You liking what you're reading, but you don't have time to check my blog every day?
Subscribe here to get all my new blog posts delivered straight to your email, cell phone or PDA
Be sure to check the verification message that will come to your email to activate your subscription.
August 31, 2009
Jefferson Pinder and José Ruiz at (G Fine Art) El Museo del Ghetto
Jefferson Pinder, José Ruiz, Roulette, video, 2009
EL MUSEO DEL GHETTO
Is pleased to present
Jefferson Pinder and José Ruiz
At G Fine Art, Washington DC
September 26 – October 24 20009
Opening reception September 26, 2009, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Curated by Christopher K. Ho
At 625-27 E Street NW Washington DC 20004
(G Fine Art) El Museo del Ghetto is pleased to present new, major collaborative and individual works by Jefferson Pinder and Jose Ruiz at its temporary location on 625-27 E Street, NW, Washington, DC. El Museo del Ghetto at once deepens and exceeds the constellation of issues—about history, narrative, and identity—explored with various intensity in Pinder’s 2006 solo show at G Fine Art, and subjects them to the sly, deadpan humor evident in Ruiz’s own previous solo shows, in 2005 and 2007.
Perhaps the signal piece is Roulette, a collaborative video projected in the main space, Pinder puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. Ruiz responds by taking a different kind of shot—of tequila. The initial set up—a simple alternation, registered by the camera’s back and forth movement—engenders radically divergent, even contradictory, narrative structures. The anxious anticipation of watching Pinder’s game of Russian roulette eventually softens into staccato rhythm, while Ruiz becomes increasingly incapacitated by alcohol. That Pinder is African American and Ruiz is Latin American adds yet another layer.
Other works evidence Roulette’s deceptive simplicity (one might even say formalism). Ruiz’s Picasso Wore Mascara remakes Picasso’s Desmoiselles d’Avignon with Mexican wrestling masks in place of African ones. Pinder’s Mercury Capsule is a version of the 1959-61 eponymous NASA spacecraft made with wood from President Obama’s inauguration platform. And in the spirit of cultural communion, Pinder’s Missionary Project explores the Mexican underground commuter scene by delving into music. Using Afro-American sounds as a representation of self; the multi-channeled video performance brings the viewer into these precious exchanges in the underbelly of Mexico City. Rhythms harmonize (and clash) as the artist hawks his culture for ten pesos on crowded trains.
In Ruiz’s One Liners, two vinyl sentences, from respective positive reviews of Pinder and Ruiz’s previous solo exhibitions at the gallery, grace the walls, testing their accuracy and longevity in this new context, as well as underscoring the irony of a critically supported gallery now looking for a new home. Such irony might be the gist of Pinder’s video Lazarus, in which volunteers help the artist push a stalled car, only to (metaphorically) circle back to the same place. But then again, it is perhaps the enthusiastic involvement of so many between the start and the finish, regardless of the distance traveled (or not), which is the central point.
Jefferson Pinder’s work has been in numerous group shows at venues including The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, the Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Poland, and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture). Currently, he is showing new work in After 1968, a traveling exhibition that originated at the High Museum in Atlanta. Pinder received his B.A. in theatre from the University of Maryland, and studied at the Asolo Theatre Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida before returning to received is MFA in mixed media (2003). Based in Washington, D.C., Pinder is now an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, where he teaches art theory and foundations.
José Ruiz is a New York City-based artist and curator, by way of Lima, Brasilia, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, who has shown his concept-based installations, videos, images, and objects nationally and internationally. His socio-political interests mirror his exhibition history through a preference in working with non-profit and alternative spaces. He is a member of several interdisciplinary collectives, such as Band Wagon (New York, NY), The Global Collective (UK, France, Netherlands, USA), and was a founding member of Decatur Blue, a D.C. art collective currently on sabbatical. He has served as a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, a guest speaker at the Rhode Island School of Design, The College of New Jersey, and the Transart Institute, and as an Alumni Representative for the San Francisco Art Institute. He has recently exhibited at the Incheon Biennial in Korea, Context Gallery in Ireland, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and Moti Hasson Gallery, Cuchifritos, Longwood Arts Project, El Museo del Barrio, and the Queens Museum of Art, all in New York. Ruiz has recently participated in the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation’s Grants & Commissions Program, Emerge10 Artist Fellowship at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, and the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning’s Workspace Residency Program. Currently, he is working on projects for El Museo del Barrio (NY), Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands), and Momenta Art (NY).
Every now and then a rapper does something so hot or creative to me that I feel compelled to share it. I love the mixtape by Drake. His mixtape the first hip hop since Kanye West that has captured my attention and I love it! This is the video for "Successful" which is damn near my anthem right now. Hip Hop heads check it out and enjoy. To my non-hip hop heads don't worry I am not turning the blog into Rap City. The focus is still on visual art, sub-culture and things a lil left of center, but pop culture is still an important element on UrbanPopLife and this Drake phenomenon is a little of everything: it's artistic, it was until recently an undergorund thing and now is part of pop culture. In other words he really kind embodies Urban Pop.
There are so many people who have inspired me in my life. My parents, some friends and the occasional pop culture icon. I am not easily inspired by flash and style. For me it has always been substance, discipline, integrity and persistence that inspires me to be more than I ever thought I could be.
