Artist Marc Quinn's Upcoming Work, Odyssey, to Raise Awareness and $30 Million for the Global Refugee Crisis
Odyssey to consist of two cubes of frozen blood composed of donations from 5,000+ refugee and non-refugee volunteers; donors include Paul McCartney, Sting and Anna Wintour
Public artwork to be unveiled in fall 2019 at the New York Public Library's plaza in New York City, followed by a global tour
British contemporary artist Marc Quinn today announced Odyssey, a major non-profit public artwork aimed at increasing awareness for the global refugee crisis and raising $30 million to benefit refugee-supporting organizations and programs. The project, which was created in collaboration with refugees, will debut on the steps of The New York Public Library's iconic Fifth Avenue building in fall 2019, to be followed by a tour around the world.
"The global refugee crisis is one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies we have seen," said the artist, Marc Quinn. "The idea for Odyssey began with the simple truth that my blood and your blood is the same; under the skin we're all the same. Odyssey's ultimate goal – through showing and sharing our common humanity – is to create an artwork which is social, has a lasting impact and will raise both awareness and funds for refugees. I strongly believe not only that the world remembers through art but also that art can change the world."
Inspired by the nearly 68.5 million people worldwide who have been forced from their homes, Odyssey is a direct challenge to the divisive conversations currently driving refugee and immigration debates and policy decisions. As a collaborative sculpture consisting of two identical, metric-ton cubes of frozen human blood – one composed of donations from at least 2,500 resettled refugee volunteers and one composed of donations from at least 2,500 non-refugee volunteers – Odyssey embodies the basic idea that we are all connected by our humanity.
Odyssey is entirely not-for-profit and aims to generate around $30 million through the sale of the artwork and other fundraising initiatives. The International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the world's largest refugee-focused NGOs, will receive 50 percent of the project proceeds. The remaining 50 percent will go to other refugee organizations and initiatives selected by an advisory board and trustees of Quinn's charity, Human Love. This includes emergency aid on the frontline, integration initiatives throughout the world, refugee programs with The New York Public Library and many other projects to be confirmed.
"Art can be a powerful force for positive and impactful societal change," said David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. "We are in the midst of the greatest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime with millions fleeing from crisis and conflict. Now, more than ever before, projects like Odyssey are a powerful medium to educate, engage and inspire individuals, communities and society to act. To stand up for the world's most vulnerable and demand they are not forgotten."
Odyssey is supported by a global network of advocates – business leaders, artists, academics, humanitarians – who are lending their blood and voices to raise awareness for the global refugee crisis, including prominent refugees Angok Mayen and George Okeny, as well as non-refugees Anna Wintour, Paul McCartney and Arizona Muse, among many others.
"I could go on and on with a list of places that I've had to live, leave and flee because of a lack of imagination and the poverty of thoughts," said Clemantine Wamariya, an author who was forced to flee Rwanda at age six. "I am getting involved with Odyssey because of its creative message that highlights our shared humanity."
"I am giving my blood to Odyssey to show that we're all the same," said Paul McCartney, English singer-songwriter. "No matter who you are, the color of our blood proves we are all one."
Odyssey will debut in fall 2019 in New York City – a city built on immigration and the ideals of freedom, acceptance and diversity – at The New York Public Library, which since its inception has worked to make knowledge, education and opportunity accessible to all.
"We are in the midst of a global crisis: more than 65 million people displaced after being denied the opportunity to create lives for themselves in their homelands," said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. "It is important that we call attention to this issue here in New York, a city built by waves of immigrants. Marc Quinn's Odyssey is a powerful, prominent statement, and we are proud to host it on the plaza of The New York Public Library, an institution that has stood for inclusiveness and opportunity for all for almost 125 years."
The two cubes of frozen blood will be publicly displayed in bespoke refrigeration units and will be housed in a pavilion designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster with the Norman Foster Foundation.
"Art can raise issues of equality and inequality. That has to be one of the functions of art," said Norman Foster, President of the Norman Foster Foundation. "In Odyssey we had a challenge: to create an environment that will work with the two frozen cubes of blood and be able to adapt to radically different locations and climates. This challenge is primarily architectural but is also an environmental one. In a way, perhaps that diversity of situations also highlights the diversity of the refugee crisis; it is not confined to one continent, nor to one kind of people. It's universal – much like our humanity. We are all the same, under the skin."
Following Odyssey's exhibition in New York City, the artwork will travel to locations around the world.
Odyssey will provide a video platform for self-expression and storytelling, as each person who gives blood is invited to speak on film. In cities where it is exhibited, Odyssey will run these subtitled films on outdoor video media to virtually populate the area with the stories of blood donors, transforming individuals into temporary citizens for the duration of the exhibition. Odyssey's ambition is to create a platform of equality of voice and of status, as well as a place for human stories as part of the artwork itself.
For more information on Odyssey, including how to get involved or donate, and to view testimonials from blood donors, please visit www.bloodcube.org and follow Odyssey on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Join the conversation using #ourblood.
About Marc Quinn
Marc Quinn is one of the leading artists of his generation. His sculptures, paintings and drawings explore the relationships between art and science, man and nature, the human body, and the perception of beauty. His work also connects frequently and meaningfully with art history, from modern masters right back to antiquity. Learn more about Marc Quinn at www.marcquinn.com and follow Marc on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About Human Love
Human Love is a UK charity established by Marc Quinn to enable Odyssey and to channel Quinn's broader charitable efforts. Human Love's board of trustees will identify a range of charitable, refugee-focused initiatives as beneficiaries of 50 percent of the funds Odyssey raises through the sale of the artwork, proceeds of fundraising events and other initiatives created by the artist.
