Damien Hurst Conceives Fetuses

hurstPHOTO: STRINGER / AFP

Health authorities at a hospital in Qatar are braced for an outcry after unveiling 14 giant bronze sculptures by British artist Damien Hirst that graphically chart the voyage from conception to birth.

The vast open-air installation greets patients arriving at the $8bn (£6bn) Sidra medicine hospital and is the centrepiece of a modern art collection that officially opened this week in Doha. Named The Miraculous Journey, it shows a foetus growing in the womb and culminates with a 14-metre (46ft) newborn.

The sculptures were originally unveiled in October 2013 but then covered from public view until recent weeks following an outcry on social media. The official reason was to protect them from building work at the hospital.

Hirst acknowledged that the set might prove controversial when they were first unveiled in 2013. “You know culturally, it’s the first naked sculpture in the Middle East… It’s very brave,” he told Doha News.

But Layla Ibrahim Bacha, an art specialist at the government-supported Qatar Foundation, which owns most of the artwork, said this month: “We are not expecting everyone to like them. We are not expecting everyone to understand them. This is why they are there to actually create this element of debate, this element of thinking.

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The finishing touches are put to the sculptures, which were originally unveiled in 2013. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

“We believe it reflects very much the mission of Sidra, taking care of the healthcare of woman and babies,” said Bacha. “I think it’s perfect for the location, as you can see a lot of people are taking pictures, I think it’s becoming iconic.”

Not a great admirer of Hurst’s art in general, I’m impressed nonetheless.

Meet The Artist: Alex Kupalian

2. «Альба. Побег», 2015 г.

Alba. The escape

Silhouette of a woman in a lace mantilla, reclining on a patterned carpet, either asleep, or dead. As you know, the great Spaniard Francisco Goya painted the Duchess of Alba nude in anticipation of love. The young Russian artist Alexander Kupalyan depicts Alba on her deathbed with his face partially covered. Why?

Тhe artist, a young man in a white T-shirt smeared with paint, with a picture of Caravaggio on his chest:

 

Perhaps, it comes from childhood, which is remembered for an endless succession of funerals. Usually, the dead found their last shelter in our apartment, in the next room, literally behind the wall. At first I was terribly afraid of them, and then I got used to it. In the end, we all live in the presence of Love and Death. And it is still unknown who will knock on our door first. For me, Duchess Alba became the embodiment of Eros and Thanatos. And “Escape”… well, because the sunset was already burning down, the night was coming, and her soul would soon leave this earth, leaving only the perishable body on the carpet.

4. «Волна. Атландида», фрагмент, 2017 г.

“Wave. Atlantis”, fragment. 2017

The entire wall is taken up by a huge canvas “Wave. Atlantis”. Some frantic boiling emerald color, echoing in its richness with the paintings of old masters. It turns out that Alexander passionately loves the sea. Ready to draw it endlessly. But he is not interested in just seascapes, he wants to penetrate into the very thickness of the water. He seemed to be looking into the abyss. It already remotely looks like a method. Kupalyan’s gaze is not directed towards heaven, not up, but precisely downward, into a black twilight, curling under his feet.

5. «Помпеи. Шаг в вечность», фрагмент, 2017 г.

“Pompeii. Step into eternity ”, fragment. 2017

Gray ash, black scorched grass and coals crackling with the last, terrible sparkle. The killed land, killed nature, killed soul are constant motives, permanent images of Kupalyan’s works. And a dog covered with the ashes of Vesuvius and turned into a modest monument to human indifference and oblivion.

“When I wandered around the dead city, I was most struck by the fact that in Pompeii the dogs were kept on a very short leash, and when the eruption of Vesuvius began, the tied up animals could not escape from burning lava.”

6. Black Christ

“Black Christ”

3. «Черный Христос», фрагмент. 2014-2015 гг.

Shape Of A New Life. Hiroshima. 2018

The series of works titles “The Death of Cities”, created especially for the exhibition at the VS Unio, presents the mystical world of dying civilizations through the language of painting, based on the artist’s impressions of traveling in Italy, the experience of training at the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples, encountering with the traces of cruel cataclysms and natural disasters.

1. Shape Of A New Life. Hiroshima. 2018

“Shape Of A New Life. Hiroshima”. 2018

Thirst for serious meanings, an appeal to the eternal themes was relevant for thinking artists in different periods of the history of art. Serious easel painting requires solitude and silence. It always involves the voluntary rejection of many temptations and enticements. Few artists have such stamina these days. But Kupalyan’s art is encouraging evidence that masterpieces are still possible.

