Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Naked & Very Pregnant Britney Spears Sculpture

March 29, 2006 - 12:35PM

A life-sized sculpture of a naked and very pregnant Britney Spears on all fours in the process of giving birth to her first-born has drawn thousands of hate emails from around the world.

US artist Daniel Edwards has described the aim of his sculpture in its title .

"This is a new take on pro-life. Pro-lifers normally promote bloody images of abortion. This is the image of birth," said Edwards, quoted by AP.

Spears did not pose for the sculpture and is yet to comment on the subject.

A press release by the Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery in Brooklyn, which will display the sculpture next month, described the sculpture as showing Spears tugging on the ears of a bearskin rug "with water-retentive hands".

It said the sculpture "is purportedly an idealised depiction of Britney in delivery. Natural aspects of Spears's pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, complement a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean's head".

The release said that the sculpture "celebrates the recent birth of Spears's baby boy, Sean, and applauds her decision of placing family before career".

"She was number one with Google last year, with good reason - people are inspired by the beauty of a pregnant woman," Edwards said in the release.

"A superstar at Britney's young age having a child is rare in today's celebrity culture," gallery co-director Lincoln Capla said.

"This dedication honours Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision."

Edwards's exhibit also includes anti-abortion materials provided by the Manhattan Right To Life Committee.

The gallery denied the sculpture was developed from a rumoured bootleg Britney Spears birth video.

However AP reports that when some bloggers heard about the exhibit the gallery was inundated with about 3000 emails from around the world in just a week, offering angry opinions from all sides.

"We also got calls from Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter," gallery co-owner David Kesting told AP.

"Others who are pro-life thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life monument."

Edwards told AP the aim of his sculpture was to stir up debate about a difficult topic that "is greater than the issues presented by either pro-life or pro-choice advocates".

When asked whether he was absolutely against abortion, he told AP, "You nailed me. I'm not saying that I am. I wouldn't march with either pro-life or pro-choice advocates. This is not meant to be political."

ART TALK BLOG Reader Comment:

I think this is a beautiful image. It is stunning and inspirational. I think it is a shame the artist had to make it about Britney to get the work talked about and viewed. Ideally it would get recognition without the publicity, but we don't live in an ideal world. I appreciate this piece for what it says about the beauty of childbirth and of women. I don't think it has anything to do with Britney other than her name is used as a catalyst for the piece.

Thanks for posting this.


KEYWORD LINKS : Origional artical: Britney depicted in controversial nude sculpture , Other images of Britiney


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Monet fans get a chance to make big Impression

His scenes shimmer, like memories.
They are single, fleeting moments, reminders
of life's beauty and transience.

—John Berger about Monet

Monet fans get a chance to make big Impression
Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:21 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A London hotel is offering art fans a chance to emulate Impressionist Claude Monet in the room where he painted his classic studies of the Thames skyline.

For 2,600 pounds ($4,500), a couple can stay two nights in the Savoy Hotel room where Monet painted 70 canvases.

For that price, they also get an easel, paints and the advice of an arts teacher on how to reproduce the French painter's famous works.

"The teacher will also take you round London's National Gallery to see the Monet paintings there and point out what to look for. It is a mini-painting holiday," said a Savoy spokeswoman.

The Savoy's artistic tradition was started by James McNeill Whistler who painted a picture of the scaffolding when the hotel was being built in the 1880s.

Monet followed him as a guest, as did fellow artists Oskar Kokoschka and Andy Warhol.

Key Kinks: Claude Monet Online, Claude Monet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,

Saturday, March 25, 2006

University’s Decision to Sell Georgia O’Keeffe & Marsden Hartley Paintings Challenged

by Daniel Grant

A decision by Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, to sell two paintings in its art collection, which had been donated in 1949 by Georgia O’Keeffe from the Alfred Stieglitz collection, has been challenged by the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The dispute focuses on O’Keeffe’s conditions pertaining to the 1949 gift to Fisk, which included provisions that the collection be exhibited intact and that no items could be loaned or sold at any time.

In December 2005, the university applied to the Davidson County Chancery Court for permission to be released from these conditions, citing changed circumstances. This was followed in January by documents filed by the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, which restated the artist’s intention of maintaining the collection as a whole.

According to a statement released on February 3 by Fisk University President Hazel R. O’Leary, the historically Black institution is looking to sell Marsden Hartley’s Painting No. 3 (1913) and
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Radiator Building—Night, NewYork (1927), which art dealers have estimated could bring in a combined $16 to $20 million, in order to replenish the university’s endowment, endow faculty chairs in business, science, and mathematics, provide funding for the construction of a new science building, and pay for enhanced security and conservation for the remaining 99 works in the Stieglitz collection.