John Kippin exhibited at, and was a member of the co – operative of young artists responsible for developing 2B Butler’s Wharf in the early 1970’s at Tower Bridge in London as a key venue for ‘alternative’ arts practice such as performance, artist’s film, moving image and installation works. He later moved to Newcastle upon Tyne where he became a member of the Basement Group, a mostly performance led group of artists that eventually evolved into the current Artist’s Organisation Locus+ . His work has been widely exhibited in the U.K including the Baltic, Centre for Contemporary Art, in the North East, together with the Serpentine Gallery, the Photographer’s Gallery and the Imperial War Museum in London. His work has also been exhibited in Europe, America and Asia. He has published a number of books and has contributed to numerous conferences and academic symposia.
John Kippin studied as an undergraduate at Brighton and at postgraduate level in Newcastle where he was awarded an M.A. and later a PhD. He went on to teach at the University of Northumbria, developing and leading the Contemporary Photographic Practice programme. He later became the Head of School of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Cumbria and subsequently was awarded a research position at the University of Sunderland. Alongside teaching at all levels he was responsible, with his academic colleagues for developing the subject of Photography and its associated academic programme with the creation of research initiatives such as the IPRN (International Photography Research Network) and the NEPN (North East Photography Network). He was chair of APHE (Association of Photography in Higher Education) and is currently chair of Locus+. He is an Emeritus Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland and currently lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne.
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International Olympic Committee has commissioned internationally celebrated conceptual artist Leandro Erlich to create a large-scale, temporary installation to bring to life the Olympic values.
Known for playing with human perception, Erlich presents 'Ball Game', an ensemble of five large-scale hyper-realistic sport balls (football, basketball, tennis, volleyball and golf), that encourages the audience to experience the delight of moving beyond the everyday and into the festive terrain of Erlich's humour and imagination. The work was first displayed at the Olympism in Action Forum, outside of the Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Recoleta neighbourhood, where members of the Olympic Movement and civil society discussed key topics related to sport and society. On Sunday morning, October 7, spectators were invited to move Erlich's ensemble together through the city's public space to the Parque Tres de Febrero at the city's Planetarium Galileo Galilei in the neighbourhood of Palermo in a performative action. Only through a true collective effort can spectators get the monumental balls rolling.
"We were intrigued by Mr. Erlich's concept of a work that offers a platform for interaction. His installation reflects the Olympic ideal of humanity in movement in celebration of sporting achievement, and also as the Olympic Movement unites to address important issues relevant to the future of sport and society during the Olympism in Action Forum."
- Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage.
"The sport balls are a simple visual expression of the unifying spirit of friendship, excellence, and respect…. faced with the challenge of moving these monumental objects, collaboration and fraternity become our natural response. This game invites us to move forward together, inspired by the Olympic values."
- Leandro Erlich.
"In Buenos Aires sports and art are passionately lived and are an essential part of our identity, this is the opportunity for all of us to be inspired by Olympic values and to share this celebration with the world."
- Enrique Avogadro, Culture Minister of the City of Buenos Aires.
While the commission is fully funded by the IOC, the city worked in close collaboration with the artist's team on the permitting for public space needed to accommodate the project.
Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage
The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage is the IOC’s driving force behind the international promotion and dissemination of Olympism in the fields of culture, heritage and education.
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Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin (b. 1989, Guangzhou) is an artist based in Guangzhou and New York. In 2015, she earned an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University following a BA in Studio Art and Communication from Denison University in 2012. She has hosted high school debates on contemporary art world issues, designed a phone app to find alternate ways to talk about gender issues, organized meetings between scientists, artists and philosophers to address the possibility that we live in a simulation, and organized fictional panels that took place in the future. She is currently devoting her time to researching “Boy’s Love” (BL) culture and writing a BL novel about doomsday prepping in Shenzhen.
Her work has been exhibited at Taikang Space, Beijing (2018), Para Site, Hong Kong (2017), OCAT Shenzhen (2017), You Won't Be Young Forever curated by Biljana Ciric, Shanghai (2016), Queens Museum, New York (2016), Barnard College, New York (2016), Spring/Break Art Show, New York (2016), 221A, Vancouver (2015), Fisher Landau Center, Queens (2015), Jewish Museum, New York (2014), and Wallach Art Gallery, New York (2014). Her solo exhibitions included Lv Hua Dai at Salt Projects, Beijing (2018) and Things to Come at Weekend, Seoul (2017). Her upcoming project includes a collaboration with Heidi Lau at Triple Canopy. She was a part of the Para Site residency hosted by Spring Workshop in 2017. She is a winner of the Lotos Foundation Prize in 2015 nominated by Sarah Sze. Her writing has appeared in Modern Weekly and LEAP. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ruthless Lantern, a gossip art magazine.
Jeneen Frei Njootli is a Vuntut Gwitchin artist and a co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective, currently based on unceded Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver. An alumna of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, she has worked as a Performance Artist, Fashion Designer, Workshop Facilitator, Filmmaker, Sound Designer, Research Assistant, Research Scholar, Woodshop Work Study, Elder Homecare Worker, Visual Arts Studio Work Study, and as a Curatorial Coordinator.
Frei Njootli obtained her BFA from Emily Carr University in 2012, and received the William & Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Canadian Artist from the Hnatyshyn Foundation in 2016. In 2017, she received her MFA from the University of British Columbia. Currently Frei Njootli is working on a research project centered on performance and the land.
