Monthly Archives: May 2010

Will power

The main character in one of my all-time favorite movies once said something like:

I’m afraid of my will and what it can make me do.

I too sometimes consider my will to be an entity separate from my own self.

Although my it does not scare me, I am frequently in shock every time my will shows its strength to me.

And I am very stubborn too.

Row with Rüegger

I love art that isn’t easy.

When an artist subverts his or her art form to create something intriguing, it is love at first site.

Swiss photographer Romy Rüegger does it very well.

Working with surfaces and using close-ups and bluriness, she successfully questions the very foundations of photography: the need to reproduce reality in a faithful way.

It is far more interesting to challenge some basic notions and the viewers’ expectations than just to provide what we want, especially in a world already saturated with images.

Artists like Rüegger give new strength to art mediums.

How refreshing.

Monster beauty

I said recently that there is usually something homely in art produced by women. Evidently, that is not always the case.

Since I am in a constant fight to break stereotypes, there is a Brazilian painter and illustrator who does it very gracefully, Fefe Talavera:

Depicting emotions using monsters is something she does very well too. I’ve kept up with her blog for some time now and it is always surprising to see what forms and shapes will be presented in the next image.

Drawing inspiration from street art, indigenous paintings and European masters, Talavera creates cartoon-like characters who seem full of personality and presence in the way they represent subconscious emotions.

There is definitely beauty in ugly feelings.

Smooth surfaces, hidden interiors

Rachel Whiteread is a master of sculpture.

The combination of solid, often house-shaped forms with soft and light materials beautifully balances the two opposite forces in many of her stunning sculptures.

The apparent fragility of the exterior together with the massiveness of the pieces raises all sorts of questions about surfaces, appearances and inner worlds.

One can never know how much is hidden behind a surface, especially those which seem incredibly pleasant to look at.

My favorite piece by Whitehead:

I simply adore simple shapes and smooth materials put together.

Smooth and soothing.

Home is where the art is

A friend of mine who is an artist and is currently taking her master’s degree in the subject once had a quarrel with one of her professors. If my memory is right, she was questioning him about the fact that he was never encouraging towards her or towards one of her friends – also a girl.

Then, to her surprise and to mine ten times more, here’s what the men said: “women can never be true artists“. This my friends, was in Zürich, Switzerland.

I could never forget that sentence and the narrow-mindedness contained in it, but it has served a far more dignifying purpose: I now pay close attention to women artists.

Since I believe clichés possess a certain strength, I can’t help but say here that I do feel women produce a different type or art from that of men. Womanhood seems to come through in various elements in the art of women. One of the very striking aspects of their art production is their choice of materials. I find very often that women choose every-day-life materials in their works of art.

Icelandic artist Hildur Bjarnadóttir is one of the finest examples of this:

Using materials tightly connected to home and homely subjects, she raises questions about origins, family and rural identity.

Weaves, threads, looms and spinning machines are all part of the artist’s universe, which are also linked to most grandmothers I know. I think this is true for most cultures around the globe.

It is a true and beautiful use of women’s cultural heritage to create something for a world to which they didn’t really belong up to very recently.

Uniqueness is my word du jour.

Let Pop IN

Although I am very much into unusual, surprisingly complex melodies and charged lyrics, I do have quite a taste for pop music.

The reasons for this are manifold: it’s joyful, it’s sticky, it’s unpretentious. Who can resist?

So, to put aside any prejudices guided by intellectual choices, here are some of my all-time favorite videos for pop music:

Besides being a great song, the video for Vogue is full of references to fashion, film and photography icons AND it has great choreography.

Telephone is an instant classic. It has a story, great moves, outrageous outfits and it is plain bold. Love it, love it, love it.

I basically love everything Michel Gondry sets his mind to do, but this video Come Into My World is even greater, for it shows that great geniuses can join big sellers and still be challenging.

One of the first videos to use supermodels, Freedom 90 has always made me wanna hit the dancefloor and just be happy and carefree.

For its simplicity, its beauty, its dance, Single Ladies is one of the top pop videos of the solar system. Unparalleled.

Let your armor down and let pop sink in.

Justin is the best male pop performer of all time. And he’s cool, stylish and really good looking in an un-obvious way.

UK, US, UK

Too quick to die

Success needs killing

Let me know the way before there’s hell to pay

Give me room to lay the law and let me go

I am yours now

I’ve been found out

Where would I be