Works of Art

Art Inside an Office

This blog is not only about Museums, Galleries and established artists. It is about the small, artistic things I see in my everyday life. Today, I discovered art, inside my office.

Working at a museum means that I experience art daily. The wonderful architecture of the building, the creative gift shop and the daily information I get for future exhibitions are only a few examples of art I experience. The Cycladic Museum is known for being inventive and unique. It manages to stay interesting by always developing and coming up with new ideas and activities. The latest activity of the Museum was a childrens creative competition. What do you think will happen, if you introduce kids to a museum’s competition? Magic!

The Museum of Cycladic Art is introducing a very unique competition for our young friends between the ages of 6-12. Kids are given a blank paper, with just the outline of a traditional Cycladic Seated figurine and all they have to do is let their imagination free and express themselves using any colors or materials they like.

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There are no limits to this project, so kids can make their statue  an old man or a young girl, dress it with different accessories, cover it with a superhero suit and even transform it into a musical instrument or a scary animal. As far as their imagination goes, the sky is the limit and it is not only fun but it is also an artistic experience. Ten kids, with the most interesting works, will join our Kids summer program for free, and the first winner will get the chance to see his/her work featured in our Children’s Program Poster.

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Have a look at the images presented. These are only a few of the wonderful works that our offices have received. We decided to transform our office to a more creative and colorful place by using the childrens drawings. I simply love the way kids have been expressing themselves and letting their creativity show through their unique works. They have incorporated different materials, colors, shapes and patterns. If you look closer, you can identify the inspiration from different artists and artistic genres through the colors, patterns and shapes used to fill the figurine’s shape. Their personality shines through in the way they add their own little details giving their statue unique features such as extra body parts, hairstyles and accessories.

I simply love the creativity of this project and how the children managed to transform our everyday office to a wonderful small gallery. Hope you enjoyed this post

Thank you for reading
Elli

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Go big or go home

What is it about large art pieces, from  photographic series to installations and digital projections that excites me so much? I recently revisited Saatchi Gallery in order to take a second look at some larger works that are exhibited there. I took a lot of photographs in order to take a closer look from home; View them as individual works and also as interactive ones with people being captured in the photos, moving inside the exhibition spaced thus becoming a part of the artwork.

Chantal Joffee – Untitled (Oil on Gesso on Board)IMG_3647

Chantal Joffe is a contemporary artist, who could be described to have a humorous eye for everyday awkwardness as she brings a combination of truth and honesty to the genre of figurative art. Her small, humorous drawings usually depicting women or girls have a beautiful sense of complexity that intrigues my curiosity to learn more about the artists intentions, the messages of each smaller painting and its role to the series. ‘The direct and liquid painting style that Chantal Joffe uses has the effect of filling her subjects with personality. The images possess an extra alarming humour that is highly enjoyable and strangely provoking‘ (saatchigallery.com)

The reason why I chose to photographed the piece using a panoramic effect is because I wanted to have a individual photo of the series, but at the same time have central focus. In this way, you can view and understand the many smaller paintings as a series, but you can also have a more detailed understanding of what is illustrated in each one of them by looking closer at the centre.

Denis Tarasov – Essence Series with Marianne Vitale – Installation Markers.IMG_3654

The image above represents two different series by two different artists. The photographys on the wall is by Denis Tarasov and the sculptures in the middle of the space are by Marianne Vitale. 

Denis Tarasovs ‘Essence’ showcases the strange phenomenon of modern cultures, one that celebrates material wealth in the face of death. In one of his interviews, he explained that the gravestones he includes in his photographs are not unique occurrences, but they exist in a number of large cities across Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet countries usually concentrated in one area within a cemetery. The artist focuses on the fact that even though all the gravestones are made in the same way and style, they are still different from each other and that is what made him find them all unique and visually interesting. ‘Each has some peculiarity, some distinguishing feature, something that is for me a kind of punctum‘ – Quote by Denis Tarasovs.

Marianne Vitale uses the concept of the process of deterioration and the act of repurposing discarded materials in her work and more specifically in her current sculptures. Made from reclaimed materials, found in old factories and barns, her new series of sculptures ‘Markers’ is composed of weathered wood headstones devoid of inscriptions or epitaphs. The artist uses a number of different techniques when working on her sculptures (burns, bruises, dents, cuts) and  references the passage o time by virtue of the natural decomposition of her materials (artsy.net)

Terasov’s photography and Vitale’s sculptures have very different messages and intentions behind them but when exhibited together in a room, they work as a larger and more complex installation which is the reason why I photographed them together and not as individual works. Since they both share the concept of death, they complement each other perfectly creating a mysterious and in my opinion uncomfortable atmosphere that transforms any exhibition space.

