ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/show en-us 40 What does vanitas look like today? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A human skull rests atop a modest wooden table flanked by a chronometer, books, musical instruments, an earthenware pot, and swathes of silk. Harmen Steenwyck&rsquo;s <span style="color: #525552;"><em><a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/harmen-steenwyck-still-life-an-allegory-of-the-vanities-of-human-life">Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life</a>&nbsp;</em></span>(1612-1656) is emblematic of the vanitas genre, most commonly known for its intimate tabletop tableaux alluding to the transient nature of all worldly goods and pursuits. Upon entering <em>Vanitas &ndash; Nothing is Forever Anyway</em> at Berlin&rsquo;s Georg Kolbe Museum, one immediately encounters an alternative reading of the still life: a tabletop encrusted with old food, utensils, matchbooks, business cards, and receipts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Daniel Spoerri transformed these remnants of a meal with the Icelandic artist &Eacute;rro into an artwork when he affixed their leftovers to the table and hung it on the wall. While one could certainly claim that </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.schnepel-foundation.com/ausleihen/">this work</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> shares some of the qualities of vanitas paintings&mdash;namely its focus on transience and ephemerality&mdash;Spoerri&rsquo;s assemblage lacks vanitas&rsquo; moral and religious undertones. Less a call for moderation in the face of earthly pleasure, Spoerri&rsquo;s sculpture instead functions as a conceptual portrait of an encounter: a portrait in absentia, rendered in the actual contents of the meal. While this might seem like a fine distinction, it raises the question of how vanitas&mdash;traditionally deeply entrenched in the task of conveying moral and religious values&mdash;might function in a secular art world.</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/20140821044908-Pawel-Althamer-Fabio-2013-plaster-an-plastic-on-metal-construction-105-x-100-x-120-cm-_-Pawel-Althamer-courtesy-neugerriemschneider-Berlin.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Paweł Althamer</strong>, <em>Fabio</em>, 2013, Plaster and plastic over a metal structure, 167 x 55 x 50 cm; Photo: Jens Ziehe, Berlin; &copy; Paweł Althamer / Courtesy neugerriemschneider, 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;">The Georg Kolbe Museum exhibition gathers together works by fourteen international artists who reinterpret classical vanitas motifs like skulls, timepieces, rotting fruit, and flowers in contemporary sculpture. Pawel Althamer&rsquo;s recent sculptural series <em>Venetians </em>(2013)comes the closest to a contemporary manifestation of vanitas<em>. </em>In keeping with Althamer&rsquo;s interest in mysticism, he cast the faces of Venetian residents for the 2013 Venice Biennial, presenting these beatific looking casts on hollowed out bodies held together by sinewy stretches of plastic. These abstract, haunting figures express Althamer&rsquo;s assertion that the body is a vehicle for the soul while also reimagining the body as part man, part machine.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Otherwise, the works in the exhibition can be roughly divided into two categories: those that use perishable materials, such as Japanese artist Reijiro Wada&rsquo;s <em>Freeze </em>(2006/2014) which depicts actual fruit decaying in real-time behind three sheets of tempered glass, and those that celebrate what the exhibition&rsquo;s curators have called a &ldquo;poetics of disintegration,&rdquo; such as Alicja Kwade&rsquo;s <em>Kaminuhr</em>, a line of neatly labeled glass bottles that contain the finely ground dust of a pulverized mantelpiece clock. The latter fares better than the former in this ambitious, if at times overly literal exhibition, and also seems to propose what secular vanitas might look like. A shining, wall-mounted sphere ticks ominously (another work by Alicja Kwade), reflecting the viewer&rsquo;s face instead of telling the time. Immediately adjacent, Katia Strunz&rsquo;s work <em>Crack Initiation Testing </em>(2012) shakes a set of nineteenth century clocks within a Perspex case to the point that they are no longer functional. Elsewhere, Tom&aacute;s Saraceno&rsquo;s installation presents a fragile living web that is crafted by spiders over the course of the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140821044956-vanitas_installation_view.jpg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Vanitas &ndash; Nothing is Forever Anyway</em>, Installation view with work by<strong> Alicja Kwade, Katja Strunz, Paweł Althamer,</strong> and <strong>Kei Takemura</strong>, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin 2014; Photo: Enric Duch</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;"><em>Vanitas&mdash;Nothing is Forever Anyway</em>&rsquo;s emphasis on time and its disintegration implicitly dovetails with current dialogues surrounding crisis, precarious labor, acceleration, and the internet. Yet if the disintegration of time has surpassed the passing of time in the contemporary vanitas, would it stand to reason that the motifs used to express this shift might change as well? What might an expanded lexicon of vanitas motifs include in our current era? A Sad Mac?&nbsp; A half-built apartment block? A refugee raft?</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/36171-jesi-khadivi?tab=REVIEWS">Jesi Khadivi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Reijiro Wada</strong>, <em>Freeze, </em>2006/2014, Glass, brass, fruit, 160 x 260 x 30 cm; Courtesy of the Artist)</span></p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:20:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The Art World's Intrinsic Conflict of Interest: Curating the Private Collection with the Public Trust <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The cousin, flip side, and feeder to the museum, in today&rsquo;s money-saturated world of contemporary art, is the private collection. The necessity of this relationship might be surprising to the average museum visitor, who often looks to museums as the centers of the art world. Private collections, however, shape our understanding of art history and production not only by determining which artworks are available for display and loan, but by actively applying curatorial labor towards their care and interpretation. Who gains from these relationships, and what sustains them? Are they necessary for the functioning of the art world, and if so, why? What are the responsibilities of curators, entrusted with public institutions, when dealing with private collections, and to whom are they responsible?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The liaisons between the worlds of the collection and the exhibition are curators: both museum curators who build relations with collectors to secure important loans and contributions, as well as a younger, new brand of curator using collections as a space to build their careers without an institutional foothold.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Curators are often tasked with &ldquo;friend-raising&rdquo;&mdash;with establishing strong networks of donors and potential donors to support museum exhibitions and acquisitions. These relations can take many forms, and often research, social activity, and professional fundraising blur into one activity. Massimiliano Gioni, when he joined the New Museum as Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions, kept his role as the artistic director of the Trussardi Foundation, a private non-profit that mounts contemporary art exhibitions (it does not collect). He has held the position since 2002. The Kadist Art Foundation counts among its advisors Jens Hoffman, Larry Rinder, and Hou Hanru: all of whom oversee museum or exhibition programs. It was recently announced that Michael Darling, Chief Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is leading a selection committee to acquire a work for the offices of Northern Trust, a wealth management firm with over $200 billion in assets.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Is there not a conflict of interest inherent when the custodians of public museums simultaneously curate private collections? The Association of Art Museum Curators leaves the question of ethics up to each individual museum, stipulating in its advice section only that curators avoid &ldquo;conflicts of interest.&rdquo; Accepted activities include having a curator&rsquo;s travel, food, and lodging paid for on a trip, if the trip fits the category of &ldquo;donor cultivation.&rdquo; Conflicts include gifts from donors and collectors, and sometimes even accepting work themselves. There is little guidance on whether the influence of a donor or collector over a curatorial program might be too great, or on how much of a curator&rsquo;s time and advice may be spent with a collector.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Within the art world, museums still set the standard for critical debate, the resuscitation and reexamination of artistic legacies, and scholarly research within the art world: their exhibitions are the most consistently reviewed, they command the largest spaces, and they attract the most visitors. But they no longer have a monopoly on that work. Indeed, while the museum standard appeals to private foundations and collectors for partnerships, those partnerships are creating a more fluid border for museum sovereignty.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Meanwhile, young curators no longer need to follow the traditional script: to train for a PhD then look for a research or curatorial assistant post with the hope of eventually securing a museum curating job. Private collections are offering an alternative route, using private dollars to sponsor the apprenticeship and training that used to happen almost exclusively in museums.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140821013319-Palazzo_Re_Rebaudengo_MAURIZIO-ELIA.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;">Fondazione Re Rebaudengo, photo Maurizio Elia.</span> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The self-titled Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo runs a residency program for young curators nominated from prestigious curatorial studies programs like Bard, the Whitney ISP, and Goldsmiths. The curator spends four months with the collection, culminating with an exhibition of contemporary Italian art drawn from it. Similarly, the Demergon Curatorial Award invites MA students to propose exhibitions based on works from the collection of D. Daskalopoulos, a collection of international contemporary art with an emphasis on Greek artists. The Demergon foundation also hosts curatorial exchanges between the UK and Greece. The prize is co-sponsored by the Whitechapel Gallery in London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Pool, an initiative founded last year by curator Beatrix Ruf with wealthy patrons Maja Hoffmann and Michael Ringier, has given three young curators opportunities to mount exhibitions drawn from Hoffmann and Ringier&rsquo;s collections at Luma Westbau in the L&ouml;wenbr&auml;u Art Complex. It plans to expand the number of collections available, offering a sort of meta-collection for the curators&rsquo; proposals. Pool has assembled a superstar roster of artists and curators as advisors, with Philippe Parreno, Liam Gillick, Tom Eccles, and Hans Ulrich Obrist. This roster signals a major shift in our thinking about the seriousness of curating private collections. As Ruf told <em>Art Newspaper</em>: &ldquo;&lsquo;Pool&rsquo; does not interpret private collections as merely the representation of individual preferences, but rather as a contemporary document.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Indeed, as contemporary documents, private collections are actively shaping the public&rsquo;s relation to art. Any curator working with objects, and especially those working with contemporary art, must learn not only the theories and disciplines taught in graduate school, but also the rosters of major collectors and foundations in the landscape. As long as there are eager young curators to fill the roles in both institutions and private collections, and as long as institutions rely on private donors for the immense sums needed to collect, insure, and ship artworks, these partnerships will proliferate.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Collecting, then, might be seen as its own sort of curatorial project. In the past, collecting shaped taste.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Today, with the growth of these programs and open relationships with museums,&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">such partnerships might seem a natural part of the way the system functions. But when prominent museum curators working in the public trust are also on the payrolls of private collections, we should see the conflicts of interest for what they are and view these activities with a healthy sense of skepticism.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">They may be shaping the very structure of knowledge within the art world.</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></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;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: &lsquo;Go! You sure? Yeah.&rsquo;, A POOL exhibition, Curated by Nicola Ruffo and Tanja Trampe, November 23 - January 19, 2014; Courtesy POOL.)</span><br /></span></p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:41:21 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Language of the Wall: Istanbul’s first exhibition on graffiti and street art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Graffiti and Street Art in a museum setting have a new audience, at the Pera Museum in the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyo%C4%9Flu"><span style="color: #000000;">Beyoğlu</span></a> district of Istanbul. Curated by the museum&rsquo;s Roxane Ayral, &ldquo;Language of the Wall&rdquo; is the first exhibition of its kind in Turkey to bring graffiti indoors in an academic setting, taking over three floors of the private museum. For its introduction, Ayral has chosen an impressive roster of international artists as well as familiar locals to educate the Istanbul art connoisseur, including Futura, Carlos Mare, Cope2, Turbo, Wyne, JonOne, Tilt, Mist, Psyckoze, Craig Costello (aka KR), Herakut, Logan Hicks, C215, Suiko, Evol, Gaia, Tabone, Funk and No More Lies, plus photographs from the archives of Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Hugh Holland. Along with the museum exhibition, Ayral has extended her street art lesson into the city proper, bringing murals by most of the artists to legal walls in neighborhoods scattered across Istanbul.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Being a relatively new movement in terms of art history and recognized by the art market in terms of monetary value only recently, street art has progressed in a sense; yet this attention and acceptance has come at the dismay of some graffiti purists, who find work done in the studio or on canvas to lack the authenticity or spirit that street pieces have. With this in mind, Ayral chose to set &ldquo;Language of the Wall&rdquo; apart from other museum shows. Instead of presenting each artist&rsquo;s studio work, she has turned over the museum itself, having each artist create a site-specific work directly on the walls. The effect is less stoic than a traditional show of rows of canvases inside a white cube; it brings the viewer face to face with each artist, each mural dwarfing the visitor into an immersive experience with each piece. Being that Istanbul and the Pera Museum are late to the game, perhaps Ayral learned from the mistakes of exhibitions already past. But either way, her choice to use the pristine private museum walls itself as a giant canvas sets &ldquo;Language of the Wall&rdquo; apart from being &ldquo;just another street art exhibition.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820072024-MIST.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Mist</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Pera Museum</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">At this scale, and without the confines of the distance between the viewer and the canvas, visitors can examine the detail and work that goes beyond just tagging. For example, stencil artist Logan Hicks&rsquo; pieces for the show enable a better understanding of his intricate and painstaking process by allowing visitors to go nose to nose with his multi-stencil layer murals&nbsp;&ndash; which are unusually crisp on the museum&rsquo;s carefully gessoed wall, rather than a textured wall of the streets. The same goes for C215, whose multi-layered portaits of his daughter Nina are accompanied by a film about the artist&rsquo;s journey from painting illegally to using his art for social justice. French artist Tilt brought his own bus to the Pera, installing the bisected vehicle directly on the wall before creating his masterpiece. It is hard to believe that Mist&rsquo;s enormous abstract wall, which shows a trompe l&rsquo;oeil of highly magnified spray lines, was painted with spray cans. In this multi-colored mural, the artist has shown his expert can control, with precise, purposeful lines and edges.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">British duo Herakut&rsquo;s piece is an immersive environment, adding cardboard, photography, neon and drawing to their iconic figurative renders to create a powerful installation that pays tribute to the origins of street art (including a distorted photograph of the artists with New York icon Futura, which appears as an upsidedown metal pot on the head of the main figure). This piece is a stand out in an already impressive show, showing Herakut&rsquo;s abilities to add more layers to their powerful work in a gallery setting. Futura&rsquo;s piece itself seeps into Herakut&rsquo;s installation, before it blooms into the artist&rsquo;s signature abstraction in bold red, black and white.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Another artist evolving beyond painting is Carlos Mare, aka Mare139. Mare has taken inspiration from his early days of painting New York City subway cars in the 1980s to the third dimension, translating the loose stylistic loops of tagging into abstract swirls of curved metal. The hanging sculptures have the curvaceous characteristics of a graffiti tag, giving them the appearance of being lightweight, even though they are made from layers of different textured metals. The resulting sculptures can be read as both abstract and having graffiti origins, changeable by the context in which they are presented.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820072156-Logan_Hicks_Sol_Kanat.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Logan Hicks</strong>, <em>Sol Kanat</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Pera Museum</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">To accompany these freshly painted site-specific pieces (and to give breadth to the education process) are documentary photographs by Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Hugh Holland, who captured the iconic beginnings of graffiti culture in the 1980s.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Language of the Walls&rdquo; may gain attention as being Istanbul&rsquo;s first exhibition on graffiti and street art, but it holds its own, too, as an extensive and experiential exhibition of the medium.</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: #000000;">&mdash;Lori Zimmer </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>Tilt</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Pera Museum)</span></p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:41:44 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Miami’s Ahol Sniffs Glue Sues American Eagle Outfitters for Copyright Infringement <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Graffiti art that graces city walls stands resolutely apart from other forms of art: it can&rsquo;t be purchased, owned and moved into a gallery or private home like a canvased painting (<a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/37743">usually</a>). As part of a city&rsquo;s public landscape, graffiti art belongs to everybody and nobody&nbsp;&ndash; just like the streets they adorn. But, many images sketched along the walls of neighborhoods, such as Miami&rsquo;s Wynwood area, are original creations, conceived by some of the world&rsquo;s most prominent artists like Shepard Fairey, Retna, Anthony Lister&nbsp;&ndash; and locals like Ahol Sniffs Glue. Although the paintings are for public pleasure, it is clear they do belong to someone, for they are signed with claim of their originator. Having an elementary understanding of American copyright laws, unspoken street laws and, well, basic decency, it is common sense that reproducing one of these works to promote a private enterprise without asking the artist (its true owner) for permission is just wrong.&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/20140819051524-AEOMEDELLINOPENINGedited.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">So how is it that a corporate giant, who one assumes has intelligent people running its advertising campaigns, didn&rsquo;t exhibit such common sense? Last March, American Eagle Outfitters came to Wynwood to shoot a campaign for their summer clothing line. The teen atelier took photographs of models along the world-famous art-filled concrete landscape. </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/20140819220851-o-AHOL-COLOMBIA-570.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">But the company went too far. They took one particular mural &ndash; &ldquo;Ocean Glass&rdquo; by local Cuban-American street artist Ahol Sniffs Glue&nbsp;&ndash; and used it to promote their brand, without consulting him first. Ahol&rsquo;s characteristic sleepy eyeball design was used in advertisements on the company&rsquo;s website, social media pages, billboards, and store displays. Moreover, the clothing conglomerate hired &ldquo;artists&rdquo; to &ldquo;recreate&rdquo; Ahol&rsquo;s mural on an eight-foot store display in Medellin, Colombia. The imitators marked a sloppy reproduction of &ldquo;Ocean Glass&rdquo; with the corporation&rsquo;s signature black eagle, claiming ownership over Ahol&rsquo;s optic, azure design.</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/20140819220107-1o-AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-570-1.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/1538/2dh/20140819220122-2o-AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-570-1.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/1538/2dh/20140819220150-4o-AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-570-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">So, Ahol Sniffs Glue, a.k.a David Anasagasti, is now suing American Eagle Outfitters for copyright infringement, and rightly so. By splashing their label across the artist&rsquo;s signature work, AEO has&nbsp;&ldquo;essentially incorporated&nbsp;Mr. Anasagasti&rsquo;s artwork into [their]&nbsp;own brand identity,&rdquo;&nbsp;the lawsuit alleges. The suit seeks not only monetary compensation for the works that have been used, but also a permanent injunction that would prohibit the company from using photos or likenesses of the&nbsp;work in the future. To corporations like American Eagle Outfitters, perhaps it will set a precedent and ensure that artists like Ahol Sniffs Glue are protected from this kind of inexcusable theft.</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;Monica Torres</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the author)</span></span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:12:43 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Weird guys with severed heads: an interview with PANG <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Your background is in Fine Art &ndash; how have you developed your style back in London and how has it changed?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I studied classical oil painting in Italy for four years and I came back to London around seven years ago. I have always moved around in my work and gone through phases, and Italy in a way felt like another artistic experiment, but the technique we learnt in the studio was from the 19th century, and the sheer discipline of it was a big shock when I first arrived. I had never spent more than one day on a piece let alone three weeks. But I soon got into it. It provided me with a thorough training, and we started by drawing casts of Greek and Roman statues, then moving to real people, then from charcoals to oil paint.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When I came back to London I found it harder than I had before to make hard, sharp lines, to create graphic images but also include midtones and shading, and the balance is something I still struggle with at times. I look at Picasso's etchings and he really had that balance. Nearly all of my work is figurative but I often use landscapes or interiors to exaggerate perspective, and faces are a huge part of my work, and that definitely stems from my training in Italy. But stylistically the classical painting and my illustration could not be more different so in terms of development, it seems to jump around rather than evolve coherently.</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/20140819040443-IMG_9963.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>How and when did you decide to start doing your work out on the street?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I've always loved the look of old rough walls and especially entire derelict buildings, but somehow it never occurred to me to paint outside until it was suggested to me by another artist, Float. I knew I liked street art and paintings on the side of buildings but I knew nothing about it. She encouraged me to start doing stuff outside and it suddenly seemed absurd I hadn't done that before. So I started to. That was about just over a year ago. I started mainly around Hackney Road which has a few good back streets. Brick Lane too, where I discovered most of the art I now feel so familiar with.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">At first it was just a few squiggles and drawings but it became addictive because I was discovering all the other street art at the same time and there was so much to take in and so many different forms. I loved it! Paste-ups, stencils, spray-paintings, brush paintings, sculpture...Ridiculous not to have noticed it all before.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>You&rsquo;re very prolific in Hackney Wick (where I happen to live, though I&rsquo;ve never caught you painting!). When do you usually do your pieces?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I guess I usually paint in the week days during the daytime but it really depends, weekends are also a good time (although there are more people about which is a bit difficult). I used to only work at night but that was when I did stuff around Hackney Road and Brick Lane and they were smaller drawings, or paste ups, and since I knew very little about it and the practice of it I assumed the only way I could do it was at 3am...</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/20140819040512-543471_443297435739512_2033111723_n-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Can you talk a little about the recent exhibition in London?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I collaborated with Sophie Mason and Benjamin Murphy, and we came up with "Morella"; the exhibition was named after a creepy E.A.Poe story. It was one giant floor to ceiling mural in black and white. The months leading up to it were surreal because the three of us we were in one room together, hour after hour, day after day, painting onto every inch of the walls with our tiny brushes. The room is hidden away behind a shoe shop that has just opened in Shoreditch. We wanted to create an atmosphere based on the idea of an obsessive person or artist in their own environment, so the first thing we painted onto the walls was more space, we painted more rooms into it and lined out as many walls as possible within the actual walls.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">This way we were able to hang the works "into" the mural and create more perspective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Everything in that room was black and white. We painted the floor and ceiling black and kept the walls white with all the drawings over it in black, and all the pieces we created to hang in the space were black and white. I liked the idea of the room being like one gigantic and slightly crooked drawing. We got weirder and weirder throughout, not just in our drawings. By the end we had such weird things painted on the walls and in some of our pieces we worried slightly about any children coming to our opening night&hellip; Luckily though a lot of things went unnoticed!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Almost everything was created in that room, very little was done in our own studios, we wanted to collaborate on every single piece as well as the mural itself. Most things were started only to be finished by someone else, and we had complete freedom to paint over each other's work if something didn't sit right or if someone else's idea barged in. In the end it was an amazing experience; I've never collaborated to that extent with any other artist.</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/20140819040604-photo_1.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>You&rsquo;re one of only a few women working currently in London in this vein, but your </em></strong><strong><em>style is quite masculine, at least thematically&hellip; Do you feel at all you have something to prove (being both a woman, and not starting out as a graffiti writer) or does the anonymity of the whole process give you some freedom? Is it even an advantage being a woman in a male-dominated field?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">To be honest, I couldn't possibly make my art more "feminine" or ethereal if I tried. In terms of proving myself, since I started out not knowing much at all about street art or the artists, I didn't really have much perception of them; I couldn't imagine what they looked like let alone whether it was an advantage or disadvantage to be a woman in this world. My art has always been the way it is, at least in its androgyny. I don't think it makes much difference to be female, does it? Having said that, I love the fact that people think I'm a man when they see my work! It's funny.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Not coming from a graffiti background, do you feel there&rsquo;s a divide between writers/street artists?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Maybe. I don't think it's a malicious divide but maybe there is a slight gap between the two cultures.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Who are the characters you paint?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I have no idea. Just weird guys with severed heads. I prefer painting figuratively, it comes more naturally to me. Actually the content does change from time to time. It used to be cowboys but they come up less nowadays. I don't know why I never paint women, but I suspect it's because I don't know how to draw long hair. I guess that explains the lack of clothing on my characters too!</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/20140819040643-IMG_9381.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>You&rsquo;ve collaborated with Millo &ndash; how did that come about? Any other collabs you&rsquo;ve particularly enjoyed?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Benjamin Murphy introduced me to Millo when he was at Ben's studio once. We then all went to Ibiza together for a week to take part in a charity event. We managed to paint around the town a few times and found an abandoned amphitheatre and hotel to paint in. The piece in Shoreditch came about because Millo didn't have time to finish it, so Ben asked me if I wanted to. I've collabed many times with fellow PMT crew members Seeds One, Himbad and Saki and Bitches. There have been a few massive paint sessions with up to 20 artists which have been great too! Float is another artist I've collaborated with quite a few times.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>I&rsquo;ve noticed some pieces on wood placed around &ndash; what&rsquo;s your thinking behind these?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Do you mean the ones around Hackney Wick? They are pieces of wood I find around. Then I draw on them and leave them around outside. I guess it's with the idea of Free Art Friday in mind but I don't know if I've ever actually managed to do it on a Friday!</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/20140819040812-IMG_9426.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Have you started to paint on the streets elsewhere?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">If I go abroad I definitely try and paint if I can. In Paris I've done some stuff, in Rome also a few small pieces and in Palermo a month ago I painted as much as I possibly could. Which was easy because the people there tend to govern themselves so permission was never an issue. I would just ask the nearest person to the wall I wanted to paint and no one ever said no. Plus, tons of beautiful and derelict walls and buildings. My dream city...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>How do you earn a living from what you do?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I get commissions. It's usually oil paintings, collage, illustration or drawings I am asked to do. Occasionally I get album cover / flyer / wedding invitation type commissions too. The oil paintings take the longest. My most challenging commission this year was of three kids standing in front of their own favourite street art in Vienna. I had one vision of it but something completely different came out, so I battled with it big time. Normally I have a vague vision, which will spur me on, which might only arrive seconds before my pen touches paper, but it usually works out roughly the way I saw it in my head. With this painting, I had imagined it painted in a classical style but depicting an urban scene. It did not emerge like that at all, and I had to accept it eventually. But it did annoy me.</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/20140819040729-CIMG0867.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>What&rsquo;s next for you?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I'm preparing for a solo exhibition towards the end of the year. I'm drawing onto wood panels with colouring pencils and fine liner pens. I'm pushing myself to be as detailed as I possibly can. I'm looking at a lot of ancient art, mainly Japanese but also Egyptian, Aztec and Indian. I'm also painting any wall I can get my mitts on. At least once or twice a week I end up painting outside somewhere.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the artist.)</span><br /></span></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p><!--[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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<w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Bottom of Form"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Normal (Web)"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Acronym"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Address"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Cite"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Code"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Definition"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Keyboard"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Preformatted"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Sample"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" 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Name="List Table 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" 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]--></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:46:51 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Three Exhibitions That Are Shaking Up Colour This Summer <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The National Gallery&rsquo;s summer exhibition <em>Making Colour</em> guides the audience through the spectrum of materials used throughout history to create artists&rsquo; pigment&mdash;from blues, through reds and oranges, to purples. Each room focuses on a specific colour and the multiple materials used to make it over time, from early earth pigments, through lakes (dyes made into pigment) to the new artificial coal tar derived pigments created around the time of the Impressionists. The function of the works on show seems to be to illustrate different pigments and demonstrate how various materials have faded with time and with exposure to light. The work presented, while beautiful, is therefore scattershot, as the exhibition&rsquo;s focus is mainly demonstrative&mdash;a showcase for the work of the National Gallery&rsquo;s scientific team whose world-leading work on colour conservation has reshaped the way we are able to see works of historical importance. It is a lesson in scientific art history rather than colour as conceptualized by artists.