‘AFTER THE END OF ART’ AND THE BRANDED ARTISTS

A famous artist today is a star , he’s a brand , so different from the bohemian icons of the XXth century.ART ADVISOR ITALIA

Artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Jeff Koons, Marina Abramovic, Vanessa Beecroft, Anish Kapoor, Maurizio Cattelan are rewarded with a popularity worthy of the movie stars, encroaching on the environment of fashion and rock.

As an example, first of all,  the collaboration of Jeff Koons with Louis Vuitton. Fashion has an aesthetic search that goes beyond the  value of an object.  Above all, via Koons, it is a symbolic value.

Art should go beyond this: it goes beyond the ephemeral because it expresses values, expresses ideas. One wonders if in these contaminations is more the fashion brand to impose itself on the value of art or vice versa.

This contamination between  the brand and the star system is the result of a movement that has to be cited to understand how we got to this point: Pop Art.

According to Arthur Danto, after the exhibition of the ‘brillo box’ in a museum, it seems that Art was dead.

‘The end of art’ is  meant as the end of art history. First, this does not mean that art can not continue on its path, but it has now finally reached that degree of freedom which favors plurilateral developments. Today art develops in all directions.

The Pop Art, therefore, has completed that historical task of investigating the essence of art, on which the avant-gardes had clashed.

Brillo Box has made  acceptable that anything can play the role of a work of art, has made artists free to run each in the direction they want and the paths of art today branch off in all directions.

With Pop Art, the development of the history of art (in which avant-garde movements alternated, in search of the essence of art) stopped, because we have arrived at what Danto considers the essence of art and that is his “aboutness”.ART ADVISOR ITALIA

This process, culminating with Pop Art and Brillo Box, involves, according to Danto, the liberation of art from philosophy and history.

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Death of art, however, has been talking about  for a century, but in reality art never dies: it changes. It change skin;  since that box has entered a museum, art has been shaken.

A comparison can be made between the idea supported by Danto and the ideas on history  of Fukujama; according to him, with democracy and the free market history is over; in fact, the democratic and liberal countries do not conflict with each other, and they coexist peacefully.

Almost the same in the arts, as there are no more avant-gardes, but multiple contemporary directions in the market, more and more relevant, more and more aberrant, unequal, dystonic.

A market in which precisely the brand prevails, and the iconic artist of today is himself BRAND.ART ADVISOR ITALY

Let’s take an iconic example .

Damien Hirst was worth 100 million pounds at 40: Warhol and Picasso pulverized in a blink of an eye. His sentence is “turning into a brand name is important: it’s the world we live in”.

He worked on a classic binomial: life and death, eros and thanatos, but from there, he moved in a spectacular way.

First,he creates  ‘A thousand years’ with  decomposing animals. Second, he creates   the shark, that gave the title to the text ‘One million dollar shark’, by Donald Thompson. Then,  he plays  with pills we treat and poison.

He then  goes on, most importantly,  with  the ethereal butterflies symbol of short life.

All  these works  express the power of Hirst’s thought, his idea of ​​death and dissolution, taken by F. Bacon, but also the desperate search for a sense linked to the cycle of things and their ineluctability.

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Emblem of an era is the skull covered in diamonds, ‘For the Love of God’, a gothic-rock-pop human skull that seems to play, in a glamorous and mocking way, a medieval macabre dance.

The biggest stone in the skull is the emblem of a conspicuous waste, almost to wring the eye at the idea of ​​waste as an ephemeral passing and, at the same time, almost to make an apotropaic rite against death.

Making it beautiful, precious, even desirable, death become an icon, too.

Hirst explains that in England, “For the love of God” has two meanings.

First, the literal meaning :  you act to please God. Second,  it is  an exclamation, like “For the love of God!” when you do something wrong. Your mother would tell you if you break a plate: “For the love of God, why did you do it?”.

It is iconic and ironic, it has both meanings.

The skull is, exactly, iconic and ironic: it’s almost rock, but, most importantly,  it costs like nothing else  in the world. it is as iconic as Masaccio’s skull  in his Trinity, but mocking like a fake expensive stone.

It’s a Totem with a mocking laugh.

Hirst then created an exhibition in Venice in which he invented a phantom vessel .

Via a mesmerising  storytelling, he says that everything you want to be  true,  becomes true, including a rediscovered treasure, which is an invention in order to create busts inspired by Barbies and tributes to Mickey and Andy Warhol (not by chance).

