The Sideways Head, Eros Bendato (Eros bound) - Igor Mitoraj

Eros Bendato – Igor Mitoraj

Hi Folks!

When the Swiss order a sculpture on love from a Polish artist the outcome is, to put it mildly, cynical. Eros Bendato (Eros Bound) is Igor Mitoraj’s understanding of love and affection. Mitoraj’s sculpture is blindfolded suggesting that love is blind. Not that original though. We’ve heard the same from Fergie, Jack White, Alicia Keys, Pulp and many others. Even Amy Winehouse heard about it, or so she claimed.

The head was created in 1999 and is on display in Lugano. It should not be confused with the similar sideways heads in Kraków, Vancouver and St. Louis. If I forgot to mention some location, please let me know. I would love to see them all.

– Gart

The Kiss - Francesco Hayez

The Kiss – Francesco Hayez

Hi Folks,

At his time, Francesco Hayez was a fine representative of the voyeur community. And he could truly capture the tension and sensual energy between this young couple in his painting. It shows dedication, both to art and to voyeurism. The Kiss (1859) is Romanticism at its best. Some insist that the painting represents the formation of the new kingdom of Italy. That could very well be. I do not have any arguments against that. But deeper interpretations cannot take anything away from the kiss, as it’s still as passionate and sweet as a kiss can be. Hayez leaves me no option. I have to leave to Verona, city of love, at once. To the young couple in the painting I would say: Oh come on guys, Get a room!

– Gart

Reclining Nude with Loose Hair - Amedeo Modigliani

Reclining Nude with Loose Hair – Amedeo Modigliani

Hi Folks,

Amedeo Modigliani lived the reckless life of a rock star decades before the first rock n’ roll tune was played. At his time he was probably best known for his extreme substance abuse and bohemian lifestyle. Sadly his life ended just when he was about to brake as an artist. Nowadays Amedeo’s paintings are sold regularly for tens of millions of dollars. His painting known as Reclining Nude (1917) was sold for 170 million dollars in 2015, making it one of the most expensive painting ever sold. Reclining Nude is a piece from the famous series of nudes that Amedeo painted. The painting in the picture, Reclining Nude with Loose Hair (1917) is from the same series and would probable sell for much higher price. I mean, come on… the hair is loose. Just look at it, the hair really is loose; there has to be some value in that.

Amedeo’s fine work make me think that perhaps it’s time to travel to Italy again.

– Gart

Mirror Room (Pumpkin) - Yayoi Kusama

Mirror Room (Pumpkin) – Yayoi Kusama

Hi Folks!

Yayoi is best known for her obsession for dots. She has also this thing for pumpkins. It’s sort of convenient that obsessions are her inspiration. She may have created an infinitive source for inspiration in her own obsessions. Yayoi has said that dots are a way to infinity, which seems quite accurate, all things considered. In the 50’s Yayoi painted dots on walls, floors and household objects. In the 60’s she painted dots on naked performers. And since then she’s been painting dots where ever.

What I especially love in her works is a frequent combination of fire-engine red and white dots. You just cannot go wrong with that. It is clear that Yayoi is definitely a unique person, almost unique in her own way. There’s probably only one person who’s more obsessed with dots. Namely Kim Schmitz, who changed his name to Kim Dotcom. Kim absolutely loves dots and coms.

– Gart

 

 

Mao - Andy Warhol

Mao – Andy Warhol

Hi Folks!

Mao Tse-tung has two achievements that are hard to top. Mao, at his time in the 60’s, was probably the most famous person in the world. Mao is also the most read writer in the world. Only Koran and Bible are printed in more copies than Mao’s Little Red Book. There’s already two reasons why Andy Warhol decided to paint and print thousands of portraits of Mao.

I was convinced that no one will beat Mao’s records, but then I saw Donald Trump. Donald is on his way getting famous, super-famous. The more he tweets, the more we hear of him. And by the way, Donald is already the credited author of about twenty books. I am sure, Warhol would paint a portrait of Trump, if Warhol was still around. While posing for Warhol, Donald would tweet something like: “Andy is painting my portrait, it’s going to be beautiful thing to watch!” After Warhol would finish the work, Donald’s comment to the press would be like:

 

Andy painted my portrait, I looked happy, I looked content, I looked like a very nice person, which in theory I am.

 

– Gart

Couple under an Umbrella - Ron Mueck

Couple under an Umbrella – Ron Mueck

Hi Folks!

If hairy old men wore burkinis for beach, it would have been a lot easier task for Ron Mueck to produce the hyperrealistic human sculpture Couple under an Umbrella (2013). To reproduce a life-like sculpture of a man in traditional bathers must be a huge challenge. Getting moles, saggy skin and random hair (e.g. in knuckles and toes) just right requires some skill and long hours. The outcome is impressive and surreal.

