Collaborative and group exhibitions make my noodle curl.
I often feel that the works chosen are based on the curator’s desire for visual flow rather than artistic talent. What we end up with is uninspired works depicting the same zeitgeist or worse; young artists jeopardising their integrity to be a part of the show.
Contemporary art is an interesting double-edged sword.
Can an artist paint a contemporary portrait, (or any other medium or subject for that matter) that speaks of the current cultural atmosphere, without the entire history of portrait painting coming through on the canvas?
Contemporary art is burdened by Art’s history, yet couldn’t exist without it.
Menstrala is an art form that uses menstrual blood as a source of creativity. It’s a type of artistic activism that aims to upset the Christian sense of shame and to remove the stigma that is put on women’s sexuality, bodies and menstruation. In a culture saturated in sex, violence, gore and blood, it seems strange that menstrual blood is still hidden, and so rarely spoken about.
Images: Blood Art-Menstrala Live Journal community, title unknown, year unknown & Judy Clark, Menstruation, 1973
I find the idea of muses really quite fascinating. Perhaps my favourite Muse/Artist relationship is that of Hela Testorf and Andrew Wyeth, which during a course of 15 years he drew and painted almost 250 pictures of her.
Helga was his neighbour and despite this extensive series their sessions were a unbeknown, even to their spouses. When the series became public knowledge Wyeth revealed that their relationship was purely Platonic. Helga is one of the most reviled women in the art world, so whether you abhor or admire her, one cannot deny, she does move you.
Egon Schiele is labeled as a narcissists for his extensive collection of self portraits. I think it is too easy to put that label on him. He worked with the figure; having access to his own body allowed him to examine the figure in greater detail.
This early collection of self portraits, I feel, informed his understanding of the figure, which is evident in his later work.