Archive for the Sculpture Category

Miquel Barcelo, Caixa Forum, Jacques Henri Lartigue

Posted in Artist, Image Discovery!, Painting, Photography, Print, Sculpture with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Since coming to Barcelona I stumbled onto a well established mixed media Spanish artist. Along Consel de Cent I went into a gallery with an unfriendly attendant. On the gallery walls were loose monoprint and ink brush renderings of bullfights. There was a high amount of energy implanted into the bull charging and the cape swishing a red streak across the paper. Everything was black ink on white with tinges of red smearing. Blood and the illusion of the matadors veil were one. The name of creator was M. Barcelo.

I googled searched but got nothing. I couldn’t understand how respected or acknowledged Barcelo was. Incredibly in Madrid I happened for the first time to visit the Caixa Forum by accident. On display was a retrospect of MIQUEL Barcelo. His paintings took time to grow on me. The oil and watercolors were as messy as the prints. But the splotchy figures in his Dantes Divine Comedy were refreshing from an overused epic poem in image media. Small mounds of paint made slight shadows on canvases and the perception of rocky dirt ground was executed by him too. His working career has spanned before my birth.

But what immediately grabbed was the video of his sculpture in the main lobby. Along with the warped faces he made from metal casts was a huge installation he did in real time with some editing. He and accompanying sculptor had an immense wall of clay before them. They slashed and hacked at the wet clay with sticks and metal. At first their carving seemed arbitrary and unguided. At the climax however the camera shot is way back and you see a scene reminiscent of cave paintings from Neanderthals. Trees, shrubs and rock are captured by the shadows of deep lines in the clay.

Then the pair use clay pancake slabs to form masks on their faces. Blind only with their palms and fingers are grotesque noses, eyes and bone structures emulated. I immediately thought of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice when Alec Baldwin pulled his face forward when witnessing Marcelo’s first clay facial. Numerous masks were made and accompanied a finished lair of clay sculpture.

As a craftsmen Marcelo is seemingly sloppy and uneducated. But then again most modern spanish artists are. I am now a fan his work and take his name in my head easily. It’s hard to find his distinct work in english so anyone reading just surf around. Since I am on the subject vaguely, the Caixa forum is a big interest for me. I have never heard of a bank funding free open artwork for everyone. A bank supporting art seems cold and devious in America but in SPain its like a civic duty of the company. Near Placa Espanya I have seen work by Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Joseph Buys, and Jacques Herni Lartigue.

Lartique was a rich Frenchman who because he was so wealthy could spend all his time photographing as a young man. He captured the lives of wealthy French at the start of the 20th century. Early photos you could see his fingerprints, scratches, and graininess of an amateur. By the 30’s he was producing glorious action shots of car races, swimmers, skiing, and pretty mistresses. He also did a lot of stereograph work like making 3D photographs. I think I may want to invest in a stereograph camera after seeing the dynamism of his work.

Art Happenings

Posted in Artist, Photography, Sculpture with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Yesterday sadly I was alarmed by the fact that Louis Bourgeois has passed on from this world from a heart attack. Reading her death at 98 was heart wrenching, sadly even more she is one of the few female artists I can summon up in my head quickly. I was first exposed to her work at the Guggenheim in NYC which was doing a retrospect on her. I saw her life’s work in one sweep of the spiraling floors. I didn’t know what to expect from the exhibit except her name was part of socialist thinking vocabulary. Each sculpture impressed me and more from arch of hysteria to her Cells. Supposedly she had been still working until her recent end. Her life seemed to sum up a a lot things women deal with from infidelity, the sides of men, and being unnoticed by societal culture until later in life. Thinking about it now she is my favorite sculptor. I can only hope some curators snatch her unfinished work in her studio and display in New York soon.

The other news is I finally was able to see 3 galleries in Barcelona today. I have been so busy with shopping and class events that I havent gotten a lot of free time to explore. In Albany my home town the art work is pretty poor. I don’t see a lot of interesting work and mostly hack paintings and ink jet photos. But here in Barcelona were numerous photographers who must be so new that I can’t find them on the internet…nada, no websites or at least not yet hopefully I can track down these photographers. It’s refreshing to know that I am in a city where there a new photographers creating high-definition work and not cliché buying details like dogs and horses. A gallery attendant I spoke told me her experience in art in Arizona would have been native american chickens and horses all the time for a living. Similarly I tell my compatriot John Gill he should just draw horses in Saratoga and sell them at the track.

Stuff like that isn’t art because it doesn’t go anywhere only into peoples homes and makes no new societal ideas. Only the same dullness is reciprocated. But the paintings in Barcelona still seemed stale.