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There are hints about how external pressures and ideologies have shaped what colours were used&mdash; such as the well-worn story of the depiction of the virgin Mary in blue because of the expense of lapis lazuli, as in the dazzling painting of <em>The Virgin Mary</em> by Sassoferrato (1640-50)&mdash;but less in the actual exhibition about how and why we see colour at all. The video made to accompany the exhibition, however, beautifully links the show&rsquo;s focus on colour as material to a consideration of how it is perceived. In doing so, it suggests that with colour&rsquo;s subjective and shifting nature, our critical faculties are required. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Less than two hours by train from London, at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/28775-turner-contemporary">Turner Contemporary</a> in Margate, two concurrent exhibitions explore these other ideas of colour in a surprisingly cohesive way for two such distinct artists. The works on show in <em>Mondrian and Colour</em> and <em>Spencer Finch: The skies can&rsquo;t keep their secret</em> rely on colour&rsquo;s less precise elements&mdash;namely,&nbsp;its subjective interpretation and perception&mdash;and as such take up where the National Gallery&rsquo;s exhibition leaves off. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries' fascination with the concept of colour arguably gave rise to the biggest shift that painting has ever seen: the move to abstraction. Mondrian and Finch prove to be logical stepping-stones on colour in visual art&rsquo;s journey.</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&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/20140818165047-20120405_8_50_.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>Piet Mondrian</strong> (1872-1944), <em>Molen (Mill); The Red Mill</em>, 1911, Oil on canvas, 150 cm x 86 cm.; Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands &copy; 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA</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;"><em>Mondrian and Colour</em> is not the show one would expect. The first two rooms are all figurative works ranging from landscapes to portraits, which become increasingly vibrant moving through time. Goethe&rsquo;s and the theosophist&rsquo;s influence on Mondrian&rsquo;s colour palette intensified it, showing how, in Mondrian&rsquo;s own words, he &ldquo;forsook natural colour for pure colour.&rdquo; This shift, like the Impressionists before him, demonstrates that perceptual colour is a strange concept and "representation" of colour is anything but simple matching. His almost alarmingly vivid work <em>The Red Mill</em> (1911) stands out when making the mental leap between his landscapes and grids. The painting is composed of almost entirely blue and red and we get the sense that it depicts both a windmill and pure colour as an idea. In the final room of the exhibition, with clear Cubist influence, Mondrian finally condenses his landscapes into blocks of bright hues, and his grids begin to develop&mdash;in his words: &ldquo;a new way to express the beauty of nature.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Spencer Finch is an obvious choice to accompany this unusual exhibition of Mondrian&rsquo;s work. His sculptures, photographs, and paintings often take a seemingly simple or everyday perceptual experience and render it utterly transcendent by revealing its complexity, particularly in regard to colour and quality of light. Walking into the room, we are greeted by the large sculpture <em>Passing Cloud (After Constable)</em> (2014), which hovers in the center. Constructed from photographic filters held in place on fishing wire with clothes pegs, it floats, is translucent, and yet seems to hold onto mass, taking up space but hardly being present at all. No artificial light shines on the cloud. The transient light passing through the giant window above affects the artificial cloud&rsquo;s presence in the room, making it both glow and contain shadows.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140819093739-2014-05-2273665_1_Stephen_White.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Spencer Finch</strong>, Passing Cloud (After Constable) / Thank You, fog, 2014 / 2009, Light fixtures, filters, monofilaments and clothes pins / 60 x Archival Inkjet Photographs; &copy; Photo Stephen White; Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery/Galerie Nordenhake Berlin/Stockholm</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;">Finch&rsquo;s works often deal with vision and how to represent it&mdash;a central idea in visual art&mdash;capturing fleeting senses and experiences. In <em>Thank You Fog</em> (2009), a series of photographs of dense trees in fog, Finch directly addresses the sense that in looking your eyes can trick you. The imagery, a dark forest, fades in and out of the pictures as you move along them, recalling the process of images developing in a darkroom. Blacks give way to greys and then greens. The more you look, the more you see. These subtle and elegant expressions of the phenomenon of light as witnessed everyday are shown to be sublime, and for Finch, sight is the miracle celebrated by visual art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These exhibitions seen together neatly elucidate the link between the stuff of pigment, the light reflected from it, and our brain&rsquo;s subsequent interpretation of that light on the retina. For the sense of seeing ideas in art form and develop, it&rsquo;s well worth the journey to Margate. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><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>Sassoferrato,</strong><em>&nbsp;The Virgin in Prayer</em>, 1640-50, Oil on canvas, 73 x 57.7 cm.; CourtesyThe National Gallery, London]</span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:43:41 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Give in to the Dream: OSGEMEOS Moon Opera <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The new project of OSGEMEOS in the Fortes Vila&ccedil;a Gallery in S&atilde;o Paulo is an experience of vertigo that leads directly to the unconscious. Entering the first room of the exhibition one is faced with dozens of their iconic yellow people &ndash; their signature image&nbsp;&ndash; plus a variety of other characters, spread through countless paintings, sculptures and installations, assembled next to each other to form an immersive environment. In the center of the room a vortex made out of doors of all sizes seems to pull all these characters along with the viewers into the dream-like universe created by the duo. The vortex epitomizes precisely the moment in which we are about to fall asleep and fall into unconsciousness, with the doors representing a passage to other dimensions.</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/20140818154655-63415735_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The doors and windows always present in their works are also a point of contact and a connection between seemingly disconnected pieces. Even though each artwork contains a story and is a world in itself, small doors and windows sometimes denote a passage and an entrance into the world represented in the next painting, each work containing the key to open the door and understand the next work. &ldquo;Everything is connected&rdquo;, they say, leaving clues all the way along, giving the public a sensation that there is an erratic underlying narrative being drawn in front of our eyes. The public can identify references to Brazil&rsquo;s folk art and northeastern culture, but are still unable to identify the story, or stories, being told.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The overwhelming profusion of colors, shapes and pictorial styles makes the attempt to understand this narrative an exhausting task though. Soon enough, the observer is compelled to give up on any effort of rationalizing or interpreting and we surrender to their surreal landscapes and recurrent imagery. By then we start noticing the dreamy sensuality of the characters with fluid contours including some nude female figures, which stand out in the middle of the predominantly masculine yellow characters. Despite the nudity and sensuality they also preserve an air of innocence, that permeates the entire current production of the artists.</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/20140818154740-63452697_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Passing through a small door in the corner of the first room, we enter another space where we find the big surprise of the show: a giant 3D kinetic sculpture in form of a zoetrope, which gives life and motion to the OG iconography. Surrounded by ocean and moonlight the installation features a soundtrack composed in partnership with Ben Mor and DJ Zegon. The result is striking and absorbing. Our minds take a little while to believe the reality our eyes are recording. Looking at the piece for the two minutes it is in motion, one feels like being on the other side of the vortex represented in first installation and inside of an oneiric dimension where the surreal becomes tangible. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Leaving this space still slightly unsettled the public is presented with another installation reproducing a child&rsquo;s bedroom whose walls consist of a video. This interactive installation allows the viewers to deviate the patterns of its itinerary interfering in the way the artist&rsquo;s images seem to be drifting in the screen. </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/20140818154805-63463401_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Far away from the urban chaos that marked their first years of production, <em>Moon Opera</em> seems to further consolidate the unique aesthetic language for which the duo are recognized worldwide. The migration of OSGEMEOS&rsquo; work to traditional exhibition spaces has allowed them to experiment with new supports, material and techniques and create environments where people could penetrate their works&nbsp;&ndash; and minds. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Even though they continue to use spray paint, their work can hardly be defined as street art these days. The work of OSGEMEOS is now better understood in relation to other artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Jean Tinguely and even Frida Kahlo (as the official press release points out). Their magic realism, the excessiveness and obsessive recurrence of their iconography recreates a distinctive universe of that of the streets, a sensual, kaleidoscopic universe that appeals to all sorts of publics, especially to those who lost their capacity to be carried away by imagination. Like it or not, it is impossible to leave the <em>Moon Opera</em> without being taken by it all &ndash; if even for a brief minute or two.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Pictures and videos of the exhibition can be seen on their official </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://instagram.com/osgemeos" target="_blank">Instagram</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Os-Gemeos/207835592677428" target="_blank">Facebook</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> pages.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140818154838-63432311_big.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140818154908-63409085_big.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140818154940-63474837_big.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Vivian Mocellin</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>OsGemeos</strong>, <em>Exhibition view, </em> 2014; &copy; Photo: Eduardo Ortega / Courtesy Galp&atilde;o Fortes Vila&ccedil;a)</span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:39:48 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Endurance training for the noncommittal <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At the heart of the works in <em>No Can Handle</em> is the ethos of endurance. Entering the exhibition is not unlike entering an interpretation of a physical training facility. Equipment-like inventions dangle from the ceiling and perch amidst the gallery space; there is even a painted panel squatting in the crease of a gym mat on the floor. Many of the works, like <em>Bow 4</em> (2014) have a suggestive tenacity. <em>Bow 4</em> is a delicately curved wooden pole bending like a &ldquo;C&rdquo; around an entire wall, held in place by the tension of the string connecting both ends. Its subtlety is beautiful and its precarity only slightly menacing. How exact is the science preventing it from snapping? How long can the svelte stick hold on?&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Four abstract paintings dot the walls, each pinned to the wall by a shiny-coated metal apparatus, which partially obscures a section of the canvas. The shapes and the colors of each painting are similar, the markings precise and deliberate. This isn&rsquo;t abstraction for abstraction&rsquo;s sake; this is a meaningful endeavor to convey the power of restraint. In the middle of the room hangs <em>Switches</em> (2014). Two leather switches are gracefully suspended from the ceiling on polished silver chains. In the corner, an aesthetically pleasing rendition of a push-up-like bar, made of eucalyptus bark, quietly resides. A Lutz Bacher ball, from her installation <a href="http://www.ratio3.org/exhibitions/2012/lutz-bacher?p=works"><em>Stress Balls</em> (2012) at Ratio 3</a>, covertly rests against an upward reaching piece of shed timber, a nod to the conversion of something trite to something arresting.&nbsp;&nbsp;&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/20140818054811-IMG_3474_h.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Conrad Guevara</strong>, <em>Bar</em> (installation view), 2014, Eucalyptus bark, metal bar, acrylic, embroidery floss with Lutz Bacher ball; Courtesy of the artist and City Limits Gallery, Oakland</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;">This exhibition is largely inspired by Guevara&rsquo;s youth growing up on a military base in Hawaii, which makes it difficult to not read the show somewhat literally. Picture men clambering on and around these sculptures. Drill sergeants scream and spit and threaten. The switches would be used as punishment, encouragement. Yet, there is no blood or sweat here. If a muscular person were to engage physically with any of these works, they would fracture immediately. It is the materials that are being tested, as if they, representing a refined artistic practice (that unstoppable force which we will go hungry, lose sleep, pursuing), must rise above their artist-placed limitations. The gestures here are loving, ethereal, and personal. <em>Shade</em> (2014) contains several stained glass forms, in the exhibition&rsquo;s trademark &ldquo;official&rdquo; blue, dangling from a polished chain attached to the ceiling. Hand-made by the artist&rsquo;s father at Guevara&rsquo;s request, the leaf-like shapes droop downwards and appear heavy compared to their slender silver cable but they don&rsquo;t evoke capriciousness. <em>Shade</em> is more of a beacon of the hyperbolic, the illusory nature of the overt references found in its existence.&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/20140818054910-IMG_3470_h.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Conrad Guevara</strong>, Installation view of <em>No Can Handle;</em> Courtesy of the artist and City Limits Gallery, Oakland</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;">Endurance, in one sense of the word, can be seen as inherent to the human spirit. We persist through forces that seem to work against us because we have to: we endure the eight-hour workday or a visit to the dentist. But endurance, too, can be something we choose. I don&rsquo;t want to endure running six miles, so I actively rely on my commitment to work constantly to avoid the physical act of running. Being noncommittal is a lot of work in itself, really. Similarly, ingrained in their existence and shaped by the committed hands of Guevara, the materials in <em>No Can Handle</em> persist&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">effortlessly&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">through restraints; they can definitely handle it.&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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/186890-kara-q-smith?tab=REVIEWS">Kara Q. Smith</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: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Conrad Guevara</strong>, Installation view of <em>No Can Handle;</em> Courtesy of the artist and City Limits Gallery, Oakland)</span><br /></span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:04:36 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Diversity in Autonomy: São Paulo’s Independent Art Spaces <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Independent, autonomous, alternative, experimental. These are some of the designations used to name several arts spaces inaugurated in recent years in Brazil and especially in S&atilde;o Paulo. The variety of nomenclatures doesn&rsquo;t constitute a mere semantic shift or strategy to escape classification; it actually reflects a vast plurality of practices and positions. These spaces are as experimental as the art they produce; everything&mdash;their architecture, artists, projects, programmes, managerial approaches&mdash;is a relentless, non-linear and tentative process. Questioning is more recurrent than any certainty, and changes are a constant. There is always a certain feeling of impermanence in the air. But despite the differences, the underlying aspiration that connects these spaces is the desire for independence, freedom, and resistance, enunciated in different ways but always present in every statement they produce. The question that remains, though, is: against whom are they fighting, what are they trying to resist, from whom do they want to be freed?</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It seems like there is not an answer for this question, but a plurality of possible responses. The enemy being fought here is invisible, evasive, and lubricous; it can be the art market, the government and its bureaucracies, capitalism, the system at large. It appears in the form of official narrative, institutional discourse, and other microphysics of power that tend to appropriate the arts reducing it to its exchange value. It is against this voidance that these independent art spaces seem to have risen, and it is this exact attitude that gives them a political importance, even when the art they produce is not necessarily political in the traditional sense. While the Brazilian arts scene emerged globally with the opening of many commercial galleries and art fairs in the last decade, it is this heterogeneous group of independent initiatives that is playing an essential role in the reception, development, and promotion of experimental art in the country today. More than creating a place for artistic expression, they create a noise that reverberates with different voices and desires, giving visibility to types of art that don&rsquo;t find a place in the traditional arts circuit.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These spaces are spread through the whole city, but in the last two years there has been a concentration of them in downtown S&atilde;o Paulo. The area, once wracked by crime and violence, is now experiencing a revitalization. Architecturally stunning, the region boasting the addresses of some of the major art institutions in the country&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/14488-pinacoteca-do-estado-de-s%C3%A3o-paulo">Pinacoteca</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/45670-centro-cultural-banco-do-brasil-s%C3%A3o-paulo">CCBB</a> and Caixa Cultural&mdash;has also seen a wave of openings of new culture-oriented places such as </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/balsa26/timeline" target="_blank">Balsa</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (which defines itself as a space for encounters with no fixed opening hours) and commercial initiatives such as the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://redbullstation.com.br" target="_blank">Red Bull Station</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (that promotes interdisciplinary projects involving music and arts, including a residency program and regular workshops/seminars). All of them were attracted to the area by the decadent and elusive charm that emanates from its sumptuous baroque and neoclassical buildings, as well as some of its astonishing early-modern edifices such as Copan, designed by the acclaimed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.</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/20140817192243-Piv__exterior.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Piv&ocirc; exterior; Courtesy of the author</span><br /></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;">It is this S-shaped building, highly influenced by the ideas of Le Corbusier, that houses the most talked about of the independent art spaces:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47756-piv%C3%B4" target="_blank">Piv&ocirc;</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. Occupying an abandoned dentist office that spreads across a good part of the first and second floors of the building, the non-profit cultural organization's emphasis is on the interlacement of arts, architecture, urban planning, and critical theory, especially through projects that are directly related to the space they inhabit&mdash;the Copan building&mdash;its historical and socio-political aspects, as well as its surroundings. For example, artist Lais Myrrha's &ldquo;<a href="http://www.pivo.org.br/exposicoes/lais-myrrha-pivo-produz/">Gameleria</a>&rdquo; project, exhibited on the former mezzanine of the Copan, was an investigation of the biggest civil accident in Brazil&rsquo;s history, which killed over 100 workers in 1971 during the construction of a Niemeyer edifice in the heyday of modernism. In an effort to protect the image of the modernist utopia, media exposure of the accident was limited, instituting a kind of social amnesia which erased the tragedy from the official narrative of modern Brazil. Myrrha restitutes this memory, creating a kind memorial and gravestone of the accident in the heart of one the landmarks of the modernist project and Niemeyer&rsquo;s career. On the second floor of Piv&ocirc;, artist Erica Ferrari's <a href="http://www.pivo.org.br/exposicoes/erica-ferrari-pivo/">Corpos d&rsquo;&Aacute;gua</a> (Bodies &nbsp;of Water) investigates the condition of the rivers in S&atilde;o Paulo. Fundamental in the foundation and development of the city, they have undergone harsh transformations, being virtually erased from the city&rsquo;s landscape to open way to concrete and urbanization&mdash;a metaphor of the political and social complexity of Brazil&rsquo;s biggest city.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Not too far from Piv&ocirc;, we f</span><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">ind <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47757--aurora" target="_blank">.Aurora</a>, an autonomous art space formed and managed by five artists (Bel Falleiros, Diogo Lucato, Francesco Di Tillo, Gabriel Gutierrez and Laura Davina) and an exhibition designer (Claudia Afonso). It serves as a studio, exhibition space, and a place for artist exchanges, with programmes that include talks and projects by guest artists. One of these projects is </span><a href="http://www.en.pontoaurora.com/vitrine/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">Vitrine</span></a><span style="font-size: medium;">, a mini solo exhibition space where guest artists are invited to occupy 1.5 square meters of .Aurora&rsquo;s space with their work. The current edition,&nbsp;<em>(Re)</em>, is a collaboration between the performer </span><a href="http://www.pipa.org.br/pag/shima/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">Shima</span></a><span style="font-size: medium;"> and artist Raquel Schembri, consisting of an exchange of letters exploring each other's creative process. Their correspondence will now be unveiled to the public, culminating in a performance in November during the Vitrine group exhibition. In addition, .Aurora offers a space dedicated to independent publications, artists' books, and multiples; it presents site-specific installations in its second-floor windows; and it runs&nbsp;</span></span><a style="font-size: medium;" href="http://www.en.pontoaurora.com/dialogos-2/" target="_blank">Dialogues</a><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">, an ongoing series of dialogues and talks with professionals from various fields</span><span style="font-size: medium;">.</span></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/20140817191943-phosphorus_exhibit_solo_by_Gustavo_Ferro.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Gustavo Ferro</strong>, Installation view at Phosphorus; Courtesy of the gallery</span><br /></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;">Deeper in the center of the city we find two other independent initiatives: </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47758-phosphorus" target="_blank">Phosphorus</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47759-paper-box-lab" target="_blank">PaperBox Lab</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The spaces are located a few minutes walk from each other in S&eacute;, the region where the city of S&atilde;o Paulo was born. In fact, before a reconfiguration in the traffic, both spaces shared the same address&mdash;Rua do Carmo, the first street of the city&mdash;as artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://gustavoferro.org">Gustavo Ferro</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> tells us. He keeps a studio at PaperBox Lab, but together with founder Maria Montero coordinates Phosphorus, now located at Rua Roberto Simonsen in a historic house built in 1890. Opened in 2011, Phosphorus shares the space with a clothing archive called Casa Juisi, and includes temporary studios, space for residencies, exhibition rooms, an open library and living room. Born from the founder&rsquo;s desire for a place for encounters, discussions, and collaboration, it seeks to be free from commercial and institutional restraints, inventing alternative forms of material and intellectual autonomy. Currently participating in the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.phosphorus.art.br/filter/resid%C3%AAncia-phosphorus">residency program</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> are the artists Glayson Arcanjo, Janaina Wagner, M&aacute;rcia Beatriz Granero, and Daniel Albuquerque, whose group exhibition opened on August 17th and showcases the results of their work at the space. Meanwhile, to help support the operations of the not-for-profit space, Maria Montero opened </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/segaleria">Galeria S&eacute;</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the same building, a venture that despite being for-profit, remains committed to exposing experimental art such as Deco Adijanam&rsquo;s. His debut exhibition comprised pieces made mainly of debris, stumps, and pieces of wood; his poetry materialized itself in the form of objects, installations, and assemblages.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Five minutes away is </span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">PaperBox Lab</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, occupying three levels of another historic building, which was found abandoned by Angelo Palumbo, a Brazilian artist from the '80s pop generation. Totally reformed, the place now has now an impressive structure including exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, lounges and individual ateliers, besides an ongoing programme of talks, workshops, and seminars&mdash;some of them open to the public. Without a curatorial agenda guiding the space, the artists are free to produce independently or to collaborate. The only rule is that they have to stay for at least a year, which is the time they consider necessary for the maturation of a work. Visiting the studios we can find artists working on varied practices and in different languages, with a mix of new artists and more established names, such as </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.jorgefeitosa.com">Jorge Feitosa</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://claraianni.com">Clara Ianni</a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">who is represented by <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/28799-galeria-vermelho">Galeria Vermelho</a> and selected to be part of the 31st S&atilde;o Paulo Biennale opening next month.</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/1538/2dh/20140819230734-paperbox_lab_exhibit_space.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Paperbox Lab exhibition space.</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If the proximity of these independent spaces was merely geographic at first, they have recently started a conversation between each other, which resulted in the launching of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/circuitocentrosp?fref=ts" target="_blank">Circuito Centro</a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">a project that aims to create networks and collaborations between art spaces located in the center (including others not mentioned in this article). The results of this cooperation remains to be seen. Each space is a clear reflection of the personalities, beliefs, and desires of the artists, curators, and other agents involved and even though their differences might be more manifest than their similarities, it is possible to recognize that above all, what unites them goes far beyond the eclectic nomenclature with which they identify themselves. These independent, alternative, self-run spaces are above all authorial projects born out of the desires of their founders to restitute an affective dimension to art production by embracing the whole creative process in its material and immaterial aspects. More than mere physical spaces, they constitute places of resistance and a battlefield for the freedom of thinking, making, and being.</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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/384098-vivian-mocellin?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="font-size: medium;">Vivian Mocellin</span></a></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;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: Copan building from the air; Courtesy of the author)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:16:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list 5Pointz Demolition to Begin: Another Nail in the Coffin of NYC <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Demolition may commence any day on New York City&rsquo;s 5 Pointz, the sprawling concrete structures occupying an entire city block famously polychromed by an array of styles that over the past ten years made it one of the most recognized graffiti landmarks in the world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Owner of the Long Island City, Queens site David Wolkoff had the art painted over last November in preparation for tearing down the former warehouse that had housed art studios at below market rates. Wolkoff &nbsp;was granted a special permit to develop two luxury hi-rise apartment towers, allowing him to bypass existing zoning regulations in the once working class industrial neighborhood. Both towers will exceed 40 stories in height and will contain a combined one thousand luxury apartments as well as 50,000 square feet of retail space.</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/20140817110410-P1050604.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">A lawsuit seeking damages for destroyed artwork has been filed by a collective of graffiti writers, and response by the developer&rsquo;s proposed artist work and display spaces in the new development remains uncertain. What does remain clear? Yet another unique culture-making resource has been lost forever, distancing New York ever further from its post-war art capital status and propelling a future when that city will be nothing but an unlivable playground for the world&rsquo;s wealthiest.&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/20140817110444-P1050601.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Howie Stier</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: 5Pointz in September, 2011. Photos by Natalie Hegert)</span><br /></span></p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:31:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Beyond Basel: How private collectors have shaped Miami's art scene <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Miami has often attracted a particular breed of art collector, most notably, the fair-seeking seasonal variety who favors the grab-and-go style of art acquisition. Consequentially it can seem like great art is always passing through the city, but rarely finding a home. This trend has shifted as a result of a handful of resident collectors who have committed to making Miami a cultural destination by sharing their artwork and opening their doors to the general public year-round.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The distinguishing characteristic of a private collection is that it is acquired through independent means and usually does not have any direct affiliations with an institution or municipality. Most private collections are built slowly as passion projects and are often later bequeathed to a township or museum from the collector&rsquo;s estate. In the last decade, Miami, which has always been known as a real estate developers&rsquo; town, has become known for art collections financed by international business tycoons and philanthropists. Some of these business leaders have transformed warehouse spaces to display their magnificent collections; others have used museum donations as a way to bring their work to the public.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Take real estate developer Jorge M. P&eacute;rez&rsquo;s most recent contribution to the Miami Art Museum. The billionaire entrepreneur supplied a $40 million donation in the form of both cash and artwork, and in exchange his name went on the public museum&rsquo;s masthead. Art from the likes of Louise Nevelson and Lorna Simpson will grace the halls of this 200,000-square-foot Herzog &amp; de Meuron building, now titled <a href="http://www.artslant.com/mia/venues/show/43931-p%C3%A9rez-art-museum-miami">PAMM (P&eacute;rez Art Museum Miami)</a>.&nbsp;Additional supporters include the Knight Foundation&rsquo;s Vice President of Arts, Dennis Scholl and real estate developer and Design Miami co-founder Craig Robins, who have also recently contributed collections to the museum&rsquo;s growing inventory.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140820150027-simon-starling-inverted-hi.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Simon Starling,</strong> <em>Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA (A House of a Song Bird)</em>, 2002 Wood, iron, tree trunks, and birds, 133 x 122 x 140 inches; Collection of P&eacute;rez Art Museum Miami, Gift of Dennis and Debra Scholl; &copy; Simon Starling / Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York</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;">P&eacute;rez&rsquo;s influence has shifted the narrative of Miami&rsquo;s museum culture. In a town where many exhibitions focus on Latin-American and Cuban art, the new and improved PAMM aims to put Miami on the map as a globally focused city sensitive to the canons of art history. Public opinion remains divided, however. The sizeable donation has been wrought with controversy and speculation into the motivations of the mogul&rsquo;s generosity. What sort of legacy is the entrepreneur looking to leave with the community&mdash;do his intentions have more to do with property value than cultural value? &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Other venues such as the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/mia/venues/show/9978-rubell-family-collection">Rubell Family Collection</a> and the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/mia/venues/show/12747-margulies-collection-at-the-warehouse">Margulies Collection at the Warehouse</a> have been influencing the local art scene for years. Both organizations are housed in the Wynwood Arts District, with each family creating a not-for-profit extension of their financial empires. Martin Z. Margulies, who has been known to give impromptu guided tours to unsuspecting art lovers (myself included) where he offers firsthand accounts of schmoozing with some of the godfathers of modern art. The Rubells host similar docent-led art tours through their collections and both organizations collaborate with local public and charter schools like Design District&rsquo;s DASH (Design and Architecture Senior High) with a curriculum of educational and special events programming.