star wars wall decor

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star destroyer artwork

How toPaint a Creative Design on a Black Canvas Travelling bag

If you’re creative and now you like to style your canvas tote bags, seeking your hand with some painting is not a damaging idea in any respect. You are aware of we are all for making use of our imagination and even our interests to transform our canvas tote bags into veritable artwork.

The step one during the process would be to discover your design. Go for a design that has a sturdy outside line maybe a cartoon character or maybe a list of letters. My very own design was a pair of three cats on one side with a mouse on the back. After you’ve decided your design, sketch or locate the outer lines of the design on a dark colored canvas with a graphite or disappearing yellow/white sewing pencil.

Paint inside the lines with gesso or even a white fabric base paint. Let this layer of paint to dry fully before moving forward. Each gesso and fabric base paint take longer to dry as compared to acrylic paint due to their thickness. The gesso or fabric base paint stiffens and helps to create a surface that could accept a layer of colored paint by using just one layer. You’ve got to paint about ten layers of light shaded paint on dark-colored canvas to get the lightness of the paint to be noticed.

As soon as the gesso or white fabric base paint is dry, make the inner lines of your design. Color each one area along with the proper shaded acrylic or simply fabric paint. Let the paint to dry fully before going forward.

Include any detail you like at this point including shading, little forms like dots, circles, tulips etc .. Shake glitter covering the wet paint to supply another dimension if you want. After all small designs and glitter are used, outline every area by using black paint. Select a liner brush to do the outlining. A liner brush has the paint for a longer time and produces a lengthier line of paint over a small round brush.

Heat set the design and style following the final drying. Place a brown piece of packing paper covering the design area. Turn up your iron and heat on the cotton setting. Position the hot iron in the upper left hand place of the packing paper and hold in position for Just a few seconds. Slowly move the iron to the right one iron’s width and do it again. Continue on moving the iron and heating up the decorating until the whole place has actually been heat set. Get rid of the brown wrapping paper and you will be ready.

Commission Portrait in Francoise Nielly Style

She has investigated the various areas of “picture” all her daily life, via piece of art, roughs, illustrations, photography and virtual, pc produced computer animated artwork. It can be obvious since artwork is her route and her desire.

Francoise Nielly lifestyles in the field of photos.

She becomes her experience of construction and space from her daddy, who has been an designer. Being raised within the Southern of France exactly where she existed in between Saint and Cannes-Tropez, is rarely far away from the lighting, colour sensation along with the surroundings that permeates the To the south of France. This is certainly along with her reports together research with the Beaux disciplines and Ornamental Disciplines, and her spontaneity and also of get together.

Francoise Nielly’s artwork is expressive, demonstrating a brute power, an intriguing crucial power. knife and Oil blend shape her pictures coming from a substance that may be , simultaneously, biting and sensual, incisive and carnal. Regardless of whether she paints your body or portraits, the musician has a threat : her artwork is intimate, her colours free of charge,surprising and exuberant, even incredible, the reduce of her blade incisive, her shade pallet amazing.

Because you can see the brush strokes, and the rough colour blocks, the piece of work looks rough textured. Its diverse to many people performers who clean out their clean cerebral vascular accidents, and who combine their colors. I love the abstract result it offers.

Its abstract with funky colours. That’s my first impressions on this piece of work. It reveals dark areas in which more dark hues are, and light-weight exactly where lighter weight shades are. In my opinion its too colorful, however. I prefer just a few colours. Alternatively, just dark colours.

In the personal way, Francoise Nielly paints a persons deal with in all of his works of art. And she paints it over and over yet again, with slashes of painting over their deal with. Times of existence that come up from her works of art are brought into this world from the clinch using the fabric. Colour is unveiled just like a projectile.

Create Francoise Nielly Inspired Portrait

Francoise Nielly prints

Francoise draws lines to discover natural splendor, passion, and concentrate of memories. Each and every portrait brings together a feeling of peace and depression. Whenever we find out this kind of sensuous, expressive and overpowering drawing, we know that particular attention can thrust profoundly in any look, in any body language, in the position that becomes ones ways of being. The shades are precisely why Nielly’s paintings so real and natural and it is impossible not to fall in love with her ideas. Countless could be the inspirations, which dance inside these kind of feeling, and a lot of may be the definitions which happen to be expressed. ?Have you asked yourselves how vital it can be to enjoy color styles? If you’ve ever thought of how important it may be to control this kind of colours?

Nielly reveals a protective exploration on the way to touching and has become an instinctive and wild target of expressions. Once you close your eyes, you probably would not picture a face, which includes colors, but if you consider this thoroughly, everything acquires a form via our wants and needs. The most bothered soul will surely have colors, which might be covered but always alive. Many people believe in a portrait, there is always a relaxation that runs away, however in my opinion, every indicating is printed in their face. Eyes find out about sins and passion, a smile finds peace or perhaps decisive lie, and dazzling tones represent decisions without very much movement.

Francoise Nielly is an artist seen as a challenging and sophisticated methods expressing unique and important energy and strength.

Paintings by artist Franoise Nielly have got a discernible intensity that emanate in each one composition. Having enhanced palette knife art methods, the painter uses thick strokes of oil on canvas to blend a clear abstraction in to these figurative portraits. The artworks, that happen to be based off of easy black and white pictures, feature intensive light, shadow, detail, and productive neon designs. In accordance with her biography on Behance, Nielly involves a risk: her portrait is sexual, her shades free, contemporary, amazing, sometimes explosive, the cut of her knife incisive, her colors pallete incredible.

