Dasein, Red Elephant.

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Art category.

Venus in 3D. Animation = Resistance?

“Based loosely on works such as Titian’s Venus and paintings by the Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens, Sleeping Beauty is meant to introduce direct sensuality into the virtual realm, but employing an idea of beauty defined by a woman rather than men in which the subject does not express conventional canons of body and facial type. In so doing Sleeping Beauty inverts the typical 3D character-based animations of interactive gaming, not just through its visual language buy by also rejecting their violence and aggressive speed.”

Fascinating piece by Claudia Hart, art critic and visual artist. Read more about Hart and this piece at this link. I don’t think it completely inverts voyeurism but somehow enhances it. The langurous movement embedded within the image is liberating in a sense but it invites continued observation, and hence the tendency to secretly voyeur.


Public Sculpture Riot


A collection of public sculptures from all over the world. Some of them are utterly pornographic in nature and some are semi-Futurist (ala Boccioni). I like the static ones. They seem to be so damn defiant in this wierd way, of their environment and the onward gaze. See more pictures here.

Aspen Magazine


Aspen is exactly the magazine or journal that I've always wanted to create but never did have the chance or time. It's got one element that I really like in a journal; media-rich content that sees critical text juxtaposed next to artwork. Each comments and reflects on the other without either dominating the rhetoric. While looking or listening to the audio or visual art in the each issue of Aspen, difficult theoretical postulations become somehow easier to understand, as relative connections become more fluid and apparent. The content itself is fascinating, from analysis of pre-modern Asian paintings, spoken word/avant-pop/classical phonograph recordings to scrapbook art, all of which are rhizomed and networked into a sexy mass of plausible cultural hypothesises.

Aspen has been around for a while and they used to have a print version, but now only exists on-line, which is actually a better platform for its hyper-textual content.

Check it out… it's a must-read. Oui, c'est incroyable.

Anyone interested in starting an online art-literature journal thingy together?

Alan Moore Interview: V for Vendetta

V reading Thomas Pynchon.

The Beat has a fascinating interview with Alan Moore, the legendary English writer who wrote canonical graphic novels such as the Watchmen, V for Vendetta (yes, the movie starring Natalie Portman) and From Hell, a brillant, complex and polyphonic semi-biography of Jack the Ripper. Moore's writing completely revolutionized the comics industry and his poetic, lyrical style brought an incredible density to characters such as Swamp Thing, a figure erstwhile considered to be too emotionally vacant to depict in a meaningful way.

In this interview, he expresses his general disgust for the American comics and film industry:

I'm perhaps overstating my case here a bit, but I think I lent an awful lot of literary and intellectual credibility to the American comics business and to the comics business in general when I entered it. I don't feel the same way about comics any more, I really don’t. I never loved the comic industry. I used to love the comics medium. I still do love the comics medium in its pure platonic, essential form, but the comics medium as it stands seems to me to have been allowed to become a cucumber patch for producing new movie franchise.



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A Model Tokyo: City as Avatar


Pingmag has recently published an interesting series of Tiny Tokyo pictures inspired by Olivo Barbieri’s aerial photographs, which coolly transformed famous landmarks and cities into miniature models. While Barbieri had the good fortune to use a helicopter and an expensive tilt shift lens, these Tokyo images were easily achieved through the use of high rise buildings and basic photoshop effects.

In the Metropolis article, Barbieri explains the rationale behind his unique aerial pictures:

“I was a little bit tired of the idea of photography allowing you to see everything,” Barbieri says. “After 9/11 the world had become a little bit blurred because things that seemed impossible happened. My desire was to look at the city again.”

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Adieu, Modernism – Harry Seidler passes

Rose Seidler House (1948-1950), a Bauhaus-styled home in Sydney built for his mother.

Renowned architect Harry Seidler has died in his Sydney home, aged 82. Considered to be the earliest exponent of Bauhause and Modernist principles in Australia, Seidler worked and studied with some of the world's best-known Modernist architects including Walter Gropius, Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer and Oscar Niemeyer.

A Sydney Morning Herald article reveals Seidler's steadfast devotion to the Modernist ethic.

We ask Seidler of his inspiration when designing tall buildings. He looks taken aback. “Inspiration?” he says incredulously. “Architecture is not an inspirational business, it's a rational procedure to do sensible and hopefully beautiful things; that's all.” [28 September, 2002, p 4.]