‘The treasure from the wreck of the unbelievable’ is an  exhibition where the game between reality and fiction is an heir of Marcel  Duchamp and more than ever a post modern and frankly irresistible creature.

Is it just a big commercial trick with the initial support of Saatchi? NO.

According  to  philosopher Josè Jimenez, this provocation is not inferior to the reach of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ in the second decade of the twentieth century or Man Ray’s  iron with nails. They are  short mental circuits that redraw the role of contemporary artist today.

Hirst said he loved having a factory (like Warhol with the factory) that produced his work, but not a factory for ideas.

The idea is everything. The idea must be preserved. This is why the shark has another title, which obliges us to rethink its meaning: ‘The physical impossibility of death in the head of a living being’.

Here is the brand: there is Damien Hirst who produces Damien Hirst. Like Prada or Gucci: just, to enjoy it, you pay more. You buy the name, the idea. But we buy an immortal idea, out of time, out of space, out of trend.

Hirst plays the game of meditation on death that goes from Duchamp to Warhol, in a contemporary key.The skull is the point of arrival of its aesthetics of death in a contemporary way.

“I’ve always liked the skulls, since my girlfriend told me ‘ You can not make skulls, they’re too glamorous ‘ and I decided to make skulls.

Probably, that’s why I made the one covered in diamonds. I love  skulls, I have a house in Mexico, they love skulls, and I like to keep doing them even when they are out of fashion and then fashionable and then out of fashion “. As a result, Art has ‘brands’ …

Koons is festive, he moves in a more playful universe,  Emin in  a pop-psychoanalytic universe with phrases from a sort of   private diary  , but the idea of  brand is the same.

Let’s hang from the  smiles of Murakami: Brand and icons everywhere, with a jump into performances in order  to undermine the physical order of a life invaded by labels.

To understand whether art today is a matter of entrepreneurship, a vocation, an aesthetic philosophy or  entertainment, there is the magnificent text by Sarah Thornton. The title is ’33 artists in three acts‘. About this book, Orozco said ‘we were all in underwear when he interviewed us; some of us managed to keep their socks’.

Here, the system is laid bare  to discover the artists’ talents and defects, in an intimate circle as fascinating as a novel, that leads back to Danto: art is out of history and totally free, among a thousand contradictions.

https://www.thearttime.com/it/art-contemporary-reviews-and-interviews/

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BARBARA MATERA

Contemporary Art, from the twentieth century to today, is essentially the abstract universe (that is, abandonment of representation) or the breaking of the canvas (up to the transition to physical reality and the environment).

In the case of Barbara Matera, an italo-American artist who was trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Art is made up of highly material abstract fragments, in an evocative yin and yang in which spirit and matter, idea and physical object duel in a battle that is harmonious even if dynamic.

There is, in her works, a chromatic tension supported by the thick consistency of the surface, a tension however devoid of danger: we are on a tightrope between the quiet Zen and the movement of natural forces, between blue, cobalt blue and gray ultramarines that have a dimension of a dreamlike and emotional space, that is  noetic and logical at the same time.

The artistic research moves and focuses on the materials that embody the idea, panoramas of the mind or the soul, depending on how you want to read them . In a word, it is an art free to ‘wander’, but it does so by speaking a clear, linear, even concrete language.

We are in front of works that refer to a canvas of Abstract Expressionism, of Rothko in the first place, with  primary energies, a subjectivity of the author, a painting of “depth” come to light, as in those painters. Even with unequivocal references to that New York School, it is a new art, a new way of creating artworks.

As in that school, you stay on the canvas but you tend to go beyond the margins, you do not come out of the paper, through a performance, for example, but ‘perform’ on the paper, you let the space tends to cross, that the color drips, that the knots of the material – felt intertwine autonomously as threads of scattered, but controlled thoughts.

They are works like fields of circulating energies, like something ‘happened’ captured in the moment of their epiphany, in a hunger of trespassing sometimes evident, sometimes held (in long and narrow geometric lines), in a painting that crystallizes on the support as a pearl from the Bergsonian time series, fragments of a ‘continuum’ that is not broken, but caught in part.

The intricate filaments of felt, the entanglement of soft materials unite the strength of the emergence of primary deep energies (Freud’s Es, tout court) to the substantial subsistence of real matter that claims a primary place, as pulsating as the etheric energies of mind and emotions.

Emotional impulses mean this, literally: moving out, becoming incarnated on the surface and bringing the artist and the spectator to the surface.

