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Author Topic: Contemporary artists!  (Read 16154 times)

Cartilage Head

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Contemporary artists!
« on: 09 Apr 2008, 20:41 »

 Nobody reads the arts and crafts thread, and the point of this thread is more about the discussion of art and artists than actually making the art, so..

 Who is your favorite/ current favorite working artist of today?

 Recently I found out about a supercool artist named Krzysztof Wodiczko. He stages a kind of performance art at monuments all over the world, from Japan to Mexcico. It usually consists of projecting an image of a person's face, hands, or entire body onto the monument while they discuss painful experiences in relation to the monument, making it a very original type of protest piece.


Tijuana Projection


 Projected off of the Tijuana Cultural Center. Victims of gang violence and rape courageously spoke up about their pain and experinces, their faces revealed and contorted.

Hiroshima Projection


 Projected on the bank of a river (some body of water.. not sure..) just outside the Hiroshima Peace Memorial or Atomic Bomb Dome, the closest surviving structure to the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion. Hands of survivors and loved-ones of the dead are shown above the water as they speak about their experiences.

The first part of this video shows the projection in action.

Homeless Vehicle Project


Wodiczko talked with homeless people in New York and came up with an awesome idea, a cart that can hold belongings and bottles, and also provides a small shelter.
 




« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2008, 19:05 by Cartilage Head »
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Tom

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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #1 on: 10 Apr 2008, 01:33 »

Yeah, that last thing is a cool idea but totally impractical. It would cost money to manufacture and then buy the 'vehicle'.

Money
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #2 on: 10 Apr 2008, 06:27 »

I don't really know if you mean modern or contemporary, but Kiki Smith is a contemporary post-modern artist I've been enjoying a lot recently.





These are two wall installations I saw of hers in New York, but I like the prints I've seen of hers as well.
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #3 on: 10 Apr 2008, 08:06 »

I really dig Spencer Finch's current exhibition at Mass MoCA...so I guess him.
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jhocking

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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #4 on: 10 Apr 2008, 08:18 »

I don't really know if you mean modern or contemporary

Yeah, he clearly means contemporary art. Not many people realize the distinction, but "modern" really applies to art from the turn of the century to like the 60s, whereas the term for artists actually creating work today is "contemporary."

I don't know that I really have a favorite, since my tastes really vary from piece to piece. I really like much of the work by, say, Cory Arcangel, but I don't know that I'd describe him as my favorite artist.

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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #5 on: 10 Apr 2008, 08:29 »

I love how the quality of a lot of modern art is how well you can bullshit the explanation behind it. I could nail a 2x4 to a shoe and come up with some crap about existentialism and the working class, and have it be considered high art.
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #6 on: 10 Apr 2008, 10:18 »

Yeah, he clearly means contemporary art.

That's what I thought. Especially because I didn't outright hate the images he posted as soon as I saw them. ;)
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #7 on: 10 Apr 2008, 10:53 »

Yeah, that last thing is a cool idea but totally impractical. It would cost money to manufacture and then buy the 'vehicle'.

Money

You're missing the point. With those vehicles for homeless living Wodiczko raised issues about how a life has been created within cities which requires a great deal of equipment and planning to live optimally, something the people who fall into it don't have. It also raises ideas about the practicality of art, and removes it from the situation of merely creating things which can be (and in my opinion often are) reduced to mere decoration to a position of creating objects designed for use, not admiration behind a glass case. It also brings up questions about the way homelessness is approached, as something to be fixed and the people in that situation should be brought into mainstream society. Is this correct? Wodiczko's work doesn't answer that question but it is something that should be considered, perhaps what's needed is help for people to live any life the best they can and not attempt to make them fit into a mould of what a good life should be.

Quote
I love how the quality of a lot of modern art is how well you can bullshit the explanation behind it. I could nail a 2x4 to a shoe and come up with some crap about existentialism and the working class, and have it be considered high art.

Go on then, do it. The reality is that you can't, there's no way you could come up with a good piece of conceptual art. You may not understand, and that's fine, but that claim is just as ridiculous as people that say hip-hop requires no talent since MCs just talk or rock and roll is just simplistic noise that anyone can do. Funnily enough none of these people are ever multi-platinum artists, which always suggests to me that they're utterly wrong.
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jhocking

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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #8 on: 10 Apr 2008, 11:12 »

Oh I wouldn't say that he's utterly wrong, but he's certainly overly simplistic and being dismissive based on ignorance. On the one hand, there certainly is a culture of celebrity artists where the actual merits of the work are far overridden by the fame of the artist. It's an emperor's-new-clothes kinda situation; once somebody really important has paid an insane amount for a given person's work, that artist is now anointed as a superstar and nobody questions the situation. I'm not saying that someone like, say, Damien Hirst is a bad artist (I rather like his work,) but I would dispute whether his work is really worth $100 million a pop.

