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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The Kings of Pop – Michael Jackson by Warhol goes to Auction

August 8, 2009 § 1 Comment
Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, 1984, 76.2 x 66 cm, technicolor silkscreen

Commissioned to celebrate the success of Thriller, a portrait of Michael Jackson painted by Andy Warhol goes to auction later this August in New York. From 1984, when both artists were at their peak, the silkscreen will probably fetch far more than its starting price of $800K. Read more.

Cherie Blair in The Nude

March 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

The painting, Striding Nude, Blue Dress, by Euan Uglow was scheduled to go on public display in 2006 but was withdrawn at the last minute.

London gallery selling painting based on a 1972 sketch of Tony Blair’s wife

By Andy McSmith (fom  The Independent) here for the full article

Cherie Blair paid a private visit to an art gallery this week to be reminded of what she looked like in the nude more than 30 years ago. There, hanging on the wall, is an artist’s sketch of her naked form on fading brown paper, and a painting based on the sketch.

The painting, Striding Nude, Blue Dress, by Euan Uglow was scheduled to go on public display in 2006 but was withdrawn at the last minute. It is now on display and listed for sale at a Mayfair art gallery in London, with a price tag of £600,000. (…)

John Stezaker

March 16, 2009 § 1 Comment

John Stezaker - Underworld I  Collage 62x44cm John Stezaker - Mask II   Collage 62.5x45cm

If you still haven’t heard about John Stezaker, you will. His collages of Hollywood portraits, postcards, magazine photos have been put together for over twenty years and keep being fresh and fun with a dark twist. Sometimes Dada, sometimes surrealist, but always humorous and witty his most recent work can be seen at Friederich Petzel Gallery in New York.

Portraits of Power

January 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

Richard Avedon took photos of significant American politicians for over five decades. More than 200 of these portraits can be seen at the Corcoran through January 25th. Obama expressionless, passport-like shot is the highlight of these last days of the show, just in time for his inauguration. The photo was taken shortly before Avedon’s death, in 2004.

A Classy Lady – Cindy Sherman

November 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

Detail Image
Detail Image

Cindy Sherman keeps reinventing her own image. While her portraits are typically of herself in costumes and make-up, on this new series she adds backgrounds shot separately and the images are all of “grand dames” in over-the-top characterizations. From November 15 to December 23 at Metro Pictures Gallery in New York.

A Photographer’s Life

October 24, 2008 § 2 Comments Kidman by Annie Leibovitz

Covering 15 years of Annie Leibovitz’s most recent work, the National Portrait Gallery exhibition (until February 1, 2009) includes over 150 photographs by the celebrated photographer. From her more personal work (photos of her family and friends) to commissioned portraits, the show is a comprehensive overlook on Leibovitz’s style.

Portraits of Frida

October 11, 2008 § Leave a comment

Portraits of an Icon
Photo by Nickolas Muray Frida Kahlo on White Bench #30, 1938

Frida Kahlo is known for her self portraits. The San Jose Museum of Art is giving us the rare chance of seeing other views of her, through the eyes of renowned photographers in about fifty images. Frida Kahlo – Portraits of an Icon shows the artist carefully constructed self image, but also more private moments – in her bedroom, hospital room, studio, and garden.

Who’s Afraid of Lucien Freud?

October 8, 2008 § Leave a comment

Girl in a Blanket, painted in 1952

Girl in a Blanket, 1952, oil on canvas

If you browse through Lucien Freud’s early works being shown at Hazlitt Holland-Hibber Gallery until December 12, you can be delightfully surprised by some very delicate and sensitive portraits. The word “disturbing” never comes to mind.  Girl in a Blanket is a portrait of Henrietta Moraes, Freud’s lover (Francis Bacon also painted Henrietta in the same period.) You can’t imagine her destroying the painting because she didn’t like how her chin looked – like happened last August in London with another one of his models.

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