Damien Hirst is one of the most prominent artists in the contemporary world. He was born in 1965 in Bristol. He completed his education from the Goldsmith College in London. Damien is also the member of Young British Artist (YBA) who led the UK art scene in the 1990s. His unique and impressive work has not only made him internationally recognized artist but made him UK’s richest living artist with his wealth valued at £215m in 2010 as mentioned in Sunday Times Rich List.
He got famous after his first art exhibition known as “Freeze” held at Goldsmith. Death has been the central theme in his works. Among his famous works is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a 14 ft tiger shark is immersed in formaldehyde and displayed in a clear display case. This artwork as whole is said to contain Hirst most important and widely recognized works.
Hirst’s work takes a very direct approach towards the ideas of existence. All his pieces convince its audience to question their knowledge about the boundaries of life and death, fear and desire, reason and faith and love and hate. Hirst uses the concepts and iconography of science and religion in his sculptures and paintings. “There [are] four important things in life: religion, love, art and science,” the artist has said. “At their best, they’re all just tools to help you find a path through the darkness. None of them really work that well, but they help. Of them all, science seems to be the one right now. Like religion, it provides the glimmer of hope that maybe it will be all right in the end…”
His diamond skull in “For the Love of God” (2007) is also highly appreciated in the art world.. About his famous skull, the art historian Rudi Fuchs has said, “The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.” Hirst has also created “spin paintings” which are made on a spinning circular surface. Then there is a whole collection of butterflies that Hirst has created.
Damien Hirst is also involved in charity work. He is the supporter of the indigenous right organization “Survival International”. In 2008, Hirst donated his work “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” and “Beautiful Love Survival” to raise money for the organization. Moreover he also donated his writing of the book “We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples” to the Survival.
Hirst has been awarded many awards and recognitions for his work. His has organized successful solo exhibitions of his work such as at Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004), Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008), Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2009), The Wallace Collection, London (2009–10), the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco (2010), the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (2010) and Tate Modern, London (2012).
Manifesta started out as a nomadic modern art event in Europe in the early 90s by a Dutch project and later on was transformed into International Foundation Manifesta (IFM) which was basically a not-for-profit and an independent foundation. The foundation hoped to provide a moving platform that could help grow a strong network of visual arts professionals throughout the region. For this cause, the foundation announced that it would not only organize art exhibitions but will also help the new artists to enhance their skills by organizing for them different workshops which will help them in their research and experimentation. This would ultimately help in strengthening the network as artists from all around the continent were encouraged to be a part of this project. Since then Manifesta is working to increase the influence of contemporary art in the world. The organization has been quite active in stimulating brand new methodologies for artistic displays and production. Manifesta is working to initiate international collaborative projects which make it an adaptive and mobile structure and is continuously looking for ways to re-invent itself in unique ways.
Its various programs offer artists and curators the opportunity and freedom to work with different innovative methods and display their art works to a variety of audiences. The most applauded aspect about Manifesta is that it works with those artists who have limited access to the usual discourse in the contemporary art. It believes that by pursuing artists in such complicated scenarios will greatly help Manifesta in its evolution and also the world art scene as a whole.
The roving biennial changes its location every two years to keep its aesthetics alive. It stays away from the main art centre of the location and looks for places where there is undiscovered budding art scene. Each location provides Manifesta with new challenges and also opportunities for each individual Manifesta edition. It aims to utilize each location in a unique way not only for the on-site biennial art projects but also to integrate the site into an artistic project which will help in providing a number of opportunities for the all the participants in their research and experimentation.
Manifesta desires to discover all the psychological and geographical territory of Europe both as developing topography and concept. Their process aims to strengthen the connection between the specific cultural and artistic situations and also the international art concept and theory in today’s rapidly changing society.
Manifesta has a pan-European vocation and has been quite successful in representing young artists from as many as thirty to forty different countries. Also Manifesta is looking forward to creating links with other regions such as Asia, the East Mediterranean and North Africa all of which have neighboring ties with Europe.
