Archive: Paris
Colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Joan Miró - 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain detail
Joan MiróWall of the Barcelona Airport (detail), 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain

If you have ever been to Barcelona, you must have walked over one of Joan Miro’s mosaics. The artist began to publicly display his work in 1976 when he chose the centre of Barcelona’s Rambla to permanently incorporate his work into a pavement. This was in fulfilment of a pledge he had made in 1968 to create four pieces of art which he would donate to the city of Barcelona where he was born. The use of different colors in the mosaic brings out the vibrancy that is his style of art. All the artwork that is associated with Joan Miró speaks the language of simplicity; generous use of color and simple shapes. More than four decades after his first outdoor work of art, the works of Joan Miró located in various parts of the world are enjoying facelifts of massive proportions.

For those who grew up in Wichita or attended the Wichita State University campus, the past is reclaiming its space. The mosaic which was made in France was shipped to the United States in 1978. When the restoration was handed over to a conservation service, their focus was to not only restore the original glamor but also retain the integrity of the artwork. Since the piece was an outdoor structure, it disintegrated due to high winds, lightning, thunder, and fluctuating temperatures.

Another notable Miró mosaic is located at the Barcelona Airport, Terminal 2. It is easy to spot because it is inevitably the first thing travellers step on when they get off from a flight. This is a great orientation to visitors coming to the city for the first time and rightfully so because the large mural made up of ceramic pieces is at the entry point to the city. The airport mural which measures 9 metres in length and 5 metres in width was completed in 1970. A ceramicist friend of Joan known as Josep Llorens Artigas, who he had collaborated with on various projects in the 1960s helped him to put the mural together. Joan would spend a lot of his time to create the robust mosaic but some unexpected details occurred at the kiln which fascinated the two friends. It is such details that take a lot of time to preserve that have made facelifts of the various art pieces rather time consuming. The airport mural for instance took a record 9 years to restore but the outcome is worth every second spend.

The third of the four donations dedicated to the city of Barcelona is the Pla de l’Os Mosaic which is a symbol that ushers in visitors coming into Barcelona through the sea. The mosaic, in line with the style of the artist comprises of circular forms to represent the cosmos and depicts entry into the city through the sea. Similar to his other works which have lots of colors and shapes, this mosaic situated at the seaport is made up of round shapes in bright colors. The mosaic was commissioned and installed in 1976.

The Woman and Bird statue is the last work of art done by Miró in the series which he had purposed to act as a welcome to travellers arriving into Barcelona. This particular artwork is to be found in the main train station in Barcelona and was unveiled in 1983.

Apart from the Woman and Bird statue, all the other works of the artist were designed to be walked over in public places. This did not at all bother the artist, in fact, the reality that it would undergo faster wear and tear and thus be restored regularly, could have been inspiring to him.

Joan Miró - 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain
Joan MiróWall of the Barcelona Airport, 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain

Joan Miró - 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain
Joan MiróWall of the Barcelona Airport, 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain

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World’s worst criminal regretting his sins

World’s worst criminal regretting his sins

Maurizio Cattelan - Him
Maurizio CattelanHim, 2001, wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment, 101×43.1×63.5cm, Edition of 3 + AP

How much penance do the atrocities that Adolf Hitler committed in his lifetime require to be forgiven? This is perhaps the question which Maurizio Cattelan wanted to arouse in his audience when he drew a picture of the Nazi leader in a kneeling position. There is nothing wrong with someone kneeling down in prayer and in fact, it is an aspect of humanity that keeps us humble. With this in mind, it is hard to imagine that the person seeking forgiveness exercised untold torture on fellow human beings. If approached from behind, one cannot help but marvel at the self-discipline and commitment that this young boy eludes. It is not until one gets close enough that they realize that the neatly pressed school boy attire, fresh raven hair and well-polished shoes, actually belong to a leader whose name still raises goose bumps in the present day.

We might never fully understand the inspiration behind Him, which even in comparison to other works by Cattelan that were created at the same time, stands out as the most shocking piece on display. In his defense, Maurizio Cattelan has distances himself from provocative art but instead choses to refer to himself as a realistic artist. By borrowing pieces of reality from different eras throughout history, he has been able to create classics like the Him.

