Scenes of the food life

spaghetti

Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida met as students of photography at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. Soon they realized that they shared other love, besides art: food.

The two friends began working on his project “Minimiam” in 2002. These are small photographs showing people interacting in contexts of giant pieces of food, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables and sweets.

The Fine Artist’s Dilemma

Jill Greenberg ‘Shock’ (2006)
Jill Greenberg ‘Shock’ (2006)

Jill Greenberg is an American photographer famous for her ‘fine art’ studio portraits. Her work is relatively unique due to her elaborate use of a ‘painting with light technique’ when editing her images. This effect generally works best with exaggerated facial expressions, which led to the production of her most controversial work End Times. For this series the photographer requested that parents bring their children into her studio in order for her to capture them in mid tantrum . The children then had their upper bodies stripped naked and were coaxed into fits of trauma. To do this Greenberg asked the parents to present the children with gifts or sweets which were then taken away, or the children were told that they were being punished for being naughty. When the child eventually broke out into a state of hysterics Greenberg would begin to photograph. Since the publication of this work the photographer has received much criticism from curators, reviewers and writers both within and outside the industry. Claims were made against her that the children were being exploited and abused for the sake of art. The most aggressive criticism came from the now infamous photography blog writer Thomas Hawk:

Although the children are not sexualized, I consider what she is doing child pornography of the worst kind.” Thomas Hawk (2006:1)

 

 

The Sunday Times Magazine cover asks "A photographer steals sweets from children and captures their reactions. Is it art or abuse?"
The Sunday Times Magazine cover asks “A photographer steals sweets from children and captures their reactions. Is it art or abuse?”

The purpose behind this body of work was to illustrate the sea of controversial and worrying current political affairs in America, including the re-instatement of the far from popular president George Bush and the dangerous influence of the evangelical religious right. The children’s facial expressions are used as a personification of the population’s mutual dismay. Despite the political context of her work and the righteousness of her motives, the photographer has become the victim of several accusations ranging from exploitation of minors to child abuse of a sexual nature. However Greenberg has not allowed this criticism to dampen her career success and her statements of defence are equally if not more so convicting:

“ It didn’t even occur to me that people might think that. A lot of the people who’ve been upset are men. I don’t know if it’s because they project their own desires on these images and they don’t know what to do with them and blame me.” Jill Greenberg (2006:31)

This raises the question: how much of our judgement of images stems from our own personal construction and arguably suppressive personalities? Every individual has a varying degree of ethical consideration, which is influenced by all manners of social development. The freedom to make statements about the ethicality of images exists primarily on the basis that there is some kind of union to back up these critiques. In this sense ethics are measured in quantity, if there is a considerable amount of belief in any humanitarian guideline then it may be labelled as ethical. Only when the constructs of these belief groups are examined can one begin to defend against such accusations. Similarly to Susan Sontag’s condemnation of the male species, which stems from Virginia Woolf’s dialogue with a male lawyer around various images of warfare[1], Greenberg makes her case against the masculine interpretation of her images. This critique can be backed up by the psychoanalytic theory of repression as a defence mechanism whereby one’s present behaviour may be explained through suppressed memories or feelings that often cause hypocrisy through the action itself (Freud, 1989). For instance Freud would argue that those who criticise the sexual nature of a photograph are defending themselves from the reality of their own sexual desires. Is there a limit or a boundary when it comes to constructing photographs? Or are we all just afraid of what we might learn about ourselves?


[1] “Men make war. Men (most men) like war, since for men there is “some glory, some necessity, some satisfaction in fighting” that women (most women) do not feel or enjoy. What does an educated — read: privileged, well off — woman like her know of war? Can her recoil from its allure be like his?” Susan Sontag (2003:1)

Mr. Magee’s work

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

Mr. Magee’s work like many of the street artists is big. They are our Cistene Chapels, our murals. Mr. Magee works in a realistic style. And they look to be real attention grabbers when you’re travelling down the street. The pieces work better on these large scales. Reduced to a computer screen they are not as impressive. Nor for that matter is the subject matter. But seen in these large formats they make you heart grow larger.

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

 

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

Mr. Magee’s work - street artists

 

Women photographers from other countries and cultures

Shirin Neshat

Recently a lot of women artists coming from Africa and the Middle East are achieving greater success day by day. Some of them are from Iran, such as the well known actress Golshifteh Farahani, who played the film “About Elly”, winner of the Silver Bear in Berlin Film Festival, and Shirin Neshat who won the Silver Lion at the 66th Venice Film Festival for her directional debut “Women without Men”.

