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Apologies for the radio silence.

My life has been crazy these past few months. Apart from work, and kids and housework I’m trying to finish an MA in History of Art, but I’m almost there. But the good thing is that I found time to go to a few amazing exhibitions that I wanted to recommend.

When I saw that the Tate was putting on a Marlene Dumas exhibition I wanted to see what it was all about. I was a little bit skeptical about it all but seeing her big paintings there in front of me was not the same thing. The subjects of the paintings are crude, real, most of them depict sex, death, fear, shame. A lot of them refer to modern and current affairs in the news around the world. These rejected individuals, her muses, are mainly vulnerable people who have experienced a hard time in their life – women, children, gay men, African people killed by ethnographers and slavery.

‘Secondhand images’, she has said, ‘can generate first-hand emotions.’ Dumas never paints directly from life. Her subjects are drawn from both public and personal references and include her daughter and herself, as well as recognisable faces such as Amy Winehouse, Naomi Campbell, Princess Diana, and even Osama bin Laden.

Those eyes really haunt you. I left the exhibition with a very strong stomachache, but glad to feel something memorable after seeing her work. At the end of the day, life is not a fairytale, it’s difficult and hard work and life is unjust. That’s how it is. I think Dumas portrays a real vision of our modern world. Pessimistic maybe, but very real.

Her writings and ideas on the wall play an important part in the exhibition – every paragraph of her ideas is key, and show her as a tenacious thinker.

These paintings in particular captured my attention. Dead Girl. There she is, her head lying on the floor, the blood running, it is very graphic, very crude. Another one is 22 gay men, in black and white. Another one is the painting of the man who murdered the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh, shooting him repeatedly before slashing his throat. Why is he there as a painting? Or Osama Bin Laden?

The exhibition runs until May 10th at the Tate Modern, don’t miss the opportunity to see it.

NOTE: This exhibition includes some works with explicit content.

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Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich is back again with his visual paradox installation.

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Seoul, Korea (MMCA) has a harbour where colourful rowboats appear to be floating.

But at a closer glance, Port of Reflections, Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich turns out to be an optical illusion. The work reveals its secrets from above: the boats are actually suspended in midair, and the moving liquid that they appear to be floating in is the space below, a room with walls covered in black carpet.

Erlich wanted to create “a bizarre experience where the real and the unreal, or the real and the illusory, are exquisitely blended in surreal yet ambient surroundings,” as explained in the museum’s presentation text.
Port of Reflections has a similar taste of some of his past exhibitions including mirrored buildings that viewers can virtually climb, fake swimming pools that show people walking below the water’s surface, and a lone facade in the sky.

It will be on display at the Seoul Box at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Seoul, Korea, through September 15, 2015.

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Via The Creator Project

Photos: Leandro Erlich, Port of Reflections (2014), MMCA, Seoul, Korea. © Courtesy MMCA

Numen/For Use is a collective working in the fields of conceptual art, scenography, industrial and spatial design.

The group’s early enterprises are characterized by experiments with impersonal design and radical formal reduction, deeply rooted in the tradition of high modernism and mainly applied to various synergetic total-design projects in Croatia. From 2004. onwards, after setting up a large scale site-specific project for the production of “Inferno” in the National Centre for Drama in Madrid, Numen/ For Use become intensely involved with scenography. Further realisations in theatres across Europe ensue. Since 2008. the collective turns its focus towards configuring objects and concepts without a predefined function, an activity resulting in the more hybrid and experimental works such as the N-Light series and Tape Installation.

This project one of the N-light series and it is amazing! Three out of six surfaces of the cube are made of flexible membrane (foil mirror) with air tank and a compressor connected to it and the other three mirrors are semi transparent spy-glass. By inflating or deflating the air tank, the membrane turns convex or concave, deforming the reflections. Watch the video!

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Vienna Design Week 2009

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This British Folk Art exhibition at the Tate Britain is a must see this summer. I love crafts, I do crafts myself. Its nice to see how these amazing artists work with different and unusual materials, like straw, to create beautiful pieces. It brings to mind the simplicity of doing art in domestic life, an indoor world, telling stories about rural work, life and customs.

The biggest finding was the work of Mary Linwood, a needlework artist, who made portraits with needle and colour thread in 1825. The portrait of Napoleon is one of the examples… amazing isn’t it?
Another beauty to see is James Williams, Patchwork bedcover, 1818 – 1895. Made of 5300 pieces it took him 10 years to make. That is real Patience.
Crafts are very important in Britain, and it seems that they always have been. Co-curated by the artist Jeff McMillan, this exhibition brings out the nostalgia of tradition and domestic life.

photos: Tate Britain website, Ana Escobar

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James Williams, Patchwork bedcover

James Williams, Patchwork bedcover

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I’m fascinated by these paintings by Eli Gabriel Halpern. I have a secret love for masks, I have a collection which my husband hates and won’t let me display on the wall, so at the moment they live in boxes. These strange creatures that Eli paints have all their faces covered, or maybe they are creatures from the woods? I don’t know, but it makes my imagination spin immensely. I want to know more about these characters and their lives, why they are gardening? Definitely a world worthy of further exploration guided by the hand of Eli Gabriel Halpern.

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The Gardeners

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Via Booooomm

Paul Lemmon invites you to a tour into London’s night life. He works from his own photography, acquired whilst soaking up the culture and colour of city life, an indispensable part of his painting process. The way he takes pictures is essential to achieving cinematic dynamism – shooting ‘from the hip’, utilising odd angles, severe cropping and incorrect exposures. His artwork is colourful, dynamic, seductive and invites the viewer to imagine the scene and desire to know what happens next. A noticeably voyeuristic tone, perhaps connecting with the contemporary obsession with the hidden camera and fly-on-the-wall observation, is a strong point in his striking paintings.

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What I love about Scottish artist Mackie‘s artwork is the combination of humour and irony with an incredibly fine, well painted, almost perfect technique.
His new works called “Abandoned Dollhouses” are colourful images and, if you look at them closely, you see mega images of well known pieces of art as part of the “doll house”.
Some of these houses look on the outside like they came out of a Hitchcock movie but are amazingly playful on the inside.
Always amusing the viewer, he achieves perfectly the engagement with the spectator, surprising us almost every time.

In his statement he says:

“As the story goes, Paul McCartney woke up with the song “Yesterday” buzzing about his head. He seemed to have written it entirely during his sleep. On the presumption that he had heard it before he sang it to the rest of the band, who informed him it wasn’t an old song. It was a bloody good new one.

I had a similar experience in that my subconscious helped me with my idea.

Having worked on this idea for five months, it still appeared to be going nowhere. I was stuck on using chiaroscuro toys and iconic horror buildings, like the hotel from “The Shining”, but I couldn’t finalise the idea. Realising that I had become too enamoured by their presence I scrapped the concept. A few days later I woke up, suddenly clear that rather than abandoning the concept, I should in fact abandon the toys and and the horror film locations, leaving an unusually empty, anonymous architecture. A great place to begin.”

Next Exhibitions

Lynn Painter Stainers
Mall Galleries, SW1, London
17- 22 March

Caiger Art
Spring Showcase 2014
The Gallery on the Corner, 155 Battersea Park Rd, SW8 4BU
25-31 March 2014

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Pub 1_A pub called courage_52x42cm_mackie_£2400

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I remember the first time I saw his paintings, I think it was 3 years ago. I fell in love with his art immediately, fascinated by the use of lights and contrast. Alex Rennie can paint the essence of a night out very well and London has a different taste though his eyes. He will be exhibiting at Wimbledon Art Studios from November 21st to the 24th.

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