June 8, 2013
Andrew Solomon’s newest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the struggles toward compassion and the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter. Woven into these courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent.
Solomon’s last book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and won fourteen other national awards.
Andrew Solomon is a writer on politics, culture and psychology.
May 29, 2013
The photography of Viviane Sassen (Amsterdam, 1972) is in a class of its own. The intuitive way in which Sasses approaches her subjects is entirely personal, independent of other examples or reference frameworks. She often seeds the body as a sculpture, and concepts of revelations and concealment help to create the riddles in her images. Sassen makes effective use of the mystery of shadow and the flamboyant expressivity of colour. She has also achieved a special intimacy with certain models, so that her photos can sometimes be erotic, but at the same time they can be open, rich in contrast, or explosive. Her images are invariably intriguing and remarkable, and they are, occassionally, somewhat surreal. Over the course of her career Viviane Sassen has produced a flood of marvellous images, many of which are of Africa, the continent in which she spent part of her youth.
May 29, 2013
Ola Kolehmainen (born 1964, Helsinki) studied photography at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. His photographs almost exclusively depict sections of building facades. They are organized according to strict principles of order, showing rows of repetitive basic patterns or symmetrical constructs. The austerity of these images is occasionally broken by elements that circumvent this formalism: trees or houses mirrored in the facades. The works are produced using the Diasec process, which means that the environment is reflected in the surface of the photos as well as in the images themselves – a calculated component of his work.
May 24, 2013
As you study the image before you, it might initially seem like a beautiful textile design, but then familiar elements of typography and language float to the forefront of your awareness and you realize it’s something much more.
Each piece is a Buddist saying, a song lyric or an inspirational thought which has been written in reverse. Through this process, we deconstruct words and letters, and create pieces which embody the virtues of the phrases they represent. Thus, the viewer absorbs the meaning as opposed to just reading it.
All of the art, prints and photographs and other collectables in our curated collection are carefully produced: Every work comes signed and with a numbered certificate that ensures the one you own is part of an exclusive edition created with Harvey Lynch. Once they’re sold out, they’re gone for good-so if you see something you like, snap it up!!!
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May 19, 2013
Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
But the former street performer, then Dresden Dolls frontwoman, now solo artist hit a bump the week her world tour kicked off. She revealed plans to crowdsource additional local backup musicians in each tour stop, offering to pay them in hugs, merchandise and beer per her custom. Bitter and angry criticism ensued (she eventually promised to pay her local collaborators in cash). And it’s interesting to consider why. As Laurie Coots suggests: “The idea was heckled because we didn’t understand the value exchange — the whole idea of asking the crowd for what you need when you need it and not asking for more or less.”
Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”
“Palmer is set to join Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails as the artists people mention when they talk about the new music business.”
May 7, 2013
Interview with John Baldessari
by Nicole Davis
Nicole Davis interviewed John Baldessari in his studio in Santa Monica, Ca., on Apr. 12, 2004.
John Baldessari: So, fire away.
Nicole Davis: What led you to become an artist?
JB: I always had this idea that doing art was just a masturbatory activity, and didn’t really help anybody. I was teaching kids in the California Youth Authority, an honor camp where they send kids instead of sending them to prison. One kid came to me one day and asked if I would open up the arts and crafts building at night so they could work. I said, “If all of you guys will cool it in the classes, then I’ll baby-sit you.” Worked like a charm. Here were these kids that had no values I could embrace, that cared about art more than I. So, I said, “Well, I guess art has some function in society,” and I haven’t gotten beyond that yet, but it was enough to convince me that art did some good somehow. I just needed a reason that wasn’t all about myself. Read more
John Baldessari is an American conceptual artist. After studying art at San Diego State College (1949–57), he began to develop his painting style, soon incorporating letters, words and photographs in his works. By 1966 he was using photographs and text, or simply text, on canvas as in Semi-close-up of Girl by Geranium … (1966–8; Basle, Kstmus.). From 1970 he worked in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography. His work is characterized by a consciousness of language evident in his use of puns, semantics based on the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss and by the incorporation of material drawn from popular culture. Both are apparent in Blasted Allegories (1978; New York, Sonnabend Gal.), a series combining polaroids of television images captioned and arranged to suggest an unusual syntax. Baldessari differed from other conceptual artists in his humour and commitment to the visual image. He dramatized the ordinary, although beneath the apparent simplicity of his words and images lie multiple connotations. We LOVE him!
May 7, 2013
Elliott Erwitt (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France) is an advertising and documentary photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings a master of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment”. In 1939, at the age of ten, Erwitt’s family, of Russian origin, immigrated to the United States. Erwitt studied photography and filmmaking at Los Angeles City College and the New School for Social Research, finishing his education in 1950.
Born in Paris of Jewish-Russian immigrant parents, Erwitt served as a photographer’s assistant in the 1950s in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. Erwitt was influenced by his meeting the famous photographers, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration’s photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. Erwitt then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier’s, Look, Life and Holiday. Joining the Magnum Photos agency in 1953 allowed Erwitt to shoot photography projects around the world.
One of the subjects Erwitt has frequently photographed in his career is dogs: they have been the subject of four of his books, Son of Bitch (1974), Dog Dogs (1998), Woof (2005) and Elliott Erwitt’s Dogs (2008).
More recently, Erwitt has created an alter ego, the beret-wearing and pretentious André S. Solidor (which abbreviates to “ass”) “a contemporary artist, from one of the French colonies in the Caribbean, I forget which one”, in order to “satirise the kooky excesses of contemporary photography”. The work of said alter-ego was published in a book, The Art of André S. Solidor (2009), and exhibited in 2011 at the Paul Smith Gallery in London.
He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2002.