Tag Archives: art criticism

Inspiration

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A couple of years ago, I was reading a Joe Zucker interview, by Chuck Close, in BOMB magazine. There was one segment, where Zucker briefly discusses the fear of many an artist, including yours truly. The plague of writer’s block. The quote above, was Close’s response.

While it sounds like something I’ve heard for years, it was one of those moments of clarity that we all seek.

Maybe, one of these days, I’ll actually get around to following his advice.

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Context

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A few months ago I moved into a new apartment in my old neighborhood. For the most part things hadn’t changed much over the past 2 years. The most obvious change being the new building on 1e Constantijn Huygenstraat, that replaced the one previously occupied by Smart Projects.

Architecturally, I find the building unimpressive. Red brick, glass, yada, yada, yada. Other than those bold strokes, I never paid much attention to it. I’m usually more concerned with navigating safely through the maze of cyclists, cars, and pedestrians on the poorly designed bike path. I suppose this is why it took me so long to notice that there was something hanging off the roof of the building.

At first I thought it was scaffolding, but then I realized it couldn’t be. Ladders? No. Actually, yes.

But why so many? And why is there one hanging off the building?

Wait, what’s that at the top of the ladder? Ah. That’s it. Art. Public art.

Oh dear.

Initially thinking that it was the work of an anonymous sculpture having a bad day, I discovered, thanks to a plaque on the street, that the artist was anything but anonymous. Here is the text, as it appears:

The sculpture How to meet an Angel deals about hope, support, and the gradual process towards recovery. The figure stands on the highest rung of the ladder, with baggage on his back and arms wide open, looking towards the sky. Ready to leave the clinic, embrace the city and possibly meet a guardian angel.

How to Meet an Angel is charitably designed by the renowned Russian-American artists Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, at the request of Mentrum and developed by SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space), and has been made financially possible by SKOR, Stadsdeel Oud-West and the Amsterdams Fond voor Kunst. The work of art is specially created for this building: a clinic for psychiatric clients and people with serious psychological problems.

There’s just something about that last sentence. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

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Untitled (Five-Way Conversation Piece)

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What do you get when you put Vito Acconci’s, Joseph Beuys’, Dan Graham’s, Richard Serra’s, and Lawrence Weiner’s words together, to create a conversation about public art?

This.

(Untitled Curiosity)

As I was sipping my morning coffee, and reading the NY Times online, I came across a review for a new movie that piqued my interest. The film, titled (Untitled), is a satire about the art world.

Being a fan, as well as a participant of previous portrayals of the art world, I can only hope that the Times review is (more or less) in the ball park. Granted, it obviously had a much bigger budget, but that’s another thing to write about on another day.

A conversation with (Daniel Roth)

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Heads up.

If you happen to find yourself in Amsterdam this March, then you really should make sure to find your way to Fons Welters Gallery, and go check out the work of Daniel Roth.

If you’d like to read a bit about Daniel, then you can read my interview with him here (English), or here (Dutch).

See you next week!

a conversation with (Dan Perjovschi)

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In 2006 I interviewed Dan Perjovschi, for the Dutch art magazine Metropolis M. To be perfectly honest, I had a tough time getting started with it, primarily because I’m a huge fan of Dan, and of his work. You’d think that would have made things easy. In the end, I think it did.

I’ll let you be the judge. Read it here.

OCD Redux

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Once, over a few beers, Annie Fletcher and I had this little idea. It was a pretty simple one, we wanted to make an art fanzine. Why? Because we were fed up with the status quo of art criticism. We wanted to do something different, namely make a publication for people, such as ourselves, who weren’t afraid to call a stone a stone, or a rock a rock. No more same ol’, same ol’, nope, this was a publication for art junkies. We called it “OCD”.

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