Curious Contemplation

at times these quiet moments invoke curious contemplation

beautiful silences in the romance of the night, its lights

however dim they may be- they are absolutely

pure, sustaining, remaining

the city is my shelter and shall remain so steadily

i keep what magic it lends me

i render it again and again and again

i make it last because it makes me last

nights in silence, in the dead silence

that still, calming anti-sound that i hold so close


Cheers, NYX

Kurt Schwitters Retrospective @ Tate Britain


In the last years of his life Kurt Schwitters remained dedicated to his craft, and that resonates at the exhibition currently on at Tate Britain. Having fled his native country Germany and later Norway, Schwitters landed in London where, as viewers, we see the impact the new and foreign environment had on him and vice versa. Like a collage mathematician, Schwitters use of found objects in his works create a sense of harmony amidst the madness of World War II, which in which he coined the term “merz” to describe this process. Using everything from bus tickets to advertisements, rubbish and the like, the work of Schwitters is undoubtedly deserving of this retrospective.

This is DADA at its finest! So is it art that we he(ART)? or Anti-Art?

Cheers, NYX

The Little Drone Who Could – George Barber

Nestled in the housing projects of Hackney, lies a small contemporary art gallery – Waterside Contemporary. Amongst the convenient stores and laundromats, it would seem like an odd area to have a gallery space. But these small hidden gems in London, are what make London such a unique, adventurous city. The gallery might seem tiny and out of place, but it is what is inside the gallery that is grandiose and thought provoking.

The Freestone Drone” (2nd February running until 23rd March), a video installation by George Barber transforms the gallery into an environment mimicking the places that US drones might blow up. This description needs further explanation – don’t you think?

It is no secret that during the presidency of Barack Obama, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) have mushroomed and been used more and more. These military devices are tools that are deployed to areas of “concern” for the United States, and attack and bomb areas with exact precision in order to eliminate any “threats”. Now these drones are meant to destroy locations of concern, but how precise are these drones? They are machines with no emotion or feeling. They are created to destroy without knowing the consequences of their actions. Do they know right from wrong?

George Barber brings these issues to light with his video installation. Clothing lines hung with clothes to dry surround the screening area.  The room is dark and the video consists of a narrative, narrated by a drone itself. This drone has emotion and feelings, and through his mission of destruction, he tells the story of his journey – thus the drone becomes personified.

He is curious as to what all these clothes lines are…who owns these clothes…what kinds of lives do these families lead? These clothes lines in themselves tell stories of different families – a family with three children, an old woman washing her husbands clothes, a newly wed couple… Footage shot different places around the world, that of lovers, and depictions of tragedy are paralleled with the drone’s childlike curiosities of the world- his fascination and love of people as well as his ultimate destiny: “It is foretold that the Freestone Drone is to die entangled in a clothes line.” With such a dramatic, dark narrative, the drone seems childlike and humorous. These private thoughts create tension and an unsettling feeling within viewer. He is playful and funny in his description, but his mission is one of great determent and horror. You laugh, but you do not want to at the same time. This tension develops a platform for the viewer to question these contemporary ethical dilemas.

Have we become so cold that we cannot even carry out our own evils and atrocities? Barber confronts our cowardness and attempts to display the contemporary and ethical concerns of what we are doing. It is a must see in London. So get your running shoes on, locate the gallery on your smartphone – trust us, you will def need it, and head on over.

Peace Out, K.

Dada – The Real Dada, NOT ze Dada Life


Dada, an “art” movement that was “anti-art.” In terms of Duchamp, (who are friend below will go into detail) a 20th century French artist, had a disdain for the convention of tradition – hence why he turned a urinal into what he titled “Fountain.” Duchamp became associated with the movement in Paris during the WWI, when many Europeans realized that their society was breaking down. So, with a breakdown in society brought about a breakaway from tradition.

Duchamp’s readymades (i.e. “Fountain” and his “Bicycle Wheel”) were in a sense a conscious effort to break every rule of traditional art, in order to create a new type of art – a type of art that engages the mind and provokes the viewer to participate and think. Duchamp came up with the idea to discard art’s most fundamental values of artisanship and beauty. The readymades were the final solution of how Duchamp created a work of art that is not “art.”