Does someone like Francoise Nielly’s artworks? Do you wish to buy a portrait painting from this painter? I don’t know if Francoise consider commission job? But when she do, i bet the prices would be very expensive as most of her paintings are available $10,000 to $30,000. Therefore, generally, it is nearly very unlikely to let Francoise Nielly create your portrait, although, guess what happens, our experienced artists can! We’re able to create your portrait exactly like Francoise Nielly do!

In Francoise Nielly’s Art, she doesn’t use any modern technology and uses only oil and palette knife. The colors francoise nielly pronunciation are spread roughly on the canvas and grow into a really great work. Her portraits encapsulate power of coloring like a unique way of experiencing life. The notion and form are simply just beginning points.

In her own way, Francoise Nielly gives our face in each of his paintings. And she paints it time after time, with slashes of paint all over their face. Experiences of life that come up from her art pieces are developed from the clinch with the canvas. Colouring is revealed to be a projectile.

The twin exhibitions

The twin exhibitions — “Counterculture” and “Cultural Economies” — inaguarated what is certain to be a contentious re-evaluation of the alternative and activist cultural practices that emerged in the mid-1960s and reached a zenith in the mid-1980s. Ambitious in scope, these paired presentations responded to a request by the New York State Council on the Arts to “evaluate and assess the alternative arts movement, its history, and the contributions made by individuals and institutions within the movement to the field of contemporary art.”

The reach of these exhibits was impressive, especially when one considers how the Council’s appeal might have been answered by a requisite narrative commemorating alternative spaces as a proving ground for today’s successful artists. Instead, what Julie Ault at the Drawing Center, and Brian Wallis and Melissa Rachleff at Exit Art, spread before the viewer was the material residue of a relentless, if heterogeneous assault by the New Left and by artists on the culture and politics of the United States during the last thirty years.

A foray into this agglomeration took one past documents, communiques, posters, art objects, `zines, newspapers, journals, web pages and came to a predictable halt at that particular branch of the consciousness/entertainment industry known as the art world. And it was in this familiar space that conceptual shortcomings appeared. Despite hinting at an essential link between the cultural revolution of the 1960s and the anti-Greenbergian “political” art of the late 1970s, the viewer was left to guess the nature of this historical reciprocity. Keeping pace with current intellectual style, the curators eschewed systematic analysis, opting for what Ault described as “no complete story, no real story, no decisive reading of events or their meanings,” and in the case of “Counterculture,” this anti-totalizing approach led to sets of discrete thematic classifications with no connective ligature. Paradoxically, these attempts to outmaneuver the defiles of an overarching, “master narrative” opened the door to a less savory exegesis. While ostensibly presenting the triumphs of a now waning “age of alternative art,” the political indecisiveness of each display betrayed the lowered critical expectations and dreary resignation before the market hegemony that characterizes the art world of the 1990s.

“Counterculture” immediately alluded to Rodchenko’s constructivist Worker’s Club reading room of 1925. Plastic-covered plywood counters encircled the gallery’s two rooms, encapsulating hundreds of printed artifacts from the 1960s underground to the NEA-sponsored political art of the early nineties. Documents from the 1964 Free Speech Movement at Berkeley and the Columbia University Strike in 1968 initiated the exhibition. Spread across shelves and upon walls were copies of the Berkeley Barb, the East Village Eye, and the San Francisco Oracle. Together, they announced the leitmotif of the sixties: revolt and self-realization. But nostalgia mixed with estrangement as recent battles over indecency, censorship and societal diversity begin to seem like footnotes to the all-out political and cultural war that was the 1960s.

Exit Art’s large, back space contained posters and printed artifacts from the New York art scene of the late seventies to the early nineties including work from the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), Artists Meeting for Cultural Change (AMCC), Colab, REPOhistory, ACT-UP and the Lesbian Avengers. A text panel titled “Artworkers and the Culture Wars” introduced this space. If the first room manifested a history still being sorted out, the second room displayed the ways this material was taken-up by the circumscribed language of the art world.

The Franchise

But why “Culture Wars”? This appellation ushers us off the “streets” and into the symposia and conferences of academia. If the “war at home” once helped bring the U.S. military to its knees, the “Culture Wars” are described as a “contestation over what forms of expression are deemed acceptable in American society.” Somewhere between room A and room B, a battle that once raged beneath the banner of revolution dwindled to a debate over curriculum. By contrast there is nothing equivocal about most of the work presented in this room. Take as just one example artifacts from “The Real Estate Show.” In December 1979, members of Collaborative Projects, one of the first artists groups to combine a self-conscious, neobohemian sensibility with postpunk, anarchist politics, broke into an abandoned city-owned storefront to install an exhibit denouncing New York’s draconian housing policies on the Lower East Side.

Significantly, the hinge between the radical ebullition of the sixties and the “political art” of the eighties was effected through the 1970s punk subculture. An assortment of micro-publications known as ‘zines, with titles like Raw, Slash, Creep, ZERO and Sick Teen, were papered from floor to ceiling in the narrow corridor just outside the gift shop. To question why this visually fascinating, though nihilistic, subculture was chosen as the figurative and literal route from sixties radicals to the eighties art world takes us to the heart of the exhibition’s implicit argument. If the emergence of a punk aesthetic in cyberspace offers credibility for the rhetorical position of the ‘zines, it also exposed the degree to which the show’s logic argued backwards from the retrenched politics of the present.

Haircuts by Children

Instead of drawing one tangent from Woodstock to ‘zines to the Internet, the curators might have displayed the Anti-Catalog, Left Curve, UpFront, Heresies or The Fox — all publications that slammed, however naively at times, the cynical, retro-politics of the 1970s and 1980s art world in a way that looped back to the street-politics of the 1960s. To do this would have implied that not all of these so-called “Culture Wars” have been, or are, being waged within the narrow theater of the art world or on digital display technology.

