The Daily Pic: Giuseppe Penone's bronze trees take their licks.
One of three peculiar trees made entirely of bronze by Giuseppe Penone, now installed in Madison Square Park in New York care of Mad. Sq. Art. In the late 1960s, Penone made excellent work that distorted live trees, but I quite like this latest simulacrum. It's not trompe-l'oeil for its own sake, but in order to make an imaginary, and otherwise impossible, intervention into nature. Hard to see how you'd get a volcano to spit boulders just where you needed them to fall...
From a musical performance that gossips about Beyoncé to opera singers on bicycles, the team behind PERFORMA picks the nine must-see shows during the festival’s fifth installment.
PERFORMA—the nearly month-long biennial celebrating the multi-faceted realm of performance art—is back for its fifth installment. Featuring over 100 events in more than 40 venues, PERFORMA celebrates a wide-range of artistic disciplines through audience participation. This year, the exhibitions are driven by Surrealism, integrating the art movement's historical legacy into various forms of music, dance, and design.
In no particular order, the team behind PERFORMA offer their suggestions of the nine best performances to see this month.
(PERFORMA 13 runs through November 24.)
courtesy the artist
Tyler Shields has a long history of shooting stars in controversial poses—Mischa Barton licking raw meat, Lindsay Lohan with a gun in her mouth. A new book showcases his greatest hits.
"Tyler Shields saved my life. Right after he almost killed me,” writes actress Emma Roberts in the opening of Shields’s new book, The Dirty Side of Glamour (Available November 12, It Books). She then proceeds to describe her experience of being pushed off of a bridge—all for a photo.
Shields has built his career around capturing almost death-defying scenarios, such as his Suspense series, which included Roberts flying through the air and falling from bridges, and Glee star Heather Morris sporting a severly black eye. Not to mention his infamous photo of the annihilation of a $100,000 Birkin bag.
Somehow, Shields has a way of getting his celebrity friends to do just about anything—even things no one believed he would be able to. According to the artist, that was a lot of people’s mindset during the beginning stages of his career. “I started it probably five or six years ago,” Shields told The Daily Beast. “I had all of these crazy ideas and people were just like, ‘That will never happen. You’re never going to be able to get celebrities to do this, to get out of their comfort zone.’”
He began by contacting friends—among them actors Ashley Greene, Shiloh Fernandez, Juno Temple, and Kelen Lutz—who, at the time, were all just beginning their careers. Everyone jumped on board. They all wanted to do something unforgettable—even if that meant momentarily fearing for their lives.
Art isn’t only a form of therapy for veterans; some just want to express themselves. Expanding opportunities for veterans in creative fields would benefit them and the art world.
There are many stigmas associated with veterans returning from combat. We are all presumed to suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress, and many believe we simply don’t have the capacity to properly assimilate back into society. This assumption can be especially difficult for those of us who enlisted in the military to be part of something larger than ourselves—and who consider art-making and creative expression a continuation of, rather than a release from, service.
Because most people see the military and the arts as two very different worlds, they assume I am pursuing the arts because it serves as a kind of therapy, preparing me for reintegration or allowing me to express years of traumatic experiences. While those realities surely exist for many veterans, that very assumption creates a bias that is incredibly difficult to overcome. The truth is that many military service members are creative individuals who continue to innovate, serve in their communities and use the arts to communicate a unique veteran perspective.
In 2009, I returned to the arts after eight years in the military, during which I was deployed four times for Operation Enduring Freedom in Southeast Asia. Although I had been out of the arts scene for nearly a decade, I was by no means new to it. I had been a musician and performer all of my life. I was excited to reconnect with my love of the arts, but I was especially struck by meeting so many other veterans who had similar stories of putting their love of the arts on hold to serve. So I approached the programming director of a small community arts organization in Baltimore and shared my idea for a showcase in which veterans from different disciplines would present their creative skills. I will never forget the director’s response: “I don’t know—veterans tend to be long-winded.”
I believed the programming director in Baltimore sincerely wanted to highlight veteran experiences for her community, but I knew it would be an uphill battle to do so on my community’s terms. We were being boxed in, once again. I realized then the next battle I was meant to fight: bridging the gap for veterans between a life in the military and a career in the arts.
The Superflat artist's fantastical creatures pose alongside model Angela Lindvall for Harper's Bazaar's December/January issue.
For its latest issue, Harper’s Bazaar teamed up with Superflat artist Takashi Murakami. Murakami’s fantastical monsters—from his film Jellyfish Eyes—modeled alongside model Angela Lindvall for a shoot in Los Angeles. The group—which featured "8 Eyes," who resembles a defalted inner-tube, a Strawberry Shortcake-style "Kurage-Bo," and a Where-The-Wild-Things-Are-Meets-Furby "Luxor"—ordered In-and-Out burgers, sampled snow cones, and relaxed poolside at The Standard. All in a day’s work for Murakami, who makes a cameo appearance at the fast-food hot spot (he ordered the cheeseburger and fries, his favorite).
