On Monday we decided to talk about Angel Orensanz, after all, he is the star of our next exhibition here in the Angel Orensanz Foundation. “Burning Bronzes” will debut on September 12th and you can read all about it here.

Now, onto the galleries of Lower East Side. Last week we featured the group exhibition going on inside DODGEgallery, this time we go a little west onto Bowery St, where the Charles Bank Gallery is located. They are presenting Inglorious Materials, a group exhibit featuring collage works by Scott Zieher, Ryan Dusso, Dan Mort, Cassandra C. Jones and Halsey Burgund. The name comes from  the fact that each artist uses collages supported by different mediums, like digital media, or paper.

Another exhibit from the Lower East Side gallery is Ryan James Macfarland – Tide Study, a collection of photographs that explore nature and its relation to us, how it affects us. The Florida photographer  shows stunning landscapes reducing all the complexities of nature into frames.

South onto Canal St, go inside 3A Gallery to appreciate another solo exhibition, this time the Paintings of Kurt Finsten, the Denmark-based artist uses color in a naked and unadulterated way, or as the poem used as a description for the exhibit in the gallery’s website says: “He loves their colours fresh and fine“.

Finally, on Forsyth St inside myplasticheart gallery , you can enjoy another group exhibition on the L.E.S. Signs of Apocalypse features 30 artists curated by Lou Pimentel, and is about, as he explains it: “The Mayans believe that the world will end in 2012, and with so many things going wrong in the world; tsunamis, earthquakes, global warming, flocks of birds/schools of fish mysteriously buying the farm; one can’t help but think about it. What do you consider to be a sign of the Apocalypse? I invited  some of my favorite artists to translate, and give life to the fears living in their heads.”






ANGEL ORENSANZ, by Calvin Reid
A respected artist for more than 40 years, Orensanz has produced a body of work ranging from large abstract sculptures with humanist overtones to a series of conceptual installations and performances that whimsically address social and geopolitical conflict.
The latter works invoke his own brand of pacifism idiosyncratic vision of a multicultural, interdependent world community. Angel Orensanz has done a series of quirky public performances. Beginning in 2001, the performances were conducted in Venice, Florence, Tokyo, New York City, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and elsewhere.
They offer a personal response to the specter of war and suffering. These acts most vividly embody the artist’s engaging sense of transnational fellowship and spiritual introspection. Orensanz constructed a large, man-sized transparent plastic sphere that he rolled through the streets of these legendary cities — sometimes pushing it along from behind, sometimes walking inside the giant globe and moving it forward. He loaded it on a gondola and traveled the canals of Venice; at other times the sphere was parked in historic locales such as Piazza San Marco or at the Brandenburg Gate. While the sphere is on view Orensanz and the people he encounters paint and mark up its surface.
The portable globe is like a giant existential snowball that grows metaphorically larger as it picks up layers of historic and symbolic grit and grime. In his catalogue essay, Thomas McEvilley provides a brisk and lucid examination of Orensanz‘s work and the history of the Norfolk Street center and points to the significance of the sphere in classical Greek philosophy.
Orensanz is out to metaphorically link his personal and ancestral wanderings to the great international venues of human civilization. Hanging in the venerable Norfolk Street building, his work evoked yet another revolution — it reconnected the historic transit between the old world and the new embodied in New York‘s Lower East Side. Orensanz offers himself as a kind of shambling figure, a delightful modern Sisyphus relentlessly pushing a scarred and sagging globe through the miseries and triumphs of human history.
Calvin Reid. February 2003
Calvin Reed is an art critic for “Art in America“, where this piece appeared in February of 2003.
September 12, you will be able to enjoy Angel Orensanz works in the Angel Orensanz Foundation!

Finally, it is Friday! And it is time for the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog to share suggestions for what to do in New York City this weekend, because we want you to have a very artful one.

First off start Saturday with Summer Streets! Along the route (that goes from downtown Lafayette St to uptown Park Ave) you will be able to enjoy Urban Art, provided by DOT(New York State Department of Transportation), like LOVE TV by Australian artist Rebecca McIntosh and art producer Victoria Johnstone an interactive work that explores people’s love for places, individuals and things; Bench Press by BroLabCyclo-phone by Marcelo Ertortguy and Sara Valente, a bike-powered band of musical instruments and Bus Roots by Marco Antonio Castro Cosio, a mobile garden. To see the whole schedule for summer streets in New York City, just click here.

After strolling along this route, you can make your stop on Central Park to enjoy some music. The bands Carolina Chocolate Drops, Buckwheat Zydeco and Abigail Washburn, in their Summerstage performance at 3 p.m.. To check the whole schedule for Summerstage, just click here.

Don’t feel like being outside? No worries, you can head to Brooklyn to enjoy the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, in St. Francis College, features 54 independent filmmakers—both first-timers and Hollywood vets—who have lived and worked in the borough. To check the schedule, just click here.

On Sunday, how about a trip to MoMA to enjoy the opening of The Quay Brothers installation? Titled Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets the exhibition showcases the London-based godfathers of alternative animation Stephen and Timothy Quay better known films, never-before-seen moving image works and graphic design, drawings, and calligraphy.

Don’t feel like going uptown? No worries, there are many places to see art in NYC. Take the ferry to Governors Island where you can enjoy “Graphic Design now in Production” an exhibition of posters, books, magazines, typography, branding and film and television graphics created since 2000, organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and displayed on building 110

Finally, the Downtown Dance Festival starts this weekend; you can see the schedule here. Also, The Fringe Festival is back for another year! The calendar is here.