&nbsp;</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/20140815054632-ll.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Rosa &amp; Carlos de la Cruz</em>; Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection</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;">Cuban collectors Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz have also made <a href="http://www.artslant.com/mia/venues/show/19643-de-la-cruz-collection-contemporary-art-space">their collections</a> accessible, as has Ella Fontanals-Cisneros who launched the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/mia/venues/show/9684-cifo-cisneros-fontanals-art-foundation">Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)</a> in 2002. Both host international residency programs with a focus on supporting Latin American artists. These types of educational and community driven programs are often the wards of municipal tax dollars, so it&rsquo;s particularly noteworthy that both of these families largely fund such programs with little recourse to public money.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The question critics may ask is why&nbsp;have these exceptionally wealthy families and business moguls taken the time to buy, build, and maintain multi-million dollar&mdash;the Margulies Collection alone has an estimated net worth of $800 million&mdash;&ldquo;passion projects&rdquo; with no direct financial incentive in sight?&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The answer to that question may be found in Harvard Professor Joseph Nye&rsquo;s famous essay &ldquo;Soft Power,&rdquo;&nbsp;which details the political influence of cultural institutions and their ability to shape public opinion. In the essay, Nye writes, "Culture shapes the environment for policymaking, but does so indirectly, through a process that is slow and can take years to manifest. It is therefore necessary for actors&mdash;individual organizations and governments alike&mdash;to create environments, physical locations and situations where culture can be exhibited as well as exchanged.&rdquo;<a href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> For Nye, political power rests in an entity&rsquo;s ability to influence its environment. The cynic might assume that perhaps for the wealthy Miami art patron and business mogul, a few hundred million is a worthy investment if it will garner the kind of political clout that will literally change the city&rsquo;s landscape and infrastructure.</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;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140815055019-unnamed.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Ella Fontanals-Cisneros</em>, President and Founder, CIFO; Courtesy of CIFO</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;">In the end, however, it is the Miami resident who benefits from the power-plays of the elite. As the artifacts of fine art and high culture are assembled in permanent collections on display for the Miami community, the opportunities for a socially conscious mindset will potentially foster a stronger, more rigorous artistic community capable not only of keeping local talent duly engaged, but of attracting artists and visitors from around the world. It could certainly be viewed as a long-term power play. Then again, perhaps these generous donations and family collections are simply &ldquo;thank yous&rdquo; to a town that made their success possible. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><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;"><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #525552;">[</span></a></span><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">1</a><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #525552;">]</span></a> (<a href="http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/content/pdf/participant-papers/2012-08-acd/what-role-do-museums-and-art-institutions-play-in-international-relations-today-leanne-hoogwaerts.pdf" target="_blank">Hoogwaerts, 2012</a>)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <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/121595-allyson-parker?tab=REVIEWS">Allyson Parker</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #525552;">[Image on top:</span> <span style="color: #525552;">P&eacute;rez Art Museum Miami,&nbsp;east&nbsp;fa&ccedil;ade.&nbsp;February 2014,&nbsp;Designed by Herzog &amp; de Meuron;&nbsp;Photo:&nbsp;Armando/MannyofMiami.com; Courtesy P&eacute;rez Art Museum Miami]</span></span></p> </div> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:58:43 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Under the Dark of Night: Outdoor Vision Fest at Pushkin Gallery <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.pushkingallery.com">Pushkin Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, located on Canyon Road, opened in 2000 as the first Russian art gallery in Santa Fe. Its founder, Kenneth Pushkin, and its curator of Russian painting, Rosa Lena Reed Robinson, recently began engaging the students at the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://santafeuniversity.edu">Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD)</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in a vibrant and innovative collaboration. Pushkin Gallery has since established the Pushkin Gallery Prize, an annual scholarship rewarded to a new media student&mdash;this summer, the gallerists have offered the building&rsquo;s fa&ccedil;ade for a series of summer-long video mapping projections called </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://santafeuniversity.edu/student-work/outdoor-vision-fest/">Outdoor Vision Fest</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (OVF). The University also hosts its own Outdoor Vision Fest, started in 2011, from which Pushkin drew its inspiration. I sat down with Reed Robinson to discuss the scholarship, opportunities for young new media artists, and the similarities between Modern Russian art and contemporary digital initiatives.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>Hannah Hoel: Can you explain the scholarship process? How is a student chosen and what do they receive?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Rosa Lena Reed Robinson:</strong> This year marks the second annual awarding of the Pushkin Gallery Prize at SFUAD. The prize this year will be a commissioned exhibition visible to over 300,000 collectors, featured at two pre-eminent art fairs: Art Silicon Valley/Art San Francisco and Art Miami. The selection process reflects an enhanced investment in the digital new media program at the SFUAD Film School. Two professors at the university are particularly noteworthy: Terry Borst and Brad Wolfley. They select the students for exhibition, for scholarship receipt, and are incomparable ambassadors for this particular artistic focus.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: When did the scholarship begin?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR:</strong> The Pushkin Gallery Prize took center stage in 2013 at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.russianartweek.co.uk/">Russian Art Week</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;in London. The program of events during the auction season focused on our contemporary collection, specifically the artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.pushkingallery.com/releases/view/6">Boris Chetkov</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (1926-2010). The spellbinding momentum and investment in color that fuels Chetkov&rsquo;s work inspired me to reach out to the University Film School. Groundbreaking digital video installations are particularly influential in keeping with the immediate Russian avant-garde. The initial recipients of the scholarship, Ryan Riggs and Chelsey Danielsen, worked directly from the artist&rsquo;s paintings. The resulting work was a digital media animation of these pieces. The video itself was showcased at the opening of Russian Art Week, held at the Westbury Hotel Gallery, Mayfair London, in tandem with the publication release of <em>Re-Imagining Russia</em>, the newest Chetkov publication.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: Those are such great opportunities. Is that the main goal of the scholarship?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR:</strong> The opportunity to exhibit has truly become the intention of the Pushkin Gallery Prize. Our desire to showcase our Russian post-war paintings in a new light has absolutely blossomed into an ongoing dialogue between artists, deceased and living, established and aspiring, who choose alternative means of expression. The student commitment to growth, to change, to the alternative has revitalized our own appreciation of our collection.</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/20140814182157-photo_8.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: How did OVF at Pushkin begin?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR: </strong>Due to the success of the initial Pushkin Galley Prize and the tremendous output seen at SFUAD&rsquo;s OVF, OVF at Pushkin Gallery was conceived and implemented. Through OVF at Pushkin Gallery, the immediate relationship between student and patron is even more precious.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: How many students have displayed work?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR: </strong>Beginning Labor Day weekend 2014, seven students have produced site-specific media installations on historic Canyon Road. The students&mdash;Aldo Vidrio, Arnold Mateos Itai, and VJ Buran (aka Chris Beran)&mdash;are of particular note, as they have attended and projected on multiple occasions. We have had DJs come to create sound installations simultaneously with the video projections and artists have done digital mapping of the Pushkin Gallery fa&ccedil;ade. The only requirement of the students is a commitment to standing for progression and experimentation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: Were these students chosen from SFUAD&rsquo;s OVF?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR:</strong> All of the artists we feature are students currently enrolled in The Film School at SFUAD. All students have also previously participated in OVF at SFUAD.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: How do you see these initiatives evolving?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR:</strong> I certainly foresee great things evolving out of the partnership between SFUAD and Pushkin Gallery. Because of the very nature of both Modern Russian avant-garde paintings and of digital media installations, there is really nothing that cannot be done. We are inherently invested in the experimental. The media dictates this opportunity; we must simply keep apace.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140814182522-photo_4_1.jpg" alt="" /></em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>HH: There is little marketing of these events. Can you comment on their guerrilla nature?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>RR:</strong> As our area of expertise is Modern Russian fine art, Pushkin Gallery has an engendered level of comfort with the underground. Many of our artists made work under conditions of great duress, keeping secret studios, working either at the height of controversy within the official Soviet system or working quietly, completely outside of the establishment. As such, our desire to continue to explore avant-garde principles within contemporary art is quite well founded. Under the dark of night, the most progressive contemporary media is happening on historic Canyon Road. I really enjoy the juxtaposition.</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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/394156-hannah-hoel?tab=REVIEWS">Hannah Hoel</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[All images: OVF at Pushkin Gallery, 2014, Digital Media; Courtesy Pushkin Gallery]</span></p> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 07:48:29 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Ruin Value: Sammlung Boros (The Boros Collection) in Berlin <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;Time turns metaphors into things&rdquo; &ndash; Robert Smithson</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Ruins are often untouchable spaces. The ruin embodies architecture as memory; the site is a host to ghosts, standing half-formed and half-alive as specters from the past, "unregulated" and with "no present function,"<a href="#_ftn1">[1]</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;an artifact, as some would say, that transforms the symbolic into the concrete. The influence of the past invades potential futures of the space, so much so that the ruin is trapped in time, a cycle that Robert Smithson attributes as belonging to the &ldquo;non-historical past."<a href="#_ftn2">[2]</a></span>&nbsp;<span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Yet the ruin is also physical; it is how we (visually) touch history. But how does this context change when certain present-day ruins were </span><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">designed</em><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> to be so:&nbsp;r</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">uins that are not structures affected by time&mdash;indeterminable and distant&mdash;but &nbsp;ones that represent the very ethos of the goal, the purpose of the architecture?&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">What are we to make of the buildings that were planned, built, and executed with their predicted, indeed imminent, status as a ruin in mind?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What if ruins were not a remnant of civilization, but the very purpose of it?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819022720-20140814143611-Bunker_web.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Exterior view of the bunker; Photo: &copy; NOSHE</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;">It is through this very unnatural state that Albert Speer, Hitler&rsquo;s chief architect and Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich, conceived the concept of "</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Ruin value" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruin_value">ruin value</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">." His buildings were constructed in such a way they would leave aesthetically pleasing ruins for thousands of years into the future. In resistance to its Romantic symbolism, the WWII listed air-raid bunker that houses the Sammlung Boros (the Boros Collection) in Berlin-Mitte is a persistent and tenacious ruin. It is fitting that the building, in addition to its role as a bunker, was envisioned to be part of Hitler's grand vision of <a title="Germania" href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/insanity-on-the-spree-new-exhibit-explores-hitler-s-germania-a-540558.html"><span style="color: #525552;">"</span></a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Germania" href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/insanity-on-the-spree-new-exhibit-explores-hitler-s-germania-a-540558.html">Germania</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><a title="Germania" href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/insanity-on-the-spree-new-exhibit-explores-hitler-s-germania-a-540558.html"><span style="color: #525552;">"</span></a>&mdash;which Berlin would be have been entirely renewed and renamed&mdash;had the Germans had triumphed. The architecture of the site, planned by Karl Bonatz under the supervision of Speer, traces a replacement of the Romantic nostalgia for decay with an obstinate structure, standing firmly in the face of destruction surrounding Berlin or Dresden, circa 1945<a href="#_ftn3">[3]</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. It is also a &ldquo;ruin&rdquo; entirely devoted to contemporary art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The private collection&mdash;despite being contained within a piece of very specific and inescapable history&mdash;is exceptionally current, featuring works from the '90s along with many recent pieces. Collected by Christian and Karen Boros, the acquisitions on view within the five-story cement fortress are bought the year the work is made&mdash;&ldquo;they never collect backward,&rdquo; one guide notes. Out of the 700 works that make up the Boros collection, 130 individual pieces are on view. The exhibition, only the second to open within the collection&rsquo;s walls, capitalizes on its context, resonating with the oppressive architecture of the space to expand on themes of access, boundaries, dramatic representation of time, and the fall-out of expected outcomes. Sound within the space is deadened by the concrete walls, which are two meters thick in most instances.</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The installation is unique in the sense that each of the twenty-three artists on display installed and adapted their pieces to fit the space. A type of site-specificity permeates the many works on view; the tension between straight installation and painting is strangely indiscernible within the automatic specificity awarded by the bunker walls. The galleries operate like a maze, meandering through and opening up to different experiences, different worlds, within the tight confines of the low ceilings, and expanses of paint peeled away by the years. Swaths of torn red and grey sweep the starkness of the walls. Certain spaces have been renovated by the collectors, refinished with white walls and fluorescent lights&mdash;glimpses into the typical white cube, greeting the viewer with momentary lapses into a less demanding and weighted context.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140814140429-IMG_8143.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Michael Sailstorfer</strong>,<em> Forst (01)</em>, 2010, Electric motor, steel, one oak tree, Installation view Boros Collection, 2012; Photograph by Katy Hamer.</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 one of the stark white-walled galleries, a tree hangs upside down from a motorized fixture, slowly turning to trace its branches in a circle on the floor. Its leaves, still tinged with a faint green in certain small passages of foliage, are the only indication that this tree was not cut down so long ago&mdash;its current state, inverted and infinitely rotating, is still fresh in its consciousness. This is <em>Forst (01)</em>, by Michael Sailstorfer, an oak tree slowly turning itself to dust. Just as ruins are endowed with their own symbols, the piece is a classical nod to Romanticism, taking the image of the tree and overturning it. Its reversal mimics a similar formula in Romantic literature&mdash;Shelley&rsquo;s blasted tree, or Milton&rsquo;s Tree of Life in <em>Paradise Lost</em>&mdash;as a direct representation of a natural object injected with sentimentality, but in a way that teases and undermines its own seriousness. The mechanized component within the piece is a slight, a purposeful affront to the Romantic idea of retreat from an industrialized world. The tree, if we insist on its personification, is more like Sisyphus: it exists. The tree is a material, not a symbol.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An emphasis on materiality, seen through the guise of romance, is a recurring pattern throughout the collection. Alicja Kwade&rsquo;s work is featured multiple times throughout the various rooms of the bunker. In one small alcove of the space, what resembles a shattered mirror lies broken and separated on the dark and unfinished concrete floors, spot lit so that the fragments glisten in the dim and limited light. The piece is not fragile; though the site appears tenuous and breakable, it is in fact cast out of hard metal, staged as a perfect accident, a careful catastrophe. Much like the space, <em>Unter anderer Bedingung</em> [<em>Among Other Conditions</em>] braces itself for a descent that never comes, instead existing in this parallel state of expectancy. While the material admits its strength, the image of the unbreakable metal is never at ease, never without trepidation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In another work of Kwade&rsquo;s, <em>Parallelwelt</em>, two identical lamps are separated (severed) by a slice of mirror. The sculpture allows you to navigate the object in the round, forever adjusting and readjusting its parameters&mdash;is that the green lamp or the white?&mdash;through the trompe l&rsquo;oeil of the reflection. While one object certainly does not feed into the other, there is the hesitance, the unanswered question, of how our eyes are unable to discern such a clear and obvious trick. The mistrust, or faltering of objects, is something Kwade navigates often. A third work, <em>Andere Bedingung (Aggregatzustand 4)</em>, pictures various materials&mdash;geometric pieces of wood, glass, and metal&mdash;ostensibly melting down the wall. In the process of the objects losing their concreteness, their faith is also lost. The betrayal of gravity is a symbol of mistrust in its most basic of forms.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140814140455-Alicja_Kwade.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>Alicja Kwade,</strong><em> Parallelwelt,</em> 2012, Installation view Boros Collection, 2012; Courtesy Sammlung Boros</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;">Perhaps the most fascinating architectural element of the Boros Collection is the Scissor Stairs, or double-helix stairs&mdash;invented by da Vinci&mdash;the only vertical access point throughout the bunker. The staircase is made up of two independently intertwined structures, designed such that whoever is climbing the stairs can see their opposite, but never intersect with them. Civilians on one side, power on the other. If the status of this &ldquo;ruin&rdquo; is to harbor the affect of the past, the sense of authority within the collection&rsquo;s walls is overwhelmingly preserved, if not heightened over time. In the face of such historical precedence, the work within the bunker pauses the trajectory of the site&rsquo;s past, relegating its status as a ruin into something less predictable, less determinable&mdash;a &ldquo;non-historical&rdquo; space defined not by its inability to exist separately from history, but through its ability to change its future.</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;"><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #525552;">[</span></a></span><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">1</a><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #525552;">]</span></a> Tim Edensor, &ldquo;</span><a href="http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/industrial_ruins_space_aesthetics_materiality/">Industrial Ruins &ndash; Space, Aesthetics, Materiality</a><span style="color: #525552;">&rdquo;</span></span></p> </div> <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="#_ftnref2"><span style="color: #525552;">[</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">2</a></span><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2"><span style="color: #525552;">]</span></a> Robert Smithson, "I am convinced," he wrote, "that the future is lost somewhere in the dumps of the nonhistorical past; it is in yesterday's newspapers, in the jejune advertisements of science fiction movies, in the false mirror of our rejected dreams. Time turns metaphors into things, and stacks them up in cold rooms, or places them in the celestial playgrounds of the suburbs."</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref3"><span style="color: #525552;">[</span></a></span><a title="" href="#_ftnref3">3</a><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref3"><span style="color: #525552;">]</span></a> Fran&ccedil;oise Meltzer, &ldquo;</span><a href="http://chicagomaroon.com/2013/10/22/meltzer-keys-in-on-symbolism-of-ruins-to-romanticism/">In Search of Nostalgia: Ruins</a><span style="color: #525552;">.&rdquo;</span></span></p> </div> </div> <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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS">Stephanie Cristello</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><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>Alicja Kwade</strong>, <em>Andere Bedingung (Aggregatzustand 4), </em>2009, Installation view Boros Collection, 2012; Courtesy Sammlung Boros]</span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:27:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list It's a Cruel Cruel Summer at Jonathan LeVine Gallery <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">People say galleries get slow in the summer in New York, but there is nothing lacklustre or mundane about the group exhibition <em>Cruel Summer </em>at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. Curated by collector and graffiti historian Roger Gastman, the exhibition&rsquo;s title is derived from the popular song featured in the original Karate Kid film by Bananarama. The music video portrays the three female band members causing trouble and dancing throughout New York City&nbsp;&ndash; including a Dukes of Hazard-esque car chase that involves throwing bananas at the police. Overall the show is inspired by that summer of 1984 &ndash; Gastman also mentions the first Macintosh personal computer and the Olympics as influences. With this exhibition, he successfully captures that same energy he felt in 1984. Featuring the work of over 20 international artists, the exhibition brings together all the excitement and colors of that summer, without looking dated.</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/20140819222916-DabsMyla_Orange_Blossom_L.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>Dabs Myla,</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong><em>Orange Blossom</em>,&nbsp;acrylic on cradled wood panel; Courtesy of the Artist and Jonathan LeVine Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The exhibition fills up both of Jonathan LeVine&rsquo;s gallery locations. In particular, the 23rd Street gallery features large-scale installations by Dabs Myla, a married artist duo. Originally from Melbourne, the couple&rsquo;s work narrates their life together. The installation is an assortment of walls painted by the artists and the various works together tell a story: paintings feature their signature style and reveal their inspirations and love for traveling, graffiti, and food: translating on the various chosen canvases as dancing hotdogs, cartoon cigarettes and other personified animals. It&rsquo;s like reading a comic book but instead of frames, the characters jump from painting to vases and onto the walls of the gallery. The couple&rsquo;s collaborative style contrasts nicely with mixed-media collages by Shepard Fairey and drawings by Parisian artist Horfe, who also derives inspiration from animations, with quite different but equally dynamic results.</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/20140813164916-VenomFreedom-L.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Installation view, </strong>Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery</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;">Many of the artists in the exhibition grew up in the 1980's or 1990's, while others were already writing graffiti &ndash; such as the legendary Blade and Eric Haze. Niagara&rsquo;s femme fatales speak to the chaos caused in the video of Bananarama, running amok in New York. The exhibition connects thus two generations of graffiti writers and street artists. Encompassing sculpture, textiles, illustration, and collage, it also reveals the many different practices that continue to expand the definition of street art. In the 20th Street gallery, the Ben Venom hand-made quilt, entitled <em>All The Aces, </em>welcomes visitors when they first step into the space<em>. </em>Using recycled fabric, the typically delicate art of quilt making is juxtaposed with a roaring tiger head centered in a spider web. Decorated with knives, dice, severed hands, and even a grenade, the quilt is one great example of what Jonathan LeVine Gallery does best: it&rsquo;s all in the surprise elements.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>Cruel Summer</em> is a moment to explore how an era informed, influenced and produced these artists and how it continues to inspire their practices today.</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/20140813164959-NiagraHuskMitNavn-L.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Installation view, </strong>Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery<br /></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;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Matthew Keeshin</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> Pose</strong>, <em>Honey</em>, acrylic, spray paint and paper on Clayboard panel, 48 x 36 inches (121.92 x 91.44 cm)</span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:31:05 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Bummer: Reflections on the Varieties of Human Folly, Aesthetics, and the 1990s <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For some reason, in the wake of men creating darkness, they also make art: Christ gets crucified, someone paints a scene of it. War with the Japanese, a handmade game called &ldquo;Kill the Jap.&rdquo; Stalin shaves off and effectively enslaves a solid percentage of Russian society in order to hoist industrialization upon its weary shoulders&mdash;a porcelain plate, so you can eat off his face.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Such examples are the art and design found at <em>Bummer</em>, a small, eccentric exhibition on view at the Wolfsonian-FIU. Adding to (and explicating on) this eccentricity is the fact that Todd Oldham, well-known fashion and interior designer and TV host, curated the installation.</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/20140813063817-Todd_Oldham_on_Todd_Time__his_segment_for_MTV_s_House_of_Style._Image_courtesy_of_MTV.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Todd Oldham</strong> on<em> Todd Time</em>, his segment for MTV's House of Style; Courtesy of MTV</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;">Oldham, who launched his first clothing line in 1989, hosted the &ldquo;Todd Time&rdquo; segment on MTV&rsquo;s <em>House of Style</em> and then his own series <em>Fashionably Loud</em>. Known in the '90s for his kitschy mashup patterning, he&rsquo;s designed lines for mega-corporate clients such as Target and La-Z-Boy, and has written almost twenty books on design. So he knows something about customized objects and pop culture even if his resume is a little short on curatorial experience. No matter: it&rsquo;s a good show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Oldham drew the contents of his installation from the museum&rsquo;s permanent collection. Consisting of decorative objects, furniture, documents, and paintings, the exhibition, like the Wolfsonian&rsquo;s collection, is primarily a look at the period from 1885-1945. Oldham was invited to curate the exhibition as part of the museum&rsquo;s inaugural symposium titled Power of Design, for which &ldquo;Complaints&rdquo; was the theme.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Presented salon style, <em>Bummer</em> is great for its parts though lacking in its sum total. Third Reich branded cutlery sits in a display case next to the &ldquo;caput applicator,&rdquo; a mid-century S&amp;M-looking device one attaches to the face for sinus suction. An equally uncomfortable and/or arousing chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright awaits you on the platform parallel. The objects spark an initial rush of interest and consideration, but for the most part they are nothing we haven&rsquo;t seen before.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition also commits a fatal flaw inherent in contemporary art, one that arguably crystallized in the '90s: it makes kitsch out of subjects that deserve more intensity, or at least perhaps a different sort of kitsching out. Also, and maybe contradictorily, the shortage of more contemporary objects (i.e. post-war if not post-9/11) doesn&rsquo;t bode well for producing a &ldquo;bummer,&rdquo; if we&rsquo;re to heed the colloquial spirit of the phrase.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">To fly all these objects under the <em>Bummer </em>banner, too, is reflective of the cheeky, euphemistic maneuvering&mdash;the complicit, straight-up cheesy spirit of commercial optimism&mdash;of what we might call the '90s aesthetic. Put plainly, it sucks the imagination out of what&rsquo;s required for thinking about the terror of industrial-scale subjugation and extermination of human beings.</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/20140813063912-Decorative_plates_on_view_at_Bummer._Photo_courtesy_of_FIU-Wolfsonian.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Decorative plates on view at <em>Bummer</em>; Courtesy of The Wolfsonian- FIU</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;">However, we may yet think of the exhibition another way. The Stalin plate, also the beautiful and thusly unsettling photos of interior designs by Nazi architect Paul Ludwig Troost&mdash;these sorts of objects show that in order to commit the kinds of atrocities that the 20<sup>th</sup> (and now 21<sup>st</sup>) Century are known for, it is necessary to make decoration out of the abysmal, to present the tyrant/regime/crime as normal&mdash;and not only normal, but also culturally relevant and resonant.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Also suggestive of the limits and successes of the exhibition are the internationally sourced AIDS awareness posters, which depict the humanitarian foil to this fact, the greener grass of modern aesthetic intent. But as one of the few examples of more relatable tragedy, it fails to make an impact beyond a mildly sad nostalgia.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">So while Oldham doesn&rsquo;t provide the tools or context for greater insight into human folly and tragedy, the objects do emit an ambient creepiness that speaks to the inaccessibility of things like Auschwitz and the Gulag.</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;"><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: Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Bummer;</em> Courtesy of The Wolfsonian- FIU)</span></p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:38:53 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Disintegrating Letters of an Unknown Alphabet <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">When asked how it felt to be a surrealist in 2002, Dorothea Tanning, <em>Grand Dame</em> of surrealism (read: last surviving surrealist&mdash;then 91 years of age) responded &ldquo;like a fossil,&rdquo; with all the implications of stone-held lifelessness that description conjures for an art form that was declared definitely dead sixty years prior. <em>Web of Dreams</em> draws its theme from her work with the figure&mdash;a broad remit, and ultimately one that serves as a catch-all to present a chronologically wide-ranging sweep through her work, with paintings and drawings concentrated around the mid-50s to the 1980s.</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/20140812151914-Tableau_vivant__Living_Picture__1954.