Tran Nguyen

30 11 2011

This artists work is an odd mixture. There is collage mixed in with fantasy. Especially fantasy from illustrations of teen books from the 1950s. Or at least that’s my take. The colours are muted, almost washed out. But the images are striking. An odd contrast. Tran Nguyen. Check this artist out.

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Fabrice Wittner

30 11 2011
This is one artist’s reaction to a tragedy in his community. He speaks better than I about  his state of mind.
After the 6.3 quake occurred in Canterbury NZ, people were involved to help their neighbors, to rebuild houses, to clean the street or to make donations. I wanted to contribute by doing something too, giving what I was able to, some of my time and skills. Giving support to my friends, to the men and women I met, who told me their stories. I liked somehow to show this support and admiration to all those people I don’t even know but who stand strong facing this drama with courage and humility.It’s also important to me not to forget the loss when the main thought is about to rebuild.
I might be a ridiculous rain drop in the ocean of help Christchurch got from every part of the country, but I definitely wanted to be a part of it.
This project has been submitted to the Christchurch City Council. The donation of prints didn’t find any reply yet – everybody can understand that they may have some bigger preoccupations right now – but I’d still like to give it some exposure.

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Franz Radziwill

29 11 2011

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He has been called an Expressionist. All these labels are soup cans. Its only a way of organizing your shop. I like Franz Radziwill. There is an odd mixture in his work. Collage, surrealism, gothic. A bit of Henry Rousseau. He has a story to tell in his work. Not content with showing he wants to tell you a story. His work is filled with drama. And some sentimentality.

I included this video because I love the way they present an artist on the news in Europe. They are all so pleased. Almost jumping out of the set at you. I’ve seen it on Belgian, Dutch, Spanish and German television. Not so much with the French.





Yoko Ono

29 11 2011

Yoko Ono is an iconic figure in American culture. Her relationship with John Lennon has made her one of the most despised women in the world. And yet she has done little to deserve it. Her art seems pretentious. Or brave. She has been a very provocative figure. Never warm and fuzzy.

Most of her work is conceptual art. By nature, it is controversial. She is also part of the installation art world. And then there is her audio work. A lot of her singing sounds like screaming. You have to listen to a little of John Cage to get an idea where she’s coming from.

Yoko may not be your cup of tea. I admit there is a bitter taste to her ideas and her art. An acquired taste. But like most artists/or non-artists who put themselves far out there, I shall give her the benefit of the doubt. As long as they don’t take themselves too seriously. And I’m a big John Lennon fan.

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Till Nowak

28 11 2011

Its called Delivery. I’ve never heard of this film or the film maker. Until 5 minutes ago. In a phone call. A voice I didn’t recognize. Hello. Watch it. Excuse me. You’re into being depressed. Watch it. And that’s that. As they say. When you step out of the theatre. And realize you’re living inside of a cartoon show. I watched the film. The phone rang again. Hello. Its not depressing, I said. The voice replied. I never said it was.





Money corrupts? Absolutely.

27 11 2011

There is something wrong. With the art world for one. Its the money. Albert Henry Robinson was a Canadian artist until his death in 1956. He spent some time in his younger days in Paris. Studying art. 1903. With American artist T. W. Marshall. There must have been more artists than Parisians at the turn of the century. But there is no mention that he ever met any of the great artists of the time. In short, he was a small town artist. Recently some of his work went on sale. A couple found his paintings in their attic. One piece sold for $22,500. Another for $47,500. Who is reaping the rewards for this artist’s work? Not he. He be dead. Not his immediate family. Maybe his grandchildren. Most likely the harvest of his work will find its way into the coffers of banks or galleries. I think there is a lesson here. If you want to become successful in the arts. In Canada. (And maybe other places.) Become a banker.





Franz Roh

27 11 2011

Apparently Roh was the one who coined the phrase ‘magic realism’. He was an art critic and photographer. He was associated with the ideas of Husserl and Heidegger. (Maybe they’re easier to read in German.)

“the autonomy of the objective world around us was once more to be enjoyed; the wonder of matter that could crystallize into objects was to be seen anew.”

That of course would be a short lived appreciation. If the world around us was so separated from us, we were separated from it. And ourselves.

But I like Roh’s work. It is very inventive. And brave, I think. Given the world (the rise of Fascism, and two world wars) he tried to work in. The paintings here are not Roh’s work (Franz Radziwill) but he had plenty to say about them.

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