Monthly Archives: March 2012

THE KING OF TRASH

Final words: Vik Muniz (Brazil)

Vik Muniz describes himself as a product of a military dictatorship. Born and raised in Brazil, the photographer ended up in Brooklyn in the 1980´s, where he has lived and worked ever since. Muniz searched back to the stamping ground when he made his world-famous portrait series;  “Pictures of Garbage.”

It is really unnecessary to enlarge more on Vik Muniz. Most people know him after the great success of the the multi-award winning documentary; Waste Land.

“Marat (Sebastiao)” by Vik Muniz, 2008.  He created portraits of the “catadores” (the catadores are the individuals who work at the site separating recyclable materials from general waste) 

Photographs taken from The New York Times

As you readers might have notice, this month has been dedicated to recycled art; waste, garbage, junk and trash. So I thought it was appropriated to end the month with Vik Muniz´s words.

After living on an open-air dump outside Rio de Janiero for almost two years the man naturally deserves that honor to be nominated — The King of Trash.

The quote is taken from Waste Land:

“I’m at this point in my career were I’m trying to step away from the realm of fine arts,” he says to the camera, “because I think it’s a very exclusive, very restrictive place to be. What I want to be able to do is to change the lives of people with the same materials they deal with every day.”

— Vik Muniz

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Collage/Clip Art, Net stroll, recycled art

THE GREEN REVOLUTION

Guest blogger: Gunnhildur Thordardottir (Iceland)

My interest in recycling started early and as a child my parents would recycle paper, food containers and composted the organic waste in our garden. Recycling was one of the daily routines in our home and easy for me and my siblings to participate in. However in the 80´s and 90´s recycling was a new term in Iceland and few people paid attention to this lifestyle.

Furthermore I was a girl scout and one of the goals of the scout movement is to respect nature and use the materials that the nature provides wisely and innovatively. The capturing slogan ´Recycle or Die` is fairly new and means that we need to recycle for our future, our children and future generations to come to keep the earth sustainable.

Many artists have used this slogan as well as musicians, fashion labels and it has even inspired filmmakers. For me, using recycled materials in my artwork is very natural since I have continued to recycle into adulthood, and love passing this knowledge to my children by making something creative with them. Recycled material is very versatile, is already there and it does not matter whether I am going to make something intricate or simple. In my artwork I have used i.e. socks, food containers, off cuts of steel, wood, paper, plastics, leftovers of yarn and other textiles.

Fortunately for our planet more and more people are interested in saving the planet by recycling and hopefully it will make a difference. Furthermore I hope my work inspires people to reduce, reuse and recycle!

My main goal with re-cycled art is to realize an object of interest or beauty with material, which would otherwise be thrown away!

— Gunnhildur Thordardottir, visual artist

From the exhibition Losun/Emisssion

Photograph by Konsthopp

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Guest blog, Konsthopp, recycled art, Reykjavík

MOTHER NATURE IN MARCH

This month´s favorite: Recycled art

From waste to resource … 

In recent years, waste products and other materials have become more and more prominent in the creation of art. Here are some recycled art masterpieces — made from junks!

“Ghost in the machines – The Beatles” by Erika Iris Simmons

“Binary Bound” by Nick Gentry

“Harmonix Rock Band” by Kyle Bean

“Hard disk drive robot” by Miguel Rivera

“What came first” by Kyle Bean

“The rabbit” by Robert Bradford

“Collage 09” by Derek Gores

Virginia Fleck

Photographs are taken from Hongicat & google image

From litter off the streets — to odds and ends in the house; these artists from all around the world find a use for what others would toss without a second thought. Cassettes, discarded toys, floppy disks, hard disk drives, eggshells, recycled clothes & magazines are among things that can — occasionally — be turned into gold.

In the last year Konsthopp have visited numerous of exhibition dedicated to some sort of recycled art. Examples includes; Buffé (Stockholm), Cotton Rags (Reykjavik), Sæborgin; Kynjaverur og ókindur (Reykjavik), Monument (Oslo), Losun (Reykjavik) and Sorp er auðlind (Reykjavik).

Stay posted about more recycled art-related topics next days. We are having a guest blog this week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Art Magazine, Collage/Clip Art, Konsthopp, Net stroll, recycled art

OUR EVERYDAY LIFE

Artist Studio #3 : Daniel Milton (Stockholm)

Thanks to the online community we came in contact with Daniel Milton who through his blog gives an insight into his life working as a full-time artist.

Would never recommend anyone to become an artist but the matter is of course that you make things with your own hands and with the talents you’ve picked up on the way — wake up every morning and create your everyday life, world and happiness. Make your own decisions about assignments, hours, coffee breaks and vacations. Life.
(From D. Miltons post, C’est ma vie – translation by Írena)

And each weekday, between 09.00 – 16.00, D. Milton goes to his atelier in Stockholm to work on what he’s best at — creating his art. I was lucky enough to be invited into his studio for some snapshots and in the mean time learn more about the artist and his work.

