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Kusama for $1000!

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The annual MCA Bella Dinner will soon be held in Sydney.  An annual event, the dinner also hosts a prize draw which costs $1000 to enter, but entrants are guaranteed to win one of 30 fine contemporary pieces. This year they even have a Kusama in the mix (see below).

The Kusama is by far the most valuable piece – and a stunning work in its own right – but for sheer beauty,whimsy and originality, my favourite has to be the Lionel Bawden sculpture made from coloured Staedtler pencils (above).

You can view all the works here.  If you want to enter, you’d better be quick, as the draw is notorious for selling out before you can say “Bargain”.

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Posted by on August 7, 2009 in art, contemporary, looking

 

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Franck Gohier: Target

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Australia is a funny place. We laugh at the commercialism of the US but spend ourselves silly on credit.  We welcome people from all nations, yet shun our own ancestors.  Or, as the recent Australian film Samson & Delilah showed, we pay exorbitant amounts of money for Aboriginal art, with most of the funding going to the gallery owners and only a pittance to the actual artist, who often lives in squalor.

Welcome to Franck Gohier‘s world, currently on display at Ray Hughes Gallery in Sydney.  Gohier uses his acerbic wit to comment on themes such as the Northern Territory invasion (ahem, intervention), the credit crisis, and global warming.  This wit, combined with the pop-art aesthetic, sends a powerful message about where our country is headed.  The bullet holes aren’t so subtle.

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Welcome to the Tropics

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Posted by on August 5, 2009 in art, contemporary, looking

 

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Louisiana, Denmark: Green Architecture for the Future

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You’ve heard of Paris, Texas.  But Louisiana, Denmark?

This sleepy satellite suburb on the outskirts of Copenhagen is home to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a stunning seaside building established in 1958 as a showcase for many of the world’s finest contemporary artworks and sculptures.

The museum is currently exhibiting Green Architecture for the Future, a multidisciplinary exhibition examining the pending, fundamental changes to three areas of design: The City, Climate & Comfort, and Metabolism.

The City examines the global population drift towards urban living, and various responses to this, both current and future.  It includes an ambitious Foster + Partners design for Masdar City – a purpose-built, sustainable city in the United Arab Emirates – as well as a Sarcozy-sponsored redesign for Paris by MVRDV, and the tree-like Tower of Tomorrow by William McDonough & Partners.

Climate & Comfort and Metabolism explore themes of renewal, rebirth and reappropriation, such as a building made from empty water bottles (now there’s an intelligent solution, Mr Rees).

Via Arcspace.

Masdar City

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Tower of Tomorrow

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United Bottle

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Lies, Damned Lies: Louisa Bufardeci

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Mark Twain once proclaimed, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.  Louisa Bufardeci explores this theme in her latest exhibition at MCA Sydney.

Bufardeci has always been interested in how statistics are able to succinctly portray a picture of the world at large.  Her work draws equal attention to inequity and diversity around the world, covering topics such as the mix of different religions in Sydney (on now at the MCA), to the direction of international aid funding for developing countries (Team Joy, shown above), to population movements (Ground Plan, below centre).

The artist’s works use playful, naive colour pallette, yet the colours often depict portray sobering statistics.  The audience gets the sense they are but a grain in the sand that is global population, and the anonymity is both liberating and overwhelming.

Check out more of Louisa’s work via her website.

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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in art, contemporary, looking

 

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Marc de Jong: DRNGS1 + PNTNGS3

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Marc de Jong is one of my favourite artists.  In his latest exhibition, he uses a unique, pixellated style of painting to depict a surreal and disturbing world where things are not as they seem.  Entitled PNTNGS3, the show depicts a large-scale world where, up close, things seem distorted and dysfunctional.  However, when viewed from afar, the works seem coherent and logical (but no less frightening: Rupert Murdoch as case in point).

Excitingly, de Jong is also exhibiting his first exhibition of line drawings and sketches.  The drawings depict familiar themes of technology, ‘culture jamming’ and youth culture.  Yet they utilise a surprisingly different style to the paintings – so much so that it’s hard to believe they are created by the same artist.  The works of this normally private artist depict family and friends in a Hong Kong-style of ink drawing, complete with signature stamp at the bottom, which gives them an intimate, cross-cultural feel.

Oh, he also has a cute website.

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Posted by on July 17, 2009 in art, contemporary, looking

 

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Isidro Blasco in Shanghai

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More than anywhere else in the world, Shanghai is a city in constant flux.  The never-ending sound of construction creates a landscape that is constantly evolving, barely recognisable from one year to the next.

Isidro Blasco is fascinated by this evolution.  In his mixed-media pieces, Blasco combines architecture and photography with recycled building materials to manipulate well-known perspective of Shanghai, both old and new.  The work becomes angular and fragmented – almost like a Cubist painting, in fact – and, at once familiar and new.

Isidro is coming to Dominik Mersch Gallery in Waterloo from July 23rd.  He is an accomplished international artist with work at MoMA and The Whitney amongst other places, so be sure to check it out.

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Posted by on July 15, 2009 in art, looking, photography

 

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John Briscella

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Currently exhibiting at Vienna’s Walking Chair Gallery is an exciting exhibition by urbanist John Briscella.

Briscella has taken a traditional Louis XIV Chair and transposed the street layout of Paris.  In doing this, Briscella says, he is giving meaning to the relationship between pattern and product, creating stories of their union: “Louis XIV’s great disappearing act in Paris”, or “Real ghosts put a bed sheet over them to scare people, Louis XIV uses a map of Paris”.

The gallery is also selling these natty little notebooks, with featuring 127 different feint-ruled city grids for your sketching pleasure. As you read this, one is on its way to Australia.

Thanks to MoCoLoco for the tip.

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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in art, designing, interior design, looking

 

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