Month: November 2015

Wim Botha

Art Basel Miami Beach: Leading Galleries, Big Parties

Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) is back and bigger than ever this year. 267 galleries are scheduled to exhibit, alongside countless more screenings, parties, and unofficial events. Gallery-hoppers will find an unforgettable mix of high art, cultural experiences, and no-holds-barred Miami-style partying. (And of course, champagne on the sand.) The ABMB’s crown jewel this year will be a $10 million Willem de Kooning, Untitled IV. The gallery holds an impressive collection of de Kooning’s drawings and paintings, all well worth the price of admission on their own account. Miami is widely regarded as the center for Latin American art in the US, so it’s no surprise that a strong contingent of galleries will be making the journey north from South America. Galería Elba Benítez and Galeria Nara Roesler, among others, will be bringing hundreds of Latin American artists between them, including some compelling installation work. Keep an eye out for the politically-infused sculptures of Antonio Dias, whose sculpture series based on ballot boxes should be particularly resonant in this tumultuous election season. On the other side …

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Arca – Mutant review

  Arca’s Mutant is less of an album than a journey through a strange country. Or of an alien biology. Electronic music has always been particularly adept at illustrating where our heads are at, as a culture. There was the urban dissolution of Burial in the first years of the new millennium, as we sought to make sense of the way-more-wired world we are living in. Then we had the queasy information overload of Oneohtrix Point Never or James Ferraro. One consistent aspect of electronic music in the 21st Century has been a sense of vastness, with monolithic bass dipped in a reverb gravity well, sounding like the forgotten remnants of some ancient civilization. Perhaps it is the sound of our awareness of our – not insignificance, but small. One of many. Not unexceptional, but not different, either. The sound of society as a living organism, of which we are one cell. This is the macro/microcosm Alejandro Ghersi explores on Mutant, his follow-up to last year’s excellent (and similarly geist-fulfilling) Xen. Arca’s career has been …

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Bright and Personal: the Gouache Paintings of Mogu Takahashi

Japanese artist Mogu Takahashi embodies the best of the outsider art trend. Tilted perpectives, personal subjects, and child-like scrawl burst from the pages of her popular guache drawings. Subjects that seem ordinary — flower pots, pajama pants, persian cats — become sublimely colored compositions that remind the viewer of the excitement only a child (or child at heart) can have about their surroundings. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the self-described self-taught artist’s biggest collaborations have been creating objects for children; including collaborations with Little Red Stuga in Sweden as well as Japanese fashion line Chambre de Charme. Takahashi’s deceptively simple characters and creations find an especially appropriate home in houseware collaborations, decorating the sorts of household objects she frequently studies on paper. Take a look at her online store for a beatiful gallery of ceramics and other household objects brought to life with carefully-placed eyes and subtle brush textures. What’s really captivating about Takahashi’s work is the element of daily practice invoked in projects like her daily journals, which are available in full at her website. For …

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Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden Of Delete review

For the last 8 years, Daniel Lopatin’s work as Oneohtrix Point Never has mirrored the way we feel about our digital lives – with all of the requisite passion, excitement, anxiety, disgust, and grotesquerie. And while OPN’s earliest works may have been content in idle detournements, with Lopatin flipping through the tasteless detritus of ’90s corporate culture like an Adderall-addled CEO tearing through their rolodex in search of new business, Garden Of Delete explores the Internet as an archetypal realm, connected to the physical world, but just barely. Lopatin hangs these cerebral concepts on Ezra, a fictional teenager with a super sweet music blog, intent on creating the most epic trance chords ever, to create a loose, if bizarre, narrative. Garden Of Delete was created in the wake of Oneohtrix Point Never opening for ’90s big room rockers Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails. Lopatin wanted to recreate the vibe of angsty aggressive ’90s guitar rock. It says a lot about what a twisted genius Lopatin is that Garden Of Delete is what he came up …

