Friday, July 31, 2009

Tasty cherries by Simon Costin, 2009

Simon Costin, 2009

Created for Autumn/Winter 2009 Albion Cosmetics campaign, photographed by Tim Walker. Edition of 9. Painted fibreglass, painted resin. 70 x 38 x 36cm There may be some colour variation between individual objects. This is a feature of their unique design and handcraft and should not be interpreted as a flaw.

Experimenta Design Lisboa

Experimenta Design will open on 9 September 2009 and will last until Sunday 8 November 2009, taking place in various locations in Lisbon, Portugal.

Time is the theme of the 5th edition of this biennial of contemporary design, architecture and creativity taking place in the cutting-edge and beautiful city of Lisbon, Portugal. From the design of objects and devices that improve people's lives, the biennal focuses on people and ideas.

The programme includes Quick, Quick, Slow, an exhibition that explores the dimension of time in graphic design; Timeless, an experimental showcase of new concepts and strategies addressing the motto ‘Less is More’; and Stop & Think, an editorial project that challenges leading magazines from across the world to place insightful criticism at the top of their agendas.

To learn more:

Beautiful video: The Rolling Stones "Anybody Seen My Baby"

The Manchester Art Gallery celebrates women artists and Surrealism

Dora Maar

Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism
26 September 2009 – 10 January 2010
Manchester Art Gallery

The first major exhibition of women artists and Surrealism to be held in Europe, Angels of Anarchy , opens this autumn at Manchester Art Gallery. Featuring over 100 artworks by 33 women artists, the exhibition is a celebration of the crucial, but at the time not fully recognised, role that women artists have played within Surrealism.

Lee Miller - Self Portrait with Sphinxes

Paintings, prints, photographs, surreal objects and sculptures by well-known international artists including Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim, Leonora Carrington and Lee Miller will be exhibited alongside works by artists less well-known in the UK, including Emila Medková, Jane Graverol, Mimi Parent, Kay Sage and Francesca Woodman. Manchester Art Gallery is the only venue for this exhibition, making it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the works of so many significant women artists displayed together, with many of the works on loan from international public and private collections.
Frida Kahlo - En frente del espejo

Frida Kahlo - Still life

Angels of Anarchy includes some of the most important, radical (and sometimes still shocking) Surrealist works produced during the 20th century by women artists from across the globe, including artists from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Mexico, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.
Jane Graverol - L’Esprit Saint, 1965

The exhibition is an ambitious exploration of how women artists have responded to and challenged the traditionally male-dominated artistic subjects of landscape, portraiture, still-life, the domestic interior and fantasy within the Surrealist genre. Through these five themes, the show reveals how these women have developed, enriched and significantly reshaped Surrealism to create an empowering and erotic art form which speaks of their experiences as women and as artists.

To learn more: Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street Manchester M2 3JL

Andy Warhol is alive: exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens

There are so many ways to explore and reinvent Warhol's oeuvre. This exhibition taking place in Athens is another example. Andy Warhol really succeeded in being everywhere. I could be dedicating this blog to all things Warhol as there's not a day without Warhol-related-news.

This autumn, the Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens, presents the ground-breaking exhibition, Warhol/Icon: The Creation of Image. The exhibition brings together key portraits by Andy Warhol from across the entire range of his career, providing a telling critique of the modern obsession with fame, a concept which fascinated Warhol and which stands at the centre of his work.

Set against the backdrop of the world’s greatest collection of Byzantine icons, the exhibition of Warhol’s media-derived images of contemporary celebrities explores the idea of the iconic in his portraiture. Curated by the distinguished Warhol scholar Paul Moorhouse, the exhibition probes the enduring significance and value of the icon, connecting historic sacred antecedents with Warhol’s modern icons: images of the famous created in a celebrity-obsessed secular era.

Common to the historic and modern concepts of an icon, the idea of worship is a central link. Warhol’s work endorses, dissects – and employs – those processes by which a real person’s identity becomes progressively obscured by their glamorised, iconic representation in the mass-media. Highlights of the exhibition include portraits of Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Mao, and Warhol himself – all idealised figures whose ‘image’ transcends their private, personal identity.

