ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/show en-us 40 Affordable Art Fair: Critic's Picks <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Escaping winter hibernation where our nests were barren with the winter blues (this year was particularly icy), New York City is kicking off its spring art season this month with a troupe of openings, events, festivals and fairs to activate our senses and reignite our passions. One of our fan favorites so far was the opening of The Affordable Art Fair (preview night: April 2nd, 2014) to a crowded audience of art aficionados. The AAF boasts contemporary eye candy with a grab-n-go price tag to make the art market&nbsp; accessible for the other 99% of us.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">1. <strong>FLOYD P. STANLEY</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">ARTSTAR, <em>New York <br /></em>(top image)<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Stanley&rsquo;s whimsical renditions encapsulate everything we miss about the 80&rsquo;s. The vibrant color schemes, bold lines and vintage content strike just the right chord as our eye&rsquo;s ingest these clever little vignettes. Each print hosts its own personality from handwritten labels, to finely textured surfaces. Captured with the sharpness of a fashion industry photo shoot and enhanced with the wonders of photoshop, each frame glistens with an impossibly perfect cassette as if they&rsquo;d just been released from a pristine time-capsule. Taken from the artists personal collection, these rare archealogical finds have been accruing in inventory since the 1980&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artstar.com" target="_blank">http://www.artstar.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;">2.&nbsp; <strong>LAURENT CHEHERE</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">360 BY SHOPART, <em>New York</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140423081443-Couscouslaurent_chehere.jpg" alt="" /></em></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;"><strong>Laurent Ch&eacute;h&egrave;re</strong>, <em>Couscous</em>, Size A: 35.4" x 35.4" Size B: 47.2" x 47.2", 2012; Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair</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;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Chehere&rsquo;s stunning pictorial landscapes create an urban fantasy land where up is down and down is up. Drenched in political subversion, these picturesque sky-scapes are beautifully rendered analgesics to the socio-economic disparities of our times. The French photographer injects traditional Parisian motifs including <em>the Red Balloon </em>(c. 1956) and sad circus clowns to inject a visual narrative of fairytales, fantasy, and social-fabric.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.360byshopart.com" target="_blank">http://www.360byshopart.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;">3.&nbsp; <strong>JOHN KENNY</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">CAPITAL CULTURE GALLERY, <em>London</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140423082049-emon-406x600.jpg" alt="" /></em></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>John Kenny,</strong><em> Emon - Facing Uncertainty</em>,&nbsp;C-types, typically acrylic face-mounted;&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Kenny&rsquo;s fine art photography lies somewhere between the pages National Geographic and a Vogue editorial shoot. Traveling between Sub-Saharan African communities, Kenny captures the faces of these tribal communities with the glamour and poise of high fashion and fine art. These digital C-Prints come in limited editions and vary by region. Each series reflects the various cultural identities through the traditional robes, skin tones, and physiognomy of each tribal region. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://capitalculture.eu" target="_blank">http://capitalculture.eu</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;">4.&nbsp;<strong> MICHAEL FITTS </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">FRASER GALLERY,&nbsp; <em>Washington D.C.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140423082408-Animal_Crackers_Tile.jpg" alt="" /></em></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>Michael Fitts</strong>, <em>Animal Crackers</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair</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;">Michael Fitts' intimate oils works depict beautifully rendered symbols of baby boomer nostalgia.&nbsp; From overturned popcorn sleeves to rusted GE alarm clocks, Fitts captures the life and death of these household items with the appreciation of someone who retains the memory of a lived experience with these relics. The images are illustrated on found objects of antiquated construction materials like vintage tin ceiling tile or metal evoking a tangible sense of age or time passed. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.thefrasergallery.com" target="_blank">http://www.thefrasergallery.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;">5.&nbsp; <strong>PAUL KESSLING</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Cube Gallery,<em> London</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140423082750-pk_atalanta_89x122cm2200.jpg" alt="" /></em></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;"><strong>Paul Kessling</strong><em><strong>,</strong> Atalanta,</em>140 x 104cm; Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair</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;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Kessling&rsquo;s sculptural paintings seem to combine the formalities of geometry and the fluidity of abstract expressionism. His color-play creates a cumulative mass while separating each stroke into a individual narrative. Read almost like a book or the notes of a musical score, the story unfolds as your eyes gaze across the canvas.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.cube-gallery.co.uk" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">http://www.cube-gallery.co.uk</span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></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-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: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>FLOYD P. STANLEY</strong>.<em> Jazzercise</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Affordable Art Fair)</span></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:10:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list There Are Metaphors Everywhere: Heather Phillipson, Art Brussels SOLO Projects <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Can art speak for itself? Heather Phillipson's voice is the deadpan monotone to hyper coloured installations and playfully bizarre videos: the ironic, non-plussed commentary to match the over-saturated, sardonic simulacra of our now everyday existence. Her voice accompanies us in the first-person, along with the sounds of dreamy love songs, navigating the open-ended narrative, through Freudian slips and homophones. For Phillipson, language is paramount; her other vocation, as a poet, confirms this. Her voice is the crucial element to the work, so ArtSlant asked her to select five of her works and talk us through them, either commenting on how the work was achieved technically, or what inspired it, or what she feels when she looks at it. Below she describes four shows and an event, as the videos/sculptures often come together and interact within the gallery installation. Even in these brief descriptions the cadence and parlance of the poet comes through. For Art Brussels, Phillipson will be exhibiting an HD video inside a sculptural environment in the SOLO section of the fair with <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/44588-rowing">Rowing</a>, London&mdash;sure to be the most dynamic booth at the fair.<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;"><strong>1. </strong><em>'THE ORIGINAL EROGENOUS ZONE' <br /></em>HD video inside sculptural environment<br />Art Brussels, with Rowing, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">'<em>THE ORIGINAL EROGENOUS ZONE</em>' (top image) is composed of a single-screen video, <em><a href="http://vimeo.com/54438084" target="_blank">A Is to D What E Is to H</a>,</em>&nbsp;installed within an environment of hand-made sculptures.&nbsp;The environment is composed of objects and colours that seep out from the video&nbsp;(an odyssey between language and architecture, French kissing/French cuisine)&mdash;car parts, body-parts, bath tubs, foodstuffs, spud sacks, ball sacks, cardboard boxes, buckets, stuffed fabrics, cutlery, household tools and garden furniture. Like stepping inside a poem, the show constructs a 'grammar' of objects and images&mdash;elements are severed and re-deployed, shrunk and distended: there are metaphors everywhere.</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>2.</strong><em> immediately and for a short time balloons weapons too-tight clothing worries of all kinds<br /></em>HD video inside sculptural environment<br /><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/324762-immediately-and-for-a-short-time-balloons-weapons-too-tight-clothing-worries-of-all-kinds">Bunker259</a>, New York, 2014</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/20140422181153-HP_Bunker_03.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Heather Phillipson</strong>, <em>immediately and for a short time balloons weapons too-tight clothing worries of all kinds</em>, installation view, Bunker259, New York, 2014; Courtesy the artist and Bunker259</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;">Conceived as a one-to-one encounter, a single-screen video is suspended from an engine hoist and viewed from inside a birthing pool. Entered through a painted shower-curtain orifice, and decorated with coiled cables, bulging laundry bags, thrusting toilet roll holders and whirlpool paintwork, the gallery is both bedroom and wet-room&mdash;sex, dirt, the turn-on and the rinse-off.</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>3.</strong><em> through the flesh-tone scenario, the imported combi-boudoir<br /></em>HD video inside sculptural environment<br />Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2013</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/20140422192742-8._Heather_Philipson_Zabludowicz_Collection.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Heather Phillipson</strong>, <em>through the flesh-tone scenario, the imported combi-boudoir,</em> installation view, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2013; image courtesy the artist and Tim Bowditch.</span></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;">Playing off the gallery's architecture, and mimicking the composition, structure and textures of the video installed within it, the environment becomes a series of painted and free-standing surfaces, windows, exaggerated underwear, furniture obstructions and peep-holes. Like the video, the place is saturated&mdash;flesh-pinks, wet blues, what's behind you, what's around the corner.