Friday, June 29, 2007

The Naked Portrait

I.G., Gerhard Richter

This work of Richter’s is a ‘photo-painting’ of his second wife, Isa Genzken. Richter has produced many such ‘photo-paintings’, made using a multi-step process of representations. He starts with a photograph and projects it onto his canvas, where he traces its form. Taking his colour palette from the photograph, he paints to replicate the look of the original picture. Richter’s hallmark ‘blur’ is a result of this process; it is the blurring of the boundary between photographic representation and the painterly art.
© Gehard Richter

The Naked Portrait is a bold and innovative exhibition which sets out to explore the genre of naked portraits, looking at nearly 200 works from 1906 to 2006. The exhibition takes place across two floors of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and explores the many ways in which artists have drawn, painted, printed, sculpted and photographed the naked body.

The show will feature a selection of works, including photography and painting, by a wide range of artists. From well-known figures such as Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud, Diane Arbus, Gilbert & George and Tracey Emin to lesser-known photographers and painters; as well as famous sitters including Marilyn Monroe, Rudolf Nureyev and John Lennon. »

Jane Birkin, David Bailey

The infamous photographer David Bailey had a strong presence in ‘swinging’ 1960s London, socialising with and photographing such iconic figures as the Beatles and the Kray Twins. Such was Bailey’s notoriety that he inspired David Hemmings performance in the 1966 film Blowup.

Jane Birkin originally came to the public’s attention by starring in Blowup. This photograph was taken in 1969, three years following the film’s release, and the same year in which her popular duet with Serge Gainsbourg, Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus, was released. The portrait is typical of Bailey’s close-up style that became common practice in portrait and fashion photography.
© David Bailey

My Mother and I, Elinor Carucci

Many of Elinor Carucci’s photographs are realistic portrayals of intimate scenes, often between family members. Through her camera, intensely private scenes are captured and then presented to the public.

My Mother and I is typical of Carucci’s photographic realism; the skin blemishes are clearly visible and the unconventional framing of the two women prevents the work from appearing staged. The physical interaction between mother and daughter is the real subject here: a seemingly close bond contradicted by an awkward gesture, a wedding ring and the white space between them.
© Elinor Carucci/ Courtesy Edwin Houk Gallery, New York

Human Toilet II, Sarah Lucas

Sarah Lucas was initially associated during the 1990s with the Young British Artists (YBAs). Her series titled Self-Portraits, 1990-1998, from which this work is taken, often uses humour and colloquial vocabulary to parody commonly understood metaphors for private activities and sexual behaviour.

The title of this work, Human Toilet II, brings to mind unsavoury connotations and jars comically with the image of Lucas sat holding a cistern tank.
© Sarah Lucas courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Red Turning, Jemima Stehli

In her works over the past few years, Jemima Stehli appears in the work itself, as subject or object, most often as both. She often appropriates iconic imagery from existing, often clichéd, stylistic genres such as fashion photography.

In Red Turning, the artist/model is dressed only in glossy red stilettos with her back to us. She looks slightly ridiculous, her head twisted, her hair like an advert for shampoo. However, it is Stehli who chooses her moment, who takes the picture, who objectifies herself.
© Courtesy of the artist and the Lisson Gallery, London

The Beginning, David Hockney

This is taken from a series of etchings inspired by the poems of Constantine P Cavafy (1863-1933), one of modern Greece’s most eminent poets. A homosexual, Cavafy had to keep his sexuality hidden; his poetry often recounts fleeting encounters and the reliving of such experiences through memory.

The Beginning depicts two of Hockney’s friends in London. Its sparse execution echoes the economy of Cavafy’s poetic style. The men are drawn with simplicity, tenderness and undercharged eroticism.
© David Hockney

The Naked Portrait

6th June to 2nd September 2007



Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Traute Raeume — Urban Spaces

Klaus W. Eisenlohr
Exhibition during "Inselglück, Moabiter Kulturtage" (Berlin Moabit cultural festival)

In Photography, Film and Media, Klaus W. Eisenlohr, artist and curator of "Urban Research" fame at Directors Lounge, explores the younger quarters of European cities. In the majority of cases far from the former historical city centres, these parts of the city are now the actual urban environments where most people live. And, these places have become newly evolved urban centres. While following these trails, and also undertaking art interventions, the artist investigates the social conditions of these public spaces. The resulting images, comprising spatial and urban visions, however overpass the restrictions of documentation and leap into openly pictorial creations.