That all said, it's quite unfair and uninformed to dismiss the entire art-world based on narrow views of it's extremes. It would be like dismissing the entire tech industry on the basis of Steve Ballmer. In this specific case, the sort of work he refers to was mostly done by a handful of artists in the Dada and Fluxus movements (these were the people who did things like put a urinal in a museum.) First off, they weren't so much making art as they were attempting to set off a revolution in the perception of art by doing ridiculous things. Second, as influential as they were, don't you think it is a tad biased to judge an entire sector of modern culture based on a couple small fringe groups, the only surviving member of which is Yoko Ono?

Ultimately, much of mainstream dismissal of art comes from envy. Basically, people wish they were rich and famous, and snipe at people they are envious of. This is just human nature, and it's like in any other area of life. Personally, I'm secure enough that I prefer to focus on improving myself, rather than being envious and attempting to make myself feel better by lowering those I am envious of.


(durr I mixed up the artist's name until I saw Jimmy's post.)
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2008, 23:51 by jhocking »
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ruyi

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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #9 on: 10 Apr 2008, 12:10 »



I saw this at SF MoMA! I thought it was so clever, it gave you like a God's-eye view of Eve when you looked at her body directly from the front.
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #10 on: 10 Apr 2008, 15:12 »

I love how the quality of a lot of modern art is how well you can bullshit the explanation behind it.

We don't buy bullshit, FYI. If you can't defend your art and defend it WELL, no one is going to waste their time with it. Especially so with conceptual art. Also saying that artists bullshit explanations is mildly insulting, because really, until you defend your own artwork, you have no idea how freaking hard it is.

Also, guys, as Joe said earlier, there is a difference between Modern, a particular movement, and contemporary, the current period of time. You can be a contemporary artist, but this does not mean you are a modernist.
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #11 on: 10 Apr 2008, 16:35 »

if you don't get a lot of contemporary art it's because you haven't learned to look at art and you are probably used to having everything handed to you.

most contemporary artists are working with obscurity and try to get the viewer to use his or her own brain to make interpretations. in fact, for many contemporary artists the true art is the experience the viewer has with the work.

i'm just sayin'.

also, i kind of like sofia hulten:

http://www.sofiahulten.de/daten/worksindex.html
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #12 on: 10 Apr 2008, 20:52 »

hey guys let's fight about art. that would be great.
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #13 on: 10 Apr 2008, 21:04 »

if you don't get a lot of contemporary art it's because you haven't learned to look at art and you are probably used to having everything handed to you.



Wow.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #14 on: 10 Apr 2008, 21:18 »

Uhm, what?
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Jimmy the Squid

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #15 on: 10 Apr 2008, 22:21 »

I don't know if he is still active, in fact it's possible that he is in fact dead, but I really like the work of James Gleeson.

BEHOLD!!



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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #16 on: 10 Apr 2008, 22:40 »

You guys know who's pretty badass?
Horst Janssen.  He died in 1995, but in the grand scheme of art history, I'd consider him a recent artist. 



Demented alcoholic Germans do pretty cool art.  Etching is also probably the most awesome art form (slight bias). 
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #17 on: 10 Apr 2008, 22:43 »

I also really like Damien Hirst's work



This one is a little big so I'll just link it.

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #18 on: 10 Apr 2008, 23:25 »

Etching is also probably the most awesome art form (slight bias). 



Oh for serious. Do you etch? Or printmake, anyways?
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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #19 on: 11 Apr 2008, 02:53 »

Oh I wouldn't say that he's utterly wrong, but he's certainly overly simplistic and being dismissive based on ignorance. On the one hand, there certainly is a culture of celebrity artists where the actual merits of the work are far overridden by the fame of the artist. It's an emperor's-new-clothes kinda situation; once somebody really important has paid an insane amount for a given person's work, that artist is now anointed as a superstar and nobody questions the situation. I'm not saying that someone like, say, Damien Hirst is a bad artist (I rather like his work,) but I would dispute whether his work is really worth $100 million a pop.

