The Art Scene

Last Friday we told you about how you shouldn’t miss The Clock, which was showing in the Lincoln Center. Today, the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog will enter in detail about the creator of the masterpiece everybody can’t stop talking about.

You must’ve heard his name already, right? Christian Marclay is no stranger to the art and music world. In fact, he has been appointed by the Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2012. The reason? The film we told you about. The Clock, his most recent piece, is a mesmerizing and hypnotic experience that everyone loves and critics can’t help but praise. This piece is a 24-hour journey thourgh time in cinema and TV. Marclay joined together clips from these two medias that show time (think clocks, time conversations, minutes ticking) to create a whole day, counting minutes, counting hours. On the screening last weekend in Lincoln Center, people could compare their watches and the screen and see the same time marked. Now, how many times do you have that experience in life?

But, the Swiss-American artist has much more to show. Born in 1955, in San Rafael, California, he was raised in Geneva, but came back to the States to study on the Massachusetts College of Art, in Boston. There, he became acquitted with the underground scene and punk music. The groundbreaking bands he saw made him ask himself: “Why wasn’t music considered art?”

Drawn by the energy of punk music, he began performing. He didn’t have an instrument, so he sang in his duo with Kurt Henry. They didn’t have a drummer, so rhythms of a skiping LP record as a percussion instrument. They also used film loops from cartoons and sex films as audio-visual rhythm tracks. It wasn’t just music, it was performance art.

Marclay filled up a gap, the one between art and music. And that is what is known for, transforming sound into visual and physical forms performance, collage, sculpture, large-scale installations, photography, and video.  Always exploring the question that started it all: Why is music not art? By exploring the space between what we see and hear, the swiss-american artist created a remarkable body of work (The Clock was the icing on the already delicious cake), that involves distorted musical instruments, collages and much more.

“While many intellectuals have made wild pronouncements about Marclay and his art – and it is art, make no mistake – writing all sorts of blather about how he strips the adult century bare by his cutting up of vinyl records and pasting them together with parts from other vinyl records, they never seem to mention that these sound collages of his are charming, very human, and quite often intentionally hilarious.” – Thom Jurek, staff writer of All Music-Guide


sources: hammer, paulacoopergallery, furious, wikipedia, artbeast



Some people make you choose: art or science, but we here at the Angel Orensanz Foundation think that they can work pretty well together. Today, we are sharing with you some examples that prove how well both roots can go together.

Iori Tomita knows that. The Japanese artist transforms fish and other sea animals into neon, colorful, weird-looking pieces, using meticulous chemical manipulation. It often takes five months to create just one of his pieces. However it is clearly worth it, since they are oddly stunning.

People may look at my specimens as an academic material, a piece of art, or even an entrance to philosophy. There is no limitation to how you interpret their meaning. I hope you will find my work as a ‘lens’ to project a new image, a new world that you’ve never seen before.‘ – Iori Tomita

Not a big fan of neon colored animals? No worries, Fabian Oefner isn’t either (well, at least not that we know of). He is much more interested in oil, water colors and nano-scale iron particles that translate into beautiful psychedelic images that the Switzerland-based artist then photographs with his macro lens.

“I really like using scientific phenomena in my work, because every one of us is surrounded by them in our daily lives……My aim is to capture these phenomena, that we are all aware of, in an unseen and poetic way.” – Fabian Oefner

 Still not convinced about the mix between art and science? Maybe David Goodsell can change your mind. He finds art in the human body and everything that happens within it. He draws watercolor illustrations of his interpretation of viruses, human cells and bacteria. Maybe seeing these things in bright, pretty colors would have helped us learn science better?

souces: io9, designboom, fabian, mgl,

We are based here, so isn’t it about time we pay some homage to our beloved neighborhood? Today the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog is going to talk about the history of the Lower East Side and (obviously) give you a little inside scoop of the arts in the area – you might know, we are a neighborhood full of art galleries.

In its early development the L.E.S. was know as Little Germany, due to the many German immigrants that populated the area, but they weren’t the only ones: the Irish came, so did the Poles, the Italians and many others. At the time the nighrborhood was characterized by tenements and pushcart, as well as the soul of Orchard Street. The street is now a trendy street full of restaurants and boutiques, but it was once the tone of the busiest commercial districts in the world. But, the neighborhood is best known for its ties with Jewish culture. In fact, the Angel Orensanz Foundation used to be a synagogue in its early years, the first NYC synagogue and the fourth oldest synagogue in the States, actually. Now, the Foundation is an art center, with a big gallery that hosts exhibitions by emerging and established artists.

