Salvador Dalí: 2 works up for auction

Cropped image of Maison Pour Érotomane, one of the paintings by Salvador Dalí.

 Cropped image of Maison Pour Érotomane, one of the paintings by Salvador Dalí. Photograph: © Salvador Dali. Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali, DACS 2011

The Guardian reports that 2 important paintings by Spanish surrealist  Salvador Dalí , sold to Argentinian countess in 1930s, is up for auction. Countess de Cuevas de Vera, nicknamed Tota, who divided her time between Buenos Aires and France and became friends with many artists and cultural figures active in 1920s and 30s Paris, including Luis Buñuel, with whom she had an affair, as well as Dalí, Picasso, and Jean Cocteau (with whom she might or might not had affairs).

Both works are highly charged and packed with symbolism. The earliest, entitled Gradiva (1931), depicts a mythological figure and character from a 1903 novel by Wilhelm Jensen, in which a young archaeologist becomes obsessed by a female figure shown in a Roman bas-relief. It was a story used by Sigmund Freud as a study of the idealization of beauty and notions of love. Gradiva was also the nickname Dalí gave to his wife, Gala.

Gradiva, which Dalí painted in 1931.

Gradiva, which Dalí painted in 1931. Photograph: © Salvador Dali. Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali, DACS 2011

The other work is entitled Maison Pour Érotomane (1932), (House For Erotomaniac). By all appeance, it is a strange, hallucinatory, work which shows a cello, horse and car emerging from a rock. In the foreground is the artist himself and his wife Gala.

Bompard said the period when the two works were painted was a time when “Dalí became himself”.

Both of the paintings were acquired by the countess and passed through her family. Gradiva has been lent only once, to an exhibition in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the 1980s; Maison Pour Érotomane has not been seen publicly since the 1930s. Each artwork has an estimated value of between £1.2m and £1.8m and will appear at auction at Sotheby’s, London, on 28 February.

“These are the kind of painting that I do my job for,” said Thomas Bompard, head of the impressionist and modern art evening sale. “They are a rediscovery. The quality is A plus plus plus … when you first see them and have to give a price you feel absolutely privileged to be the one to bring these gems to the market for the first time.”

Well then, someone might get lucky and purchase one or both of these artworks…

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Meet The Artist: Ivan Marchuk

7marchukHe is compared to Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Pavel Filonov, called “maestro of the highest prestige”, Rembrandt of our days. Not always even fully comprehending his works, people are drawn to them. Who is the genius of the brush?Фото Артема Слипачука 14.01.16 Ретроспективная выставка украинского художника Ивана Марчука "Генотип вольности"Ivan Marchuk  is the only Ukrainian artist recognized by International Academy of Modern Art in Rome as the member of the “Golden Guild”1119811_418551861588210_1741091697_oIvan Marchuk was born in 1936, a family of a weaver, in a Western Ukrainian village. He studied applied art in Lviv till 1965.
11227590_738911496218910_4491635807679922221_oThe artist works tirelessly to create his own pictorial style. He finds inspiration in the most ordinary things.11722633_737923666317693_6483948075264244944_oIn the late 1980s he emigrated to Australia, then traveled to Canada and the USA. But, he was always drawn back to his native land.

“I have to see beauty everywhere, and I want to recreate it. Nowhere in the world is there such a beautiful land as here.” 
892609_418537621589634_278641119_o“Give me a thousand more years and I’ll paint heaven.”
1119835_418537648256298_1861480121_oHe has created his own art technique, which he calls “Pliontanism”  (from the Ukrainian “pliontaty” – to weave, knit). Instead of painting with the usual strokes, he traces and weaves amazing lace networks on his canvas.“There were times when people stood in front of a painting for half an hour. It’s abstract, but it’s done with the hands of a skilled jeweler. We sense a 3D effect. says Maksym Voloshyn.After years of intensive work, Ivan Marchuk admits that art is both a revelation and a lot of hard work. He dreams of resting and relaxing, but returns to his studio every morning.Иван Марчук“If you look at a painting from a distance, you’ll see an ordinary landscape, but when you come a little closer, you notice that unusual threads are woven throughout the painting.” says  Maksym Voloshyn, director of Mystetska Zbirka Art Gallery.In October 2007, Marchuk was included in Britain’s list of  top living geniuses, drawn up by the Daily Telegraph. This curious list, however, deserves its own post…

Michelangelo of Microsoft Excel

www.spoon-tamago.comFor over 15 years, Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi has rendered the subtle details of mountains, cherry blossoms, and dense forests with the most unlikely tool: Microsoft Excel. The 77-year-old illustrator shunned the idea of paying for expensive painting supplies or even a basic drawing program for his computer, saying that he prefers Excel even over Microsoft Paint because it has “more functions and is easier to use.” www.spoon-tamago.com

www.spoon-tamago.comUsing simple vector drawing tools developed primarily for graphs and simple shapes, Horiuchi instead draws panoramic scenes of life in rural Japan.

