I found this on Tumblr recently and thought it was kind of fabulous. You’ve gotta love the irreverence millennials have for ancient art and museums. It’s ridiculous.
There is, however, a lot of serious and merited debate currently happening in the museum world over this very topic. Should we embrace this type of behavior or condemn it. A lot of museums are starting to do away with or readjust their iphone policies.
I am so obsessed with the Gutai Collective. They were such originals and complete badasses who really put the Japanese avant guard on the map. So, I am pretty freaking excited that my last ever college assignment was a research paper for my Arts of Japan class, titled “Breaking the Rules and Bridging the Gap: Violence and Play in the Gutai Art of Postwar Japan.”
In particular I am really excited about the work of Tanaka Atsukoand had fun analyzing her Electric Dress from 1956 for my paper:
“It is by far Tanaka’s most recognized work and shows both an interest in new technology and a reference to the past fashions of Japanese women. The Electric Dress is a costume made entirely from light bulbs, electric cables, and enamel paint. Tanaka painted oblong bulbs in bright enamel colors to create a Technicolor spectacle. The artist wore her dress around the gallery and interacted with the piece in a playful and physical way. . Visually this piece is incredibly playful and embodies the Gutai principles of originality and innovation. It is frivolous and absurdist and would never have been permitted during the severity of World War II and occupied Japan.
This celebration of technology and of electricity looks eagerly to the future. However, there is a violence and danger to her work as well. As one can imagine, being incased in a cocoon of bright florescent blubs would have been extremely hot and rather dangerous. ‘It was at once a flashy costume that seduced the eye and the imagination, and an unsafe instrument that threatened to electrocute the wearer, tear down the boundaries of painting, and make uncanny reference to the effects of nuclear war.’ The political climate of Japan postwar Japan was ever present in the work of Gutai artists as they constantly grappled with the shock of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in July of 1945. This bright and cheerful outfit was also a source of fear and anxiety for the artist. The vast and inspiring potential of new technology could only exist with the looming fear of nuclear power and destruction. Tanaka’s Electric Dress exists in a space between joy and terror and draws on both the future and the past. Like other works of the Gutai collective, it looks to the global art conversation while remaining intimately tied to Japan’s historic and cultural past.”
What a badass!
Initially I was a little skeptical of an Irish man making art about murdered Mexican women. However, his work and his statements are a thoughtful and respectful tribute and I am glad this important crisis is getting the attention it deserves. The portraits themselves are beautiful, powerful and tragic. It’s important work by Brian McGuire and definitely deserves a look.
“The killing campaign in Mexico has taken the lives of more than 1,400 young women since 1994, mainly factory girls working in maquiladoras,sweatshops of sorts, who were abducted around town. Maguire spent time with the victim’s mothers, discussing their daughter’s lives and premature deaths, before beginning to paint two portraits of each victim: one representing the young girl during her life and another, after death. Though his works are intuitively somber in subject matter and style, they convey a subtle hopefulness in the boldness of strokes and in the unexpected pops of color.”
The title of this seres is The Absence of Justice Demands This Act and it’s showing at Fergus McCaffrey in New York through the end of the month. Check out this article and the gallery website, if you’d like.
Katherine Jury (or @katefjury as she’s known on Instagram) creates beautiful abstract paintings in soft sherbet colors. They are low-key gorgeous and perfect for spring/easter/whenever. I feel like a lot of contemporary art tries to shock and awe, to blast your senses and make it impossible to look away. Jury’s art doesn’t do that. But not all art needs to demand attention, some just needs to ask politely. And I would argue that this type of unassuming beauty is a lot harder to pull off.
Instead of being in-your-face, Jury’s art is subtly captivating in a way that requires serious restraint and skill. Plus it makes me feel like spring is here so that is a major plus.
Kate Jury has a gorgeous website and blog and was once featured in my all-time favorite Design Love Fest “dress your tech” post.