One difficulty “Counterculture” presented to viewers was its paucity of detailed wall labels. This, in conjunction with the impossibility of opening and paging through key artifacts, made piecing together the continuity of the show extremely difficult for anyone not familiar with these histories. For those more knowledgeable, the absence of a larger social/historical framework left key questions unspoken. One would be why the cultural revolution of the 1960s occurred when income in the United States was better distributed between the classes than it had been before or since. Another question is why the outbreak of politically conscious art fifteen years later occurred during the anti-Keynesian, anti-working class assault of the Reagan administration. Were artists catching up with this cultural shift by abandoning formalism for content-based art? “Counterculture” provided the evidence but not the critical tools needed to pursue such inquiries.

“Cultural Economies” was smaller, less densely packed, and more clearly a personal curatorial statement than “Counterculture.” Curated by Julie Ault, a co-founder of the political art collective Group Material, “Cultural Economies” offered surprises and unexpected pleasures. One example was the seldom seen sculpture of Rebecca Howland, whose spliced-together cartoon-like animals and pint-sized World Trade Center pithily satires city housing policies. Once located atop the Williamsburg Bridge, Ault justifiably made it the centerpiece.

As with “Counterculture,” the show offered little historical direction. From the wall labels one learned more about which gallery now represents each artist than the context in which the alternative space or activist artifact first appeared. The shortage of explanatory notes follows logically from a show framed as “not a history, not a polemic, not a comprehensive, not a chronology.” And certainly this list could include the alternative spaces and art collectives not represented here, like the Taller Boricua, Bullit Space, the Basement Workshop, Godzilla, the Organization of Independent Artists, Epoxy, Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, the Alliance for Cultural Democracy, or the Alternative Museum (the last being one of the first “oppositional” art spaces of its kind). One reason for these oversights, I understand, was the difficulty of collecting material from so many disparate sources. In fact most of the archival posters and documents in “Cultural Economies” were borrowed from the PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution) archives at the Museum of Modern Art.

one-day event with art components

Still, while Helene Wiener, the director of Artist’s Space during the infamous “Nigger Drawing” episode, and later the founder of Metro Pictures, was conspicuous for an exhibit she curated extolling the new East Village galleries of the 1980s, PAD/D, a vehement challenger to the art world’s role in gentrifying that neighborhood, was represented on a table as supplementary reading material. PAD/D’s absence from the more focused viewing spaces may have been due to the group’s distance from the jolly art world of the 1980s. PAD/D was less concerned with the cultural economy of SoHo than with a Sisyphean effort to organize artists into a kind of left cultural block. Like AMCC and AWC before it, PAD/D produced little in the way of displayable “art objects.”

This was where the singular presentation of art, documents and artifacts was most troubling. Turning a blind eye to its own cultural economy, the exhibition’s focus on collectibles tended to reinstate the very connoisseurship that many of these alternative voices once defined themselves against. The passion, even bile, of so much of this history, drained away by visual civility, reduced “Cultural Economies” to a smart-looking “art show” from the season of 1996.

Maybe such aestheticized displays are necessary to engage younger artists, to move them to challenge the “business as usual” art world of the nineties. But I would argue that if the material presented here is to be honoured, then one is obliged to shout, to polemicize, and in short to be as strident and as angry as the work itself. The curators of both projects have made clear their intentions to publish more thoroughly researched histories. Ault has indicated she plans to produce a series of traveling exhibitions using this material. Looking forward to those future projects, “Counterculture” and “Cultural Economies” are important not only for the vast material they brought together but for the lessons generated by their limitations, as well as for the promises they now set in motion.

Contemporary life

Doughnuts and Bourbon

Contemporary life has witnessed the dismantling of public space as well as the erosion of privacy. Their definition and distinction has been lost as one has blended into the other. Both spheres have suffered from massive overrationalization. Therrien’s art reclaims private space and the inner fantasy life of the individual, not as a refuge from public life but rather as the very preconditions for its resuscitation.

Outpost Art Artscenecal Page

Preserving the condition of privacy as a necessary space for spiritual reflection and concentration has become one of the most pressing demands on art today in the age of surplus, disposable information. How to reconcile the recreational resources of fantasy and the reality principle, how to harness the energies of the past (including childhood) to the needs of the present; how to restore the primacy of compassion and genuine feeling to the economically driven public world and to a culture drunk on global mediation and technical prowess: these concerns, perhaps, epitomize Therrien’s poetic quest. Through its harmonization of sensuality, structural clarity, economy and probity, humour and beauty, Therrien’s art mediates between the demands of public and domestic life. It offers a vision of life that is full of mystery, urbanity and gentleness. Through its quiet self-assurance that admits vulnerability and idiosyncrasy, it disarms the manifold schisms and polarizations of belief that pervade the art and politics of our times and our culture. Perhaps it is appropriate to consider Therrien’s art as tending toward the resolution of a split or imbalance in our culture between the values of judgment and compassion. (2) These are two distinct kinds of activity, the one requiring the affirmation of boundaries and the drawing of distinctions between things, weighing, measuring and comparing them and the other demanding empathic insight into another person’s situation and feelings. Both these capacities are joined in Therrien’s art, in the sympathetic attraction or iconic capacity of his humble artifacts and in their structural/formal acuity. Gregory Salzman is an independent curator and art writer living in Toronto.