Graduated also in Sociology, the relationship between men and between man and the environment is the thematic focus of the artistic research of Barbara Matera: even when she remains on the canvas, without creating installations or performances or video art that she has often dealt with, the connection with the space out there, with the real world, with the environment that we live is around the corner, beyond the visual field and beyond the bidimensionality of the canvas.

For the artist, Art can and must cause awareness, change and put people and things in relation.

Matter, as in Arte Povera, is the first step to speak to the heart of man and to evoke, bring to the surface, cause ‘belonging’. The support is handmade paper with carded wool or linen and the felt with lacustrine, marine and sidereal colors leans on the surface bringing to light Rothkian memories, but also the ‘here and now’ of a daily aesthetic made of rags, ropes, sacks or, just simply, felt.

We are looking for an Art that goes to the origin of Life, of the energies that govern it and of the deep ego that determines emotions and actions behind the scenes.

For this reason it is an Art that enters under the skin, which is touched, that has thickness but also that ‘touches us’, opening the mind to infinite connections with the ‘Oltre’, made of sea depths, lake sludge, skies, in a word of Infinity. Nature and the memories and relationships that man has with her, in all its facets, are the vanishing point to which these works tend, with an intense vibration of energy in every knot, in every tangle, in every curve or straight ahead of our gaze.

RG

 

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UNDER THE SIGN OF SATURN. the time of / in ART

The unforgettable text ‘Saturn and Melanconia’ by Erwin Panofsky is the basis of the choice of the name TheArtTime, in which Time certainly prevails over Melancholy, but is also closely linked to it.

They are two connected values. Time flows, leaves traces, the art scratches and soothes with its questions and its offers;  melancholy is connatural to the man, who perhaps creates and collects for the same reason: to escape that black humor, that subtle ‘pleasure to be sad ‘inherent in the precarious and mortal nature of the human being.

Time and Melancholy; The time of Art is that time that remains. In this text the author  investigated about Renaissance man, centered on himself, but also small in front of the eternal universe; this feeling is more alive than ever even today.

Saturn changes and flows and the sense of smallness is infinite.

In every sector of knowledge, medicine, psychiatry, history, philosophy, religion, theology, alchemy, art, literature, studies on time and melancholy have intensified since the release of this text, precisely because they raise questions that are fundamental to postmodern man.

Even in the  modern era , the sense of the ineffability and the cancellation of some identity categories was investigated and expressed.

It is a red thread, Time, which traverses art and holds it back.

Melancholy in Art is not so much anxiety, sadness or fatigue; melancholy indicates above all, within the subdivision of the four Aristotelian humors, a temporary mood, softly pensive, ineffable and nostalgic. It is like the Nostos of Ulysses, which consisted in desiring the return home and the incessant desire to leave again. It is the melancholy of the evening or autumn or, as Shakespeare said, the ‘Melancholy of Moor-ditch’.

Time is something that flees, nostalgia is the eternal desire, beyond space and time, to impress a character of eternal return to experiences, moments, questions, ideas; a possible return through the forms of art.

Melancholia I by Albrecht Durer is that masterpiece of mysterious symbols, mathematics mixed with the sublime Renaissance art, which reveals this artist’s trait: head in his hands, a thoughtful look towards the mysteries of the organic and inorganic world: of life, tout court.

The reason why the artist creates and the collector retains the eternal ideas that those who create them deliver.

The ArtTime is the “newspaper” of this Time, ever changing but eternal.

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ARTIST’S AURA in contemporary art according to Dal Lago

We often ask ourselves: is this art? There is no art without Aura.ART CONSULTANT ITALY

The aura is the charisma of the artist, depositary of an idea, beyond the role of  technè, a Greek definition of art, still valid but not sufficient.

Technique, but – above all – Art is an idea.

In ‘Theory of Art’, Josè Jimenez explains well how the Idea, the Noesis, the mental process is the basis of most of the twentieth century art, is the real revolution, even more than the abolition of perspective and the creation of Abstract art.

Writes Andy Warhol (guru of Pop and emblem of the risk, according to Arthur Danto, of the end of the Art, with his ‘Brillo Box’, a supermarket box, exhibited in a Museum), in The philosophy of Andy Warhol:

“Some companies were interested in buying my Aura. They did not want my products, they kept telling me: We want your Aura” …ART CONSULTANT ITALY

“I could never understand what they wanted, but they would have been willing to pay a bunch of dollars for it. I thought then that if someone was willing to pay so much, I would have to try to imagine WHAT  IT WAS “.

