The 151st anniversary of the founding of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be celebrated with a custom Google Doodle, the creative treatment of the Google logo featured on the search engine’s homepage. The Met-inspired animated Doodle will launch in the United States at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and be viewable for 24 hours. The Doodle will appear in more than 20 countries.
The last time I can recall entering an art exhibit that completely transported me to another world, I think I was here, or even here. So, yeah, it’s been a while. I nearly missed Madonna — not the pop star, but the first solo exhibition of work by The Haas Brothers — at Marianne Boesky Gallery, but I made a special trip after work just a few days before the exhibit closed on October 26th, because I knew, if the photos I’d seen were any indication, that I’d regret not having the opportunity to experience this whimsical group of flora and fauna in person. Even better: I had the gallery all to myself!
Madonna, which is also the title of the central figure in the gallery, features a new collection of beaded sculptures, created at a wide range of scales, from the intimate to the monumental, as well as two large-scale sculptures made with Portuguese Pele de Tigre marble.
The amazingly fun exhibition captures The Haas Brothers’ increasing interest in exploring nature and spirituality as part of their deep commitment to material experimentation and traditional craft techniques, while also encapsulating their vision of collaborative artmaking. Since founding The Haas Brothers in 2010, brothers Nikolai (Niki) and Simon have been guided by a vision of creative experimentation, spurning perceived artistic boundaries and embracing instead the limitlessness of imagination and innovation.
In the signature spirit of The Haas Brothers’ presentations, Madonna truly immerses viewers into an otherworldly realm, where fantastical animals and odd hybrids reside. Here, colorful sculptures and objects that resemble futuristic creatures are positioned among seemingly rare tropical plants, and connected into a cohesive environment through undulating platforms. Being amongst these creatures felt like I was exploring a natural history museum populated with fairytale beasts!
The featured works capture the Brothers’ wide-ranging artistic processes, from intricate beading techniques to monumental stonework to the incorporation of woven elements, and produce an incredibly tactile and evocative experience. The exhibition also highlights the artists’ diverse collaborations, including with workshops in California, South Africa, and Portugal, and encapsulates their deep engagement and support for those working in traditional craftsmanship.
The Haas Brothers were first introduced to beading in 2015, when they met a group of women artisans selling beadworks in a craft market in Cape Town, South Africa. They were enamored with both the complexity of the technique and the incredible artistry in the women’s work. Seizing the serendipity of the moment, the pair established a collaboration with the artisans, which led to the development of the Afreaks series, a group of beaded creatures that were shown at the Cooper Hewitt’s Design Triennial in 2016. Since then, this collaboration with the collective of women, who warmly go by The Haas Sisters, has grown and matured.
For Madonna, the collective supported the production of the featured beaded objects, guided by The Haas Brothers’ preparatory drawings, using a selection of Murano glass beads produced in Venice between 1880 and 1980, which the brothers purchased after the factory became defunct. As part of their work with different communities and artisans, The Haas Brothers establish fair pay systems that include both economic support for the creation of works as well as, in some instances, profit sharing from sales. That’s amazing!
The beadwork in the exhibition is augmented by two sculptures made with Portuguese Pele de Tigre marble: The Madonna (above, which combines beadwork and carved marble) and the piece which is first visible upon entering the gallery, a partially-embedded stone palm (below) entitled Michelle O Palma. The Brothers first came to stone carving in their youth, learning from their father, artist Berthold Haas, and recently returned to the material. The solid, smooth, and monumental nature of the stone works provides a powerful counterpoint to the more delicate and finely detailed beadworks and highlights the range of The Haas Brother’s practice.
Here too, community proves an important element, as The Haas Brothers’ engagement has helped spur the development of stone-carving as an economic engine at the quarry that they use.
Follow The Haas Brothers on Instagram Here: @thehaasbrothers!
If you happen to be a fan of character-based, pop culture collectibles — which includes dozens of items encompassing such must-haves as enamel pins, plushies, art toys, limited edition / designer vinyl toys and action figures, monsters, model kits, art prints, novelties and seemingly endless subcategories of amazing swag — then the Five Points Festival, which took place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn over the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd, 2018 is the only place you want to be. There’s a lot to distill in this recap, so we are going to get right to it. If you weren’t at Five Points Fest, here is just some of what you missed!
