Love Me by Stella Asia Consonni – April 25th

This Thursday Italian photographer Stella Asia Consonni is set to open the doors to her solo exhibition entitled Love Me . The showcase, set to take place for one night at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London, will feature a compilation of intimate images of with diverse couples as subjects.

The photographer first began shooting for the project a year ago, with the intention of creating an online photo series as a means of healing as she overcame her then-recent break-up. One of the images from the original series, featuring two men mid-kiss was uploaded by the photographer via instagram and was soon after deleted by the platform for “not following community guidelines.” Instagram later issued an apology and allowed the image to be re-uploaded but the second time around Consonni was met with homophobic comments and slurs in reaction to the image.

This was when she decided the best way to contest the homophobes and bigots was to create an entire exhibition in celebration of the many colours and forms of love. In addition to the photo series, the photographer will also debut a short film complementing the series by documenting short bits and pieces of these love stories. 

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Foam Talent Exhibition: May 15th

For the third year in a row,  Amsterdam based international talent organisation Foam returns to Red Hook Labs in New York for their annual group exhibition Foam Talent. Set to debut on May 15, the exhibition will feature the work of twenty international photographers who were selected through the organisation’s annual talent call from a pool of 1853 creatives under the age of 35. 

The showcase will feature the works of these artists under several tabs of contemporary themes and topics such as social politics, nostalgia, night fall, homesickness and grief. A few of the names featured will include French duo Durimel,  Chinese photographer He Bo, Australian Sophie Gabrielle, Italian Salvatore Vitale, British Maisie Cousins, among others. For further info on how to cop tickets visit Foam

Cover image: “Untitled” from the series Worry for the Fruit the Birds Won’t Eat, 2018 by Sophie Gabrielle

“Kaelyn and the girls” from the series Frères dune île pas très proche, 2018 © Durimel
“Ants” from the series grass, peonies, bum, 2018 © Maisie Cousins
Model Angela and her personal story”, 2016, from the series Separation Anxiety, 2018- ongoing © Dima Komarov
“Untitled” from the series How to Secure a Country, 2015-2018 © Salvatore Vitale

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Salone del Mobile: Maarten Baas,”I Think Therefore I Was”

Salone del Mobile is the one time of year in Milan where one can discover the most interesting, jolting exhibitions and installations around the city. One of the most essential installations to see was that of Dutch designer Maarten Baas. Although not considered as design, the designer staged an exhibition in collaboration with Ventura Centrale entitled “I Think Therefore I Was.” Set in one of Ventura’s exhibition spaces in Centrale, the installation featured hundreds of monitors, playing fragments of videos in which the words ‘I think’ were cut from hundreds of random Youtube videos. This compilation of information is one that creates a great cacophony of words and moving images that hits you upon entrance.  Leaving one in awe with an overflow of feeling. There is no single screen to focus on, or single audio to listen to, there are hundreds being played simultaneously and what all that information does to the brain subconsciously is quite exciting.

Images by Claudio Grassi

“Having an opinion is once claim to existence. By placing the installation in reference to a catwalk set-up, the first impression is rather intimidating. The screens are like an audience, proclaiming opinions about you, as a visitor. Yet the other way around, it shows a colourful variety of people who have thoughts and therefore therefore are individuals,” comments Baas. The artist has been know for blurring boundaries between art and design using the element of surprise. The exhibition, which has already closed it’s doors, marked the artist’s 10th year in collaboration with the Ventura Projects in Milan. 

Images by Claudio Grassi

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Three Reasons To Go To MiArt

Milan has quietly become a stealthy art hub. Its fair MiArt, which takes place the week before the city becomes obsessed with furniture and design in April, is like the Goldilocks’ porridge of art fairs. Its not too big, not too small. It has emerging names, big historical works and lesser known discoveries. The fair also is the catalyst for Milan Art Week when institutions like the Fondazione Prada, ICA Milan and Frigoriferi Milanesi open new exhibitions. These are examples of why you should book your ticket next year.

