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Art hung inside the white walls of a gallery is enjoyed in its finished state—the artist is only known through the indexical signs left behind that originally inspired the form and content of the work. Seeing the artist in action is quite a different experience than viewing the finished object inside of a cultural institution, however. Watching the process unfold transforms a static piece into a visceral experience that gives an inanimate object life and sheds light into the many cryptic strategies of creating contemporary art. ArtBattles is one event that allows viewers to glimpse behind closed doors into the artist’s individual methods that define artistic creation. What makes this event even more exhilarating is the underlying competition as viewers are invited to witness a battle of creative hubris on stage.
A premier source for architects, designers, and like-minded trendsetters, the 14th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show was the place to discover the ‘next big thing’ in furniture design. After pursuing the thousands of products from over 400 brands on view, the 2015 furniture forecast championed the handmade statement piece that will bring the room together and add a touch of individual charm to an existing sea of Ikea sets.
Handcrafted, local, and one-of-a-kind were buzzwords for every vendor located in the MADE section of the show, which celebrated independent designers and fine art objects. The material trending these up-and-coming boutiques is a classic revival of wood with a contemporary twist. Check out this list of 8 designers creating furniture that is both functional and fun.
Photo Credit: Jack Vartoogian/Frontrowphotos
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Baroque opera meets Buddhism in the Canadian Opera Company’s U.S. premier of “Semele” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In the hands of director Zhang Huan—a Chinese performance artist based in Shanghai—George Handel’s 18th century oratorio takes a turn away from tradition as Chinese and Japanese cultures intervene with the Greek tragedy.
“Semele” is Huan’s directorial debut and first foray into theatrical set design. In his notes on “Semele” Huan stated, “My goal is to allow the opera singers to reenact this classical Western opera on an Eastern stage latent with the tragic emotions of Semele—while at the same time allowing the audience to experience the dramatic beauty and pain common to all human beings.”
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This past month the Bushwick Starr hosted a special series with the Target Margin Theater (TMT)inspired by the literary prowess of Gertrude Stein. Curated by TMT Artistic Producer John Del Gaudio, over 75 artists contributed to seven original pieces and three special events. In discussing why Gertrude Stein was chosen to be the matron saint of this year’s Lab series, Del Gaudio stated, “There is much room for play, but at the end of the day you are left with this language, this poetic and, yes, sometimes repetitive language, and these rigorous structures that make her work exciting for some of us and frustrating for others. It challenges and provides different points of access. It pushes boundaries and can be polarizing.”
Getrude Stein (1874-1946) was a leading poet, playwright and patron of the arts during the Avant-Garde era. Although born in the U.S., Stein moved to Paris in 1903 where she lived for the remainder of her life. As a patron of Modern Art, Stein ran in an elite circle that included the creme de la creme of Modern Art including Pablo Picasso and Matisse.
Her “stream of consciousness” literary style is both rhythmic and repetitive, inspired by the life she lived in Paris. Stein happened to live during two tumultuous moments in history, witnessing first hand WWI and WWII at ground zero. She also lived on the fringe of society as an openly gay woman during a time homosexuality was very much a taboo. Her idiosyncrasies in life played out in her novels, plays, stories and poems.
The art exhibition I curated for the SciArt Center, Un-Natural Nature, is featured in the magazine Issues in Science and Technology. The feature starts on page 80 of the PDF below. Issues is normally a hard copy magazine, you may be able to order them through their website as well.
Visit the virtual exhibition Un-Natural Nature on the SciArt Center website.
View the PDF of Issues Winter 2015_2.
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Mourning practices during the 19th century were more than a private grievance, they were a public ritual upholding status through fashionable style. Curated by the Costume Institute, Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire examines the aesthetic convergence of customary black mourning attire with the stylish trends of the day.
The burden of mourning fell mostly on women as men were expected to upkeep economic responsibilities. As a result the majority of the 30 looks on view are examples of upper to middle class women’s wear. Exhibited chronologically on a central stage in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, bright spotlights highlight the multiple layers of textured fabrics used to skillfully craft a dutiful yet fashionable ensemble. Projected onto the surrounding walls are anecdotes from diary entries, fashion magazines, and other historical documents contextualizing the ensembles with personal narratives.
One of my favorite selfies I took at the Jeff Koons show at the Whitney
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Appropriation artist Richard Prince is back at his controversial antics again with a series of “New Paintings.” Well, they’re “paintings” in that they’re ink-jet prints, and they’re “new” in that these are Instagram photos taken by other people. If the sheer absurdity of seeing the best selfies of everyone’s favorite social-media app in an art gallery is not enough, here are three other reason you cannot miss “New Paintings.”
For the rousing debate of Contemporary Art
These paintings are not strictly a product of Prince’s artistic genius. The “New Paintings” are not even painted by the artist himself, but are inkjet prints created from Instagram screenshots. Is this art or is this copyright infringement? Prince is not new to legal controversy — he was sued in 2013 by photographer Patrick Cariou, who claimed Prince unrightfully appropriated his art. Prince came out of court victorious, which only added to his work’s caustic mystique.
“Fox and Internevean Vole,” digital collage, 21 x 21 inches, 2013
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My senses always appealed to collage since I first studied Dada Art. Dada collage by Hannah Hoch and John Heartfield submersed a political foundation underneath its satirical facade. Davies continues the agency of Collage in his digital work which comments on 21st century urban sprawl. As Davies states, “I use collage to explore the idea of evolutionary dislocation that occurs when a species is abruptly ousted from its evolutionary context.” His artwork is very attune to what Un-Natural Nature is meant to explore: how our ever-changing world affects the living organisms that call it home. Combining a technological medium with organic subject matter, Davies imprints an image of a 21st century ecosystem to show how nature continually adapts to the man-made.
Read on for an interview with the artist that expounds on his scientific inspirations, what he thinks is so “Un-Natural” about nature today, and what “SciArt” means in regards to his work.
“Flora,” archival pigment print, 44 x 44 inches, 2014
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This article is part of the exhibition “Un-Natural Nature” curated by Danielle Kalamaras
Photographer Susi Brister recreates fantastical worlds usually kept secret in the realms of dreams. Her landscapes are filled with luscious fauna and through dramatic lighting and color enhancement, the everyday world becomes a sublime yet stoic scene. Taking center stage of these scenic worlds are aberrant figures draped with decorative fabrics and fully covered to the viewer as to not give a hint to the living organism beneath the dress. She dresses models in patterned textiles and fabrics to echo the natural world around them. As these playful figures mimic the world they are planted into, the photograph becomes a surreal montage that blurs the the line between the reality of the landscape and the fantasy of the rogue figure.
Read on for an artist statement by written by Susi Brister.
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The Chelsea Art Season is in full swing as unconventional materials take center stage. From repurposed junk to iPad drawings, ditch the usual painting show for 3 art exhibitions a bit more out of the ordinary.
‘David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring’
Veteran artist David Hockney depicts the gradual changes between seasons in his home county of East Yorkshire. His personal affiliation to the landscapes — and his use of technology — uplift a trying art show about nature into an engaging experience. “The Arrival of Spring” at Pace Gallery is a tech-driven exhibition of iPad drawings and video installations. Monumental prints drawn from his iPad of quiet U.K. landscapes exemplify the artist’s signature gestural style and soft palette. The culmination of this exhibition is Hockney’s 9-frame video installation exhibited across a multi-screen 3×3 grid. Filmed with nine cameras attached to a moving SUV, frames comes together to create a visual journey of a changing landscape.
If you go:
Through Nov. 1
Pace Gallery, 508 W. 25th St.
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free to the public