Weekly Highlights: March 16 – 22
What does the notion of body mean to you? Is it a vessel for your “soul” or “spirit”? Is it perhaps a shell which becomes relevant in regards to your “identity” or “character”? Or, is it, quite the opposite? If the 19th century dwelled upon our bodies as a “place” for our souls an the 20th tried to unravel how the body is contextualized, then, indubitably, the 21st century tells a story of the body being a canvas for all of these notions. Our body becomes a construct not much different than an idea or a thought, it has become a par excellence existential expression of what we do, what we want, what we crave and where we fail… It is no longer a constant and it no longer belongs to us. It is, now, only a tool to interpret the world and to interpret the nonsensical self, it is a generator of meaning and has become meaning itself.
This is something you, dear reader, already know, at least when we look at the week behind us. Our infatuation with the body is not solely a devotion to eroticism, it is a situation where we tend to get sucked into a ridiculously huge set of notions which are in need of deciphering… Last week, we were able to tap into this chaos of meaning through the performance of Erica Simone, interacting with various social discourses, and the art of Jiří Růžek, who has shown us how the notion of body transcends time periods and various mediums.
On the other hand, and perhaps as always, we have extended our infatuation to that space of faceless bodies in search of meaning, to that space where we are looking for input in order to fill out our seemingly ever-misread canvases – an urban surrounding. Again, Street Art has given us a possibility to (re)interpret ourselves – from familiarizing with the transformation of an artist by the name of Jan Kaláb, through rejoicing about yet another piece of news concerning (imagine, yet again) Banksy, and to the outstanding sentiment of remembering the roots of a movement we are celebrating…
Scroll down to remember the week behind you and fill out the seemingly-ever-present-emptiness of your body – because that is who you are…
Who is This Bare Naked Citizen?
Respected Franco-American photographer and artist, Erica Simone, can usually be found working on commercial, editorial and NGO projects for various clients around the world. Her stylish photographs have been published in everything from National Geographic, NY Arts Magazine to Le Parisien. Deeply inspired by the world around her and passionate about photography, Erica Simone is always eager for new projects, which has led to her latest photography project that is gaining her a fair bit of publicity. The project in question is Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Citizen, which has seen Erica Simone head out onto the streets of New York to take a series of self-portraits, with the aim of publishing a book about the project. While some may be shocked at full nudity in public, Simone is addressing issues around fashion and clothing in the modern society. Find out more in Erica Simone: Bare Naked Citizen.
Banksy’s Silent Majority
Early and truly unique work by famous Banksy, Silent Majority, has finally got a Certificate of Authenticity from artist’s team at Pest Control. This Banksy’s masterpiece from 1998 is an original travelers trailer almost 10 meters long painted in 1998 in collaboration with seminal graffiti artist Inkie. Despite the objections by Banksy when it comes to selling his works at auctions, Silent Majority will go under the hammer in June, at Digard Auction in Paris, France. It is estimated that this piece is one of the most original works ever done by celebrated graffiti master. This is the first time the work will be presented at an auction. Find out more in Banksy’s Silent Majority goes Under the Hammer.
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The Art of Jiří Růžek
Jiri Ruzek’s first exhibition took place in 2006 in Prague. Since then, he has participated in lots more, including many festivals in Czech Republic, such as Prague Photo in 2010. In 2011, his nude photographs were shown in Portugal, in a group exhibition titled Feminae. In 2009, Jiri Ruzek released his first photography book and won the Akty X Prize. In the last few years, he also expanded his artistry by doing videos as well. The year 2011 marked his return to analog photography, which he took along with the digital version. Jiri Ruzek is also known for his workshops held in his homeland and internationally, London and Tuscany, which get very good reviews from his clients and models. Be sure to check out the appealing imagery in our article Jiří Růžek: The Allure of the Analog.
Jan Kaláb – Street Art and Abstract Canvas
“I think drawing was always part of my life ever since I grabbed a pencil for the first time. Every kid used to draw, but most of them quit while getting older. I’m amongst that ones who didn’t stop. Once I began to take it a little bit more seriously and gained an interest about art history, I admired the classic artists from the books like Albrecht Dürer, Rembrant, Tizian and so on. It was like “wow”, they can paint better than photography. The taste changes over time, how you grow up, study and discover other meanings of visual interpretations. You start to like Claude Monet, Henri Matisse then Francis Bacon and from that is short step to abstract art, like Jackson Pollock and you go on until minimalism and back to cave paintings thousands of years ago. In fact the most important thing is the topic. I went through all the steps like drawing still life, architecture, portrait, etc. but the real topic and the real enthusiasm came with graffiti.” Read the entire interview with Jan Kaláb here.
The Rise of Graffiti
The history of graffiti in the 20th century is a long and well documented story, but with the recent popularity in all things urban and street art related, that has benefited a great number of contemporary urban artists who now combine street art with studio based works, it is always good to remind ourselves of the originators of the street art and graffiti scene. The 21st century has seen street art and graffiti become recognized art forms, while some of the original graffiti artists from the 1970’s managed to cross over into the art gallery world, it has only been recently that it has been seen as the norm for street artists to work both on the street and in the studio. Don’t miss out on one of the our most interesting articles in 2015, read the full story in 20th Century & The Rise of Graffiti!