Carla Gannis – Garden of Emoji Delights

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You know what is the shizzz? Transforming Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (above) into Gannis’ Garden of Emoji Delights (below)! I came across this piece at Pulse 2015, and was FLOORED, after seeing the original in Museo del Prado in Madrid AND after studying the original painting extensively at IU when I was getting my BA in Art History. I mean WOW. There are no words to describe my excitement for turning an iconic piece of art history into a contemporary, relatable, fascinating work of art that represents the 21st century – just as Bosch’s work reflected themes and issues of his time.

Take a look for yourself! LIKE WOWZAHSSSSS. Seriously. I am so beyond in love.

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Check out the comparissons from the original painting to the 21st century remake!

Original:

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Original:

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21st Century Gannis Version:

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Need I say more?! This piece totally is the definition of reworking an old master and giving it a meaning that is relatable to us today.

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National Academy: Beyond the Classical

The National Academy Museum & School has put on a rather EXCEPTIONAL show: Beyond the Classical. What I was thinking what the should would be composed of … well let’s just say I was ABSOLUTELY wrong. I was thinking I would be looking at Ancient Greek Sculptures contrasted with contemporary versions. That was not the case. AT ALL.

What I saw before me was INCREDIBLE. A FASCINATING mix of MODERN and CONTEMPORARY works that draw on classical works and themes. This show is a MUST SEE. From Rauschenberg to Duchamp, to Kiki Smith, Mickalene Thomas and more… the list goes on and on. And the works you are presented works are not necessarily typical for what you would normally associate with each artist (especially Mickalene Thomas).

Check out a few snaps of works below that are in the show… but we did not include them all because we ENCOURAGE you all to go and check it out! (Images from Top to Bottom: Yinka Shonibare, “Fake Death Picture,” 2011 – Susan Solano, “Memoria,” 1992-93 – Marcel Duchamp, “L.H.O.O.Q.,” 1964 – Mickalene Thomas, “Carmen: Standing Reaching, Standing Twisting, Standing with Back to Artist,” 2011.)

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XX,

CHC

@CultureHeARTs

Seriously… It’s Jeff Koons – “Made in Heaven”… Come On.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME FOLKS?

I have recently been posting pictures of Jeff Koons’ first museum RETROspective and BOOOM. I have been blocked, warned, written to about the vulgarity I have been presenting to the public (no it was not this image above that has created a stir).

Many of you know Koons’ work even if you don’t think you do… well now you do. That shiny balloon dog – that is his creation.

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Others may know Koons’ work from before this/his campy craziness – if ever there was such a period.

Koons was once married to a porn star turned a Italian politician – a porn star who was making hard core porn videos while she was a member of Italian parliament… and she was not kicked out. Weird?

The artist’s Made in Heaven series are what many see as pornographic ads. He is fully exposed in many, as is she. But people, my friends, are calling this obscene and say it is inappropriate? Is it? Is posting it on Instagram or Facebook more inappropriate than seeing it in a museum with children? I’m not saying it is right or wrong – what I am saying is that this is a major part of what is becoming our culture and many have not explored outside the “traditional” art scene until these retrospectives and biennales etc. come up.

Art. Art is in the eye of the beholder. I may not be the biggest Koons fan but his RETROspective was fun, entertaining, Koonsy, kitsch, camp… typical. But I still had fun regardless of how I feel about his work.

But the appalled attention the photos I have been posting to show another side of his work that many are not familiar with is just shocking.

Get CULTURED. Being naked, having sex, being sexual, exposed, is nothing new to art. If anything, in a sense it is traditional. Think of some of the first female figures that were created like the Venus of Willendorf (below) from the Palaeolithic era… PALAEOLITHIC – aka DINOSAURS. she was their SEX symbol. She was their Marilyn.

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Koons once made his body, his ex wife’s body, their story, into art – however sexual it may be it is a familiar symbol to the art world, putting sex on display with no shame… so why are you freaking out?

There is more to Koons than inflatables… G-d forbid to let the cat come out of the bag (Koons – Cat on a Clothesline below).

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Go to the Whitney. Make your own opinion. But don’t judge me or the exhibition before you experience it for yourself. This was a part of his past, a part of his oeuvre, a part of his history… we all have one – his is just exposed – literally.

LACMA and The Getty: LA – “If you don’t know, now you know.” -Biggie

1369545754094.cachedIn what was my first OFFICIAL visit to LA I can say that I was definitely IMPRESSED with both the LACMA and the Getty museums. Both institutions have been mentioned throughout my studies and to get to experience them in person was well worth the visits.

