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 & Bronze. Amongst 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 These 36 busts are all self-portraits of the artist, mimicking art historical references, yet bringing them into the contemporary in a comical way.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
So two weeks later more NEW works have been put on display through all the construction at Tate Modern. Besides the ROTHKO room reopening THANK GOODNESS, some truly CONTEMPORARY pieces are now being shown on display. Could Tate Modern now be collecting for the future, and this Contemporary Art that is on display be the future work of the past? Think about it…
Be Curious. Contemplate. What is your he(ART) telling you?
A couple weeks ago, upon my return to my native land, AMURICA, I went to Philadelphia to visit my grandmother for her birthday (shout out to PHYLLIS) who too is an art historian. She took me on several art adventures that made me realise the world of art in Philadelphia is rivalling that of which NYC has to offer. For example, the plethora of GREATNESS Philadelphia Museum of Art has to on view is INCREDIBLE. They have an amazing collection of Jasper JOHNS, Cy TWOMBLY, BRANCUSI, PICASSO and more! While some of you are thinking, NYC is just WAY BETTER, I dare you to go to Philly, check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and be BLOWN AWAY.
Flashlight and Lightbulb
Fifty Days at Illiam
The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even
IS THIS NOT AMAZING?! WHAT A COLLECTION?! And it keeps on going:
Elegy to the Spanish Republic
I think you get it by now… PHILLY’s art is SPECTACULAR… and this was just one museum. They have the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, and many more! Check it out peeps! Get Cultured!!!!
P.S. Did I mention the steps leading up to this museum are the steps ROCKY trained on?! Does the view look familiar? The only thing that irritates me about this, even though it is incredibly riveting, is that tourists come just for the steps, and not the art – what a shame!
P. P. S…. Street Art originated between NYC and PHILLY. So keep your eyes open!
Which portrait is better? Kate just had her first “royal” portrait, and let me tell you, it looks far from royal. While she may be a “commoner” she has married into the Royal family. At least give her some jewels. But that was not the case here. I truly believe the artist made her portrait less significant than Dürer’s self portrait from 1500.
While Dürer made himself look like Jesus – notice the hair, the facial features, the religious hand signal, the glamorous coat… Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has been painted to almost blend into the background and has been blurred – almost appearing like a vampire. Nevertheless, what I still cannot get over are the great similarities between both portraits.
Notice their forehead space. The shape of their eyebrows. The hair as a framing device. Skin exposed to make their necks look elongated. Perched lips. And both are set against a dark background to bring the figure to the foreground. However, Kate’s is created in a less realistic manner than Dürer. How can this be?!
It is so ridiculous that it is not even worthy of being a royal portrait.
She needs a re-do. Yes, I said it.
There ya go. If you wish to see it in person, please feel free to go to the National Portrait Gallery in London. See for yourself.