JENNY SAVILLE: Oxyrhynchus at Gagosian Britannia Street, London

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Artist of the week: Horishi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. In 1970, Sugimoto studied politics and sociology at Rikkyō University in Tokyo. In 1974, he retrained as an artist and received his BFA in Fine Arts at the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, California. Afterwards, Sugimoto settled in New York City. 

Sugimoto has spoken of his work as an expression of ‘time exposed’, or photographs serving as a time capsule for a series of events in time. His work also focuses on transience of life, and the conflict between life and death.

Sugimoto is also deeply influenced by the writings and works of Marcel Duchamp, as well as the Dadaist and Surrealist movements as a whole. He has also expressed a great deal of interest in late 20th century modern architecture.

His use of an 8×10 large-format camera and extremely long exposures have garnered Sugimoto a reputation as a photographer of the highest technical ability. He is equally acclaimed for the conceptual and philosophical aspects of his work. Begun in 1978, Sugimoto’s Theatres series involved photographing old American movie palaces and drive-ins with a folding 4×5 camera and tripod, opening his camera shutter and exposing the film for the duration of the entire feature-length movie, the film projector providing the sole lighting.[4] The luminescent screen in the centre of the composition, the architectural details and the seats of the theatre are the only subjects that register owing to the long exposure of each photograph, while the unique lighting gives the works a surreal look, as a part of Sugimoto’s attempt to revealtime in photography.

 

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Cinerama Dome, Hollywood, 1993, Quad-tone Lithograph, archivally framed (edition of 100), 34.5 x 27.5 inch image
44 x 34 inches framed.

Artist of the Week: Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz (Brazilian, 1961)  (Text and images from http://www.artnet.com/artists/vik-muniz/)

Vik Muniz is a Contemporary visual artist who was born Vicente José de Oliveira Muniz (Brazilian, b.1961) in São Paulo, Brazil. Muniz began to discover art in the books he borrowed from his high school library. After studying advertising at the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado de São Paulo, he moved to Brooklyn, NY, with his family in 1983. The artist began his career as a sculptor in the late 1980s, but he gradually became more interested in drawing and photography.

In 1988, Muniz explored the memory, perception, and images represented in arts and communication. He created The Best of Life, the series of drawings in which he reproduced from his memory some of the famous photographs he saw in the magazine Life. He then photographed his drawings to give more reality to his memories. In the mid-1990s, in order to create witty, bold, and often deceiving images based on photojournalism and art history, Muniz began to incorporate unusual and everyday materials into his photographic process. These materials included dust, diamonds, sugar, dry pigment, ketchup, caviar, and wire. In 1997, Muniz became well-known for his Pictures of chocolate series, in which he used chocolate syrup to create his works. The artist borrowed from popular culture and Old Masters artists such as Georges Seurat and Vincent Van Gogh to make his works more familiar. He called this approach the “worst possible illusion.”

In 1998, he participated in the 24th International Biennale in São Paulo, and in 2001, he represented Brazil at the 49th Biennale in Venice, Italy. In 2006, Muniz created the series Pictures of Junk. In 2010, the documentary Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, followed Muniz for three years. During this time, the artist created art with recyclables at Jardim Gramacho, a landfill which serves the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz collaborated with the people employed to pick out recyclable material from garbage and created large-scale mosaic portraits; these works were sold at art auctions in London and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo. The artist has had his work exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the KAsama Nichido Museum of Art in Japan, among many other prestigious institutions. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

 

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Maria Callas from Pictures of Diamonds, 2004, Chromogenic print (edition of 10), 101.6 x 76.2 cm.

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The Flowers in the Blue and White Vase After Chardin, 2005, Chromogenic print (edition of 6), 101.6 x 129.5 cm.

Recycling old work

I have just prepared a series of old work on paper to be re-used as drawings and small studies on paper. The works were originally developed as a conceptual process of writing letters or cards to artists I liked, a one way correspondance, talking to the artists, some of which have long been dead, as though they are close personal friends. The work was interesting, though I felt that it had room to grow in a different way and at a different time. And I thought it best not to waste the materials I have on hand. So I have torn the cards in half to make roughly 96 seperate pieces of paper to work on. And also there is the possibility of increasing the total number of works by again halving some of the paper to create smaller sheets to work on, making them more portable and accessible.

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I will be work on top of the existing text, I feel the potential for interesting visual outcomes, the typography lending to the potential aesthetic outcome.

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A majority of these will be featured in a solo show I am planning on having later this year. Stay tuned for updates and progress.

Some more work on paper

This will only be a short post. As I am trying to make at least one blog post per week now. Hoping to increase that. And also change my page theme. It seems a bit crap at the moment. In the mean time here is several examples of some recent work on paper.

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Ink on paper 2.0

I recently embarked on creating a new series of work, a series of ink drawings/paintings on paper. I felt that I needed to step up my creative process by incorporating some colour. But not for the sake of doing something different. I have tried to push my work, make it more interesting, more active and engaging. The images below are a sampling of what I have managed to put together. Using the same process as I did in the previous ink drawings, however, I have been forced to reconsider the properties of the mediums I have been using. Ink and watercolour, although they are similar; both being water based, they both have a series of varying properties. When mixing ink with water it comes quite close to being like water colour. When creating a work with different mediums, both fluid, you have to consider the process carefully. It can become very easy to end up with a muddy mess of pigment on paper, which is what happened with a few drawings, however they are not a waste, but a lesson on what not to do. So I hope you have enjoyed the progress of my work so far and I hope you continue to do so.