The Claremont Spotlite is a brand new online publication that highlights local artists and cultural events in the Claremont area. It’s a really neat idea and, despite just launching this year, the site already has a bunch of great content. Last week I wrote a guest blog post for them where I got to rant about art. In particular, I wrote about how I’ve been using the widespread availability of online arts communities as an excuse to stop experiencing art in person. Why trek all the way into LA during rush hour traffic to see an exhibition when I can discover just as many inspiring and innovative artists on Tumblr? It’s all online. I don’t even need museums or galleries anymore!
It’s been something that I’ve grappled with a lot over the past year but I’ve recently been reinvigorated by in-person art experiences. If that’s at all interesting to you, go check out the article on Spotlite for some personal musings and unsolicited advice.
With the unlimited potential of a Google search bar, it’s easy to forget about the opportunities for discovery that exist right here in sleepy Claremont. Finding artists online is so easy that I often don’t pursue opportunities that are unique to my geographic location. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually made it to an LA gallery show, and I can count the number of museum visits on two. The Internet is an amazing tool, but I fear that I have been using it as a crutch instead; as a way to avoid seeking out creative experiences in person. With the whole world wide web at my fingertips, it is easy to forget that we have an impeccably curated gallery right here on campus. Every time I stumble into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery I am impressed by the variety and caliber of artists shown, but I always forget it’s there. I always plan to attend the exhibitions, but even as an Art History major, I’ve missed more shows than I’ve attended.
I am such a sucker for impeccably executed mixed media art and vintage ladies advertisements. So my obsession with Kelly O’Connor is not at all surprising. I actually had to check and make sure that I hadn’t already written about her because I’ve been a fan for a while.
Her 2014 exhibition at the David Shelton Gallery is absolutely fantastic. The entire space was transformed into a Wizard of Oz-y masterpiece of whimsical sparkles and pastel colors. Plus the work manages to explore and critique products targeting women’s bodies in a way that feels fresh and interesting. The product studies in particular have me completely awestruck.
She’s Flawless. Her work is flawless. Go look at other things she’s created on her website. And ask her if she wants to be my best friend. because that would be cool.
Sophie Victoria Elliot uses aerial landscapes and maps as the basis for her abstract paintings. She is inspired by geology and tries to capture shifting movements under the earth’s surface in each of her works. She even organizes them by location on her website. How cool is that?
If you look at these pieces you can totally see the inspiration shine through. But even if the cartographical explanation doesn’t blow your mind, they are still super pretty. Moody color studies with gorgeous and unexpected combinations. I am infinitely impressed.
I feel like by now everyone on the internet has seen this image with “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS” written over Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. If you haven’t then you’re welcome. It’s quite clever. Enjoy. But if you’re an Art History major like I am, then I’m willing to bet that at least a few of your friends wear this t shirt on the regular.
So yes. Queen Bey and The Goddess of Love. It’s a thing. I’m way behind.
But I had no idea how many of these incredible Hip Hop/Art History mash-ups existed. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, there are so many good ones! I’m just going to share a couple of them but check out Fly Art Productions and visit their shop on Rad.
Hopefully this can brighten up someone else’s Monday because it definitely brightened mine.
Since I started this blog I have discovered a lot of insanely talented people. Often they are only a few years older than I am. And often they are wildly successful. This is absolutely inspiring but it’s also pretty intimidating.
I set out on this internet-documented journey in order to grow creatively and and express myself. But it’s easy for me to look at these incredible artists and start to doubt my own ability to contribute, making less and feeling worse about what I am making.
I stumbled across this video and the words of Ira Glass a couple days ago. It has really reinvigorated me and I am hoping for some good creative karma by spreading it around. Get inspired!
Georgiana Paraschiv’s patterns and prints are on a whole new level regarding bold color and geometric abstraction. Clearly she has an exceptional eye for proportions and division of space. Plus, her understanding of color theory and mixed texture is seriously impressive. From pomegranates to watercolors to crazy angular designs, Paraschiv’s aesthetic comes through loud and clear in every single piece. I am absolutely obsessed.
It was so hard to chose which images to feature here because she has SO MANY gorgeous and interesting images online. Seriously, this woman must be busy. She’s got profiles on Behance and Society6; plus her portfolio website is chalk full of her prints and designs so if you’re into weird fruit and bright pops of yellow and pink, I would recommend looking her up.