Manifesta thus looks forward to further enhancing the contemporary art scene of not only Europe but also beyond. It aims to build new partnerships with young artists, curators, art professionals and organizations which it hope will help in its mission to create a connected map of contemporary art scene of the world.
Tracey Emin is a renowned English artist who is known for her confessional artworks. She was born on 3rd July 1963 in Croydon UK. Emin completed her education in fashion from Medway College of Design (now known as University of Creative Arts). Emin also studied printing in 1984 from Maidstone Art College and she describes this duration of time as one of the best experiences of her life. Moreover in 1987, Emin moved to the Royal College of Arts from where she attained MA in painting. She is also part of the group known as Young British Artists (YBA).
In 1997, her work “Eveyone I Ever Slept With” got her massive media attention. In this piece, Emin has displayed a tent appliquéd with names. This artwork was first exhibited at Charles Saatchi’s “Sensation” exhibition in the Royal Academy, London. In year 1999, Emin got a chance to display her first ever solo exhibition in the US at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Her exhibition was entitled “Every Part of Me’s Bleeding”. This earned her immense recognition and later that year she was named a Turner Prize nominee.
One of her installation known as “My Bed” earned her considerable praise in which she featured her unmade bed surrounded by her very personal things such as empty liquor bottles, condoms, dirty underwear and cigarette butts.
Emin displays her work in various mediums such as needle work, photography, filming, neon, sculpture, embroidery, painting, drawing and installations. Tracy Emin has also the distinction of being one of the two female professors of drawing appointed by the Royal Academy of Arts in 2011 since the foundation of the institution in 1708. In 2013, Emin was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution towards the arts. Emin was also considered among the 100 most powerful women of United Kingdom in 2013 by BBC Radio 4.
The work of Tracey Emin is said to be very personal which reveals rather very intimate details about her life reflecting the stark reality of life mixed with some poetic humor. Her ability to incorporate her personal life in her works makes her more connected with the viewer of her pieces. She speaks about her narcissistic nature which is depicted in her artworks. “It is very difficult for me to share my things, even though I think I am sharing all the time”. Thus this contradictory approach that goes from audacious to self deprecatory to confessional is what makes Emin stand out in the crowd. She likes to engage her audience with the exploration of universal emotions through her installations and artworks.
Furthermore Emin is also an exceptional speaker and panelist. She has delivered lectures in many prestigious institutions such as Victoria and Albert Museum London, European graduate School Switzerland, the Royal Academy of Arts London and the Tate Britain London. Her lectures mostly revolved around the themes of subjectivity and personal histories in the construction of art.
Thomas Chatterton (aka Thomas Rowley) was born on 20th November 1752. His father passed away three months before his son’s birth. Thomas was raised by his mother, grandmother, and his older sister, Mary, in a house located on Redcliffe Hill. He was expelled from secondary school and learned at home.
Chatterton had much interest of medieval writings, as well also studied a wide range of subjects, including divinity, heraldry, archaeology, history, philosophy, and literature. At age seven he attended Colston’s Hospital for Boys, a charity bluecoat school founded by the seventeenth-century Bristol merchant Edward Colston to provide students with a basic education and a means to local apprenticeships. Although Colston’s Program was considered difficult by today’s standards, the Colston’s Hospital for Boys was considerably more liberal than similar education institutions, and allowed Thomas time to continue his independent reading, and to start composing his own poetry at the age of eleven.
At age fourteen he left Colston’s to join the office of a Bristol attorney, John Lambert, as an indentured scrivener, copying legal texts by hand. Although Chatterton’s job was arduous , it was a job that allowed him to write his poetry, and at age fifteen Thomas had a piece published in Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal, a local newspaper. Over the next two years, between the summers of 1768 and 1770, he grew as a writer of poems, elegies, odes, eclogues, epistles, political letters, satires, and social sketches under his own name and other pen names, as well as a major collection of poetry under another pen-name of ‘Thomas Rowley’. Chatterton developed the Rowley persona as a 15th-century monk who wrote poetry and prose. Thomas claimed to have found the writings in a chest in a room above the north porch of St Mary Redcliffe Church. He composed this work in quasi-medieval language and spelling, and emulating some pieces onto antique parchments to duplicate actual medieval antiquities. It was stated that at one point he threatened his employer with suicide and wrote a fake-parody ‘will’. Thomas was subsequently fired from his employer, eventually leaving Bristol to find better opportunities in London.