Seen in the context of the Byzantine & Christian Museum’s historic icons, Warhol’s modern ‘icons’ are presented as the outcome of a complex metamor-phosis in which the real has been transformed into a complex but glorious abstraction.

The Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens, was founded in 1914. The collection represents Greek art from the 4th to the 19th century and contains the world’s pre-eminent collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Contemplation: Antony on stage at the Manchester Opera House

Beautiful image for a beautiful artist: Antony on stage at the Manchester Opera House.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Exclusive interview with designer Lima de Lezando

I recently came accross this sofa that I totally love. So I decided to interview its designer. And it appears that he's really nice and that I am an absolute fan ! Enjoy ! Thanks Lima.

an you introduce yourself and your background ?
My name is Lima De Lezando and I create emotions.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My everyday life is surrounded by things that inspire me. It could be a nice poem, an object, a good piece of music, my wife or a feeling. I dream with open eyes.

How would you describe yourself and how would you describe your art?
In my works, I want to reflect life. Fluidly moving between classicism and the modern age my work is a mix of different eras and together with the material and the colour, it creates a blend of styles, which could be cuddly, loud, playful and smart. Beyond my personal philosophy, I work for myself and every project is a reflection of my senses.

What other designers, artists, do you feel close to?
There are a lot of talented people, whom I don't feel direct close but whose work is impressive. Patricia Urquiola,  Levien, Philippe Malouin, Jamie Hayon, Fabio Novembre for example. People, who have a specific style and personality.

How far do you hope to go artistically speaking?
I don't know how far I am yet...

Can you tell us about your current and upcoming projects ?
There will be a lot of new and fascinating projects, my head is like a garden of ideas in which I'm spending a lot of time. I also hope to collaborate with many interesting people and companies. Current I'm working on a new lamp.

Would you consider to do something else if you were not a designer?
I have a pen in my hand since I can remember holding one. I can not imagine doing something different.

Do you consider that "art is alive" ?
I think art makes our life alive.

To finish with, what would wish to this blog?
I hope that this blog becomes even more famous and I wish you all the best Nicolas!

More info on:
Lima Lezando Studios
Eckenheimer Landstraße 475
60435 Frankfurt am Main
phone: 069 905 056 43mail:

Walking in My Mind

Walking in My Mind
Until the 6th September 2009 at the Hayward Gallery in Southbank in London.

I really enjoyed this exhibition at the Hayward Gallery entitled Walking in My Mind. The Hayward Gallery’s 2009 summer exhibition continues the recent tradition of inviting high profile and up-and-coming artists from around the world to transform the Gallery’s unique outdoor and indoor exhibition spaces. This year, ten artists have been selected to show works that explore how the inner workings of the mind - emotions, thoughts, memories and dreams – can be represented in three-dimensional space, shedding light on their creativity and inviting visitors to explore their own thought processes.

The exhibition features new and existing works by the following artists: Charles Avery (UK), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland), Yayoi Kusama (Japan), Bo Christian Larsson (Sweden), Mark Manders (The Netherlands), Yoshitomo Nara (Japan), Jason Rhoades (USA), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), Chiharu Shiota (Japan) and Keith Tyson (UK).

I particularly enjoyed the installations of Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn and Yayoi Kusama (images attached) which I found fascinating. I really felt inside the brain of these artists.

Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator of the Hayward Gallery, said:
‘Many artworks encourage the viewer to see the world through the artist’s eyes. The works in Walking in My Mind do more than this, as they pull the viewer into the unique worlds of ten major international artists who are explicitly preoccupied with their own minds and the creative process. The installations function as metaphors for the creative mind, inviting visitors to walk in and around the artists’ inner worlds translated into physical works of art.’
This is really worth seeing...

