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Archive for the ‘Photo of the day’ Category

The Fine Art of Hiding One’s Face

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Students at the Jeff Koons Retrospective

Friday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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

Roxy Paine, “Denuded Lens” at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Monday, 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 …

pinball sculpture titled Intrusion by Roxy Paine at Marianne Boesky Gallery

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.

An uncertain graffiti artist

Monday, 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.

graffiti in Glen Ridge, NJ and graffiti in Oakland, CA

Mother Nature as a pointillist artist

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

I was walking the dogs the other day and it was shortly after we had a light rain shower. I first noticed the raindrops on a red leaf, below left, and was amazed by how evenly spread out they were without dripping off the edge into the grass. This, of course, then heightened my awareness of where else I could find interesting rain drop patterns, and I found a few more. In the middle, below, we have raindrops on the hood of a Mercedes; and below right we have a nice straight line right down the middle of the leaf on a sedge plant. Scroll down for two more – my favorite one is below left, raindrops on a spiderweb stretched across some pachysandra, and then one more below right on a regular leaf.

raindrops looking like pointillist art

mother nature as a pointillist artist

Not your typical chalk drawing

Monday, September 29th, 2014

I saw this chalk drawing on the sidewalk the other day while out walking my dogs, and was quite amazed at the sophistication of this image … I’ve seen plenty of stick figure chalk drawings and simple doodles, but what kind of kid decides to go out to the front sidewalk and draw the NYC skyline complete with sailboats in the New York harbor? I wonder if he or she was looking at a picture, or just cranked this out from memory? Love it … someone keep a tab on this kid’s future creativity!

chalk drawing depicting the Empire State Building and New York harbor

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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