It’s a never ending summer inside Dan McCarthy’s world. The mirage created by the blue ocean and the red flesh of the bodys on the beach, captivates the eye which is enticed to stare at the warm nuances that the painting is offering. The “dreamscapes” are liberating.
The artist is not only is a painter, sculptor, messenger; he is a poet. Through his art, his desire is to create a memory. The details don’t have to be remembered; the viewer leaving with a feeling of freedom and comfort is the optimal destiny of his work.
The barely dressed women and men are expressing personal emotions and allowing the viewers to feel their fragility. Accessorized by fish, birds, mountains and rainbows they encourage a dialogue in the direction of nature and the world at large. The props such as a guitar, skateboard and surfboard are symbols used to reiterate location; these devices lead the viewer to fill in the gaps based on other clues like paint handling and materiality.
Dan McCarthy works quickly by rinsing and blotting thin layers of washed out pastel tones, allowing the paint to drip down the canvas. It’s a process based largely on intuition and working within the moment. He is stripping it all down to the essential basics, trying to let the sunshine in.
He recently started to work on ceramic sculptures that he calls Facepots. Wanting to express emotion, attitude and humour in his work, he chose faces as an obvious starting point. As Dan Mccarthy once remarked: “I’d like to include in my work something of the living spirit, something positive that can be taken away and built upon by a viewer. Certainly more a feeling than an attitude or ideology”.
Julio Le Parc is the precursor of op art. Originally from Argentina, he moves to Paris, France after his art studies to discover what the city has to offer. Today, he is displayed next to Vasarely’s immersive art pieces. The artist uses fourteen pure colors to create combinations on its paintings. This starting point allows him to work around real movement, multiplication of images, transparency, coloring, space and light. Experimentation is how Julio Le Parc likes to work, that includes making mistakes and taking risks. In another black and white series where he uses spray paint he is looking to experiment with multi surfaces, dynamic visuals and different levels of shades.
Behind the numerous studies of light and movement there is a need for Julio Le Parc to search for a shortcut between the creation of a piece and the experience of the viewers. By rejecting psychology, his aim is to reach the mass with no third party involved. He is taking his political message, his “general analysis of the situation” directly to the eyes of the viewers. He condemns the government method to impose its vision and to leave aside the ideas and opinions of the people. Ideally, he wants a new method to acknowledge ideas wether it’s by a State or an art gallery. For Julio Le Parc, people don’t appreciate art in its time and that’s the fault of galleries and museums imposing their opinions and deciding who will be the next “famous and hot” artist instead of letting the people decide.
Julio Le Parc’s art pieces will be displayed this week at Art Basel and sixty of his work will be printed on silk scarves in collaboration with Hermes.
Once again, the prestigious palace of Versailles has been invaded. After Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Joana Vasconcelos it’s Anish Kapoor’s turn to impress the crowd. And he did.
The artist designed six spectacular installations all meant to impact the history and architecture left by Le Notre, the official Sun King’s gardener.
Anish Kapoor wants to create an opposition: the perfect and rigid site of Versailles versus the idea of chaos and death.
The first two pieces are reflecting the sky and deforming the crowd onto gigantic mirrors. What follows is a little more outstanding: an orifice, like a giant vagina comes out from the ground and faces the palace. A metaphor highly suggesting the cause of the downfall of Marie Antoinette, the King’s guillotined wife. As the viewers randomly walk down onto the next pieces they cannot ignore the phallus shaped organ and the red stones exploding from the grass. Red is Anish Kapoor’s color of choice, it’s the color of the flesh and he is using it repeatedly; he says by using this color he makes the body celestial.
The next two pieces are a dramatic liquid vortex and an informal gelatinous bood-red colored shape. Both installations play with the viewers and their nerves. The whirlpool is intimidating as the sound of the blackened swirl is frightening, the ground shakes under the feet and the strange red organ absorbs the viewer’s bodies as they can penetrate inside.
The provocation goes on with the last piece built inside the Jeu de Paume (at a 5 min walk from the castle). Clearly Anish Kapoor criticizes the French revolution, and condemns the violence of the state against its own citizens. A cannon projects against a white wall red wax and the sexual interpretation which the artist approaches is inevitable: “I am conscious of the controversy this piece could imply. The phallic shape of the cannon and the sexual tension coming from it. Remember that this room was filled with males representing a male dominant State”.
Johan Creten speaks his own language. He creates organic creatures by casting a rare medium used in the art world: clay. It has been considered too primitive, associated with craft rather than sculpture for a long time. Johan Creten imposed his vision and art and is now established in the most prestigious residencies : Sevres and Medici. (an art residency is a place where an artist is invited to work with the best artisans and manufacturers in order to create master pieces. A residency can catapult an unknown artist to fame and success overnight).
The artist was born in Belgium and is now traveling throughout the world. He calls himself an observer of the world. His mission is to translate the social tensions and injustices into beautiful abstract ceramic sculptures. While other artists would rather think about a project and have it conceived by a third party, he is choosing to dig his hands into the clay which he calls “mother earth”.
