Color & Identity: Portraits by Hopare, Lita Cabellut & Gian Piero Gasparini

Untitled. Artist: Hopare; Ink, spray paint and acyrlic on canvas; Art Central (Avenue des Arts). Photo by longzijun

The artwork on this page features fascinating and colorful large-scale portraits by three European artists. Each artist uses his or her own special techniques and materials to explore themes of identity (To view any of the photos at a higher resolution, click on the image).
 

Lita Cabellut

Coral Flowers 05 (detail view). Artist: Lita Cabellut; Mixed media on canvas; Art Central (Opera Gallery). Photo by longzijun

Lita Cabellut, a Spanish artist of Romani ancestry, specializes in large-scale portraits (though she is involved in a wide range of creative endeavors such as photography, poetry and video). In her portraits, she strives to obtain a realistic, almost luminous skin tone via the use of carefully selected media and pigments.

In her coral series of portraits, the canvas is pockmarked with tiny holes, bringing to mind coral skeletons. In Coral Flowers 05 (shown above), the vibrantly colored explosion of hair is like the living coral covering the surface of the reef. In a coral reef, the living coral organisms are anchored to the framework of the reef, a framework built of coral skeletons. Similarly, for humans, we live for ourselves but are still anchored to the culture, heritage and genes of our ancestors. We live in a present built upon the framework of the past.

Coral Flowers 05. Artist: Lita Cabellut; Mixed media on canvas; Art Central (Opera Gallery). Photo by longzijun

Artist’s website: www.litacabellut.com

Video: How Lita Cabellut grew from street child to an internationally renowned artist (by the Economist)

 

Hopare

Untitled. Artist: Hopare; Ink, spray paint and acyrlic on canvas; Art Central (Avenue des Arts). Photo by longzijun

The human face is a favorite subject of Hopare, a Paris-based street artist. Rather than going for a strictly realistic style, Hopare uses bold colors to evoke emotions and moods and superimposes geometric lines and curves on the faces. In the untitled painting shown here, the bold black lines and curves bring out the natural geometry of the subject’s facial structure and are also reminiscent of Maori tattoos (known as moko), which represent the identity and history of the wearer.

Artist’s website: www.hopare.com

Video: LIVE PAINTING HOPARE & LIVE MUSIC

 

Gian Piero Gasparini

Guen. Artist: Gian Piero Gasparini; Cotton on Wood; Affordable Art Fair Central (Palma Arte). Photo by longzijun

Italian artist Gian Piero Gasparini works with mosaics of painted cloth. Gasparini is fascinated with the relationship between personality and outward appearance and the way the two react to form one’s identify. His use of mosaic reflects this preoccupation. Our identity is composed of different personality traits and of different physical characteristics (e.g., skin color, hair color, facial structure, etc.). Like pieces in a mosaic, these traits and characteristics bear no meaning when viewed in isolation, but when stitched together they combine to form the fabric of one’s identity.

Anna. Artist: Gian Piero Gasparini; Cotton on Wood; Affordable Art Fair Central (Palma Arte). Photo by longzijun
Anna(detail view). Artist: Gian Piero Gasparini; Cotton on Wood; Affordable Art Fair Central (Palma Arte). Photo by longzijun

Artist’s website: gianpierogasparini.com


~by (longzijun)

artjouer

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Good Morning & Couple: Two Drawings by Olga Chernysheva

Click to view a higher resolution image
Good Morning, by Olga Chernysheva from the Graphic Performatives series (2014-2015)

Here are two of the drawings in Olga Chernysheva’s Graphic Performatives series shown during the Venice Biennale. