s implicit veracity makes that same majesty feel wrong. What happens when we acknowledge the tropes and signifiers of war photography&mdash;that grainy, blurry, Robert Capa anti-aesthetic&mdash;and let them go? What makes pink less natural than black and white anyway?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Color and beauty are at the heart of the project, but the physical installation bears as much metaphor as the infrared film. Artist and author Hito Steyerl <a href="http://www.e-flux.com/journal/in-free-fall-a-thought-experiment-on-vertical-perspective/" target="_blank">has written that</a> multiscreen projections &ldquo;create a dynamic viewing space, dispersing perspective and possible points of view. The viewer is&hellip;dissociated and overwhelmed, drafted into the production of content.&rdquo; With six screens projecting intermittently,<em> The Enclave </em>demands active viewers&mdash;you cannot simply settle in for the forty-minute presentation. Double-sided screens hang at oblique angles throughout the room and when you think you&rsquo;ve found a good vantage, the one you&rsquo;ve been watching falls blank and another behind you picks up. Sometimes all six are running; other times just one or two. It's a fractured image for a fractured nation that's not meant to be easy to watch or understand. Composer Ben Frost&rsquo;s haunting soundtrack, an arrangement of distorted field recordings, adds further complexity to the projected choreography.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140409134538-Platon_2012_C_Richard_Mosse__Courtesy_of_the_artist_and_Jack_Shainman_Gallery__New_York.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Richard Mosse</strong>, <em>Platon</em>, 2012; &copy; Richard Mosse / Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">There&rsquo;s an unsettling geometry reaching beyond the screens&rsquo; inconvenient angles. Cinematographer Trevor Tweeten&rsquo;s Steadicam work features long, linear shots, but the editing, sound, and distributed projections upend any sense of natural flow. The camera moves down roads, following paramilitary and UN-marked vehicles; it shadows soldiers up winding slopes, trekking through tall grass and dense foliage; it trails children around an internally displaced persons camp. But it never arrives anywhere. Time comes in incomplete shapes. With nothing but a shifting horizon, there&rsquo;s no resolution, only endless dispute.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s worth noting that the Foam installation is tighter than its Venetian iteration. In the large Venice space, visitors could navigate freely in and out of the screens&rsquo; central territory (though most seemed to stick to the periphery, perhaps vying for a wider view). The Foam setup is smaller, more intimate; with four of the screens backing onto the room&rsquo;s walls, it forces viewers <em>inside</em> the enclave to encounter the action and one another. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As a solution to an aesthetic or conceptual problem, <em>The Enclave </em>seems so simple and elegant you almost ask: Why didn&rsquo;t I think of that? (Answer: Because who wants to go to a Congolese war zone with a tremendously volatile film that needs to be stored frozen?) The specialist film reveals something about an inhumane conflict, but equally, the conflict reveals something about perception, about photography. <em>The Enclave</em> is much more than jewel-toned landscapes or photojournalism. It&rsquo;s a treatise on fact, fiction, beauty, and the burden of representation. It&rsquo;s a document of human experience and a glimpse at the invisible.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS">Andrea Alessi</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Richard Mosse</strong>, <em>Safe from harm</em>, 2012; &copy; Richard Mosse / Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York)</span></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:58:14 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Welcome to the Dollerhouse: Laurie Simmons' Kigurumi Portraits <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It would be ridiculous to discuss gender issues, stereotyping, objectification, fetish, or fantasy in contemporary art without Laurie Simmons. For nearly four decades, using a variety of subjects and settings that include toys, costumes, collage, puppets, and people, Simmons&rsquo; photographs have created an indelible interpretation of how perception is formed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The current exhibition at Salon 94, <em>Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See*,</em> features Simmons' latest series of pigment prints. The bulk of the work here investigates Kigurumi, one form of &ldquo;Cosplay&rdquo; (costume play) that has found its way into certain sectors of Japanese youth culture. Dressed up in female masks and body suits that reference anime or manga aesthetics, these costumed, doll-like male and female role players act out characters and situations that suggest the passions of youth, over-the-top cuteness, and the power of vulnerability, which in this case manifests itself as potent, albeit fetishistic sexual allure.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140409132526-How_We_See_Look_1_Daria.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Laurie Simmons</strong>, <em>How We See/Look I/Daria</em>, 2014, pigment print, 70 x 48 in.; Courtesy of the Artist and Salon 94, New York</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Simmons&rsquo; work here is reminiscent of Morton Bartlett&rsquo;s photographs. Bartlett created over a dozen half life-sized dolls of young boys and girls for use as photographic models. Role playing is the ultimate link between the two projects, which share suggested actions and moods, and a focused, obsessive, creepiness. Their images encourage viewers to look and look and hold that gaze despite feelings of impropriety or voyeurism.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140409132239-Yellow_Hair_Brunette_Mermaids.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Laurie Simmons,</strong> <em>Yellow Hair/Brunette/Mermaids</em>, 2014, pigment print, 70 x 48 in.; Courtesy of the Artist and Salon 94, New York</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Simmons&rsquo; latest work engages us ever further, in something that has a life beyond itself. <em>Yellow Hair/Brunette/Mermaids</em> (2014) more than sets the stage for the recording of peripheral entertainment. In it, two subjects donning head-to-fin costumes pose mid-dive across a blue set. It would seem that generally, this need for dolling is about escapism, but it also correlates to the line between reality and perception, fact and fantasy that is so incredibly and unmistakably blurred in the media that represents contemporary society. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a strange way, this acting out is forming a new sort of community where participants can relate through common interests, even if they have no apparent purpose other than self-satisfaction. What Simmons captures is a cross presence, a time when fantasy forms in real time for a select few to experience first hand, and for the world to see through the art produced.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In addition to the eleven dollers depicted here, there are two striking portraits of western fashion models with their closed eyelids painted to look open. This relatively slight adjustment of eyelid painting adds extra depth to these women&rsquo;s stares while their stereotypically girly outfits&mdash;meant to refer to the women who strive to become living Barbie dolls&nbsp;through plastic surgery&mdash;end up looking more creepy than idealistically misguided. To me, the simple act of adding these two very different, but equally compelling and hypnotic images creates a juxtaposition that adds to the grand eccentricity of the phenomena and actions depicted through the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">* Doller is described in Wikipedia at <span style="color: #daa520;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animegao"><span style="color: #daa520;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animegao</span></a></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<span style="color: #7ac43a;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/17721-d-dominick-lombardi?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #7ac43a;">D. Dominick Lombardi</span></a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Laurie Simmons</strong>, <em>Orange Hair/Snow/Close Up, </em>2014, pigment print, 20 x 28.75 in.; </span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Courtesy of the Artist and Salon 94, New York)</span></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:38:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Pernot’s Nomads <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Mathieu Pernot&rsquo;s new show at Jeu de Paume follows twenty years of his career but it also follows the tragic downhill path some of modern society's marginal groups have taken since the twentieth&nbsp;century. While examining the nation state's mechanisms of supervision, control, and depression he also lingers on the historical role of photography as a collaborative practice.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The curatorial orbit of his exhibition <em>The Crossing</em>&nbsp;was designed to create both spacious and conceptual "vis-&agrave;-vis" encounters between Pernot&rsquo;s different series of works. These encounters intensify the feeling that the figures in his photographs are not merely subjects, that as a photographer he is not just passing by. The show explores the structures of these complicated relationships, ones that Pernot is obviously aware of and has learned to navigate in his work. Pernot's protagonists are mostly nomadic: Gypsies, refugees, and prisoners who are present mostly through their surveillance surroundings (empty court yards for example), or by their families who comes to visit them.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140409114632-MP.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Mathieu Pernot</strong>, <em>Photo booths,</em>&nbsp;1995-1997; Courtesy of the artist and Jeu de Paume</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The earliest works in the show come from the series&nbsp;<em>Photo booths</em>, an enchanting group of children's portraits taken between 1995 and 1997. Pernot created the work while he was still a photography student in Arles, France, where he initiated his first encounter with the Gypsy community that lived nearby, taking the children to a standard photo booth and giving them the freedom to express themselves.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The children embody an intuitive refusal to be representative, to become a serial type as the machine demands.&nbsp; Each one of the them performs in a different gesture that maintains individuality and gives a unique articulation to an ID photo. Although fifteen years have passed, Pernot's action seems courageous even today, mostly because of his prescient understanding of the photo booth's potential power over people, but also because he was able to contain and capture the children's unexpected behavior.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">His relationship with this specific community in Arles became a sincere friendship which one can see throughout the exhibition: Some of the children from the photo booth reappear in the show as adults in series like <em>The&nbsp;Shouters</em> (2001-2004), in which men and women are shouting behind the walls where their kins are imprisoned, or <em>Fire</em>&nbsp;(2013), a new body of work made for the exhibition in which members of a family are portrayed watching a deceased relative's burning caravan, set on fire as part of a ritual of their community.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140409105833-MP_02.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Mathieu Pernot</strong>, <em>A Bohemian Camp</em>, 1998/99; Courtesy of the artist and Jeu de Paume</span> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In another work that Pernot created not long after <em>Photo Booths</em>, he revisits the subject of identity photos showing a more conventional and cold treatment. <em>A Bohemian Camp</em>&nbsp;(1998-9) focuses on Saliers concentration camp, which was created in 1942 during the Vichy regime and was the only French concentration camp intended exclusively for the Gypsies. Pernot displays archival materials that include anthropometric photographs and expose the camp's&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">administrative system, the courses of inmates' movements before their arrests, as well as some of their confiscated property.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Pernot's ongoing debate with the history of photography as a practice and its different representations can be traced to the emergence of the nation state during the nineteenth&nbsp;century based on a registration system in which photography played a crucial role. The registration was part of the categorization of who would become a citizen and who would not.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Pernot was able to revisit the history of the camps using a combination of archival materials and interviews with survivors whom he was able to trace. Beyond the archival materials displayed in vitrines hang large-scale 1:1 size portraits of these survivors. These new portraits are done in a classical, even typological manner (in black and white), and offer a new encounter with the camera, a more personal one that wishes to hear and tell stories that were never heard before.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/379939-ellie-armon-azoulay">Ellie Armon Azoulay</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Mathieu Pernot</strong>, <em>Monica, Barcelone, 2004 S&eacute;rie "Les Hurleurs" , </em>2001-2004, Tirage chromog&egrave;ne lambda contrecoll&eacute; sur dibond, 80 x 100 cm; &copy; Mathieu Pernot / Courtesy Centre Pompidou, Paris. Mus&eacute;e national d&rsquo;art moderne / Centre de cr&eacute;ation industrielle)</span></p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 21:15:01 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Huge Installation In Pakistan Brings Drone Operators Face-to-face With Their Targets <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Drone operators don&rsquo;t see the faces of their targets. Sitting in military offices thousands of miles away from combat zones, they have a term for their kills, appearing to them as grainy dots on a computer screen: bug splats.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">A group of Pakistani artists is working to fight the insensitivity of such impersonal warfare with a project called #<a href="http://notabugsplat.com">NotABugSplat</a>, which gives a face to otherwise anonymous victims.&nbsp;Building on French artist <a href="http://www.jr-art.net/jr">JR&rsquo;s Inside Out Project</a>, they installed a huge portrait of a young girl, who was orphaned by a drone attack which also killed her two younger siblings. Now when flying over Pakistan&rsquo;s heavily bombed northwestern Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region, the operators will come face-to-face with one of their victims. #NotABugSplat reports the region has already witnessed some 380 drone strikes, which killed thousands of people, hundreds of whom were children. They write:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;It is [the artists&rsquo;] hope that this will create empathy and introspection amongst drone operators, and will create dialogue amongst policy makers, eventually leading to decisions that will save innocent lives.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140408141916-crowd_with_poster.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140408141945-1070394.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Max Nesterak</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of Not a Bug Splat)</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:44:12 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list You Are Free: On Self-Exploitation in Art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&ldquo;You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent. I pity with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, who is entirely dependent for subsistence upon his art."</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Philip quietly put away the various things which he had shown.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>"I'm afraid that sounds as if you didn't think I had much chance."</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Monsieur Foinet slightly shrugged his shoulders.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>"[...] You will never be anything but mediocre."</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Philip obliged himself to answer quite steadily.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>"I'm very grateful to you for having taken so much trouble. I can't thank you enough."</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Monsieur Foinet got up and made as if to go, but he changed his mind and, stopping, put his hand on Philip's shoulder.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>"But if you were to ask me my advice, I should say: take your courage in both hands and try your luck at something else. It sounds very hard, but let me tell you this: I would give all I have in the world if someone had given me that advice when I was your age and I had taken it."</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>W. Somerset Maugham, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Of Human Bondage</span>, Chapter LI</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What are we doing here anyway?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">We had a notion, inspiration even, a few ideas rattling around in our heads about art, mostly soft, mostly intuitive. A few dreamed of money, many romanticized poverty, others just didn&rsquo;t think that hard about the economics before simply plunging in. So we went to school, because that&rsquo;s what people do these days, parents and the federal loan guarantee program hardly comfortable with bankrolling bumming around Paris. So we went out and got degrees, proving to anyone we&rsquo;ve been trained. Our teachers were of varying degrees of bitterly overlooked and painfully overexposed (though a few genuinely generous souls could be found there as anywhere), and we, for a price of time and money, possess the bragging rights of having hung out with these somewhat narrowly famous people, a forced acquaintanceship purchased under the aegis of education. Most of us even feel like we&rsquo;ve earned something.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With degrees in hand, we even began to get some kind of recognition from our peers: a review in a mid-range art publication, a spot on the local group show cycle, maybe even gallery representation, even if we know it's not a very good one, but they&rsquo;ve given a break and breaks can feel rare when you&rsquo;re looking at the solid unbroken edifice of culture for far too long.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">After a couple of years of regularly attending openings, making small-talk with influential people, an irregular flow of studio visits, contributions to aforementioned group shows, artist zines and the like for which one is never paid for in any direct kind of way, we began to rethink what we&rsquo;re doing in economic terms: we&rsquo;re investing in ourselves. We&rsquo;re small business owners selling that most tricky and unstuck of all commodities, art. Not to tarnish here the optimistic, pseudo-MBA shine of the phrase &ldquo;self-investment,&rdquo; but it could, from a different angle, be the much less shimmery phrase of &ldquo;self-exploitation.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">How much do we do for free under the idea that it&rsquo;ll either pay-off later or because we &ldquo;believe in it&rdquo;? How much money are we paid? Can we quantify what we do in dollars? Well, that&rsquo;s a tough one. Hardcore economists would of course say yes. I&rsquo;m not so sure. I feel like maybe I&rsquo;ve drunk the Kool-Aid.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This is perhaps about the promiscuity of artists and writers in how they accept assignments and exhibitions, sluts vs. whores, hacks and scholars, gameplaying and "gatekeepers," faux-monkish vows of poverty to follow altogether flimsy ideals that when articulated sound like redactions from <em>Rent</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In his essay for Christoph Keller&rsquo;s &ldquo;Circles&rdquo; exhibition at the ZKM in 2000-2001, late critic and art dealer Giovanni Intra considered selling art as not only fun (removing the stigma of crass commerce we all love to jaw about in the great unwashed classes) but also posited it as revenge against his student loans, which had mounted considerably in his getting what may be one of the most economically unuseful degrees in human history, a Masters in Art Criticism. An MFA, in the smart set and the not-so-smart set that listen closely to the smart set, means an institutional imprimatur that allows you to pass some secret barrier, and given how helpful these professionalizing degrees can be, it isn&rsquo;t much a barrier all things told (though one can hope that valuable lessons were learned in its passing). In the information age, we&rsquo;re especially keen to allow others to filter content, save us from drowning in too much information. What better place to start that then a high-level university taking time to parse through hundreds of applications to elect a handful of students of which only a smaller handful will ever make anything resembling the dignity of a living from their artwork? Again, what are we doing here? Are we making money, are we chasing the dream? Are we, as some posit, incapable of doing anything else but what we&rsquo;re doing? Is the main bogeyman here the difficult to quantify &ldquo;life-satisfaction&rdquo;?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A low-level accountant makes more than most relatively famous art critics and writers (if you&rsquo;ll allow me to be a little self-reflective here). But then again art critics, that precarious class, usually have other gigs; they slum as art historians, play at curating, teach, because they would like to enjoy eating regularly. Some are simply independent, and with an economic freedom that affords them to write about art for peanuts. However rare, I know a few.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Artists do all kinds of things to stay alive while they&rsquo;re figuring out how to churn talent into profit, or as the painter Foinet says, to earn &ldquo;<em>just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent.&rdquo; </em>Any way you cut it, the wily survive as they always have, with mirth and ingenuity, even if, often as not, without money, plucking a living and a vision for life out of the challenges before them. Poetry soldiers on despite the dearth of income for its practitioners. I wish good poets got paid well&mdash;some do, either through the circuit of academies and prizes or the very rare (like unicorn rare) mainstream popularity, or perhaps they followed Belgian Marcel Broodthaers lead and just leapt straight to the art world where it seems there&rsquo;s just a little bit more money on the ground for dreamers.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140408093543-xx.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Courtesy of the Author</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For me writing (as I&rsquo;m not a visual artist in the professionalized paradigms of that sort of thing) is more like sex than commerce. I do have to eat and pay rent as unluckily (or luckily perhaps) there is no trust-fund bankrolling my sentimental education. Thus I never grudge any toiler their right to live. But then again, writing is fun, especially when it's done freely, without obligation or income. I&rsquo;d do most everything I do for free if I could, and sometimes, a lot of times, I do. Arguably I work freely from the leisure of handling enough paid gigs as a writer and curator that I can, but that said, I&rsquo;m still self-sacrificing, self-exploiting, offering others my surplus value free-and-clear. Does volunteerism become slavery only when its forcibly extracted? Perhaps I just don&rsquo;t feel the need to monetize everything.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It's a joy and an honor to have a platform in which to relay to whomever cares to listen my humble ideas and experiences. It gives one a sense of pride and dignity to get paid for it. The only way through this perhaps, and I apologize, is to wend our way through personal motivations. Here&rsquo;s my answer to the questions &ldquo;What are we doing here? And why are we doing it for free?&rdquo; Years ago, on some simple cusp of my life, I made a conscious decision that for much of my youth I would be poor. Other specific and enriching opportunities were afforded me, but I made my choice based less (perhaps shortsightedly) on money and more on what I felt I had to do and I then went about finding some way to do it. There was something larger than myself and inspiring and I wanted to find some way to contribute to it if I could, pay or no pay. Art, writing, music, kept me sane and alive, and I mean no superlative or clich&eacute; here, I might really have lost my mind or died. Because it helped me to survive, I feel some responsibility to art and have spent these last years trying to pay back that debt.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">We may be going into ontological questions of the purpose of making art, or caring for and critiquing art, for a living or for a fuzzier spiritual end, or most likely both. But the old hacker slogan rings true: &ldquo;Information wants to be free.&rdquo; Perhaps free can be read here as &ldquo;liberty&rdquo; as opposed to &ldquo;gratis,&rdquo; but freedom is what it is and sometimes it's broke. All we want is Foinet&rsquo;s dignity of a living in art, but while that living may or may not be materializing, it doesn&rsquo;t mean we still don&rsquo;t want to be generous and independent, even if we don&rsquo;t have the money to be either. I don&rsquo;t care if all that sounds like a redaction from <em>Rent</em>, it is as it were true. Given a few whiskeys I might get even sappier.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Though again we must return to Monsieur Foinet and his bitterness, what it means to fail and starve, or to update it a little, perhaps &rsquo;60s balladeer Lee Hazlewood from his song <em>The Performer</em>:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Can&rsquo;t you tell by my clothes, I never made it.<br /> Can&rsquo;t you hear that my songs just won&rsquo;t sing.<br /> </em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Can&rsquo;t you see in my eyes that I hate it. <br /> Wasting twenty long years on a dream.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Is it worth it? Hard to say. I&rsquo;m wagering it is, even if it might be a waste, it might have been anyway.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If what I do is self-exploitation, at least it&rsquo;s free.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #0792f7;">Andrew Berardini</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">[Image on top: <strong>William Powhida,</strong> <em>"Why Are (Most) Artists (So Fucking) Poor?</em>", Graphite on paper, 2012; Courtesy of the artist]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:40:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Silencing the Catcalls: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh's Stop Telling Women To Smile Project Makes an Impact <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When Tatyana Fazlalizadeh posted a wheatpaste portrait of herself with the words "Stop Telling Women to Smile," she wanted to make a statement.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">And in many ways, she succeeded. The artist posted her piece on a street in New York to tell street harassers that the clich&eacute; lines they yell at women need to stop. Instead of smiling and moving on, Fazlalizadeh chose to post a portrait of herself with her strong words; in the drawing she does not smile and instead keeps a locked jaw and defiant gaze.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Soon, Fazlalizadeh began taking her project to other cities and media outlets caught wind of her efforts. She hosted open calls for women to share their stories of street harassment and created portraits of them similar to her self-portrait. Each portrait contains a phrase underneath like &ldquo;My Outfit is Not an Invitation&rdquo; and &ldquo;My name is not baby, shorty, sexy, sweetie, honey, pretty, boo sweetheart, ma.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407115048-tatyana1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Tatyana Fazlalizadeh</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Betti Ono</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Since its beginnings in the fall of 2012, the project expanded quickly and led to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Fazlalizadeh initially set a goal for $15,000 so that she could travel to more cities and film the project. The campaign raised more $34,000.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The artist recently spent a little over a week in the Bay Area, completing an artist residency at Betti Ono in Oakland. During her time there, she hosted discussions and met women who served as the subjects for new portraits exhibited in the gallery. Her work resulted in the current show entitled &ldquo;Stop Telling Women to Smile.&rdquo; Fazlalizadeh is already moving on to other cities and thinking of where the project might go in the future.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m trying to get ahold of the project,&rdquo; said Fazlalizadeh. &ldquo;It is moving very quickly and sometimes it&rsquo;s a little difficult to keep up with it. Sometimes it&rsquo;s like I&rsquo;m not leading the project but catching up with it&hellip; I&rsquo;m heading to Atlanta next week and Baltimore at the end of April and from there&mdash;after I have some time to sit and settle down back in New York&mdash;I&rsquo;m really going to start planning out what&rsquo;s next.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">On one Saturday afternoon, Betti Ono pulsed with music. Inside, people mingled and looked through the racks of clothing and accessories in the front room. In the space of Fazlalizadeh&rsquo;s exhibition, a group of preteen girls milled about. At one point they stood in front of some of the wheatpastes and took a group photo.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The three large posters behind them show the faces of women with phrases like "respect that gay women do not want you" and "I am not public space." These large-scale posters dominate the space, the white of the wheatpasted paper contrasting sharply with the black wall.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Seeing the wheatpaste pieces inside versus outside makes for an interesting visual element. Viewers can tell where each piece of paper fits in with the other, maintaining the do-it-yourself and on-the-go attitude of street art. Yet the dark wall and monumental scale challenge the viewer to see the wheatpastes in a different manner. The large portraits feel intimate and powerful. Protected from outside factors like weather and the markings of commentators, they stay pristine and unaltered.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407115136-Original_portraits_on_wood_by_Tatyana_Fazlalizadeh.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Tatyana Fazlalizadeh</strong>, Original portraits on wood; Courtesy Alfonso Cosio with Oakland Art Enthusiast</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">On the remaining walls, Fazlalizadeh displays her drawings and oil paintings as well. Though the street art project has gotten her quite a bit of fanfare, she continues to make art in other mediums.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m definitely not abandoning oil painting. I still do that, I still paint, I still do freelance illustration work,&rdquo; said Fazlalizadeh. &ldquo;This project has been my focus and the main thing I&rsquo;ve been doing and getting attention for, which is fine, but it&rsquo;s definitely not the only thing I&rsquo;m doing... I do love wheatpaste. It&rsquo;s fun and it&rsquo;s great and I&rsquo;ll absolutely continue it and also other forms of art that were already there that I enjoy doing as well.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The exhibition at Betti Ono does a commendable job of offering a personal look at the women portrayed. Viewers can see the photographs of the women that inspired the posters, and in some cases, drawings alongside their versions in oil and wheatpasted poster form. The show also includes the original portrait of Fazlalizadeh, in both oil paint and wheatpaste, that first sparked the project.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;I did it for myself,&rdquo; said Fazlalizadeh. &ldquo;It was supposed to be support for myself and it happened to do that for other women as well.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In fact, although the project and exhibition might seem explicitly directed towards men and street harassers the most important part of the project actually lies in the impact it can make on women.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s for men and women, but mostly for women to walk past these and see them and feel like they have an advocate,&rdquo; said Fazlalizadeh. &ldquo;They have someone out there defending them. They have artwork, something out there creating a presence, a strong presence that is speaking back to harassers in a way that a single voice can&rsquo;t. So while it&rsquo;s definitely for men&mdash;I&rsquo;m interested in their reactions and responses&mdash;it&rsquo;s also for women. It&rsquo;s to be their support and be there for them.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Before working on this project, Fazlalizadeh&rsquo;s only experience creating public art was a mural she painted for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. &ldquo;Stop Telling Women Not to Smile&rdquo; takes the power of public art even one step further. In the photographs and portaits, many of the artist&rsquo;s subjects exert a strong or defiant look in their eyes. Putting the portraits out in the public sphere takes full advantage of what street art does best&mdash;stop us in our tracks, interrupt our daily flow and leave us with food for thought.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;Putting this work out on the street is what is important about this project,&rdquo; said Fazlalizadeh. &ldquo;It would&rsquo;ve been something totally different and not as effective if not a street art project and not in the public. The whole point is about street harassment and it happens outdoors anywhere to anyone. Any woman is subject to it just being outside in the street so I wanted to put this work out there where it happened so anyone can see it.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;Stop Telling Women to Smile&rdquo; runs until April 19 at Betti Ono Gallery, 1427 Broadway, Oakland.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Eva Recinos<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Tatyana Fazlalizadeh</strong>, <em>Stop Telling Women To Smile, </em>Wheatpaste, Original Drawing, Oil On Wood; Courtesy Alfonso Cosio with Oakland Art Enthusiast)</span></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:55:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Super Creative Recycling: Bordalo II <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">An enormous bumble-bee outside an abandoned building, a giant parrot perched on an old tire under an overpass, two fish swimming on the side of an industrial dock. These are some of the wonderful imaginations of Lisbon-based street artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.bordalosegundo.com" target="_blank">Bordalo II </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">who creates large-scale nature scenes from the byproducts of the consumerist culture he critiques: garbage. Working both on and off the streets, Bordalo II&rsquo;s creations appropriate trash back into a kind of unnatural circle of life, where trash becomes what it destroyed. Here&rsquo;s to recycling, Bordalo II&rsquo;s wildlife, and a more optimistic future for the real thing.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Find Bordalo II on </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/BORDALOII" target="_blank">Facebook</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000033;"><a href="http://instagram.com/b0rdalo_ii" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000033;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152043-1502296_628264433899130_1473622926_o.jpg" alt="" /></span></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">He writes about himself:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I was born to the most consumerist and materialistic generation ever. They educate us to do it in an extreme way. Then, with this excessive production, particularly of technological stuff, the production of "garbage" and unimproved objects increases too. And I put "garbage" in quotations because it&rsquo;s a very abstract definition. One man&rsquo;s garbage is another man&rsquo;s treasure. This entire scene has reflexes, and of course the garbage is a product of almost everything that happens in this world. With all the non-sense and the situations I see every day, I feel truly free to explore this theme, starting in some nostalgic thing, a few crimes or maybe a social critic. After all, the garbage is a result of these scenes as well.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152151-wall2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>More about Bordalo II:</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Born in Lisbon in 1987, Artur Bordalo aka Bordalo II grew up watching his grandfather, Real Bordalo, painting the city of Lisbon. Bordalo II presents us a figurative painting full of vivacity and movement, where he paints his own interpretation of urban landscapes and city entertainment. He&rsquo;s exploring his own mixed media on wood stand base, and has made a series of collages of objects (garbage). It is not only a way to recycle, but also a critique of the world we live in, where we often have nice things, which are based on junk without realizing it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152219-1535554_621565044569069_897280891_n.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152248-1466227_605656896159884_366833549_n.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152312-1379681_584586004933640_880344193_n.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152341-1620814_648558555203051_1935818859_n.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152415-wall3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152441-1743558_648834105175496_1921258564_n.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152512-1503298_639079122817661_920382447_n.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140407152854-1606314_656706524388254_35444011_o.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Submit your work for a </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36948">spotlight feature!</a></span></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:08:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Show Highlight: Thierry Noir at Howard Griffin Gallery, London <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Opening last night in London at Howard Griffin Gallery (who are also behind the East London street art tour organisers, <a href="http://streetartlondon.co.uk" target="_blank">Street Art London</a>) and running to the 5 May, <a href="http://howardgriffingallery.com/exhibitions/thierry-noir-a-retrospective" target="_blank"><em>Thierry Noir: A Retrospective</em></a> is an unusual presentation in that it is both the artist's first ever solo exhibition, and his retrospective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Noir is known for having painted the Berlin wall every day for five years, back in the mid 80s &ndash; a subversive and somewhat bonkers act &ndash; motivated by sadness and ending in an enduring legacy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Howard Griffin is a new gallery space located on Shoreditch High Street dedicated to artists working with transitional media. Here, they will transform the compact space into a document of Noir&rsquo;s life and work, with originals, interviews and photographs to describe the scope of the artist&rsquo;s practice. A series of screen prints will also be released to coincide with the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:<strong>Thierry Noir,</strong><em style="font-size: x-small;"> <em>Thierry Noir painting at Check Point Charlie,</em></em> 1990s; Courtesy Howard Griffin Gallery)<span style="color: #000000;"><br /></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:59:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list John McDermott: an “Artist Entrepreneur” thrives in Cambodia <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These days, photographer John McDermott, once described as the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/travel/10cultured-gt.html?_r=0" target="_blank">&ldquo;Ansel Adams of Angkor&rdquo;</a> by a <em>New York Times</em> writer, might be redubbed as the foremost &ldquo;artist-entrepreneur&rdquo; of Siem Riep, Cambodia.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The owner of three galleries, McDermott understands the dynamics of selling art in a tourist town that has had explosive growth since 2003 when global tourists began to come in significant numbers to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, about a thirty minute drive from the city. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">McDermott&rsquo;s personal journey &ndash;&nbsp;from his home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, to Los Angeles, Bangkok, and finally Siem Reap &ndash;&nbsp;preceded the tourist boom. After living in Bangkok for six years, photographing the region for a magazine, McDermott read about a total solar eclipse that was to pass over Angkor Wat in 1995. Taken with the idea of photographing the temples in the eerie light of an eclipse, he headed to Cambodia. Looking at his pictures later, he discovered that the black and white photos shot with infrared film were the most interesting. &ldquo;They gave a surreal look to everything,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;mimicking the light seen before the eclipse.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140404080455-Temple_Lions_PreRup.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>John McDermott</strong>,<em> Temple Lion and Clouds</em> &ndash; Pre Rup, Angkor, Cambodia, 2008; Courtesy John McDermott</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">McDermott shot the temples virtually alone. "At that time," he said, &ldquo;perhaps 3,000 people came to Angkor Wat to see the eclipse, a miniscule number when one considers the thousands who visit the temple complex daily today." Now, the three-mile drive from Siem Reap to the temples is a vast traffic jam of tuk-tuks and tourist buses, many overflowing with Chinese visitors.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There were no hotels then. It was only five years later, after Thailand opened its border with Laos in 2000, that tourism in Siem Reap began to flourish and then to explode. For the first three years, from 2000 to 2003, McDermott showed his work in hotel lobby exhibitions. When the FCC Restaurant decided to expand into a hotel with a few retail shops, they invited McDermott to open a gallery, which he did in September 2004 with the help of his wife and a staff member, who was fresh out of hospitality school.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Three years later, with the gallery at the FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel thriving, Siem Reap was booming as more shops, restaurants, and bars opened, especially in the area around the Old Market. Ever the entrepreneur, McDermott started looking at old shop houses there. The neighborhood had mostly been residential so the places were pretty run down. &ldquo;But I found one I liked and rented it, then renovated it and turned it into my second gallery. It was much larger &ndash; four rooms total &ndash;&nbsp;and it allowed me to showcase other photographers from the region as well as my own work.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">McDermott&rsquo;s third gallery opened in October 2012 in the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, which was then undergoing renovations and creating new space for shops. McDermott hired the architects who helped design the gallery in the Old Market and they worked together to come up with a gallery that &ldquo;would fit into the upscale hotel.&rdquo; The Raffles gallery rotates exhibits, with the help of a curator.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As an artist-entrepreneur, McDermott is sensitive to the issue of affordability and he pays great attention to the price points of his work. His limited edition pieces sell for anywhere from $500 up to $10,000, with sizes from 11 x 14 inches to 40 x 80 inches, depending on the image. Most of the buyers for his limited edition prints are westerners, many from the US and the UK. Photo reproductions of the prints, which are photographs from scans that are printed in a consumer lab, are priced from $15 to $125. For those with even more limited budgets, he also sells postcards and greeting cards.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">McDermott still uses a darkroom to print the silver gelatin prints and he is shrewd about the tools he uses to market and sell his art, namely, the Internet, websites, and tourist contacts. &ldquo;The Internet is of course where the world lives and shops these days so you must have a good presence there &ndash;&nbsp;a website of your own and listings with other sites that might sell art for you, especially since there are now galleries that are specifically online, many more than brick and mortar galleries, which are harder and harder to get into these days.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a tourist environment like Siem Reap, though, McDermott depends heavily on word-of-mouth contacts. Since people are in town for relatively short stays &ndash;&nbsp;to tour temples &ndash;&nbsp;McDermott works with travel agents and tour companies, arranging events for travelers that fit conveniently into their itineraries.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">While there are many shops selling tourist art in Siem Reap, there is no real competition, especially not in the area of fine art photography. &ldquo;We are the only big gallery in the town that shows top professional work,&rdquo; he said, although he added that &ldquo;he wished there were many more.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140404075437-Monks_In_A_Sunlit_Doorway.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>John McDermott;</strong><em> Monks in a Sunlit Doorway</em> &ndash; Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 2000; Courtesy John McDermott</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Sadly, McDermott&rsquo;s Angkor Wat portfolio could not be photographed today. &ldquo;A lot of these pictures can&rsquo;t be shot anymore,&rdquo; McDermott explains. &ldquo;Now, there are too many people and too much restoration work.&rdquo; All of the gates have big wooden braces surrounding them as does the iconic twisted kapok tree.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">So, he has moved on to places outside of Cambodia. &ldquo;I have been making a couple of trips a year to places like Kathmandu, Bali, Jordan, and Myanmar to shoot new collections,&rdquo; he said. Mindful of all his opportunities, McDermott added that he is also &ldquo;putting a lot of time and effort into my commercial photography business which involves shooting hotels and resorts, portraits, and such, and then doing photo tours with tourists, where I take them places in and around Angkor and teach them about how to make better pictures.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;This all keeps me pretty busy,&rdquo; said McDermott. Resourceful, resilient, and talented, the artist entrepreneur of Siem Riep is thriving.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/193600-roslyn-bernstein?tab=REVIEWS">Roslyn Bernstein</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>John McDermott</strong>, <em>Two Towers &ndash; The Bayon</em>, Angkor, Cambodia, 2010; Courtesy John McDermott)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:56:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list LA Mural Culture: The Good, the Ban and the Ugly <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Los Angeles mural culture is not to be taken lightly; the art and its roots of perseverance run deep. Through political, societal and cultural shifts, murals have acted as the visual documentation of the most pivotal accolades and darkest moments of Los Angeles city history. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In the 1960s and 70s, Chicano pride laid the foundation for mural enthusiasm, producing projects such as </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/the-great-wall/retrospect/the-beginning.html" target="_blank">The Great Wall of Los Angeles</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> and the famed </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://muralconservancy.org/murals/ghosts-barrio" target="_blank">Ghosts of the Barrio</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">. The community blossomed, creating hundreds of iconic murals over the course of several years. Ultimately, Los Angeles had no other choice but to accept its rightful place as the &ldquo;mural capital of the world.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140403150835-great_wall_of_la.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span>Segment of The great Wall of Los Angeles depicting the baby boomer generation; Image photographed by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanbamboo" target="_blank">Urban Bamboo</a>.</span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">However, in recent years, LA&rsquo;s reputation in the mural game has been soiled. The 1980s proved the city&rsquo;s prominence as a bustling metropolis, causing commercial advertisers to take notice. Soon creative ads became a regular sight where sporadic community based murals once lived. The visual shift opened the controversial discussion between what is considered ad and what is considered art. In 1986, the first mention of murals hit LA law books. The city worked with community organizations and public art programs to preserve the relaxed attitude relating to murals, all the while rewriting the books to hinder mainstream propaganda from cluttering city walls. In 2002, after a tiresome slew of lawsuits against the city brought on by advertisers, LA opted out of the conversation entirely&mdash;hitting the public with an all-out mural moratorium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The streets were silenced. Art had been subdued. All uncommissioned murals&mdash;even permissioned murals on private property&mdash;were banned. LA&rsquo;s crown was stripped and the City of Angels had lost its halo. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140403151707-Saber_LA_River_Piece.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <div style="font-style: normal; font-size: 13px; background-color: transparent; font-family: HelveticaNeue,'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,'Lucida Grande',sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Saber's LA River piece before it's white-walling in 2009; Source: <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fpuregraffiti.com&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHohRNIybk5LO8CRS1K3I_qN1_gGg" target="_blank">puregraffiti.com</a></span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="color: #888888;"><br /></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">But in 2011&mdash; after nearly a decade of mural repression&mdash; graffiti artist </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/artist-saber-fights-to-li_n_1009758.html" target="_blank">Saber spearheaded the movement focused on getting the mural ordinance reevaluated</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">. This came only after a number of crushing public art losses including the </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://knowngallery.com/blog/post/sabers-legendary-la-river-piece-is-now-a-true-part-of-history/" target="_blank">white-walling of Saber&rsquo;s 1997 piece along the LA River</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> in 2009. The labored work, measuring in at 50 feet tall and 350 feet wide, goes down in history as the largest graffiti piece in the world to date.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In 2011&mdash;one week before MOCA&rsquo;s hugely successful &ldquo;</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.unurth.com/MOCA-Art-In-The-Streets-Los-Angeles" target="_blank">Art in the Streets</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&rdquo; exhibition&mdash; another invaluable piece of art was buffed with regards to the city&rsquo;s wishy-washy moratorium rules. In 2010, LA&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://knowngallery.com/" target="_blank">Known Gallery</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> commissioned seven celebrated graffiti artists to complete a mural on a building located on Fairfax and Rosemead. The group included </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Saber</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">, Retna, Revok, Rime, </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Norm</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> and the Brazilian twin duo, </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Os Gemeos</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">. The following year, a city-contracted buffing company began layering paint over the mural with seemingly no effort in confirming its legality or illegality. After a heads-up from the property owner and a lawsuit threat from the owner of Known, the buffing company resolved the issue by paying for and overseeing the paint&rsquo;s removal. The mural underwent minimal damage from the removal process, but is still intact and stands tall today. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140403150607-dabs_and_myla_plus_how_and_nosm.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span>Australian artists Dabs and Myla's collaboration with German twin duo How and Nosm located at 713 E. 3rd. St.; Image photographed by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dopey" target="_blank">Doran</a></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Staying in line with the mural counter culture, creative energy doesn&rsquo;t stand stoic for long. The </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lalaarts.com/la-freewalls-project" target="_blank">LA Free Walls Project</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> sprouted into action in 2011 led by </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lalaarts.com/home" target="_blank">LALA Gallery</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> owner and street art ally, Daniel Lahoda. The short version is this; by looking at the caliber of art and artists who contributed to the cause, this was arguably one of the best things to happen to the Los Angeles landscape in years. Ironically enough, what some may rightfully see as a service to the city could have gotten each artist arrested. Although every wall was permissioned by the property owners, all of the murals&mdash;under the 2002 moratorium&mdash;were technically illegal. Some examples of these astounding&mdash;albeit illicit&mdash;murals include </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Dabs and Myla&rsquo;s</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> collaboration with </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">How and Nosm</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> on &ldquo;Cream of the Crop,&rdquo; </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">ROA&rsquo;s</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> &ldquo;California Brown Bear,&rdquo; </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">OBEY&rsquo;s</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> &ldquo;Peace Goddess&rdquo; and </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">JR&rsquo;s</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> &ldquo;Wrinkles of the City&rdquo;. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140403150326-california_brown_bear_by_ROA.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span><span style="font-size: x-small;">ROA's California Brown Bear Mural located on the west end of Jesse and Imperial streets; Image photographed by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dopey" target="_blank">Doran</a></span> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Fastforward to the summer of 2013 and the moratorium is officially lifted. Headway in rebuilding LA&rsquo;s reputation as the mural capital is well underway. However&mdash;as with any good drama&mdash;the denouement has newly transitioned to a point of rising tension. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Just months after the law change, those closely involved with the ordinance lift jumped head first into mural projects that dealt directly with commercial advertisements&mdash;a dually noted offence against the new legislation. Risk&rsquo;s January 2014 mural for Miller Brewing Co&rsquo;s new Fortune beer stands as the subject&rsquo;s hottest topic. As a revered graffiti icon&mdash;having been the first and presumably last LA artist to have his work run on the legendary New York subway system&mdash;Risk has some undeniable street clout. Unfortunately, his &ldquo;mural&rdquo; on 3rd and South Main has made him a topic of discussion for less flattering reasons. The controversy, confusion and all round conundrum with Risk&rsquo;s Miller collaboration was chronicled by RJ Rushmore <a href="http://hyperallergic.com/105877/when-is-a-mural-not-a-mural/" target="_blank">here</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Fortunately, for those of us who just want to see the long-awaited bright side to this layered story, there is one. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140403151336-jr_wrinkles_of_the_city.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span>One of French street artist JR's installments in his Wrinkles of the City series located in the LA Arts District; Image photographed by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pgla" target="_blank">Phantom Gallery LA</a></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">New murals&mdash;murals with vitality and substance&mdash;have sprouted throughout the LA landscape. The first legal mural in nearly a decade was executed this February by Risk and OBEY. The mural, reading &ldquo;hope&rdquo; and &ldquo;justice,&rdquo; was produced in conjunction with the </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://skidrow.org/" target="_blank">Skid Row Housing Project</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> as a way to input something that was once taken away from the community. Bigger and better things are to come, LA. Stay up!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&mdash;Kimberly Johnson</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Shepard Fairey</strong>, </span></span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">Peace Goddess </span></em><span style="font-size: x-small;">located at 3rd St. and Traction Ave</span><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">.;</span></em><span style="font-size: x-small;"> Image photographed by </span><span><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomkershaw" target="_blank">Tom Kershaw</a></span>)</span><br /></span></p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:18:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Were the Dadaists Time Travellers? and other questions I’d like to ask Hans Richter <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The movie camera &ndash; that bastard son of a thousand alchemists, illusionists, inventors, and old showmen &ndash; could have been purpose built for the Dadaists and the Surrealists. If it had slipped into obscurity or been written off as gimmick after they had made use of it, its journey into existence could have been said to be worthwhile. It's as if their paths were always destined to cross.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the Hans Richter show <em>Encounters &ndash; "From Dada till today" </em>at Martin-Gropius-Bau you can see the very genesis of avant-garde film. Richter, a painter who moved in Cubist and Dada circles was pursuing a language of abstract imagery with Swedish artist Viking Eggeling. Taking inspiration from musical scores they developed a system of painting across long scrolls as a means of demonstrating progressive sequences and rhythms. When these ideas led to experiments with film they were released from the inertia of the canvas, given flight, and realized through the manipulation of time and form.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The Dadaists are remembered as provocative image makers with a penchant for shock and stark, arresting juxtaposition, but the intention of Richter and Eggeling was to discover and develop a system of communication that would promote universal peace and understanding. Sadly they did not: the premiere screening of Richter's <em>Rhythmus 21 </em>(1921) outraged its audience to the point that they seized the accompanying pianist and dealt him a severe beating.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140402171349-richter_07_fuge.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Hans Richter</strong>, <em>Fuge 23 (Fugue 23)</em>, 1923/1976, Screen print on fabric, 61 x 344.2 cm; Private collection &copy; Estate Hans Richter Foto &copy; Museum Associates/LACMA</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">How must it feel to be so ahead of your time? Equally exhilarating and frustrating, I would imagine &ndash; as every time traveller seems to discover the future can prove violent and alien when experienced prematurely.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The rigorous research and preparation that went into those early efforts is presented at the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition. On inspection one could argue that this is not only the birth of a new genre of film but a foreshadowing of technologies not yet discovered. These films appear to have been more <em>programmed</em> than scripted, the graphic language as <em>au fait</em> to a computer coder as to a Structuralist filmmaker. In his 1976 essay on Computer Generated Art, Malcolm Le Grice cites these films as forebears of the then emergent genre.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Richter plays with time again with <em>Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts before Breakfast) </em>(1928), using stop motion to bring to life objects &ndash; the everyday trappings of bourgeois life: bowler hats, clocks and bow ties &ndash; making them conspire against and confound their masters. The original soundtrack by Paul Hindemith was destroyed by the Nazis, but the film survived to become a classic of its kind and evidence of Richter's early drift towards more Surreal imagery. Far from hindering the film, the destruction of the original soundtrack has meant that it has been re-imagined time and time again. The original production&rsquo;s improvisational spirit lives on and recent scores have been created by artists including The Real Tuesday Weld, Ian Gardiner, and Steve Roden.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140402171616-richter_13_richter_eisenstein_man_ray.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Hans Richter, Sergei Eisenstein, and Man Ray</em>, Paris, 1929; &copy; Estate Hans Richter &copy; 2013 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There's more than just film here. There's painting, photography, sculpture, and architecture. There are a number of Richter's early<em> Visionary Portraits </em>created in the golden hour of dusk, when the light was fading and the brightly coloured oils could be barely differentiated on the canvas, taking shape "before the inner eye rather than the outer eye." There are many examples of work by Richter's friends and contemporaries.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition has made its way from Los Angeles to Berlin painting a picture of Richter as a versatile, industrious man who applied sensitivity, political awareness, and an eye for new approaches in almost everything he did and was a part of. Equally artist, filmmaker, innovator, theorist, and teacher, he was also a great collaborator. His list of friends and associates reads like a who's who of twentieth century avant-garde: Cabaret Voltaire, Marcel Duchamp, Sergei Eisenstein, Man Ray through to Jonas Mekas and John Cage.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Richter also seems like a man blessed with serendipity, something that he fed into his work throughout his long career. His luck included narrowly escaping death by friendly fire in the first World War, meeting Eggeling and discovering film, evading prison and the clutch of the Nazis, finding new friends and prospects in exile, etc, etc. Always one step ahead of the game, he never seemed to miss an opportunity, took everything that life could throw at him and poured it into his art with rigor.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS">Guy Parker</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Hans Richter,</strong> <em>Vormittagsspuk</em>, 1928, black and white, 35mm film, ca. 7 min; &copy; Estate Hans Richter)</span></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:09:00 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Rediscovering Greatness: the sculptures of Germaine Richier <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Forty-six of French artist Germaine Richier&rsquo;s sculptures fill the three floors of the Dominique L&eacute;vy gallery in a solo exhibition of her work. A collection of silver gelatin photographs of Richier and her studio taken by her creative companion Brassa&iuml; provides a grounding backdrop for the sprawling show, which encompasses multiple decades of Richier&rsquo;s work, allowing visitors to see how Richier&rsquo;s artistic vision evolved throughout her life.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It&rsquo;s a matter of comparison. Female sculptors are rare to begin with, and within the category, few are widely recognized &ndash; Louise Bourgeois claims what might be the sole celebrity status in the field. This coupled with the fact that Richier&rsquo;s work hasn&rsquo;t had an exhibition in the U.S. since 1957 (two years before her death) places Richier at the tip of a double-edged sword; her obscurity grants her the prestige of an artifact being rediscovered, but the lack of prior exposure makes it difficult to quickly recognize which of her works are truly great. Or, is she truly great at all? Or just one of the best in an under-populated category? Most will claim the former, but only after having given the works patience to slowly reveal themselves as more than just spindly bronze figures.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140402072310-GermaineRichier_02_INSTALL.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong> Germaine Richier</strong>, Installation view<em>; </em>Courtesy of the Dominique L&eacute;vy Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The abundance of work serves twofold: to make up for lost display-time and to evoke the sense of being in her cluttered studio (of which Brassa&iuml;&rsquo;s photographs give visual testament). Being sucked into the world of Richier, however, makes for a curious headspace. An intensely emotional artist&rsquo;s work could not be displayed in this fashion without feeling overwhelming, but Richier&rsquo;s slightly haunting, stick-like figurines are more about rational relationships &ndash;&nbsp;those between humans and animals, humans and nature, humans and self&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;than waterfalls of feeling. And, of course, the primary relationship here is the relationship between the works themselves. Restrained in both physical and passionate substance, Richier&rsquo;s work is most powerful in numbers, and this exhibition capitalizes on that.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Her work is far from abstract. After training classically during the twenties at the &Eacute;cole des Beaux Arts, Montpellier, Richier moved to Paris and studied privately under Antoine Bourdelle, a prot&eacute;g&eacute; of Rodin. Some of her earlier pieces look like Tim Burton takes on Greco-Roman sculpture &ndash; frugal, sinister characters in classical gestures and postures. As World War II took hold, Richier moved to Switzerland and the South of France, and the focus she found in refuge shows in her mastery of this crossbred style. <em>La For&ecirc;t </em>(1946), which she made at the end of this period, wavers between being man or tree with a branch-like arm bent up toward the forehead in a gesture of faintness, as if exhausted of existence.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">However, when she moved back to Paris after the war &ndash; and the viewer moves to the second floor of this exhibition &ndash; she began experimenting more, toying with the human form in almost mystical realms and incorporating glass, paint, and enamel into figures&rsquo; flesh. Stances get more awkward, bodies get ganglier, and pitchfork-like extremities hang from places they don&rsquo;t belong. <em>Don Quichotte</em> (1950-51) stands life-size, knees caved fluidly inward beneath arms bent in Egyptian-like rigidity, one holding a long lance and a head devoid of facial features. The war&rsquo;s desolation is visible in this phantom of a being standing guard to some dark depth.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140402072953-Brassai_studio.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Sculptures by Germaine Richier in her Paris studio; Photo: Brassa&iuml;, Fran&ccedil;oise Guiter Collection;&nbsp; &copy; Germaine Richier / 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Richier also cited a trip to Pompeii in the 1930s as a major influence on her vantage point. Seeing the charred remains of human beings affected the way she thought about flesh. The roughly dimpled texture of her bronze seems to smolder, giving her figures complexity, as if time ate away at them like a termite until they reached their chewed-down gauntness. But some of her most captivating work lacks this destructive tendency. She could, in fact, make things classically beautiful. <em>La Spiral</em> (1957) stands more than nine feet tall as an elongated, polished bronze seashell that looks like an antique gold treasure out of Poseidon&rsquo;s palace.