Fragment of glass cup

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Image courtesy of Benaki Museum

I know this isn’t the most visually appealing object ever (surprising right?) but I stumbled upon it at the Benaki Museum during my stay in Athens (expect some reviews soon!) and it intrigued because it’s stamped with a personification of the city of Tyre. I’m not hugely familiar with glass making and decoration techniques, since glass only starts to be used at the very end of the period I’m most interested in. This cup fragment is from the late 3rd-early 4th century A.D, so Roman times. I don’t have much information about it, just what the museum label says to me; and part of that is that it was found in Syria. Syria could mean largely Syria and Lebanon so it’s not excluded that this object might have been found in the actual city of Tyre, but don’t take my word for it.

I think it’s cool that cities have personifications, and this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered that of Tyre. It also helps archaeologists that this fragment is inscribed with the name of the city. In addition to the city of Tyre in the center, you can see the hand of a Nike holding a wreath, and the scales of justice. Side note, Nikes were victory goddesses in Ancient Greece so now you know a fun fact about the origin of the name of the brand.

So stay tuned for reviews of museums and activities in Athens and Crete, and I’m going to the Basque country next week as well so you can also expect a review of the Guggenheim Bilbao!

Seashore

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Image courtesy of Heels and Wheels

Roy Lichtenstein is my favorite pop artist. He didn’t only paint comic book style scenes. In fact, he also sculpted (I’ve seen two of his Brushtrokes sculptures in real life) and experimented with a variety of materials. Landscapes are a subject he tackled throughout his career. When you think about it, these landscapes are not that far from the comic book universe, as they would work as background and they are stylistically similar to Lichtenstein’s most famous artworks. His landscapes are also some of the pieces where he experimented a lot with materials. In a lot of the seascapes he made he used Rowlux, which is a holographic plastic-y material that he found quite fitting to represent the undulations of the sea. I chose Seashore because I like the visual rendering of the paint dotting better than the Rowlux, but you can check out the exhibition catalogue of the exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: Between Sea and Sky that took place last summer at Guid Hall here

Above we have an oil on plexiglas  painting from 1964 which belongs to the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Lichtenstein uses his usual dotting technique to render the different layers of the sea, sky and rocks. This was painted on different layers of plexiglas for added depth. As always with Lichtenstein, it’s interesting that the small elements, bold lines and tiny dots form the complete picture. This painting only has 4 colors. No nuances in shading or anything. It’s simple but it has a dimension, which is something that I particularly appreciate with Lichtenstein in comparison to some other pop artists.

Anna’s Mess

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Image courtesy of Anna Polyviou

This dessert has 9 elements! It was created by Australian chef Anna Polyviou, who’s quite unconventional but super pro. As you can see in the video below, the dessert is meant to be smashed on a plate before being eaten. I still can’t decide if I find it cool or way too hipster but as you may know if you’re a regular reader, I like interactive art.

Also two good news:

  1. You can get Anna’s Mess at the Shangri-la in Sydney until July 11 (which makes it pretty much an exhibition)
  2. If you’re like me, an unfortunate human being who doesn’t live anywhere near Sydney, you can do it yourself. I mean yeah the recipe requires two ovens, 39 ingredients, and 73 steps no biggie. But hey at least it’s there for adventurous spirits.

Bits and Pieces

Today we’re starting a new exhibition, Bits and Pieces which will be looking at details, miniature items, and small components  of bigger pieces.

This installation by German artist Nils Volker inspired the name and theme of the exhibition.It consists of 108 expandable toys suspended in space. The balls are moved by small motors (each one has its own) for smooth movement. This installation was on display for a month at Gallery Nome in Berlin, and you can learn more about it here.