This exhibition focuses on the most recent work of Klaus W. Eisenlohr from Helsinki: A large-scaled and high-resolution double projection presents a diversity of public places from the metropolitan area of the Finish capital. Some are taken from two different points-of-view, some from only slightly different camera locations, others with irritating different view points but matching compositions. Not merely with the size of the projections, which fill the field of vision of the viewer, but rather in combination with the gradual differences in POV, the series of images adds up to an almost cinematic viewing experience for the audience.

opening: friday, 29th, 8pm at Kunstagentur Friederike Hauffe

the exhibition runs only two days till first of July.
Expand for location details

30.06. — 01.07.2007

opening hours:
Fr 8—11 pm, Sa—Sun 2-8 pm

Kunstagentur Friederike Hauffe
Künstlerhaus Atelier 5
Stendaler Str. 5
10559 Berlin
2. cross building, 4.floor

invitation card (pdf)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A conversation with Todd Hido

The root of my work comes from the aberrations of my childhood and how these become attractions in adulthood.
It is about an attempt to understand how we replay, and recreate our earlier lives over and over again.
To me it all fits into me going back and responding to my history. My memory.
There is that great quote by Milan Kundera—“Memory does not make films, it makes photographs.”

Todd Hido

I mentioned Todd Hido´s eerie night-time scenes of anonymous suburban settings and lonely portraits some time ago here. Reason to do so again is a conversation bettween Todd Hido and Joerg Colberg that gives some insight into the mind of an artist in whose pictures it is forever midnight.

JC: I could imagine shooting all those night scenes in neighbourhoods some of which don't look all that appealing at times must have been a bit more exciting than the actual scenery. Did you run into problems with people wondering what you were doing in the dark around their homes?

TH: One time some guy thought I was his girlfriend’s ex-husband. That was scary until he figured out I wasn’t! But I most often go unnoticed even though I am very careful to not look like I am “lurking”. However, I never ask permission as people would mostly say no. I have tried a couple of times when I first started but got rejected right off the bat.

I don’t know about where you live but where I am people don’t take too kindly to strangers knocking on the door either.

It is a very hard process making art to begin with—just finding the right place is hard enough and half the battle. Sometimes I’ll drive around for 5-6 hours to find just the right spot—and then you find it at midnight you can’t knock on the door and ask.

When I find it I just take it. I never ever stand in someone’s yard or on their property. The police have been called several times but after they “run me though the system” and find I am not a criminal they leave. I don’t shoot power plants or airports luckily.

continue a conversation with Todd Hido

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Décor Project • Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens

Décor Project: BILLY (North View)

Hadley & Maxwell's 'Décor Project' puts the private spaces of curators and art collectors on public display. Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens have been collaborating for seven years on a variety of postmodern conceptual projects. For "The Décor Project," they asked several curators, gallery owners, and art collectors for permission to enter their homes. The artists rearranged the interiors and took photographs, then put everything back in its place. The resulting project crosses the boundary between public and private space.

Décor Project: SANDMAN (25 Years 25 Minutes I)

Décor Project: WHITE ON WHITE
White on White, a sequence of 17 photos shot once an hour throughout a single day in the home of Winnipeg curator Risa Horowitz. Judging from her questionnaire, Horowitz is a very private person, and she expressed serious reservations about two artists invading her space. In deference to her misgivings, the artists chose to shoot just one corner of the kitchen. In each of these photos, the subtle changes of light throughout the day are lovely, and the painting of date and time on the wall is reminiscent of one of Horowitz's favorite artists, On Kawara. Hadley & Maxwell took extra precautions to shield Horowitz's space from public view: Surfaces and objects throughout the room (including furniture, a radiator, a pepper mill, and a bowl of fruit) have been meticulously covered in white foam core. The resulting paradox is fascinating: a private space made public—but as a space in which every object is shielded from view by a delicate armor of white.

