Archive for:May, 2011

Art of the (Every Other) Day: Details of Javier Marin’s “Chalchihuites – Dos Gotas de Agua”

May 30th, 2011



       Javier Marin
       Chalchihuites – Dos Gotas de Agua, 2005 (?), Polyester resin and Iron
       Source: esteticofsenses.blogspot



       Javier Marin
       Chalchihuites – Dos Gotas de Agua (detail), 2005 (?), Polyester resin and Iron
       Source: esteticofsenses.blogspot



       Javier Marin
       Chalchihuites – Dos Gotas de Agua (detail), 2005 (?), Polyester resin and Iron
       Source: esteticofsenses.blogspot

      Here are details from Mexican sculptor Javier Marin’s “Chalchihuites – Dos Gotas de Agua” from a 2010 (I believe) exhibit in Brussels’ Musée d’Art Ancien. Many thanks to for these stunning and dramatic shots (be sure to click through to that site — in addition to more Marin shots, there’s plenty more great art photography to peruse).
      “Chalchihuites” consists of two huge iron rings, each full of resin busts, limbs, torsos and other body parts tied together by barbed wire, all fanning out from the center. The faces register horror, numbness, resignation, mute agony, absolute sorrow, many with barbed-wire spikes puncturing their cheeks, temples, nostrils. A casual Google search shows that Marin is a sculptor who isn’t afraid of massive scale and the kind of contorted, dramatic gestures associated with certain Hellenistic sculpture (say “Laocoön and His Sons”), works by Rodin, or El Greco’s paintings. In that regard, “Chalchihuites” fits right in with what I’ve seen of his work, taking that classical torture & agony & upping the intensity a notch or two. The polyester also adds a great deal to the power of the piece, especially close up: its meltedness suggests the decay of the flesh, and its ability to accept gouges, scratches and other lacerations readily conveys the longsuffering of the torture-wheel unfortunates.
      I can’t imagine seeing this live — the jpegs alone are so colossal, dense … loud. In fact, the piece’s scale, multitude & anachronistic style (though its anachronism is not a liability to this viewer, in fact I welcome it wholeheartedly in this & other of Marin’s works) overwhelm such that it takes us a bit to get to the real meat of the piece: who are these people? Are they delegates of the world’s oppressed, past present & future (especially those of the sculptor’s gang-crime- & poverty-ridden country)? Are they doing penance in some afterlife for unspeakable sins? Perhaps leftover scraps from the sculptors’ workshop strung up for display? Whatever the answer may be, as the title grimly indicates (“Dos Gotas de Agua” translates to “Two drops of water”), there’s plenty more where that came from.

Please check out more of Marin’s sculpture at

[posted by: C Way at 6:35 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| sculpture]

Art of the Day Double: Two Gold+Bronzes by Bourgeois & Benglis

May 28th, 2011



       Lynda Benglis
       Helios, 1999, Bronze with gold leaf



       Louise Bourgeois
       End of Softness, 1967, Bronze with gold patina, edition 6 of 6

      That’s a lot of Bs. Esp. in light of the last post. Anyway, once again I turn to, at least partly in this post, Bourgeois for inspiration. Anyone following this site knows I love her work — I think this marks the fourth or so time I’ve posted one of her works. At any rate the subject today is goldybronze. I stumbled across the Benglis piece first, and it made me think right away of Bourgeois (and this is no knock against Benglis, whose biomorphic metals voice is definitely her own). First the Benglis: I love the glammy guts of it. That finish is so sparkly cheap 80s to me, and that, combined with the sillystring squiggle of the texture, makes this feel less brain/tumor to me than squishy glitter fun pile with (though still with strong suggestions of excrement/viscera).
      The Bourgeois piece I think provides great contrast. It scrunches up like a hand becoming a fist, the material tortured and violently in-folded, dark pockets seeming like howling mouths or wounds. The light loves this piece, look at the hot, white sectors and darker squiggles, lending the piece more complexity. This is a contorted and difficult piece for me to look at for very long (part of the reason I love it so); perhaps the title is partly responsible for this, suggesting an abandoning of old methods, a confident striding toward new ones. The piece in light of the text feels even more restless, transitional, purgatoried, fluxing from fluidity & the pliable, writhing painfully around new bones.