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Dorothea Tanning</strong>, <em>Tableau vivant (Living Picture)</em>, 1954, Oil on canvas, Unframed: 116.6 x 88.8 cm /&nbsp; Framed: 117.8 x 90.5 x 3.2 cm ; Copyright The Estate of Dorothea Tanning</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;">The dream-life represented in these works&mdash;unmolested by the logic of the daytime&mdash;is, in the main, still as absolutely fresh and un-fossilized as it must have been when she created it: a haunting of the subconscious that may age, but does not necessarily date. Among the human figures to be found amassed here in varying stages of actuality stalks a strange, doe-eyed canine biped, a veristic dream-dog from the pages of a forgotten almanac. It's faded cartoon Americana coughed into the unwaking world, as surprisingly untraditional a dream symbol as its appearance is prochronistic in its apparent subversion of kitsch. The figure returns variously throughout the exhibition. In <em>Tableau Vivant</em> this motley character stares out directly at the viewer, the dish-lenses pleading infinity whilst simultaneously reflecting references from the earliest anthropomorphism. It appears in direct contrast to the realism of the naked female figure that it looms over&mdash;supporting, or alternatively encroaching on, menacing. Again and again, Tanning places the viewer in this uncomfortable position; three, or four times removed from reality, one finds oneself staring into the eyes of this beast, puzzling at a loose cipher for every childhood toy, and all the concomitant trust that implies, and feeling oneself reaching for a sense of conscious logic that continues to elude. (In the eponymous painting <em>Web of Dreams</em>, the canine form relaxes on a curved sofa with a proto-Venus, her limbs carrying out to indefinite tangles of flesh, bacon rind against the draped cushions. In the background there seems to be the glow of molten lava). As Tanning is quoted at the entrance to the show: &ldquo;My dreams are studded with objects that have no relation to anything in the dictionary&hellip; I insist words are powerless to describe a slept dream.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Of the seven large paintings that adorn the main room of the gallery, four feature the strange progress of the toytown dream-dog, whilst the others present Tanning&rsquo;s reworking of the human form. Of these, <em>Notes for an Apocalypse</em><strong>&mdash;</strong>which is the central picture of the exhibition both in its placing and its command over the surrounding works&mdash;presents the viewer with an unsettling scene: tumbling bodies, reminiscent of antiquity, jostle and fall into darkness, upsetting the clean, flat expanse of a tablecloth that runs uncrumpled along the length of the painting. One holds a nearly hidden ball of fire, and is beset by a lurking, flabby death&rsquo;s-head. The sense of weight and disaster is palpable. Limbs become liquid. The effect is terrifying.</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/20140812151646-Poses_en_dehors_de_l_atelier_1977.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Dorothea Tanning</strong>, <em>Poses en dehors de l'atelier</em>, 1977, Watercolor and graphite on paper, Unframed: 48.3 x 61.6 cm / Framed: 72.5 x 83.8 cm; Copyright The Estate of Dorothea Tanning</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;">Other rooms present smaller ink drawings and sketches, where dancing anatomies, ambiguously meaty, cavort and writhe, their poses suggesting a dance of mad celebration&mdash;none more so than in the birthday card to her then-husband, Max Ernst, where within the revelers in the strange conga-line reappears the canine fiend, triumphant over its now-vanquished foe. At their most abstract, these figures come close to resembling the disintegrating letters of an unknown language, some portion of the dream that remains for a few moments on waking&mdash;cryptic, indecipherable&mdash;before fading entirely.</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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/387041-thogdin-ripley?tab=REVIEWS">Thogdin Ripley</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Dorothea Tanning</strong>, <em>Notes for an Apocalypse, </em>1978, Oil on Canvas, Unframed: 124.3 x 163.5 cm / Framed: 126 x 165 x 3 cm; Courtesy of The Artist and Alison Jacques Gallery)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:27:52 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The city as hardware, soft infrastructure, and idea <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Horizontals, verticals, and some disciplined curves, squares and angles offset by relentless electrical streetlights. The wall with forty vintage photographs marking the start of <em>The Rush and Calm, Moments in the City</em> looks like an architect&rsquo;s drawing table. Karl Hugo Schm&ouml;lz&rsquo;s 1950s documentation of German cinemas, orchestra houses, car dealerships, and shopping malls clearly illustrates the strong focus on hardware during the post-war Reconstruction period. They show the city as landscape, the sum of town planning, math, and concrete, a formal space devoid of human life.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Turn the corner and you&rsquo;ll find yourself in an explosion of bodies and faces. Gone is the tranquility. Streets and buildings have receded into the background, their status reduced to that of stage. Hardware is overruled by the soft infrastructure of human habitation&mdash;and all the action that goes with it. The street photographers making up a sizeable part of the anonymous private collection lying at the base of this exhibition, caught it in all its shades of glory and defeat.</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/20140812104825-de_stad_de_stilte_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Karl Hugo Schm&ouml;lz</strong> (1917-1986), <em>modehuis Wormland, Keulen,</em> 1957 &copy; Wim Cox, Cologne</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;">Of course, Ed van der Elsken&rsquo;s mods and beehives are present, as are Daido Moriyama&rsquo;s smudgy depictions of Tokyo nightlife. But the majority of the forty photographers presented are American and that shouldn&rsquo;t come as a surprise. In the US no cities had to be rebuilt from rubble and after World War II the country moved straight into an era of unprecedented conspicuous consumption, with the city as its most outspoken arena. Here Mitch Epstein photographed four girls sitting on a lawn holding an unbelievably large snake; in bars and dance clubs George S. Zimbel caught the first glimpses of youth subculture; and in the park Ron Galella, who soon dubbed himself &ldquo;paparazzo extraordinaire,&rdquo; surprised Jackie Kennedy while watching a tennis game, subsequently chasing her to her chauffeur-driven car.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Except as a place for the new, the weird, and the wonderful, the city also came into its own as the ultimate locus of loneliness. Dana Lixenberg&rsquo;s portraits of homeless men in a New York shelter&mdash;a parade of dead eyes and burned hopes&mdash;are chilling in their directness. The men in Saul Leitner&rsquo;s images are often better off, sitting in a restaurant or moving along in a cab, but they are always depicted behind glass. Here also, communication has become impossible. The positive flipside of the city&rsquo;s isolation and anonymity is the room left to indulge in individual passions. Would Joan Colom have tried to photograph women&rsquo;s behinds in any place less metropolitan than Barcelona, he would have been lynched.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A lot of the names in <em>The Rush and Calm, Moments in the City</em> have popped up in Dutch museum shows over the past decade. Lee Friedlander&rsquo;s <em>The New Car</em>, the fabulous series of car portraits which revolutionized commercial photography by introducing a snapshot-like quality, was on show at FOAM as recently as last year. The Amsterdam museum often features street photography and has also shown Moriyama, Epstein, Colom, Walker Evans, and Helen Levitt, mostly in solo exhibitions. The great surplus value of this presentation, however, is that it shows all these greats together and as part of an era characterized by an unprecedented urban vitality. Even more so, it makes clear how this group cemented photography&rsquo;s status as the ultimate medium for documenting this new, fast, and chaotic form of social organization.</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/20140812104602-de_stad_de_stilte_4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Michael Wolf,</strong> <em>Tokyo Compression</em>, 2010; Courtesy of the artist and Fotomuseum Den Haag</span></p> <p><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;">At the end of the show, where the most recent work hangs, the curator could have chosen to make a conceptual U-turn, back to Schm&ouml;lz&rsquo;s architectural approach. The empty interiors of Candida H&ouml;fer or Andreas Gursky would have rounded off the story nicely. And with Frank van der Salm&rsquo;s aerial photograph of a rooftop pool it seems to end up that way. But in the last hall the perspective shifts in a different direction. Larry Sultan portrays porn stars in Californian villas, Katharina Bosse burlesque dancers on pavements, and Pierre Faure a doll-like woman standing in the middle of a busy Tokyo intersection. Man seems to have merged with his surroundings; the city has been internalized and &ldquo;the person in the city&rdquo; has evolved into &ldquo;the city person.&rdquo; This new dynamic, emblematic of the 21st century in which more people live in cities than not, becomes clearest in Marnix Goossens&rsquo; <em>Silver Beach</em>. It shows trees, bushes, and grass in all chlorophyllic shades. In the middle sits a parked Opel painted in the most hideous green, sticking out like a sore thumb. Urban life makes itself known without the usual hustle and bustle, light or concrete. The city has become an idea.</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></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Karl Hugo Schm&ouml;lz</strong> (1917-1986), <em>Rheinpreussen, Gasstation Oskar J&auml;gerstrasse</em>, 1952; &copy; Wim Cox, Cologne]</span></p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 03:55:23 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The Sickboy Effect <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Down a street off Soho Square a booze-soaked, rambunctious crowd piled out on the street. It was one of those rare summer evenings in London &ndash; somewhere between sweaty and balmy. Squeeze past the well-pruned bloggers, pogonophiles and the members of the banksy-forum cult, into the airless gallery, where the hundred-odd guests had impregnated the air with the scent of their sweaty-balmy bodies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">This is the Sickboy effect &ndash; bringing a bit of griminess and a glaze of stickiness to make everything a little surreal. The added odourous dimension was an apt accompaniment to the upstairs gallery, a series of toxic cosmopop canvases, weirdo worlds that seem less &lsquo;abstract&rsquo; (as they&rsquo;re described in the press release), more literal realizations of a demented universe that has imploded inside a pyschedelically-charged brain.</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/20140811154444-sickboy-make-it-last-forever-889.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Downstairs, the coffin motif Sickboy is known for continues in 3D, as an installation, a kind of comic underworld that recalls a 50s fairground&nbsp;&ndash; with levitating characters, smiling hearts and arrows &ndash; and an Alice-in-Wonderlandesque hole, twinkling with lights that seem to lead to a secret chamber. Tempted to climb inside, the security promptly remarks&nbsp;&ndash; &ldquo;there&rsquo;s nothing in there&rdquo;.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Sickboy comes from the &lsquo;90s wave of prolific graffiti writers turned artists from the UK&rsquo;s alt-culture capital Bristol (he even appears in Banksy&rsquo;s film <em>Exit Through the Gift Shop</em>). A painter who dabbles in many media (except stencils) Sickboy is an influential subculture creator: he was reportedly the first artist to make his tag a logo, an act which made an important alignment between graffiti and other design practices. Though his significance perhaps resonates more with those inside the culture, the artist&rsquo;s logo-tag can now fetch up to &pound;50,000 in the commercial market. In the mid 2000&rsquo;s the artist relocated to London, where he set about painting the now saturated streets of the East End.</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/20140811154552-sickboy-make-it-last-forever-890.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In the lead up to his big gig at Lazarides, Sickboy buried five of his coffin treasure chests around London, then announced their locations with an aerial map for the freaks and fans to go and dig up. The PR stunt draws a faint parallel with the work of his Bristolian peer Banksy &ndash; though their aesthetics are wildly removed from one another&nbsp;&ndash; it&rsquo;s not only about putting art on the street, it&rsquo;s about infiltrating the public, getting inside the streets, as it were. One of the coffins is also on display on the ground floor, packed with the kind of merchandise that is synonymous with graffiti &ndash; sticker packs, patches and prints. Sickboy&rsquo;s irreverant attitude symbolised in this maudlin consumer treasure hunt &ndash; the coffin filled with its very ephemeral contents &ndash; makes him a very British artist. You leave the show uplifed by its pervasive sense of irony at the futility of it all.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140811155901-_MG_0620.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140811160104-make-it-last-forever-843.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140811160152-sickboy-make-it-last-forever-888.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140811160240-sickboy-make-it-last-forever-893.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140811160308-sickboy-make-it-last-forever-891.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140811160349-Website_IMG_3173_Artist_Sickboy_Photo___Ian_Cox_2014.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(All Images: <strong>SICKBOY</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and The Outsiders)</span></p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:52:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Clouded Points of Access: Phantoms in the Dirt at the Museum of Contemporary Photography <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What first reads like an astral constellation is in fact a photograph whose blackness is broken only by the erratic swarm of dead insect bodies. Greg Stimac&rsquo;s <em>Santa Fe to Billings</em>&nbsp;(2009) documents the choreography of the countless lives his windshield intersected on a drive between locales. The momentum of each smash is evident&mdash;guts smear and spray across the surface, recording innumerable tiny accidents. To create this piece, Stimac placed an 8 x 10 inch sheet of Plexiglass on the hood of his car. Upon arriving to his final destination&mdash;Billings, in this case&mdash;he used the car&rsquo;s cigarette lighter to scan the resulting plate, thereby producing the final 20 x 30 inch photograph. This piece&mdash;its documentary mode, its gritty surface, its use of technology&mdash;is the perfect beginning for the Museum of Contemporary Photography&rsquo;s <em>Phantoms in the Dirt</em>, a group exhibition curated by Karsten Lund, which currently showcases sixteen artists. In each work lies a theoretical straw: something the viewer grasps with sudden exuberance and recognition&mdash;Yes! Bugs spatter on my car too!&mdash;only to bump into larger questions, mysteries, and catastrophes thereafter. Stimac&rsquo;s insects might provoke anxiety in the viewer about her own mortality, or encapsulate an expression of violence both sickening and banal, or even illustrate humanity&rsquo;s omniscient relationship to its environment. Like the early efforts to prove the existence of an afterlife by capturing spirits on photographic paper, <em>Phantoms in the Dirt</em> presents the enigmatic trick of landscape photography, stirring up powerful questions about authenticity, mechanical illusion, and existential meaning in the process.</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/20140809080026-Rossiter_Eastman_Kodak_Azo_F3_expired_August_1932_processed_in_2011__A_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Alison Rossiter,</strong> <em>Eastman Kodak Azo F3, expired August 1932, processed in 2011 (A), </em>Unique gelatin silver print; Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Everything about the exhibition is balanced, precise, and clean. Even the various rusty sculptures&mdash;as with Shane Ward&rsquo;s <em>Barrel</em>, Jay Heikes&rsquo; <em>Morality&rsquo;s Reef, </em>or Harold Mendez's&nbsp;<em>Catastrophe Lacks Coherence</em>&mdash;carry the aesthetic of artifacts carefully positioned and classified in distilled space. The museum provides a structured framework that indexes its constituent parts. Certain motifs repeat. Ironically, given the pristine museum setting, visual static persists. One has the experience of constantly trying to tune into the pure frequency of a radio station, only to find pixilation, dust, or piles of dirt interfering with the bandwidth. <em>Santa Fe to Billings</em> is one such example, but in wandering through the extensive three-story show, the motif gathers increasing force.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a dark room in the far corner of the museum, Stimic&rsquo;s second piece, <em>Old Faithful Inversion</em>&nbsp;(2012), projects a looped film reel of pluming smoke on the wall. To that percussive, mechanical music, five of Alison Rossiter&rsquo;s small 3 &frac12; x 5 ⅜ inch photographs hang in elegant frames. The darkness of the room, combined with the warm spotlights, provides a dramatic aura to her archival works. The images read like black horizon lines, with crystalline cloud patterns blooming in gray overhead. Like those old spiritualist pictures, however, there is a bit of a trick at work. Each of the prints&mdash;A, B and C from her <em>Eastman Kodak Azo F3, expired August 1922, processed in 2011</em> series, and #1 and #2 from her <em>Kodak Azo No. 4, expired February 1, 1992, processed in 2011 (# Mold) </em>series&mdash;was fabricated entirely in the darkroom using old, partially deteriorated photographic paper; the fractal patterns one takes to be the sky are in fact mold growth that leached into this particular batch of photo paper before it was used. Still, a searching desire in the viewer projects a landscape onto the devised shadow work of a darkroom, and like Ward&rsquo;s rusty barrel with its shocking puddle of frozen mercury, one has to engage with a deteriorated surface. Both the metal drum and the paper respond to the potentially devastating effects of air and moisture, demonstrating the unnerving activity of seemingly inert materials.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Positioned on the landing between the first and second floor, Arthur Ou&rsquo;s black and white photograph <em>Untitled (Mountain) </em>acts as a hybrid homage to Robert Smithson and Chinese landscape painting; a series of three dirt piles cascade down the three elegant nesting tables they lie upon, each pile appearing like its own mountain. Perhaps in answer to Smithson, the works are stunning for their purposefully domestic (rather than epic) proportion. The texture of the dirt, so rich and elaborate, compared to the smooth pedestals stands out bright and sharp against a pure white backdrop. Scattered beneath this almost floral arrangement of soil lies a negative cast of those three mountains, marking where dirt once fell loose to the floor, reminiscent of some past energy. Here again, the simple, inconvenient materiality of <em>dirt</em> disrupts an otherwise pristine effort.</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/20140809080708-Ou_mountain__4_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Arthur Ou,</strong> <em>Untitled (Mountain), 2007, </em>Archival pigment print on rag paper; Courtesy of the artist and Brennan &amp; Griffin, 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;">On the second floor of the space, Jeremy Bolen shows an extensive suite of photographs that further exacerbate that impression. Like Stimac, Bolen presents a different kind of documentary photography. In <em>Plot M#1 (Print from film exposed and buried at plot m above waste from the first nuclear reactor. The film was unearthed by an anonymous force)</em>, the artist provides a mash up of site specific information: traces of radioactive frequencies invisible to the naked eye, the grounds on which those frequencies were captured by burying film, and debris Bolen collected from the site appear simultaneously in one print. In this work, Bolen photographed a smooth stone marker located at Plot M in Red Gate Woods&mdash;a plot of land that entombs nuclear waste. Without exposing the entire roll, the artist then buried the film in Plot M ground. As a result the photograph exhibits traces of lightless, radioactive energy as a blue, horizontal streak that crosses over the print through exposed and unexposed frames. After scanning the resulting film into the computer, and printing the final photograph, Bolen scatters material debris collected from the original site over the photograph; the material peppers the surface like static electricity, teasing one&rsquo;s expectation for a smooth, clean, photographic surface. One wants to open up the frame and remove the obstructive grit, to wipe the insects away and get a clear picture of that otherwise dark and existential space. The instinct is joined with the urge to enter Ou&rsquo;s photograph with a broom and a dustpan, to polish and shine Mendez&rsquo;s catastrophe, or to wipe away the mold spores of Rossiter&rsquo;s film paper.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Doing so would spoil everything.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Assaf Evron&rsquo;s <em>Untitled, (French Colonies, Moroc)</em> is the last image viewers happen upon in the exhibition. Positioned at the farthest end of the space on the third floor, just beside the museum&rsquo;s flat files, it functions like the end of a narrative, or the summit of a hike. In <em>Untitled (French Colonies, Moroc)</em>, we encounter a field of locusts that occupy an otherwise expansive mountain landscape. Mounted and framed in a wooden box, the print is monochromatic, aged in sepia tones with locusts so extensive they read like snow in a blizzard. The image was reproduced in an old history book about colonialization; if you come too close, in fact, you&rsquo;ll see it break down into pixels, as if admitting to their original, much smaller size. Here the insects interfere with an otherwise Romantic landscape, while the image itself admits a sub-layered deterioration of facsimile.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The idea of entropy comes to mind&mdash;that somehow one&rsquo;s desire for cleanliness is a desire for order, and perhaps even immortality. But to focus entirely on entropy within the context of this exhibition would be a disservice; the concept itself appears anthropocentric, and conservative. Yet for that reason, in particular,&nbsp; three black and white photographs by Shannon Ebner are especially compelling, presenting a possible vision of human effort within the landscape. In each instance, a figure appears traversing rather barren hummocks of ground. The figure is hardly noticeable at first, except for a pair of small hands holding a large, white, rectangular square, and a pair of barely visible calves extending just beneath the rectangle&rsquo;s length. The blank, perfectly white board becomes the focal point (by virtue of exception); all other elements within the photograph host an abundance of texture and variant light. The figure carries this lightness: the desire to be clean, smooth, and eternally fixed&mdash;straining to maintain the bulk of an abstract concept. Within the otherwise pervasive paradigm of transitioning material, entropy becomes a compelling fixation, a proposition as doomed as the notion of eternal youth. Yet, if one considers the inverse&mdash;embracing the strange potential in transformation, fluidity, and surprise&mdash;indeed, the possibility of new materials in various stages of flux possesses nonhuman energies that are stunning to behold.</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/155816-caroline-picard?tab=REVIEWS">Caroline Picard</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: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Greg Stimac</strong>, <em>Santa Fe to Billings, </em>2009, Archival pigment print; &copy; Collection of Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2009.347)</span></p> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 08:56:35 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Scapegoats and Masks <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Over sixty new works comprise Gilbert and George&rsquo;s new series, <em>Scapegoating Pictures for London. </em>As always, the well-known duo, now in their seventies, are the stars of their digital photomontages, which are dissected in their familiar multi-panel geometrical style, and dominated by menacing red, black, and white colors.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The eccentric British and Italian couple is known to use familiar images from their local neighborhood in East London, where they have lived for the past 45 years. Dominating their current series is a favorite recreational drug of young Shoreditch clubbers: small canisters of nitrous oxide, known as "whippets"&nbsp;or "hippie crack." Gathered by the artists during their early morning walks, these bomb-shaped leftovers of nightly mayhem appear in the images in various formats. Superimposed with views of East End streets, they give the images a paranoid atmosphere of urban apocalypse. On top of this, the artists themselves appear as well, but their iconic tweed suits are replaced by shattered bodies, skeletal remains, and impassive puppet body parts. At times, their faces are masked. Other times, they are just dead scary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140808163256-BODY_POPPERS_-_Gilbert__George_-_2013_-_91039.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Gilbert &amp; George</strong>,&nbsp;<em><em>BODY POPPERS,&nbsp;</em>2013, 226 x 317 cm; &copy; 2013 Gilbert &amp; George<br /></em></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;">In this drug-induced-trip-gone-bad, Islamic motifs, particularly Muslim women dressed in traditional niqabs are infused, culminating in the work <em>BRITAIN </em>(2013), which combines statements calling for an "Islamic state for Britain." Some may find this Islamophobic; some may argue this is a warning call for Britain. Whatever it may be&mdash;it is extremely politically incorrect. But Gilbert and George have never adhered to British politeness, with their images of naked young boys, their use of their own feces, or their relentless attacks against Christianity. They have never tried to hide their disdain for any kind of religion, and now it&rsquo;s Islam&rsquo;s turn.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But rather then being acute critics, holding to either side of the Islam-centered debate, Gilbert and George simply communicate the world around them. This show is reminiscent, in name and content, of <em>London Pictures</em> from 2012, in which the duo used newspaper headlines representing Britain after the 2011 riots, as well as the famous <em>Dirty Words Pictures</em> of 1977, in which they used graffiti taken from the streets near their home. If they are "living sculptures," as they declared themselves shortly after they met in St. Martin's School of Art in 1967, then their neighborhood is their living gallery.</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/20140807131750-NO_33_-_Gilbert__George_-_2013_-_91110.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Gilbert &amp; George,</strong> <em>NO 33</em>, 2013, 59 7/16 x 50 in. (151 x 127 cm); &copy; 2013 Gilbert &amp; George</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;">One final word on the cult of the artist's personality. With various quotes and manifestos by the artists written on the walls of the gallery, and a documentary film screening in the back room, this show bears slight resemblance to a retrospective. Gilbert and George have always put themselves in the center of their work, but managed to maintain the works, rather than themselves, as the center. While a whole different kind of iconic ritual takes place with the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/39927">new Marina Abramović piece at the Serpentine Gallery</a>, the uniqueness of the Gilbert and George phenomenon stands out: they are the work, the work is they. The text accompanying the show opens with a quote by Oscar Wilde: "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth"&nbsp;(1891). Gilbert and George&rsquo;s personas, as well as the Muslim women&rsquo;s costumes, are the most authentic things out there. So who is the scapegoat here? Islam? Gilbert and George? No. If anyone, it is probably London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/373185-keren-goldberg?tab=REVIEWS">Keren Goldberg</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Gilbert &amp; George</strong>,<em>&nbsp;SCAPEGOATING PICTURES FOR LONDON,</em>&nbsp;White Cube Bermondsey, 2014; &copy; Gilbert &amp; George / Photo: Jack Hems)</span></p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:03:19 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Hand-Painted Signature: Sign Painters Review <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s not common to see a sign painting shop anymore, but across the country sign painters continue to work and make hand-painted signs in the age of information. <a href="http://signpaintermovie.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><em>Sign Painters</em></a>, directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, is a documentary comprised of interviews and footage of this surviving profession. As technological developments occur in graphic design and advertising, there are those that maintain their artisan traditions while educating a new generation. The film makes it clear that although the profession has had trouble competing with vinyl signs and the computer, there still is a desire to have an authentic fingerprint on a storefront, not just something disposable. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807093116-SignPainters_JoshLuke_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Josh Luke;</strong> Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">In a way, sign painting acts as a median between advertising and graphic design; the film doesn&rsquo;t necessarily state that the profession is an art itself. Some veteran sign painters consider it an art while others see it as a job with strict guidelines. The documentary makes these stories heard and that is in essence the most important aspect. The documentary is really an oral history narrated by the range of young and old professionals, comprised of interviews and footage of sign painters working on projects. Watching the sign painters at work on buildings, cars, and storefronts are as visually informative as the actual interviews. The documentary honestly portrays the profession; the financial struggles are very real. However as some veterans describe it, they didn&rsquo;t get into the business for the money. Creative types often are content doing what they love, and there is a lot of passion to keep this profession alive.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s hard not to compare the final product to street art or graffiti. From Nevada to New York, these sign painters each have a regional signature. The &ldquo;tags&rdquo; are business logos but each sign painter has their own style and application of the methods with materials like One Shot paint or gold leaf. Although there are foundations to the profession, the difference between a California sign painter and one from Minnesota is evident. These worlds intersect when the film crew visits Syracuse, New York where artist Stephen Powers, a.k.a. ESPO, is working on his Love Letter to Syracuse project for the city. For this project, Powers painted phrases onto various decaying bridges around the city. Powers describes his process as &ldquo;an adult version of what graffiti is to me.&rdquo; He continues to tell the filmmakers that in his approach, he is looking at his practice like a sign painter. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807093327-SignPainters_MikeMeyer.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Mike Meyer</strong>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">One of the most interesting moments in the documentary occurred when Mark Oatis, a very respected sign painter, discusses the group he and several others founded known as the Letterheads. Similar to an art movement, the Letterheads gathered together to share trade secrets and learn new methods. In this way, the film reveals the communication between all these sign painters and their efforts to maintain these traditions. The documentary savors these moments and acts like an archive for the next generation to learn from these masters of sign painting. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807094004-Sign_Painters_Poster.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Matthew Keeshin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Jeff Canham</strong>; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:28:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Objects in Motion: An Interview with RUN <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">As his name might suggest, the Italian born, London based street artist Run draws inspiration from dynamism in the human form. The suggestion of movement and rhythm is evident in his large-scale depictions of bodies. Heavily informed by the aesthetics of the early 20th century avant garde, Run&rsquo;s iconic, cubist inspired figurative paintings of expressive faces, precise hands and pointed feet have been painted on exterior walls and gallery halls everywhere from Europe to Asia. In honor of his latest exhibition,<em> Dancer Master</em>, at East London&rsquo;s Hang Up Gallery, I spoke with the Run via email to discuss his practice, influences and future plans. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807064724-RUN_-_ALT_rove_Festival_Dettaglio_5.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Run,</strong> <em>ALT!rove Festival Dettaglio</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>Can you speak a bit about your art training and the beginnings of your street art career?</em> </span></strong></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">I was in art school until I was 18 and the only things I learned are: 1. Everything we find around us has been drawn before it was made. 2. To make a straight line you have to hold your breath while you hold the pencil.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">I consider myself a self-taught artist but the street has been my window into the world and acted as my studio. Being forced to approach people to ask for a space to paint has forced me to be a more open person. I prefer private owners and my anti-academic soul has always kept me away from institutions. I don't need them to paint in public spaces, and I'd like to keep my anarchic side alive as long as I can.&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;">What are some of the most memorable public spaces you've ever worked in?</span></strong></span></em></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">In Shenzhen, China I was doing something new for the population, and that was amazing: to see the curiosity and amazement of the people.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">But even in London I have had some of my most memorable moments working outdoors. In 2007 I did my first &ldquo;illegal&rdquo; artwork on a busy street. It was a Sunday morning and I remember I was "invisible" to many people but interesting to others. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807064941-run-neon-light.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Run,</strong> <em>Neon Light</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;">Who or what are your influences right now?</span></strong></span></em></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">Futurism, constructivism and cubism. I love imperial art from many different stages of history. I come from a school of artisans and craft makers so I can't conceive how some artists don't make their own artwork. I truly believe that an artist should be 100% involved in the creation and manufacturing of the artwork. I also love African art. I love when a medium has got history in itself. In relation to street art, I favor walls that have been given a texture [through] time and weather. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807065458-runview.streetart_run.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Run</strong>, <em>Street art</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></strong></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>How would you describe the street art scene in London?