Agostino Arrivabene paints dreamlike visions of pain and beauty. With tentacle-like flowers growing from ethereal faces and branches reminiscent of veins encompassing bodies portrayed as saints, his paintings exist on their own plane of reality. It is almost as if they come from a time where time itself is non existent, as they seem to be simultaneously prehistoric and futuristic. His figures are almost treated in a pathological sense, yet are delicately sentimental, creating an innate sense of wonder.
His body of work aims to mimic “a room of curiosities” — referring to a collection of exotic memorabilia gathered by travelers. However, his collection is a metaphorical culmination of the excursions he has taken internally; he relates his process to that of the journey of Dante through hell. He is an artist that mainly lives in solitude, allowing him to fully immerse himself in his own bizarre world, drawing inspiration from his own dreams and the dark nature he surrounds himself in.
His extremely introverted and contemplative practice is heavily influenced by old masters. Using traditional methods such as grinding his own pigment, making his own paint, and using a near-extinct technique that combines egg tempera with oil, he allows himself to fully utilize the complexity of color. In doing so, he interjects himself somewhere in the middle of, or perhaps, within various aspects of, the history of painting.
Agostino Arrivabene transcends art history not only through technique, but also through content. His work winks at artists from multiple eras of time. There are strong connections to Italian Renaissance painters such as Sandro Botticelli, Symbolist painters such as Odilon Redon, Visionary painters such as Gustave Moreau, and the psychological darkness similar to the work of Francis Bacon.
In September, people visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) will be able to view North America’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian and Peruvian mummies. Titled Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs, the touring exhibition from The Field Museum in Chicago features over 20 preserved remains ranging as far back as Pre-Dynastic Egypt and Pre-Incan Peru—which means these are some of the oldest discovered mummies in the world. Accompanying the mummies are archaeological artifacts also found in the tombs, such as sarcophagi fragments, limestone canopic jars containing the deceased’s vital organs, and a beautifully fierce double-spouted jar with the face of a jaguar.
In the following statement from the press release, NHM President and Director Jane Pisano explains the exhibition’s goal: “The role of a natural history museum is to serve as a laboratory for the exploration of our natural and cultural pasts, and science is our pathway. Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs uses modern science to challenge and help to unravel what we know about these ancient peoples and their cultures, and in doing so, offers the world an intensely up-close look at The Field’s preeminent collection of mummies, many of them tucked safely away in vaults for over a century.”
As Pisano remarks, what makes this exhibition exciting (aside from its awe-inspiring collection) is its unique examination of cross-cultural methods of mummification, as well as the specific focus on the individuals occupying the coffins. Mummification is often solely associated with Ancient Egyptian ritual practice, but in fact mummies have been found all over the world. In Peru, mummification began 2,000 years before Egypt. While both cultures’ methods are equally fascinating and ingenious, differences can be traced. In Peruvian mummification, for example, there are signs that the coffins were opened so that food and drink could be replenished; in Egypt, the tombs were meant to be sealed for eternity. In addition, the exhibition also profiles the deceased using information gathered from CT scans and X-rays. Among the mummies is a woman and her child, a brother and sister, and the “Gilded Lady,” a 40-year-old woman from the Roman era.
This is the first time the mummies and their artifacts have left The Field Museum, so be sure to take the opportunity to see this fascinating collection. The show runs from September 18th to January 18th. You can learn more on the NHM’s website.
Wearing a bright orange dress and armed with scissors, German artist Nezaket Ekici is tethered to the ceiling of a room via her hair. Long ropes act as handcuffs and are tied to the ends of her long brown strands. The only way out? To cut the strings or hair. Her performance, titled Atropos, was first presented in 2006 and again in 2008. It used 100 ropes, 100 hairlines, and 100 pitons (a type of metal spike) and lasted one hour.
We see that during Atropos, strings and hair are cut and dangle over Ekici’s eyes and other pieces of rope. At its core, it’s the act of freeing oneself from the ties (literally) that bind. In a statement about the work, posted on the Celeste Network:
She carries out an act of the self-liberation, while she frees herself with the help of a sissle from long ropes fastened at the roof and to the hair. She cuts off a part of her hair and in this way dissociates herself from a piece of herself. This work can be seen as a vital discussion about the question on the sense of life, that is partly characterised by striving for freedom. Particularly, because hair can be considered as a symbol of life.
This piece’s title comes from the Greek myth of the Moirai who are the goddesses of fate. The statement further explains:
Atropos, who is one of them splits according to the myth the fate threads of the life with a sissle. The artist shows with the radical act of the hair-cut a way out. She takes fate into her own hands and frees herself, like Atropos did. At least the act of the cutting can be seen as an attempt of liberation in itself. (Via Sweet Station)
Monique Schreijer makes prodigious, multi-colored and wearable wigs. So far, six samples have been designed by the artist in her NYC studio. Each one has a theme and a story leading to dreams and fantasies. Monique Schreijer has created wigs that, aligned together, resemble to a world of tales. Inspired by Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, braiding her own hair and playing with Barbie dolls when she was a child, she brings something innocent yet symbolic in each wig.
Almost everything including the jewelry is hand made, except for the birds and butterflies. Monique Schreijer uses mixed medias such as of Kanekalon hair, tinted powder, faux pearls, hot glue, feathers, rubber bands, found sticks, wire, glitter, toys, and scraps. She has come up with six wigs over two years. Each wig has a name, a color assigned to it and a detailed theme, narrated on the hair and which is taking most of the space:
‘1.Black – Plague of Marseilles, 2.Red – Queen, 3.Pink – Cotton candy/unicorn, 4.Green – Valley of Cocora, 5.Multicolored/sailboat/dog – California. 6.Blue – Dreamy girl’
Monique Schreijer uses symbols to express what moves her. Ladders to reveal escapism, black skeletons and rats for darkness and evil, flying birds and a flourishing nest for freedom and fertility. Not only are the wigs beautifully crafted, they are a source of creativity and imagination.
Albert Folch is a young artist based in Barcelona, Spain. Folch has established himself as a freelance designer with his own studio, his efforts are focused on editorial, book catalog and magazine design. Its difficult not to be amazed by the quality and quantity of his work. How many of us are that good that often?
Let’s face it. Going to the movies can be an expensive and sometimes obnoxious endeavor. As the popularity in streaming services like Netflix and Hulu grow, it’s so much easier and cheaper to just stay at home. But, when you look at these photographs of grandiose theaters by Franck Bohbot, it makes you wish you paid the $15 to be there. In his series simply titled Cinema, he captures the old elegance and spectacular detailing of these places, all of them empty so you can see all of their idiosyncrasies.
Not surprisingly, all of the photographs are theaters in California, in Hollywood and beyond. Some of the decor of these places is totally over the top, like the Orinda Theater, where faux Egyptian hieroglyphics line the walls and guests sit in red velvet seats. Or the Brava Theater in San Francisco, which has an absinthe green ceiling. The Crest in Los Angeles lines its walls with a city landscape and its ceiling dotted with stars, making its patrons believe they are viewing a film outside.
Bohbot’s photography frames these places so they really shine. He controls the lighting and exposure, making these venues appear glitzy and impressive, probably more so than they actually are. But isn’t that movies are trying to do, and by extension the theaters, too? They want you to escape your everyday life for a few hours and believe that you are somewhere else. (Via Flavorwire)