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Tag: artists
Profound sense of loss and disillusionment (December 22 2012) Profound sense of loss and disillusionment (December 22 2012)

Yue Minjun the 50 year old Chinese contemporary artist best known for oil paintings depicting himself in various settings, frozen in laughter as a sort of logo that can be attached to any setting to add value, has been profiled by Nazanin Lankarani in a New York Times article titled ‘The Many Faces of Yue Minjun’. Lankarani states “…The notion of risk is well known in China, where artists can be subject to state censorship in various forms. Recent widely-reported examples include the artists Ai Weiwei, who has faced accusations of crimes ranging from tax evasion to bigamy and pornography, and Zhang Huan, whose 2008 show at the Shanghai Art Museum was canceled in 2008 by local authorities, with no reason given. A prolific painter since the early 1990s, Mr. Yue, 50, belongs to the generation of artists marked by what he calls a “profound sense of loss and disillusionment” after the crackdown at Tiananmen Square in 1989, in which popular demonstrations culminated in the massacre of protesters. “I feel that those years enabled us to find a new energy,” Mr. Yue said in a conversation in July with a friend, Shen Zhong, included in the catalog of the Paris show. “We discovered that the ideas and assumptions we had about a lot of things were no longer credible.” For the artists who chose to stay in China after 1989, the Cynical Realism movement, which Mr. Yue joined, was a possible path to express their experience in post-Tiananmen Chinese society. “Those who stayed experimented with a new iconography lush with signs of a disenchantment in confronting their society and assessing their own status,” said Grazia Quaroni, a curator at the Fondation Cartier. But, she added, “30 years later, Yue Minjun’s work exudes a sense of melancholy rather than cynicism.”


Inspired by Nazanin Lankarani image source Facebook

Syria artists in a time of revolt (October 30 2012) Syria artists in a time of revolt (October 30 2012)

Jane Ferguson the British Freelance Journalist currently with Aljazeera has published an article titled ‘Portrait of Syria artists in a time of revolt’ discussing how artists who fled the country had experienced “torture” by security forces but are still intent on continuing their work. Ferguson states “Many of them [Artists] have been detained, beaten and disappeared by the government for focusing their talents on the ugliest of truths around them. In times of war, writers, painters, filmmakers and photographers often mirror its horror. We now look upon great works such as Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, with nostalgia – neatly cleansed of the terror that inspired them. Fast forward a generation and works born from the Syrian revolution will likely be part of our contemporary art world. But first Syrian artists must survive, and to do that many have fled the country. Filmmaker Firas Fayyad tried to board a flight from Damascus Airport last November. … they put a bag over his head, threw him into a car, and drove him to the first of a series of underground detention centres where he said he was beaten and interrogated repeatedly for four months. …After his release in March, Fayyad knew he was being watched, and could be arrested again at any time. He left the country on foot. …He is now working to challenge the Assad government as an exiled activist, even though the once peaceful rebellion has transformed into an increasingly violent civil war.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Linkedin

Our Longing for Lists (September 12 2012) Our Longing for Lists (September 12 2012)

Phil Patton the American author on design and culture has published an article in the New York Times on ‘Our Longing for Lists’. Patton states “We’re living in the era of the list, maybe even its golden age. The Web click has led to the wholesale repackaging of information into lists, which can be complex and wonderful pieces of information architecture. Our technology has imperceptibly infected us with “list thinking.” Lists are the simplest way to organize information. They are also a symptom of our short attention spans. The crudest of online lists are galaxies of buttons, replacing real stories. “Listicles,” you might say. They are just one step beyond magazine cover lines like “37 Ways to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed.” Bucket lists have produced competitive list making online. Like competitive birders, people check off books read or travel destinations visited. But lists can also tell a story. Even the humble shopping list says something about the shopper… Lists can reveal personal dramas. An exhibit of lists at the Morgan Library and Museum showed a passive-aggressive Picasso omitting his bosom buddy, Georges Braque, from a list of recommended artists. We’ve come a long way from the primitive best-seller lists and hit parade lists, “crowd sourced,” if you will, from sales. We all have our “to-do” lists, and there is a modern, sophisticated form of the list that is as serious as the “best of…” list is frivolous. That is the checklist.”


Inspired by New York Times image source Twitter

David Hockney the 74 year old UK painter and considered one of the most influential UK artists of the twentieth century has been profiled in an article by Jonathon Jones, describing him as an ‘enfant terrible’ who “does what he wants, and paints what he wants, and says what he wants, and the results are impressive”. Hockney considered an important contributor to the 1960’s Pop art movement, is argued by Jones to continue influencing modern popular culture in three unique ways. “As a painter, he has an exhibition of new, super-sized Yorkshire landscapes opening … As a fan of new technology when it serves his creative purposes [a noted exponent of iPad art]. And as a provocative thinker, he has a book of interviews about his ideas on art …”


Inspired by Jonathon Jones image source Poul Webb

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