Labels

12.29.2009

Dirty Glamour!!

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
Who said that contemporary art wasn't glamorous??? Certainly not me... Art reflects life, life is glamorous, life is erotic, life is desire. Glamour takes an important part in artists' works. Some of paintings from the 16th century to the 18th century were extremely glamourous, erotic, sometimes pornographic. Symbols were represented everywhere. Contemporary artists are now allowed to paint everything they want. Sometimes it's explicit, sometimes not. Some of them devote themselves to worship glamorous, fashion, eroticism...The others choose to deride, denounce or parody it. Most often those photographs symbolize a new kind of convulsive beauty. You can't take your eyes of them!

Born in Louisiana and raised in Florida, Marilyn Minter lives and works as a photographer in New York. Her pictures, often based on images from hardcore pornography, exude a sense of glamour and high-fashion. She focuses on some details such as eyes, lips, toes... Models often wear too much makeup. She introduces symbols of fashion as necklaces, high heels, pearls... However it is not simple fashion photographs. She highlights details that we don't necessarily focus on. Often, high heels are covered in mud. Models' hair is dirty. And some of pictures illustrate hair under models' arms. As she wanted to demystify the glamourous image peddled by the fashion industry.
"Green Pink Caviar"... Her new video, very flashy, shows us tongue which licks caviar. Both are the main topic of the video. She chose an amazing music which gives to the video a magical and sexy feeling...

In my opinion, several photographs made by LaChapelle, can be considered as "dirty glamour"! Look at the one which represents Gisele Bunchen washing a car. Or the other one on which Naomi Campbell spilled milk on herself. Those photographs are full of sexual connotations and erotism. What boy hasn't fantasized about a girl wearing a wet T-shirt and washing a car? Model's body is very sensual, carnal, voluptuous. Even if the subject is kind of kitsh... Sex and glamour  sell. It has always been a source of inspiration for artists.

Fashion photographers take an increasingly important part in the world of contemporary art. Fashion photography is fully considered as a work of art. Glamour makes people dreaming.
But it's better with a sexiness side and a share of fancy...

12.22.2009

Merry "artistic" Xmas!


Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
I am feeling in a very happy and Christmassy mood today, and I shall take this opportunity to talk about art...well, Christmas art! Christmas trees, Santa, and all of Xmas related symbols are not only for kids, they're for artists too. Let's take a break from the usual Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll/ Society problems related topics and set a more cheerful, timely tone.
Our topic of the day: How has Christmas been influencing artists?

If Warhol painted a rather classic Santa, Paul McCarthy showed us a provocative one! Warhol's Santa, painted in 1981, reminds us memories of a grandfatherly Santa... Old man with white hairs, curly beard and chubby face.
Paul McCarthy is interested in the imitation,the  appropriation, the re-invention and the representation of the reality. He broke the limits of the painting in his earlier works by using human body as a brush and later incorporated bodily fluids or food into his worksHe wants to go against the face of social convention and tests the limits of both artist and viewer, critics. Santa Claus with a butt-plug is a huge sculpture made in 2007. There is several versions of this sculpture but this 24 meter high inflatable work is an allegory of Santa and displayed in a public park in Belgium.

For 14 years, the exhibition of Christmas trees designers has been taking place in Paris. More than 40 Christmas trees are presented, all designed by artists, architects, fashion designers... Every works of art is put on sale at an auction and benefits are given to a Charity.
Zaha Hadid is a famous British/Iraqi architect. She created an amazing CHristmas tree which is more of an design piece then your everyday idea of a Xmas tree. That tree has an organic form and an interesting futuristic cylindrical movement and is made of a gigantic compact fluorescent light bulb. Another interesting piece is Valentino's tree: a beautiful spiral made from garlands of electric lights.

As far as John Armleder, swiss artist, is concerned, a single tree wasn't enough for him. He had to have his own whole installation! John Armleder is a painter, sculptor, curator and critic took creative risks. To him exhibition is a medium in its own way. He questioned the notion of the authenticity of art. His installations united found and disparate objects by placing them within an exhibition context. Tate 08 Series represents a riotous and magical world of disorientating beauty and mystery. This installation includes Christmas trees, mirrors, lights, televisions, scaffolding, CD players, pot plants, deer of Santa Claus...

I wish you a wonderful and artistic Christmas. Hope yours is gonna be as good as mine full of champagne and caviar...and art!!

