According to Gawker‘s Seth Abramovitch a public monument to the Soviet Armed Forces in Sofia, Bulgaria was vandalized spectacularly over the weekend. The statues of the Second World War soldiers were painted to resemble such candy-colored figures of capitalist iconography as Superman, Ronald McDonald, Santa Claus, Captain America and The Joker. The spray-painted writing beneath it says the hack now puts the statue “in step with the times!”
Today, Bulgarian Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov denounced the act as “vandalism…We are the only ones led by some kind of destructive force when it comes to monuments of socialism.” The kid in red on the skateboard just thinks it’s awesome. [sofiaecho.com, photo via AP]
Mark Schoening‘s paintings appear to explode on each panel. Colors and patterns seem to erupt like uncontrollable viruses supplanting the composition. In a way Schoening’s work develops in a similar fashion. Each piece begins with an idea, information. The concept is elaborated on further and further layering glitter, resin, silkscreen, acrylic, latex, and spraypaint. His newest works are an investigation of the way floods of information are spread and consumed. Schoening says:
“I do not have the luxury of escape. In this century, in this moment, few of us do. Information piles up: the advertisements, the mechanisms, the media, the people. I am attached to it, in the midst of it, a part of it. However, as a painter, I am also a witness and a reactionary.”
Mark Schoening opens a new solo exhibit, Recordings of a Lone Infantryman, November 29, 2012 at Marine Conemporary in Venice, California.
The Michelin Man has been given a new lease on life. Thanks to Terry Lawrie, the Michelin Man has evolved from a company mascot to a muse and art model. Terry has ‘re-interpreted’ famous sculptures with the Michelin Man; from the Thinker to the Statue of Liberty. So have a laugh at the expense of the tire spokesman, until you get… tired. Michelin Company does not endorse these sculptures or the previous cheesy pun.
Scottish artist Anna Geerdes‘s paintings focus on map landscapes, as she presents fields stitched together and filled with ants for a fantastical and surreal series entitled The Utopia Project. More images from the series, which was featured at the Royal Scottish Academy in 2010, after the jump.
Colin Strandberg in his studio and his piece "Nature Pattern"
Today’s Art Works Every Time interview is with Colin Strandberg, whose work is a playful exploration of color and shape, straddling both abstraction and figurative work. Colin contributed our grand prize winning graphic, which can be seen on our show flyer. We’ll also be printing T-shirts with the design for the exhibition- first 100 visitors get one for free! Just 5 days away now til the show!
This is a must see documentary for anyone interested in the art world. I walked out of the theater shaking my head in disbelief!
The Art of the Steal follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art collection of, a treasury of works by Renoir (181 of them), Cezanne (69), Van Gogh (7), Seurat (6), Picasso (46) and Matisse (59), to name just a few, all of it tucked away in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion in a Paul Cret-designed villa Barnes built for it in 1924. The collection contains some of the key works of early Modernism, including Cezanne’s Nudes in a Landscape and The Card Players, Seurat’s Models and Matisse’s The Joy of Life, jewel in the crown of his fauve period.
Henry Ford’s Digital Collections Initiatives Manager Ellice Engdahl recently wrote about one of his favorite artifacts of the 18,000 published online: The Monkey Bar diorama. This diorama was created by a man known as Patrick J. Culhane (various spellings) in 1914-15 during his time at the Massachusetts State Prison at Charlestown where he’d been sent after a conviction of “larceny from a conveyance.” Culhane carved and assembled this incredibly detailed piece of prison art by hand from a variety of materials, including peach pits, and scraps of wood, fabric, metal, cellulose, and plastic, all fitting into a base measuring only 16″ x 20″.
Engdahl notes that Monkey Bars were created by other prisoners in the early 20th century, and that “Culhane intended the diorama to depict many of the worldly pitfalls that had put him and his fellow inmates on a path to prison. The Bar is chock full of monkeys engaged in all kinds of rambunctious activities—drinking alcohol, gluttonous eating, smoking (cigarettes, cigars, and opium), gambling and gaming in many forms (craps, roulette, checkers, shell game, and cards), playing music, monitoring the stock market via a ticker, and even paying off a policemonkey. Clearly some of the monkeys are ready to check into (or out of) the associated hotel, as they have their suitcases with them and keys and mail are visible behind the desk.”
After Culhane finished his piece, he arranged to have it sent to Henry Ford, with a hand-written note, “Presented to Mr. Henry Ford / As a token of appreciation and esteem for his many benevolent and magnanimous acts toward, and keen interest in, prisoners / By A Prisoner.”
Engdahl surmises that Ford became interested in Culhane, and may have a hand in his release from prison, as Culhane was hired to work at the Ford Motor Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1916 and Ford’s secretary corresponded with Culhane regularly.