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Please Feed The Lions is an interactive sculpture in Trafalgar Square by multidisciplinary artist and designer Es Devlin, who has become known for her innovative projection-mapped sculptures that fuse light, music, and technology. The project follows a year-long collaboration between Devlin and Google Arts & Culture. Exploring the parameters of design and artificial intelligence, the installation incorporates a deep learning algorithm developed by Ross Goodwin, creative technologist at Google.
Cast in 1867, the four monumental lions in Trafalgar Square have been sitting as silent British icons at the base of Nelson’s Column for the past 150 years. Overnight on Monday 17 September, a fifth fluorescent red lion joined the pride. This new lion roars poetry, and the words it roars will be chosen by the public. Everyone is invited to “feed the lion”, but this lion only eats words.
By daylight, the ever-evolving collective poem will be shown on LEDs embedded in the mouth of the lion. By night, the poem will be projection-mapped over the lion and onto Nelson’s Column itself. Here Devlin explains how the project began and what she hopes visitors will experience:
This time last year, I was walking through Trafalgar Square with the director of London Design Festival, Sir John Sorrell. He said the festival occasionally gets access to the square and he asked me if I would consider making something here. He in passing mentioned that he had always felt that someone should work with the lions that sit there. We walk past them so much and while there's the 4th plinth project, people haven't really turned their attention to the lions on the other plinths.
I started digging into Trafalgar Square’s history and realised one of the reasons it's been a place of celebrations, protest and all sorts of other gatherings is because it's always been this kind of meeting point between east and west London. It’s a place where every kind of voice has been heard. I had this thought that what if these lions had absorbed all of this sound in celebration and in protest through their bronze skin. What if you could open one of their mouths and let it speak, what would it say?
The work with Google Arts & Culture and creative technologist Ross Goodwin over the last two years, around the machine learning and poetry-generating algorithm has meant we’ve been able to explore these concepts further in Trafalgar Square.
Using a lidar scanner, we’ve created a precise model of one of the original lions, but we've manipulated the mouth so it's open and we've put a screen in there so that during the day you'll approach the lion and you'll be invited to feed the lion a word. It will be a question to the public: "If these lions could open their mouths now and you could add one word to their voice, what would that be?" When you give it a word, it speaks back almost like an oracle, like a fortune cookie but loud and roaring and tall above your head. It gives you a two-line verdict on your choice.
To an unsuspecting passersby or tourist, I'm hoping you might actually think that the fifth lion in Trafalgar Square has been painted red. We wanted a color that would cut through the grey of London, so it had to be one that is fluorescent. I particularly liked this fluorescent red-orange, as I want the sense that someone came and dipped that lion in several cans of red-orange spray paint.
At night, we’re using Nelson's Column to display the words fed to the lion as lines of vertical text. Essentially, people input their words, the text ricochets from the lion in projection mapping and then runs up nelson's column - so hopefully it'll be a real beacon for people to take part. From past projects, we know that these word donations will result in an oddly good collective poem. I like the idea of people being invited up to be collective and generate something together.
The challenge is that the installation isn't there for very long, so there's no opportunity for a technical fault, and the power of it is in the immediacy of it, so that's been the central concern. It's really important because while it’s not using public money, it's in a public space and will become a public piece of art. I'm really sensitive to the criticism that's going to be levelled at it. There will be people who say: "why didn't you just get a poet?" or "why do you need machine learning and algorithms?" There is always going to be this question in relation to what end machine learning and algorithms can augment human capacities and not replace them. My answer is that no one is ever suggesting that there shouldn't be human poets, we're just saying if you walk into Trafalgar Square and you weren't about to write a poem, you can take part in one.
Because my memory of Trafalgar Square has always been that sign: “Please don't feed the pigeons", I thought it would be wonderful to have an invitation to feed something there, and so "Please Feed The Lions" became the phrase that became the title.
My mum always said to me that the only reason for making anything would be if it changed, however small a degree, people's perspective. I want there to be a difference between ‘before the work’ and ‘after the work’. Trafalgar Square is a place many of us stack up memories, because so many of us walk through it – it's like a great corridor of this city. If every time someone walked through the square again and they felt linked to all those voices that have been heard since its inception in the 1850s, or if this piece became a sort of hinge that connected them to a deeper understanding of the square and about the city we live in, that would be something. The poem itself, at the end of the six days, will be put online on the Google Arts & Culture website prolonging its life, and it will allow people to say, "I was part of that".
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Ed Templeton (born July 28, 1972) is an American professional skateboarder, skateboard company owner, photographer and contemporary artist. He is best known for founding the skateboard company, Toy Machine, a company that, as of January 2013, he continues to own and manage. He is based in Huntington Beach, California.
Templeton was born in Garden Grove, Orange County, California, USA. His family lived in various places in Southern California before moving to Huntington Beach. He began skateboarding in 1985 in Huntington Beach, with friend, Jason Lee.
Outside of skateboarding, Templeton is a painter, graphic designer, and photographer, areas that he has gained a reputation within without any formal training—the Photography Colleges website, in an article entitled "New School Photography: Ed Templeton", identifies Templeton as "probably the most influential contemporary photographer". Templeton's signature model skateboards for the New Deal company were self-designed and he subsequently became the head designer for his own brands—Templeton produces all of the art work for the Toy Machine skateboard company that, as of January 2013, is his primary skateboarding project. Templeton is also a co-editor of ANP Quarterly, an arts magazine started in 2005.
In a 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Templeton clarified that his first art show was in 1993 and that he has "been skating, going on tours, painting in the studio and doing a show and sometimes a mixture of both. Sometimes going on a tour and then leaving for a few days to go to my show", describing it as "chaos in a lot of ways." In the same article, Templeton is counterposed to the "wholesome" depiction of Tony Hawk and the "sporting good stores"; instead, Templeton is associated with "teenage misfits". Templeton's painted works (and a single photograph) are featured on his Tumblr profile—maintained by the artist himself—"The Cul-de-sac of Lameness".