No, Art did not die with the “Brillo box” on display and the Aura not even, Danto retracted years later in another book, stating that it transforms itself, like a mutant, but does not die. Warhol himself speaks of this mystery of the artist’s Aura. Desecrating, ironic and iconic.

Iconic, a key adjective. The Aura, this ineffable essence of an artist, à la Man Ray or à la Piero Manzoni (that was the artist’s breath, but always …a charismatic breath), is certainly Iconic. An artist fixes the charismatic image of artistic creativity in an idea: The Fountain of Marcel Duchamp, the mustache of his Gioconda, the Iron with nails (a menacingly erotic object but also daily useless and dangerous) of Man Ray, to make only few famous examples.

Also the nail planted in the middle of the canvas of George Braque “Vase  and Violin” in  1909-10 was an Idea. It was, first,  a real object, part of a two-dimensional canvas . Second, indeed, it was  an IDEA, with its indisputable iconic Aura.

The examples could be endless, up to the current Damien Hirst with its iconic provocations from the beginning of his work, Jeff Koons with his Puppies and so on…

Alessandro dal Lago writes, in his illuminating text “Mercanti d’Aura”, that the aura is alive and sells well.CONSULTANT ITALY

Museums buy it, collectors want it, the public remains sometimes dismayed, sometimes attracted. It sells.

For us , “wishing machines”, it is the object of desire, a material possession that hides and reveals an immaterial possession thousand times more powerful, because iconic, almost divine in its idea of ​​beauty.

Walter Benjamin opened the gap on the theme of the Aura’s ability to survive the era of artistic technical reproduction in his famous text so far.

The aura of uniqueness that enveloped the classical or traditional work was no longer matched in contemporary art. Today, the Aura defines the aptitude of a work of art to produce a given effect on the public in terms similar to what precisely in philosophy or sociology (see Max Weber) is defined CHARISMA.

Movements such as Dada, Futurism, Cubism were affecting every claim of hieraticity of art, with objects stuck on canvases, poems like SALAD OF WORDS, de-sacralization of the image and so on.

Three major themes can be affirmed according to Del Lago on the loss of the dreaded aura in the twentieth century:ART CONSULTANT ITALY

1-art is de-sacralized, also because of an ever larger public starting from the nineteenth century;

2-this sort of de-sacralization is enhanced by the mechanical reproduction of images;

3-the Avant – gardes, finally, determine almost the funeral of the aura, with their research of materials and languages ​​that come from everyday life. It is  the exact opposite of what Art  had done up to that moment, sacralizing, creating timeless and non – temporal altars. It now tolerates the “transeunte”(passer-by).

The Aura does not die, just as Art does not die; it does not disappear but  itchanges, transforms, evolves.

The Aura of a work is the effect it produces, an effect that changes with the type of work and the type of audience.

Aura and Simulacrum are two terms that can be approached in contemporary art.

The Simulacrum derives from the Latin simulare, meaning statue. In reality, the Simulacrum goes far beyond this.

It is an entity that, although not exclusively for use, goes beyond an idea.

Art, with its charismatic aura, whether classical or contemporary, has always created simulacra. Monna Lisa, for example, the famous Gioconda, is neither the true lady of Florence nor her idea, even if it is both . But it goes beyond: beyond reality and beyond the idea, united to us through that charismatic thing  called Aura.

We must add a typical fact of art today: its tendency, like everything in economics, to become BRAND. A ‘branded’ simulacrum, sponsored, promoted wisely, but no less powerful. Today it is the brand itself that wants to be Art, acutely analyzes Dal Lago.

Foucault, to close this quick excursus on the charisma of the idea in contemporary art,  has well understood what this Simulacrum is.

It was  Pop Art the emblematic Art   of our time,  as Arthur Danto wrote.

After the Idea in the techniques of the historical avant-gardes, Pop Art is the most powerful thing that represented the art of this time, an art capable of rendering the role of images in our cultural imaginary at best.

The world seen as a giant collection of Simulacra, all the same because they are objects of a universal exchange and all different because life is constantly changing, a sort of supermarket and  superfetation of art.

We are, today more than ever (even more than in the time of Warhol, in our time enhanced with Instagram, Pinterest and  various social platforms) condemned to images, to live of them, while remaining, for now, it seems, the possibility to choose between them .

The Aura survives because Art becomes so over time, ever more mutating, but as an Art, it remains.

As the charisma is immaterial, what remains is the idea, the values ​​it transmits to us, not the object itself.