</em> </span></strong></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">If I have to be totally honest, London is probably one of the worst cities for street art in the world. London's classical architecture does not lend itself to my type of artwork. I need wide surfaces that are flat and smooth. But it is good for the art market, for galleries and for exposure, and in these big world capitals you learn to be sharp and to find your own path quickly. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">If you consider the fact that street art started in London, you can see that every style has adapted to the environment. If you go in Buenos Aires, for example, the space is endless and the facades are tall and all white, painted matte or unfinished concrete. The reality is that for the best realization of wall painting, street artists need concrete&nbsp;&ndash; not bricks! </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807065049-run-what-shall-we-dance-about.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Run</strong>, <em>What shall we dance about</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>I guess this is also a reason for doing work on canvas, you can completely control the dimensions, textures and life span of the work. Can you speak a bit your current exhibition Dancer Master on view at Hang Up Gallery (London), and the relationship between movement and the static image?</em> </span></strong></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">Dance is a movement and mutation of objects in motion. In my images the audience can't see what movement is after the static image, so the picture leaves the audience with the duty of having to imagine or to invent the following fraction of time. Time and space are unchangeable rules.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807065752-7.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;">Courtesy Run</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;">What other projects are you currently working on?</span></strong></span></em></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">I am making a monograph with a London publisher that will show my sketchbook and mural work that will be ready in 2015. It is the most important dream coming to reality, and is exciting because nothing lasts longer than a book printed on paper.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807070113-run_vodnjan_wall.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;">Courtesy Run</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807070207-run-exhibition-11.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;">Courtesy Run</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807070308-19_luglio_sabato2014.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;">Courtesy Run</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140807070338-run-angel.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Run,</strong><em> Angel</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</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: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: Courtesy Run)</span><br /></span></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:21:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Stretching across a city and climbing into the sky <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;Our sky was destroyed during World War II,&rdquo; creaks a white-bearded eighty-six-year-old Otto Piene from in front of the lens of a video created on the occasion of his Berlin multi-sited exhibition </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.ottopieneinberlin.de/index.php?id=1774&amp;no_cache=1" target="_blank"><em>More Sky</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>. </em>He explains his lasting impression with the light phenomena that would permeate his art practice for upwards of six decades, his desire to establish a new launching point for his practice, for the role of art to act as rebuilder.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In conjunction, the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/events/show/343082-more-sky">Neue Nationalgalerie</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/events/show/342051-more-sky">Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> have organized <em>More Sky&shy;</em>, a festival of sorts, spanning three projects and two exhibition spaces, dedicated to the German artist&rsquo;s lengthy career as a boundary breaking contemporary artist. Born in Westphalia in 1928, Piene quickly developed a willingness to interject his curiosities into his art practice. He experimented obsessively with the media of light through projection and kinetic light installations, challenging the canvas itself, disrupting tradition by smoking, charring, and setting its surfaces ablaze in order to explore the causality of light and the dynamism of the work&rsquo;s very movement and evolution.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The collection exhibited at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle sets the stage for understanding the infatuations that drove the logical and linear development of Piene&rsquo;s oeuvre&mdash;namely, his deep-rooted interest in flight. The two-part exhibition commences in the Kunsthalle anteroom with a series of drawings dating back to the artist&rsquo;s early career in 1952. The black-and-white works depict a blend of anthropomorphic heavenly bodies and nudes careening through the sky, falling and rising, floating on, in, and out of the planes of sight. The interwoven bodies recall the flying metropolises of Argentinean artist Tom&aacute;s Saraceno, which invite the viewer to imagine an alternative way of living and interacting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140807155159-OP_Pressebilder_DBKH_Olympiaregenbogen_1972.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Otto Piene,</strong> <em>Olympia Regenbogen (Olympia Rainbow), </em>1972, Lithographie; &copy; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014 / Courtesy Sammlung Deutsche Bank; Photo: Mathias Schormann</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 expressions of energy and movement find their way out of the artwork and into the world that surrounds them. Light installations in the adjoining rooms seduce visitors to interact and dance alongside their light projections, eliminating boundaries and creating an event to which viewers pay witness. In the next room, works like <em>Olympic Rainbow</em> (1972), a collection of documentary data from the sky art piece in which Piene flew five helium-filled tubes over the stadium of the closing ceremony for the 20<sup>th</sup> Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, showcase the artist as not only exhibiting an interest in the aesthetics of those seen forces of light and picture, but as having taken to study of the science and ecology of unseen forces as well. In stunning color, <em>Olympic Rainbow</em> ascends into the sky exposing the ephemerality of wind and the conduits by which it operates above us.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At the Neue Nationalgalerie, Piene&rsquo;s work <em>The Proliferation of the Sun</em> takes up the entirety of the ground floor. Scheduled to run from 10pm to 3am, the reverse opening hours of the museum, the work is an impressive synchronized light projection display in which a series of choreographed projectors generates a performance featuring hand-painted slides. Orbs and circles appear in the projections as approximately 1,120 slides are cast into the shadows. Involving sound, architecture, light, and performance, <em>The Proliferation of the Sun </em>sees Piene&rsquo;s paintings leap off the 1,120 slides onto the walls, intermingling realities and demanding the revelation of new possibilities.</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/20140807060939-OP_SkyArtEvent_DvB_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Otto Piene</strong>, <em>Sky Art Event,</em> July 19, 2014, Installation view outside Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Photo: David von Becker</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;">On July 17, 2014 Otto Piene died while in a taxi on his way to the Neue Nationalgalerie to continue preparations for the scheduled sky art event meant to mark the launch of the entire program. A posthumous homage, on July 19<sup>th</sup> three illuminated air sculptures <em>Berlin Superstar</em> (1984), <em>Paris Star </em>(2008), and <em>Cereus Star</em> (2008), up to 90 meters high, climbed into the sky and floated above the roof of the Neue Nationalgalerie against Berlin&rsquo;s night sky.</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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/147418-nicole-rodriguez?tab=REVIEWS">Nicole Rodriguez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Otto Piene</strong>, <em>The Proliferation of the Sun</em>, 2014, Installation view at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Photo: David von Becker]</span></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:36:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Genuine Collecting at the Herbert Foundation <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Among Belgium&rsquo;s many private collections, one of the most impressive is definitely Annick and Anton Herbert&rsquo;s. Focused on minimal and conceptual art from 1968 to 1989, it is internationally respected and of a museum-like quality. Indeed, various institutions (Eindhoven&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/1882-van-abbemuseum">Van Abbemuseum</a>, Barcelona&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/37134-museu-dart-contemporani-de-barcelona-macba">MACBA</a>, Austria&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/45168-kunsthaus-graz">Kunsthaus Graz</a>&hellip;) have already dedicated exhibitions to it. Since June 2013, the collection has also found a permanent dwelling in a former industrial building in Ghent, the city where the Herberts are based.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of the reasons the Herbert Collection is so highly esteemed is that it does not run after bling bling big shots, as some other collections do, but focuses instead on thorough ensembles of specific artists. Besides the actual artworks, the Herberts also collect all the archive material around them, enabling a deeper understanding of the work. This focus on depth is a passion they share with scholar Lynda Morris, who has curated the exhibition <em>Genuine Conceptualism</em> at the Herbert Foundation. Morris is not only a walking encyclopaedia; she was also a first row witness to the lively art scene of the 60s and 70s&mdash;as immortalized in <em>Film Script </em>(1972) by David Lamelas, shown here&mdash;that included many gin-infused nights with Gilbert &amp; George. In 1972, Morris set up the emblematic exhibition <em>Books as Artwork</em> in London&rsquo;s Nigel Greenwood Gallery. Based on an earlier article of Germano Celant, Morris made a list and exhibition of 259 artist books, that was later expanded by art historian Benjamin H. Buchloh to 508 titles published between 1960-1974.</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/20140712145706-17.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Installation view, <em>Genuine Conceptualism</em>, Herbert Foundation Ghent, 2014; Photo: Philippe De Gobert; Courtesy of the Herbert Foundation, Ghent</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;">Books from that list, that are also featured in Morris&rsquo; accompanying, yet independent, eponymous publication <em>Genuine Conceptualism</em>, are displayed in the Ghent exhibition, including classics like Ed Ruscha&rsquo;s <em>Twentysix Gasoline Stations </em>(1963) and Gilbert &amp; George&rsquo;s first publication <em>Side by Side </em>(1971). The books, from both Morris&rsquo; and the Herberts&rsquo; collections, are contextualized by works of the same artists. But there are also personal souvenirs, like postcards written by John Baldessari (next to the famous video <em>Baldessari Sings LeWitt</em>, 1972<em>)</em>, letters of Sol LeWitt and Douglas Huebler, invitations, posters, and a glass Gilbert &amp; George dedicated to Morris displayed next to <em>Bollocks </em>by the duo from the Herbert Collection. &ldquo;These are not all works of art,&rdquo; Morris admits, &ldquo;but some of them bring you close to the mind and work of the artist. Museums often show big star pieces. They have huge archives but never show these. For me, these have the real meat.&rdquo; Though the show mainly consists of archival material, it is not at all dry as some might unjustly fear. It gives a nice sense of the heydays of early conceptual art.</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140712144322-Use_me_21.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Installation view, <em>Use Me</em>, Herbert Foundation Ghent, 2014; Photo: Philippe De Gobert; Courtesy of the Herbert Foundation, Ghent</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;">People who are more into the &ldquo;real thing&rdquo; should not worry however. On the upper floor, the Herbert Foundation presents the group show <em>Use Me</em>. The exhibition unites around forty works mostly made in the 80s (Thomas Sch&uuml;tte, Martin Kippenberger), in a way as a kind of follow-up to the show at the ground floor. Though the theme is rather vague, apparently a kind of a reaction to a changing <em>Zeitgeist,</em> the exhibition unites works by kindred artists that go surprisingly well together. From Paul McCarthy&rsquo;s <em>Painter</em> (1995), a kind of gory instruction video on painting, to the carmine red sculpture <em>H&auml;ndler </em>(2001) in which Katharina Fritsch playfully portrays a slick art dealer with a ponytail and a devilish hoof as a left foot. Works by Mike Kelley, Heimo Zobernig, Franz West, and others complete this portrait of a generation, leading to a colourful&mdash;in both the literal and figurative sense&mdash;whole.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The Herbert Collection is clearly set up for depth, not width. It is a witness of the couple&rsquo;s passion for art: focused, without concessions, and with a desire to understand an entire body of work rather then an accumulation of spectacular one shots. It is, briefly said, an example of genuine collecting.</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;"><span style="color: #525552;">&mdash;</span><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: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: Installation view, <em>Genuine Conceptualism</em>, Herbert Foundation Ghent, 2014; Photo: Philippe De Gobert; Courtesy of the Herbert Foundation, Ghent)</span></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:23:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Bringing private passions into the public realm <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For the better part of their lives Henk de Heus and his wife Victoria de Heus-Zomer have worked to build up their business. The De Heus animal feed company has a hundred year history but it wasn&rsquo;t until the last couple of decades that the family business from rural Barneveld boomed, becoming a world leader in animal nutrition, a multinational active in fifty countries. The de Heus-Zomer couple has invested a sizeable part of the resulting fortune in art. Since the late eighties they have collected works of art in large numbers but until recently they have stayed very much under the radar. The March 2013 </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.singerlaren.nl/cobra-tot-dumas#.U99pvYCSx2A" target="_blank">exhibition of their Dutch art</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the Singer Museum in Laren marked their coming out as collectors. This exhibition, titled <em>Cobra tot Dumas</em>, was the first in an exhibition triptych. The follow-up was an </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.museumbelvedere.nl/exposities/archief/collectie-de-heus-zomer/" target="_blank">international show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> centered on nature and landscapes in Museum Belv&eacute;d&egrave;re. The finale, now on show at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, focuses on their collection of contemporary Chinese art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This series of exhibitions fits in with a trend. Ever since the Dutch government started pulling out of the museum sector and demanding a more self-reliant mode of operation, we have seen quite a few presentations of private collections in public institutions. In the US public-private cooperation of this kind is common, but in the Dutch cultural landscape, which has been strongly government dominated since the Second World War, it&rsquo;s a novelty. Even so much so that </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.museumdefundatie.nl/" target="_blank">De Fundatie</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in Zwolle&mdash;explicitly set up in 2005 as a collectors&rsquo; museum&mdash;had a bit of a false start: collectors were not yet used to going public. But that soon changed. In 2011 the Kunsthal in Rotterdam hosted </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.kunsthal.nl/en-22-658-I-promise-to-love-you.html" target="_blank"><em>I Promise to Love You</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, an overwhelming presentation of Joop van Caldenborgh&rsquo;s world-class collection. Last year saw, amongst others, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.vanbommelvandam.nl/agenda/collectie-manders-naar-eenvoud-en-verstilling/" target="_blank">Zero art from the Manders Collection</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in Museum Van Bommel Van Dam. And this summer we also have the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/342749-bad-thoughts---collectie-martijn-en-jeannette-sanders">Sanders Collection</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and an </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.fotomuseumdenhaag.nl/tentoonstellingen/de-stad-de-stilte-en-het-gedruis" target="_blank">anonymous private collection</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the Fotomuseum Den Haag to enjoy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The advantages for museums are obvious: big private collectors command resources far greater than museums and buy expensive pieces which institutions are unable to procure and present. On top of that, they usually pay for the logistics of their own exhibitions, thus easing the pressure on museum budgets. And by honoring collectors with an exhibition museums hope to forge lasting alliances, eventually resulting in donations.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But reliance on private partners is not without pitfalls. Since a museum presentation boosts the provenance of a work of art and makes it more attractive at auction, collectors may use institutions to increase the value of their property. The most blatant example of this practice is super-collector and owner of his own museum, Charles Saatchi, whose tactics have been dubbed &ldquo;show and sell.&rdquo; But the Netherlands is not immune for this type of misuse. Entrepreneur Bert Kreuk, who showed his collection at the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/42798-gemeentemuseum-den-haag">Gemeentemuseum Den Haag</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the summer of 2013, sold off a considerable number of works later that year at Sotheby&rsquo;s New York.</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/20140806174737-03.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Hai Bo</strong>, <em>The Northern Series - A Man is Riding Bicycle No. 8</em>, 2005, Color photograph, 129 x 81 x 8 cm; &copy; De Heus-Zomer Collection</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;">With Chinese contemporary art still very much on the rise in the art market, the danger of price manipulation over the backs of museums is definitely real. Boijmans Van Beuningen Director Sjarel Ex, however, is relying on the integrity of the De Heus-Zomer family, who are not known to sell off art. Moreover, <em>Focus Beijing</em> is not an opportunistic endeavor, solely undertaken for the sake of cutting costs. The Rotterdam museum has a history of showing contemporary Chinese art, the 2006 overview <em>China Contemporary</em> being the highlight so far. For <em>Focus Beijing</em> Ex did not simply hand over his museum to the collectors but had his curators carefully select from the De Heus-Zomer Collection.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The resulting show combines a few internationally recognized stars with a large group of artists lesser known in the West. Having started acquiring contemporary Chinese art in 1998, often by artists they have personal acquaintance with, the De Heus-Zomer Collection concentrates on the so-called second and third generation artists. Representatives of the first generation, roughly placed between the proclamation of the Open Door Policy in 1978 and the protest at Tiananmen Square eleven years later, are absent. The same is true for the proponents of Political Pop, who combined symbols of Western consumerism such as the Coca-Cola logo with socialist realist imagery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Cynical Realism, dating to that same period in the early nineties as Political Pop, is obviously much more to the collectors&rsquo; tastes. The first room of the exhibition is dominated by Zhang Xiaogang. <em>Girl </em>(2008) shows the type of oddly colored face&mdash;yellow here, but sometimes also red or purple&mdash;Zhang is world famous for. His <em>Four Sons</em> (2012), four precocious, naked boys in a bed, can be read as a depiction of Chinese male-dominated society. Almost inevitable is the inclusion of Fang Lijun and Liu Wei, early flag bearers of Cynical Realism. Both are thoroughbred painters, the first in a brightly colored realism with abstract touches and the second in a more expressionistic style.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Focus Beijing</em> contains very little performance art. Only two photographs by Wang Jin, showing a pile of people holding up a concrete bridge and a group hidden behind a massive rock, refer to what was the most influential art form during the early nineties. Zhu Fadong and Ma Liuming&mdash;these revolutionaries are absent. On the other hand, works by Ai Weiwei and Hai Bo, who had their breakthrough moments at roughly the same time, have been included in the De Heus-Zomer Collection. Ai because he simply cannot be denied. And Hai&rsquo;s photographs of farmers on bicycles probably appeal to de Heus&rsquo; agrarian background.</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/20140806174358-05.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Wang Guangle</strong>, <em>Coffin Paint 120312</em>, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 80 cm; &copy; De Heus- Zomer Collection</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;">A private collection is always some kind of portrait of the collector, and the de Heus family can be said to highly value craftsmanship and things well-made. Place of honor has been awarded to Wang Guangle&rsquo;s work, large canvases painstakingly filled with thousands of pebble-size forms. Close by hangs Liang Yuanwei&rsquo;s dot painting, four square meters filled with minute brush strokes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Focus Beijing</em> is a solid and decent show but not wildly exciting. It just lacks a rough edge. Still, there are some surprises such as <em>Black White Grey</em> (2013) by Lin Tianmiao, one of the few famous female artists in China. Somewhere between sculpture and painting it combines organic forms, industrial grills, bones, and furniture in a haunting memento mori. If the collectors decide to eventually donate this work to the museum then they&rsquo;ll have added something truly extraordinary to the public realm.</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></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>Zhang Xiaogang</strong>, <em>Girl, </em>2008, Oil on canvas, 130 x 110 cm; &copy; De Heus-Zomer Collection)</span></p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 05:09:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Thrashbird: Inside Hollywood <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">The corner of Hollywood and St. Andrews Place, which lies in the environs that inspired Charles Bukowski and retains vestiges of the boozy, broken-pavement working class milieu the poet embraced, isn&rsquo;t popular with tourists. Not like the storied intersection at Vine Street is, a mile or so west on the boulevard. But there&rsquo;s a longstanding garbage-heaped lot&nbsp;here bounded by an expanse of plywood partitions, which has long been popular with street artists, and it&rsquo;s now slated for a hotel project.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Swept up in a welter of commercial construction along this eastern stretch of Hollywood Boulevard which developers aim to remake into a vision of old Hollywood, one that gleams as when movie mogul Louis B. Meyer was headquartered here, what is arguably the most popular street art wall in Los Angeles faces the end of its days.</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/20140805141829-HollywoodWallThrash.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">When Los Angeles Neighborhood Council member Christian Beck gets up in the morning he moves to his bedroom window perched a floor above a liquor shop (one favored by Bukowski) and looks out at the length of wall&nbsp;bracing the empty lot with the expectancy of any visitor to a world class museum, as on any given day&nbsp;LA's subculture of street artists and graffiti writers have added something new. &ldquo;Some of it is spectacular and I can&rsquo;t think of another wall like it,&rdquo; says Beck who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles city streets from years as a limo driver. &ldquo;This went up on June 6, D-Day, it&rsquo;s just amazing,&rdquo; he adds, pointing out a piece easily missed, a sketch-book sized collage of World War II imagery, mounted under Plexiglass unsigned and overwhelmed by the monolithic wall.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Clued in as he is in being an advocate for the neighbourhood, Beck explains there may be some time before work begins on the hotel&nbsp;&ndash; it&rsquo;s yet to pass before the LA city council Planning and Land Use Management Committee&nbsp;&ndash; but he&rsquo;s resigned that the project will permanently ruin his view. In the meantime, he has been photographically documenting each new artwork. He watches too as the wall is regularly rolled-out&nbsp;battleship gray, painted over by the Hollywood Beautification Team, a platoon of low-level offenders &ndash; Metro hoppers, convicted vandals&nbsp;&ndash; working off fines. And this municipal policy proves folly, as a continually restored fresh canvas draws street artists in. But walls on derelict real estate throughout Hollywood get the beautification treatment, and Beck can&rsquo;t single out what else could attract artists.&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/20140805142253-k.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">The piece currently up presents&nbsp;the spectacle of illegal street art evolving&nbsp;into extravagance. Some fifty feet of an accretion of stencils, photo art, wheat paste ups and pops of color applied with paint. Taken in sections it appears to be the work of different hands, but from afar, the whole composition is cohesive, of a fabric, and paradoxically mimics the streetscape it faces, the gritty boulevard of shouted multilingual arguments, resplendent with orange-tipped syringes, the glittering glass of emptied vodka bottles. While Banksy&rsquo;s graphic gags are ubiquitous on the street, this artist has made what is tired new again, by eschewing obvious visual jokes and presenting a sincere rehashing of modernist sensibilities. It is signed Thrashbird.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&ldquo;I hit the wall because it&rsquo;s always been an artist wall, it&rsquo;s established&nbsp;&ndash; and the cops leave you alone there,&rdquo; says Thrashbird, whom, following a flurry of texts and emails, I&rsquo;ve met up with on a sidewalk in North East LA. &ldquo;People look at that wall. Like you looked at it and found me.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">At first glance evoking a tall, lankier Keanu Reeves, Thrashbird, 32, speaks in rushed clips about his work, punctuating thoughts with punches to my shoulder. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s called American Gluttony and I painted it on the fourth of July,&rdquo; he says of the Hollywood Boulevard work, explaining his intent was to make the work noticeable to drivers in traffic. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s my largest piece, I haven&rsquo;t done something like this un-commissioned.&rdquo; A similarly scaled work of his on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica was sponsored (that was legal, and paint was supplied by a non-profit group), &ldquo;But I&rsquo;m not opposed to dropping a little stencil on the sidewalk&nbsp;&ndash; on your computer screen it&rsquo;s as big as a mural.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Originally from San Diego and a former pro-snowboarder, he came to Holywood to act and model. In 2010 he first applied paint to a wall starting an infatuation with street art making, inspired, like so many, by Banksy, as well as the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and </span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB8QFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.baldessari.org%2F&amp;ei=XCDbU-jSA8v2oAS83oDIAQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHIWaQs_a4Y9nfpBxP36zFVXbfIGw&amp;sig2=uyonY8PsajzDlVENdpxU7g&amp;bvm=bv.72197243,d.cGU" target="_blank">John Baldessari</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">. When I offer he&rsquo;s made a Rauschenberg, he enthusiastically says, &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve heard that, but don&rsquo;t know him&nbsp;&ndash; my knowledge of art history isn&rsquo;t that healthy.&rdquo;</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/20140805142336-thrashbirdportrait.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Thrashbird&rsquo;s recent output&nbsp;&ndash; two solo gallery shows upcoming and ambitious studio projects in the works&nbsp;&ndash; correlates with overcoming a substance addiction. Which one? &ldquo;You name it. Put it in front of me and I&rsquo;d do it. And wouldn&rsquo;t stop.&rdquo; After a relative sponsored a successful bout of rehab, he has transformed, and Thrashbird now voices a clarity of vision, speaking of a purpose that propels his work and has changed his connection to the world. &ldquo;I stopped putting pressure on myself to succeed and just did the work. And things&nbsp;&ndash; good things&nbsp;&ndash; are happening&rdquo;</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;Howie Stier</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;">(All images: Courtesy of the author)</span></span></p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 18:59:54 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Fresh from Hawaii: Defer and Kamea's Paradise Lost at 1AM Galler <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Taking inspiration from the canonical epic poem, "Paradise Lost" will present the work of Kamea Hadar and Defer. The artists currently live and work in Hawaii and echo the themes of &ldquo;Paradise Lost&rdquo; by depicting this current-day paradise in unexpected ways. Kamea's work alters the typical image of a beautiful woman with a flower in her hair; in one of his pieces, a girl looks out calmly at the viewer while a Hawaiian flower on her hair burns in orange and red flames. Defer's works show his talent for calligraphy; the shapes in his compositions almost resemble graffiti letters but seem to swirl into different shapes altogether.</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/20140805131132-DEFER.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Defer,</strong> <em>Spiritual Dialect;</em> Courtesy of the Artist and 1AM Gallery</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;">While participating in POW! WOW! Hawaii this year, the artists worked on a mural together which sparked a longer creative collaboration. This show marks part of a series of projects the artists are taking on together. Some of the pieces in the show will merge the artists' styles. One work in progress shows a girl in profile looking at something the viewer can't see; Defer's characteristic forms cover the side of her face. The artists play off each other's colors with Defer's swirling forms echoing the brown in the girl's eyes. Keep an eye out for two large-scale murals in the city as well. &ldquo;Paradise Lost&rdquo; is sure to display the artists' individual talent as well as their unique collaborative pieces.</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/20140805131746-14645431779_225824d19d_b.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kamea Hadar &amp; Defer</strong>, <em>Lei Hinahina</em>; Courtesy of the Artists and 1AM Gallery</span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140805132306-14645553807_f4ce505f06_b.jpg" alt="" /></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kamea Hadar,</strong> <em>Lei Ahi (Fire Lei)</em>; Courtesy of the Artists and 1AM Gallery</span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140805132445-14645424189_91e34c24be_b.jpg" alt="" /></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kamea Hadar &amp; Defer</strong>, <em>Ulawena (glowing red as from fire)</em><span style="color: #000000;">; Courtesy of the Artists and 1AM Gallery</span></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140805132601-14809089486_002e3b6ec2_b.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kamea Hadar</strong>, <em>Nalowale (lost_vanished)</em><span style="color: #000000;">; Courtesy of the Artists and 1AM Gallery</span></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140805132910-14809094126_7c5e341fba_b.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></div> <div class="galleria-lightbox-title"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kamea Hadar &amp; Defer,</strong> <em>Kaulana Na Pua</em><span style="color: #000000;">; Courtesy of the Artists and 1AM Gallery</span></span></div> <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;">&mdash;Eva Recinos</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>Kamea Hadar,</strong> <em>Palekaiko </em>(<em>Paradise</em>)<em>;</em> Courtesy of the Artist and 1AM Gallery]</span></p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 20:32:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Younger Americans at Driscoll Babcock <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">Driscoll Babcock, which moved to Chelsea two years ago, is something like a stately townhouse in a row of beige suburban mansions. The gallery bills itself as the oldest in New York, and casts itself in a grand tradition of the city&rsquo;s academic art. You don&rsquo;t find sly, discreet conceptual gestures, nor massive, high-production-value installations. Instead, the gallery seems to look for untrendy, well-crafted works in a certain American tradition&mdash;their roster includes works from the estates of Thomas Eakins, Stuart Davis, and Andrew Wyeth. With their summer exhibition, <em>In Between Day</em>s, they are turning to younger generations of artists who bring a strong emphasis on craft to their individual projects.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">The visitor is greeted in the lobby by a series of totemic objects from Leonardo Benzant: <em>Paraphernalia of the Urban Shaman M:5 </em>(2012-2014). The &ldquo;urban shaman&rdquo; is the artist himself, who traces an artistic African diaspora through his Dominican background. A cluster of poles, mostly about the height of an adult, dangle from the ceiling. Together, they suggest a curtain or forest wrapped in bright beads, frayed thread at times poking through. Most of the poles look like rainsticks or staffs, but some are curved into more vegetable-like nubs.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">One wall of the main gallery is dominated by <em>Phosphenes&mdash;Phoenix for the American Republic </em>(2012) by Michael Maxwell, a monumental painting and sculpture. The work draws upon indigenous American traditions of the southwest, using turquoise, a silver and tan palette, strong diagonals, and torn strips of cloth suggesting feathers. The cloth strips seem to burst through the canvas at times, forming an added layer to and disrupting the plane of the work.