His signature are large scaled bodies covered with glazed vulvas with which he approaches themes like the ambiguity of sexuality, solitude as a threat and the injustice of social status. Ceramic was never a form of art before Johan Creten. The fact that he was able to live with the harshness of his peers ignoring his work as art is a resistantce which makes him proud. He uses this relationship to balance his art. His pieces reflect our roots in today’s world but they are facing the future.
A must see: Johan Creten solo exhibition at Gallery Perrotin in New York City this coming September 2015
Raqib Shaw was born in Calcultta, India. He now lives in London where he graduated from Central St Martins School of Arts and based his house/studio in the South London neighborhood.
His work is mostly comprised of paintings. He uses a unique technique: he paints with a porcupine quill and car paint. Every motif is outlined in embossed gold, a technique similar to ‘cloisonné’ found in early Asian pottery, which is a source of inspiration.
The artist’s fantastical world is full of intricate details, rich colors, and jewel-like surfaces, masking an intense violent and sexual content. It’s an explosion of Western architecture (arches, columns, wall decorations), vibrant flora and unexpected animals that have human bodies (peacoks, ducks, roosters, reptiles).
The result from far is intoxicating; but as the viewer, you want to come closer and admire the beauty of the details. The paintings, which at first can feel overwhelming become fascinating in terms of color, shapes and harmony. Underneath the bizarre combinations of the figures, there is the celebration of a society free of moral restraint.
Raqib Shaw has added new paintings in this recent parisian exhibition. Three of them are self portraits, showing the artist in his house/studio. Although his own image never clearly appears, he made sure his favorite personal elements were recognizable: his dogs, views from his studio’s window, champagne bottles and his new bronze sculptures.
Raqib Shaw’s second solo exhibition is currently at the Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery in Paris, Marais location, until July 25th 2015.
Nicolas Holiber works in the middle of unwanted pieces of wood and thrown away shipping pallets. He also recycles feathers, nails and found objetcs. In his Brooklyn based studio, he creates instinctively from this magical chaos. The result is expressive, colorful mixed media sculptures representing portraits and busts of kings. One of the most emblematic ones, Goliath; from the famous tale David and Goliath is currently installed at Tribeca Park, in the heart of New York.
The sculptures come alive after being assembled, destructed and rebuilt. The process is the same each time, no exceptions. Nicolas Holiber creates from doing; with the intent of building beautiful things from a mess. Give him trash, reclaimed wood and a couple of nails and he will be able to come up with a bold, vibrant and stimulating piece of art. He will only be satisfied when he can look at the piece over and over without feeling the urge to retouch it. But beware, beautiful and finished doesn’t mean perfect. He doesn’t want anything to look too figurative. His work has to feel new and exciting. Otherwise, It just doesn’t work for him.
Until recently, the artist used to create for his own pleasure. He still does but he now shares his work by teaching sculpting classes, attending residencies (the next one is scheduled for Spring 2016 at Governor’s Island) and showing his work to the art scene.
Nicolas Holiber’s Goliath is at Tribeca Park, New York City until July 2015.
Oren Fischer and Anton Avramov are the owners of the Meshuna Gallery in Tel Aviv. First thought as a studio space for both artists, they decided to dedicate one of the rooms to exhibit new artists; mainly street artists. Located in the Florentin area, surrounded by graffiti walls, Meshuna Gallery welcomed this past Saturday Prettimess, a small art collective to present the STICKERZ! exhibition.
31 artists were invited to design all sorts of stickers. Some of them were available to buy on site, some were displayed on road signs all over the gallery, others were printed in a large version and sold as a set in collaboration with DaSilva skateboards. The rest of the stickers were sold in small packages at affordable prices (5 US$).
The idea behind the stickers is to promote “culture for the people”. An immediate, effective and fun medium to spread the artist message directly to the mass. By making exhibitions, parties and alternative events the young Israeli collective behind this event reveals young and talented culture activists (all linked to alternative sport, urban art and music scene).
So why the rise of street art in Tel Aviv? According to Nneya Richards from PaperMag the graffitis in the city are seen as a pure way to express ideas and are not always fined.
“It’s no secret that some of the best art comes out of social turmoil and, in recent years, nothing is a better reflection of this than the burgeoning street art scene in Tel Aviv”
Polly Morgan’s freezer is not stacked with your typical content. It is comprised of dead animals in their primary state. She is a taxidermist, so that explains more. She mixes art and taxidermy to create beautiful and disturbing installations. Based in the up and coming art disctrict in East London she is collecting corpses of dead animals and arranging them to compose subtle pieces. Most often birds are the center of the pieces: birds and pigs, birds and a balloon, birds and a deer.
Behind the morbid scenes there is a desire to express the triumph of life over death. Something dead can, in a context become suddenly beautiful, poignant and touching.
Her inspiration is instinctive, directly coming from the animals. Scraping the skin from the flesh, the animals are a material and not dead corpses. Random people send her the animals they find dead on the road, always by accident. So the array of species she collects is large. Not interested in being a “classic” taxidermist, she wants to make her work more pop and modern. She has succeeded in creating a world of her own where a tiny bird sits delicately on a toothbrush or a nest of hungry baby birds are screaming from a deer’s stomach.
Polly Morgan’s most recent work has been featured in Berlin along with artists Bruce Nauman, Tim Noble & Sue Webster and is currently displayed in Washington DC’s National Museum of Women in the Arts until September 2015.