In 2000, Templeton's book of photography, Teenage Smokers, won the Italian Search For Art competition and Templeton was awarded US$50,000. In both 2001 and 2011, Templeton's artwork was featured in Juxtapoz magazine and, in 2002, the art exhibition, "The Essential Disturbance", was held at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France, a show that was accompanied by a 100-page book, The Golden Age of Neglect, published by Drago.
Templeton is a featured artist in "Beautiful Losers", a project that consisted of several elements: a touring art exhibit, a collected art book and a feature documentary film, all of which include the work of various contemporary artists.
A large section of the art in the Beautiful Losers project covers skateboarding and other urban themes. In 2003, Templeton, along with members of the Toy Machine team, skated on a variety of purpose-built structures—including a car—at the base of the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center for the temporary showcase of Beautiful Losers. Templeton's work and career are also subjects in the Beautiful Losers film.
In 2008, Templeton published Deformer—the culmination of eleven years of preparation and research, in which he explores the "incubator of suburban outskirts", Orange County, California; that is, the area in which he spent his formative years. A documentary film, entitled Deformer, was also produced and released, featuring Templeton and the directorial work of Mike Mills; Mills also collaborated with Templeton for the Beautiful Losers project.
In early 2011, Templeton released a book featuring a collection of photographs, entitled Teenage Kissers. In October 2011, Templeton explained the origin of the project:
Unlike many photo projects, the concept was an afterthought. It’s typical for a photographer to come up with an idea or concept and then go out and shoot it. But in this case I have always shot people kissing whenever I had the chance. When curator/writer Arty Nelson called me and suggested we do a show of Teenage Kissers at the Half Gallery in NYC, he was thinking of my first book Teenage Smokers (1999). I did a quick search of my archive and realized I had more than enough to do a show. So Teenage Kissers was conceived as a sister book to Teenage Smokers. It’s the exact same size and has a very similar cover.
The Australian publication, Curvy, which focuses on the work of female artists, identified the collection as a favourite, in specific relation to Templeton's oeuvre, and Curvy contributor, Katie O, described the photographic series in the following manner: "It’s equal parts cute and gross. It’s a perfect depiction of teen romance – curiosity, infatuation, desperation to grow up, and getting in over your head. The photos are awkward and wonderful and will remind you how tricky being an adolescent was – and how glad you are it’s over."
On January 12, 2013, Templeton held an opening event for a photographic exhibition, entitled "Memory Foam", at the Roberts & Tilton gallery in Culver City, California, US. Consisting of sixty-eight photographs, the show features Templeton’s impressions of the people of Huntington Beach, California, US and ended on February 16, 2013. Actor, Neil Patrick Harris, who is reportedly an admirer of Templeton's photographic work, attended the event and clothing brand, eswic, published a video segment that was filmed at the opening.
Lucy Moore, former friend of the late London bookstore owner Claire de Rouen, selected Templeton's book Litmus Test (Super Labo) for a tribute to de Rouen that was featured by the Modern Matter magazine in March 2013. In regard to Templeton's photographic exploration of Russia, Moore explains: "Like litmus paper turning irreversibly red after it has been soaked in lemon juice, the photographs document the way that first impressions leave indelible marks upon our memory, shaping what follows." Moore also writes that Templeton's skateboarding may be responsible for the collection's "feeling of equivalence between photographer and subject."
Templeton explained in an April 2013 interview that the Leica M6 camera (with 50 mm lens) is the camera that he primarily uses for his photographic work, but that he also likes to use the Fuji GF670. Templeton also stated that film is his preferred photographic medium and that he only uses digital photography for Instagram images. The same interview also revealed that Templeton looks for "anything that illustrates the human existence" when shooting photographs.
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A philanthropist, idealist, humanist, Reza’s career began with studies in architecture. He has gone on to become a renowned photojournalist who, for the last three decades, has worked all over the world, notably for National Geographic. His assignments have taken him to over a hundred countries as a witness to humanity’s conflicts and catastrophes. His work is featured in the international media (National Geographic, Time Magazine, Stern, Newsweek, El País, Paris Match, Geo…), as well as a series of books, exhibitions and documentaries.
Along with his work as a photographer, since 1983 Reza has been a volunteer committed to the training of youths and women from conflict-ridden societies in the language of images, to help them strive for a better world. In 2001, he founded Ainaworld in Afghanistan, a new generation NGO which trains populations in information and communications through the development of educational tools and adapted media. While pursuing his reportages for international media outlets, Reza has continued to conduct workshops on the language of images through his association Reza Visual Academy. He works with refugees, urban youths in Europe and different megacities in the world.
After his work, Memories of Exile shown at the Louvre Carrousel in 1998, he has shared his humanitarian vision through a series of monumental installations among them: Crossing Destinies, shown on the fences of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, One World, One Tribe in Washington DC, War + Peace at the Caen Memorial, Hope in Doha (Qatar), Windows of the Soul in Corsica, Soul of Coffee, 250 photographic exhibitions throughout the world, including major installations on the banks of the Seine, or at Kew Gardens in London, Land of Tolerance at the UN Headquarters in New York, the European Parliament in Brussels, as well as UNESCO in Paris, The Elegance of Fire,presented at the Petit Palais. Finally, the giant panorama A Dream of Humanity was featured along the banks of the Seine during the summer of 2015, showing portraits of refugees around the world taken by Reza and photographs taken by refugee children in Iraqi Kurdistan who were trained as “camp reporters” at the workshops organized by Reza Visual Academy.