Being more partial to art of the contemporary persuasion I had an especially great time at the LACMA. The James Turrell Retrospective (see image above) in particular was a HIGHLIGHT (no pun intended), something that I strongly recommend to anyone living in the area or heading out that way – it runs through April 6th. The works span Turrell’s lengthy career, from early works all the way through plans for a yet-to-be-executed project at the Roden Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona. The temporal and spatial affects of Turrell’s works can hardly be described in words, one really must be there in person to engage with them. In order to experience the energy and power emanating from these works, immersion is vital and the effects are unforgettable.

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The Getty Museum (see image above) is one of the most beautiful institutions I’ve visited to date. High up on a hill overlooking the city of Los Angeles, you definitely gain a sense of the extreme wealth of the museum (J.Paul Getty left no shortage of cash). Like the LACMA it’s split up into different buildings housing different styles of art throughout various periods in history. The highlight for me here was Hearsay of the Soul, a 5 channel video installation created by one of my favorite directors, Werner Herzog (see image below). The film is a compilation of etchings by Dutch artist Hercules Segers complimented by the music of composer/cellist Ernst Reijseger (also Dutch). I found this piece to be both unsettling and beautiful, capturing the sublime through the coupling of the etchings and the pure emotive power of Reijseger as he played. It’s as if he was translating the artworks through his music. This was for me, definitely a must see! 4.-Herzog

If you have the opportunity to get to LA and visit these institutions, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

In the words of Biggie, “if you don’t know, now you know”…so go!

Cheers,

NYX

The ART I Saw This Year That I Truly He(ART).

After traveling the world to get my MA in Contemporary Art, I had several opportunities to see shows that I would have not come across normally. In no specific order will I list some of my most incredible ART moments that I truly he(ART).

1. Venice Biennale:942345_10200407645409313_901043945_nDays spent in Venice during the Biennale were NOTHING compared to Art Basel (Miami). In B E A UTIFUL VENIZIA, the Netherlands’ Pavillion stood out with Mark Manders’ Room With Broken Sentence. The sculptural works, which covered 23 years of the artist’s activity, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, were simple, yet intricate. The works were simple in the sense that colour and subject matter were not shocking. Clay portrait busts and sculptural figures covered the pavilion, but were presented so you were not overwhelmed, and in an almost highly organised manner (image below). Although traditional materials were used such as wood and clay, what was truly fascinating was how the pieces were held together. For example, a clay sculpture of a female hanging off of a wooden table – almost looking like the front of a viking ship – was suspended by a wire string contraption (above). MIND BLOWING.Not only was the pavilion least anticipated by me, but several months later still leaves an impact on me today. 946683_10200407647089355_236647333_nThe Biennale was one of those events that was not about the PARTYING, like Art Basel, Miami Beach. Nor has it ever been thought of in that manner. It was about what each country could bring to the table. Walking for 12 hours a day, for five days straight was 100% worth me wearing crocs by the end of my time in Venice (I kid you not).

But there is one issue that is still on my mind. While some of you may know the main grounds for the Biennale are the Giardini and the Arsenale (where the Encyclopedic Palace was located), there are also some off-site pavilions – which I happened to miss out on. Why may you ask? Because although I was getting my MA in Contemporary Art, my PASSION for Modern Art will always remain. And so I took a trip to Peggy Guggenheim’s Museum. And boy, was that a worthwhile visit. Although Mrs. Guggenheim may have been the Mistress of Modern Art, who cares that she slept with half of the artists that are in her museum?! It is BREATHTAKING. Rothko. Warhol. Kelley. Ernst. Dali. Brancusi. Picasso. The list goes on and on. Need I say more? All I can say is if you ever are to visit the Biennale, make sure you take at least a few hours to visit the Guggenheim as well. Both represent history and culture that should not be missed.

2. Inside Out: The People’s Art Project:1385059_10201083899715248_288651712_nMy dissertation was about to be due, but I had the opportunity to take part in JR’s Inside Out Project in London. Was it worth the time? WITHOUT A DOUBT. Paranoid after hearing lines were hours long to get your portrait taken, to then be wheat-pasted in a designated location, of course was a constant concern. But I prioritised with my art partner in crime (image above), and together we successfully were not only the first in line, but had a great time meeting others alike. People whom too admire JR, and were there for the same reason: to be part of a Project that not only means something to you, as an individual interested in the arts, but to take part in a global movement. This is something I had never done before, and if I ever have the opportunity to do it again, I would not think twice. JR’s staff is incredibly friendly. They don’t make fun of you for practicing your poses, aka taking selfies of yourself on your i-Phones and such to see what pose would look best, because the reality is you only get ONE shot. Literally. And it turns out, after practicing all my poses I winged it while in the photo-booth (image below). But hey, at least I entertained myself for a good two hours practicing facial expressions.                                                                       935974_10201083898995230_1309614194_ntruck3-20131006_141951