To choose to use Hitler as the subject of an art piece is rather bold as he represents such profound evil that is even hard to come to terms with. Is the dictator actually seeking for forgiveness? Having lived like he was above the authority of God, it does seem awkward yet humbling that he would kneel down. People do not like to be judged because they feel that all their actions are justifiable and this artwork contradicts this very nature of humanity. For as many as questioned the sincerity of Hitler in this assumed praying position, the lingering questions is whether he deserves to be forgiven.

Him, has definitely aroused its fair share of controversy; Hitler is the epitome of human suffering and pain inflicted by one’s own kind so it can be quite disheartening to fathom him walking free of any blame. From the rear, this picture of a small boy kneeling down in prayer causes one to appreciate the upbringing of the boy so far. Hitler is no young man neither is he innocent and the face, when viewed from the front, gives this away. Everybody seems to have a different opinion of why the artist chose to do this piece, but the record $17.2 million at Christie’s in 2016 for his work is proof enough that the artist created a masterpiece.

Maurizio Cattelan - Him
Maurizio CattelanHim, 2001, wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment, 101×43.1×63.5cm, Edition of 3 + AP
Photo: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Maurizio Cattelan - Him
Maurizio CattelanHim, 2001, wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment, 101×43.1×63.5cm, Edition of 3 + AP, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France, 2016
Photo: Silvia Neri

Maurizio Cattelan - Him
Maurizio CattelanHim, 2001, wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment, 101×43.1×63.5cm, Edition of 3 + AP, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France, 2016

Maurizio Cattelan - Him
Maurizio CattelanHim, 2001, wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment, 101×43.1×63.5cm, Edition of 3 + AP, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France, 2016

Maurizio Cattelan - Him
Maurizio CattelanHim, 2001, wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment, 101×43.1×63.5cm, Edition of 3 + AP


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Throwback: New visual language in the field of photography

Throwback: New visual language in the field of photography

Thomas Struth - Pantheon, Rome, 1990

Thomas Struth - Pantheon, Rome, 1990
Thomas StruthPantheon, Rome, 1990

Thomas Struth is one of the most critically acclaimed contemporary photographers of our time. He is renowned for his black and white photographs of cities such as Düsseldorf and New York, as well as his family portraits. The artist who lives in Dusseldorf acquired his inspiration for his series of Museum Photographs while he was residing in Naples and Rome, where he discovered that there was a connection between paintings of art and religion and how these paintings connect audiences to their spirituality. The Museum Photographs, which was showcased at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, marshaled in a new visual language in the field of photography.

In his series, Struth photographed the art and the visitors viewing it, as well as the viewer observing other audiences. As such, with the many layers of observation, Struth’s intention was to assess the museum’s control of their audience and the criteria that each museum has for exhibiting pieces in the way that it does. The purpose behind the Museum Photographs was to remind people that the iconic subjects of his photographs were once just unfamiliar paintings done by ordinary individuals.

For instance, his Galleria dell’Accademia I, Venice piece shows regular tourists in shorts and casual clothing as they wander around an exhibition hall that is dominated by Paolo Veronese’s 1573 painting The Feast in the House of Levi. Struth’s color print is as large as Veronese’s painting, yet the scene in his photograph is reminiscent of memories of an outing on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. He specifically selected Veronese’s interpretation of the Feast in the House of Levi as a subject because it had a feel of a regular dinner or lunch and it depicted a rather large party atmosphere where people have gathered to drink and make merry. As a result, his photograph of the feast allows today’s audiences to look upon the masterpiece with a new energy and perspective, just like the first time it was put on public display.

For the project, Struth utilized a European 13×18 camera, and he positioned himself strategically so that every photograph he took, whether inside a museum or in the crowded streets of Paris and Vienna, rendered onlookers in random areas, which gives his pictures more power.

In the end, he managed to create a dialogue between photography and paintings, where his choice of paintings echoes his earlier black and white work in Düsseldorf. He effectively manages to bridge the gap between space and time, where the figures in the painting and the figures observing the paintings are connected despite how much time has passed since the paintings were first made public or the space that exists between them.

