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Art and much much more!

The Physics of Surfing (Part One: Dropping In)

PopSci has a great post about the physics of surfing, check it out and try to imagine the rush when catching those big waves…

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November 1, 2008 Posted by | News, photography, raw art gallery, sports, Surfing, Tel Aviv - Israel, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Fernando Botero At The Memphis Brooks Museum “The Baroque World of Fernando Botero”

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art presents The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, the first major U.S retrospective of the artist’s work in more than 30 years, through January 11, 2009. Recognized as one of the most well-known and commercially successful artists to emerge from Latin America, the Colombia native now has his work exhibited and collected by major museums around the world.

Fernando Botero (born 1932) is a painter, sculptor, and draftsman who highlights the comedy of human life-moving or wry, baroque in expression, sometimes with a mocking observation, sometimes with a deep, elementary emotion. Working in a broad range of media, Botero has created a world of his own, at once accessible and enigmatic, with a particular blend of violence and beauty. Fernando Botero has spent most of his years as an artist away from his native country, Colombia, but his art has maintained an uninterrupted link to Latin America.

The 100 paintings, drawings, and sculptures in this exhibition span the length of Botero’s career-from paintings executed in 1959 in Colombia, to sculptures executed as late as 2007. The works were selected by John Sillevis, curator of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, and editor and contributor to the accompanying exhibition catalogue. The exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia.

All of the works are generously on loan from the artist himself. This collection, assembled over the last 50 years, includes favorite works that Botero was heretofore unable to part with, as well as pieces reacquired years after they left his possession. Many of these objects are being exhibited in public for the first time, providing an opportunity to investigate the complex workings of this artist not only by viewing some of his most renowned masterpieces, but also by studying his most personal works of art.

The Baroque World of Fernando Botero presents a selection of the best works from various stages in his development as an artist, with occasional “flashbacks” to the early works of the 1950s, when Botero devised images of children that resembled giant dolls with frightening expressions. Here his struggle to define his own style is still evident. In 1957 he painted “Still Life with a Mandolin,” enlarging the volume of the musical instrument in a manner that we now identify with Botero’s style. He continued in this vein, painting a figure of a young girl inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” This painting was acquired-against the current of abstract expressionism that was dominating the art world in the United States at the time by Dorothy Miller, curator at the Museum of Modern Art for that collection. After her initial support of Botero, museum curators the world over soon followed suit, presenting Botero’s works in major solo exhibitions.

The exhibition also follows Botero in his extensive studies of the history of European art. In Spain he was particularly entranced by Velázquez’s Infantes-the daughters of the Spanish king-in their elaborate court dresses. In France he studied Ingres, the nineteenth-century master of neoclassical perfection in line, and Delacroix, the master of romantic color. Botero would find inspiration in Italy through artists from the Renaissance, including Uccello and Piero della Francesca.

As a young boy he had already admired some contemporary artists, such as Pablo Picasso. He was now confronted with the paintings and sculptures of Giacometti, who was in the habit of reducing his figures to an extreme slimness. These encounters were important for Botero’s development. He was inspired by European art, but not seduced. He turned his attention to Mexico, where the monumental murals by Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros had a profound impact. Botero absorbed the dramatic self-portraits of Frida Kahlo and her idiosyncratic interpretation of Latin American folklore, and was intrigued by the mysteries of pre-Columbian artifacts.

The Baroque World of Fernando Botero is divided into eight sections, corresponding to epochs and themes in Botero’s oeuvre. First, early works from the 1950s, the period during which Botero first defined his unique style. Second, paintings which draw from colonial baroque pieces Botero observed in Latin America, including religious images of clergy, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary. The third section contains works inspired by European masters, ranging from Titian to Vincent Van Gogh. Fourth, are Botero’s eerie still lifes of lush and decaying fruit and flowers. Fifth, are images of power and violence in Latin America: scenes of presidents, earthquakes, and executions. The sixth section is based on memories from Botero’s childhood in Colombia: street scenes, intimate interiors, and local figures. The seventh section focuses on Botero’s works on paper, including detailed chalk drawings and watercolors. Lastly, the exhibition closes with Botero’s elegant and imposing monumental bronze and marble sculptures.

Visit : www.brooksmuseum.org

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Art Exhibitions, Artists, Books and Magazines, News, raw art gallery | , , | Leave a comment

Bill Viola Exhibition At The Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Internationally recognised as one of today’s most important living artists, Bill Viola has played a key role in consecrating video art as the most vibrant art form within the contemporary art world and has contributed significantly to the development of this genre, both in terms of technology and content. On exhibition at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.

The representation of complex emotional states, together with a bundle of timelessly unanswered dilemmas such as mortality, love, sensitivity and conscience, have been the cornerstone of Viola’s art since its beginnings. His compositions convey with clarity and startling effectiveness the invisible dimension of feeling. The powerful attraction his films and video installations exercise on the public, regardless of background or trend, can be ascribed to the fact that the individual is able to recognise him or herself in these creations: Viola confronts us with emotional states with which we are familiar in our everyday lives.

