Tag: art news

Venice biennial 2017:  a crappy show with rave reviews

If you regret that you haven’t seen the show yet, don’t. Venice Biennale 2017 is monumental on concept and degraded on visuals, heavy on installations, and weak on any form of painting, huge on scale and tiny on emotion. Chief curator of the Pompidou center in Paris, Christine Macel  has arranged the exhibition in a number of pavilions -realms which flow together with concept art titled “Viva arte Viva!”

While paid entrance to the biennale invites you to visit vast spaces of the Arsenale and the Giardini, a number of other pavilions are scattered throughout Venice in medieval palazzos with gardens with free entrance and somewhat better art. Regardless the location, each pavilion usually represents a single country with its native artists showing off their talent to the multilingual public.

9 chapters or realms, 86 countries, 120 artists- a single feeling of confusion. The show opens up with large-scale installations situated between a long stretch of bare, tall brick halls of the Arsenale (medieval Venetian warehouse for arms and boats).

Karla Black abstract sculptures

 

Venice biennial 2017: the Arsenale

Overall, the show is missing on making a powerful statement simply because the visuals fall far behind the heavy concept. Boring to the eyes and craftsy at best, the viewer has to read lengthy statements in provided brochures to “get” the idea behind the pieces. To install such exhibition in Venice is like to bring a first-grader to perform a concerto. Venice overflows with art and history, while the biennial rejects any slightest idea of having representational art on its grounds. The exception is the Venetian pavilion itself that defies the curator’s voice with sparkling jewelry, chandeliers, gowns and sophisticated glass that highlights artist’s labor and skill.

A woman’s head is picking out from a hole in the floor with piles of clothes arranged in a circle.

The Romanian Pavilion

Like in a fairy-tale about the naked king, fooling of people takes place in the exhibition stating what they see is ART.  Rooms after rooms visitors encounter piles of materials, fabric, metals or abstract sculptures, that often have profound meaning expressed through riveting writing. However these endless primitive installations and videos leave the spectators  confused on what ART signifies or how artful it really is.

First, art exists to bring our attention to something, to make a statement, or to leave a record of times lived. Curated as apolitical and without a clear message, the biennial misses to deliver on any of these points.

The German Pavilion

More rooms

Second, Visual arts are called visual for a reason. Because the artist’s call to attention and its impact is visual, conceptual art rarely leaves considerable emotional impact. Even when the concept is heavy, it’s weakened by the absence of the visual perception we all possess. Therefore, such installations should get a specific classification and not get mixed up or promoted as great ART. Such notion lowers and even abolishes any standard for an artist to aspire to, and for people to learn to understand or appreciate. Why did we keep high standard in music or dance and completely abolished the one in art? It’s not the absence of artists willing to travel years in education to achieve something worthwhile of people’s attention, it’s about few art critics and curators, influential art shakers who pick and choose, add and subtract – curate according to their tastes, business practice and economic whims.

 

The pavilion of Shamans

Art installations that catch attention

On the upside, the exhibition is gender-even, nationality-diverse, with the majority of the unknown artists representing both influential and obscure countries.

There are a few art installations at the main complex of the biennale that caught my eye, making a statement.

The Zimbabwe Pavilion
Zimbabwe pavilion
The Russian pavilion
Russian Pavilion: Change of Decorum. Growing aggression, terror, irrational life of people, control and manipulation of masses are the themes of the art installation with drones, people, soldiers and androids living in the “transparent world.”

The Chile Pavilion
Artist Bernardo Oyarzun explores the theme of the current representation of the Mapuche community, a group of indigenous inhabitants of southcentral Chile and southwestern Argentina. Dark room features an installation of over 1,000 Mapuche kollong masks, traditionally used in ceremonies. Note that 40 Mapuche artisans produced these handmade masks commissioned by the artist who installed them in the pavilion.
The Argentinean Pavilion
Claudia Fontes, The Horse Problem
“Making art is not a luxury. It’s a way of surviving that humans as a species have developed: we are, so far as we know, the only group of living beings capable of calling the attention of others to the meaning of life. That’s something to celebrate.” – Claudia Fontes
Other rooms

The Mongolian Pavilion

The Venetian Pavilion

Official website of the Venice Biennial 2017: www.labiennale.org

Art off the biennial in Venice

A nice surprise is a solo show by Carole A. Feuerman situated in a peaceful corner of a green garden at the Giardino Della Marinaressa, by the Venice Biennale (open and free to the public). The artist makes hyper-realistic, life-size sculptures of women in painted bronze and steel, resin and oil that look so life-like, you just want to reach out and touch the sculptures!

Kendall Island, lacquer on bronze, life-size sculpture

 

Project by Lorenzo Quinn on the Grand Canal in Venice. His monumental sculpture of white hands raises awareness about the climate change and the rising sea levels.

Art off of the biennial: street art in Italy

I must mention the performance that I saw on the streets of Turin. A young man pounded the keys of an old typewriter with rare obsession. Here is one of his finished pieces.

The artwork made using an old type writer.

veronica winters artist

 

Cleopatra iconic women painting

Portraits of iconic women throughout history

 

 

I always wanted to paint something meaningful and worth people’s attention. I’ve painted numerous different things to become proficient enough to pursue what I always wanted – helping women succeed. The theme of Iconic Women fascinates me because I can depict many sides of female beauty and inner strength. I’ve chosen to paint strong iconic women who had courage, logic, determination, goal-setting, and other character traits that are often attributed to men. These women overcame their social-economic limitations to become famous personalities who lived with purpose and changed the world around them.

In my surreal paintings of women I explore the inner life of these icons. What they created and exposed to the outside world wasn’t always the reflection of their interior life. I make an attempt to humanize them by painting their emotions and challenges: love, failure, addiction, responsibilities and dreams. So we can see the spectrum of character and understand that those iconic women throughout history were also guided by their emotions as much as by their reason, and were also complex personalities as any of us.

Exploring vulnerability of feminine spirit, I take the liberty to interpret the days of their lives based on their biographies processed through observations and artistic sensitivity. I explore the themes of love and delusion, power and powerlessness, spirituality and vanity, abandonment and strength. I aim to give the iconic women new life where contemporary women can identify or recognize a part of themselves, and connect with a famous woman on a much deeper level.

My painting style floats between the surreal painting and magical realism painting. It’s painting reality that turns surreal that can be compared to writing a fiction novel with the main characters derived from the author’s personal experiences and observations.

My artistic mission is to paint the female heroes to inspire women to find their calling in life. I want to open up a dialogue, to create a visual experience of seeing the female icons in a different light, where women could find answers to their questions, to be able to apply themselves, to define their dreams and to work on their future with certainty. In other words, through my oil paintings I invite others to find their female hero to achieve personal fulfillment.

Art is personal. If I had the opportunities, moral support, and a professional artist/mentor back in high school, my life could have been very different from what I had.  While I have no regrets, I simply know how crucial these years are for personal development, choosing the right path to achieve success in the future, to cut on years spent searching for a hidden voice within. Therefore I choose to paint women who made history, real women who overcame their struggles to achieve success in life.

Watch how I’ve created the Marie Antoinette oil painting

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