Saskia Te Nicklin At Vin Vin at MiArt

Danish artist Saskia Te Nicklin won the prize for best emergent booth at the fair this year, with her inventive Vienna-based gallery Vin Vin. Her paintings, installed against a metal wall installation, played with art historical themes such as still lives. Her refreshingly scrawled pieces touch on nature, the digital and the real. vinvin.eu

Five heads or masks executed while thinking of James Ensor, Saskia TeNicklin, 2019
4 plastic bags with drawn faces, Saskia Te Nicklin, 2019

Leigh Ledare at Office Baroque at MiArt

Brussels gallery Office Baroque brought some new large panel collage-like works from the always subversive Leigh Ledare to MiArt. These pieces felt more like disturbing scrapbook pages, which exposed Ledare’s own fascinations with sex, identity, history and social meaning. officebaroque.com

Leigh Ledare Plot I: Pre-existing Conditions, 2017
Leigh Ledare Plot III: Immune System, 2017

The Unexpected Subject. 1978 Art and Feminism in Italy

It is well worth travelling to the outskirts of Milan for this exceptional exhibition of Italian feminist art from the late 1970s. Discover artists like Ketty Le Rocco, Tomaso Binga, Lucia Marcucci, Maria Lai and Giulia Niccolai in this truly fascinating comprehensive archive show. At least pin down the catalogue until May 26, http://www.frigoriferimilanesi.it

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Salone Del Mobile: Fendi Casa x Cristina Celestino

For Milan’s annual international design week, Italian luxury house Fendi has teamed up with renown Italian architect, designer Cristina Celestino for their latest project entitled “Back Home.” Fendi first tapped Celestino back in 2016 for their first successful collaboration, the “Happy Room” at Design Miami. The duo worked well enough that it was indeed deserving of a second collab,  which presents as the FENDI Casa’s “Back Home” line. The collection, on exhibition at the house’s showroom in Milan, is a celebration of the Maison’s iconic Pequin striped motif first produced back in 1987.

Throughout the exhibit Celestino produces a reinterpretation of the motif while using the house’s iconic patterns to create a wide creative range of furniture pieces in elegant marbles, onyxes and fascinating metallic surfaces. She creates a story centred around the iconic Pequin stripes using geometric armchairs and sofas with masculine designs to counterbalance the femininity of their shapes. A rose-like version of Fendi’s classic geometric motif also appears on coffee tables and carpets along with the FF logo. Influences of fashion are evident throughout the exhibit, a few mirrors and lamps were inspired by the silhouettes of cufflinks, cabinets echo a few of the houses stylistic codes with strong vertical lines, geometric shapes and bold curves. 

On site, the installation is divided into five parts, the Terrace, Entrance, Waiting Room, Dressing Room and Living Room. Each room evokes a different feeling with a general recollection of 70’s Roman house revised with bourgeois qualities. The FENDI Casa “Back Home” has its Milan doors open to the public until the 12th of April. 

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Hayward Gallery: “Kiss My Genders” 12 June – 8 Sep

Cover Image: Martine Gutierrez, Masking Fish Mask from Indigenous Women (2018)

On June 12th this summer, central London art gallery Hayward Gallery will open it’s doors to a group exhibition titled ‘Kiss My Genders,’ showcasing the work of 30 international artists whose repertoires engage in conversation around gender identity. Curated by Vincent Honoré, the exhibition will feature a compilation of over 100 artworks by several generations of artists from across the world who share interests in articulating with themes of gender fluidity, non-binary, trans and intersex identities communicated throughout their work. The exhibition will include wide range of several types of media including installations, videos, paintings, sculptures, portraitures etc.

Juliana Huxtable Untitled Lil’ Marvel (2015)

The panel of creatives will include names who explore gender expression through the forms of performance, drag and masquerade. Such as names like Ajamu,  a London-based visual activist whose work challenges conventional understanding of sexuality, desire, pleasure and cultural production within contemporary Britain and Amrou Al-Kadhi, a British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker, who in collaboration with British photographer Holly Falconer, created a photographic portrait Glamrou (2016) using triple exposure to communicate the experience of being in drag as a person of Muslim heritage. The exhibition will also bring forth political undertones with artist artist Hunter Reynolds who is an AIDS activist as well,  whouses art as a tool to process trauma as well as transform it. The Kiss My Gender exhibition will also be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring original essays and a roundtable discussion with and from a few of the artists along with the exhibition’s curators and a performance by Berlin based artiste Planningtorock, whose song lyrics were featured as the showcase’s title. The exhibition will run throughout the summer and close its doors on September 2019. For more info visit Hayward Gallery.

