Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Freedom


Have you ever listened to people in the museums? Have you ever listened to kids in front of a painting, a video art, or a performace?
Working in the gallery has showed me how people is barely interested (or able) to talk about what they have in front of them if they haven’t seen it before.
They usually just cross the gallery, stop for less than 2 minutes and leave with a soft “bye thank you”.
But at the museums you will find the opposite situation; those who don’t say nothing are the minority. Normally everybody is talking, kids make questions or just trying to lay down in every sit that they can find. And it was there today, sitting beside a 6 years-old boy who was completely annoyed for his parents insistence of him to look here and there all the time, when I heard the most sincere opinion since I started to study Art: “this is just a stupid painting”.
I couldn’t do more than looking at the boy and feel sorrow for him. Not for his opinion but for the fact that their parents were destroying the small possibility that their son had to start loving Art.
Yes, he opened his small mouth and said straight what he wanted to say.
People is no usually prepared to destroy someone’s work, and I must say that it is not a matter of being polite or not. Here in NY people is quite open to talk, is not normal to hear real critics, but since there is such a huge offer, they are more able to choose what they want to see, and that’s the critic.
When you talk with someone who has being in to a exhibition in which you are interested, they are not at all afraid to tell you that it is horrible, and they are usually even able to tell you why (which sometimes is surprising taking into account who is the person you can be speaking with).
In Spain, we are not so used to say “don’t go there, you’ll waist your time”. No. As with politics, we just listen to what the rest say and make a little comment, that most of the times is not so strong because you don’t want to hurt nobody (unless you are really relaxed with friends who by the way, usually agree with you).
Last week in the gallery with Max, we were talking about the differences between Spain and USA, and the ways that our History is still so present in us. I told him how surprising is for all of us, the discussions in the street about Obama and Clinton.
We, after years and years of repression and fear, aren’t ready yet to say what we really think.
We believe in the secret vote and in the personal taste.
I have heard in Spain things like: “this is horrible” or “THIS is not Art”, and I am ok with that, but I would love to hear more, I would love to hear one day “This is just a stupid painting” and then arguments explaining it with not a rest of fear in them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

News


Why is the History so full of great ideas turned to great disasters?
I have no idea.
While I was in Spain, counting the days to come to NY, I used to search in the Internet every single thing that I wanted to visit/do here. Since I had already done all the clasic turistic tour, (Empire State, Rockefeller Center, museums, Central Park, Brooklyn, Ground Zero, Grand Central, etc) I started to look for new things.
Like two weeks before I left, I saw in a magazine the innauguration of the New Museum. The building and that "hell yes!" was enough to caught my attention. I saw the website and I read more about it.
I came to the conclusion that it was a great idea, and I really wanted to see what was inside, make a discover, find hope... But as soon as I started to ask around how was it, I could see that everybody was complaining about it, but still I wanted to see it with my own eyes.
An exhibition which someone described like "nosense".
I have to recognize that found pieces which I really liked (particulary 2 of videoart), and a few things that I aestetically enjoyed. But that was all.
The rest I couldn´t find a reason of why it was there. And I haven´t found a person able to give me an answer.
I have talked about this with many people, and I always say the same: "If they don´t change soon, it is tragically destinated to die". Tourists are coming back to their countries saying "don´t waste one morning going to the NM" and that is how it works. When your are planning your visit to such an incredible city like NY, every minute counts, and when you have finish with the classics, you start with the reccomendation of friends and guides.
I hope to hear one day that such a beautiful idea is a must in a NY visit.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Influences