3. James Turrell’s Aten Reign (2013):1003170_10200663410643284_1123671427_nLuckily, I was in NYC to see Turrell’s first SOLO show in a New York museum since 1980, at the Guggenheim (WHAT A YEAR FOR THIS ESTABLISHMENT). But actually. Turrell has always focused on light, perception, colour, and space. And what better a place to create a show than in the rotunda designed by renowned architect Frank LLoyd Wright. A few words to describe the experience I would say are: MESMERISING, CAPTIVATING, and SPIRITUAL.

Turrell plays with your senses, primarily sight, having colours fade between different hues and tones. From black, grey, blue, purple, pink, red, orange, colours come and go in a timely manner. Yet time is of no worry when laying below the rotunda absorbing this monumental exhibition.

1070028_10200663411843314_959533646_n1000219_10200663413003343_824181635_n1016934_10200663408203223_182170698_n1000441_10200663406963192_615031321_n          To be able to witness such a show was something I never dreamed of. I have always wanted to go out and see his Roden Crater Project, but to be honest, it is literally in the middle of nowhere. One day I may get around to going to visit it, but for now I am fully satisfied with Aten Reign.

Well my dear followers, that is all for now. More coming to you very soon!

XX, CHC (follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

Modernism in Madrid

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El Museo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza  in Madrid has quite an incredible collection from MEDIEVAL to MODERN Art MASTERS – but it is their Modern section that BLEW ME AWAY. From Rothko to Lichtenstein, to Mondrian (pictured above, New York City, 3 (unfinished), 1941,) and more, their Modern collection, is IMPRESSIVE, to say the least. Below are some pictures of my favourite works from the collection… If you are ever in Madrid, get out your camera, iPhone, or whatever (because YES, you CAN take pictures – but NO FLASH please) and CAPTURE these paintings, after taking them in.

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Left to Right: Morris Louis, Pillars of Hercules, 1960. Rothko, Untitled, 1961. Clyfford Still, Untitled, 1965.

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Lichtenstein, Woman in Bath, 1963.

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Rauschenberg, Express, 1963.

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Rosenquist, Smoked Glass, 1962.

These LARGER than life canvases will leave a lasting impression on you – guarantee it.

XX, DP

Fresh in a Classic Institution – Jan Fabre @ The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Brussels

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Museums usually tend to be places of deep contemplation. Rarely does humour and comedy come to mind when referring to such an institution. However, The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of BRUSSELS has invited contemporary artist Jan Fabre to display 36 bronze and wax busts in his exhibition called Chapters I-XVIII Waxes & BronzeAmongst the FAMOUS Flemish OLD MASTERS, such as Rubens and Breugel, one can fund these chucklesome busts (with faces that mirror those similar to Damien Hirst’s outlandish poses – or so some of them appear to be). These 36 busts are all self-portraits of the artist, mimicking art historical references, yet bringing them into the contemporary in a comical way. Fabre’s self-portraits are made of clean shiny bronze diverging from the usual dark dreary bronze that were used during the 19th century – very Koons-esque. The seriousness of these sculptures are also obliterated by poses of the artist laughing, smiling, and sticking out his tongue with sunglasses, unicorn horns, deer horns, and various other mythical creature features.

For me at least, these busts bring a light humour to a very stern environment. It relaxes us from the strict setting of the Museum and allows us (or for me at least) to not be as serious and remind us to enjoy the beauty of the art surrounding us.  Fabre describes that he, through making these portraits “…laugh[s] with myself. You see the obstinate Jan Fabre, the coarse Jan Fabre, the diabolic Jan Fabre, and the foolish Jan Fabre. There is a kind of irony in it, of course.” This of course is not to discredit his work altogether as foolishness. Fabre is also cleverly studying and contemplating the medium of historical self-portraiture, the human body, and more importantly how we situate and are aware of our own existence within the world we live in. However, he does this in a playful way, which is refreshing.

If you have a chance to come visit Brussels, then I highly recommend you come visit The Museum of Fine Arts of Brussels. Kill two birds with one stone – get your fix of the Old Masters with a Contemporary TWIST.

PEACE OUT, K