The London Period
Thomas came to London in April of 1770 and stayed with relatives in Shoreditch until June of that same year. He then moved to lodge with a Mrs Angell at 39 Brooke Street Holborn, in order to have a room of his own rather than sharing a room and a bed. He lived in a garret room where he produced much of his works that he is known for. He began publishing his contemporary work in London journals, but only one of his ‘Rowley’ poems was published in his lifetime: ‘Elinoure and Juga’ appeared in the Town and Country Magazine in May 1769 when he was sixteen.
Thomas Chatterton passed away in his room at Brooke Street on the night of 24th August 1770. Although the inquest ruled that he had committed suicide, this verdict has since been questioned and recent research has revealed that it is unlikely that Chatterton deliberately took his own life. It is a more likely explanation that he inadvertently overdosed on medicinal drugs.
His death attracted little notice at the time; for the few who then entertained any appreciative estimate of the Rowley poems regarded him as their mere transcriber. He was interred in a burying-ground attached to the Shoe Lane Workhouse, in the parish of St Andrew, Holborn, later the site of Farringdon Market. There is a discredited story that the body of the poet was recovered, and secretly buried by his uncle, Richard Phillips, in Redcliffe Churchyard. There a monument has since been erected to his memory, with the appropriate inscription, borrowed from his “Will,” and so supplied by the poet’s own pen. “To the memory of Thomas Chatterton. Reader! judge not. If thou art a Christian, believe that he shall be judged by a Superior Power. To that Power only is he now answerable.”
It was after Chatterton’s death that the controversy over his work began. Poems supposed to have been written at Bristol by Thomas Rowley and others, in the Fifteenth Century (1777) was edited by Thomas Tyrwhitt, a Chaucerian scholar who believed them genuine medieval works. However, the appendix to the following year’s edition recognises that they were probably Chatterton’s own work. Thomas Warton, in his History of English Poetry (1778) included Rowley among 15th-century poets, but apparently did not believe in the antiquity of the poems. In 1782 a new edition of Rowley’s poems appeared, with a “Commentary, in which the antiquity of them is considered and defended,” by Jeremiah Milles, Dean of Exeter.
The debate which raged round the Rowley poems is discussed in Andrew Kippis, Biographia Britannica (vol. iv., 1789), where there is a detailed account by G Gregory of Chatterton’s life (pp. 573–619). This was reprinted in the edition (1803) of Chatterton’s Works by Robert Southey and J Cottle, published for the benefit of the poet’s sister. The neglected condition of the study of earlier English in the 18th century alone accounts for the temporary success of Chatterton’s mystification. It has long been agreed that Chatterton was solely responsible for the Rowley Poems, but the language and style were analysed in confirmation of this view by W. W. Skeat in an introductory essay prefaced to vol. ii. of The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton (1871) in the “Aldine Edition of the British Poets.” The Chatterton manuscripts originally in the possession of William Barrett of Bristol were left by his heir to the British Museum in 1800. Others are preserved in the Bristol library.
There is a collection of “Chattertoniana” in the British Museum, consisting of works by Chatterton, newspaper cuttings, articles dealing with the Rowley controversy and other subjects, with manuscript notes by Joseph Haslewood, and several autograph letters. E. H. W. Meyerstein, who worked for many years in the manuscript room of the British Museum wrote a definitive work—”A Life of Thomas Chatterton”—in 1930. Peter Ackroyd’s 1987 novel Chatterton was an acclaimed literary re-telling of the poet’s story, giving emphasis to the philosophical and spiritual implications of forgery.
