Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1932-40
From the Guggenheim:
The development of the bird theme in Constantin Brancusi’s oeuvre can be traced from its appearance in the Maiastra sculptures, through the Golden Bird group, and, finally, to the Bird in Space series. Sixteen examples of the Bird in Spacesequence, dating from 1923 to 1940, have been identified. The streamlined form of the present Bird in Space, stripped of individualizing features, communicates the notion of flight itself rather than describing the appearance of a particular bird. A vestige of the open beak of the Maiastra is retained in the beveled top of the tapering form, a slanted edge accelerating the upward movement of the whole.
This sculpture, closely related to a marble version completed in 1931, could have been cast as early as 1932 and finished in 1940. Though the shaft of the first Bird in Space was mounted on a discrete conical support, the support of the present example is incorporated as an organically irregular stem, providing an earthbound anchor for the sleek, soaring form.
As was customary in Brancusi’s work, the brass is smoothed and polished to the point where the materiality of the sculpture is dissolved in its reflective luminosity. Brancusi’s spiritual aspirations, his longing for transcendence of the material world and its constraints, are verbalized in his description of Bird in Space as a “project before being enlarged to fill the vault of the sky.”
Terrence “Terry” Richardson (born August 14, 1965) is an American fashion photographer. His work is widely known throughout the fashion and photography world. His distinctive style has brought him opportunities for work in GQ, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Tom Ford, and others. Born in New York, and raised in Los Angeles, his subjects go from high profile celebrities and models.
Other Works to see: Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson, Terrywood, and Manimal
Jeffrey “Jeff” Koons (born January 21, 1955) is an American artist known for his reproductions of banal objects—such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces.
Koons’ work has sold for substantial sums of money including at least one world record auction price for a work by a living artist. The largest sum known to be paid for a work by Koons is Balloon flower (Magenta) which was sold at Christie’s London, on Monday, June 30, 2008 (Lot 00012) in the Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, where it sold for £12,921,250 or $25,765,204.
Critics are sharply divided in their views of Koons. Some view his work as pioneering and of major art-historical importance. Others dismiss his work as kitsch: crass and based on cynical self-merchandising. Koons has stated that there are no hidden meanings in his works, nor any critiques.
Other works to see: Balloon Flower, Puppy, and Tulips
Mr. Brainwash (“MBW”) is a pseudonym for Thierry Guetta. According to the Banksy directed film Exit Through the Gift Shop, Guetta, who lives in Los Angeles, California, began as a proprietor of a clothing store and videographer who evolved into a street artist and gallery artist after being influenced by the street artists he documented through video over the years.
More works to see: Je T’aime I love You, Keep Creating, and Spray Cans
Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy’s work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy “was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.” Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass, which maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is active today.
Mark Rothko(1903-1970) is an American painter. He resisted to label himself as an Abstract Expressionist, and ushered in a new age of painting in the United States. You are able to argue that the age of Minimalism arises in his paintings, but there is much more to be surfaced. Much of his work is shown and created by his passionate emotion that he had gone through throughout his life. In the painting, he created a series of similar works in which he broke down the form of emotions and objects. He also suggests to step away from his work in order to go into it.
Other works to see: No.3/No.13, No.61
Lavender Mist: No.1
Jackson Pollock(1912-1956) is an American born artist who created a series called drip paintings he molded from his experimentation of abstractionism and expressionism. The painting as displayed above is the first in a many series of drip paintings. The artist was more obsessed with the process of the painting than the final result, thus created the surprising balanced works. Pollock died from a fatal car crash in 1956, a suicide attempt while being intoxicated. Little is known from the artist.
Other works to see: NO. 5, 1948, Scent, Search
portrait of ross by felix gonzalez-torres
As I’ve gone on and on about this guy today, it’s easy to see why he’s one of my favorite conceptual artists.
At first glance it would appear to be the perfect parody of contemporary art. “Why, it’s only a pile of candy!” Those more inclined to actually interrogate it as a work of art might be more charitable. They might interpret the color, the texture. They might realize how the haphazard nature of the candy’s piling makes it’s final form mutable. And if they were bold enough, they might take a piece of the candy and eat it and enjoy it, and realize that this work of art gave the viewer some sort of tactile reaction and sense manipulation that a Monet or Martini or Mondrian couldn’t.
Ross was Gonzalez-Torres’s lover, who died of AIDS. When Ross was first diagnosed, his doctor told him his ideal weight was 155 pounds. Every day, the candy is weighed and 155 pounds is placed out. Here the candy IS love/happiness/sweetness/togetherness. Visitors to the museum are encouraged to enjoy a piece. It’s a giving, generous work of art; but with a dark edge; for as the candy gradually diminishes it symbolizes Ross’s weight loss due to AIDS. However, each morning the candy is weighed out and replenished,so that in this artwork (unlike life) Ross may live on forever.
Campbell’s Soup Cans
Andy Warhol(1928-1987) is an American born painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who lead the way in Pop Art. He commercialized the art in his time and became famous for coining the saying, “Fifteen minutes of fame.” Campbell’s Soup Cans was a combination of painting and use of mechanical tools to create it, as a result it offended some artists, saying this was ‘disrespectful.’ Many tales behind the reason Warhol created his work exist, but one is simply, “I was a consumer of them.”
Other works to see: Brillo Pad, Shoes Shoes Shoes, A Gold Pad
Leonardo Da Vinci(1452-1519) was the ideal Renaissance man in Italy. He was a painter, sculptor, musician, scientist, architect, botanist, and also writer. He created a smokey, haze style we now call sfumato. One of the high Renaissance painters, among Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Raphael, he followed the techniques of the Renaissance. Of which included use of lines, pyramids, and proportions for balance in the linear perspective. The Mona Lisa is a painting is a famous painting that was stolen from the Louvre and rediscovered later.
Other works to see: Virgins of the Rocks, Annunciation, John the Baptist.