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">Across from it are Luke Whitlach&rsquo;s radially symmetrical dye and acrylic paintings. The paintings are notable for the multiple simultaneous methods of paint application: mechanically-straight lines, impasto, feathering, and bleeds. The dye process allows the colors to run from the center out or the borders inward. Some canvases, like <em>Mike Cedar Stakeout </em>(2013) are bifurcated by paint lines. The works might be reminiscent of a petri dish, or a geologic formation, or a planet formation: indeed, the intricately constructed abstractions make scale seem irrelevant.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140805060123-Rooney_Maxwell.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;"><em>Left to right</em>:<strong> Kara Rooney</strong>, <em>ON MOVING FARTHER AWAY FROM SPEECH, OR HINDSIGHT IS TWENTY/TWENTY</em>, 2014; <strong>Michael Maxwell,</strong> <em>PHOSPHENES: PHOENIX FOR THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC</em>, 2012; </span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Photo credit Stan Narten; Courtesy Driscoll Babcock Galleries</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">Kara Rooney&rsquo;s starkly black-and-white sculptures dominate a gray-tinged wall. Five pedestals, black-topped and white-columned, support football-sized white plaster and ceramic casts. Buried into works, seemingly during the casting process, are small pieces of paper like the digital photograph fragment in <em>On Moving Father Away from Speech, or Hindsight is Never Twenty/Twenty, No 1 </em>(2014). The casts are of immaterial or neglected objects. One seems to be of bubble wrap; others of shards of wood and stacks of paper. The sculptures suggest an attempt to hold onto the ephemeral, like odd monuments to the ignored.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">Four of Jennifer Packer&rsquo;s wild, colorful paintings take up the opposite wall. She applies paint thinly but in strong scrapes, not unlike Leon Golub&rsquo;s large paintings. Two paintings of calla lilies turn the flowers into mysterious, obscure beings, not the theatrical flora of so many photographs. The purple lilies seem to emerge from the purple backdrop, into which their vase disappears, too. In the central painting, <em>For James (III) </em>(2013), a man with marble-like yellow eyes stares up at the viewer from the surface he lies on. The space is ambiguous; the whole scene is disorientingly inverted. Paint is the primary thing here: the classic subjects for a painting study of portraits and still lifes given a new, painterly space to inhabit.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140805060422-Packer_Whitlatch.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;"><em>Left to right</em>:<strong> Jennifer Packer</strong>, <em>ORIENTAL LILIES</em>, 2014; <strong>Jennifer Packer,</strong> <em>CALLA LILIES,</em> 2014; <strong>Jennifer Packer</strong>, <em>FOR JAMES (III),</em> 2013; <strong>Jennifer Packer</strong>,<em> UNTITLED</em>, 2013;<strong> Leonardo Benzant,</strong> <em>BAMBULA</em> from the series PARAPHERNALIA OF THE URBAN SHAMAN M:5, 2012-2014;<strong> Luke Whitlatch</strong>,<em> VULTURES IN THE CARGO PLANE</em>, 2013; <strong>Luke Whitlatch</strong>, <em>TALE OF TELEGRAPH HILL,</em> 2014; </span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Photo credit Stan Narten. Courtesy Driscoll Babcock Galleries</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">The exhibition puts forth no Grand Theory of American art, nor do the artists belong to any single stylistic, political, or theoretical camp. But we need not expect this in a summer show, least of all one calling itself <em>In Between Days</em>. Think of it more as a studio visit for a different swath of American art than that presented in the city&rsquo;s big biennials and hangar-sized galleries. The artists here keep their heads down, focusing on craft and pushing away from trends, even if that means resting for a moment in an "in between" space.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/329714-ryan-wong?tab=REVIEWS">Ryan Wong</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Leonardo Benzant</strong>, <em>BAMBULA</em> from the series PARAPHERNALIA OF THE URBAN SHAMAN M:5, 2012-2014; Photo credit Stan Narten / Courtesy Driscoll Babcock Galleries)</span></p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 09:24:45 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list What Is and What Is Not: Patrick Howlett at G Gallery <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The following is a review of paintings by </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://sidecentre.com/index.php/upcoming/patrick-howlett/">Patrick Howlett</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, currently on view at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://sidecentre.com/">G Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in Toronto, in which one third of the writing describes what is not on display in the gallery, which is worth valorizing through indicating its absences. The remaining text describes what is.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not design oriented.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not grey.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show contains no new, modern, iridescent, or futuristic paint or materials.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not fey, twee, or apparently made with one handed ease.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not quotational.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not monochromatic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not yearning for a modernist effect.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not easily scanned and dismissed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is not splattered, sprayed, weathered, bleached, or burned.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not resemble Matisse.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not indicate a desire for stardom.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not easily offer answers, entrances, or exits.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not look like it would fit in at an art fair.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not look like paintings in <em>Artforum</em> (advertisements).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not contain gimmicks, schticks, one liners, or appeasements.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not resemble the work in other shows up right now in Toronto.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not look popular or populist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show does not indicate so much as a passing interest in appeasing its audience or the market.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The work in this show is blessedly free of standard art language.</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/20140801135833-gph13knowtherulesifyouseehersayhello1.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>Patrick Howlett</strong>,<em> Know the Rules: If You See Her Say Hello, </em>2013, Egg tempera, colored pencil on panel, acrylic on wood, silverpoint (frame), 16 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches; Courtesy of the artist and G Gallery, Toronto</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;">Press releases for exhibitions far too often result in the loss of our freedom to enjoy the work; the document itself is easily characterized as the enemy of the audience&mdash;it is both the crutch, and error of the gallery. Howlett&rsquo;s release, on the other hand, is an excerpt from a manual designed to teach its readers how to improve their squash game. I like this. That Howlett instead uses written material apparently unrelated to the exhibition is a welcomed relief, but also offers a soothing confusion to complicate viewers&rsquo; interactions with his paintings. When art is confusing, art is powerful. Our experience of the work in this exhibition resists being instructive; the work is neither submissive nor bathetic. The power of the work is that it remains forever impenetrable, and forever changing&mdash;the viewer is forever grasping. These paintings recall Vladimir Nabokov&rsquo;s agenda, in that there are only two schools of art: those of talent, and those without talent.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Howlett is a talented artist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">What <em>is </em>in this show are complex compositional gestures. Also on display is an obvious knowledge of the history of abstraction and sly evasions met with bold gestures. Upon walking into the gallery, there is the overwhelming happiness of seeing <em>color.</em> Howlett is a very sensitive and talented colorist. In this space, the large paintings smell like paint. Uncomfortable colors lay side-by-side, but work alchemically together to produce pleasing effects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The largest paintings in the exhibition, perhaps six feet tall, are the most successful. Orange and pink! Large scumbled areas of grey are interrupted by delicate geometric marks, suggesting form but denying structure. A painting that suggests an opening or other space&mdash;a Prussian blue bordered canvas, with grey, blue, white, yellow, and orange&mdash;resembles an entrance or a tunnel. This sense of comfort and placidity is interrupted by small lines cut across the surface of the painting. Perhaps a better affect is &ldquo;denial.&rdquo; Many of the paintings suggest beauty, and are in fact very attractive, but this beauty&mdash;interrupted by the small marks&mdash;is instead the elegance of the painting, which lives inside the interruption of our expectations, and what the forms and colors propose to offer.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The smaller paintings are pleasant, and successful enough&mdash;certainly much better than the majority of painting being shown today. The sides of the stretchers are painted, which is facile at times. But this is okay! The word &ldquo;Hello&rdquo; is written on the side of four of the paintings. How kind that is. That the only recognizable linguistic or figurative element in these paintings is a salutation is at once lovely and sweet. Were this show to have exclusively comprised the smaller works it would be successful; however, in sharing space with larger, more complex, and sophisticated paintings, they suffer only through the power of the other work by the same maker.</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/20140801140040-gphCoachingIntroductoryAnalysisOfAStillLife.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>Patrick Howlett,</strong><em> Coaching: Introductory Analysis of a Still Life, </em>2014, Distemper on linen, 96 x 72 inches;&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and G Gallery, Toronto</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;">Painting <em>is</em> a game. All of art is. It is a game with no clear winners, losers, rules, or rewards and it is a beautiful game nonetheless. My knowledge of squash is limited, except in that I imagine one must be in very good shape to play. In the end, attributing the source of the work to a sports manual is an instructive and thoughtful comparison&mdash;in that painting, writing, and all unsolicited creative endeavors, are games we create and play for ourselves, in the hopes that others might want to watch, figure out the rules, practice, get better, or see who fails and see who wins. Howlett is quite good at this game, and &ldquo;plays painting&rdquo; very well.</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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/6978-brad-phillips?tab=REVIEWS">Brad Phillips</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Patrick Howlett</strong>, <em>Installation view, </em>2014; Courtesy of the artist and G Gallery, Toronto)</span></p> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 23:07:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Anything But Common: The Amassed Wonders of British Folk Art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>British Folk Art</em> begins with a disclaimer&mdash;customary for surveys of this sprawling, nebulous field&mdash;regarding the sheer breadth of ground to be covered, the impossibility of neat or comprehensive classifications, and even the inadequacy of the term "folk art" itself.&nbsp; For exhibitions that draw together art and anthropology, this preliminary airing of curatorial anxieties&mdash;and simultaneous disavowal of rigid cataloguing systems&mdash;has almost become a ritual in itself. Hence, it seems a fitting start for a show that centers on traditions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Curators Jeff McMillan, Ruth Kenny, and Martin Myrone attempt to dodge the aforementioned neat classifications without sliding into chaos. Their solution is a piecemeal approach: objects are grouped according to formal qualities, subject matter, artist, and/or their connection to &ldquo;different territories such as the town, the sea and the countryside.&rdquo; This latter division is signalled by unnervingly bright, color-coded walls&mdash;green for land, blue for sea, et cetera&mdash;that give the impression of the interior of a playhouse, or a series of chromakey backgrounds on which objects and images float unmoored.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition begins with the <em>Bellamy Quilt </em>(1890&ndash;1891) and a wall of assorted trade signs, setting out the extremes of private and public endeavor covered in the ensuing galleries. The trade signs, once hung from shopfronts to cater to a largely illiterate populace, provide a quick index of skills retained and lost over the past four centuries. They also emphasise the commercial dimension of much public-facing folk art, and the important communicative function of folk art in general.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In contrast, the <em>Bellamy Quilt</em>, a hand-sewn collaborative effort by Charlotte Alice Springall and Herbert Bellamy, commemorates an event of personal significance: the couple's approaching marriage. The quilt is crammed with colourful forms&mdash;motifs include daisies and dogs, cutlery and cartoons, feet and furniture&mdash;and riddled with internal logics and forgotten significances. Equal parts tacky and terrific, it broaches the question of taste that threads throughout the exhibition&mdash;the taste of not only the makers of individual objects, but also the collectors that later accrue and preserve those objects, and the museum visitors who pay to access these collections.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140801074850-George_Smart_goose_woman.jpg" alt="" /></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>George Smart,</strong> <em>Goose Woman; </em>Courtesy of Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery</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;">These two cornerstones lead a wall-to-wall parade of treasures: woolwork renditions of ships by retired seamen, their rigging and bunting faithfully delineated; frighteningly gaudy pincushions; local scenes and anecdotal illustrations by amateur painters, too-vivid and with mangled perspective; ghostly God-in-a-Bottles; papier m&acirc;ch&eacute; joints of meat; boody pottery; a creepy little bone shrine; and a convincing forgery or two. There is a cockerel made from little bones, delicately carved by French prisoners of war near Peterborough circa 1800; a failed drunkard's path quilt in white cotton and vivid Turkey red dye; and a handful of wonderful animal paintings featuring obese pigs and highly efficient dogs (<em>Champion Ratcatcher</em>, circa 1840). The jumble is punctuated with little showcases of work by makers of greater renown: three sets of tailor George Smart's textile collages featuring local personalities; a scrap-paper flotilla of ship paintings by Alfred Wallis; an annex lined with Mary Linwood's worsted translations of Rembrandt and Reynolds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These objects and paintings are faded but lively. Originally the products of excesses of time, materials, and energy&mdash;of skills, scraps, and Sunday afternoons put to creative use&mdash;they are now reminders of a more tactile, localized and industrial British past. In her 1951 anthology of selected English folk art traditions, <em>The Unsophisticated Arts</em>, Barbara Jones points out that folk arts are unstable, often unable to survive ages of technological or social change without warping or becoming self-conscious echoes of their former selves. <em>British Folk Art </em>doesn&rsquo;t make the leap to these "warped" contemporary folk practices, as documented by Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane for their project <em>Folk Archive</em>. Instead, the exhibition timeline indulges the fetishism of authenticity by stalling in 1961, with a striking revivalist straw effigy commissioned for an Oxford college ball.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Yet authenticity doesn&rsquo;t always equal quaintness and charm. Jones maintained that the popular arts shared &ldquo;certain constant characteristics... They are complex, unsubtle, often impermanent, they lean to disquiet, the baroque and sometimes terror&rdquo; (p16). The oldest item in the show&mdash;a gaping-mouthed treen nutcracker, c. 1595&ndash;1605&mdash;is indeed terrifying; its neighbour, a nineteenth&nbsp;century horse vertebra painted with the likeness of a preacher, is positively light-hearted in comparison. Take away the brightly colored walls and many other objects also gain a sinister aspect, their rigid forms seeming to reflect obsessions and frustrations as well as craftsmanship and care.</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/20140731163344-bone_cockerel.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: #525552;"><strong>Artist Unknown,</strong><em> Bone Cockerel (detail);</em> Courtesy of Vivacity Culture and Leisure &ndash; Peterborough Museum</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;">By its own admission, <em>British Folk Art</em> is by no means an exhaustive survey. Entire genres are omitted&mdash;fairground baroque is eschewed in favor of an entire room full of ship figureheads, for instance&mdash;and given the incredibly broad and rich field of work to draw from, the exhibition seems strangely lean. The pacing is somewhat uneven: the first gallery actually contains the bulk of the show, and the shift from figuration to abstraction in the final gallery feels a little pale and deflated, despite the addition of a Jolly Roger. The concluding reading room is also too sparse, and unfortunately does not provide enough contextual information to offset the focus on the objects&rsquo; aesthetic qualities throughout the rest of the exhibition. However the objects themselves are mostly magnificent, and for anyone interested in the weird side streets and overlooked niches of British vernacular culture, <em>British Folk Art </em>is well worth a butcher&rsquo;s hook.</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-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/229458-marianne-templeton?tab=REVIEWS">Marianne Templeton</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong>&nbsp;<strong>Artist Unknown,</strong>&nbsp;</strong><em>Heart Pincushion;&nbsp;</em>Courtesy of Beamish Museum / Photo: Tate Photography)</span></p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 07:49:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list ALO: Hail to the Loser, on now at Saatchi Gallery's Print Space <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Opening this week is a 50-piece exhibition by Italian street artist Alo.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Presented at the Saatchi&rsquo;s gallery&rsquo;s dedicated print space (a small, windowless room on the lower ground floor), the show is packed with all-new works, mostly originals on found wood &ndash; a significant undertaking for an emerging artist working solo&nbsp;&ndash; though piled up their individual effect becomes diluted by repetition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Auto-didact Alo came to East London&rsquo;s fertile streets a few years ago leaving his blocky, graphic characters painted in acrylic in bright primary colours to the hordes of passing Street Art Tour audiences that swell the area every day. Following a short hiatus from the close-knit scene, the artist has returned to the UK with a huge body of work and a fervent step into the art world &lsquo;proper&rsquo; at one of the city&rsquo;s premier galleries for emerging art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Since the show in Saatchi&rsquo;s main galleries truly blows, this perhaps makes a visit to Sloane Square more worthwhile.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.saatchistore.com/74-alo" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">http://www.saatchistore.com/74-alo</span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730174032-u.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>, <em>Untitled</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas frame , 25 x 30 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730174457-z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: xx-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>, <em>Untitled</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas frame , 30 x 40 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: xx-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730174651-i.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>, <em>Lady + Golem</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on found wood , 47 x 85 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730174818-j.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>,<em> Sun</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on cork board , 40 x 60 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730175314-h.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>, <em>Half green beggar,</em> Acrylic and mixed media on&nbsp;canvas art board , 60 x 60 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730175404-stilnox-by-alo.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>, <em>Stilnox</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas frame , 25 x 30 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140730175546-yellow-girl-by-alo.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alo</strong>,<em> Yellow Girl</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on&nbsp;found wood , 61 x 121 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">&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;Charlotte Jansen</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>Alo</strong>, <em>Haring</em>, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas frame , 20 x 20 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the artist and Saatchi Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:43:07 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Tracing the Invisible on the Cutting Edge <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At Aanant &amp; Zoo you can currently visit <em>How to Disappear</em>, a selection of works by Lynn Hershman Leeson created over the past forty years. It's a compact little exhibition featuring some twenty-seven works of various media including video and photography. It cuts out a great overview of an amazing career on the cutting edge while offering a taster of the </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lynnhershman.com/save-the-date-civic-radar-a-retrospective-coming-to-zkm-december-13-2014/" target="_blank">planned retrospective</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at the </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://zkm.de/" target="_blank">ZKM</a>, <span style="color: #525552;">Karlsruhe, this coming December.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Some of the earliest works are the <em>Suicide Pieces </em>(1963-1968)<em>, </em>photographic prints of death mask-like wax casts of the artist&rsquo;s face. Heavily made up and wigged, the masks were set alight as ritualistic inquiry into the erosion and erasure of identity, disappearance, and invisibility&mdash;themes that echo throughout the artist&rsquo;s career and are central to the show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the late 60s, a variant of such a mask that included motion sensor triggered playback of a recorded voice was rejected by a museum in Berkeley&mdash;she was informed at the time that art should not make sound&mdash;so the artist looked beyond the gallery and the limitations of the established art space. She instead created a site-specific work in a low-budget hotel room, thus marking the birth of </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lynnhershman.com/roberta-breitmore/" target="_blank">Roberta Breitmore</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Roberta became an artist&rsquo;s alternative identity, a simulacrum, a virtual individual. With a blonde wig, too much make-up, and body language casting shapes of introversion and low self-esteem, she bussed into town with $1800, some luggage, and hopes of finding happiness and security. Visitors could pick up the keys at the hotel&rsquo;s front desk and visit Roberta&rsquo;s room twenty-four hours a day where they could observe the cultural clutter and artefacts that marked the world around her.</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/20140730170909-119_Roberta_at_Psychiatrist_Office_Contact_1977.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Lynn Hershman Leeson, </strong><em>Roberta at Psychiatrist Office Contact</em>, 1977, Digital archival print, 40.6 x 50.8 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Aanant &amp; Zoo, Berlin</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;">Hershman Leeson describes Roberta's existence as being outlined by negative space: a silhouette defined only in the fabric of surrounding material. As she extended her domain she created evidence, paper trails, and lipstick traces in the networks, systems, and databases of the day. Her activities included blind dating through the small ads and applying for bank accounts and a driver&rsquo;s license. At Aanant &amp; Zoo you can see evidence of these encounters including a psychiatrist&rsquo;s evaluation and a transcript of a lonely heart meet up with a local dude who offers tips on the surrounding environment and culture.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These experiments in artificial identity pre-empted the virtual self or avatar, social network user accounts, and personalities replaced and defined by spending habits. They would continue into the following decades when further pursuit of a more open, dynamic, expanded art through new media led to the creation of the first artist&rsquo;s interactive video disc. In another breakthrough piece Roberta was succeeded by <em>Lorna</em> (1979-84), a virtual agoraphobic who lives her life through the television screen. Disc users experienced the work as an interactive game (the Art Video Game was </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_game#Origins_and_first_wave_art_games" target="_blank">another LHL first</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">) with a narrative offering a choice of endings navigated via a virtual remote control, Lorna's singular means of affecting change in her isolated environment.</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/20140730170723-119_Seduction_of_a_Cyborg_L_HER_1996.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Lynn Hershman Leeson, </strong><em>Seduction of a Cyborg</em>, 1996, Video/DVD, no edition, signed, 7min.; Courtesy of the artist and Aanant &amp; Zoo, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><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;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The paradox of screen technology's promise to liberate the individual through open access, to place all users on an egalitarian level playing field&mdash;countered by its penchant for domination and erosion of the individual&mdash;is a recurrent theme, and explored in the video <em>Seduction of a Cyborg </em>(1994). The work follows the fictionalized experience of a blind woman who is given the power of sight through direct interface with a computer network. The result is a cautionary tale that demonstrates Hershman Leeson&rsquo;s desire to utilize and test the capability of technology without unconditionally trusting it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The rich, video-toasted graphics used in <em>Seduction of a Cyborg </em>to represent the fusion of human being and information superhighway are very much of their day. Swirling graphic sprites and lines of data pour out of the beer crate sized VDU into the wide, amazed eyes of the operator, who in turn, absorbs imagery of the ubiquitous computer-generated spinning globe, plus other cultural artefacts and motifs.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The moment signifies the genesis of the blind protagonist&rsquo;s downfall; her corruption and contamination by media and the destruction of her privacy and persona are soon to follow. However, the exact type of imagery used in this sequence was, at the time, </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfUyR1wlcus" target="_blank">being used everywhere</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> to promote the sheer exhilaration of futurist magic carpet rides through cyberspace and the limitless potential of the World Wide Web. Hershman Leeson not only saw the potential of this new media ahead of the curve, she was foreshadowing some of its future anxieties long before most other users and commentators could see anything other than utopian ecstasy via the net.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Also on view is the new work <em>The Ballad of L.T. Leroy</em> (2014), a new video documenting the true story of Jeremiah "Terminator" LeRoy, an author&rsquo;s nom-de-plume and alter ego whose warm acceptance by the literati and Hollywood was matched with fury and spite when the truth was discovered and they felt the joke was on them. Leroy's work was, in fact, that of </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Albert" target="_blank">Laura Albert</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> but far from a joke; the author had been using an alter ego as a kind of creative therapy in a strange series of events that could easily have been imagined as a Hershman Leeson fiction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Hershman Leeson has employed new processes and pushed boundaries within the accepted norms of the art world time and time again. But unlike so many other avant gardists she has rejected the status of media guru and the invitation to mystify her ability to predict and shape emerging genres, themes, and environments. On the contrary, she has and continues to use her vantage point to strive for open access and create a space where all are seen, all voices heard. At the same time, she often critiques the new media with which she has, through pioneering diligence, achieved expert status and could so easily use to further her own interests and art career. Here, the broader picture is kept always in focus.</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/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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Lynn Hershman Leeson, </strong><em>Seduction</em>, 1985, Gelatin silver print on archival paper, edition 6/8 + 2 AP, 56 x 76 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Aanant &amp; Zoo, Berlin)</span></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:21:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list WAT-AAH! Better Habits Through Branding <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">On February 20, 2014, WAT-AAH water bottles launched their&nbsp;<em>Taking Back the Streets&nbsp;</em>campaign in an effort to convince kids that drinking water can in fact be &ldquo;cool&rdquo;. Endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama and her&nbsp;<em>Partnership for a Healthier America&nbsp;</em>initiative, WAT-AAH launched to a fanfare of parental approval at the New Museum in New York City. For its inaugural exhibition the water bottle company organized a group show featuring the work of 13 prominent street artists&mdash;including Kenny Scharf, Maya Hayuk, Swoon and Lady Aiko&mdash;just a handful of the artists putting their seal of approval on the company. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">Each featured artist designs a Limited Edition label spanning 3 water bottles as a complete series. The bottles will serve as collectables (imagine baseball cards or POGS for us millenials out there) and with 27 street artists currently involved, there are a total of 81 unique works of art to be collected once the product-line hits store shelves this fall. In tandem, each artist develops a corresponding work on canvas for the blue-chip collectors out there, several of which have already been exhibited at WAT-AAH gallery shows across the US. The heath and lifestyle brand has also hit the streets in both New York City and Chicago displaying the work of renowned street artists as public mural installations with unique renditions centered around the same hydro-inspired theme. &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/20140730094027-IMG_5905.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">At its core street art is an inherently proletarian art form, displaying messages that sometimes skirt the line between narrative and advertisement. With injections of strategic marketing, street art proponents have begun to embrace the modern formula of hyper-commercialization. With self-made creatives discovered from the bottom of a YouTube channel or independently launched artists pioneering media attention via their Instagram feeds, artists-as-celebrities have now become the targets of icon based branding. &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/1538/2dh/20140730154749-11__1_.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">With a product as simple as water, the WAT-AAH brand has banded artist and celebrity alike and assumed the responsibility of tackling the national pandemic of childhood obesity in the United States, an issue so prevalent that parents, school districts and even the White House have committed to challenging its trajectory. If education is the foundation of wisdom, then art is the foundation of beauty and by merging the two, maybe attention can be drawn to causes that can instigate real change for future generations. WAT-AAH aptly demonstrates just one possible solution needed&mdash;and the streets are just the pulpits to preach from. &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;Allyson Parker</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;">(All images: Courtesy <a href="http://wat-aah.blogspot.co.uk" target="_blank">wat-aah blogspot</a>)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:50:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Animation Time: An Interview with Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Cartoons aren&rsquo;t just for kids and Frederator Studios founder Fred Seibert knows that for sure. Like a mad scientist, Seibert shaped the DNA of cartoons today. From assisting the launch of MTV to developing a short film program at Hanna-Barbera, the producer is as culturally savvy as he is dedicated to the art of animation. Today the studio has produced 16 series and over 200 animated short films that have launched shows including <em>The Fairly OddParents</em>, <em>Fanboy &amp; Chum Chum</em>, and <em>Adventure Time.</em>&nbsp; </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/20140729113515-fred_headshot_cartoon.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;">The animators at Frederator Studios continue the tradition of animation with dynamic characters and visionary worlds. Pulling the curtain back behind the great and powerful animator is not disappointing: animation is as imaginative as ever. As the studio prepares to launch their next cartoon <em>Bee &amp; Puppycat</em> in the fall, Frederator&rsquo;s fingerprints continue to be on the new generation of animation.</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/20140729113316-BPC_Still_2.png" alt="" /></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>What inspired you to go into animation? </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I loved cartoons as a kid, and it never occurred to me that actual human beings had anything to do with making cartoons because I was raised by two pharmacists. And when I got into television and radio in the late seventies - early eighties, I was asked by various bosses to do various animations for the things that I worked on. Whether it was commercials for radio stations or identification packages for cable networks. I slowly started meeting people in animation and liking them. I am a curious sort and just started finding out more and more about what they did. Years later, when someone asked me to run an animation studio, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And it worked out really well! </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>What qualities do you look for in an animator or a show when you discover a project you want to produce?