Murakami has already reached cult status in his native Japan with his anime, manga, and childhood imagination-inspired portfolio of paintings, cartoons, and sculptures. In 2002, Marc Jacobs commissioned Murakami to design a line of handbags for Louis Vuitton, and in 2007, he created the cover art for Kanye West’s Graduation album.
Jason Schmidt for Harper’s BAZAAR
In April, Murakami released his film Jellyfish Eyes, inspired by “a manga called GeGeGe no Kitaro” from the 1960s. Based on a Japanese folklore about a spirit-monster who lived in a graveyard, the manga, said Murakami, “accidentally formed the basis for the rest of [his] life.” Out of all the characters Murakami has created, he refers to Oval, a dejected outcast summoned to earth by scientists against his will, as his favorite because “basically he is my self-portrait.”
The Daily Pic: At MoMA, René Magritte captures the feel of photos, but not their look..
This is René Magritte's strange (of course) "Man with a Newspaper", painted in 1928 and now on loan from Tate to the retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. What struck me most about the show is how brilliantly bad Magritte was as a painter. In reproduction, it can sometimes look like he's channeling the techniques of the Old Masters – almost always a problematic, pandering move. In fact, though, Magritte is channeling the techniques of a mediocre hobbyist or sign painter, and translating them into fine art. In this image, the multiplication of almost identical views evokes photography, even as the ham-fisted manner fights against that reading. In photography, we assume that each image freezes a moment in time: That the static is always also a blink and a glimpse, meant to capture, say, a room with and then without its occupant. But what does it mean for a painting to adopt the same pose, when there's clearly no frozen blink involved?
The dealer who sold off modern art that Adolf Hitler considered garbage saved masterpieces from destruction – and for himself. His billion-dollar stash has now been uncovered.
The Nazis had a deadly aesthetic. In the 1930s, long before they turned to the wholesale extermination of people they deemed sub-human, they burned books and paintings they considered “degenerate” in their rage to “purify” their culture as well as their race.
1,500 priceless artworks, including from top left, Otto Dix, Franz Marc and Marc Chagall were found at this apartment building in Munich, Germany on November 4, 2013. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty)
But the Nazis’ savagery had a cynically mercenary side as well. They would sell what Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering called “garbage” seized from Jews and stripped from the walls of museums -- paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Klee, Kandinsky and others -- to raise millions of dollars in hard currency for their favored projects.
One of the Reich’s four specially appointed art dealers, employed by the Nazi Commission for the Exploitation of Degenerate Art, was the late Hildebrand Gurlitt. This former museum director, who’d been fired by the Nazis in 1930 for exhibiting modern masterpieces -- and because his grandmother was Jewish -- was rehired later in the decade for his expertise. And by the end of the war he had managed to hoard at least 1,400 hugely valuable works for himself.
The Daily Pic, Met Monday Edition: A forger's Rembrandt may carry us back to the master's own day.
This is that rare thing – a Pic I haven’t seen in the flesh, because I couldn’t, because this “Rembrandt” has been declared an 18th-century British fake and therefore consigned to the vaults of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, which has owned and even loved it it since long before it was doubted. (Click on my image to see the piece in great detail.) In yesterday’s New York Times, I argued for the value of forgery, for reasons such as that a picture like this, which gave pleasure and insight as a Rembrandt until something like 1940, ought to still give the same kind of joy and knowledge – maybe even knowledge of Rembrandt’s art. (If it succeeded in fooling and pleasing people, it was because it had enough genuinely Rembrandtian features to work as a Rembrandt.)
But today I want to voice a caveat. Works of art aren’t only about providing sensations and pleasures and insights to us, now, in the 21st century. They also function as historical documents, pointing back to past moments. As such, we want and need them to have an accurate connection to the past they represent, regardless of what they may do for modern art lovers. Thus, despite my doubts about connoisseurship, it could be that authentication and correct attribution are useful insofar as they create a kind of visual “chain of evidence” that certifies the link between a current object and the moment of its birth.
Then again … as I said, for a forgery to deceive at all, it has to preserve a great many features of a genuine object. So, in evidentiary terms, it may be best to think of a fake as being quite like a later, slightly corrupted edition of an ancient text whose earliest manuscripts no longer exist (which is the case with the vast majority of very old writings) or even as a blurred photocopy of a lost document. If someone launched a new kind of fake-bomb that destroyed every original Rembrandt, the surviving forgeries would still give us a strong link to the art he made, and to the moment of its making. Maybe we need to stop thinking, as the market does, of works as either by a given artist or not. We may want to think in terms of a complex Venn diagram which maps a series of works as being more or less closely linked to a given moment of important art making – a diagram that would register Rembrandtism, rather than Rembrandt himself. And could it even be that a work by a follower, or even by a much later forger, gets closer to the core of the concept than a lame piece by the master himself?