You can’t really talk about Five Points Fest without at least mentioning Kidrobot, acknowledged worldwide as the premier manufacturer and retailer of limited edition art toys, signature apparel and lifestyle accessories. Their booth was crammed full of goodies like these pocket collectibles.
Post Continues, With Hundreds More Toys and Cool Things, After The Jump!
Over the course of three weeks in September (though the exact beginning and completion dates are unknown to me), I watched Brazilian street artists (and twin brothers), Os Gemeos, paint the above murals, which cover the exposed facades of two buildings that border a vacant lot, located on the north side of West 14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. The murals portray two rival break dancing crews from the ’80s. I imagine that this fun piece, which is a great example of Os Gemeos very distinctive style, will stay up until someone decides to put up a building. Which could happen at any time.
This is what the murals looked like when I first walked past them, during the weekend of September 9th.
Hey what’s up. I’ve got some good news for all of my artist friends out there who wish they could catch a break when it comes to finding exposure for their art, or the elusive gallery representation. Our very favorite art gallery, Jonathan LeVine Projects (now located in beautiful downtown Jersey City) has issued an Open Call to Artists! It is pretty sweet.
It is no secret that LeVine has been the go-to destination for the very best in contemporary Pop and Street Art for over a decade. If you’ve ever thought that your art would be a perfect fit for the gallery, now’s your chance to get in on the action. Jonathan LeVine is looking for the world’s next great artist and wants to see if you have what it takes. The gallery’s first (of what will become an annual) art competition is now open to artists ages 18 and older, and from all backgrounds and levels of experience. Whip out your portfolios and show off your best stuff!
To submit your work, you’ll have to visit This Link. Artworks will only be considered if they are submitted via this platform.
Here are the major guidelines:
- There is an Entry Fee of $45 for 3 submissions ($10 for each additional submission)
The following must be included with each submission:
- 1 image for two dimensional works and 2 images for 3 dimensional works
- Work details (title, year, medium, dimensions, price). There is a size limit of 6 x 6 feet for Paintings and 6 x 4 feet for Sculptures.
More information is available at the link above. Once the deadline has passed and all artworks are received, a selection of submissions will be chosen for exhibition in Delusional, a group show highlighting the finalists. Delusional, will open on August 9th, 2017.
Jonathan LeVine will personally choose first, second and third place winners and award the following prizes:
1st Place – Solo Exhibition at Jonathan LeVine Projects
2nd Place – Participation in a group show at Jonathan LeVine Projects
3rd Place – A week of promotion via Jonathan LeVine Projects website and social media platforms
The Submission Deadline is July 5th, 2017, so get to work! Good luck to all!
The Flag Art Foundation is currently hosting Changing Subjects, a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Scandinavian artists Elmgreen & Dragset. Changing Subjects, designed by the artists, presents new and existing works from the duo’s twenty-year-long collaboration that address existential issues linked to identity, sexuality, and mortality, as well as an examination of social value systems and the expectations that surround them.
Changing Subjects investigates the multiple meanings of the word “subject” as a noun. In grammatical terms, the subject can be a noun functioning as one of the main components of a clause, making it the element about which the rest of the clause is predicated. In turn, the predicate is the part of a sentence or clause that expresses what is said of the subject on its own. In the context of Changing Subjects, the subject of each work exists independently of the others, yet when viewed together, they shift positions, creating a complex interconnection between the autonomous works.
The works in the exhibition, ranging in date of creation from 1998 to 2016, collectively guide visitors on a non-linear journey through various life stages. However, the sculptures and installations do not mark momentous occasions; on the contrary, they show introspective, unspectacular moments, by way of a figurative representation, by the use of a minimalist symbolic language, or by employing the actual materials to which they refer. Even when a lifelike human form is not shown, presence is implied through absence. The repeated use of an antiseptic material like stainless steel underscores a sense of a clinical study and evokes solitary feelings of abandonment.
More Photos After The Jump!
Ah, a pink-hued water tower, what a pleasant object to spot on the skyline. I shot these photos from the 9th floor patio of the Flag Art Foundation, which is located at 545 West 25th Street (Between 10th and 11th Avenues), so this tower is also going to be somewhere on the south side of West 25th Street, in that same block.
You can see it in the background of this photo, which is of an Elmgreen & Dragset sculpture called Watching (2016).