That all said, it's quite unfair and uninformed to dismiss the entire art-world based on narrow views of it's extremes. It would be like dismissing the entire tech industry on the basis of Steve Ballmer. In this specific case, the sort of work he refers to was mostly done by a handful of artists in the Dada and Fluxus movements (these were the people who did things like put a urinal in a museum.) First off, they weren't so much making art as they were attempting to set off a revolution in the perception of art by doing ridiculous things. Second, as influential as they were, don't you think it is a tad biased to judge an entire sector of modern culture based on a couple small fringe groups, the only surviving member of which is Yoko Ono?

Ultimately, much of mainstream dismissal of art comes from envy. Basically, people wish they were rich and famous, and snipe at people they are envious of. This is just human nature, and it's like in any other area of life. Personally, I'm secure enough that I prefer to focus on improving myself, rather than being envious and attempting to make myself feel better by lowering those I am envious of.

I agree about the culture of celebrity artists, I don't much care for it myself. Particularly since I haven't seen Hirst do anything I found interesting in years, although I did really like pieces like the shark and the pharmacy. Good work on death. The thing I was objecting to was the idea that conceptual art doesn't require any effort when it's actually very tough work as Linds pointed out. Hirst spent years working on ideas about death before he got to the stage where he was producing the work that made him famous, he used to go and draw cadavers frequently when he was in art college. Same thing with Dada and Fluxus, there was a massive amount of work behind a piece like Fountain even if Duchamp didn't sculpt it himself. I suppose I'm just a bit touchy on the subject since art is the family business for me, even if I didn't go into it myself most of the hardest working people I know are artists.

Even though he died in 2001 I guess Juan Muoz is recent enough. The retrospective running at Tate Modern at the moment is incredible, it's hard to get a handle on his sculpture just through photographs though since so much is how they're positioned in the gallery and how they force you to position yourself in an interaction with them.



And although I'm obviously biased I like my sister's work a lot, this a group piece called Siege and Counter Siege her old collective Something Haptic did in Hoorn, Netherlands:





www.ruthbarker.com
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #20 on: 11 Apr 2008, 06:10 »

I have to admit, those works of art by James Gleeson are the best artistic things Ive seen in a while.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #21 on: 11 Apr 2008, 06:31 »

Etching is also probably the most awesome art form (slight bias). 
Oh for serious. Do you etch? Or printmake, anyways?

Printing is the best! I need to find my notes from when I visited the print dept. at the art museum, because there was this MASSIVE multi-plate etching that was phenomenal. (Well, it was massive for an etching, as large etchings are kind of rare.)
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #22 on: 11 Apr 2008, 10:32 »

Printmaking is my emphasis at college.

The metal you make plates with is really expensive, so it is easy to see why not many printmakers work large.  I've always preferred working small, so I enjoy it as a medium.  Also it involves asphalt, hot copper, and acid that can eat through metal, and art is better when it holds potential for injury. 

It is cool that there are other printmakers here, because I can show this and have people who understand how completely insane this guy's attention to detail is.

Sirens-Art Werger


That is a multiplate etching, which is mind-blowing.  I like his black and white stuff a lot better, but the control he has over color is just fucking incredible.   
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #23 on: 11 Apr 2008, 13:23 »

Well, size limitations also have to do with the size of the press you're working on, as presses only get so big and you have to have a press for etching. So yeah, etchings and lithographs on a large scale are rare due to both cost of supplies as well as the press you're working with. (Printing is my emphasis as well.)

And yes, that is insane for a color etching. I thought it was a watercolor or some form of painting at first.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #24 on: 11 Apr 2008, 19:32 »

I almost passed by this without reading it, thinking "oh, that's a nice watercolour...".  That is insane.  I spent two semesters doing printmaking (I paint now) and to think I complained about having to do two colour or four colour with four different techniques in one piece.  Stuff like this baffles me because I don't have the patience for it.

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #25 on: 12 Apr 2008, 00:46 »

Gottfried Helnwein





http://www.helnwein.com/
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #26 on: 12 Apr 2008, 00:52 »

Second to the left of the bottom picture - arseface?
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KharBevNor

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Re: Modern artists!
« Reply #27 on: 16 Apr 2008, 10:22 »

there was a massive amount of work behind a piece like Fountain even if Duchamp didn't sculpt it himself.

