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.

Self portrait in the studio at Peckham after Steenwyck the Younger

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Image courtesy of Art Daily

Today, we’re looking at a 2015 painting by the amazing Raqib Shaw. It’s part of a series of four paintings based on works from the National Gallery. I picked this one because it fits the exhibition particularly well, being a self portrait set inside the artist’s studio. A lot of imagery is reminiscent of himself and his work, such as the bronze sculpture which was first exhibited at the same time as this painting. Other elements that refer to the artist in this painting are his dogs and his champagne case.

I also like that there is an actual mirror at the center of the painting where the representation of the artist is reflected. This might be linked to the fact that it is adapted from an older painting by Steenwyck, dating back to 1610. As you can see if you compare it with the original below, Shaw kept the basic structure and format of the painting, as well as some striking elements: the architectural features, the tablecloth, and the floor design. His painting is more charged than the original, in his usual opulent style and with his particular technique of painting with enamel using a porcupine quill, which renders this precision and realistic feel. Another difference you will have noticed is the background, which features views on a garden in Shaw’s version. This is the view he has from his studio; so effectively, he hasn’t represented his workplace in terms of structural features but in terms of its exterior.

I’m a big fan of this painting because of its very personal nature but also because there is plenty to look at. It’s full of technique, color work, but also choices, which gives it a striking personality that I fell can sometimes get lost in a lot of contemporary art.

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Green Apple

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Image courtesy of Bord’Eau

This mind blowing dessert is the flagship dessert of Restaurant Bord’Eau, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant located in Amsterdam. It consists of an apple made from blown sugar, which is one of the hardest things to do; and apple core made from apple sorbet with chocolate for the seeds. This comes on top of puff pastry with cream of walnut and caramel. Needless to say I would kill to go there and try this (and the rest of their menu which also looks amazing).

This is one of the few times that a food post actually fits perfectly within the current exhibition. This dessert is a reconstructed apple; a reflection on the fruit both in terms of visual identity and in terms of taste (I’ve read some reviews). So yeah, I’m really impressed by the conceptual work that was done on this dessert, and here is the link to the restaurant’s website. Hopefully one day I’ll be lucky enough to eat there. In the meantime, I saved their menu on my computer for bad days.

All Art Has Been Contemporary

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Image courtesy of the MFA Boston

This neon installation by Maurizio Nannucci is part of the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. You can check out the picture below to see how it looks like on display today. Nannucci is an artist who works a lot with neon, but this piece is particularly striking to me because it’s self referring. It’s a reflection on art by an artist, and more specifically on contemporary art by a contemporary artist. Now for the backstory, I’ve been getting more and more interested in contemporary art thanks to my current job, and I find it interesting how simple it can be while at the same time conveying some important depth. All art has indeed been contemporary, but not all art has been called contemporary. Should we have a new designation for what is understood today as contemporary art or is that the job of future generations to classify it and figure it out? A lot of artistic currents in the past were self named and it’s not all a categorization imposed by art historians. So yeah, after all, a piece of art is something that should trigger some sort of thinking; and this is working quite well here.DSC_1234

Camera Selfies

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Image courtesy of Seen by

Camera Selfies is a series by J.F. Novotny, a German photographer who experiments with the concept of the selfie and applies it to vintage cameras. He places the camera in front of a wallpaper (which is sometimes too elaborate for my taste in some of the photos) contemporary to the camera. His aim is to capture the personality of each camera in a false self portrait. The viewer sees the artwork from the perspective of the mirror.

I find the idea more interesting than the artworks themselves but still worth publishing. I particularly like the Polaroid selfies since you can see a triple reflection of the subject; as the camera itself, the developed photo, and the reflection in the lens.

You can check out the rest of the series or even buy them here.

Silence

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Image courtesy of Agata Wierzbicka

This illustration takes the mirror image to a level of non symmetry that I find quite interesting. I mean obviously the image responds to itself with an added detail but it another thing that makes it diverge from symmetry in the traditional sense is the way the subjects are laid out. It’s clearly not a perfect mirror image but that means it’s also not a flat one; and this is also helped by the grey background and the unfinished feel that this illustration has.

This is a typical characteristic of Agata Wierzbicka’s work which you can check out here.