Author of thirty books, and a recipient of many awards over the course of his career, Reza is a Fellow (2006-2012) and Explorer of the National Geographic Society since 2013, and a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation. His work has been recognized by World Press Photo; he has also received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, the Lucy Award, an honorary medal from the University of Missouri and the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the American University of Paris. France has also appointed him a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.
Authenticity and artificiality
Even at a young age I was fascinated by the beauty of nature, and it has exerted an elemental pull on me ever since. This authentic experience stands in shrill contrast with the world in which I have lived and worked for the last decade, a world dominated by mere appearance, social media posturing and superficiality. The driving force behind my work is the desire to inject the rawness of nature into the seamless, controlled perfection of my photographs in order to undermine the facile gaze of viewers unaccustomed to scratching any deeper than the surface.
Photography is just a medium
Transforming emotions, intentional or unconscious ideas into gripping images: this is what matters to me. Constructing my photographs layer by layer, with meticulous attention to detail, I compose my vision of beauty. Taking the actual photo is but the final stage of a long, deliberate process, punctuated by flashes of inspiration. This is why I consider myself an art director first, and then a photographer.
Larger than life
The scenarios I create go far beyond the individual or the anecdotal. My aim is not merely to create an aesthetically appealing photo, but to create something larger than life. That is why I transform individual models into dramatic, iconic figures that tap into a deeper level of experience, melancholy and mortality. The real quest, however, is to discover true beauty inner, mysterious beauty for the viewer to gradually unravel.
Invitation to an inward journey
After years as a fashion photographer, I felt an emptiness, and something calling me. It was time to take the journey inward, to transform. Photography was the only way for me to make this journey. Delving into the rich layers in my photographs enables me to connect with deeper layers in myself. My authentic self. It is a dramatic, ongoing and even vital process. My ultimate wish is that my Art works will also awaken my viewers to a process of reconnection with the essential.
Christian Faur - Complex visual "poems," which can redefine the way we think about the meaning of communication.
The things that inspire me to create, I find, are buried deep within the structures and systems that form the underpinning of our natural world. My studies in the natural sciences have made me aware of these hidden layers of complexity present in even the simplest objects. These invisible layers are seen most clearly through the lens of logic, which is used to decipher the underlying rules and laws that govern the physical world.
In my work, I try to mimic these elegant structures of nature by developing systems of my own with which to express my thoughts and ideas, so that the medium and the message appear as one.
I think of it like a game, with a set of axioms that are established at the outset through the limitations of the material or forms from which the work is constructed, which then dictates what can and cannot be "said" within the boundaries of the chosen medium. This material limitation can also be a strength, as there is the potential to contain thoughts and ideas in unique ways, so that the "medium" can become the "message." This intertwining of form and function can be seen most directly in my most recent work, which is comprised of crayons and shredded paper.
These systems function as a private language, that allows me to express many layers of meaning within each work that I create. I think of them as complex visual "poems," which can redefine the way we think about the meaning of communication.
In my newest body of work, I focus on the semiotic nature of color by using a color alphabet system, which I have developed. This system uses pure color to mimic the function of letters (glyphs) to hold language and forms the basic foundation for many of the experimental works that I have produced.
These works range from a "Mating Jacket," a brightly colored dinner jacket composed of dozens of colored-sentences of male oriented come-ons, pick up lines, slogans, and macho self promotions to an artist book, in which I developed a system of written glyphs to translate Wittgenstein's text "Remarks on Colour" into pure color.
This color system of writing has also informed many of my other recent works. In the Forgotten Children, a series of photorealistic grayscale portraits of young children composed of tens of thousands of individually stacked crayons-tips, the color-alphabet crayons are used to spell out hundreds of children names within each of the individual panels. The Pangram series uses holoalphabetic sentences (pangrams) in conjunction with the color-alphabet to produce a set of colorful abstract encaustic works.
Jônatas Chimen Dias DaSilva-Benayon, or simply "JoNATAS" (b.1981), is a Brazilian-American Symbolist artist, author, and academic. His work explores personal and collective identity amidst a complicated and ever-changing cultural landscape. The artist's exploration of identity is often drawn from his own family history of migration, adaptation, and hybridization.
Jonatas' art is process-based, ranging in technique from traditional Spanish Realism to contemporary approaches in 2D, 3D, and Time-Based formats. Jonatas often makes use of pastiches of immigration documents, DNA exams, Inquisitional archives, and personal diaries. Overall, his message of embracing one's cultural identity and disclosing personal beliefs is a recurring theme.
For the past 17 years Jonatas has been featured at numerous biennales, museums, art galleries, and auctions, such as The Jerusalem Biennale, The MONA Biennale, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Basel Art Week, and Artexpo New York. In 2015, Jonatas Chimen was awarded the title of Artist of the Year by the Anti-Defamation League for his art series titled The Journey. Jonatas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from The University of Madison-Wisconsin, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University.
Asier, urban artist resident in El Bierzo, born in Donostia, learned to paint in the streets of Madrid.
"At the age of 8 they told my parents that I had problems with space, I was given a folio and I was not able to draw on the whole surface, I only used a small corner of the whole canvas... years later I realized that around me there were people whose Folios were small and they used the walls as a support to express themselves, thus began my contact with graffiti.
At first I was fixated on the works of other writers in my neighbourhood, from "The Elders", I used the margins of the school books to do my tests, the notebooks had more sketches than notes and exercises... and at 18 I got my first spray kit.
From that day until today I have not stopped being obsessed by "this way of expression" that some call art and others vandalism.
