Daniel Arsham

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Daniel Arsham is a multi-disciplinary contemporary artist who alternates between design, film, sculpture and photography.

The above image highlights Arsham’s  signature concept of ‘fictional archaeology’ which sees devices such as boom boxes or cameras decayed with geological material, creating an eery and somewhat alien impression.

His newest venture is Film the Future, a production company which produces immersive short films and advertisements for the likes of Usher and Calvin Klein.  The fourth instalment of his Future Relic short film can be seen here.




Atalanta and Hippomenes

Although I have blogged about Guido Reni before, I was recently reminded of his beautiful painting, Atalanta and Hippomenes in a book I have been dipping in and out of for months!
Here is the extract from the book: ‘In the myth, Atalanta was a swift-running huntress who was determined to keep her virginity and refused to mate with any man who could not outrun her in a foot race. Nobody could, until she was challenged by Hippomenes, who had been provided with three golden apples by the interfering goddess Aphrodite. At intervals in their race, Hippomenes would drop an apple, which Atalanta could not resist; picking them up delayed her so much that she lost both the race and her virginity.’ (Robert Hughes, Rome, London, 2011)
Painted between 1618-1619 when Reni returned to Bologna from Rome, it is without a doubt my favourite Reni painting, possibly even my favourite painting in the Prado.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

I went to the V&A’s Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition on a whim and was pleased that I did.  As you can probably guess, the exhibition offers a large array of weird, wonderful, quirky and seemingly uncomfortable footwear spanning centuries and continents.

The V&A puts on fantastic exhibitions and this one was just as inventive, with various film extracts, music, and a wall display of shoe boxes.

My personal shoe collection is a bit sparse but even if like me you don’t have a shoe fetish, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is definitely worth the visit.

“This obsession with shoes just really struck me, and how it’s gone on. Through social media, it’s in our living room. I wanted to go into why are we who we are in shoes? And so often they are not really made for our feet, which are actually quite wide. Fashion is a different thing,” – Helen Persson, Curator, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain 

Images: Victoria & Albert Museum

Open House London: Admiralty House

This weekend, historic and architecturally significant buildings in London opened their doors to members of the public as part of Open House London. So, i started my weekend off with a trip to Admiralty House, a building I have been curious about for quite some time.

Admiralty House is a Grade I listed building which is normally closed to the public.  Built in 1785 to accommodate the First Lord of the Admiralty, it is now owned by the Cabinet Office who uses the ground floor Senate Rooms for meetings and conferences.

The rooms are filled with naval themed art and antiques belonging to the Ministry of Defence Art Collection. The most interesting part for me was the highly decorative chimney stove in the main hallway. Made from stone and terracotta, it was designed to look like a rostral column similar to the monuments used by the Romans to commemorate their victories over the Carthaginian fleet with images of captured enemy warships.

Jacob Hashimoto

For months I have been meaning to write a little blog post about Jacob Hashimoto and his entrancing installations made using Japanese paper and traditional kite-making methods.

Hashimoto, who describes his artwork as “landscape based abstraction”, has said it was on the advice of his father that he began making kites. When he was still an art student in Chicago, he told his father that he was struggling to convey an authentic and relevant voice in his paintings.  His father’s response was that even if he was not painting, he should go to the studio to create something, even if it meant making model airplanes or kites…

His work is often described as ephemeral, but for me, his installations convey a poetic ambiguity and a magical, dreamlike world in which to explore.

“In my case, the artworks are built on a rigid grid structure and that is the foil, against which, the organic, flowing compositions are positioned. Given this grid of units, all of the experiments and elements of chaos that I develop within the work are given context in the piece. Things have meaning because of context and I think that juxtaposition of opposites is a terrific device to give new meaning to the artwork. At the same time, through such universal devices, I’m to continue to participate in the very human exploration of language and meaning.” – Jacob Hashimoto. 

Cecile Emeke

Today I spent a few hours at Southbank’s Africa Utopia festival, an event which aims to showcase contemporary culture, art and ideas from numerous African countries that are helping to change the world.

One person who caught my attention was Cecile Emeke, an artist, director and writer who has gained global recognition for her online documentary series, Strolling and the French version, Flâner. 

“I try to be honest in my work and I think honesty is what allows nuances of humanity to shine through. I stay true to myself and my truth, bringing another story and voice to the table, and therefore helping to break single story dogma, as opposed to trying to mould myself to what I think people want to see or hear.” – Cecile Emeke

Morgan Herrin

Today I came across images of recycled and lumber wood sculptures by the artist Morgan Herrin. It’s always a nice feeling when you come across a new artist, particularly when you like their work! Herrin takes inspiration from classical sculpture to create inventive and decorative pieces which can often take up to a year to produce. Nonetheless, I’m apparently behind everyone else in my discovery, including Lance Armstrong who bought some of Herrin’s work in 2007!

Wishing you all a great weekend!