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.)

10557312_10203322973970705_6954209436528976551_n

10698667_10203322973130684_1295995222843565977_n

1381851_10203322972090658_5239471742417596376_n

10486003_10203322976530769_2732442317719561484_n

 

XX,

CHC

@CultureHeARTs

Advertisements

Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” at Its Finest

Cliff House

Rachel Feinstein, Cliff House, 2014

Supermodel, sculptor, set-designer artist, and a muse of many, Rachel Feinstein has conquered several aspects of the creative industry. Mrs. Feinstein (married to artist John Currin) has now become an even greater cultural international sensation, with her FIRST US public art installation, in New York City, Folly.

Feinstein’s latest creations can be found in Madison Square Park. These whimsical like set pieces, reminiscent in construction to the set designed for Marc Jacobs for his Fall/Winter 2012 show however, smaller, brings a fantastical sense to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

What appear to be cardboard cut-outs with hand drawn accents, these site-specific sculptures are contoured aluminium panels concealed with vinyl decals with graphite like doodle accents. These hand-like touches, to me, can develop a more personal connection between the viewer and each sculpture. Look at these non-functioning architectural fairy tale esque works and imagine them as drawings in a book you read as a child. Think Anastasia, Cinderella, Snow White, maybe even Alice in Wonderland – and now put a Rococo and Baroque twist on them. While these are not her references – these are what I recall.

“Flying Ship,” “Rococo Hut,” and “Cliff House” are the titles of the three works that you can find staged in the park until September 7th.

We highly suggest you see these before they are taken down!

 

GO GO GO!

-CHC

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

koons2

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.

20140727_152536 (1)

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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).

20140727_152300

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.

A Twist on Relational Aesthetics

mcd1

Happy Meal” by Montreal artist Thierry Marceau at Joyce Yahouda is no longer in exhibition but is definitely worth mentioning! Why may you ask? What importance does it hold? And why bring it up now? Well, my friends this display by Thierry Marceau displayed the past, relational aesthetics, and celebrated the gallery space in a number of new and exciting ways. 

The ethos surrounding “Happy Meal” was the exploration of the relationship between POPULAR CULTURE and the King of Pop Art, ANDY WARHOL. Marceau transformed the gallery space into a playground of kitschy, gauche McDonald icons in conversation with the late Mr. Warhol.

Upon entering the space, the viewer walks beneath the iconic GOLDEN ARCHES into a McD’s haven. The viewer was then confronted with images, installations and sculptures all relating to that franchise we all know so well and love. Chicken nuggets play in what looks like a play pen, hamburgers sculptures, friends of Ronald McDonald, images and video installations of Ronald McDonald play throughout the gallery space, where viewers could sit on comfy red and yellow pillows mirroring those playgrounds kids are so often used to playing in at the restaurant.

To the left of this so-called McDonald’s sanctuary lay another room. Covered in silver paper, hung images of Marceau depicted as Warhol imitating the environment of THE FACTORY. These two rooms adjacent to each other seem to fit perfectly next to one another – the King of Pop commenting on one of the largest popular culture phenomenon’s that has taken over internationally.

Now, I that I have explained the space, why might you ask is this innovative or any different? What struck me about this exhibition was the underlying celebration of our postmodern world we live in today.

What Marceau essentially created was a place of deconstruction where we could look at the past, and our current situation today and find new ways of interpreting the past to our current situation. This exhibition plays upon this relatively new 90’s theory art historians like to call RELATIONAL AESTHETICS, but puts a twist on it.

Marceau created a space where the viewer could INTERACT, take part and come to ones own conclusions. There was no need for the artist to coerce the audience into interaction because the space he created did this itself. We walk around see what we see and come to our own conclusions. Maybe Warhol was celebrating this global franchise that links people, cultures society together. Maybe he was making a mockery of how culture becomes so wrapped up in our consumer goods and getting a bang for our buck. This twist for me was new and exciting, because I felt an instant conversation arise between myself, McDonald’s and Warhol. Marceau breathed new life into a late artist and older artistic movement. It was NEW, EXCITING, and FRESH. That’s what ART should be.

PEACE OUT, K

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)

Basel-ed Out. Still.

For many, ART BASEL Miami is a massive PARTY. For some who are not buyers, yet MASSIVE fans of truly GREAT ART… this may have been the most exhausting but incredibly exciting week for you. And now that it’s over, we all still need a vacation.

But let’s not forget the art that we saw that came in from every corner of the earth. Here are some images we captured from galleries all across Basel…And we LOVED every minute of it!

Check it out!

Yayoi Kusama:1459123_10201503831533281_2110772222_n

Marina Abramovic (Rhythm 4)1452203_10201503831093270_82938410_n

Jenny Holzer (Men Don’t Protect You Anymore)575310_10201503820973017_1912698743_n

Yinka Shonibare1463457_10201503836533406_2136920761_n

Daniel Buren1479459_10201503831933291_2134694445_n

Ai Wei Wei1470131_10201503834453354_447477375_n

I mean, is this not spectacular??? AND this is only a few of the hundreds of thousands of artists shown. And not only that, this is like .000000001% of the art shown.

Spectacular is an understatement. Was it worth the exhaustion? ABSOLUTELY. I would do it all over again in a he(ART)beat.

Well kids,

Have a FAB Holiday and New Years!

XX,

CHC (follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

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

fabresite-983x10001350_jan_fabre_wax_c7_chapter_vii_0

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