Bill Viola uses video to explore the phenomenon of perception through the senses, as a channel towards self-knowledge. His work dwells on the universal experiences of humankind – birth, death, the path towards conscience or knowledge –, combining both western and eastern tradition as well as diverse spiritual traditions such as Zen Buddism, Islamic Sufism and Christian mysticism.

Director Peter Sellars, with whom Viola collaborated on a production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, defines his work as being framed pictures in movement; precious objects that are both windows into another reality and meticulously-described surfaces with their own compositional balance – just like paintings.

For over thirty-five years now Bill Viola has been creating videos, video installations, sound environments and video and electronic music performances. His installations are spaces designed to completely immerse the visitor into the image and sound. The innovative technology Viola uses in these works stands out for its precision and utter simplicity.

But the real turning point in Viola’s career came early in 1995 with The Greeting, presented at the Venice Biennale later that year. An open quotation of Pontormo’s The Visitation, where a pregnant Virgin Mary is depicted with St Elisabeth and two elderly figures stare hypnotically at the spectator, this work inaugurated a series of pieces that will be featured in the exhibition. The filmed scene, shot in 35 mm at a speed of 300 frames per second – over 12 times the 24 frame-per-second average norm of films shown in movie theatres –, is barely forty seconds long. This is slowed to an overall showing time of ten minutes, thus enabling the spectator to appreciate the expression of the faces in their smallest changing details, dwelling on sensations and feelings that it would be impossible to notice either in film or reality.

His works are currently part of some of the world’s most prestigious museum and gallery collections. In 2001, after being shown at the Venice Biennale, his Quintet of Remembrance entered the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Despite never having expressed an interest in video art before, for a long time the Met exhibited this work alongside its collection of great masters to highlight Viola’s debt to late-Medieval and Renaissance artists such as Giotto, Mantegna and Signorelli, as well as Dürer, Bosch, Titian, Caravaggio and Goya, with ‘forays’ into the work of 19th century painters such as Friedrich.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Art Exhibitions, Artists, News, photography, raw art gallery | , , | 1 Comment

World’s Smallest Postal Service

Let Lea Redmond send your next birthday card or love letter by transcribing your sentiments onto tiny stationary using her tiny pen and enclosing it in a tiny envelope and sealing it with a tiny wax stamp.

Formerly only available in cafés and stores where Lea would set up shop and perform the service, she now offers her epistolary skills online—for $8 she’ll write up a mini-letter and either mail it off to the recipient of your choice or to you for hand delivery. Maddeningly precious, yes, but the attention to detail is hard to resist.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Artists, News, raw art gallery, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

VNA

Very Nearly Almost (VNA) enjoyed modest beginnings as handmade black and white photographic zine showing off all things dope about the culture and art scene on the U.K. streets. Slated to launch its seventh issue, the precocious periodical has blossomed into the top street art and graffiti glossy in the land of the Britons and beyond. Their latest issue boasts 84 pages on their favorite topics in full-color, including features on the stencil work French artist C215, a look at the New York/London crew and design collective One Trick Pony and plenty more off the urban creativity you crave. If you should find yourself down in London town tonight there’s still time to check out the shindig at Concrete Hermit from 6 to 9 p.m. If you don’t live in Europe don’t worry, you’ll still be able to secure a copy thanks to VNA’s international distribution and their online shop.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Artists, Books and Magazines, News, photography, raw art gallery | | Leave a comment

28th São Paulo Biennial

In spite of strong criticism about its anti-biennial “In Living Contact” theme, the 28th São Paulo Biennial nevertheless seemed to please attendees at the kickoff last Saturday, probably due in part to the hands-on participation element. Everyone left with tons of reading material in their hands, from little art books to mini posters.

Curated by Ivo Mesquita and Ana Paula Cohen, this year’s biennial is the talk of the art town because the duo developed the 42-day event around what they see as a general crisis in art biennials: that they’ve lost their purpose as cutting-edge exhibitions and instead just serve as jumping off points for artists to sell their work. Coupled with this statement was the daring Open Plan on the second level, also dubbed “The Void.” Consisting of an entire floor of the vast Oscar Niemeyer-designed building left completely empty, it’s supposed to provoke new ideas rather than make a statement about art (or, more to the point, the lack thereof).

As a break from the usual art biennial model, the curators organized the show into works that would instigate reflection about the very theme, with interactivity the key to the success of their chosen direction. On the first floor, visitors can exchange a copy of their key for one that opens one of the building’s doors for the duration of the event at a booth by artist Paul Ramirez Jonas. Carsten Höller’s giant, steep and curvy slides got even those decked out in high heels for a ride. The third floor is dedicated to an archive of sorts, with catalogs from international art biennials.

Video is an integral part of this São Paulo Art Biennial and televisions spread throughout different areas of the building show old works, chief among them a tribute to legendary Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramovic (middle row, right).

In addition to the exhibits, music, performance and discussions will take place. Other international artists from the 42 chosen include Fischerspooner, Sophie Calle and Allan McCollum, with the national round-up comprised of names like Mauricio Ianes and Iran do Espirito Santo.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Art Exhibitions, Artists | | 1 Comment