Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:29 PM
Impressionist artwork was once seen by some to be rough and incomplete. “A preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than this seascape,” scoffed one critic of Monet’s Impression, Sunrise, which was being exhibited in a salon alongside works by Renoir, Degas, and Cézanne. Close up, the pieces were thick smudges on a canvas. Only when stepping back could viewers perceive the beauty of the scene itself created from the rich layers of paint.
Modern artist Tom Deininger takes impressionist perception to a whole new level with his re-creation of Monet’s 1899 masterpiece Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, which is composed entirely of found objects like plastic forks, phone cords, bottle caps, markers, lighters, combs, and children’s toys. “When you can take something out of context and put it together with a variety of other things,” Deininger says, “you can coax a new definition out of it and maybe a new purpose”—in this case, natural landscapes recreated in junk, writes 1-800-Recycling.com. Deininger creates his assemblages on a grand scale, as large as 12 by 20 feet, making them a lovely scene from far away and a hodgepodge of junk up close. “I think that all art, even reality, is about perception,” says Deininger, calling to mind the Impressionists to whom his art pays strange and beautiful homage. “And so you’ve got one thing up close and it coalesces into something else all together from a distance.”
Images by Tom Deininger, collection of Billi and Bobby Gosh, used with permission
Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:28 PM
Stop surfing YouTube. Stop staring at your computer, pulling out your hair, and waiting for inspiration. The blog ISO50 cobbled together 25 ingenious strategies from designers and artists for overcoming creative block. The ideas can also apply to any kind of creative work.
Some are totally unexpected, including this recipe for creativity from British graphic designer Michael C. Place (aka Build):
Slice and chop 2 medium onions into small pieces.
Put a medium sized pan on a medium heat with a few glugs of Olive oil.
Add the onions to the pan, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Chop finely three varieties of fresh chilli (Birds Eye, Scotch Bonnet & Green/Red).
Add the chilli’s to the pan, stir together and cook for eight minutes.
Add about 500g of extra lean Beef mince to the pan.
Stir in so that the Beef is coated and lightly browned (should take approx. 2 minutes).
Add salt and pepper.
Add Red Kidney Beans and tinned chopped Tomatoes.
Add a pinch of Cinnamon.
Cook on a low heat for approximately 20 mins.
Measure a cup and a half of Basmati Rice into a medium pan.
Add two and a quarter cups (the same cup you measured the Rice in) of cold water to the pan with the Rice.
Boil on a high heat until the lid rattles.
Turn down the heat to about half way and cook for eight minutes.
After eight minutes turn the heat off the rice, leave for four minutes (with the lid on).
Plate up the Rice (on the side), add the chilli.
Large glass of Red wine (preferably Australian or New Zealand).
Now the important problem solving part–
Take the plates & pans to the sink.
Run a mixture of hot and cold (not too hot) water.
Add a smidgeon of washing up liquid (preferably for sensitive skin).
Start washing up, the mundane kicks in.
The mind clears and new thoughts and ideas appear.
Enjoy a second glass of wine to savour the moment.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 5:15 PM
Through her camera lens, Nadya Kwandibens sees Native people in urban settings as an opportunity to both empower and showcase indigenous lifestyles and cultures. In This Magazine, Lisa Charleyboy profiled the First Nations photographer, who transformed her own feelings of isolation and an "impluse to heal through art" by connecting with other indigenous people in the city and photographing them. Charleyboy says Kwandibens “asks her subjects, ‘Who are you as a Native person within the city?’ The resulting photos are witty, meticulous, poignant.”
Kwandibens has also formed a vibrant online community called Concrete Indians, where First Nations artists across the United States and Canada can connect with each other and post photographs. According to Kwandibens, the name originates “from a nickname the older folks back in the '60s used to call young Native people moving/living/working in the cities.”
She tells This, “By sharing and being so giving with the Concrete Indians series, people really started to connect and find something they can relate to in the images. They are able to see these beautiful brown faces all over North America. We are all so connected.” You can view photos of Kwandibens’ work through her gallery, Red Works Studio.
Source: This Magazine
Image by Brooke Anderson, licensed under Creative Commons.