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Or, tucked off to the side on the second floor, a motherly woman, <em>Le Crapaud</em> (1940), kneels with her back bent over the ground, as if lost in thought about a former love while going about another day of household chores. Her quiet grace resonates louder than most of the crowd's.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372376-gabrielle-lipton?tab=REVIEWS">Gabrielle Lipton</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Germaine Richier</strong>, Installation view<em>; </em>Courtesy of the Dominique L&eacute;vy Gallery)</span></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:47:19 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list An Art Fair in São Paulo: Should art fairs become socially responsible? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">My memories of S&atilde;o Paulo are of an astoundingly big, vertical metropolis &ndash; it&rsquo;s not a city, it&rsquo;s a concrete universe &ndash; suffocated with traffic, human and vehicular. Traversing this post-apocalyptic urban desert from the expensive neighborhood of Jardins (fancy brunches, a boutique for Havaianas, and a concentration of pristine, architect-designed galleries) to Republica, I was confronted with a catastrophic scene: a community stricken by extreme poverty, crime, and drug addiction. As an outsider I stood numbly looking on at a splinter of what constitutes reality in Brazil&rsquo;s largest city. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Founded in 2005 by Fernanda Feitosa <a href="http://www.sp-arte.com" target="_blank">SP-Arte</a> is now one of the city&rsquo;s principal art events, alongside the S&atilde;o Paulo Bienal, displaying booths from world-class galleries to museum curators, celebrities, and some of the globe&rsquo;s heaviest collectors. On one hand, SP-Arte&rsquo;s success is proof of the significant progress that has been made in Brazil the last decade. But in the context of a city as riddled with problems as this, where rich and poor remain so heart-breakingly divided, what is the role of the art fair? </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401074123-virginia.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Virginia de Medeiros</strong>,<em> Meiriele</em>, 2013, Digital photopainting,120 &times; 90 cm; Courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Art fairs, and especially those taking place in the world&rsquo;s developing economies, where international art markets are growing in tandem, have a real opportunity to galvanize social change. They bring together many of the people shaping the face of the world&rsquo;s major industry sectors, as well as attract international press exposure and corporate sponsorship. At a four-day fair in S&atilde;o Paulo, London, New York, or Miami, a stand costs a gallery on average $20,000 to participate. A sum that equates to two years&rsquo; annual income for the city&rsquo;s poorest. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">While S&atilde;o Paulo&rsquo;s&nbsp;local labor government, the Partido dos Trabalhadores, is ostensibly dedicated to promoting the spread of culture to poorer areas, with growing initiatives such as the &ldquo;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/viradacultural">virada cultural</a>"&nbsp;(an annual series of free cultural events taking place through the night, much like the &ldquo;White Nights&rdquo; festivals held around the world), there is still a seismic discord between the activity that happens at the fairs and their resonance within the city. Arts for a Better World is a US-based organization keen to provide a model for the future of art fairs in the form of the only socially responsible art fair,&nbsp;<a href="http://overturemiami.com/">Overture</a>,&nbsp;at Miami Basel. Its co-founder Sandrine Kukurudz, highlights the importance of mobilizing the potential art fairs have to do good in their mission statement &ldquo;to strongly and consistently promote corporate social responsibility by using the arts as a vehicle for positive change.&rdquo; While art itself might be confronting social issues, the machine of the art fair is still grinding to an old rhythm of the halcyon days of the economy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401074416-graciela.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Graciela Sacco</strong>, <em>Barrier, </em>from the series <em>BODY TO BODY</em>, 1996-2014, Photographic inlay on 22 pieces of wood, 200 &times; 270 cm; Courtesy Rolf Art</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As my colleague <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/articles/show/39135">points out</a>, SP-Arte does offer an opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to the wider subject of cultural diffusion, which is undoubtedly a good starting point for cracking open the debate on concerns closer to home. But it&rsquo;s still a private bubble inside a temporary shell. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For the Paulistanos I spoke to in my research, SP-Arte and the Bienal events lack honest appeal to real social problems in the area, and make no attempt at an enduring commitment to contributing to existing solutions. The corollary seems to be that fairs could and should be engaging with their Corporate Social Responsibility, not just in S&atilde;o Paulo, but in New York, London, Miami, Hong Kong, in all parts of the world. As an effigy of capitalism, art fairs should welcome the same consumer scrutiny as conglomerates in other industries. It tallies with the common skepticism surrounding art fairs around the world, that they only transfer wealth from the rich to the rich. Rather than simply accepting the co-existence of "haves" and the "have-nots," it&rsquo;s about making an intuitive demand with a collective will to improve our world. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-charlotte-jansen?tab=REVIEWS">Charlotte Jansen</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Iris Helena</strong>, <em>Notas P&uacute;blicas #2 - da s&eacute;rie Lembretes [Public Notes # 2 - Reminders series], </em>2010, Ink jet print on yellow notes , 200 &times; 295 cm; Courtesy of Portas Vilaseca Galeria)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:39:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list More Than Art at São Paulo International Art Fair <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It may be reductive, but whenever I look at the Brazilian art world I am really looking for the hidden invitation to do more than just look.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Participation, community, and dialogue have been endemic to artistic practice in Brazil throughout the last century. The country has a rich national history of artists teasing out uncomfortable social conflicts and shifting the role of art in society.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Since 1928, when Oswaldo de Andrade wrote <a href="http://www.corpse.org/archives/issue_11/manifestos/deandrade.html" target="_blank"><em>O Manifesto Antropofago</em></a>, Brazilian artists and thinkers have been unpacking the mash-up of cultural identities present within Brazilian art making. In de Andrade&rsquo;s telling, Brazilian creatives were guilty of imbibing and replicating art for an external (European and North American) jury; with this in mind, he insisted on the creation of new criteria for creating and experiencing art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">During the <a href="http://www.lacma.org/beyondgeometry/neoconcretism.html" target="_blank"><em>Neo-Concretismo</em></a> movement of the late 1950s, Lygia Clark created metallic sculptures, entitled <a href="https://www.mfah.org/art/detail/bicho-maquina-critter-machine/" target="_blank"><em>Bichos</em></a><em> (critters), </em>and invited audience members to step over any prohibitive tape and play with them. (One of Lygia Clark's Bichos, <em>Bicho "Em Si"</em>, 1962, is actually going be at SP-Arte with <a href="http://www.artslant.com/par/venues/show/45676-galerie-natalie-seroussi">Galerie Natalie Seroussi</a>.) Brazilian artists made objects that invited participation and inspired dialogue, demystifying the role of the artist and carving out space for new kinds of encounters with the public.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401072118-raul.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Raul Mour&atilde;o</strong>,<em> Untitled</em>, 2014, 1020 steel and synthetic resin, 100 &times; 60 &times; 33 cm; Courtesy LURIXS: Arte Contempor&acirc;nea</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">S&atilde;o Paulo is aware of the social impact of visual engagement, having made the controversial decision in 2007 to ban all advertising from public spaces in the city, with billboards and bus stop ads disappearing over night.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Hence &ndash;&nbsp;though I know <a href="http://www.sp-arte.com" target="_blank">SP-Arte</a> is a private art fair &ndash;&nbsp;my mind can&rsquo;t help but scan the Pavilh&atilde;o da Bienal for built-in openings for social engagement. Fortunately, the fair includes programming specifically dedicated to talking about the jagged edges of Brazilian cultural heritage, giving ground to new voices alongside internationally recognizable institutions.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa has developed <a href="http://www.sp-arte.com/en/calendar/dialogues/" target="_blank">Di&aacute;logos</a>, a series of talks and discussions that is intended to utilize the convergence of international artists, critics, and collectors for talking and thinking about where the business of Brazilian art stands. These events include back-to-back talks that will undoubtedly question and defy the pillars of logic that promote the privatization of art (which is ostensibly what the fair itself is based on). Hopefully these dialogues will speak to how international art events like SP-Arte and the upcoming <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/19036-bienal-de-s%C3%A3o-paulo">S&atilde;o Paulo Bienal</a> work to redefine contemporary art on Brazilian terms.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401071812-annabella.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Anna Bella Geiger</strong>,<em> Local da a&ccedil;&atilde;o N&deg; 1,</em> 1980, Etching, 69.1 &times; 58.9 cm; Courtesy Henrique Faria Fine Art</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It is easy to imagine that a large influx of foreign interests into the already socially disconnected S&atilde;o Paulo would reproduce dynamics of long standing cultural colonialism. However, the scheduled speakers are all socially engaged artists and thinkers including Anna Bella Geiger, Pablo Le&oacute;n de la Barra, Ivo Mesquita, and Julieta Gonzalez (the only non-Brazilian of the bunch).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I wouldn&rsquo;t miss the opening of the Di&aacute;logos, set to kick off with <a href="http://www.sp-arte.com/en/events/thiago-martins-de-melo/" target="_blank">Thiago Martins de Melo</a>&rsquo;s 4:30 PM talk on April 3rd. Martins de Melo is an artist and intellectual from the Northeast of the country, known for confronting the idiosyncrasies of the Brazilian socio-political elite. The artist's own work <a href="http://vimeo.com/82293408" target="_blank">speaks to</a> a history of racial oppression in Brazil, pointing to the inherent contradictions within contemporary Brazilian art. At 6PM he will be followed by <a href="http://www.sp-arte.com/en/events/mabe-bethonico-2/" target="_blank">Mabe Beth&ocirc;nico</a>, a curator from Minas Gerais, and the creator of the<a href="http://www.visibleproject.org/blog/award/award-2013/mabe-bethonico/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Museum for Public Concerns</a>, known for addressing the inherent trouble in the privatization of arts and culture in Brazil in playful and innovative ways.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Dialogues will take place at the SP-Arte Auditorium, on the Pavilion&rsquo;s ground floor between the 3rd and 4th of April. At a delicate time for international art events, with controversy and withdrawals from the Sydney Biennial and Manifesta10, it will be exciting to see how S&atilde;o Paulo fares with SP-Arte and the S&atilde;o Paulo Bienal later this year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/82564-georgia-phillips-amos?tab=REVIEWS">Georgia Phillips-Amos</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Lygia Clark</strong>, <em>Bicho "Em Si", </em>1962 , Aluminium sculpture , 20 &times; 22 &times; 15 cm; Courtesy of Galerie Natalie Seroussi.)</span></p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:27:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list [VIDEO] Cildo Meireles: Installations. HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy / Interview with Cildo Meireles <p><iframe src="http://blip.tv/play/gjCDnuJLAg.x?p=1" frameborder="0" width="720" height="433"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Interview with the Brazilian artist <a title="Cildo Meireles at Wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cildo_Meireles" target="_blank">Cildo Meireles</a> on the occasion of his solo exhibition at <a title="HangarBicocca, official website" href="http://www.hangarbicocca.org" target="_blank">HangarBicocca</a> in Milan, Italy. The show is titled <em>Installations</em>, and is curated by Vicente Todol&iacute;. It features 12 of <a title="Cildo Meireles at Artfacts.net" href="http://www.artfacts.net/en/artist/cildo-meireles-14129/profile.html" target="_blank">Cildo Meireles&rsquo;</a> most important installations, spanning the artist&rsquo;s whole career &ndash; from the tiny <em>Cruzeiro do Sul</em> to the huge labyrinth like <em>Atrav&eacute;s</em>. This video provides you with an exhibition walk-through, including an interview with <a title="Cildo Meireles at VernissageTV" href="http://vernissage.tv/blog/tag/cildo-meireles/" target="_blank">Cildo Meireles</a>. The artist talks about the concept of the show, explains how he works and where he gets his ideas, and speaks about his plans for the future. <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Read more on <a href="http://vernissage.tv/blog/2014/03/31/cildo-meireles-installations-hangarbicocca-milan-italy-interview-with-cildo-meireles" target="_blank">Vernissage TV</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Cildo Meireles</strong>, <em>Babel, 2001, </em>installation view, 2014; &copy; Photo: Agostino Osio / Courtesy of the artist, The HangarBicocca Foundation &amp; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland)</span></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:12:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list STRA Gets Around <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">French Street Artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://stra.fr" target="_blank">STRA </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">gets around. From Portugal to England to France, there&rsquo;s probably a STRA piece near you (or coming soon). Using paste-ups and paint, STRA&rsquo;s work critiques politicians, consumerism, and capitalism. He created a particularly poignant series following the Euro crisis.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Right now STRA is in Australia, painting up down under. He describes himself as just a guy using the street to pass messages (Like a postman, he says.) We&rsquo;re following his trail of tags on </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/STRAone" target="_blank">Facebook</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://instagram.com/_stra" target="_blank">Instagram</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045320-1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA</strong> , "<em>Believe in Street Art !</em>", London, &nbsp;2013; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045431-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>STRA in Australia</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045539-3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA</strong> ,<em> Ohohoh it's the crisis !,</em> &nbsp;Faro (Portugal), December 2013; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045630-5.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA</strong>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045723-6.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA,</strong> <em>Crime Stoppers</em>, Australia 2014, &nbsp;Spray paint on wood; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045842-7.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA</strong>, <em>Made in China</em>, &nbsp;2013, &nbsp;London; &nbsp;Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401045939-8.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA,</strong> <em>Trust Yourself</em>, 2013, &nbsp;Faro, Portugal; &nbsp;Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401050052-9.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA,</strong> <em>I love the night !,</em> Bordeaux, 2014; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401050206-10.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA,</strong> <em>My War Tools</em>, May 2013; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401050300-11.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA</strong>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140401050355-12.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>STRA,</strong> <em>Brainwashing</em>, December 2013, Bordeaux; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Submit your work for a </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36948">spotlight feature<span style="color: #000000;">!</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>STRA</strong>, <em>Hope,</em> Bordeaux, 2013; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></span></p> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:34:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Subversive Interventions, between Brazil and Sweden: An Interview with Limpo <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Known as, Limpo, Fabio Rocha is a Brazilian graffiti artist living and working between Salvador de Bahia, and Malm&ouml;, Sweden. Influenced by the Brazilian neo-realist painter C&acirc;ndido Portinari, Limpo&rsquo;s work challenges class precepts and makes visible the underbelly of contemporary Brazilian life. Limpo sees graffiti as an educational resource both for young artists and for the cities in which they paint.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">He is constantly on the prowl for any naked patch of wall and in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil his paintings are as ubiquitous as the social issues his work grapples with.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">I was able to interview him in late December of 2013.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331200433-_Limpo_RangoVegano.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Limpo,</strong> <em>Rango Vegano</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Georgia Phillips-Amos: What was your introduction to graffiti?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> I started drawing as a kid and by the time I was 12 I&rsquo;d started using spray paint. I lived far from the city center and on my walk into the historical center I would see different tags on the streets; at some point started imagining my own drawings up on the walls.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: Your real name is Fabio Rocha, where did the name Limpo come from?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> <em>Limpo</em> came from <em>limpeza, </em>which means clean; whenever I&rsquo;d come home from painting I&rsquo;d immediately shower and hide my dirty, paint-covered clothes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: Did you study fine art at any point?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> I spent three years studying at the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, but that was pretty irrelevant to my work as a graffiti artist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: Is there a particular method to your painting?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> I am in Brazil now on a kind of graffiti tour, so I am painting everywhere in the city, especially the parts of the city with the most visibility. Really, my method is to paint as much as possible, whenever and wherever I am able.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: Do you always paint alone?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> No, I am part of a crew called Turbilh&atilde;o Urbano, together with Peace, Sisma, and Madureira. I am now based in Sweden and Peace is in Norway, but Sisma and Madureira are still in Brazil. Literally,&nbsp;Turbilh&atilde;o Urbano means urban movement, urban turbulence. The distance doesn&rsquo;t have much of an impact on our collaboration.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331200850-_Limpo_Cart.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo,</strong> <em>Cart</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: How does being a graffiti artist living and working in-between such different cities impact your work? &nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> My goal is to bring art to people who don&rsquo;t go to galleries; this applies in Salvador and also in Malm&ouml;, Sweden where I live now. I have also painted elsewhere in Europe, in cities in France, Serbia, Barcelona, Denmark and Germany.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">It is much easier to paint on the streets in Brazil than it is in Sweden&mdash;working in both countries allows me to support myself through my art. In Sweden I have been able to do a lot of different work with graffiti. I work out of a studio space in Malm&ouml; and before coming to Brazil I started working with big companies like L'oreal, E-on as well as some housing development agencies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: What do you see as the social function of your work?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> I still see graffiti as a subversive intervention. For me, the potential social mechanism of graffiti is to improve the self-esteem of marginalized young people in cities, introducing them to something they haven&rsquo;t tried before and encouraging them to participate in a social infrastructure generated through art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">My hope is to spark in them a curiosity about the world; I&rsquo;d like to give young people a chance to see beyond the ways in which they are discriminated against. And, inversely I&rsquo;d like graffiti to play a role in re-socializing urban centers.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331201508-_Limpo_Play.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Limpo, </strong></span><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><em>Play</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: The style of your painting is very distinctive. Have you always painted figures?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> The figure that I paint was born out of the social work I do with children. I paint children who live on the streets&mdash;young girls who grow up early in order to take responsibility of the household, girls who from a young age no longer have time to play like children.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>GPA: What inspires you?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo:</strong> In style, my work is influenced by older Brazilian painters like C&acirc;ndido Portinari.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">At the moment I am motivated to make an intervention in the prejudice we have towards people living on the streets. I paint the conditions of suffering that we see people living in here in Bahia, the sucked out faces, the bright colors of their clothes, the attempt to hide their struggling.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331195740-_Limpo_Comercio.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Limpo</strong>, <em>Comercio</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331200102-_Limpo_Mama.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo</strong>, <em>Mama</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331202115-_Limpo_Painting-1.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Limpo,</strong> <em>Painting</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&mdash;Georgia Phillips-Amos</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Limpo,</strong> <em>Green; </em>Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:55:50 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list THE L.I.S.A. PROJECT | A proletariat art form that’s actually for the people <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Sitting at Umbertos Clam House on Mulberry street, business owner Robert Ianniello, pours a glass of water for each member of an impromptu round table called to discuss murals, community, and commerce. A curator, an art critic, a producer and a photographer gather around the table alongside Ianniello, the founder of the Little Italy Merchants Association, to discuss the growth and development of the L.I.S.A Project, a street art campaign dedicated to beautifying the streets of Lower Manhattan.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;The challenge for Little Italy is to move away from its stigma as a <em>tourist trap,&rdquo;</em> says Ianniello pouring from the bottle of Pana water. &ldquo;We went way over the line so now we&rsquo;re trying to draw New York City back.&rdquo; Ianniello, who's a third generation Italian, assembled the troupe of independent business owners to mobilize the voices of Little Italy into an organized coalition. Today, the neighborhood might be most commonly associated with over priced napoleons and crowded street fairs but dating back to the early 19th century Little Italy was once home to a rich immigrant population of Italian American entrepreneurs and tradesmen. For the Merchants Association supporting the L.I.S.A Project is a way to bring culture back to the streets of Little Italy.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140331134854-hanksy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Hanksy.</span></strong><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">L.I.S.A., which stands for the <em>Little Italy Street Art</em> Project, started in 2012 by Founder Wanye Rada who was working as a producer for the New York Comedy Festival. He had the idea to paint murals around the area as a promotional tool to advertise the festival to a creative audience. He reached out to curator and street art blogger (and eventual co-founder) RJ Rushmore and together they developed a small program that brought artist Hanksy (a combination of Tom Hanks and Banksy known for his pun infused murals) to the walls of Caffe Roma, an Italian pastry shop that has been in the same location since 1891. The mural became so popular that it outlived its original festival-centric time frame by an additional 6 months.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Rada, who was a friend of the association, bringing the evidence of street arts' ability to generate foot traffic and act as an economic stimulus to the neighborhood, proposed a long term initiative to transform Little Italy into a veritable <em>Street</em> <em>Art District</em>. Together, Rada and Rushmore along with the help of photographer and archivist Reynaldo Rosa, began importing world-renowned artists and adorning the walls of Little Italy with beautiful renditions of the proletariat art form. For them there is a real opportunity to incorporate the artists into the narrative of Little Italy&rsquo;s growth and revitalization by introducing them to the local population and resources. Artist Max &ldquo;Ripo&rdquo; Rippon for instance, created a site specific installation based on research conducted at the Italian American Museum while ChrisRWK adorned the walls of Umberto&rsquo;s Clam House&nbsp;with a customized Mona Lisa at the personal request of the business owner.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140331135408-Chris_X_Veng_RWK.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Chris x Veng RWK.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The project, which is fully funded by The Merchants Association and private donors speaks volumes to the power of street art. Once a technique commonly associated with vandalism and feared by property owners is now creating a resurgence in the interest of Little Italy&rsquo;s creative community. Artists such as Ron English and Olek have contributed monumental sized installations to the community and Martha Cooper, the mother of Street Art Photography has visited the neighborhood to document its progression.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331073610-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Ron English, Olek.</strong></span><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The ultimate goal of the L.I.S.A Project is to expand its reach across Lower Manhattan to the neighboring communities of Chinatown, the Financial District and the Lower East Side to connect the disparate immigrant populations that have been marginalized in New York&rsquo;s history. District 1 council woman, Margaret Chin has shown an incredible amount of support for the project and has been known to attend opening receptions and dedication ceremonies.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331074016-5.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Tristan Eaton</span></strong><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">2013 culminated in the installation of the L.I.S.A Project's permanent mural by Tristan Eaton, <em>Liberty, </em>which was produced in conjunction with Shane Jessup and can be seen from one of Lower Manhattan&rsquo;s busiest street corners of Canal and Mulberry. Eventually, the project seeks to have a virtual map and application that will enhance the viewer's experience of each one of their murals from the street level and allow technology to create new relationships between community members.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331152344-Chrisrwk_x_Veng_rwk.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Chris x Veng RWK.</span></strong></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331152425-Audrey_of_Mulberry_Tristan_Eaton.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Tristan Eaton</strong>, <em>Audrey of Mulberry</em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331154433-NDA.jpg" alt="" /></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">NDA<br /></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331154936-Ludo-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Ludo<br /></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331155139-The_Yok_Sheryo.jpg" alt="" /></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The Yok, Sheryo</span><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140331161054-a.s.v.p_close_up.JPG" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">a.s.v.p. close up<br /></span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For more information on the L.I.S.A. Project please visit </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lisaprojectnyc.org" target="_blank">www.lisaprojectnyc.org</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Allyson Parker<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the author. Top image: <strong>Meres1 x Spud</strong>)</span><br /></span></p> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 15:27:37 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Peter Doig's Weird Beauty <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The Musee Des Beaux-Arts in Montreal is currently hosting what it claims to be the first comprehensive survey show of Doig's work in North America, freshly arrived from the artist's birthplace, Edinburgh, Scotland. My first encounter with his work was at the large Power Plant show in Toronto in 2001.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Doig was born in Edinburgh, and now lives in Trinidad. Canada has tried in many ways to claim him as a national hero. As is stated in the press release, he grew up in Montreal and returned there for some years in his late twenties. I've heard Doig described as having spent his formative years in Canada, being a Canadian expat who lives here and there. But I do remember meeting Doig during his opening at the Power Plant through an early supporter of his work, Bruce Bailey, and detecting a fairly authentic Scottish accent.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work that Doig first gained attention for was very much indebted to the overlooked and tragic Canadian painter, David Milne, who spent most of his life living in remote isolation, sharing his suffering with his wife and children, and making extremely unusual, stark landscape paintings dominated by austere branches, odd areas of black and a sense of nature as oppressor. Early on Doig made heavily overworked paintings that owed much to the lines and sensibilities of Milne. Other early works referenced Group of Seven painters. They were unusual when he was making them, which drew the attention of a certain type of art lover. Many of the works in the show at the Power Plant&mdash;seemingly appropriated images of skiers, glittery magic hour mountain vistas&mdash;were coming out of a corner of the art scene that no one had seen was developing. The most appealing aspect of the work, for myself and others was that it was <em>beautiful.</em> Finally.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140329103016-Peter_Doig_55_nDF.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Peter Doig</strong>, <em>Ping Pong</em>, 2006-2008, Oil on canvas, 240 x 360 cm, Private Collection, Promised gift to the Tate.&nbsp; Foreground: <strong>Peter Doig</strong>, <em>Study for Ping Pong</em>, 2008, Oil on paper, 30.5 x 25 cm;&nbsp; Collection of the Artist / Photo The Montr&eacute;al Museum of Fine Arts, Denis Farley.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Doig went on to be hugely successful, the details of his life accompanying all extant writing about his work. Doig fits perfectly into contemporary art history. Gaugin in Tahiti, Doig in Trinidad. Although this isn't important, it does add a perfect shiny bow of art feeling to his enterprise. His paintings are notoriously beautiful. I myself believe it's important that artists be free to feel as if they can make good-looking work, that they don't need to be encumbered by research and investigation. After all, visually appealing things constitute a great portion of art historical treasures.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What I can see over the course of twelve years of Peter Doig painting, regardless of his success or his hometown, is that his ability to craft attractive paintings hasn't been pushed into the weirder areas his earlier work promised, but has become instead lightly poetic and somewhat nostalgic for a different time, in painting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Doig loves Edvard Munch as he should. A lovely part of Doig's work is the recurrent images. His paint handling can feel Munch-y. It also sometimes feels like an amalgam of winning modernist styles. It's these paintings&mdash;brushy landscapes of Trinidad, an occasional figure or natural element&mdash;that seem too easy and fun to make. I don't, however, sense that he's trying to riff off the idea of a European artist living in Trinidad. Doig has always seemed sincere and heartfelt. But if there is not a joke inside these paintings, they're weaker in that they engage in an expert Sunday-painting style. He <em>can</em> and does make beautiful work. But these are only that, and feel like pleasant sampling. The repeated images of the table&nbsp;tennis player, <em>Lapeyrouse Wall</em> (2004), <em>Pelican:</em> while they continue intelligently to act as Munch's painting did, do not hit you in the stomach. The things Doig feels compelled to keep painting over and over again, which artists should be free to do, aren't things that I feel offer much new information to the viewer or have any emotional import. They're beautiful replications nonetheless.