None of us are perfect, but we're perfect in our imperfections because we each serve as a reminder to each other of the promise of God to forgive us all for our sins and his promise to love us all unconditionally. Our lives are the greatest works of art ever created.
Our lives are performance art because we dance a daily dance that balances our thoughts and urges with our dreams and aspirations. We create ourselves with our actions, choices and deeds. Our lives are visual art because the beauty of the images we paint during our greatest moments of happiness and the pain of the tragedies we create and experience are woven into the most wonderful tapestry one can imagine. We view each other through our five senses as well as our minds and when we evolve we can learn to see with our hearts and souls. I've learned to start seeing with my heart and you are all beautiful works of art.
Life is also a collaborative type of art. God created us in a single act of divine and passionate creation, but then he then proceeds in an exceedingly generous fashion to hand the paint brush to each of us. We are provided with an opportunity to go about creating, refining and presenting ourselves as ever evolving works of very personal art.
Senator Ted Kennedy is the most recent work of human art to be completed. He was a kind and caring man with very deep personal convictions. He was a statesman, father, uncle, brother, nephew, son, friend and so much more. He was of course as flawed as any of us, but what made his life special to me if that he lived his life with conviction, persistence, humility, gratitude, compassion, kindness and love. In my personal view his redemption is complete.
He was able to hold on to his personal beliefs and stand for what he thought was right. He was able to disagree passionately with someone over a political issue, but still embrace them as a loving friend. This ability is an example of not taking things personally and the power that living that particular agreement can bring to ones life.
I believe that the Kennedy family has held a special place in the consciousness of our country for a very long time for one very special reason..that despite great wealth and influence and the temptations that surely come with that kind of wealth and power the Kennedy family seems to have never forgotten that they are blessed. The family embodies a sense or service to ones community and the duty to make sure that all families have a right to live in dignity. Ted Kennedy and his deceased brothers John and Robert all seemed to understand that health care, civil rights, equal protection under the law and a quality education are rights NOT privileges and that all human beings are entitled to them. He was also a huge supporter of the arts and this part of him has a special place in my heart. He was an accomplished painter and he also did a tremendous amount of work to help make the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. what is is today.
Senator Kennedy lived a life in which he treated those with less with the same dignity as he did the wealthy and powerful. He was both an idealist and a pragmatist. More than anything, Senator Kennedy inspired me in his teaching and living of one very simple ideal: there is NOTHING that you can't accomplish. In his own Irish Catholic way he embodied my personal truth: YOU ARE WHAT YOU DREAM!
Yet another person who inspired me to be the best man I can be has passed away. We can remember his sacrifice and service by doing our very best to follow our own dreams and to love and cherish each other despite our perceived difference. We are all Americans and humans and members of the same wonderful family of God.
Rest in peace a true American hero...Edward M. Kennedy
The day Michael Jackson died hundreds of people descended on the Apollo Theater to share our love of Michael and his music. I of course brought my Nikon with me. I was one of God knows how many photographers on the scene documenting the experience. Angel L. Brown has curated a show of photography from that day at the Apollo called Gone Too Soon.
I have two pieces of work in the show and both are for sale. The show is at Billie's Black in Harlem and opens on Sunday August 30, 2009 the day after what would have been Michael's 51st birthday. There is an opening reception from 4pm until 8pm which will include live performances and a chance to meet and greet the artists. I will make an appearance at the event along with my fellow artists.
Last night I was invited by my good friend and business associate Lee Soulja to check out the fragrance launch party for the new Diesel scent "Only The Brave" ( I dunno bout that name...hmmm). The spokesperson for the campaign is rapper Common. I've def liked a few of his songs, but could never call myself a fan. Hip Hop in general has kinda bored me for the last few years and backpackers while meaning well and being VERY talented and among the most "pure" of hip hop artists kind of have that weird holier than thou vibe that doesn't sit well with me. So for all these reasons and more I could never call myself a fan of Common though I have always respected him.
After watching him rrrrrrrrip his set last night I have the following statement to make: "Common...brotha...I AM SORRY AND I PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE! You are the shit LIVE! A dynamic performer who is clearly passionate about his art form and the people who support it" You have to love and respect a guy who is that passionate about something he loves!
He killed the set! Common commanded the stage with the energy of a 22 year old and the swagger of a gangsta rapper all with the maturity of an artist who's been in the game for years and has the class to be engaging without uttering a single curse word. Kudos, love and respect. Now I hope I get to shoot images of the brotha someday.
By the way, I hear the fragrance smells pretty good. I can't be sure because there was none in the room.
...and I'm out.
Oops one last thing..here's a few pics from the event. There were lots of sexy ladies and handsome gents. Spotted in the room were Memsor Karamake of Vibe, DJ Baker, Artist Baron, Jessie O, Lee Soulja, and Puff of Notorious.
"This is The Life" & i'm ready 2 live it 2 da fullest potential of the creativity that's been bestowed upon me/ooh wee sha sha koo koo yeah/pin-up girls, portraits and magazines are coming your way/today and every day will be a RickyDAY/r u ready?
