JOOOOOOOOOOOOOB!!!!!

Right folks,

I am THRILLED to announce you that after one year and a half searching for a job in the -so fuckin tough- Art world, I finally found one!

I won’t say too much about the gallery itself (for privacy reasons), but I can tell you it’s in Chelsea, and deals with contemporary art.

So, there will be less talk down here I’m afraid, but I’ll do my best to post some funny -or not-, pornographic -or not- stuff from time to time.

Madame la Baronne vous embrasse

K.I.N.K.Y

So…

It’s been quite a while since I’ve talked about sex and Art… Well, thanks to the ICA, and its summer exhibition Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) 19 June 2013 – 8 September 2013, here you go: naked men ejaculating, homoerotic pictures, lots and lots of penises. How cool is that

More seriously though, this show deals with the way artists were challenging some of their contemporary issues: sexuality, politics, war, gender. Like Tom of Finland, real name Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991): back in the 1940s, he was already making highly explicit drawings of sexy, sculptural almost-god-like men showing off their perfect bodies, or even being involved in some rough sexual activities. But remember, it was the mid 20th century: homosexuality was still regarded as a disease/perversion in many countries. How more controversial could you be? For sure, Tom of Finland left an unmistakable mark upon society’s psyche by establishing what are now the visual “homosexual codes” (if not clichés): Laaksonen’s fetishism focused on uniforms (the biker, the sailor, the police officer, the lumberjack…), and no wonder why Frankie Goes to Hollywood went for the S&M leather look in the 1980s. Shame really, couldn’t find a good picture of the most explicit works -presented at the ICA- by Finland.

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Tom of Finland
Untitled

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TomOfFinland_Untitled_1962

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Here are the 8 artists exhibited: Judith Bernstein, Tom of Finland, George Grosz, Margaret Harrison, Mike Kuchar, Cary Kwok, Antonio Lopez and Marlene McCarty.

 

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Barbican – Leandro Erlich: Dalston House

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© Madame la Baronne

Over the last few months, the Barbican has been leading a very exciting programme of commissions: earlier this year, the public had the opportunity to experience Random International’s Rain Room, a truly inspired installation that tricked us by disrupting our most fundamental senses (how on earth can we remain dry whilst walking under the rain –without an umbrella of course-?).

The temporary show proved to be highly popular: hours of queuing were necessary in order to spend 5 almost dreamlike minutes under that canopy of water.

It seems the public loves when Art requires their participation. And the Barbican’s latest commission, Leandro Erlich’s Dalston House Barbican (an outdoor installation located in a trendy part of London) is certainly about to repeat the Rain Room’s hit among the public.

Again, similarly to the Rain Room, the Argentinian artist plays with our senses: we cannot believe our eyes.

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Eric Poitevin, Untitled, 2010 (1/5)

A photograph by Eric Poitevin, a French artist represented by Nelson-Freeman in Paris. I’ve already mentioned him in a post earlier this year.

It was a Christmas gift, and everyone in the gallery received his/her edition (awwwwww… sweet. Seriously, how many contemporary artists DO that, huh?? Most of the time, art dealers -those who deal with BIG names- spend huge amounts of money to spoil their artists with expensive gadgets for instance, but receiving a concrete sign of gratitude from the artists does not happen that much).

ANYWAY.

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Ellen Gallagher AxME @Tate Modern

I must say that when I saw the Tate poster for Ellen Gallagher’s first retrospective in the UK, AxME, well, I wasn’t convinced. It put me off. I do not think they picked the right artwork to promote the exhibition (it’s a detail of her famous work Pomp Bang, 2003). But if I had to stop myself from going to an exhibition just because I find the poster ugly, I wouldn’t leave my flat that often.

ANYWAY. I did go to the museum this morning, for Ellen Gallagher is one the most renowned American contemporary artists. Institutions and collectors love her art, but I think for different reasons…

DeLuxe 2004-5 by Ellen Gallagher born 1965

Deluxe 2004–5 (detail, Wiglette)
Tate
© Ellen Gallagher

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Robert Morris @Sprüth Magers / “Dog Days I ” @MOTInternational

Two galleries, two radically different exhibitions, one I liked, and one… not so much:
– Robert Morris (b. 1931), an American minimalist artist and his show HANGING SOFT AND STANDING HARD  @Sprüth Magers
– a group show, Simon Mathers (b.1984) / Ulrich Strothjohann (b. 1954) / Aishan Yu (b. 1981), Dog Days I @MOTInternational

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Robert Morris, Hanging Soft and Standing Hard
Installation view

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Dog Days I
Installation view

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Haroon Mirza’s /o/o/o/o/ @LissonGallery

This post is a tough one. I have no idea how I can describe accurately this exhibition, as it is mainly made of pretty elaborate sound installations (and I’m NOT familiar at all with sound engineering). Elaborate, yet über cool. Anyway, to find out how cool they are, you have to go to Lisson (the entry is on Lisson st, not on 52-54 Bell st).

I’m usually quite perplexed when it’s about sound installations. I’m always complaining: they’re just… noise! Experimental, pompous, high-brow arty-farty noise!

But London based artist Haroon Mirza (b. 1977) produced something that really got me excited.

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Sitting in a Room, 2013
Turntables, amps, speakers vinyls records, handmade records, theremin, lights bulb, wood, hifi stand, gooseneck mic stand, single channel video, Arduino
Dimensions variable
Courtesy Lisson Gallery and the artist

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When I was still living in Paris, I used to go almost every Sunday night to Le Motel, an indie bar near Bastille. The main reason? The pop quiz. Usually organised by friends who were either musicians and/or music critics. So yes, the level was pretty high. Mainstream was banned, Pitchfork was the Holy Bible (I am only slightly exaggerating). One of the coolest part of the quiz (along with the blind test) was to identify album covers. Something that kind of confused some of the teams that clearly were NOT made of regulars: indeed, they were people who belonged to a generation that does not easily associate music with a record sleeve, for when they download albums (even legally), they don’t really give a shit about the artwork. On top of it, their musical taste certainly did not include Lo-Fi and Americana, so they REALLY didn’t stand a chance anyway…

What if I give you this selection of album covers (I don’t think they were ever used at the quiz, too mainstream I guess…):

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The answers are:

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Tracey Emin’s interview in Vanity Fair

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© NICK MOORISH/BRITISH AIRWAYS

(nice haircut by the way)

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Kinbaku, 1980-2000
© Nobuyoshi Araki

Kinbaku is, for those who might not know yet, the Japanese word for “bondage”. And if you read the wikipedia article, clearly, bondage in Japan is regarded as a highly delicate Art. It’s sexual, yet not as dirty as western folks might think: forget the clichés of dominatrix wearing leather and cheap vinyl costumes. Concentrate on geisha beauties, silk kimonos… and ropes. Lots of ropes.

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