12.19.2009

Paris-Berlin: an exchange of galleries

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
Berlin under the snow,  christmas's markets, artists' squats, electro parties... What a wonderful week end with my girlfriends! I was so impressed by the energy of this city.  We feel the weight of history and the Berliners's envy to go on. It is a very dynamic city with an amazing artistic creativity. Creativity which continues to grow.

Relationships between Paris and Berlin have always been very strong. A bridge has been made to merge the artistic links between both. In 1978, the Pompidou Center hosted a wonderful exhibition: "Paris-Berlin". This exhibition was supposed to show us a comparative statement of artistic creation in France and in Germany. The French embassy in Berlin planned to organized a new collaboration. This project consists of an exchange of galleries. This project is going to give us a new look on the contemporary art creation. At the beginning of January, 11 german galleries are welcoming 13 french galleries. This exchange will take place in the beginning of February. It is going to make the insertion of both easier. The principle of competition must be abandoned. Networking, collaboration and exchange prevail because of the globalization.

"Tacheles". Probably the most famous artists' squat. Located in East Berlin, this art center has opened after the Berlin wall came down. Galleries on all floors, welding shop in the yard... They appear to be more workshops than contemporary art galleries. However, this place is an institution in Berlin. Bars on the ground floor, underground parties...that place is kind of cool!

Mehdi Chouakri opened his own gallery four years ago, currently hosting a very interesting exhibition. Born in 1973, Vincent Szarek is an american artist. He is inspired by the typical symbols of America. One of my favorite works of art is the triptych made from stars. Three stars: the first one symbolizes Gold, the second one symbolizes Oil and the third one symbolizes Corn.

Zilvinas Kempinas is a lithuanian artist who lives and works in New York. His installations often use band video and electric fans. "Flying Tape" is a very good example. It shows us a room-size loop of video tape which levitates between two fans. 401 Contemporary gallery hosts a beautiful exhibition of a group show to which he belongs.

Enough for today! My friends are waiting for me. I heard about this party and I really want to go there...
Hhhmmm I love berlin!

12.17.2009

Parisian Art Scene: Pierre Soulages, Huang Yong Ping, Philippe Cognée...

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
Paris. Paris. Paris. City of lights. City of love. City of Woody Allen's movies... I arrived in town on the new Airbus A380. It was the maiden voyage from New York to Paris. Very exciting, but actually... I was sleeping! Christmas in Paris. So romantic and so many exhibitions... As for the exhibitions here are a few note worthy ones...


Pascal Lansberg gallery shows us a beautiful exhibition of Pierre Soulages's works of art. He is interested by the light and black as a color but also as a matter to work with. He looks for the light through the striations of the black surfaces. Thereby black becomes a luminous color. The most recent works are exhibited on the ground floor. The most beautiful are works on the first floor. Most of them from the 1950s and with an amazing provenance...
He is known as one of the outstanding figures of the abstract art. The Pompidou Center organized the first retrospective exhibition of Soulages's works of art.

Huang Yong Ping is a french artist of Chinese origin. He founded the Xiamen Dada group in China in the 1980s. He is influenced by Dadaism and Chinese traditions. He is focused on the ambiguity of the social function of culture in China, but also in the world. His installations are made in unorthodox materials such as live snakes and scorpions. He reinterprets all the famous myths of Western civilization and gives them new symbolism. Arche 2009, Kamel Mennour gallery, takes its origin from the story of Noe. The huge sculpture of a rock is an allegory of the myth of the cave. Through a hole in the wall, you can see inside the cavern...

Born in 1957, Philippe Cognée is known for his very particular and specific technique. Photographs of his subjects are projected onto the support. Then he uses a paint made with pigments and wax. He finally covers the support with plastic and heats the entirety with an iron. After removing the plastic, image seems to be buried beneath an icy surface. He was interested by supermarkets and recycling plants. He shows us pictures of industrial slaughterhouses. Like Soutine or Bacon, he is inspired by carcasses of animals. He organizes them as an architecture. His new exhibition takes place at the Daniel Templon gallery. Here he explores common places of our daily life...

Time for me to leave...I wasn't able to go to Miami this year but my flight to Berlin is waiting for me...Enjoy the end of your day!

11.27.2009

Ron Arad at the MoMa

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
Have you seen Ron Arad's exhibition at the MoMa? His work is just amazing! Born in 1951 in Tel Aviv, he is an architect but also one of the most influential industrial designers of our time. If you don't know him, you know what to do!!!