</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>4</strong><em> yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama<br /></em>HD videos inside sculptural environments<br /><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/288432-yes-surprising-is-existence-in-the-post-vegetal-cosmorama">BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art</a>, Gateshead, 2013</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/20140422192952-6._Heather_Phillipson_BALTIC_installation.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Heather Phillipson</strong>, <em>yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama</em>, installation view,&nbsp;BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2013; image courtesy the artist and Colin Davison.</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="font-style: normal; font-size: 10pt; background-color: transparent; font-family: HelveticaNeue,'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,'Lucida Grande',sans-serif;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A series of arrivals and departures, three videos are installed inside three custom-made sculptural viewing areas&mdash;entering through the gallery's rear-end, exiting it through a giant vagina, sailing into a mouth on a speedboat propped up on water bottles, and travelling to France inside a painted car on a blood-stained floor.</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>5</strong><em> PRESSURIZATION<br /></em>HD video with live voice, event<br /><a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/events/show/224601-performance-untitled">Whitechapel Gallery</a>, London, 2012</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/20140422181320-1._Heather_Phillipson_PRESSURIZATION_live_Whitechapel.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong> Heather Phillipson, </strong><em>PRESSURIZATION</em> live at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2012; Courtesy the artist and Whitechapel Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Proposing the gallery space as both cabin and head, the room is a box&mdash;the high-speed container&mdash;and the audience its immobile passengers. Shot in POV, from the perspective of an aeroplane captain, a dangerous cyclist, a rollercoaster and a compulsive exerciser, the artist's body, projected onto [it], becomes part of the video&mdash;in non-stop movement. The screen is the window and the retina. &lsquo;<em>PRESSURIZATION</em>&rsquo; adopts the tropes of non-stop flight, minus the interesting destination. Authority, velocity, vistas and body-parts: where are my crisps, where are we going?</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>Heather Phillipson</strong>,</span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>THE ORIGINAL EROGENOUS ZONE</em>, artist's sketch, image courtesy the artist.)</span></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:32:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Portrait of the collector as a producer <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Much has been said about the so-called &ldquo;Belgian collector.&rdquo; For captains of industry and local dentists alike, collecting contemporary art almost seems to be part of the Belgian DNA&mdash;which explains why the country is reputed for having the highest concentration of art collectors per square kilometer. Yet, as more and more Parisian collectors make the move to Brussels, the Belgian collector is becoming increasingly French. In addition to Art Brussels&rsquo; <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/39340"><em>Portrait of the Collector as a Work of Art</em></a>, the strong presence of collectors in Belgium&mdash;and their growing French contingency&mdash;is also illustrated by two exhibitions taking place during Art Brussels.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/44319-cab">CAB Art Center</a> is a private venue opened by collector <strong>Hubert Bonnet</strong> in a former coal warehouse. During Art Brussels it opens <em>Out of Character</em>, an exhibition with a unique concept: eight important Belgian and French collectors were invited to select an upcoming artist they wanted to help by financing the production of a new (in situ) work. <strong>Stijn Maes</strong>, who curated the show, explains: &ldquo;Nowadays, collectors are not only buying art works, but also contributing to the production of it. Hence, they take more and more the role of patron.&rdquo; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of the participating artists is <strong>Paul Casaer</strong>. He was inspired by ticks in a check box, which he turned into huge sculptures in iron, fiberglass, and resin. &ldquo;This is the kind of work I was already long playing with, waiting for the opportunity to get it realized and financed,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It was really the result of a joint enthusiasm between me and collector Hubert Bonnet. That is very nice and rather rare.&rdquo; The art collective <strong>Clairenadiasimon</strong> was also able to realize an ambitious work&mdash;a dreamlike installation including a piece of lava, an aquarium, and other enigmatic elements. They were chosen by <strong>Fr&eacute;d&eacute;ric de Goldschmidt</strong>, a collector living between Paris and Brussels. &ldquo;During nine months, we kept on discussing this work with Fr&eacute;d&eacute;ric,&rdquo; the collective says. &ldquo;Normally we work with three. For this project, we were four. We don't know if he will like the result. But we all enjoyed the experience and exchange.&rdquo; De Goldschmidt explains his choice to participate as follows: &ldquo;For me it is a challenge. It is easy to buy a finished piece. But it is much more difficult to produce something new.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Not all the works are large-scaled, however. &ldquo;That is only one aspect of the show,&rdquo; Maes is quick to add. &ldquo;<strong>Alfred d&rsquo;Ursel</strong>, for example, shows a series of paintings. He rather saw the project as a form of scholarship so he could focus for a longer period on his work.&rdquo; Subtle is the contribution by <strong>Sophie Giraux</strong>, who plays with the relationship between artist and collector. Instead of going to the collector&rsquo;s house to deliver a work, she took an imprint of his wood panel floor, which she shows here as a minimal sculpture. It&rsquo;s a nice twist to a show with an original concept.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140422131457-de_la_cruz1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong style="font-size: x-small; text-align: left;">Angela de la Cruz</strong><em style="font-size: x-small; text-align: left;"><strong>,</strong> Super Clutter V (Pink, White)</em><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: left;">, 2005, Oil on canvas and metal; Collection Josep Maria Civit / Courtesy of Maison Particuli&egrave;re.</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;">Collecting is also a true passion at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/44321-maison-particuliere">Maison Particuli&egrave;re</a>, set up in 2010 by the French couple <strong>Amaury and Myriam de Soulages</strong> in an Ixelles townhouse that became a permanent exhibition space. &ldquo;Maison Particuli&egrave;re is born from one simple idea: to enable collectors to show part of their collections to the public,&rdquo; the couple says. &ldquo;To go even further, we decided not only to ask them to share with the public the art they love and live with, but to select the works from their collection themselves. Each time, we choose a theme and invite several collectors and one guest artist.&rdquo; For <em>Resonance(s)</em>, the couple went the extra mile by inviting international collectors like <strong>Josep Maria Civit</strong>, <strong>Henk and Victoria de Heus-Zomer</strong>, and the famous <strong><a href="http://www.collezionemaramotti.org/it/Home-Page" target="_blank">Collezione Maramotti</a></strong> of the fashion brand MaxMara, to select artworks for the show along with the guest artist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The guest artist is <strong>Gauthier Hubert,</strong> who makes uncanny paintings. The de Soulages&rsquo; clearly have a sense of humor as they gave Hubert&rsquo;s painting <em>Portrait d&rsquo;un tr&egrave;s gros collectionneur</em>, depicting a fat collector in a suit, a prominent place. Despite a rather broad theme, the show has some nice moments with associative clusters. One room, for example, is dedicated to meat: going from <strong>Per Barclay</strong>&rsquo;s picture of Baconesque hanging carcasses in a slaughterhouse; to <strong>Angela de la Cruz</strong>&rsquo;s folded, wrinkled canvas in white and pink evoking a lump of meat over <strong>Andrea B&uuml;ttner</strong>&rsquo;s woodcut depicting a table with food, referring to a work of Giotto. Another room is&mdash;bearing in mind the theme&mdash;entirely dedicated to references to art history.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140422080529-hubert.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Gauthier Hubert,</strong> <em>Portrait d'un tr&egrave;s gros collectionneur</em><em>, </em>2012, Oil on canvas; Collection of the artist&nbsp;; Courtesy of the Artist and Maison Particuli&egrave;re</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: medium; color: #525552;">What both shows illustrate, in their own manner, is the way the private sector forms a nice contribution to the existing art scene in Brussels, which hence keeps on reinforcing its role as a city for contemporary art. Further linking art spaces, collectors, artists, and other stakeholders in Brussels' art ecosystem, an April 26th panel discussion at Art Brussels entitled <a href="http://www.artbrussels.com/en/Fair%20Programme/The%20Stage" target="_blank">"The Collector as Producer"</a> will take CAB's <em>Out of Character&nbsp;</em>exhibition as the starting point for a dialogue on the private collector's relationship to artistic production.&nbsp;One looks forward to how the networks between artists and collectors continue to grow and strengthen in Brussels' future.</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</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;<br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Paul Casaer,</strong>&nbsp;<em>Checked N&deg;1 &amp; 2</em>, 2014, Iron, fiberglass, resin. (Maquette) N&deg;1: 400 x 340 x 60 cm, N&deg;2: 340 x 290 x 51 cm; Courtesy of the artist and CAB Art Center, Brussels)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:20:10 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Homage to the fair’s most important asset <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It was in the mid-eighties that the organizers of Art Brussels approached Amsterdam&rsquo;s KunstRAI&mdash;later known as Art Amsterdam&mdash;with a proposition to merge the two fairs. Both events were then only a few years old and scraping along in a slowly developing art market. The new event would take place alternatingly in the Dutch and the Belgian capital. The Northern party declined.