Duchamp’s readymades were composed of assemblages, altered images, and prefabricated objects. The manufactured items were normally brought right off a shelf or salvaged, and often unaltered. Duchamp then would put all the pieces he wished together, and gave them abstruse titles, or even inscribed them with a phrase that was absolutely utter non-sense. It was the idea of putting all these random objects together that later artists were inspired from. Duchamp’s use of everyday objects, to create “art” in a sense gave influence to later artists such as Rauschenberg, Johns, and even Warhol. It was Duchamp’s idea that the artist declares what the art is that can be seen throughout all three of the artist’s works mentioned above.



In Honour of Mark Rothko, A Reflection on His Contribution to Abstract Expressionism

Today marks the day Rothko committed suicide – 25 February 1970.

Being one of my favourite artists, I decided I would share a fragment of one of the paper’s I wrote about Rothko and Abstract Expressionism:

The new creative approaches of the Abstract Expressionists in the 1940s and 1950s (up until around the 1960s) were groundbreaking to the visual world. “Abstract expressionism is defined as a twentieth-century painting style in which artists applied paint freely to their MASSIVE canvases in an effort to show feelings and emotions” declares Robert Smith in his article entitled “Abstract Expressionism and the Imaginative Curriculum.” Most “abstract” art, as in the case of Abstract Expressionism, was developed as a response to the whole range of human experiences (remember these works evolved right after WWII). Jonathan Harris, in his article entitled: “Mark Rothko and the Development of American Modernism 1938-1948 claims:

“Represented as the ‘universal Free Style of the West’, the large agitated canvasses of Jackson Pollock or Rothko’s floating fields of colour become emblems of freedom of liberal American society: beacons of individualism, unfettered activity and creative risk, proposed as possible only in a true democracy (43).”

Rothko took advantage of these liberties, and became the a leader of Abstract Expressionism.

This new field is divided into two categories: Action Painting and Color Field painting. Generally, works of this period were painted on a GRAND scale. While these branches appear physically different in terms of style, they both are a combination of spontaneity, ingenuity, and the investigation of the unconscious disregarding pictorial imagery. Line and color are the basic components underlying the work of the Abstract Expressionists, created through rhythm and movement. Rothko was the leader of the Color Field movement.

The notion that a painting is supposed to inform the viewer dominates. However, unlike art of past generations, the Abstract Expressionists did so in an untraditional manner. Paintings of this modern period were more than a history or religion crash-course. They were on a search for “something” more. This “something” was not “nothing.” In the case of Mark Rothko, the “nothing,” was not only a search from within the artist, but also a search within oneself. “I am interested only in expressing basic human emotions-tragedy, ecstasy, doom,” Mark Rothko.

Let us remember this great artist, and hold him close to our he(ART).


p.s. If you are in London visit his Seagram Murals at the Tate or if you are in Houston, Texas visit the Rothko Chapel.

Naked Paintbrushes – Yves Klein’s Lasting Impression

Ever want to go back and be a part of history? Well, the Tate website has posted a video that briefly explains and exhibits Yves Klein’s (bio hyperlinked) “Anthropometries (video hyperlinked).” Through this series, Klein reconfigured the way art could be produced and examined by using the female nude NOT as the subject of painting (like Manet’s “Olympia” – below); RATHER Klein used the female body/bodies as paintbrushes to create works that appear almost primitive in form.

Maybe you were too young to be there, so you haven’t really heard much about this… Maybe you weren’t in the right “artsy” circle (because most likely, no offense, they were only a SELECT few that were and that was WAYYY back in the late 50s)… Or maybe you are just new to the “art world.” But now, you can get an inside look into how these paintings were developed. And keep in mind he had a LIVE symphony playing for his guests (who are dressed to a T) as these nude females were brushing up onto canvases and were being directed by Klein, who acted kind of like an orchestra maestro. What an interesting experience that would be to witness.

