Tag Archive | Swans

Fatal Attraction: Photographs By Piotr Uklański at the Met

Lips
All Photos By Gail

During our most recent Art Safari to the vast and spectacular Met, we were thrilled by Fatal Attraction, an exhibit of photography from the New York–based artist Piotr Uklański (born Poland, 1968). This exhibition, the first to survey Uklański’s photography, locates his work with the camera at the center of his artistic practice. Reveling in moribund or marginal artistic languages from a position at once ironic and sincere, the artist simultaneously subverts and pays homage to defunct modes of expression.

Flame

Uklański’s underappreciated yet historically significant series The Joy of Photography (1997–2007) explores clichés of popular photography using the kitschy subjects and hackneyed effects of Eastman Kodak’s how-to manual for the serious amateur.

Geese
Swans, Intentionally Blurry

Whereas artists of the 1980s, such as Richard Prince, appropriated such images by rephotographing them to reveal their constructed nature, Uklański remade them, in a manner akin to slightly irreverent cover versions of songs that bring out hidden or repressed aspects of his source material.

Psychedelic Skull and Crossbones

In this way, the artist both acknowledges appropriation’s endgame — that there are no new pictures under the sun — while creating a space for the creation of new works.

Waterfall

As an example, here is a blurb from the exhibit that accompanies this photograph of a Waterfall.

“As a photographic subject, the waterfall is so ubiquitous that it is invisible – a natural form that has been subsumed into an image via millions of snapshot mementos, postcards, and artistic renderings. Instead of looking for the impossible – a “new” picture of a waterfall – Uklanski presents the viewer with a dutifully exact representation of the camera’s capabilities as prescribed by Eastman Kodak – until the 1980s, as powerful a shaper of how Americans saw the world as Disney or any presidency. In conflating the roles of the amateur, professional and fine artist, Uklanski was also commenting, ironically – from a European perspective – on how Americans can turn even leisure activities into forms of work and self-improvement.”

Sunset

Tulips
Tulips, Intentionally Blurry

Fatal Attraction: Photographs by Piotr Uklański, will be on Exhibit Through August 16th, 2015 in Gallery 851, 2nd Floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Located at 1000 Fifth Ave at 81st Street, New York, NY.

Fatal Attraction Signage

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Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick Comes to Discovery Center Times Square

Nathan Working In Studio2
Nathan Sawaya (Photo By Erica Ann, Image Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya, All Other Photos By Gail Except Where Noted)

In the span of three short years, Lawyer-turned-LEGO® Brick artist Nathan Sawaya has gone from having New York’s first solo exhibition comprised entirely of LEGO bricks to unveiling the world’s biggest and most elaborate display of LEGO art, ever. If you need assistance like Nathan, make sure to call these family lawyers. You can also visit Slip And Fall Lawyers Philadelphia for more inforamtion. You can see Sawaya’s massive and mind blowing exhibit, The Art of The Brick, now through January 5th, 2014 at the Discovery Center Museum in Times Square.

Art of the Brick Exhibit Signage

I was lucky to be invited to a cocktail party and preview of the exhibit last week, a couple of days before the show officially opened on June 14th, and it was so nice to have a good amount to time to stroll through this nine gallery exhibit, taking tons of photos and not having to contend with too much of a crowd. What a treat! Here’s little preview of what you’ll see in this exhibit of over 100 LEGO Brick sculptures.

Munch's The Scream
Edvard Munch’s The Scream

The First gallery you’ll enter is called Paint By Bricks, where you’ll see both flat and 3D interpretations of famous artworks such as The Mona Lisa, American Gothic and The Scream. These LEGO ‘Paintings’ represent an entirely new frontier for Sawaya’s work and they are very cool and painstakingly detailed.

Detail from Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Detail from Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring
Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring

Venus De Milo

Next, you will move into The Sculpture Garden, where you’ll encounter dozens of unbelievably authentic looking versions famous sculptures including The Venus De Milo and one of the Easter Island head sculptures as well as an extensive variety of African and Indian artifacts, The Sphinx and The Greek Parthenon. There’s also a fun  example of a very famous modern art sculpture seen a few photos below.

Michelangelos David

Easter Island Head
This one is massive!

Marcel Duchamp Fountain
Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain

Sitting Buddha
Sitting Buddha, India

It’s interesting how these LEGO artworks create a type of optical illusion, where, if you look at them and squint a bit, they look remarkably like the originals! Just try it for yourself!

Artists Studio Easle

Up next is The Artist’s Studio.

LEGO Peace Sign by Nathan Sawaya
LEGO Peace Sign

Swimmer in LEGO
Swimmer

In the Metamorphosis gallery, I noticed several sculptures that I had seen previously at Sawaya’s exhibits at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea. They were nevertheless transformed by being placed in this alternate setting, as is the case with Swimmer, above.

Nathan Sawaya Self Portrait
Self Portrait (Photo By Erica Ann, Image Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya)

Nathan Sawaya Yellow
Yellow (Photo By Erica Ann, Image Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya)

The piece above, showing a man ripping open his torso to reveal LEGO Brick organs, is perhaps Sawaya’s best known and most iconic sculpture.

Sawaya Human Condition

The Human Condition is a fun gallery. I had seen a few of these pieces in previous exhibits as well.

Crowd Eye

You can only see that this “crowd” of tiny figures incorporates the image of human eye if you squat down to view it at eye level. Clever!

Nathan Sawaya Human Condition

Lego Skulls

The mood, literally, turns a bit darker and more existential in a gallery called Through the Darkness.

LEGO Acrobat

It wasn’t easy to get good shots in this room due the darkness and the fact that a flash ruins the effect of the dim lighting on the sculptures. Small kids might be a little scared in this room if they afraid of the dark, so be sure to hold their hands.

LEGO Dinosaur

Long, Long Ago has just one sculpture, a room-length Dinosaur skeleton! Kids will love it!

LEGO Brick Liberty

City of Dreams pays homage to Nathan’s adopted hometown of New York City. Everyone seemed to want to pose for photos in this exhibit’s penultimate gallery.

I Art New York

LEGO Santa Face

In the final gallery of the exhibit, It Starts with One Brick, you’ll see contributed works from kids and local artists as well as a few additional LEGO portraits by Nathan.

LEGO Swans

LEGO Swans

LEGO Portrait of Andy Warhol

LEGO Portrait of Andy Warhol

LEGO Hand

Finally, a giant LEGO hand holds individual Yellow LEGO Brick which visitors can write their names on in order to be an official participant the exhibit!

Gail Worley LEGO Brick

Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick runs until January 5th of next year, so you have six entire months to see it, but tickets are selling out so don’t wait too long to schedule your visit! It is a fun time for the entire family and despite the size of the exhibit you can walk it leisurely in an hour.

Ticket prices are: $20.50 for Adults, $17.50 for Seniors 65+ and $15.50 for Children (4-12 yrs). Visit Discovery TSX Dot Com to purchase timed entry tickets and for more information. Discovery Times Square is located at 226 W 44th Street (Between 7th and 8th Avenues), New York, NY 10036. Exhibit Hours Are:
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Final Entry to the Exhibit is 1 Hour Prior To Closing.