Zanele Muholi, Phila I Parktown, (2016)
Catherine Opie, Mike and Sky (1993)

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Public Gallery ft. Joan Cornellà: “IM GOOD THANKS”: Apr 3rd – May 4th

London based contemporary space Public Gallery in collaboration with renowned Catalan artist Joan Cornellà presents ‘IM GOOD THANKS’ — a solo exhibition featuring the artist’s work set to open on the 3rd of April. The exhibition will feature a series of new works by Cornellà featuring his instantly recongisable mix of pitch black humour and deeply unsettling imagery as he gives his audience a glimpse of his dystopic view of contemporary life. Throughout the exhibition paintings will line the walls and surround a central sculpture which represents the artist’s trademark suited character. Each piece of work included in the upcoming exhibition acts as a mirror into the depraved nature of society; confronting topics like our obsessive attachment to social media and masturbatory selfie culture to politically controversial topics such as abortion , addiction and gender. Upon first glimpse the artist’s work may appear as playful and lighthearted but upon further thought and inspection it reveals his admirable method of twisting saccharine settings to dissect modern culture.

“I think we all laugh at misery. We must start from the idea that when we laugh, we laugh at someone or something. With empathy or not, there is always some degree of cruelty. In spite of that, I am aware that if one of my cartoons happened in real life , I would not laugh at al,” he comments. In sync with the growing feeling that the world is sinking further into depraved absurdity, Cornellà sheds some light unto human nature, presenting us in his notoriously dark and disquieting manners. The exhibition is set to run until the 4th of May.

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Illustrating Fashion with Christina Zimpel

Broad strokes, dense colour, a sense of positive circularity to her work – Christina Zimpel is an artist of a wonderfully bold disposition. Being an Australian in New York City, her work has lifted the pages of Vogue Australia to the SS19 handbags (and set design) of Michael
Kors. There is a natural magnetism to her illustrations, often heavily centred around reinterpretations of the runway or figures of fashion. Christina breaks down familiar catwalk looks into bright colour comparisons of ink and gouache (think green against pink, red beside baby blue), or almost-Surrealistic monochrome, creating confident combinations.
Large almond eyes are bestowed on her interpretations, and for all the magnetism of their form and colour, look out with a gentleness: a reflection of the artist? May Christina Zimpel’s illustrative hand continue: she creates illustrations that lift the page through colour and composition.

What do you do for fun, what’s your favourite colour?

For fun I eat and garden and go for walks. My favourite colour is currently
a mossy green. 

What were you good at in school, what were you not so good at?

I enjoyed history and art and creative writing. I did not pay enough attention to maths and biology.


Who were you favourite bands growing up? Who do you listen to these days?
I like the same bands today as I did growing up… Bowie, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, Prince, Miles Davis, The Clash, Joy Division etc etc. all really great to work to. And my son Lil Jabba!
 

How did you get into art and illustration?
I got into art by suddenly deciding I wanted to draw – so I drew everything I could see around me every day for a couple of years and shared the results on Instagram. Illustration commissions started coming due to that. In the past it might have been harder to get my foot in the door. However, now I have an audience and some great people saw something interesting in me and gave me work which is wonderful!

Describe a day in your life .
I am quite boring especially in winter when I barely leave the house! I work at home so I am up and working at the kitchen table. I can multi task as the dishwasher and stove are close to my brushes and paints. In the summer I get to go outside and do a bit of gardening or walk around my neighbourhood if I need a break.

Your work appears to be shaped greatly by blocks of colour: does colour or form come first for you when you start a piece?
When I’m painting, colour is an important starting point. I have a definite palette and love to work within those parameters. My colour choices come from distant memories when I became really conscious of my surroundings. The sixties pop colours, the clarity of bright reds and greens and pink my mother loved. They form my landscapes. With illustrations I tend to be influenced by the subject matter be it fashion or narratives. Using very bright colours is tricky so I add banal colours to balance them, otherwise you’d get a headache.

