When it comes to colorful art, Yayoi Kusama pretty much obliterated 2017. People flocked to her travelling exhibitions, queued hours to spend 30 seconds in her mirrored infinity rooms and used her bright patterned artworks and polka dots to take awesome selfies and be happy. Quite an awesome accomplishment for art that is produced as the only way Kusama found to resist suicide and survive the hallucinations that have plagued her life since being a young girl. “With no distinction between her as an artist and the product of her art, this is the intensity we can’t help but feel striking us all” was how I described it in my blog last year. Another artist who produced what we perceive as colorful art but which is in fact a form of therapy to alleviate darker life events is French-born Niki de Saint Phalle. Her Coming Together sums it up for me.
The year that was 2017 is drawing to a close very fast. Oh what a year! I started it with two resolutions: 1/ Launch my art appreciation blog. 2/ Run my first marathon. I am proud I made good on both counts. The marathon was hard but the discipline helped me fill this site with more than 50 articles spanning so much art and so many very different artists. Looking back, I hopefully made you travel from Monet’s Impressionism and Seurat’s Pointillism to the Art Nouveau of Tiffany glass vases. I enjoyed sharing some of my favorite artists with you, including Korean artists Do Ho Suh’s work on displacement and Nam June Paik’s media art. Along the way, this fitted with reflecting on subjects close to my (he)art which I live by in my daily life: how to bring up kids in museums in a fun way and how pop up art experiences may or may not fit the bill as true art.
If you think you can walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Venice canals without crossing the street, you’ve either lost your mind or you’re in Las Vegas. Maybe both experiences are one and the same thing, actually. With Las Vegas being mostly all about walking endlessly through hotels and losing oneself (and more!) in the sprawling casinos, what’s real and what’s fake soon amounts to the exact same thing. It can be hard for your brain to know which is which. Disoriented by permanently dimmed lights, a pervasive smell of cigarettes and constant chimes from slot machines, it is quite hard even knowing what time of day it is. Las Vegas being a place where very little brain power is required, what little you bring, you’re encouraged to loose. Nevertheless, ask most people and they will tell you they associate Las Vegas with epic memories, usually rooted in excesses of all kind such as gambling, drinking, spending, but memories all the same. The infamous “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” sums it all.
Seeing the full range of Tiffany’s Favrile glass vase production is very rare and such a unique opportunity is presented at the Tiffany Masterworks exhibition organized by the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA. On view until Feb 26th, 2018. As Louis Comfort Tiffany mixes both decorative arts and jewelry, it comes as no surprise that I have spent a fair amount dealing and researching his multi-faceted art. Before 1900, Tiffany’s expertise was in elitist and full interior designs for rich patrons like the Havemeyers. Quite adept at transforming a utilitarian object into a jewel-like work of art, he nevertheless soon felt such projects and subsequent large decorative lead-glass windows too fin-de-siècle Fine Arts and too exclusive for his business acumen.
If you’ve been to any museums in Southern California lately, you may have noticed omnipresent mentions of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the latest collaborative effort between 70+ arts institutions across Southern California. The aim is to explore Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. I have only made it to a few of all the exhibitions around and I have found most artworks and exhibitions very stimulating and thought provoking. Having shared quite a few on my Instagram (@reinventingrid), I wanted to bring you some and encourage you to seek those exhibitions.
This is the exhibition David Hockney came to visit the very day before I was scheduled to go. Jonas Wood at David Kordansky Gallery. A must see in Los Angeles, through December 16, 2017. It is fresh and inspired, much like David Hockney’s own work to which Jonas Wood’s self-assured brushstrokes pay a vibrant homage. Both artists seem to share a similar vision of life, where colors sing and textural patterns resonate quietly, albeit confidently. Yet in Jonas Wood’s paintings perhaps the time immemorial rhythmic quality of aboriginal motifs is more apparent. I find his palette is also tighter than Hockney’s: many of Jonas Wood’s landscapes play tone on tone, never straying far from keys of earthy brown or forest green. Even white on white manages to be colorful! He builds space with patterns which add vibrancy and energy, without necessarily resorting to vivid contrasts expediently. Case in point: how can Jonas Wood make Las Vegas so recognizable and yet so devoid of the contrasts we readily associate with Vegas? His paintings transported me into a universe flooded with light, much like the vivid quality of an illuminated stage as the theater lights go dark – except Jonas Wood uses […]
Spotting Raja de Kishangarh’s bowtie, being carved out of emeralds of a size usually associated with pebbles rather than gemstones, or a Mughal necklace rich of 150 carats of the finest Golconda diamonds and 47 Colombian emeralds beads, it could be tempting to reduce Mughal ruling of India (1526-1857) to Centuries of Opulence. Albeit the title of a new exhibition of Jewels from India at the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, CA, I would argue instead that the aesthetic eye of the Mughals was rooted in a true understanding of luxury and honed by learned interests in art, architecture, science, culture and religion extending well beyond their Muslim faith, a tolerance which left an indelible mark on the arts of India.