Monday, April 14, 2014

Gabriel Orozco

The talented Mr. Orozco

               Gabriel Orozco is one of the most talented artists I have seen. His talents range from painting, photography, as well as sculpture. Before I get into what his art represents, I will provide you with a little more information about his life. Gabriel is a Mexican native that studied in Mexico City and Madrid.  He has a wife and one child, but is not settled in one place. They have a home in France, Mexico City, and New York. He seems to roam the world at his leisure. His work has been shown in galleries not just across North America, but across the world, and then some.
                The work of his that I seem to gravitate to the most are his sculptures. to elaborate his work seems bigger then life. I feel that the photos do no justice in capturing the moment of confronting one of these pieces of art face to face. The sculpture that I find to be most intriguing is titled Darkwave 2006.

            Darkwave is made of calcium carbonate with resin and graphite.  It is a replica of  a 14 meter whale. The lines all over the whale are the tracings of where the whales pressure points are.
When I see the replica whale skeleton, the first thing I think of is how did he do that, and then I think about why he did it. I am not sure if words can explain how great his work is, I am still taking it all in, so to speak. Instead I want too, at the very least, bring his work to your attention. His work is really something to be marveled at. In my opinion, all of his work speaks volumes, not just his sculptures. It is inspiring to me how he can be so successful in every aspect of art. So, I strongly encourage you to look up Gabriel Orozco in your next Google search, if you haven't already.

The following photos are extended pieces of his work :

Erosion into Erosion
Dimensions variable
Plaster and acrylic paint

"I don’t take photographs thinking that they are going to be art. I take the photographs thinking that I need to keep the moment, because I need to look at it afterwards."

- Gabriel Orozco
Pinched Ball
Cibachrome, 16 x 20 inches
Edition of 5

Breath on a piano

Monday, April 7, 2014

Jan Garden Castro

Castro is a writer specializing in art history and criticism, which is an art-form in itself. We, as art students, may not have considered art criticism to be an "art" per se, but learning more about Castro will most certainly change your view. The artist's intent when creating a piece plays a huge role in the concept, but so does the viewer's interpretation. Castro writes about her experience when encountering a new work, but she also prides herself on being able to relate to the reader. She wants the viewer to share the experience with her, much like an artist wishes when he/she creates a piece. 

Not only does she write, but she also is a curator, one of the founders of the literary journal, River Styx, and an editor for Sculpture magazine, she even does some side photography work. (Talk about being gifted!) She has written many books, reviews, and essays on artists such as Margaret Atwood and Georgia O'Keeffe. After researching Castro, I also found many interviews which she has conducted with some of my favorite artists, Louise Bourgeois and Ann Hamilton. While there aren't many biographies written about Castro, I did discover that she ran a blog of her one for a short period of time that is still accessible here: Castro's blog. It gives more of an insight to her personality than I ever could do with my writing. 

One of the many books Castro has written

Curated by Castro

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Carnegie International

In February I had the pleasure of getting to experience the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh for the first time; since the show only occurs every three years, I knew that now was my time to see it. I had very high hopes for the exhibition because I had heard so many positive things about it. The International is the biggest show in North America that features famous contemporary artists from all over the world, so it really is a treat to see. The artists change every year and some of them even end up getting chosen to have work in the Carnegie's permanent collection afterwards. 

Louise Bourgeois, an artist who focused mainly on her traumatic upbringing, had a piece in the 1991 International, which made me ecstatic as she is one of my favorite artists. Her work has inspired me and helped me in ways that I never knew art could. I look up to her so much, so you can imagine how I felt when I got to stand 3 inches away from an actual artwork of hers. The sculpture was from her body of work that includes "cells", or enclosed structures, expressing the isolation she felt. Cell II was made out of old wooden doors with windows so that the viewer could peer in and discover the hidden treasures on the inside. Enclosed in the Cell was a stand with a mirrored top that supported white hands and 9 empty perfume bottles. 