To learn more:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christian Lacroix's saviour

It was reported today by AFP and various other sources that consulting company Bernard Krief Consultants might be a potential saviour for Christian Lacroix. The company is rumoured to have received a bail-out bid by the Consulting firm which is a really good news.

We do hope it's going to work out. Christian Lacroix successfully showed his collection at Paris Couture Week earlier this month despite Falic Group, Lacroix's owner, initiating a dramatic restructuring plan which could see the workforce of 124 artisans slashed to just 12.

"This is true. We believe that Christian Lacroix is the biggest French designer and that it's crucial to not let him and Haute Couture - that he represents - die." said the president of Bernard Krief Consulting, Louis Petiet.

We wish Christian Lacroix good luck !

Christian Lacroix Couture
Autumn/Winter 2009-10

To learn more:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Axel Vervoordt - In-Finitum, an ode to beauty

In-finitum, an exhibition organized by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Vervoordt Foundation – more specifically by art dealer, collector and curator Axel Vervoordt - is presented at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice until 15 November, 2009, as part of a collateral event of the Venice Biennale.

With In-finitum, the trilogy which started with Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art (Venice, 2007) and continued with Academia: Qui es-tu? (Paris, 2008) comes full circle. Once again set in the magnificent surroundings of the Palazzo Fortuny, In-finitum will guide the visitor from the soul of the unfinished to the border of the infinite, a spiritual journey along works of art abundant with energy.

This exhibition has been critically acclaimed and was voted as one of the best of the collateral events of the Biennale. The atmosphere, the curation, the space made it very special. The branding, the catalogue, the caterer service were all so detailed. This is Axel Vervoordt’s style.

I personally enjoyed this cabinet de curiosité a lot. It’s also fascinating how strong the concept was. The show echoed the two previous ones in Venice and Paris which were also amazing. The beauty of the exhibition also lied in the fact the last floor was releasing so much purity, simplicity, logic and serenity. This floor was like the apogee; after a labyrinth, the Rothko painting was there like the quintessence of the concept of the exhibition: the infinity.

Many artworks were striking, for instance on the ground floor the Anish Kapoor’s yellow sculpture, or the Tastsuo Miyajima’s water and floating neon numbers installation, in the next small room the Bill Viola’s video juxtaposed with a Giacometti’s "La dame de Venise", without mentioning Picasso, Delacroix, or Marlène Dumas.

To learn more: and

Classic London Tube Map deck chair. I love it.

Classic London Tube Map deck chair. I love it !

To learn more:

Exclusive interview with Brazilian artist Alex Flemming

I had the chance to meet Alex Flemming while I was in Dubai for Art Dubai in 2008. I was fascinated by his pieces called "Flying Carpet" that I found funny but also conveying a geopolitical message. So I asked him whether he wanted to answer my questions, and he agreed. Since then he's become a good friend. Here is the exclusive interview.
Can you introduce yourself and your background ?
My name is Alex Flemming, I am a multimedia Brazilian artist living nowadays in Berlin, Germany.

Where do you get your inspiration ?

Inspiration is a bad word, that I prefer not to use. I would say that all my Art comes from History, i.e., History itself, my own history, the history of my friends, the history of the bars that I used to go to drink cognac.

Do you feel close to the contemporary art world?
Yes, I feel very much close to the contemporary Art world, being self a part of it.

What other artists, designers do you feel close to?
I feel close to artist that I do not know personally, like Louise Bourgeois, for instance. Or already dead artist, like Alfredo Volpi.

How far do you hope to go artistically speaking?
I have no idea how far I will go... it depends almost completely on the others and on the outside world. But I think it is important to say tha I DONT CARE, for I do my work for myself. Myself and me.

Can you tell us about your current and upcoming projects ?
I am doing now an installation called UNIPLANETARY SYSTEM IN MEMORIAM GALILEO GALILEI. I presented it last year 2008 in Berlin at the ruins of a church and at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. This year 2009 I will present it at Pinacoteca Museum in Sao Paulo. And I would like to present it in 50 other places around the globe, not necessary Museums.

