Tag Archive | Art

Modern Art Monday Presents: Portrait of Jacob Meyer de Haan By Paul Gauguin

Portrait of Jacob Meyer de Haan
Photo By Gail

This portrait from 1889 depicts one of Paul Gauguin’s closest friends, the Dutch painter Jacob Meyer de Haan, in the pose of a thinker. The painting includes two books that reflect Meyer de Haan’s preoccupations with religion and philosophy: John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Thomas Carlysle’s Sartor Resartus. Carlysle’s central character is called Diogenes, after the Greek philosopher who searched by lamplight for an honest man, and the prominent lamp shown here may extend the reference. This work was originally intended to form part of  a decorative panel for the door of an inn at Le Pouldo — a small coastal village in France where both artists stayed — and was to be hung next to a companion self-portrait by Gauguin that is now in the collection of the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

 

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Nutaku Adult Gaming Platform Hosts Hentai Is Art Press Event!

Bushwick Street Art Box Truck
Hentai-Inspired Art on Box Truck, Bushwick, Brooklyn (Art By MAST, All Photos By Gail)

Having lived in NYC for 30 years, it’s easy to be all jaded and imagine that I’ve seen just about everything. But writing this blog always affords me an opportunity to discover something interesting and fun. Getting to know the works of Japanese artists like Takashi Murakami and Mr. introduced me to Manga, a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, but I wasn’t really hip to something called Hentai, which is, essentlally, Manga porn, until I was invited to a pretty fun party sponsored by Nutaku Dot Net. Nutaku is the world’s largest English gaming platform dedicated to 18+ titles — and Hentai games are their thing. I like to tell myself: It’s not about what you don’t know; it’s about what you don’t know that you don’t know. And I’m always ‘game’ for an enlightening experience!

Hentai Is Art Signage

There is most definitely a taboo surrounding adult gaming and Hentai (Instagram will not even allow users to tag a post with the word, ask me how I know). It sheds light on the ways in which the topics of sex and eroticism still make Americans uncomfortable. But sex and sexuality undoubtedly hold a place in art, because we see it every time we visit a museum. I think it’s time for everyone to loosen up, and so does Nutaku, so the company put together a two-day pop up exhibit/experience called Hentai is Art, which took place on June 29th and 30th, 2018  in the burgeoning neighborhood where Chinatown meets Tribeca. Hentai is Art was all about presenting Hentai-influenced art and gaming as something that’s fun and imaginative which should be encouraged, explored and embraced rather than shied away from.

Hentai Pop Up Signage

At the Hentai is Art pop up event, visitors were able to immerse themselves in the world of Hentai art with a range of styles and mediums to get turned on to. The ways in which Hentai is breaking into the mainstream — and helping to break down barriers — were showcased throughout the exhibit with virtual reality experiences,  historically-inspired Hentai works, graffiti art, and a unique “toy” showcase. Please enjoy my photos from the press party on the eve of the exhibit’s opening to the public!

Hentai Is Art Installation View

On one side of gallery space, there was a terrific display of images by talented digital artists who have reinterpreted a selection famous masterpieces in the Hentai style.

Mona Lisa by SquChan

Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa by SquChan

The Birth of Venus By Mezio

Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus By Mezio

The Swing By Webnatu

Jean-Honore Fragonard’s The Swing By Webnatu.

These works are really fun and playful and would inspired viewers to check out the original paintings!

Painting Detail

It looks like a dick, because it is a dick.

Hentai Is Art Installation View

Hentai gaming has also inspired street art, as Nutaku hit Bushwick, Brooklyn’s famous graffiti scene.

Bushwick Street Art

Detail of Work By Mast

Bushwick Street Art

Bushwick Mural Depicting a Chibi Style Nutaku Tan By Artist Pursue

Bushwick Street Art

Nutaku Tan Mural by Artist Key Detail

Installation View

And then, there were the tentacles. Tentacle erotica is a measured motif among Hentai enthusiasts, and what better way to explore that domain than with these very imaginative sex toys!

Ilka The Tentacle

Ilka The Tentacle (above) and Tako The Tentacle (below) are molded from very soft silicone.