Art creates civilization, always.

ART CONSULTANT ITALY

https://www.thearttime.com/it/art-contemporary-reviews-and-interviews/

 

 

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(Post)Basel Suggestions

The 2018 edition of the Basel fair has just been closed; art,  style, market blended together with the highest levels of turnout, attention and tendency.

Four days of artistry, creativity, imagination, vip collectors and worldliness. Art DeLuxe version.

Some highlights of artistic highlights were:

Lee-Perrotin: the exhibition of the French Bernard Frize in the twinning space Simon Lee + Galerie Perrotin; an adjoining and suggestive space placed on two different floors has hosted the airy and abstract colors of the evocative painter

History of the art at its climax: tribute to Robert Indiana (and its iconic Love Pop) and double tribute to Sebastian Matta and Marcel Duchamp for the Swiss gallery Gmurszynska, also based in New York,

20th century in the foreground: a tribute to the development of trends that marked the twentieth century (Mirò, Picasso, Calder among others) wanted by the London gallery Helly Nahmad

Picasso superstar: in conjunction with the blockbuster show  at the Tate Modern dedicated to the iconic artist, Basel also celebrates Picasso and his women with the Fondation Beyeler: a bronze of lover Dora Maar, three masterpieces and other faceted faces of the Thirties, that literally saw his triumph with legendary female paintings;

Ruinart and Liu Bolin: the Chinese artist, known as The Invisible Man, was the partner artist of the champagne house for the Basel 2018 edition

NetJets and street art: after 17 years of partnership between NetJets and Art Basel, the airline collaborates with Oli-B, street artist, painter and illustrator of Brussels; at the NetJets vip lounge of Art Basel collectors lounge, Oli-B has positioned an innovative installation on various surfaces (canvas, paper, wood and wall) with multiple techniques, including sprays, acrylic paints and digital printing techniques

Some comments on the market:

– Numerous influx of European, Chinese and Korean collectors;

– The buyers came from a hundred different countries and four hundred museums and nearly a hundred thousand visitors in terms of public; 239 were the galleries and 4000 artists present

– The sales went well, despite having been flocking for two weeks at New York auctions; Michael Findley, director of the famous NYC Aquavella gallery, told ArtEconomy24 that “Buyers compare prices and want to negotiate, they are informed, they are not interested in arriving first, but in buying works to be preserved over time“.

– Among the historicized artists, the sales records belong to the American Joan Mitchell (Levy Gorvy of New York sold a 1959 Untitled – oil on canvas – for 14 million dollars, Hauser & Wirth a canvas of 1959 for the same amount; Zwirner, a piece from 1959 to 7.5 million dollars ).In view of two important institutional exhibitions in the US in 2019, Mitchell’s prices are destined to rise. Also Louise Bourgeois from Hauser & Wirth was one of the artists who reached a higher value: The Three Graces of 1947 reached 4.75 million dollars; Andy Warhol from Pace with a portrait of the Garland was sold at a price not unveiled.

Brilliant and ‘social’ young artists in the contemporary section: from Esther Schipper in Berlin there was a great work by Anri Sala created together with refugee children, each of whom the artist asked to bite an apple and observe the traces of the bite. A reflection on one’s own identity, but also on the process of registering refugees. The photographs of the fruits, retouched by brush, were hung at different heights to reproduce the notes on the score of the German national anthem (the price is not prevented).

– The very young Frenchman Jean Marie Appriou (from Eva Presenhuber) pointed out, starting from fiction bases to create figurative sculptures (heads) in traditional materials.

– It was also noted a magnificent Kounellis: with a “untitled” of 1966, a large black rose (selling price 5.5 million dollars). Provenance unknown. (*)

Art Basel is not a fair, it is a symbol – a central event in the art system, so iconic that it even dominates its own content. It is brand, fashion, system, culture and, of course, business.

(*) The sun 24 hours, 24 June 2018, for the quotations of the works; S.A.Barillà.

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Can the ART MARKET thrive in a sharing economy?

Among the most interesting articles read on the art market, the one in June’s The Art Newspaper stands out ; here,  Melanie Gerlis deals with the theme of the global economy in relation to the chance of art to prosper and sell.

Because art, in order to continue to create ideas, must sell. Ça va sans dire.

The first staple of his analysis is that the millenials do not seem to show the same gene as the previous generation in terms of collecting.

“Nobody wants to own anything anymore. It is about experiencing things, sharing them and being-in-the-moment. From the digital revolution, algorithms prevail over the physical world “.