Stephen Shore

Art Books Under Glass: Paris Photo 2015

PEACE FOR PARIS Due to recent tragic events, the 19th edition of the Fair has closed. Paris Photo is holding its 19th edition this November, with over 147 galleries and 27 publishers presenting both contemporary and historical work within the Grand Palais. Visiting photography buffs and book lovers can expect a feast of the senses beneath the Palais’ high glass ceiling, filled with opportunities to see work from a truly international mix of sources. The wide-ranging collection of exhibitors will feature a mix of current artists represented by galleries including Stephen Bulger, Sprueth Magers and Stephen Daiter. Organizers of the Paris Photo event have pulled some new tricks out of the hat this year, including BOOK MACHINE, an installation of 30 books hand-designed exclusively for Paris Photo through an international call for submissions. We recommend in particular the work of Stephen Shore, a legendary documentarian of American life and landscape who was among the first practitioners of the “diaristic snapshot” style. Also keep an eye out for a compelling series of works by postwar Japanese …

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Vibrant ‘2D’ Cartoon-Style Bags for “Big City Girls”

Seeing a Jump From Paper bag at a distance can be confusing. The bags at first seem unreal, as if digitally added next to the person wearing them.  In a world where anything is wearable, Taiwan-based designers Chay Su and Rika Lin have come up with an innovative line of functional accessories that look like they’ve popped out of a cartoon. The line is comprised of a wide range of products; satchels, backpacks, wallets and purses. They all come in color block bright tones mixed with beige and black colors imitating leather. The design is what makes the bags’ unique. Each bag looks like it’s been traced and colored with a Sharpie. Behind the fun design of the bags, there is a hidden pouch that can used for small treasures, making the Jump From Paper bags as practical as they are exciting! From London to New York, they have come this winter 2015 season to help out each “Big City Girl” march toward their dreams. The irregular lines confirm the bags’ intention to appear as if they are coming out of children’s cartoons or coloring …

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Well That Was Metal: Grimes – “Art Angels” album review

Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, is the spokesperson for a certain type of sad girl/boy. They probably have a Tumblr and/or Instagram. They may or may not have non-organic colored hair. They are creative, and don’t feel like they fit in anywhere. Except, at this point, there are a lot of us. Grimes’ shot-heard-round-the-world, 2012’s Visions, trickled from the underground like a demon-possessed river of bubbling crude. You can practically hear the obsession, feel the strain of late nights half-bent over a Macbook screwing beats into corkscrews of twisted metal and regret. Visions came out of nowhere, and went everywhere. How does Claire Boucher follow-up, with 3 years absence and a million expectations to fulfill? What happens when the World’s Most Misunderstood Artist is also the world’s most popular? “California”, the first song on Art Angels with discernible lyrics, tackles this paradox head-on. “California, you only like me when I’m sad,” she sings. It’s a properly miserablist sentiment, but the music is bright, bold, powerful, and direct. art angels: album cover. music & video next week …

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Massimo Uberti Uses Beaming Neons To Trace Make-Belief Rooms In Space

A room within a room designed with luminescent neon tubes. Massimo Uberti plays with our senses and our perceptions by creating in-situ installations. The Italian-based artist redefines the habitable space with neon doors and walls that seem to open to an imaginary dimension. The conceptual artist, Massimo Uberti, hand blows and bends neon tubes to compose the outline of the edges and corners of a room. The geometrical lines also mimic door entries, furniture and ceilings. All the elements are either placed on the floor or hung with invisible wires specifically engineered for the art pieces. The lines the artist traces in the space imitate a drawing, as if he had sketched everything before our arrival. With irregular lines and a combination of 3D and 2D constructions, the artist is inviting us to enter his vision of an underground world ruled by iridescent lights and a minimalistic aesthetic. Uberti’s purpose is to trigger a reflection upon entering the space he created; the light up room within the real room is meant to blur the limits of space. He intentionally …

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Around COS: Autumn/Winter Collection in the Round

At the start of the video “Around COS” we see two figures standing beneath a gray dome. The camera is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, exploring the scene in gliding 360-degree arcs. The concepts at play are broad — self-feeding cycles, fugue repetition — yet the presentation feels playful, even warm. Considering the artists are working without music, color, or dialogue, this is quite the accomplishment. Among the creative partnerships forged to celebrate launching the COS Autumn/Winter 2015 collection, artists Lernert & Sander create a particularly pleasing counterpoint to the COS brand. Both groups thrive on at the intersection of art and utility, and both bring to mind a sense of Scandinavian stoicism. “We like to strip an idea to the bone and make the idea shine. So eventually our sets always look simple and monochrome,” explain the artists on the unusual set created for the COS A/W 2015 collection shoot. The space, a self-contained dome designed to allow the cameras to capture the models from all directions, is one of many conceptual …