Please check out more of Benglis’ work at

More on Bourgeois’ work at the Guggenheim NY site.

[posted by: C Way at 3:01 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| sculpture]

Art of the Day Double: Some Honeycombs (Art by Tokujin Yoshioka and Hilary Berseth)

May 26th, 2011



       Tokujin Yoshioka
       Two examples of the Honey-Pop Armchair(2000, honeycomb paper)
       2010 exhibit at Museum.BeyondMuseum in Seoul, Korea



       Hilary Berseth
       Programmed Hive #6, 2008, honeycomb on board with wood, urethane foam, wire, metal, paint
       Source for 2nd image: .kristin

     Yoshioka’s sumptuous Honey-Pop Armchair has received a lot of praise and coverage, and rightly so. It starts out as a slim compression of chair-shaped honeycomb paper (the same kind used by Japanese paper lanterns) that’s accordioned out to full chair dimensions and then sat upon. It then assumes permanently whatever contour it takes from the first person to use it. I love so many things about this piece — the texture, the ghostly whiteness, the fact that all that superthin paper can accept a human body’s weight & then becoming a perfectly personalized object. Rather than go with an image of the chair itself, I wanted to present it in some context, so I found this image of it (above) nestled amid these big wintry giant caterpillar boa thingies from an exhibit in Seoul in 2010. The whole image is so hypnotic, ethereal. It makes me think of a sci-fi movie set, maybe the top tower floor of the despot of some permanently wintry planet.
     Paired with that is the work of Hilary Berseth. He constructs wire and wax frameworks for honeycombs and lets the bees execute his vision, resulting in fantastic, coral-like & chocolate flan hued structures. I wonder how this affects the bees, if at all? Imagining them as they go about their business, maybe something in them at the cellular level dimly sensing that they’re being bonsai’d in a way that, if perhaps not deleterious or confusing or jarring, is just noticeably different. Beautiful work in concept & execution. Thanks bees, thanks Berseth.

Please check out more of Yoshioka’s work at

More on Berseth’s work at New York Magazine.

[posted by: C Way at 11:11 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| installations ||| sculpture]

Art of the Day Double: Two Weegees (“Car Crash, Upper Fifth Avenue, 13 July 1941″ and “Couple in Voodoo Trance, ca. 1956″)

May 24th, 2011



       Weegee (Arthur Fellig)
Couple in Voodoo Trance, ca. 1956



       Weegee (Arthur Fellig)
       Car Crash, Upper Fifth Avenue, 13 July 1941

      I love these pieces together and that’s that. Too tired (from my own voodoo trances & car crashes) to comment further. Enjoy — & please keep a lookout for eyes in the driver’s side window.

Please check out more of Weegee’s work at ICP (International Center of Photography).

[posted by: C Way at 10:02 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| photography]

Art of the Day Double: Two by Sky Pape (“The Speed of Life (detail)” and “Untitled (Image DSC3956)”)

May 22nd, 2011



       Sky Pape
       Untitled (Image DSC3956), 2010, water and Sumi ink on handmade kozo paper
       image source:



       Sky Pape
       The Speed of Life (detail), 2006, ink and cut handmade paper
       image source:

      First “Untitled” — I love this diaphanous, evocative piece. It brings to mind marshes, matted fur, microscopic surfaces. There’s the rich dense peace of the swamp and something else, a melancholy of rainy car windows. Much is gained by meditating on this piece, as with so much of this artist’s work. Moods and images keep unfolding.
     The other Pape image presented here, “Speed of Life”, works its way into the subconscious through different methods. No gauziness here, rather lava-lined axons, dendrites and nerve bodies tangling about like superhighways. A desert pebblescape spreads out below, rising up steeply towards a blood object in the top-left corner which the nerves seem to siphon. I also get impressions of vast & secret root networks revealed by a peeling away of topsoil, a rich mycelium suddenly laid bare. What things do you see in Pape’s work?

Please check out more of Pape’s work at

[posted by: C Way at 4:26 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| paintings/drawings]