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum I, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum I, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum II, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum II, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum III, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum III, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum VI, Berlin, 1996
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum VI, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Stanze di Raffaello 2, Rome, 1990
Thomas StruthStanze di Raffaello 2, Rome, 1990

Thomas Struth - Art Institute of Chicago I, Chicago, 1990
Thomas StruthArt Institute of Chicago I, Chicago, 1990

Thomas Struth - Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990
Thomas StruthArt Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990

Thomas Struth - Galleria dell'Accademia I, Venice, 1992
Thomas StruthGalleria dell'Accademia I, Venice, 1992

Thomas Struth - Kunsthistorisches Museum III Wien, 1989
Thomas StruthKunsthistorisches Museum III Wien, 1989

Thomas Struth - Louvre 1, Paris, 1989
Thomas StruthLouvre 1, Paris, 1989

Thomas Struth - Louvre 4, Paris, 1989
Thomas StruthLouvre 4, Paris, 1989

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum IV, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum IV, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - National Gallery 1, London, 1989
Thomas StruthNational Gallery I, London, 1989

Thomas Struth - National Gallery II, London, 2001
Thomas StruthNational Gallery II, London, 2001

Thomas Struth - Alte Pinakothek, Self Portrait, Munich, 2000
Thomas StruthAlte Pinakothek, Self Portrait, Munich, 2000


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Artist got enormous meteorite on eBay for this installation

Artist got enormous meteorite on eBay for this installation

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite, 2013, Photo by Benoit Pailley/New Museum
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, New Museum, New York City, USA, 2013
Photo: Benoit Pailley, New Museum

Chris Burden was not exactly an everyday artist. While his previous work usually involved a form of danger (see Shoot), his last works have still been about performance, but mostly involved creating very much advanced models of working machines. One of such of his works was sitting in the New Museum, NYC in 2013. At the New Museum, there was a large chunk of meteorite which weighed 365 pounds hanging from one end of a massive steel frame while a Canary yellow 1974 Porsche 914 hung from the other end.

Burden went to great lengths to make his machines come to live and a great deal of energy and intelligence is required. According to the story of how the meteorite machine came to be, Burden spotted the huge meteorite on eBay and it was available on free shipping too. He had never seen a meteorite that big and he went ahead to buy it without actually having any inkling whatsoever about what he would do with it.

Chris Burden whose most well-known work is Shoot, an art performance in which he had his own arm shot by a friend in 1971, had over the years grown into a stocky, vigorous 67 years old man. His works were usually huge and they always took very long time to bring to life but there is a clean elegance about them which Mr. Burden said he imbibed from the University of California.

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed 1
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed 2
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo: Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo: Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015, Photo Sophie Kitching, Art Observed detail
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2015
Photo: Sophie Kitching, Art Observed

Chris Burden – Porsche with Meteorite, 2013, installation view at the artist’s studio in Topanga, CA – photo Brian Forrest
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, installation view at the artist’s studio in Topanga, California, USA
Photo: Brian Forrest


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Front row seat to Parisian ghetto

Front row seat to Parisian ghetto

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La fenêtre, 2005

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le groupe, 2007, C-print, 90x120cm
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le groupe, 2007

The Algerian-born, Paris-based photographer Mohamed Bourouissa was born in 1978. His work has been presented and featured in an extensive number of solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo, the Palazzo Grassi – François Pinault Foundation in Venice, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, , the MAXXI in Rome, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Finnish Museum of Photography of Helsinki, the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, and many more impressive venues.

Mohamed Bourouissa’s pictures are inspired by classical painting, the pictures are expressive declarations pointing at the ethical fallout of photojournalism, focusing on the problematic power relations that take place within the photographic medium in addition to the voyeuristic nature of photojournalism.

Mohamed Bourouissa’s photo’s, like those of many photojournalists work, features impoverished, stylish young African and Arab men and women, some who are immigrants while others are the children of immigrants, living in suburban housing projects on the peripheries of Paris. The photographs, however, are posed, which is where the inspiration of the classical painting comes in, motionlessly elegant.

