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December 17, 2014
You gotta love an artist that can make art, truly out of anything he sees. I saw a piece by Vik Muniz and was insanely curious about this artist. I enjoyed the fact that he could see he way though
what is, into what could be-so an existential view almost.
He incorporates a multiplicity of unlikely materials into this photographic process. Often working in series, Vik has used dirt, diamonds, sugar, string, chocolate syrup and
garbage to create bold, witty and often deceiving images drawn from the pages of photojournalism and art history. His work has been
His work is based on different levels of perception. Primarily, he is a sculptor who documents his work with the photography medium. After the project execution it does not matter
if the objects are destroyed, as long as the idea is captured in the photographs.
An example of how Muniz experiences perception in his work can be seen in his series ‘Equivalents’ (1993) – simulations of cloud formations, made with lumps of cotton, inspired by
Alfred Stieglitz’ cloud studies. In this piece the visitor can see once at a time lumps of cotton, clouds or an image that he sees in these clouds. But he will never see these 3 phenomena at the same time.
Muniz photographs all kind of everyday materials and creates illusionary visualizations. Material he uses are i.e. chocolate, sugar, wire, dirt, confetti, objects, thread or jam.
December 12, 2014
The first time I was introduced to the work of DIANE ARBUS, it was an exhibit at the Met in New York. The show was mounted in such a way that leant an even more eerie feeling to these photographs. Again, noting that art can be a bit disturbing, and provocative at the same time.
When disturbing subjects are in the hands of artists it is fascinating to see what they do with the images. I hope you enjoy this post and learning about ARBUS!
Born Diane Nemerov on March 14, 1923, in New York, New York. Diane Arbus was one of the most distinctive photographers in the twentieth century, known for her eerie portraits and offbeat subjects. Her artistic talents emerged at a young age; she was created interesting drawings and paintings
while in high school. She married Allan Arbus in 1941 who taught her photography.
Working with her husband, Diane Arbus started out in advertising and fashion photography. They became quite a successful team with photographs appearing in such magazines as Vogue. In the late 1950s, she began to focus on her own photography. To further her art, Arbus studied with photographer Lisette Model
around this time. She began to pursue taking photographs of people she found during her wanderings around New York City. She visited seedy hotels, public parks, a morgue, and other various locales. These unusual images had a raw quality and several of them found their way in the July 1960 issue of Esquire magazine.
These photographs were a spring board for more work for Arbus.
By the mid-1960s, Diane Arbus was a well-established photographer, participating in shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York among other places. She was known for going to great lengths to get the shots she wanted. She became friends with many other famous photographers, such as Richard Avedon and `Walker Evans.
While professionally Arbus continued to thrive in the late 1960s, she had some personal challenges. Her marriage ended in 1969, and she later struggled with depression. She committed suicide in her New York apartment on July 26, 1971. Her work remains a subject of intense interest, and her life was part of the basis of the 2006 film,
Fur, starringNicole Kidman as Arbus.
December 8, 2014
A friend of mine who owns a gallery is in love with Braco Dimitrijevic’s art and his whole raison d’etre! So, I did some research and found him to be fascinating in his philosophy and reasoning.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Braco Dimitrijevic, one of the pioneers of conceptual art, had his first one-man exhibition at the age of 10. In 1963 he made his first conceptual work, The Flag of the World,
in which he replaced a national flag with an alternative sign. It marked the beginning of his artistic interventions into urban landscapes.
Over the past forty years he has exhibited extensively all over the world.
Dimitrijevic gained an international reputation in the seventies with his Casual passer-by series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people were displayed
on prominent facades and billboards in European and American cities. The artist also mimicked other ways of glorifying important persons by building monuments to
passers-by and installing memorial plaques in honour of anonymous citizens.
December 1, 2014
I am in love with the work of Shepard Fairey! His , what is now, iconic political campaign poster for Obama, is one of the most amazing examples of his work. There is a fabulous movie called, Exit Through The Gift Shop, a must see! All about graffiti artists, many of whom you will recognize.
Fairey created the “Andre the Giant as a Possee” sticker campaign in 1989, while attending the Rhode Island School of Design(RISD).This later evolved into the “Obey Giant” campaign, which has grown via an international network of collaborators
replicating Fairey’s original designs. As with most street artists, the Obey Giant was intended to inspire curiosity and cause the masses to question their relationship with their surroundings.
