Spencer Tunick has done it again. He assembled a record 3,200 naked people on a cold day in Hull, painted them four shades of blue and photographed the result.
The installation is called Sea of Hull and according to Spencer it represents many things including the spread of the oceans, rising sea levels. But is it art?
Today in 1848 was the birthday of Paul Gauguin, post – impressionist genius recognised truly only after his death.
Today’s also the birthday of Damien Hirst; he was recognised not long after his birth in 1965.
Today I went to the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas. This institution is more than a building housing art, it’s a conglomeration of public galleries nestled in the leafy and surprisingly traffic calm Museum District of Houston. The museum is fortunate to have acquired an eclectic and exciting collection of art through the generosity of its principle benefactors.
The range of art is impressive – pre-Columbian artefacts, Spanish gold, early European religious paintings, Roman statues, busts and sarcophagi – but I was particularly interested in the collection of abstract impressionist art from Picasso, de Kooning, Franz Kline, Pollock, Hopper et al as well as some terrific pieces from the impressionists – Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot and Renoir.
Ouside, you can sit in the sculpture garden and eat lunch, or just contemplate, surrounded by pieces by Rodin and others.
Here is the museum’s website:
These abstract landscapes by Paul Fowler display his mastery of the changing moods of the Kent coastal marshes.
His pictures are uninhibited and spontaneous; they’re the essence, the quiddity, of the scene without striving to be photographic. The result is hugely appealing.
On his website Paul Fowler tells us: “I like to employ a range of materials and techniques in my work, often water based media – acrylic, watercolour, ink – on a variety of surfaces from paper to board, canvas to driftwood. The paintings explore the landscape and coastline of Kent, its flora, fauna and endlessly changing light and atmosphere. Paintings are begun in the field, after an initial period of walking, sketching, observing and committing a place to memory. From this starting point the work starts to take on a life of its own, with chance and accident in the painting process being an important factor in the finished painting”.
Worth a visit: Paul Fowler
Marion Bolognesi makes these hugely engaging watercolours of faces peering out of vacant backgrounds. These are sparse portraits in dripping wash and blots, surprising colours. Many of the faces are melancholy – the effect underlined by tears of running paint – all are slightly disturbing in their explicitness, all are entrancing.
Marion Bolognesi works in New York.
Check out this delicious illustration by Miles Hyman.
I love the comic book, almost cartoon, technique.
Here’s more: Miles Hyman
As unlikely as it may seem, Spencer Tunick, he of the mass nude installations, is to assemble, I suppose you’d call it, one of his specialties in Hull in England.
I’ve never thought of Hull as being on the cutting edge of art, of being terribly avant-garde, but I am clearly wrong. Read all about it: Spencer Tunick in Hull
Now for something seriously weird: Christian Lemmerz is a German born artist working in Denmark. He seems to cover a broad field of artistic activity from painting to performance art.
He trained as a sculptor, however, and it’s his depictions of assaults on the human body that are really disturbing. Clearly, he intends to be confrontational, provoking empathetic responses from his viewers – horror, cringing, grim fascination.
I prefer a more aesthetic appeal, myself. It’s all art, though.