This blog is about art and pop culture. I can think of no other political family that has been a bigger part of pop culture for the last 40 plus years than the Kennedy family. It is with sadness and respect that I share the news with you of the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died Wednesday at his home in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."
Last week I did a post about the great show currently running at P.P.O.W. Gallery called Young Curators, New Ideas II. it was organized by Amani Olu. This weekend I chatted with Amani about the show and his background. Check out our conversation.
While it seems fairly obvious what the concept is behind Young Curators, New Ideas II don’t like to assume. Can you provide some insight into how the show came together and what it’s about?
Why focus on the curatorial process for an exhibit?
The exhibition at P.P.O.W is actually the second installment. I first organized this show last summer at BOND STREET GALLERY; a short lived spaced located in Gowanus where I worked as director and curator. This exhibition was originally about practicality: I needed to produce a summer show and I didn’t have the time curate one, so I invited my curator and artist friends to curate micro exhibitions in the gallery. It worked out nicely and I was able to keep my job, though I had no idea it would only last four months. The second installment is less about job retention and more about curatorial practice, specifically examining the ideas of young curators as opposed to artists.
The exhibition doesn’t directly focus on curatorial process as much as it explores the ideas of curators. I think it’s important to focus on curators, as we tend to help provide context and present work in a way that permits accessibility for both art professionals and the general public.
How has the response to the show been?
Response to the show has been amazing. There was a substantial amount of pre press, there were probably 600 people at the opening and the show has been reviewed by Time Out New York (4 out of 5 stars) and a little bird told me about an upcoming review in Village Voice by the famed Kim Levin. The same bird told me that Barbara London (MoMA) loved the show and called it “Fresh.” Now, we’re just waiting on Roberta Smith.
What has most surprised you about the response to the show?
That people loved the show. Believe it or not, I never considered it, and I think that is partly because I only curated the curators. My neck wasn’t on the line in the same way.
Tell me a bit about your background. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I had a good childhood considering I grew up in and around abject poverty in neighborhoods such as Germantown, North and West Philly. I didn’t grow up in museums or art galleries. All I can remember is that I felt different, like I didn’t belong and that I wanted to do something creative.
Do you come from a big family?
I have two sisters and one brother. I’m a middle child.
Was art a big influence in your life during childhood?
Art was not a big influence. My father was a DJ, so I grew up on music. I do remember being a kid and having a huge fascination with the graffiti in the tunnels. I would look out the window to see the new pieces. That was my only relationship to art. And of course there was fashion. I was always interested in wearing nice clothes. As a kid I would beg my mother to buy me things she could not afford. In the hood if you don’t have money, you damn sure better look like it. You pretty much learn that early. I guess I’ve always been interested in aesthetics.
Tell me a little more Amani Olu Projects. You’re a private dealer right?
amani olu projects is the umbrella company for my curatorial, advising and private dealing practice. Under amani olu projects, I have participated in SCOPE New York, SCOPE Basel, curated After Color at Bose Pacia, which ended on August 21 and organized Young Curators, New Ideas II.
How long have you been in business?
Well, that depends on which business we’re talking about. I began publishing an arts and culture magazine (b.informed) in Philly in 2002, but I didn’t really get into the art business until August 2005, when I moved to New York and co-founded Humble Arts Foundation.
What kind of clients do you work with?
I work with the type of clients who have green money or plastic credit cards, preferably those black ones by American Express.
I know you wrote The Collector's Guide to Emerging Art Photography, published by Humble Arts Foundation. Are you particularly passionate about educating and encouraging new collectors as well as educating seasoned collectors about emerging artists?
I didn’t write The Collector’s Guide, I produced it, and it’s a collection of 163 single images from photographers that we think deserve recognition. Alana Celii, Jon Feinstein and Grant Willing curated the book. I had no say in the works that were selected; I was primarily on the business end of that project.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully making some money. Those suits ain’t gonna buy themselves.
Do you currently have a physical space where you meet clients?
I meet with clients at 111 Front Street, Room 204. It’s a gallery owned by my good friend and colleague Kris Graves (Kris Graves Projects). We have a great working relationship and he’s been extremely supportive of my efforts. In fact, he is one of the first people to inspire and influence me.
How can a potential collector start a relationship with you?
They just need to call, email, text, interrupt me at dinner or do whatever the have to do. I don’t care. I’m around. Getting in touch with me is easy, they can start here: www.amaniolu.com
What’s the most important thing you’d say to someone who is considering becoming a collector of photography?
Buy work you love, you have to live with it.
Who are some emerging photographers to watch out for?
Michael Bühler-Rose, Michael Vahrenwald and Ann Woo.
Thanks for having this conversation with me and sharing your insight with my readers.
Check out some more images of the work in the show.
"How do you talk about Michael Jackson unless you begin with Prince Screws? Prince Screws was an Alabama cotton-plantation slave who became a tenant farmer after the Civil War, likely on his old master's land. His son, Prince Screws Jr., bought a small farm. And that man's son, Prince Screws III, left home for Indiana, where he found work as a Pullman porter, part of the exodus of southern blacks to the northern industrial cities.