The statement is not weightless. From a certain point of view, this is a wonderful thing that has helped to flourish crowdsourcing and re-use of material to produce new objects, for example. According to another, it is not good news: the art market relies on the cult of possession. A collector who does not want to own is not a collector.

This shift from ownership to a sort of shared economy, in which companies such as Uber and Airbnb work for example, is on the agenda of important issues for market leaders.

Will the art of the future be more an object of experience? Mark Spiegler, general manager of Art Basel, the most important and trendy fair in the world, says that we should not overestimate this trend of the times that also comes in the art market, but should certainly be taken into account.

There are some positive effects for the art in all this: if on the one hand the ‘fetishization’ of the “single piece” could be decreasing, the works in multiple editions, such as photography, prints and ceramics, are more and more popular and help to expand the attractiveness of the art market.

Furthermore, some Museums invite visitors to share the exhibited works on Instagram, which is once again a sign of democratization of the potential audience for the Arts.

Even the forms of Patronage are changing. If collectors have historically supported artists by acquiring their jobs in the primary market, they are now investing in production directly.

Sharing and supporting becomes more interesting than the acquisition or investment aimed at speculation, as Alain Servais, a member of FRIENDS OF LISTE, says, a brilliant program that reduced the expenses for the gallery exhibitions of the galleries of the Liste art fair of this year.

Art intermediaries are experimenting with ways of monetizing experiences (there are people who pay up to $ 50 a day for the experience of seeing dealers selling art in Basel during Art Basel).

The point is perhaps to try to quantify how exactly this macroeconomic change will change the art market. It’s a market niche and a handful of good buyers are enough to keep up appearances. 

Still, therefore, explains Spiegler, “the galleries and artists who can make buying and possessing art an experience, have a guaranteed natural future”. *

The  Jimi Hendrix’s phrase “have you been experienced?” belongs more than ever to the current niche of the economic-artistic universe

* in Fair Dailies, www.theartnewspaper.com

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LADY BEECROFT, BRAND AND SACRED BODY, CONNECTIONS

The body: more and more the seat and depositary of an identity trademark, substituted to the face as a physiognomic revealing personality trait, as a field of investigation of what becomes familiar, disturbing, perturbing (or uncanny), to say it à la Freud.

The face, from the Renaissance, was home to the study of the soul, just think of that wonderful masterpiece that is the Double Portrait attributed to Giorgione, exhibited in Rome in Palazzo Venezia. Dated between 1500 and 1510, it is unicum up to Caravaggio; so, in ’79, Ballarin defined this incredibly suggestive work, an involuntary portrait,  not idealized, understood as a medium that reveals the soul in its essence, which dissects the deeper meanings of existence by contrasting to academic official portraiture.

The body becomes the reign of Identity, after Freud, it becomes the seat of impulses, of emotions, of a shift of meaning, from its interior to the flesh, to the skin.

Vanessa Beecroft plays with the female body, referring to the Renaissance, through wonderful vestals immersed in white tunics that make them as organic elements of nature, almost diaphanous and transparent, in which the body hidden and at the same time revealed by minimal drapery reaches a choral size,  a choir, the eternal feminine that comes from classicism to post-modern, with diaphanous or hidden faces. A sensual mysticism, in performances that are emotional dances in which the ego is in the mirror, a timeless mirror, without doubles, without enigmas, in its material essence that has the breath of eternity.

It also plays more transgressive games. Beecroft is the artist of the bodies whose works escape any classical definition. Performances in which living images, made with half-naked, often immobile, women are a symbol of our contemporaneity, a representation of the costumes of the new millennium told through undressed bodies of professional models, immortalized and stopped through photographs and videos.

The body is absolutely the protagonist.

First, there is a sacred body.

Female beauty is investigated in its many facets, in its physicality, in its relationship with the art of the past. The body is art, the Aura of these performances lies in being the eternal dimensions of the feminine, even in the temporal dimension ‘of passage’ that characterizes them .

The body and the beauty of Beecroft refer to the painting of Botticelli and Lippi, intertwine with autobiographical motifs (and this is always true in a genre like the Performance) and with suggestions deriving from the surrounding space, with rigorous attention to the scenographic system, which makes the performance closer to painting than to actual action.

Sculpture and performance are realized in this sacred altar of appearances, in this choral dimension of Greek memory (and therefore, cathartic) and are further stigmatized with the photographic and video shooting, media expedients that complete the “eternity” connected to her research , mainly aimed at the  the female condition, whose medium is precisely ‘the body’.

