Monthly Archives: September 2012

Un Chien Andalou; your daily dose of Weirdness.

Enjoy and be disturbed; created by Bunuel and Salvador Dali. Masters of Surrealism and owners of the weird side of the 20th century.

 

Director: Luis Bunuel

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Sounds from Beneath.

Epic, touching and above all, astonishing and beautiful. These are the sounds from beneath the earth, the memory of an era below the surface, a recreation of the devastating sounds produced by a coal mine.

As mentioned before, I recently went to Manifesta ’09 (The deep of Modern, The european Biennial of Contemporary Art) where I saw this really moving and perhaps politically Video by Karikis Mikhail & Uriel Orlow. Working together with an ex-coal miners choir from Kent they recall an vocalise the sounds of underground activity in the coal-mines. The scenery used is the same as were they have worked for almost their entire lifespan. It Resonates with pathos, dignity and emotional force. It’s a tribute a requiem to all those who have spend their time in the mines, for all those who gave their lives.

Which moved me the most is perhaps that the sounds (which are inhumane) are not created by the machinery itself, but by the people who were the driving force of it all.

 

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Not to be seen without it’s controversy.

In celebration of Piano Renzo‘s 75th birthday I’ll be reviewing probably one of the most controversial, shocking and modern statements in architecture. It was Piano Renzo who designed, gave birth – together with Richard Rogers – to the infamous Centre Pompidou. This building is undoubtedly a marvelous piece of architecture and is a timeless view upon, industrial architecture and industry in it’s whole. Therefore it is not surprising if I tell you that both of them were fascinated by modern (industrial) american architecture like oil rigs and car lots which has been a great inspiration to both of them.

But why is this building so controversial? Why had it to endure so many critique and curses? First of all there is the less obvious reason that the city of Paris was a city dominated by concrete (except for Gustave Eiffel’s Eiffel tower which had to endure the same critique 70 years earlier). This building on the other hand has no concrete which is exteriorly visible, the only concrete used is hidden 3 stories below the surface.

Centre Pompidou – Exterior.

The entire building is build by vertical beams who hold u vertical platforms. Post-lintel you could call it (as in Ancient greek architecture). Of course cross- and v-shaped beams had to be added to support the weight of the floors (6 in total), consisting of entirely open spaces. This is achieved by placing all the functional aspects of the building on the facade (that is to say; the exterior) instead of interior. Everything that was conventionally hidden is now ‘proudly’ and ‘playfully’ shown on the outside of the building. Each color seen on the exterior has it’s own ‘functional’ meaning: blue for air, green for water, red for elevators, yellow for electricity, gray for corridors and white for the building itself.

Nowadays the building definitely stands as a monument to Paris. Although it is most often seen as a monument to high-tech, it represents the opposite. Because in reality it’s a parody to high-tech, it was a space ship it would be one designed by Jules Verne, that is to say, it would never work.

Although this building had to endure loads of harsh critique I do believe this is truly a marvelous and wonderful building, which does not at all make the city of Paris ‘less’ beautiful. Not only because it’s a cultural beacon for the entire city (library, music, art, ..) but also because it’s a place where people meet. It’s a public building (which is highly emphasized by the open corridor which takes in 2/3 of the parcel). On top of that it’s the only place in Paris which has a ‘free’ panoramic view. Not to mention that everything seen on the outside (therefore public) is accessible by anyone for no costs.

Renzo Piano

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At least i’ve made it!

Arne Quinze – “Study of a wooden chaos installation”

It’s been a rough year, I’ve fought, fallen but always got back up. University is not to be taken easy, I’ve learned that the hard way, you have to work hard, show commitment and never give up. So as I had to redo almost all of my exams (I currently study ‘Art History’) in about 2 weeks (10) I studied throughout my spare time and vacation, recovering the time I had waisted doing ‘nothing’ during the year. I had lost hope but no I’ve regained it. I managed to succeed in all my majors, failed some minors but the best thing is that I may proceed to the next year.

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”

I’ve learned my lesson, I know now that I can do this now, but it needs hard work and I’m well prepared to go on and fight. Although I did not ‘amaze’ myself this year, I’m proud I’ve made it. Next year will be different. A new start, as I know what to do now I’m hoping to get better results, and succeed as I go on.

Art is my passion, my life.
Therefor I will fight, I will get my degree.

 

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The least “pop” of all pop-artists.

Robert Indiana (Robert Clark)

Today we celebrate 84 years of love, the birthday of the least ‘pop’ among the pop-artists. Today we celebrate the anniversary of Robert Clark, better known as Robert Indiana. 

Well known for his bold, iconic and simple images, consisting of especially numbers and short words such as “LOVE”, he calls them sculptural poems. The iconography first appeared in a series of poems Indiana had written in 1985, where he stacked the letters LO and VE on top of each other as he would do in a similar way in his famous ‘Love’ series.

These sculptures can be found all around the world and are represented in many languages. They made stamps, musicians inspired their album covers upon it and so on. In this manner he “spreads” out love, all over the globe. He unites people by placing his (similar) work all over the globe (except for the translation).

Robert Indiana – LOVE

Robert Indiana – Ahava (אהבה “love” in Hebrew)

Rage against the machine (Album cover) – Renegades.

Robert Indiana – “Love” stamp

 

“Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees.” – Robert Indiana

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If only everyone felt this way..

Rockin Mom's World

 

 

 

 

Try this idea on for size….mystica_A_Heart_done_by_words_outlineImage

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The mystery of Art.