There came a disruption in the line. This last Prince Screws, the one who went north, would have no sons. He had two daughters, Kattie and Hattie. Kattie gave birth to ten children, the eighth a boy, Michael—who would name his sons Prince, to honor his mother, whom he adored, and to signal a restoration. So the ridiculous moniker given by a white man to his black slave, the way you might name a dog, was bestowed by a black king upon his pale-skinned sons and heirs. " This starts a great story in the Fall Style Issue of GQ.
So yet another piece of redemptive information surfaces. Prince, the name most of us mocked that Michael bestowed upon his boys, was actually a tribute to his maternal grandfather and the legacy of a former slave and his descendants who made a better life for themselves in Indiana. Wow!
I will keep saying this until I go to my grave. READ READ READ AND adopt the Four Agreements. Being impeccable with ones word, NOT making assumptions, always doing your best and NOT taking anything personally are life changing concepts. Had Michael Jackson NOT been so personally affected by the garbage spewed his way by jealous and often juvenile public and had we not been so quick to assume the worst and most absurd things about him were always true perhaps he'd still be here, be black and be making music to help us get through these difficult economic days. Of course, I cannot assume or presume to know what he was thinking and how much of the odd behavior was innocent vs. nefarious, but I do know that if we spent more time worrying about our own shit instead of everyone else's the world would likely be a better place.
Check out the full story in the current issue of GQ. It also has a great photo spread featuring Michael images when he was still very black, very suave and very cool.
Nico Wheadon is a bright up and coming curator. She is assistant curator at Rush Arts in Chelsea and also doing lots of independent curating on her own. I recently attended Young Curators, New Ideas II at P.P.O.W. Gallery in Chelsea.
Below is a description of the show which I liked a lot. I attended opening night which was a major scene. The gallery was packed with art lovers, young artists and collectors. Check out the show before it closes and keep an eye open for Nico in particular. She is a talent to watch and I personally expect great things from her in the future. And I'm not just saying this because she's beautiful (but her beauty sure doesn't hurt...lol).
Amani olu projects, in conjunction with P.P.O.W Gallery is pleased to present Young Curators, New Ideas II, a curator focused exhibition that examines new voices in contemporary art through the perspective of seven New York based curators. These varied micro-exhibitions experiment with curatorial practice and an exploration of ideas as physical form.
Curators: Karen Archey // Cecilia Jurado // Megha Ralapati // Jose Ruiz // Nico Wheadon // Cleopatra’s (Bridget Donahue, Bridget Finn, Kate McNamara & Erin Somerville) // Women in Photography (Amy Elkins & Cara Phillips)
Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 6:00pm - Friday, August 28, 2009 at 5:00pm
511 W. 25th Street, ste. 301
New York, NY
Congratulations to Mike Street who won the Ledisi ticket giveaway. Mike lives in New York and is thrilled to be going to the special private performance tomorrow night.
The answers to the contest questions are as follows:
1) name the city of my birth - Saint Louis, Missouri
2) name the city I grew up in - Los Angeles, California
3) what's the name of the photo portrait series I am currently at work on - This is The Life
4) give me the name of one painting or drawing from my collection of works - "Jackie" 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas
5) give me the name of one photograph from my collection of works - "Self portrait with disco balls"
6) when and where was the first solo exhibition of my paintings? Introducing Ricky Day at Bus Boys and Poets in Washington DC (Jan/February 2008)
Make sure to check the blog daily and add me on Facebook and Twitter for special announcements and other great contests in the days and weeks to come.
It's nice to see people finish hat they start. Awhile back I did an artist profile on an up and coming vocalist I discovered online called Dy'Ari. Well last night I was one of approximately 60 invited guests at a special listening party to hear the debut release by Dy'Ari.
The event took place in Manhattan at the popular Secret Lounge on the west side. The event wasn't quite as star studded as the Whitney Houston event I attended a couple of weeks ago, but it was more impressive in several ways. First of all Dy'Ari is an independent act. SeanMichael Rodgers and Dy"Ari have been working hard on this double CD debut for quite sometime now and without the backing of a major label. Another distinguishing quality about this project is that it's and independent release that sounds first class complete with good writing, good arrangements, nice vocal performances and professional production qualities. In short you're love or hate this CD on the merits of the songs and Dy'Ari's performance because the production quality is on point and that cannot be questioned.
The music is electro pop and seems to be intended to stand next to artists like Lady GaGa, Michelle Williams, Katy Perry and others. In the coming weeks I will share more details about the music itself as the release date nears.
Dy'Ari happens to be a LGBT alternative artist and several members of and friends of the community were in attendance including; Baron, DJ Baker, Cordell McClary, Briian Dargon and others. Also in attendance was singer-songwriter-producer P. Murry and recording artist J-Harris.
It's my birthday, but I prefer to give and I've got a pair of tickets to see Ledisi Wed. night here in NYC. Everyone is welcome to play, but you must be here in New York to pick up the tickets and attend the concert event.
To win the tickets you have to be the first person to email me the answers to the following questions:
Since it's my birthday today it's all about me so...
1) name the city of my birth
2) name the city I grew up in
3) what's the name of the photo portrait series I am currently at work on
4) give me the name of one painting or drawing from my collection of works
5) give me the name of one photograph from my collection of works
6) when and where was the first solo exhibition of my paintings?
