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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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.

Ai Weiwei’s #Gunleg – The Current Political Trend, Art Activism

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The first thing I do when I wake up is groggily reach out for my iPhone for the time, my morning news updates, messages and emails…. AND what has become a vital part of my day, my INSTAGRAM feed. This is where I get my real news, most importantly including the THE CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF THE ART WORLD.

Naturally I assumed I would get a variety of posts when I woke up last week; however, what stared back at me from my rectangular mobile screen was a series of legs aimed like guns about to be fired into my retinas. I kept scrolling down, anxious for a family picture or a meal post, but all I kept getting were these limbs raised as if ready for WAR.

It took me a moment to realize it was the doing of NOTORIOUS Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, who posted the first picture wearing nothing than his underwear a traditional straw hat and sticking his leg out like a gun (pictured above), the artist created a visual stimulation that may address so many underlying factors, with the caption “Beijing Anti-terrorist Series”.

Naturally before overthinking this, I felt the need to JOIN IN. That evening, I took my first #gunleg photo and posted it on my Instagram, within 5 minutes, as I was checking for my followers responses, I realized that Ai Weiwei had reposted my picture. It literally made me jump with joy, as this LEGEND reposted my #GUNLEG.

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Here I am in my home in London with the artist being literally across continents, and within a space of minutes he has seen my picture and acknowledged it (see image above). Thus my OBSESSION began, and #GUNLEG is a current trend I have still not gotten enough of.

Being confined to one country has NOT stopped the artist from spreading his ideas globally. Like anyone living in our world, Weiwei took to SOCIAL MEDIA to create one of the fastest growing meme’s that may finally ‘out-post’ grumpy cat photos … This time it happens to be in the form of one of the FEW social media platforms that is UNBLOCKED and UNBANNED in China – Instagram. Now, you have the POWER to take politically charged selfles, and to get legit recognition for

Ever since several articles on the Guardian, Washington Post and BBC News to name a few have written articles trying to deduce Weiwei’s ultimate connotation, since his team have refused to respond to any inquiries. Some say it has drawn inspiration from The Red Detachment of Women, a state-sanctioned ballet that was famously shown to President Richard Nixon during his 1972 visit to China as a portrayal of women’s rise in the communist party. While others claim it is in direct correlation with the 25-year anniversary of the protests in the Tiananmen Square, satirically commenting on China’s onerous Cultural Control (The Guardian).

Although refusing to answer press questions, when pressed by the Washington Post, Weiwei replied with this ambiguous and rather mischievous answer: “It is a pure use of social media. To pick up public notions on mixed issues — the power to control individuals…terror, arms, many issues… to use the body as weapon,” he said. “You cannot do this with a novel or movie or in theater. It’s more like poetry… Some are so empty; some are so profound.”

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As we at CH say… Stand up for what you believe in. Follow your he(ART). Join the movement. Be PROACTIVE.

xx,

LZ

MILLIE BROWN: Gross, Grotesque, or Gorgeous? (Warning, Viewer Discretion Advised)

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Millie Brown. You may have heard of her. You may have not. You may have seen her in LADY GAGA’s music video (see clip below), and been like “WHO IS THIS YOUNG LADY WHO STICKS HER FINGERS DOWN HER THROAT TO VOMIT (LITERALLY VOMIT) BLUE GLITTER MILK ONTO GAGA’s GOWN?!!!” in her video “Exorcist Interlude.” Some critics are even calling her the next Jackson Pollock (read this article – I swear I am not making up this connection). Is this real life?! Sadly, yes.

She has gotten her art down to a perfection. Brown starves herself for two days. By resisting any form of nutrients, she makes sure there is nothing inside of her that would contribute negatively (if this is not sending a negative message in itself) to her abstract painting (see example through image below).

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After two days, she is ready to put on her performance. If this isn’t gross enough, you may want to STOP here. THANK YOU FOR READING, TRULY I APPRECIATE IT HOWEVER, WARNING: I GET INTO MORE DETAIL…

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Anyways, MB dyes the milk colours of her choice for the canvas. She typically sits and drinks, once in a while stands, but only drinks one colour at a time. She then regurgitates this one colour onto the canvas (see image above) until she feels it is completely out of her system. She will force her fingers down her throat multiple times. Again. And Again. And Again. Literally, until the last drop is out of that colour… And then restarts. ONTO THE NEXT COLOUR.

