Tag Archives: Art

Watercolors

Today’s moment of Zen: Artist Ahmet Sahin paints directly onto water. It’s mesmerizing.

via Jonathan Turley — “Cezanne was a wimp.”

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Miami gets it

Miami graffiti artists get it:

Wynwood: Obama as Bush

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Treasure trove: amazing photos kept hidden from the world

Check out these photos the Daily Mail ran last week:

Photo by Vivian Maier, who often explored poor neighborhoods with her camera

The Daily Mail reports:

Maier observed it all without judgment. This was her hobby, not her job. But over the decades, it also was her life. She shot tens of thousands of photos. Most were never printed. Many weren’t even developed. And few were seen by anyone but her.

Vivian Maier wanted it that way. She guarded her privacy so zealously that she didn’t even want people to know her full name.

She and her photos seemed destined for obscurity until a young man with an eye for bargains stopped by an auction house one day. He paid about $400 for a huge grocery box stuffed with tens of thousands of negatives.

. . .

Vivian Maier, it turned out, had two distinct identities: A nanny for the Gensburgs and several other families in a 40-year career on the affluent North Shore. And before, during and after work, a photographer who chronicled the gritty drama and tender moments of street life in and around Chicago. She was fiercely independent. Eccentric. Opinionated. Private, yet confrontational.

Kind of a Jane-Goodall-meets-The-Sartorialist. Cool.

Two more photos after the jump.

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Links for a rainy Thursday

Antisemitic fashion designer John Galliano hires Jewish defense lawyer.

Foreign-born Americans dominate entrepreneurship and new business market.

Check out the new billionaires at Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga (related: Have start-ups become a fetish?)

This artist is drawing all the buildings in New York (for posterity, OCD). 

New hybrids (including GM’s new national hybrid) show lackluster sales. More importantly, how’s Detroit’s stock doing?

America’s income statement shows our government is bloated with entitlements.

 

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Lee Bontecou, Sculptress

Here is most of the Wiki re this fantastic sculptor:

Lee Bontecou is an American artist who was born 15 January 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island. She attended the Art Students League of New York from 1952 to 1955 where she studied with the sculptor William Zorach. She received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Rome in 1957-1958 and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 1959. From the 1970s until 1991 she taught at Brooklyn College.

She challenged artistic conventions of both materials and presentation by creating sculpture that hung on the wall like a painting. She used industrial and found materials including screen, pipe, burlap, canvas and wire. Her best constructions are at once mechanistic and organic, abstract but evocative of the brutality of war.

She is best known for the constructions she created in the 1960s, which art critic Arthur Danto describes as “fierce”, reminiscent of 17th-century scientist Robert Hooke‘sMicrographia, lying “at the intersection of magnified insects, battle masks, and armored chariots…”.[1] She exhibited at Leo Castelli‘s art gallery in the 1960s, and one of the largest known examples of her work is located in the lobby of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. She retired from the art world to Orbisonia, Pennsylvania.[1] After decades of obscurity, she was brought back to public attention by a 2003 retrospective coorganized by the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and theMuseum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, that traveled to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2004. The retrospective included both work from her public, art-world career and an extensive display of work done after retreating from the public view.[1] Bontecou’s work was also included in Carnegie Museum of Art Carnegie International 2004-5 exhibit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bontecou Sculpture 1

Bontecou Sculpture 2

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Art History, Art Present

Dear New York Peeps:

Get excited, we’re going to see Bas Princen’s photo show, called “Refuge,” at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Princen has been running around 5 cities in the Middle East and Turkey — Cairo, Dubai, Istanbul, Amman, Beirut — capturing examples of these intensely-organic pockets of civilization.

Rather than some coalesced, planned community, these images are supposed to conjure a “city without a center, populated by extraordinary and at times implausible architectural artefacts; an urban laboratory whose physical traits are defined by migratory flows, spatial transformation and geopolitical flux on a continental scale.”