Fisk University currently has an art collection of 3826 objects, primarily African-American and African objects, according to spokesman Ken West. These include paintings by Romare Bearden and Harlem Renaissance muralist Aaron Douglas. The willingness to sell the Hartley and O’Keeffe paintings is not based on the view that “these two works don’t fit into the African-American experience,” he said, but because their deaccessioning (def: To remove a work of art from a museum's collection and sell it) is “the least disruptive way to achieve our strategic goals.”

Interesting to notes :
In 1926, Georgia O'Keeffe began to paint from the industrialization end of the spectrum with images of urban landscapes and sky scrappers which include: City Night; Shelton Hotel, New York #1; The Shelton with Sunspots; Radiator Building-Night, New York; New York with Moon; East River from the Shelton; Ritz Tower, Night; and New York Night. In these Georgia captured the height and distance of the structures in addition to the atmosphere in which they stand: the daylight or nighttime, the sky, the wind, etc. However, other characteristic urban components such as automobiles, streets, and people were not portrayed. In fact Georgia O'Keeffe never in her entire career painted people or any living creatures.

This is the review of the book :A beautifully illustrated, full-scale reappraisal of American painter Marsden Hartley (1877-1943), this rewarding biographical-critical study links his greatness, his mysticism and his private agony as a homosexual and an outsider. Born in Maine, Hartley retreated into his imagination after his mother died when he was eight and he relocated to Cleveland with his father and stepmother. Moving to Paris in 1912, he found his personal style in Berlin (1913-1915), blending autobiographical elements, cubist abstraction and personal symbolism. The death of a male friend, a German officer killed in battle in WWI, led Hartley to invest military iconography with erotic power. Returning to the U.S. in 1916, he reinvented himself through folk-art paintings on glass and revisionings of New Mexico's landscapes and Native American culture, a series he continued even after resettling in Berlin in 1921. Restless, plagued by poor sales, Hartley lived in Mexico, Hamburg, Nova Scotia, coming home to Maine in 1937, where he did strong figurative pictures, at once Christian and pagan, culminating in the mystical Mount Katahdin series. UC Santa Barbara art historian Robertson portrays a ``savagely direct'' painter who holds up a mirror to mainstream society.

Keyword Links:
O'Keeffe images, Marsden Hartley images, link to origional artical. Marsden Hartley was also a poet link to a site selling a CD with his works read - site includes free samples , Link to other art news on Art Talk Web Site (Our Index)

Posted by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)
Other Books of interest:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Warrant Issued for Arrest of Renowned Indian Artist

Maqbool Fida Hussain self portrait

Warrant Issued for Arrest of Renowned Indian Artist

03.24.06 - The New York Times' Lawrence van Gelder reports that an arrest warrant for ninety-year old Maqbool Fida Hussain, India's best-known artist, has been issued after he failed to appear in a case growing out of his painting depicting Mother India as a nude woman. After protests from Hindu nationalists, Hussain, a Muslim, withdrew the painting from a charity auction last month, but a militant organization offered $11.5 million for his murder. The warrant was issued in connection with a lawsuit filed by a Hindu in the city of Indore on the grounds that the painting was offensive. Lawyers for Hussain, expressing fears for his safety, had asked that the case be moved to New Delhi.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pansexual artist Gavin Brown

Gavin Brown a New York Artist creates
according to the blogger `The Art Pimp'
"semi-nudelicious paintings from one of the great pansexual art hos of our time"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Face it :: No more bombs

Protesting the War in Iraq, this protester chose his face for his canvas and produced a memorable image.

Monday, March 13, 2006

On the theme Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

Interpetation of a theme:
Paul Grant (Follower of Basho)

Left, Simon C. Dickinson, London; right, Wildenstein & Company

Solimena's "Joseph and Potiphar's Wife" (1689-90), left, is being offered for $2 million at the European Fine Art Fair in the Netherlands, while a version of that theme by Gauguin from 1896 is going for $25 million.

I found this interesting comparison of the two pictures on the same theme in an artical in The New York Times entitled : Modern Art Steps Up at Fair of Old Masters.

The artical was about an Old Masters Fair celebrating it's 27th anniversary, suddennly shpwong more modern works including prime examples of works by Picasso, Magritte, Mondrian, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Claes Oldenburg, and these modern masters selling well.

Modern is a clumbsy word to choose for a period, since it indicates a continuation of contemporay that actually does not exist. Choosing a better word for this time period will make for easier comprehension by students of art history in the future.

I will put a link for the New York Times artical at the bottom.

I wanted to add a little more information for our comparison of the two pictures.

First what is the scene being depicted by Joseph and Potiphar's Wife?

(see Genesis 39:1).