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In 2007 Art Cologne changed its date from fall to spring. The world&rsquo;s oldest fair for modern and contemporary art was desperately trying to formulate an answer to Berlin&rsquo;s Gallery Weekend success and didn&rsquo;t consider Art Brussels serious competition. In 2012 the Cologne fair even blatantly claimed the exact same April-slot as its Belgian counterpart.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Fast forward to 2014: Art Amsterdam has ceased to exist. Art Cologne has been struggling for years with a declining visitor base and the absence of internationally important galleries. Only this year is the German fair&mdash;which has sensibly chosen not to overlap with Brussels again&mdash;starting to show signs of genuine revival. And Art Brussels? Art Brussels is powering steadily on. It can now be considered one of the continent&rsquo;s most important medium-sized fair, and in quality right behind the big three: Art Basel, Frieze, and FIAC.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The success factors are as easy to think of as they are difficult to achieve. Art Brussels has over its thirty-two years of existence steered a relatively consistent course. The fair is headed by a professional and sizeable team, and Brussels itself has in recent years developed a reputation as an &ldquo;art city,&rdquo; attracting artists and galleries, even being called &ldquo;the next Berlin.&rdquo; But the most important factor of them all: the Belgian private collectors. It&rsquo;s therefore only natural that Art Brussels is paying homage to them. For<em> <a href="http://www.artbrussels.com/en/Fair%20Programme/Exhibitions-inside/Portrait" target="_blank">Portrait of the Collector as a Work of Art: An Intimate Journey</a></em> ten members of the fair&rsquo;s Collectors Committee were asked to present a work illustrative of their personality and taste.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Belgium&mdash;and Flanders in particular&mdash;is home to an unusually large community of art collectors. The country actually boasts the world&rsquo;s highest number of art collectors per capita and as the inclusion of no fewer than six Belgians in the <a href="http://www.artnews.com/2013/07/09/the-2013-artnews-200-top-collectors/" target="_blank">ARTnews 200-list</a> indicates, their collections are top notch. Generally Belgian collectors are extremely serious and well informed; they buy early and collect in depth over long periods of time. For gallerists, winning their trust can be daunting. Impulsive buying is unusual&mdash;&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve decided to forgo Brussels and rather have the Belgians come to me at a foreign fair where they tend to decide a bit faster,&rdquo; a Dutch gallery owner entrusted me recently&mdash;but once the first deal is done, they are very loyal.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The problem is that Belgian collectors often operate anonymously and stay under the radar for years. With a few notable exceptions, a lot of great art is tucked away in private homes, out of the public eye. <em>Portrait of the Collector as a Work of Art</em> can therefore be seen as more than just a ploy to feed into collectors&rsquo; envy and competitive drive and make them buy something bigger, more expensive, and more prestigious than their colleagues&mdash;it&rsquo;s still a fair after all&mdash;but to lure them out of invisibility. This show wants to set an example. Besides presenting artworks as mirror images of well-known collectors, it wants to showcase the collectors themselves as leading lights.</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/20140421190825-lucy_mckenzie.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Lucy Mckenzie</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Quodlibet XXVIII</em>, 2013, Oil on canvas on wood, table;&nbsp;Collection Wilfried and Yannicke Cooreman&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;">Like almost everywhere, the top-tier Belgian collectors are mostly entrepreneurs. There are industrialists with roots in the textile industry, like <a href="http://herbertfoundation.org/en/" target="_blank"><strong>Annick and Anton Herbert</strong></a> whose walls are hung with works by Kippenberger, Weiner, Broodthaers and other greats from conceptual and minimalist art. Antwerp&rsquo;s harbor and diamond industry has generated art enthusiasts such as <strong>Sylvio Perlstein</strong>. But the new generation has more diverse roots, like the forty-something <strong>Michel Moortgat</strong>, CEO of the Duval Moortgat brewery. The generous number of medical professionals amongst collectors is also remarkable. <strong>Hubert Peeters</strong> is big on pop art; there&rsquo;s neuro-psychiatrist <strong>Roger Matthys</strong> who has made his collection, containing Warhol, Judd, and Sch&uuml;tte, publicly accessible in the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/36451-museum-dhondt-dhaenens-mdd">Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens</a>; and gynecologist <strong>Lieven Declerck</strong> often lends artworks to museums.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Declerck, one of the ten collectors in the Art Brussels presentation, has a rather broad collection. Christo, Tony Cragg, and G&uuml;nther F&ouml;rg sit side by side with Gerhard Richter and Bill Viola. Compared to the systematic, museum-like approach of the Herberts, the doctor buys intuitively and straight from the heart. This is reflected by his <em>Portrait of a Collector</em> choice, <a href="http://vimeo.com/2894822" target="_blank"><em>Extensions</em></a> (2009) by Hans Op de Beeck. It&rsquo;s a dreamlike, associative animation sketching the plight of modern urban man.</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/20140421213011-Extensions_still.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Hans Op de Beeck</strong>, <em>Extensions</em>, 2009, Digital animated film, black-and-white, sound, 10&rsquo; 58&rdquo;; Collection Lieven Declerck.</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;">Most serious Belgian collectors, having started thirty or sometimes even forty years back, strongly prefer the cerebral art from the sixties and seventies or its descendants. At Art Brussels this is illustrated by <strong>Bruno van Lierde&rsquo;s</strong> choice of Stanley Brouwn and <strong>Baudouin Michiels&rsquo;s</strong> selection of <em>Horizontal Bands</em> (2003) by Sol LeWitt.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Filiep Libeert</strong>, who made his fortune in textiles, is really big on Anglo-Saxon art. Although he also has works by countrymen Wim Delvoye and Jan de Cock, his prize pieces are by Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, and Mike Kelley. His choice of <em>Waiting for Jerry</em> (1989) by Juan Mu&ntilde;oz is therefore a bit unusual. It consists of a dark space with light coming from a small hole&mdash;the home of the Hanna-Barbera mouse, Jerry (Tom&rsquo;s nemesis). Beyond the light we hear a cat and mouse chasing each other. Humor, playfulness, and the language of popular culture here collide with questions of life, death, and security.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With a seat on the Tate advisory board&mdash;to name just one position&mdash;Libeert&rsquo;s international profile is impressive. The same goes for <strong>Herman Daled</strong>, who was the driving force behind Wiels and donated his collection to the MoMA in New York. But the collectors are also a force to reckon with within the Belgian museum circuit. <a href="http://www.vanhaerentsartcollection.com/en/" target="_blank"><strong>Walter Vanhaerents&rsquo;</strong></a> collection of mostly large, &ldquo;American-sized&rdquo; pieces by Paul McCarthy, Mariko Mori, Katharina Fritsch, and many more, can be visited in Brussels. The capital has in recent years experienced a real boom in private venues: the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24201-charles-riva-collection">Charles Riva Collection</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/44321-maison-particuliere">Maison Particuli&egrave;re</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/44319-cab">CAB Art Center</a>, <a href="http://www.fondationastichting.be/#home">Fondation A Stichting</a>, and Centre d&rsquo;Art La Patinoire Royale.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Mark Vanmoerkerke</strong>, also represented in the Art Brussels show, built his <a href="http://www.artcollection.be/" target="_blank">private museum</a> in Oostende. In a restored war-time building he displays his heterogeneous possessions, including works by Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Koons, Carsten H&ouml;ller, the Bechers, and Maurizio Cattelan. For the fair he chose <em>Tell it Like it is!</em> (2002) by Sam Durant. The work refers to the American civil rights movement, but when seen in the context of the autobiographically inclined <em>Portrait of a Collector</em>, it assumes a different meaning. It could be read like an encouragement from one collector to his colleagues to cast away all shyness and boldly show your colors.</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: Sam Durant, <em>Tell It Like It Is!, </em>2002, Vinyl text on electric sign, 174 x 192 cm; Collection Mark Vanmoerkerke)</span></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:23:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Surf's Up! Raymond Pettibon's Surfers Take Manhattan <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Presently, the walls of the Venus Over Manhattan gallery are covered in every oceanic shade of blue, aqua, and green, drenching the concrete space with waves of intense cool. More than forty frames&mdash;some larger than chalkboards, some the size of table menus&mdash;fill <em>Are Your Motives Pure?</em>, an exhibition comprised solely of the surfer paintings Raymond Pettibon has made since 1985. Somewhere in the all the watery pigments small figures make their way across massive curls. Poised and up against enormity, Pettibon&rsquo;s surfers suggest the exhibition is as much a testament to human (and artistic) isolation as to the beauty of endless summers.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Although extensive and quintessential of Pettibon&rsquo;s style, his stock of surfer paintings is somewhat of an aberration in his overall oeuvre. During the 1970s, he began designing album covers and flyers for his brother&rsquo;s punk band in L.A., a practice that spiraled into covers for major bands (Sonic Youth, for one) and generated an artistic style that reflected this scene accordingly. Most of his other works are black-and-white cartoonish ink drawings and paintings with a line or two of handwritten text atop. W</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">ith their dark undercurrents hidden under laid-back humor and pop culture references, i</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">t&rsquo;s difficult not to compare them to sophisticated comic book scenes.