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While Pollock may have been a drunk, and died because of his disease, he was creating these FANTASTIC performances pieces in themselves through his movements seen by the traces of paint dripped and splattered onto the canvas.

Brown, on the other hand, who is getting LOADS of attention, and sadly I’m just feeding into it here, is, breaking away from “traditional” performance art, but is she? Think Yoko Ono “Cut Piece,” any of Marina Abramović’s “Rhythm” series, Joseph Beuys’ “I like America and America Likes Me…”All of these artists have put themselves in harm’s way. And willingly. But they were not making themselves throw up on command. Especially now, in a society that is pressured by “looks” – i’m so sorry to say this, but “WHAT THE EF?!”

What kind of a message is she sending to all societies and their youth? What message is GAGA sending?! We know GAGA is all about the arts, but she has a tremendous youth following! HOW IS THIS OK? It is one thing to test your body to the limits through strength and endurance, but it is another thing to be bulimic and be making money off of such a sick process, literally. Personally, i’d prefer one of Warhol’s “Piss” pieces. At least it was a natural bodily function.

Well CultureHe(ART)s, sorry for the disturbance, but I wanted you to be “in the know” should anyone be taking about this “new girl on the block” that vom.coms to make art.

Now it’s LADA GAGA vs. LADY GAG. OY. If you would like to see a true performance piece feel free to look it up on YouTube. I truly do not believe in sharing any more of her videos, because I believe it is sending a completely dysfunctional message, even though the finished product may be viewed to some as “beautiful” and “gorgeous.” What do you think?

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Gross, Grotesque, or Gorgeous?

XX, CHC (p.s. Like our Facebook page! Or Follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

Overreaction is a Bloody Understatement – An Example of How NOT to Take Criticism

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Everyone has the right to critique. Just “artists” or artists take it a little too personally, sometimes. Wanna be dramatic? Take it and break it. See for yourself.

But seriously, if you love what you do, why do you care what other people think? It’s just an opinion. This is not the difference between life and death.

And – Dear Girl in the Video with your “abstract” painting, you are already a fashion designer apparently, so you are established. I understand you spent a lot of time on that piece and went out of your comfort zone – but was this really necessary? Obviously you got upset and had the right to be since this painting was so personal to you that you started cursing and slammed the canvas against the wall after you kicked the frame. Maybe you should just stick to fashion?

Kids, at the end of the day… do what you do best. Follow your He(ART). Don’t listen to what other people have to say. Believe in yourself.

XX, DP

Jimmy C: The Interview

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Dearest CultureHe(ART)s – we know it has been a long time since we last posted, so we decided to come back with a BANG! SURPRISE! We got to interview the UTTERLY TALENTED Street Artist Jimmy C! Check it out!

You were born in England but grew up in Australia and studied down under, yet we see so much of your work in London… do you have just as much work up in Australia? What is the street art scene like there? I did used to have quite of work in Australia but a lot of it is probably covered over now. I was involved in the graffiti scene in Australia when I was younger, so painted a lot of walls at that time, mainly along the railway lines. I later went on to do commissioned mural works, so some of these walls are probably still up in various locations.

In relation to the street art scene, I was part of the graffiti scene back then, which was an exciting and energetic new art form at that time. It enabled me to find good friends like a family on the street. From what I have seen, the current street art scene is strong with many good artists, and I will aim to go back soon to visit.