A good shift in my career

L’auteur fait ressortir, dans le travail de l’artiste americain Robert Therrien, une oscillation etrange entre differents types d’opposition: minimalisme et pop art, abstraction et figuration, sacre et profane, rationnel et emotif. Bien qu’il soit tentant de considerer ses formes polychromes rigoureusement simplifiees comme de simples reflexions sur la sculpture, elles sont dotees d’une etonnante capacite d’incarner des etats emotifs et imaginaires. Ayant recours a des motifs iconiques riches en metaphores – bonhomme de neige, forme ovale, cone, nuages -, les sculptures de Therrien servent d’intermediaire entre l’espace public et l’intimite.

Trend in Chinese Oil Paintings to Blend Material from Separate Traditions

Yet another way of being a chinese artist in this century is to merge one’s own ethnic art tradition with styles and symbols learned through the study of canvas paintings. Many oil painting artists have earned fine arts degrees in painting, sculpture, and photography in universities. Their work is a dialogue between Native American art history and European art history. T. C. Cannon (1946-78), whose ancestry included Caddo, Choctaw, Kiowa, and European, lived in Oklahoma and studied both at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at the San Francisco Art Institute. His self-portraits depict him variously as an artist, a cowboy, an Indian dressed in “traditional” dress, and an art collector. His painting, Collector #5 (1975), while not an exact self-portrait, stands for Cannon as a contemporary artist who draws strength and identity both from his Indian heritage and his love and knowledge of European art history. This painting turns upside-down the customary position of Indian artist and non-Indian patron. Here it is the Indian man, sitting in a wicker chair atop a Navajo rug, dressed in late nineteenth-century tribal finery, who is the collector and connoisseur of paintings by Van Gogh on the wall. Cannon’s work displays a motif common in much custom oil painting—an impulse toward social critique, often done with humor and a sense of irony. Many artists play with this idea of cultural mixtures. This may reflect their own ethnically mixed ancestry or simply the mixture of cultures they feel as Native artists making their way through a culture dominated by European-American history and art.

Nora Naranjo-Morse, from Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico, merges her family tradition of pottery-making with her own ironic sense of humor and love of reproduction oil paintings. In Pearlene Teaching Her Cousins Poker (1987), Naranjo-Morse takes the Pueblo image of ritual clowns (characterized by their striped bodies), makes them female instead of male, and depicts them playing a game of poker, which they are learning from a book. By making this work of art in clay, Naranjo-Morse identifies with her sisters, mother, and earlier female ancestors, all makers of fine Santa Clara pots. Yet her own wit and sense of play links her with the larger community of contemporary Native American artists working today, whose work speaks across ethnic boundaries to a shared cultural condition.

Jolene Rickard, a Tuscarora (Iroquois) artist from New York State, uses the contemporary mediums of photography, color xerox, and collage, to express her views on famous oil paintings. In Self Portrait—Three Sisters (1988), her use of photography links her to experimentation in this artistic medium throughout the world. The subject matter—two ears of corn and her own image—relates to the deeply held belief of Iroquoian people (and some other Native Americans as well) that human beings are related to “the corn people.” In Iroquois tradition, women in particular are identified with this precious food substance because of a mythical ancestress who caused corn to be planted on the earth and taught women how to farm. The title of chinese oil painting also evokes the “three sisters” of Iroquois belief—the corn, beans, and squash that are the staples of all life to many Indian nations.

The last twenty-five years have witnessed a tremendous explosion of creativity among Native artists throughout North America—from the Canadian Inuit (Eskimo) printmakers of Cape Dorset and Art in Bulk who sell beautiful paintings worldwide, to the mask and totem pole carvers among the Haida and Kwakiutl who make works for local Native use as well as for an international oil painting reproductions market, to the painters, photographers and sculptors discussed here. Native American artists, using diverse materials and with many strong and different statements to make oil paintings, Native identity and personal artistry, will continue unabated into the next century as well.

Imagine the 80s

Imagine the 80s: those were the days of high theory and cold hearts, graduate students drunk on fantasies of intellectual stardom, ardent talk of master narratives and intertextuality. I returned to Toronto after a hard year in North Africa and was lost in high theory, trying to understand the difference between consent and coercion and make sense of colonial histories. The city seemed metallic, filled with certainties, both theoretical and cultural.

During this time, a friend drove me to London, Ontario, to see Jamelie Hassan’s show, which is where I first encountered Slave Letter (1984). In this installation, Hassan reproduced in watercolour an image from a perfume called Bint el Sudan (“Daughter of Sudan”), which pictured a young African woman surrounded by flowers. Below it was a slave letter: a small cloth containing objects, such as charcoal, stones and spices, that enslaved women sent home to their families. Each object had a meaning for the people left behind, and seen together told the story of the women’s fate to their families and communities. How many hands did the little bags pass through before they reached their destination; did they reach their destination ? There are many intricate and sinuous layers to this piece: the violence of the slave trade, the lushness of the flowers and the image of the captured girl that ultimately became an advertisement for perfume. We are left with the possibility for communication even in the direst of circumstances.

For me, something cracked open. Contemplating Hassan’s work, I saw that, in a world where writing has often been a tool of the powerful, there are many other ways of communicating: a bag of small objects can become a letter home, just like a song, a photograph, or a memory of another time can become a message to someone far away. I realized that many stories lay beneath the official histories I was studying at university, pointing to deeper truths about how people have found ways to connect with each other despite the formidable structures of domination that seek to control them. But these alternative histories must often be accessed intuitively, revealed and mediated by the artist rather than by the academic.

Looking at the body of work in Hassan’s current survey, At the Far Edge of Words, I was again struck by her ability to delineate the multiple realities that lie underneath the official story–and by the way her work unravels and challenges the certainties claimed by authoritarian systems of representation. Colonial conventions, religious and state power, univocal definitions of reality: all of these themes are reflected upon and transformed in Hassan’s work.