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As much as the paintings of tennis players have a Vuillard-at-play quality, they're weird. The best paintings in the show are. A painting of a wall of flags painted on it, if that's what it is, is singularly bizarre and good looking. A painting of two men diving, although again painted in a very fundamental and recognizable way, is strangely composed and brightly colored. It has an uneasiness that keeps you looking. The other paintings look great when you look at them, but they're missing the pull of the weirder work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140329103241-Peter_Doig_68_nDF.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Peter&nbsp;Doig</strong>, <em>Poster,&lsquo;Grizzly Man&rsquo; by Werner Herzog,</em> 2005, Oil on paper, 90 x 65 x 3 cm; Ringier Collection, Switzerland.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These problems of beauty lacking any subtext are solved perfectly in the film posters that are included in the show. These have become well-known paintings, and having seen them for years in reproduction and now seeing a great deal of them in person, they confirmed for me that they were his best work. Having to work on a smaller scale, Doig's painting style is different, more intuitive and personal. Combining text with imagery is the ideal answer to the missing element in the other works. The poster for Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog shows a big rudimentary bear and a happy naked white man in a toque with a weird dick against a simple mountain background. The poster for Xala is perfectly simple and washed out, but the figures are as articulated and informative as in Manet. Pure Chutney is a beautiful colour study and graphically expert.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">When Doig is too easily taken up with nostalgia and drawn towards the poetic, the work seems beautiful but light. The film posters force him to deal with an interesting juxtaposition, or rather a compounding of graphical elements expressed poetically. By taking graphical poetics and reinterpreting them into the poesie of painting, Doig leads us down a path of weird beauty.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/6978-brad-phillips?tab=REVIEWS">Brad Phillips</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Peter Doig</strong>, <em>Red Boat (Imaginary Boys) [Bateau rouge (Gar&ccedil;ons imaginaires)], </em>2004, Huile sur toile, 200 cm x 186 cm.; &copy; The Weston Collection /Photo Jochen Littkemann]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:10:51 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list THE UN-OFFICIALS | art before 85 <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In 2014 Beijing's 798 Art District has transformed from its genesis as a haven for artist studios. The district is not only a showcase for star artists churning out work for an eager market, but also less recognized work of widely varying quality, and even kitsch souvenirs. With <em>THE UN-OFFICIALS | art before 85</em>, showing until April 12 at Boers-Li Gallery, visitors are treated to an idiosyncratic treasure of a recent Beijing past that in these environs seems far more distant. Dozens of works from two pioneering Beijing artist societies&mdash;the Wuming (No Name) Painting Society and the Stars Group&mdash;stretch from 1971 to 1990, but the vast majority date from before 1985. Together, fourteen artists give us a window into a process of artistic exploration that spanned from the end of China's traumatic Cultural Revolution, through the first years of Deng Xiaoping's era of "Reform and Opening" and the comparatively politically open days of the 1980s, up to the demonstrations and violence at Tiananmen Square in 1989.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140328150819-LShuang__Spring_Summer_Autumn_and_Winter__1989_mixed_media_50_5x33cm_for_each.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Li Shuang</strong>, <em>Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter</em>, 1989, mixed media, 50.5 x 33cm for each; Courtesy of the artist and Boers-Li Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It is a delight to see in one place the work of these diverse artists: Feng Guodong, Guan Wei, Huang Rui, Kang Wanhua, Li Shan, Li Shuang, Ma Kelu, Tang Pinggang, Wang Luyan, Yan Li, Zhang Wei, Zhao Gang, Zhou Maiyou, and Zhu Jinshi. One first encounters a set of works that might seem unambitious if not for the constricted artistic environment it grew out of. But moving into the rest of the gallery, one finds highly kinetic abstract paintings, anxious surrealist scenes, and various takes on landscapes and Beijing mundanity. Three outliers&mdash;Li Shuang's wood block prints that seem to anticipate Tim Burton films, Yan Li's tortured knots of wood carved into hideous and humorous configurations of man and beast, and Feng Guodong's woodwork seemingly inspired by traditional masks&mdash;accent the rest of the works, which are almost entirely oil on paper or canvas. Ma Kelu's four-panel <em>Untitled</em>&nbsp;(1987), larger single painting <em>Untitled</em>&nbsp;(1986), and <em>White</em>&nbsp;(1985) are scattered throughout the show but hold together in their powerful command of color and grand action with the brush. Kang Wanhua's small, impressionist oil on paper works develop their own lens for portraiture and landscape. This is a diverse, rich show.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition can be difficult to navigate. Works are unlabeled, not grouped by artist, and there is no wall text, save for the exhibition name and a list of artists. This arrangement does allow for some nice surprises. A several-minute excerpt of a longer documentary about the Stars Group runs unexplained on repeat in the upstairs space. It seems to document the movement's 1979&ndash;1980 run-ins with the local government. One shot shows an outdoor exhibition of artworks hanging in the same way bulletins for marriage-age youth are hung today in Shanghai's People's Square Park, browsed in each case by passersby young and old (but mostly old). Later, individuals hold up banners demanding artistic freedom and opposing the policies of one of Beijing's city-center districts. Though the works in this exhibition would be almost if not completely uncontroversial if created today, the presence of non-government-sanctioned artistic activity, and especially its public exhibition, were bold in a way it is hard for an outsider&mdash;and most likely for a young Chinese artist today&mdash;to imagine.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140328151526-Unofficials_Installation_shot.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>THE UN-OFFICIALS | art before 85</em>,&nbsp;Installation view<em>;</em> Courtesy of Graham Webster</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Some of the work, of course, has a political edge. Those works, dated 1989 and largely grouped together in the last room one is likely to enter, tend to turn dark. Ma Kelu, whose use of color earlier in the decade was striking, puts a grand, frustrated white stroke on a background that conjures the word "mire." Tang Pinggang, whose abstract works elsewhere in the show make lively play with the motif of a sun, or maybe an eye, presses blood-red handprints over a recognizable human form sunk into black, with white tire tracks casually crossing the surface. In another 1989 work, Tang deploys the earlier motif, this time with a red sun over a desolate, black scene.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It is tempting to view this exhibition in a political light. Many Chinese and foreign observers alike perceive a tightening of the government's constraints on expression today. But this work is best appreciated in the context of its own not-too-distant past, a time when Chinese contemporary art lacked an audience and a market at home and abroad. These works, influenced by both homegrown and foreign traditions (as seen in reproduction), represent one of art's most powerful principles: that people will, when given the chance, create.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/378034-graham-webster">Graham Webster</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Zhang Wei,</strong> <em>AC15, </em>1984, oil on linen, 166.5x181cm; Courtesy of the artist and Boers-Li Gallery)</span></p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:29:11 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Mining Northern New Mexico: Human-made Tools to Solve Human-made Problems <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the stark, grandiose landscapes of Northern New Mexico, it is easy to see the human element as small. Significant to be sure, but comparatively outweighed by the beauty and immensity that radiates so gracefully and quietly from big-sky vistas. Compared to the dramatic landscape, the human presence is more akin to interference, a disruption of the Wild West. The byproducts of this human disruption therefore mar the land more visibly and more violently against the backdrop of high desert and mountain. In <em>Art for a Silent Planet: Blaustein, Elder and Long</em> at the Harwood Art Museum in Taos, three artists living and working in Northern New Mexico incorporate the aesthetics of the changing landscape into their work, each submitting, according to the museum&rsquo;s statement, a &ldquo;silent, dispassionate plea for environmental introspection.&rdquo; Through painting, photography, and sculpture, each artist takes the easily forgotten castoffs and the unintended byproducts of human consumption of natural resources and turns them into artifacts and relics, conceptualizations of the changing landscape.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Nina Elder&rsquo;s paintings and drawings of piles of industrial trash and mine tailings (the materials left after mining extraction) are re-thinkings of the traditional landscape artwork. Piles of rubble in contrasting, hard-edged blocks of color are flattened with a pop art-like finish. Without the assistance of perspective, the massive mounds turn into looming, impenetrable walls, pressed to the edges of the picture plane. In these close-ups, the surrounding landscape is out of sight. The piles dominate and become landscapes of their own. In <em>Tailings, Molly Kathleen Mine, Cripple Creek, CO</em> (2013), Elder has allowed a glimpse of forested land to peek through in the distance. Its minute presence only serves to supersize the mound, as debris thrusts up through the sky, mysterious and undifferentiated. Unaffected by weather, atmosphere and light, these heaps remain stoic and unwavering.</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140328085416-04dustismostlymadeofhumanskin.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Jonathan Blaustein</strong>, <em>Dust is Mostly Made of Human Skin</em>, 2013-14, From the series&nbsp;<em>The Mindless Consumption of Animals</em>, Archival pigment print mounted to aluminum, laminated; Courtesy Jonathan Blaustein, Jessie Kaufman, and the Harwood Museum of Art</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Photographer Jonathan Blaustein photographs common objects in exacting perspectives and creates stark compositions that cast the mundane as aesthetically compelling. The objects, from acid pink plastic bag to electric blue microfiber dusting wand, are reminders of the growing distance between the present way of life and the natural world from which we take and consume. Through Blaustein&rsquo;s lens, food dye-laden rock candy becomes an object of wonder, a specimen of curious origin and even more curious use. Reading the title, <em>People Feed This to Their Children</em> (2013-14), one wonders how such a thing came to be.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Cow Farts Cause Global Warming</em> (2008-2013), expands on this distance from lived life and the land, considering a lack of direct relationships with natural resources. Part of the <em>Value of a Dollar</em> series, the work consists of four images of beef product. Though in different states, each portion is valued at one dollar: a cut of marbled meat, a lackluster cheeseburger, three pink and pasty cylinders, and a portion of cooked ground beef. The visual comparison of these commodities is turned into a meditation on the present human relationship to sustenance. Though that relationship is no less vital, it has been obscured and distorted to a degree of absurdity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140328085543-D_Long_Wax_Stumps_iamge_for_web__photo_credit_Sasha_Vom_Dorp.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Debbie Long</strong>, <em>Tree Stump Trees</em>, 2008, Wax, pigment, dimensions vary; Courtesy the artist and the Harwood Museum of Art, Photo by Sasha Vom Dorp</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Debbie Long works with materials that harness and manipulate light. In<em> Tow Package/Yellow</em> (2013), a small, curtained booth is studded with amber-yellow glass sculptures glowing from within, illuminated by exterior lights. The glass pieces are casts of debris the artist finds in the high desert: hood ornaments, Bic lighters, trailer hitches. In their glittering translucence, the glass pieces appear like organic growths of crystals and stalactites&mdash;slowly encroaching on and morphing the space. Or, perhaps the growths are more akin to a fungus, car parts taking on a life of their own. Either way, these man-made parts are reanimated and given free-reign over the walls.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The opposite process has taken place in <em>Tree Stump Trees</em> (2013), in which the organic forms of trees have been cast in wax and stripped of their vitality. The central gallery space is a forest of luminous wax stumps, colorless and phony. Deliberately bland, though not without humor, the trees seem to suggest: don&rsquo;t worry, when we run out of real trees, we can mass produce these ones.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Taken together, the installation explores the disruption of the landscape, the dissociation from the effects of that disruption, and a repurposing of the resulting byproducts. Though a seemingly bleak impression, the exhibition succeeds in highlighting nuanced perceptions of the dangers of the shifting landscape, and reflects a vibrant wish for a collective rethinking of our relationship with the land.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/341566-lauren-tresp?tab=REVIEWS">Lauren Tresp</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Nina Elder</strong>, <em>Ore (Arsenic), </em>2011, Acrylic on panel, 24 in. x 24 in.; Courtesy the artist and the Harwood Museum of Art]</span></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 18:35:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Patron (Almighty, The): A Satirical Portrait of the Patron We Love to Hate <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">He is the Patron, and he is your King. He is the God of the artworld, even more than Jeff "vacuum-cleaner" Koons, or Richard Prince, with his visions of "Spiritual America": the nubile young female with the movie-star make-up in the U.S.A-grade bubble-bath. You overheard at Trisha's that he once paid a St Martins graduate to drink a bottle of Newport lighter fluid and vomit it up and set it on fire, like a real-life conceptual dragon, and wondered, idly if this was the same St Martins student who vomited, recently, on Lady Gaga: the girl with the thick green paint in her gullet, and the patina of future-fame on her Curriculum Vitae. It wasn't, though. He loathes a repeat; he thinks of himself as the almighty bringer of tomorrow, and vomit-painting was old news by twenty-twelve.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">He is the one who attempted to be The Patron with Sarah Lucas, when we all know that Sarah&nbsp;&ndash; androgynous, tough, and mouthy, and wholly girly only in the BritArt fashion, now the seer of all things British at the twenty-fifteen Venice Biennale&nbsp;&ndash; was only interested in one kind of Patron: the one with the salt, and the worm, and the thump-thump Groucho headache. He is the one who paid the aforementioned Richard Prince to have a bikini-clad girl writhe on the top of a Buick, if only to taunt a gallery-owner who told him over dinner that he was a homosexual (<em>let's see what he thinks</em>, he figured on a whim, <em>about these high-concept tits. That bikini is Vuitton, after all. And every guy likes a muscle car</em>). He is the one successful enough to pay Cindy Sherman to take a photograph of herself as just herself&nbsp;&ndash; a no-make-up 'selfie' for the cancer cause, in fact, because they are friends on Facebook, and he terrifies everyone (even the ones who are terrified already of showing themselves). He is the man who planted Ai WeiWei's sunflower seeds, and <em>actually grew a fucking plant</em>. He is the one who made Olafur Eliasson make the sun rise in the Turbine Hall, because he said: 'let there be light.' And so there was.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">He is the man who has been in Tracey Emin's bed purely to assess its market value, rather than because she had sex with him (implausibly, he still got a mention in the tent).&nbsp; He is the man who built the mega-galleries, quietly, in his own time, and on his own dime; he is the one whose Dolce and Gabbana suit oozes quiet excess, and whose shoes reflect the skyline at Frieze New York. He is the man who trails Ed Fornieles out in Los Angeles, and Oscar Murillo in London. He is the man who made Luc Tuymans paint a portrait of him which was neither grey nor frightening nor revealing in its unflinching photographic truth: he is not, after all, Condeleeza Rice, and as such, he believes he deserves to be shielded from such nastiness. He is the man who stands outside the conference centre at Art Basel in Miami and watches the status cars come in and out, like a tide, and nodding and smiling he passes the real don of art, Hans Ulrich Obrist&nbsp;&ndash; affable and talkative in his cornflower suit&nbsp;&ndash; and frowns.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Look on his artworks, ye mighty, and despair.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS">Philippa Snow </a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(<strong>Olafur Eliasson</strong>, <em>The Weather Project, </em>2003, as part of The Unilever Series, Tate Modern. Image Credit: Tate Modern.)</span></p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 15:22:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list A peddler of abnormal pictures <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;Shadow is built like a cattle rustler&rsquo;s dream girl: long-legged, long-armed, long-framed,&rdquo; writes Moses Isegawa in a story in <em>Flamboya</em>, Viviane Sassen&rsquo;s 2008 photobook. It&rsquo;s not hard to recognize the photographer herself in this fictitious character &ndash; Sassen is tall, with a model&rsquo;s figure. Moreover, Isegawa, author of the <em>Abyssinian Chronicles</em> (1998), describes Shadow as &ldquo;a nomad,&rdquo; qualifies the photographs she shows him as &ldquo;abnormal,&rdquo; and then has his protagonist take his picture.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For <em>Flamboya</em> Sassen travelled through East Africa and Ghana. She portrayed market women, coffin makers, street kids sleeping on the pavement, a boy drinking milk from a bottle too large for his mouth. They are intriguing photographs full of tension but devoid of visible emotion and expression. Heads are turned away, faces covered with hair or cloth. But mostly, the models are absorbed by shadow. The series earned Sassen acclaim for the imagery but also accusations of covert racism. Was the photographer (who spent her early childhood in Kenya, by the way) taking advantage of the poor and powerless, and making invisible the already marginal? But of course, Sassen&rsquo;s photography is as little about dehumanizing as it is about the exoticism found in so much photography of Africa (think Leni Riefenstahl&rsquo;s shiny Nuba). Sassen&rsquo;s photography is not about what or who is being covered: it&rsquo;s about the cover itself. And she being Shadow, one could argue it&rsquo;s about herself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326171248-c-Viviane-Sassen-Formula-GB-01-2014.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Viviane Sassen</strong>, <em>Formula GB #01</em>, 2014; &copy; Viviane Sassen, Courtesy of the artist and Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The title of her latest exhibition &ndash; <em>UMBRA</em>, Latin for &ldquo;shadow&rdquo; &ndash; supports the idea. This show at the Nederlands Fotomuseum sums up the gist of Sassen&rsquo;s art. The photographer seeks the heart of her medium by concentrating on exactly the opposite of what is conventionally held as its essence. Sassen cannot bend the laws of physics and her photographs are, of course, &ldquo;images created by recording light.&rdquo; But more so, they circle around a vanishing point, where light slips into its negative and photography somehow still survives.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the largest, central room of <em>UMBRA</em> hang portraits reminiscent of <em>Flamboya</em>. A fluorescent vest, a purple blouse, a muddy leg are all that is visible of the models. The compositions are impeccable. It usually takes Sassen days of sketching and staging before she gets the result she is looking for. A wall full of snapshots &ndash; white sacks of flour, a street vendor wearing eight jackets one over the other, a sleeping goat &ndash; is evidence of her roving eye. &ldquo;Abnormal pictures take time,&rdquo; Isegawa makes Shadow say. And to the question, &ldquo;What does one need to become a peddler of abnormal pictures?&rdquo; Shadow replies, &ldquo;Education. But vision is more important. Nobody teaches vision.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A &ldquo;diverse portfolio&rdquo; could be added to the list. Sassen&rsquo;s work as a fashion photographer for top designer labels Miu Miu, Missoni, Stella McCartney, and the like has undoubtedly influenced her style. However unusual and even disturbing the composition might be, there is always a deep sense of aesthetics. It never slides into prettiness though; beauty always has a function. A charred piece of wood disturbingly resembles a human torso. But the way the blackened bulk is framed and positioned along the curb lulls our sense of dread to sleep. Until, with a shock, the torso reappears. Then turns to wood again.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In this most recent work Sassen takes abstraction to a new level. She threw red, green and yellow forms &ndash; light falling through filters &ndash; onto desert sand. And she placed rectangular mirrors in the dunes, photographing them in such a way that they become completely invisible. Only their shadows remain &ndash; strange black creatures bathing in a sea of red sand. The most intangible non-entity here becomes the prime, even sole object in the image.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Sassen has also been experimenting with moving image, films set to poems by Maria Barnas. These are interesting enough but not her strongest work. The photographer seems to lose some of the concentration and power when shifting from a single image to a consecutive series of them. Still, the poem about a dying man finding a place amongst the stars, visualized by the hands of a sign language interpreter caught in the dark, fits in nicely with the theme of the exhibition.</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326171558-c-Viviane-Sassen-Lemogang-Totem-Umbra-series-2014_.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Viviane Sassen</strong>, <em>Lemogang</em> (Totem / Umbra series), 2014; &copy; Viviane Sassen, Courtesy of the artist and Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Sassen has been exhibiting a lot in recent years, and not all shows were good. Inclusion in <em>The Encyclopedic Palace</em> of the Venice Biennale 2013 was, of course, very honorable but the way her work was displayed was a disgrace. The room featuring the relatively small prints was too dark, they were completely overruled by Shinro Ohtake&rsquo;s hyperbolic scrapbooks, and had been hung higgledy-piggledy to boot. The large 2012-2013 retrospective at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, on the other hand, presented a handsome cross section of Sassen&rsquo;s complete oeuvre.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>UMBRA</em> is the most interesting, most intense, and most urgent show to date. It feels like the artist is drawing up some conclusions about her profession and her own work &ndash; tentative maybe, but a round up nonetheless. And maybe she is also reaching some kind of closure on a personal level, having turned forty about a year ago and recently losing her father. But something new is already looming. <em>UMBRA</em> holds the promise of a new tomorrow in the form of the appropriately named series <em>Larvae</em>. They are photographic sketches, trials nonchalantly pinned to the wall. Parts of half-naked bodies are reflected in mirrors making fleshy sculptures, knees blue with ink, a hand reaching into the dark. These are sensual and playful images, full of life and laughter. Viviane Sassen is coming out of the shadow and into the light.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS">Edo Dijksterhuis</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Viviane Sassen</strong>, <em>Zone # 01</em> (Umbra series), 2014; &copy; Viviane Sassen, Courtesy of the artist and Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:44:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Corporate Collections: on the threshold of a new type of patronage <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Some 45,000 works of art. That&rsquo;s the number of artworks owned by the twenty member companies and institutions upon the 2005 launch of the <a href="http://www.vbcn.nl/EN" target="_blank">Vereniging Bedrijfscollecties Nederland</a> (VBCN &ndash; Netherlands Association of Corporate Collections). That&rsquo;s half as many as the Stedelijk Museum has on display and in storage. Less than nine years later the number stands at roughly 100,000 works of art and the ranks of the VBCN have swollen to forty-six. Suffice it to say, corporate collections in the Netherlands &ndash; and across the world &ndash; are no small patrons of the arts, whether they are engaging with artists directly for commissions or fostering (and financing) an environment in which sales, prizes, residencies, and exhibitions can move forward.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Most corporate collections in The Netherlands are relatively small and have a short history. Even the large ones &ndash; ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel, ING, and KPN &ndash; are modest compared to such international giants as Deutsche Bank and Generali. Still, the landscape of Dutch corporate collections is an instructive setting for studying corporate patronage of the arts. The list of VBCN-members includes a broad spectrum of companies, from hospitals and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to energy suppliers, law firms, and the traditionally well-represented banks. With the VBCN there is a lot of sharing of practical knowledge and experience, and also self-reflection, including the publication of a <a href="http://www.vbcn.nl/EN/messages/bedrijfscollecties-in-nederland" target="_blank">2009 book</a> critically analyzing the role of corporate collections in the art world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It&rsquo;s a role not to be downplayed. The VBCN <a href="http://www.vbcn.nl/EN/vereniging/about-the-vbcn" target="_blank">estimates that</a> corporate collections comprise ten to twenty percent of the Dutch art market. At least until the 2006 economic crisis corporate collections were amongst the most important buyers in the gallery circuit with some galleries depending on them for as much as half of their sales. Indirectly this was also true for the artists connected to these galleries. Most corporate collections buy early, cheap, and diverse but some also collect in depth. KPN, for example, has works by Ger van Elk, Peter Struycken, Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Rob van Koningsbruggen and Carel Visser spanning several decades.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;Patronage &ndash; the active support of artists &ndash; and sponsoring were and are vital to the creation of corporate collections,&rdquo; writes Arnold Witte in <em>Bedrijfscollecties in Nederland</em> (NAi Publishers, 2009). The author refers to the percentage scheme introduced by the Dutch government in 1951, stipulating that one percent of the building costs for (semi-)governmental organizations must be spent on art. In this way unlikely institutions like the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have amassed sizeable collections.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The origins of most corporate collections are pretty banal. Empty office walls needed pictures. Lobbies and boardrooms alike begged for something large with wall power to impress the visitors. Soon, however, the notion took hold that art in the office actually improves working conditions, lowering sick rates and stimulating creativity (as is often claimed by the likes of cultural economist Arjo Klamer). As collections grew and management was professionalized, an educational aspect was formalized. Tours, courses, and lectures have not only opened eyes to the art inside the company&rsquo;s own building but have prompted some employees to start collecting privately. The art history crash courses Arcadis organizes for its employees, for example, are very popular.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Today, the scope of these collections reaches beyond office walls and business park lawns. Over the years corporate collections have exhibited in museums such as Haags Gemeentemuseum (Bouwfonds in 2007, Rabobank in 2005), Centraal Museum (SNS Reaal Fonds in 2007), Noord-Brabants Museum (Van Lanschot Bankiers in 1996) and Museum Van Bommel Van Dam (Oc&eacute; in 2003 and 2008). Only a few companies have full-fledged exhibition halls of their own but most organize shows on a regular basis. Rabobank even has built <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/31665">a special Kunstzone</a> for the purpose. De Nederlandsche Bank has an exciting program of selling exhibitions promoting emerging artists such as Dina Danish, Raquel Maulwurf and Jack Holden. Moreover, artists are supported with all kinds of prizes such as Akzo Nobel&rsquo;s Sikkensprijs, the temporarily suspended ABN AMRO Kunstprijs, the KPN Kunstprix and ING&rsquo;s New Talent Photography Award.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326164934-rabo_kunstzone.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Rabo Kunstzone, installation view of visitors with <strong>Folkert De Jong</strong>&rsquo;s <em>Circle of Trust (Mother and Son)</em> and <em>Heritage</em>, both 2009; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Indeed, corporate collecting &ndash; easily dubbed an &ldquo;unnecessary luxury&rdquo; by profit optimizers &ndash; has over the years tried on different types of justification. Using art collections in company branding is a strategy mostly used by banks and other service-oriented companies that do not sell tangible goods. But the buzzword for the last ten years has been Corporate Social Responsibility and its derivative, Cultural Social Responsibility. For artists, this means they are recognized as socially important and supported accordingly &ndash; mostly through acquisitions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But maybe it&rsquo;s time for corporate collections to move to the next level of patronage. Not just because it would be a logical next step in a development process but also because most mature collections have come to a perilous crossroad. The continuing economic slump has put acquisition budgets under pressure; in some cases there is even an indefinite acquisition freeze. That means a collection&rsquo;s continuity is disturbed and collections start to become fractured.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Organizationally companies are undergoing major transformations. A lot of services are being outsourced, making companies leaner and meaner and occupying less office space (which has to be decorated with art). The same is true for the more flexible working arrangements enabling people to work at home and at irregular hours. This economizes on space but also changes the work environment from many individual offices to large communal rooms &ndash; again, with less room for art. It&rsquo;s no surprise quite a few companies have in recent years cleaned up their collections, only to hold on to their valuable core assets which are awarded premium locations within the most important buildings.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In some cases one could even argue it&rsquo;s the collection that has outgrown the company. Many older, larger collections hold museum quality artworks, displaying a consistency and coherence that vastly outstrips a regular &ldquo;working collection.&rdquo; Few companies, however, are willing or capable to provide a fitting context, the way Swiss supermarket chain Migros has done for its superb collection. The idea of donating to existing museums is being considered here and there, and occasionally put into practice. In 2010, for example, ING turned over 271 works to the Drents Museum. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Some kind of solution needs to be devised. Otherwise these collections run the risk of disintegrating, getting lost or fractured if companies are taken over or merge.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140326200547-pigeons.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Eric Giraudet de Baudemagne</strong>'s pigeons on the roof of the Rijksakademie during the RijksakademieOPEN 2013. Rabobank was the head sponsor of the RijksakademieOPEN 2013, and other corporations like KPN, IMC, and ARCADIS sponsor named studios or fellowships at the institution. Photo: Andrea Alessi.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">And there are other, new ways to continue corporate patronage to the arts. An increasing number of companies supports post-academic institutes such as the Rijksakademie and De Ateliers. Commissions are a rather traditional path but can be very effective, especially when the company acts as a kind of co-producer. Some pioneers have experimented with artist-in-residencies and have invited artists to become involved in their business. Chemical company DSM for example asked artists to help develop a sports drink based on green tea for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The key to this puzzle is finding a form of patronage that benefits both parties involved. Only if the relationship feels natural without the need for constant justification, can some kind of stability and durability be reached.