Tako The Tentacle

Winstons Tongue

This one is called Winston’s Tongue, and it is designed for use by Sci-fi / Horror afficneaods who enjoy entertaining monster fantasies. Just being serious.

Jason the Demogorgon

And for everyone who can’t shut up about the Netflix series, Stranger Things, this one is called Jason the Demogorgon! Very scary!

Naughty Rituals Game

Fans and newbies alike were also able to experience the virtual world of Hentai Gaming by checking out games with titles like Naughty Kingdom and Naughty Rituals. Sadly, I am not able to include any screenshots of these games with losing this blog’s PG-rating!

Gamers
Hentai is Art Party Attendees Discuss Their Love of Gaming!

Cocktails

Of course, a party is not a party without food and alcohol, and this event went all out. Check out this spread!

Cocktails
Free-flowing Wine and Proseco, and also, Delicious Water!

Sushi Rolls

OMG, the food was just insane!

Sushi Rolls
Food

Are you craving Japanese food now? You should be. Nutaku: They know how to host a party.

Hentai Mouse Pad

Upon departure, all attendees received a gift bag that included this amazing Mouse Pad, as well as the T-Shirt you see below. With their enthusiast embrace of Hentai titles, Nutaku is pushing the boundaries of gaming, art and sexuality by partnering with artists and game developers from around the world, bringing global artistry and deviant indie style to the adult gaming industry. As the 18+ gaming scene grows, Nutaku is bringing the highest quality titles to a passionate fan base that shares an appreciation for Hentai and digital art!

Hentai Is Art T-Shirt

Modern Art Monday Presents: Peter Fischli, Snowman

Snowman Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

Where else but the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art could you see a preserved Snowman in the middle of a summer heat wave? I ask yez.

Snowman Sculpture
Damn You, Reflective Glass Case

Snowman (2016) a sculpture composed of an actual snowman encased in a glass-door freezer, by Peter Fischli (Swiss, b. 1952) and his longtime collaborator David Weiss (Swiss, 1946–2012). This Snowman is an updated version of a 1987 site-specific work by Fischli and Weiss that was commissioned by a German thermic power plant whose energy—in the form of heat, paradoxically — was used to keep the snowman perpetually frozen. Though a snowman is, as Fischli observes, a “sculpture that almost anyone can make” simply by rolling three spheres of snow and setting them atop one another, Fischli and Weiss’s Snowman is dependent on a technically complex apparatus for its year-round subsistence. Over the course of three decades of collaboration, the two artists explored and exploited contradictions such as this one and investigated the extraordinary potential of ordinary objects and situations.

Snowman Sculpture Head Detail
Snowman Sculpture Head Detail

Snowman is part of Peter Fischli’s Artist’s Choice presentation in the sculpture garden, which also includes a selection of other works in MoMA’s collection alongside Fischli’s original pieces.

Snowman Sculpture With Viewers

Urs Fischer, Things at Gagosian Gallery Pop Up Space

Things Front View
All Photos By Gail

The Gagosian Gallery chose an empty storefront at the the southeast corner or Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street for a Pop Up exhibit by Swiss artist Urs Fisher. The ad hoc gallery space contained exactly one work of art, a life-size Aluminum Rhinoceros entitled Things, whose form is adorned with an array of familiar, functional objects, ranging from a toilet to a handbag. The objects are either imbedded in the hide of the great beast, or they seem to float on its surface, as if attracted by a magnetic force. I went to check out Things on the penultimate day of its exhibition, which happened to be after work on a Friday.

Things Back and Right Side

Here’s some background on Things, and its meaning, from the Gagosian website:

“Amid the bustle of midtown Manhattan, a rhinoceros can be glimpsed through tall, arched windows at street level. Various man-made objects — including a copy machine, a car door, a handbag, a vacuum cleaner, a shovel, and a table — seem to float right through the creature, as if released from Earth’s gravitational pull.

Things Photocopier Detail

Carved out of aluminum, this barrage of incongruous items forms a single, continuous unit, anchored by the rhinoceros, which stands its ground. Produced at life size from a 3D scan of a taxidermy animal, its furrowed visage looms from a height of more than ten feet.

