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The Fine Art of Hiding One’s Face

October 23rd, 2014

In the short course of reading some news online, I came across these two interesting photographs, both of which have the subjects hiding their faces with some art … it seemed like an unlikely coincidence to happen upon these images within just a few minutes of each other, but I like them both on their own as well as together.

On the left, we have a photograph of a young Honduran migrant who didn’t want to reveal his face, hiding behind a painting he found in a guard shack, while waiting with a group of migrants for a northbound train in Mexico. This photograph was taken by Rebecca Blackwell, who works for the Associated Press.

On the right, we have a photograph of the artist Hans Haacke, taken by Misha Friedman. Haacke is known to have often resisted allowing his face to be photographed, because he says that artists are too often fetishized as personalities. I find that a bit curious, because doesn’t the act of always hiding his face add a sense of mystery to his personality?

a Honduran migrant worker and the artist Hans Haacke


The Arts Adventurer in the Hanging Gardens of Montparnasse

October 22nd, 2014

While my journey to Paris via The Arts Adventurer took place nearly two years ago, I kind of ran out of steam in the effort to tell the full story and cover all of the adventures. But seeing as my wife will soon be leaving for Paris on a business trip next month, it rekindled my memories and my urge to complete the story … so I’ve just posted Chapter 6: The Hanging Gardens of Montparnasse. I’ll try my best to not let too much time go by again before moving on and adding the following chapters, since it was my exploration of Montmartre after Montparnasse where it really started to get pretty interesting. But for now, check out Jardin Atlantique, known as “The Hanging Gardens,” a preview of which below will not exactly explain why they’re “hanging gardens” (for that, you need to read the post!).

The Hanging Gardens of Montparnasse as explored by The Arts Adventurer


The Gallery Insider: Tam Van Tran

October 21st, 2014

We’re still in the process of moving over our “Gallery Insider” series to the website, and have just posted our coverage of Tam Van Tran’s exhibition last year at the Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe Gallery in New York City. If you’re not familiar with our Gallery Insider series, we visit contemporary art gallery exhibitions in New York and come away with highlights of the exhibition along with essential questions related to the show that teachers can utilize with their classes. It’s a great way to take a break from discussing art concepts only in the context of art history and instead cover those concepts with contemporary art.

You can get an overview of our Gallery Insider series here, and please check back, as we have several more already completed that we will soon add to the site, and of course we’ll continue with new coverage of current shows happening in New York City this fall.

art works by Tam Van Tran


Lamp For Haiti: 2nd Annual Evening of Art, Culture, and Fun

October 21st, 2014

Lamp for Haiti is a non-governmental, non-sectarian organiation providing health care and community support to residents in Cite Soleil, a community of over 200,000 living in poverty in Haiti. They will be hosting their 2nd annual Evening of Art, Culture and Fun on Friday, November 7th, 2014, at The Commonwealth Club in Upper Montclair, NJ. The evening will include food and drink, Haitian music, and an art show and sale, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to projects in Haiti.

Some of the projects that have been recently completed, as you can see below, are the acquisition of an X-ray machine and a 2-room addition to the Health Care Center. Lamp for Haiti works with local residents, other Haitian professionals, and both governmental and nongovernmental partners. For more information on Lamp for Haiti and this upcoming event, visit their website here.

Lamp for Haiti is a non-profit assisting in health care for Haitians in poverty


Picasso’s studio at the Bateau Lavoir, birthplace of Cubism

October 21st, 2014

While our sister site The Arts Adventurer has been around for a few years, the most popular “adventure” viewed on a regular basis is our trip to Paris in the fall of 2012, and in particular, our search for the birthplace of Cubism. This “birthplace,” of course, was the studio of Pablo Picasso at the Bateau Lavoir, a building which once housed a piano factory and had been turned into artists’ studios by the landlord in 1889 (Picasso didin’t move in until 1904). Today, one can visit this area, but the actual studio is not open to the public; there‚Äôs a small storefront with a plaque noting the history of the building. And as you can see from the picture below left, the entrance to the hallway where one could find Picasso’s studio over a hundred years ago is very bland and simple and offers no real insight as to the creative endeavors that once went on inside.