His photographic works depicts the tensions and the many issues that have implications for the daily lives of young people who live in France’s suburb, or the metropolis’s peripheries. His gripping images have used documentary-style content combined with formal compositions that are influenced by classical paintings. His work looks at socio-political issues that are prevalent in the lives of disenfranchised youth, seeming to call out on the audience to remove any rose colored glasses and address the problems head on. The work, while stunning, creates an uncomfortable reminder for those who ignore the periphery, for those who seem to forget that all is not well, serving to make the truth unavoidable. While some may turn on their heal to run to a nearby overpriced coffee shop where they can hide in the bliss of ignorance, where others may be inspire to address the social issues that this work forces the audience see.

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Carré Rouge, 2005
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Carré Rouge, 2005

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - L’impasse, 2007
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, L’impasse, 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La fenêtre, 2005
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, La fenêtre, 2005

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La Morsure, 2007
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, La Morsure, 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La rencontre, 2005
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, La rencontre, 2005

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le téléphone, 2006
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le téléphone, 2006

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le Reflet, 2007
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le Reflet, 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique, Sans titre (metro), 2007
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Sans titre (metro), 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa – Périphérique,
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La Butte, 2007, 90x120cm
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, La Butte, 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La République, 2006, Paris, France
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, La République, 2006

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le Miroir, 2006
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le Miroir, 2006

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le poing, 2006
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le poing, 2006

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le Toit, 2007
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le Toit, 2007

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le Couloir, 2007
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le Couloir, 2007


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7 stained glass windows you won’t see in any cathedral

7 stained glass windows you won’t see in any cathedral

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

As part of the reopening of Palais De Tokyo, Christian Marclay has designed a series of glass windows overlooking the Avenue du Président-Wilson. The Swiss and American artist, whose work explores the connections between sound and visual art, uses onomatopoeias taken from comic books as graphic expressions of noise. Seven Windows encapsulates sound through glass. The result is a beautiful, colorful series that works to tell a story through the sequential panes of glass that mimic the organization of a comic strip.

About Christian Marclay

Christian Marclay is a London and New York based visual artist and composer whose innovative work explores the juxtaposition between sound recording, photography, video and film. He was born in California in 1955 and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. His mother was American so he held a double nationality. Marclay studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel from 1977–1980 in Geneva, Switzerland. From 1977–1980 he studied sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He also studied as a visiting scholar at Cooper Union in New York in 1978. As a performer and sound artist Christian Marclay has been experimenting, composing and performing with phonograph records and turntables since 1979 to create his unique “theater of found sound,” influenced by Marcel Duchamp. Christian Marclay offers a unique, fresh and innovative voice that has inspired an entire generation of musicians, artists and theorists.

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Christian Marclay - Seven Windows - Palais de Tokyo
Christian MarclaySeven Windows, Palais de Tokyo

Photos: #1-7 by André Morin, #8 by Florent Miche / 11h45


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Public Delivery: Freedumb – 1 exhibition, 2 weeks, 3 cities

Public Delivery: Freedumb – 1 exhibition, 2 weeks, 3 cities

taps-moses-paris-2
Taps & Moses

Applying paint on public transport without permission is a senseless occupation: It’s dangerous, illegal and often disliked. At the end of one’s career there is no big prize, no glory, no golden watch. So what motivates these artists to follow their passion?

Freedumb is not trying to give an answer to anything. It is a discovery, a trip into the unknown, a documentation, without a pre-casted opinion. Like the graffiti on public transport, it just is. The photos from prominent artists Taps & Moses, Utah & Ether and Phil America simply show you what’s happening in the painter world underneath you. They just are, and they will be, whether you love it, hate it or don’t care.

Freedumb alludes to the typical, dark Grifters humor. The search for freedom is a central theme in the world of graffiti.

The proceeds of the show will go entirely to support The Grifters that are currently dealing with legal issues.

Sept 4 / ZÜRICH (Switzerland)
Sept 4-6 / SOFIA (Bulgaria)
Sept 12 / PARIS (France)

osCitas

taps-moses-paris
Taps & Moses

Taps&Moses
Taps & Moses

phil-america-freedumb-metro-1
Phil America

phil-america-freedumb-metro-2
Phil America

Utah&Ether
Utah & Ether


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Public Delivery

Public Delivery