Herb & Dorothy Vogel – Cutest Collectors with the Best Eyes for Art

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What an INCREDIBLE and AMAZING story these two lovely people have to tell the world. While Herb was a the son of a garment worker from Harlem, Dorothy was the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish stationery merchant from outside of NYC. Herb never finished high school but Dorothy got a BA from Syracuse and an MA from the University of Denver both in library sciences. This was all before 1962 – the year in which they got married.

Herby delivered mail and received an income of roughly $20,000 per year in which the couple agreed to allocate that money to buy art, while Dorothy supported their living expenses through her work as a librarian. BRILLIANT.

While I do not wish to expose any more of this romantic story of two average folks turned MAJOR art collectors, I encourage you ALL to watch their tell-all (although we REALLY ENCOURAGE you to buy their movie from Amazon or even watch it on Netflix but if you can’t we understand, so we gave you the link) unbelievable movie about their collecting and collection. From Sol Lewitt to Richard Tuttle and back to our man Roy Lichtenstein (and those are just a few of the artists in their collection, literally there are hundreds) these cuties had it all! Not only did they collect art but they spoke firmly with their artist friends and had no shame in sharing their opinion – especially boss man Herb. Sadly, Herb passed away in 2012. RIP

Thank you for your inspiration Herb and Dorothy, it is our hope from the bottom of our he(ART)s that you, our readers, find a passion like they had, and as we have.

Watch it to believe it.

xx, DP

MY BED – TRACEY EMIN INTERVIEWED – LOOKING AT THE PAST

My Bed. A Piece we spoke about earlier in the article “Terms You Should All Be Familiar With – IKB & YBA” has recently been revisited by the artist herself. The piece was recently part of an exhibition at SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT (if you can read German go check out their website) entitled “PRIVACY.” Seriously, watch this.

No. She is not the drunk Tracey Emin we knew back in the day. Apparently she has gotten herself together.

Watch the exhibition film here: http://youtu.be/AyZpfuUCqUI

 Way to go girl!!

xx, DP

The Mindf*cker – Bruce Nauman

Hauser and Wirth: Bruce Nauman's green parallelogram room

The colloquial term mindf*ck is not regularly a positive term. I mean really, does anyone ever want someone to intentionally manipulate and play with your mind? There are always the exceptions, but collectively speaking the answer is NO. Well, in these exceptions lies Bruce Nauman’s current exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, fittingly titled “Mindf*ck.” There are no words in the English language to describe this magnificent exhibition, other than “what a mindf*ck that was.” As much as i was in awe – here are some words about my experience, and while they may seem very powerful, the power is truly experiencing this show.

Bruce Nauman incorporates psychoanalytical theory throughout the gallery and in his artworks. His intentions are to evoke the viewers with certain “states of trauma, equivalent to the conversion symptoms of the hysteric, to the utterances of the psychotic, to the repetition compulsion tied to the death drive, to the reprimands of the superego, to good and bad internal objects, and to the logic of dreams,” according to his press release. A word of advice before going, do your research-read up on Jung and Freud. I can assure you it will make you appreciate Nauman’s exhibition 1000x times more.

The large windows of Hauser & Wirth, which usually allow the natural light to pour into the white space, have been closed off. This allows the gallery not only to show off the neon light art pieces, but also create a new enclosed environment – an environment of unknowing, darkness – a structure allowing us to explore our human unconscious. The juxtaposition of the dark space, illuminated by neon artwork, puts stress on the eyes and gives off feelings of comfortableness that then turn into something not knowing what to expect. This uncomfortableness is what I think Nauman was attempting to do. As an artist, he is a mindf*cker, manipulating us to experience things we might have not wanted to experience and explore.

Every piece of work from “Good Boy, Bad Boy,” to “Carousel,” to “Sex and Death/Double 69,” and “Run From Fear, Fun From Rear” plays with our minds and encapsulates his attempt to yoke “together the rational and the intuitive, the verbal and the unutterable, the abstract and the physical.” But the most striking, and moving piece within the gallery in my view is “Untitled (Helman Gallery Parrallelogram).”

This interactive piece invites the viewer to walk into a room lit entirely by green florescent lights. As one walks closer and closer to the entrance, the purpose built corridor literally shrinks in width forcing the viewer to have to squeeze into the awkwardly small space in order to get into the room. This creates an unsettling feeling of claustrophobia and mimics the fear of tapping into one’s own unconscious to discover the internal desires, and thoughts we try and suppress (told you Freud would be helpful here)! After entering the room, the space is quite large. The green lights are unsettling, and make you feel extremely not at ease, like you’ve been stripped bare and those internal desires and thoughts of yours have become exposed to you and the world. Contradicting that feeling, emotions are simultaneously aroused through feeling a sense of relief through being in this euphoric space. This experience is extremely overwhelming.

Inspiring. Fresh Show. Bruce Man, you KILLED IT! FABULOUS.

Literally the best mindf*ck experience you’ll ever have!

