Category Archives: Art

African Art

I am very excited to be able to introduce you to the very talented, young Senegalese artists Momar Seck who now finally decided to expand his scope into Europe and the United States. He studied at the Dakar Graduate School of Visual Arts as well as in Switzerland at the University of Strasbourg to explore the studies of fine art in addition to purely plastic art.

Working in Dakar, Momar Seck clearly reflects the impression of his surrounding in his work. His pictures are characterized by the bright colors typical for African art and the idea many have of Africa in general. Upon closer inspection, one realizes, that the materials the artist uses are all recycled. In his personal statement, Momar Seck explains that he wants to show the interculturality of our modern, globalized world, where every good undergoes a cycle and in the end ends up, where it started.

The first painting below exemplifies this perfectly. The painting is dominated by the warm yellow and red-brown tones of the background as well as the warm orange of the greatest object in the center of the painting which creates a harmonic and snug atmosphere. The small individual rectangles which are arranged in three long vertical stripes show batik patterns in bright pink, blue and yellow and other fabric with very special, diverse structures or patterns. Being so different and extraordinary the singularity of these elements paradoxically is also their binding element, their lowest common denominator. Because of this characteristic, every rectangle seems like a window to a foreign world, a world that is so azure blue, so free, so Jamaican-chill, that it seems so far away from our western European lives that it gets a paradisiacal character.

The largest rectangle is in the center of the picture with a dark red line closely bisecting it, which makes the whole image appear symmetrical, although it clearly is not. This work shows the spirit of Africa, of Senegal with all its different facets and colors that cannot be felt this way in our world, which is what makes the painting so thrilling and fascinating for me.

The background of the upper third of the picture is kept in black, covered here and there by orange and yellow streams of paint that lead to the middle part of the painting, which includes this dark color into the picture, as it would otherwise stand apart and in contrast to the bright orange and yellow shades that dominate the rest of the painting. Still, in its darkness it suggests peril and doom, posed by the Western culture? It seems as if the orange streams fight against the dark, which adds another tension to the picture.

The background colors constitute the Belgium flag. Momar Seck thereby takes up his intention to show interculturality of our world, linking Belgium as a European and EU country with the Jamaican flag in a piece of art that is in its composition African.

This image is only one example of the wonderful work of Momar Seck and surely his other pictures all say equally much about our world, which is why I strongly encourage you to have a close look on them!

 

Zuschneiden

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Zuschneiden_3

 

Enfants de la Rue

The artist I would like to present today is Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, who I discovered during my visit at Saatchi Gallery in London. His series “Enfants de la rue” was especially fascinating to me. Aboudia captures images from the streets of his hometown Abidjan and sees himself only as a reporter. However, his work goes far beyond an observatory function. Aboudia enhances and exaggerates certain characteristics of the persons and objects he portrays to reveal absurdities of our modern world. In “Enfants the la rue 1” the, wide, bright smiles of the children shows the preposterous nature of people (only in extreme cases children) following directions of a superior ‘ruler’, a person that is human just like everybody else, to fight and kill for the sake of the country– fight humans, just because they were born in a country this ‘ruler’ considers to be generally evil, the enemy. During wars, citizen kill, become murderers, and are celebrated and honored for that. The white-colored weapons (where white traditionally stands for peace, innocence and life) in this context seem highly ironical and provocative.

The technique of painting in a sarcastic manner creates the tension of these works and forces their onlooker to deduct the artists’ message themselves; at the same time there is relatively little room for misinterpretation. The message Aboudia conveys is extremely profound and an essential problem of human nature, however, his pictures are not at all grave and onerous, which is why I could not stop looking at them.

Untitled (Diptych)

Daloa 29

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Supernatural

Art is our only salvation from the horror of existence.

I would like to introduce today’s post with this quote, because I think it is true in every perspective. When we step back and scrutinize society and the rhythm of life, it seems paradoxical to live against our desires- and yet only extremely few people lead the life they love. A certain system determines the lives of man, we go to school, to work, we marry, get children, become old, acrimonious and life for the ‘good’ moments of life, the vivid memories which are rare and precious and become scarcer over time.

It is this system, this rhythm, whose routine takes away the pure joy and beauty of life. I dare to claim that artists, true artists who are artists for the sake of expressing themselves through art, capture the world’s beauty and the diversity of art demonstrates that this beauty can lie within anything. However one aspect of human nature is especially present within this inspiration process: curiosity. Modern human has the desire to understand and discover everything (literally everything) as he is eager to learn and develope by nature.

Andrew Millar presents a vast variety of interesting and mysterious elements in his work. He combines modern earthly motives with an antiquarian photography technique as he uses Polaroid dias and cameras. His motives have a supernatural aspect which make them so fascinating, as we cannot truly grasp its meaning- they seem positively alien. Furthermore, Millar combines contrary objects and by that he gives his works the tensions that constitutes and excellent art work.

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CREDS TO ADREW MILLAR, found on Tumblr.

Alienation?

Dear readers,

vast technical progress is inevitable. New technologies became a part of our lives so strongly integrated we could not imagine anymore to live without them. Although it can be argued if one can identify a revolutionary era whilst being part of it, I do dare say: we are at the dawn of a new era. This new era, the technical revolution has just begun and its extent is surely unpredictable. Movies as “I, Robot” have shown us the worst-case scenario, on the other hand people dream of futuristic machines making life easier and more pleasant than one could ever imagine. However the central question remains: To what extent can machines imitate and even replace the human being?