 

Chained To History

 

Artist imprisoned by ‘weight of history’ freed after 3 weeks (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)A Belgian performance artist, Mikes Poppe, chained to a block of marble for 20 days, became the victim of his own artistic metaphor when he had to be cut loose from the installation.

The eccentric artist created the project to demonstrate that it’s not possible to escape the burden of history.  Indeed, it isn’t. Mikes was unable to chisel himself free of the stone structure as originally intended.

“My performance has different layers of meaning,” he told VRT NWS beforehand. “For me marble is the sculpture, I chain myself to a piece of history, I take art history with me, and at the same time I build on it and let it go again.”

Poppe attached himself to a block of Carrara marble in the courthouse of Ostend, Belgium on November 10. He remained chained to the block 24 hours a day with no phone or computer for outside communication.

Besides working to break himself free, Poppe spent the remainder of his time eating, sleeping and drawing.

Poppe describes himself as an artist-cum-terrorist. He lasted 438 hours attached to the marble block by a 10 feet (about 3 meters) chain. He tried his darnedest to chisel away the stone, to no avail.

Entitled De Profundis, Poppe’s performance was part of a larger exhibition curated by Joanna De Vos. “This is not a failure, but a positive story,” De Vos said. Well, it depends on a point of view, I’d say.

The work, according to the Poppe’s intent, aims to show the life of an artist in a state of terminal loneliness and extreme concentration. Five cameras recorded the artist throughout the entire performance and broadcast online.

 

 

Dada, Surréalisme et au-delà

On 21 October in Paris, Sotheby’s offered for sale the collection of Dr. Arthur Brandt, whose passion and appreciation for Dada and Surrealism is reflected in this auction. Highlights include numerous works by Marcel Duchamp and Kurt Schwitters as well as a major work by Francis Picabia and others by Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, and Max Ernst.

The auction has now ended, with a grand total of €21.5 million.

All right then. Let’s take a look at Dada, Surréalisme et au-delà, particularly at the two out of several works of  Marcel Duchamp. Above is his “L.H.O.O.R”. Quoting Wikipedia:

In 1919, Duchamp made a parody of the Mona Lisa by adorning a cheap reproduction of the painting with a mustache and goatee. To this he added the inscription L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic game which, when read out loud in French quickly sounds like “Elle a chaud au cul”. This can be translated as “She has a hot ass”, implying that the woman in the painting is in a state of sexual excitement and availability. It may also have been intended as a Freudian joke, referring to Leonardo da Vinci‘s alleged homosexuality. Duchamp gave a “loose” translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as “there is fire down below” in a late interview with Arturo Schwarz. According to Rhonda Roland Shearer, the apparent Mona Lisa reproduction is in fact a copy modeled partly on Duchamp’s own face.[33] Research published by Shearer also speculates that Duchamp himself may have created some of the objects which he claimed to be “found objects”.

On October 21, L.H.O.O.Q fetched a whooping 631,500 euros. Gasp.

Dada artists are known for their use of ready-made objects — everyday objects that could be bought and presented as art with little manipulation by the artist. The use of the ready-made forced questions about artistic creativity and the very definition of art and its purpose in society.

Indeed, L.H.O.O.Q manifests remarkably little manipulation by the artist upon the ready-made object — a cheap print of La Joconde! Just harping.

Boîte-en-valise, yet another Duchamp, is a portable museum containing 68 of his most famous works, either reproduced or miniaturised, has been sold  for €319,500.

Dada was the first conceptual art movement where the focus of the artists was not on crafting aesthetically pleasing objects but on making works that often upended bourgeois sensibilities and that generated difficult questions about society, the role of the artist, and the purpose of art.

And what a remarkably cheap and time-and-effort-consuming method to achieve such a noble goal! Makes me, a skeptic lacking of appreciation for Dadaism, wonder if Dadaists themselves defined their intentions while “crafting their art”.  Numerous art critics say yes and more:

So intent were members of Dada on opposing all norms of bourgeois culture that the group was barely in favor of itself: “Dada is anti-Dada,” they often cried.

The video clip below features the entire Collection Arthur Brandt : Dada, Surréalisme et au-delà, courtesy of Sotheby’s site:

//players.brightcove.net/104524641001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5604643841001

Meet The Sculptor: Luo Li Rong

Luo Li Rong is a Chinese artist born in 1980 who settled in Belgium. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Beijing. Once she graduated, she joined the studio of Zon Jiabao, which allowed her to refine her figurative style. Luo Li Rong produces realistic sculptures that convey the beauty and grace of the human body. Her life-size creations feature women in motion. They strike elegant poses that elongate their bodies with a seemingly windswept appearance; their hair and clothing look as though they’re being moved by a gentle breeze. This creates a compelling dichotomy; while there is an impressive dedication to realism.
Rong is careful to detail each delicate fold of the skin. There’s also a fantastical element to her work, as her characters reside on clouds and hold raindrops in their hands.Работа художницы и скульптора Луо Ли РонгРабота художницы и скульптора Луо Ли Ронг

The artist, by her own admission, is greatly inspired by Renaissance and Baroque sculpting techniques. The veiled marble sculptures of a renown Italian, Giovanni Strazza (1818-1875), might as well be among the works that influenced this talented young sculptor.

