Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Gift; Elliott Erwitt's Dogs

A heartfelt and original tribute to man's best friend, this collection focuses on Elliott Erwitt's distinctive photographs of dogs. Ranging from daring little imps to lumbering and gentle beasts, the photographer who has also been called the "Woody Allen of photography", delights in focussing his gift of observation on animals as well as humans - and, especially, on all-too-human situations. In Dogs, he captures all the diversity of the canine kingdom.

Elliott Erwitt, the son of Russian immigrants, was born in Paris and grew up in Milan. He lives and works in New York.

© Elliott Erwitt's Dogs - Small Edition, Paris, France, 1989, published by teNeues.
Photo © 2012 Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos

© Elliott Erwitt's Dogs - Small Edition, London, England, 1966, published by teNeues
Photo © 2012 Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos

© Elliott Erwitt's Dogs - Small Edition, England, 1974, published by teNeues
Photo © 2012 Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos

Courtesy of the artist and teNeues

This post is featured on the HuffPost

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

YUE MINJUN: L' Ombre du fou rire or The Shadow of giggles

Start your day with a good laugh with L'Ombre du fou rire, a series of paintings peopled by enigmatically laughing characters, the first major exhibition in Europe dedicated to the Chinese artist Yue Minjun.

Born in 1962 in the city of Daqing in Heilongjiang Province in China, Yue Minjun is an icon of contemporary Chinese painting. Considered one of the protagonists of "Cynical Realism," an art movement that emerged after the student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989, he began developing his own distinctive iconography in the 1990s, which combines pictorial references with historical references.

Yue Minjun's paintings are immediately recognizable: they are painted in bright colors on large canvases and featured almost exclusively laughing male figures, all which are self-portraits presented either as a single figure or replicated over and over again to form a battalion of grinning frozen-faced clones. These figures appear in grotesque poses or in mock execution scenes, creating an atmosphere of tension that oscillates between the lighthearted and the outrageous, the mundane and the excessive, offering an often implicit satire of contemporary Chinese society.

Yue Minjun's participation in the Venice Biennale in 1999 brought him worldwide fame and opened the doors of the international art market to him. Today, Yue Minjun is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation.

Yue Minjun, L'Ombre du fou rire is currently on exhibit at the Fondation Cartier, from November 14, 2012 to March 17, 2013.

Yue Minjun
L'Ombre du fou rire
Untitled, 1994
© Yue Minjun

Sky, 1997
© Yue Minjun

The Sun, 2000
© Yue Minjun

AD 3009, 2008
© Yue Minjun

Bystander, 2011
© Yue Minjun

I am Dragon-3, 2008
© Yue Minjun

Memory-2, 2000
© Yue Minjun

Untitled, 1998
© Yue Minjun

Water, 1998
© Yue Minjun

Portrait of Yue Minjun in his studio, Beijing, May 2007
© Yue Minjun
Photo courtesy Yue Minjun Studio

Yue Minjun, L'Ombre du fou rire
November 14, 2012 to March 17, 2013

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Intricate and Fascinating: Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye's Paper Wigs for the Victoria & Albert museum

Paper-Cut-Project is a company based in Atlanta, and co-founded in 2010 by Amy Flurry with Nikki Nye. Flurry and Nye make paper styling props for high end fashion productions and their clients include Hermes, Cartier, Kate Spade, Christies, The Bay and the Cartoon Network.

Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye were commissioned a 16-piece collection of paper wigs for the Victoria & Albert museum's "Hollywood Costume" show that is currently on exhibit in London.

" We were approached last summer by the exhibit's curator, Deborah Landis, who wanted the hair to be representative of that particular character, but interpreted in a way that would elevate the overall experience for the viewer.
The draw to the wigs is a subtle one, but when they do catch your eye, you linger longer, you make out that this minimalist detail was painstakingly made in paper! "
~~~Amy Flurry

It took the artist duo Flurry and Nye a little more than two months to create 16 exquisite paper wigs.

Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye

Courtesy of the artists, Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye
October 20, 2012 - January 27, 2013

This post is featured on the HuffPost Arts & Culture

Thursday, November 29, 2012

GODDESSES AND SUBDITS; The exquisite artwork of Mariana Monteagudo

This post is my third one on Mariana Monteagudo's stunning doll sculptures. Her latex, ceramic and mixed-media dolls are intriguing and fascinating. Her artwork covers a wide range of expressions, from the pre-Columbian aesthetics, to fashion, pop culture, Japanese manga and mass-market toys.

Mariana Monteagudo is a Venezuelan artist who has been working on various series of Muñecas (Dolls) over the last decade. Muñecas is the generic term Monteagudo uses to describe her creations since 1998. She has received several awards, and her artwork has been featured in solo, group shows and fairs in Madrid, Miami, Chicago, Aruba, Caracas, New York, Sao Paulo, and other venues. Monteagudo's striking and unusual pieces have attracted the attention of many critics and her work is part of the MOLAA Museum in California, Everson Museum, NY, Cesar Gaviria Trujillo Collection, Columbia, among other contemporary art collections.

In my latest 2012 series, Goddesses & Subdits, I wanted to make an interpretation of the power of beauty and femininity over others. These goddesses, queens and princesses are at the top of their society. They look over their shoulders and watch us from another dimension. They are powerful, magnetic, proud, coquette, dominant and they know how to cast their spell....
~~~Mariana Monteagudo

Mariana Monteagudo lives and works in Miami, Florida. Her artwork is on display at JustMad Mia art fair, Soho Studios at The Wynwood Convention Center, Miami.