The Obey Giant website says: “The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker.” The website later goes on to contradict this statement however by saying that those who are familiar with the sticker simply find humor and enjoyment from its presence. Those who actually try to look deeper into its meaning only burden themselves and often end up condemning the art as an act of vandalism from an evil, underground cult.
Originally intended to garner fame amongst his classmates and college peers, Fairey states, “At first I was only thinking about the response from my clique of art school and skateboard friends. The fact that a larger segment of the public would not only notice, but also investigate, the unexplained appearance of the stickers was something I had not contemplated. When I started to see reactions and consider the sociological forces at work surrounding the use of public space and the insertion of a very eye-catching but ambiguous image, I began to think there was the potential to create a phenomenon.”
November 21, 2014
In continuing with my love of Graffiti Art, I am brining you a legend! Lee Quinones
Graffiti means writings or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed freely on a wall or other surface in a public place. Then, graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times as a way of self-expression or social or political protest: for example, in Pompeii, we can see caricatures of politicians and in the walls of every Middle Aged prison, crosses together with other graffiti of sexual meanings.
Think about the 1970′s and how it was the time just after the ” Love Child” world of the ’60′s. Self expression and freedom with art , think music and literature took a different path, enter the Graffiti Artists.
Current graffiti art, is in relation with the World Wars, with the apotheosis of the urban life reflected in the building of subways and with the hip-hop culture. Frequently, graffiti is considered vandalism, since graffiti artists paint private or public properties without asking for permission.
Lee Quiñones: was born in Puerto Rico but raised in the Lower East Side section of New York City. He painted from his childhood but he started with Subway Graffiti in 1974 and by 1976, Lee was a legend.
Lee is known for outrageous graffiti art on over 100 cars. When journalists and art dealers became interested in him, several of his works appeared in one of the most famous books on Graffiti Art, called “Subway Art”.
His work was also featured in the award-winning documentary called “Style Wars’. He became an immediate influence for people worldwide and an already well-known icon in New York subways.
November 19, 2014
I was recently introduced to the work of Stan Douglas this amazing fine art photographer! Needless to say I am beyond impressed and would lvoe to own some of his work! I do hope you enjoy
this post and have a wonderful day!
Through photography, film and installation, the Canadian artist Stan Douglas has, since the late-1980s, examined complex intersections of narrative, fact and fiction whilescrutinizing the constructs of the media
he employs and their influence on our understanding of reality. Douglas’s work is often in the first instance an examination of place – Potsdam, Cuba and Detroit have provided the impetus for, respectively, Der Sandmann (1995),
Inconsolable Memories (2005) and Le Détroit (1999) – but entangled with the detail of specific geographical and political circumstance is a diverse range of source material that has included the writings of Franz Kafka,
Samuel Beckett, Theodor W. Adorno and ETA Hoffmann, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock
and Orson Welles. While we may recognize the literary, filmic or musical references, along with the stories, places or even
characters appropriated in these complex works, expectations are often frustrated. Instead of narrative fulfillment, Douglas offers us complexity, perplexity and doubt. The artist has remarked that ‘life is all middle’ and in
Douglas’s work the viewer often finds himself plunged into events whose beginnings are obscured and whose ends seem to dissolve into mutability.
November 12, 2014
My newest art crush is Paula Scher! I have always been in love with maps. My Grandfather had a superb collection of maps, since the time he was a child in Austria, vienna to be exact. He had kept a record of how the borders were constantly changing depending on who won the war!
These maps are such an amazing interpretation! i hope you enjoy this post! Much love, Jamie!
In the early 1990s, renowned graphic designer Paula Scher began painting small, opinionated maps—colorful depictions of continents and regions, covered from top to bottom by a scrawl of words. Within a few years, the maps grew larger and more elaborate.
“I began painting these things sort of in a silly way,” Scher, a partner at the Pentagram design firm, said in a recent conversation. “And I think at one point I realized they would be amazing big. And I wondered if I could even do it. If I could actually paint these things on such a grand scale, what would happen?”
All of this detail is the result of work that Scher describes as “incredibly laborious and obsessive”—yet the paintings as a whole don’t feel like the product of tortured obsession; rather, they exude a sort of whimsical, brassy ingenuity. And, unlike their predecessors, the maps in the
exhibition eschew opinion in favor of a barrage of facts—or at least the appearance of fact. “They’re all wrong,” Scher says. “I mean, nothing’s in the right spot. I put in what I feel like. It’s my comment on information in general. We receive a lot of information all the time and mostly it’s lies or slight mistruths.”