In The Oblivion Seekers (1985), we see a film loop of 1955 news footage and home movies of dancers and singers interspersed with alarmist headlines from a London, Ontario newspaper warning of “Moslems” descending on the city. In the background, we hear the voice of the beloved Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. The original piece also included several drawings of shoppers in an Arab souk, an image by Orientalist painter Jean-Leon Gerome, a dervish, and 19th-century explorer Isabelle Eberhardt.

What is immediately apparent is the contrast between the headlines and the images of ordinary people enjoying themselves. The Oblivion Seekers both evokes and counters Orientalist stereotypes, and in so doing offers an alternative to the disturbing headlines.

The London headlines play on fears of Islamic influence–a fear that has migrated across time and space and continues to be reproduced and amplified in today’s news headlines. It is an old story. In one sense, the Islamic world can be thought of as a shadow tradition to the West, one that has historically had a profound yet often unacknowledged influence on Western knowledge and cultural practices. At the same time, the “Middle East” remains a long-standing adversary of the West, a site of presumed danger whose formulaic image has transformed somewhat over the centuries but in essence always remains the same. The London headlines carry the traces of a colonial past and connect them to new fears about the effects of immigration.

But Hassan strips bare that fear, and simultaneously undoes it by tying the story of “Moslems” in Ontario to her own experience, and to the experience of her family and friends. Stereotypes evoked by the headline take on a fictitious quality in the face of everyday life, where family and community exist independent of the larger national and historical labels of Orient and Occident, immigrant and Canadian-born. Hassan reminds us that, in real life, people meet, laugh, dance and exchange ideas, living lives that are necessarily complex and contradictory. A language that in one place can manifest an imperial function can be suppressed in another. And often it is women who construct everyday life in the home, and who are the ones to carry language from one generation to the next.

Hassan’s interest in lived experience is also apparent in Common Knowledge (1980-81), in which everyday objects have been reproduced in ceramic and are juxtaposed with water-colours depicting the same objects. Arranged on the gallery floor lies a postcard of Gibraltar, books, a newspaper, corncobs, fruit and photographs, all rendered in ceramic, and all constituting the ground of Hassan’s experience at the moment the piece was conceived and executed. As in Slave Letter, these objects tell a story, linking the viewer to Hassan’s everyday home and family life–in which objects are imbued with intensely personal meanings and histories–and to the aftereffects of the outside world on that life. We are invited to make up our own meanings and associations as we engage with these objects and images.

jamelie11

A Child at Gunpoint

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Raskin’s account does not have a central argument per se. Rather, in a series of chapters, he attempts to explore the multiple facets of the photo and its implications for understanding the history of the genocide and, in so doing, to draw out some conclusions about what is unique about its status as representation and icon. He begins with a detailed visual description of the photo and its properties. From there, he explores the genesis of the photo in the Stroop Report as part of the SS documentation of the suppression of the Jewish uprising and the ultimate destruction of the ghetto and its inhabitants. This contextual section is technically the longest in the book and presents the newest historical information. Upon establishing its origins, his next chapter deals with the known and possible identities of the figures in the photograph, focusing naturally on the young boy, for whom he relates four possible theories about his biography. The final two sections focus on postwar appropriations of the photo, first in works of art, film and poetry, and second by Palestinian artists and others who have used the photo to compare the suppression of Palestinians by the Israelis to that of the Nazis in Warsaw. Matt Chen, a chinese art wholesaler said this photograph even inspired him to expand his business to photo to painting.  He hope can turn old photos into great oil paintings which can impressive people for ever. The author is careful in his politics in this last section, and avoids being overly judgmental of these appropriations even while he remains obstinately resolved not to propose a particular interpretation of the photo or the uses to which it has been put. Overall, the book seems aimed at an educated but general audience with a minimum number of footnotes, although many aspects of the text will interest specialists in German studies or the history of photography.

While this photo has become iconic, it has ironically been left out of much of the art historical literature, which focuses instead on the work of such prominent names as Margaret Bourke-White and Lee Miller. As an image made by a perpetrator and one that is generally seen as a document distinct from works of art, it is perhaps not surprising that the art historical community has resisted its analysis, given that the vast majority of debates on twentieth-century art are caught up exclusively defending or critiquing the status of the avant garde. The strengths of Raskin’s book, however, should help to correct this omission. Raskin offers a helpful series of vignettes that expand on the many depths of the photograph. Of note, for example, is his analysis of the genesis of the Stroop Report as well as the illustration of all of its photographs, providing a revealing and brutal context for the main image under discussion. Following the important work of Sybil Milton, who originally translated into English and published the Stroop Report, and Marianne Hirsch, who has written extensively on this photograph and others as mnemonic devices, Raskin neatly summarizes much information making it accessible and pedagogically useful. In addition, his interviews with artists such as Samuel Bak who have used the image provide a way of seeing the transformation of the work from an SS propaganda image to a postwar project of remembrance. Pulling all of these strands into the same book greatly enriches our understanding of the photograph’s impact.

But in the end, however useful this anecdotal approach may be, it comes up rather short in terms of the two areas which purport to be its strengths, i.e. aesthetics and history. Early on, Raskin includes a tantalizing paragraph on how the position of the boy vertically and horizontally echoes the ratio of the Golden Section. He also points out his compositional isolation and the lighting that highlights his position. Further, he points to the fact that the figures seem to stand still or pose for the photograph rather than move in a line out of the door. While this last point is not entirely visually convincing, Raskin makes nothing of what all of these potentially indicate: the SS photographer was a trained, practicing artist, aware of formal conventions that could be adapted to the political function of humiliating these particular victims by making their moment of greatest weakness fit within standard categories of beauty.

