Weekly Highlights: July 20 - 26
As we’re approaching the month of August, when the galleries are all about summer shows with a summer break somewhere in between, the art world surely isn’t going on holiday. Take Germany, for example: it’s a bit of a chaos over there, with the culture minister threatening to ban free movement of artworks, which caused an uproar among collectors, dealers, gallerists and artists. For them, August will be the decisive month, as the law legislation comes before Angela Merkel for approval. In other, good news, Ai Weiwei finally got his passport back, after four years of not being able to leave his homeland China. It seems like the controversial artist is already ready to travel – first to Berlin, to visit his son, then to London, to visit his exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, and then to Melbourne, for the same reason, only this time it’s the Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei show to open at the National Gallery of Victoria (on December 11th). I’m sure he’ll be quite busy catching up in the upcoming days.
Here at Widewalls, it’s time to revisit the most popular articles of the last seven days, and the number one is yet another article from our Provoke! (NSFW) section. Kinda used to that by now. You were curious to find out which are the 10 best books dedicated to Graffiti, the history and meanings of murals and Sandro Giordano’s latest exhibition of an interesting name, to be held in New York City. Speaking of Germany earlier, we wrote about Georg Baselitz (our latest Artist of the Week) and his decision to pull works from some major national museums, in protest of the above mentioned legislation. We’re anxious to see further developments, and you’ll be the first to know as soon as it happens.
Scroll down and check out last week’s highlights.
Noritoshi Hirakawa’s Erotic Desires
Noritoshi Hirakawa is a Japanese contemporary artist and film producer. Primarily a photographer Noritoshi Hirakawa also worked in a variety of media including video and audio works, performance and installation. The photographer is known for questioning the mainstream conceptions of sexuality through the representation of naked bodies in a country where erotica has always been a taboo. Niritosh Hirakawa considers his works as a sort of sociological investigation dealing with social issues such as gender equality, virginity, family relations, voyeurism, patriarchal manipulation etc. Noritoshi Hirakawa makes viewers focus completely on the interplay of light, form and emotion while his work often engages both architecture and nude models in a comprehensive analyses of urban life and exploration of human desire.
See the provoking images in The Pictorial Taboos of Noritoshi Hirasawa
10 Best Graffiti Books
Graffiti books are a perfect present and a must-have in the home library of any art-lover. Whether you’re an artist, a graffiti connoisseur or you just want to enjoy looking at beautifully illustrated pages, filled with interesting stories of personal success and the social movement in the making, these ten books will make a perfect choice. From comprehensive compendiums with compelling photographs of artwork around the world, categorized by the continent, via the books which are an important historic document that chronicles the birth of graffiti and includes iconic images of long-removed art on the trains of New York, to monographs and works that showcase all the beauty of national street art styles, the books don’t get more badass than this.
Check them all out in 10 Badass Graffiti Books
What is a Mural?
Without a doubt, murals have been around as long as people, as a form of valuable testimony of life from the prehistoric time to today. From the cave paintings at Lascaux Grotttoes in southern France to the street art murals of today, people have been leaving signs of their own existence in many places around the world. It is because of the earliest scratchings, carvings, etchings and paintings that we now have priceless knowledge of our history and predecessors, and these murals hold great significance for mankind, as they depicted life activities, everyday scenery and usually religious traditions of the time they were created in, giving us a priceless look of the diversity of our cultures during different periods. Over the course of time, murals have covered the interiors and exteriors of many public buildings, such as palaces, temples, tombs, museums, libraries, churches and the houses of rich art patrons, spreading onto the streets and architectural elements more recently, all the while keeping their initial meaning and purpose: to paint a picture of society, created from stories, values, dreams, change.
Read all about murals in Mural. The History and Meaning
Sandro Giordano is Tripping in New York
Last summer, Italian artist Sandro Giordano had a life changing experience. He was riding his bicycle and suddenly plunged. While falling he was holding firmly to his bike’s handles instead of using his hands to ease the fall. That is when he had the epiphany and realized that we live in what he called a fallen world where material things have become more important than our own lives. That is how an satirical In Extremis (Bodies With No Regret) photography series was created. This ongoing project by Sandro Giordano will be on display at Tripping exhibition in Life gallery in New York. In this series Sandro Giordano depicts the downfall of individuals and humanity, both literally and metaphorically. His subjects fall face first into the ground, their bodies get twisted and broken while their beloved belongings are scattered around them.
Read more about the exhibition in Observe Sandro Giordano’s Tripping at Life Gallery New York
Baselitz Pulls Artworks From German Museums
The German art public is going through some turbulent times, as the country’s culture minister, Monika Grütters, proposes new laws that would impose strict control over the movements of artworks through export licenses. While the proposal, to be put before German’s chancellor Angela Merkel next month, received support from the German Museums Association, it is strongly opposed by many gallery owners, dealers, collectors and artists, including Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz, who have threatened to pull their artworks on loan in some of the biggest art institutions. Only, for Baselitz it wasn’t just talking the talk – his works were indeed removed from Dresden’s Albertinum Museum, as well as the Kunstsammlung Chemnitz. On July 17th, nine paintings, including the artist’s 1960s works and the portraits of Elke and Franz Dahlem, as well as the limewood sculpture of his wife – were taken down from the walls of the Albertinum modern art museum in Dresden.
More on the story in Art Pulled From German Museums: Baselitz Was Serious.
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