In 1886, architect Herbert Horne and Oscar Wilde attempted in vain to have a plaque erected at Colston’s School, Bristol. Wilde, who lectured on Chatterton at this time, suggested the inscription: “To The Memory of Thomas Chatterton, One of England’s Greatest Poets, and Sometime pupil at this school.”
In 1928 a plaque in memory of Chatterton was mounted on 39, Brooke Street, Holborn, bearing the inscription below. The plaque has subsequently been transferred to a modern office building on the same site.
In a House on this Site
24 August 1770.
Thomas Chatterton is among the first of the English Romantic poets, and on which his literary legacy primarily rests today.
It is very difficult to find top sources for contemporary arts in a place which is so diverse in its art scene and have massive collections of world’s renowned master pieces. Still, we have compiled a list of our favorite picks for 2016 of all art lovers must visit at least once. We have two categories: the first are places in the real brick-and-mortor world, and second are our picks in the virtual World.
AMJ’s Best Places In The Real World For Art 2016 :
Tate Modern UK
One cannot simply talk about contemporary art without mentioning the most visited art gallery in UK; Tate Modern. This stunning gallery has worldwide reputation for housing the entire history of modern art from the 20th century in a three-story building, encompassing almost everything from performance to photography. Many famous artists of the contemporary world such as Damein Hirst and Edvard Munch have displayed their exhibitions in the Tate Museum.
The Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst is a modern and young upstart in today’s contemporary art scene. This gallery has become popular among the art enthusiasts who have greatly appreciated the vibrant art collection displayed at the casino-come-gallery. The art gallery also houses the collections of the legendary artists such as Warhol, Bacon and Abramovic.
This gallery is famous for having the art collections of a number of famous artists such as Picasso, Miro and Matisse which are known to be rotated every six months. The post modernistic building on which the gallery is situated is also quite famous for providing stunning views of the entire city from its outer elevator.
What makes this gallery unique and famous is its renowned outdoor sculpture park which features the collection of the world’s famous sculptors of the last century. The indoor collection is also quite impressive and among the collections by famous artist, this gallery also has the honor of housing somes works by Van Gogh.
The reason which makes this gallery one of the most famous gallery of Europe is that is the home of Pablo Picasso’s monumental ‘Guernica’ which is considered as the most influential art work of the 20th century. The gallery also displays work of other important artists of the contemporary world such as Dali ,Gris and Miro and many other. All these collections have made this gallery a must-visit for anyone who has appreciative tastes for the contemporary arts.
This gallery is located in a building which itself is a World Heritage Site. The prestigious art collection displayed at the gallery is every bit stunning as the building which houses it. The artworks comprise of sculptures, paintings and videos from various artists including Tracey Emin, Nan Goldin and Anselm Kiefer. The gallery is also famous for offering world’s famous restaurants in Combal Zero whose food is as much a piece of art work as in the Castello’s collections.
So these are our top 6 for the coming new year, highly recommended institutions in the brick-and-mortar World which are famous for their contemporary art collections. And now we present our recommendations for the virtual World:
AMJ’s Virtual Picks For Art 2016 :
Google Art Project
The Google Art Project is one of the most ambitious proejcts out in the virtual World. Described as an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative’s partner museums. The project was launched on 1 February 2011 by Google, in cooperation with 17 international museums, including the Tate Gallery, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; and the Uffizi, Florence. The initiative continues to expand with now adding additional partnership agreements with 151 museums from 40 countries.
This place is definitely worth keeping an eye on. It is a virtual Museum dedicated to massurrealism, which is a grass-roots art genre merging surrealism with mass media & technology; which makes for a very intriguing perspective of art that we see every day. The museum, which hosts various artists works, showcases not just static art, but also video & multi media primarily on their facebook presence. This museum represents a group / artistic direction that one might consider ‘outsider’ while at the same time producing works that appeal to the public especially when one looks at the visual imagery used in advertising. It’s always a pleasure to visit and see what they have on current display.