Photograph by Konsthopp

I must say that for me it is absolutely absorbing to be invited into the different studios and meet people who all tell their individual stories — but who share in common the decision of creating their everyday life as an artist.

Check out some of the photographs from our latest studio visit here or follow Miltons blog directly (in swedish) at http://dmilton.blogspot.se/!

Special thanks to Daniel Milton and happy Sunday to everyone!

If you are interested in opening the doors of your studio, please send us a line at konsthopp@gmail.com



Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Collage/Clip Art, Drawings, Konsthopp, Photography, Stockholm, Workshop visit

LOSUN / EMISSION

Vernissage: 10th of March 2012, Íslensk Grafík (Reykjavik)

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do — or do without” (New England proverb)

This month happened to be dedicated to recycled art. I stumbled upon two recycled art exhibitions, watched the documentary Waste Land for the first time and discovered many artists that use waste materials in their creation of art.

Gunnhildur Thordardottir is one of them. The artist is very keen on recycling and uses materials for her work that would otherwise be thrown away — such as unpaired socks, off-cuts of textiles, sticky plastic film and empty food containers.

Beside the recycling, the artist’s inspiration is derived from primary colours and different forms. As an occupied mother of three, the artist had to use more child friendly materials than usually in the process of the exhibition.

The color scheme was a pleasant surprise on this particularly grey and gusty Saturday. Specially after my visit to the black&white “Santiago Sierra” show, which is housed in the same building (Listasafn Reykjavikur), the exhibition “Losun” befitted exceptionally well in the bright and — in my opinion — one of the best exhibition spaces in Reykjavik.

Photograph by Konsthopp

After a nice chat with the artist — were we discussed anything from unlike art scenes in different countries to child raising — we found out that we had more in common than just an ardor for contemporary art. Me and Gunnhildur are namely born on the same day.

Cheers to everyone that are born on the 10th of March!

Gunnhildur Thordardottir completed her BA in Art and Art History at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, graduating in 2003. She completed a MA degree in Arts Management in 2006. Since then she has been an active artist as well as working at museums and for the Printmaking Association in Iceland. Gunnhildur will next open an exhibition Fráhvarf / Departure in SÍM, 3rd of April 2012.

Date: 10th – 25th of March 2012

Artist: Gunnhildur Thordardottir

Place: Printmaking Association in Iceland (Íslensk Grafík), Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavik

Opening hours: Thursday – Sunday, 14.00 – 18.00

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Konsthopp, recycled art, Reykjavík, Sculptures, Solo exhibit, Uncategorized

“CURATOR WILL ALWAYS PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE”

— Interview with Alexander Jean Edvard le Sage de Fontenay (Iceland)

When did you start curating? Tell us something about your educational background?

During my last couple of years in highschool (Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð) I attended numerous of art history classes and art classes. I had an especially inspirational art teacher that year, Louise Hazell A Harris, and I believe I am lucky that she has taught me. The first art show were I was directly involved in the planning, was held on my graduating year. It was an exhibition of her student’s works from one of her classes, which I went to as well. At her request, I helped the teacher promote it in my school, gather art pieces and I even made a flyer.

For me, the ball actually only started rolling for me quite recently. After I began studying Art History at The University of Iceland I got involved in a number of things. I started writing for the school paper (Stúdentablaðið), helped plan events for students studying art history and last but not least, opened a gallery with a few of my fellow students, called Artíma gallery. The reason we went into doing this was in our opinion a lack of practical courses which are available for art history students. This way we get to exercise our curatorial skills.

Our first exhibition opened in October last year (2011). I have been involved in two shows so far. The first one being a group exhibition of works by 14 artists from The Iceland Academy Of Arts. The second exhibition was called S/H/91-93 and was also a group exhibition of ten black & white works by ten artists who all study primary art education.

What is the artistic field of your curatorial practice?

I enjoy making art myself. I guess the artistic field of my curatorial practice is having a say in what art pieces are ultimately selected by the artists, arranging the pieces to ensure that the right mood is achieved in the exhibition space and also helping the artist find the best suitable way for his works to be presented.

Is there a difference in curating different field of arts, etc. paintings, videos, interactive works or a piece of net art?

Of course. Each medium has a mind of it’s own. The best exhibitions in my opinion, are those that include works of different mediums. And where the art pieces are arranged according to the nature of each exhibition space. In S/H/91-93 I had a few installations and a number of wall based works. I nurtured the artists needs while also filling the space accordingly, to create diversity. I tried to create a contrast with the wall-based art and used the installations in between to maintain balance.

From S/H/91-93. #1. “Án titils” by Magnús Ingvar Ágústsson #2. “Út fyrir rammann” by Krista Alexandersdóttir #3. “Undir smásjá” by Sólveig Eir Steward #4. “Eðlislega óeðlislægt” by Kristín Þorláksdóttir

What kind of qualities do you think a curator should have?

