Cindy Sherman (1954). . the perfect selfie

 

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It wasn’t to difficult to find a good portrait of Cindy Sherman on Google, because every picture by Cindy Sherman features …Cindy Sherman. So before the craze of the selfie photography , Sherman already made “perfect” selfies, every time staged in a different setting.

She has become world famous with these photographs and had in the Netherlands on several occasions exhibitions, including the retrospective in the Boymans van Beuningen, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

One exception is that at one time in her career she wasn’t present in het photographs. In 1992 Sherman embarked on a series of photographs now referred to as “Sex Pictures.” For the first time, Sherman is entirely absent from these photographs. Instead, she again uses dolls and prosthetic body parts, this time posed in highly sexual poses. Prosthetic genitalia – both male and female – are used often and photographed in extreme close-up. Photographed exclusively in color, these photographs are meant to shock. Sherman continued to work on these photographs for some time and continued to experiment with the use of dolls and other replacements for what had previously been herself.

 

When i looked closely at these photographs i found a great resemblance with the POUPEE photographs by Hans Bellmer. I might be wrong, but because of this resemblance i find this series much less interesting than the photographs with Sherman in them.

 

 

Nat Finkelstein (1933-2009)..The Warhol/Factory photographer

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His claim to fame was that Nat Finkelstein was the house photographer of the FACTORY. The complex which housed the studios of Andy Warhol.

(The Factory was Andy Warhol’s New York City studio, which had three different locations between 1962 and 1984. The original Factory was on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was one hundred dollars per year.[1] Warhol left in 1967 when the building was scheduled to be torn down to make way for an apartment building. He then relocated his studio to the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West near the corner of East 16th Street, where he was shot in 1968 by Valerie Solanas. The Factory was revamped and remained there until 1973. It moved to 860 Broadway at the north end of Union Square. Although this space was much larger, not much filmmaking took place there. In 1984 Warhol moved his remaining ventures, no longer including filming, to 22 East 33rd Street, a conventional office building)

In September 1962 Finkelstein was commissioned by Pageant magazine to do an article on the emerging Pop Art movement. The article was titled “What happens at a Happening?” it covered a Claes Oldenburg “happening” in Greenwich Village and was a break that would define his future. Two years later, while attending a party at the Factory, Finkelstein met Warhol, who had seen his photographs of Oldenburg’s “happening” in Pageant. Finkelstein offered his services as a photographer to the artist, and for the next three years he was a constant presence at the Factory. His iconic images of the include subjects such as the Velvet Underground performing live, Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Edie Sedgwick, Salvador Dalí, and Allen Ginsberg.

There are some nice Finkelstein and Warhol publications available at www.ftn-books.com

Ilona Staller..La Cicciolina and Jeff Koons

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Yesterday, i held a catalogue of a Jeff Koons exhibition in my hands and it reminded me that Koons at one time in his life was married to Ilona Staller . Staller known for her (soft) porn movies in those days must have been the ultimate muse for Koons , because in the years he was married to La Cicciolina (1991-1994)

he made several photo series with Staller in which he exposed himself and Ilona in erotic interaction. The series was shown in the Stedelijk Museum during the Jeff Koons exhibition, but it was one of the few occasions where it was shown, because on many occasions this series was forbidden.

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Still it can be found in several Jeff Koons publications of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Stedelijk Museum…Beatrix Ruf final vision on the collection designed by Rem Koolhaas.

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Just reread my blog on Ruf and had to change it a little bit because last week it was announced that Beatrix Ruf resigned as director of the Stedelijk Museum

A few weeks ago the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam announced the completion of its entrance area together with the final adjustment in its presentation of its collection.

The new plan reflects Beatrix Ruf’s vision for the Stedelijk: clearer layout of the building, more works from the collection on view, more stories and topical perspectives, new entrance area to open 22 September.

Stedelijk Base, the new collection presentation of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, opens on Saturday 16 December. It is one of the largest installation of the Stedelijk collections in its history, and will remain on view for at least five years. The presentation of the art works is organized in a circuit designed by OMA, the architecture practice founded by Rem Koolhaas. Stedelijk Base will present art and design from the late 19th century up to the present day. The display is a great way for people who are new to art to discover how modern art and design evolved, and allows seasoned art-lovers to experience the Stedelijk’s world-famous icons in a new context.

Stedelijk Base is the final element to manifest the vision of director Beatrix Ruf for the Stedelijk, in which the building is divided into three zones:

  • Stedelijk Base: the entire new building will be devoted to a display comprising the 750-plus works in the Stedelijk holdings, grouped around iconic pieces in the collection, and featuring a mix of disciplines.
  • Stedelijk Turns: the collection in topical and thematic presentations on the ground floor
  • Stedelijk Now: the temporary exhibitions on the first floor.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles available on Rem Koolhaas.

