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Anish Kapoor’s Dark Whirlpool Installation Churns Ceaselessly Beneath An Old Movie Theater

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In a place usually left to stillness and silence, black waters churn ceaselessly. Anish Kapoor, a London-based artist known for his sculptural installations using stainless steel, PVC, and other media, has created a whirlpool beneath the wooden floorboards of a former movie theater in San Gimignano, Italy. With a spine-tingling power that seems to suck your gaze to the center of the earth, the vortex pulls endlessly downward into a lightless void. Darkly beautiful and hypnotic, the waters evoke feelings of both admiration and fear. Appealing to the fascination we have for black holes and infinite space, Kapoor has created an existential zone of disturbing liminality, a place which exists between presence and absence, here and there. Speaking of his fascination for spatial emptiness in the press release, Kapoor explains:

“All my life I have reflected and worked on the concept that there is more space than can be seen, that there are void spaces, or, as it were, that there is a vaster horizon. The odd thing about removing content, in making space, is that we, as human beings, find it very hard to deal with the absence of content. It’s the horror vacui. This Platonic concept lies at the origin of the myth of the cave, the one from which humans look towards the outside world. But here there is also a kind of Freudian opposite image, that of the back of the cave, which is the dark and empty back of being. Your greatest poet, Dante, also ventured into a place like that. It is the place of the void, which paradoxically is full – of fear, of darkness. Whether you represent it with a mirror or with a dark form, it is always the ‘back’, the point that attracts my interest and triggers my creativity.” (Source)

By creating this zone of dread — a vacuum of inverted reality that threatens our mortal existences with its apparent soullessness — Kapoor’s whirlpool unveils a special form of significance. The whirlpool is a world “which is paradoxically full,” for instead of beauty and safety, we are confronted with a vital impulse: a void brimming with life-affirming fear that destabilizes our constructions of reality. The whirlpool evades all concrete meaning by always moving, existing beyond our knowledge, troubling us with the notion of infinite absence.

The show ran until May 9th. This whirlpool is an another version of Kapoor’s Descension, which was featured earlier this year at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Visit Kapoor’s website and Galleria Continua to learn more. (Via My Amp Goes to 11)

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Artist Interview: The Amazing And Prodigious Creative Skills Of Stefan G. Bucher

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Stefan G. Bucher is a graphic designer, illustrator, author, creator of monsters, and pursuer of obsessions. The (sole) creative force behind 344, his clients have included art galleries, film directors, magazines, record companies, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Blue Man Group. If you’ve seen the Yeti themed Saks Christmas windows, you’ve seen Stefan’s work. The Daily Monster is his, too. The cover of The Matrix soundtrack; typography for Mirror, Mirror; Blue Man Theater. All Stefan G. Bucher.

Aside from his amazing and prodigious creative skills, Stefan is an astute observer of culture and a consistently funny writer. He agreed to be interviewed for Beautiful/Decay.

B/D: Thanks for talking with me, Stefan—I’m just going to jump right in. What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on right now?

Stefan Bucher: It’s my pleasure. The most interesting project I’m working on right now is the pitch for an animated show surrounding the Daily Monsters. It’s a long process of uncertain outcome, but it involves a lot of things I love—illustration, working with a brilliant writer and a genius animation producer, thinking about music and character design. It’s great! I’m also working on a solo gallery show for the spring. That’s just a big beast breathing down my neck. I don’t know how much of it will be retrospective and how much will be new work. I just want it to be a fun trip for the audience.

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Patty Carroll’s Ghostly Women Draped In Fabric

Patty Carroll - Photography

Patty Carroll - Photography

Patty Carroll - Photography

Patty Carroll - Photography

Patty Carroll photographs women who hide behind fabric. In her series, Anonymous Women: Draped, she features figures sitting and standing, all shrouded in luscious fabrics, rugs, and more. These women are invisible, meant to convey the idea that as we perfect the space of our home, it can fuse with our identity. Carroll’s choice in fabrics harkens another era, and look like they could be in the house of a grandparent. The Nuclear family of the 1950’s and 1960’s comes to mind in her work, when women’s roles were often domestically confined. Carroll writes about the series and the inspiration and implications behind it, stating:

I am addressing the double edge of domesticity; the home as a place of comfort, or conversely, a place where decoration camouflages one’s individuality to the point of claustrophobia. The draperies in these photographs act as both a visual cue as well as a literal interpretation of over-identification/obsession! While my direct sources for this series come from furnishing a home, as well as remembering the nuns in their habits while growing up, this series also references draped statues from the Renaissance, women wearing the burka, the Virgin Mary, ancient Greek and Roman dress, priests’ and judges’ robes, among others. I believe everyone has a hidden identity formed by personal traditions, memories, and ideas that are cloaked from the outer world. Cultivating these inner psychological, emotional and intellectual worlds is perhaps our greatest challenge as people, wherever we come from or wherever we live. (Via I need a guide)

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MALICK SIDIBÉ

Malick Sidibé’s magnificent portraits of sweeping personal and cultural changes in post-colonial Africa have been celebrated around the world. Positioned at the junction of Malian independence in 1960 and a period of rapid modernization, his works bear witness to the joy, insouciance and confidence of Africa’s youth revolution.

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Nicolás Lamas’ construction of an artificial habitat


Nicolás Lamas’ work is created to contrast the perception that we have about what belongs to the natural order with dislocated structures that respond to the pressures and strains of contemporary culture.  As part of this process, he builds fragmentations in the organization of scientific knowledge that result in hybrids that demonstrate an ongoing clash between nature and artifice, between reality and fiction.
Nicolás is primarily interested in exposing the artifice that is implicit in any system of representation of living forms, revealing–and not concealing–the falsehood inherent to the process of construction of knowledge in modern times and its utopias. Thus, he questions the logic and rational procedures that have always been applied to classification systems, including the management of collections at museums of natural history and their predecessors, the cabinets of curiosities.

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Oh, Brother

Most car commercials are boring. This one is imaginative, funny, and creative.

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Daniel Davidson Gets Symmetrical

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Daniel Davidson makes some sweet drawings.  These mirror image eye feasts walk a fine line, and feel like the characters could either be bugging out or eerily still.

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Chuck Close Interview

Charlie Rose interviews one of the most famous living artists today about becoming permanently paralyzed, his painting process, and how luck can be more important than success.

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