This week: Painter, filmmaker and producer Martin Jon Garcia get lightly abused by Dana and Richard and we talk about his show Our Cultural Center which can be viewed at www.ourculturalcenter.com (just saw MJG has had some health challenges of late and a heart felt BAS get well soon goes out to him!). Next Amanda Browder records the last interview with artist, Dali muse and Warhol Superstart Ultra Violet who left the mortal coil June 14th of 2014.
Nearly to the end of our 9th season, into the 10th. What interesting things await us for the 10th year of BAS?
This week: From Volta 2014 we talk to painter and muralist Maya Hayuk.
This week: Duncan and Richard talk to art superstar Luc Tuymans!
The following is shamelessly lifted from the MCA site:
Luc Tuymans (Belgian, b. 1958) is considered one of the most significant European painters of his generation and he has been an enduring influence on younger and emerging artists. Born and raised in Antwerp, where he lives and works, Tuymans is an inheritor to the vast tradition of Northern European painting. At the same time, as a child of the 1950s, his relationship to the medium is understandably influenced by photography, television, and cinema.
Interested in the lingering effects of World War II on the lives of Europeans, Tuymans explores issues of history and memory, as well as the relationship between photography and painting, using a muted palette to create canvases that are simultaneously withholding and disarmingly stark. Drawing on imagery from photography, television, and film, his distinctive compositions make ingenious use of cropping, close-ups, framing, and Luc Tuymans sequencing, offering fresh perspectives on the medium of painting, as well as larger cultural issues.
The artist’s more recent work approaches the post-colonial situation in the Congo and the dramatic turn of world events after 9/11. These series have led Tuymans to a sustained investigation of the realms of the pathological and the conspiratorial.
The following stolen from the Greenpeace site:
Alexis’ paintings visualise the hopes and popularly held fears about scientific progress and the wide-ranging effects of human intervention on animal species, ecosystems, and the natural world.
We are brought face to face with a future that is at once surreal and unsettlingly familiar. Mutant animals, geometric landscapes, alternative environments either sterilized by science or unredeemably altered due to pollution. All this makes for some uncomfortable viewing.
“My position is one of ambivalence as the horse is already out of the barn so to speak; it is not biotechnology that is the problem but corporate America or globalism or colonialism. The implications of using this technology are far more devastating because of the unknowable effects. This is something that is very disturbing and visually compelling to me,” explains Alexis.
Despite the questions that Alexis’ work throws up about humanity’s role in shaping a dystopian future, there’s no obvious judgement in it.
Every element in the art is painstakingly researched. All the biological images have been developed through extensive collaboration with specialists in molecular biology, genetics, natural history and medical science.
“I really have to say these are relatively neutral images even if I use information that tends to make people feel uncomfortable. But I don’t see that as negative. I try to show things that are obviously familiar but also inform them with as much cultural and scientific history as I can, so that they are credible.
“The stuff that may not be noticed – for instance the geometry of the landscape in ‘The Farm’- to me is far more scary than an albino hairless mouse with cartilage growing on its back. I am also trying to make an emotionally resonant image that reaches people. I try to make it as credible as possible without making it boring.”
Alexis is aware of the political power of his work. As an American, he believes he is well placed to bring attention to the consequences of his homeland’s environmental, economic and political policies.
“I am of a generation whose relationship with the government and big business comes out of a post-Watergate scepticism. How could my work not have a political effect? I feel like I am in such a privileged position I would find it unconscionable if I didn’t take advantage of that as someone who cares about these issues.”
Collectively, the paintings presented in ‘Wonderful World’ offer a graphic vision of a bio-engineered near future in which human and animal bodies, crops and plants have been genetically altered to suit a variety of needs – whether commercial, aesthetic, medical or gastronomic.
Despite the potentially complex nature of the exhibition he makes a point of not being elitist, as his subject is something that touches every person on the planet.
“I don’t expect anyone to know anything. That is why I am a populist. If I have a show and people from different demographics come to find out about global warming, I don’t want to lose half of my audience due to my arrogance. It has to be decipherable to a six-year-old child. I try to construct it as an onion with different layers of meaning and iconography.”
The negative consequences of industrial and technological progress are rarely addressed in a modern culture fuelled by the products of multinational entertainment conglomerates. Alexis’ paintings hang out on the edge of complacency, forcing us to confront a vision of the future implicit in the choices we, as a society, make today.
This weeks show is dedicated to the memory of Penny Zeidman.
This week: Tom and Amanda talk to NYC based painters Aaron Johnson and Ryan Schneider.
BAS sends mucho congratulations to the MacKenzie family.