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9.29.2014

MAGICAL LIGHT

daniele buetti is an artist i have come across numerous times when researching the concept of light in art. buetti is a swiss visual artist who works with various media and produces installation pieces as well, like the one shown directly below.
his artwork's concepts evolve mainly around reality and human emotion. he questions whether we create reality or if it is the media that does {1}. what feelings become generated within you when you look at a media-generated reality? one of his most phantasmagoric works was a series of photographs of famous women embellished with patterns of light that comes through designed punctures. this specific series of works was titled "dreams result in more dreams".

well known images of pop culture, were turned into lightboxes. some of these images bore not just light patterns but texts as well. the artist in other words took the medium of popular photography and added that of light to create a new form that is not analog nor digital, and can carry his messages through to the viewer. he questions the concept of glamour. while his work first appears glistening and magical, it arouses questioning and doubt when looked at more carefully.

the work in my opinion, like other artworks, seems to open itself to the viewer's mind. each person can take away from it something slightly different than the other. it pushes you to think, after it has grasped your attention in - let's face it - a kind of brilliant, marketable way.

one of his series that has caught my attention more than his other works is "hands" {2}. in these lightbox-photographs, light becomes something between a physical mass and the immaterial. while the hands seem to have grasped it, light maintains an "escaping" quality - you have it but not entirely. in other pieces it seems to drizzle off of the hands entirely, portraying characteristics of a fluid. sometimes when looking at it for too long, i try to imagine a deeper meaning behind light, like that of dreams that you grasp yet cannot entirely, 100% predict their final outcome in life; you can only sculpt them to a specific degree unknown to you.

the use and reference to light, feeling and natural reality is not a unique concept in art or art history. as the symbol of deities, and the very source of life it has long carried great weight in its symbolic use and reference. from the ancient greek temples, to byzantine iconography, from tadao ando's church of light to buetti's lightbox art.

what do you think of  daniele buetti's work? are you ever mesmerized by artists' works which try to "harness" light?

{1} according his bio
{2} more on "hands"
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9.22.2014

BOOK IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Our book obsession continues here, and this time I have something really special to share. One of the first projects I had to involved reading a new art history/critic book.
I have mentioned before, how I think (regardless of how silly it may sound) that some books fall into your lap almost magically, like they intended to be there, at that specific time. Well, one more such book was "Medieval Modern: Art Beyond Time" by Alexander Nagel. Bagel is a professor at my school, and an art historian who delves on exciting subjects such as easle paintings,

This particular book initially caught my eye because of the title and its cover which bears an etching that was also used as a cover by the Bauhaus. It is a Gothic cathedral. As someone who constantly searches for the connections between medieval and Byzantine, and Modern and Contemporary you may understand why it became intriguing. Naturally, I plucked it from the shelf, among other things of course, and when its turn came, I was hooked.

Here, however is why I think anyone with an interest in art and/or history would be too.
What separates this book from many others is its use of the historical timeline. He breaks it. He plucks one object from Medieval and one from Modern that look phenomenologically completely different in every way and shows you what he thinks their connection to be. He connects Rennaisance painting to Modern works, and sacred spaces to installations. To take this even further, as a reader you become aware of comparisons you may had thought of, but definitely ones you were not expecting, and this dialogue between art works expands towards books and writing and literature as well.

What is also exciting about this book is the references. Thus said, I don't simply mean the ones which direct you to the endnotes or bibliography, but also the ones you get from the text and the writer's ideas themselves. My idea of a great art theory book is one that not only teaches you, but expands your mind, makes you react and question further, question yourself and the writer, question what is "known". This book does that to a very good extent in my personal opinion. It is like having a good, vibrant discussion/debate on art. Most importantly though, it focuses on continuity, bridges gaps that are sometimes self-imposed and can also serve as a push for artists. In simpler words, it is a book for artists, art historians and anyone with a passion for history and theory.

Also, here is an informative interview with the author from the publisher's blog.