I think a curator should be personable and friendly. It is important for him to have a good relationship with the artist (or artists). He should be able to keep cool at all times. He should do little things like bring a pizza when those finishing touches are being added the night before opening a show.  While he should be friendly he should have leader skills and determination. A lot of things may be riding on a show. But regardless if the show is a success or not, the artist (or artists) should have confidence in the curator.

Do you think that new and digital media used in contemporary art has brought new aspects to arts and curating? Yes or no, explain why?

Internet art has been around since the mid 1990s. Since then it has evolved and so has, obviously, all technology. There was a “revolution” in digital video, making it easier for more artists to work with video. So that’s a definite: Yes.

In times of “You Tube” and the Internet, do you think a curator is still needed?

Yes. I think the curator will always play an important role in the art world. Websites such as Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr, Deviant art, Tumblr to name a few, have made it a lot easier for artists to promote themselves. It has also helped a lot of people find what they’re looking for and to discover new things. This does not make a curator less needed. I believe that just like people won’t stop talking to their friends in real life (offline) they won’t stop going to galleries and museums. Because seeing a work of art online is never the same thing as seeing it face-to-face as a part of an exhibition. Period.

What are your curatorial plans for the future? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives in curating?

In April I will be curating an art show in Artíma gallery. It’s going to be the collected works of a couple of vivacious girls. They have shown a lot of potential. One of them is studying fine arts at The Iceland Academy of Arts and the other is in Reykjavik School of Visual Art. It is going to be collaborative work and some independent work from both of them. Video art, a few sculptures and I’m pretty sure there will be some wall-based art as well. I’m excited about that. In June there will hopefully be a big group exhibition to welcome the summer. There has been a discussion of collaborating with another student gallery, run by the fine arts department at The Iceland Academy of Arts. I would like to be part of that.

My wish is that future art galleries that are in similar scale as Artíma won’t have a hard time gathering funding. Unfortunately, today it is quite a task for galleries (even bigger ones than Artíma) to do this. Me and many of my fellow students are in agreement that for art to flourish “the little guys” have to be given some air to breathe.

Curators should be able to work completely hand-in-hand with artists. This is THEIR world. Artists are not supposed to be scared of consulting or collaborating with artist and vice versa.

What is the future of professional curating from your point of view?

Art history as we know it began in the 19th century. The University Of Iceland began offering art history courses less than a decade ago. In just that time a lot has happened. Curators have gotten more attention in Iceland. I believe things will only get better. In times of lessened funds towards the strengthening of artistic practice, I think interest in art and art history will thrive. As long as people keep working hard for what they believe in and others keep showing their support. Lengi lifi listfræðin! (e. long live art history).

From S/H/91-93. #1. “Triptych” by Valdemar Árni Guðmundsson #2. “Femme Individuelle” by Dýrfinna Benita Garðarsdóttir #3. “Lord Donald is a Pale Horse” by Eysteinn Þórðarson #4. “Undir smásjá” by Sólveig Eir Steward

Photographs by Fritz Hendrik Berndsen IV

Alexander Jean Edvard le Sage de Fontenay (1991) is an art history student at University of Iceland. Despite young age, Alexander is already taking his first steps as a curator. He is a member of Artíma gallerí, a curator run gallery in Reykajvik, managed by students of The University of Iceland. Alexander has been involved in two exhibition in the gallery so far, but Konsthopp first met him at the “S/H/91-93” where he curated ten black & white works by equally many artists. He will next be curating an exhibition at the gallery in April. We are already looking forward to keep an eye on this fireball in the future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Curator, Curator Talk, Digital Art, Drawings, Group exhibit, Installation, Konsthopp, Multimedia, Uncategorized, Video Art, Young Art

MASTERS @ WORK

Net stroll: 18th of March 2012, Guerra de la Paz (Cuba)

Originally sourcing their materials from waste bins of second-hand goods in Miami, Guerra de la Paz is now widely known for their special sculptures — made from discarded items of daily life.

Cuban born American artists, Alain Guerra (1968) and Neraldo de la Paz (1955) are the collaborate duo behind the work and the team. Often using old clothing to build their sculptures — the message expressed with their recycled art is about the discard nature of our mass-produced lifestyles.

Photographs taken from The Coolist

Guerra de la Paz works mainly in sculpture, installation and photography. Their work references the politics of modern conflict and consumerism alongside symbols of faith. They live and work in Miami and have been consistently producing collaboratively since 1996.

If you are wondering about the composite name, Guerra de la Paz (e. war of peace) it simply is a representation of the artists’s Cuban last names — even though it still might have a deeper meaning. And speaking about Cuba. Although it has been a while since I was in Havana, Che Guavara’s words are still as classic as they were back then. Fellows, closer and further;

¡ Hasta la victoria, siempre !

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Art stroll, Political Art, recycled art, Sculptures