With the body, it goes through some of the most controversial and intriguing aspects of today’s social and cultural reality, including the relationship between food and sexuality and the obsession with beauty and physical form, to the most tragic consequences of anorexia.

With Body Art the body, considered almost the  inexhaustible source of every act of life, tries to regain possession of what has been subtracted from it in the anonymity and the artificiality of the contemporary universe.

The place where Beecroft operates is in the precarious point of intersection between the body itself, played in the first person, and the mechanical recording, between the direct physical activity and the technological image, photos, films, videotapes.

Emblematic of Vanessa’s aesthetic research, Maternity in three moments, in which the black and white of the skin intertwine with the red and black of the garments, in which the theme of equality is intertwined with the theme of the aesthetic value of art (the choice of colors in garments for example), in which three different motherhoods are linked to a dual motherhood, by a double child, compared to traditional sacred maternities, which are upset both in the colors of the child and in the number.

Sacred motherhood is the most inflated and famous visual topos of Western art history from Christianity onwards; in Vanessa Beecroft relives a new Renaissance, understood as a divergent aesthetic value but also a divergent intrinsic value, in which diversity and otherness replace the tradition and the rule.

They are Madonnas crossed by the needle and by the thread of Louise Bourgeois, without a connection to Freud so striking, but certainly a needle and a thread that sew a new feminine garment, that of freedom, while respecting an aesthetic that is however an aesthetics capable of diverging, of differing.

Then, there is a body-brand. Or branded, it can be affirmed. A double interweaving of bodies, double even in color (again, white skin and black skin): whites and blacks acclaimed as a starting point for reflection, and in the ironic spatial arrangement that undoubtedly makes reference to the Louis Vuitton brand. The naked white bodies form the L and the black naked bodies form the V , part of the famous brand’ s symbol.

Beecroft’s reflection in this image is on the identity of the body in Western society dominated by the Brand, by the Fashion system, on the possibility of single identity (individualized to the maximum through the choice of nudity, primitive and archaic, in stark contrast to the contemporaneity and the artifice of the brand) to survive, even if naked bodies fit together so as to celebrate a fake dance choreography that is in fact a tribute to a famous brand, made ancestral.

Nudity and brand fit together in a reference without beginning and without end, without cause or effect: the brand is humanized by the body in flesh & bones, as if it were so alive to be really alive, and the nudity is erased, marbled by being set as a brand. Sum zero: nothing prevails. The plot is ineluctable, art becomes a brand, the brand becomes art, the body becomes art and brand at the same time.

The individual identities are part of a gear that engulfs and crushes, which tends to flatten and empty to make room for artificial and commercial meanings related to the Self; but it is also true that the brand becomes organic and is demystified in this connection with naked meat, a sort of ‘naked meal’, quoting William Burrough. It is not known if Fashion devoures the body or the body unites with it, without losing itself.

Beecroft creates questions and certainly gives aesthetic answers, in which the ‘feel’ is just primary, essential, re-oxygenating.

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ALIGHIERO BOETTI SUPERSTAR

  • Alighiero-Boetti.-Perfiloepersegno.-Exhibition-view-at-Palazzo-Mazzetti-Asti-2018.-Photo-©-Enzo-Bruno

The Foundation of the Cassa di Risparmio of Asti at Palazzo Mazzetti, a magnificent eighteenth-century palace, has organized the solo exhibition of Alighiero Boetti “Perfiloepersegno”, curated by the art historian Laura Cherubini in collaboration with Maria Federica Chiola, in  2018 .

Signs and threads are part of Boetti’s artistic grammar: signs as gestures but also as traces left behind, threads such as tapestries, embroideries from the beloved Afghanistan, so hippies and so ‘seventies’ to fascinate even today as some of the most folk, poetic and casual artworks of ‘Arte Povera’. 

Sixty-five heterogeneous works unravel between the halls of the magnificent palace, united by the idea of ​​art declared by Boetti: ‘you can use everything, to make art, without any hierarchy’.

Tapestries, the famous maps, embroideries, cardboard, rugs: a way of making anthropological, casual, material and spiritual art , because Boetti (Io and Boetti as he would say, well known for the work of the ego and its double) combines yin and yang as an experienced shaman  in every artistic event.