Shirin Neshat

Shirin is primarly known for her work in films, videos and photographies and she is considered the first Iranian artist to achieve an international success. Born in Qawzin (Iran) in 1957, she moved to U.S.A. to study art when she was still very young, at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in her country. As a photographer and video-artist, Shirin Neshat is recognized for her brilliant portraits of women covered with Persian calligraphy displaying verses of love and loss written by women Persian poets (notably through the “Women of Allah series” in 1990). She also directed several videos, such as “Anchorage” (1996), “Shadow under the Web” (1997), “Turbulent” (1998) and “Soliloquy” (1999).

Shirin Neshat

Neshat’s work refers the social, political and psychological dimensions of women’s experience in contemporary Islamic societies, to the codes of Muslim culture and the complexity of certain oppositions, such as man and woman. Although she actively opposes stereotypical representations of Islam, her artistic objectives are not explicitly polemical. Instead, her work recognizes the complex intellectual and religious forces shaping the identity of Muslim women throughout the world.

“VEILED MEMORIES” is the title of the exhibit of the XIV Edition of WOMEN’S BIENNAL EXHIBITION in Ferrara, Italy, in Palazzo Massari, Museum of Contemporary Art. This year the exhibit ( open April 18 – June 13 2010) has been dedicated to Iranian women artists: Shirin Fakhim, Ghazel, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Shadi Ghadirian, Mandana Moghaddam and Parastou Forouhar.

 

Mandana Moghaddam was born in Theran in 1962 but actually she lives in exile in Goteborg, Sweden. Photographer and artist, she has got a lot of scholarships in Sweden and her works have been exhibited in many European museums and galleries. The series of the pictures exhibited named “Manije” finds inspiration in her pregnancy and refers about the intimacy and the solitude of a woman in her bedroom, broken by a sensation of danger: water is slowly submering the sleeping woman.In 2005 Mandana, together with Bita Fayyazi Azad, showed her works in the Iranian Pavillon in 51th “Biennale di Venezia”, curated by the director of Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art.

Parastou Forouhar was born in Teheran in 1962, studied art at the University of her native town with a degree in Art, then, since 1991 she has continued her studies in Germany. Actually she lives in Frankfurt. She has been awarded many scholarships in Germany and in Italy.

 

For “Veiled memories” Farouhar has chosen to exhibit some big pictures of the black veil used by Iranian women. There is a beautiful tryptich which shows a woman’s hand as the only visiblepart of her body emerging from the black dress.

Since the end of the Nineties she has been urgently furthering democracy in Iran: her parents were murdered in Iran in November 1998. In her quest for clarification she went to Iran many times, questioned functionaries in the ministries responsible, held press conferences and has written letters to human rights organisations and politicians. There has been no clarification yet.

Shadi Ghadirian

Shadi Ghadirian was born in 1974 in Tehran, where she still lives and works. Shadi began her professional photography career after studing photography at Azad University. Through her work Shadi has always been inspired to create work reflecting what she sees as the duality and contradiction of life, questioning the role of women in society and exploring ideas of censorship, religion, modernity, and the status of women. Ghadirian is the photo editor of Women in Iran website (www.womeniniran.com) and manager of the first Iranian photography site (www.fanoosphoto.com).

Shadi made her “Like Every Day Series”, exposed in the exhibit, to show the daily repetitive routine to which many women find themselves consigned and by which many women are defined. (see above) Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe, and U.S.A. She has also been featured in print and electronic media (including the New York Times, Photography Now, the Daily Telegraph, the BBC and others).

Maimouna Guerresi

Maimouna Guerresi

Ghadirian’s pictures are part of important exhibit in New York named “BARAKAT: THE GIFT”, curated by the Italian Gaia Serena Simionati, that includes paintings, sculptures, sound and video installations, works on paper and photos from nine important contemporary artists: the Egyptians Moataz Nasr and Hamdi Attia, the Iranians Navid Azimi Sajadi, Shadi Ghadirian and Reza Derakshani, the Iraqui Halim al Karim, the Libanese Nabil Nahas, the Turkish Baris Saribas and the Italo/Senegalese Maimouna Guerresi.

Shadi Ghadirian

Shadi exposes some pictures of the series “White Square”: instruments of war such as helmets and anti- gas masques with a red ribbon, as ironic symbols of the daily war in her country, while Maimouna gives her contribution with some pictures of the series “Oracles”. All the artists were chosen for their strength and poetical approach to the theme of dialogue between different cultures, acceptance, identity, transformation, through the essence of their art.

