creative

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

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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

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Firstly, I want to say  very big thank you to the lovely Dear Kitty. Some blog who was so generous to nominate Art Attack for the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award”

The rules for this award are very easy:        

Simply provide a link to and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award. Answer the ten questions already provided. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you enjoy reading. Provide links to your chosen blogs and let them know about their nomination. Finally include the award logo to your post

So, here are the questions

  • Your favorite colour: Grey
  • Your favorite animal: Dog
  • Your favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coca Cola
  • Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
  • Your favorite pattern: Houndstooth
  • Do you prefer getting or giving presents: Giving
  • Your favorite number: 7
  • Your favorite day of the week: Friday
  • Your favorite flower: Tulips
  • What is your passion: Art

My nominees are:

To my nominees: Don’t forget to include this image to your blog’s home page

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Thank you very much for reading,

Elli

Natural History Museum Red-Zone, Boring Zone?

One of the things I enjoy when having some free time, is visiting art exhibitions, galleries and museums. But this weekend, as I was reading Time Out magazine looking for a new exhibition to visit, I realised, that there is something about the word ‘museum’ that in a way made me ignore the specific event and continue with the rest of the arts-list. Do you know what I mean? As I started thinking about it, I believe that this occurred because of two reasons. Firstly Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. Moreover, they usually exhibit a collection of scientific, cultural or historic objects, rather than art pieces. And that brings me to my second point. As children, we all had been to a number of museum visits with our school, where we had to go around museums pretending to be interested where in fact we were all really bored and only waited for the time to pass so we could go home.

Because of that realisation, I decided to visit the Natural History Museum. It was not the first time thought. I have been to the one in New York and the one in London, but I was too young to remember them. So, I decided that it was a good opportunity to go again, and I am ver glad I did!

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Where should I start from? Probably the first thing I noticed. The amazing architecture of the museum. It is hard to pass by the Natural History Museum and not be amazed by it. Inside and out the building is simply wonderful. From the outside, the detail in form and colour is noticeable. The combination of geometric and round shapes along with a combination of red, blue and brown is what in my opinion creates this softness and makes the museums look traditional. The entrance, simply makes you stop and observe the huge facade and high, spired towers. The beautiful rounded arches and grand entrance are a perfect example of Romanesque architecture. The Central Hall, is created to be grand and spacious enough to display large mammals such as whales, elephants as well as extinct animals such as Dinosaurs.

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Extremely high ceilings, very large rooms and large stairs make the museum an extraordinary and kind of magical space. As you make your way inside the building, you move away from the traditional architecture which is replaced by more modern shapes and materials. In the Darwin space, glass is used both for large windows and for the colorful ceilings. The space is obviously designed based on the day light of the day, which is a part of the architectural design, as it comes in from the glass windows, doors and ceiling and lights the specific areas it was designed to light.

“There were many fascinating elements to explore: the sheer size of this valuable collection; the complexity of the scientists’ working environment, and their relationship to this collection – all bound together by the very contemporary concept of allowing the public to see behind the scenes” Anna Maria Indrio (Architecture team)

In this post, I will be focusing on the red zone, representing how the earth works. The reason why I chose to write about the specific department of the Museum is because it was the only department I was not that eager to visit and it turned out to be the best one. Everyone who has not been to the Natural History Museum is under the impression that it is a museum all about animals and dinosaurs. The ‘earth’ department though, is one that people should definitely visit.

Does the ‘earth’ zone still does not sound interesting? Take a look at its entrance

Scences from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3eJoQJ-ADA & personal footage edited by me

This department explores the ever-changing planet, discovering the natural forces that shape it, the treasures we take away from it, our negative and positive effect to it and its place and role in the universe. All these things sound very confusing, difficult to understand and definitely not something children would enjoy learning about. But what makes it so interesting is the way it has been put together. The way the earth works, is one 100% science, but the designers of the museum have managed to transform it into art. Everything on the red zone is made from scratch in order to illustrate the ‘story of the earth’ better. The walls of every room are painted in different colours, have different textures and texts on them, either drawn or projected. Every little object tells a story, but it does not work if people don’t make it work. In other words, every piece of the room is interactive. You have to press a button, or pull a string in order to see it working.

To give a clearer example, the following photograph is showing elements of the earth: Gravity, Ice, Water, Wind, Life.

Even though this might be ‘boring’ as a fact, the museum has managed to present it in an interesting way. In order to illustrate gravity, the top of the object moves, as if its falling. In order to understand ice, you have to place your hand to the second object and you feel the cold. When you move closer to the third one, you can see and hear running water. If you put your hand inside the forth object you feel the wind, and just by looking at the fifth one, you see a mirror (thus your self) and YOU represent life. For me, all these details are what make every part of the red zone interesting. With this interaction, children get the opportunity to learn by playing games. Adults are also interested in these activities, and the truth is, that by watching something that creative and interacting with it, there are more chances that the information will stay in your head.

Do you still believe that it is impossible for young children to enjoy a day in the museum? Take a better look: 

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Finally, the museums gift-shop is definitely something interesting to visit after viewing the rest of the exhibition. A large variety of stuffed animals, puzzles, board games, jewellery and many many more is offered. Small toys and objects that will keep your children busy and happy and at the same time provide important information about the earth, living organisms and science. Moreover, a big collection of books about the environment, planets and animals is available with amazing imagery and simple language that is understandable by children. Finally, there is a unique section of environmentally friendly objects and sweets that all have a ‘green message’ included, such as the following lollipops with different logos such as ‘stop waste’ or ‘go green’.

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I would definitely suggest to anyone to go to the Natural History Museum and spent the day learning more about our earth and all the living organisms that surround us, in a artistic, fun and interactive way. Parents should definitely take their children with them. You will be surprised by how much little kids will enjoy the specific museum and at the same time, how much they will learn. I wish I had counted how many times I heard children say ‘wowww’ during my time there.

For more information on the Natural History Museum, visit their website: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Thank you for reading,

Elli