Eddie Martinez – The Feast (Mixed Media on Canvas)
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Eddie Martinez is a contemporary artist who’s works are well known for being colourful, bold and humorousHis work is a fun, colourful and crudely-rendered assortment of tablescapes with a number of similar abstract figures. Moreover, ‘is at all times evocative of the still lifes and  the portraits that dot the landscape of art history, executed in a manner not only revelatory of their influence but aesthetically on par with something else entirely’ (quote from huffingtonpost.com)

The scale of his art works has continuously been growing making the artist to comment in humour: Go big or go home‘. I loved how big, colourful and bold his painting was, so I tried to become a part of it by being in the photograph. Instead of simply posing next to the work, I decided to use a panoramic effect, and so  as the camera moved from the right to left, I ran in front of the painting trying to incorporate my movement to the photograph. In that way, I compared my size to the works proportions and included a sense of movement to the still shot.

After looking at these larger pieces in detail, I realised that what in my opinion makes them so exciting is that their large scale gives me the opportunity to view them from different angles and create different narratives. Moreover, I realised that large works and installations intrigue my curiosity and inspire me to experiment with photography; play with angles, lighting, effects (panoramic) and even include people and movement inside the frame, which gives the image different meanings and perspectives. Standing next to large scale works in exhibition spaces made me feel ‘small‘ and was intimidating at first, but after a while it just made me feel inspired.

What do you thing about large art works?

Thanks for reading,
Elli

Vandal Lust

A few weeks ago, I created a post, asking viewers to answer ‘what is your favourite art form’. After looking at the results and comments, I personally found it hard to give just one answer. I really like to create paintings and mixed media art, take photographs and also create short films. At the same time, what I really love in exhibitions I visit are large scale installations. One of the reasons why I enjoy large scale installations is because I like  to take my time to view them, walk around them and try to the find small and beautiful details that are not that obvious at first sight.

A week ago, I visited Saatchi Gallery and viewed a work created by Andra Ursuta; Vandal Lust. Andra Ursuta was born in Romania in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York since 2000.

There is a thrilling and unnerving sense of destruction and metonymy in Ursuta’s works (sculptures/installations). Most importantly, the artist doesn’t steer away from using her personal memories and experiences, whether the damaged psychology of her country or her own body, which is often the inspiration of casts, to ignite her mixed-media creations. Ursuta’s narratives are convincingly bodied forth by a distinctively fractured, somewhat deprived sense of craft.

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What I understand from observing and researching Vandal Lust is that self-invention and self-destruction are endlessly interchanged. It is not very clear whether Longing and failure that fill the work are real or artificial. “By resurrecting an obsolete piece of battlefield technology generally reduced to recreational use by living history enthusiasts, Ursuta blurs the distinction between authentic private feelings and their reenacted, staged version.” (Source: zoominfo.com)

Vandal Lust is a life size tableau that was inspired by “The man who flew into space from his appartment’ and it centres on a crudely made catapult that seems to have been used attempting to launch the artist into space using a large medieval siege engine, built to the limits of space capacity and  based on reconstructions found online. The basic part of the installation, which is the catapult is not a solid monolithic structure but it includes a variety of materials ranging from cardboard, plaster, scraps of lumber, resin and remnants of destroyed or abandoned objects.

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The following section is a part of Ursuta’s interview with Christopher Bollen from interview magazine, focusing on her inspiration and what she tried to say through her installation.

Vandal Lust borrows from  Ilya Kabakov’s famous piece The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment ? where the man is presumed to have successfully launched himself into space. In yours, there’s a dent near the ceiling and the figure curled on the floor. Is that about failure?

Launching and failing. I guess it could be seen as being about the art world, that trajectory. But it was more about knowing you will fail but going for it anyway

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What I really enjoyed about this work of art is trying to find hidden details, walk around the art piece and try to imagine the story behind it. Moreover, I liked how the installation had many different elements, the larger part which was the catapult, but also a human cast which was on the floor, as well as the bodies ‘effect‘ on the wall of the gallery. All these small details were there to help and lead the viewer towards understanding what the catapult was and what was the story behind the work of art. If one of the three elements were not there, the work would not make sense. After leaving the exhibition, I was very excited to go back home and research the artist and the messages behind her work and personally, I enjoy viewing works of art that are that effective and make want to think and research about them even after leaving the exhibition.

Do you think vandal Lust is an effective installation?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Why Create?

I have always wondered, why art? Why create? Why bother?

What is it that makes us want to be a part of any creative proccess? This is definitely different from person to person, but one thing is certain, that everyone shares unique a love and a passion for whatever art form they create. From music, novels, films, sculpture, paintings and many more, in order for something to turn out to be visually interesting and beautiful, passion is  vital.