Would you consider to do something else if you were not an artist ?
I am an artist since I was born, therefore I can not imagine being something else.

Do you consider that "art is alive" ?
Yes, not only Art is alive, but also Art is Life.

To finish with, what would wish to this blog?
I wish lots of success to Nicolas Smirnoff and his blog.

Thank you so much Alex.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright is celebrated in the US

The Guggenheim Museum in New York, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the City of Chicago celebrate the famous architect.

On 1 June 1943, Baroness Hilla von Rebay, artistic advisor of the Solomon R. Guggenheim, wrote to Frank Lloyd Wright to ask him whether he wanted to design the Museum. Guggenheim wanted a building as revolutionary as the abstract art he collected. The making of the museum took sixteen years and was completed in 1959, six months after the death of the architect, who died at the age of 91. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its construction, the Guggenheim Museum, gives a tribute to its architect, showcasing along the main ramp - which the museum is mainly known for - 64 models and more than 200 original drawings, many of which have never been exposed. The title, "From the inside out," reflects one of the basic concepts of Wright, that the internal space determines the external shape and that architecture should follow the same principles as nature.

"The interior is the main element of a building, one that must be reflected on the outside as a content," writes the founder of modern architecture pushing the analogy with nature.

Built over a waterfall, hence its name, the Fallingwater House, the Mill Run home (Pennsylvania) is the perfect illustration of the concept of Wright. "I wanted this place to become a part of yourself, Wright said to his commissioner, the industrialist J. Edgar Kaufmann. I therefore placed it in the fall, directly on the rock".
This theory also explains the hatred that Wright harbored in relation to major cities, including Chicago, where he only designed "human scale" homes, known as "Prairie Houses".
The exhibition showcases the most revolutionary aspects of his architecture and are apparently must-see!
To learn more:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fashion must-have: the Karl bag

From Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring Summer 2009 collection.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Exclusive interview with Chus Burés, contemporary jewellery designer and creative genius

I recently met with Chus Burés, contemporary jewellery designer, creative genius and Spain National Hero, during Art Basel. He was exhibiting some of his fantastic designed pieces as a collateral event of the fair.
Chus collaborated with the biggest artists including Louise Bourgeois or Pedro Almodóvar and despite all his successes, and his brilliant collaborations, he remains a humble designer. Art is Alive had the chance to ask him a few questions.

Can you please introduce yourself ? How would you describe yourself and how would you describe your art?
I am a designer of ideas, which I give life to through everyday objects. For me, creativity always comes first, and it is something that I have devoted the majority of my life to. As a designer, I try to apply my ideas into wearable, physical pieces for the human body, which is my base of expression and which I regard as a piece of architecture; I also use it to translate my thinking and to relate myself with others.

Can you give us more details about your collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar? Did you collaborate with any other artists?
My time with Pedro Almodóvar was a fun period of my life. Pedro gave me the script of ‘Matador’ for me to read and from that I proposed three designs for the hairpin, which Pedro considered the central link of the film. Later, I collaborated on another of his films, ‘Tie me, Tie me down’. With Bigas Luna, I worked on ‘La Teta y La Luna’, for which I created a kind of tiara that emitted sounds for a dancer. For Robert Wilson I made a special jewel that was a talisman for Vicente Molina Foix’s movie ‘Sagitario’.

As for contemporary artists, I have worked with many over the years. What I like about working with these artists is that the relationship it creates becomes a dialogue. Another important aspect of these collaborations is that they can take unexpected directions. For example, one of the pieces that I created for the Catalan artist Antoni Miralda was exhibited at the Spanish pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1990, which increased my experimental fan base and led to more work-lines and proposals. Now, almost all of the fruits of these collaborations are kept in the best contemporary art collections around the world.

Does living in Madrid influence your creation's process ?
When I came to Madrid around 1984, it happened to be during the period that is now known as the ‘Movida Madrileña’, which was an explosion of effervescence and creativity. We were all very young, trying to give shape to our interests. It was also a perfect atmosphere in which to breathe: architects, film directors, actors, painters, sculptors, curators, poets, writers…all mixed up, creating projects together, exchanging ideas; it was quite a fruitful time.

