Category - Art

Revived renaissance – James Kerr GIF art

Visiting an art museum can be exhausting. You walk through galleries to see the grates of past times and admire, but… would it be even better if all those characters hang on the walls could move and speak… and what story would they tell? Probably disappointed by a museum visits, James Kerr let his imagination run free and found a way to give these characters a voice. When he started posting digital collages on Tumblr in 2012 under pseudonym Scorpion Dagger, he wasn’t aware that this hobby would bring him fame.

The GIFs he makes are inspired by Italian and Northern European Renaissance art. The characters of these paintings are put into different context, usually resembling everyday life of 70s and 80s. One of his favourite characters is Maarten Nieuwenhove portrayed by Hans Memling, but also Adam and Eve, Jesus Christ, Mary, apostles and others.

He makes biblical narrative prosaic and appears to be cynical about the whole thing. It also seems that his GIFs are a humorous critique of today’s consumer society.

James Kerr did some animations for Jim Jarmusch’s recent film, Gimme Danger about punk group Iggy Pop and The Stoogies. The director was missing some biographical scenes for the movie Kerr’s so digital animation compensated.

Kerr puts effort in to promoting his art and encouraging young artists. He published a book of collages which become GIF with use of AR application. Also he is a curator of online galleries of digital art. Some of this work could be seen in asa nisi masa  online galleries’ virtual exhibition STOP AND GO.

We may assume that Scorpion Dagger is exploring the boundaries between high art and digital collages, questioning the use of GIF as art by mixing it with high art. He certainly is a part of modern visual culture, but…will it ever be considered high art?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi brings priceless art to the Middle East

The Louvre in Paris is a world-renowned institution – but not everyone has access to it. Although the internet has given people access to thousands of works of art, Abu Dhabi has set up a collaboration with the Louvre, aptly entitled the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The exhibition will open in November.

06louvre-brief-master768Some works of art will be in Abu Dhabi for a short amount of time, while some will be on display for longer. The Louvre, along with other French institutions like the Centre Pompidou, Bibliothèque Nationale and Musée du Quai Branly will loan works of art.

louvre-abu-dhabi.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x649“This is not a museum that will stay the same for 10 years and it’s not a museum that will change completely like an exhibition – it’s somewhere in between and I think that is interesting,” Agence France-Muséum’s scientific director, Jean-François Charnier, said to The National.

Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière, Claude Monet’s La gare Saint-Lazare, and Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps are among the paintings on loan. La_belle_ferronnière,Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Louvre


Jacques-Louis_David_-_Napoleon_Crossing_the_Alps_-_Schloss_CharlottenburgDealing with these works of art will be no simple task – especially paintings by da Vinci, which are part of a five painting collection in the Louvre. Although moving these paintings while maintaining their museum condition will be difficult, Charnier said the priceless paintings will be one of the things that defines the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

“We are not working on totally permanent galleries, they are semi-permanent galleries where the changes will be important year-on-year [and] this mobility, this flexibility, this volatility is a key element of the identity of Louvre Abu Dhabi,” Charnier said.

The revival: ceramics and porcelain as the new black.

When we think about modern art – we often think of new stuff: technologies, materials, media-driven themes and hot social topics. It seems almost impossible tocompare archaic and artisan materials like ceramics and porcelain. However, the following three artists have been proving that clay is still a powerful and imaginative tool in the world of contemporary art, when it’s placed in a skillful hands. To see the depth of these materials, we have to examine each author’s approach to the possibilities and reinvention of these long-forgotten components of the creative practices.large From the first sight it might seem that British artist Rachel Kneebone is heavily influenced by the Rococo aesthetic; but on a closer look, it rather resembles some kind of surrealist human-structure made of amorphous body parts. The philosophical embodiment of the life, love and death inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Kneebone reflects on the most essential parts of human existence.

12007418af2fd24eea4697372bdece9bHer sculptures, while resembling bizarre frosted anthropomorphic cakes, reach to the complex and vast topics, the impact of which could be seen on the pedestals of her works – they have cracks and seem to be “damaged” by the weight of the existential struggles depicted above. The porcelain in Kneebone’s work transforms the work to a referential tool which triggers associations with the Ancient Greek sculptures and those of the Rodin, at the same time offering a new, surrealistic tones to the world-old subjects.

wje2016-001_after_awhile_you_could_get_used_to_anything_v1_plh.600x450Stretching the possibilities of the media, Jesse Wine explores the mixture of humor, everyday objects and self-portraits all done in clay. Breathing new life into the ceramics, the artist tries to eliminate the “planned process” of creating a clay based object, when you aim at the particular shape; instead Wine gives a green light for the experiments, the unexpected behavior of the material itself.

DSC0904-copy-1500x960It unlocks the full potential of the medium and brings an unconventional results. Ceramics done by Jesse Wine certainly looks very up to date, usually have a narrative installed, and certainly proves to be a good choice of material for the contemporary artists.

KK1103Another fascinating artist working with ceramics does not aim at completely breaking the conventional perception of this material. Klara Kristalova primarily focuses on the making of the small statuettes of boys and girls, that seem to fit in the tradition of 18th century Meissen porcelain figurines. However, the artist also bring in the folk motives of merging with flora and fauna, and as a result the viewers observe quite interesting blend of mystical and decorative motives.


sera1 Slightly cartoonish, the sculptures give away dream-like vibe, hinting at the existence of their own unique worlds and universe, especially when displayed in a “Cabinet of Curiosities”, small wooden boxes. This creates a notion that these are artificial creatures, but also give a strong impression of some kind of magic working, with the possibility of revival or at least some hidden secrets. The perfect blend of whimsical and vintage with the modern illustrative pinch makes Kristalova’s oeuvre yet another example of the ceramic’s relevance in the modern art world.