Zac Posen Fall 2015

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I guess today’s post is an unpopular opinion. Apparently the person who wrote the Vogue review of this show didn’t really like this dress. Also it’s a throwback to the first exhibition I ran on this blog rather than continuing on the one I launched this month, but it’s my blog and I think Naomi Campbell is totally rocking that dress even if she might be the only person in the world who can.

Anyway, this was the superficial fashion interlude and we’ll go back to art next week.

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Tackle

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Image courtesy of Chris Cosnowski

This oil on panel from 2014 by Chris Cosnowski represents an American Football trophy.  It is a theme very recurrent in Cosnowski’s work, which focuses a lot on American culture and the meritocracy. His reflection goes into the symbolic of the trophy, how it aims to be grand and metallic but is in fact only a small plastic figurine; so basically an illusion. I think the idea of the illusion works well because his paintings are also very good at creating this sensation thanks to his great technical skills in depicting metal (or in fact, gilded plastic).

If you’d like to check out some more of his work, this is his website.

Ibis Figurine

Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts

I saw this cute Ibis figurine on display when I visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Don’t let the picture fool you, it is actually only 3cm tall. This figurine is made of gold and two different tones of blue copper enamels. It dates back to the 4th century B.C.E (during the Ptolemaic period), and may come from Alexandria.

The Ibis was an important symbol in Ancient Egypt; as it was one of the forms that the god Thot took, and the hieroglyph that represented him. Thot was the god of learning, knowlege, culture, and the arts. There are many known depictions of ibises as well as some mummies  all over Egypt, going as far back as the Middle Kingdom.

Anthropométrie Sans Titre

Image courtesy of MAMAC

Today is Bastille day, so I thought I would pay tribute to a great French artist, Yves Klein. He is mainly famous for creating this shade of blue which is now named after him; but he was a great lover of color in general and he notably worked with gold and pink too.

This is my favorite painting of his. It is part of the Anthropométries series, which is possibly one of his most famous ones. For this series he asked nude female models to cover themselves in paint and imprint their silhouettes on the canvases. This series was realized in 1960. What I love the most about this painting is how well the gold and the blue complete each other. It’s like each color enhances the other.

This work is exhibited at the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Nice, along with a few other of Klein’s pieces.

Nefertum

Image courtesy of Sara Golish

Nefertum is one of the ten Sun goddesses illustrated by Canadian artist Sara Golish for her Sundust series (which you can take a look at here). This series is a project centered around the theme of the Summer solstice (June 21), a date celebrated in many cultures. Here, the artist focuses on Africa, and the striking lack of female sun-deities there. She depicts ten female sun goddesses as a response to this ; and as a vision of the future embodying fertility and light.

This collection is amazing, and you can buy the prints on Golish’s website (over here). Make sure you also look at the rest of her work and stay in touch for updates because I’m following her progress.

Blue, White, Green

Picture courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts

This artwork is a series of 35 oil paintings on canvas by American artist Ralph Coburn, dating to 1950 (approximately). The pieces are actually meant to be placed in any order and there are no specific instructions as to how they should be exhibited. I like the current display at the MFA, and the symmetry and regularity it gives off. However, this work is interesting because it allows for this versatility and different readings even though it is essentially linear. A different disposition would generate a totally different reaction and I think this is mainly what makes a work of art powerful.

Greek bronze-pointed neck amphora with stand

Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This amphora from Greece dates back to the Late Archaic or Classical period in Greece (500-450 BCE). It has some very fine elaborate decoration featuring feline heads on the handles. It is mostly corroded but I think the relationship between the blue color of the corrosion and the metal itself provide a certain aesthetic dimension to it. This amphora is currently on display at the Met in New York and you can learn more about it here.

Reflections

All photos courtesy of Sebastian Magnani

This photo set is a current project by Swiss photographer Sebastian Magnani. The pictures were shot in various locations and explore the effects rendered by a spherical mirror lain on the ground. I find the relationship between the ground and the sky, as reflected in the mirror, to be super intriguing. It’s not often that we get to look at the floor and at the sky at the same time and it’s interesting to see how they may or may not be related. The mirror is the connecting point between them here and sometimes, what’s reflected in it can explain what we see on the ground. In other cases though, it’s like they’re two different worlds. What I also like about these pictures is that the floor serves as a sort of frame for what’s reflected in the mirror and I think it’s a fitting one because it’s what naturally falls under this reflection.

Ok enough deep talking, you can check out the rest of the pictures here.

Mosaics from the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Photo courtesy of freshcreator on Flickr

Photo courtesy of freshcreator on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Jos van der Woude

Photo courtesy of Jos van der Woude

These mosaics can be found on the celing of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, in Ravenna, Italy. The building was constructed in 430 AD and was supposed to serve as the final resting place of Galla Placidia, daughter of Roman Emperor Theodosius. The mausoleum also has prominent mosaics featuring themes from Christianity, and the ones pictured are on less important parts of the walls and ceilings but they are the ones I chose to feature here because I am a fan of geometric designs, especially in terms of mosaics and I find these simply breathtaking.

As you may have guessed from the date and the mention of Christian imagery, these mosaics date back to the Byzantine Period. By then, mosaic is not really a new form of art, but the innovation during the Byzantine era comes with the introduction of glass thessera (mosaic cubes) as opposed to archaic stone ones. Another interesting point to note is that the gold parts of the mosaics are made of glass cube that were actually gilded, so this is not just the iridescent effect of the glass. You can find a lot of this trend illustrated in the auras of people represented on Byzantine mosaics, such as the mosaics of Emperor Justinian.