Cypriot ‘Milk Bowl’

Image courtesy of the Fitzwilliam Museum

This type of bowl is commonly found across the Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age (this particular example belongs to the collection of the Fitzwillian Museum and is dated to 1450-1200 BCE). They are decorated with a white slip and black painted geometric decoration.

The use of these bowls has often been the subject of speculations. At one point, it was widely believed that they were made to process yogurt but there is no actual evidence that this was the case. The name ‘milk bowl’ is progressively being dropped because it is misleading as the use of these bowls is still unknown. They were exported in quite large quantities, but we do not even know if it was for their contents or as the bowls themselves.

I think it is interesting that we have so little information about a type of object that can be found in many different archaeological museums all over the world and is generally this widespread. Also, it isn’t like there are no studies about these bowls; there is just no consensus that has been reached yet.

Papare Series

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All images courtesy of Gonzalo Fuenmayor

All images courtesy of Gonzalo Fuenmayor

This photo set by Gonzalo Fuenmayor was realized in 2014. Chandeliers were hung to banana plantations, lit, and photographed at night. The concept behind these piece of art follows from earlier works by the artist, examining ideas of identities and colonial history. Here, these ideas are taken even further as Fuenmayor combines the banana plantations, which are associated to a violent history; and the chandeliers as a symbol of luxury and opulence to study how decoration can mask ugly circumstances.

Again, these photographs are a social and historical study of colonial Latin America. They are based on the idea of contrast and harmony, and how opposing concepts can interact and complete each other. You can look at the rest of the set over here or see Fuenmayor’s exhibition at the MFA.

Icarus Complex

Image courtesy of Gonzalo Fuenmayor

Image courtesy of Gonzalo Fuenmayor

This charcoal on paper drawing by Gonzalo Fuenmayor was realized in 2011, as part of a project entitled “Tropicalia” which explores mixed identities in colonial Latin America. He uses strong symbolic imagery to represent clichés of exoticism with the banana plants and Victorian luxury and opulence with the chandelier for example. The point is to find equilibrium and harmony within this contrast of cultures.

This art actually sets the stage for a photography project which I will post about tomorrow done in 2014, where Fuenmayor takes these concepts even further, so make sure you come back to check out the Papare project. In the meantime, you can look at more of his works on his website or head to the MFA to see his first solo exhibition which is on until September 13.

Brushstroke | Back to Basics Exhibition

IMG-20150613-WA0026This sculpture by Lichtenstein is going to be the title artwork for the Back to Basics exhibition. The older exhibitions (Metal Colors and Perceptions of Nature) will still be running; but this one is more about simple lines and shapes, monochromes, and primary colors. Back to Basics will be an exhibition with no complications.

So a little more about Brushstroke now. This one is exhibited at the Hirshhorn since 2003, was created in 1966 and is made of aluminium. You can tell it’s pretty monumental by comparing it to me on the above picture. Initially, the Brushstrokes were a series of paintings that Lichtenstein started in the 1960s. This sculpture is part of a series derived from the paintings. There are several Brushstrokes sculptures spread out around the world, from America to Spain to Japan.

Image courtesy of the Lichtenstein Foundation.