&nbsp; </strong></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 show, it&rsquo;s a really simple thing: I am looking for characters that I fall in love with. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>What you do describe as a good character you want to hang out with?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I just knew when I saw Bugs Bunny as a kid I wanted to hang out with him again or Huckleberry Hound, who was a really big star in my childhood era. Or frankly the Flintstones: Fred Flintstone was kind of everybody&rsquo;s dad or uncle or neighbor or cousin, so I recognized those characters. </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/20140729113352-BPC_Still_1.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;"><strong>Do you see that lineage of cartoon history, like Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes, continued by your cartoons? </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I think one of the things that is true about the era that we live in is that everyone has seen everything. I told Pendleton Ward once that I thought his show was the first show that I had seen that was more influenced by the pre-Looney Tunes era than post-; he just looked at me quizzically. The fact that he uses styles more akin to the Fleischer Brothers than Looney Tunes, I think he is just a product of the culture he is living in. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Can you speak to how creating shows online has impacted your process as a producer?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Like starting in maybe 2005, the whole notion that making a film already was cheaper due to new computer technologies, and you could do it on your own for a much lower price. But what really became enabled in the 2005 period is that with an email address you could distribute your film for no cost; barriers that forced people to work with bigger companies started to go away. The traditional system wasn&rsquo;t the only option. It&rsquo;s unleashed a new golden age of animation. I think we are at a place where no longer is someone&rsquo;s creative vision being filtered through a series of executives whose job it is to divide the tea leaves of the audience. It is solely up to the filmmaker and what they want to do. They are taking their bet that the audience will agree with them. It&rsquo;s just unleashed creative filmmaking that can cross the art and commercial worlds. There&rsquo;s no barrier between you and your audience.&nbsp; </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/20140729113437-BPC_Still_7.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;"><strong>Any upcoming projects you are excited about? </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I think the most exciting one is Natasha Allegri&rsquo;s <em>Bee &amp; Puppycat</em>. Natasha is probably more influenced by anime than American cartoons and that speaks to an audience that has been in a lot of ways disenfranchised in the animation mainstream over the last hundred years. She&rsquo;s really something and all signs are thumbs up on it. </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;">&mdash;<span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Matthew Keeshin</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;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy Bee &amp; Puppycat)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:05:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list A Secret History Mapped in the Mundane <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Bradford Kessler&rsquo;s cut-out panels coated in a paint-like sealant called hydroflex are not quite paintings or sculptures. Neither do they seem to be of the crowd that questions the nature of painting using sculptural methods (to name a few practitioners: Jacob Kassay, Nathan Green, Lisa Sigal, and Kenji Fujita). So what are they? They are weird and maybe boring, but boring in a way that hangs out at the edge of one&rsquo;s consciousness for days. They are like a child&rsquo;s bed set, retired to the curb for trash pick up where the last people to see the chipped headboard and broken dresser will wonder about the grown kid who scratched drawings into the soft wood. Why, they will wonder, did that kid like clowns so much?</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Pile of Mist</em> is Kessler&rsquo;s first solo show at the Manhattan outpost of the artist-run Brooklyn gallery 247365. The location, a Chinatown basement under a Buddhist temple and an incense shop, is sufficiently mystical for the work, which is almost all white save for subtle gradients of blue or orange. The drawings on the panels are &ldquo;engraved&rdquo; into the surface and sometimes emphasized with a hint of water-based marker. There is also a scattering of hand-sized cast resin sculptures that are more color saturated and reminiscent of fishing lures with names like the &ldquo;Trigger X&reg; Aggression Flappin' Bug.&rdquo; Flappin&rsquo; bugs they are not, but rather each piece, all called <em>Young Grandfather</em> (2014), is a dog nose with a tobacco pipe hanging from its jowls, attached to the back of a horseshoe crab-esque sea creature. The crustaceans also appear on the panels, which share the name <em>New Icon (from the Mist) </em>(2014), as do sad clowns, shafts of wheat, and sad clowns with crustacean beards. An actual sheaf of wheat is tucked into a recess in the gallery wall, with a story-length title that gives insight into the strange dream world where all this iconography resides. An excerpt: &ldquo;<em>Old man sniffing hard now, advancing toward me with some sort of mid-evil weapon that looks like it's been formed out of cryogenically frozen body parts.</em>&rdquo; (2014).</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140729053649-Kessler_installation_shot_5.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This psychic landscape, in tandem with the tennis ball gags, <em>Mistletoe (3,2,1)</em> (2014), hanging at the entrance to the basement, gives the show an air of ghetto gothic fashion&mdash;the tongue-in-cheek, stylized suggestion of violence and bondage mixing with allusions to science fiction and a dash of the suburban mall. I am also told that there was a smoke machine at the opening. Had it been operational when I visited I might have registered the vibe more immediately.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140729054023-Kessler_installation_shot_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Under the slickness of its exterior, Kessler&rsquo;s work evokes average American mundanity and a particular imagination attached to it. Its past is in the wheat field and primordially in the skeleton of the sea creature. Its present fascinations lean towards the kitsch and fatalism. Set up as a surprise installation, with no mention on the checklist or acknowledgment on the gallery website, the most fun part of the show can be found in the gallery&rsquo;s bathroom where crisp white socks printed with bleak non sequiturs and goofy clip-art hang in pairs, illuminated by a fluorescent blacklight tube. Reads the pair by the toilet: &ldquo;I&rsquo;M LOWER THAN WHALE SHIT,&rdquo; (right sock) &ldquo;AND THAT&rsquo;S THE LOWEST THING THERE IS,&rdquo; (left sock). No one can know if that&rsquo;s true, but it does give you something to think about.</span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" 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: #c37e66;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/203629-alison-kuo?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #c37e66;">Alison Kuo</span></a></span></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;">(All Images: <strong>Bradford Kessler</strong>, Installaion view; Courtesy of the artist and 247365 Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:59:17 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Feels Like Home: Andres Guerrero Opens His Home as Art Gallery <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">In a residential neighborhood on a particularly sunny day in Bayview, you wouldn&rsquo;t suspect that 1401 Thomas Ave was hosting an art opening. The one telltale sign: a bouncer at the door who asks for your name before you walk in. As he marks your name off, you walk up a staircase and find yourself in what looks like someone&rsquo;s home.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">In fact, the space belongs to Andres Guerrero and he&rsquo;s invited quite a few art lovers to walk through his rooms. The space definitely feels like a home&mdash;on a wall near works by Cleon Peterson, you can spot a framed photo of Andres with two people who look like his parents. In one room, he sits in his office while his sister walks in with a little boy in her arms. The whole space feels welcoming even while at first it might seem strange to walk through bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room to see art. Guests take photos not only of the art but the city views from some of the home&rsquo;s corners. People relax on couches in the living room and browse the price list that sits on a coffee table across from a record player. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140728173250-GuerreroInstall_V5.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;">Installation view; &copy; Photo by R.D.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">The gallery&rsquo;s current show &ldquo;At Home With&hellip;&rdquo; brings together an eclectic group of artists. It includes work from Victor Reyes, Cleon Peterson, Ken Davis, Shepard Fairey, Ben Venom, Richard Colman and more. The works span mediums from sculpture and painting to wool. Displaying these in a home lends an interesting twist&mdash;four silkscreen and mixed media collage pieces by Shepard Fairey, for example, feel like they belong right where they hang over Andres&rsquo; record player. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">While some of the works stick to the artists&rsquo; usual themes, some of them comment on creating a sense of home and the things we do in private. Erin M. Riley&rsquo;s wool and cotton <em>Nudes 16</em> perfectly depicts the selfie phenomena. A girl holds up her phone as she shows off her body in a tight dress; in the background you can spot her laundry hamper and messily made bed. Rendered in wool and cotton, the piece feels like a paradox: Riley depicts a modern technological habit through a craft that dates back to a time before smartphones. A shiny metal work by Steve Powers shows what looks like a pillow emblazoned with the words "Home at Last." Most of the attendees of that night could relate to that unique sentiment of finally arriving within that space they call their own; this artwork will eventually find another home besides that of Andres. Yet this piece, like many others, brings up the question of what exactly "home" means.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140728173418-Cleon_Peterson__Brinksman__Red___Acrylic_on_wood__9.5in_x_12.5in__2014._2_000.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Cleon Peterson</strong>, <em>Brinksman (Red),</em> Acrylic on wood, 9.5in x 12.5in, 2014; Courtesy of Cleon Peterson and Guerrero Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">In the meantime, the people mingling around the space seemed to feel quite at home. Other works&mdash;like an Andrew Schoultz piece in his distinct style&mdash;didn&rsquo;t appear on the price list, perhaps actually belonging in this space as their permanent home. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">Andres explained that he wanted to bring an art scene back to the Bayview area and chose to open up his home to display art. It&rsquo;s a concept that many San Francisco artists are adopting as they deal with rising rents. If art shows can&rsquo;t happen in a gallery, there&rsquo;s no reason not to stage them somewhere else. Artist evictions and redevelopment will continue to alter the artistic landscape of the city. But Guerrero Gallery proves that one positive result is seeing art in alternative spaces. The gallery isn&rsquo;t the first or last of these spaces but it definitely proves that a home can serve as a gallery and a gallery can feel like home. </span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Eva Recinos</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: Installation view;&copy; Photo by R.D.)</span></p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:32:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Mind the Gap: Between Art, Work, and Life <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><em>Art is what makes life more interesting than art.&nbsp;</em> </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Robert Filliou&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Sometime last fall, in a moment beyond reason, I took a two-hour bus ride to pick up a pair of $89 shoes that were then on sale for $14.99 at a Zara near the Santa Monica Pier. The bus ride was my penance for the deal, an enactment of the masochistic conflation of time with money. I read Chris Kraus'<em> Where Art Belongs</em> on the 704 as it lurched the long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard, jotting crooked notes along the way, wondering if art is just a pretext for living a certain kind of life&mdash;maybe not a total escape from time and money, but adding something to the mix that can lessen the blows of not having one or the other, or both. I wondered if I am worthy to live that kind of life.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">In addition to writing art criticism, I keep (kept?) a personal style blog where I photograph, catalogue, and share day-today outfits, coupling professional regularity and a warm conversational tone. I drew strict lines between these practices, but as I began to look at blogs with the same eyes I use to look at art, artists, and &ldquo;the art world,&rdquo; I noticed professional artists and personal style bloggers are doing very similar things&mdash;building communities of like-minded others, and, consciously or not, envisioning a different way of life. Some succeed spectacularly and make a lot of money; for others this life becomes the very job they were trying to avoid; still others are more than happy to filter the raw material of life through the Interestingness Machine. It&rsquo;s out of vogue for critics to declare art "good" or "bad" and most writers would much rather be called a poet, an art historian, a theoretician, anything but a critic. Robert Filliou's koan is a good tool to unpack here, in response to both art and life. It helps you to think about why you are looking at what you are looking at.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Earlier this year I was asked to interview a couple of artists who had taken a bunch of selfies at the Whitney Biennial. I was asked to present them as a sort of commentary on the &ldquo;changing face of art amidst the rise of social media,&rdquo; according to their publicist.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140728090411-u.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">Courtesy <span style="color: #4ec33b;"><a href="http://ritabored.blogspot.in/2011/06/blog-post.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed:+wastedrita+%28WASTED+RITA%29"><span style="color: #4ec33b;">Wasted Rita</span></a></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">The first mistake was saying yes. I said yes because there were hotshit words in that query, and in the miasma of online discourse certain hotshit words can suddenly metastasize and become imperative.&nbsp; And a writer, whose job on one level is to be seen, to remain&mdash;here&rsquo;s a another hotshit word&mdash;relevant, begins to think that maybe hitching her wagon to one of these words, even if it means abiding by the terms of its presentation rather than her own impressions, will make her visible.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">The second mistake was trying to do a clever takedown of the project instead asking why some art makes life less interesting than life itself. And of course I was unprepared for the machine-gun fire of polysyllabic neologisms these educated artists leveled against my diffident attempts at interrogation. I don&rsquo;t know what to do with terms like &ldquo;socio-aesthetic darwinism.&rdquo; I&rsquo;m trying to fell trees, not spin plates. My frustration remained unresolved until I read Chris Kraus describe a similar situation that she handled with much more aplomb in the Semiotext(e) pamphlet &ldquo;Lost Properties,&rdquo; commissioned for the very same Whitney Biennial. In it, she recounts being invited by a group of artists to participate in a panel on the problem of archiving the collective&rsquo;s recent &ldquo;research adventure.&rdquo; The exact purpose of this panel remains opaque until, by degrees, Kraus realizes she&rsquo;s been &ldquo;asked to give up a Sunday to listen to a contorted rhetoric designed to inflate the legitimate and even <em>interesting</em> desire to go on a summer road trip with friends into a &lsquo;research-based art practice.&rsquo;&rdquo; She asks a very important question:&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Had these artists been so expertly trained that they&rsquo;d <em>voluntarily</em> enact such baroque degrees of repression even when they&rsquo;re not being judged, paid, or graded?&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> ***&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> In a time when money is conflated with attention, the line between life and work becomes a dilemma. Is it better to profess it&rsquo;s not there because you Love What You Do and are seen loving it? Career envy is so akin to lifestyle envy, the stigma of having merely a job, as opposed to a passion or a calling, is keenly felt by those who are forced to constantly negotiate on-the-clock breadwinning and off-the-clock self-actualization.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">At inaugural LA Art Book Fair in February of 2013, Semiotext(e) founder Sylv&egrave;re Lotringer and e-flux founder Anton Vidokle held a panel they titled &ldquo;Art Between the Cracks&rdquo; where they warned against the pitfalls of institutionalization and professionalization of art to a room of mostly recent graduates of institutional MFA programs, the kind designed to aid artists in becoming professional in their chosen field. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not demonizing professionalization&rdquo; Vidokle said to the slightly gobsmacked room, &ldquo;I think you have to be able to step through it and be open to whatever is on the other side.&rdquo; In response to a woman who pointed out that institutions open up networks and opportunities to make a living off of one&rsquo;s work, Lotringer asked if she felt that the goal of making art is to make a living. Instead of answering his own question, Lotringer offered a bit of advice even more obtuse that Filliou: &ldquo;You have to learn how to make a life for yourself that allows you to create life.&rdquo; My takeaway is that there is nothing inherently wrong with professionalizing art, only that it easily slips into the unimaginative practice of professionalizing life through the aid of institutional rhetoric.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> Life is interesting enough. Art can either attest to this or not.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">***&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">You can ponder the vagaries of public taste by listening to an artist&mdash;at the behest of a PR firm&mdash;talk about their Instagram experiment, or you can browse Instagram (I recommend the #raresquats tag over #artselfie any day). You can harbor the notion that &ldquo;one&rsquo;s summer vacation after grad school would result in an <em>archive</em>&rdquo; or you can add <em>yourself</em> to this archive of the well trod but life-affirming tradition of the summer roadtrip by going on a summer roadtrip. The former options betray a faith in some inherent right of the artist to be more visible than the rest, a rather retrograde Renaissance ideal for those who profess the virtues of new media and the democratization of art. We&rsquo;re all worrying about the same things.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> ***&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> Style blogging is interesting to me because of its potential to independently churn dreams and taste into sustainable income. Though I can and will argue elsewhere that fashion blogging is now simply an armature of the very institutions it claimed to free us from, for a time it carried the promise of professional living without the institutional rhetoric, a way to destroy that dichotomy of the job that pays the rent and that thing you do for love by offering this third option of <em>professionally being yourself.&nbsp;</em> </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140728090549-8.jpg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>eBook Cover Design</em>; Courtesy Musician Lifestyle</span><em><br /></em></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">That is, if you yourself are suitably flexible to the winds of taste. Personal style blogging is a soft entry, a penance for a person who dreams of being a Creative Professional but doesn&rsquo;t have the easy entry of a specific degree or a mafia connection. Style bloggers can enter a seemingly impenetrable world of fashion softly by beginning as an enthused amateur. Without the love and enthusiasm, style blogging is of course just another job, and worse, a second unpaid one. The same is true for art. The specter of penance for your passions looms no matter what.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Robert Hughes, in his seminal BBC miniseries <em>The Shock of the New</em>&mdash;itself a hybrid creature existing in both book and TV form&mdash;said: "The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible [...] to close the gap between you and everything that is not you." I agree and disagree: the basic project of religion is to make the world whole and comprehensible. Art doesn't close the gap between us and not-us, but it does live there, taking up space in the cracks of the tripartite Venn diagram of life and work and art. That the aegis of poetry is vast enough for all things is just one of my personal delusions and articles of faith, but when these off-register realms realign into a single myopic sphere of human activity, there is never space enough for any of them to move around.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">With apologies to Filliou, art is what makes work worth living through.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/214407-christina-catherine-martinez?tab=REVIEWS">Christina Catherine Martinez</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">[Image on top: <strong>Alex Prager,</strong><em> Crowd #4 (New Haven)</em>, 2013; Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles; Install images courtesy of Jeff Vespa]</span><br /></span></p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 04:03:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The Myth of Solid Ground <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Right now, my favorite London-based fashion blogger, Susie Bubble, is on holiday in Santa Monica. &ldquo;Is it Blackpool? Great Yarmouth? No it's Santa Monica,&rdquo; she writes.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Right now, my best friend&rsquo;s plane takes off from Burbank&rsquo;s Bob Hope Airport en route to Poland by way of Israel.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Right now, Lana Del Rey&rsquo;s &ldquo;Summertime Sadness&rdquo; repeats in my ear buds.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Right now, I&rsquo;m writing from a balcony overlooking a rocky jetty in the Pacific Ocean where on July 6th a lifeguard named Ben swam out to save a swimmer and broke his neck. The swimmer survived. In one way or another, we are all "here."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> Los Angeles is where you need it to be.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Right now: Sarah Conaway, Pearl C. Hsiung, Kim Fisher, Shana Lutker, Florian Morlat, Jon Pestoni, Mungo Thomson, and Mary Weatherford are all in <em>The Outlanders</em>, an inaugural group exhibition on view at The Pit in Glendale. Right now, The Pit is one of a crop of artist-run galleries speckling your Google Maps view of the Greater Los Angeles Area, along and around San Fernando Road.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>The Outlanders</em> is an exhibition that aspires to reckon with L.A. haze, suggesting &ldquo;&hellip;the artists in The Outlanders make work with aesthetic references and influences that are part of L.A.&rsquo;s history, geography, and reputation.&rdquo; Ultimately, the formal resonances bounce around the gallery and into the limited edition Outlanders zine with white light prism rainbow leaks, lead feet, clumped color, and soft songs. With artful echos and harmonies, I am compelled to sing: L.A., "baby you&rsquo;re the best."</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/20140728083542-l.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>Pearl C. Hsiung</strong>, Still from <em>The Softest Thing</em>, 2012; Courtesy of the artist and The Pit</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;">Feeling something in the air, Pearl C. Hsiung presents <em>The&nbsp;</em><em>Softest Thing</em>&nbsp;(2012), a single channel "driving video," otherwise known as a series of banal hypno-dissolves with a fixed horizon. From the windshield appear distant real-life rainbows. There are animated fat white raindrops and a vignette with a rain creature singing softly to the viewer. Calming, soporific, and medicating.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Shana Lutker&rsquo;s five-footed sculpture <em>Entr&rsquo;acte</em>&nbsp;(2014) gracefully affronts Richard Serra&rsquo;s slung and poured lead. <em>Entr&rsquo;acte</em>&rsquo;s five heavy metal feet signify bones shifted to stand <em>en pointe</em>. Nobody walks in L.A. These bisected figures turn in the mind unlike memory, but like driving in L.A. The toe touch leaves rushing and halting impressions. <em>Entr&rsquo;acte</em> is an impression presupposing memory.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> When bodies couple, their hot skins change color, roughnesses and fluids exchange. All this and touch drag across Jon Pestoni&rsquo;s <em>Terminal Love</em>&nbsp;(2014), where faded pink and deep bleak blue organize a figure/ground situation, finished-off with two thick transparent white bass clefs. There&rsquo;s an elegy scale embedded in <em>Terminal Love</em>&rsquo;s littered surface&mdash;a surface that grabs colors, pushing underpainting off the mixed media panel. Right now, the moon is pulling oil soaked, rainbowed tides.&nbsp;&nbsp;&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/20140728083745-k.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>Kim Fisher and Shana Lutker</strong>, Installation shot; Courtesy of the artist and The Pit</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;">The Los Angeles horizon winks between banks of fog and smog. In L.A. presence is free-range and presence flows. Furthermore, in the context of art exhibitions, group show dynamics often addle one&rsquo;s sense of an edge or boundary. For a gallery to declare its inaugural exhibition as &ldquo;part of L.A.,&rdquo; is nothing short of ambitious. Go feel it, rubber-meets-road at The Pit.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Right now Susie Bubble complains about the cold Pacific Ocean on Instagram, my best friend jetlags, that &ldquo;Summertime Sadness&rdquo; plays on, Ben the drowned lifeguard is survived by a swimmer, and the artists of <em>The Outlanders</em> all pass through the myth of solid ground, beneath a single thick blanket of looming marine layer haze.&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;<span style="color: #cc00cc;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/364194-chelsea-rector?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #cc00cc;">Chelsea Rector</span></a></span></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: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Jon Pestoni,</strong> <em>Terminal Love, </em>2014 , oil and mixed media; Courtesy of the artist and The Pit)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:03:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Final Days: Oceanic <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">The latest intermittent gallery to tap into London&rsquo;s burgeoning commercialised urban scene is the initiative of a self-styled Parisian power couple who also run the somewhat controversial Street Art News. Oceanic is a two artist show of works by Askew One and Fintan Magee, both originally from Australasia, and the characteristics of the Pacific region are the connecting premise for this new week long show. New works, an editioned collaborative print and new murals are on show inside a beautiful space in the heart of the East End (where else).</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 RexRomae)</span></p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:08:15 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Last Day: Thésis, Jesús Benítez <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">A woman stands nonchalantly amongst creatures that look like a crocodile with giant teeth and a grasshopper with two heads. The other critters around her are less easily explained. One stands on its hind legs and seems to sport a flower with one eye as a head. This is the world of Mexican illustrator and muralist Jes&uacute;s Ben&iacute;tez. Taking inspiration from science fiction &mdash;&nbsp;and the work of Moebius and Roger Dean &mdash; Ben&iacute;tez crafts scenes that explore the possibilities of a strange future. In this new world, all boundaries are broken down within humanity, technology and nature. &ldquo;Th&eacute;sis&rdquo; is the artist&rsquo;s first solo show in North America and showcases the artist&rsquo;s strange vision. Ben&iacute;tez works in everything from painting to sculptures to murals. No matter the medium, the artist&rsquo;s dystopian visions are thrilling yet disconcerting. If the future is anything like Ben&iacute;tez creates it, it will look imaginatively created even while it feels dangerous and mysterious.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">For any inquiries, email </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="mailto:gallery@fifty24sf.com">gallery@fifty24sf.com</a></span><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">.</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/20140726171648-luxury.jpeg" 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/20140726171716-tumblr_mqphy6aiwr1qevluqo1_1280.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/20140726171736-tumblr_mqw1hhbOa51qevluqo1_1280.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;">&mdash;Eva Recinos</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;">(All images:<strong> Jes&uacute;s Ben&iacute;tez</strong>; Courtesy of the Artist and FIFTY24SF Gallery)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:32:38 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The Altar of Electronic Art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Following the glamorous opening of <em>The Altar of Bling</em> in May, island6, the cutting edge Shanghai-based artist collective, is currently showing a hypnotic collection of electronic art from the archives in their cozy Hong Kong gallery space. A mix of several recent shows, the exhibition includes interactive installations, mixed media, and framed LED panels&mdash;the only thing missing is a sofa on which to curl up and observe.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The collaborative group bills itself as a &ldquo;collective of tech-geeks and creative talents&rdquo; from all over the world. Since its creation in 2006, Liu Dao 六岛 (the Chinese translation for island6) has been engaged in mastering the production of all forms of art with a technological twist, brainstorming with everyone from electricians and photographers, to art directors and painters in their Shanghai studio. With owned galleries in Phuket, Hong Kong, and three in Shanghai, the group boasts representation in Beijing, New York, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. One can begin to see parallels with world domination.</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/20140726165931-TheRedChamber.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>Liu Dao Art Collective 六岛</strong>, <em>"The Red Chamber" (红房子)</em>, Made in island6, Shanghai 2013, Acrylic painting, LED display, paper collage, teakwood frame, 108(W)&times;108(H)&times;9(D) cm | 42.5(W)&times;42.5(H)&times;3.5(D) inches; Courtesy island6</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;">Upon entering the gallery, visitors are met with <em>The Red Chamber </em>(2013), a beautifully detailed painting of an oriental vase on rice paper. Springing to life, bright neon butterflies dance across the work via an LED screen hidden in the custom teakwood frame. Mesmerizing is perhaps too weak an adjective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In keeping with the acrylic and video blend, the collective has also produced a series of luxury vintage cars painted, again on beautiful rice paper, with the windows as the screen. The scene inside depicts an old school vibe with a cheeky flick of the nonchalant drivers. (<em>Talbot Lago Coco</em>, Liu Dao, 2014)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Perhaps the biggest crowd pleasers are the interactive videos, which feature actors with their phone numbers scribbled across the screen. <em>It Girl </em>(2012) encourages viewers to call, which prompts the phone to ring in the video. Soon a text message is received, and depending on the character&rsquo;s preprogrammed mood (and yours), the subject can range from saucy to sweet. Just be sure to delete it before your significant other gets a hold of your phone.</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/20140726170223-ItGirl.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Liu Dao Art Collective 六岛</strong>, <em>"It Girl" (智能女孩),</em> Made in island6, Shanghai 2012, LCD screen, GSM module, Apple PC desktop, serial server, flash interface, 116(W)&times;71(H)&times;9.5(D) cm | 45.7(W)&times;28(H)&times;3.4(D) inches; Courtesy island6</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;">One last installation of note, <em>Knock Knock</em> (2012), is an antique style mirror, which features a hidden motion sensor. Step close and&hellip; well, you&rsquo;ll have to find out for yourself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These entertaining works are a welcome addition to a scene in Hong Kong that often feels dominated by traditional and <em>new traditional</em> Chinese art mixed with imported Western art. Most recent local exhibitions of Chinese art lack a new voice. They miss the mark as a true representation of a region in the world that is moving fast into the future, at the forefront of investment with a hunger for all things new and bold. It&rsquo;s nice to see something that shows off the creative power that can come from China.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Having a show dedicated to an art form like electronic art or video, something not yet totally embraced by the majority of collectors, is brave but almost expected. Especially in a city known for her beloved neon signs, who also dedicates a large budget to the love of electronic displays. (There is a nightly public light show with skyscrapers as characters set to music.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It&rsquo;s clear this group thrives on creating something that is not only meant to be loved, but worshipped. Fit for a congregation&rsquo;s attention, the collection is a futuristic mix of new media and classic techniques that allows the viewer to fall in love with modern art again, while confirming a new found faith in emerging and experimental art forms.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">True to style, the current show has no end date and will be up until the next collection of art is completed in Shanghai. And if you visit&mdash;run, don&rsquo;t walk&mdash;be sure to read the info cards placed next to each work. It&rsquo;s a show in itself.