Things Back End

Things considers the ways that objects and forces — from plastic bottles and Wi-Fi signals to memories, history, and emotion — gather around and pass through our bodies as we move through the world, creating countless versions of reality that are specific to each of us.

Things Rear Leg Detail

Things Front and Right Side

Things Toilet

Like the rhinoceros, we absorb all that comes into our vicinity, and in the process we ourselves undergo a constant, often undetectable metamorphosis. Existence itself is thus presented as an accumulation, a collective gathering of physical and metaphorical baggage.

Things Right Rear

In his use of traditional materials and current technologies, Urs Fischer’s art tests the boundaries of possibility and perception. He has used clay, steel, wax, bread, dirt, vegetables, and fruit, among other substances, often to extreme paradoxical visual effect, revealing a keen attunement to the infinite mutability of image and form. The vicissitudes of objecthood are further complicated when Fischer’s sculptures are installed outside of the typical white-walled gallery.

Things Back Detail

In a courtyard, a vacated bank, an open field, his extroverted works have acted as portals into the uncanny. Here, the portal opens right between Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park. An extraordinary creature made up of ordinary parts, Things transports unsuspecting passersby, if just for a moment, into a world that is at once prehistoric, digital, and mysteriously uncharted.

Things Head Detail

Things was produced in a series of three identical pieces, and all three have been sold to private collectors.

Things Front and Left Side

Modern Art Monday Presents: Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With

The Problem We All Live With
All Photos By Gail

After resigning from his forty-seven year tenure with The Saturday Evening Post in 1963, Norman Rockwell (18941978) embraced the challenge of addressing the nation’s pressing concerns in pared down, reportorial style. The Problem We All Live With (1963), his illustration for Look magazine, is based upon an actual event, when six-year-old Ruby Bridges was escorted by US Marshalls to her first day at an all-white New Orleans school. Rockwell’s depiction of the vulnerable but dignified girl clearly condemns the actions of those who protest her presence and object to desegregation.

White Dress
White Dress Worn By Model Lynda Gunn

Rockwell commissioned this white dress, and two others like it, in different sizes from a local Stockbridge, Massachusetts seamstress. He was not sure yet of the age or size of his model, and he typically posed several people in the same role before deciding who best fit the part. For the child in The Problem We All Live With, he ultimately selected his neighbor, Lynda Gunn.

All Photos Taken at The New York Historical Society in Manhattan.

HomerBob: The Homer Simpson SpongeBob MashUp Mural On Stanton Street

Homer Bob
All Photos By Gail

I’ve been noticing this mural out the window of the M15 SBS bus as it speeds up Allen Street during my journey home from work on selected evenings. From the look of it, I assumed this was just a mural of Homer Simpson’s face peaking out from the side of a building on Stanton Street. But on closer inspection, it proved to be much more.

Homer Bob

Anyone who is up on their pop culture would recognize the hand at the left as belonging to the beloved cartoon character — and star of his own Broadway musical — SpongeBob SquarePants, and when you closely examine Homer’s face, he has quite obviously taken on the complexion of SpongeBob. Thus, this is HomerBob, the creation of street artist Jerkface.

Homer Bob

Homer Bob

He’s just next to the MeatBall Shop! Yummy!

Homer Bob

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jasper Johns, Between The Clock and The Bed

Johns Between the Clock and The Bed
All Photos By Gail

Jasper Johns began to incorporate a cross-hatch pattern in his paintings after seeing it on a car: “It had all the qualities that interest me — literalness, repetitiveness, an obsessive quality, order with dumbness, and the possibility of a complete lack of meaning.” Using encaustic, a method of paint that suspends pigment in hot wax, Johns created lush, layered paintings with richly textured surfaces.

Munch Between the Clock and The Bed
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait Between the Clock and The Bed

Between The Clock and The Bed (1981) reference’s Self-Portrait Between The Clock and The Bed (1940 – 43), one of artist Edvard Munch’s last works.

Jasper Johns Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art NYC. Edvard Munch Photographed in the Met Breuer, NYC.