One quarter mile was the exact distance between Robert Rauschenberg’s house on Captiva Island and his artist studio. As a distance, it is neither long nor short; more like a healthy buffer or decompression zone to move between personal and professional spaces without bringing the frustrations of one into the other. But I have to wonder, does this concept really work for Rauschenberg, an artist who famously declared acting in the “gap” between art and life?
I flew half way around the world, from California to the French Riviera. Why?? You’d be very right to ask. The weather is just as great, the food a bit better but the same Le Grand Bleu experience awaits. If you must know, I went there because of…soccer! Along the way I explored many museums and countless foundations. One of them is Fondation Carmignac, on the island of Porquerolles. A corporate foundation created in 2000 by Edouard Carmignac, it boasts a colorful contemporary art collection and supports the Photojournalism Award which rewards an investigative reportage each year. Nested on the island of Porquerolles, the vistas are breathtaking. Enjoyed during an artful treasure hunt in the gardens where monumental site-specific sculpture installations are scattered, Mediterranean landscapes also come round from the gallery space, perfectly framed by ribbon windows à la Le Corbusier. I found it impossible to resist the azur of the Mediterranean sky set against the delicate greens of shrubs and pines. Porquerolles being an island, the water theme is omnipresent in both the architecture of the Fondation space and the artworks in the collection. The movie The Big Blue comes to mind often, particularly as the open skylight of […]
Kelsey Brookes is a San Diego artist who has beautified my common errands and end of yoga practices for some time: how can you resist his striking mural in La Jolla? A monumental mandala of gorgeous colors soaring to my almost permanent blue sky, I always find comfort in its all-over unstoppable growth pattern. It spells “life” in concentric circles and ripples but the art of Kelsey Brookes is definitely not as happy hippie as you might think. A spectacular new show at Quint Gallery will be showing just that, starting this Saturday September 29, 2018. With mandala-like patterns reminiscent of the world system symbolically represented in Hindu and Buddhist artistic practices, radial motifs simulate the invisible force we all depend upon: life. Color patterns and symmetry make for a meditative experience; when made of sand, mandalas remind us all of our impermanence. Personally I am in awe of the time and patience such beauties require. No wonder mandalas are often associated with cosmic experiences and transcendence. And that is definitely something Kelsey Brookes channels with his art. Yet with the concept of transcendence come two directions: will you seek to elevate yourself to an out of body experience and aerial […]
His trench coat is thrown on a rudimentary bed surrounded by small shelves filled with plaster figurines; an unfinished bust seats in the central pedestal, looking in the distance. He could be back any moment. “He” is Alberto Giacometti, and the space I am taking you to is his atelier in Paris. It might get crowded when he comes back: the space is tiny (only 23m² / less than 250 square feet) but this was where Giacometti felt comfortable. He never moved to a larger space when success came. In a sense, this is no surprise as you look at his stretched thin sculptures. For maybe, from the small confine of his atelier, he stood a chance to recreate the essence of a person using his sculpture, but also countless drawings of the same repeated motifs, as well as paintings of incredible complexity of line. Searching for truth, Giacometti tirelessly fashioned the heads and bodies of his sculptures, constantly reworking, repeating, reusing the same models who sometimes posed on a kitchen chair (see below) for more than 100 hours in the case of Isaku Yanaihara. His permanent fear of failure made him remove – each time more and more of the […]
Visiting Christopher Puzio’s Studio was a real treat: his work plays a lot on the “frame the view” concept, a key sub-line from the beginning of Reinventingrid, back in January 2017. That is how my eye travels: I simply love capturing in pictures how some art installations encapsulate what lies around them. Bringing the world to attention… San Diego is incredibly fortunate to have many Christopher Puzio works around. All have this uncanny versatility of framing a view while opening up space. He is literally, and figuratively, drilling on what an open work can be.
Have you ever wondered how art can affect us all so much in spite of the strange paradox that you can’t touch itt? What seems fair enough for paintings and installations sometimes seems questionable for sculpture, especially bronze sculpture. A gentle touch of skin on bronze would do no harm and go a long way in elevating our perception of the sensuality of the body rendered by a Degas, Rodin or Maillol, amongst so many others. For me, the one sculptor where the “Do Not Touch” sign is irrelevant is Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957). Even though I know I can’t touch a Brancusi sculpture, it does the work for me, it touches ME. But why? and how?
I am trying to vary the types of arts the kids and I see…It’s good for the eyes and it helps keeping it all real: too much of the sleek stuff and you get into a snobbish rut. Checking out a few artist communities in the Joshua Tree desert got our eyes on many different forms of assemblage sculptures. Along the way, we talked about recycling materials, living life as an artist, found objects and the loose definition of Art…