Is it kind of like finger painting when you’re a child? Maybe, but not really (and we do not suggest dipping your child into paint by any means). Could it be an incredibly extended simile – without a doubt. But that is a stretch. A MASSIVE one. Maybe we should just admire his works from these series, in his signature colour IKB, and appreciate his break from tradition.
Props to you Yves, you made a lasting impression – literally.
Peace Out, K

More East End Adventures – Beauty in “Vandalism”

Although I must admit, I was not a fan of the “East End” in London at first, I have come to find some true, rare, street art treasures that make me want to go back more and more! Not only did I come across a CLASSIC example of a  Space Invader (above) but I too came across a new artist that I find truly inspiring: C215.

C215 is Christian Guémy, a French stencil graffiti artist that creates such intricate works, in this particular case, on such a small scale. The detail, colour, shading, everything – is just so magnificent. I hope to be seeing more of his art pop up around Europe.

Below is C215’s work – both happened to be found on random doors on the main street (in East London). This is incredibly atypical. When you think of graffiti, you think of it being found in discrete locations, or in alley ways, on top of buildings, or even on designated mural walls (which sometimes have even been pre-arranged LEGALLY with the city council), etc… but this dude has HUTZPAH to create such detail oriented works in incredibly public places where he could be stopped at any second for “vandalizing.” Blah blah blah. Vandalism? Really?

It might be vandalism. But it is beautiful nonetheless. See the beauty in art. Find the beauty in your he(ART). And FYI, he is not only a street artist, his work too can be found in commercial galleries (apparently these works are created in various sizes, and by various I mean up to heights of 81″ – perhaps even more). How MAJOR!

Keep your eyes open! You never know what you’ll come across. It’s those little things in life that we find that make our days that much more exciting!


Tracey Emin Has Gotten Outta Bed and Into Times Square

If you’ve been in NYC lately, and have visited the tourist trap Times Square, then maybe you have been lucky enough to have seen a Tracey Emin LIVE AND IN COLOUR! For the month of Feb, six of her neon signs are lighting up Times Square at night.

The works that are being displayed are from the newest form of buying art s(edition) – an online platform in which you purchase works that you can ONLY display on YOUR TVs, Comps, iPads, etc… and it is legit too.. you even get a certificate… and there are a limited number of each works to be sold… Is it the next biggest thing? Who knows?! “s(edition) Ceo Robert Norton says this programme could be a “pivotal moment” for digital art platforms, and Tracey said: ‘Every year I send Valentine’s. This year I won’t have to. Times Square will do it for me.’” (You can also buy works from the Chapman Brothers, Damien Hirst (blah), and more!)

But seriously, if you are in NYC, and even if you are not a massive fan of Times Square, we totally recommend you to go and get an Emin experience. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Take advantage of public art. Take advantages of the messages that she is sending. But it is genius. She has been through a lot, and now, she is literally sending Light and Love.

“Love is What You Want.”

Isn’t that what your he(ART) is telling you? Happy Valentine’s Day dudes!

Much love,


Judy Chicago’s Hoods

We typically think of Judy Chicago as the artist and the host of the famous “Dinner Party” (1979). When we think of this “dinner,” we think of 999 names of women in history, important women, in one way or another, that made it to this (hypothetical) utterly infamous par-tay. Feminine in form, the tables are arranged in an equilateral triangle (the shape reminiscent of the pubic area of a female originally derived from primitive art). But in her newest show, Deflowered, which just showed at Riflemaker in London, she has taken her feminine energy and motif’s and transfered them onto an a-typical medium for high art…

Tribal in pattern, brilliant in color, yet painted on the hood of a car, Chicago has taken her femininity and opened it up to a masculine presence. She paints these images on a man’s best friend, their car. Does this mean a shift in power, metaphorically? I don’t know. I really do not know what it means except that it is exciting, fresh, and new. Her patterns are inviting, yet phallic in nature and feminine at the same time – all exuding the exotic, erotic, and more…

Would you put your he(ART) on a Hood?