I have travelled through Europe painting both illegally and legally, participating in exhibitions and exhibits."
I have been awarded several awards among which include the prize young creators of the community of Madrid in the modality of graffiti in the year 2008.
My academic training "usable" was brief but intense, the graffiti was still my main focus but I wanted something more, maybe my pieces could take to life and move, so at 20 years I started to work as a courier to pay for studies in illustration and comic design in the ESDIP (Higher School of Drawing) of Madrid. Many years later I did the Diploma in Digital Design at the IED (Instituto Europeo di design) in Madrid.
Being always in contact with the world of graffiti, rap etc... I was able to start making video clips for rap artists, having worked today with several of the most important nationwide, works that combined with my full-time work In a design studio in the capital and with works as freelance for several producers and advertising agencies.
In the year 2014 my life took an unexpected turn and I move to live in Ponferrada, where I currently reside and where I continue to earn my living with my two passions, spray and design.
Visit the Website: asier.com.es
Shreya Arora - A Young Artist- Designer using her talents to bring attention to sexism and injustice.
Written by Scoop Whoop.
Not only is our society grappling with heinous incidents of rape and violence, but we are also hardwired into shaming and blaming the victim in most cases.
A 21-year-old graphic designer, Shreya Arora, responded to this rampant practice of victim shaming by creating a series of posters modelled around magazine covers that talk about how, no matter what the victim wears, or how the victim acts, the blame is always on them.
She shared this satirical artwork titled "The Good Victim Starter Pack", on her Instagram handle, in an attempt to talk about this practice in a way that is 'relatable to more people'.
Recently she shared another set of images on her Instagram handle that deal with sexual objectification of women in pop culture, specifically Comic books.
Art has the power to make you think and change how you view things around you, Shreya and her art does that in the most brilliant way possible.
Cooper & Gorfer - questions of identity and how cultural heritage influences the way we act and perceive the world.
Belonging to a narrative tradition within photography, our work articulates the unconscious aspects of a moment or person. We investigate questions of identity and how cultural heritage influences the way we act and perceive the world. With a deeply rooted interest in the female story, our collaged portraits seek to reference the many layers of personal memories and collective experiences that shape us.
Cooper & Gorfer comprises the artists Sarah Cooper (US, 1974) and Nina Gorfer (Austria, 1979). Their work focuses on the female aspects of cultural identity. Based on the stories and lives of the women they meet and collaborated with, Cooper & Gorfer explore issues of power, gender, memory, migration, dislocation, and the malleability of identity.
The artist duo are known for their distinct hybrid portraits. Their photo-based collages are anchored in an anthropological research of people, place and the genius loci. They reimagine the tradition of portraiture by visually examining and deconstructing the narrative of those they portray. Like art history’s Mannerists and Surrealists or literature’s Magical Realism, Cooper & Gorfer strain observable reality through a complex psychological filter of memories, moods and wounds.
Cooper & Gorfer began their collaboration in 2006. They live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany.
Cooper & Gorfer have had several solo exhibitions, among others, at Fotografiska Stockholm, Hasselblad Center Gothenburg, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt and the National Museum of Photography Copenhagen. Cooper & Gorfer's work is included in several private and museum collections, including the National Gallery of Iceland. They have been awarded the German Photo Book Award 2018, and are Hasselblad Ambassadors.
(Born in Tokyo, 1981. Lives and works in Tokyo)
Yusuke Asai uses various materials and expands his world. Including his production at his atelier, he has been making Masking Plant series since 2003, which are permanent marker drawings on masking tapes that are freely pasted on the walls and floors. He collects soil and water from the local area and creates Earth paintings series. He also creates Sprouted Plants series that he cuts out the shapes of animals and plants from the sheet of road marking white line and torches on the road surface. Recently, he has received a lot of attention for large-scale earth paintings that are over 10 meters. He juxtaposes animals and plants without any space, small animals and plants appear inside of bigger living things just like macro exists inside of micro, the ecosystem in the universe.
His significant solo exhibitions are, “Yusuke ASAI: Seeds of Imagination, Journey of Soil”, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Kanagawa, Japan (2015); He has participated in major group exhibitions, such as “All Living Things”, Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka, Japan (2016); “Echigo-Tsumari Art Field”, Tokamachi City, Niigata, Japan (2015). He is also participated in so many art projects outside of Japan such as “yamatane”, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, USA (2014).
A poem by Yusuke Asai:
To someone reading this word somewhere far away
To people who always care
Do not forget your gratitude
To those who always stay by,
To be saved nearby
I want to hand over the form of appreciation,
Everything about them is a continuum.
It is not mandatory to do anything, but to people close to the inside
To someone far away,
I have to deliver it,
Thank you for always being good.
As you can see again, with that kind of hands, even more
I want to do my best.
Guatemalan artist Darío Escobar’s (b. 1971) lives and works in Guatemala City. He works in various media: sculpture, installation, painting, and drawing. His work often makes use of the concept of the readymade, but the objects Escobar choose are always altered in some way or another.
Through the alterations as well as the placement in an artistic context the objects gain new meanings. General themes in Escobar’s work are the complex relations between globalization, aesthetics, colonialism, modernism and consumerism.
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: darioescobar.com
The Essence of My Creativity
The majority of subjects in my work are based on girls. As a female artist, I naturally show more emotional nuances in my creations than a male artist usually would, with my works reflecting the different stages of my growing up. From being a young girl to a mature woman, the physical and psychological changes that naturally take place, from a happy carefree stage to an emotionally rich stage, to a then more mature stable period.