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This statue was executed in flawless Carrera marble by the renowned Italian sculptor Giovanni Strazza (1818-1875) in Rome. 

 

Creative Pyrotechnics in Paris

Thus far, my blog has 2 earlier posts about the antics of the radical political performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, with enticing titles Flaming Testicles and Tastefully Nailed Testicles, both named in reference to Pavlensky’s favorite creative media — his own scrotum. That’s right, Pavlensky gained notoriety for anti-Kremlin stunts including nailing his scrotum to the Red Square cobblestones, as well as slicing off part of his ear and sewing his mouth shut. This isn’t for nothing he is known internationally as the “Russian scrotum artist.”

Pavlensky spent 18 months in pretrial detention after he doused a large wooden door at the FSB headquarters on Moscow’s Lubyanka Square with gasoline and set it on fire in November 2015. He was released in June 2016 and ordered to pay a hefty fine, which he refused to do.

Soon thereafter, in May 2016, France granted Pavlensky and his partner Oksana Shalygina political asylum.Pyotr Pavlenski (right) and his partner, Oksana Shalygina, in Paris in JanuaryThe couple claimed they fled Russia with their two daughters to escape a false sexual assault case against them. Pavlensky and Shalygina, who both advocate for open relationships, dismissed the allegations, claiming that their relationship with an alleged victim was consensual. However, a Moscow actress had accused them of raping her. They maintain that she filed her complaint under the orders of the Russian security services. If found guilty, the couple could be jailed for up to 10 years. Whatever.

Paris welcomed them with open arms, while Russians, particularly law and order authorities, breathed sigh of relieve — brazen provocateurs became a tremendous pain in their collective hinds.

Early Monday morning, Pavlensky, so-called “mind, balls and conscience” of Putin’s Russia, was arrested in Paris after setting fire to the doors of the Bank of France.In a statement made to Divergence Images Pavlensky explained that “bankers have taken the place of the monarchs” and called for a great French revolution. The ‘performance’ caused the bank to shut down on Monday, according to a note attached to the door. Piotr Pavlenski incendie la Banque de France, Place de la Bastille“Igniting the Bank of France shows the truth the authorities forced us to forget. The Bastille was destroyed by rebels as a symbol of despotism and power. There, they built another hotbed of slavery, which betrays the revolutionists and sponsors a bandit Versailles. The Bank of France took over the Bastille, bankers became monarchs,”  Pavlensky reportedly said in a statement, posted by Femen.
 

Meet The Sculptor: Chen Wenling

http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/QQ%E6%88%AA%E5%9B%BE201203222254441.jpgChen Wenling is a contemporary Chinese Neo-Realist artist. His works are surreal, often grotesque sculptures, often executed in bright monochrome colors.

chinese sculpture.PNG His aim is to examine and convey the rapid rise of consumerism in modern-day China.  http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/30_09_2009_0525556001254306014_chen-wenling.jpgHe shot to artistic fame with his Red Memory series (2001-07): more than 100 emaciated figures of naked boys at play, all covered in shiny red car duco.http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%87%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B8.jpgThe artist works mostly in fiberglass, a new technological direction in the art of sculpture. The material is light and relatively cheap.http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/chen-wenling_god-of-materialism1.jpgAmong the recurring characters in Chen’s work are pig-like humanoids and obese demons, all of which the artist deploys to create his biting social satire. Smashed against the wall is infamous “demon”, financier Bernard Madoff:http://moimir.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/emergency_escape_chen_wenling_008.jpgChen Wenling was born in 1969 in Quanzhou, China, studid at Xiamen Academy of Art. In rapid succession came international critical and commercial success. His work is exhibited both within China (the Guangzhou Art Museum, the Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art) and abroad (Basel, Switzerland). In 1999, Chen won the Venice Biennale’s top prize, the prestigious Golden Lion. He continues to exhibit around the world and lives and works in Beijing, China.

 

Meet The Artist: Ceslovas Cesnakevicius

Ceslovas Cesnakevicius is 30 year old artist from Lithuania. He creates really unusual digital artwork.  His photos are so simple and at the same time so incredibly thought-provoking.

The artist has been careful for a decade to take shoots with the intention to create little surreal worlds. Each one of them, ethereal and fragile, with a story behind.

Cesnakevicius explains that his works are small pieces of his biography. Images which refer to artists like Magritte. Clean digital manipulations, which can be mistaken with oils.

See more of this artist’s works here.

 

Meet The Artist: Joel Rea

Joel Rea, 32-year-old artist from Australia, works in an unusual genre, combining photorealism with surrealism.
He paints portraits and landscapes, animals and the ocean and it seems that there is no such theme on the basis of which he could not create his picture.Joel prefers to work with canvas and oil, perfecting every smallest detail.

“It is very easy to smile when you win, but for me the most interesting thing is exactly what people do in the darkest hours of their lives, because it is at such moments that you show up as a person,” says the artist.