Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.
Angry. In your face. Aggressive. Sound familiar? Call him the son of Basquiat, as Jonathan Meese vents his frustration at the world around him. The works are certainly colorful, confrontational, and disturbing, perhaps the lingua franca of the adolescent 21st century.
30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall are marked by artist Patrick Shearn in an installation called "Visions in Motion". The piece is composed of 120,000 fabric streamers, one quarter of which contain hand-written messages. Shearn's other "poetic kinetics" include "Neo Prayer Flag", "Sunset Vestige", and "Nimbus".
Thomas Medicus uses his works of anamorphic glass sculptures to answer the question "What It Is Like To Be?". On another site you can see how the piece was constructed.
Recently we showed you a fanciful children's playground designed for a cafe in China. Here is another, if anything even more delightful and imaginative than the first. This one has been built in the atrium of a shopping center and has been described as a "dream city" for youngsters. I would find it very hard to resist.
Huge metal sculptures have been constructed to embody the chaos occasioned by climate change. Artist Selcuk Yilmaz embodies a human figure or hand in each piece as a reminder of humanity's culpability in the world-wide and planetary destructive process. Just one of the lions, for example, was made of 4,000 pieces of hammered metal.
Born in Tokyo in 1995, Yuichiro Ukai fills his visual field with monsters, skeletons, dinosaurs, and Japanese warriors. The results are motion-filled works both charming and warring, leaving the viewer immersed in fastastic scenes from a vivid imagination.
Iris Van Herpen continues to evolve her 3D printed fashions with ever-more brilliant designs. Another set of her creations reflects the "symbiotic cycles of our biosphere".
Van Herpen sometimes collaborates with artist Kim Keever, whose paintings in water are clearly reflected in the 3D printed garments. A view of Keever's studio will give you an idea of how she operates. Her complex website is worth exploring.
Henry Darger also gives us panoramic expanded viewscapes with seemingly gentle colors, but upon closer examination these are scenes of panic and fear. The deeper one gets into these deceptive works the more devastating is his vision.
Edward Hicks was a distinguished Quaker minister as well as an eminent folk artist. His many versions of "The Peaceable Kingdom" reflect his deep belief in the Messianic prophecy in the Book of Isaiah, which states that "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the young lion and the fatling togather, and a little child shall lead them." His works are charming, beautifully rendered, and altogether accessible to a contemporary sensibility. More of them can be seen at wikiart.
In our passion to investigate the world of contemporary imaging we sometimes neglect to examine some historical works that have stood the test of time. One such master is being shown at Christie's auction house. Specifically they are showing examples of the Flemish master Jan Van Eyck. Van Eyck's exquisite detailing and bold colors are as compelling now as ever, and remind us that our modern icons stand on the very broad shoulders of those who came before.
A name you might want to keep in mind is Tschabalala Self, a young artist born in Harlem whose depictions of the black female are attracting attention. Self has stated, "I think that this is a time for black people and people of colour to reclaim our power. We have to recreate a whole new rhetoric around our identities."
Nadav Kander brings us intense photographs taken at a Soviet nuclear-testing site. Humanity's devastating impact on the land is hauntingly etched into our minds in these images, reminding us that we are the destroyers of the bountiful planet that has been gifted to us.
Obsessed as I am with all things digital, I still love works that glory in their own intensity. Such are the canvases of David Reed. Reed luxuriates in the brushstrokes and viscosity of pure paint. He first began showing work in New York in 1975, reminding one reviewer of William Faulkner's comment, "The past is never dead. It's not even past".
c. Corinne Whitaker 2020