Even so, the paintings throb with implication. As Scher explains, “The way the maps work is that they’re total abstractions, and yet they have all this meaning attached to them.” The map of Florida in 2000 jumps out with obvious political import; the state is labeled by county, and the surrounding
black Gulf ripples with the corresponding presidential election results. Yet, Scher’s paintings are at their best when meaning remains tantalizingly elusive. Look at her grand, multicolored patchwork of the United States, reminiscent of the U.S. maps that span the inside cover of many elementary school textbooks.
Up close the painting overwhelms the eye with detail, but step back and it’s the same handsome, lumbering, forthright America we all grew up with—laid open to inspection, hiding nothing, and yet fundamentally inscrutable. This ambiguity lies at the heart of Scher’s cluttered, precise, beautiful maps—
and, unlike real maps, you seem to grow more lost the longer you look at them.
November 4, 2014
I came across this artist and absolutely fell in love with his talent! There is a gallery in New York that represents Thortnon ,one of the most important artists
who is a product of the Old South, but whose distinct assemblages of paint and
found objects helped define modern artistic sensibilities. Born and raised in Alabama with no
formal education or artistic training. Thornton Dial was born in 1928 and is very much part of the
Southern Vernacular tradition.
A lot of Dial’s sculptures and assemblages often contain objects that might otherwise
have ended up in a landfill, like paint can lids, chicken wire, twine, old clothing, buttons and mattress coils.
Dial’s work began to attract art-world attention in the 1980s. In 1993, it was the subject of a large exhibition that was presented simultaneously at the New Museum in the Whitney Biennial.
There is a huge exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art called “Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial” and I can honestly say I have not yet been to Indianapolis and am excited to go!
October 15, 2014
When I was in Paris, my favorite gallery visit is always GALLERIE PERROTIN. This is where I first came across the work of AYA TAKANO. I have always enjoyed anime and was interested in the thoughts behind it. Sometimes, one could look at it and consider it too much a cartoon,
but for me, I find it inspiring. The images, the colors and the subjects.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Perhaps more than any other Kaikai Kiki artist, Takano’s work is the exemplification of Japan’s post-war cultural affluence, and its overwhelmingly diverse, yet aesthetic unification of information.
With inspirations varying from 14th Century Italian religious painting to alien evidence to MTV, Takano’s worlds are shiny and futuristic, yet soft and full of traditional and sensual imagery. Her drawings and paintings in which lively, female characters float and contort their waiflike bodies, convey a passionate drive toward creation.
In Japan, Takano is prolific as a manga artist, illustrator, and science fiction essayist. She has several serialized publications, and is regularly featured in subculture articles. In the art markets of Europe and America, her paintings and drawings are enthusiastically received.
Takano spent her childhood rummaging through her father’s library which consisted of many books on the natural sciences, but also science fiction. Ever present in her work are exotic animals and landforms combined with an urban city to show the juxtaposition between future and fantasy. Takano cited in a documentary made by
the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin that she was always fascinated by the unusual forms of nature and animal life, and desires to have such shapes represented in her work.
Another early influence for her was manga writer Osamu Tezuka’s science fiction, which had a lasting impact on her dreamy perception of the world. She cites in the book Drop Dead Cute by Joan Vartanian how she really believed everything she read was true till she was nineteen. Takano states even sometimes now she imagines possessing
the ability to fly, uninterested in the constrictions of being grounded.
When it was time for her to start thinking about college Takano told her parents she wouldn’t attend unless she was allowed to enter an art program. She received a B.A. from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 2000. Soon after she became an assistant for leading Japanese Contemporary Artist Takashi Murakami. He would become
Takano’s first mentor and jump start her career.
Murakami was looking to exhibit the work of young artists and wanted to help create an artistic community for like minded artists who did the Superflat style. The Superflat movement, popularized by Murakami himself is about emphasizing the two dimensionality of figures, which is influenced by Japanses manga and anime,
while dually exposing the fetishes of Japanese consumerism. Through the basic ideas of this movement he created the Kaikai Kiki Co., a group where five out of the seven members are women.
In the 1980s the look of pre-pubescent girls became the target of consumer culture in Japanese society. This infantilization and objectification of the female was seen most heavily in Japan’s otaku, or geek culture.