This question and the difficulty of modernity occurred to me, as I came across the work of Echo Yang: ‘autonomous machines’. Surely, any person, who is only shown the finished version of the work, would call it art. What else would it be? Anyways, art is hard to define. But no matter how one might define ‘art’, it is clear that an artist created it. Whether it is created out of rationality or emotions- art must essentially be a product of a human’s creativity. No matter if its deeper meaning is very shallow, abstract or of the opposite: extremely profound, the intentional creation of a creative product defines art.

So can these works still be called art? No matter how you decide, I found them, and especially the production videos, extremely fascinating!

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Photos taken from designboom.com // CREDS TO ECHO YANG

The glorious Edvard Munch

Dear Readers,

last weekend, the last weekend of my vacation, I was in NYC- the big apple- visiting the Museum of Modern Art. It is by far the museum I enjoy visiting the most as it has classic but also a vast exhibition of contemporary and very diverse art! At this point I must admit that I prefer contemporary art because I can identify with it more. Still there is one artist whose paintings I truly love: Munch.

The Norwegian who lived from 1863 to 1944 is in my opinion the greatest expressionistic painter of the modern time. His most known work by far is “The Scream” which he painted an re-painted several times and worked over it many years. There are four paintings in different colour schemes and a number of lithographs (also extremely fascinating).

I had the possibility to see one of them in the MoMa.

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Now, what is it, that fascinates people all over the world?

As many expressionists Munch does not see colour as a part of reality but more as a tool to express certain feelings. The wavy body and background stand in extreme contrast to the straight bridge. The body, which can be also found in his painting “Madonna”, seems ghost-like and surreal. Not only the colours are contrasted vastly. The scenery in the background shows a ship which is clearly suppose to swim in the water. But unlike in nature, Munchs’ sea is yellow, the soil is blue. This enhances how Munch does not believe in a naturalistic depiction of his scene but rather  in colour as a media of emotions.

What I found most striking is the following: He painted the body and also the background and the bride with very thick and strong and layered strokes, but the suffocated scream, the most desperate and important element of the painting, is just drawn by one, perfect stroke. You cannot see this very well one the photograph but it seems so light and real and unearthly that it takes you into its spell. I could have stared at it for hours if I weren’t always so hungry…

Beneath I included a lithograph of ‘The Scream’ Munch painted for a German fellow, I think it was an artilleryman but I am not quite sure. At the bottom it says “Ich fühle das ganze Geschrei durch die Natur” which can be translated as “I feel all the screaming through nature”

Wonderful line, really makes you think…

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These are some of his other works

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Thank your for reading, comments are appreciated!!

PAPER: ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF AN EXCELLENT ART WORK

Hey guys, I wrote this paper and hope you enjoy it!

There are two main elements which are essential for a good art work. On one hand it has to be unique and innovative, something new the world hasn’t seen.  On the other hand  there needs to be a meaning behind it. A story, which breathes life into the art piece and widens the onlooker’s sensation to a dimension beyond its material existence.

Starting with the basis of any art work, the process of creation, I would like to point out one important basic: Every good art piece is not just made- it is composed!
The artist needs to have a clear concept and a concrete scheme of his project. This is because people will later on notice if the art work is a well-thought composition or just any art components put together with no deeper connection.

The first element, uniqueness, concerns solely the art work’s outward appearance. It is very important because with this surface impression the viewer decides if whether  the art work is worthy of a second view and if he is therefore interested in it.

To catch this attention, the art piece needs to be innovative. It can for example consist of a material which is not typically used in connection with art, or show a familiar situation which is presented in a new way. has been alienated . It has to be outstanding and eye-catching!

This all together already makes a quite good piece of art.
But for perfection one more component is required. The story behind the picture is the most essential element. When he tells explain the meaning of single elements of the picture or why it was composed that way, the viewer can imagine the artists’ ideas and motives.

Therefore a close connection between onlooker and art work is created.
Moreover it is no longer just any piece of art work. The onlooker starts looking for details, for hints which fit the authors given interpretation. He thinks about the art work, its title and how it was made. A relationship between the art piece and its viewer is created: a relationship which makes this one art piece special for him and assures that it will stick in his memory.

In summary, there are two essentials which the artist must consider while creating the art work. First, his work needs to be unique and special so that it catches the viewer’s attention. As many people as possible should be effected by this. Therefore the artist needs to be aware of his target group. It is then important to strengthen the viewer’s positive first impression. It is essential to give him back ground background information in terms of the artist’s intention. That could imply giving him the meaning of the composition or any additional information. Because of that this additional information the viewer notices details which give the art work its flair and understands why the artist composed his work in that this particular way. This creates a bonding between the art piece and the viewer!

Combination of Two DimensionS

Heyaa,

look at this awesome combination of 2D and 3D! Our society tries more and more to get into the third dimension like the upcoming of 3D cinema. Back to the art, I like the idea, but I do not  really like the art itself because in my opinion it is too sappy. There is not chic, no flair, no special feeling about it. But whatever the idea is very good so here it is:

SHINTARO OHATA

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