Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mel Kadel

I just cannot say enough about this artist. I love her whimsical, poignant work. If someone needed a gift idea for me, I don't think there is piece of hers I don't like. Here are a few of my favorites.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

NYC Waterfalls

okay, you read it here first!! This will be amazing because Olafur Eliasson is a poetic genius.

visit here....for more about the waterfalls
and here.........for more about olafur

The Grotesque

FROM GROTESQUERIE TO THE GROTESQUE: On the Topicality of Ornaments

This exhibition closes tomorrow at the MAK (Museum of Applied Arts) in Vienna. Oh if only it were just uptown, a subway ride away, I would be racing over there! It is intriguing that the curator describes the grotesque as “an attitude of mind.” These images are flights of fancy -- dancing and laughing in a most joyful way at, and in the face of, mortality.

As a consolation, the museum has collaborated with two other institutions to put their print collection online.

The MAK’s Works on Paper Collection comprises 17,413 folios and features holdings dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries, originating mostly from Germany, Italy, France and England. The library collection includes reference books; literature on art, the applied arts, graphic arts; and numerous pattern books, folios, and ornamental prints.

One notable collection of ornamental prints is the Neuw Grotte├čken Buch by Christoph Jamnitzer of Nuremburg, dating from around 1610. It is an exemplary example of the German grotesque, that includes “60 folios with panels, goldsmith ornaments, ornaments in the auricular style and scrollwork ornaments, putti, erotic drawings and monstrous forms. Because of the wide variety of designs it contains, the volume enjoyed great popularity among craftspersons of the time.”

As eloquently stated by Kathrin Pokorny-Nagel, Head of the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection
There is no doubt that ornamental prints have lost none of their importance as a resource for cultural and artistic research: for rediscovering lost historical information about interior decoration, garden designs and the compilation of collections, for localizing the origins of applied arts objects, classifying their aesthetic development and dating them… and, not least, as an ideal image or embodiment of an attitude of mind.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Standing Still

Being still is incredibly hard. To sit in meditation or to stay with grace in a challenging yoga pose can cause ours minds to rebel. Confusion and protest can easily arise. Yet when we soften and accept, stillness can provide peace.

Stillness is not motionlessness. Like the clear and centered movement of a spinning top, or standing with your eyes closed, it is simply slowing down to notice subtleties. It is pointed awareness.

The event documented below is amazing. This troupe made thousands of rushed and hurried people in Grand Central Station just stop for a minute. Perhaps it was just in confusion that they pondered why and how all these people were standing still. That is enough, I believe, to experience the struggle for inner stillness.

And, boy, would it have made Allan Kaprow proud.

"The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest." Bruce Lee

"Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself." Hermann Hesse

"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." Deepak Chopra

"No thought, no action, no movement, total stillness: only thus can one manifest the true nature and law of things from within and unconsciously, and at last become one with heaven and earth." Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gabriel Orozco

“Looking through the lens of the camera doesn't intensify experience. It just frames the object. It's much more intense without the camera. For me photography is like a shoebox. You put things in a box when you want to keep them, to think about them. Photography is more than a window for me; photography is more like a space that tries to capture situations. It's notational. I use the camera like drawing.”
— Gabriel Orozco

The Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco is a chameleon. His playful work is immensely varied, and includes sculpture, painting, video and photogrpahy. In the image above, Orozco makes a voided space tangible using clay, making visible the invisible. The molded shape echoes the way his fingers line up when closed, yet also implicit is how the palm, with hands closed, secretly holds the shape of a heart. The image and idea is a gesture of offering.

Below is another Orozco image that again looks at spacial relationships. Here the void itself makes the invisible visible. The void suggests the idea of a perfect fit between absense and presence, like a footprint in sand. And while you could read the image as powerful, as many of us have an urge to make a mark, I also see an implied loss...with all the missing pieces.

I love how body parts can relate to one another. It is as though we are these perfect things -- when we see how some of our parts innately fit. My images of bodies are less about voids and spaces between things, and more about borders, edges, and relationships of permimeters. Below is a very early test photo. (please forgive the grainy camera-phone image.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Smell of Spring

"Evening Exits" by tamsen ellen
My Name

One night when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
that I would become – and where I would find myself –
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.

Mark Strand