The artist I saw today were…

Amadeo Berges

M Barcelo…Great bull fighting mono prints

Pavel Amilcar

German Peraire

Michael Johansson

Posted in Artist, Sculpture with tags , , on March 11, 2010 by michaelchernoff

While this guy does not take a sculptural route that I’d take…Michael Johansson skillfully creates compact objects of smaller objects. He is so proficient at packing that he fits all together soundly geometric. Looking at these crammed cubes makes me wonder why furniture didn’t take this extreme conservational form in light of cubist decor. Stereos built into shelves-tv dinner racks…the closest thing to thing we have to this are wall shower radios and…uh more wall clocks…bookshelves?

Whether furniture like this is really applicable seeing so many utilitarian objects united almost trivialized material existence. If some one broke American Beauty into a conceptual video I think the set design would be similar to this. The sculpture also reminds me of compact enviroment design of early gameboy games from japanese developers. Pokemon especially had shelves, tvs, and other boxy items that crammed real world detail into 8 bit descriptors. I definitely applaud another fellow Michael on job well done.

He also made a pingpong ball race course powered by hair driers that I appreciate a lot too.

Inspiring Suits

Posted in Artist, Projects, Sculpture with tags , , on January 28, 2010 by michaelchernoff

So I have thought about different possibilities for projects I could do with my neon class. One idea has made body accessories with neon attachments so that lights and clothing would be joined. But I’m thinking this may be too advanced to do this year and may be done later on…?

Making suits however brings me back to Nick Cave, a fabric artist and performer. When his suits came to Alfred University they all reminded me of deities and demigods. Later I saw more of his work in Chelsea NY and there were even more spectacular suits on display. I wouldn’t focus so much on bead work and sewing that Cave does, instead the jutting out of materials  from the suit. Cave’s suits take over the space sorounding them with metal and cloth. Not sure where these ideas will go but I thought I’d document so I wouldn;t forget. If changes come I will update.

Brian Jungen

Posted in Artist, Sculpture with tags , , , , on January 22, 2010 by michaelchernoff

So since I’m into sneaker culture I couldn’t help but be impressed by trialist objects made of air Jordans by Brian Jungen. The objects are great since they reflect Alaskan Animistic attire. Jurgen claims an obvious influence for him is Andy Warhol since pop item material is largely incorporated.

Terence Koh

Posted in Artist, Humor, Photography, Sculpture, website with tags , , , on January 21, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a male artist as obsessed with his body since Yukio Mishima as Terence Koh. Besides chandeliers and cherishing objects he has a lot of casting and photography dedicated to his own being. He is not shy and represents the in your face gay culture of North America. His nationality is Canadian. His website is it is very sporadic and disorganized but it kind of makes it fun to explore because of that. I am going to keep reviewing later on. His website is treated as diary more than an art collective.

Who Cares?

Posted in Artist, Music, Painting, Sculpture with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by michaelchernoff

So I was diving around back into my past memories I remembered middle school. For the record System of A Down is one of the few bands I have enjoyed since age 13, considering most bands we’re into at that age are better left forgotten. In fact I was the one who exposed my classmates to the band because I was the only one who had purchased the Toxicity album and let them burn it to hell. But this isn’t the point…the story is that at this age I didn’t agree with the opinions of my classmates on SOAD.

Being teens and eager to know about pop culture because we aren’t 20 yet, guys would go on the SOAD website and recite word for word the meaning and thinking behind lyrics in Toxicity. It’s been so long that I can’t recall arguments but everyone thought the song Chop Suey was a celebration of suicide. I thought it was a protest song. Either way everyone went rabid and claimed “Hey dude it’s on the website…uh, deal with it.”

Talking about this isn’t just about music as far as I’m concerned. It is a story about products and what people think of them. Today I don’t know if I’m in favor of critics or artists explaining work. But just because some writer who has a decade more of experience than you in the world has opinion…doesn’t mean you have to recite it. In fact it can be rejected. For every artist there is always an idea and image attached to them for all time, and most of these labels I don’t think captures the pinnacle of artist achievement.

Louis Bourgeois…every time you google search her spider sculpture at the National Gallery collection in DC is the first and most circulated item in her career. But I don’t think it comes close to her best life’s work. The thing looks like those shitty sculptures that came to life in Beetlejuice (and that is very pop).

It’s a fucking spider, huge achievement? Or how about Van Gogh?

I think Starry Night is one of the most boring paintings I’ve ever seen. Every Van Gogh self-portrait painting interests me more than this. But these are the things typically thought of if you mention these people. It’s just critics knit picking what they think best represents these people…and sometimes I get the feeling this is just a form of cultural suppression. If we know creators for certain things then most people never get past it.

Another example to close this off…the Beatles, the best known Pop Rock Invasion band ever. It’s undeniable how influential they are but then Michael Jackson released the “1” album all of their best songs. Well I think Michael missed the Abbey Road Album. Maybe Number One is the product obsession and not the actual collective. We need singularities instead of a body of work because people want to know what a masterpiece is.