Hint: all the information is on my website. You should know the address by now. www.rickyday.net
Send your replies to: email@example.com.
The first person to answer all 6 questions accurately will win the tickets to see Ledisi here in NYC this Wed. night.
IT'S A SPECIAL URBAN POP LEDISI GIVEAWAY COMING MONDAY
It's my birthday, but the gift is for YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sign up to follow me on Facebook.com or Twitter and follow my updates. I will be doing an exclusive Urban Pop Life Ledisi giveaway for one lucky reader on Monday details via Facebook, Twitter and this blog. Better check all 3 to make sure you don't miss a clue.
If you love good "sangin" get ready. Your girl Ledisi is back!!!!!
Soul singer/songwriter Ledisi promises a to keep it “raw, spiritual, uninhibited, and aggressive, and tell it all” with her new album ‘Turn Me Loose’ (out Aug 18th on Verve Forecast). 2007 GRAMMY Best New Artist nominee Ledisi (rhymes with legacy) took the world by storm with her chart-topping Verve Forecast debut ‘Lost & Found,’ but says the new record is all about “the desire to be free and embrace change.”
Ledisi wrote and produced along with an all-star cast of producers of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, Chief Xcel, Chucky Thompson, Ivan and Carvin, Lorenzo Johnson, Fyre Department, and ‘Lost & Found’ producer Rex Rideout to give her that “freedom sound” she was looking for, something she’s already known to bring to her live performances.
Though many have praised Ledisi’s sound, “a mix of contemporary urban, but her training and love of classic jazz and R&B show through, and her love of scatting has become signature,” (LA Times, 2/6/08), she says ‘Turn Me Loose’ was heavily inspired by listening to the raw soul/funk music of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes’ over and over again for two months. “I cried when I first heard this album in 2008. I cried because I heard and felt the pain, the spirit in his voice it moved me. I wanted that freedom I heard in his voice. I wanted to scream and give my all without thinking,” she explains adding, “I studied Buddy's life and his music, which led me back to Mr. Jimi Hendrix, Mr. Prince, Mr. Sly, Mr. Fela Kuti and Mr. James Brown. I heard FREEDOM in their music.” Of the fourteen tracks on ‘Loose’, Ledisi wrote or co-wrote all but the cover of Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes.”
Ledisi’s 2007 major label debut 'Lost & Found' garnered the Bay Area resident two GRAMMY nominations including Best New Artist. The recognition led to a series of high-profile appearances in 2008 including performances at the JVC and Monterey Jazz Festivals and the Essence Music Festival where she performed with Patti LaBelle, a role in the George Clooney film Leatherheads, a song in the Tyler Perry film Meet The Browns, a performance with Prince at Coachella and on the Tonight Show, and a BET award nomination. Her powerhouse voice and stories of everyday struggles and triumphs have made such a strong connection with fans.
Wolfgang Tillmans was born on 16th August in Remscheid, Germany. He lived and worked in Hamburg at the end of the 1980s before moving to England. He studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art from 1990 to 1992.
Tillmans is mainly known for his use of multiple photographic genres and his unique gallery presentations and his practice has also extended to video.
Since the mid-1980s, Wolfgang Tillmans has reinterpreted representational genres from portraiture to still life to landscape through the medium of photography. He employs a presentational practice that engages the dynamics of space, varying the size of his photographs based on the specific spatial setting of a venue and producing them as large inkjet prints and c-type-prints in multiple sizes. First recognized in the early 1990s for photographs of friends and street subculture he has developed a highly distinctive style of image making that freely embraces a broad range of subjects—from experiences of the everyday, the homo-erotic snapshot, to abstractions that result from experiments with the photographic process.
His exhibition strategies are unique and distinctive, and have changed the way in which photographic images are read and received in the exhibition context. An aspect of his artistic practice is to assume a curatorial role—he creates configurations with his photographs that draw formal, symbolic and ephemeral connections. His installations encourage active audience engagement and ask viewers to consider their own experiences within Tillmans’ visual world.
One of Tillmans' other chief modes of presentation is through the book form, and his numerous collections (see bibliography below) offer both extended studies of specific artistic interests such as in the book Concorde, while other books function in a way similar to his gallery installations and include images from several bodies of work. Tillmans won the Turner Prize in 2000. He is the first artist working with photography at the center of his practice to have won the Turner Prize and as well the first non-British citizen to have done so.
Since 2006 Wolfgang Tillmans has run a exhibition space below his studio in London called Between Bridges.
The following conversation is an interview by Dirk Peitz with one of my favorite photographers, Wolfgang Tillmans.
Wolfgang Tillmans is an unapologetically talented visionary and one of my favorite photographers (along with Gordon Parks and William Eggleston).
I discovered Tillman's work long after I had created my own asthetic, but there is a conversation between our work that cannot be denied. I love the intellect of his work which simultaneously finds a way to exist without taking itself too seriously. We are both very focused on the essence of perception and use photographic techniques to explore this fertile area of creation. I, like Wolfgang Tillmans am aware that we are photographing ourselves to death! Between camera phones, consumer cameras and all the "fashion" and "art" photographers in the world it is very difficult to create something unique or special or to assess the "good" from the "bad." This is another reason to focus my interest and the direction of my work on perception itself.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Check out samples of Wolfgang's work which I have also included here. This interview is from : sightandsound.com please check them out.
