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)

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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

Some Highlights from Venice: Ze Peggy Guggenheim Collection… aka AMAZINGGGGGG

Breath taking. Fantastic. Phenomenal. Incredible. Mind-blowing. MODERN ART… There are no other better words to describe some of the highlights I saw at the Peggy Guggenheim this week in Venice – ITALY, duh (p.s don’t forget she slept with a lot of these artists hence her nickname “THE MISTRESS OF MODERN ART”)…

Let the works speak for themselves:

ROTHKO

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PICASSO

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LEGER

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STELLA

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AND… last but NOT least… the most awe-inspiring combination of works that I saw – a Barnett NEWMAN ZIP hung above a Carl ANDRE sculpture. WOW. LOVE. OBSESSED.

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Enjoy. Take it all in. I am still working on it. But actually.

GET INSPIRED. GET CULTURED. He(ART) the ART.

XX, DP

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).

XX, DP

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.

Maybe Parents Should Take Their Children to Museums More Often… Just Saying – Mark Rothko

After watching this video, I couldn’t help but think that as cute as these munchkins are Mark Rothko is more than a slice of bread or three different colour towels… Watch for yourself… Oh and Dear Schools in America who are cutting Art Education… maybe this will persuade you to put more money towards it. Art is culture. Culture is life. It defines who we are.

Kids need to be educated. Not just cute.

Just saying, don’t take this personally. I know they are youngsters but they know da Vinci and van Gogh! Oy. Oy. Oy.

XX, DP

Yellowism – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

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Mark Rothko. An artistic genius. He may have had psychological issues, but that did not stop his creativity. Shockingly, a stupid idiot, excuse my harsh language, decided to deface one of the Seagram Murals at Tate Modern – as we all know. And what was his punishment? TWO YEARS IN JAIL?! That is all?! Dear Mr. Yellowism, you have committed a sin against artistic humanity. You should forever stay in jail. Your punishment is minimal and disheartening. Maybe you will one day learn that actions speak louder than words. A random psychotic outburst in front of the painting would have been much more entertaining than you defacing cultural property. And for that, I bid you farewell. Enjoy your time in jail.

xx, DP