The empty Shalimar perfume bottles are meant to represent the fleeting nature of pleasure, which she so often encountered, and are perhaps the scent of someone close to the artist. After doing some research, I discovered that the scent was actually meant to evoke elegance and romance according to the creator, Jacques Guerlain back in 1921 when Bourgeois would have only been 10 years old. The empty bottles give so much detail to the piece about an ideal love that is used up and enclosed, unable to escape. The hands are shown wringing together, in a state of worry. While the doors serve as the structure of the piece, they also closely mimic the hands; they are joined together almost as if trying to keep these memories of Bourgeois' contained, unwilling to be let go. 

Cell II left an incredible impact on me, so simple, yet so purposeful and detailed. It was by far my favorite piece from the International, that has now been included in the permanent Carnegie collection, so be sure to go check it out. You will not regret it! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Children of the Romantic Age : Gwyneth Scally

Gwyneth Scally: Kipp Gallery


Gwyneth Scally’s atistic abilites extent to the braches of art thought her drawings, paintings and many scultures. She is currently working in New York City, but was born and raised in Washington D.C.  She had said that she always has been inspired from her youthful memories of her childhood, and sailing in the Chesapeake Bay and its “..dark waters..”. I made her wonder of the cratures that live in the dark abyss of the bay.

Later in life, she recived her MFA from the University of Arizona. Since then, she has traveled across the United States as well as the world.  Most recently she has been to the national park in Alaska called  Glaciers National Park. It has been said that this is what really sparked her intrest in the nature around her. I think that by seeing this beauty and  wonder that was deminishing before her eyes, she saw that something needed to change. I believe that this,  in a way,  angered her enough that she was inclined to make it her vocal point in her new works.

Most of her images refelt the research she has to done about two polar explorers. These new works take a different take on nature. One  must see the beautiful nature and the wonder that the explorers must have seen finding and having adventures through the beautiful vast landscape. But then they are really destroyed by more modern happings.

            For example, Endurance on the I-10 you see this beautiful ship and the almost magical lanscape , but as you eye follows down the painting you see the asphalt of the I-10.  As I gazed at this picture wondering what made her put that road into this beautiful natural painting, I think I began to feel what she was tryign to get across to the veiwer. I think that she was trying to convey how younger generations explore and see the world. They don’t have to get on a ship to see these new natual wonders. In a sense, I don’t think that most people hold the idea that   keeping nature virgin is more important than the instant gratification of driving up to it and then driving away. It takes away the “fun” of exploring the world and the nature around us. Most think that by being able to drive on a road that once was a beautiful prarrie or unclamed forest is beautiful, but I think that the relly don’t see that they are really missing a lot of what is really happening. The accecibility of having a nice smooth black asphault road is overlooked as a nessisity when it is really a man made catastrophy upon the natural landscape. It is overlooked as something wonderful to most.

 “Look we made this road, that you can drive on that leads you right up to natures masterpice!”. They are missing the fact that the road is going through many animals habitats, possibly destroying  the very thing that helped create the magical devlopment of nature. Not to mention, the pollution created by the vehicles that may travel on the road.

False Dawn.  Oil on Duralar.  40 x 50.”  2011.Like Scally puts it we are romantisizing nature, but destroying it at the same time. We seem to feel better about making sure that people can acess the national parks and things, but I think we forget what introducing our moderen society can doto a virginal lanscape.

            Above is one of her new works that were displayed at the Kipp Gallery in March. This painting is titled False Dawn. This painting exhibits the imperiled forests of Arizona. On the trees are very sheik and modern cabins.

 This also lends to the idea that our ideas of a beautiful nature and certainly skewed. As said by Scally “…both civilized and natural world are in a state of instability and flux.”

Below is another work of hers shown at the Kipp Gallery.

The Great Hunt.  Oil and enamel on Duralar over digital print.  10 x 10.”  2011.

The Great Hunt. Oil and enamel on Duralar over digital print. 10 x 10.” 2011.


-The site that I most used to get a lot of the information was the artist’s website