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.
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’s 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.
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.
Click the image to get the printable PDF board game.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
October 6th, 2014
I saw an interesting show at Marianne Boesky Gallery recently: Roxy Paine, Denuded Lens. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a huge diorama depicting an airport security station, titled Checkpoint (2014), which is a fantastically interesting work, but at this point I’m going to write about a piece in the show whose subject matter hits a little closer home to my heart … a sculpted “pinball machine.” If you’ve seen our coverage at The Arts Adventurer about our trip to the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park, you’ll know that I love pinball.
At any rate, let’s check out Roxy Paine’s pinball machine, a sculpture titled Intrusion. It’s a life-size pinball machine, but rather than having pinball elements that one would expect to see, such as bumpers and flippers, it’s consisting of a surface that looks like a carved or chiseled rock formation. Scroll down below the picture for more info on this piece …
Upon doing a little research, I’ve learned that this surface is a reproduction of a 40-foot-high formation of granite that the artist found in Massachusetts and painstakingly documented with a process including 3-D scans. The artist explains, “It was actually a formation I drove by, and I became obsessed with it … it’s about seeing this entity not as a beautiful landscape, but as something to be broken into component parts and reconstructed.” He further explains, “the geologic formation represents a conception of time, deep time, the time of billions of years … that conception is collided with the briefest of moments: the time of a human playing a game with a device.” There’s something about the surface quality of the whole piece – every sculpture in this show is made out of maple wood – that really draws the eye to scan all over the piece, noting the details and precision in which everything is presented.
The show remains up through October 18th, and the Marianne Boesky Gallery is located at 509 West 24th Street in New York City. If you can make it over there, it’s definitely worth a visit.
October 6th, 2014
I saw this strip of stickers (below left) laying on the ground when I took the dogs for a walk today, and recognized it as the handiwork of a sticker graffiti artist, who peels off the sticker and slaps them up who knows where. But as I looked closer, I see that as “Giver” was filling up his (or her) sheet of stickers, there came a moment of doubt where “Giver” turns into “Give?” twice before going back to “Giver.”
A search for “giver graffiti” didn’t give any leads on this local artist, but did turn up a graffiti artist in Oakland who goes by “Gift Giver,” below right. So now we’ve got a generous graffiti artist in addition to an uncertain graffiti artist.
October 3rd, 2014
I saw a great show of photographs by the Chinese artist Liu Bolin at the Klein Sun Gallery, which remains on view at the gallery through November 1st.
Liu Bolin is a master of disguise in that he disappears into his large-scale photographs by carefully painting his face and body to match the photographed location. In this piece, titled Hiding in the City – Art No. 1, 2013, Bolin has camouflaged himself in front of the Jackson Pollock masterpiece Convergence, from 1952, which is in the permanent collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Here’s another one of my favorites from the show, where he’s standing in front of a magazine rack … I can’t find the formal title, but it’s pretty amazing the way he seamlessly fits in. Scroll down for two close-up details from both of these pieces so that you can see him better.
Klein Sun Gallery was founded by Eli Klein in 2007 and has an international reputation as one of the foremost galleries specializing in Chinese contemporary art. The gallery is located at 525 West 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in NYC. We also covered one of their exhibitions featuring the work of Li Hongbo last January … check it out here.