Ron Arad studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and at the London's Architectural Association. He lives and works in London. This exhibition is the first major representative of Arad's works in the USA. Smaller than the one that was organized a few months ago in Paris but still very interesting. They showed an outstanding array of his work. Over the past twenty-five years, he designed memorable and huge spaces  but also a lot of furniture and innovative objects. Mediums with which he uses to work are carbon fiber, polyurethane, plastic... His work is based upon the computer and its capacities as on the soldering apparatus in his metal workshop. Some of his furniture are able to receive and display SMS, Bluetooth messages... His work is joyful, humorous and highly innovative.

The first thing I saw just at the entrance, on the right side, was the "Cartier" tables. In my opinion, one of his most beautiful works of art! Uncluttered outlines, harmonious curves... tables seem to be integrated in the walls and the space. Different sizes, different heights, he has declined it several manners.

Ron Arad is also very famous for his chairs, armchairs and seats. Even if it doesn't look very comfortable, you just want to try and sit down! But don't forget that those furniture are more sculptures than chairs, armchairs. Regarding the outlines, proportions, dimensions... the accomplished work by his studio is unbelievable. Usually, most of his works are silvered but sometimes the color gives to the furniture all its intensity.

They showed us a lot of lamps, but the one that I like is: the "pizzakobra" lamp! You can give it all the different forms that you want. Designed for "iGuzzini illuminazione", this lamp can be twisted in so many ways. It can be flat as a pizza or curved as a kobra. Very chic and very contemporary!
And of course, they also showed us very big shelves, one of them, the bookshelf, designed for Kartell in 1993. The one which is curved on the wall!!

His work is now predominantly architectural and he has been appointed Professor of Furniture and of Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art in London.  Hope I gave you the envy to discover his work...
Ron... If you read my article, I am gonna move soooon...
Wish you a good day!!

11.23.2009

Anselm Reyle at Gagosian

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
Here we go... Let's talk about one of the most impressive exhibitions which has been shown in the last past three months. Anselm Reyle at the Gagosian gallery. The first time I saw his work I felt in love...

Born in Germany, he lives and works in Berlin. He is represented by Galerie Almine Rech in Brussels and Paris, Gagosian gallery in New York, Andersens Contemporary Art in Copenhagen...
In most of his paintings, he incorporates contemporary objects which are covered by fluorescent paint or which are associated with such futuristic materials. Paint has the same importance than objects. Neon light, silver Mylar and sheets of mirror take also an important part in his work. This kind of work is very intense. Objects which are incorporated in his works of art can eventually remind us some everyday objects. They have been taken from his immediate environment but they are newly autonomous. Regarding his predecessors but in a different way, we can say that he dissociates objects from their original contexts.

All his compositions are meticulously organized but on the other side we can't forget to mention their rock'n'roll and pop demeanour: splinters of mirrors, flashy colors, splatters... They are as easy as possible and they involve a change of color, light or even context.
His works of art are a kind of interplay between two and three dimensions. A mix between painting and sculpture. Crumpled papers are my favorite! He combines painted aluminum foils and canvas or wooden panels (most of the time: purple, green and silver).

To all of you who don't understand abstract art or simply denigrate it, just go to his next exhibition and let's talk about it after!
Have a good day...

11.22.2009

FashionistArt!!

Good evening contemporary art lovers!
Art and Fashion...Two different kinds of art which have always been related. The attraction between both isn't totally new but continues to grow up and to change over the years. Painters and sculptors asked models posing for them and a few decades after, there is a real correlation between art and fashion. Fashion models are often artists' muses. Gianni Versace commissioned works of art from artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Takashi Murakami designed bags for  Louis Vuitton, Cartier created a contemporary art foundation... Models aren't only representative of a brand. Maybe it is a reflect of our generation which is, since a few decades, completely obsessed by models and the cult of beauty and body. Here are some very different contemporary works of art that illustrate it.

David LaChapelle, fashion photographer but also an amazing artist, has often chosen models for posing on his photographs. Naomi Campbell (most often represented), Anja Rubik and Heather Marks (he did a shooting for Vogue Italia with both of them), Alek Wek (the one that I have chosen)...This picture, titled "My House" was taken in 1997. The house, which reminds us Christo works of art, is drapped in the same color fabric as the model and the girl's dresses.

In 2006, Marc Quinn, british sculptor, presented Kate Moss as "the Aphrodite of our times". He made several versions of this sculpture: one of them in solid gold. Titled "Sphinx", the sculpture illustrates Kate Moss in a yoga position, ankles and arms wrapped behind ears. For him, she is a kind of mythological figure. She is an icon for all a generation, no wonder she is a muse's artists.