Patrizia Pulga

Patrizia Pulga

The man who happened, from triumph to tragedy

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Ernest Miller Hemingway shaped the course of popular literature while helping  define the culture of contemporary American life. A prolific writer, Hemingway garnered global fame for his terse yet poignant writing style that has provided inspiration for generations of writers to follow.

Born in the last year of the 19th century, Hemingway’s formative years were spent gathering experiences that would later found his creative pursuits. The son of conservative parents Clarence Edmonds and Grace-Hall Hemingway, Ernest claimed to have never liked his name, believing it to be a less than mediocre reference to the bumbling hero in Oscar Wilde’s play “The Importance of Being Ernest.

 

Ernest HemingwayEmbracing the outdoors as a youth, Hemingway spent considerable time at the family’s summer home in Michigan. Taking up hunting, fishing and canoeing, Ernest developed an early affinity for exploration, his interests in the unknown taking him all over the world in his later years. Although skilled in the subject of English, Hemingway found little interest in his other classes, gravitating towards the school newspaper as his creative outlet.

With writing and journalism becoming his passion through high school, Hemingway’s life took an unexpected turn with the emergence of World War I. Signing up as an ambulance driver, Hemingway found himself within the thralls of war by early 1918. Severely wounded while on duty, the experience changed Hemingway’s perspective on war and life,

“When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you … Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you.”

Suffering a series of untimely and damaging injuries throughout his life, Hemingway’s painful World War I experience would mark an unfortunate trend of disasters that would befall the young writer.

Using his experiences at war and at home as inspiration for the short story, Big Two-Hearted River, the story would mark a trend in the creative efforts of Hemingway, as some of his work would maintain a semi-autobiographical voice based off his own experiences.

 

Ernest HemingwayThroughout his time spent overseas, Hemingway would meet various artists and personalities that would provide the writer with inspiration and insight. While in Paris, Hemingway was introduced to the likes of Juan Gris, Joan Miro and even the formidable Pablo Picasso. A chance bar encounter with his young contemporary, author F. Scott Fitzgerald led to a friendship of mutual respect and admiration. Confiding in the Great Gatsby author, Hemingway once confessed, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

As a writer, Hemingway’s talent was abundant. Known for his concise prose, and curt style, Hemingway developed the unique ability to say more with less, often times challenging himself to sum up his own stories in six words or less. Also notable for his use of ‘vigorous English,” Hemingway’s writing was direct, forceful and poignant, reaching his audience in a remarkably authentic manner.

Penning numerous novels and short stories in his lifetime, Hemingway’s adventures around the world provided the author with plenty of inspiration.  His time as an ambulance driver during World War I and his eventual return to the states inspired Hemingway’s first novel The Sun Also Rises, while his African safaris inspired his work on big game hunting, Green Hills of Africa. One of his most popular works titled the Old Man and the Sea was written in Cuba, and told the story of an old fisherman out at sea. The work received the Pulitzer Prize in 1952.

 

Ernest HemingwayAlthough his works garnered global fame and recognition, Hemingway endured a series of devastating experiences that gradually chipped at his health and sanity. While eager to become the rugged outdoorsman symbolized by his father, illness and injuries hindered Hemingway effectively limiting his mobility and progression. Suffering from two plane crashes in Africa, and bouts with anthrax and pneumonia, the effects of these occurrences infiltrated other areas of the author’s life. Known to have engaged in numerous affairs during his four marriages, Hemingway battled with alcoholism throughout his life while still maintaining a prolific and respected writing career.

When Hemingway’s father committed suicide, his death served as a dark precursor to Hemingway’s untimely demise. Falling into a deep depression in his later years, Hemingway took his own life by gunshot in July of 1961. He was 62 years old.

Although depression characterized much of Hemingway’s later life, his legacy as a writer is still visible today through the work of writers, thinkers and creatives who have come after him. Winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, Hemingway’s accolades pale in comparison to the writers influence. One of the greatest writers in American history, the significance of Hemingway’s work will forever lie in its timeless relevance to American culture.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Oils of a reality

Resurrection. Óleo-lienzo. 60 x 80 cms. 2011

The painting is to portray a person, landscape or circumstance that the artist perceives or believe in his imaginary world.
Paco Pomet, shows his oils to refresh the reality. Are almost photographs. The finishing touches of painting and drawing and the position of the elements that makes us thinkabout the times and places that tries to recreate or represent.