Japanese female artists like Takano seek to reinvent the otaku culture through a feminine perspective. Takano in particular is interested in depicting how the future will impact the role of the female heroine in society. Her figures, often androgynous float through her alternate realities partially clothed or sometimes fully nude. Yet,
Takano denies that she is trying to reveal anything specific about sex. Rather with the slim bodies, bulbous heads, and large eyes she is trying to emphasize that her figures temporary suspension from adulthood. The red paint in the crevices of the figures’ elbows, knees, and shoulders is supposed to convey that they are still engaged in
the growing process mentally and physically. Takano’s playful and ambiguous visions of the future, especially one which revolves around the feminine serves as a way for her to create her own mythology, free from the chains of reality.
October 10, 2014
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You know, as of late, I have been writing a lot about women artists. Photographers, painters, I love them all. I am so intrigued by peoples lives and their choices. We all take roads that sometimes we have no idea as to where they are going to lead, but something tells us we should be going down these paths that present themselves.
So I find myself drawn for whatever reason to seeking out these souls. Grace is one of them. When you read her lifestory and see her paintings you will see why I find them so fabulous. Or , I should say, I hope you do!
Enjoy this post,
Grace Hartigan, was a second-generation Abstract Expressionist whose gestural, intensely colored paintings often incorporated images drawn from popular culture, leading some critics to see in them prefigurings of Pop Art.
Ms. Hartigan, a friend and disciple of Jackson Pollack and William de Kooning , subscribed to the Abstract Expressionist notion of the painterly brushstroke as existential act and cri de coeur but, like de Kooning, she never broke entirely with the figurative tradition. Determined to stake out her own artistic ground,
she turned outward from the interior world sanctified by the Abstract Expressionists and embraced the visual swirl of contemporary American life.
In “Grand Street Brides” (1954), one of several early paintings that attracted the immediate attention of critics and curators, she depicted bridal-shop window mannequins in a composition based on Goya’s “Royal Family.” Later paintings incorporated images taken from coloring books, film, traditional paintings, store windows
and advertising, all in the service of art that one critic described as “tensely personal.”
“Her art was marked by a willingness to employ a variety of styles in a modernist idiom, to go back and forth from art-historical references to pop-culture references to autobiographical material.” Grace Hartigan was born in Newark in 1922 and grew up in rural New Jersey, the oldest of four children. Unable to afford college,
she married early and, in a flight of romantic fancy, she and her husband, Bob Jachens, struck out for Alaska to live as pioneers. They made it no farther than California, where, with her husband’s encouragement, she took up painting.
“I didn’t choose painting,” she later told an interviewer. “It chose me. I didn’t have any talent. I just had genius.”
In the mid-1940’s she left her husband, placed their son, Jeffrey, in the care of his parents and moved back to Newark, where she trained in mechanical drafting and took painting lessons with Isaac Lane Muse. After moving to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1945, she became part of the postwar New York artistic scene,
forming alliances with the Abstract Expressionist painters — although de Kooning reduced her to tears by telling her she completely misunderstood modern art —
Ms. Hartigan won fame early. In 1950, the critic Clement Greenberg and the art historian Meyer Schapiro included her in their “New Talent” show at the Kootz Gallery, and a one-woman exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery soon followed. “Persian Jacket,” an early painting, was bought for the Museum of Modern Art by Alfred Barr.
After starting out as a purely abstract painter, Ms. Hartigan gradually introduced images into her work. It was O’Hara’s blending of high art and low art in his poetry that influenced her to cast far and wide for sources.
Ms. Hartigan’s move to Baltimore coincided with a drastic shift in artistic fashion, as Pop Art and Minimalism eclipsed Abstract Expressionism. Out of the spotlight, Ms. Hartigan embarked on what she later recalled as “an isolated creative life.” For decades she painted in a loft in a former department store and taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
As historians and curators reassessed the history of postwar art, she experienced a resurgence of sorts. Her use of commercial imagery led her to be included in “Hand-Painted Pop,” a 1993 exhibition at the Whitney Museum despite her loathing for the movement.
“Pop Art is not painting because painting must have content and emotion,” she said in the 1960’s. On the other hand, she reflected at the time of the Whitney show, “I’d much rather be a pioneer of a movement that I hate than the second generation of a movement that I love.”
On an artistic path marked by twists and turns and restless experimentation, she maintained a fierce commitment to the modernist agenda and a belief in art’s near-magical powers.
“Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor — emotional pain remembered in tranquillity.”