Something else that I always thought about, is for who we create art for? Is it for our personal fulfilment, is it for a wider audience, for a career, for money or for fame? Even though I am currently living in London, I keep all of my artworks in Greece. And when I go back home, besides a few paintings that my parents have decorated our home with, the rest of them are kept in our storage room. Recently, when I was looking for an old small drawing, I found myself surrounded by all these paintings and art pieces that I have put so much efford researching and creating, and there they were, hidden in our storage room, where nobody saw them. I felt weird, thinking that I spent so much time creating something that ended up in a storage room, what was the point?

A few weeks went by, I returned to London and did not think about that, until I came across this man, in Cromwell road, between the Natural History Museum and the Victorian & Albert Museum.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 18.15.26As I was walking towards the tube station, I saw all these people surrounding a man, but I could not understand what was  really happening. I was very curious so I stopped and moved a bit closer, to realise that the man everyone was surrounding was actually creating art in the middle of the streets.

The first thing I noticed was how great he had created the perfect shape to seem like he was drawing on a piece of paper, but taking a closer look, it turns out that he was painting on the actual floor of the pavement. Even though the surface of the floor was not smooth, his work was very clean and his colours very soft. His use of different colours of charcoal was excellent making his final result look even smoother. I  loved how he had very limited materials, no canvas, no paper but still, he managed to create a very beautiful drawing and get the attention of a number of people, including myself.

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After observing for a few minutes, I continued walking towards the tube station, but I was still thinking about that man. More specifically, I was thinking about his reasons for creating art. Of course he was doing it for the money as well, but why drawing on the floor? If instead of drawing on the floor he used paper, he would then have his own small collection, and could even start selling his works. Drawing on the floor in London only means one thing. His art piece will last for one day maximum. Either the unexpected rain will wash it away after a few hours, or when he finishes his art and leaves, people will simply walk all over his art without noticing it was there.

But I am sure he was well aware of that and simply chose to draw on the floor because in my opinion he did not really care. All he cared about was his passion and will to create. He was simply living the moment, doing what he loved , experimenting and using his passion to create something interesting. To express himself and sent a message through his art. If he only cared about money or fame, I am sure that he would create art id a different way. But he didn’t. He just did what he felt like doing, and that was to create something beautiful that was not permanent and would last for only a couple of hours, and that, in my opinion was the beauty of his work.

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Flavour so Beautiful

Have you ever tasted something so delicious that you felt like a small explosion took place inside your mouth? Well this is what an explosion of flavours literally looks like! 

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This is a Screen shot of Schwartz Flavour shots, “Sound of taste” advertisement

Its well known that different foods and spices are tasty and delicious, but who would imagine that they could be beautiful as well. This art audio-visual installation created by Schwartz Flavour Shots, is trying to illustrate how an explosion of flavour one tastes, literally looks like. For this Project, DJ MJ Cole, Filmmaker Chris Crains and pyrotechnics designers Machine Shop collaborated with Schwartz Flavour Shots to create this unique installation.

A combination of foods and spices were used for this installation to happen. Several tons of black pepper corns, cardamon, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli, basil, corn, salt and many other beautiful and colourful spices were placed in explosive bags, rigged to explode on certain music notes.

What I really love about this installation is the fact that numerous explosions can look not only powerful, but peaceful and beautiful at the same time. With the combination of this carefully selected music, food has never looked this appealing. I really like the attention in detail. More specifically, I enjoyed the high resolution shots of the different spices mixed together. From the close-up shots, you can see the details on the green basil leaves, and the way they are mixed with cumin seeds and all the other spices. From the long shots, details are not visible, which makes it interesting to see how spices have the ability to look like different colour powders   mixed together.

The Following video is a behind the scenes short video that  explains in detail, how the music composers managed to create peaceful music which brought together all the elements of this installation.

In my opinion, what makes this installation truly amazing, is the music used throughout the video. Music, is what brings all the other elements together and makes this installation ‘work’. When this project first started Schwartz asked the music composers to show how food feels through their music. So music was written with the intention of communicating what is like to taste something and developed in terms of intensity. The second step was to take the music written and use it to trigger explosions with herbs and spices. In music you can have different timbres that I guess relate to different flavours, and colours relate to different cords”MJ Cole (Composer) The way that worked was that when music was played, each key that was pressed resulted into an explosion. The main intention was to create an audio visual feast. So a matrix of spice sacks was used and then pyrotechnics were trigger in the bottom of the sacks.

 “So I hope people find it satisfying, vibrant, colourful, exciting thing to watch”, MJ Cole

In my opinion, MJ Cole and his team managed to do exactly that! What did you think?