Thus, Raskin falls into the pattern of treating the image like a document, transparent to its historical event, rather than as a mediated construct that helps to frame that event in socially encoded ways. Instead, he takes a “hands off” approach to aesthetics, even to the point of allowing the postwar artists who appropriated the image free rein to make some rather a historical and awkward remarks. For example, after illustrating a long series of paintings that the survivor Samuel Bak completed in the 1990s using this photo and other images of memory from his childhood in the Vilna Ghetto, Raskin passes over with no commentary the following quotation from his interview with Bak: “This photograph is a masterpiece of composition and storytelling. It compares with Mantegna’s Crucifixion, or other great works of art. Because what is so extraordinary in this photograph, beyond its structure and richness of detail, is the depth of its narrative material” . This is an artist’s view, certainly, but one that elides all of the problematic genesis of the photo, its use or the artistic status of the photographer. All of these points are whisked away by the subjective value judgments taken from the world of the critic, judgments that one would have hoped Raskin would have contextualized as carefully as he did other aspects of the text. Notably, the reader would never discover from Raskin’s text that the most enduring debate in postwar scholarship about images related to the genocide is the tension between the documentary and aestheticizing impulses in works ranging from Nathan Rapoport’s Warsaw Ghetto Memorial to classic modernist works by Barnett Newman to the revived reference to mythic narratives in Anselm Kiefer. The exclusive focus on the details of the iconographic trees has meant that Raskin avoids the historiographic or analytic forest.

More importantly to this reviewer’s mind, Raskin’s focus on the details of the photograph leads to a limited or general understanding of the Jewish and non-Jewish actors in the image as well as its significance to the SS. While his section on the development of the Stroop Report is quite good, his explanation of the historical actors and their environments is more problematic. We learn, for example, about the four possible biographies of the boy in the photograph, but we learn nothing of the Jewish community of which he might have been a part, the nature of the Warsaw Ghetto, or the postwar dynamics of survivor communities. These social issues are simply not addressed. Furthermore, Raskin leaves unquestioned his use of postwar testimony of perpetrators, as though these were somehow untainted documents in no need of contextualization as evidence. Finally, his reliance on outdated and limited scholarship is particularly evident when trying to explain how the Stroop Report and this photo fit within a particular SS mentality. For this, he relies on the postwar autobiography of the Commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hoss, as well as the famous account by Hannah Arendt of the SS bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem. These are both important sources, but one would have hoped that, if he wanted to talk about the perpetrators’ mentality, he might have engaged with one of the most heated debates of the last decade in the field focused particularly on the work of Christopher Browning (Ordinary Men) and Daniel Goldhagen (Hitler’s Willing Executioners). These debates were not stodgy academic affairs, but rather spilled over into major public forums in the U.S. and throughout Europe and Israel. Certainly, the same audience likely to pick up this volume will know something of their character, and Raskin’s avoidance of such topics limits the usefulness of his book beyond the introductory level and stresses the weakness of an abstracted or generalized history of the Jewish genocide.

But, stepping back, it is important to emphasize that Raskin’s volume is the first attempt to analyze comprehensively the variety of iconographic and historical aspects of the image as well as its influence on postwar trials, art and culture. His intent is admirable and there are many useful aspects of the research. Still, the volume remains unsatisfying in its lack of critical analysis and generalization of history. The result is that we certainly get a better understanding of the photograph but ultimately miss its functional relationship to a broader structural history of the Nazi state as well as a more complex art history of images related to the oppressive policies of the period. We learn much about the photograph, but how does the photograph help us to understand the art and political history of the period and the geography in which it was produced? Thus, although National Socialist cultural works like this photo were involved with some of the most cataclysmic events of our time, understanding art made by those involved in and responding to these events as an integral part of a twentieth-century history of art is a project that still remains to be done.

Paul B. Jaskot is Chair and Associate Professor of modern art and architectural history in the Department of Art and Art History at DePaul University. He is the author of The Architecture of Oppression: The SS, Forced Labor and the Nazi Monumental Building Economy (Routledge, 2000) as well as numerous essays on the relationship between the Nazi period and art history. Currently, he is working on the political reception of the Nazi past and postwar German art.

Mark Wallinger

In New York City, I’m always struck by the extent to which art is about a particular brand of youthful glamour, a singular species of cool. There’s an obligation to hang out a lot, in particular clothes, with a particular combination of passion and dispassion. I had a great time in a local modern art gallery named Art by Wicks, i found many unique wall art for living room. I was told recently by a certain new-media art luminary that she spends twice as much money on similar style canvas art sets.

In London, I was overwhelmed by the way money saturated all corners of the art world. All of the canvas paintings I saw was, in one way or another, about wealth, commerce and conspicuous consumption (or the lack of these).

London is an art capital. There’s a vast podge of stuff to see, and it plays an important role in the life of the city. It’s not only in the galleries and museums, but also the newspapers–even the tabloids. It’s on TV! This is interesting to me, hailing as I do from art-pooh-poohing North America. As an artist, being there made me think about my vocation in different terms–though I’m not sure I like them.

The whole time I was in London this summer I felt obscurely guilty for not going to Venice, Kassel, Basel or Munster. Consequently, I looked at a lot of art in the city–including Damien Hirst’s obscene diamond-crusted skull–but the best work I saw was in the plain old Tate Britain.