Do you doodle?
I love to doodle! That is something I’ve always done.

You are from Perth yet currently reside in New York: do aspects of either Australia or New York enter your work?
Definitely- Australia is a land of bright clear colours and I like the uplifting feelings it gives me, it ties in with the Fauvist paintings I love so much.
New York really gives me so much love for humanity… so many people all the time all living their lives right in front of you. It really comes out in my work – observations of people’s expressions, body language, the heaviness of life.

Does your mind drift as you draw or does drawing help your mind drift?
I have always been the anxious type. Drawing is the best help I’ve found to drift away from my thoughts and tune out the chatter. It makes me live in the moment.  In the UK, the government is increasingly moving focus away from the arts, leaving a potential massive gap in young people’s education of art.

How important is art to you?
When you are exposed to the arts there is something each person will find interesting or beautiful or earth shattering amongst it. All people should get the opportunity to open up their world and find their own creativity or passions. It shouldn’t be a luxury.


You have worked with the likes of the CFDA, Maison Kitsune and Michael Kors: what role has collaboration played in your career?
I was really lucky to work with some iconic brands in 2018. I had the opportunity to draw portraits, landscapes and create brand identities. I had my first merchandise produced – totes and phone cases and T-shirt’s, as well as beautiful look books and interactive displays. It’s been really exciting and it’s giving me hope that I can grow exponentially, and be collaborative, not just work in a bubble.

What was the last thing that made you excited?
The whole thing- I did not see any of this coming!

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“Tim Walker: Wonderful Things” – The Visionary’s Largest Exhibition To Date comes to London

Cover Image: Duckie Thot, Aubrey’s shadow © Tim WalkerStudio

This Autumn London’s largest museum Victoria and Albert is set to host an exhibition on one of fashion’s most celebrated photographers Tim Walker. Titled Tim Walker: Wonderful Things , the exhibition is scheduled to open on September 21st, and will include the largest collection of Walker’s images to date. Curated & designed by leading creative director and Walker’s long-term collaborator Shona Heath , the exhibit will feature 10 new photographic projects which have been directly influenced by the V & A’s vast collection. In preparation for the exhibit, the photographer scoured the museum 145 public galleries, scaled the roof of the 12 acre South Kensington site and explored the labyrinth of Victorian passages below level. Where he encountered , antique jewellery , erotic illustrations, the museum’s largest photograph as well as many other rare artefacts to serve as inspiration for the projects. 

“To me, the V&A has always been a palace of dreams – it’s the most inspiring place in the world. The museum’s collection is so wide and eclectic, and I think that’s why it resonates with me so much. Many of the objects that I saw during my research at the museum made my heart swell and I wanted to try to create a photograph that would relate not only to the physical presence and beauty of that object, but also to my emotional reaction to it. Each new shoot is a love letter to an object from the V&A collection, and an attempt to capture my encounter with the sublime. For me, beauty is everything. I’m interested in breaking down the boundaries that society has created, to enable more varied types of beauty and the wonderful diversity of humanity to be celebrated. Preparing for this exhibition over the past three years has pushed me into new territories, which is very exciting, and I’m at a stage in my life where I feel brave enough to do that,” said the man himself. 

‘Tilda Swinton’, Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio

The exhibition will begin with  showcasing over 300 items including short films, photographic sets, props, sketches, scrapbooks and other items from which Walker drew inspiration as well 100 photographs from his previous projects. It will the continue into 10 additional rooms filled with the photographer’s work work inspired by the V & A, his films installations and evocative sets and props alongside the images they inspired.  The exhibition will take it’s bow on March 08, 2020. For more information, visit V & A. 

‘Zo, Kiran Kandola, Firpal, Yusuf, Ravyanshi Mehta, Jeenu Mahadevan, Chawntell Kulkami, Radhika Nair’, Pershore, Worcestershire, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio
‘Karen Elson, Sgaire Wood & James Crewe’, London, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio

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Cadogan Contemporary: Chance Encounters, Ilana Manolson

London based gallery Cadogan Contemporary recently teamed up with Canadian painter and botanist Ilana Manolson for the conception of a solo exhibition titled Chance Encounters. Set to open on April 23rd, the exhibition will be Manolson’s debut showcase in the city and will feature over 20 of her acrylic paintings with themes of representation and abstraction presented in ways which challenge traditional depictions of nature in nature in art. 