The story behind Fountain is rather interesting. Duchamp was, at the time, a board member of a group called the Society For Independent Artists, who put on an exhibition which they claimed would display any submission. Duchamp made Fountain specifically to test their commitment: that is why it is signed 'R. Mutt', he was hiding his involvement. When the Society decided that Fountain wasn't art and refused to show it, he resigned from the board because they did not have sufficient commitment to their own lofty claims. I'm reasonably sure that the original Fountain wasn't even ever exhibited at all: it doesn't exist now, as it was thrown away by accident. There are six authorised reproductions, however, in various art museums. At least two of them have been urinated in by Situationalists.

It's also possibly the most influential piece of the 20th century; I believe it has been voted as such.

As an artist, I find the general attitude of a lot of people towards fine art (that it is talentless bullshit) highly annoying and insulting. Art is extremely hard work, requiring skill, imagination and intellectual rigour. You say 'anyone could have thought of that', 'my kid could have painted that'. But you didn't. Also, here I'm going to post as an example of this a recent article that really pissed me the fuck off.

http://www.cracked.com/article_16107_6-best-shenanigans-passed-off-as-art.html

Fucking enfuriating. I really don't see how Piss Christ is so hard to understand. I suspect most people can't get over the HURR HURR reaction or whatever. It's not just a crucifix in piss. Not at all. And the cloaca machines? Fucking philistines.

Appropriation art is a bit of a con though. Wish I'd thought of it.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #28 on: 16 Apr 2008, 12:01 »

I've never really looked towards Cracked for art criticism.
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Johnny C

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #29 on: 16 Apr 2008, 13:53 »

Since I guess I now have seven posts to use up I will use one of them to talk to you fine people about Do-Ho Suh.





Seoul Home and Staircase, above, are part of a series of works where he painstakingly recreates his own living spaces in silk.





This is Paratrooper. Suh has this to say about it:

Quote
If there's no parachute, then the soldier dies. He has to use it. But when he finally lands, he has to fight in a completely unknown territory. That's something I felt when I went to the United States. It's a parachute that is directly tied into your life.

The strings tie into this:



Three thousand signatures.





Cause & Effect, made from thousands of interlocking plastic figurines.





Karma.



Floor.


It goes on and on. Easily my favourite contemporary artist.

EDIT: I think that Cracked article is just taking the piss (Christ). I doubt this:

Quote
It looks more like Christ captured in amber

was an accident.
« Last Edit: 16 Apr 2008, 14:05 by Johnny C »
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KickThatBathProf

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #30 on: 16 Apr 2008, 14:07 »

Perhaps this requires a different thread entirely, but a contemporary artist named Guillermo Vargas recently debuted "Eres lo que lees" in Honduras

Here is an article about it.

Some pictures

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/6748/perromuereengaleradeartyh3.jpg
http://n4abc10.abc.es/Hemeroteca/imagenes/abc/06102007/Cultura/NAC_CUL_web_1.jpg
http://www.ojosdepapel.com/blogs%5Cimages/144/GuillermoVargas1.jpg
http://muyanimal.com/uploads/perrosacrificado2.jpg

What does the internet think about this?


« Last Edit: 16 Apr 2008, 14:18 by KickThatBathProf »
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #31 on: 16 Apr 2008, 14:29 »

Johnny, that is one reason you should post more.

Vargas displays a very serious problem with modern society, but his method was pretty horrible.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #32 on: 16 Apr 2008, 14:37 »

His method's impossible to confirm. Nobody's sure how he treated that dog and almost every account I've read of the incident has contradicted others in at least some aspect. The only thing we can be sure of is that Vargas used a stray dog in an art exhibit to highlight some very serious political issues. Even if his actions were as bad as the worst reports it's nowhere near as bad as what's gone into the average egg sold in a supermarket, so I can't really see why there's been such an uproar. It seems to be largely based on the hypocrisy that dogs are cute and fluffy so should be given more care than other animals.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #33 on: 16 Apr 2008, 15:00 »

In actuality, I agree with you.  Most of the complaints I have seen are based on grossly exaggerated facts.  The common argument that "the dog was tied up and left to starve for several days" is untrue in several different ways.  The art director herself stated in an interview: "It was untied all the time except for the three hours the exhibition lasted and it was fed regularly with dog food Habacuc himself brought in."
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #34 on: 16 Apr 2008, 15:34 »

 I like Do-Ho Suh's piece "Who Am We?" made of a bunch of yearbook photos that essentially create just a pattern.