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS">Edo Dijksterhuis</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong><a href="http://olalanko.com/#/projects/selective-encyclopedia-of-visual-metaphors" target="_blank">Ola Lanko</a></strong>, winner of ING&rsquo;s New Talent Photography Award 2013, <em>Selective Encyclopedia of Visual Metaphors</em>, 2013, Fine art print; Courtesy of the artist.)</span></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:07:37 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list A Pleasant, Unriveting Daydream <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Space Mountain, a fresh art space in Miami brandishing the motto &ldquo;no brands, no grants,&rdquo; recently hosted <em>Certain Sensitivity</em>, a show of work by Kyle Chapman, Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo, and Reno Reeves. Delicate yet sensuous, the exhibition was a subtle display of youthful maleness, and had the quality of a pleasant, unriveting daydream.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Chapman showed a series of violently cartoony figures drafted from chest-prints, for which the artist&rsquo;s nipples served as visual anchors. One figure was pierced with knives and safety pins; some others flaunted genitalia and leopard print. The use of red-lipped smooches was another hint of Chapman&rsquo;s physical involvement, an impactful maneuver, though the figures themselves felt like part of some mundane nightmare.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Ten sketched portraits by Reno Reeves lined the longest gallery wall, each a simple rendering &ldquo;garnered from the essence of someone [he] was once acquainted with.&rdquo; The subjects, eight men and two women, each posed without frills&mdash;steady and meditative, their expressions intriguingly monotone.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326162630-Installation_shot_Sebastian_Portuondo_s_work_at_Certain_Sensitivity.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Sebastian Portuondo</strong>, Installation shot at Certain Sensitivity; Courtesy Space Mountain</span></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Sebastian Portuondo displayed an impressive series of watercolors, the best of which was a clay sculpture of a head, resting on what looked very convincingly like a pillow wrapped in a soft, flimsy case. The pillowcase and other prints had soft tropical palettes, but in the style of Winslow Homer, giving the work a Victorian whimsicality.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Though slightly rudimentary at times, overall the show communicated the candid, transparent nature of the space itself. Open since December 2013, Space Mountain has shown visual work alongside hardcore and noise bands, potlucks, a Valentine&rsquo;s Day Heavy Metal Slow Dance (complete with a fully functional makeout lounge/installation), a downer poetry night called <em>Bitch Kill My Vibe</em>, amongst other atypical happenings.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326162901-Spin_the_Bottle_at_the_Valentine_s_Day_Heavy_Metal_Slow_Dance.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>Spin the Bottle at the Valentine's Day Heavy Metal Slow Dance</em>; Courtesy Space Mountain</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Contrary to the majority of established and burgeoning galleries here, the non-profit venue uses a sort of open-source programming, a platform for anybody able and willing regardless of commercial appeal and aspirations. Alicia Apfel, the founder of Space Mountain, says, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re trying to create a space where it&rsquo;s safe to experiment, one that, of course, welcomes serious expression, but which also recognizes creativity as a process that&rsquo;s fun.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Autumn Casey, a local artist and musician, was taken on by Apfel as a curator. Known for work that&rsquo;s off the beaten institutional path (one performance piece consisted of periodically stopping amongst the crowds at Art Basel Miami Beach and letting out a piercing, woe-begotten scream), her curation of <em>Certain Sensitivity </em>was a refreshing, if overly ephemeral, change.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/343478-rob-goyanes?tab=REVIEWS">Rob Goyanes</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Kyle Chapman</strong>,Installation shot at Certain Sensitivity; Courtesy Space Mountain)</span></p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:39:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Patron as Network: Will St Leger's Experiment in Crowdfunding <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Over the past 5 years, online crowdfunding has assumed a kind of mythical aura. It is, at least in my experience, talked about as if it were a bottomless well of wealth, a sure-fire source of capital for everything and anything from a hovercraft to a public art installation. Need money? Crowdfund it. There are thousands of generous strangers, eagerly waiting with credit cards poised.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">While the majority of projects do fail, the numbers are astounding. Now a well-worn (granted a bit misleading) factoid, I was amazed to learn that in 2013 <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/07/yes-kickstarter-raises-more-money-for-artists-than-the-nea-heres-why-thats-not-really-surprising" target="_blank">Kickstarter distributed more money</a> to artists than the National Endowment for the Arts. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Some 3 million people from 204 countries contributed some $480 million. Through their micro (and sometimes macro) donations, crowdfunders have supported such incredible projects as a photo exhibition on the Berlin Wall, the translation of <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fred/emoji-dick?ref=yir2013" target="_blank">Moby Dick into Emoji</a><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fred/emoji-dick?ref=yir2013"><span style="color: #000000;">,</span></a> and many of <a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36876">Molly Crabapple</a>'s projects were funded from successful Kickstarter campaigns, including her <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mollycrabapple/shell-game-an-art-show-about-the-financial-meltdow" target="_blank">Shell Game</a>. There are now more and more opportunities for finding crowdsourced funds or microloans, including arts-specific platforms, like <a href="http://www.hatchfund.org/projects">Hatchfund</a>.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For the art market, it seems to have created an interesting wrinkle in its deeply engrained top-down economy whereby a small group of wealthy donors or government institutions dole out funds to a slightly larger group of artists. Many of you, like myself, may have hailed crowdfunding as the coming of a new, more exciting era for the arts. It would create new opportunities for countless undiscovered creators. The barriers to making art and supporting art could practically vanish. Brilliant ideas that might otherwise have remained sketches on the back of napkins could now be realized. Save for elitist concerns about a rising tide of populist art, it&rsquo;s hard to be cynical about the opportunity for more people to directly support more artists. The modern patron would not be a person or an institution, but a network.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326155916-1120_41820906002_1589_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">It would follow then that this new patronage should, in my mind at least, aspire to a new telos as well. That is, the people who collectively supported the creation of art would also collectively share the art. Not so. Crowdfunding is, many times, disappointing in this sort of utopian vision. With contribution hierarchies, the hundreds who contributed 10 bucks get a postcard while the one who contributed $5,000 gets the painting. It seems fair and supporting artists is most important, yet I can&rsquo;t help feeling suspicious that my comrades and I at the $10 level are somehow subsidizing the wealthiest donor&rsquo;s latest acquisition. Certainly one could compare it to most other forms of investing, whereby those with the most shares stand to reap the greatest rewards (and suffer the greatest losses), but that seems to me contrary to the spirit crowdfunding. At least with something like NPR, the only real difference is between a sticker and a tote bag because we all get to listen to the radio, right?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">It&rsquo;s perhaps not fair to judge the system so harshly. For many artists, especially those putting forth political or ideological commentaries, making money becomes unfairly controversial. Critiquing greed, gluttony, and all other manner of human wickedness doesn&rsquo;t pay the rent. But the question remains, what obligation does an artist have to her or his patrons? Can an artist, in good conscience, accept the support of many while ultimately selling out to the deep-pocketed few?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">If we celebrate a new system of means, can we justify reaching the same ends? Can crowdfunding also be an opportunity to change a system that makes art a form of capital and patronage a speculator's sport? It seems to me, crowdfunding offers a unique opportunity for more artists to work beyond the system based on materiality, possession, and appreciation. Certainly then artists would have the freedom to reach more people.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326155859-12640_181537766002_5727820_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Irish street artist and, more recently, <a href="https://soundcloud.com/fauneband/bring-your-mind" target="_blank">musician</a> Will St Leger has never been interested much in how much his work is worth. He also hasn&rsquo;t tried to make a lot of money. Known for his sharp political and cultural critiques on the streets of Dublin, his past works include such cheeky and poignant interventions as serving the Irish parliament an eviction notice following the financial collapse, holding an exhibition where viewers were asked to steal the art, and planting fake landmines around parks in Dublin to bring attention to current and former war zones around the world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">But he has made money. St Leger used crowdfunding to not only turn a humble profit, but also initiate critical discussions about art while also subverting &ldquo;recuperation&rdquo; by the capitalist art economy he often critiques. (Side note: If you&rsquo;re thinking about collecting any of his pieces, just click <a href="http://willstleger.wordpress.com/free-art" target="_blank">here</a>. They&rsquo;re all free).&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140326193454-landmines.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I spoke with St Leger to follow up on a project he did a little over a year ago called <em>Cause and Effect</em>. More social experiment than exhibition, St Leger wanted to see how, or even if, people could collectively own a piece of art. For 20 euros, 100 crowdfunders were promised an original piece of art and a print. The catch: the 100 pieces were part of four larger works. They would have to decide whether they would keep the artworks together or split them up. The decision had to be unanimous, meaning if one person decided&nbsp; he wanted his piece, it would have to be split up.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">As far as St Leger was concerned, the show wasn&rsquo;t a test with a right or wrong answer; it was an experiment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;I felt that any opinion I had on whether it was broken up or not would persuade people,&rdquo; St Leger said. &ldquo;You know the way people sometimes invest vicariously in the artist, and I didn&rsquo;t want that. I wanted them to make their own decisions and I wanted them to leave me out of it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326160045-2679_85492711002_5601937_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">There also wasn&rsquo;t a contribution hierarchy, and St Leger didn&rsquo;t allow one person to buy out the rest. This, both to keep things simple and interesting.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;The entry level was the same for everybody, and I didn&rsquo;t want anything to be bought out. Very often you go to a show and somebody with a large wallet is the person who can own the nicest stuff, and I&rsquo;m not really a big fan of that,&rdquo; St Leger said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s boring.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When the participants entered, St Leger split them up into four groups of 25, and while they knew which work they were assigned to, they didn&rsquo;t know which particular piece was theirs. St Leger watched as the four groups created what he said was a kind of court system. They discussed possession and ownership, the merits of splitting it up and keeping it together, and then they would vote. When they couldn&rsquo;t agree, they would resume discussions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326160028-11245_190780556002_1593202_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The first three groups decided to split up the artwork. In one group, the entire group except for one person wanted to keep it together, so it had to be split up. Unfortunately for that person, their piece was a corner, with very little stencil work on it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;The look of disappointment on their face was unbelievable. They were so gutted that that was their piece, but that was the way it was,&rdquo; St Leger said. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When it came to the fourth group, St Leger said he noticed they had this look of glee on their faces.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;They were very excited about something, and then they announced that they were keeping it together and everyone in the room was shocked,&rdquo; St Leger said. &ldquo;It was amazing, and it was amazing to everyone else as well because some people were disappointed the pieces were broken up and some people were kind of glad because they had their piece.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Splitting up the work also doesn&rsquo;t need to be seen as a failure on the part of the three groups who decided to do so. As St Leger pointed out, when other people see each of the pieces by themselves, abstract shapes detached from a greater whole, they will start conversations.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326155959-moses.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;They will tell them about the show, and they will tell them about the discussion, so you have a multiplier affect,&rdquo; St Leger said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s their participation in the discussion about the work that&rsquo;s more important to me in the end.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">St Leger&rsquo;s show may not be a template for other artists. It was an experiment, not a model, and indeed, St Leger says he would never criticize an artist&rsquo;s decision on how to sell his or her work. Still, it is possible (and in my opinion, incredibly important) in the age of the so-called share economy, to develop and play with new forms of production and patronage. Artists are certainly some of the best at finding creative ways to challenge tradition, and now they have the support of millions of patrons. The question is: if we have networks, do we still need hierarchies?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140326160138-madonna-in-the-ghetto.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Max Nesterak</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: <strong>Will St Leger</strong>, Courtesy of the artist.)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:48:51 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Architecture and Paint Pendulums: An Interview with Douglas Hoekzema aka "HOXX" <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Douglas Hoekzema aka HOXX is a Miami based street artist and one of the O.G.&rsquo;s to the Wynwood Art Scene. His murals can be found across the US, South America and Europe and his style is both precise and frenetic. We sat down with Hoekzema for a chance to get to know the man behind the walls...&nbsp; <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><br /></strong></span></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325144636-0.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Allyson Parker: When did you start spray painting?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Douglas Hoekzema</span>:</strong> I started when I was 15 years old when a good friend of mine Brandon Opalka introduced me to spray paint. I continued to paint through the years and collaborated with him on a lot of different murals. It's an amazing experience to learn technique from fellow crew members. I&rsquo;ve been fortunate to team up with up MSG over the years and a handful of other artists who recognize Miami as a destination for street art.&nbsp; <em><strong><strong><br /></strong></strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: How often do you collaborate with other street artists?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> Every time I travel I try to collaborate or at least go painting with an artist from that area. I have to say that linking up with other artists and seeing their city with them is one of my favorite aspects of graffiti/streetart. I seem to collaborate more in Miami since it is a destination for international artists to come and paint here, so it definitely has its benefits being a local to the scene. I&rsquo;ve collaborated with Andrew Schoultz, Fintan Magee, Stink Fish, Cekis, and The Retna tribute wall in Wynwood which was a testament to my lift driving skills and our compatibility considering we painted an 80 foot wall in 13 hours.<strong><strong><br /></strong></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: Your style of application is very unique. Have you always drafted like this or was it an evolution from a more traditional application?</span></strong></em> </p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> It has been an evolution. I started these techniques about 5 years ago and have continued to develop every time I paint. It's really quite amazing what a can of spray paint can do. I&rsquo;ve mainly focused on a technique where I utilize half the cone of paint which leaves a U shaped mark. It evolved from graffiti fat cap hand style known as flares. Some people think I am using a stencil or that I&rsquo;m pushing the tip of the can against the wall like Futura 2000 did but it's really all about how my hand approaches the wall and delivers the paint. There are endless possibilities and I truly enjoy working to discover as many as possible.<strong><strong><br /></strong></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325144755-3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: Was it always your plan to become an artist? &nbsp;</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> No. Before this, I was studying architecture and painting was always just more of a stress reliever and a way to have fun with my crew MSG. It all changed for me when I graduated with my degree at the end of 2008. At that time there were zero opportunities to get hired so I shifted my focus to my art and I couldn't be happier. Eventually I will reach my architectural aspirations but in a non traditional way.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: Has your background in architecture played a role in your technique?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> Yes...The study of architecture helped me to develop a strong work ethic, to create prolific work and most importantly to analyze the outcome of the techniques and react to the nuisances that I discovered by continuing it onto the next piece.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325144825-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: What's your preference, canvas or mural?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> Currently I enjoy both equally. I have found it to be a healthy practice to balance my studio work with public murals.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AP: Does your street art convey divergent messages from your gallery work?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> No, my studio and street work are of the same approach. In my work I have no interest in creating a message but on the streets I am very interested in what people/viewers see. I have heard various reactions from viewers who see feathers, coral, galaxies, flora, and one of my favorites is pencil shavings. When I work I strive to clear my thoughts and find a place of nothingness. If anything I give focus to composition and how elements interact. In the studio I work in the same manner but the reactions from studio visits are more elaborate. We get to converse on notions of architectural undertones and the line work of the paint pendulum. I&rsquo;m not interested in delivering a &ldquo;message&rdquo; but perhaps creating a visual language that enables a creative dialogue.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: What is the greatest inspiration behind your work?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> I would have to say that currently it's the experimentation of painting techniques. I have focused on two methods or mediums, one being spray paint and the other is a paint pendulum. Both have allowed me to investigate the complexities of organic patterns and laws of gravity. &nbsp;Really I&rsquo;m inspired by Making and the act of creating through experimentation and creative freedom.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AP: Which artists do you admire most? &nbsp;</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> Roxy Paine, Chris Burden, Richard Serra, Gehard Richter, Rem Koolhaas just to name a few. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: These are all very "physical" artists whose work either alters space or predominates it. Can you elaborate more on their influence in your work?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH: </strong>I'm inspired by Serra for his scale, medium and architectural/environmental interventions. Roxy Paine and Chris Burden for their Kinetic works and fearless approach. Richter for being a Master of painting. I like all of these artists for their fearlessness and aggressive approaches.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325144857-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: &nbsp;Name a few cities where your street art can be found.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> San Francisco above the Park Life gallery and book store. Bogot&aacute;, Colombia with Pez and the Ink Crew. Vienna, Austria on the Sofitel Hotel and in three other areas within the city. Bronx and Brooklyn, NY...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">AP: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> Alive and healthy! ... I hope in that time to be working on large installations and sculptural projects. I will definitely still be painting but I'm looking forward to reacting to my paintings as blueprints for large sculptural projects. I hope that in 10 years I will be working with museums and collaborating with architects and scientists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AP: What's next for Hoxx?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>DH:</strong> </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000000;">Working in my studio and investigating on the possibilities of painting on layers of glass; I painted on a Jean Nouvel building last summer which was a glass facade building. I learned a lot from the experience... Glass as a painting surface is unforgiving but truly rewarding. It was a great medium to interact with and see a mural from both the exterior and interior. The way the paint manipulates the light and interacts with the interior introduced me to new concepts. I'm really looking forward to the new dimensions of painting on layers of glass and excited to be creating self standing multiple dimensional objects and not just 2d paintings. I will be showing at Galerie Ernst Hilger this summer as well</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">...</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For more information on Hoekzema&rsquo;s work contact Butter Gallery Miami &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.buttergallery.com" target="_blank">www.buttergallery.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Allyson Parker</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:20:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Light Writer <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Who needs the sun?</span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The dappling of sunlight through the branches of trees plays on pavement with incredible beauty. The shifting leaves shift light and the ground brightens and shadows with each rustle like the ambient waves of a gentle lake reflecting a midday sun.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">Coming out of photography, artist Anthony Pearson here etches plaster to mimic the play of light. He used to solarize&nbsp;photopaper and sometimes cast&nbsp;bronzes out of that. All very process oriented, swirling and tweaking the formal results of a series of inversions and alchemies, moving light like here into weird new substances.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">A particle and a ray, the play of light across a surface, bounced or absorbed. Each beam radiates and carves, a liquid flow, a light etching stone like a river smooths away rough rocks into softly curved spheres, folding earth into grand canyons, and twisting with tides continents into new shapes. If only light could crumble mountains like the million year wash of a river. The touch of light, warmth we can feel, but can it touch you beyond heat, can the blind tell you if it&rsquo;s day or night?</span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If light could touch, like it can light-sensitive paper, solarizing and haloing into scattered patterns, like the sightless tree that bends toward its nourishment, what patterns would it make into materials normally blind? What designs could it warp and weft? Like a photograph, could the light be frozen, or at least slowed? (We often forget that the photo fade is just chemistry completing the destiny only delayed by fixative.)</span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325083304-k.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Anthony Pearson</strong>,<em> Untitled (Etched Plaster)</em>, 2014, (alternate view) pigmented hydrocal in walnut frame, 24.5 x 18.5 x 2 inches; Courtesy of the Artist and David Kordansky Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">So it&rsquo;s obvious that photographer translates into our common tongue as &lsquo;light-writer.&rsquo; We assume a camera of one kind of another. Photogrammers cut out the middle man to transfer light right onto that paper whose chemistry marks the passage, but if we even remove the paper, can we imagine the pattern of light? Can we follow with our hands the dapples and rays, the steams and gleams, the glows and glares? Maybe. Maybe. Prism the light through a hand and it can carve plaster, rippling across its surface like that midday sun across a summer lake.</span></p> <div class="yj6qo ajU" style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <div id=":dm" class="ajR" style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" data-tooltip="Hide expanded content">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS">Andrew Berardini</a></span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"> <br /></span></p> <p style="font-family: 'times new roman',serif; font-size: large; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Anthony Pearson</strong>, <em>Untitled (Etched Plaster)&nbsp;(detail), </em>2014, hydrocal in walnut frame, 24.5 x 18.5 x 2 inches; Courtesy of the Artist and David Kordansky Gallery.]</span></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:49:19 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Art Dubai: To buy or not to buy <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With a great deal of high-quality exhibitors and artworks, exciting satellite shows, and a breath-taking setting &ndash; imagine an overwhelming skyline, palm trees, and a relaxed, holiday-like atmosphere &ndash; <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/321422-art-dubai-2014">Art Dubai</a> can look back at a successful 8th edition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;This is one of the most globalized art fairs in the world,&rdquo; says Antonia Carver, Art Dubai&rsquo;s director. &ldquo;One third of the artists are from the Arab countries and half of them are from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.&rdquo; Thanks to its geographically central situation, amazing economic prosperity, and political stability, the emirate has become the center of the art market in what is an artistically vibrant yet politically unsteady region&mdash;a situation it seems to have developed over the years, and is very likely to maintain.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325061942-Shirin_Neshat_Bahram__Villains___from_The_Book_of_2012_251.5_x_125.7_cm_Courtesy_Gladstone_Gallery__New_Yor.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Shirin Neshat,</strong> <em>Bahram (Villains),</em> from <em>The Book of Kings</em> series, 2012, Ink on LE silver gelatin print, 251.5 x 125.7 cm; Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York/ Brussels.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The fair&rsquo;s Contemporary section united seventy galleries, the majority from the MENASA region (Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia). But it also attracts a great deal of international top-notch galleries, including <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/363-gladstone-gallery---24-st">Gladstone Gallery</a> (New York/Brussels) with work by Shirin Neshat and Anish Kapoor; <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/12185-krinzinger-projekte">Krinzinger Projekte</a> (Vienna) showing amongst others Kader Attia; and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/4553-victoria-miro-gallery">Victoria Miro</a> (London), showcasing Idris Khan besides Elmgreen &amp; Dragset and others. Most galleries brought along the Arab artists they represent, while fair newcomer <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/582-marian-goodman-gallery">Marian Goodman Gallery</a> (New York/Paris/London) stuck to Western classics including Gerhard Richter, Giuseppe Penone, William Kentridge and Thomas Struth.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/par/venues/show/3691-galerie-polaris?tab=VENUE">Galerie Polaris</a> (Paris) presented a cleverly curated booth, with work by Khaled Jarrar with his famous Palestinian State stamp-project and Bouchra Khalili, whose work included a video, drawings, and photographs of immigrants using dilapidated boats to arrive in their land of promise.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/15420-sfeir-semler-gallery">Sfeir-Semler Gallery</a> (Hamburg/Lebanon) represented a strong roster of established Middle Eastern artists like Walid Raad, Akram Zaatari, and Wael Shwaky. The latter is one of the handful of artists who also had a concurrent solo show in the <a href="http://www.sharjahart.org/home" target="_blank">Sharjah Art Foundation&rsquo;s Art Spaces</a>, in the Sharjah emirate, a mere forty-five-minute drive from Dubai.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Art Dubai&rsquo;s Marker program, which every year focuses on a different geographic setting, was dedicated this year to Central Asia and the Caucasus and was curated by the collective <a href="http://www.slavsandtatars.com/" target="_blank">Slavs &amp; Tatars</a>, who introduced art scenes from areas most of us have probably never heard of like Vladikavkaz, Tbilisi, or Bishkek.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140325062247-Rasheed_Araeen_One_Summer_Afternoon_1968_74x50.5x51cm__max___33.5x24x24.5cm__Courtesy_of_Grosvenor_Gallery.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Rasheed Araeen</strong>,<em> One Summer Afternoon, </em>1968, Painted wood, 74x50.5x51cm (max); 33.5x24x24.5cm (min); Courtesy of Grosvenor Gallery, London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">New this year was Art Dubai Modern, a densely curated section with eleven solo or duo shows by artists from Beirut, Cairo, Tehran, and New Delhi who between 1940 and 1980 made work in parallel and in conversation with their better-known peers in New York or Paris. Take, for example, the work of Baya at <a href="http://www.galerielmarsa.com/" target="_blank">Galerie El Marsa</a> (Tunis/Dubai), who recalls a sort of Middle Eastern version of Picasso. A clear reminder that Western artists are not the only ones to make abstract art or minimalist sculptures is offered by the work of Anwar Jalal Shemza (<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ind/venues/show/39113-jhaveri-contemporary">Jhaveri Contemporary</a>, Mumbai) and Rasheed Araeen (<a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/8775-grosvenor-gallery">Grosvenor Gallery</a>, London). The latter is also one of the artists having a solo show in Sharjah, reinforcing the already interesting parallel program in the wider region. A revelation is the work of Ardeshir Mohasses (<a href="http://www.shiringalleryny.com/" target="_blank">Shirin Gallery</a>, Tehran/New York) whose expressive, sometimes baroque and often grim caricature-style depictions of decapitations and other forms of cruelty seem to make way for Tala Madani, an artist who is well represented elsewhere at the fair (<a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/15240-pilar-corrias">Pilar Corrias</a>, London).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The Global Art Forum also showed ambition, with heavy-weight speakers like Hans Ulrich Obrist (as a biennial or art fair without HUO is apparently unimaginable), Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor, and Adam Szymcyzk.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140325132446-Anwar_Shemza_Square_Composition_7_1963_61x61cm_Courtesy_of_Jhaveri_Contemporary.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong style="font-size: x-small;">Anwar Shemza</strong>, <em>Square Composition 7, </em>1963, Oil on hardboard, 61 x 61cm; Courtesy of Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Art Dubai markets itself as a fair of discovery. That is the kind of punch line all fairs are eager to use in their communication strategy, but in the case of Dubai, the claim rings true. The fair is the ideal platform to pick up art from the thriving MENASA region and its many booming art scenes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377999-sam-steverlynck?tab=REVIEWS">Sam Steverlynck&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<em>Art Dubai 2014 Patron's Preview</em>, Art Dubai 2014; Courtesy of Getty Images for Art Dubai 2014)</span></p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 13:39:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Welcome to Iraq: Come in, sit down, drink tea <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Welcome to Iraq</em> at the South London Gallery is a restaging of the Iraqi Pavilion from the 2013 Venice Biennale. The original exhibition was an exercise in contrast&mdash;a casually furnished home in palatial surroundings, an Iraqi apartment in Venice. Comfortable sofas were covered in beautifully embroidered, colourful fabrics, and books about Iraq were scattered over tables alongside the artwork. In the South London Gallery the exhibition has to work harder to make the vast gallery space welcoming and ripe for encouraging dialogue, but the curiously charming arrangement of furniture along with the delicious Iraqi biscuits and tea succeed in making the show oddly inviting. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In fact, almost everything about the exhibition is a surprise&mdash;from its layout, to the variety of work, to the lack of overtly political or pointedly critical pieces. The curator, Jonathan Watkins, spent much time in Iraq trying to find artists actually resident there. As that is its only unifying factor, the show is hard to pin down thematically, and not all works are successful in their own right. But what <em>Welcome to Iraq</em> does attempt is to address Iraq and Iraqi life&mdash;not the Iraq of CNN, Western literature or reportage, but the country as lived in and worked in today by artists. Where the exhibition is successful is in its ability to shatter preconceptions with subtlety. Its downfall is that its subtlety requires time spent with it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140324162135-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>Installation view of Welcome to Iraq</em>; Courtesy South London Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The gallery&rsquo;s large room is divided into smaller areas that hint at domestic spaces and invite you to stay in them. The figurative acrylic paintings of Bassim Al-Shaker look at home on the walls. They depict a simple countryside Iraqi existence far removed from the familiar media image of military, insurgents and the devastation of IEDs. In the context of the exhibition, the images are extraordinary because of their disconcerting ordinariness. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The layout of the exhibition with grouped furniture and tables should encourage debate, but being London and not the biennale, it is unlikely you&rsquo;ll manage to strike up a conversation with a stranger. No matter, as enjoying Iraqi tea and biscuits in silence will let you study the artist duo WAMI&rsquo;s works without interruption&mdash;mask-like images made from card and bottle-tops, which strangely recall Bauhaus exercises in form. However, it is the duo&rsquo;s installation in the upper gallery that completely steals the show. The pair created the contents of an apartment entirely from cardboard, complete with radio playing traditional Iraqi music&mdash;a mash-up of high design and cobbled together objects in stunning attention to detail. The exquisite material frugality is the only hint of wartime necessity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140324161952-3_-_Abdul_Raheem_Yassir.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Abdul Raheem Yassir</strong>, <em>Untitled</em>, Ink on Paper, 21 x 29.7cm; Courtesy South London Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Only a few of the artists explicitly deal with politics or war, and their approaches are markedly different. Abdul Raheem Yassir brings humour to horror in his witty, satirical cartoons, whereas Jamal Penjweny&rsquo;s two videos <em>There, the Gun</em> and <em>Another Life</em> (both 2010) are blunt instruments, poignant examples of how a simple documentary style can illuminate impossibly difficult issues through simple reportage. <em>There, the Gun</em> is mostly filmed from behind a market stall casually selling Kalashnikovs to all and sundry. <em>Another Life</em> follows a group of men smuggling alcohol into Iran, candidly speaking about their slim chances of survival. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Among the many books lying around is a large glossy book called <em>Art in Iraq Today</em>. The introduction presents a story of artists&rsquo; necessary escape in order for educational and artistic growth. Many of the books you are free to browse present the idea of Iraq as a place that was culturally and historically rich, then crushed by a repression that has destroyed culture and therefore freedom of thought. While <em>Welcome to Iraq</em> is a gallant attempt at illuminating a different narrative for its contemporary artists, it&rsquo;s hard not to feel that in restaging the show in the UK&mdash;a key player in the invasion of Iraq&mdash;the ongoing crippling effects of the war is the elephant in the room, and everyone&rsquo;s being really polite about it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>WAMI (Yaseen Wami and Hashim Taeeh),</strong> <em>Untitled (various works), </em>2013, Cardboard and mixed media, dimensions variable; Courtesy South London Gallery]</span></p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 17:16:47 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Sharp Stencils: JULY i <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Toronto-based street and urban &ldquo;view artist&rdquo; JULY i isn&rsquo;t one for sugar coating a message. JULY i&rsquo;s work is sharp, offering biting cultural and political critiques rich with a dark humor. Working with stencils or painting free hand, JULY i&rsquo;s oeuvre includes works addressing everything from environmentalism to consumerism to colonialism. Found everywhere but in the gallery, JULY i is a street art traditionalist, working in back alleyways and underpasses, places where it&rsquo;s still called vandalism not art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://julyitoronto.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">http://julyitoronto.wordpress.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/julystreetart" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">https://www.facebook.com/julystreetart</span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180307-1-copy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180326-3-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180342-3-heavens-door-far.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180359-6.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180415-7a.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180432-16c.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180450-17.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180509-28.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323180531-33.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Max Nesterak</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy JULY i)</span><br /></span></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 18:12:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list TONIGHT: SPARK SOME FUN! <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">NYC based &amp; internationally recognized creative distributer Street Attack has been pounding the graffiti pavement in preparation for this year's Winter Music Conference kicking off Friday March, 21 in Miami and partying strong until March 30, 2014. In preparation for this year's festivities Street Attack has partnered with E.D.M legend Deadmau5 and personal watercraft purveyor Sea-Doo in a street art scavenger hunt that combines social media metrics &amp; street activations all for a chance to win tickets to an invite only concert this Sunday, March 23rd at 8pm featuring Deadmau5.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Step 1. Find one of the several mural and activations scattered around town with the hashtag #sparksomefun (we&rsquo;ll give you a hint, a handful are in Wynwood). Featured muralists include Australian duo DABS MYLA, Atlanta native Greg Mike &amp; Miami O.G Abstrak who combine their bold creations with hidden icons and messaging scattered throughout their pieces. Other items to look out for are Deadmau5 signature &ldquo;mouse heads&rdquo; walking around town or hidden between seat cushions. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140323172637-gregmike_in_front_of_piece.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Greg Mike</strong>; photo courtesy of Robert de los Rios.<em><br /></em></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Step 2. Snap a pic and upload to instagram, facebook or twitter with the appropriate hashtag. You&rsquo;ll receive a prompt. Follow the clues. If completed correctly, you&rsquo;ll receive two complimentary tickets to Sunday&rsquo;s performance hosted at the Fountainebleau&rsquo;s lawn for 500 VIP invite-only guests. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140323172740-fullsize-13949246830.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Dabs Myla</strong>; photo courtesy Wynwoodmap.com.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Good Luck!</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em>Spark Some Fun</em></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><a href="http://www.sparksomefun.com" target="_blank"><em>www.sparksomefun.com</em></a></em></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&mdash;Allyson Parker<em><br /></em></span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: <strong>ABSTRAK</strong>, <em>#SPARKSOMEFUN Truck</em>; Photo courtesy of Robert William De Los Rios.)</span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica; color: #021eaa;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica; color: #021eaa;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 17:31:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list [VIDEO] A Few Grams of Red, Yellow, Blue. New Romanian Art / Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle CSW, Warsaw <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><iframe src="http://blip.tv/play/gjCDnO1sAg.x?p=1" frameborder="0" width="720" height="433"></iframe></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition <em>A Few Grams of Red, Yellow, Blue</em> at the <a title="Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland" href="http://csw.art.pl/" target="_blank">Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle CSW</a> in Warsaw (Poland) is a group show that presents the latest Romanian contemporary art. It&rsquo;s the first comprehensive presentation of new Romanian art in Poland and features the works of over 20 artists belonging to the generation of political transformation. The artists mainly live and work in two cultural centers, Bucharest and Cluj, although some of them have been living outside Romania of some time. This video provides you with an exhibition walk-through and an introduction by the curator of the exhibition, Ewa Gorządek.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Read more on <a href="http://vernissage.tv/blog/2014/03/14/a-frew-grams-of-red-yellow-blue-new-romanian-art-centre-for-contemporary-art-ujazdowski-castle-csw-warsaw" target="_blank">Vernissage TV</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top:<strong> Ioana Nemes</strong>, <em>"The white team (Satan)", </em>2009; Courtesy of Jiri Svestka Gallery, Praga]</span></p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 19:24:14 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The Mural That Made The Mafia Smile: A new public artwork in Hong Kong stirs controversy <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In Hong Kong&rsquo;s Pokfulam Village, a new mural has sparked a heated debate, provoking villagers to start a campaign to keep the large-scale painting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Pokfulam was once a peaceful, green village, bordered by mountains and sea &ndash; until the government built a 10 meter highway bridge (Chi Fu Road) along the village&rsquo;s southern boundary, creating a wall that would not only block off views of its surroundings but cause heavy flooding as water collected at the bottom of the mountain slope. The villagers would avoid the damp, grey and windy area.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Two weeks ago two local artists, Roes and Pakal, decided to paint the Chi Fu wall with a mural depicting the symbolic fire dragon (a figure of immense cultural and religious importance) and 12 Zodiac signs. As the artists worked over three days, the villagers began to return to the abandoned site, bringing warm meals and tea whilst they discussed the progress of the work &ndash; each contributing their own idea of how the dragon should be portrayed. In this way, a unique alliance formed between the locals and the artists (both currently based in Europe). The artists relinquished control of the art, and while they continued to paint, the design took on a new significance and became a kind of collaborative public work, in keeping with the traditions of the place and its residents.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">However, there was another twist in the tale: on completion, the government received a complaint about the mural, and after investigating, announced that the dragon would be buffed. Infuriated by the news (reportedly the mural had even managed to make the local mafia smile) the villagers started up a petition, picketing the government&rsquo;s decision.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The <a href="http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/1436313/street-artist-invader-responds-after-his-art-wiped-hong-kongs" target="_blank">recent removal</a> &ndash; just a week before the Pokfulam mural &ndash; of a large-scale work by French artist Space Invader, in Hong Kong for an exhibition, had already ignited hot contention inflaming people across the island against the government. In some way, <a href="http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/news/art/20140312/18653622" target="_blank">when the Pokfulam mural was threatened</a>, it became an emblem, diagnostic of the continuing need to struggle for cultural freedom from Chinese influence. With more than 6000 signatures at the time of writing, the mural debate continues. A charity working on preservation in the area spoke in favour of the painting: &ldquo;this dark cold dirty bridge that used to clutter with garbage now seems a whole lot brighter. Hopefully the Holy Dragon can guard the artwork from being destroyed by rigid thinking of the Hong Kong government.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Hong Kong is not the only country to experience clashes over freedom of expression. In Racale, Puglia, last week the <a href="http://www.swide.com/art-culture/mural-of-saint-sebastian-in-d-and-g-boxer-by-italian-street-artist-ozmo-polemic-racale-lecce-apulia/2014/03/19" target="_blank">Italian artist Ozmo caused a municipal row</a> over a mural depicting Saint Sebastian in D&amp;G underwear. Apparently it was not a celebrated mix of Italy&rsquo;s two most powerful institutions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:<strong>Roes and Pakal</strong>, <em>Fire Dragon.</em>)</span><br /></span></p> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 20:58:10 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The Minimal Calligraphic: TANC at Galerie Wallworks <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Everyone knows the basis of graffiti is the handstyle. And from that: the gesture, the push of ink on surface, the swoops and sharp turns, the permanence, the no-going-back-it's-on-the-wall. Many artists have been known to make writing the subject of their art, to explore the aesthetics of text, to engage in automatic writing, and in that sense Tanc's work is not the first of its kind. But nevertheless it is stunning: the lines of text, illegible as such, take on a minimal aesthetic, becoming simply form and color rather than message. How he recreates the look of marker&nbsp;&ndash; with the ink showing traces of its own impression on the support&nbsp;&ndash; with just spray paint completely mystifies me. I'd love to see these up close and personal, and if you're in Paris you can, at Galerie Wallworks until April 5.<br /></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Born in 1979 in Paris, Tanc grew up with graffiti. Painter, graphic artist, designer and composer of electronic music, he joined the great family of graffiti in 1996 and carries on an abstract formal research, similar to the first liveliness of street art: balance of action, perfection gesture, acceptance of the hazard, uniqueness and energy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">While the manuscript nowadays tends to disappear, Tanc explores the aesthetic dimension of writing. Inspired by his high school years, when he took notes and produced pages as illegible as they seemed nice, he develops a system of automatic writing, executed entirely with spray paint, halfway between the calligraphy and graffiti.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><a href="http://www.galerie-wallworks.com" target="_blank">www.galerie-wallworks.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(text source: </span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://www.wallworks.fr/galerie_wallworks/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=699&amp;Itemid=222" target="_blank">Galerie Wallworks</a></span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321183700-TANC_2013_ST_144x130_GrisSurBlanc__ClementGuillaume.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>TANC</strong>, <em>Sans titre (grey on white),</em> 2013, spray paint and lacquer on canvas, 144 x 130 cm; &copy; Cl&eacute;ment Guillaume</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321183826-TANC_Automatism_vue5__ClementGuillaume.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> 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mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Cambria","serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:FR; mso-fareast-language:FR;} </style> <![endif]--><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="FR">TANC</span></strong><span lang="FR">, </span><em><span lang="FR">Sans titre,</span></em><span lang="FR"> 2014, spray paint on paper, 65 x 56 cm; </span><span lang="FR">&copy; Cl&eacute;ment Guillaume</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-pagination: none; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><span 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style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="FR">TANC</span></strong><span lang="FR">, </span><em><span lang="FR">Sans titre (red),</span></em><span lang="FR"> 2013, spray paint and lacquer on canvas, 135 x 120 cm </span><span lang="FR">&copy; Cl&eacute;ment Guillaume</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 13.0pt; font-family: 'Calibri','sans-serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'MS Mincho'; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: FR; mso-fareast-language: FR; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;" lang="FR">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For further information...(</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/artists/show/75504-tanc">ArtSlant Profile</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">) (</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.wallworks.fr">Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">[Image on top: <strong>TANC</strong>, <em>Sans titre (orange),</em> 2014, spray paint and lacquer on canvas, 100 x 80 cm; &copy; Cl&eacute;ment Guillaume]</span></p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:21:33 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The Everyday Takes Control: Stefan Constantinescu's Films on Love <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the first of seven films in a series dealing with love between men and women (started in 2009 and proposed to end in 2019), a man sits down on a bus in Bucharest, Romania and telephones his wife or girlfriend. He becomes increasingly threatening and verbally violent, compulsively repeating the same questions and accusations over and over in a sort of trance-like loop. <em>Troleibuzul 92</em> (Bus number 92) (2009) depicts a very private and intimate conversation that is played out in the public space, turning the audience, like the other passengers on the bus, into unwilling participants in a potentially explosive scenario, leaving us to wonder where voyeurism ends and personal responsibility begins. But the film doesn&rsquo;t offer any conclusions, ending as it began, with one person getting off and another getting on, transforming this otherwise exceptional scene into another part of everyday occurrence.<span style="font-size: x-small;"> <br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Love, intimacy, routine, repetition, identity, the normalcy of aberration in daily life, and the conflict between private and public are all themes that Romanian-Swedish artist and filmmaker Stefan Constantinescu explores in the three films that he has finished so far and which are currently on view at the Kalmar Art Museum in Sweden. His work also explores new ways of understanding the exhibitional possibilities of cinema within the museum context as well as viewer perception within the contemporary art institution. In this solo show, a black box was constructed in which the films are screened at specific times designated at the entrance, allowing visitors to manage their viewing experience. In contrast to video art, which the museum has turned into art object, in and out of which visitors wander uncommittedly while consuming mere snippets of the work, narrative films like Constantinescu&rsquo;s must be experienced linearly from beginning to end. Therefore offering a structure for viewing the films as films, not as objects, to which the audience must dedicate itself for a set period of time, becomes the challenge of curators working in this field. And it&rsquo;s not always easy to find a solution, but recreating the cinema within the museum is a safe bet, merging two institutions in crisis and stretching the reach of each one into the other&rsquo;s terrain thus expanding the audience of both.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140322155154-familydinner_large.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>&nbsp;Stefan Constantinescu</strong>, <em>Still from "Family Dinner", </em>2012; &copy; Ştefan Constantinescu</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In <em>Family Dinner </em>(2012), the mask of the model Swedish family is removed revealing a true picture of the complexity of contemporary relationships. While husband and daughter prepare dinner, the mother takes a bath and engages in cell phone sex with a co-worker, her dream being interrupted repeatedly by several humorous events rooted in her reality. At one moment, while she is texting a sexy note, her husband calls her from the kitchen disrupting her mood. Or some moments later, while she tries to pleasure herself and text with the other hand, her phone battery suddenly runs out. Her attempts to regain those moments of transgressive gratification and fantasy are constantly frustrated by real life, so she returns to the routine of her normal role within the household and joins the others for the meal they had prepared. We are left to wonder how this situation will play out, but the everyday seems to take control once again.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The last film from the series that has been produced thus far is <em>Six Big Fish </em>(2013). Here, two Swedish artists, Ann Sofi and Andreas, are staying in an apartment in Bucharest on a residency and suddenly find themselves responsible for six large live fish when the next door neighbor intrusively drops them off for their landlord. The film is shot as Ann Sofi&rsquo;s video diary, a film within a film, from her point of view. The couple&rsquo;s different perspectives on life and art inform their approach as to what to do with the fish, and ultimately test their relationship. Ann Sofi believes that art triumphs over life and therefore she has the right to record the fish dying, while Andreas chooses to offer the fish life by trying, despite several unfortunate adventures, to find a spot to set them free. The power of the everyday wins in the end once again as the couple, frazzled and strained by the day&rsquo;s events, returns to normalcy after the fish swim away. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321174318-sixbigfish_large.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Stefan Constantinescu</strong>, <em>Still from "Six Big Fish"</em>, 2013; &copy; Ştefan Constantinescu</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Filmed in an austere and restrained aesthetic, the films reflect the Romanian New Wave and fall within the film d&rsquo;auteur tradition. The image is heavily controlled and the films seem almost documentarian, but the narrative is disturbing and subversive, creating a tension between what we see and what we perceive. The ten-year project undertaken by Constantinescu is ambitious and stirring. By focusing on love, what might otherwise seem in these times of conflict as too light of a theme, Constantinescu actually reveals the elements underlying contemporary society, from cynicism and selfishness, banality of transgression, hypocrisy and morality, to ultimately the condition of humanity itself torn between caring and indifference, love and violence. <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/51287-olga-stefan?tab=REVIEWS">Olga Stefan</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Stefan Constantinescu</strong>, Installation view at the Kalmar Art Museum, 2014.)</span></p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:22:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Behind the Mural: NOBODY pays tribute to the Passing of Anti-war Street Artist Army of One <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In Wynwood, there are many murals. Onlookers pass the artworks on the streets and admire the creations in good fun, but observers may not realize that there&rsquo;s a deep, human story behind many of the works. A new mural, next to bustling Panther Coffee, where Miami&rsquo;s artistic community convenes, is tribute to a recent death. A child with a tear drop in his eye holds a toy grenade, red paint dripping onto his hands. The boy&rsquo;s shorts are marked with John Lennon&rsquo;s lyrics, &ldquo;Give Peace a Chance." The mural is inscribed in bright blood-red letters with the phrase &ldquo;R.I.P Army of One, (1961-2014).&rdquo; </span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Miami artist TMNK (The Me Nobody Knows) aka NOBODY created the mural in Wynwood as a tribute to the life of fellow street artist Jef Campion, also known as Army of One. The Brooklyn street artist lost his life to suicide in January.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321072135-fullsize-1390674042.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>TMNK</strong>, <em>tribute to Army of One</em>; courtesy of Wynwood Map</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The late Jef Campion was known for putting up anti-war artwork with the same image of the toy grenade-toting boy, from Diane Arbus&rsquo; famous photograph <em>Child With a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park.</em> Just down the street from Panther Coffee, in front of Gramps Bar, up high on a graffiti-crowded street-side electricity pole, there remains an Army of One piece; a sheet of paper printed as a <em>Los Angeles Times</em> front-page news feature, shows a similar apparition. In this piece, the boy&rsquo;s wide eyes and twisted grimace reflect the derangement of man-made war on the childlike purity of the human spirit. The words &ldquo;the guns, the bombs, the rockets, and the war ships, are all symbols of human failure&rdquo; sprawl out in simple letters over the outlined image of warped innocence. </span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321072244-Diane-Arbus-Child-with-Toy-Hand-Grenade-in-Central-Park-New-York-City-1962.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Diane Arbus</strong>, <em>Child With a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park</em>, 1962; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Campion put up artwork with Arbus&rsquo; famous image over the streets of cities such as New York and Miami. Like the photographer Diane Arbus, Jef Campion sadly also took his life. Eerily, Campion lived a few doors down from Arbus&rsquo; former residence in New York.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Along with being a street artist and lone street-soldier of peace, Campion was also a New York City firefighter. He was a first responder during 911 and helped in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero, an experience that influenced his anti-violence street art.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Next time you pass through Wynwood and admire the art on the streets, remember there is most likely a story behind the mural.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Monica Torres</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Jef Campion,</strong><em> aka Army of One</em>; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></p> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:52:49 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Crossing Hybrids: A forward-thinking group show at Galerie Celal <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">A highlight among Paris&rsquo; current offerings is this forward-thinking group exhibition from four innovative artists: Tomek (of Parisian PAL crew) Graphic Surgery (Erris Huigens and Gysbert Zijlstra, Netherlands) and graffiti writer Jeroen Erosie (also hailing from the Netherlands).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">All four artists featured in this show play with the idea of a freestyle navigation of architecture and the surfaces of the built environment. The dynamic nature of the artists&rsquo; respective backgrounds in graffiti, and their attachment to their surroundings is a visible influence on the works presented (the confrontation between fast-moving lines, materials applied by scatching and erasing different surfaces) but the outcomes are quite different: from ordered chaos to the expressionistic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321053931-Graphic_Surgery.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Graphic Surgery</strong>; Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Celal</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The exhibition (whose apt title translates as &lsquo;crossing&rsquo; or &lsquo;hybridisation&rsquo;) at Galerie Celal proves that the remoulding of this irksome &lsquo;street art&rsquo; genre will inevitably come through the discussion generated by the artists themselves through their art. Drop by if you&rsquo;re in Paris in the coming weeks.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140321054034-Tomek.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Tomek</strong>; Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Celal</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top:<strong> Jeroen Erosie</strong>; Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Celal)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 17:32:06 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Our Love is a Cage Match <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If you walk through the stacks of Barnes &amp; Noble, you might find yourself in the aisles of young adult fiction, which despite its implied age bracket is one of the largest and most profitable sectors in the commercial publishing industry. If you are like Hamza Walker, you may have discovered this aisle through your preteen daughter. But you do not have to know a preteen girl in order to have insight as to what this fiction is about, or to understand its contents. You know the melodrama this genre promotes well &ndash; the harrowing and theatrical stakes within its pages, the stories of the intense forbidden romances it tells, and the effusive affect of devotion it holds in high regard. The phenomenon presents itself with patented aggression and digestibly dark romanticism. The most popular subgenre in this aisle is called <a href="http://renaissancesociety.org/site/Exhibitions/Intro.Teen-Paranormal-Romance.644.html" target="_blank"><em>Teen Paranormal Romance</em></a>. <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If adult fiction is consumed, young adult fiction is devoured. The exhibition,&nbsp;<em>Teen Paranormal Romance,</em> curated by Walker at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2353-renaissance-society">The Renaissance Society</a>, uses the trademarked motifs in YA to point out a cipher of culture at large &ndash; its fascination with perpetuating the myth of sentimental intensity within the construction of the teen image. Upon entering the exhibition, the space is largely sanctioned off by a chain-link fence occupying the perimeter of the gallery. All other works in the exhibition are experienced in the periphery of this piece by <a href="http://www.davidkordanskygallery.com/?n=artists&amp;aid=27&amp;c=works" target="_blank">Kathryn Andrews</a>, entitled <em>Friends and Lovers </em>(2010). In the center of the gallery, clearly visible but beyond physical reach, two shallow towers of cinder blocks face each other. The opposing faces of the constructed walls carry the image of a cartooned bear, appearing innocuous enough that it may have been an important symbol in the 90s &ndash; cereal box, TV icon? &ndash; or it is at least sufficiently familiar that we credit it to have been so. The face-off between these two almost anonymous figures is humorous, without being a joke. In many ways, the structure of the piece parallels the relationship between YA and the exhibition itself&nbsp;&ndash; as a spectacle that admits its own artifice, a guarded and protective installation that also takes the position of offense. Like a smile without sentimental intent, the identical characters stare into one another&rsquo;s vacant gaze. The piece suggests the safe sanction of a playground at the same time it suggests a battle, &ldquo;our love is a cage match.&rdquo;<span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140320234242-Ethridge_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Roe Ethridge</strong>, <em>Louise with Red Bag</em>, 2011, C-print, 69 1/2 x 52 1/2 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This sense of vacancy is followed throughout the exhibition. Hanging to the rear of <em>Friends and Lovers</em>, visible in the distance through the chain-link, is <a href="http://www.andrewkreps.com/artists_portfolio.html?aid=54" target="_blank">Roe Ethridge</a>&rsquo;s <em>Louise with Red Bag</em> (2011). Undeniably the most iconic image in the show, the large-format chromogenic print is provocative and strange in ways the other works on view are not.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A girl of maybe fifteen or sixteen &ndash; pale, barely clothed, with perfectly parted Scandinavian hair &ndash; is centrally placed within the frame. Small details of a photo studio are apparent on the edges of the scene: a shadow along the white backdrop, the edge of a spotlight, the carefully exposed wheel of a cart. Though the image depicts the shallow elements of a studio, and the more superficial and plastic textures of the girl and her surroundings, the printed material of her bathing suit depicts an airplane flying onto the landing strip of a tropical destination, inserting a landscape directly into the center of the piece (the center of the girl). The implications go without saying.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320185240-Atkins_holder.