 A trained botanist, Manolson offers the viewer an intimate and profound knowledge of the natural world , she began painting while working at Canada’s National Park system in Alberta, where her office became a de facto art studio. Eventually, her passion and talent led her to study printmaking and painting at one of America’s most prestigious art schools, The Rhode Island School of Design.

 “I  see being a naturalist and being a painter as being very much related in that you are looking at an environment closely, looking over time and looking for the details that explain the larger whole,” the artist explained. The showcase will make its run throughout mid April and take its bow on the 10th of May.  

Cover Image : Yarrow, 2017; Shape of a trek, 2018; Wind teaser, 2018-19; Hunter, 2019 © Ilana Manolson, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

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Centre National de la Danse: “Where Did Our Love Go?” – March 16th & 17th

In the early 90’s during the Great Depression of the US, there began an interesting tradition of exhaustive dance marathons.  Participants would dance for hours while mesmerised audiences made bets on winners and predicted losers. Although they included many rules with risks of disqualification, these marathons offered a  cathartic release as they acted as a sort of mirror to the crisis happening where the main aim was survival as opposed to glamour.

French institution Centre National de la Danse as a part of their Trois Fois Rien exhibition recently tapped artist and choreographer Émilie Pitoiset to conceive a performance titled, “Where Did Our Love Go?” in ode of the iconic dance marathons. The 6-hour performance set for March 16 &  17 at the institution’s headquarters in Pantin, France will explore the dance form which Pitoiset has been studying since 2009. It will include repertory of gestures and postures which are at the heart of her studies and artistic works from the time period which will feature the bodies on the borders of falling, intimately enduring the mechanisms of capitalism in ways to appear increasingly contemporary. For more information, visit CN D.

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“The Wahi Series”, – Northern New York City as seen by Kasandra Enid Torres

Kasandra Enid Torres is a culture and fashion photographer based in Washington Heights, NYC who has been documenting the soulful inhabitants of her neighbourhood for the past three years. Her series titled “Wahi” — short for Washington Heights —  diaries the vivacious poetic spirits of the busy district in ways which treasure the Old New York City aesthetic with a 21st Century twist. In conversation with the photographer , Twin discusses her inspirations and experiences throughout the process of the project. 

When did you first start shooting in New York? 

I moved to the city at the beginning of 2013 after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. For the first two years I didn’t shoot much, I was constantly working 24/7 and if I had free time I spent it sleeping. I was also on an artist block, I wasn’t sure what to shoot. I came from an art background making abstract photography and films. To get myself unstuck, I started to shoot anything and everything.

What inspired you to start the “Wahi” series? 

Around 2015 I started to shoot regularly. At the time I didn’t have access to models so I decided to shoot outside in my neighbourhood. I am not the most extroverted person and having to go out to make pictures by approaching strangers was daunting to me. It was definitely a challenge. I slowly got more comfortable with it and found my flow. I got my hands on a Hasselblad Superwide C, which is a medium format camera with no viewfinder. It was fun experimenting with it and finding its sweet spot. It is a somewhat big and chrome camera. I liked shooting with it for this series because it attracts attention. It is also a conversation piece, people approach me asking me about it and allow me to take their portrait. 

How do you select your subjects? 

I walk up and down on St Nicholas Ave between 168th and 191st street, keeping myself open for opportunities. I am attracted by really interesting people, how they are dressed, how they walk, their  expressions etc. I also choose things that speak to the culture of the neighbourhood, such as the supermarkets, the crowded bus stops, the chairs, domino tables, and the empanada carts. 

What’s your favourite thing about Washington Heights?

My favorite thing about this neighbourhood is the people. I love being surrounded by other hispanics. Having lived away from my family for the past eight years, I like being reminded of my culture and roots. I like listening to the radio blasting salsa or reggaeton while walking to the supermarket. I like watching the intensity of people playing dominos. I love the sidewalk parties of people chilling on their lawn chairs, drinks in paper bags, puffing from hookahs and grilling up on barbecues.  I love the wafts of food smells, such as pernil, mofongo, empanadas, and asopao. It feels like home. 