The signs on the embroidery have a value that corresponds to the moment, in a transient time that sees them protagonists in the time when you read them, you live them, you internalize them. An inner time of duration à la  Bergson and a being-in-time à la  Heidegger (but also in space, better if boundless, like  his unlikely geographies, to be discovered).

His tapestries have an ethnic’ trait d’union’ between East and West, like the gnawa scales of 70s music, and become conceptual banners of places for the soul, before physical geographies.

Finally, there were  the lesser-known works by Boetti, those created via pen: with obsessive monologues composed of a rhythmic and repeated gesture, exasperating for the regularity of the act; a sort of eternal return of the pen sign, almost ritual.

The art according to Boetti

Art should be transformed into a continuous event according to Alighiero Boetti, in a manifestation of life in a pure state.

Boetti desires that his body in art is a flow and not a repetition, a static representation, a double immobile, but an incessant continuous creation.

This also in his tapestries and  maps : signs of himself that blow the instant of the moment, and in the same an eternity, made of a certain taste for the ritual, like a guru without rules but from the iron rule to transgress all of them.

Life and art are connected by a current of energy, which gives space to dreams, imagination and freedom.

One often has the sensation with Boetti of being in the midst of a shamanic voodoo that  becomes dynamic, ironic, transient but also eternal.

Things become and are transformed perpetually, the repetitions are circular rituals that eliminate the sense of stillness and tradition.

The cultural tradition of the tapestry becomes a game of hands, threads, stories of fabrics, in which the material, poor in fact, puts the accent on life and not on the eternity of traditional marbles.

A little like in the Venere degli Stracci (venus of the rags) by Michelangelo Pistoletto: a tribute to tradition (classical for Pistoletto, folk for Boetti), that is also  transformed by the contact of poor materials (the rags used by the painter for Pistoletto, the threads of popular culture for Boetti).

The maps, the tapestries, the bodily traces (like Me while I take the sun in Turin, January 19, 1969) show themselves as behavioral archetypes, hic et nunc, free and often carefree game in grasping the Instant.


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Collectibles, trends 2018: Arte Povera superstar and other authors of the twentieth century Italian

It is always difficult to write about the progress of a complex market like the  art one.

The art market sector is certainly becoming more selective, solid, and often no masterpieces are found.

The post Brexit certainly led to a setback after years of growth in the contemporary sector.

The Italian art of the twentieth century in 2017 has achieved inconsistent and rather erratic results, so much so that there has been talk of the crisis in the sector expected for the current year, 2018.

Casamonti, owner of Tornabuoni Art based in London and Paris, states on the contrary that he does not see significant setbacks.

Two Sotheby’s auctions between London and Milan in 2017 have not been very successful, but rather than seeing a crisis, the fact must be interpreted as an increase in selectivity in the sector.

2017 saw record values ​​for Italian artists such as Alberto Burri and Michelangelo Pistoletto, but also Alighiero Boetti, Franco Angeli and Salvatore Scarpitta.

A 1963 Burri Plastic Black was sold by Sotheby’s New York in the fall for $ 10.9 million. Mirror of Pistoletto of 1967 was beaten by Christie’s London in October for 3.1 million dollars.

There were also lots of the same authors who remained unsold.

Each work is unique, despite the excellent market of an author, its prestige and the general trend of auctions and markets.

The new generation of collectors is certainly more experienced, documented, demanding; or choose the masterpiece from an absolute record or, on the contrary, expect a less spectacular work but which has much more reasonable prices.

Sometimes an auction does not ‘work’ because there are high-sounding names but maybe not an excellent quality of pieces; because the market grows, you need masterpieces. We need extraordinary works.

Not being able to find exceptional quality works  and allocate them to bimonthly auctions is a fact.

In the most important Fairs, from Fiac Paris  to Miami Basel, the quotations with respect to the previous year have registered a + 15%.

For example, Boetti is an artist who has achieved a stable international reputation, but in addition to offering exceptional works at important prices, he offers a series of embroidery and minor works at prices that are more accessible.

Burri in recent years has oddly dichotomous trends: the masterpieces that pass the market reach amazing peaks, while more recent works have much lower values ​​when they are not even unsold.

The whole of the twentieth century market, which has had a downturn in recent years, is undergoing a reversal of the trend: De Chirico, Carrà, Morandi, Severini, Balla are increasing.

Important exhibitions dedicated to these artists will certainly contribute to an increase in value and quotations in the auctions of future auctions.

The market of the future promises to be increasingly selective and attentive *.

* Stefano Cosenz, La Stampa, 12 Feb. 2014

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