Art Theory, Artists, Featured Artist, Opinion

Art is everywhere

By Camila Durán

One of the reasons that contemporary art is difficult to define is because it engages in an open dialogue with everyday life situations. As Boris Groys has explained in his texts, contemporary art is alive because it flees from museums. When art join museums, a double process begins. On the one hand, it adheres to the tradition of art. It is part of everything we call “ART”. But on the other hand, a part of its life vanishes.

It is not uncommon to see that in movies and television series pieces of art appear in some scenes not only for decorative purposes but also with the possibility of expressing transcendental ideas about the art itself. The creators of the animated television series BoJack Horseman—which tells the life of a failed horse who rose to fame in the 1990—reinterpret works of art to make them dialogue with each other and also with the images that are part of the series.

Still of BoJack Horseman with paintings on the background based on Basquiat

Works by Keith Haring, Basquiat, Gustav Klimt, Franz Marc, Andy Warhol and even Diego Rivera can be recognized. However, among all of them there is one that especially catches my attention. In Horseman’s apartment the protagonist owns a version of David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures). The work – which in some recent periods has been classified as the most expensive work of art of the moment – shows an elegant man who stands at the edge of a swimming pool. Inside it, another man is submerged, approaching the one outside. The image can be interpreted as a way of projecting ideas such as the double identity of a human or the possibility that the same person belongs to two different environments; that is to say, that it has several personalities. In the context of the television series, in addition to the above, it says something about the protagonist: a man who achieved fame and media success now looks at his past to try to return to it. The question is: which of the two is he now: the one looking at the pool or the one submerged in the water?

Still of BoJack Horseman with paintings in the background based on Keith Haring.

That the most emblematic works of art in history are part of the universe of popular television series makes us think that art is alive not only because it can be referred to. Art is not a quote to show a person’s culture or knowledge. On the contrary: the quote is a reference to start a dialogue. The most vivid art is not that found in the museum, but that which can be seen in the most everyday situations. BoJack Horseman is a great example that art is everywhere.

BoJack Horseman as Andy Warhol's Colored Portrait

BoJack Horseman as Andy Warhol’s Colored Portrait

Featured Artist

5 works to meet Cai Guo-Qiang

By Sybaris Collection

Based in New York, the Chinese artist merges video with draw, sculpture, art-installation and fireworks. Yes, fireworks! For some art critics, Cai Guo-Qiang is not only one of China’s most prominent contemporary artists, but one of the leaders of art today for using materials in unexpected ways. His fireworks installations use gunpowder to create amazing visual effects without harming nature. Here we select 5 of his most important pieces of art.

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The Provocation Column

Meeting Keith Haring

By Regina de Con Cossío

B. Reading, Pennsylvania, 1950

Most expensive Artwork Sold: Untitled , 1982

Sold price: 6,537,500

As I am contemplating a painting by Keith Haring hanging on my wall, I remember what the artist once said: “Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination, and encourages people to go further.” The street artist who reached out to the world with his simple characters and illustrations, spread a strong and vital social message through his artwork. Looking at his work is like diving into a unique world. To illustrate that, let’s consider the pieces I have in front, on my wall. “The Game” and “Pop Art” are two works on paper and painted with pen markers. Both signed in 1985, they depict scenes full of Haring’s recognizable motifs like the little dancing figures, angels, barking dogs, radiant babies crawling, and angels. The naive impression one gets at first sight with his cartoons and illustrations vanishes easily when facing the vacuum, emptiness and social claims represented in his paintings.

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And What the F#$& is Contemporary Art?

By Camila Durán

It is not a new thing: When someone says contemporary art, two groups immediately open up: those who love it and those who hate it. Has it ever happened to you? One is in a museum and suddenly a family composed of a father, a mother and a daughter begins an argument that is going nowhere. The daughter is excited by what she sees in front of her; while parents seem to understand nothing. It is not that contemporary art is for young people, but at least it requires a position where the viewer has the desire to be seduced by a work of art. A feeling that, undoubtedly, comes from the spirit of youth.

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