There were two shows in particular that stood out. The first I’m not going to discuss in much detail, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it, because it was excellent, and was a tonic for my bruised identity as an artist with activist pretensions, 1807: Blake, Slavery and the Radical Mind was mounted to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. In the USA, where I live currently, we’ll be waiting another 58 years for that jubilee.

The second show, State Britain (2007) by Mark Wallinger, occupied the whole of the Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries (the central hall of the museum). It was a large wall art of anti-Gulf War protester Brian Haw’s makeshift camp on Parliament Square in London. Haw began protesting the economic sanctions against Iraq in June 2001 (June, like three months before September). He was on the square until May 23, 2006, when the cops raided the site and confiscated virtually everything, including a giant banner by the infamous (or perhaps at this point just famous) Banksy. The piece of legislation invoked to justify this undertaking was, perversely, the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act. Under the new rules, Haw was banished. His and all other “unauthorised” protests were deemed to be illegal within a mile of Parliament Square. Critical to State Britain was the fact that the museum falls partly within that radius. A black line on the floor marked the boundary.

The notes, placards and objects (all faithfully replicated and distressed) that made up the exhibition-cum-protest comprised a sort of chronology of Haw’s time on the square. The first banners one encountered opposed the pre-war sanctions against Iraq, and the last ones described the battle around Haw’s right to remain on the site. Throughout were notes and gifts given to Haw in support of his actions.

One of the things I found particularly interesting was the focus on the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqi children. As I walked through the canvas art of children born without faces, with their internal organs outside their bodies, with no eyes (and so on), I vaguely recalled having heard something about the effects of DU on American soldiers–Gulf War Syndrome stuff–but I didn’t remember having heard anything about its effects on Iraqis. Haw reads almost equally as hero and crackpot in this exhibit, so I decided to do some research of my own on modern wall art.

The statistics bear out Haw’s allegations. In Southern Iraq (where depleted uranium was deployed by the US and British militaries) there were n children born with defects per 100,000 births in 1989; in 200l it was 116 per 100,000. In 1988, 34 people died of cancer; in 1998, 450 died of cancer, and in 2001 there were 603 cancer deaths. There is also compelling evidence of the effects of DU on British and American soldiers who served in Southern Iraq, including increased rates of immune-system disorders and birth defects reported by military personnel who worked with or near the material. The link to DU is strengthened by reported similarities between the symptoms reported by those personnel and uranium metalworkers exposed to frequent occupational uranium inhalation risks.

Wallinger’s exhibition succeeds because it speaks in the language of contemporary art, following the trajectory set out by Dada and pursued by conceptualism and relational aesthetics, but it does so without sacrificing any of its political efficacies. It’s undeniably a tribute to Haw and his supporters, and it’s undeniably a protest against war and censorship. At the same time it is an extension of the discourse of the readymade, a new move in conceptualism and a critique of the cult of originality.

Most important, it’s incredibly moving and edifying. Clearly, Wallinger takes his social responsibility as an artist seriously. We expect this from nurses, soldiers and corporate executives. It’s refreshing to see work reflecting such self-scrutiny in the art world.

Berlin Biennial

Perhaps the strongest features of this year’s fourth Berlin Biennial are the 12 venues lining the city’s Auguststrasse. The sombre exhibition, entitled Of Mice and Men, is constructed in a narrative arc that begins at one end of the street in a Romanesque church, continues through old stables, private apartments and a former Jewish girls’ school and ends in a graveyard.

The Biennial guides the viewer through a low-key, existentialist consideration of life and loss. The tone for this journey is set inside the St. Johannes-Evangelist church with Kris Martin’s Mandi III (2003). The all-black arrivals board–of the type found in airports or train stations–only occasionally clatters to life; devoid of letters and numbers, it evokes unseen comings and goings and the passage of time. At the other end of the Auguststrasse, the Biennial concludes in the Old Garrison graveyard with Susan Philipsz’s sound work, which teeters between the eerily sweet and the banal. Discreet, tree-mounted speakers intermittently emit the artist’s unaccompanied voice singing the Yardbirds’ “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago.” Inside the graveyard’s lapidarium, Berlinde De Bruyckere’s faceless and abstracted taxidermied horse is vulnerably suspended–a strangely substantial ghost.

Consistent with the majority of the venues, the vast former Jewish girls’ school retains prominent traces of its past occupants. The school’s fixtures, wallpaper and posters and its students’ art exist untouched, often resulting in an uneasy conflict with the exhibited works and only occasionally producing a dynamic symbiosis. Bucking the biennial trend of presenting a cross-section of very recent art production, the curators included several projects originating in previous decades. Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan’s sober Evidence (1977)–photographs displayed in one of the school’s classrooms–offers a surprisingly evocative pairing of context and work. The artists compiled the black and white series documenting crime scenes, laboratories and scientific experiments from the archives of public and private agencies and corporations. The mysterious institutional activities depicted seem to exist in a sinister vacuum between documentary past and science fiction, ominously echoing the temporal limbo of the abandoned educational institution where the work is presented. As poignant counterpart to Mandel and Sultan’s project, Bruce O’Connor’s slow-paced and matter-of-fact film Crossroads (1976) presents a montage of the awe-inspiring nuclear bombings of the Bikini Atoll.

Although the charged exhibition sites occasionally threaten to overwhelm the work, the curators’ decision to integrate the show into an existing urban context is an effective antidote to the ubiquitous curatorial standardization of international biennials. With a consistent roster of art stars, many of these exhibitions function as a series of solo shows that are easily transferable from one venue to another. This year’s Berlin Biennial commissioned a number of the presented works, occasionally resulting in successful site-specificity. One example is Jeremy Deller’s new video Klezmer chidesch (2006). Projected inside the former post office stables, it features a group of elderly klezmer musicians. Originally from the former Soviet Union, the band’s members now live and work on Auguststrasse and are shown performing a celebratory and humorous theme song specifically composed for the Biennial.

