This is a huge disco ball. The hugest, actually. Michel De Broin‘s newest site specific installation One Thousand Speculations was created for Toronoto’s Luminato Festival. The piece consists of disco ball over 25 feet in diameter hoisted 80 feet into the air, spun and spotlit each night of the festival. The ‘thousand’ of the piece’s title likely refers to the ball’s mirrors – a thousand of which reflect on David Pecaut Square below. Each of the individual mirrors reflect a large swath of light that travels over the yards and buildings each evening. The surrounds, perhaps unavoidably, seem to feel just a little more lighthearted.
Australian sculptor, Paul Kaptein creates unusual but skillful wooden sculptures that question our ability to look past missing pieces in the bigger picture. Kaptein, interested in the Buddhist term sunyata (Sanskrit word for ideas of emptiness as a way to achieve wholeness), integrates (and questions) notions of substance, emptiness, and temporality into his highly skilled pieces of wooden work.
By seamlessly incorporating empty gaps (usually long empty rectangles) into busts and entire recreations of human bodies, Kaptein imposes the viewer with questions as to why these pieces are missing. The simple fact that viewers will directly and promptly question this characteristic first, further enables Kaptein’s interest in challenging the viewer’s resistance, and/or apprehension to accept something that is not complete. The main idea here relies on getting the spectator to react to Kaptein’s work for what it is: seamless, beautiful wooden sculptures that happen to be missing a piece or two.
It can also be said that these gaps are indicative of conceptions of time:
I’m exploring the notion of the now as a remix of past and future potentialities. This facilitates a renegotiation of perceptual truths resulting in an expression of things not quite truth, yet not quite fiction.
These days you don’t see enough printmaking in galleries. You may see a silkscreen here or there but when was the last time you saw some wood block prints that are 3×4 feet? I’m glad to know that Katrina Andry is not only making interesting work using this old school art making tradition but is also raising the bar by going big.
On May 29 at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Luxembourgian performance artist Deborah de Robertis, wearing a gold sequined dress, plopped down in front of Gustav Courbet’s painting “The Origin of the World,” and spread her legs and vaginal lips, publicly exposing herself. The artist’s intent was to re-enact the famous painting, but with an open, exposed vagina in contrast to the vagina presented in Courbet’s piece. Eventually, de Robertis was escorted from the premises by police officers, and two museum guards filed sexual exhibitionist complaints against her after the incident.
“This is a typical case of disrespecting the museum’s rules, whether for a performance or not,” the Musée d’Orsay’s administration said in a statement. “No request for authorization was filed with us. And even if it had been, it’s not certain we would have accepted it as that may have upset our visitors.”
de Robertis, of course, disagrees with these accusations (as does Banksy). “If you ignore the context, you could construe this performance as an act of exhibitionism, but what I did was not an impulsive act,” she explained to Luxemburger Wort. “There is a gap in art history, the absent point of view of the object of the gaze. In his realist painting, the painter shows the open legs, but the vagina remains closed. He does not reveal the hole, that is to say, the eye. I am not showing my vagina, but I am revealing what we do not see in the painting, the eye of the vagina, the black hole, this concealed eye, this chasm, which, beyond the flesh, refers to infinity, to the origin of the origin.”
de Robertis says she’s performed this piece, “Mirror of Origin,” more than once in the same museum without causing a hysteric scene, and unsurprisingly, this is not the first time a performance artist has imitated a famous work of art by exposing their body: last year, performance artist Arthur G stripped down and appeared in front of Musée d’Orsay’s parade of male nudes, “Masculin/Masculin.” It is also not unusual for female performance artists to use their bodies as a medium for messages about our culture and the way it conceptualizes female anatomy and sexuality: I’m thinking of recent Beautiful/Decay features, like Milo Moire’s vaginal egg-dropping and Casey Jenkins’ vaginal knitting. The reactions garnered from such performances reflect our culture’s current conception of female anatomy and sexuality and prove that our stripped-bare biology continues to be seen as obscene, threatening, and attention-seeking, even within performance-based contexts. (via art fido)
One of my most favorite designers has updated his portfolio! Actually some of the work isn’t super new, I just wanted to give it some face time on the B/D site. Also check out some of the other projects Jonathan has going on at TRU$T FUN! (where these “Glory Scarfs” came from) and FASHEMATICS.
Photographer Wes Naman‘s Scotch Tape series is playful if not a bit creepy. Naman wraps clear tape around his subjects’ heads severely distorting their face. The tape tugs and squeezes lips, eyebrows, and noses making light of the idea of portraits. Slightly disturbing, the portraits resemble smiling car accident survivors or botched plastic surgery victims. Such simple but inventive ideas have made Naman a rather successful photographer winning him clients as diverse as High Times Magazine and T-Mobile. [via]
Nice wall-mounted sculptures made from books by Tennessee via Malaysia artist Daniel Lai. The sculptures feature clay figures in “Thinker” poses positioned amongst artfully folded leaves from various books. These capture the quiet, contemplative mind-space brought on by a good read, and would make good company in any studio, study, or living room. The Internet and tablet readers are alright, but there’s something about print that just can’t be beat. Always up for a good tribute to ink on paper. (via)
The monumental works of Danish artist Rasmus Danø orbit the dark side of modernity: The atom bomb, the polluted landscape, the decay of pop culture back yards like Disneyland and Graceland. Using a condensed and dramatic form mixing elements of comic book art, Californian underground, and murals with the great European tradition, the large scale religious implementations of the Baroque in particular, Danø works range from the traditional painting to reliefs and singular objects.