I thought it was a joke, but it is not. Seems like everything is possible here.
I was going to write about the opening in Black&White, but something happened after the show that I couldn't remove from my head.
I saw the artwork by Asja Jung, in which you could see huges chimps with beautiful patterns. Those chimps (by the way, I dont know why but lately, everywhere I look I see monkeys, and they all remind me the same person), had a pose just like if they were humans, and they all looked at me as if they were trying to tell me something, but they couldn't, or I just wasn't able to understand them.
I read the press release which says that it is based on the book of Simon Dykes Great Apes. The book is about a man who realizes that he is in the body of a chimp.
Even now that I know where it comes from (those paintings I mean), I just don't hear what the chimp is trying to say.
If reading a book, is enough to paint a huge chimp in whose eyes you have to see something else (apart of the patterns), then, I don't understand nothing.
The thing is that, after watching the paintings I was with some friends and somebody told me about that Kansas' women, and I couldn't stop to think about her.
The problem is that if I am more interested on a Kansas' women who went on the toilet for two years...then...there is something that is not going ok.
The first thing I thought is that I was sure that in less than a year someone is going to make a piece of art about that women, because people love that kind of things. But then, I realized that maybe that disgusting new was what needed to understand the chimps.
Let me explain: The woman was in that toilet for 2 years, she never moved so she had become bound to the toilet by "natural means."
So...was she a toilet in the body of a woman or a woman in the body of a toilet?
I just can't wait to see something about that in a gallery or a museum, because what I am learning here everyday more and more, is that anything goes.
Am I right or is it that I have being too influenced by Sciences skeptic people? Here is de dilemma.

http://blackandwhiteartgallery.com/

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Una de vaqueros


“Érase una vez…” that’s how we start in Spanish all the tales to kids right before they fall asleep and start to dream with princess, horses and treasures…or with witches and monsters.
Now that I’m an adult (or al least I try), I still miss that stories that only happened far far away. But even now you can choose your favorite princess, ogre, and fairy godmother and follow how the tale continues after you closed your eyes.
And there is the point. We closed our eyes, and all what we dreamed about was just what we wanted to see, and now things have not changed at all. What we see is what we choose to see.
The gallery Schroeder-Romero is now showing the work by David Hevel The cautionary tale of Britney Spears, that you can be able to see the website: http://www.schroederromero.com/
David Hevel shows us how a bunch of (at the beginning) nice shinning and colorful things can hide the dark truth.
Everywhere we can see those magazines and tv-shows about famous people who we cant barely remember why are the famous for, but still we know every detail of their private life.
Almost everyone that I have asked here knows who is Paris Hilton dating, or what happened with Britney Spears last week.
What Hevel tries to tell us, is that it is so easy to look to other people’s life congratulating ourselves that it is not our daughter who gets so drunk that she has to go to the hospital neither our mother who drops us in the ground.
It means that it is easy to look at all those beautiful people, just as we used to choose the fairy tale that we wanted to dream about.
It is also easy to read those pages that are full of photos and scoops about sexual scandals, than looking to the next page that shows the truth that really affects your life, your country and your world (the real one).
You’ll see there are also, some drawings of lovely monkeys , and here you have the easiest way to understand what this artist from San Francisco wants to transmit: You will love the colors of the little monkeys so much, that you might not even notice that behind them there is a grille.
And there is the truth: they are inspired by photos that the artist found on the Internet, of animals used in scientific research.
Despite the fact that the works are really “kish” and they look to me so American, it is true that the artist is able to make you understand which was his motivation, and what is more important: makes you think about it.
But anyway, there is nothing new in this tale, we all know that, and we all also know that it wouldn´t exist if nobody buys it. So the only way to destroy it is to ignore it. Maybe it would be a good idea make a performance with it, or just start a revolution by not using (or abusing of) this subject no more.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Designer vs Artists…creations vs master pieces…



Creations and creator are two words that I don’t really understand nowadays. For me, creation comes out of the blue (must be that reminiscence that I have for being raised up in a country that STILL has a catholic confession).

I have notice that a designer is called a creator, or at least, his works are called creations, while what the artist does is a piece (of art). I am not really sure about this but it is something that I’ve being thinking about lately.

It all started with a newspaper release in EL PAIS (probably the best-seller newspaper in Spain) about a young designer called creator by the author.
I already knew about his work, a few days ago I visited his website ( www.seethisway.com), and I found his work fresh and fun. Finally!

If you enter in his website, you’ll see that some of his “creations” are not only useful and decorative, they also have a why, and an answer inside.
This young Spaniard designer is called Jorge Mañes, and as I said he was on the newspaper for his exhibition in ARCO. I’ve said before that there was also a space for design, and casapasarela gave the opportunity to a group of young designers to show their works.
Mañes decided to use his space for a hanger called Dear Hunter. I suppose that you are thinking about the film, and I hope that after reading this, you’ ll think about this work.

