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2.17.2010

Damien Hirst at Gagosian

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
The first time I saw one of Damien Hirst's paintings, 5 years ago, I was working as an intern in an auction house in Paris. I was immediately surprised and taken aback by his work. Year after year I learned to discover and understand this amazing artist. Beyond all the controversies he raised, he has revolutionized the role of the artist in the contemporary art world. Even if one can say that he modified the course of the diamond in creating his massive skull or that he took the role of art dealers in arranging its own sale at Sothebys, he undoubtedly has allowed the contemporary art artist to become a full-fledged member of the art market.

Gagosian gallery hosts a fantastic exhibition of his new paintings and sculptures: "The End of an Era". Indeed, it is the end of an era, the era of the Spin, Spot and Butterfly paintings which made him famous. Spin paintings were created by a centrifugal force on a spinning circular surface, Spot paintings represented randomly an arrangement of colors spot and Butterfly paintings symbolized the beauty and the fragility of life. The title of the exhibition also refers to the central sculpture in the exhibition which is a severed bull's head with golden horns, crowned with a solid gold disk, suspended in formaldehyde and encased in a golden vitrine. Death has always been one of his favorite themes and he is known for a series in which dead animals are preserved (sometimes dissected) in formaldehyde. "The bull's head with golden horns" is a very interesting subject because it refers to the biblical story of the Golden Calf which has been worshipped as an idol, a fake idol. The head is offered and exposed as a sacrifice. By using this symbol he demystifies the myth and by extension his own myth. The title of the sculpture may also refer to the end of an other era: the era of optimism and speculation before the recession...

The most impressive work that is shown is certainly the "Judgment Day". This work was made in 2009 and represents a thirty-foot long gold cabinet filled with close to 30,000 manufactured diamonds. Totally "bling-bling", this enormous piece of art is supposed to be exhibited in museums or somewhere very particular. As he said: "Something like this would be great in a museum or Jay-Z's house".
A series of new paintings is also shown and actually exposed together for the first time. This series represents photorealist paintings of famous diamonds as "The Golden Jubilee" (made in 2008) or "Agra" (made in 2006)...

To those who missed the opening and the reception at the BBR: go and see the show! Diamonds and contemporary art: what else?!

2.14.2010

Love is in the air...

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
I am in a lovely mood today, therefore, I want to talk about love and love of art! I am not usually a romantic at heart but this year maybe Valentine's day will inspire me...

Love is all around us, love is all we need but... as Magritte painted it, love is blind! This is a personal interpretation of his painting untitled "The Lovers". The faces of the lovers are covered by a veil which probably symbolizes the mystery of love. Who can affirm that they perfectly know everything about love? Our lovers are never completely known to us and passion might make you crazy. Here lovers are totally devoted to one another.

Love can be blind but love also gives you inspiration. A proof of this is that many artists weren't able to work without their muses/lovers next to them. Unica Zurn who was an amazing german surrealist drawer lived with Hans Bellmer, he was a famous surrealist artist. He studied the female body and its representation and he was accepted by the Surrealists because of his references to the female beauty and the sexualization of the youthful form. His photographs, sculptures... were very erotic, almost pornographic, and frequently disturbing. Most often, he used dolls to create his sculptures and photographs. But sometimes, Unica's body was taken as a model, a model whose body was bound and strained to meet the requirements of the artist. However, very so often the lover is not the only one to be represented...

In the contemporary art scene, Jeff Koons and Ilona Staller (the "Cicciolina", hungarian-born porn star) was one of the most famous couple. Known for his giant reproductions of banal objects such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces, Koons also made a series of paintings, photographs and sculptures that showed the couple in various sexual acts, "Made in Heaven", most of these were unveiled in 1991. These works of art describe Koons' excursion into the world of glamour-porn and are the witness of their love and their passion.

Happy arty Valentine's day contemporary art lovers.
I wish you a wonderful evening...

2.05.2010

Snowing session!!

Good evening contemporary art lovers!
When I woke up this morning I expected to see snow falling through my window. I love the snow, it reminds me my childhood in Verbier! New York under the snow... it's freezing but it's so beautiful! And I am not the only one who likes it...

Chanel on Ice, 1997 Mounted PrintBetter known for his portraits of Amanda Lepore or other celebrities, David LaChapelle is also an amazing creator of images. Here, he shows us two female legs wearing hight heels, made of ice and sticking out or a pile of snow, in the middle of nowhere. Titled "Chanel on Ice", this photograph is interesting because the subject is very sexy, very sensual, very "hot" but the material that he used is "cold", ice and snow. It is an interesting contrast between the two worlds of fire and ice. Fire under ice... beware of distant women maybe they are hot!

Michaela Gleave is a young artist who lives and works in Sydney. She is interested in working on the peripheries of sensory perception, everyday climate and natural phenomena (cloud, light, rain, snow...). Her installations question the relationship we have with our surroundings and are most often at the junction between art and science. She tests the boundaries of perceptual experiences. "Snowdrift" is an installation that she made in 2009 on the front lawn of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. This installation also raises the question of temporality and duration of life of a work of art.

British born sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, Andy Goldsworthy creates both temporary and permanent sculptures by using natural and found objects. He uses flowers, mud, pinecones, snow, stone... and lets nature gives ideas of what to make. However he tries to organize compositions instead of randomly placing objects. He wants to understand nature and being a part of it, as well as participating as intimately as he can. As his sculptures are most often ephemeral and transient, photography takes an important part in his work.

Ready to go skiing? I've never skied in US before, maye I should try... Who knows if I could find an amazing installation or sculpture!