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Images and video courtesy of the artist

Bolshoi Academy x Erickson Beamon x Milk Studio

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Image from Tumblr

This picture was taken during the 2011 New York Fashion week; during which ballerinas from the Bolshoi Academy showcased jewelry by Erickson Beamon at Milk Studio.  When I first stumbled upon it, I thought it was a nice editorial shot and got excited about it but then I looked it up and found out it was actually a picture from an event (which is why there are no photo credits). So basically an event happened at Milk Studio where those ballerinas were having a life installation wearing pieces from Erickson Beamon’s collection.

It’s very posh but also kind of cool; and I like this photo in particular because of the aesthetics and because it’s a photograph reflection on two other arts, dance and fashion. Another cool thing about it is that it’s a very contemporary approach both in the presentation and in the nature of the arts. It’s not your classic painting/drawing/sculpture but it has a sense of timeless beauty while belonging exactly to the present (well 2011 at least).

Spectral Bond – Light as Wave

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Image courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art

Today we’re looking at a drawing by Amy Myers, whose work reflect on her childhood in a family of physicians and on the female body. Yay for self-reflection again. This drawing from 2015 is gouache, pastel, and conte crayon on paper. Actually, Amy Myers uses many sheets of paper that she assembles together during her process. Her drawings are always symmetrical, but not always centered. I just picked a centered one because I’m a sucker for perfect symmetry. I like how whimsical and light her drawings are, while at the same time being very complex. Also as you may know by now, I like art that has a strong concept behind this; and this is definitely the case. You can really grasp the concept of atoms and networks, space, and the human body by just looking at the piece, which is what makes it successful in my opinion.

So keep an eye out for Amy Myers, cause I think she’s going places.

And here is a detail of the artwork since I couldn’t get a high res picture of the full one.

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Image courtesy of Hyperallergic

Proenza Schouler Tumblr Collection

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Image courtesy of Vogue

Today’s fashion post was a struggle, so I’d like to thank my friend Hicham for the inspiration. I was looking for a self reflective fashion item/collection to include in the Mirror Image exhibition, and he suggested I check out this video. Not only do I now know how to pronounce Proenza Schouler, I also realized that they are really cool designers who are very accessible human beings. I felt that they were far from the high fashion superstar mega luxury industry thing while still being totally immersed in it, which is great.

Anyway if you watch the video you’ll see that their work is very much about their own experiences and how their inspiration comes from things in their lives. So the Tumblr collection is their Spring 2013 collection; and I think it’s self reflective to a level that surpasses just the designers themselves. Everyone has a Tumblr. Or at least everyone had a tumblr in 2012 before Pinterest took over, and I still have a Tumblr. This collection is about how random the internet can be but also how harmonious. And how it all makes sense once you put it together because in the end you’re the one curating what you want to see. Everyone is a curator these days, and the strength in this collection is that it’s the result of their personal curation. If I had my own Tumblr line, it would probably be way more pink with a ton of glitter and a more beachy landscapes. Also another thing that is strong about this collection and that they talk about in the video is the fact that they added materiality to it. Their work focuses a lot on textures, and that’s what gives an added dimension to their virtual inspiration.

I highly recommend you look at the rest of the collection here and that you follow Proenza Schouler’s tumblr.

Bronze Head of a Woman

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Image courtesy of the British Museum

Today we’re looking at this female head made from bronze and filled with lead, which might have been a mirror cover. It was found in Greece and dates back to 350-330 BCE, and now belongs to the collection of the British Museum although it’s not on display.

Many ancient cultures used mirrors, and I came across mirror lids of varying styles and shapes while doing research for this post. Most of the classical ones have scenes engraved on them, so I kept this one because I found it to be more interesting, first of all in the way it’s carved. The lids that depict scenes are relatively flat with low relief engravings, whereas this one is carved in three dimensions. Also, the subject differs significantly and this one is much more related to the use of its corresponding object. Remember the water jar? This has essentially the same context  in that it’s an image of a person, featured on an object whose function is to give an image of the person. Of course, this may not be a mirror lid at all in which case this whole argument is pointless; but you can learn more about this artifact here and formulate your own opinion.