Xoxo
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9.16.2014

THE CASE OF THE ABSTRACT NOTEBOOK

oil happens.
chances are, if you've eaten in a public space you already know that you can pick up a stain in the most unlikely of places. in my case of course, it was the most evident of places. i was tired and hungry, waiting for a friend, so i pulled out my little red moleskin and plopped it on the table.
let's just say when my friend arrived and i lifted it to place back in my bag it resembled a tortured cleaning cloth. there was no way i was going to throw it away. first of all, it is still new, and second of all...do you know how much moleskins cost?
so, i did the next best thing-i renovated it drawing inspiration from pierre soulages.
that said, i present you the three-step notebook renovation, and a very brief note on the artist of course.
The 3 Step Notebook
all you will need is some paint in black and white,
and a small cardboard piece.

here is what to do with it all...
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9.15.2014

THE MONDAY NOT-SO-NEWS REPORT

Good morning to all, and happy new week. I can't believe it is already the 15th of September. Fall is officially here and I am steadily bringing out those sweaters and cozy scarves that I have missed and are so great for wrapping yourself in when you're reading.

You may have noticed a thinning in my number of posts lately. The truth is that the blog is in a spiral of change - good ones for the most. As I had mentioned a little while ago, after having gotten our new design down and functioning, I began grad school while also working. Naturally, my schedule is pretty busy. I started this blog however, whilst in school, as a means to share wonderous things and get out of my own head for a little, so I have come to love this little online community that has grown around it more than you may possible imagine.

Therefore, I will dedicate this Monday to talking about "us".
{unknown source}
Things, like I said are going to be a wee bit different. There will be about two posts, ocassionally three per week. Our interest subjects all together will remain fairly unaltered. The topics will evolve around the arts and design, books and of course style. There will still be the ocassional diy, because crafts are just immensely fun and practical and get us in touch with our superb inner artists. In fact, I have one coming up that I am certain you will really enjoy. Hint: it involves stylish black paint.

As you can see, everything will be mostly the same, just toned down a tad. I will still be sharing things I like, that can make us passionate and interested, educational and all around great with you all. I like to think that this new chapter iny life for which I am particularly excited, will provide a whole new list of things to share and talk about. If there is anything specific you'd like to propose please feel free to contact me via blog or the info you can find on my " about" page.

Till our next post, xoxo
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9.08.2014

A LOVELY PLACE TO VISIT

one of the things i like the most about living in new york is that there is always something to do, something to see and experience be it new, or really old. something that lay in between, and if you are close by i would recommend to see is the new york historical society. it is located on the upper west side, by the museum of natural history. it is a smaller institution with a great wealth on its inside. if you want a good taste of new york and its history this is a remarkable place to visit.

i was very impressed the first time i went this year with an 18 minute film that screens every half hour dedicated to the history of new york - all of it - from start to today. they have done a brilliant job in causing a 3-d depth effect just by using layers of projector screens, and have compiled information that even my brother who is a giant fan of the city wouldn't know (i have to get him there soon). sometimes, living and striving in a place can make you a bit forgetful, and in need of small reminders of just how remarkable it is to live where you are.
NY Historical Society
now, they also have an exhibit dedicated to ludwig bemelmans, his life, work, relationship to new york and of course "madeline". the latter, is one of my favorite children's books character. she is a courageous, curious, strong little girl who always managed to get herself into wonderful adventures. according to the exhibit, the first sketches and the first story were conceived, and written in pete's tavern on grammercy park. needless to say this is precisely my next to-go-to place. the exhibition will be up until october 18th. i apologize for the lack of photographic evidence, but as the exhibition is temporary and many pieces are from loans and so on, photography inside is prohibited, and i am not one to break museum rules anywhere. you will have to simply rely on my word that this is truly fabulous. 

furthermore, the next thing that really caught my attention was a rich collection of objects from homes all around the city displayed on the top floor. this includes an impressive amount of remarkably intricate and beautiful tiffany lamps, beautiful household objects and even children's toys. speaking of children, this is a museum which in my personal opinion is ideal for children as much as it is for adults.

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9.03.2014

AUTUMN'S HERE WITH A WISHLIST

september in new york greeted us with a short heat wave, ladies and gentlemen. it did the same thing last year. regardless, with the aid of reality which has kicked in forcefully, and the fact that my wall calendar is now set in reminding me it is indeed september and therefore autumn, and people talking about fashion week approaching, my mind couldn't help but wander on the internet for a bit of window shopping (pun intended).
this is more like a list of things i would love to see catalogued in my belongings, but will surely not because ...drum roll.... some big news i'd been waiting to share:

i officially began graduate studies. in all honesty, i don't think it could be possible to be more excited. don't get me wrong, i feel plenty intimidated, and a bit out of my waters still (it is so soon after all), but i had been wanting this, and all that goes along with it for so long, i can't help but walk around with a doofey smile. let's see how long that lasts shall we?