Décor Project: Decoy - Pouffe Event
One of those asked to participate in the project was the Frye Art Museum's new curator, Robin Held. The artists reworked Held's apartment over several days. The photographs of it are subtle, almost coy. In the most compelling of the three, Pouffe Event, Hadley & Maxwell allude to Held's stated fondness for the conceptual artist George Brecht by propping a bed on a chair (Brecht was a Fluxus artist whose works included arrangements of furniture). The focus of the photograph is on the small divot left in the carpet by the suspended bed—a sly study of absence. It also refers to Held's slightly mysterious answer to a question about her favorite object in her home: "the space under my bed."

Décor Project: Decoy - The Absent One

text source

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Art of the Ice Age

You can be sure that there has been art in Swabia for over 35,000 years
Nicholas J. Conard

The 35,000-year-old mammoth figurine was revealed on Wednesday

Archaeologists at the University of Tübingen have recovered the first entirely intact woolly mammoth figurine from the Swabian Jura, a 220-kilometer long plateau in the state of Baden-Württemberg, thought to have been made by the first modern humans some 35,000 years ago. It is believed to be the oldest ivory carving ever found.
The figure of the woolly mammoth is tiny, measuring just 3.7 cm long and weighing a mere 7.5 grams, and displays skilfully detailed carvings. It is unique in its slim form, pointed tail, powerful legs and dynamically arched trunk. It is decorated with six short incisions, and the soles of the pachyderm's feet show a crosshatch pattern. The miniature lion is 5.6 cm long, has a extended torso and outstretched neck. It is decorated with approximately 30 finely incised crosses on its spine.
The preliminary results from the excavation will be presented in a special exhibit at the Museum of Prehistory in Blaubeuren from June 24, 2007 to January 13, 2008. In 2009, the figurines will be displayed in a major state exhibition in Stuttgart entitled "Cultures and Art of the Ice Age."

more here

corrected (fixed the length of the Swabian Jura from meters to kilometers, seems the english version of spiegel is not familiar with european measures and me stupid copy Katz didn´t noticed) thanks Dan

more about the Vogelherd Caves (the place the mammoth was found)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yang Qian • Femmes à leur Toilette

Femmes à leur Toilette: Paintings by Yang Qian

A woman at her bath or “toilette” has been a persistant theme in Western art and Christian iconography. It refers to the most intimate ablutions—cleanliness and thus Godliness—of a woman's daily life. Related to the Jewish idea of the Mikvah, the theme is also a meditation on sacred and profane love, hence good and evil.
Yang Qian (“Yahn Chen”) updates these images for the contemporary viewer with steamy showers and bathrooms yet with a certain inherently oriental reticence.
A veil of steam “mist-ifies” the body as it provokes erotic desire; conceals as it reveals. Chinese modesty about the naked female body combined with the artist's skill is the source of the compelling sublety and beauty in these paintings.

Michael Berger, 2005


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Burma Shave

Most people of today's generation have never heard of Burma Shave, but ask anyone who lived in America from the 1920s into the early sixties, and you will bring up an extraordinary fixture of their past.
Burma Shave was one of the world's first brushless shaving cream manufacturers and spawned heavy competition for their product, but this certain company had an upper hand in winning over customers. Burma Shave signs were the precursor to modern billboard signs on America's earliest roads. They were an interesting diversion from long drives and began to spring up all over the country throughout the mid-twentieth century. The signs were often humorous jingles that were placed at intervals along the road, each sign showing one line of the four-part rhyme until the last sign which concluded the clever advertising scheme with "Burma-Shave".