In the start of the 21st century, things started to change, the Lower East Side went under a process of gentrification and it become one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Manhattan. It has also become a hub for the arts, housing numerous contemporary art galleries.

Today, we present some of those galleries that have exhibitions you shouldn’t miss. Make sure to keep up with the blog and soon enough you will know all the galleries of the Lower East Side. 

Toomer labzda, is a contemporary art gallery founded on 2011, dedicated to show emerging artists, such as Tamara Gayer, who presents The Inside, her take on the Eldridge Street Synagogue. The american artist created a site-specific kaleidoscopic installation to show this 125-years-old landmark in her own way. The window piece is a ode to the public sanctuary.

Another gallery in the L.E.S. with a well curated exhibition is the Pocket Utopia on Henry Street, with “Lyrical Color”, a group exhibition featuring the work of Rico Gatson, Sam Gilliam, Brece Honeycutt, Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson, Jane Kent, Meg Lipke, Maggie Michael, Dan Steinhilber, and David Storey.  In the center of the exhibition is Gilliam, who is known as one of America’s foremost color field painters, around him, there’s restraint, equanimity and balance. There is the blackness of both Rico Gatson’s and Dan Steinhilber’s sculptural abstractions, there’s Jane Kent’s overlapping musical scores, fanned Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson’s paintings upon silk threads, and finally Meg Lipke’s joining of herself and her India-inked and fabric dyed drawings.


Today the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog is sharing with you four things: two artful events and two exhibitions you shouldn’t miss. Read along, enjoy and leave your comments bellow!

First off, The Camera Club of New York is hosting the third annual Zine and Self-Plubished Photo Book Fair this weekend. The fair highlights contemporary photography and recent artist publications and invites the public to mingle with people involved in the art publishing scene. For more info, just click here.

Also this weekend, the Taiwan-based multidisciplinary artist Chin Chin Yang will be performing “Kill Me or Change” in the Queens Museum of Art. He will suspend 30,000 aluminum cans (apparently the average number of cans a person throwns away in a lifetime) 30 ft above ground in a crane that will hover over the audience, to then be dropped in his head, in a colorful and striking display of how much waste we produce. Yang wants to show us, quite literally, the effects of personal polluting and he hopes the piece will be a wake up call for the audience to reexamine their waste habits.

Now for the last chance exhibitions that you should enjoy this weekend before they are gone for good. The first one is F-111, from the pop american artist James Rosenquist. The monumental installation is a compose of 23 panels installed in the Leo Catelli Gallery at the MoMA, telling the story: “flying through the flak of consumer society to question the collusion between the Vietnam death machine, consumerism, the media, and advertising.” as the artist explains.

The other exhibition is The Clock, an epic video by Christian Marclay that shows a 24 hour journey through the clocks of cinema. The Lincoln Center is presenting the whole 24 hours over the weekend in the David Rubenstein Atrium. Go in and enjoy classic moments of cinema, in reel and real time and see the seconds ticking in the film, as they tick in your watch. Because The Clock will stop running Wednesday.

sources: hyperallergic, moma, licoln , queensmuseum

Some people like to collect morbid pieces, some people collect trash, both some other people see as valuable.  And both are saved in museums.

Joanna Ebestein is the owner of the Morbid Anatomy Library, that suffered a loss this year because of a fire, but it is back on its feet with the help from many people that also have an appreciation for the morbid. The museum is a collection of curiosities, books, artworks, photographs, ephemera, and artifacts relating to medical museums, anatomical art, collectors and collecting, cabinets of curiosity, the history of medicine, death and society, natural history, arcane media, and curiosity and curiosities broadly considered.

Joana wants people to reconnect with death, since she believe we have lost the connection, she goes as to say we hide it, in her words: “I’ve always been interested in death, and people have always called me morbid,”  “But at a certain point, I began to think: Is it morbid to think about death, or is it weird not to?”

The 40-year-old blonde Ebenstein, who travels the world giving lessons and photographing arcane museums, founded The Morbid Anatomy Library in 2007, using as reference and inspiration The Mutter Museum, in Philadelphia and The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angels.