To see more of our current-day explorations of this area in Montmartre and some more history that we dug up regarding Picasso’s time there, check out our visit to Le Bateau Lavoir here.

Picasso's studio, birthplace of cubism, Le Bateau Lavoir in Montmartre


Robert Smithson Spiral Jetty board game

October 19th, 2014

Check out our new Robert Smithson “Spiral Jetty” game, where two players can race each other out to the end of the Spiral Jetty and back … it’s one of Artsology’s “print-and-play” games, in which you can print out a PDF with the game and instructions which can be played with a dice and two pieces, like a regular board game. Click the link above to go to our web page with an intro to the game along with a link to the PDF, or just click the image below to go directly to the printable PDF.

Robert Smithson Spiral Jetty arts game for kids

Click the image to get the printable PDF board game.


Students at the Jeff Koons Retrospective

October 17th, 2014

I was surprised to see several school groups on field trips to the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum today … there’s plenty of Koons’ pieces that would be interesting to see and hear how the kids react, but there’s also enough adult-related material that I would think a teacher and/or tour guide would have to be pretty careful as to how they lead the kids through the galleries.

At any rate, I saw this group of kids quietly seated in front of Koons’ stainless steel Rabbit from 1986, and they were all busy drawing their own rabbits, as you can see from my looking over the shoulder of this boy, below right. I saw another group of kids in front of one of the Hulk sculptures, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

kids from a NYC public school visit the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney


Moroccan Folk Art

October 15th, 2014

I love this “motorcycle gang” of folk art biker figures in a Moroccan street scene, which I saw last summer at Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One could spend all day at this museum, as they have a huge room with countless little tableaus of folk art figures from countries from around the world.

motorcycle bikers in a Moroccan folk art tableau in the Girard Wing at the International Folk Art Museum


Living the dreamy artistic life with Roche Bobois

October 14th, 2014

I’m not sure how I got on Roche Bobois’s mailing list, but every time I receive their catalog in the mail, I am slightly amused by the incredible fantasy life that they portray. Don’t get me wrong, I think their furniture and general offerings are gorgeous, but the homes in which their artistic director sets the photo shoots are so far-fetched as to only feel familiar to the jet-set crowd. Let’s look at this example below from their 2014 Fall/Winter Collections: the bed itself doesn’t seem completely unattainable, but how many people live in a home with ancient Greek frescoes, modern sculpture, and a huge open wall that looks out on a yard that resembles the grounds of Versailles? And in the midst of this luxurious environment, the homeowner didn’t even bother to make his or her bed and knocked all the pillows to the floor …! I guess the crew that comes in to dust the modern sculpture will make the bed for them. Wouldn’t that be the life? Or maybe there’s a golf course in that back yard and there was such a rush to tee-off from the bedroom that there wasn’t time to make the bed. Aah, the fantasies can continue on and on from this picture! It’s actually kind of fun …

ancient Greek frescoes and the grounds of Versailles as seen from a bedroom


The Nose Knows

October 9th, 2014

When I was a teenager, my Dad gave me a t-shirt with a simple cartoon face on it with the slogan “The Nose That Came Out in the Cold.” I wish I had a picture of that t-shirt to show you, because the whole concept was kind of strange – but of course that’s why I liked wearing the shirt, to confuse people with this unusual slogan. The back story of the t-shirt was that my Dad had an eccentric friend who had always had a mustache, and at one point decided to shave it off, at which point he made up these t-shirts and gave them out to his friends. Still confused about “coming out in the cold?” I grew up in Minnesota, so maybe that will explain why a mustache-free nose might get a little cold.

At any rate, seeing this sculpture by Li Hongbo reminded me of “the nose that came out in the cold.” It almost looks like someone took a very precise saw and cut out the nose from an ancient Greek or Roman marble sculpture … except Hongbo’s sculpture is made of paper. Stacks of paper that are bound and can be pulled apart like accordians … am I confusing you as much as that funny t-shirt did to others? Check out our coverage from last January of Li Hongbo’s amazing sculptures which were on display at the Klein Sun Gallery in NYC. Make sure to watch the video to see the accordian-style in action.

sculpture made of paper made to look like ancient Greek marble sculpture


Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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