sterling ruby exhibition in london, april 2013
Here’s my new fascination – works by Tsuguharu Foujita, especially his ink portraits and nudes. I like their exquisite, sinuous lines, pearlescent colors, beautifully disproportioned faces and bodies. He knew well what exactly he liked and could picture it perfectly, with a unique combination of eastern and western techniques and aesthetics. Hope one day I could get something from Jil Sander s/s 2010 collection featuring Foujita’s works. I remember how at first I didn’t like it at all probably because it was quite far from the style which I used to associated with mr. Simons but soon after the runway show the collection started to grow on me and now I consider it to be one of the Raf’s best for JS menswear.
Grim, intricate and richly detailed paintings of plants, snakes and insects
by Otto Marseus van Schrieck
Black Fever and Blue Fever by Polly Morgan, taxidermy crow wings, wood and wire
‘Crystalline form, sphere, plane, rod and strip, screw and cone, those are the basic technical shapes of the whole world. These are enough for all events of the whole world process, to lead them to their optimum. All things that exists are combinations of these seven primal forms, but never more than the holy number seven. Nature has produced nothing else, and the human spirit may do whatever it wants, but it will always only result in combinations and variations of these seven basic shapes.’
‘… for every thing, whether it is an object or a thought, there is only one systematic form that corresponds to the essence of the thing and which, if it is changed does not cause the position of repose, but which causes processes. These processes work compulsively, systematically by continually renewed disruption of form, until the optimal, essential position of repose has again been reached and form and essence are again one.’
Painted after serious psychological crisis, this Hodler’s work shows the theme of sleep and the fear of death. The feeling of heavy, restless sleep, fear and grieve. Personally, I like all the blacks with the hints of violets, lilacs and purples placed against the delicate, mother-of-pearly tones.
It seems that I have a thing for video lookbooks. First, it was bstore ss08 ‘odds on’ , then- Sopopular aw09, not so long ago I saw those ‘I feel’ movie featuring Raf Simons aw0506 (although it’s not clearly a ‘lookbook’ but still), and finally this ss10 Blank presentation. All of them look very simple and effortless, nevertheless fascinating. I guess at least for me it’s all about those small gestures, slightly moving fabrics, blinking, glances etc, which create a world of otherwise hidden details.
When I wrote this post I suddenly remembered mesmerizingly beautiful Warhol’s screentests. These video lookbooks in some sense present the same idea of a person being a microcosm into itself.
And a beautiful homage to the original ones- created by the MacKenzie Art Gallery:
For me it’s like some kind of video minimalism there is no plot, no action, no talk, no decorations, and only one aim- to look and absorb every tiny detail.
The photographs of Ana Mendieta document private sculptural performances enacted in the landscape to invoke and represent the spirit of renewal inspired by nature and the power of the feminine. She carved and shaped her own figure into the earth to leave haunting traces of her body fashioned from flowers, tree branches, mud, gunpowder, and fire.
Michele Oka Doner and Nancy Gonzalez “Gleaner” Bag, 2006. Sterling silver and dark bronze crocodile skin.
‘Gonzalez created the body of the bag with narrow bands of bronzed crocodile, while the handle by Doner appears to be a piece of decayed wood, perhaps driftwood, cast in sterling silver. Both the designer and the artist have re-imagined nature as a higher perfection. As if touched by Midas, the reptile skin and the gnarled branch, while still recognizable, have been gilded into an alternative, fixed, but more enduring beauty. In this bag, the scupltor’s work is an aesthetic, as well as a functional, intervention.’
‘On the calm black water where the stars are sleeping
White Ophelia floats like a great lily;
Floats very slowly, lying in her long veils…
– In the far-off woods you can hear them sound the mort.
For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia
Has passed, a white phantom, down the long black river.
For more than a thousand years her sweet madness
Has murmured its ballad to the evening breeze.
The wind kisses her breasts and unfolds in a wreath
Her great veils rising and falling with the waters;
The shivering willows weep on her shoulder,
The rushes lean over her wide, dreaming brow…’
Arthur Rimbaud, ‘Ophelia’
Experimental photographer Victor Burgin did a series of photographs based on Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Vertigo’, 1958. This shot combinesVertigo and John Everett Millais’s ‘Ophelia’ 1852.
Inside this box there is a black paper card with the following legend typed on it: ‘on a moonlit night in the winter of 1855 the carriage of Maria Taglioni was halted by a Russian highwayman, and that ethereal creature commanded to dance for this audience of one upon a panther’s skin spread over the snow beneath the stars. From this little actuality arose the legend that, to keep alive the memory of this adventure so precious to her, Taglioni formed the habit of placing a piece of ice in her jewel casket or dressing table drawer where melting among the sparkling stones, there was evoked a hint of the starlit heavens over the ice-covered landscape’
‘He [Elagabalus] loaded his parasites with violets and other flowers in a banqueting room with a reversable ceiling, in such a way that some of them expired when they could not crawl out to the surface.’
Scriptores Historiae Augustae: Antoninus Heliogabalus (XXI.5)
The Roses of Heliogabalus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1888, fragment
79934321– skin-tone moulded suede head handbag with orthopaedic-hand handle- 2005,
Bruce Nauman- Hanging heads 2, wax and wire, 1989