What better way to start a new month than looking back on the one just past us? The summer is just around the corner, and that means vacation, the sunshine, cocktails by the beach, and endless conversations deep into the warm summer night. Ahead of us are months of freedom and hedonism, amazing new exhibitions, and even more amazing new art. But what was going on in the month of May? The springtime has granted us some spectacular moments, exquisite exhibitions, and a number of public art interventions that left us breathless.
If you are mentally preparing for summer, you may want to pop over to a few galleries and visit the exhibitions that opened in May. If you love stainless steel as much as Anish Kapoor does, make sure to visit his exhibition at Lisson Gallery Milan. Also, make sure you don’t miss the exhibition of one of the most influential Australian artists Tracey Moffatt at Art Gallery of NSW, and for all the lovers of music and art the must-see is a display of artworks by Jamie Hewlett, the co-founder of the iconic band Gorillaz, as well as the awesome JonOne exhibition at Fabien Castanier Gallery.
We have asked questions and got answers in the interviews with some of the most popular artists, such as the amazing Levalet, the witty Bradley Theodore, the mysterious Rodrigo Branco, and the postmodernist Peter Combe. We have also asked ourselves what Fluxus art is, we wondered about the value of the golden section in contemporary art, we tackled the theme of Chinese art, and became rebels by investigating Protest art.
If you are intrigued and curious to find out more, scroll down to see our top picks for the month of May!
Wait, isn’t Queen B supposed to be original? Lemonade is not what we thought it was?
Beyoncé’s new album Lemonade has already caused quite the stir, from racial and political debates surrounding her first released single Formation to the exclusive Lemonade film that has been recently aired on HBO. The official album release has set the Internet on fire, as fans were dissecting the lyrics of her new single Hold Up to reveal the details of Jay Z’s supposed infidelity. The video for the single caused no less drama and it has already inspired numerous articles, debates, and memes, but now it became the focus of accusations of plagiarism. And this is not the first time Beyoncé is facing accusations of stealing somebody else’s work.
For all the free spirited and opinionated people out there, finding out what protest art is and how it influenced the world might make you into an artist yourself!
What is the scope and impact of protest art? As Adorno famously wrote, ‘all art is an uncommitted crime’, meaning that art challenges the status quo by its very nature. Thus, it can be argued that all art is political in the sense that it takes place in a public space and engages with an already existing ideology and dominant discourse. Yet, art can often become dangerously and explicitly political and serve as a powerful weapon. Throughout the history of social movements and social revolt, art has always reacted against oppression, violence, injustice and inequalities. Addressing socio-political issues and challenging the traditional boundaries and hierarchies imposed by those in power, art can open up space for the marginalized to be seen and heard and contribute to the social change by producing knowledge and solidarity or simply raising awareness. In this way, the personal life and work of the artist transcends the individual and speak meaningfully to a larger audience bringing together the political and human functions of art.
How did this movement change the world of art and our understanding of aesthetics?
When did Modernism begin? Art historians cannot agree on this, but they do know which institution was the one to give shape to it, and to most of the ideas from this period. It was the Bauhaus – a revolutionary art school, far more than just an educational center. As many would say, the Bauhaus was a philosophy, a way of life and thinking, a fruitful protest against the regressive nature of art schools, and an advocate of the bond between art and life. Coinciding with a series of other significant movements and events, the Bauhaus was a channel to keep it all together in one place, at least for a certain period of time. So even though the school was closed a few years before the World War II began, the spirit was kept alive, albeit dispersed across the globe, and it has helped redefine the relationship between arts and crafts, in a way even more outreaching than the one suggested by the original Arts and Crafts in the late 19th century.
Banksy does not only work in war-stricken countries and the utterly dangerous strip of Gaza. He also visits Rome from time to time!
The most mysterious and most influential street artist of today, Banksy, hits Rome with his new exhibition titled War, Capitalism & Liberty. This show marks the first time that so many of Banksy’s works, including paintings and stencils, are displayed all together, making it the largest exhibition of the artist’s work ever, allegedly. The capital of Italy will be home to these artworks this summer, and on that occasion, other street artists will be introduced to the Rome Foundation Museum. According to La Repubblica, the Italian newspaper that announced the massive Banksy show in Rome, his works will be on display from May 24th to September 9that the Fondazione Rome Arte-Musei gallery in Palazzo Cipolla. All of the artworks have been certified as originals and have been loaned to the museum from various private collections from all over the world.
Who would’ve thought that a sculpture of Hitler would reach such a high price?
Look who’s back. And no, we are not talking about a satirical novel written by Timur Vermes, we are talking about a Hitler sculpture that sold for the astounding $17.2 million at the recent auction at Christie’s. The creepy sculpture of the German Nazi leader is the work of the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, and it is called Him. The pretty common and unsuspicious name actually carries years of fear and abuse along with it, making it impossible not to think about “him” when we say the word in a certain context. The piece was sold for more than it was expected since it was estimated to around $10 million before the infamous purchase. Christie’s reported that the sculpture was sold within the first five minutes of bidding, making the world wonder what is exactly so fascinating about this ominous sculpture.
The wonderful ARTMUC fair is back for the third year to bring amazing and unique art to the lovers of all things creative!
The ARTMUC art fair is back in Munich for the third year around. From June 2nd to June 5th, 2016, the visitors will have a chance to see some outstanding works and create a dialogue with artists from all around the world. Founded by Marco and Raiko Schwalbe in 2011, the ARTMUC is certainly not a classic art fair. Following the rapid changes in the art market where galleries and art dealers are not the predominate force anymore in the marketing of artists and their work, ARTMUC provides the opportunity for the artists to promote their work directly and autonomously. Since gallery representations are not alliances for life anymore and are subject to constant change, it is up to artists to create their own network and secure a proactive public visibility in the art world and the market. Especially having in mind the emerging and largely unnoticed local and national artists, ARTMUC provides a platform for them to get their big chance by directly showcasing their own work. This is certainly the point of departure from the usual art fair experience, since the emphasis is on the interaction and exchange among the artists, as well as acquiring new skills for self-marketing and networking with relevant people from the art world such as curators, gallery owners, art dealers, etc. Serving as a bridge between the art market and the art promotion, ARTMUC creates and expands personal relationships with both artists and buyers.
If you like weird stuff, chances are you love John Waters movies. With the risqué themes and mesmerizing aesthetics, his films have gained an immeasurable cult following!
If you’ve never heard of him before, it is possible that the titles of John Waters movies would seem quite ordinary to you, maybe even romantic. Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby, Female Trouble… You might start to wonder if maybe that’s not the case after A Dirty Shame, Multiple Maniacs or perhaps Pecker. But nothing about John Waters is ordinary and the truth is that is it the title of Mondo Trasho which best describes his entire artistic oeuvre. He is the master of the grotesque, the carnivalesque, the perverse, the depraved, the fetishistic and the provocative, the poster boy for the disgusting and the divine whose pencil-thin moustache and skinny suits are as famous as his filmography. Shamelessly and daringly, John Waters portrayed topics that would always remain largely hidden from sight, in life and cinematography, such as incest, exhibitionism and even singing anuses, and it is this very act that hosts his brilliance and fuels the critics’ and the mixed reactions of the audience at large.