The history...
It all began during the Roaring Twenties when the Odell family conjured up the formula after looking for a more profitable product that would be used daily by customers. Their previous product, the Burma Vita could only benefit the ill, so the family decided to persue a wider market. After repeated experimentation on the new brushless shaving cream, the product was finally born and ready for sale.
Several poor marketing ploys were used at first which forced the family business try new alternatives. Alan Odell came up with the idea of the signs, which would relieve him of his tiring travel duties, but his father did not accept the idea immediately. After some persuasion, the first signs were put up in 1925, and remained as American landmarks until about 1963.

The original signs did not rhyme, but were usually a series of four signs, each having something to say about the product. Travelers began requesting for the product after seeing the funny lines on the road and Burma Shave began to expand production for the demanding druggists. Sales were going through the roof, and signs spread from Minnesota to the surrounding states. Here was a company that was virtually unaffected by the Great Depression due to mass appeal from their uplifting advertisements!

Long journeys became something to look forward to as the catchy sign sprang up all over roads the of the U.S.A. Audiences began to include more than just farmers, who had been the ones receiving the most exposure to the signs. The jingles were short and cute, and attracted more attention than other ads. Youths were big fans of the ad campaign, as many of the jokes catered to them. It was somewhat of an addiction, as people loved to see the new signs and collect the rhymes. These jingles were a nice departure from the other hygienic ads that became commonplace.
Burma Shave stood out in American marketing, and it even seemed to have its own individual personality.

With the diminishing countryside and the expansion of America, Burma Shave could no longer keep up. Faster automobiles, huge billboards, superhighways, decreasing sales, and increasing costs to keep up the signs led the Odell family to sell business to Phillip Morris, Inc. a division of the conglomerate American Safety Razor Products who no longer viewed the ad campaign to be a smart business venture.
Similar to the craze of the unconventionally practical Volkswagen Beetle, Burma Shave had set itself apart and became commaonplace. Burma Shave also set precedence for other advertisers to follow with similar serial ads. The small family business was well known. Everyone knew Burma Shave. Approximately seven thousand verses had been made on signs outstretching 45 states. It had become a part of the culture, and made one feel at home.

more more more


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Floor #28

Untitled Film Still #28

Floor #28, a short video by Hungarian artist Aron Deme, is based on the Untitled Film Still #28 from Cindy Sherman's famous Untitled Film Stills series. Sherman began making these pictures in 1977, when she was twenty-three. The first six were an experiment: fan-magazine glimpses into the life (or roles) of an imaginary blonde actress, played by Sherman herself. The photographs look like movie stills—or perhaps like publicity pix—purporting to catch the blond bombshell in unguarded moments at home. The protagonist is shown preening in the kitchen and lounging in the bedroom. On to something, Sherman tried other characters in other roles: the chic starlet at her seaside hideaway, the luscious librarian, the domesticated sex kitten, the hot-blooded woman of the people, the ice-cold sophisticate, and others. She eventually completed the series in 1980. She stopped, she has explained, when she ran out of clichés.
Floor #28, in a clever twist, reanimates the fictional still thus offering a possible origin of #28 about fourth a century after it´s appearance.
click pic to watch Floor #28

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wendy Bevan

Wendy Bevan's Polaroid-derived photography is compellingly characterised by its grainily realised dark settings and beautifully sinister mood.

via all tomorrow´s girls

Friday, June 15, 2007

The kalicode bridge project

The work above was done in 2005 by Farhansiki, an Indonesian street artist working in Yogyakarta. The "kalicode bridge project" was created across the CODE river in Yogyakarta city.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Last Riot At The Russian Pavilion

Last Riot by Russian art collective AES+F at the Biennale di Venezia 2007
photographs Valentina Tanni

The virtual world generated by the real world of the past twentieth century as the organism coming from a test-tube, expands, leaving its borders and grasping new zones, absorbs its founders and mutates in something absolutely new. In this new world the real wars look like a game on, and prison tortures appear sadistic exercises of modern valkyrias. Technologies and materials transform the artificial environment and techniques into a fantasy landscape of the new epos. This paradise also is a mutated world with frozen time where all past epoch the neighbor with the future, where inhabitants lose their sex, and become closer to angels. The world, where any most severe, vague or erotic imagination is natural in the fake unsteady 3D perspective. The heroes of new epos have only one identity, the identity of the rebel of last riot. The last riot , where all are fighting against all and against themselves, where no difference exists any more between victim and aggressor, male and female. This world celebrates the end of ideology, history and ethic.
AES+F group, (Tatiana Arzamasova, LevEvzovitch, Evgeny Svyatsky + Vladimir Fridkes) 2005-2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Elijah Gowin: Of Falling & Floating