And last, but not least, we hope you have a lovely and artful weekend and we want to remind you , a month (and 2 days, to be more exact) from  now we will be presenting Angel Orensanz’s Burning Bronze exhibition in our gallery! You shouldn’t miss it! More info is coming soon, so get excited!

We already shared with you that we love running into art, and we are guessing you do too. So, here are more suggestions from the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog for you to enjoy your walks a little more.

If you happen to be in Mannheim, Germany, you will be lucky enough to see the street art of the duo Zebrating that is based in the city. Their name comes from the artistic style loosely translated as “making the zebra”, which involves using a striping technique (isn’t that what a Zebra reminds you of?) . Usually the style doesn’t incorporate colors, but the duo, who is now exploring other cities in Germany, decided to add this nice touch.

Another street artist that likes to use color in his street art, is Julian Beever. The English artist is internationally known for the pavement drawings and the 3D illusions he creates. He has been drawing with chalk on the streets since the mid-90s and using a technique called anamorphosis to create his three dimensional fantasies. The thing is, though, you need to find the right angle, or else his creations make not sense to our eyes! His drawings don’t last long, but they are all over the place, like Times Square, Amsterdam, London, Mexico City, Istanbul and much more.

“I got started when I was in a pedestrian street in Brussels where an old garden had been removed. This left an unusual rectangle of paving slabs, which gave me the idea to convert this into a drawn swimming pool in the middle of the high street! It worked so well I tried other variations such as a well with people falling in. I soon realized that if you could make things appear to go into the pavement you could equally make them appear to stand out of it.”  Julian Beever.

On the other side of the equator, the Brazilian duo Os Gemeos reside in São Paulo, but this time they have decided to take a trip to Boston. In their first major U.S. solo show, the identical twins Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, who often combine elements of fantasy and play with political and social themes, show their work inside the Institute of Contemporary Art, as well as in Dewey Square, in Boston’s financial district.

“We don’t really want to explain the meaning of this,” he said. “We let people imagine things.” – Gustavo Pandolfo

Now their signature yellow-skinned cartoon characters have placed them among the top-10 most celebrated street artists in the world.

sources: thephoenix , moilusions, twisted, artinfo

Last Wednesday the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog talked about the hour master Christian Marclay, this time, we are showcasing another acclaimed American artist, the master of kitsch.

Born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania and New York-based Jeff Koons is America’s most famous living artist. The so-called “master of kitsch” is an ambitious perfectionist, he transforms banal items into sumptuous icons, experiments with digital technologies, produces photos in the manner of baroque paintings, and all his finish products have an exquisite appearance.

As he blends concepts of Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Appropriation Art with popular culture, he blurs the lines of “good taste” and makes his own unique iconography, often controversial and always engaging. More than that, his works explore the contemporary obsessions of sex, desire, race, gender, celebrities, media, commerce and fame, as he frames questions about taste and pleasure and shifts the scale of banal items. With that Jeff Koons puts kitsch in the same level as classical art.

“The hierarchy of things is a kind of defense mechanism that just alienates”. – Jeff Koon

His appropriations of our consumerist world and American culture remind us of Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymades” and Andy Warhol (who would complete 84 years this Monday, if he was still alive). His icons are stunning and spectacular and they speak to the society based on the tripod: sex, art and money.

In fact, Jeff Koons wants his art to communicate to everyone, the broader the audience the better, after all for him: “Art is really just communication of something and the more archetypal it is, the more communicative it is.”

This year, you can see a big part of his collection in the Beyer Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, where an extensive exhibition documents his artistic development over the past thirty years of practice through the lenses of three milestone series: ‘the new’, which showcases Koons’s earliest work, a series of readymade-like appliances and sculptures; ‘banality’, which includes sculptures in porcelain and wood, that take as their subject pop culture icons and Koons‘s most ambitious series to date ‘celebration’, a collection of hyper realistic large-scale stainless steel sculptures.

Also this year Jeff Koons appeared at the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series The Colbert Report for an interview with Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the show. Colbert synthesizes the American artist, or as he calls him: “The world’s most expensive birthday clown.” popularity very well: “A lot of them (pieces) are shiny, so when I look at them, I can see me, and then I’m interested in it.” Koons replies that they’re shiny for affirmation, to create an experience.

sources: designboom, economist, huffingtonpost, gagosian, pbs

It has been a while since our last edition, in which we talked about the past of Ludlow Street and how this landmark of the Lower East Side transformed itself to became one of the hippest areas in town. We also revealed the past of Aragon, the city where Angel Orensanz and his brother Al Orensanz (who will be publishing a book soon, so keep your eyes open!) were born. Finally, in that issue we told you about the contemporary artists Marilyn Minter and Walter Urbach. Want to remember? Just click here!

This time, we will tell you the story of how objects became artifacts through time, how they change and represent who we are and the time we live in. Also, we will talk about the Black Panther party and their relationship with the Angel Orensanz Foundation, in fact, did you know that Spike Lee, who directed the “Huey P. Newton Story” has a new movie? Yes, Red Hook Summer! Finally, we will tell you where Angel Orensanz has been and what he thinks about the English artist Sir Roland Penrose. One more thing, we interplay the connection between absence and presence. Curious, excited? No worries! Just click here and have fun! 

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