Tomás Saraceno – In Orbit, 2013, permanent installation at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
A massive installation by Tomás Saraceno titled In Orbit has to be one of the artist’s most notable and successful installations. At a height of more than 20 meters, Saraceno suspended a mesh construction within which audiences could move weightlessly on the net. The net construction, which was accessible on 3 levels, was designed to resemble a cloud setting or landscape.
As far as famous pop artists go, it truly does not get any better than Roy Lichtenstein. His style of comic art use made him one of the most well known and respected pop artists. His work has helped to inspire thousands of artists to hone their craft. His incredible pieces such as the Times Square Mural located in New York’s busiest subway station, as well as his 1986 mural titled Mural with a Blue Brushstroke, are some of his most prominent public murals.
Thomas Struth – Pantheon, 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.
Yoshitomo Nara – Yellow in Blue, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 180 x 150 cm
Yoshitomo Nara was born in Hirosaki, Japan in 1959 and is a Japanese artist whose work has been exhibited around the world. He lives and works in Tokyo, and Japanese popular culture plays an influential role in his world. Nara studied at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music where he received his B.F.A. (1985) and an M.F.A. (1987). He also studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, in Germany between 1988 and 1993.
The work has several influences including manga and anime of the 1960s as seen in Nara’s large-eyed figures. He challenges these characteristically cute images by juxtaposing them with dark and frightening imagery. This infusion of horror changes the image altogether, the contrast of the innocent large eyed child with the imagery of human evil may be a response to Japan’s strict social conventions. Other influences of Nara’s work include punk rock music, Renaissance painting, ukiyo-e and graffiti.
The artist grew up in post-World War II Japan, and the sociocultural environment at this time certainly affected his mindset and artwork. During his childhood and youth, Japan was being barraged by Western pop culture. Nara was raised in the countryside, fairly isolated, and as the child of two working-class parents, he was often left alone while his parents were at work. This time alone with his imagination played a significant role in his artistic development.
His first major New York Exhibition “Nobody’s Fool“ in 2010 at the Asia Society featured over one hundred works from the 1980s to his current works. His work features ceramics, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and large-scale installations. Nara is one of the leading artists of Japan’s influential Neo Pop art, and has become infamous for his portrayals of children and animals. Although the children and animals he creates are adorable they are often menacing, causing viewers to contemplate the feelings and concepts behind his work. Underneath the popular appeal of the dark but adorable characters in his work are the somber social, political, and personal elements of his work: darker emotions of loneliness in a rigid society, rage, fear, and helplessness. Nara uses soft pastels and the apiece of cute and vulnerable children and animals as opposed to punk rock imagery. He also takes inspiration from the positive values of Japanese tradition and combines traditional with contemporary. The subjects of his work, the wide-eyed children and animals, whose vulnerability and in addition to the nightmarish features of his paintings can easily stimulate distressing feelings. He often uses soft hued, pastel colors with bold lines as seen in anime characters in popular culture. The children featured in Nara’s works sometimes wield weapons such as knives and saws; their expressions are haunting, their eyes giving viewers accusatory looks. It is with his use of contrasting images, colors, and emotions that Nara’s work has captured the imaginations of generations around the world.
Yoshitomo Nara – Night Walker, 2001
Yoshitomo Nara – No Means No, 1995, acrylic on canvas, 55x65cm
Thomas Struth – Mountain, 2013
Who do you imagine and how do you materialize it?
The collection of Thomas Struth: full of dynamic creativity, unseeingly authenticity.
You’d definitely know it is inspired by a life beyond what our eyes can see. He made art in an angle where our minds depict an unimaginative reality that is correlated through the art of modern technology. The conceptualization was well thought in such a way that fantasies and imagination has materialized and has become a reality.
Thomas Struth – Semi Submersible Rig, DSME Shipyard, Geoje Island, 2007
ABOUT STRUTH’S WORKS IN KOREA
In March 2007, Thomas Struth went on a first trip to South Korea. He spent time in the two largest cities, Seoul and Busan, as well as visiting religious and cultural sites, important landscapes and shipyards. At the vast DSME shipyard on Geoje Island, one of the largest in the world, he photographed tankers under construction and an immense semi-submersible drilling rig. Struth made two further visits to South Korea in 2008 and 2010, as well as visiting Pyongyang in North Korea for the first time.