Of Falling & Floating presents two chapters in Elijah Gowin's newest series of images. The photographs in this exhibition raise questions of doubt and faith in our increasingly polarized society. Gowin's subjects are pictured drifting in water or falling through the air, either accepting what is happening to them with grace or reacting instead with panic. A sense of anxiety and mystery pervades the images - who are these people, in what rituals are they engaged, and what led them to these transformative moments? Throughout the series, a multitude of dramas is played out against the backdrop of the natural world - leafy trees, shallow water, and expanses of open sky. As a whole, the series reflects the breadth of human emotion - fear and joy, anger and peace - and expresses the artist's search for inner balance during a time of global uncertainty.
press release Robert Mann Gallery

The images in Of Falling & Floating are created by the artist using a process which combines painstaking hand-crafted techniques with the latest digital imagery technology. Gowin collects amateur photographs through the internet and collages them in multiple layers before printing small paper negatives which are cut by hand and then scanned, causing the paper fibers to become a part of the final distressed image. The photographs appear to be both old and new, confusing to the eye and yet hauntingly familiar.

Elijah Gowin: Of Falling & Floating at Robert Mann Gallery
n view till June 30, 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Too Cool To Die - Harland Miller´s Penguins

One day, Harland Miller picked up a Penguin, and an idea was born.Harland Miller's paintings are unusual in the range of current contemporary art in that they are, first, self-evidently painterly paintings and, second, companionable; they can make you laugh.

I remember the first time I came across the Hemingway painting I'm So Fucking Hard - it was propped against the wall in a studio, an appropriately imposing object, about 6ft by 4ft - I laughed out loud...
"There's always been this compunction to write on pictures," Miller (also a published novelist) has said. It wasn't until he started painting book covers that he realised he had stumbled across a style of painting that didn't look right without words. "International lonely guy" are apparently the first words Elton John sees when he opens his eyes in the morning. He owns the painting of that title, inspired by the swaying hangers in the empty wardrobe of a cheap chain hotel. From Scarborough to Santa Monica and back again.
Gordon Burn at the Guardian, next to a conversation with Harland Miller

Harland Miller is a both a writer and an artist, practising both roles over a peripatetic career in both Europe and America.

After living and exhibiting in New York, Berlin and New Orleans during the 80s and 90s, Miller achieved critical acclaim with his debut novel, Slow down Arthur, Stick to Thirty, (2000), the story of a kid who travels around northern England with a David Bowie impersonator. In the same year he published a small novella, First I was Afraid, I was Petrified, based on the true story of a female relative with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, discovered when Miller came across a box full of Polaroid images she had taken of the knobs of a cooker.

In 2001 Miller produced a series of paintings based of the dust jackets of Penguin books. By combining the motif inherent in the Penguin book, Miller found a way to marry aspects of Pop Art, abstraction and figurative painting at once, with his writer’s love of text. The ensuing images are humorous, sardonic and nostalgic at the same time, while the painting style hints at the dog-eared, scuffed covers of the Penguin classics themselves. Miller continues to create work in this vein, expanding the book covers to include his own phrases, some hilarious and absurd, others with a lush melancholy. Miller was the Writer in Residence at the ICA for 2002 and over the course of his residence he programmed a number of events drawing from his experience in literature and fine art, which included a season devoted to the ongoing influence and legacy of Edgar Allen Poe.

Harland Miller was born in Yorkshire in 1964 and lives in London. Group exhibitions include Royal Academy, London (2006, 2005), Kunsthalle, Mannheim (2004) and the ICA, London (1996).
taken from Harland Miller at White Cube