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Ed Atkins</strong>, <em>Even Pricks</em>, 2013, 16:10 HD video with 5.1 surround sound, 7 min 30 seconds; Courtesy of the artist and Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a private screening room down the hall, Ed Atkins&rsquo; <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23wYen1eLS8" target="_blank"><em>Even Pricks</em></a> (2013) plays through a disjointed and manic narrative, scored to incomplete and halted sound bytes from recognizable advertisements, erratically interjecting language that adopts the form of announcing the main event, as they do during the end of previews at the movies, though the text itself is sampled and nonsensical. Repeated motifs are intersticed throughout: a bed bursting into flames, the avatar of a laughing chimpanzee, a phallic thumb animated to penetrate belly buttons and disproportionately large facial features, grotesquely inflating and deflating. Walker notes, &ldquo;[The premise of the exhibition] points to adolescence or childhood in somewhat of a surreal fashion &ndash; but do we really believe in the unconscious as a source of creativity today? I don&rsquo;t think this is the case; our approach is much more in <em>affect</em>, rather than intent.&rdquo; Just as Ethridge&rsquo;s piece approaches the symbol of the teenage girl, the exhibition approaches symbols in general from the other direction. We are given the othered qualities upfront, never directly surreal, but slowly and affectively alien from the outside in.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Walker continues, &ldquo;The question being raised is about whether surrealism fled popular culture, and left artists instead to create works that could point toward a derelict or empty place.&rdquo; While the works on view give way to a sense of vacancy, they are far from empty. They are emphatic, definite, and coldly expressive. And although <em>Teenage </em>is certainly a term that can be applied more broadly, the <em>Romance</em> in the title suggests a gender for the market. There is a sense of reserve in the tone of this exhibition that the popular images of teenage girls are not privileged to have. Ultimately, <em>Louise</em> exists as many representations of young girls do within the commercial sector, as a captive two-dimensional character our eyes fixate upon, while hers perpetually faces outward to a vacant audience.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS">Stephanie Cristello</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #1dbae1; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> </span><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;">All quotes by Hamza Walker during gallery walkthrough, March 2014.</span></p> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <em>Teen Paranormal Romance</em>, 2014, Installation View, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:50:02 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Let'er Drip: Chad Hasegawa at White Walls <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Mmmmmmm latex... Chad Hasegawa's got his medium dialed in: for anyone who's every painted a house, or a roller piece, there's nothing quite like latex paint, especially when you've got your brush or roller positively saturated with the stuff. You can see the pure delight in Hasegawa's latest works: the results of latex-laden paintbrushes meeting canvas and oozing out all over the place. His works are now on view at White Walls in San Francisco until April 5, 2014.<br /></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">White Walls is pleased to present Elite Rebels, a solo show by San Francisco&shy;based artist Chad Hasegawa. Join us for the opening reception Saturday, March 15, from 7&shy;11pm. The exhibit&nbsp;will&nbsp;be&nbsp;open&nbsp;to&nbsp;the&nbsp;public&nbsp;for&nbsp;viewing&nbsp;through&nbsp;April&nbsp;5,&nbsp;2014.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Chad Hasegawa is well known for, perhaps surprisingly, taking California&rsquo;s state animal, the grizzly bear, as his primary subject. These powerful animals were known for their fearlessness; early pioneers told tales of the grizzlies&rsquo; prowess in battles with charging longhorn bulls and of their refusal to retreat&nbsp; from the onslaught of new settlers that characterized the 1800s. Less than 75 years after the&nbsp; gold rush of 1849, the brave and wild bears which had roamed the state for 300 years were extinct.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(text source: </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://www.whitewallssf.com" target="_blank">White Walls Gallery</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320164700-00.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa, </strong><em>Mother &amp; Daughter,</em> Latex on canvas, 72x48in<strong>; </strong>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>More on Chad Hasegawa:</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Hasegawa took up mural painting on the streets of San Francisco after he left the advertising world. His designs were created out of thick laid brush strokes of bold colors, almost to resemble mosaics, clearly visible when viewed from a far. His use of color aggressively shapes an object. The larger picture is always a grizzly bear, wild and bold, painted in different attitudes. Coincidentally or not, California&rsquo;s state animal is his primary subject. Bears are highly respected in many cultures and are considered to be ancestral spirits.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(text source: </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://www.widewalls.ch/chad-hasegawa-exhibition-white-walls-sf">WideWalls</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320164459-0.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa</strong>, <em>Oh My Dad</em>, Latex on canvas, 96x96in; Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320164823-5.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa,</strong><em>Smoky,</em> Latex on canvas, 48x48in; </span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320164916-7.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa, </strong><em>Water &amp; Rock</em>, Latex on canvas, 48x48in; </span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320165023-9.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa,</strong> <em>Going</em>, Latex on canvas, 72x72in<strong>; </strong></span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320165121-8.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa,</strong> <em>Dee</em>, Latex on canvas, 48x48in<strong>; </strong></span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320165226-4.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa, </strong><em>Big Jourdan</em>, Latex on canvas, 72x72in; </span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320165429-lll.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa, </strong><em>Tino</em>, Latex on canvas, 48x48in; </span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320165528-l.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa, </strong><em>Redwood</em>, Latex on canvas, 48x48in<strong>; </strong></span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140320165627-ll.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Chad Hasegawa, </strong><em>Holl</em>, Latex on canvas, 48x48in;</span>Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For further information...(</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/artists/show/224475-chad-hasegawa">ArtSlant Profile</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">) (</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://chadhasegawa.blogspot.in">Artist's Website</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">) (Galleries: </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.whitewallssf.com">White Walls Gallery</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.shootinggallerysf.com">Shooting Gallery</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">(Image on top:</span> <strong>Chad Hasegawa</strong>, <em>Anne, </em>Latex on canvas, 48 x 48in.; Courtesy of the Artist and White Walls Gallery)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 22:30:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Exposing Visual Rhymes: An Interview with Mario Ybarra Jr. <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><em><strong>This interview was <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/artists/rackroom/450" target="_blank">originally published</a> way back on ArtSlant Chicago, in May, 2008, on the occasion of&nbsp; Mario Ybarra Jr.'s exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The LA-based artist is known for his installations drawing from pop and street culture, including a recent solo show examining the mythos of Scarface at LA's Honor Fraser Gallery. Right now his work can be found <a href="http://nomadicdivision.org/exhibition/mario-ybarra-jr/" target="_blank">on a billboard in Mobile, AL</a>, part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division's Manifest Destiny Project.</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"> Mario Ybarra, Jr. is a LA-based visual and performance artist who has created room-sized installations all over the world and most recently right here in Chicago for the Art Institute of Chicago. This year Ybarra was also selected to participate in the Whitney Biennial. Beneath Ybarra's friendly demeanor lies a keen observer who is quick to expose visual rhymes in seemingly unrelated sources and to expand and build upon those connections until a cohesion is reached, or as he might say, a story. Ybarra graciously met with ArtSlant's Abraham Ritchie while putting the finishing touches on his installation at the Art Institute. Ever the raconteur, Ybarra talked about his native LA, baseball and King Arthur. Below is an excerpt of our conversation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="margin: 10px auto; vertical-align: middle; display: block;" src="/userimages/3151/PICT0018.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Abraham Richie: I think a lot of Chicagoans, and everyone, might want to know what the connection is between Southern Los Angeles, Catalina Island and Wrigley Field? It&rsquo;s kind of funny to think that Wrigley Field had a &ldquo;secret brother&rdquo; or something like that on the West Coast, because I am not sure that many people remember or know about this other Wrigley Field.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Mario Ybarra, Jr.:</strong> Well that&rsquo;s where this whole project started for me. About a year ago Lisa Dorin, the Assistant Curator in the Contemporary Art Department, asked me if I wanted to come up with a proposal to do a Focus project here at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I said I would think about it a little bit. The way that I try to work is that I try to make some kind of relationship between a personal experience, or my personal understanding or knowledge and the place that I show. I don&rsquo;t like the idea of coming in and claiming an expertise on a place that I know nothing about. I&rsquo;ve found that doing something that starts in the realm of the personal and then taking it out to another place and trying to make relationships between those two places is the most successful tactic for me. . . I try to make bridges, so to speak.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">As a kid we would take trips out to Catalina Island, which is part of the Channel Islands, about 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. I remember part of the tour was the local history. They&rsquo;d always tell us that William Wrigley, Jr. owned Catalina Island and he had famous movie stars of the time going out there, like Clark Gable. His Chicago Cubs would go out and have their spring training there. The main town there is called Avalon and it gets its name from [Wrigley&rsquo;s] niece, who told [Wrigley] to name it that after the Avalon of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and those stories. So it has this mythological side of it too. It has real histories, the local histories, of it being owned by Wrigley, and it has this mythological history through the King Arthur association. My studio back in LA is on Avalon Boulevard and they named [the street] that because that&rsquo;s where the boats used to take people out to Avalon Harbor on the island. I started doing research about that, I&rsquo;m like a de facto historian, and I found that Wrigley, along with owning the island, owned this other Wrigley Field that was in South Central Los Angeles on Avalon and 66th street. So we had the Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island, my studio on Avalon, this field that Wrigley owned was also on Avalon, I just kept following the line. I thought I could take this story from Avalon, to Avalon Boulevard, to my studio, to Avalon were the stadium was, to all the way down Highway 66 to Chicago and the Art Institute.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I&rsquo;m figuring out ways to make these relationships between historical figures like William Wrigley, who was important to historical cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, and bring these stories together somehow, make bridges between the stories. Between what I know and my experiences and the places that I go.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: Sports are the site of an obvious physical conflict and throughout the exhibit are interesting juxtapositions: the Mexican flag and the U.S. flag, the sword and the baseball bat, the fist of the Revolution and an image of a capitalist&rsquo;s private island. The history of the island reflects conflict as well, in the seventies it was occupied by the Brown Berets. How are sports, especially baseball, viewed both literally and metaphorically for this project, and the issues it raises?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> Well I have always thought of the history of baseball as particularly related to the United States. It&rsquo;s billed as &ldquo;the American Game;&rdquo; it&rsquo;s not really played around the world at all other than some Latin American countries, like the Dominican Republic where all these new players are coming from and where young people are specifically groomed to be ball players. But in relation to the United States, and this comes from the different things that I have watched or read, the developments of social movements in the United States almost always came ten years later than in the ball game itself. Baseball has been very slow to change, and it hasn&rsquo;t changed really over the few centuries its been played here. But it still has these kind of leading edges. Let&rsquo;s take for example the story of integration and civil rights. Jackie Robinson starts playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950's and certain places, like schools, weren&rsquo;t integrated until the early sixties or late sixties. Baseball reflects a little bit in advance the kind of social movements that will happen in the United States.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Another thing that I think is very interesting in terms of conflict and it being a spectator sport, even though there are rival teams and most big cities have their own team, [there is a sense of unity]. Before professional baseball, each little town would have a team, even though there was a sense of rivalry or competition, the people were brought together as spectators to cheer on their team. So even though there was a site of conflict, it wasn&rsquo;t like it was Rome and gladiators were getting fed to lions [laughter]. There is a sense of sportsmanship [. . .]</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Related to issues of capitalism and revolution, or acts of civil disobedience, there is a sense of teams. I play off that with the posters, we have here a baseball with two bats crossed, but instead of a regular team you have the Brown Beret guys who tried to occupy the island in 1972 so they&rsquo;re like &ldquo;the team.&rdquo; The idea of &ldquo;the team&rdquo; is important too and the metaphor of a team. The idea that everyone has their positions but also act as a unit is very important and is a metaphor for myself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="/userimages/3151/PICT0019.JPG" alt="" width="338" height="443" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: The idea of teams is also apparent in this wall of flags you have installed. What are the flags we have here?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> This is the state of Illinois&rsquo; flag. The flags are also stadium-esque, they always have them. The other thing, again about making relationships, is this is the state of Illinois&rsquo; flag, which has an eagle perched on a rock holding a shield and in his mouth is a banner. I thought that is very interesting, because over here is the Mexican flag, and again we have the eagle, this time perched on the cactus, and the snake in his mouth pretty much mimics the banner in the Illinois flag. Those kinds of aesthetic relationships and symbolic choices are very interesting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="margin: 10px; vertical-align: middle;" src="/userimages/3151/PICT0015.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="328" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: Even looking at the Illinois flag, that&rsquo;s more of an Aztec style eagle than a typical American-style eagle.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> Yeah. Those are the kinds of things I noticed in my visits to Chicago to prepare for this show, last year and earlier this year. I started seeing these kinds of relationships, like the Illinois flag&rsquo;s similarity to the flag of Mexico.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">This row of flags will start off with the U.S. flag, the state of Illinois flag, Chicago flag, Los Angeles flag, state of California flag, and the Mexican flag. We have these different relationships between these two places starting with the cities and then going to the states. We have the state of Mexico flag, even though California is not part of Mexico, it used to be part of Mexico, but it&rsquo;s related to the histories that we have here. Catalina Island was occupied by the Brown Berets because in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which separated the Southwest from Mexico after the Mexican-American War, the island wasn&rsquo;t specifically mentioned. This is why the Brown Berets tried to occupy it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">There are interrelationships between the two places [Chicago and LA]. I thought that was another kind of metaphor for the show, in terms of Wrigley being this character and starting with him, saying no man is an island, or no city, or no country or land is an island. They&rsquo;re all in relationship, in context, to their neighbors. Imagine if we thought that we could do everything, under our own power, we&rsquo;d get ourselves in trouble. We can talk about it in relationship to land, in relationship to people. Or no island is a man, we could even switch it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I wanted to draw these kinds of relationships together, one between Los Angeles and Chicago, two between Mexico and the States, three between baseball and mythology. Different symbolic orders, things like ships or bubble gum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>ArtSlant would like to thank Mario Ybarra, Jr., Jenny Gheith and Lisa Dorin for their assistance in making this interview possible. Additional thanks to the Anna Helwing Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">-<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16747-abraham-ritchie?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #000000;"> Abraham Ritchie</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Top image: <strong>Mario Ybarra Jr</strong>, Manifest Destiny Project billboard, 2014; Courtesy of LAND. All other images are installation views of <em>Take Me Out. . . No Man Is an Island</em>, 2008; Courtesy of the Artist)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 21:52:42 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list DAIN's First NY Solo Show in 7 Years Opens Tomorrow at Folioleaf <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">It's the artist's first show in NYC in seven years. Opening tomorrow, you can check out DAIN's latest collages at New York's Folioleaf Gallery in Dumbo. Borrowing from the rich traditions of photomontage and collage, embellished with dashes of hot pink and yellow, neon greens and blues&nbsp;&ndash; a bit like Hannah H&ouml;ch on acid&nbsp;&ndash; DAIN's works seem old and new at the same time. <br /></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Folioleaf is proud to announce an exhibition of new paintings by the elusive Brooklyn-based street artist, DAIN, who layers black and white collages with vibrant pigments and spray paint.&nbsp; In his collages, DAIN appropriates images found in contemporary periodicals. Through his elegant juxtapositions, DAIN adopts the content and contexts of the original images to create his own surreal portraits.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Using images of Hollywood icons and fashion models,&nbsp; DAIN splices and overlaps famous faces, creating hybrid &lsquo;icons&rsquo; that dissociate the familiar to create something a bit more surreal. Coupling male and female identity into unified characters, DAIN points to a disjointed harmony, which simultaneously complements and detracts from the whole. In his correlated images, famous personalities (and our idealizations of them) become subsidiary and empty.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(text source:</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"> <a href="http://folioleaf.com/exb/dain">Folioleaf</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">)</span></span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323061438-DAIN006.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Dain<em>, </em></strong><em>Shade My Love</em>, 2014 Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board 48 &times; 36 inches;&nbsp;&copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>More on Dain:</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, the elusive&nbsp;DAIN&nbsp;is considered to be one of the more influential artists to emerge from the NY street art movement.&nbsp;DAIN&nbsp;faithfully produces works that are both evocative and beautiful in their composition. His love for old hollywood glam is evident in much of his work. His trademark 'circle and drip' around the eye still remains a mystery. This, along with his roots in graffiti, create a gritty yet delicate art style that is all his own.&nbsp;DAIN's art has been featured in galleries in New York, Chicago, Miami, Portland, Montreal, Paris and London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(text source:</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://folioleaf.com/fol/dain">Folioleaf</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140319173755-3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>, Brookelyn, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323061550-DAIN001.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain,</strong> <em>Hoodwink Loren</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 40 &times; 30 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323061630-DAIN005.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>, <em>Puzzleface</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323061706-DAIN004.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>, <em>Glamorous Mess</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140319174217-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>, <em>Deerly Beloved</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140402183957-DAIN007.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Dain</strong>, <em>If The Shoe Fits, </em>2014, Collage, acrylic and enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323062727-DAIN023.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>,<em> Untitled (Party Girl)</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board Framed by artist, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323062832-DAIN022.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>, <em>Taylor On My Mind,</em> 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323062937-DAIN021.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>,<em> Untitled</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140323063040-DAIN020.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Dain</strong>, <em>Clockhead,</em> 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For further information...(</span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/artists/show/18668-dain">ArtSlant Profile</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">) (Galleries:&nbsp;<a href="http://folioleaf.com">Folioleaf</a>, </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lebensongallery.com"> Lebenson Gallery</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Dain</strong>,<em> Untitled (Kim)</em>, 2014, Collage, acrylic and&nbsp; enamel on board, 48 &times; 36 inches; &copy; Dain / Courtesy Folioleaf)</span></p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:41:17 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Rulers are Meant to be Broken: CYRCLE at StolenSpace <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">The most-hyped gallery opening of the last week on the London circuit has been the arrival of US art crew CYRCLE.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">The extrovert duo (formerly trio) has an unusually camera-friendly approach but their sun-fuelled positivity with what they do and their conceptual approach to interactive public art has made their debut heavily anticipated.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140318124330-Cyrcle.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><strong>Cyrcle;</strong>Courtesy of the Artists and StolenSpace Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">They clearly enjoy paranomasia&nbsp;&ndash; concepts for the Stolenspace show are &lsquo;<em>rulers are meant to be broken&rsquo;</em> and &lsquo;<em>scramble for power&rsquo;</em> (I would have gone for &lsquo;Scrabble for Power&rsquo;, if we&rsquo;re doing word games)&nbsp;&ndash; as much as their visual interactions with the public space; their propensity for sloganism is maybe the reason Shepard Fairey has endorsed them so ferverently. The current show (at Stolenspace&rsquo;s beautiful new Osborne Street gallery) explores the control&nbsp;the synechdoche of power exerts on the collective conscience &ndash; making chaos out of order &ndash; a theme that has remained central in their work of the last two years.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">The pair&rsquo;s most treaded territory is LA, where they have completed huge murals (including an 11,000 square foot wall in Echo Park). Fresh from graf camp <a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/38278">Powwow Hawaii</a>, where they pulled off another massive wall in two days, the collective hit London and received a warm reception, painting a mural on East London&rsquo;s Leonard Street ahead of the opening last Thursday night.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">(Image on top:<strong> Cyrcle</strong>, <em>Leonard St;</em> Courtesy of the Artists and StolenSpace Gallery)</span></p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:48:33 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Offbeat Illustrator: Pierre-Paul Pariseau <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">We&rsquo;re loving these colorful, offbeat illustrations from French Canadian artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/315310-pierre-paul-pariseau?tab=PROFILE">Pierre-Paul Pariseau</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">. With elements of pop art, surrealism, and a bit of comic book style, his pieces are simply cool, and we wish there was a storybook to go along with them. Pariseau exhibits his work often in North America and Europe, and has had his work featured in a number of books showcasing the best in contemporary illustration.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140317181926-accordeon.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></strong></span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Pierre-Paul Pariseau<em>, </em></strong><em>A</em><em>ccordeon</em>; Courtesy of the artist&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>More on Pariseau:</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Pierre-Paul Pariseau is an award-winning&nbsp;artist&nbsp;and illustrator&nbsp;working for clients in North America and Europe&nbsp;since many years. He also exhibits his work regularly.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Evoking currents of surrealism and pop&nbsp;art, the creative work of Pariseau invites&nbsp;us into a world of images&nbsp;where everything is possible. Happy coincidences, anecdotal events inspire the&nbsp;artist&nbsp;in a&nbsp;fantasy that&nbsp;translates into images made of vibrant colours, stunning juxtapositions and hypnotic reveries. His anthropomorphic creations seem to request storytelling but never impose one.&nbsp;The intensity of his work confuses and attracts in a&nbsp;way that does not dictate to the viewer, but stimulates the imagination to explore unrestrained.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">An invitation to discover enigmatic mixed media images that captivate and intrigue.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Find more about </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://pierrepaulpariseau.com">Pierre-Paul Pariseau</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140317182420-tiger.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Pierre-Paul Pariseau</strong>, <em>Tiger</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140317182502-neverending.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Pierre-Paul Pariseau</strong>, <em>Neverending</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140317182552-cinema.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Pierre-Paul Pariseau</strong>, <em>Cinema</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Submit your work for a </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36948">spotlight feature<span style="color: #000000;">!</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:<strong> Pierre-Paul Pariseau</strong>, <em>Black</em>; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></span></p> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:54:04 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Poesia Transcends The Text: An Exegesis of the L'AVENIR Essay <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">On December 14th, 2013, the Graffuturist-related exhibition <em>L&rsquo;AVENIR</em> opened at <a href="http://www.whitewallssf.com/shows/lavenir" target="_blank">White Walls Gallery</a> in San Francisco. The show was curated by Poesia, a graffiti writer and contemporary painter since the late eighties, as well as the founder and singular force behind <a href="http://graffuturism.com" target="_blank">Graffuturism.com</a>. At the website&rsquo;s inception in January of 2010, Poesia made this statement of intent about the site and the term Graffuturism:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;Graffuturism.com is an experiment &ndash; something I need to get off my chest. It might be taken down, or never updated again. I leave it to become whatever it grows into, or maybe it&rsquo;ll stagnate and disappear. Graffuturism is a word that is poetic, unique, and without a dictionary definition, therefore suggesting something that really is unexplainable: I can show you when I see it, I can grasp the forms of it, but I leave it up to you to explain or define it. The Artist will always be beyond a Label. So I guess this is an attempt to define something, an aesthetic, a common string that some of us graffiti artists, painters, even photographers share. A collection of something that is a portrait of decades of progression and regression.&rdquo; &ndash; <a href="http://graffuturism.com/about">Poesia, January 2010</a>.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">With that statement, Poesia revealed that he is a humble and yet powerful thinker and leader who therefore can take the risk of admitting that he doesn&rsquo;t know something or have a particular answer, opinion or direction. By taking that unique stance, possibly the result of his nature as an artist-before-editor, he left the site open for all kinds of input, discussion, and criticism, as well as a true discovery of what he was trying find with this &ldquo;collection of something&rdquo; that will eventually create a deeper &ldquo;portrait&rdquo; of this historically overlooked facet of the graffiti movement.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">As a result, over the past four years, the site has performed as an instigator of cultural dialogue by acting as a provocative think-tank of interviews, art and photography. The site has inspired many Graffuturism-related group exhibitions and solo shows, as well as commentary by insiders and outsiders alike, including the first major revision of <em>The Feral Diagram: Graffiti and Street Art</em> to include the missing historical threads of Abstract Graffiti, Progressive Graffiti and Graffuturism.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Each of the past Graffuturism-related group shows were curated by different people without any specific curatorial influence from Poesia, just his assistance as a facilitator of introductions. These exhibitions brought artists and media together to discuss the use, validity, and meaning of Graffuturism as an appropriate term. Others have utilized the term Abstract Graffiti (an older term originating with Futura in 1980), Progressive Graffiti (a recent term utilized by Daniel Feral in much the same way as Progressive Jazz, although at this point it is more of a subtitle for the more unique Graffuturism term), and Hybridism (coined by Alex Emmart in 2010, relating to the prevalence of the intermingling of Graffiti, Street Art and Fine Art aesthetics in the new millennium). Poesia has even stated that Graffuturism is the name of the website, not the movement, therefore leaving the door wide open to any term and definition that manifests during the cultural discourse he has fostered. Become what it will, Poesia's main emphasis has been to use his instincts to showcase art that he felt fell under this not-yet-finalized term and definition, although lately it seems to be becoming accepted by the artists and utilized by the public as well.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">What made <em>L&rsquo;AVENIR</em> so unique from the past group exhibitions is that it is the first one curated solely by Poesia, being the pure result of his singular vision, like the website itself. Of particular note is that Poesia took this opportunity to write an in-depth curatorial statement summarizing his current thoughts after four years of development and dialogue. There have been a few other general interviews with Poesia about <em>L&rsquo;AVENIR</em>, so ArtSlant STREET decided to focus our attention solely on his essay in order to reveal his ideas and discoveries from the past four years in more depth and bring attention to this important text. Poesia&rsquo;s essay will be quoted within the interview questions in order to illustrate them, but to read the complete text visit the&nbsp;<a href="http://graffuturism.com/2013/12/23/preview-lavenir-graffuturism-group-exhibition-at-white-walls-gallery" target="_blank">L&rsquo;AVENIR preview post</a> on graffuturism.com. There are a ton of pictures first with the essay appearing at the bottom of the post.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192015-DozeGreen_DeathCometCoronaRammellzee.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Doze Green</strong>, <em>Death Comet Corona Rammellzeee</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><em><strong>ekg: </strong></em><strong>In your essay you write that you began the blog &ldquo;to showcase the work of fellow Graffiti/Urban Artists who I felt were underrepresented.