Joseph was a righteous young man who had been sold into Egypt. He served Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh's guard. Potiphar trusted Joseph and gave him an important position in his house. Potiphar's wife liked Joseph and kept trying to get Joseph to do wrong. Joseph refused to give in to her. Then one day Potiphar's wife caught hold of Joseph's cloak and tried to tempt him to sin. Again he refused, and he ran from the room, leaving his cloak in her hand. Potiphar's wife called to the men of the house and claimed that Joseph had come to try to do wrong with her. She told the same untrue story to Potiphar, who had Joseph put into prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and blessed him.:
"But the Lord was with Joseph" (Genesis 39:21). He loved Joseph and helped the keeper of the prison to think well of him. Soon the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of the other prisoners and all that went on in the prison. Joseph was successful, even in prison, because he was obedient and the Lord was with him. (See Genesis 39:2123.)

What other examples do we have of work on this theam?

(If you have others we should look at please let us know. This shows a pretty wide varriety of interpetations of the theam.)

Properzia De Rossi (1490- 1553) believed painted in 1520
(Properzia was a woman)

Italian painter, Bolognese school (b. 1628, Bologna, d. 1719, Forli)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
Oil on canvas, 99 x 99 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

"Joseph and Potiphar's Wife" oil on canvas (16 x 20) by Richard McBee

Link to the NYT artical

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thoughts on picture by Wangechi Mutu

Artist Wangechi Mutu
Bloody Old Head Games (detail), 2005.

151 Third Street

December 16–April 02

Paul's Critique :

Learning to look is part of being an artist. An artist looks at something, either internal or external, either knowingly or subconsciously and produces a reaction to that sensation. As a viewer of art we are an extra step away from the original conception. And by original conception I am not talking about an absolute by rather a synchronic moment. That moment will have had a history of many combined concepts to arrive at a solidarity of form.

When walking a person through looking at a piece of art, I will first gather their first impressions and then ask them to notice specific parts of the picture – until it is apparent that a complete picture a grouping of distinct features. Sometimes a viewer because of their past histories may see and feel emotive energies that I do not. The key I always emphasis is that a solid work of art is a communication between the artist and the art viewer. The physical work stands as a code. It is a code that there is no decided meaning. If the artist feels ill, they might be better to write down `words’ rather than attempt to communicate with images. By abandoning language, they allow `the unspeakable’ to enter into the dialogue. By unspeakable, I refer to sensations that have no clear words that define them.

Knowing nothing about the artist, or the painting, and viewing it `freshly I can only express my personal feelings. First impressions: – it seems peaceful, it is figurative, it is not about depicting beauty, and there are two characters represented and a tree branch.

On closer inspection we see that this is not a peaceful scene. The smaller character seems to be shooting the larger. The larger character has feminine lips. The feminine hand has six oddly joined fingers coming out of a reptilian fore arm. The head of the larger picture is made up of other images. Reminiscent of Giuseppe Arcimboldo [1527-93] ( who long after his death had a strong influence on Dali)

The branch is in the upper two third of the picture and has white dashes along it, it reads to me as a code for crossing the line. Or for the larger figure the possibility of escape.

The second character, much smaller is a human morphed bird creature. It takes a dramatic pose. To me, in my perception, the pose is authoritarian. This is a David killing a Goliath depiction. Yet, the Goliath, possibly because of her feminine attributes does not come across to me as being criminal, so much as being distorted, possibly sick. There is a sense that we are to feel sympathetic for the larger figure.

As a total composition, after closer viewing has a surreal nightmarish quality. The soft tonality goes against the brutality of the story. The composition feels balanced even though it is made up of incongruous parts. It is technically well done picture. It has a recognizable storyline (though not explicit). It has interesting textural effects from the dotted background to the one figure being created out of unusual coloring while the second is done more representational realistic.

That said this is not a picture I would own. It has an unpleasant Edvard Munch “Anxiety” feeling, for me. Lingering on other people’s nightmares is fun for some, but not for me.


Abuse of power comes as no surprise, as Jenny Holzer so lucidly put it some twenty-five years ago, and it remains a fitting slogan for the current geopolitical climate. Wangechi Mutu's skin-toned collages and body-referencing installation addresses the same subject—misused authority—with a range of heated corporeal references. Her site-specific installation, titled The Chief's Lair Is a Bloody Mess, includes two substantial collages, a series of sculptures, and wall works, and manages to address the dour tenor of the times by including wine bottles that drip their contents to the floor in blood-like splatters, infusing the gallery with earthy odors and Catholic subtexts. The bottles are suspended above a series of early American chairs with grafted-on leg extensions that make them seem like rickety thronelike spawn of a Louise Bourgeois spider. They face a truly dazzling constellation of red-tinted "wounds" that are gouged right out of a looming gallery wall. It's difficult not to think of violence in Iraq, though unlike our regulated media, Mutu pictures it with passion, color, and difficult truth.

Glen Helfand"

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