 

Peace Out, K

Life is Beautiful; May The Art Be With You – Mr. Brainwash

Mr. Brainwash – a self declared artist. But is his art, art? In Duchampian terms, the answer would be yes. Art is what you make of it. And art is art if an artist says so. Yet, what MBW has created, some would say is too commercialized, almost like Hirst, but not to that extreme level. Brainwash takes cultural icons and images and puts a spin on them, making them his own. Some people claim his art is not art and it is just a bunch of mashed potatoes of images that we recognize. Think Picasso mixed with Basquiat, Haring, and Warhol all on the same painting with splashes of bright colours – pinks, blues, yellows, greens – dripping down the canvas. But did you think of this? No. Sorry.

Life is BEAUTIFUL and so is art. And on that note, I will admit I am a massive fan of his work. He has brought life back to artists and works that are no longer contemporary and has made them fittingly appropriate in our generation. So what’s the big deal? If you don’t like it, maybe you should EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP. MAY THE ART BE WITH YOU.

xx, DP

Thoughts on Bruce Nauman – a Prelude

Hauser & Wirth (in London) currently has an INCREDIBLE exhibition on the psychoanalytical perspective works of Bruce Nauman. While we will later post an article with our thoughts about the show itself, we encourage you to get yourself up to date with this mastermind “Hennessy Youngman” who gives us a fresh and entertaining view on Nauman through his online You-Tube show Art Thoughtz.

Warning, it is NOT PG. But in all actuality – it is insightful.

Nauman walks the walk. Hennessy walks the walk. Can you walk the walk?

xx, DP

Terms All Should Be Familiar With – “IKB” & “YBA”

There are two terms that all should be aware of in the contemporary art world: IKB and YBA. While they have nothing to do with each other essentially, they should be a part of your vocabulary.

IKB stands for International Klein Blue. Yves Klein, a French artist, created inspiring performances along with creating sponge-works that often use this pigment (and reach incredibly high prices at auction). He too creates works on canvas, often monochrome, applying paint thickly and textured. It is the most significant, brilliant, awe-inspiring blue that Yves Klein himself developed and has became his trademark. While IKB can be seen on canvases and sponges (and some statuettes too), it can be found in his performances as well. Klein in the 60s had nude models dip themselves in paint and brush up against a canvas making their bodies act as a paint brush. They models who took part in this and the viewers who watched this action/process piece witnessed such creativity as a a live symphony was playing aside them. “Klein adopted this hue as a means of evoking the immateriality and boundlessness of his own particular utopian vision of the world,” according to MOMA. But folks, do not try and recreate this blue – for its formula is a secret and only YK knows its components. Sorry dudes, you will just have to go to a museum (Tate Modern has one) and witness this greatness in person if you ever feel the urge to see it in the flesh – which we HIGHLY recommend you do. It will create a lasting impression in your he(ART).

The next term we think is an absolute necessity is YBA. YBA stands for Young British Artists. Artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Mark Quin, Rachel Whiteread, and the Champan Brothers (and more), were members of this Goldsmiths College organized group. They first exhibited in London in 1988 with their first show FREEZE, curated by Hirst.

YBAs are noted for their shock tactics – think Hirst’s “Shark Tank” (above), or Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” (below “Shark Tank”). Both create a sense of shock, horror, and for some, fear. While Emin’s work is more biographical, for she had a rough upbringing, Hirst is creating works for the sake of g-d knows what? Emin’s bed is surrounded by empty alcohol bottles, tobacco butts, stained sheets, worn undies – as a result of one her nervous breakdowns. Hirst has placed a dead shark in formaldehyde. GROSS, and yet, some people LOVE it. As we’ve mentioned before, we think his works have become too commercialized. But that still does not stop him from being one of the founders of the movement we all should take note of. We as viewers should also be aware of the fact that they too use untraditional forms of media to create their works of art. While some may find their work appalling, other’s find it intriguing.

What is your he(ART) telling you?

xx, DP

Barbie Re-Vamped – For Better or For Worse

Barbie, a classic female figure of our century has taken a twist. Whether it is Barbie as Mona Lisa, Barbie as Starry Night, or Barbie as Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer – Barbie has been taken to a whole new level.

Here is an example of Manet’s Olympia being recreated. And Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

But people have not only been recreating Barbie’s into masterpiece’s – people have taken their own artistic freedom and turned Barbie into a rather promiscuous, and often drug addicted figurine. Is this the Barbie that we want to remember? This plastic doll who we all played with, brings back childhood memories. I don’t think the images below are reminiscent of my youth – please correct me if I am wrong. But I am not. I assure you.

These new images make it seem like Barbie needs to go to rehab! Any recommendations Lindsay?

What ever happened to innocence?

xx, DP

Kate vs. Dürer – Battle of the Portraits

Which portrait is better? Kate just had her first “royal” portrait, and let me tell you, it looks far from royal. While she may be a “commoner” she has married into the Royal family. At least give her some jewels. But that was not the case here. I truly believe the artist made her portrait less significant than Dürer’s self portrait from 1500.

While Dürer made himself look like Jesus – notice the hair, the facial features, the religious hand signal, the glamorous coat… Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has been painted to almost blend into the background and has been blurred – almost appearing like a vampire. Nevertheless, what I still cannot get over are the great similarities between both portraits.

