Ed Ruscha – Fifty Years Of Painting exhibition, installation view, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Photo: Åsa Lundén
At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills to the extent that he can express the noises of everyday life on a canvas. When he began his art in 1961, no one would have thought that the works that had words written over them would translate into such epic levels of fame. You too have probably come across his works and never stopped for a moment to think about the creativity that goes into making them. Some of these word paintings have published in not one, not two or three volumes but a record 20 and counting.
Alighiero Boetti – Mapa del mundo (Map of the World), 1971-72, embroidery
The story behind Boetti’s Maps of the World
In 1971 upon his departure from Italy and his arrival in Afghanistan, Alighiero Boetti began a continuous collaboration with local weavers to produce embroidered tapestries, using himself only as the referential artist but considering the works a creation of a combined effort. Mappa del Mundo is a colorful, beautifully crafted tapestry showing each country emblazoned with its own flag, examining borders, frontiers, nationalism, and patriotism. The borders are emblazoned with Italian and Persian texts, selected by Boetti and the craftswomen.
More than 150 maps created between 1971 to 1994
Over the next two decades, from 1971 to 1994, more than 150 maps of different colors and sizes were created in this way. From this, geopolitical changes were tracked throughout the world, transforming a simple idea into a political vision by visualizing territory disputes and regime changes. Halfway through their endeavor, the embroiderers selected a pink thread to fill in the oceans, completely altering the look of the works. Boetti loved the intrusion of chance into the artistry of the craftsmen, and let them select the thread colors from then on. Because of this, he has little say in the appearance of the maps.
Yesterday, June 19, Ciudad Esperanza, Luciano Calderon’s first solo exhibition in a museum pre-opened at Museo de Arte Antonio Paredes Candia in El Alto, Bolivia. The exhibition is a continuation of his recent show, El Choco, in which Calderon’s hometown of El Alto and the neighboring city La Paz played a central role. Ciudad Esperanza includes both new large scale works as well as some older pieces, both of which evoked strong positive feedback from the enthusiastic crowd at the pre-opening.
As he did with El Choco, Calderon collaborated with local craftsmen of his neighborhood to produce some of his works for Ciudad Esperanza. In Chismoso Como Tu, which translates to God sees everything but he ain’t a snitch like you, Calderon uses a common phrase to reflect on the mentality that prevails on the streets of El Alto, a city where almost everybody lives under harsh circumstances.
Calderon’s painting Escudo is inspired by El Alto’s official coat of arms. Using his own unique visual language, Calderon took the text from this coat of arms and transformed it into an art piece.
The official opening will take place later this month.
Muralla Alteña, 2013, plastic bags, wood, 600x380cm
We are delighted to share some exclusive studio photos of Luciano Calderon’s upcoming show next week in La Paz, Bolivia.
Photos by Gabriel Barceló