You photograph what you love
Photographer Wolfgang Tillmans talks to Dirk Peitz about the futile search for absolute truth
Recently, it seemed as if Wolfgang Tillmans was steering a wide berth around German museums. It's been more than five years since the Turner Prize winner's last solo exhibition in Germany, at the Hamburg Deichtorhallen. While the New York gallery P.S.1 did a show of his most recent work last year and a collection is currently touring the USA, from Chicago and Los Angeles to Washington, the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover opened a comprehensive Tillmans show this weekend. "Bali" runs until May 6. In it, the 38 year-old, one of the most significant photographers of his generation, shows for the first time in Germany the table installation of his "Truth Study Centre" as well as more recent works from his "Paper Drop" series. In addition, Walther König has recently published a new Tillmans book: "Manual".
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Mr. Tillmans, are you a photographer who's afraid to take photographs?
Wolfgang Tillmans: Where does that come from?
Because in almost 15 years of creative output, you have constantly come up with new work elements that deviate from graphic photography but remain true to its materiality: Laser prints and blackroom experiments, used photo paper, the photographed photopaper of the "paper drops" series, most recently the table of the "truth study centre," where only the occasional photograph surfaces between the printed works under the glass...
I've been interested in vitrine-like presentation forms for a long time. They were to be seen in my Porticus exhibition in 1995 and my Turner Prize in 2000. The tables of the "truth study centre" became a way to think about perception and truth. I think people who claim absolute truth for themselves are the greatest problem of our time. Nobody wants to admit to not knowing. That applies to the creationists in the USA, to Aids and the policies of the South African government, which denied that HIV caused the Aids virus. The American claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, the Holocaust-deniers in the Middle East, the moral equivalence that's increasingly being drawn in Germany between the bombing of Dresden and the Nazi crimes. These are all things that worry me a lot, on which I collect material, often from newspapers.
When did you start collecting such material?
I've been cutting out newspaper articles and photos and pasting them in notebooks since childhood. Later, I started collecting entire newspapers or at least entire pages. I find it hard to throw newspapers away at the end of the day. I suppose I'm a bit of a clutterholic! I'm pleased that for the exhibition in Hanover, in the Kestnergesellschaft, I was able to dig up things from my parents' reserves, going back to 1979. I like ephemera like calendars, election pamphlets, magazines; things that are not considered valuable and are thrown away but that say a lot about their time.
Should this be understood as an extension of photography?
In my daily life, it all belongs together, but one doesn't always recognise that. In "Manual", my artists' book, which has just appeared, I tried to illustrate these daily processes. While working on the book, I was reminded of the year-long continuity of my interests. Old pieces from 1987 are shown, black and white laser copies which connect perfectly with my most recent work, like the large format pictures "Copenhagen" and "Berlin", based on photocopies, which are to be seen in Hanover. It's always about the combination between the objective and abstract representations. Unfortunately, however, when one talks about art, one is constantly being forced to build on opposites – the language demands it. For me, the abstract picture is already objective because it's a concrete object and represents itself: the paper on which the picture is printed is for me an object, there is no separating the picture from that which carries it. That's why I like to show photographs sometimes framed and sometimes not, just taped to the wall.
Is it not that you want to present your pictures unadorned and directly?
No, for me it was maximum purity and this most simple of presentational forms was about directness of content as well as the vibrancy of a complex image on a simple piece of photgraph paper. It's rarely mentioned that these details can represent different even opposite things. But that's largely a semantic problem for me. Language looks for absolute clarity where art is often about graduations.
But the category "Photographer of youth" was less of a linguistic, more of a real problem in your career, not so?
I had no problem with the association with youth and subcultures, because it was in part true. What I didn't like was "fashion photographer." I associate that with commissioned work and a way of working that has nothing to do with my own. I spent two days of my life with Kate Moss. Out of them came five photographs which I still like today. They carry in them a power of recollection which distinguishes them from many of the other pictures that have been taken of Kate Moss in the last 15 years.
Are you surprised that some people understand your exhibiting rumpled, monochromatic photo paper as a form of denial?
I would call it a conscious slowing-down of seeing. Of course, the content of the picture itself is so strong and convincing that very few people are aware of its materiality. The public's reception generally hobbles way behind the self-perception of the artist. It seems to me that changing the course is about as difficult as it is for a huge tanker. My theory: it takes about seven years. I have always been happy to do the opposite of what was being written about me. When most attention was being paid to pictures of thousands of dancing people, I concentrated on the "drapery", pictures of hanging or lying pieces of clothing, or the "Concorde" series, picture groups that contain for me a unity of abstraction and objectivity.
Nonetheless, audiences was shocked when, in roughly 2000, you started producing abstract ink jet motifs that had been created completely without a camera.
That was a shock for some. I didn't really grasp that at the time, only recently have people been saying to me: "When you started getting into those blushes back in 2000, 2001, I was totally confused..." It's important not to forget the charm of play and curiosity. Novelty just for the sake of novelty is the fashion of the season. Art that I like speaks from its time about its time but it also possesses something enduring beyond its novelty.