Meet The Artist: Andrea Kowch

ак1.pngThe works of this young woman were described by professionals as a powerful voice of sensitive consciousness speaking in the language of folk symbolism. The artist from Michigan, Andrea Kowch, through the unusual images, shows deep, archetypal stories, relevant at all times.

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Andrea paints in a realistic style, using rural landscapes as metaphors for the inner states of her characters, mostly women. And, as in Hitchcock’s films, the scenes of her paintings are not what they seem: mysterious stories where their prequels seem to hide beneath the surface. Fictional world of the artist are intimate and wild at the same time: rabbits nest on the women’s laps, quails perched in their palms, moths land on blouses…ак20

Enchanting, truly. Wonderment to the imagination. Candy to the eye.

Many-a-women… Many, if not most of them, having essentially the same facial features. Is it the face of the artist herself? If this is, then there is worth saying that there is nothing wrong with Ms. Kowch’s wanting to paint her own features again and again, beautiful lady as she is. Her characters aren’t self-portraits floating against the realistically sur  backgrounds. Rather, it seems the artist resolved to inhabit her realistically sur-fictional world herself, all on her own (or, at most, share it with her twins) and rarely does she let anyone (or someone with different face) to enter and settle in it. And to a marvelous result at that. Envious?

Meet The Artist: Pedro Roldán Molina

molina 1.jpg
molina 98molina 2An unusual technique, sunny colors, a fantastic country…

Molina_hudozhnikPedro Roldán Molina is an internationally recognized and well-known Spanish artist. He was born in the province of Cordoba in Rute, Spain, in 1954. He studied art in Barcelona. His work can be seen in major museums around the world.

Currently, Pedro Roldán Molina lives and works in Granada, Spain.

molina 7 molina 4An aura of a perfect dream…molina 8What you see and hear, to some extent, depends on what you are. I believe that each canvas, still life, landscape, in essence, is a self-portrait of the soul. (From a blog featuring  works of Pedro Roldán Molina.)molina 95molina 6molina 91molina 93molina 94

Trash As Art

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo creates monumental three-dimensional sculptures of animals using, well, garbage that people routinely throw out, depositing their refuse not necessarily in or around designated garbage disposal places. Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама  The artist wants to draw public attention to environmental pollution.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Arthur creates three-dimensional animals from garbage and old rubbish, which people throw out.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Artur’s work can be found not only in Portugal, but also in other countries, in particular in the United States and Estonia. Presumably, he doesn’t transport his native Portuguese garbage but uses local materials easily found no matter wherever he goes.  Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Meet The Artist: Steven Spazuk

It would seem that, in this age of modern technology even gives in to work progress – there are new kinds of hobbies, new musical instruments and new technologies in architecture. And the experienced viewer is already difficult to surprise. However, the human imagination is limitless and always able to present something new.

Canadian artist Steven Spazuk began his career using quite ordinary techniques. First, there were pencil drawings, then oil paintings and watercolors. This was followed by passion for airbrushing. Soon, it has become Stephen’s favorite method due to its soft, smooth shape, a certain lightness and ease.It would seem that, in this day and age, modern technology touches everything, art including. There are new kind of hobbies, new musical instruments and new technologies in architecture. It’s difficult to surprise an experiences art-lover. However, the human imagination is limitless and always able to present something new.

In 2001, Steven Spazuk began working with the burner, discovering a new dimension of creativity.“[This technique] changed my life, it gives me a great deal, it is unique. The spontaneity of the process — that’s the most interesting. Approaching the canvas, I do not know what will happen, what to follow and what’ll come out,” the artist says.

“I don’t control anything, I merely let the candle and its flame to do their job. And then look what happened. Usually what happens is these abstract shapes of soot in which I can see the picture. Looking at these shapes, I suddenly can see an elbow, knee, chest or leg –and then so be it,” says Steven.

Stephen’s unique set of tools includes brushes with metal bristles, needles, feathers.  This is a rather difficult technique, very time-consuming, so the author spends lots of time in his studio.

The idea of “playing with fire” came to the artist in his sleep. In his dream, Steven visited the gallery, where every picture was created using this technique. Incredible but true, in the dream he already knew how create such paintings. Many years since passed, the technique underwent many changes, became more varied and sophisticated.  That’s how it’s done:

Using a burner or a candle the artist gets soot on the sheet. Then, using the “traditional” tools, outlines a drawing adding contours.
And then remains a delicate job of of putting finishing touches with emphasis on smallest details.