now to the point of this post. whoever would like to share some here's-what-i'm-eyeing-this-fall things with me here goes:
Fall Wish List
  
comfy, yet cozy {loafers}. i had a pair like these, only in brown when i first started university, ever. i am beginning to think it may be a "thing". nonetheless, these have a cool, artsy vibe to them because of the color of course.

there's been this thing going on since last year, or at least that is when i began to notice it, but sweatshirts have become quite bedazzled. i like this {fancy sweatshirt} because it is gray and moody, and just the right amount of shiny. i am thinking, if i'd do this to one of mine, you'd have something to get you from daytime to nightime.

everyone is going on about how we'll have a rough winter again. now, that is something i definitely am not looking forward to. last year, spring came to ireland before it even started reaching over to new york. regardless though of the roughness, winter here is cold and a {scarf} is quite necessary if you don't already have one.

my bag fetisch got me checking out this {shopper} which looks quite practical as well. and finally, last but not least, i thought this {skirt} is just plain beautiful. it could be worn to work, school, an art event, a party (if for some miraculous reason i had time for one).

well, that's where i stopped window shopping. what have you guys been checking out?
september is a month of change - whether you had been on vacation or not.

xoxo everyone
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9.02.2014

PRIDE & OVERCOMING PREJUDICE

i have something to admit. when it comes to contemporary art i am very cautious, almost to the point of being reserved and sometimes downright prejudiced. this is not just a whim of course, but rather a point i reached after having studied art for some time, worked among it, and having received some major disappointments and disillusionments from previously admired contemporaries. the truth is though, that sometimes it is hard to trust in general, let alone easily label something and accept it as art.
there are innumerable professionals and masterminds out there who argue about this subject every day, and this is not an overstatement.

however, whilst working at the met, visiting the roof garden commission is a given for me. any new exhibit is instantly on my to-see list, and visits are usually multiple as you see and learn more of something the more you study it. visiting the roof exhibition for the first time this year, left me with dubious feelings. i encountered a piece which evoked a reawakening of images of 90's suburbian images, and urban landscapes of glass and steel...but then what? and most importantly, why?
what i habdn't realised this year was that this comission was "complimented" if i may use the word by three more exhibitions including the sol le witt on the first floor and two more on the second, all inherently connected to architecture as a form of art.
upon realizing this, and after having been so lucky as to hear one fo the curators speak of these works i began to think of it differently. though having studied architecture as a form of art, had i temporarily lost sight of the art in it when the scale became smaller?
well, apparantly almost. there i was, having observed a work which managed to convey to me every single thing it intended to and i had ruthlessly questioned it. for so many years i have argued this very fact; art is if not mostly, at least partially made from its attempt and success to convey a message, to make your mind work. it is what expression does in general after all. do not get me wrong. questioning is good, and something we must do with everything around us. my point though is, that we should not forget to keep an open mind.

anyway, all three exhibits won me over entirely. i find it soulful to watch amie siegel's (living and thriving artist) video installation "provenance" which focuses on the emblematic, modernistic furniture by pierre jeanneret for the chandigarh buildings, a controversial and now abandoned modenrist city. there is a lot to learn, and feel as you watch it as a time-lapse.

sol le witt is just as mesmerizing. i was lucky enough to see it progress during installation which really gives you a deeper understanding of his concept and beliefs that his art was to be reproduced by others, whilst still remaining art. he left detailed instructions on how to design it and even with what pigments it is to be installed. what i find most fascinating of all is the sense of temporary monumentality it gives. the main piece is large and captivating, yet you know that as soon as the exhibition is over, it will be painted over and have completed another life-cycle. this challenges our usual understanding and perception of art exhibited in museums, where monumentality often coincides with longevity.
finally, the rooftop commision by dan graham with günther vogt, which also poses challenges on designer/artist and installer, manages to also get you to look at the urban architecture through a different lense. i became infatuated with the collection of photographs by the artist, which compliment the exhibit in the modern wing, for their play and discussion on reflection. the glass in buildings reflecting its surroundings often changes or challenges us to consider who and what is truly being displayed - what is behind it, if or if not seen, or what is reflected.

are there any contemporary artists you admire in particular?

xoxo

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