You create pointless aesthetic events?
That's part of their quality. They don't necessarily have to make a particular statement. But their creation does have a point. I'm exploring the relationship between intention and coincidence while asking the question: what can I accomplish with the most simple means? This simplicity is important, in my paper drop work for example, where two- and three-dimensional objects are created through light and perspective. One senses that these images were not created with a lot of sophistication on the computer. If it had been technically sophisticated, it would have lost the effect. One doesn't want to see how hard it is to create art.
Why do you still work with photographic means?
I notice that my interest peaks with light-sensitive photographic paper, the analogue photo and the photocopy. And precisely in this moment, as our world stands before the final disembodiment of the image: with digital pictures, there are no negatives, no physical traces of the light. That's exciting. But if I were to take up this theme ten years from now, it would have a nostalgic tone.
Should your work not be nostalgic?
Definitely not. I just find that by looking at old things, we can draw conclusions about how we see things today. In the table project in Hanover, there are two election pamphlets from the Greens from the year 1985 in which they protest against the introduction of private television. It's interesting how right they were, which we can appreciate now with "Big Brother" and Rupert Murdoch, and at the same time, how unrealistic this was, because today we are, thanks to the Internet, much better informed than we were twenty years ago.
Are you less interested in the objective picture because digital photography with mobile phones and digicams has lead to an unfathomable multiplication and devaluation of pictures? We're photographing ourselves to death.
That's true but, although painting is very popular today, art is made with the means of the day and so I'm still very interested in the picture created through the lens. Nonetheless I have caught myself getting pretty pessimistic about this horrendous quantity of images. Photography has become a performative act: we photograph to be photographed and to see the other in the act of photographing. I see in that a subconscious gesture of control: I have power over the event, I don't have to get involved in the event itself. Seen positively, people take photographs of many things that they love, as you can see in the Net.
In reality, little happens in life that's worth documenting.
And there's not enough lifetime to look at all that's been photographed. Photography is really amazingly difficult. Because it's so easy as a medium and so democratic, it's hard to tease something special out of it.
So what's the enduring fascination for you?
Perception is a theme in all my work and in people in particular. Last year I was invited to South Africa by an Aids organisation that I support. I got really involved in portraits. The portrait is a constant challenge because what remains at the end is the meeting of two people. If I were to find that boring, then I would know that something was wrong with me. I can work out all other forms of work with myself and the audience but the portrait is always a direct encounter with one other person.
Your style of portraits have a certain visual language of coolness, you have made the unknown and the known even cooler with your pictures. Did the media resonance of your pictures ever bother you?
I ask myself again and again if I can still take pictures of people, why more pictures of people? Their meaning changes over time and also due in part to my own doing. The world doesn't need more of my pictures of people finding their identities in their clothing and environment. In the more recent portraits, I'm looking for facial expressions, little changes in the face and body position, that reflect my sense of this time.
This interview, was conducted by Dirk Peitz, originally appeared in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on February 20, 2007.
The Sweeney years at The Guggenheim Museum in New York
When the Guggenheim Museum first opened its doors in October 1959, the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda was filled with a selection of more than 120 works from the permanent collection. While the exhibition represented, to a limited extent, the Guggenheim’s history as the former Museum of Non-Objective Painting with works by Vasily Kandinsky and other modernists, the inaugural presentation also included 40 works dating from the 1950s. Drawn from the contemporary paintings and sculpture acquired by director James Johnson Sweeney during his tenure from 1952 to 1960, The Sweeney Decade: Acquisitions at the 1959 Inaugural features examples of international postwar trends in abstraction including Abstract Expressionism, CoBrA, Tachisme, and Art Informel, by artists Karel Appel, Alberto Burri, Eduardo Chillida, Willem de Kooning, Jimmy Ernst, Hans Hartung, Jackson Pollock, Pierre Soulages, Antoni
Tapies, and others.
Sweeney was known to be critical of Wright’s building design as well as the efforts of the museum’s first director, Hilla Rebay. He had the interior walls painted white (in opposition to Rebay’s preference that they be fabric covered), removed canvases from their oversized frames, and added sculpture— including a group of important pieces by Constantin Brancusi—to the collection that at that time was focused on paintings. Sweeney acquired works by vanguard painters working in New York—Abstract Expressionists such as William Baziotes, James Brooks, Ernst, de Kooning, and Pollock—whose work emphasized the emotional aspect of abstraction. He also looked to Europe to find artists who were breaking with traditional composition through gestural and spontaneous means, acquiring examples of the diverse trends of Art Informel (from the French informe, meaning unformed or formless) that proliferated in the 1950s. To this already international mix of abstraction, Sweeney added to the collection, for the first time, works by Asian artists.
The vision that Sweeney presented in the 1959 inaugural exhibition demonstrated the museum’s ability to embrace art that was new and challenging. By including a robust selection of works from the 1950s, made after Solomon R. Guggenheim’s death in 1949, Sweeney in fact remained faithful to the museum’s commitment to innovation championed by its founders. In March 1960, months before he resigned from the Guggenheim, Sweeney published an article titled “New Directions in Painting” in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. There he made the case that in contemporary art, constant change should be seen as an assurance of integrity rather than a sign of fickleness, and that it is the “artist’s business” to be original: “Actually, this so-called ‘instability’ in the art of our period is its health. It is the sign of life in it, a sign of that constant urge to refreshment which, only, will keep the language of art alive.”
