I went to an awesome talk last night where public artist and interactive sculptor, Jeppe Hein shared his charming thoughts and work. Hein was absolutely inspiring and really fun to listen to. The lecture included interactive elements with balloons, raisons, impromptu musical performances, and ricocheting ping pong balls to keep everyone on their toes and “in the here and now.” Most of Hein’s recent work deals with this concept of living in the present and embracing spontaneity. It’s an important reminder. Plus, it was cool to see an artist whose work so accurately reflects his personality and self. Loved it!
I even kept a ping pong ball 😀
I went to an awesome launch event last night for David Zwirner Books and their publication “No Problem: Cologne.” It’s a gorgeous book full of all my favorite eighties urban artists. Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Christopher Wool, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, etc. It’s an impressive list. Plus, the book features a couple of Richard Prince pieces that I had never seen before so that was a fun bonus. It’s funny to think that after all my thesis research, there is still more work to discover.
One of the essayists, Bob Nickas was there for a Q and A and had some interesting thoughts about that particular art moment and it’s socio-historical context.
The book is available on Amazon and is currently featured on my coffee table.
I’m such a sucker for vintage photos. The mystery and nostalgia totally gets to me. I do, however, think it’s quite difficult to use vintage photos in contemporary art without having the whole piece look dated and frumpy. Nicole Crock’s photo and installation series,Tessellate, updates vintage looks into something completely modern and really captivating. It is very cool.
Plus, she describes the whole process and inspiration really eloquently on her site.
Tessellate is an ongoing project that uses vintage photographs of people and their homes found in thrift stores and antique malls. These left-behind images are disconnected from their origins but retain the vague ache of unknowable history as they are transformed into abstract, nostalgic tessellations. With each installment of the project the images and sculptures morph and multiply.
I love the 3D installation aspect, but the flat images have a really strong dimensionality as well. They are crisp and clean, without sacrificing depth or meaning. That’s a difficult balance to strike so needless to say, I am impressed. And some of them are available on Etsy! Score! I am moving across the country next month and will be settling into a new apartment (and life) so the themes here of estrangement and home are resonating especially well with me at the moment.
I’ve moved many times in my life, making the idea of home and community very significant to me. Ignited by this interest in location and movement, I tell the stories of place and transformation using found and constructed materials. I examine the elements of home through varied mediums including sculpture, installation, and performance.
Okay, this is too cool not to share. Mikko Kuorinki created this installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Finland called “Wall Piece with 200 Letters,” and I love it. The concept, the execution, everything. It’s simply beautiful.
As the title implies, Kuorinki created a poem or phrase from a finite set of letters which changed every week for a year. Part performance and part installation, the exhibit used text as both and aesthetic element and as a way to disrupt conventions of human behavior and communication.
Here are a couple favorites but the whole exhibition is documented on Kuorinki’s website.
Have you ever heard of the “feminine grotesque?” Neither had I. But the descriptor seems to fit Jessica Stoller’s ceramic works like a glove. These delicate and intricate porcelain sculptures are undoubtably girlish creations but with a darker edge. It’s totally badass.
I think Hyperallergic described her installation perfectly:
“At first glance, the grinning skull may not so much alarm you because the whole ensemble appears perfectly frilly, pastel, and proper. It takes a minute to register that a number of the desserts appear to be made from breasts, others topped with hands whose fingernails look like they belong to some Cruella de Vil–like personification of death. At one end of the table, what looks like a pastry features the visage of a blonde woman, her lips an icy purplish pink and a fly grazing on her left cheek. Suddenly the chocolate dripping from the strawberries at the other end begins to look quite sinister.”
So yeah. Creepy and weird and also incredible. Check her out.
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.
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.
I’ve been taking some extra time lately to explore the various art communities on Instagram. And there are a lot of them. Like tons. Because it’s such a visual platform, Instagram attracts a lot of brilliant and creative people. Not just photographers either, but people who are making art in all sorts of mediums. One of these new discoveries that has me totally inspired is Elizabeth Pawle. She is an illustrator and textile artist who sells her work on Etsy. She is crazy talented and makes these epic wall hangings using burlap and embroidery thread. The series is called Scatterings and features beautifully textured abstract patterns in bright neon colors. She uses yarn and wool and all sorts of other fun odds and ends in order to create something both visually stunning and completely unique. I love these. I think they are so cool. The bright pinks and yellows really pop against the beige background and it all fits together into something completely cohesive.
Check her out on Instagram. Or buy her stuff on Etsy. But as you’d probably expect, the waiting list for one of these bad boys is a mile long, so good luck.
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.