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #35 on: 16 Apr 2008, 15:48 »

That is fair enough then!
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #36 on: 16 Apr 2008, 20:54 »

Can a regular painting be considered contemporary?
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #37 on: 16 Apr 2008, 22:24 »

Oh my gosh guys, the Gallery Shooting Gallery is awesome.

http://www.eiu.org/experiments/gsg/

Now if only I could find where contols are to the thing so that I can shoot semi-suspecting art patrons.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #38 on: 16 Apr 2008, 22:27 »

Can a regular painting be considered contemporary?



Anything made within the last 100 years is considered contemporary.
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Darkbluerabbit

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #39 on: 16 Apr 2008, 22:39 »

Here is an article about it.

If that article is to be believed, then I disapprove, thoroughly.  If he did in fact leave a dog tied up without food or water until it died, I don't care what point he was making, it's fucking disgusting. 

From my perspective, the only way I could honestly approve of his methods would be if he had captured the dog, fed it well, "exhibited" it for the three hours, and then adopted it as his own after using it to prove a point.  Either way, he's using a living creature to make a statement, but giving the dog a better life off of the streets would be a good "payment" to the dog for being chained up in a fucking gallery.  I doubt the dog is too feral to be taken in, since it let people mill around it like that. 

I generally don't like it when artists use animals, dead or alive, as a medium.  I don't care if it's puppies and kittens or rats and jellyfish, it makes me uncomfortable.  I guess that's probably the point, but I can't like it or be glad that that kind of art exists. 

I have taken pictures of dead fish on the beach, so maybe I'm a hypocrite.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #40 on: 17 Apr 2008, 03:55 »

There's a guy on my course who did some paintings with pureed maggots and meat. They looked amazing, but the smell was unbelievable.
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godinpants

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #41 on: 17 Apr 2008, 05:02 »

I like a lot of the stuff the graffiti research lab are doing.
http://graffitiresearchlab.com

Stuff like the throwies are pretty excellent.
Laser tag and electro-graf are probably my favourites though.
http://graffitiresearchlab.com/?page_id=76#video

jhocking

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #42 on: 17 Apr 2008, 06:19 »

oo cool post johnny, I like those sculptures, I'll have to try to see a show in person.

Can a regular painting be considered contemporary?

Anything made within the last 100 years is considered contemporary.

Well more like 40 but yeah, painting is very much an important part of the art world.


From my perspective, the only way I could honestly approve of his methods would be if he had captured the dog, fed it well, "exhibited" it for the three hours, and then adopted it as his own after using it to prove a point.  Either way, he's using a living creature to make a statement, but giving the dog a better life off of the streets would be a good "payment" to the dog for being chained up in a fucking gallery.

Have you heard of the GFP Bunny by Eduardo Kac? What do you think of the ethics of that piece?
« Last Edit: 17 Apr 2008, 08:40 by jhocking »
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jhocking

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #43 on: 17 Apr 2008, 06:25 »

double post

Lines

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #44 on: 17 Apr 2008, 06:50 »

Here is an article about it.
...I generally don't like it when artists use animals, dead or alive, as a medium.  I don't care if it's puppies and kittens or rats and jellyfish, it makes me uncomfortable.  I guess that's probably the point, but I can't like it or be glad that that kind of art exists.  ...

I agree. I don't mind using them as a subject, which I do quite a bit, but I would never put a live or dead animal in a gallery. (The latter is mostly because taxidermy creeps me out and is also really gross.)
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Jposh

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #45 on: 17 Apr 2008, 08:33 »

Well, since paintings count, I really happen to like the artist Alex Pardee.

(Though a Google image search didn't turn up anything of his that's absolutely spectacular)
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Emaline

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #46 on: 17 Apr 2008, 10:09 »



Anything made within the last 100 years is considered contemporary.

Well more like 40 but yeah, painting is very much an important part of the art world.




If we are going to be pedants about it, it is actually anything made with in the last 63 years. Anything after WWII is considered contemporary art. It's literature that is contemporary if it was made in the last 100 years/After the 20th century.
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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #47 on: 17 Apr 2008, 10:53 »

If you're getting picky, yes, it's post-WWII OR it's art that is being made presently. I have a feeling this will change in years to come to favor the latter, as WWII was a while ago.
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Noct

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #48 on: 17 Apr 2008, 11:05 »

I just came across this article today via Warren Ellis and... man I don't even know what to say about this.

http://yaledailynews.com/storymin.html

Just throwing it in the mix here.  The concept still has me at a loss for words.
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jhocking

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Re: Contemporary artists!
« Reply #49 on: 17 Apr 2008, 11:17 »

Quote
Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for "shock value."

yeah right
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