Artist Will Cotton opens a new show of prints in New York featuring Elle Fanning as a candy princess. He talks about diving into the world of high fashion and his new macaroon flavor.
Will Cotton is a master of fantasy. He deals in worlds we only dream of—or at least faintly remember from a childhood game of Candy Land.
His paintings are literally other-worldly: giant expanses of Cotton Candy clouds emanating seductive nudes, treacle gingerbread houses dripping with sweets; striking, almost-Renaissance portraits of individuals topped with candy headpieces. In 2011, Cotton painted Katy Perry on a candy cloud—a piece that later became the singer’s album cover—and also designed the sets of her famous Candy Land-inspired “California Gurls” music video.
Now, he releases another body of work: a set of striking prints at PACE Prints in New York, many of which are the product of a commission from New York magazine earlier this year. The subject is the dough-eyed actress Elle Fanning dressed in current fashions, all rendered with a highly imaginative (and subversive) Cotton twist. There’s Elle piping frosting onto a Dolce & Gabbana cage dress, an elaborate headpiece constructed out of cupcake foils, and a Dior dress wrapped in a giant candy wrapper.
The Daily Pic: Scholar Beatriz Colomina bills Playboy as nakedly favoring modern design.
Today’s image, appropriately, shows “Miss November, 1954”, who starred in a recent lecture at the Artist’s Institute by the great architectural historian Beatriz Colomina. Colomina presented research by her team at Princeton showing how, throughout the 1950s and 60s, Playboy magazine was a crucial promoter of modern design. It published features on cutting-edge architects and designers and often posed playmates in their classic pieces – as here, where model Diane Hunter sits in a butterfly chair by Jorge Ferrari Hardoy.
Colomina didn’t mention it, but it seems to me there’s some kind of equation, both social and formal, between the pared-down chairs and the girls perched on them – something about men’s ownership of biomorphic (and biological) modernity. (Interesting that the bodies now look vintage but the chairs haven’t dated at all.) Colomina did show how Playboy, with its circulation of seven million, would have had vastly more reach and influence than any design magazine. Any architect featured in Playboy – Mies and Wright and Bucky Fuller, but also the radicals at Ant Farm and Yale’s dean of architecture – “becomes a model poised at the very heart of the Playboy dream,” said Colomina.
Strangely, from his very first editorial Heffner felt a need to apologize for keeping his readers inside the well-designed home, and away from the woods and wilds found in other men’s magazines. Colomina argues that this is because home decor was traditionally women’s territory, and a manly man wouldn’t go there.
Rather than pretending to buy the mag for the writing and really ogling the girls, which was the classic Playboy-reader excuse, many playboys were pretending to buy for the babes, while actually hunting for decorator tips. “Architecture turned out to be much more seductive than the Playmates,” Colomina said.
World-famous architects build highly creative miniature homes to benefit a children’s charity.
Tucked away in the attic of our minds, we all have an image of our perfect home, be it a duplex on Fifth Avenue or a cozy cottage in the country.
Now, UK-based property developers may not have made our dreams come true—good luck squeezing through the door of one of these pint-size properties—but they’ve come pretty darn close.
Earlier this year, the Cathedral Group commissioned 20 of the world’s top architects and designers (in collaboration with high-profile artists) to build dollhouses to raise money for KIDS, a British charity that supports disabled children. The project was inspired by the dollhouse British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1922. A gift for Queen Mary, Lutyens’ dollhouse is a mini stately home. Imagine Downton Abbey cut down to size.
The dwellings that A Dolls’ House project has inspired are just a tad wackier. The one design requirement for the project: each house includes at least one feature that makes life easier for a child with a disability. From there, the world was the architect’s oyster (or King Crab, in one notable instance). Each practice was given a miniscule plot of land—a 750mm square plinth—on which to build a property, an excuse for a bunch of top-flight modern architects and designers to strut their stuff.
The artist has "vandalized" a landscape—which will be sold to fight homelessness and AIDS.
UPDATE: The final sale of the painting was $615k.
On Thursday, Banksy’s month-long New York City “residency,” Better Out Than In, came to an end. The whirlwind of a month left fans trying to locate the works and attempting to catch the artist in the act—even the NYPD made it a priority to catch the “vandal.” Through graffiti, mobile installations, performances, and pop-up exhibitions, the still-unidentified Banksy left the Big Apple with one memorable month, over fifteen new pieces of public artwork, and soon, a lot of money to donate to charity.
The painting that appeared in the window of Housing Work Thrift Shop’s 23rd Street location on October 29 is now up for grabs. The two-day pop-up auction, which concludes Thursday evening, has the price for the "vandalized" oil painting at over $310,000.
Banksy purchased the original artwork, a traditional landscape oil-painting, from the Housing Works and added his own mark—a Nazi soldier sitting on a river-side bench, gazing into the distance. The image was re-titled The Banality of the Banality of Evil, signed by Banksy, and donated back to the thrift store.