</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/20140421185125-PettibonSurfers_no_title_here_and_there_1995.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>Raymond Pettibon</strong>, <em>No Title (Here and there)</em>, Ink on paper, 1995; Courtesy of the Venus Over Manhattan Gallery</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;">His surfer paintings, however, are intense in their ability to soothe, with water-washed ink strokes arching and swirling into all different shapes of water (because no two waves are the same). The movement captured in each piece seems effortless, not unlike that of a good surfer; both share a sense of mastery of a skill that comes from patient practice and respect for outside forces rather than attempts to control them. Pettibon clearly shares the philosophy and mindset behind the sport. In <em>No Title (Here and there)</em>&nbsp;a tiny, muscled man rides almost vertically down parchment soaked with turquoise ink clouds dripping into one another to form a massive wall of water. He&rsquo;s been known to not care about mistakes that occur during his artistic process&mdash;his dog peeing on his paintings, for one&mdash;but the end results could not look more perfectly natural.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The text scrawled on each piece deserves adequate attention too, as it adds an entirely new emotional component to the works. Pettibon is as erudite as they come. He pulls phrases from authors such as Henry James and Nathaniel Hawthorne, alters them and weaves them with words of his own to create short poetic blips that come off somewhat like insights into the surfer&rsquo;s dream from the night before. Some sound like well spoken surfer jargon: &ldquo;The lower half of the water wall is shrouded in the beam of the boiling gulf&mdash;a veil never rent nor lifted without high and deep reckoning.&rdquo; Some are simple, blissed-out thoughts: &ldquo;What more could I have wished?&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/20140421185226-PettibonSurfers_no_title_We_have_seen_1987.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>Raymond Pettibon</strong>, <em>No Title (We have seen)</em>, Ink on paper, 1987; Courtesy of the Venus Over Manhattan Gallery</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;">Pettibon has had major retrospectives at major American museums and plentitudes of exhibits worldwide, yet he still maintains a cultish touch to his public persona. He is known to mess with journalists who interview him; he intentionally annoys picky followers by adding extra letters to words in <a href="https://twitter.com/RaymondPettibon">his Tweets</a>. For all his fame, his work is still casually accessible in an aloof sort of way, like the catalogue of a pop star that never goes on tour. He does his best work when he&rsquo;s alone. Although he&rsquo;s never surfed himself, there&rsquo;s a tangible sense-of-self put into the figures riding across his waves.</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: #0c91f2;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372376-gabrielle-lipton?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #0c91f2;">Gabrielle Lipton</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>Raymond Pettibon</strong>, <em>No Title (Which concerns the), </em>1995, Ink on paper; Courtesy of the Venus Over Manhattan Gallery]</span></p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:31:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list A lingering beauty: the impeccable marks of Rex Ray <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I lingered in front of Rex Ray&rsquo;s <em>Prednisporata</em> (2013). Polychromatic shapes shimmer against a black sky. A firework-like flower bursts above that skyline of plump perfume bottles. Simultaneously hard-edged and fluid, the layers of colorful forms luminesce from the canvas, awaiting adoration, unflinching. I&rsquo;m mesmerized more by the detail than the subject. Each filigree and wash of color hand-painted, each curving form cut out by hand. I move in very close to notice all the circular shreds of paper that compose the flower, each dot tinier than a pearl and perfectly round. I see no wrinkle, no blemish in their immaculate application.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I remember the first time I saw a real John Singer Sargent painting. At the Birmingham Museum of Art, <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.artsbma.org/pieces/lady-helen-vincent-viscountess-dabernon/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="color: #af6ed7;">a large, vertical portrait of a rich white lady</span> from Venice</span></a> hung quietly in a cool, darkened gallery. An unsurprising subject for Singer Sargent, Lady Helen Vincent, Viscountess d&rsquo;Abernon certainly surprised me. A long string of pearls drapes over her naked shoulders, her left hand idly fingering them. Her jewels shimmer against the coarse brushstrokes of her black gown and fair skin, so realistic I wanted to pluck them right out of her hands. I did what many must have done before me, I got very close to the painting, tempting my fate with the guards. The pearls were just dots! Tiny dots of white-yellowish paint. A simple mark, impeccably executed by the hand of someone with an eye for beauty. I could not dismiss her.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140421082702-3_rexray_prednisporata.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Rex Ray</strong>, <em>Prednisporata,</em> 2013, Painted paper over stretched linen, 72 x 72 inches; Courtesy the Artist and Gallery 16, San Francisco.</span> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; 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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The flower in <em>Prednisporata</em> is Rex Ray&rsquo;s string of pearls, beckoning, undeniable. Like the other large collaged-canvases surrounding it, <em>Prednisporata</em> is a monument honoring the confluence of beauty, craft, and fine art. I wonder, could these be portraits? They reflect a zenith of Ray&rsquo;s prolific body of work, beaming proudly forward, as the artist himself battles illness. <em>Prednisporata</em> represents Ray&rsquo;s unrelenting need to create beauty, to create that which will never fade, even as his health flickers and dims.</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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Dozens of smaller, handsome collages hang in company with <em>Prednisporata</em>, many encased in resin, though their sheen doesn&rsquo;t camouflage their hand-painted coloring. Ray&rsquo;s eye for composition is categorical and it takes some effort to appreciate each one individually. Together, they create a deluge of abstract patterns, nuanced colors, and perfectly-placed dots. Out of these smaller works, one in particular stands out. Sitting to the right of two rows of resin-coated works, the piece almost looks like an add-in, an afterthought. One needs to walk almost directly into the window to stand in front of it. Resin-free, its matte quality could easily pale next to its shiny counterparts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140421082533-1_RexRay_Minne.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Rex Ray,</strong> <em>Minne</em>, 2013, Painted paper on stretched linen, 18 x 13 inches; Courtesy the Artist and Gallery 16, San Francisco.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; 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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Comparatively, <em>Minne</em> (2013) is small, perhaps one of the smallest piece in the show. Where other pieces seem to operate more as motifs, <em>Minne</em> has a premeditated plainness that conjures a Bauhausian avant-garde here. The translucence of the layers of color evoke ethereality, the spiritual. Its complexity is subtle, yet palpable. I grasp for how to translate it into words. After returning to it several times, I surrender to its elusiveness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; 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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<span style="color: #b56a4a;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/186890-kara-q-smith?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #b56a4a;">Kara Q. Smith</span></a></span></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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Rex Ray</strong>, <em>Xolodonia, </em>2012, Painted paper over stretched linen, 72 x 72; Courtesy the Artist and Gallery 16, San Francisco)</span></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:08:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Mapplethorpe: Very Eighties <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At a certain point as I was walking around the Mapplethorpe exhibition I thought, &ldquo;You know something? I really don&rsquo;t like Robert Mapplethorpe.&rdquo; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This was during the first half of the show where most of the work was in his "nude portraiture" mode. I mean, I can appreciate the formality of it all&mdash;the lines and triangles, neat, original compositions, the sculptural references. But there&rsquo;s just something in the gelatin-silver-shininess of it; it all seems too slick, too polished, and too self-consciously artistic, in a quasi-Athenaesque type manner (if anyone understands this reference). The lighting is too dramatic and the point he&rsquo;s trying to make kind of labored&mdash;cocks/flowers, black/white, the homoerotic appreciation of form, and so on. My future wife disagreed. She liked the formality.</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/20140421081137-Robert-Mapplethorpe-.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;">By the time I&rsquo;d made it about half way through, I was beginning to question what it was, I mean, <em>really</em> what it was that I didn&rsquo;t like. And apart from (please excuse the expression) some internal probing for latent homosexual/phobic matrices, the best I could do was to decide that it was the type of aesthetic that hasn&rsquo;t dated well. It&rsquo;s a bit too beautiful for us; we&rsquo;re all about Nan Goldin now, and no matter what Mapplethorpe&rsquo;s subject, there&rsquo;s definitely the sense of him making it beautiful. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As I began on the other side of the exhibition, I was beginning to bend my opinions. On the return loop we got a lot of his portraits, all the famous people and darlings of New York at this period, including, of course, Patti, who still stands as one of his most interesting subjects, perhaps because she&rsquo;s just that kind of character, perhaps because they had the relationship they did, who knows? Standing looking at these characters though&mdash;Arnie, Warhol, Grace Jones, Keith Haring, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Truman Capote, etc etc.&mdash;I did suffer what might be a revelation: that Mapplethorpe is just really really <em>really</em> eighties. And it&rsquo;s this I find difficult. It might be true that so much of his imagery is of the kind that in fact defined a massive part of the aesthetics of that decade. So it might be this: he&rsquo;s a victim of his own success; he set the standard that became so big it turned round and swallowed him. It&rsquo;s possible. Plus, his portraits are really cool.</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/20140421081201-mapplethorpe-1.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;">After this we had the "adults only" room, with its sexy black curtain. There wasn&rsquo;t anything too shocking in there: some more S+M type shots, a guy with a whip up his arse, one guy licking another guy&rsquo;s arse, that type of thing. None of the fisting type shots, none of the hetero-sexy, nothing that explicit (if you can understand how the two aforementioned need not necessarily be that explicit). It was kind of confusing to understand the criteria by which things had been selected for this room, but I guess that just goes to show the power of leather. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In conclusion: I don&rsquo;t think this is a bad show. The selection of work is good, the curatial work is good, Mapplethorpe is good. He&rsquo;s just very eighties.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&mdash;<span style="color: #07d880;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/273879-james-loks?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #07d880;">James Loks</span></a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">(All images: <strong>Robert Mapplethorpe</strong>; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Grand Palais)</span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:09:51 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The Infinite Wonders of Spray Paint: Studio Visit with Casey Gray <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Casey Gray&rsquo;s studio is in a warehouse overlooking the shipyards of San Francisco, CA. It was once a recording studio and remnants of those days still linger. Like the Jerry Garcia-inspired tracking room with its tie-dyed walls and black-light posters or the original album artwork hanging around the space. Basically, Casey&rsquo;s studio is that of a visual artist&rsquo;s dream: tall ceilings, loading gates, and the immortal presence of rock star lore.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Everything you see in Casey Gray&rsquo;s paintings are done with spray paint, so the fact his studio is entirely ventilated is crucial to his practice. He even has his workstation directly next to the steel roll-up door, so the fumes of his aerosol cans breeze out into the open air of the bay. Floating into the weirdness of San Francisco.</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/20140421074742-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_5.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">He found this dream studio a few years ago through a friend and has been there ever since. It was a fortuitous discovery too, since at the time Casey was an MFA student at the San Francisco Art Institute. The studios that the school provided were great for acrylic painters, but given Casey&rsquo;s medium of spray paint they were not ideal. Anyone who has worked with spray paint knows it&rsquo;s best to be outside or in a well-ventilated area in order to avoid the harmful fumes emitted from the delivery devices &ndash; the effects of which I will be investigating in a future article.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">However, the building may soon be torn down, so Casey is making full use of it while he can. He&rsquo;s working on at least a dozen new pieces at the same time&nbsp;&ndash; everything from still life scenes to bikinied butts to flowers to wavy bacon strips &ndash; and all of it done in spray paint. He&rsquo;s prolific. At one point we turned to his flat file, which is filled to the brim with large works on paper, all of which were completed within the last couple of months.</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/20140421074818-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_18.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">It&rsquo;s like Casey is a magician, only instead of waving a wand he waves paint through the air. Why? Because when you look at one of his paintings you can easily think it was done with oil and brushes. And in fact, up until meeting him personally I thought it all was.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Casey is a true master of the spray paint medium in the same way that the artist El Mac is. They are both capable of doing things with a spray can that the manufacturers never anticipated and that are next to impossible to replicate.</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/20140421074845-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_19.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Casey has even been experimenting with taking his art to the next level by incorporating texture into the otherwise flat planes. He has done this by incorporating industrial spray cans from places like Home Depot and Lowes intended for contractors into his fine art. These new tools allow him to emit the illusion of actual sand and rocks, which can be seen in his new body of work depicting girls at the beach. Literally, the surface of the women&rsquo;s bodies has sand on them, which is something I have never seen another artist do. Especially whilst still keeping in mind that the only instruments in Casey&rsquo;s toolkit are caps, stencil paper, measuring tape, knives, and spray paint.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I drove 300 miles to visit Casey&rsquo;s studio and it was worth every drop of gasoline spilt on the highway. To see his work in person is mind-altering&nbsp;&ndash; in the same way that I&rsquo;m sure the tie-dyed room above his studio was for countless musicians. There is no distance too great to sacrifice a journey of seeing artworks up close and meeting their creators.</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/20140421074919-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_4.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/20140421074938-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_11.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/20140421074955-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_2.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/20140421075019-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_1.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/20140421075041-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_16.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/20140421075105-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_14.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/20140421075126-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_15.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/20140421075216-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_3.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/20140421075247-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_7.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/20140421075309-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_9.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/20140421075326-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_6.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/20140421075343-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_13.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/20140421075402-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_8.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/20140421075427-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_20.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/20140421080000-Casey-Gray_Studio-Visit_12.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;Daniel Rolnik</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)</span><br /></span></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:46:29 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Art on the Council Estate: An Interview with Frank Laws <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Amidst the capricousness of mass yoof culture of <em>East London</em> (which could just as well also be Silver Lake or Bushwick, Neuk&ouml;lln or Saint Martin) young &lsquo;Frankie Bricks&rsquo; is an anachronism. His work is the kind that burns slowly: taking weeks to create intricate ink paintings of inner city social housing blocks, mostly around London, and now Newcastle. Not interpreting their social context as either glamourously gritty nor salaciously seedy, Frank Law&rsquo;s paintings are an homage to the craft of bricklaying, with a sage, more pyschological-type drama, more aligned with the enigma of a crime fiction novel.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">With the irrestible pressure for emerging artists to follow trends more evident than ever, it&rsquo;s good to see an artist so steadfastly sticking to doing their own thing. That&rsquo;s not to say that Laws&rsquo; work hasn&rsquo;t developed over time. A new body of work pushes to new technical boundaries: paintings like <em>Robbery</em>, depicting an expanse of red brickwork, with a single detail of a simple billowing red curtain, challenge the artist&rsquo;s skill; or <em>Them Upstairs</em>, a clever play with perspective and depth. The way Laws makes you see commonplace surroundings afresh &ndash; combined with his humble devotion to craftsmanship &ndash; for me at least, that is the quintessence of a true artist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140421073445-056.gif" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Courtesy Frank Laws</span><br /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>Charlotte Jansen: Hello Frank, how are you?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Frank Laws</strong>: Hello, very well thank you.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: I last <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/artists/rackroom/235742-frank-laws" target="_blank">interviewed you for ArtSlant in 2012</a>, what&rsquo;s been happening since then? </em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Since 2012 I've just been continuing with work and pushing along. I was commissioned to be part of a big exhibition (Memory Palace) at the V&amp;A, which was great. Still working for Louis Vuitton, in Paris and now also New York as most of the creative has moved there. Moved house about 100 times and just completed a self-initiated project and exhibit, a new body of work called Pembury 2014, which is showing at a new gallery space in Hackney.