I could try to explain what is the meaning and the origin of it, but this time, the creator had the courtesy of explaining it in a text beside the hanger:

"Footprints are small clues that guide us through the depths of our memory, and as such, are able to transport us almost instantly into the remote depths of our consciousness. I love things that have the power to evoke something in us, to make us think or remember, that are able to tell a story and leave a mark on us."

"Dear Hunter emerges from a personal necessity for self expression, as a result of a creative process in which the deconstruction of a deer hunting trophy changes the rules of the game, and invites the viewer to reflect about the disregard of humanity for something as basic as the right of any living being to a dignified death."


After reading this, and visiting carefully his website, noticing that his work in Italy (Jorge Mañes now lives and develops his work in the nation of design) is more and more important, and every time changing and full of energy and knowledge, I started to think why is not this a piece of art? Why is Dear Hunter not his master piece for the moment? Or is it?.

To tell the truth, I don’t know. And I don’t know why an artist is not a creator. Are they different levels or just different ways to say the same thing?

We study at University the importance of what is useful for the Bauhaus artists. Would they be artists today? Or creators?

ARCO




For those who are not very into spanish art, Iet me introduce you a little trough the easiest way: ARCO

Located in Madrid, ARCO tries to show whats new and what is in the Spaniards and internationals galleries lately. In fact, this year, it was specially dedicated to Brasil, as you can see in the photo on the top (thanks to Cayetana Nicanor, by the way).

I must say that I am not the greatest defensor of ARCO for many reasons that some other day I will be pleased to explain, but I would like today to focus my post on it.

This year a very good friend of mine has being working in ARCO, and when she told me that it was great, I decided to search a little in the website to find out what was so good...
Is not only that ARCO means for us a conection with the art abroad and things that we (students) not usually see in the classroom, it is also a place where you can feel the art atmosphere, (with its goods and its bads), and how the art market moves and gets you inside.

First time I went there, two years ago I think, I wasn’t really sure if I liked what I was seeing or not -and I am not talking about the art pieces only-, but it seems like this year things have changed, and ARCO is not only open for art pieces or video-art; there was also a place for design and performance…yes, a plateu just for them, Wich I must say that (for me, in some way) destroys all the “romance” that a performance can transmit to the public.

After galleries and galleries I found a couple of things that I found interesting, maybe this gallery www.galeriaalvaroalcazar.com has one of the pieces that I like the most: http://galeriaalvaroalcazar.com/client/es/exposiciones_obras.asp?artist=3&page=1&exhibition=12&work=218
And also Porta VIII (wich is number 3). Both of them and in general all what was exhibited by this gallery in ARCO really makes me feel like something good is coming and I want to see it. In fact, a few of their pieces really reminded me what I saw in Black and White gallery wich is in front of Winkleman' s (I' ll write about it next week).

Although that I still think that ARCO is a jumble were is impossible to find anything and its full of stuff (wich is only that: stuff), I must say that I have read somethings about the situation of the stands, and the intention of make an equal distribution of the spaces and the situation of the galleries. So it seems like this years they have tryied to improve and break some rules about hierarchy in this business, and I find that it is a good reason to support ARCO for once.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

First Opening

www.winkleman.com

Opening tomorrow Feb 21 6.pm-8.pm here in the gallery.
We will be showing 4 paintings of Joy Garnett wich I am looking at right now while I am writting.
I have being reading the press release that edward wrote and that you can find on the website. I read it and I tried to find it through my eyes, what Edwards see, and what Joy Garnett wanted to paint.
Since Joy G' s paintings are bassed on photographs that she finds, you can feel the realistic line, and even they can sound you familiar, like a newspaper photo, or a postcard that you have received.
The strong colours and the size of the paintings helps you to understand the meanings and gets you easier inside the picture.
As I look at them, I am more conscious about the meaning, but I still have some doubts about what I see.
Two of the pictures: Harbor and Morning in China make me feel the quiet, but still like if something is going to happen, like the same little fear that I have when everything is ok. Those two paintings are one in front of the other. Across them, one in front of the other too, are Noon and Night, thats the opposite, the fire, movement, noise and chaos. If figure myself in the middle of that cross, I have the two faces of reality, two sides of the same coin wich is always spinning, and you never know wich side is going to be the one up side at the end.
Despite that I can try to find the political meaning of this pieces, I dont really feel it necessary, even knowing that Night comes from a photo of the WTC disaster, for me is enoght what I see to understand the sense of this paintings.