Kiff Slemmons‘ neckpiece Circumspect (2003) is an object that does what it is and is what it does. Composed of lenses and mirrors collected and categorized for a purpose that the collecting itself reveals, it is both a tool of taxonomic assessment and a record of a taxonomic class of useful and evocative things.
Denying the role of jewelry as something only to be looked at, it meets and counters the gaze — returning agency to those being seen. It also asks us to emulate what it facilitates: the art of careful looking as a way of understanding.
Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.
Oh boy, here’s a good one! This week’s Video Clip, courtesy of Belgian rockers Black Mirrors will coax you right out of any residual funk, because it is called “Funky Queen” — and it kicks ass all over the place! If Janis Joplin, Jack White, Anouk, Nirvana and Queens Of The Stone Age ever had the chance to breed, Black Mirrors might have been their very attractve spawn. Black Mirrors is Belgium’s answer to pretty much every rock band out there: fronted by the stunning vocalist Marcella Di Troia, these guys manage to gather an endless amount of influences which have been ruling the rock n’ roll universe for decades, combining them seamlessly into Black Mirrors‘ very own addictive sound.
The artfully-shot-in-black-and-white performance-based video for “Funky Queen” was filmed and edited by Van’s Ography and it perfectly showcases Di Troia’s incredible vocal chops, on-stage charisma and undeniable sass! “Funky Queen” is the title song from Black Mirrors‘ upcoming 4-song EP, due out on March 3rd, 2017 via Napalm Records! Like the band on the FaceBook at This Link! Enjoy!
If you are planning a trip to the Guggenheim Museum to see the On Kawara Exhibit – which is pretty sweet – you may be disappointed to discover that the Art Nazis are out in full force, forbidding photography in the Rotunda. And, frankly, that sucks, because if I can’t take pictures, it’s like I wasn’t even there.
Fortunately for those of us to like to capture and share the memory of seeing of great art, the Guggenheim is also currently hosting the very fantastic Infinite Possibility: Mirror Works and Drawings -1974-2014 featuring the work of Persian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, whose artistic practice weds the geometric patterns and cut-glass mosaic techniques of her Iranian heritage with the rhythms of modern Western geometric abstraction.
Monir in her Tehran Studio (1975) Working on Heptagon Star
This is the first U.S. museum exhibition of mirror works and drawings by Farmanfarmaian (b. Qazvin, Iran, 1922) and it was also my first introduction to her work, which is just amazing. To provide some background on this accomplished artist, Monir spent formative years (1945 to 1957) working in New York, during which she met artists Milton Avery, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, and, later, Andy Warhol, among others. She returned to Iran in 1957.
There, she further developed her artistic sensibility through encounters with traditional craftsmanship, indigenous art forms such as Turkoman jewelry and clothing, coffee house paintings (a popular form of Iranian narrative paintings), and the technique of reverse-glass painting, resulting in a period of artistic discovery that culminated in commissions in Iran and exhibitions in Europe and the United States.
Mirror Detail (Above) and Study (Below)
The Islamic Revolution in 1979 marked the beginning of Monir’s 26-year exile in New York, during which she focused on drawing, collage, commissions, and carpet and textile design. In 2004, when she finally returned to Iran, she reestablished her studio there and resumed working with some of the same craftsmen she had collaborated with in the 1970s.
The exhibit includes plaster and mirror reliefs, large-scale mirror sculptures the artist refers to as “geometric families,” and works on paper, revealing the central role drawing has played in Monir’s practice and focusing on a sculptural and graphic oeuvre developed over more than 40 years (many examples of which have not been displayed publicly since the 1970s).
Monir with her Mirror Ball Sculptures, Seen Below
This body of work is characterized by a merging of visual and spatial experience, coupled with the aesthetic traditions of Islamic architecture and decoration. Her use of geometry as form allows for, in the artist’s words, “infinite possibility.”
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings 1974–2014 will be on Exhibit Through June 3rd, 2015 at the Guggenheim Museum, Located at 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street) in New York City.
We spotted this fantastic Mid-Century Design Service Bar at an event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and had to take a snap! The design would look great as part of any retro or modern decor, but in this case, we think that the carpet’s print reflects onto the mirrors to make the orbs look like a constellation of planets! Very Cool!
Mirror Stratum (1966) by Robert Smithson (1938 – 1973) is made up of Stacked Mirrors on a Formica-Covered Base and makes for such a lovely, pyramid-shaped reflective thing to try to get decent photos of. The reflection you see slightly in the above photos is a fragment of the phrase, “Wall Pitted By a Single Rifle Shot,” which is a caption (itself a work of art by Lawrence Weiner) written high across the wall closest to the sculpture.
On July 20, 1973, Smithson died in a plane crash, while surveying sites for his work Amarillo Ramp in the vicinity of Amarillo, Texas. He was 35 years old. Despite his early death, and relatively few surviving major works, Smithson has a following amongst many contemporary artists.
Mirror Stratum By Robert Smithson is part of the permanent collection at The Museum Of Modern Art in NYC.
Mirror: All of This and Nothing IV, Bonfire: Cold Night (All Photos By Gail. Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
In the Chelsea Gallery District, there is a huge advantage to having a street level, store front space, in that it attracts a lot of passers-by for whom the featured exhibit may not necessarily be on their radar. This past Saturday was not the first time that we have been drawn into the Magnan Metz Gallery based on a casual glance into the window. The tableau pictured above is what we saw as we walked west on 26th Street, the pull of which could not be resisted. Because, Bonfire in the Gallery.
In Big Brass/Light Opera, artist Amelia Biewald transforms the gallery space into an 18th century European parlor room, recreating the period’s lush opulence and sophistication.
Heavy Weather, with Le Petit Mort Background, Right
However, the glamorous presentation is askew as the encapsulated scene has the tell-tale signs of a rogue stag run amok, a chaos ensuing as a result of a sparring within the space.
Amidst the knocked over furniture, wigs, and fans the now expired stag, Heavy Weather is suspended upside down having been brought to the ground by the weight of his own antlers, its presence within the room signifying a complete arrest of time.
Heavy Weather with Seduced and Abandoned, Far Right
Heavy Weather, Detail
Inspired by the visual intricacies found in historical masterpieces such as Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas (1656), Biewald uses similar visual cues that allude to an outside viewer within the narrative forming a discord between perspectives.
All of This and Nothing III
Generating further tension are five vintage picture frames inlaid with mirrors and decorated with the heads of deer (Series Title: All of This and Nothing). Looking into the mirrors, the heads form a curious push and pull through the reciprocity of gazes. The scene is further stratified as the viewer establishes a context within the composition whilst moving about the mirrored space, becoming both the viewer and subject. Within these notions of perception the complete narrative exists in a plane somewhere in-between the multiple perspectives.
All of This and Nothing IV
All of This and Nothing V
Big Brass / Light Opera is an amazing exhibit that I very highly recommend you try and see before it close in just over a week.
Amelia Biewald’s Big Brass/Light Opera will be on Exhibit through November 22nd at Magnan Metz Gallery, Located at 521 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Surrealist sculptor Scott Hove has become famous for his fantastic fake cakes and cake-like sculptures that he creates using carved foam and traditional cake decorating tools. Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco is currently showcasing his latest works in a highly topical exhibit entitled Guns & Ecstasy.
In addition to a fully immersive, single person Cake Installation that Hove calls “A Pentagonal Disco Infinity Chamber” — and which features multiple angled mirrors and a spinning disco ball — the exhibit includes a series of twelve confectionery assault weapon sculptures created in light of the recent shootings and gun violence in the United States.