What would you like people to take away from viewing this series?

I want these images to give the viewer a look inside this Old New York style neighbourhood. There really aren’t many places like this in the city. Majority of the city has been gentrified and franchised. I want them get an honest raw interpretation of this community.  I want them to be able to see how interesting and cool the neighbourhood is, to feel as if they were there. 

Can we expect to see more projects like this from you in the future?

Yes I will continue to document series like this one. I just wrapped up a series I shot near the Adirondacks in January of a Snowmobile drag race. I shot that one during an insane blizzard! I am also currently shooting a series at busy subway platforms like Times Square, documenting all types of people.

What’s next for you as a photographer? 

I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. With each new series I try to do something I haven’t done before, be it a camera technique, lighting technique, shooting a specific way or subject matter. 

Where can one view more of your work?

Majority of my work is online. I have work published here on Twin (my Afropunk series), Document Journal, a couple of other indie magazines and my website. My Dependence series is published on issue 7 of Recens Paper, another of my favorite project. In the future, I aim to have a gallery show at a space in the neighbourhood. I want to give back to this community that has given me so much. 

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Doodling with Illustrator Carla Uriarte

Carla Uriarte’s doodles are dinky, wonky, pinky-plonky. She incorporates scrawls, bubble writing and statements, the catching’s of a conversation, passing thoughts and internal monologues into her drawings of birds, creatures, women and abstract landscapes. Her approach has a way of presenting a female sensibility amongst her make-believe Australiana landscape lilt and intriguing creatures and friendly monsters: some of her work are simply abstract forms that might hold mouths, tongues, teeth, housed in globules of colour and shade. 

They are definitely doodles, in the sense that they seem to be scratched from the surrealism of her mind, yet are brought forth into reality through the statements that neither start nor stop. It almost feels like the images and the words reflect one another: they neither have sharp edges or some no edges at all. Merely soft openings without the need for a cathartic finish.

They are surrealistic, they are eye-catching, they are calming: they are doodles destined to define nothing in particular but open a frame into a world Carla has created for herself and her viewers, invited to enter and interpret as they see fit. 

What do you do for fun, what’s your favourite colour, how did you get into drawing and illustration?

Swim, wine, dance, socialise, paint. Mustard. Natural Instinct. 

What were you good at in school, what were you not so good at?

Sport. Focusing. 

What defines a doodle?

Quick movements without too much effort or thought. 

When you draw, what comes first: the statement or the illustration?

Still unsure. Can’t say. Either or depending on the moment. 

Who is the best doodler in history?

David Shrigley 

In the UK, the government is increasingly moving focus away from the arts, leaving a potential massive gap in young people’s education of art. How important is art to you?

Very IMPORTANT – for obvious reasons. I think that without the education of art it is easy for a young person to think that they cannot make a career out of ART which can cause them to feel forced into working in a field that does not interest them — leading to a life with no passion or pizazz, resentment etc. etc. 

Does Australia enter your work?

The landscape, feelings, people and experiences of wherever I happen to be always enters my work.

Does your mind drift as you draw or does drawing help your mind drift?

I think my mind drifts 24/7. I find that the mediation of drawing brings me inside of my head allowing me to explore the different layers of all that goes on within.

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The Art of Women Exhibition

This week, British organization The Art of Women launches their exhibition in support of women across the United Nation. The Art of Women is a solidarity movement for the empowerment of women which unites UN Women with fashion models in an effort to amplify their voices. The organization is a commitment to human rights and is a form of advocacy for respect towards women and  diversity by promoting change through art and raising awareness around issue surrounding feminism . The Art of Women opens the doors of their exhibition tomorrow March, 4th through 6th at the Florence Loewy in Paris. The exhibition shot by Nikki Esser, provides a perspective on a diverse representation of women, authenticity and empowerment as the photographer captures the personalities of her muses through her warmth and the connections she creates with them. For further information visit The Art of Women.