How did you come across your infamous technique of drip/pointillist with spray paint? It looks incredibly difficult to master none the less, yet you execute it brilliantly! Does this inspiration come from Impressionism or did you come across it trying to break away from traditional types of street art? Also, do you create works in other techniques with spray paint or are you solely dedicated to your pointillist/drip technique? Thank you for your comments on this, and I first starting working with the dots when I was doing a lot of community arts workshops and mural projects in Australia. In one project I worked with an aboriginal artist who was working with the traditional dot painting technique and he asked me if it would be possible to do this on a wall with spray paint, and I said, I can’t see why not. I showed him how to make dots with the spray can and we went on to paint a wall together, combining our two styles. This led me to start thinking about dots and how to make images in this way. As my background was in figurative realism, my experimentation with the dots came to resemble a form of Impressionism or Pointillism with the spray can. In 2004 I made a series of work which I titled the Aerosol Pointillist series, but I felt that just working in dots was not really enough, which then led me to experiment with drips. That’s when I felt that I had found something more unique and personal, which I came to call the Drip Paintings, which were images made from layers of individual drips of spray paint. I also use a similar technique with lines that I call the scribble paintings. 

The works we have seen of yours are portraits of people – besides the famous people like David Bowie… who are these people? Do you know them or are they random by standards? What does it mean to you to create a portrait? And why do you choose mainly portraiture as your subject over other subjects? The human subject is the main source of inspiration behind my work, and almost all the portraits I have painted are from people I have met or had some kind of interaction with. The human subject in the context of the city is of particular interest to me, and I am trying to convey an essence of the human spirit through my painting with the consideration of hope, resilience, and compassion. I am also part of a tradition trying to seek new approaches to portraiture through painting.

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What is your favourite city to work in? What is your favourite mural you have done? I like painting here in London, and travelling to paint is always a good experience. I have painted in many cities and have great memories, which is so often connected to the people you meet at the time. One of my favourite walls is at 5 Pointz (a) in New York, as it was an honour to have worked in a place that has always celebrated the culture and diversity of styles from the hip hop tradition. Another favourite wall is in Hasselt in Belgium (b), where I got to form some great friendships. 

A:

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B:

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How do you define your style? A socio-poetical dripping (he)art.

What galleries represent you/where can your work be purchased?! We would love to know! Also, where can our followers follow YOU on social media? What are your twitter/facebook/instagram accounts for our dear friends to keep up with you on the reg(ular). I work with a gallery in Melbourne, Australia called Lindberg Galleries, and also a gallery in Lille in France called Galerie Raison d’Art. Work can also be purchased directly from my studio in London.

For more information check out Jimmy C’s website, LIKE his Facebook page, and lastly, FOLLOW him on Twitter @akajimmyc and Instagram akajimmyc.

Check out some more of his works below!

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WOW. WOW. WOW. WOWWWWWWWW. THANK YOU JIMMY C for taking time to participate in the interview and for sharing your he(ART) with us!

XX, DP and the CultureHe(ART)s Team

p.s. Follow us on Instagram: CultureHeARTs

Weird, Strange, and Morbid: Charles Matton, the Unappreciated/Unrecognised Artist

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I think in my previous posts, that I’m sure all of you have read and become dedicated CultureHe(ART)s readers – its apparent of my style of art (aka K’s style) exemplifies the WEIRD, STRANGE, and the MORBID. This is why when I stumbled upon the French artist Charles Matton (1931 – 2008), I was overwhelmed with happiness and curiosity. I want to share that with you. I won’t bore you to death with a biography and list of works, but I will give you a little rant on why I think he’s so great. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t.

What strikes me about Matton and his work is he was an innovator, a REBELLIOUS artist. During the Modernist period when abstraction was a predominant mode of painting and sculpture, Matton diverged. I think this was brave. He believed that abstract reality when in front of you becomes beautiful. He would paint bouquets, heads, flowers – and painting was not his sole medium. Matton has done everything from sculpture to collage to films, you name it, he’s done it.

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What strikes me most about his work, is his undeniable love for reality and being able to find beauty in the strange, the foreign – whether it be morbid such as his masochistic photographs, his pregnant sculptures or attempting to infiltrate the minds of the great artists such as Bacon and Giacometti (he created some wonderful small collages of their studios that you can look at for hours).

Charles Matton died in 2008, and this is why I am writing about him now. I think he was very under appreciated and unrecognised due to the overshadowing of modernist art and his divergence from it. He’s a bit kooky and weird – but hey who isn’t? And as I always say, “if your not weird than you are not normal.”

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What does your He(ART) think? Strange? Morbid? Beautiful?

Peace Out, K.