What other designers, fashion designers, artists, architects do you feel close to?
Just to mention a few fashion designers: Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Martin Margiela, Hedi Slimane, Cinzia Ruggeri, Costume National, Issey Miyake. I also feel a special interest for the young designers who are represented at the NYC shop ‘Opening Ceremony’.
I feel very much attached to all the artists I have worked with, and with whom I maintain an excellent friendship. Others whose work I am very interested in are, to name a few, Robert Wilson, Olafur Eliason, Tobias Rehberger, Jorge Pardo, Jeff Koons, Cai-guo Giang...

As I mentioned before, I see the human body as an architectural structure, which has given me a great respect for architects. I am very interested in contemporary architecture, in how they make us move inside their buildings; I think it is fascinating. Architects such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhas, Tadao Ando especially appeal to me.

Chus Burés and Louise Bourgeois

Do you consider that "art is alive"?
Of course art is alive, art is the energy that empowers life.
What are your upcoming projects ?Among other things, I am now working on new pieces with contemporary artists; continuity of my H2O project; a new jewelry collection for my own brand, and my experimental projects with international universities.

What are your upcoming projects ?
Among other things, I am now working on new pieces with contemporary artists; continuity of my H2O project; a new jewelry collection for my own brand, and my experimental projects with international universities.

Who would you dream to work for/with ?
There is an architects’ studio in Barcelona, which I heard are designing a new space hotel.... I would like to collaborate in this project.To finish with, what would wish to this blog?I would love this blog to become a reference for young creators, a documentation bank of our times and a place to browse to frequently. Congratulations! I wish you the best of success and a long life!

Chus Burés and Cinzia Ruggeri

To finish with, what would wish to this blog?
I would love this blog to become a reference for young creators, a documentation bank of our times and a place to browse to frequently. Congratulations! I wish you the best of success and a long life!

To learn more: - -

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Banksy's view on auctions

"I can't believe you morons actually buy this shit" - this is brilliant!
This screenprint is estimated between $7,000-$9,000 at the next's auction to take place through July 23.

To learn more:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Biennale de Lyon 2009: "The Spectacle of the Everyday"

The forthcoming ‘Biennale de Lyon’, will celebrate its 10th anniversary under the direction of international curator, Hou Hanru, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute and artistic director Thierry Raspail (image below).

For the 2009 edition of the Biennale, Hou Hanru has chosen the theme ‘The Spectacle of the Everyday’. Composed of the work of a select, key group of international artists (among them Pedro Cabrita Reis, Agnès Varda, Sarkis etc), both established and emerging alike, the Biennale de Lyon will run from 16th September until 3rd January 2010.

Vue de l’exposition Sarkis, Le monde est illisible, mon cœur si, 17 avril-18 mai 2002 au Musée d'Art Contemporain de LyonPhoto : Blaise Adilon © Adagp, Paris 2002

Apart from the four ‘central’ biennale venues in the heart of the city of Lyon, this year's edition will also include the Veduta, an art event taking place in the periphery of Lyon curated by Abdelkader Damani. Veduta's aim is to reflect on the centre/periphery dichotomy and the ‘issues’ which can be connected to this. The three chosen artists for the 2009 Veduta project are Bik Van der Pol, Eko Nugroho and Robert Milin.

To learn more:

New Acropolis Museum in Athens

The new Acropolis Museum, designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi opened last month in Athens with great enthusiasm from Greeks but also from the international art community. In the words of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, the aim of the museum is "linking antiquity with the modern world of technology'' and the architecture itself reflects this ethos. The Museum indeed accommodates views of ongoing excavations of an ancient urban settlement with modern glass floors. (as seen on the image)

However one big issue which remains is the return (or not) of the Elgin Marbles, displayed at the British Museum in London. In 1801, sculptures and friezes that Phidias had designed in honour of the goddess Athena 25 centuries earlier were sawn off the Parthenon and about half the remaining marbles shipped to Britain. The legality of these actions by Lord Elgin have been under a hot debate for ages but it looks like this problem won't be solved easily. History can sometimes lead to tricky diplomatic situations. Professor Dimitris Pantermalis, president of the board of directors of the Acropolis Museum, who has been involved with the project of the new Acropolis Museum since the beginning declared that "It is not even a question of legality ; the unity of the marbles is a matter of culture and ethics."

