Melting away Standing

Larger than Life.

wp20160910_202444Day in Night out.

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Recast and lit anew – the cycle of Life.

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Caption accompanying Standing Julian:

Standing Julian is a portrait of Urs Fischer’s friend and fellow artist Julian Schnabel. The massive sculpture is also a wax candle: lit every morning and extinguished each night, Standing Julian will slowly melt over the course of the exhibition. Although this candle will eventually burn down and be discarded – a process that evokes the inevitable transience of life – the sculpture can also be recast and lit anew. As Fischer explained, his waxworks allow ”materials and images take on their own life.”

That was Julian, captured in September. Is there anything left of him today, I wonder. Is he still turning into a puddle of soft wax? Has a new Julian taken his place?

Would I know if nobody told me?

Standing Julian, 2015
Wax, pigment, steel and wicks

Urs Fischer

September 10th, 2016 at The Whitney Museum of American aRt

Woman with Dog

Whichever way you look at her she seems as real as the woman next door. Well, perhaps not Manhattan next door but a smaller city or town like, for instance, my other adoptive home Brussels. She could definitely be the lady that runs the bakery on the ground floor in my building in Brussels.

And yet, although the artist worked on real models making casts directly from their bodies, his sculptures are not really images of specific people. For example, the letters on her lap are addressed to Minnie Johnson, but the model was someone else who lived near Hanson’s studio in Florida. Woman with Dog is therefore a hyper-real figure constructed from different features and, because of that, doubly real in my eyes.

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Duane Hanson
Woman with Dog, 1977

Acrylic and oil on cast polyvinyl with clothing, hair, eyeglasses, watch, shoes, upholstered wood chair, dog hair, leather collar, woven rug, postcard, letters, and envelopes

The Whitney Museum of American Art

September 10th, 2016

No Sex, No City: Miranda

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Steward Uoo
No Sex, No City: Miranda, 2013 (detail)

Polyurethane resin, epoxy, ink, pigment, acrylic paint, wires, cables, clothing, accessories, ferrofluid, razor wire, steel, feathers, human and synthetic hair, makeup, glitter, synthetic eyelashes, maggot cocoons, flies, dust, and other materials

When the unrelated, the unexpected and the repellent get together to form a thing of beauty.

At the Whitney Museum of American Art

September 10th, 2016

Slumped against the pillows

Feeling

…Exhausted…
…Bored…
…Don’t mind me, go ahead…
…Melancholy…
…Wake me up the day after the day after…
…Mellow and relaxed…
…Waisted…
…Pretty fucked up…
…Peaceful…
…Alone, together at last…
…Too old for this…
Happy, tired and excited… (as seen through the humorous eye of Gil. You can check Gil’s funny, happy, tired and excited cartoons on his blog les dessins d’humeur de gil).
……..
(fill in the blanks)

I am the female version of this man, if only for a few minutes on any given day. Except bored – I’m never bored. And haven’t had a hangover in a long-long time.
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Rudolf Singel

Untitled (After Sam), 2005-6
Oil on canvas

The Whitney Museum of American Art

September 10th, 2016

New Yorkers I

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Howard Kanovitz
New Yorkers I, 1965
Acrylic, graphite pencil, fabricated chalk on linen

This painting depicts composer Richard Rodgers who, together with Oscar Hammerstein, co-wrote such legendary Broadway musicals as Oklahoma!, South Pacific and the Sound of Music. Howard Kanovitz based the painting on a newspaper photograph because he was impressed by its low definition quality which suggested an isolation of the figures from their environment. It was the same quality that made me want to capture the detail on the first photo above.

September 10th, 2016 at The Whitney

Ethel Scull 36 Times

Love him or hate him, Andy Warhol is one of the most important pop icons of the twentieth century, his art still gaining both in popularity and value. I’m on the side of the haters to be honest, but that doesn’t prevent me from admiring some of his works like the Screen Tests or this very screenprint of Ethel Scull – enough to borrow and use it as my blog profile.

”Ethel Scull 36 Times” was one of Warhol’s first commissioned portraits for which he escorted Ethel Scull, a patron and collector of modern art, to a Photomat in Times Square. There, under his direction, they took more than a hundred photos with Ms Scull posing with or without sunglasses, making serious or playful faces, in short having some silly fun. Warhol chose 36 of these poses and here is the end result. What attracts me most about it, is this personification of joie de vivre with a certain je ne sais quoi, emanated from every pose.

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Andy Warhol
Ethel Scull 36 Times, 1963
Acrylic and screenprint on canvas

The Whitney Museum of American Art

September 10th, 2016