Ron is a man of detail. That’s why Ron would probably be my first choice (now when Joan Miró isn’t around anymore) to sculpt a realistic statue of me. Having a replica of myself would not actually be a bad idea. The replica could do my stunts. And possibly attend the most boring dinner parties instead of me. No one would notice. That would be a perfect arrangement leaving me more time to travel and enjoy life. Ron, if you see this, give me a call to agree on details!

– Gart

Narrow House - Erwin Wurm

Narrow House – Erwin Wurm

Hi Folks!

Narrow House (2010) is really narrow and that is how Erwin Wurm designed it just to make a point. And I guess the point is that narrow minded people live in narrow houses OR narrow houses make people narrow minded OR something like that. Apparently Erwin suffered some difficulties in expressing himself in post-war Austria. So Erwin must have had some firsthand experience on narrow minded people. And that is why Erwin built this most narrow house in the world. My question to Erwin is: could you not build a house that is even more narrow? If You can, please do so. At least someone should do something, because just a few days ago an Austrian far-right party won first round of presidential election (obviously in Austria). En Vogue sang: “Free your mind and the rest will follow”. But what will happen if a narrow minded person frees his/her mind – what will be the rest that will follow and do we even want to know?

– Gart

The Fertile Crescent - Anselm Kiefer

The Fertile Crescent – Anselm Kiefer

Hi Folks!

The Fertile Crescent (2009) displays the building or demolition of the Tower of Babel. According to the folklore a god demolished the tower. I’m not accusing the god of a bad judgment but one might wonder, was it really necessary. But what was necessary was Herr Anselm Kiefer (or Uncle Anselm as I call him) to paint this art piece. Actually, I would describe most of Uncle Anselm’s works necessary. A young art student Anselm become famous by photographing himself in his father’s Wehrmacht uniform and giving Nazi salutes in various sites all over Europe. Of course Anselm was misunderstood and the public thought that he had Nazi sympathies. He has been fearless ever since and has fronted difficult subjects in his art causing controversy throughout the decades. The size of Anselm’s works also indicates Anselm’s fearlessness. Some might afford to buy his painting but only the 1 % can afford a tower tall enough for hanging the painting.

-Gart

Jacob's Heavenly Blood - Anselm Kiefer

Jacob’s Heavenly Blood – Anselm Kiefer

The secret life of plants for Robert Fludd - Anselm Kiefer

The secret life of plants for Robert Fludd – Anselm Kiefer

Supersymmetry - Ryoji Ikeda

supersymmetry – Ryoji Ikeda

Hi Folks,

Ryoji Ikedas exhibition project supersymmetry (2014-) welcomes the visitors with the following sign: “The installation contains high and low audio-frequency and flashing lights that may be disturbing”. In my humble opinion the content of the sign is an understatement. I would replace ‘that may be‘ with ‘that is guaranteed to be‘.

Ikeda created the concept for supersymmetry during an art residence at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research). CERN operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. The title of Ikeda’s exhibition project is derived from the theory of supersymmetry, which attempts to explain why particles have mass and is obviously somehow connected to the theory of superparticles. That is just SUPER! And what is also super is that the research conducted in CERN might shed light on all the things that are Super (including superparticles).

If you happen to be in Tallinn, Estonia in February, you should definitely visit Kumu Art Museum. That’s where you can witness weird frequency sounds, noise and lights appear in collisions creating something disturbing but super in the form of Ikeda’s supersymmetry.

– Gart

Through - Ai Weiwei

Through – Ai Weiwei

Hi Folks,

Pillars penetrating tables is Ai Weiwei’s (艾 未未) comment, or even criticism, on structures of power. The art piece is titled Through (2007). Weiwei is a super star in contemporary art and he is known worldwide for his art and his political activism, which are often a combination of both. Weiwei has especially criticized Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights and you bet it has not made his life any easier in China. It is also common knowledge that he is a hard rock fan but you are mistaken if you thought that Chinese Democracy (2008) is his favorite album. He is actually more into older psychedelic rock. The release of the Door’s first single Break on Through (To the Other Side) in 1967, changed Weiwei’s life permanently. The baseline that Ray Manzarek summoned probably on his Fender Rhodes PianoBass and the deep, magical voice of Jim Morrison influenced 10-year-old boy’s take on life and he absorbed the perfect rock n’ roll attitude that only his peers on Sunset Boulevard, in L.A. were aware of in the 60’s. And against all the odds, Weiwei has been able to break on through despite all the obstacles the infidel authorities have laid on his path. And this is my and Neil Young’s  message to you, Ai: keep on rockin’ in the free world.

– Gart