I hope all of you are well and having a wonderful summer. I am in the midst of a very busy summer and very challenging transition. For these and other reasons I have not been able to blog as much as normal. This transition period is nearing an end and afterwards the blog and myself will be better than ever.
Have a great day, enjoy the rest of summer and please continue to POP everyday. I truly appreciate it.
This will be a bit of a mellow week on the blog tip as I have 2 major shoots this weekend and I am celebrating my birthday (Monday August 17) with friends, readers and others at Hudson Terrace on Sunday eve at 6:30pm)
Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea at LACMA in Los Angeles
Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea
June 28th - September 20th
This exhibition presents the work of twelve artists from South Korea who were born between 1957 and 1972. Coming of age amid political turmoil and increased freedom, they are keenly aware of their position as citizens of an increasingly prosperous but divided country in a rapidly globalizing cultural and economic environment. By focusing, often humorously, on the ephemerality of life and identity as well as the limitations of communication across languages, cultures, and generations they make presence, absence, and change the center of their work.
Note: In conjunction with Your Bright Future, LACMA commissioned YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES to create a series of artworks to serve as introductions to this web feature; play them randomly by clicking the panel at left. Two more commissioned works by YHCHI are in the exhibition.
In East Asia, family names are written first, followed by the given name. Sometimes names are written as two separate words; other times they run together. Some of the artists in Your Bright Future follow East Asian conventions. Two also run their last and first names together. Others adopt Western conventions when they show their work in the West. We have capitalized the family name of each artist at the beginning of the section about his or her work.
This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in association with SAMUSO: Space for Contemporary Art, Seoul.
It is made possible by grants from The Korea Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Los Angeles presentation of Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea is made possible by Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. Additional support was provided by LACMA's Wallis Annenberg Director's Endowment Fund.
In-kind media support provided by The Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo.
A general admission ticket is a one-day pass to LACMA’s permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions. To purchase general admission tickets, click here.
Seniors (62+ with ID): $8
Students (18+ with school ID): $8
Children (17 and under): Free
Free Admission with Membership
Members receive unlimited FREE general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions for two adults and for their children under 18. (Individual members may bring one adult guest FREE). For more information, go here.
NexGen members also receive unlimited FREE general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions. One adult guest is also admitted FREE. For more information, go here.
Free Admission for All at Selected Times
On the second Tuesday of each month, general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions is free to all.
After 5 pm, you may pay what you wish.
For more information about becoming a LACMA member, click Membership or call 323 857-6151.
LACMA is open every day except Wednesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
LACMA is located on Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Curson avenues—midway between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
From the Santa Monica Freeway (10), take Fairfax Avenue north 2 miles to Wilshire Boulevard. LACMA is on Wilshire between Fairfax and Curson Avenue.
From the southbound Hollywood Freeway, take Highland Avenue 3.5 miles south to Wilshire Boulevard; take a right on Wilshire and proceed 1 mile west to LACMA.
For additional maps and driving instructions, see Mapquest.
For public transportation information, call 1.800.COMMUTE or use the Trip Planner at www.metro.net to find the route that's best for you. Enter 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036 as your destination.
Parking is now available in the new 6th Street parking garage, located just east of Fairfax Avenue. The charge is $7 and may be prepaid at all Welcome Centers, with credit cards now accepted.
Other parking options:
Petersen Automotive Museum parking lot (Fairfax south of Wilshire) | $2 per half hour, $12 daily maximum
Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries lot (Curson north of 6th) | $8
Metered city parking is also available along 6th Street. But please read signs carefully; vehicles in violation will be towed.
Evening special: Vehicles entering the 6th Street parking garage after 7 pm park for free.
We encourage visitors to carpool or use public transportation.
Among the most influential designers of our time, Ron Arad (Israeli, b. 1951) stands out for his daredevil curiosity about technology and materials and for the versatile nature of his work. Trained at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and at London's Architectural Association, Arad has produced an outstanding array of innovative objects over the past twenty-five years, from almost unlimited series of objects to carbon fiber armchairs and polyurethane bottle racks. He has also designed memorable spaces, some plastic and tactile, others ethereal and digital. This exhibition will be the first major retrospective of Arad's design work in the United States.
Arad relies on the computer and its rapid manufacturing capabilities as much as he relies on the soldering apparatus in his metal workshop. His beautiful furniture can even receive and display SMS and Bluetooth messages from mobile phones and Palm Pilots. Idiosyncratic and surprising, and also very beautiful, Arad's designs communicate the joy of invention, pleasure and humor, and pride in the display of their technical and constructive skills. The exhibition will open in Paris in the fall of 2009.
The exhibition is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
The exhibition is supported by Notify.
Additional funding is provided by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
The accompanying publication is made possible by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art
Music Video: Mika Singing Grace Kelly live from the UK
Mika is a wildly creative and OUT artist I discovered last year. He's from the UK and in the coming weeks I'll share more of his music and performances. He's definitely channeling Freddie Mercury and that aint a bad thing either.