In the lead-up to the Biennial, curators Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and All Subotnick undertook numerous activities and projects to establish their presence in Berlin. From the temporary, tongue-in-cheek Gagosian Gallery, operating since fall 2005, to their contested publication Checkpoint Charley (featuring unauthorized reproductions of the work of more than 700 artists “auditioned” for the Biennial), the curators’ reach extends beyond the exhibition to engage with a wider community. Cattelan’s own prankster practice invited expectations of a light and fundamentally humorous Biennial–an expectation that was not met. The Biennial’s press material emphasizes the curators’ desire to present an exhibition that reflects on the “anthropologically universal,” a phrase presumably referring to universal human experiences such as birth and death–recurring themes in many of the Biennial’s contributions. However, since the exhibition largely presents artists born and based in the Western hemisphere, and of those, less than one third are female, any claim to universality seems somewhat disingenuous.

As though in response to these inherent conceptual inconsistencies in Of Mice and Men’s curatorial premise, Ulf Aminde’s video wall features a multicultural parade of Berlin buskers. The work’s most compelling feature is the combined sound of all the musicians, reminiscent of the transcendental drone of a Glenn Branca symphony. Tucked away in a cellar off Auguststrasse, Aminde’s work features the multiethnic face of Berlin, revealing a reality that hovers at the margins of this city’s art scene.

Marginality and loneliness are consistent themes throughout. Anti Sala’s 2003 video time after time is effective in this context. Like a premonition of De Bruyckere’s ghostly equestrian sculpture, an emaciated horse endures the terrifying roar of passing traffic at the side of a highway at night.

The uncanny also appears to animate Paul McCarthy’s 1992 Bang-Bang Room. This lumbering mechanical room, with claustrophobically retro wallpaper and multiple doorways, echoes the ambiance of the tired school gym where it is installed. Occasionally the BangBang Room comes to life, its four walls and doors awkwardly banging open and shut, a spectre of the human implicit in its violence.

 

Berlin Biennial

Tired of Fighting: A new director is trying to turn around the embattled Barnes Foundation

MERION, PA-When Kimberly Camp was appointed director of the Barnes Foundation late last fall, the event capped one of the most volatile years in the institution’s 77-year history. First, Camp’s controversial predecessor, Richard H. Glanton, lost his post in a boardroom battle related to litigation the Philadelphia-area foundation was mired in. Then, Lincoln University, a historically black college that controls four out of five of the seats on the foundation’s board, ran into troubles of its own. After a Pennsylvania state audit revealed spending irregularities at the university, Lincoln president and Barnes trustee Niara Sudarkasa-who had been a principle force behind Glanton’s departure-handed in her own resignation. Now Camp is attempting to turn the embattled institution around.

The first task of the 42-year-old Camp, who was formerly director of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, has been to address the Barnes’s finances. The foundation, which houses one of the world’s finest and most valuable collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, is now facing charges from Glanton, who remains a trustee, that the interim administrator, Earle L. Bradford, Jr., spent down the endowment from $11 million to $7 million over the course of last year. While Camp disputes these claims, she does acknowledge the foundation’s fiscal problems. “The operations of the foundation have eaten away at the funds,” she says. “The endowment simply did not grow as it should have.”

Established in 1922 by Albert Barnes, a pharmaceuticals magnate, the foundation has more than 800 paintings now estimated to be worth as much as $2 billion. Among its works are 180 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, and 60 Matisses, as well as numerous Old Masters paintings. Yet the institution has long struggled to generate income under the strict conditions placed on it by its founder. Originally accessible by appointment only, beginning in 1946 the foundation began opening one day a week. In 1961, the state successfully sued to increase access to 2.5 days a week but the number of visitors remained strictly limited to 500 a week. Barnes also stipulated that works were to remain hung in the exact floor-to-ceiling arrangement he had chosen and were never to be deaccessioned or put on loan.

Under Glanton, the foundation attempted to loosen some of the rules of its charter but ran into continual controversy-often in court. A 1991 plan for deaccessing works was withdrawn after fierce criticism from both Barnes trustees and the general public. Then, in 1992, a court allowed the Barnes to finance an ambitious renovation by mounting an exhibition of highlights from its collection, which traveled to major museums worldwide from 1993 to 1995. Considered a success at the time, the show raised over $17 million. But when the renovated building drew more visitor traffic, Merion officials began issuing citations for zoning violations. The foundation countered by suing the township commissioners and individual neighbors, claiming their actions against the largely African American-run Barnes were racially motivated. The commissioners sued back, saying they had been defamed.

The long legal standoff, along with several other proceedings involving the foundation in the mid-1990s, ate up some $2 million of the institution’s endowment, according to press reports. Now, the foundation has initiated an audit of its financial records from 1992 to 1997. (The audit is being conducted by Deloitte & Touche; Debo Adegbile, a lawyer with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York, who represents the Barnes, confirmed that the audit was ongoing, but declined comment on its status.)

There are signs that some of the wrangling is coming to an end. Settlement has been reached with the township, and the zoning board has approved an increase in the foundation’s opening hours to three days a week. It has also expanded the number of visitors it can admit, to 1,200 a week. Moreover, the court overseeing the Barnes’s charter has ruled that the foundation may hold fund-raising events on its premises, something explicitly barred by Barnes. Camp sees the changes as steps toward financial stability and the beginning of a less-fraught phase in the institution’s history. “I think folks get tired of fighting each other,” she says.