With an ever changing world continuously influencing different aspects of my life, inspiring me to reflect these changes artistically as they evolve. My works echo a positive view towards the experiences of life and my hopes for a better future. The chubby faced characters I created, with their small mouth and huge eyes… are maybe a reflection of how I perceive myself.
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: saatchiart.com
"Are We Being F***ing Serious?" is a Data Art / Net Art on 178,325 Global Terrorism Data since 1980, the year of the murder of our dreamer, Mr. Lennon.
I invite all the dreamers like you and me and Mr. & Mrs. Lennon over the world
to this website (www.arewebeingfuckingserious.net), to realize the reality of the concept of Terrorism, which are happening all over the world, all over the common place(such as park, street, apartments, public areas) in our daily lives, not only at the warfare locations.
By navigating and watching 178,325 places of terrorism, I want us to imagine, all once again, more seriously.
About Changyeon Lee
Changyeon Lee is a New York-based award-winning artist and director of Studio god’s gift. His practice specialises in kinetic sculpture through the use of mechanical components and natural objects.
Changyeon lives and works in New York City; Las Vegas; Seoul, South Korea. He achieved Master degree in new media arts at New York University with full years grants and received national scholarships from South Korea(from 2015 to 2017).
in 2018, he won the grand-prix at young artist contest from international young artist association, and he is participating in the 2018 scope Miami beach art fair at the United States, coming this December.
As a poet, copywriter, net-artist and kinetic installation artist, he currently expands his area of poetry into the Interactive Media Art. His works have been presented internationally, including United States, Germany, and South Korea. Recent displays of his work include exhibitions at the Museum of Moving Image New York; Interactive Corp(IAC) at Chelsea in New York City; Doosan Gallery at Chelsea New York City; Schwules Museum Berlin; ITP, New York University, New York; 150th Memorial Day of the Civil War of United States New York; among others.
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: studiogodsgift.com
Mixing art and fashion photography, British artist Miss Aniela (Natalie Dybisz b. 1986) creates a fine balance of contemporary creativity. Her work centres on a fusion of traditional imagery and digitally enhanced motifs, interweaving in a surreal composition.
In Surreal Fashion, Natalie depicts contemporary models with a reference to Renaissance and Dutch masters, shooting in stately home settings across Europe and US. Larger-than-life characters preside over a dreamlike tableaux of chandeliers, taxidermy and four-poster beds; motifs for another, utopic world of the past that we long to inhabit.
Natalie's work has been exhibited by the Saatchi Gallery, House of Parliament, Waldermarsudde Museum Stockholm and Vogue Italia in Milan; and in numerous media including BBC, Daily Mail, Yahoo, El Pais and NY Arts. Miss Aniela’s Surreal Fashion images can be perceived as dream-like visual worlds with allusions to both couture photography and classical artworks, based on staged settings mainly in castles, that are subsequently digitally processed. Her detailed compositions, with their mixture of styles and evocative lighting, arouse associations to archaic palatial settings, Rococo Revival and is a form of contemporary commentary on the artistic expression found in salon paintings of the 18th century.
Many of the images notably feature elements from classical paintings including Adriaen van Utrecht, Melchior d'Hondecoeter and Otto Marseus van Schrieck; creatively and strategically combining modern with old, and birthing a new creation from paintstroke to pixel. Dreamy characters bask in opulent worlds from the sublime to the bizarre. Zoo animals peer from French chateaus, a yellow tulle dress explodes into the canaries of Jean Baptiste Greuze, and painted ships of an English stately home dance upon the waves of a model's cascading skirts. Natalie has been working on the collection for 7+ years, shooting extensively on location worldwide. The result is a visual feast crossing centuries of art history.
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: missaniela.com
Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, books and lecture-performances.
Slavs and Tatars’ various exhibitions, lectures, and books primarily fall within one of eight research cycles. These cycles range from alphabet politics (Language Arts) to medieval advice literature (Mirrors for Princes) to an investigation of syncretism (Not Moscow Not Mecca), amongst others. This organizing principle stems from the collective’s editorial focus if not their beginnings as a make-shift book-club. Often, exhibitions focus on one particular cycle (for example, Friendship of Nations); at other times, though, they bleed into one another. Like yoghurt, Slavs and Tatars’ work has an element of totum simul: the whole is in the parts.
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: slavsandtatars.com
Lina Iris Viktor chooses to work in a strictly limited world - it is a mythical one of her creation existing within the zen-influenced, blurred lines of the real and the imagined. The world she imagines is perfectly curated, puristic, and minimalist - it tends to cancel out materiality, to transfer it to the realm of the spiritual & the alchemical. Governed by a purist color palette, her work considers the natural laws, hermetic philosophies, mathematic & scientific principles, and seeks to instill a divine order to all around her.
Working across multiple mediums, she adheres to the colour palette of blue, black, white and 24-karat gold to create paintings, sculptural works, photography, performance works, and installations. Viktor's work fuses apparent contradictions, synchronizing the monumental and the minuscule, decadent and the minimal, the spectacular and the invisible, seeking to heighten the experience of the spectator by creating immersive environments that transport the viewer into other worlds.
Lina Iris Viktor is a conceptual artist, performance artist, and painter. She lives and works itinerantly between New York and London.
Raised in London to Liberian parents, she traveled extensively in her youth also living in Johannesburg, South Africa for many years. The multi-disciplinary approach to her work, which weaves disparate materials and methods belonging both to contemporary and ancient art forms calls into question the nature of time and being. Her works are a merging of photography, performance, abstract painting, along with the ancient practice of gilding with 24-karat gold to create increasingly dark canvases embedded with “layers of light” in the form of symbols and intricate patterns. Viktor regards these dark canvases to be “light-works”. Each provoke a philosophical commentary through material that at once addresses the infinite and the finite, immortality and mortality, the microcosm and macrocosm, in addition to the socio-political and historical preconceptions surrounding ‘blackness’ and its universal implications.