Notice their forehead space. The shape of their eyebrows. The hair as a framing device. Skin exposed to make their necks look elongated. Perched lips. And both are set against a dark background to bring the figure to the foreground. However, Kate’s is created in a less realistic manner than Dürer. How can this be?!

It is so ridiculous that it is not even worthy of being a royal portrait.

She needs a re-do. Yes, I said it.

There ya go. If you wish to see it in person, please feel free to go to the National Portrait Gallery in London. See for yourself.

xx, DP

Choose Your Chair – Eduard Burgeat

A leisurely stroll in West London, led us to this new exciting exhibition that caught our eyes and our he(ARTS). “Primae Noctis” (which ran from 15 January until 20 January ), held at Gallery 8 was Eduard Burgeat’s first solo exhibition. The show encapsulated his artistic intentions and ethos of what art can be. This extremely personal show depicted his relationship to art and the past.

The premise surrounding this exhibition, begun with the notion of the medieval lawless Primaes Noctis. This law permitted feudal lords the right to sleep with a serf bride on her wedding night. Twisting this old concept into contemporary times, Burgeat looks at the relationship between emerging artists in the commercial art world and its “feudal lords”- or in more blatant terms, the big shots who control this artistic arena.

Running with this idea, this daring exhibition fused a number of mediums such as collage, installation, drawings, lights and furniture. He cohesively connected these magnificent, personal art pieces by extracting the “delicacy of execution which often mellows the brutality of the context that inspired the work. Burgeat draws out the comparison between life and art in post war times and in credit crunch times.”

What may you ask was our favourite piece? Well, there were two striking pieces that immediately caught our attention. The first being Cross War Memorial and the second his Chair Series.

Cross War Memorial, a light fixture piece in the shape of the holy cross, (situated in the darkness of the lower space of the gallery), left us with an overwhelming feeling of remembrance. This piece illuminates the events of the First and Second World War, with photographs of the artist’s grandfather. The atmosphere surrounding the piece only furthered its conveying message, which was intended as a memorial- “a tribute to the concept of memory.” It not only illuminated the room but our he(ARTS) were captivated.

Chair Series (located on the first floor) for us, really drove home the idea that contemporary times have led us to believe that what is broken CAN be beautiful. By repurposing old chairs found in the streets of London, Burgeat highlights that “our contemporary reality is dominated by consumerism and mass production is meaningless.” It is the now the emerging artists that have taken mass production and reconstituted it into something new, unique and beautiful.

What I will call these works are “intimate art pieces.” Due to the artist’s family content embedded within the works, this allowed the viewer to relate easily to these pieces. This in turn, created not only beautiful pieces but has done something that not may artists cannot do- which is to create an intimate experience between art piece and viewer. We applaud Eduard Borugeat for allowing us to whole he(ART)edly experience these pieces on such an intimate level.

One more thing we must recognize and celebrate within this art show, is the curation. Eduard Bourgeat’s show was curated by London based curator Victoria Genzini. I must applaud her on taking the premise of the exhibit and fusing it into its curation. Every placement of the an art piece, emphasized its ethos- the light fixtures placed in the dark floor of the downstairs only illuminated the notion of memory, which would later lead us to the glass plate negatives highlighting the consequences of his grandfather’s actions and impact they had on country’s conditions during the war. The works and curation were blended together so perfectly to create a space of consistency and allowed the viewer to think through the ideas evoked by Burgeat.

We invite you to check out more of Eduard Borgeat work, because he will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Feudal lords make way for a new, unique artist with a fresh take on art. Upcoming shows by Victoria Genzini and Eduard Burgeat will be exhibited in March. We will be sure to keep you posted!

Peace Out, K.

Inez Hollander – Portraits from Her Point of View – Miami Mosaic

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Inez Hollander (self portrait above on the left), a lifetime Miami resident, created a series that obeys recognition. Her subjects include a lawyer, a real estate agent, a construction worker, a hairdresser, a mother of three trying to become a singer, a dance teacher working with blind students and a retired civil service worker known as the “King of the Nude Beach.” Hollander realized that this distinctive group represented a cross-section of Miami. And thus began the inspiration for Miami Mosaic, a portrait series.

With vibrant, primary colors and bold, unrelenting brushstrokes, Hollander’s portraits in her Miami Mosaic series (of which more than 200 portraits have been created to date) capture the emotions of her subjects in almost a Bacon-ess psychological portrayal kind of way with Fauve-esque flare. The viewer sees individual faces but together these individuals make up Miami as a whole. In creating the series and documenting the various people around her, Ms. Hollander has assumed a role that Jewish people have historically occupied: that of chronicler and storyteller in the Diaspora – in the multicultural melting pot land known as Miami. Hollander felt that many of the city’s best qualities were ignored by the media, which grossly misrepresented her hometown as a city of gangsters and drug lords, a portrayal made popular by such television shows as Miami Vice and The Real Housewives of Miami. Hollander’s response to this unfair portrayal was to capture a snapshot of Miami from her perspective, that of an artist, a mother, a wife, and a Jew, living in one of the world’s most multi-cultural environments.

You can check out her exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Florida from 12 February – 05 May 2013.

xx, DP