What's the British Museum's view on the subject? "Our stance has always been that our collection should remain intact, so that the public can view the Elgin Marbles in the context of art from other great cultures,'' says Hannah Boulton for the British Museum.

Let's hope an agreement will be reached soon. The Museum looks amazing and I will have the chance to visit it in September.

To learn more:

Is it the end of the Jeff Koons' era

Jeff KoonsAcrobat 2003–09Polychromed aluminium,galvanised steel, wood and straw228.9 x 148 x 64.8 cmBill Bell Collection© 2009 Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons: Popeye Series - 2 July – 13 September 2009
The Serpentine Gallery presents an exhibition of the work of the celebrated American artist Jeff Koons, his first major exhibition in a public gallery in England. One of the former exhibitions of Jeff Koons' art was at the Gagosian Gallery near Kings Cross 2 years ago.

Working in thematic series since the early 1980s, Koons has explored notions of consumerism, taste, banality, childhood and sexuality. He is known for his meticulously fabricated works that draw on a variety of objects and images from American and consumer culture. For his exhibition at the Gallery, Koons presents paintings and sculptures from his Popeye series, which he began in 2002.
The opening of the show was packed, and Jeff Koons himself was there with members of his family. However I couldn't stop thinking that the Jeff Koons' era was now over. Given that the economic crisis is now blurring all references/basis/symbols Western Society was based on, it seems like Jeff Koons' art is obsolete. What do you think? We're too concerned to enjoy simple, consumerist, American-capitalism inspired art... Entertainment comes second now, we're too concerned to look for a job, or solutions to get out of this gloomy atmosphere. The other question behind this exhibition was also about Jeff Koons' art itself: will it change, and if so what direction will it take?
Jeff KoonsPopeye 2003Oil on canvas274.3 x 213.4 cm© 2008 Jeff Koons

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Beyeler Foundation is perfection

Renzo Piano's Beyeler Foundation is one of the most beautiful museums I've ever seen. The architecture is simple and logical and the views on the garden absolutely amazing. I had the chance to visit it while I was in Basel for Art Basel and the two exhibitions held during the fair were also stunning: Giacometti and Visual Encounters: Africa, Oceania and Modern Art . The combination of two perfectly curated exhibitions plus the architecture made the place fantastic.

Visual Encounters: Africa, Oceania and Modern Art focused on art works from Africa and Oceania juxtaposed with masterpieces of classical modernism from the Beyeler collection which is, in itself, a deja-vu concept. The challenge of this mix was totally achieved! It was beautiful.

The summer exhibition was dedicated to the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), who, in Paris, became one of the most influential of modern artists. His seemingly fragile figures in which the human form is reduced to the essentials, his virtually sculpted paintings, and his concentrated drawings are still capable of deeply moving all who see them. Giacometti viewed himself as part of a spacetime cosmos in which his family members were key points of reference.

Alberto Giacometti - Grande femme III, 1960Tall Woman IIIBronze, 237 x 31 x 54 cm

On view were about 150 major works from every phase of the oeuvre, from the family collection as well as renowned collections around the world. These was supplemented by works by Giacometti’s father, Giovanni (1868-1933), his brother, Diego (1902-1985), and his uncle, Augusto (1877-1947). An important role is also played by Alberto’s mother, Annetta, and his wife, Annette, whom he frequently portrayed. This show was totally stunning too. The amount of artworks and the way it was curated made the experience really interesting. It will run until October 11 2009, go if you have a chance to.

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