Kirk Demarais has a series of family portraits that are charmingly creepy. But these are not portraits of your next door neighbors. He focuses on fictional families who starred in your favorite films. Kirk covers them all, from National Lampoon’s Vacation to There Will Be Blood.
Tsherin Sherpa, born in Kathmandu Nepal, originally trained as a traditional Tibetan thangka painter with his father Master Urgen Dorje. From the age of twelve, he underwent six years of intensive training before travelling to Taiwan to study Mandarin and computer science. Since then he has returned to thangka painting but has added a contemporary twist to the traditional paintings leaving behind the traditional confines of the age old practice. His work now mixes the techniques and imagery of thangka with contemporary subject matter.
When asked about breaking from tradition Sherpa states:
“Sometimes if one gets too obsessed with the rules, there’s a danger of getting entangled in that very obsession. We then become more concerned about not breaking the rule. Because of that, from the traditional art’s point of view, the contemporary work with Buddhist imagery may even get categorized as sacriligious. I am working with some of the images that are viewed as the ultimate portrayal of certain deity. And to manipulate it, is obviously taboo.
However, if we scratch the layer a little deeper, and analyze these Buddhist images, one will find that they are a means to develop a practitioner’s (Buddhist) goal towards enlightenment, which means that the images are not the ultimate goal but rather a vehicle. A representation of a Buddha in 2- or 3-dimensional form is not the actual Buddha. It is a mere representation. And to fall into the trap of perceiving them to be the ultimate, is actually getting oneself entangled with the rules.”
Australian sculptor, Paul Kaptein creates unusual but skillful wooden sculptures that question our ability to look past missing pieces in the bigger picture. Kaptein, interested in the Buddhist term sunyata (Sanskrit word for ideas of emptiness as a way to achieve wholeness), integrates (and questions) notions of substance, emptiness, and temporality into his highly skilled pieces of wooden work.
By seamlessly incorporating empty gaps (usually long empty rectangles) into busts and entire recreations of human bodies, Kaptein imposes the viewer with questions as to why these pieces are missing. The simple fact that viewers will directly and promptly question this characteristic first, further enables Kaptein’s interest in challenging the viewer’s resistance, and/or apprehension to accept something that is not complete. The main idea here relies on getting the spectator to react to Kaptein’s work for what it is: seamless, beautiful wooden sculptures that happen to be missing a piece or two.
It can also be said that these gaps are indicative of conceptions of time:
I’m exploring the notion of the now as a remix of past and future potentialities. This facilitates a renegotiation of perceptual truths resulting in an expression of things not quite truth, yet not quite fiction.
Here’s a quirky personal project from the mind of Jorge López Navarrete – “two different people each time -always unknown for me- perform exactly the same conversation.” Can someone explain to me the significance of the 3-D glasses?
Aquadettes is a fun short documentary that looks at the life of Margo Bouer who is seventy five years old and is part of a senior Synchronized swimming team for over 15 years. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
I’m sure you recognize the reference here. In case you were in doubt, the Belgian artist Jan Fabre is reinterpreting the most iconic work of the renaissance, Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Michelangelo’s famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.
Fabre’s interpretation gets personal, a little macabre, and a bit controversial…
In his rendition, Fabre places himself as Jesus with a butterfly perched on the side of his mouth. The heavy, dead-looking body wears a crisp, classy but torn suite. A closer look reveals a scarab at the edge of his cuff that is slowly drifting off towards the artist’s lifeless hand, which is tenuously holding on to a human brain.
The Virgin Mary’s face is replaced by a skull, which many would say is a reference to the Vanitas, the universal symbol of death.
The work was shown in Venice in 2011. This was in close relation to, but not a part of the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale. Given the place and the country (a very religious one) in which it was shown, you can image the controversy it created. The artist commented on the matter:
“is not to convey a blasphemous or even merely or provocative message. This work represents a “performance sculpture” that illustrates a mother’s real feelings when she yearns to take the place of her dead son.”