Viktor’s multi-disciplinary practice is informed by a background in film which she studied at Sarah Lawrence College, and her continued studies within photography & design at The School of Visual Arts, along with an education in performance arts during high school. Viktor creates her own mythology as a painter, sculptor, photographer, and performance artist.
Viktor has exhibited at Harvard Art Museums and The Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Boston; The Kentucky Museum of Arts & Craft, Louisville; and Spelman Museum of Fine Art, Spelman College, Georgia. Viktor has engaged in critical talks, panels & lectures at Harvard University, New York University, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA, London), King’s College London, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York), Saint Louis Art Museum, and Autograph ABP (London).
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: linaviktor.com
Born in Guadalajara, 1974
Lives and works in Guadalajara, MX
The work of Jose Dávila is the result, on one hand, of taking the resistance of both form and material to its limit, and on the other, of the appropriation and recontextualization of poignant works of art throughout history, defining them within a local and contemporary context.
Dávila’s work shows apparently opposed materials where forces and forms are balanced to achieve a harmonious whole that transforms his creations into representations of our doubts and own contradictions. His work is a visual and material aporia, an insoluble logical paradox, where we discover a coexistence of fragility and resistance, calm and tension, geometry and chaos.
His multidisciplinary work often departs from the creation of a visual glossary where all variations are the result of a basic idea; in their arrangement, these basic forms become a language for the totality of the work. Each of the pieces evolve naturally within the specific conditions and characteristics of their format and material.
His sculptures are a reflection of the phenomenon of gravity, the laws of static and dynamic energy, the tractive force used to generate motion and the compression strength, the potential for deformation prior to the rupture of materials, and, above all, of structural intuitions. The assembly of delicately balanced materials highlight the human intervention that transforms the space and re-signifies the object. The structures created by Dávila work within their own logic in the search for the exogenous center of gravity and in the limits of the resistance of the materials, where the form is a consequence of the process.
Jose Dávila studied architecture in the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Guadalajara, Mexico, however, he considers himself a self-taught artist, with an intuitive formation.
His work is part of the Getty’s PST LA/LA triennial in Los Angeles and has been exhibited in Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE; Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, USA, Savannah College of Art and Design; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Museum Voorlinden, AG Wassenaar, Nederland, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo MUAC, Mexico City; Caixa Forum, Madrid; MoMA PS1, New York; Kunstwerke, Berlin; San Diego Museum of Art; Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; MAK, Vienna, Fundación/ Colección JUMEX, Mexico City; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Museu do Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo; The Moore Space, Miami; NICC, Antwerp, among others; and has been featured in international publications such as Cream 3, ed. Phaidon, 100 Latin-American Artists, ed. Exit and The Feather and The Elephant, ed. Hatje Cantz. Jose Dávila has been awarded with the Baltic Artists’Award along with artists Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale and Shen Xin.
View the Gallery below and Visit the Website: josedavila.mx/main
Valentin Dommanget (born in 1988 in Châlons-en-Champagne ) is a multidisciplinary French artist. He mainly works in painting, sculpture, digital graphics and video.
His practice combines technologies and traditional artistic techniques around experiments inspired by the codes of contemporary art and internet culture. His influences stem from transhumanist and animist theories as well as the Supports / Surfaces movement. His work is a pre-figuration of a future man-machine around a reflection on the creative act.
After obtaining a degree in Fashion Design from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliques et des métiers d'Art in Paris, he completed his studies with a Master Fine Art at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Since 2014 he has been represented in France by the Lily Robert gallery in Paris. He is also co-director of State of the Art , Berlin.
View the Gallery below and visit the Website: vdommanget.com
I am Keyezua a storyteller using art as a communication tool that manages to tell more than my words will ever do. Art provokes, educates and empowers without pity. It is a powerful tool and it is in the hands of this generation to create value for our government, organizations and foundations to put artists as an integral component to the further development of culture, economics, feminism, and individual development in Africa.
What makes me uncomfortable in our society is what helps me create an artwork that deserves to exist as I follow the revolution that happens in my mind when I am not satisfied with a situation that affects human rights. Due to technology as a catalyst for change, everybody can educate and market themselves as an artist but is not everybody that is willing to use art to fight a cause or to provoke and insist in intellectual change. For us, women, we can't just make art to make art look pretty and successfully hang on a wall at home or in a museum. It needs to demand respect, debates, confusion and experiment with tradition. I am Keyezua.
Visit the Website: keyezuavision.tumblr.com
After growing up in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, Phillip K. Smith III received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. From his Palm Desert, CA studio, he creates light-based work that draws upon ideas of space, form, color, light + shadow, environment, and change.
Featured in hundreds of online and print publications, Phillip is known for creating large scaled temporary installations such as Lucid Stead in Joshua Tree, Reflection Field and Portals at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, ¼ Mile Arc in Laguna Beach, and The Circle of Land and Sky at inaugural 2017 Desert X exhibition. All of these installations are featured in his latest catalog titled Five Installations published by Grand Central Press. His public artworks are sited in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, Nashville, Oklahoma City and beyond; and the artist was recently commissioned to create permanent, light-based works for the cities of West Hollywood, CA and Bellevue, WA. The artist's work is also included in the forthcoming exhibition and catalog Unsettled organized by the Nevada Museum of Art and artist Ed Ruscha.
Visit the Website: pks3.com