Most recently, Marco Brambilla, artist videast, presented an amazing video titled "Ghost (Natasha Poly: Multiexposures)". Models.com and Muse organized the Sept Muse Issue, at "Colette" in Paris, with Natasha Poly as main muse. Several artists were in charge of creating a work of art with the model as main character.

Ladies, you know what to do:
Sculpt your bodies, be a model, you are maybe going become a muse's artist...
Good luck!!

11.21.2009

An afternoon in Chelsea

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
What can we do during a sunny afternoon when all your friends are blocked in their offices?! Making a round in Chelsea! Twice a week, I use to walk in Chelsea. I love this area, close to the Hudson River, very quiet, with so many galleries...I recently went to the several exhibitions which were very cool...

Do you know the Winston Wachter Fine Art gallery?? In my opinion, one of the most interesting galleries in Chelsea. Opened in 1995 by two women, Stacey Winston-Levitan and Christine Wachter-Campbell. The gallery is specialized in contemporary and 20th century art. They represent more than thirty different artists, painters, sculptors, photographs... In the past three months, they organized two beautiful exhibitions: Edwin "Ed" Cohen and Andreas Kocks.

Ed Cohen lives and works in Chelsea. He has been painting for over 20 years and began to invite visitors in his studio a few years ago. He only had four solo exhibitions in New York in the past five years. The first time I saw his show I was wondering if he was from Japan or China. Then I discovered that he is inspired by the enso painting of 17th century Buddhist monks. Black flat covered backgrounds and garlands of multicolor points in the middle. Somehow it reminds us the Jakson Pollock's drippings. Paintings are very deep and very intense, more than decorative as the most of painters who paint this kind of works of art!

Andreas Kocks, born in Germany, lives and works in New York. New way of sculpting! Sculptures seem to be entirely integrated in the walls. The gallery itself takes a very important part in the exhibition. Far away from the gallery, walls seem to be tagged by the artist. But he covered walls with his favorite medium: heavy watercolor paper. His sculptures represent big inky graphite splashes which surround the viewer. Taking a look on his sculptures gives us a feeling of fulness, a "zen" emotion. Paper are cut, twisted, curved...to make an abstract form which organizes the space with a game between light and shadow.

Chiharu Shiota at Goff+Rosenthal!
Born in Japan, she lives and works in Berlin. Having a look on her work for the first time makes us very uncomfortable but it is a kind of convulsive beauty. We can't take our eyes of it. The most impressive part of her work are her installations. My favorite intallations are those which are made in black wool threads!! The viewer is entirely integrated inside the piece of art. She seems to woven the wool from one part of the wall to another one, like a spide's web. Sometimes she introduces dolls, beds, toys...inside her spider's web. Because of she studied in Germany, she was certainly inspired by the second world war and the genocide of a lot of innocent young children. She represents the memories.  In 2009, in Switzerland, she covered a piano surrounded with several chairs. Here she represented the memory of the sound in a silent room.

Taxidermy: a new medium for the artists? One of the past exhibitions organized at the Yossi Milo Gallery was about Simen Johan's works of art. On his pictures, we can see stuffed animals in the middle of real landscapes. Which gives us the impression to get into a world based on his own fantasy. It is a kind of mix between a real world, a nightmare or maybe a wonderland...There is no boundaries between reality and unreality. I don't know if I like it, I mean I don't know if I could buy one because it is a bit strange but I cannot say that is not interesting. Wim Delvoye already use animals as a medium. He tattooed the back of alive pigs whom have been killed, stuffed and presented as a piece of art. His project took place in China where there are less restrictions regarding protection of animals. We will in a few years what will be the future of this medium!

Sorry for the others! Next time, I'll maybe write about you...
Wish you a wonderful day.

11.20.2009

What happened in the past three months??!!

Good evening contemporary art lovers!
Living in NYC makes me so happy! So many contemporary art exhibitions (Reyle and Serra at Gagosian; Shiota at Goff+Rosenthal; Cohen and Kocks at Winster Wachter Fine Art; Ryman at Marlborough....), so many museums exhibitions (Ron Arad at the MoMa; Kandinsky at the Guggenheim...), the contemporary art sales at Sotheby's and Christie's, so many things to do but never enough time... You will probably never meet me at any opening because actually I don't really like it! Galleries and museums are usually too crowed and people don't really care about art. It is "cool" to be seen at an opening, but I am not this kind of socialite!  Whatever, I am gonna tell you what were my favorite exhibitions in the last past three months. Who are the young emerging artists I discovered, or who are those I love!!!
Have a good night!!