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: Nice project, by the way.</em> <em>What&rsquo;s your normal day like?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Normal days consist of getting up, making tea, shower, eating muesli, biking to the studio, work, think about work, check/do emails, go home, eat dinner, watch film or read, go to sleep.</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/20140421072735-Burchington_House_2014_ink_acrylic_on_paper_113.5x146cm_CROP.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;"><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Frank Laws</strong>, </span><em>Burchington House</em>, 2014, ink, acrylic on paper, 113.5x146cm; 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;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: Quite lovely.</em> <em>How do you work &ndash; I know you use ink and you use photograph references, but how do you do it?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Stretch the paper then sketch out, sometimes mask out areas then attack the paper with loads of layers and washes of ink for tone and making the piece take shape, then start with the brick work, it's good. You have 2 different elements to it. There&rsquo;s the start which is more free and kind of creative and then you have to do all the hard, laborious bit but I like it. It's like most of the decision-making is done and you have to just finish, day in day out. It's quite therapeutic and you know if you spend a day or so many hours on it a day that you'll have done enough work, met your quota. It's like knitting. I use these little pots of ink, which was fine years ago but now the size of my work has increased it seems stupid, but thats how I've developed, and it's sort of stuck now.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: How long does a piece like </em>Them Upstairs<em> take?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Normally about a month. That took a while because I tried to do something different with the building to the left and kept fucking it up. I done that piece at St. Martins and kept having crates on what I should do with that building. A lot of chin scratching and definitely too many chefs&nbsp;&ndash; sometimes when someone advises you or gives an opinion midway [through] a piece it can really throw you off.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: You&rsquo;ve just opened a show at L&rsquo;Entrepot in Hackney &ndash; opposite the Pembury Estate you painted in your latest series. What drew you to Pembury in particular and how did the project develop over time?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> It started back in 2009/10. Pembury estate was just somewhere near where I live. I used to walk around the area finding inspiration and I came across the Pembury; I didn't know anything about it. It's huge, and impressive. I was drawn to it because they're all brick buildings and have pitched roofs, like giant houses. I started looking at it more and more and went to Hackney Archives and looked at all the architect's plans and found out it started being built in 1938 and why it was built and fell in love with it. I like the idea of it being built to better peoples lives, rather than focus on any negativity there. Also because it holds so many people, that means loads of source material for my work. Windows, writing on walls, bricks... etc...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Then doing this show and involving people from the estate; [the] young people gave me a whole new depth to the place and my work; putting their work in the show and having them at the opening, and them seeing their work in public and people taking their photos and talking to them about their work made me very very happy. Also nearly all the prints that were done with them (they drew onto prints of my work) have sold, which means they get a decent sum of money back for their youth club, and the Pebaody trust have bought a bunch which means the work will be up in the new community centre for them to see.</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/20140421072618-group_1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span> Courtesy Frank Laws</span></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><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: What did your Mum think of the show?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> She liked it; she's a painter too, very skilled so I'm glad when she approves. The opening was a bit hectic I think so I couldn't really be with her, but sure she was proud.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: Do you like spying on people? What&rsquo;s the strangest thing you&rsquo;ve seen when doing your &lsquo;investigations&rsquo;?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> I wouldn't say I like it, I definitely look at windows, etc., but normally the weirdest things are just people you see day to day. I saw a girl with a crow as a pet near my studio, walking next to her on a brick wall, that was good.</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/20140421073232-FL02.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Courtesy Frank Laws</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: You&rsquo;re based in Hackney Wick now, what&rsquo;s the studio there like? Are you getting involved in the artist community there?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> The studio is great, big windows overlooking the river and Olympic park. Art I'm not sure, I keep myself to myself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: What&rsquo;s in store for the Lazarides show next month?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Three new Newcastle-based peeper paintings. Not so big, just spots of details: these ones do definitely look like I'm spying though because I felt like an outsider there, which I was, so I was driven around from place to place and jumped out of the car to take pictures; felt quite creep like so I wanted to represent that.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: Are you nervous about it?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Not really, just need to crack on. Really tight on time&hellip;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: And here you are wasting it on this interview. What are your big ambitions for your work?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Keep moving along, keep selling. I want to push the shows more in the direction of the Pembury 2014, involving other people and sharing with them, so hopefully I can think of a new project based on that.</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/20140421072947-Robbery_2013_ink_acrylic_on_paper_60x90cm.jpg" alt="" /></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;"><strong>Frank Laws</strong>, <em>Robbery</em>, 2013, ink, acrylic on paper, 60 x 90cm; Courtesy of the artist</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><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>CJ: Will you ever not paint bricks?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>FL:</strong> Not in the near future, but these Newcastle ones have a lot less bricks, so you never know.</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;">Frank Laws &lsquo;<em>Pembury 2014&rsquo;</em> is at <a href="http://lentrepot.co.uk" target="_blank">L&rsquo;Entrepot</a> until 27 April 2014. <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">His solo exhibition opens at <a href="http://www.theoutsiders.net" target="_blank">The Outsiders</a> Newcastle in May 2014. <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>Frank Laws</strong>, <em>Them Upstairs</em>, ink, acrylic, varnish, paper, 2010; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:20:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Interview with BUFF MONSTER: “Pretty in pink…and before” <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Neither a stranger to the press, nor to his now-trademark use of one such colour in particular, Brooklyn-based Buff Monster has come a long way since his formative poster-pasting days on the West Coast. Having developed and elaborated upon a theme that, initially, was a simple, yet immediately recognisable two-tone graphic, found anywhere from the streets of San Francisco to the galleries of Sydney and several cities in between, Buff has gone on to significantly bigger and brighter things. Literally.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">On the eve of his appearance at this year&rsquo;s Pictoplasma conference in Berlin, Artslant STREET tracked the man down to the depths of his New York studio, putting the finishing touches to a body of new works that will also be on show in the German capital at the same time. And the subject of cutting one&rsquo;s teeth became the key talking point of the day&hellip; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140419073633-LA-2002bm-2.jpg" alt="" /><br /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Courtesy Buff Monster</span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Swax McIver: What was it like growing up in Los Angeles, in terms of early influences: art, street culture, music...?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Buff Monster:</strong> I didn&rsquo;t actually grow up in LA, I grew up in Hawaii. It was nice, of course, but I was very isolated from a lot of things. For example, the graffiti scene there was tiny, so we would look at magazines and some videos and then just learn to paint by trial and error. Those were fun days.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: Was the city an inspiration?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> No, not in Hawaii. I moved to California when I was 17, and that was inspiring. It was LA: the history of glamour and Hollywood and all that, but the dirty industrial areas downtown were great too.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: Did any artists in particular stand out to you early on?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> Garbage Pail Kids were a big inspiration for me when I was about 7 years old. I knew they were painted, but I didn't know that it was a man named John Pound who did a lot of those crazy paintings.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: How old were you when you first went out pasting posters?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> I started painting graffiti when I was 16. I started putting up posters when I was 20 or something like that.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AS: What was it that interested you in it?