Category: Art

Annenberg Space for photography century city exhibit generation wealth 1

Annenberg Space For Photography

Annenberg Space For Photography

I recently went to see the Lauren Greenfield exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography. It was a really interesting look at social class through retrospective.

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This exhibit was meant to explore our obsession with wealth and celebrity. I always knew this was a real thing, but it shocked me how seriously some people take their desire to be rich and famous. A lot of the photographs were of people who’d be classified as ‘new money.’ Their lack of class was absolutely repulsive to me. They literally looked like garbage.

I’ve never been more repulsed by money or people who have it. Her photographs really moved something in me.

It seemed like the more money one has, the less class they get to keep. Or that one replaces the other. Their big houses were gawdy and tacky, missing any modicum of art or prestige.

The retrospective also addressed what happened when these same people lost everything. It was amazing to see how quickly people adjust to money, especially women who marry rich. They immediately become adjusted to being super wealthy. Yet as soon as something happens and they lose the money, it’s impossible for them to recover. It’s almost like Flowers for Algernon.

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Money In Russia

One of the sections of the Annenberg Space that really stuck out to me was the one with the photographs of crazy rich Russians. It made me think about my own thoughts on money and wealth, and how it’s different from others’ due to my upbringing.
Money was so volatile after the collapse of the Soviet Union that its ‘societal’ meaning and value became very low. It was almost funny to see something that means so much go up and down so quickly. We had a lot of money during this time, and it ended up being the reason we had to leave. Overtime, money began to lose its’ meaning and value for me.

Some people in Russia saw it the other way, ‘now is our chance to have a lot more.’
I never put a lot of emphasis on money, and I think it was because of how quickly I realized it can lose its value, and become worthless. It just didn’t make sense to strive endlessly for something that may one day mean absolutely nothing. I understood wealth was fleeting, and it was better to spend my time and energy on a more worthy goal.

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The retrospective runs through August 13, please check it out if you are in town!

Hermitage museum St. Petersburg

Hermitage Museum

Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the oldest in the world.

Hermitage museum St. Petersburg

Here are some tiny photographs from the museum, by photographer B. Osenchakov, from 1974.

 

I recently had to empty out a lot of drawers in my house and came across this big box of vintage postcards and maps. Including these photos of the Hermitage Museum.

I hope everyone has a chance to visit this place, it has some of the most comprehensive collections of art in the world.

 

Let me know what you think I should do with all those postcards though!

dwan gallery lacma art of the day avant garde la

Dwan Gallery — Art Of The Day

Dwan Gallery — Art Of The Day

Today’s art of the day post is coming to you from the Dwan Gallery exhibit now at LACMA.

dwan gallery lacma art of the day avant garde la

This LA gallery opened in the 60s and was the home of the avant-garde art movement in Los Angeles. This woman amassed a huge collection of minimalist art and conceptual art, which was very new at the time. The above photo of a mirror installation at the entrance of the exhibit is an example of the conceptual art featured within.

Dwan was a big fan of the French Nouveau Realisme movement, and a lot of that art is shown in this exhibit. I am not very familiar with this movement, so it was extremely interesting to see and learn about this artists. It’s also amazing to see the Dwan Gallery as it was in the 1960s.

Sorry about the vertical filming :PP
Make sure you check this exhibit out!

 

 

german expressionism lacma mitschke-collande freiheit

German Expressionism

German Expressionism

For today’s art of the day, I thought I would feature my very first attempt at a video. I shot this at LACMA when I went on their free Tuesday. I really love German Expressionism, and in today’s political climate I think we can learn a lot about how to express ourselves from these artists.

Guys, I have never had a more difficult time making a movie in my life! I really want to make the foray into video, and was thinking about getting a good camera and microphone, but now it looks like that won’t happen until I can get a new computer. It kept giving me the spinning beach ball of death! I felt as bad as Otto Dix, featured in that German Expressionism video above. Otto Dix, Mitschke-Collande (below), Anselm Keifer all took a stand with art, and showed the revolutionary spirit of the time. If you’re in the area please visit LACMA and see this collection.

german expressionism lacma mitschke-collande freiheit

bryan adams photography mystery of cloth 485

Bryan Adams Photography

Bryan Adams Photography

I love when artists cross over into other forms of art, I think it really shows their depth. That’s why today’s photography of the day is Bryan Adams.

What is so amazing about these photographs is that they highlight the detail of the fabric. It reminds me of my fashion classes when we had to learn every different kind of fabric and construction method. These photos are from his mystery of cloth series.

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Part of the test was to be able to guess the fabric just by looking at it. I am a little rusty, but the last one is definitely brocade!

I love these photographs because they really show the details and quality of fabric. Even thought the majority of Bryan Adams’ photography is black and white nothing is sacrificed. He perfectly captured the tactile mood of these clothes. The fabric is practically tangible through the screen.

rei Kawakubo comme des garcons spring 2017

Art And Courage — Rei Kawakubo

Art And Courage — Rei Kawakubo

What is fashion if not art? In honor of the recent Met Gala, today’s art of the day are the designs of Rei Kawakubo.

rei Kawakubo comme des garcons spring 2017
Comme Des Garcons spring 2017
rei kawakubo met costume institute
Met costume institute

Rei Kawakubo is the avant-garde mastermind behind Comme Des Garcons. I am so glad the Met Costume Institute finally honored her. Whenever I choose the art of the day, I always look for an artist who had the courage to do something differently. There’s no one out there who took more risks and had more courage than Rei Kawakubo.