Classical surrealism broke all possible boundaries when it broke onto the art scene. Rules on what defined art’s “subject” became irrelevant. Links to the real world became tenuous at best – usually, surrealist work bears only fleeting shapes of semblance with the real world.
In the mid-20th century, as surrealism took shape, technology as we know it in the early 21st century was beyond the wildest dreams of virtually all humans, so tools of surrealistic expression were limited, at least by our standards. Paint on canvas, or some variation of that, was the main tool of choice. Thought the subjects became outlandish and imaginary, the tools used to depict those outlandish subjects hadn’t changed in a fundamental way.
Half a century on, technology has changed so drastically and so quickly that all modes of expression are now faced with near limitless opportunity to change, combine and mutate styles within artistic disciplines. Computers and smartphones are actually capable of more than the human psyche is capable of truly comprehending. Significantly more.
The days of classical surrealism are over. Or rather, to be more specific, the days of surrealism as “art nouveau,” or the newest level of possibility on the art stage, are over.
When art of any kind is divided into movements or styles, those defining traits tend to boil down to certain artists making certain kinds of work at a particular time, in light of specific cultural and artistic realities. Once that movement has happened in time, it’s locked into the past, and can never happen again.
Which means that “classical” surrealism, as made by Dali and so many others, can’t happen again. It can be imitated, of course. An artist can still pay homage and create a piece that echoes what has already been done, but that by definition is retrospective, it considers something that is already complete. Such an exercise may be inspiring and incredible in its own right, but when a piece casts its gaze backward for inspiration, it limits its ability to speak to the current, immediate world an artists resides in.
So without classical surrealism, is massurrealism the next logical step? By definition, massurrealism is surrealistic imagery executed using 21st century technological mass media. In this case mass media can mean social media, videos etc, and it can also mean media which are mass produced items, i.e. common, easily purchased items.
So when people create what some may think is surrealistic images using the tools they have at hand in the modern day (computers, smartphones, digital manipulation, common mass produced items) it seems safe to say it could be called massurrealistic art. With so much of massurrealism arising from seemingly mundane, common objects and technologies in our modern world, the connection of art with the everyday objects and experiences around us is deeply impactful. Art rooted in universal, shared experiences allows for the possibility of continuous, ongoing creativity for many many people, not just the bourgeois elite of society.
One of the truest measures of art’s impact is its real life effect. If a song, film, book or poem continually commands memory and attention to itself long after first seeing, hearing or reading it, it seems safe to consider that art. Good art can resurface again and again, inciting conversation after conversation as the world around us changes in light of its fresh perspective.
Founding massurrealist James Seehafer takes his commitment to real life impact seriously. In “Postage Stamp in mid-flight” he successfully transcends the gallery wall by combining classical techniques, digital manipulation, and mass communication techniques. When viewers engage his mixed-medium piece (aluminum base with acrylic on canvas, topped by giclée collage print) they find a QR code. With a swipe of a smart phone, viewers unlock a second leg of this piece’s journey, a video of the self-same titular Austrian stamp sitting on a real life cobble road, amidst traffic and city noise. Until it pops away into non existence.
Extended media example – James Seehafer:
Such a piece successfully breaks down walls between art and human consciousness. It’s a natural reflection of the ubiquity of communication technology, and also inherently massurrealist. The vast majority of people can access the entirety of this piece only through an intensely complex device, a smartphone, the result of untold thousands of hours of work and human effort. In reality, a huge amount of work produced in the early 21st century is of this nature – our Western world is comprised of vastly advanced technological marvels which are constantly being moulded into art by the forward thinking artists of our time.