</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;"><em>Note: In addition to the works mentioned above, more from island6 can be seen at Hong Kong&rsquo;s outpost of Opera Gallery:</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Opera Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">G/F - 3/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham St</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Central, Hong Kong</span><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> Telephone: +852 2810 1208</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: #daa520;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/359091-peter-augustus?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #daa520;">Peter Augustus</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> Liu Dao Art Collective 六岛,</strong> "<em>Silver Shadow" (银影)</em>, Made in island6, Shanghai 2014, TFT display, acrylic painting, teakwood frame, 67(W)&times;48(H)&times;7(D) cm | 26.4(W)&times;19(H)&times;2.8(D) inches; Courtesy island6]</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:53:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Being a bit too breezy about the sky <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Compiling an attractive and wholesome summer exhibition: it&rsquo;s an art form in itself. During the cultural low season, when the regular audience has migrated to southern European beaches, museums hoping to maintain healthy visitor statistics choose to cater to tourists, staycationists, and day-trippers. And that requires a special type of show. Of course, the fun factor is to be reckoned with; the subject should not be too highbrow and</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">instead</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;have a broad, preferably universal appeal. Some </span><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">couleur locale</em><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">, however, is an indispensable pull factor lending some urgency to visit this location&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">specifically.</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;And in times of fierce competition with other leisure activities, the quality of what&rsquo;s on show has to be top grade.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">De Hallen in Haarlem has quite a lot of experience with dog day exhibitions. This year marks the eighth time the museum has organized a large summer show. The 2014 edition is entitled <em>Lucht! (Sky!)</em> and&mdash;at first sight, at least&mdash;seems to be absolutely spot on. The subject, how artists during roughly a century and a half have represented the sky, has an immediate appeal and is Dutch to the extreme. Ever since the painters of the Golden Age started depicting altocumulus humilis and stratus nebulosus, the firmament has been a constant factor in Dutch art. Moreover, the artist credited with &ldquo;inventing&rdquo; the genre of landscapes with lots of sky, Jacob van Ruisdael, was born in Haarlem.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140724052330-2.Leickert_Winterlandschap.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Charles Leickert, </strong><em>Winterlandschap bij ondergaande zon</em>, ca. 1849, Oil on panel; Collection Simonis &amp; Buunk, Ede</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;"><em>Lucht!</em> does not go back all the way to the seventeenth century, so as not to become an exhibition of genre painting. The starting point is 1850, around the time paint in tubes came onto the market enabling artists to take their easels out into the fields and paint the sky while standing right underneath it. Among those working plein air were the likes of J. H. Weissenbruch and Jacob Maris, important representatives of the Haagse School whose windmills and small harbors with fishing boats are etched into the national soul. The same goes for Willem Roelofs&rsquo; pastoral landscapes with cows or Charles Leickert&rsquo;s winter scenes. Andreas Schelfhout with his romantic style and eye for detail can be seen as a direct descendent of Ruisdael&rsquo;s.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These nineteenth century works are offset by and juxtaposed to art from all decades of the twentieth century and later. The exhibition jumps from Leo Gestel&rsquo;s impressionistically influenced <em>Herfst</em> (1909) via Pyke Koch&rsquo;s magical realism, Gerrit Benner&rsquo;s cocky neo-expressionism, and Marinus Boezem&rsquo;s conceptualist attempts to document the heavens in lead boxes or satellite images, to contemporary contributions such as Carla Klein&rsquo;s paintings, a video by Guido van der Werve and the internet-injected art of Floris Kaayk and Anne de Vries. Some work is quite cerebral&mdash;Jan Andriesse&rsquo;s <em>Primary Rainbow</em>, for example, which tries to capture light in a monochrome white painting&mdash;but there is also humor&mdash;John K&ouml;rmeling&rsquo;s polystyrene cloud with a hole in it and a spotlight shining on a doll in a deckchair never fails to bring a smile to faces.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">All media are represented. The roster of names has a respectable ring to it. And it&rsquo;s not as if De Hallen approached this exhibition as a glorified reshuffle of its own collection; for <em>Lucht!</em> a lot of works were loaned from private collections and other museums. This exhibition, in other words, pretty much ticks all the boxes for the perfect summer show. Except for one thing: the curators forgot to tell a story.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Instead of a chronological set-up, which could have yielded some insight in the historical development of skyscapes but which would probably not appeal to a larger audience, a thematic approach has been opted for. Nothing wrong with that, but in this case the idea of a theme is defined in a rather narrow and formalistic way. Basically all works dealing with horizons are stuck together, rainbows go with rainbows, there&rsquo;s a room dedicated to clouds, et cetera, et cetera. At first the resulting clash of eras, styles, and schools is refreshing and exciting but quite soon the novelty wears off and you&rsquo;re left with an empty shell of an exhibition. The only statement this large-scale show makes is: look how often the sky has been depicted in all kinds of art. It doesn&rsquo;t ponder the question why the sky is such a popular theme. Nor why it&rsquo;s popular specifically in the Netherlands.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An answer to the latter question could be that we live in an unusually flat country offering grand vistas. The sky is a constant in every Dutchman&rsquo;s life. It is also the only part of the physical realm which is absolutely free and beyond human control&mdash;a rather appealing notion for artists living in one of the most densely populated and regulated countries in the world, I&rsquo;d reckon. Some have tried to colonize or conquer the sky, like Elspeth Diederix, who photographed a cluster of plastic bags in the shape of a cloud, or Fiona Tan, who got lifted off the ground by a large bunch of balloons, but everybody knows these attempts are fantastic or absurd and therefore on the edge of reality, the realm where art flourishes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140724052446-8.Werve-Nummer_negen.jpg" alt="" /><br /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Guido van der Werve, </strong><em>Nummer negen, The day I didn't turn with the world</em>, 2007<strong>, </strong>HD video on Mac mini, 9 minutes<strong>; </strong>Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem; Courtesy the artist and Galerie Juli&egrave;tte Jongma, Amsterdam</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;">For a number of artists in <em>Lucht!</em> the sky acts as a kind of mirror of ideas or emotions. Romantics such as Maris considered the dramatically grey skies over meadows and sea as reflections of the soul. For an expressionist like Quirijn van Tiel, who in 1943 painted a wonderful landscape crowned with a blazing storm of orange and black, the firmament expresses the horrors of World War II. And for a younger generation the translation of earthly mishaps into celestial forms is even more direct; Raquel Maulwurf, for example, depicts the deadly clouds resulting from nuclear tests near the Russian town of Semipalatinsk.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The only section of <em>Lucht!</em> achieving some kind of an extra layer is the room dealing with horizons. In the paintings of JCJ Vanderheyden, Jan Dibbets&rsquo; serialized pictures, and Wout Berger&rsquo;s large photos of the IJsselmeer where the water at some undetectable point merges with air, the elusive nature of the sky comes to the fore. The horizon is a border that can never be reached, an ever-shifting framework to our existence. But as soon as this mystery is touched upon, the curators shift back to their easy categorization. In the case of individual works the captions sometimes dig a little deeper, but as a whole the exhibition lacks a conceptual backbone. <em>Lucht!</em> brings together a collection of great works, but that does not automatically make this a great 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;">&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;"><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>Leo Gestel</strong>, <em>Herfst</em>, 1909, Oil on canvas; Kranenburgh, Bergen N.H.; Photo: Arend Velsink)</span></p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:29:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The Field Notes Aesthetic: Heidi Norton at the Elmhurst Art Museum <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Mies van der Rohe is such an historic presence. The aftershock of his innovation is still palpable, reflecting as it does the evolution of an &ldquo;<span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3dpzWuhDI4"><span style="color: #5f0bf3;">international style after World War II</span></a></span>.&rdquo; It is hard to imagine, therefore, how one might absorb his architecture into daily life&mdash;much less install an exhibition under one of his roofs. That is the challenge posed by the <span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><a href="http://www.elmhurstartmuseum.org"><span style="color: #5f0bf3;">Elmhurst Art Museum</span></a></span>, an institution that purchased van der Rohe&rsquo;s prototype for suburban life, the McCormick House, in 1992. Chicago-based artist Heidi Norton rises to that challenge. Like a plant slowly stretching across a perfectly manicured wall, her solo show, <em>Prismatic Nature,</em> transforms the museum with increasing intensity. Norton not only grows into and through McCormick House, but revises van der Rohe&rsquo;s utopic vision while doing so. In the hybrid space that emerges, she emphasizes institutional and personal collaboration, using organic forms that soften Modernist and New Age tropes, presenting a map of her own aesthetic ideals in the process.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">To create the design of the house, van der Rohe transformed one vertical strip of windows from his iconic 860 Lake Shore Drive skyscraper into a modern, horizontal bungalow. Although the single family home was conceived as an alternative to tract houses constructed in Levittown&mdash;its own utopian vision for post-war suburban life&mdash;the McCormick house remains unique; one of only three houses that van der Rohe built in the US, it never caught on. When the museum purchased the home, it was disassembled, and paraded down the streets of Elmhurst to 150 Cottage Ave., where it was reassembled, and modified, becoming the Elmhurst Art Museum of today.&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/20140724050455-o.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Heidi Norton,</strong> <em>Prismatic Nature</em>, McCormick House detail, Elmhurst Art Museum, 2014; Photo by Jim Prinz</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;">Perhaps the first instinct an artist would have when addressing such a sleek, modular structure would be to overwhelm each and every cranny with signs of personal affect. This is not Norton&rsquo;s tact, however. At least not in the beginning. Instead, she emphasizes van der Rohe&rsquo;s own mission to integrate interior and exterior architectures, applying a series of glass screens on the windows of the Hostetler Gallery, the main exhibition space within the museum. Strangely sentimental, these site-specific tableaux filter light inside and outside of the otherwise empty space with plant life, textual quotation, photographs, stones, rocks, and resin. Van der Rohe floor plans, protruding nails, swaths of dirt, or foxed old notes written by her father about what books to read to best live off the land, are collaged together in a myriad of color, with rippling textures. The sculptures stand like semi-transparent pages of a field diary, inserting a subjective presence that troubles van der Rohe&rsquo;s seemingly objective windows. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In these first impressions of the show Norton bravely emphasizes the space at hand, isolating a theme that will gather force through subsequent galleries: that of seeing through a lens. With so much space inside, one is drawn to the park outdoors, and the camera obscura Norton installed for visitors to inhabit. Three horizontal picture planes hang inside the Hostetler gallery, also compositions of plants. One in the center of the room lies at waist height with plants growing up from piles of earth. Partially obscured by that vegetation, one can just make out blueprints of landscaping intended for the original McCormick house, along with the garden map of a prominent local horticulturalist, Louisa King. The other two horizontal screens are less central, hanging just below the ceiling, with plants fixed upside down. These too are remarkable, however, sharing their own host of images&mdash;a hand pulling fruit, with an elegant diagram overtop. Here the plants grow downward&mdash;as though by some strange magic&mdash;bucking conventional expectations.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Down an adjacent hallway gallery, Norton exhibits three other artists&mdash;Spencer Stucky, Eileen Mueller, and Molly Brandt&mdash;illustrating the reflexive community she works within, and softening the traditionally unified modernist position. <em>Prismatic Nature</em> exposes processes, conversations, and contexts that Norton not only emerges from, but also contributes to. Stucky, Mueller, and Brandt similarly use quotation, via distilled framed photographs that juxtapose plants and architectural sites. A meandering wall drawing of plants creates a secondary hand drawn landscape that travels beneath the frames of the work. Along the opposite length of the hallway, Meuller presents a series of photographs from the infamous Black Mountain College Archive&mdash;another bastion of utopic vision and rare community.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">On the other side of the museum, one enters the McCormick&rsquo;s original living room. Here things begin to really pop. Norton has so fully integrated the project of <em>Prismatic Nature</em>, that it blurs the lines between whatever historic modernist furnishings remain constant and the added plants, books, research notes, and installation elements. The screen motif appears again and again here in different forms: from a stacked series of parallel glass plates reminiscent of scientific slides in a drying rack, to the low-lying coffee-table-esque plinths that present entire books, crystals, and potted plants, to museum vitrines that feature mineral selections from the <span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><a href="http://www.lizzadromuseum.org/"><span style="color: #5f0bf3;">Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art</span></a></span>. Further echoing the field notes aesthetic, Norton offers her own artist book co-written with Monica Westin. The publication features loose photographs, a built-in wooden brace for specimen collection, and pages of text including, among other things, how the artist makes her studio, and the once-vernacular language of flowers.</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/20140724050556-oo.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Heidi Norton,</strong> <em>Prismatic Nature, </em>McCormick House detail, Elmhurst Art Museum, 2014; Photo by Jim Prinz</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 an interview, Norton states, &ldquo;I am interested in the&nbsp;<span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-to-the-land_movement"><span style="color: #5f0bf3;">back-to-the-land movement</span></a></span>&nbsp;in the &lsquo;70s, because that is the time period when my parents rejected the notions their parents raised them with&mdash;modern idealism and the perfect 1950s lifestyle. I am especially thinking of this movement and how it relates to the suburbs&mdash;what type of space that is and why it was created.<span style="color: #fb2103;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1"><span style="color: #fb2103;">[1]</span></a></span>&rdquo; The sentiment recalls an Eva Hesse/Sol LeWitt exhibition at the Blanton Art Museum I viewed a few months ago in Austin, Texas. The exhibit, <span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><a href="http://blantonmuseum.org/exhibitions/details/2286"><span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><em>Converging Lines</em></span></a></span><em>,</em> documents the influence the artists had on one another&rsquo;s practice, demonstrating a vivid dialogue between drawings, sculptures, and paintings&mdash;especially the tension between straight lines (LeWitt) and not-straight lines (Hesse). What was most exciting about the show was the evident discourse of its constituents, and the tangibility of its friendship. A similar tangibility emerges here, where Norton effectively expands van der Rohe&rsquo;s vision to integrate exterior and interior spaces: to blur traditional ideas surrounding the individualism of artistic endeavors, and the subjective lenses our communities engender.</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: #fb2103;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #fb2103;">[1]</span></a></span> Interview with Heidi Norton, <span style="color: #5f0bf3;"><a href="http://www.insidewithin.com/HeidiNorton.html"><span style="color: #5f0bf3;">Inside/Within</span></a></span>.</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: #48b77b;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/155816-caroline-picard?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #48b77b;">Caroline Picard</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>Heidi Norton</strong>, <em>Prismatic Nature</em>, installation view, Hostetler Gallery, Elmhurst Art Museum, 2014; Photo by Jim Prinz)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:51:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list The Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project: Using Street Art for Architectural Change <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">The long abandoned Miami Marine Stadium in Key Biscayne has been a favorite hot spot for local and international street artists since it closed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Because of the ever-changing murals, the site has become an unexpected open-air gallery, adding incredible color to the secluded inlet once used for speed boat racing. Recognizing this renewed interest, the city of Miami, along with the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and the National Trust, are planning to revamp the stadium back into use within five years. But before the stadium is restored and a lush new park is created, the site will be home to the ARTHistory Mural Project, a rotating exhibition of invited street artists, curated by one of their own: stencil artist Logan Hicks. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">The Marine Stadium, which was built by Cuban architect Hilario Candela in 1963 is a very special place for viewing art. Perched directly on the warm waters of Biscayne Bay, the stadium is a place of serenity: small boats and dolphins regularly pass by, the Miami skyline glitters in the background, and the overhanging roof of the stadium casts an unusually cool shade that provides relief from the hot Miami sun. Away from the city, the stadium is like a mirage, splattered with vibrant colors of graffiti artists, murals and tags covering just about every surface in site. These pieces, done by countless graffiti artists, inspired the idea to bring a curated roster of artists to paint together, and become inspired themselves.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140723045851-risk-final.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">On June 28<sup>th</sup>, curator Logan Hicks&rsquo; first vision for the inspiring architectural structure took place with a live painting session by nine world-renowned street artists: Doze Green, RONE, Elbow Toe, RISK, Joe Iurato, Ian Kuali&rsquo;i, Abstrakt, Luis Berros and Evoca1. Each artist chose a spot among the massive concrete walls to create a site-specific work over the course of two days, which will be transformed into a line of prints for the ArtHistory Mural Project. The prints sales will directly benefit the revamping of the stadium, and also be on display in a print show at Miami&rsquo;s Gregg Shienbaum Gallery in September. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">Originally from New York, Rock Steady Crew&rsquo;s Doze Green fuses his iconic free-flowing lines, figurative abstraction and ancestral references in his piece with a bold Miami sunset, ocean and shore, which contrasts in solid, simplistic forms. Green&rsquo;s prot&eacute;g&eacute;, Ian Kuali&rsquo;i, translated his years of study under his master into delicate cut paper, creating a mural that is fit for a canvas. Leaving circles of the pieces that were painted before him, Kuali&rsquo;i hand cut two delicate subtractive pieces depicting detailed skulls. Carefully wheatpasted to the concrete wall, the colors from the previous mural are revealed, paying tribute to those who have painted there before. Brooklyn&rsquo;s Elbow Toe created a small render of a figure wading in water, paying tribute to the hurricane that dehabilitated the stadium. RONE was flown in from Melbourne to create one of his photorealistic faces, clad in blue to harmonize with the sea and endless blue sky. Out of LA, RISK continues to push the evolution of graffiti, calling Mark Rothko to mind with his vibrant color fields made with spray paint.&nbsp; Local Miami artist Luis Berro&rsquo;s lush mural pays tribute to the sweet smelling orange trees found all over the region, and local Abstrakt&rsquo;s boldly colored paint-splotched eyes give the stadium a anthropomorphic quality, watching you as you explore her. The third Miami artist, Evoca1, uses delicate chiaroscuro to create a piece symbolizing man versus beast. Stencil artist Joe Iurato created a small mural collaboration of his stenciled figures along with pattern by Logan Hicks, as well as small wooden cut outs of these figures placed around the stadium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140723045917-rone-final.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">The incredible ARTHistory Mural Project shows the influence that street art has on culture today, holding the power to reawaken interest in a forgotten architectural gem simply by calling attention to its beauty. The murals by Doze Green, RONE, Elbow Toe, RISK, Ian Kuali&rsquo;i, Joe Iurato, Abstrakt, Luis Berros and Evoca1 will remain until September 19<sup>th</sup>, when Ron English, The London Police, Crash, Logan Hicks and Tristan Eaton will return to create a new set of murals.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">Prints of the murals can be found here <a href="http://arthistory2014.com" target="_blank">http://arthistory2014.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Lori Zimmer</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of Logan Hicks)</span></p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:30:10 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Vice & Virtue: Stolenspace's Summer Show <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Internationally recognisable heavyweights sit alongside new names-to-watch at Stolenspace&rsquo;s Saints &amp; Sinner&rsquo;s-themed group show</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Centring a group show around the seemingly polar opposites of vice and virtue, saints and sinners, the summer group show at Stolenspace near London&rsquo;s Brick Lane area actually makes the point that the two notions: a) come loaded with religious, particularly Catholic, connotations, with Catholic iconography and angelic beings motifs that are repeatedly employed; and b) that, in fact being &nbsp;a saint or a sinner may actually be two sides to the same coin, as explored by Alessia Iannetti's dark and troubled-looking angelic beauty in <em>Just One Kiss</em>, or Asha Zero&rsquo;s <em>GHS</em>, a hand-painted work so finely detailed it looks like a photo collage sticking together human body parts to make up a new whole. Elsewhere in the show, Alex Yanes&rsquo; <em>Desaturated Totem</em> sculpture is a delirious, cartoonish take on the ancient religious imagery, while Beau Stanton&rsquo;s <em>Relic</em> is a darkly comic take on the Catholic saint and martyr portrait style, with the subject a sinister skeleton.</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/20140721185738-pixel2.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>Pixel Pancho</strong>, '<em>Liberum Arbitrium Hominus Mendacium Sine Libertate Donata Fortes Viros' Optio II</em>,&nbsp; Acrylic on wood, 100 x 70 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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;">Saints &amp; Sinners is at Stolenspace gallery until August 3<sup>rd</sup>, and includes work from Broken Fingaz, C215, Charles Krafft, Joram Roukes, Pixel Pancho, Reka, Snik, Sylvia Ji, The London Police, Usugrow and many more.</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/20140721190047-j.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>Vinnie Nylon</strong>, '<em>Smurfette David</em>',&nbsp; Acrylic on marine ply framed in vintage frame, 60 x 45 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721190240-o.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>Alessia Iannetti</strong>, '<em>Just One Kiss</em>', Graphite, water colour and ink on wood, 30 x 30 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721190437-k.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>C215</strong>, '<em>Peace</em>', Stencil and spray paint on canvas, tray framed, 60 x 80 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721190607-u.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>Curtis Kulig</strong>, '<em>LAFAYETTE LONDON V</em>',&nbsp; Ink on paper, float mounted, box framed, 57 x 75.5 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721190721-y.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>Ryan Callanan</strong>, '<em>Saint Nozzle</em>',&nbsp; Chrome Edition of 5, Framed AP, 42 cm x 54 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721190837-uu.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>Shida,</strong> '<em>The Succubi Ascend</em>', Acrylic on board, tray framed, 39 x 28 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721190955-ii.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>Asha Zero</strong>, <em>'GHX</em>',&nbsp; Acrylic on board,&nbsp; 60 x 45 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</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/20140721191109-Kip_assemble_dismantle.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>Kip (Broken Fingaz)</strong>, '<em>Assemble/Dismantle</em>', Silkscreen and water colours on paper, framed 51.5 x 42 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery</span></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;">&mdash;Laura Havlin</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;">(Image on top: <strong>Jim Houser</strong>, <em> 'SNT', </em>Acrylic &amp; collage on panel, 20.3 x 20.3 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:08:57 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Last Day of the ChinaCat663 Show at Chicago Truborn <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">If you haven't already, you should check out Chinacat663's show at Chicago Truborn, closing this weekend.These are some truly surreal, often disturbing images, rendered with a deft hand. Can't stop looking at them really...<br /></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</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/20140717094741-DSC00334.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>ChinaCat663</strong>,<em> Installation view; </em>Courtesy of the artist and Chicago Truborn</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;"><strong>More on ChinaCat663:</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Chinacat studied Illustration for two years at the Fashion Institution of Technology in NYC and later moved to Rockford, Illinois. &nbsp;In 2010, Chinacat attended Rockford University and discovered her passions for printmaking. She currently resides in Rockford where she continues to create new works to perfect her art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">From the artist: "Other than self-expression, I use art to pamper my subconscious by letting it roam freely, and an outlet for emotions I feel that are better illustrated as images than described in any form of language. I also use some of my art as a game I play with myself or the viewers, by embedding it with either details that require a second look, or meanings and stories that require explanations from me. At the end of the day, I&rsquo;m just doing what I know best and creating whatever makes me happy."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(text source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotruborn.com/?page_id=20">Chicago Truborn</a>)</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/20140717095336-oo.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>ChinaCat663</strong><em>, The Bird and the Bee, </em>Acrylic on canvas, Custom frame by Bob Blosser<em>; </em>Courtesy of the artist and Chicago Truborn</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/20140717095527-o.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>ChinaCat663</strong><em>, Pandora Twins</em>, Acrylic and spray-paint on canvas, Custom spiked frame by Alexandria Mae Hedman and handcut stencil work by Dan Moorman<em>; </em>Courtesy of the artist and Chicago Truborn</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/20140717095853-l.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;<strong>ChinaCat663</strong><em style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">, In Krampus we Trust, </em>colored pencil, ink and watercolor, framed; Courtesy of the artist and Chicago Truborn</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/20140717100750-ChinacatPR.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>ChinaCat663;</strong> Courtesy of the artist and Chicago Truborn</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;">For further information...(</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/artists/show/388391-chinacat663">ArtSlant Profile</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;">) (<a href="http://www.chinacat663.com">Artist's Website</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> ChinaCat663</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Chicago Truborn)</span></p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:15:04 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list Alex Pardee's Bunnywith at FIFTY24PDX <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Today is the last day to see Alex Pardee's show up at Upper Playground in Portland, featuring his bizarre "Bunnywith" character. There seems to be no limit to Pardee's imagination when it comes to Bunnywith, from <em>Bunnywith Magical Ability to Vomit Bees</em> to <em>Bunnywith Pterodactyl Dick</em>. The prints at FIFTY24PDX is part of a series of 116 Bunnywith prints, the entirety of which you can view, and order, here: <a href="http://www.pacificnorthfresh.com/collections/pardee-bunnywith" target="_blank">http://www.pacificnorthfresh.com/collections/pardee-bunnywith</a><br /></span></p> <blockquote> <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;">Upper Playground Portland is yet again excited to announce the transformation of the FIFTY24PDX GALLERY into &ldquo;a shrine of demented imagery fresh from the mind of artist Alex Pardee.&rdquo; This year, the artist himself will be present for the opening, along with over a hundred of his new &ldquo;Bunnywith&rdquo; prints.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">For the fourth year running, the ZEROFRIENDS Pop-Up shop will reside in the gallery through the month of July, and will feature the shirts, prints, toys, and other merchandise from the ZEROFRIENDS collective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> Alex Pardee has produced a wide range of works as an artist, writer, and apparel designer. His distinc- tive art has been featured in exhibitions throughout America and abroad in both solo and group shows. Alex is a pioneer in trans-media artistry, bringing his unique style and aesthetic to a variety of plat- forms, including numerous creative director credits for music, animation, and film projects. </span></p> </blockquote> <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.fifty24pdx.com">Fifty24PDX Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140710093751-3._Bunnywith_Big_Eye__5x7__Gilcee_Print.jpeg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alex Pardee</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Bunnywith Big Eye</em>, 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Fifty24PDX Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140710093936-4._Bunnywith_Magical_Ability_to_Vomit_Bees__10x8__Gilcee_Print.jpeg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alex Pardee,</strong> <em>Bunnywith Magical Ability to Vomit Bees</em>, 10 x 8, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Fifty24PDX Gallery</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/20140710094143-1._Bunnywith_Portal__5x7__Gilcee_Print.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee, <em>Bunnywith Portal,</em> 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Fifty24PDX Gallery</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/20140710094656-i.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee,<em> Bunnywith Precious</em>, 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<br /></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/20140710095349-l.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee, <em>Bunnywith An After Life</em>, 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<br /></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/20140710095943-097BunnywithWickPrint_1024x1024.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee<em>, Bunnywith Wick,</em>&nbsp; 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<br /></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/20140710100259-086BunnywithBiggestFanPrint_1024x1024.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee,&nbsp;<em> Bunnywith His Biggest Fan</em>, 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<br /></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/20140710100456-o.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee, <em>Bunnywith Spider Legs</em>, 8 x 10, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<br /></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/20140710100656-k.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee,&nbsp;<em>Bunnywith Commentary</em>, 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<br /></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/20140710100840-j.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Alex Pardee,&nbsp;<em>Bunnywith No Cell Phone</em>, 5 x 7, Giclee Print; Courtesy of the Artist and Pacific Northfresh<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;">For further information...(</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/artists/show/29628-alex-pardee">ArtSlant Profile</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;">) (<a href="http://www.eyesuckink.com">Artist's Website</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="color: #000000; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Alex Pardee</strong>, <em>Bunnywith Symbiotic Hair, </em>Giclee Print, 10 x 8; Courtesy of the Artist and Fifty24PDX Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:10:52 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/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/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/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/mia/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/mia/Articles/list