Distant Matter by Anouk van Dijk premiered at the Komische Oper Berlin is a piece that raises several interrogatives. It opens up with a catwalk resembling a fashion show. Seven performers with futuristic/queer features cross the stage front and back, one by one, showing attitude and self confidence. The outfits are all in black although very eclectic. The most peculiar one is the lady with a black body and stretched shirt, black socks arriving over the knees and a motorbike helmet that reflects what surrounds her.
London’s Royal Academy of Arts has just opened a splendid new exhibition on ‘The Renaissance Nude’, charting depictions of the naked body in Europe from 1400-1530 in a range of different media media, from painting to sculpture, from engravings to illuminated manuscripts. Highlights include Titian’s Venus Anadyomene, from the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, and Bronzino’s St Sebastian, from the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.
The second part of the interview with Jean-Pierre Isbouts focuses on his study of Leonardo’s two Mona Lisas, the identity of the portraits’ sitters, and a da Vinci anniversary celebration announcement.
"I believe that the artist can create and talk about art only from his/her subjective position.To have a political responsibility that extends beyond the artistic territory is too much of a burden which could jeopardize the artist's creativity and freedom. In such a case, the art serves a function, becoming a manifesto. Art should not fulfill a function, it should be free. "
Jean-Pierre Isbouts - one of National Geographic’s best-selling authors- has been studying and following Leonardo da Vinci’s paper trail for 40 years. He’s written about the Italian’s career and legacy, the identity of the Mona Lisa, and the secrets behind his Last Supper. Some of Isbouts findings defy our most common conceptions of the da Vinci’s life and work.
'The philosophy is to use VR to address some of the main problems in physical displays like museums which are about costs, scalability and revenues. Also, the experience of art is getting worse. The philosophy is to make art universally accessible.'
'Virtual Reality is impacting the Arts in fascinating and divergent ways that can be explained by focusing on the three following areas: the way we experience art, the space in which it is displayed and its financial structure. VR is reshaping the social dimension of our art experience. Artists are always looking for ways to empower audiences to shape their experience within artworks. '
Cats are well known to mankind and are a favoured domesticated animal around the world. As well as black magic and dark forces, cats can also be used to symbolise comfort and homeliness thanks to their association with domestic scenes. The cat is clearly comfortable on the sitters lap, suggesting that this is a familiar relationship. It is a far cry from Manet’s earlier use of a seductive, mischievous black cat, hiding against a dark backdrop and staring out towards the viewer.
We tend to think of creativity as an almost divine quality, characteristic of some of history’s greatest minds, and those who venture into the art world. This mindset isn’t illogical. Creativity triggers innovation and allows men and women to craft something unique.
How did Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo turn into Frida, one of history’s most famous faces? What was her life like? And where did her magnetism come from? The Brooklyn Museum’s current exhibition Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving looks into these questions.
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