Art in traditional styles is still made all the time, of course, by amateurs and professionals alike, but the bleeding edge of art, those on the cusp of new frontiers, are today illustrating as many realities and subjective contexts as possible. In the case of “Postage Stamp in mid-flight” the piece is literally transformed from fantasy imagery into our modern day reality through our smartphones. Yet that is still only half of the story, because after all it isn’t “real” in the sense that the video portion of the piece is actually a collection of pixels imitating that stamp, rather than the comically oversized stamp itself. Even further, at one point in time, that giant stamp did exist on some real cobblestone street in order to be filmed.
In this way, massurrealist art successfully highlights inherent absurdity. Specifically, our culture’s technology has advanced so quickly that our animal brains are struggling to keep up, advanced though we are. Instant cross-global communication would be seen as magic or witchcraft 200 years ago, and science fiction 80 years ago, and yet this fiction is now our reality. Massurrealism helps us understand our confused mental situation for what it is – the struggle between technology and subjective truth. ∙∙∙
With some gentle attitude
A sense of peace and pace
You walk through walls
Others might just look at you
Without a clue
Does it matter?
Enjoy this gentle walk
Start to run joyfully
When the road feels clear and visible.
The field is yours
A reward will await
In a friend hitting you
with his heart in the end:
The world’s most renowned street artist in the world doesn’t need any introduction. He is, of course, Banksy.
Banksy is a British Graffiti Artist, Political Activist, a Film Director and a painter. He has been spray painting the urban landscape ever since early 1990s. Banksy has had many big exhibitions throughout his career but this time Dismaland is bound to leave a big mark in his career. It offers something that no artist has ever been able to bring to the public. He has has included 58 globally renowned artists as well. This exhibition has started when Dismaland opened from 22nd August to 27th September 2015. This is bound to run for 36 days straight with only 4,000 tickets available per day. The ticket cost is £30 only.
Banksy’s exhibition of course has caused a lot of controversey, this started when over the last month there was a mysterious construction inside the walls of derelict seaside swimming resort in the Weston-super-Mare in UK. The curiosity arose when a dingy looking Disney castle and a gigantic rainbow colored pinwheel tangled in plastic. This was something that promised a big event. And it was, this was the construction of Banksy’s DismaLand. Dismaland is a bemusement park which is a sinister twist on Disney Land. It is a rare form of art exhibition in which Banksy has revealed a pop up art exhibition, this is an apocalyptic theme park which displays the artist’s work in a unique way.
This event has Banksy written all over it, from its initial veil of secrecy to the artistic themes of apocalypse. It was not limited to apocalypse, the theme included anti-consumerism and pointed social critiques. The topics that inspired the art and critiques are based on celebrity culture, immigration and law enforcement. He displayed 10 of his own artworks inside the three main interior galleries that also included other artists 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo.
A program of 24 short films is also displayed in the massive outdoor cinema. These films will play day and night throughout the exhibition. The films to be displayed are from various shorts including; Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.
Every Friday night there have been live events these include events like; Run the jewels, Pussy Riot, Peanut butter wolf and Heartbeat Lou, Comedy nights and DJs for every night.
So far the exhibition has relatively positive reviews, it is not recommended however for children. The misery starts from buying the ticket, there is such a high demand for tickets and number of slots per day are limited. Some people even mistake this over booking for the start of the dismaland experience. Many celebrities like; Russell Brand, Nicholas Hoult, Jack Black and Daddy G have also visited dismaland.
Most of you have already heard of this great institution, but it is worth a note in our tabloid: The Museum Of Bad Art.
The “What is bad art?” question runs parallel to the age old “What is art?” debate. But in fact, identifying bad art is easier than knowing what “art” is in general; it comes down to our instincts as stated by the curator: “Bad art is like pornography, it’s hard to define, but I know it when I see it.” Some great masterworks of the “bad” are to be seen here. And regardless of what others say, I still think “Ferret In A Brothel” remains the Madonna of their collection.
Only from California would one see this. But such enthusiasm has to be recognized and admired. Described as: “The home of Public Access TV’s favorite ‘how to’ painter. Mr Let’s Paint (John Kilduff) paints,exercises,cooks,blends,etc….and takes your takes calls live!…”