Steven is a versatile artist:

Meet The Artist: Tomasz Alen Kopera

koperakopera1Tomasz Alen Kopera was born in 1976 in Kożuchów, Poland. He attended the University of Technology in Wrocław, where he gained a degree in construction engineering. His artistic talent came to light already in early childhood.kopera2 Tomasz paints in oil on canvas. Human nature and the mysteries of the Universe are his inspiration. kopera7kopera9His paintings permeate with symbols that often relate to human psyche and man’s relation with the surrounding world.kopera8kopera3 His paintings are dark and mysterious. kopera8The technique, developed over many years, testifies to the artist’s great sensitivity and talent.kopera4Tomasz is celebrated for his acute attention to detail and mastery of color.  In 2005, the artist moved to Northern Ireland where he lives now.kopera7 From 2010 he has been a member of Libellule Group formed by Lukas Kandl.kopera9kopera5

“In my work I try to reach to the subconscious. I want to keep the viewer’s attention for a longer moment. Make him want to reflect, contemplate,” Tomasz says.

Mysterious Paintings of Tomasz Alen Kopera:

Meet The Artist: Aimo Katajainen

aimo Katajainen.jpgAimo Katajainen is a self-taught Finnish artist. He was born in 1948 in Valkeala, Finland. In 1964 he moved to Kouvala, Finland. He studied Economics and worked as a professional social worker at clinic for treating alcoholic dependency. He began his artistic career in 1965. Aimo Katayaynen participates in many exhibitions around the world.

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Aimo Katajainen18Here is what he says about his work:
I grew up in the countryside – on a farm near the river. In this area, everyone from the very young age is involved in agricultural work.
I remember participating in the feeding of animals, plowing and  working as a hired laborer.Aimo Katajainen26
Snowy winters and rural landscape can be seen in the recurring themes of my paintings.
As a teenager, I worked mainly with oil paints in the style of surrealism, but this fascination  passed with time. I developed interest in the naïve genre and found myself in this genre Since then my art became enjoys high demand.

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Meet The Artist: Wan Yiguang

wan7Wang Yiguang  (Chinese: 王沂光) sometimes written as Wang Yi Guang, is a modern Chinese painter notable for his Tibetan paintings of flying people, yaks and sheep. wan1Wang Yiguang was born in Yimeng Mountain area of Shandong, China. He is a younger brother of a notable painter, Wang Yidong, a leading artist of a group called Beijing Realism. Wang Yiguang does not belong to the group for obvious reason — his paintings hardly could be called realistic. This is not to say that every strand and a wisp of fur on the back every yak on his paintings isn’t superbly realistic.

In 1990, Wang Yiguang graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He participated in various National and International exhibitions and Art fairs in Beijing,Guangzhou,Tokyo and Hong Kong. wan25wan9
wan21Note the rail tracks on several of the paintings. Wang Yiguang, as it happens, currently works as a Creative Designer for the China Railway.

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In 2002 he worked on the Qinghai-Tibet railway. The painter was struck by the “humble beauty” of the Tibet. He wrote:
I have been able to visit the Tibetan plateau a number of times. I’ve been deeply touched by the breathtaking landscape of Tibet and the happy-go-lucky spirit of the Tibetan people. The Tibetan people’s profound regard for the natural world and animals has also cast a life-long impression on me.

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When I was in Tibet, I spent a lot of my time lying down in the grass, as I suffered from acute mountain sickness. As I lay there gasping for air, a delightful picture revealed itself before me: a couple of young, spry Tibetan girls racing about the countryside with their herd of yaks. These Tibetan girls reminded me of ‘Feitian’, the flying Devi (literally: ‘goddess’)*, when they are still earthly beings.

Tibet afloat… Breathtaking.

Meet The Artist: Valentin Rekunenko

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rekunenko92Valentin Rekunenko was born in 1955, graduated from the Dnepropetrovsk Art College in 1974, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine since 1987.

Member Triennale Art in Kiev in 1998, 2001, participant of a number of national and international art exhibitions. Works in oil, gouache, pastel.

His artwork grace private galleries of Russia, Poland,
Germany and the United States.

Never heard of him or seen his artwork before. Glad I finally did.

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