01 August 2008

Some Art I Like

Interesting enough, last August I created an identical blog entry called, "Some Art I Like." I shall do it again. This time, however, the powers of the internet are betraying me and I'm not able to totally tie down the ownership and creators of some of the works! I'm also a bit behind the times but the things I remember stuck with me. Most were tagged in blogs that raced by and were deleted too soon for me to capture the facts for. I'm slow.

I ask my meager collection of blog watchers to help identify some of the artists that I wasn't able to. I'll update my blog with mucho credit and accolades to you if you can.

My favorite art of the last year includes two photographers, a sculptor, a painter and a designer.

Johnathan Weiner
When you fall in love with a painting you fall fast and hard. I did for Weiner's, "The Attacker's Move." A tip of the hat to the Juxtapoz underground movement, influence from classical posing ala Caravaggio, the shading and brushwork of Sargeant and a thoroughly original version of the subtle palette of the 90's. The painting, with it's nearly surreal point of perspective, incorporates lines of composition based on 15 degrees, 30 degrees that are close to my heart. The cartoon-ish freeze-frame of the falling duck, the fever dream angle of the trees, the mastery of stroke, this is a piece that even Johnathan must consider one of his finest. After reading an interview of him in Hi-Fructose, I was inspired by his sense of history and focus on making a new meaningful art for our time.

Alison Jackson
It must be 2 yrs since she hit Art Forum, but I'm slow on the uptake. I re-discovered her through one of her talks at ted.com. Alison is infatuated with paparazzi photography to the point that she started making her own. She hires look-alike celebrity models to pose in her photos involving compromising celebrity situations. This allows her the power to make social commentary as well as undermine the power of the media. How brilliant! So here's a pic of the Marilyn Monroe porno shots and Tony Blair having a sauna with Beckham.

Les Deux Garcons
What an incredible composition! What an incredible mix of taboo and symbolism!

This is a mystery. Is it a group that created this sculpture? Les Deux Garcons means, "The two boys." So, yes, must be two boys that created this. Seems like I saw this image over and over a year to two years ago but it stuck in my mind. Taxidermy is used well and sometimes bad. In this case it's respected so well, that it makes one second guess the usual motive. The symbolism seems easy but turns out to be difficult. I like it. It continues to pose questions. Perhaps it's nonsense. I can't turn away from an engaging image. Everyone I show it to gets excited.

Stephan Sagmeister
Designers will exhale over the hype, but he's the first designer in a long time to bridge the gap between art and design so well. His major feat is typography which he spells out in the real world ala grass tied in a fence to spell out words (done here in Tucson), different colored books stacked in a wall to spell out words, or inkless tattooing into flesh to spell out words and then he photographs it. Graphic design is pretty much done if there is a good photograph. Sagmeister does it all in the photo. When communication gets personal and involves this much staging, I consider it art. A hero of mine and especially as a speaker at ted.com with his talk about happiness and the source of his book.

This is the mystery to me. A couple years ago this photographer captured my passing interest. The imagery stayed with me beyond my memory of the artist's name. Things roll on, time travels and I and the media forgot who this artist is. As I look back, I realize what a wonder this photographer is and I haven't been touched so well in a long time. Slightly lesbo, well posed, smart girls ready to take over the world. The photos here don't do the ones I remember justice. The ones I remember oozed woman power. In an intimidating and sexy way. I loved the powerplay.

My internet investigations of this photographer lead me to one place: the wit of staircase. I'd email the author of the blog but Theresa Duncan and designer Jeremy Blake had an infamous dual suicide relationship. Two amazing young talents gone before their time. Theresa included many of my mystery photographers images in her blog (obsessed with girls in libraries), but never gave credit to the creator. She also didn't choose the best of the artists works in her blog (my opinion.) Maybe she took the photos?

Average looking, smart girls, in an ivy league place artist? I love the subject matter and the poignant posing. I'd be so happy if you know who this is doing the photos....

And finally, oh shit! I'm done.


9H2 English said...

Some of the photos on the 'wit' blog are fashion photos from old editions of Vogue Italia, by Steven Meisel, Ellen von Unwerth et al... these look like they could also be fashion, too.

Tom Baumgartner said...

Thanks for the feedback!
Your suggestions sent me on an hour or more of googling. Ellen von Unwerth is the bomb. Yet I didn't find anything that resembled this particular shoot.

Tom Baumgartner said...

Found it! Hooray!!!
Nazif Topcuoglu