Nelson Molina also likes to collect, but not things related to the dead, he is a trash collector. For years a sanitation worker, Molina began collecting pictures and trinkets he found throughout his route everyday, so he could make his garage locker room corner a little more colorful. His colleagues started to contribute and his collection grew. Now Mr. Molina has almost a thousand pieces and he decided to carefully and playfully arrange it in a big open room cream-colored painted by himself.

The sanitation worker has lots of collaborators, just like Ebestein, that help him find the garbage gold, but only Mr. Molina decides which pieces are worthy of display. It is true that the Sanitation Department prohibits employees from taking things for their personal use, but since Mr. Molina is sharing his trash treasures with everyone, it is within the rules.

In different ways both Molina and Ebestein bring a reflection for our busy day to day life. The necessity to not overlook our connection to death and also not overlook the beauty in ordinary, thrown away things.

Social Media is a necessity now for museums, but it can also be a theme for their exhibitions.

The marketing and communications department of museums had to be updated to succeed in the web-involved world we live in today, and so they did, creating social media platforms, and fueling them with content, building customized memberships, and social/cultural events, but does that evolution really translate to the museum inside? No, the museums themselves, despite all the other departments’ efforts, have remained the same.  Fixed hours, fixed payment structure, limited variety of activities. Our society now needs to be able to touch, to interact, to take pictures and put them up on Instagram, they need museums to talk about the present, to relate to their interests, no to only focus on the past. They wan’t to participate, socialize, and be involved.

Judith Dobrzynski says, in an article for the Wall Street Journal: “future museum-goers won’t be satisfied by simply looking at art, but rather prefer to participate in it or interact with it.” So the challenge for museums is to achieve the balance between the traditional museum activity and structure with the social, cultural and participatory demands of the current society. And some are stepping up and conquering this new territory, where they will let you interact, create, touch.

One example is The Walker Center of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they have came up with “Open Field”, a summer program that  transforms the Walker Art Center’s big, green yard into a cultural common, which means a shared space and collection of resources activated, managed, and cared for by the public for the benefit of all. Another museum that has created a space for creation and participation is the Dallas Museum of Art, with its Center for Creative Connections, a space that provides interactive encounters with original works of art and artists.

Social Media has played a big part on the transformation of museums, and not only as a mean of Communication and interaction, but also as art. We now have another style , the social-media art, a term that couldn’t have been created, say seven years ago, or even five.

This kind of art, is the post-modern kind that mixes all styles and all medias to create something new. It involves performances accompanied by Twitter feeds, paintings inspired by Facebook profiles, online works that evolve as people participate, videos compiled from postings on YouTube and more.

Many exhibits were created with Social Media as a subject, like “The Social Graph”, curated by the editor of Hyperallergic Hrag Vartanian and exposed in November of 2011 in Outpost, that explored the relation between contemporary art and social media as a medium, facilitator, and subject for art. Another example was the exhibition “Free”, at the New Museum in New York, that explores how the internet has fundamentally changed the landscape of information and notion of public space in the society.

Sources: museum-id, artnews, hyperallergic

Don’t you love to see art when strolling down the streets? We know we do. And street art can change landscapes, cities and perceptions. One example we told about you was when Chicago became a big monopoly game. This time, we are taking a trip to Europe and Middle East.

In Hamburg, Germany an unknown artist decided to “adbust” the H&M bikini campaign featuring the Brazilian model Isabele Fontana. How? with a simple trick: placing the Photoshop toolbox in them. The toolbox makes us wonder, is this really how she looks like? Enlightening us with a sense of reality, that doesn’t exist in beauty magazines and ads.

Another artist that likes to play is Florian Rivière , and his playground is the city. Based on Strasbourg, France, he takes simple elements to create new views. A self-proclaimed “urban hacktivist”, he creates spontaneous games, traps, maps and other things that create a whole new look into public space and help you have fun while strolling in the city.

Finally, the Dihzaheyners are also devoted to make the city look more playful and colorful. The team of artists/designers has them aim to make Beirut brighter with color. One of their projects are the stairs on Mar Mikhael St, they painted the 73 steps in seven hours and put a little more color into the city.

Sources: vansick , florianriviere and streetutopia


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