Phyllis Galembo

September 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Phyllis Galembo is an American photographer and author of books on ethnic, cultural, Halloween, masquerade, ritual ceremony and dress from Africa and Caribbean.

Last June, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art showed Galembo’s works alongside Nick Cave’s soundsuits. You can see photos here.

Cross River, Nigeria

Ngar Ball Traditional Masquerade Dance, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004

Cross River, Nigeria

Baby Dance of Etikpe, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004

Cross River, Nigeria
Atiya traditional dance, Nkarasi I, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004

Fall Fashion: Nick Cave’s Soundsuits

August 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

Hats off to this Vogue’s September issue. The magazine put together purses  and Nick Cave’s soundsuits in a great-looking fashion photo essay. Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (not to be confused with the Australian musician of the same name) is an Alvin Ailey-trained dancer and posed for the photos wearing some of his most theatrical and surreal sound sculptures.
Raised by a single mother, Nick inherited most of his clothes from the elder of his six brothers. Re-fashioning them with objects found around the house was the starting point for these pieces.

Unfortunately you can’t see the photos online – go buy the magazine and get some extra 790 pages of fashion.

Ah, I wonder what the Sartorialist would say about these suits…
Ceremonial dance costumes or playful stuffed animals?

David Hockney Paintings on iPhone and iPad

July 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

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After making hundreds of drawings on an iPhone (using the Brushes app) and sending by email to friends, David Hockney is now trying the iPad. One of the most influential British artists Hockney, who is 72, has explored the possibilities of art on faxes, polaroids and photocopies in the past. He now uses his fingers to draw straight on the monitor of his iPad. The possibility of replaying his final product and see himself drawing has fascinated him, as well as the bright colours of the lit screen.

“What makes the iPad better than the iPhone is its larger size. The iPhone was more about the relationship between the hand and the ear, whereas this is all about the hand and the eye and makes for far better co-ordination.
“What is also unique is that with the iPad you can actually watch a playback of your drawing. I have never watched myself actually drawing before.” said the artist to The Guardian.

The works are made mainly in the morning when he is still in bed and the subjects are sunrises and flower vases.

Jessica Stockholder at the Palacio de Cristal

July 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Born in Seattle and with an art degree from University of British Columbia, Jessica Stockholder has been exploring multi-media installations for many years. Now her work takes the Palacio de Cristal in Madrid courtesy of Museo Reina Sofia with an installation titled Peer Out to See. The work was planned for this bright space and includes several elements and many colours. I love the central column formed by shopping and waste baskets, bowls, and other objects made of plastic. Subtle and vibrant, this work reminds me of Frank Stella, Rauschenberg, Miró.
Familiar objects transformed with witty humour and a clever sense of colour.
Stockholder lives and works in New Haven and currently directs the undergraduate program in sculpture at Yale University.

Rodney Graham is The Guardian’s Artist of The Week

July 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Rodney Graham's Good Hand Bad Hand (2010)

Shady dealing … Rodney Graham’s Good Hand Bad Hand (2010), courtesy of
the artist and Lisson Gallery. Photograph: Ken Adlard

Rodney Graham is artist of the week in the London’s Guardian. In Vancouver, his piece Dead Flowers in My Studio can be seen at the Contemporary Art Gallery until August 22nd, part of the group show Triumphant Carrot. The exhibition includes works by the likes of Jeff Wall (another Canadian legend) and Sam Taylor-Wood.
You may remember my comments on the Rodney Graham band at the Candahar during the Olympics.

From The Guardian:

Why we like him: For his film The Phonokinetoscope from 2001, Graham took acid and rode a bicycle backwards. While the soundtrack that accompanies this feat suggests 1970s-style delirium, the everyday footage suggests a chasm between inner states and outer reality.

Art rock: Graham formed new-wave band called UJ3RK5 (“you jerk” – the five is not pronounced) in his twenties with Jeff Wall, while his current ensemble, the Rodney Graham Band, morph between country rock, folk and psychedelia.

(read more)

The Artist is Present

April 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

Day 6, Portrait 24 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

I spent the last 45 minutes browsing through Marina Abramović’s portraits on the MoMa’s flickr set:  778 photos of people who sat in front of the artist during her performance The Artist is Present. Most sitters spent a lot less than that posing for a portrait (taken by photographer Marco Anelli) while staring at the Yugoslovian artist across a table. Visitors of the Museum and a few known faces (Lou Reed above, Rufus Wainright) were photographed under a bright white light in expressions that vary from emotional to blank – a couple of tears, a occasional smirk. The effect is hypnotic and disturbing.

The number of sitters – and portraits – will keep growing to May 31, last day of the performance. The Artists is Present is a new, original work and mark the longest duration of time that Abramović has performed a single solo piece. You can follow the performance on live video during the Museum hours.

Day 38, Marina Abramović by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Marina Abramović

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Branches in Jars – Naoko Ito

March 6, 2010 § 3 Comments

I found Naoko Ito‘s work at Wine & Bowties. His Urban Nature series trapped branches into glass jars. It has many possible readings and it’s amazingly well-executed. More than branches, he trapped the negative space around it. I love it.

The Rodney Graham Band at Candahar

February 27, 2010 § 4 Comments

The Rodney Graham Band at Candahar, Vancouver – photo by Ken Eisner

I finally made it to Candahar, the bar/artwork at Granville Island last night just in time to watch Rodney Graham doing his sound check for a performance that would start a couple of hours later.

Named after a Belfast street, The Candahar is Theo Sims’s vision of an Irish bar. A sculptural installation with real beer on tap.

Rodney Graham is a legend of Vancouver’s photoconceptualism and I was surprised to find out about his musical skills.  He sounds a lot like Lou Reed.


February 13, 2010 § 4 Comments

Vancouver artist Natalie Purschwitz got herself in some fun trouble. For one year (started September 1st, 2009) she will only wear clothes made by herself. It would be almost easy if she wouldn’t have to create all her accessories as well. That includes sun glasses, shoes, socks, jewelry, underwear, bathing suits, etc. She came up with some very attractive pieces while questioning the limitations of clothing and its cultural aspects. Wearing or not a life-vest on a boat or finding ways of scuba-diving lead to more questions and answers. A great blog to subscribe.
From February 12 to 27 you can know more about the project at 8E. Cordova St, Vancouver, BC. Part of Bright Light project.

Elizabeth Zvonar at CAG – Vancouver

December 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

Channeling, 2009

Until January 10th you still can see the works of Vancouver-based Elizabeth Zvonar at the CAG. She graduated from Emily Car Institute (now University) in 2001 and got some good venues showing her work since. This exhibition, called On Time, explores the connections between Cubism and rubber bands (!) as metaphors for time. This particular collage, Channeling, reminds me of this.

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