Too much of a good thing: Jeff Wall’s Photography

Milk, 1984 (Transparency in lightbox 1870 x 2290 mm)

redelephant: I like Jeff Wall's pictures. While some photography seeks to capture the ethereal moment, document, suspend and expose it in its entirety, Jeff Wall seems to approach photography as a form of pictorial art, giving it thematic relevance beyond the image's context. Using large-scale photographic tableaux mounted in lightboxes, staged scenes, designed sets and amateur actors, each photograph is carefully shot with a unified composition schematic.

Notice how the left side of Milk seems to emanate a soothing air, from the use of cooling colors such as green and white in the bush and vertical indoor wall.This constrasts starkly with most of the image, which is bathed in rough, heaty brown hues, dripping from the brick grid walls to the man's shoe and wet, dark hair. Tension is remarkly concentrated in two parts of the picture: The man's posture, his clenched forearm with veins showing and the spurting geyser of white from the bottle of milk. There's something going on. The action is apparent but somehow, the careful representation of form makes the picture seem devoid of any context, removing the possibility of developing a definitive interpretation.

See more of Jeff Wall's work in his recently concluded retrospective at the Tate Modern.

Henry Fuseli and Gothic Romanticism


Titania and Bottom, Henry Fuseli (1790). Based on Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.

God, I love this painting. Pretty, ethereal and macabre at the same time. For a more detailed view, see here.

The Tate is currently holding a Gothic-Romantic art exhibition, displaying works by Fuseli and several other artists:

Gothic Nightmares explores the work of Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) and William Blake (1757–1827) in the context of the Gothic – the taste for fantastic and supernatural themes which dominated British culture from around 1770 to 1830.Featuring over 120 works by these artists and their contemporaries, the exhibition creates a vivid image of a period of cultural turmoil and daring artistic invention.

Latin American Art: Catalina Estrada


Catalina Estrada, a Columbian graphic arts designer creates interstellaric shimmering images with an beautiful pictorial schematic. Her figures remind me a little of Tara McPherson's work and her liberal use of bright colors has an edgy carnival-ish new world feel to it. Check out her lovely website for more pictures. (Mucho Gracias.. Boing Boing)

For more latin american graphic art, check out Cuartopiso and Santotipo.

Truth and Death: Capa’s Falling Soldier


Robert Capa’sLoyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936.” The definitive image of the Spanish Civil War, this picture was first published in the July 1937 issue of Life magazine, with the caption stating, “Robert Capa’s camera catches a Spanish soldier the instant he is dropped by a bullet through the head in front of Córdoba.

Capa’s picture might as well be staged (as it was alleged to be by several critics). There is nothing violent or shocking about it. No blood. No look of fear or torture. No mishappened limbs. Just black and white sunlight, a shadowy sky and a look of sublime peace on the face of the falling soldier. He could be falling down, drunk in his casual shirtsleeves from emotional fatigue. The wind in his ears.

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From Nihonga to Nihonga: Kumi Machida


Kumi Machida’s ink paintings are currently showing at MOT, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo as part of the No Borders, From Nihonga to Nihonga exhibition. Drawn using India ink and pigment on fine flaxen paper, Kumi Machida uses an extraordinary network of brush lines, created through the repetition of numerous fine lines.

Ultra-modern fatties meets Victorian sadism in an dystopian biogenetic-obsessed anti-society. I don't quite know how to feel when I look at the paintings.

See more at PingMag.

Words and Schematics


Just read the latest copy of Diagram 5:1, an electronic journal of text and art. This issue has the usual dose of taxonomic diagram-pictures, along with a decent collection of hypertextual and text-referential poetry. I found Marc Pietrzykowski's javascript poem rather.. interesting. It's a likely representation of how a computer would write, if it had a moment of sentience.

Laocoon and his Sons


Last night while browsing through a photo book on Greek Art, I came across this startling picture of Laocoon and his children, strangled by sea snakes. I must have seen this famous picture a dozen times before, but somehow I never did have the time to examine it in detail. Upon close inspection, Laocoon really seems to stand out from the other Grecian sculptures I have seen, which now seemed transparent and placid in comparison.

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Dreams, Surburbs and Kerouac

“Tristessa” by Katia Fuentes, featured in the Spring 2005 issue of Convergence, a poetry and art journal.