What’s neat about these, from an art history perspective, is that the images are so evocative of this region’s ancient architecture.  This is an almost primordial response to the elements, to nature.  These buildings look exactly like this region’s original attempt to secure “refuge.”

This looks like Mecca, right?  And the higher photo above — it’s an outcropping in a parking lot in Dubai, but could it look more like an ancient Mesopotamian Ziggurat?

BLDG BLOG cites at length from an interview w/ Princen:

Grima suggests that, as a tactic for assembling buildings, this construction technique is “strongly reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Maison Domino.” Princen’s response is brilliant, and worth quoting at length:

It is fascinating that Maison Domino, the quintessential modernist prototype conceived as a universal answer to the housing problem, has in the end inspired the method of choice for informal construction, with or without the help of architects. The many interpretations of the famous Maison Domino prototype I’ve seen are a clear indication that is has become the most universally successful type of construction, but nothing prepared me for Cairo, where this structural system is really pushed to the limits—not only because these buildings in red-brick-and-concrete grids rise to 16 or 17 floors, but also because three quarters of the city is constructed in this way. It is a mesmerizing fictional experience: driving on an elevated highway through this city of red brick towers, trying to imagine who is actually living there.

This latter remark—Princen’s difficulty in imagining these sorts of landscape humanly inhabited—sets the stage for a remark, later in the interview, when Princen mentions that he attempts to maintain a human presence in his photographs—in other words, they are not anthropologically empty landscapes.

He adds that “the so-called ‘middle distance'”—the scale inhabited by humans—”has not been used much in recent architectural photography,” an industry that tends now to focus on one of two extremes: “the architectural object on the one hand and the cityscape on the other.” But “it is exactly in this middle distance,” Princen counters, “that the human figure becomes an interesting element: it cannot be shown as the main subject, but will always be defined by the relationship with its surroundings, to put an extra meaning or layer on the landscape or object that is photographed.”

As a result, Princen’s photos show us diminutive humans, stranded amidst incomprehensible architectural forms and massive landscapes, neither urban nor rural, pursuing admirably self-directed goals through which to give themselves meaning or, depending on how you look at it, utterly vacuous tasks that they refuse to admit should be abandoned.


[Images: “Former sugarcane field, Cairo,” (2009) and “Ringroad, Cairo,” (2009) by Bas Princen].

BLDG goes on to the meta description, what happens in the aggregate when everything is organic and few rules preside, see, e.g., this photo of unregulated trash distro:

The ultimate green recycling plant, no?  Chaos to chaos, dust to dust.

Here’s the Storefront exhibition announcement, May 12 2010 – Jun 26 2010, describing the exhibition:

An architect by training, Princen has for many years used photography as a tool to observe, record and interpret the contemporary landscape. His photographs – themselves unmanipulated representations of reality – invite the viewer to construct an imaginary landscape that lies beyond the frame, outside the limits of the viewfinder.

Refuge is not, however, an exercise in abstraction. It is a documentation of the spatial products of refuge, ranging from migrant worker camps to gated satellite cities in the desert or the frequent proximity between abject poverty and extreme wealth, that at the same time sidesteps the cliches and the iconic emblems of segregation and seclusion. Starting from its peripheries, Princen’s photographs conduct the viewer through a cityscape that is both familiar and remote, ominous and beautiful.

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Shadow Art

Whenever I start to think I may be artistically inclined after all, I come home to find angsty sketchbooks full of charcoaled hands and realize that I should keep my efforts to finance, where they belong.  It’s this kind of innovative medium that makes me wish I had the courage/conviction/character to stake it all on a creative career.  From the blog Beautiful Decay:

Kumi Yamashita:

tim noble and sue webster metal fucking rats

profile shadows

kumi yamashita city view

Tim Noble & Sue Webster:

tim noble and sue webster real life is rubbish

tim noble and sue webster white trash (with gulls)

she

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