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Katharina Sieverding (1944)

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If there is one artist who realizes the same intensity as Andy Warhol with her self portraits, it is Katharina Sieverding. Sieverding’s works consist of self-portraiture and most have an abstract quality. She uses the techniques of silhouette, contrast, and extreme close-up to make the photograph more revealing of herself.

She tinted all the prints in one 1969 series a deep scarlet, and for another painted her face gold. Her work often makes statements about society and the individual, such as showing the familiarity of the self and the distance of others. Often she puts multiple portraits together in one piece. Each portrait fills the frame in a way to show the presence of self.

Katharina Sieverding’s publication are rarely offered but http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice ones availabel and do not forget the discount code for the rest of this month : WEINER10

Hellen van Meene (1972)

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Hellen van Meene is known for her (mostly) square photographic portraits of teenage girls. Her work was first exhibited in 1996 and has been shown around the world since then. Her photos are in the collection of many museums, incl. Guggenheim NYC & MoMA. She lives and works in Heiloo and her subjects now include still lifes, dogs and other animals.

This is how her biography on her personal site starts. A poor site with not much information on which i stumbled because i was looking for more information on Hellen van Meene. However there is one highlight on the site which is available. The page with the photographs shows exactly why i think van Meene is important.

http://hellenvanmeene.com/photos

The use of the square format and mofre the way light is used in an almost “GOLDEN AGE”like way make these beautiful little portraits.

 

http://www.ftn-books.com has one tilte by van Meene available.

The Fotomuseum gives better info on van Meene than her own site so here is the text the Fotomuseum published on their pages:

For the last 20 years, Hellen van Meene (b. 1972) has ranked among the world’s top photographers. Her highly distinctive style and timeless, intimate images of young girls on the brink of adulthood have attracted international acclaim. Solo shows and group exhibitions have won her admirers in places as far away as Japan, Korea and the US. The Hague Museum of Photography now presents the first ever major retrospective of her entire oeuvre.

Hellen van Meene career took off in a big way immediately after her graduation from the Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) in 1996. Following various group exhibitions and a solo show at the Paul Andriesse gallery in Amsterdam, her international breakthrough came with a solo exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Since then, her work has been acquired by major museums in the Netherlands and around the world. Collections in which it can now be found include those of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Victoria & Albert Museum (London) and MoMA (New York).

Although Van Meene has continued to develop and her choice of subject has widened over the past twenty years, her work has always displayed the same consistent and distinctive personal style. Whatever the nature of her photographs – whether autonomous art works, images commissioned by the New York Times or Tank Magazine, portraits of young girls in Tokyo or Los Angeles, or portraits of dogs – each of them is always and unmistakeably ‘a Hellen van Meene’.

Van Meene’s unique style is characterized by the timeless and mysterious atmosphere in her images and by her consistent use of natural light. Due to the crucial importance of lighting in her photographs, but also because of the particular way she stages her pictures of adolescent girls, her work is sometimes compared with that of major painters of the past, from Botticelli and Velázquez through to the Pre-Raphaelites of the nineteenth century.

Van Meene draws her models – often young girls – from her immediate social circle or spots them in the street. She doesn’t care who the girl is or where she comes from. For that reason, she deliberately refrains from titling her photographs; the identity of the subject is irrelevant. The photographic image represents a mere moment in time, carefully staged by the photographer; the subject may look quite different the next day – especially if she is a girl in an ‘in-between phase’, hovering on the brink of adulthood. Time flies by: The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits. What remains is a timeless image that frequently offers no clue as to whether it was produced at the start of Van Meene’s career or just this year.

To underline the intimacy of her photographs, Van Meene presents them in the form of small-format prints, forcing the viewer to come close to see them. The retrospective at the Hague Museum of Photography, consisting of over ninety photographs, is accommodated in six vivid, enclosed spaces. It extends from Van Meene’s earliest photographic works, produced in 1994, right through to her most recent images, never previously seen in the Netherlands.

Gabi Dziuba (1951)

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Jewelry artist and a lifetime friend of Günther Förg. Both had a different approach to art. Where Günther Förg chose for abstract geometric painting. Gaby Dziuba chose for jewelry. I think it is fair to say that Dziuba was Günther Förg his “muse”. He used Dziuba on many occasion as his model in his photographs and this is the reason why i would like to show in this blog that one specific catalogue is very important as an artist book. Dziuba had in 1998 a solo exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The catalogue with this exhibition did not sell very well, but when you look into the colofon, you will find that many of the photographs within the catalogue were taken by Günther Förg. An excellent reason to pick up this catalogue for a reasonable price at www.ftn-books.com. It is still available , but when people realize that this is a disguised artist book by Günther Förg it will be picked up by many and will become a rare collectible.