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J Hammond Projects: “Fuck Paintings, Etc.” by Betty Tompkins

This week London based exhibition space J Hammond Projects presents the opening of their latest exhibition “Fuck Paintings, Etc” by pioneering feminist artist Betty Tompkins. The exhibition which opens today features a series of pornographic images aimed predominantly at men missing heads, hands and other identifiers until the work takes a form of abstractionism. The artist tells the stories of sexuality and desire from a female perspective, in attempt to break the monopoly of the male gaze. The  series will include a selection of ‘Fuck’ , ‘Cunt’ , ‘Pussy’ and ‘Dick Paintings’ which the artist has completed throughout the last decade along with four brand new text works from Tompkin’s “Insults/Laments” series. 

The “Insults/Laments” is a combination of the artist’s work featuring quotes of crude and degrading language directed at women. “I’m always moved by what I’m quoting, by including the words in my paintings, I’m showing respect for how women have survived these awful experiences,” stated Tompkins.  

The artist began her journey of making giant genitalia ‘Fuck Paintings’ over half a century ago and was presenting a body of work which had initially been rejected by all corners of the art world for its sensitive subject matter. As a result, despite a handful of group shows during the early 1970’s these  paintings have been ignored for the past three decades stored in the Tompkins’ New York studio until a solo exhibition in 2002 and her participation in La Biennale de Lyon the following year. The exhibition is set to run throughout March until April 13th. 

Betty Tompkins Who Will… Acrylic on canvas 2019
Betty Tompkins Cunt Painting 2017, Acrylic on Canvas

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Hen The Exhibition, by Bex Day

British fashion and documentary photographer Bex Day in collaboration with producer curator Sandrine Servent and artist publisher William Esdale have recently joined forces in the conception of a campaign which seeks to raise awareness and visibility of the UK’s older transgender community.  The campaign titled ‘Hen’ is an initiative Day has been working on for the past three years, that aims to promote a better understanding of integration in and outside the transgender community through an exhibition, film, talks and workshops. 

According to Day, “Hen is an anthropological study on gender fluidity and an exploration into the lasting impact societal restrictions concerning sexual identity and gender roles upon us. It examines how gender stereotypes have affected the older transgender community and questions how we define gender and if as a society we should, as well as exploring the inherent social and cultural problems within these alienating classifications.” The exhibition is set to display a series of 30 photographic portraits in various sizes and a newly commissioned film featuring subjects over the age of 40 which with successful funding, will take place in London at the Herrick Gallery during the first week of April following Trans Day of Visibility day on March 31st.

Unfortunately , the campaign is sans funding and is in attempt of seeking financial sponsors to cover the expenses of the panel discussion, transport and installation of the artwork, equipment for the three workshops among other costs. The workshops will be hosted by the charity Stonewall Housing with whom the exhibition has partnered with to ensure that 50% of prints sales goes to the organization as one of the UK’s LGBTQ+ and trans only supported accommodations. Twenty percent will also be contributed to partners Press For Change as one of the UK’s leading campaign groups in focus of the rights and treatment of transgender people. To donate, visit Hen The Exhibition, to learn how. 

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Homage To Karl Lagerfeld: 30 Years of Photography at Galerie Gmurzynska

Swiss art gallery Galerie Gmurzynska has recently opened it’s door to an exhibition in honour of the artwork of the late Karl Lagerfeld. Many might not have  known that one of the iconic designer’s talents were photography but over the decades Galerie Gmurzynska has worked with Lagerfeld on numerous shows, publications and projects. The gallery is also said to be the very first to put his photography on display. 

“We wanted to honour this long collaboration and this man whom we regarded as one of the last true renaissance genius. We were all incredibly saddened by his passing and spontaneously wanted to show our respect for Karl by remembering our two decades of collaboration, showing a wider public his lesser known passion for photography,” said co-owners Mathias Rastorfer and Krystna Gmurzynska. The exhibition features nearly 50 pieces of Lagerfeld’s work which has been curated  Rastorfer in a way to take it’s audience on a comprehensive journey throughout his body of work.  The exhibition will conclude on May 15th. Visit the gallery’s website for more information.

