Weekly Highlights: August 10 - 16

August 17, 2015

Perhaps you’ve heard of art therapy. It is an actual method of expression used in psychotherapy to help patients and interpret their behaviors and sentiments. Creating art becomes a form of relief, a way to reflect what is going on within, to say a lot without saying a word. One activist and historian saw art as an opportunity to engage female inmates of a York correctional facility in a creative process that would make their incarceration a little bit easier. This project was more than successful, and the works of ten of these women is now on view at Brooklyn Museum, right alongside its main inspiration - Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party installation.

This wasn’t the only news from the art world which ended up among the most popular here on Widewalls. A young Ukranian artist also stole the headlines in the past week, by creating a rather interesting portrait of Russian president Vladimir Putin, drawing our attention once again to the turbulent crisis between the two nations. We also conducted two great interviews, involving the owner of Galo Art Gallery in Turin, specializing in street art in Italy and worldwide, and Jon Ortner, a photographer whose latest extraordinary book explores the beauty of the female nude. And, as you’re just as fans of the naked female body depicted in the most beautiful artistic way as we are, your other favorite article regarding this very topic was the superb photography by the great Lucien Clergue.

Scroll down and re-live the best of Widewalls in the past seven days.

The Art of Female Inmates at Brooklyn Museum

For ten female inmates, art was healing. And now, the artworks made by these women are on display at Brooklyn Museum, in an exhibition entitled Women of York: Shared Dining. Inspired by Judy Chicago’s iconic 1979 feminist artwork The Dinner Party, the prisoners of the highly secured York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Connecticut, made a new version of the celebrated installation, as an homage to their own influential female figures in life. What started as a recreational workshop has now evolved into a proper artistic project, on view at the Brooklyn Museum, in a gallery adjacent to the one where The Dinner Party is located in. Working within a limited range of materials supplied by the prison commissary, such as plastic cutlery, paper plates and Styrofoam cups, these artists honored other women: some were historical and religious figures.

See these artworks in Female Inmates Create Art Inspired By Judy Chicago’s Feminist Artwork “The Dinner Party”

An Interview with Jon Ortner

"I have always been entranced by the sensuality of the human body, especially the symmetry and splendor of the female form. And I have always been fascinated in the countless ways it has been represented throughout the history of art. As I continued to photograph nudes, my creative skills and the quality of the people I was photographing seemed to evolve simultaneously. I was looking for exceptional and rare physical beauty, both in face and in body, and for people with the ability to express themselves with their bodies while nude." Breathtaking, stunning, enlightening, exceptional, magnificent, incredible, magical, spectacular, superb, doesn’t get any better than this – these are just some of the words that people describe Jon Ortner’s photographs and books. No doubt that similar things will be said about Peak of Perfection, Jon Ortner’s new book.

Read the interview and see exclusive images in Jon Ortner Interview - Peak of Perfection Book Release

The Nudes of Lucien Clergue

Lucien Clergue passed away in 2014 in Nîmes, France, but his oeuvre will remain as one of the most significant references to the French art and culture of the 20th century (in February 2015, we wrote about the exhibition at Galerie Clairefontaine in Luxembourg that was dedicated to the artist’s life and work). His interest in different artistic media, in different styles and techniques is something that has marked his career. Clergue was a recognized photographer, filmmaker and author; also known for friendships he had with notable artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Roland Barthes and the Gypsy Kings. The biography of Lucien Clergue is quite interesting, not because of his friendships with famous figures from France, but also because of his photographs. Although he was creating photographs with different subjects and motifs, here we will focus on his nude photography.

Enjoy the images in The Art of Lucien Clergue - Superb Nude Photography

Putin Made of Bullets

The latest global media attraction was created by a young Ukrainian artist Daria Marchenko, and the subject was, you probably guessed it, Vladimir Putin. Her art piece, named The Face of War, cleverly utilizes bullet shells in order to form the face of the Russian President. More precisely, 5000 bullet shells were collected in the separatist east of Ukraine and used for creation of this unique artwork. Having a two meters (almost 7 feet) tall depiction of Putin in her workspace was a bit scary for the artist, as she was also sleeping in the same room, but eventually she god used to it. Not afraid to express her view, the artist stated her suspicion that Putin was personally responsible for instigating a conflict which resulted with nearly 7000 people killed since breaking out after Kiev’s ouster of a Kremlin-backed president.

Check out this creative work in Putin Portrait out of Bullet Shells - Ukranian Artist Creates a Piece from Shells Found in the East of Ukraine