Monday, June 22, 2009 5:25 PM
Of all the “curious undertakings” of performance artists, none have been as striking as Tehching Hsieh’s lifeworks, observes the Chronicle Review, in a review of Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh, newly available from MIT Press. In 1986, the artist dropped out of the public eye to begin his final performance piece, “Thirteen Year Plan,” a period during which he would make art but not show it publicly. He emerged in 1999 with a ransom note bearing a simple message: “I kept myself alive.”
In addition to “Thirteen Year Plan,” the dedicated Hsieh did a series of one-year pieces, which included spending a year in communication blackout (no reading or writing, either), a year spent in a room punching a worker’s clock on the hour, repeatedly, and a year of total artistic abstention. “Although [Hsieh’s works] attracted a cult following in New York and Taiwanese performance-art circles, they took place out of view of the art world, which barely mentioned them,” reports the Chronicle. But the mainstream art world has “finally clocked in,” with Hsieh’s works earning exhibits at the Guggenheim and MoMA.
Source: Chronicle Review (article not available online).
Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:34 PM
In an unusual collaboration, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, and the conservation group Rare teamed up with individual artists to draw attention to eight United Nation World Heritage Sites, reports Orion magazine. All of the sites are threatened in some way—by lack of funding, floods of tourism, climate change, and a host of other pressures.
At the outset, many of the artists worried that they’d be forced into unimaginative advocacy work. “I remember thinking, ‘Do they want me to go make work about tortoises?’” said installation artist Ann Hamilton. “I mean, that is not exactly what I do.” But the museums and Rare allowed them room to respond as they saw fit. The resulting pieces highlight local issues in smart, sensitive ways.
Xu Bing, for instance, held workshops in primary schools near his site, Mount Kenya National Park. He told stories and drew pictures with the children to connect them more personally with the park, and then set up a website to auction off their work. The proceeds benefit a local organization that uses the money to replace trees lost to deforestation on Mount Kenya.
Check out the article to read descriptions of the other projects, watch interviews with the artists, and browse a slideshow of the art. The pieces have been gathered as an exhibit, “Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet,” which is currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Image courtesy of John Spooner, licensed under Creative Commons.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 2:44 PM
Graffiti artist Blu has created something I’ve never seen before: a stop-motion animated sequence composed of one continuous, outdoor painting.
Thursday, January 31, 2008 5:32 PM
In the midst of a long winter with its landscapes of white on white, strolling through the rooms of vibrantly colored flowers at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul begins to feel something like being inside the morning cartoons. The conservatory is one of those rare places in my native Minnesota this time of year where you can get close to nature without wearing three layers of clothes. Inside this poor man’s tropical vacation, pores open, eyes brighten.
I spent most of my time taking in the Holiday Flower Show in the Sunken Garden, the conservatory’s version of a rotating gallery. The show features poinsettias every year, and this year’s installment was filled with varieties bearing names like “DaVinci,” “Monet Twilight,” and “Premium Picasso.”
Jill Heim, one of three gardeners who help maintain the Sunken Garden’s exhibits, says the inspiration behind the artist theme was (foremost, of course) to delight the general public, but also (more guiltily) to keep the show fresh and engaging for the gardeners themselves.
Only a few breeders in the world are working on new poinsettia varieties, Heim says, striving to draw out new colors and patterns, better performance, and more vigor. The conservatory’s gardeners noticed that a number of new varieties bear renowned artists’ names, and voila—a theme was born.
Even the accent plants, delicate bursts of purple called ageratum, were included because recent series bear names like “Artist Blue” and “Artist Purple.” I pointed out that this tie-in wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the show—didn’t that make it kind of an inside joke for those garden nerds able to pick up on it? Chuckling, she said that while that wasn’t exactly the gardeners’ intent, she supposed there might be something to it. Sometimes it’s the little things that help get us through winter.
Friday, January 18, 2008 5:27 PM
The idea is pretty simple, but the message isn’t. Pay 30 Euros (around $45) to Send a Message and a group of Palestinians will spray paint your personal message on the security wall that closes off the West Bank. According to the website, the Palestinians want to show people beyond their cement borders that “We are human beings, just like you, with sense of humor and lust for life.” Most of the funds go to supporting various Palestinian NGO projects, with the remainder covering Send a Message’s expenses.
Behind the newspaper stories and the political wrangling, there are human lives obscured by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. While the project, which was developed in a Ramallah workshop by Dutch advertising professionals and Palestinian youths, might seem too light-hearted, I think that the levity is message enough: Something can come from this conflict that does more than make you throw up your hands in frustration.
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