Mariana Monteagudo
Goddesses & Subdits

Courtesy of the artist
Images © Mariana Monteagudo
Goddesses & Subdits 
JustMad Mia art fair 2012, Miami, FL
December 6 - 9, 2012

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gangnam For Freedom - Anish Kapoor and Friends

Leading members of the cultural world gathered at Anish Kapoor's London studio to make a special Gangnam Style film in support of the artist, Ai Weiwei. The film has been choreographed by Akram Khan. Those who took part included artists Mark Wallinger, Bob and Roberta Smith and Tom Phillips, dancers Tamara Rojo and Deborah Bull, Southbank Centre Director Jude Kelly and many others.

Kapoor's film has won support from various human rights organizations, among them, Amnesty International, Liberty, Index on Censorship and The Helen Bamber Foundation. The Gangnam style film has just been posted on YouTube:

" Our film aims to make a serious point about freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It is our hope that this gesture of support for Ai Weiwei and all prisoners of conscience will be wide-ranging and will help to emphasize how important these freedoms are to us all."
~~~Anish Kapoor

Ai Weiwei's parody of rapper PSY's popular music film used handcuffs to comment on the lack of freedom in China. The film was immediately removed from the web by the Chinese authorities.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Frimousses de Créateurs 2012: "YES FUTUR" !

Since 2003, the Frimousses de Créateurs action has been symbolizing the extraordinary alliance between fashion, art and humanitarian involvement. Every year, fashion houses, jewelers, artists and designers exert their talent for the benefit of children from Darfur. Organized by UNICEF the sweet Frimousses will celebrate their 10th anniversary with the theme "Yes Futur".

This event offers to great figures such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Dior an opportunity to consolidate their loyalty, and for new creators such as Roure, the French jeweler or the painter Carlos Cruz-Diez an opportunity to get involved into this solidarity action.

This year, from November 27 to December 2, the "artwork" dolls will be on display at the Petit Palais. The auction will take place in this exceptional location, a unique place for the first time in 10 years. Viewers will be able to admire the exquisite creations and may succumb to one of these Frimousses.

Here are some of my favorite Frimousses.

Jean Paul Gaultier


Issey Miyake



Dolce Gabbana

Maison Lesage by Hubert Barrère

Giorgio Armani

Yulia Yanina


See post on Frimousses de Créateurs 2011
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CHAN-HYO BAE: Punishment Project

Since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2007, Chan-Hyo Bae (born 1975, Busan, South Korea) has expressed in his work the feelings of cultural and emotional estrangement he experienced when his first came to study in England. His 'Existing in Costume' series saw him posing in a variety of female historical western costumes. Researched in meticulous detail, he created elaborate scenes of himself as a noblewoman from Elizabethan to Regency periods.

The main project of Punishment Project is 'power' and 'will to power'. At the outset, it was 'punishment' that I focused on in the process of approaching these topics. However, my interest reached the matter of power, in that punishment is ultimately related to exercising power. 

In other words, I intend to express that desire for power in the human nature can be shown as a strong prejudice against the difference from other culture. Furthermore, through this work, I want to explore the process that I can deliberate on my existence.

This will be progressed in three steps. Firstly, I choose some power holders in English history. Secondly, as the background of my works, I highlight how these historical power holders made the political conflicts with their rivals and how they prosecuted punishments in order to show their political power and authority. Finally, I describe the opposite emotions between the political power holder and his or her rivals, and maximizing reflecting my point of view in this conflict background. By doing this, I intend to visualize my feeling and sense of isolation and prejudice in the process expressing five political power holders in English history.
~~~ Chan-Hyo Bae

Chan-Hyo Bae lives and works in London, UK.

Chan-Hyo Bae
Punishment Project
Anne Boleyn, 2012
Copyright © Chan-Hyo Bae

Charles I, 2012
© Chan-Hyo Bae

Guy Fawkes, 2012
© Chan-Hyo Bae

Henry VIII, 2012
© Chan-Hyo Bae

Mary Stuart, 2012
© Chan-Hyo Bae

Robert Devereux, 2012
© Chan-Hyo Bae

Thomas Cranmer, 2012
© Chan-Hyo Bae

From the series Existing in Costume
Sleeping Beauty, 2009
© Chan-Hyo Bae

Courtesy of the artist
Punishment Project was on exhibit at Trunk Gallery, Korea
October 25th, 2012
Upcoming solo exhibition at Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
February 26th, 2013

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