 

Truce. Óleo-lienzo. 60 x 70 cms. 2011
Truce. Oleo-lienzo. 60 x 70 cms. 2011

 

Manual transexual de historia contemporánea. Óleo-lienzo. 40 x 40 cms. 2010
Manual transexual de historia contemporánea. Óleo-lienzo. 40 x 40 cms. 20100

 

 

Americana. Óleo-lienzo. 120 x 120 cms. 2010
Americana. Oleo-lienzo. 120 x 120 cms. 2010

 

 

Cables. Óleo-lienzo. 60 x 70 cms. 2010
Cables. Oleo-lienzo. 60 x 70 cms. 2010

 

 

Fábula. Óleo-lienzo. 40 x 40 cms. 2010
Fábula. Oleo-lienzo. 40 x 40 cms. 2010

 

 

La pajarita rosa. Óleo-lienzo. 40 x 50 cms. 2010
La pajarita rosa. Oleo-lienzo. 40 x 50 cms. 2010

 

 

La tierra prometida.  Óleo-lienzo. 120 x 120 cms. 2010
La tierra prometida. Oleo-lienzo. 120 x 120 cms. 2010

 

 

Prácticas.  Óleo-lienzo. 60 x 70 cms. 2011
Prácticas. Oleo-lienzo. 60 x 70 cms. 2011

 

 

Sizes I. Óleo-lienzo. 40 x 50 cms. 2010
Sizes I. Oleo-lienzo. 40 x 50 cms. 2010

 

 

Club.  Óleo-lienzo. 60 x 80 cms.  2010
Club. Oleo-lienzo. 60 x 80 cms. 2010

 

 

Resurrection. Óleo-lienzo. 60 x 80 cms. 2011
Resurrection. Oleo-lienzo. 60 x 80 cms. 2011

 

 

Agente secreto.  Óleo-lienzo. 120 x 160 cms. 2009
Agente secreto. Oleo-lienzo. 120 x 160 cms. 2009

 

 

Nudity in art

The Field Camera

Tim Marlow, British art historian has produced a series of four programs that addresses our fascination with the subject of nude subjects in art. He says, “The nude was not always ‘sexy’.”

In part one, we meet perhaps the first work of art to depict a nude subject, a 25,000 year old miniature statue that may have represented a goddess. Could it relate to fertility?

Then, according to Marlow, 500 B.C. became a crucial moment in art history for the nude. The Greeks who gave us democracy, philosophy, history,science, drama, and art, considered nudes as simply a natural depiction of the body. Much of their work was based on or influenced by the male as an athlete or soldier and therefore displayed strength and superiority.

Socrates, “Artists should represent the working of the soul — accurately observing how feelings affect the body in action.”

The Venus di Milo

The Venus di Milo

 

Boticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”

Boticelli's "The Birth of Venus"

Gericault’s “The Raft of the Medusa”

Gericault's "The Raft of the Medusa"

Marlow on Picasso

According to Marlow, the controversies of Picasso’s work were due as much to the style as the content.  Picasso’s flat, two-plane dimensions ushered in the era of modern art and more specifically, “cubism.”   In this case, his subjects stare back at the viewer in a confrontational manner rather than simply pose for viewing.  Marlow, “This (Les Demoisells d’Avignon, 1907) may be the most important painting of the 20th century.” and, “…the shock of the nude is more profound than it’s sexuality.”

Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”

 

Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"

 

da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci’s study of human anatomy led to a radical development in nude artwork — accuracy. Muscles and bone structures were much more precise.  The authenticity was a point of controversy as well.

Marlow, “The human figure is a microcosm of the universe. A figure whose extensions represent the perfect almost divine shape of the circle and square.”

A significant aspect of the Renaissance was the shift of man to the center of art — replacing god.  Michaelangelo had used religious themes for his nudes to avoid censorship.

“The Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo da Vinci

 

"The Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci

Photography as Art

Marlow, “The invention of the camera revolutionized art.”  Regardless of whether or not we think that photography is art, there’s no denying that the camera made art — and nudes in particular — available to the masses.  Previously, nude artwork was primarily available only to the elite; in galleries.

Also, with the invention of the camera, the debate over “art vs porn” really heated up. Then, in 1953, Hefner came along and started publishing Playboy magazine — and had the effect of throwing a lighted match into the powder keg.

The Field Camera

Article published in HugPages by FCEtier entitled: “Nude In Art”