&rdquo; Why do you think this historical trajectory has been underrepresented over the years? Why do you think this is the time for understanding and recognition for these artists and their art?&nbsp;</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Poesia:</strong> I think style writing and the initial history of graffiti culture has been represented thoroughly over the years which in a sense is part of the problem. Style writing and graffiti art did not die in the 80's and was just starting to gain steam spreading itself across the world as a new subculture. Art critics still tend to relate graffiti to this era and have no clue what has happened in the post-New York era of graffiti. Our art form was in its early stages and there were many chapters yet to come. Some art critics and established academics were there in NYC when the initial movement gained recognition but the art world embraced Basquiat and Haring, declaring them the voice of the streets and failing to credit real pioneers like Rammellezee, Futura, Dondi etc. Many critics and historians stand behind this idea that they understand what Graffiti and Urban Art is about today because they have watched Style Wars or read about the days of the Fun Factory, Fashion Moda and the two earliest decades of New York Graffiti. Historically academia moved on to embrace other emerging art movements such as conceptual art, minimalism etc, leaving graffiti behind. With the recent rise of Street Art you have seen an influx of books and recognition of the street art phenomenon, but what about the missing decades important in the historical narrative of Graffiti/Urban Art?&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Part of the recognition that I wanted to establish had to do with breaking this historical gap in the media coverage, as well as counter the new love the media had with the emergence of Street Art. It wasn't until the emergence of street art and its use of representational imagery that people started paying attention again to writing on walls. Street Art was the new big thing and graffiti art seemed have taken a backseat to it. When I started Graffuturism.com, I had witnessed these gaps in coverage and saw how fast people had forgotten about the real historical narrative that started with graffiti. Street Art started as a hybrid of graffiti and if you look at some of the second-wave pioneers like Banksy or Shepard who popularized it, one was a graffiti artist and the other mimicked how graffiti artists bombed and got up. Many will point to all these other precursors and influences to Street Art, and that it had its own history outside of graffiti. I don't agree with that. I believe we can always find signs that back up any story, but the real history is self evident and the pioneers of Street Art will tell you the same. Don't get me wrong. My take on Street Art is not a negative one. My problem is with the coverage it receives and how historically incorrect most of the people writing books on the subject are. People forget that the pre-street art Barry McGee was painting representational characters and exhibiting in museums; Kaws was doing street interventions; Cost and Revs painted huge legible rollers and wheat pasted posters all over NYC long before Banksy and Shepard. All these artists had worked outside the traditions of Graffiti, so to speak, before the Street Art boom, yet the innovations they made didn't take hold in the media's consciousness like Street Art did at the turn of the new millennium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In a sense, Street Art was a wake up call to graffiti artists. Here were guys painting on walls with representational imagery using techniques that graffiti artists would never use, such as stencils, wheatpastes, etc. Graffiti artists were very traditional; most artists had garnered skills over decades to be able to perfect their technique and control a can of spray paint. It took years to master an outline or a proper tag, then street artists came along and created their own rules just like the graffiti artists had done years ago. This was an important step in our evolution as an art form, shifting the graffiti narrative from the traditionalists to a more progressive acceptance. Some graffiti artists were able to identify that change was needed in order to move past our own traditional constraints and some graffiti artists had already been doing it, but just not recognized on the same scale. Because Street Art shares a subversive element and most the artists work in the urban setting, the two art forms have continued to be confused with the greater public and media. It is important now more than ever that we don't lose track of this history, beginning with the original graffiti historical narrative in Philadelphia and New York City, which has grown into new hybrids throughout the world. We are at an exciting moment in this narrative where the art form has started to be recognized as the true alternative to what has been taking place in the art world over the past fifty years, and it&rsquo;s important we get the story right.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Sorry if I got off track on the answer, but why now? Because timing is everything and maybe we weren't ready as a culture yet in those earlier times. I think it will be harder this time around for the art world to pick two stars and leave the rest of the culture behind. The tables have turned. We are the new contemporary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192048-MEGAPOLIS_CityForNightPeople_2AM_50x70.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Chazme</strong>, <em>Megapolis-City For Night People-2am</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: You write, &ldquo;Graffuturism is composed of an emerging progressive global art form that in its natural environment on urban streets around the world has far surpassed any recent contemporary art form.&rdquo; How has it surpassed other contemporary art forms? In aesthetics, the market and/or popularity?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> When I say, &ldquo;Graffuturism is composed of an emerging progressive global art form,&rdquo; I am referring to the whole genre of graffiti/urban art and all its hybrids. So when you talk about how many artists, murals, cities, countries, and all forms of media, graffiti is everywhere and huge. I can guess that we have more public art in cities around the world than the whole contemporary art world combined. We paint murals on skyscrapers, we paint everything and everywhere, illegally and legally, not counting exhibitions that the artists also show work in. The reach of what started over 40 years ago is immeasurable. When a kid grows up now he more than likely will come in contact with Graffiti/Urban Art and understand it before he will learn about Sol Lewitt and understand Conceptualism. We&rsquo;re not an intellectual/financial elitist artform. We are a peoples' art if there ever was one. Yet, I am not saying that Graffuturism or Graffiti/Urban Art is a simple art form. I am just saying we are popular because we are able to communicate with the public easily and directly, engaging them because we are them and operate within their urban sphere. Call us a populist art form, because I don&rsquo;t see a negative connotation in that term. Contemporary art has grown to become an elitist art form that has secluded itself from the general public. We are the opposite, taking it to the streets, to the people where they live, work and play. Whether it&rsquo;s aesthetics, the marketplace, or popularity, we have surpassed contemporary art in many avenues.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192109-JAGO.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Duncan Jago,</strong> <em>Understory Fires</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: &ldquo;The real power of our art form is in our actions as artists collectively.&rdquo; How would your explain this power? What are these collective actions that artists are taking?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> I think collectively as a whole not collectively in unison. Collectively as a whole the power that I am referencing is our ability to come together as a community regardless of aesthetics or preferences as individual artists. Maybe it&rsquo;s because of our origins in Graffiti and the art form's social and collaborative nature. But there is something about this collective nature of our artform that is powerful and allows for movements like Graffuturism to happen. I never went to art school but I am sure as an alumni you are part of a larger group that you could engage; yet I would argue that it wouldn't compare to the scale of our collective power globally. Our ability to reach around the world is powerful. We all communicate socially now and are able to see what our peers are doing daily on the streets and on the internet. There is a collective energy that continues to feed itself. This is the collective power. In the past we used to be able to see within our own cities what other artists had painted the night before by watching the subways go by or walking around town. Now with social media we are able to see not only our city but all our friends' cities. This real time interaction is a game changer for artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: You wrote, &ldquo;</strong></em><strong>L&rsquo;AVENIR</strong><em><strong> is an exhibition curated by myself that calls into question what is already here, but more importantly what to &lsquo;is to come&rsquo;.&rdquo; Do you have an idea of what is to come? Where do you see this heading in the next four years of Graffuturism.com instigation?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> <em>L'AVENIR</em> was a great experience for me because it made me sit down and think about what and who we are. Like most projects or good ones at least, you go in with an idea and come out with something you didn't expect. <em>L'AVENIR</em> did that for me. I came to the conclusion that I want to be in the moment for the time being instead of searching for what&rsquo;s next or thinking about history. We are at a special moment and you never know how long these things last. So for now I am just going to enjoy it and keep working. As far as projects I have goals set as an artist and as a curator. I hope to contribute as much as I can while I have the time to do so.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192138-2013_23x30-Central-aqua-system-shift__FULL.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kofie,</strong> <em>Central Aqua System Shift</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg:&nbsp;&ldquo;In this current exhibition at White Walls Gallery we set out to showcase a group of artists that have been part of Graffuturism over the past three years in some form, and bring together a wide range of aesthetics that exemplify the essence of this neo-contemporary movement Graffuturism.&rdquo; What does the term &ldquo;neo-contemporary&rdquo; mean in this context and where does it come from? </strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>[NOTE: Poesia wrote this answer two months ago. Around that time, he also started a Facebook critical discussion group to which he invited aesthetic theoreticians, historians, and scholars to discuss issues such as the use of his term Neocontemporary. Recently, during the writing of the exhibition statement for the huge Graffuturism survey called <a href="http://1amgallery.com/future-shows/graffuturism-group-show" target="_blank">A MAJOR MINORITY</a>&nbsp;opening on March 14th in San Francisco, a consensus was reached to use the term Othercontemporary instead of Neocontemporary. Please refer to the A MAJOR MINORITY <a href="http://graffuturism.com/2014/03/01/previewandfullessayamajorminority" target="_blank">exhibition statement</a>&nbsp;for more info on that topic and others relating to the cultural genesis of Graffiti and its development as a form of outsider art.]</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> Haha, as you can tell by my term Graffuturism, I am fan of making up nonsense names. So in order to move away from using the terms Graffuturism, Graffiti, Urban Art etc, I wanted to use a name that could define a wider range of uses, including these other art forms that might not fit into the contemporary scope yet are relevant. I googled the term and I didn't find a definition so I am using it as my own elitist art term to describe our genre. Neo-contemporary or New contemporary to me could be any post-historical art form that has emerged and doesn't align with the elitist contemporary art world. I think there are plenty of other art forms that are in a similar situation as us. I figured instead of assimilating our genre into Contemporary Art, it was best to define ourselves outside of it or after it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192158-Mathew.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Mathew,</strong> <em>The Saint - Martyrdom Of Caravaggio</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: &ldquo;We are at a special time and moment in our art form. We are embraced by the mainstream and are able to engage the public like no other form of Contemporary Art, yet we remain outside of the academia so to speak.&rdquo; How does the Graffiti/Urban Art movement remain outside academia and why? Are there any examples where it has been accepted at this point? Do you think the success in the fine art marketplace will eventually force institutions to accept it, or could this worldwide movement someday be regulated to a footnote in those history books?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P: </strong>There has been great progress in aspects of the historical documentation of the graffiti movement. Most of the books have been historical in nature and document important aspects of our history. But there is a gap and there is still a lack of academic writing on a large portion of the history. It is these gaps that I speak of in the first question that still have not all been filled. Sure we have many more books now about Graffiti than we have had ever before. Yet, compared to Street Art, which is a relatively young art form in comparison to Graffiti, I would guess that there are more books on Street Art and those artists than Graffiti. We have great contributors to Street Art, so I am not trying to slight anyone that has dedicated countless years and efforts to the art form, but I am just stating that we have a substantial amount of work to do still for Graffiti to get its recognition. For example, The Feral Diagram by Daniel Feral was an excellent example of a real contribution to the present and past of our art form, not only just the past like so many others. We need more bridges like this that can explain who we are to the outside academics, post-New York Graffiti. If you were to believe the books published or the museum exhibits, you would think Street Art was the post-New York Graffiti successor. That is a problem. We all know Graffiti itself has evolved into many hybrids, and that Street Art is just one of many of these versions of Graffiti, not the only one.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Deitch was also able to curate a successful example of graffiti in a museum, yet it still had some of these same issues because it was the first of its kind in a way. You have to get the history out of the way first and tell the story of the legends and pioneers so I feel he got it right in that respect, yet it also had gaps in the narrative. It might be impossible for one show to be able to narrate our entire history. It could take multiple museum shows. But as I stated, this is the problem with academia because these large events create historical points for the outside academics and they start to bullet point our genre with these generalizations. When I say we stand outside of academia, it is because academics and art forums of the world still have no real clue what we are doing or where to even start to understand us. I always see these problems as opportunities to create solutions and that is why I decided to focus on the present and continue to tell our story. I can&rsquo;t wait for our generation of writers to start to enter the conversation and take the torch and run with it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192230-Clemens_behr.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Clemens Behr;</strong> Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>ekg: &ldquo;Progressive hybridization of graffiti has a history going back to the 1970s with artists such as Futura and Rammellzee, yet today&rsquo;s progression is taking place on a much larger scale.&rdquo; Who are some of the more recent artists that are examples of this hybridization, and what historical or contemporary aesthetics have they combined with Graffiti to create something progressive?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>P:</em></strong> There are so many and so many different aesthetic influences it&rsquo;s hard to mention them all. Some of the first artists that I started to cover were Kofie, Remi Rough, Jaybo Monk, Graphic Surgery, Part2ism, She One, Nawer, Pener, Mr Jago, Delta, Carlos Mare etc. and the range of aesthetics usually was associated with deconstruction, abstract geometrics, expressionism, architecture, urbanism, etc&hellip; This is just a handful of artists and some of the originals. I would later learn there were tens and hundreds more out there. Maybe I&rsquo;ll be able to better answer this question later on but now I don't have the full answer as to why the timing was right for this to happen now and at this scale.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>ekg:</em> <em>&ldquo;We are on the fringe, at the precipice of being recognized, still fresh enough to have honesty prevalent in the work before over-commercialization takes hold.&rdquo; Does this imply that you worry that as institutional and critical recognition is bestowed and intellectual understanding of the movement becomes prevalent and finalized that this will ruin the true force of attraction and passion for the art replacing it with more of the elitism and exclusion that happened with modernist art forms? Basically becoming a career path for those that merely want to market a product with no heart?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> Of course, history always seems repeats itself, not exactly the same, but there are definite patterns that take place. One of these patterns has always been the elitist, or traditionalists who were once considered avant garde to be overthrown by something new. Rebellion leads to the status quo then it becomes the elite it was fighting against. I am sure we will have our moment but some other young youth movement will replace us. It's the nature of the beast I guess. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192310-08_ASS_LAVENIR_Vesod_Reliquiae.jpg" alt="" /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Vesod</strong>, <em>Reliquiae</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: &ldquo;Our work, our masterpieces are under layers of buff &ndash; and are eradicated daily across the world.&rdquo; How do you separate the vandalism from the aesthetics? Do you?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> I don't separate them personally, but I leave it to the individual artist to decide his own fate. I consider taggers artists as much as anyone else but the individual artist/vandal needs to make that decision for themselves whether to call it art or vandalism. I can appreciate and explain why a tag could be a work of art but I can&rsquo;t tell an artist to call his tag a work of art if you can understand what I mean. Graffiti is an aesthetic art form in my opinion. It might have rebellious and conceptual origins but we who have a history in graffiti will always say that we were more inclined to aesthetics and creating our own idea of beauty or form. So, I am not surprised that our art form has retained this aesthetic influence in its progression. This is part of our ability to engage the public better than other art forms. Even our abstract artists paint with a beautiful understanding of color and form that is attractive to the general public.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192401-survivors-30x50cm-acrylic-on-canvas-2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Robert Proch</strong>, <em>Survivors</em>, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 50cm; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: &ldquo;As a group now, what was once just an idea has formed into a network of artists spread across the globe, each influenced by their own circumstances and inspiration, yet bound by a common history.&rdquo; Can you more precisely trace this history a little? Utilizing artists and mini-movements within Graffiti/Urban Art as examples?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P:</strong> The common history I was referring to was most of the artists if not all of them being either a graffiti artist themselves at one point or influenced by Graffiti in their early years. The great part of being global is that even with this binding history, local and cultural influences allowed for a wide range of aesthetics to form. So you have the artists from Poland influenced by constructivism and architecture, the Dutch with influence from Jugendstil, and so forth. These real relationships and influences directly from regional art history crossed with their graffiti history has led to some amazing and authentic hybridizations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140318192443-BORONDO.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Borondo,</strong> <em>Yellow Disguise</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><strong>ekg: You then &ldquo;&hellip;acknowledge what is to come &ndash; L&rsquo;Avenir in the past, present and future tense.&rdquo; Do you have any ideas about what is to come? Is the A4 companion show, consisting of 100 artists at the same gallery in March, which you also exclusively curated, a view of the future or another broader step in exemplifying what exists now?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>P: </strong>The group exhibition I am curating at 1AM Gallery is called <em>&ldquo;A Major Minority.&rdquo;</em> I have called it a Survey of Intercontinental Neocontemporary Urban Art. I know it&rsquo;s a mouthful, but it&rsquo;s only words. The real story is the art in the show. I wanted to do a show where I could showcase a wide range of not only aesthetics, but countries. I wanted to expand on this idea of Neocontemporary Urban Art. Instead of focusing on Graffuturism, I wanted to expand the range, open up the margins, and create a survey that would be able to take a snapshot of the global landscape today. By documenting the present and allowing artists that might not get the chance to be in the smaller group shows, I hope to have a larger conversation. Instead of showing you 11 great artists with large works I wanted to show you 106 artists with smaller works. It is like doing 4 or 5 shows in one and allowing a wider audience to see a larger sample of what is happening within our genre.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;ekg</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Poesia</strong>, <em>Letter Study On Sheet Rock Sepia</em>; Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:48:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list F.A.T. Lab, F.A.T. GOLD Europe: Five Years of Free Art & Technology <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I crouched down, picked up a marker, and tried to remember the illegible scribble that used to be my &ldquo;tag&rdquo;: a gesture of sharp points and steady curves punctuated by a strategic line slashed through the whole inscription. In high school I would trace it onto book covers and notepads and think I was cool. It came to me eventually, the first delivery unsteady as I carefully considered which shapes fit where; in a second, more successful attempt, I let my arm do the work, confidently forging my mark in muscle memory.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140558-me_tagging.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Yours truly, tagging the graffiti wall, <em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>; Photo: Ben Harvey.</span></p> <div><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> <br /></span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I was in Eindhoven attending the Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab&rsquo;s exhibition <em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>&nbsp;at <a href="http://www.mu.nl/" target="_blank">MU</a>, which ended in January. The show, which also took place in April last year at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/335-eyebeam?tab=VENUE" target="_blank">Eyebeam</a> in New York, was a sort of five-year anniversary round up of the Internet collective&rsquo;s practice. (F.A.T. Lab has now entered its seventh year, but the originally scheduled retrospective was put on hiatus in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.) But back to the incident at hand. Why, at an exhibition dedicated to a network ostensibly operating online, was I contributing my meager tag to a sanctioned graffiti wall?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140845-installation_view1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi.</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The connection isn&rsquo;t so far fetched. Some of F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s twenty-five <a href="http://fffff.at/people/" target="_blank">members</a>&mdash;an international network of artists, engineers, scientists, lawyers, and musicians&mdash;are themselves graffiti artists. Their core values, which include &ldquo;spreading open source and free ideals into popular culture&rdquo; through DIY entrepreneurship, open source, and activism, have more than a few intersections with street art. On the one hand, art on the Internet can be viewed through a street lens: it can bypass normal distribution channels, appealing directly to viewers. Turning the comparison on its head, street art can be seen as a form of &ldquo;hack&rdquo;&mdash;an unendorsed appropriation of space, medium, or idea.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302135918-ideas_worth_spreading.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Evan Roth</strong><em>, <em><a href="http://fffff.at/ideas-worth-spreading/" target="_blank">Ideas Worth Spreading</a> (TED Talks)</em></em>, at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In his recent book, <a href="http://viralart.vandalog.com/read/" target="_blank"><em>Viral Art</em></a>, <a href="http://blog.vandalog.com/" target="_blank">Vandalog</a> blogger RJ Rushmore looks at how the future of street art, with its focus on &ldquo;unmediated distribution,&rdquo; might find a natural home in the digital domain. He uses the term &ldquo;Viral Art&rdquo; to describe both shareable and invasive online practices that have an affinity, if not a direct evolutionary line, to street art (n.b. &ldquo;Viral&rdquo; here implies a level of approachability that excludes some older forms of Internet Art. The pioneering duo JODI, for example, have a great exhibition at <a href="http://www.showroommama.nl/nl/" target="_blank">Showroom MAMA</a> in Rotterdam right now that isn&rsquo;t particularly accessible or viral). F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s <a href="http://fffff.at/category/projects/" target="_blank">projects</a> don&rsquo;t always fall within the categories Rushmore outlines either&mdash;viewers may seek out content rather than encounter it serendipitously&mdash;yet they do open onto notions of self-dissemination, egalitarianism, activism, and anonymity. In fact, there are examples at MU of some of the <a href="http://viralart.vandalog.com/read/chapter/google-bombs/" target="_blank">very</a> <a href="http://viralart.vandalog.com/read/chapter/katsu-getting-up-in-digital-space/" target="_blank">works</a> discussed in Rushmore&rsquo;s text&mdash;namely, <a href="http://fffff.at/ideas-worth-spreading/" target="_blank"><em>Ideas Worth Spreading</em></a>, a mock-up TED Talk stage where visitors can record images of their own &ldquo;talk&rdquo; to share online, and <em>40,000 GML Tags</em>, a massive screen showcasing graffiti gestures in <a href="http://fffff.at/tag/gml/" target="_blank">GML</a>, or Graffiti Markup Language, &ldquo;a file format designed to be a universal structure for storing digitized graffiti motion data.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140719-kopyfamo.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Geraldine Juarez, <a style="font-style: italic;" href="http://fffff.at/kopyfamo-free-copyright/" target="_blank">Kopyfamo'</a>, watermark on mirror, at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span><em> <br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Some F.A.T. Lab projects exist in the real world, others are strictly manifest online, and many straddle the two&mdash;that is, projects shaped in the real world and shared online. The MU exhibition, curated by <a href="http://www.lindsayhoward.net/" target="_blank">Lindsay Howard</a>, highlighted them all, offering documentation, online viewing stations, and even physical objects and artworks. Where <em>F.A.T. GOLD</em> differed from the typical exhibition was that most works were not autonomous objects, but rather reproducible examples of a wider practice. Motivated viewers could (and can) recreate many of these works on the web or at home*, and the materials for some projects, like an <a href="http://fffff.at/obama-google-glass-prism-mask/" target="_blank">Obama PRISM mask</a>, were even available at the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140049-free_universal_construction_kit.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view with&nbsp;<a href="http://fffff.at/free-universal-construction-kit/" target="_blank"><em>Free Universal Construction Kit</em></a>, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Good fun is always on the menu: in <em>F.A.T. GOLD</em> there was a sub-genre of works touting the douchiness of Google Glass and its adopters, and a presentation of Greg Leuch&rsquo;s viral Add-on <a href="http://fffff.at/shaved-bieber/" target="_blank"><em>Shaved Bieber</em></a>, which censors all mentions of Justin Bieber online (earning Leuch more than a little hate mail from teenage fans). But some of the best and most shareable projects are greater than their capacity for the lulz. The <a href="http://fffff.at/free-universal-construction-kit/" target="_blank">Free Universal Construction Kit</a> is a set of adapters that makes ten brands of children&rsquo;s construction sets, like Lego and K&rsquo;Nex, interoperable. It&rsquo;s eminently cool/novel/clever, but it also visualizes the ways in which childhood playthings ostensibly meant to spark creativity are limited by proprietary measures. The F.U.C.K. undermines these protective implements, removing barriers to cross-trademark creativity. The exhibition featured a complete set of adapters, a construction/play station, and a 3D printer that staff members kindly set to printing new pieces whenever visitors turned up. (3D models of the adapters in .STL format are available online for <a href="http://www.thingiverse.com/uck/designs" target="_blank">free download</a>.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140151-facebook_id_card.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Tobias Leingruber</strong>, <em><a href="http://fffff.at/tag/fb-bureau/" target="_blank">Facebook Identity Card</a></em>, video presentation of ARTE Creative, <em><a href="http://fbbureau.com/" target="_blank">Social ID Bureau</a></em>, 2012,&nbsp;portrait of Mark Zuckerberg,&nbsp;at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span><em> <br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s perspective seems carefully poised between an irreverent techno-optimism (&ldquo;look at these cool things we can do!&rdquo;) and deep skepticism at the ways in which technologies can be regulated, marketed, and used for power and control. Given these positions, in which use of certain technologies seems self-evident, it&rsquo;s easy to forget that not everyone has access to the distributional paradigm shift that is the digital domain. Rushmore&rsquo;s account also overstates viral art&rsquo;s present accessibility: an encounter with this type of work is more likely to be spread within specific enclaves of Internet activity, with limiting factors being not geography, but usage. The case for &ldquo;unmediated&rdquo; distribution is further undermined by the cryptic algorithms used by Facebook and Google for post placement and search results&mdash;the very systems F.A.T. Lab exploits when images of their fake TED Talks turn up in search results. In a destabilizing twist, F.A.T. Lab often coopts the very technologies and systems it protests (or defends).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140313-skatekeyboard.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Tobias Leingruber</strong>, <em><a href="http://fffff.at/skatekeyboard/" target="_blank">Skatekeyboard</a></em>, keyboard attached to skateboard deck,&nbsp;at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span><em> <br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In a way, that&rsquo;s why it was such a treat to see some of F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s works in physical form, Away From Keyboard as it were. <em>F.A.T. GOLD</em> did a great job of making works and ideas accessible to people who might not be tech-savvy or know what terms like &ldquo;net neutrality&rdquo; and &ldquo;Open Web&rdquo; mean. Or those who aren&rsquo;t necessarily ready to accept or understand this sort of practice as &ldquo;art.&rdquo; The exhibition was forward looking, but also rooted in the past and present&mdash;a thought-provoking bridge between time, technologies, and disciplines. Be it in a subway tunnel or on a homepage, a mark on the wall is a sign of presence; it can be a declaration of ego, of resistance. Or like my clumsy signature, it can be an affirmation, a &ldquo;Like&rdquo; or an &ldquo;upvote&rdquo;: I was here, with so many others, and I want to be counted.</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140303002936-compubody_interface.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Becky Stern</strong>,&nbsp;<em><em><a href="http://fffff.at/knitted-compubody-interface/" target="_blank">Knitted Compubody Interface</a>&nbsp;</em>(<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Laptop-Compubody-Sock/" target="_blank">knit one</a> yourself!), at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; </em>&copy; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">*The MU exhibition ended on January 26th, but interested readers can see the projects <a href="http://fffff.at/category/projects/" target="_blank">online</a> or in the new <a href="http://fffff.at/the-fat-manual/" target="_blank"><em>F.A.T. Manual</em></a> (available for purchase or <a href="http://www.lulu.com/shop/domenico-quaranta-and-geraldine-ju%C3%A1rez/the-fat-manual/ebook/product-21251172.html" target="_blank">free download</a>), released on the occasion of the exhibition and the collective&rsquo;s five-year anniversary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302141000-installation_view3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: x-small;">Image on top: <em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi.<span style="color: #000000;">]</span></span></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:40:07 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list