I never had it in me to be a designer. I always felt like I’m making something while trying to please the masses. Rei had incredible courage to go out and make what she wanted to make.

Looking through fashion magazines as a kid I’d always come across Comme Des Garcons designs. To be honest, I thought it looked ridiculous. But as I got older I understood it wasn’t just about clothes; it was concept art. The designs questioned the human form, bending it and distorting it; they became entities of their own. I love that concept, that these clothes aren’t just made for a human body to wear, they are their own creations as well.

I especially loved the deconstructed designs when she attached parts of the pattern to the garment. It once again highlighted the conceptualization of clothes, making the designs more substantial, not just some object to be worn.

Check out some of her designs here.

Now maybe you can understand my confusion over what some of the Costume Institute attendees wore ;))

helmut newton 470

Photo Of The Day — Helmut Newton

Photo Of The Day — Helmut Newton

Now before you report me to the internet police, let’s just talk about what this photo represents for a second. Helmut Newton gave women strength and power.

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By depicting them in exactly the same poses side by side I feel like Helmut Newton de-sexualized them. He de-stigmatized nudity. With all his photography, not just this one, he portrayed women as strong and powerful. Gone was the weakness that kind of went side by side with naked women. I think this time was pivotal in fashion photography.

Nudity should never be seen as threatening or offensive. Censorship of women’s bodies feeds into the notion that we are somehow inappropriate in our most natural state. We sometimes assume that nude photographs sexualize women, but I would argue that the opposite is true. Banning nude photographs of women sexualizes us, because it implies that we just sexual objects and nothing more. Helmut Newton’s photography fought that notion, and set to change the standards of art.

judith beheading holofernes caravaggio

Judith Beheading Holofernes — art of the day

Judith Beheading Holofernes

Today’s post is a revisit of one of my first blog posts about this artwork, Judith Beheading Holofernes.

judith beheading holofernes Gentileschi judith beheading holofernes caravaggio

Judith was a biblical heroine who single handedly took down an Assyrian general. The story is, she seduced him, snuck into his tent, and cut off his head.

In Gentileschi’s painting, top, Judith is depicted as an equal to Holofernes. It almost looks as though she did not need to behead him; she could have taken him in a fair fight. By using size, she shows Judith physically as she is represented historically.

Caravaggio’s Judith is more demure. Even such a historically important figure is diminished in his work. She is shown off to the side, the center of the painting being Holofernes. Caravaggio’s Judith is physically less intense, maybe even a young girl. The hesitant look on her face suggests she may not have come up with this idea entirely on her own.

Gentileschi’s Judith is shown as the centre of the work. She is the reason we are looking at this. The painting is powerful – there is a struggle as Holofernes futilely fights back. Judith dominates him, and cuts off his head, blood splattering all around. Caravaggio’s painting is believed to be the influence for Gentileschi’s. The similarities are there: the bare background, the sword, the violence, are all borrowed from Caravaggio. But Judith shows no hesitance in Gentileschi’s work. There is no doubt in the viewer’s mind that she came here to do exactly what she is shown doing. There is no doubt she is strong, both physically and mentally.

Perhaps Caravaggio’s opinion on strength is different. Just because Judith is shown as a small woman, maybe even very young, doesn’t mean she could not come up with a perverse and violent way to kill someone. Maybe to Caravaggio, strength doesn’t lie in size or gore. Showing Judith as small and demure, he gives women a strength that is beyond size. This tiny girl could take down an enemy’s entire army; something the physically stronger soldiers could not do. He shows the paradox of size, strength, and violence by painting Judith as a small, unintimidating woman.

Do you think Gentileschi took the easy way out? Judith was a powerful woman, and she iss shown equal and powerful to Holofernes. By painting Judith in equal size to him, there is no paradox, no alternative views on strength as present in Caravaggio’s piece.

toulouse-lautrec Woman Putting On Her Stockings

Art Of The Day — Toulouse-Lautrec

Art Of The Day — Toulouse-Lautrec

Today’s Art of the Day post is on Henri  de Toulouse-Lautrec, the french painter. You might have seen his famous illustrations for Moulin Rouge and Aristide Bruant. But today I wanted to talk about one of my favourites, Woman Puting On Her Stockings.

toulouse-lautrec Woman Putting On Her Stockings

In general, I found that Toulouse-Lautrec had a weird way rendering bodies. This painting is actually a study for the original, which looks much less realistic. His drawings of bodies look very stretched out and exaggerated, and I always wonder if it had anything to do with his condition. He had some unknown congenital disorder that led to him being only five feet tall in adulthood.

It can be argued that he painted the way he did to maintain the Art Nouveau style. But I disagree, I think his style represents his perceptive, both from his short stature and from his philosophical view on the world.

It’s fascinating to me to find out how anyone sees the world, and I love that Toulouse-Lautrec shared his unique view with us.

Art of The Day – Les Amants

Les Amants

I’ve written an in-depth post on Rene Magritte’s Les Amants before. Check it out if you want a really thorough description of what I think about this amazing painting, one of my favourites.

les amants

Basically, I talked about why these two people are blindfolded. I sometimes feel like people are so concerned with getting married, and being “in love” that they blindly rush in. I posited that they are so consumed with the notion of loving somebody, kissing somebody that they do not care at all who it is.

A lot of that has to do with fear; fear of being alone, of never finding someone. When I wrote about this painting, I talked about the many possibilities of why their heads are covered.

Are they blind to each others proclivities? Are they blind to everything? Or maybe they just don’t need to see to be in love, since that comes from the soul?

I wanted to revisit Les Amants again and see what you all think about it now!