What is art to you, is it a mystery. Is it merely a creation of the human mind, can it be found in nature? Has art changed your life? Is it even possible to live without it? Therefor my dearest fellow bloggers, ladies and gentlemen. For once (maybe twice or more later on, who will say) I need your help; if you had to describe what art means to you in a few words (or more). How would you describe it? If you, as wonderful as you all are, would be so kind to tell me your opinion on art in the comment area I would feel like a kid opening his presents on Christmas Eve (maybe even happier, which depends on how many of you respond).

There’s also this little question I’d like to have your opinion on:

Thank you for reading!

Have a wonderful and hopefully artistic day!.
Remember to use your imagination.

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Art and the expression of Meaning (found in music?)

Munich, September 1910. Final rehearsal for the world premiere of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, in the Neue Musik-Festhalle.

It is well known, that great art was many times inspired by great music. So did Mahler’s music inspire artists like Rodin, Kandinsky and most likely plenty others.   “En plus” it was on this day that for the last time in his lifetime a work of Mahler was premiered; his symphony n°8 (which has been used for the final scene of Faust).

But I’m drifting of, so as said above Kandinsky was inspired by his music. It is crucial to understand that modern art has usually been conceived as an art of creative expression. Therefor it is obvious to believe, to think of art as a reflection of the artist’s intentions. Kandinsky call’s for painting to move away from merely representation of objects toward works that arise from the “inner need”. It is the triumph of subjectivity and therefore a loss in objectivity.

“Kandinsky took music as the model how painting might free itself from objective limits and become more expressive” – This is his desire for a “music of painting”. But why? Well, for some centuries music has been the art which has devoted itself not to the reproduction of natural phenomena, but rather to the expression of the artist’s soul.

A painter who finds no satisfaction in mere representation, however artistic, in his longing to express his inner life, cannot but envy the ease with which music, the most non-material of the arts today, achieves this end. He naturally seeks to apply the methods of music to his own art. And from this results the modem desire for rhythm in painting, for mathematical, abstract construction, for repeated notes of color, for setting color in motion. – W. Kandinsky

W. Kandinsky – Composition 7

Auguste Rodin – Gustave Mahler

A totally different view on Mahler , but non the less interesting is his death mask, now obscured and well forgotten, subdued by photography. It’s the art (or rather was) of immortalizing the death

“A death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold. In other cultures a death mask may be a clay or other artifact placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites.  The best known of these are the masks used by ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as Tutankhamon’s burial mask.”

Gustave Mahler death mask

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Are you mad?- Dali isn’t on drugs, he is drugs !

How can I even start to describe..

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He did not belong amongst them.

 

Ben Shahn – WWII

 

Another day, another birthday (what are the odds but it’s definitely worth trying: happy birthday to you if it’s yours as well). – Happy birthday Ben Shahn, you would have been 114 years old (if you do the math correctly you should find out he was born in 1898, unless I made a mistake). You probably can not see this, nor hear this but non the less here’s your gift (Yes I know, it’s a review).

Ben Shahn is most likely not well-known among you (at least not like you know Rothko, Klee..) but I do believe, although controversial, he made a big difference. You should know that his major works are to be situated in the first half of the 20th century. Which means; the era of the avant-garde (Dada, Surrealism, ..) and later on Abstract Expressionism (WWII) when the  major ‘artscape’ moved from Europe to America (because of the harsh regimes in Europe which suppressed all kinds of (artistic) freedom and therefore creativity). This is the time when a lot of painters, musicians, scientist, etc. had to move or rather flee to America or other non occupied regions. So did Ben Shahn.

“He identified himself as a communicative artist and employed pictorial realities instead of Abstract forms “to discover new truths about man and to reaffirm that his life is significant“. “

As my header might already have suggested, his themes and way of representing them were nothing like those used by the avant-garde, Abstract Expressionists. Whose paintings mostly were highly esoteric, abstract figures were used or/and color won over figure. So you won’t be surprised if I told you he challenged these ‘esoteric pretensions’ of art, which he believed disconnect artist’s and their work from the people, their public.

As an alternative Shahn tried to accomplish an intimate and mutually beneficial relationship between artist and public. He identified himself as a communicative artist and employed pictorial realities instead of Abstract forms “to discover new truths about man and to reaffirm that his life is significant“. But this didn’t mean he was a painter of the proletariat. As you can see on the painting below he did not only paint ‘social problems’ and ‘war-based iconography’. The painting ‘Still Music’ kind of reminds me of Miro, the playfulness of the lines and the rather ‘monotone background’. Whilst the second one -Farewell Luck Dragon- reminds of some landscapes Egon Schiele made or even a bit of Paul Klee.

Ben Shahn – Still Music

Jean Miro – Nocturne

Ben Shahn – Farewell Lucky Dragon

Egon Schiele – Landscape at Krumau

Non the less he also made some stark, dark and ‘bloody-shocking’ pictures:

Ben Shahn – Hunger

Or this one, which depicts on a harsh and bloody way the desolation and loneliness of war by showing a lonely, (most likely) dead soldier.

Ben Shahn – Death on the Beach

And my favorite:

Ben Shahn – Fourth of July

I could go on like this for pages, talking about the wonderful photographs, illustrations and murals he made. Narrating his life and so on. Although I believe that I made my point already telling you this painter had a statement of its own and did not follow any major group or stream as most artists in NYC did that time. He kept his own values and expressed humanity in a pictorial and ‘human’ way, although he wasn’t afraid of the color red, in contrary. It is worth saying that his art could be described as being introspective but non the less he often captured his figures engrossed in their own world.

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