Editors' Pick: Imagination Awakening

April 1, 2015

The first trimester of 2015 is now over and done, leaving behind three quite exciting months of art and culture. March itself started ambitiously, with a number of art fairs and some interesting auction moments you can follow through our site, while galleries have stirred it up with fresh artists, curatorial solutions and art bursting in color, as it should be in the first month of the sunny season. With the spring awakening, therefore, we’ve had Widewalls thematic moments, dramatic features and selected exhibitions to share with you, provoking the thought and alluring the spirit into falling even deeper in love with art.

International Women’s Day brought a number of inspirational articles in our magazine, from a feminist Edit-a-thon, to a selection of Power colectresses. What we believe to be attention worthy is another, non-ranking selection of contemporary female sculptors, who cross the limit of the daring, changing our perspectives and shaping the art scene. They are the now, but also the future.

The feminine week preceded the darker one, inspired by the Friday 13, where we evoked daemons of street art, focusing on the devilish corners of artistic inspiration. To lighten the mood, our feature section had a wonderful breakdown of connections between street art and music, suggesting, or rather - guessing - who likes what kind of music from the pool of famous and celebrated urban artists.

Widewalls Podcast seventh edition featured one of the artists we love and follow - Logan Hicks, who shared with us his views on art and life.

Finally, exhibitions we feel deserved attention include new contemporary expressions in painting and drawing, but also a historical overview of photography made with the legendary Leica. ArtNowNY had a wonderful Urbanology exhibition, which confirmed the status of the urban art movement once again as the movement of the moment. And Stephen Romano Gallery presented latest works of El Gato Chimney, a series of illustrative, wonderful, insanely imaginative works, demonstrating how human fancy will never endure any restrictions.

Scroll down through our picks from March, and stay inspired throughout the crazy month that’s coming!

10 Contemporary Female Sculptors

Thinking about the contemporary sculptresses was challenging in more than one way, as these choices are always difficult.

If we would be asked to name top 10 artists from any art movement of the 20th century, how many women would be on the list? Maybe only one. This suggests that we have had a systematic problem within the art scene, as one important part of global society. Of course, the situation has been approving, and today we have amazing female artists, from photography to conceptual art. However, there are still more to be done in order to achieve complete gender equality. The contemporary sculpture scene is not an exception.

Read full article here.

Feature image: Shinique Smith.

Daemons of Street Art

For some Friday the 13th, also known as Black Friday, is just a normal day, but for many it has become a superstitious day of fear with accidents waiting to happen. There is no clear reason for Friday the 13th being unlucky and it should be noted that in Hispanic and Greek culture it is Tuesday the 13th that is considered unlucky, while in Italy it is Friday the 17th, each with their own reasons. The most popular belief behind Friday the 13th being a day to fear comes from 13 people being present with Jesus for the last supper on a Thursday before his crucifixion on the Friday, while the number 13 is often considered unlucky on its own for the same reason, but is also linked to the day that the Knights Templar were tortured and killed and to an ancient repressed lunar cult. In the United States alone, it is estimated that between 17 and 21 million people fear Friday the 13th, with many disrupting their normal routines to avoid going out. Another Black Friday the 13th is almost upon us, so in celebration and for all those that will stay in bed, we have decided to take a look on the dark side in Daemons of Street Art - full article.

Feature image: Herbert Baglione.

Street Art and Music: Who Likes What?

So, the big question, Street Art and Music: Who Likes What? It’s not quite as simple as artists loving rock and roll and artists loving hip-hop, though they do tend to split into one or the other. But it is not always the case, just as one can appreciate many forms of art, one can appreciated many genres of music and you always have to take into account that artists have to pay the bills like the rest of us, so if their artwork appears on an album cover, does it mean they love the music? Take for instance Jean-Michel Basquiat, he designed an iconic record cover for the Rammellzee Vs K-Rob release Beat Bop and made an appearance in the iconic Rapture video by Blondie, which also featured Fab 5 Freddy, which helped to introduce hip-hop and graffiti to a wider audience. However, his own musical project, named Test Pattern and later changed to Gray, was noise rock inspired.

Read full article here.

Feature image: Shepard Fairey - Punk Portraits.

Widewalls Podcast #7: Logan Hicks

Logan Hicks almost ended up being a print screening artist. Luckily, his career took him elsewhere, as he was “terrible at it” (his words, not mine!). Now, this American artist does stencil art, and it’s beyond incredible. Logan Hicks is mostly known for his urban landscapes that come as a result of wanderings around the city at night and trying to catch its spirit in a photograph. Later, he translates this, as he says, “living organism”, into haunting, yet refined and reflective pieces of stencil art.

In a podcast interview for Widewalls, Logan talked about his beginnings, a not-so-great experience at art school and the evolution of his creativity throughout the years. We also mentioned his (unaware) meeting with Banksy, the superstition surrounding Friday the 13th, as well as his exciting upcoming projects and an opening he has on… Friday the 13th of March.

Feature image: Logan Hicks stencilling.

Urbanology at ArtNowNY

The artists have been asked to tell a story of the urban landscape and all that makes a part of it – the people, animals, buildings, railroads, bridges, sidewalks, streets, nature. To give cities a new identity. Using their imagination, these four creative minds depicted new visions of abandoned neighborhoods, new or painted buildings, disappearing public objects, portraying urban art as a beautiful part of the environment. In their own words, the artist say they all find inspiration in the “color and depth given to these otherwise dull objects” and that this way, they collaborate with often anonymous street artists, whose work they observe and tackle in their own art. By creating a parallel universe where the outdoors is celebrated and preserved, they translate or transform elements of real life into paintings and architectural mini-structures, created from the unique point of view of every individual.

Read full article Urbanology at ArtNowNY.

Feature image: Kevin Peterson.

El Gato Chimney: De Rerum Natura

Borrowing it’s title from Lucretius’ ancient poem, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) leads us into a world of imagination, created by El Gato Chimney. It may seem recognizable at the first glance – like an image from a book of children’s fairy tales, or Medieval manuscript, but as we look further the sights get more and more complicated, leaving us puzzled, without a code to interpret them. Figures are hidden in the clouds, seemingly common objects abandoned forever or left waiting for something or someone, and a multitude of heterogeneous symbols whose decipheration reveals new meanings at every reading. El Gato Chimney, instead of giving us a definite answer, fills his works with clues and appeals to our imagination and to our sensibility, keys of interpretation of the world. Perhaps this constant search for meaning that manages to escape us, or that we cannot be certain of is what makes one feel deeply drawn to these images.

Read full article on El Gato's amazing exhibition here.

Feature image: El Gato Chimney.

100 Years of Leica Photography

At one point in history, a significant number of photographers and photography lovers in general started using the word “leica” instead of “photo-camera”. When working or presenting work, it was important for people to say that they were using a Leica camera. The name described professionalism, but also prestige accessible to everyone, for Leica was a tool used by photojournalists, artists, amateurs and pretty much anyone who wanted to try it. Photography and Leica evolved hand-in-hand through time, as witnessed in an exhibition coming to Fotografie Forum Frankfurt.

Read full article here.

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Feature image: Anton Stankowski - Begrußung, Zurich, Rudenplatz, 1932.

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