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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!