Cover image: Benicio Del Toro (Hollywood Stars) 2002

Nicole Kidman (1995) by Karl Lagerfeld
Gone with the Wind (1996) by Karl Lagerfeld
Series BodyParts (1998) by Karl Lagerfeld

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susan pui san lok: A COVEN A GROVE A STAND

Earlier this month at the Firstsite gallery Colchester,  opened an uncanny exhibition titled “A COVEN A GROVE A STAND.”  The exhibition pioneered by artist susan pui san lok, is an exploration of the age-old practice of witchcraft and the history of witch persecutions across East Anglia during the 16th and 17th centuries where over 300 witches were executed by the Witch Hunter General Matthew Hopkins. 

Throughout the exhibition , the artist’s focus is on an 800 year-old oak tree called the ‘Old Knobbley’ located in Mistley, Essex and is rumoured to be where witches were thought to have hidden.  The exhibit also includes a sound installation which echoes several versions of the folk song “Cruel Mother” around the tree. The showcase is set to conclude in April and will evolve overtime as the artist will encourage her audience to participate in the exploration of the themes of voice, place, collective remembrance and resistance.  

Famous Old Knobbley oak tree in forest in Mistley, Essex – Image by Callum Redgrave
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite

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Fondazione Prada: “Surrogati – Un Amore Ideale”

Later this month Fondazione Prada will present a peculiar exhibition curated by Melissa Harris entitled “Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale” (Surrogate. A Love Ideal).  Set to be opened on February 20th at their Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Emanuele,  Milan, the exhibition will feature the works of American photographers Jamie Diamond and Elena Dorfman which will explore the notions of romantic and sexual love. Each of the photographer’s works create visual and oral discussions around the theme of emotional linkages between male and female with the notion of synthetic representations of humans. 

“Together, Diamond’s and Dorfman’s work presented in ‘Surrogate’ vividly and non judgementally documents the interactions of humans with their lifelike, inanimate companions” says curator Melissa Harris.

The exhibit will showcase three subcategories of work, by Jamie Diamond:  Forever Mothers (2012-2018) and Nine Months of Reborning (2014). The prior captures the lives of an outsider art community called the Reborners who are self-taught female artists who create, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls which help them fulfil a certain desire for motherhood.  “Working with this community allowed me to explore a grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects,  human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real.”

Elena Dorfman’s segment of the exhibition features her series titled Still Lovers (2001-04) which highlights the lives of men and women who have relations and often devote themselves to life-size, realistic sex dolls. This series instantly ignites conversation about the power of lover and the value of an object that has the power great enough to replace human beings. Dorfman’s intentions behind creating the series was not to exploit or shun the deviancy of these unconventional relationships but to instead reveal the fascinating world of intimacy between flesh and silicone. “ My ambition is never to judge, but to allow the inhabitants of this secret world to share their daily lives with me. In familiar surroundings  of their homes, I watch the scenes of domestic life unfold, the artist explains.”  The exhibition set to conclude on July 22,  will also carry an illustrated publication in the Quaderni series published by the Fondazione, which will consist of conversations between the curator herself, the artists along with some of the image subjects.

Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond
Rebecca 1, Still Lovers, (2001) Elena Dorfman
CJ & Taffy 5, Still Lovers, (2002) Elena Dorfman
Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond

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TO GO: Nights Global : The Female Experience Pop Up

Nights Global, a London based pop up cinema launched in 2015, for their first venture of the year will premiere an event which explores “The Female Experience.” Running from February 18th through 24th, the experience will be hosted in Brick Lane, Shoreditch and will include a series of seven events.

The first two days will feature workshop group discussions on topics such as Social Media Branding and Making Bold Decisions which will feature a panel of fashion stylist Nayaab Tania, Nail Artist Jess Young, Actress and Rapper Lauren Marshall.  The second workshop will discuss Time Management, Collaboration and Freelance with a cast of Net-a-Porter Stylist Audrey Mark, Filmmaker and Actress Thea Gajic, Co-Founder of Crownrose swimwear Nikky and Illustrator Olivia Twist. Over the course of these two days, this diverse panel of women are set to discuss some of the most pressing questions and issues facing females in the creative industries. 

The next following days (20th-24th) will feature a retails party where female products will be selling products. As well as film screenings which have been produced, directed and written by female creatives such as Thea Gajic, Runyararo Mapfumo, Rosie Matheson, Kaj Jefferies, Savvannah Leaf and Ella Bennett. For more information and ticket visit Nights Global.

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