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> My experience of painting graffiti gave me a good understanding of the fun and effectiveness of putting up stuff in the street. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: Most artists I&rsquo;ve spoken to say that once you start, whether it be poster-pasting or spray-painting, it becomes an addiction that is impossible to stop. Was it like that for you? Is it still like that?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> I guess it&rsquo;s always exciting doing new things. Doing graffiti or posters early on was, but then it&rsquo;s just something you do.</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/20140419073658-BM-ARTIST_SHOT.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Courtesy Buff Monster</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: Did you learn the hand-silkscreen process yourself from scratch in the beginning, or did friends help?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> I took a class on silkscreening. My teacher worked for Warhol; he had funny stories to tell. I didn&rsquo;t do any of the class assignments and I probably got an F. I don&rsquo;t even know, I never got a report with my grade from that class. I didn&rsquo;t care. I just wanted to learn how to silkscreen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: What first interested you in Japanese culture?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> There is a very big Japanese influence in the [modern] local Hawaiian culture.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: Your work has now gone on to be shown all over the world with not only canvases or wall pieces, but also large installations, merchandising and the like. Do you still have that same grass roots, DIY approach to your work that you had in the early days when you were first starting out?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> I would still prefer to do everything myself, and I still do a lot of things myself. I only have someone else do something when it makes sense.</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/20140419073721-SF-2002-bm-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Courtesy Buff Monster</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI: What advantages and/or disadvantages are there between where you were in LA, and where you are now in NY?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>BM:</strong> New York is awesome. LA can be great too, but I needed a change.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AS: So what are your plans for this year&rsquo;s Pictoplasma conference in Berlin?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>SMI:</strong> There&rsquo;s a new piece [I&rsquo;ve done] for Pictoplasma&rsquo;s big portrait show called &ldquo;Buffbob Pinkpants&rdquo;, and I just got word that I&rsquo;ll be speaking on Friday the 2nd of May, in the slot from 18:00 - 19:30 for 30 minutes [followed by a short Q&amp;A], at the Kino Babylon. I&rsquo;m also doing my own very small show at the Retramp gallery. Everything for that is going to be really last-minute though&hellip;</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/20140419073742-LA-2002bm-3.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;">Courtesy Buff Monster</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;"><a href="http://www.buffmonster.com" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>www.buffmonster.com</strong></span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><a href="http://www.berlin.pictoplasma.com" target="_blank">PICTOPLASMA BERLIN</a> 2014 RUNS FROM 30<sup>TH</sup> APRIL TO 4<sup>TH</sup> MAY AT VENUES ACROSS THE CITY</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.retramp.com" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>RETRAMP GALLERY</strong></span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Reuterstra&szlig;e 62</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>12047 Berlin</strong></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;Swax McIver</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>Buff Monster</strong>, <em>Bob Pink Pants</em>, 2014; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:36:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Pablo Bartholomew: Time Regained <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Pablo Bartholomew&rsquo;s <em>The Calcutta Diaries</em>&nbsp;at Sakshi Gallery takes you back in time: literally, through photographs taken in the city in the &lsquo;70s, and artistically, from a time when photojournalism was a hallmark of magazines like <em>LIFE</em> and <em>National Geographic</em>. Its transition today into the gallery space elicits two stories, one of a lost Calcutta&mdash;its very name has changed&mdash;and one of the place for contemporary photojournalistic photography itself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In an age of pre-digital dissemination, photojournalists, the great visual storytellers, wove narratives. Commissioned by magazines that published these photo essays and accorded author status to the photographer, their "eye" was the voice used to tell the story. Both editor and photographer took on the larger concept of informing a public meaningfully through this modern pictorial language. Today, with television and the internet bringing images to the bedroom on a daily basis, Bartholomew finds himself in the gallery, just as other photojournalists place themselves in books.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But documenting itself has changed; in a recent exhibition on photography from Iran curated by <a href="http://www.pixquarterly.in/">PIX&rsquo;s</a> Rahaab Allana, photographer Azadeh Akhlaghi staged past events, re-documenting the fake as real&mdash;a kind of cinematic day for night trick in the documentary genre. As Swiss curator/writer Urs Stahel <a href="http://journal.hinius.net/post/1081382173/my-favourite-death-of-photojournalism-essay">observes</a>, "the reporting image, however, is not dead at all, it&rsquo;s just that a shift has occurred. The diminishing role of photography in mainstream magazines stands in a conspicuous contrast to its integration into other fields such as advertising, fashion, and art."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Stahel cautions about fashion and advertising: "It&rsquo;s not about content, but the mere semblance of it, an attractive rustling of the real," he writes, quoting Rosalind Krauss who "calls it the shift from the 'view of the world' to the aesthetic concept of the 'landscape.' The landscape of reality is woven into advertising, just like you season a dish or spray a scent in the air. A mere whiff of the real."</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/20140418151617-035___Ray_on_set__Calcutta__c.1982.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>Pablo Bartholomew, </strong></span><em>Ray on set,</em> Calcutta, c.1982; &copy; Pablo Bartholomew and Sakshi Gallery</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 Bartholomew&rsquo;s photographs we get the more than just the "whiff of the real." Burrowing into his archival diary&mdash;this show is the last in a trilogy that began with <em>Outside In: A Tale of 3 Cities</em>&nbsp;and <em>Bombay: Chronicles of a Past Life&mdash;</em>the exhibition feels like a browse through an avid lensman&rsquo;s private album. Through four broad entries, he documents the city, community, and individual. These landscapes of reality have an intimacy, an insider&rsquo;s revelation that makes the familiar arresting. The images feature filmmaker Satyajit Ray on set; the now over-recorded "decay" of the city; the Chinese community of Tangra; and his grandmother. In delving into archives, he has the remove in time to separate them thus into chapters of time spent roving the city, freezing life as it was.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A girl cycles down the lane. Light shafts downwards, arresting the ordinary. Grace and languor affect the frame. Housewives exchange banter, leather gets processed in tanneries, people gather around food. In unframed photographs installed into a seamless tapestry of pictures, Tangra, the neighbourhood of Hakka Chinese immigrants in Calcutta comes alive, almost animated. Light streams from one frame into another. Conversations seem to happen across borders and the past becomes a present.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">On the opposite wall, a run of portraits of filmmaker Satyajit Ray on the sets of <em>Shatranj ke Khilari</em> captures the director in many moods: off guard, at work, in moments of unguarded laughter. It&rsquo;s a Ray he captures in informality&mdash;a glimpse into the man not the legend, reminiscent of Nemai Ghosh&rsquo;s better-known photographs of the director.&nbsp;In a concurrent show at the Goethe Institute, German photojournalist Barbara Klemm&rsquo;s picture of Satyajit Ray wrapped in a shawl in his study is the opposite of Bartholomew&rsquo;s; a more formal distancing between subject and photographer seems to exist in her portrait.</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/20140418151802-Sakshi_Display_3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Pablo Bartholemew, Installation view of&nbsp;<em>The Calcutta Diaries</em>; &copy; Pablo Bartholomew and Sakshi 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 city series are the ones that could have done with an edit: there are evocative photographs of roots taking over buildings, the pavement dwellers that one is now enured to (the hazards of over-bombardment of images in the contemporary), and itinerants that are interesting to see as they disappear from urban imagery. It ends the show rather messily, unlike its start, which opens with a tightly edited series of eight pictures of Bartholomew&rsquo;s aged grandmother going about her daily toilette and chores, much like the lonely Jennifer Kapoor character in the film <em>36 Chowringhee Lane</em>. Bartholomew achieves objectivity despite familiarity. A life from four decades ago is arrested in a documentation: a city and a show are summed up in one of its denizens. Time, decay, milieu, and affect all come together. Bartholomew serves the viewer well, he who will also stand and wait, much like these images from his archives have.</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: #40be5a;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/364333-deepika-sorabjee?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #40be5a;">Deepika Sorabjee</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>Pablo Bartholomew,</strong> <em>Schoolgirl on cycle,Tangra,Calcutta, </em>c.1978; &copy; Pablo Bartholomew and Sakshi Gallery)</span></p> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 08:48:39 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Supreme Modern Feminist or Covert Misogynist? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If pressed, I maintain that the reason I keep up with news about popular culture is that, for me, it adds all-important context to the various forms of "legitimate" art that I take in as a job. Visiting Richard Saltoun&rsquo;s show of Viennese feminist art (that, specifically speaking, of VALIE EXPORT and Friedl Kubelka) for instance, the phrase "proto-selfies" played continuously in my mind: not a phrase of my own design, but one coined for the exhibition by a writer at <a href="http://uk.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1018281/proto-selfies-of-export-and-kubelka-to-come-to-richard" target="_blank"><em>Blouin Artinfo</em></a>. Women these days&mdash;famous women, typically, but also the occasional civilian (the much-discussed personal trainer who is famous for the shape of her ass, for instance, or the "Fit Mom" who shared her post-birth abdominals with the caption &ldquo;What&rsquo;s Your Excuse?")&mdash;are newsworthy in a way they have never been before.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Both context and intent are crucial in reading feminist work, and&mdash;for better or for worse&mdash;we are observing VALIE EXPORT and Friedl Kubelka&rsquo;s work here in a wildly different sociological setting from the ones against which they were first designed to kick. Kubelka&rsquo;s beautiful, remarkable <em>Jahreportraits</em> series, for instance, feels different in an age when a woman documenting her appearance on a daily basis is more typical (cast your mind back to the cousin or ex-schoolmate in your Facebook feed who feels the need to perpetually share her pout, or the infants whose likenesses are shared by their parents from birth), while her <em>Pin-Ups</em> series now calls to mind the leaked "sexts" of Hollywood stars as much as it does erotic magazine photography. </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/20140417123640-fkb013.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Friedl Kubelka,</strong>&nbsp;<em>Untitled (Pin-up)</em>, 1971, Black and white photograph mounted on cardboard, 11.8 x 16.6 cm; Copyright the Artist / Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery</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;">"I was interested in the relationship between the inner and outer person," she explains of the <em>Jahreportraits</em>. "The state of mind recurs, but the skin gets older."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As it happens, Kubelka was guilty of one of the same crimes for which we harangue our scantily-clad celebrities: using a slimming mirror. The intersections between concept and vanity are easily blurred, if we choose to blur them. I have, of late, seen three-hundred-comment debates about whether Beyonce Knowles can be a feminist if she Photoshops her Instagram "selfies"; likewise, I have seen it posited that Knowles is either a Supreme Modern Feminist or a Covert Misogynist for the fact that she displays her bare ass-cheeks in a music video. If a body is conventionally beautiful (as, indeed, Kubelka&rsquo;s is in <em>Pin-Ups</em>) can the sharing of it ever be truly considered a gesture for the betterment of women? Questions like this&mdash;if you know where to look for them&mdash;are being raised as much in popular culture as they are in contemporary art.&nbsp;</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/20140417123942-V.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>VALIE EXPORT,</strong>&nbsp;<em>Smart / Export II,</em> 1968/1970, Vintage gelatin silver print, 60.7 x 40.5 cm, Edition of 5 plus 2 AP's; Copyright the Artist / Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery&nbsp;&nbsp;</span> </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;">In photographing herself, legs akimbo, in crotchless trousers, VALIE EXPORT displays her own agency as well as her genitals; indeed, the artist holds a gun, as if to dare the bravest of her viewers to even consider sexualizing a body she defends by force. The notion of a woman reclaiming her own sexuality and aligning herself with a brand&mdash;becoming a brand, in effect&mdash;as is evident in <em>Smart / Export II</em>, feels, again, more commonplace now; I had previously written <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/30466">a piece</a> for this very website which compared the commando limo-exits and leaked sex tape of socialite Paris Hilton to EXPORT&rsquo;s performances, and as popular culture advances, these comparisons feel ever-less ironic. </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/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS">Philippa Snow</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-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>Friedl Kubelka</strong>, <em> Reise (Voyage),&nbsp;</em>1974, Black and white photograph with blue pen text "Mantua 11.6.74", 12.5 x 18 cm; Copyright the Artist / Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:13:01 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list 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-Clark</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-Clark</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> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:42:12 +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;">&nbsp;</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;">&nbsp;</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 Vitrioleuse</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;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/214407-christina-catherine-martinez?tab=REVIEWS">Christina Catherine Martinez</a></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;">&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> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:00:56 +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>Walk The Talk</em>, 2012. Performance view, Skid Row, Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy, KCRW, Courtesy Los Angeles Poverty Department.)</span></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:59:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Tio Ilar 7 Istanbul: International street art group show in the Greek Consulate <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Thursday 10th April in Istanbul's most vibrant district, Beyoglu, and the always crowded Istiklal street saw the successful opening of the international contemporary and street art exhibition, Tio Ilar. This is the 7th edition of the annual showcase that was initially held in Athens, and their 2nd time touring to Istanbul, hosting artists predominantly from Greece and Turkey. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Although the majority of the artists are actively involved in their respective homeland's street art scenes, here this is not necessarily highlighted; the point is contemporary artistic expression in general, no matter what form. Curator Panos Malamis explains the idea behind Tio Ilar: &ldquo;Once a seed is in harmony with the earth, it will blossom. And I try to provide the earth&nbsp;for seeds to blossom&nbsp;where seeds blossom.&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/20140413165544-Dokos_Dimitris__The_friend_is_on_vacation_90x85cm__Acrylic_on_canvas__2014.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;"><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Dimitris Dokos</span>,</strong> <em>The friend is on vacation,</em> 90 x 85cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2014; Courtesy of Sismanoglio Megaro of the Consulate General of Greece</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;">&nbsp;</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 ancient Attica dialect <em>Tio Ilar</em> means providing roof, protection and shelter. In the context of this exhibition it means a variety of artists under one roof where they can test their ideas in complete artistic freedom. The younger ones get their chance to exhibit along some well-known colleagues, while the already established ones prove their motivation doesn't lie only in professional ambition. Together these 15 artists create an environment of various styles all at different stages in their work. (They are: Hugo Fontela from Spain; Beyza Boynudelik, Hakan Bayer, Leyla Ersin, Pet 05, Zone from Turkey; Pietro Ruffo from Italy; Alexis Avlamis, Olga Alexopoulou, Alekos Skoutariotis,&nbsp;Dimitris Dokos, Kalliopi Kouklinou, Pandelis Pandelopoulos, Localize it! from Greece, and&nbsp;Thiemo Kloss from Germany.) <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Their artworks range in media: from simple acrylic on canvas (Dimitris Dokos, Skoutariotis Alekos); or pens/pencils on paper (Alexis Avlamis); to porcelain painting digitised into diasec (Alexopoulou Olga); photopaper on aluminium (Thiemo Kloss); use of metal plates with plexiglass (Leyla Ersin); or cutouts on paper (Pietro Ruffo). When you enter, the most noticeable are the surreal patternized scarabs of Dimitris Dokos, which are seen all over Athens too. While some artworks tends to grab your attention with their size, another might surprise you with a detail. For me it was the "levitating" cutouts of Pietro Ruffo and the sweet installation of just 4 little pieces in various techniques by Localize it!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">There is no financial profit behind this exhibition. Any sales go to social responsibility-related causes. The entry is of course free too, and visitors can drop by until 4th May.</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/20140413170016-Kouklinou_Kaliopi__Untitled__mixed_technique__29_21_2G_14.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;"><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Kalliopi </span>Kouklinou</strong>, <em>Untitled</em>, mixed technique, 29 x 21, 2014; Courtesy of Sismanoglio Megaro of the Consulate General of Greece</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;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The seventh edition of Tio Ilar will be in Greece in September. </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 about previous editions, check out <a href="http://www.tioilar.eu" target="_blank">www.tioilar.eu</a>.</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;Maja Milic</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: Courtesy of Sismanoglio Megaro of the Consulate General of Greece)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:08:55 +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> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:35:11 +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 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 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 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 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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Name="List Table 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; 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 (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 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 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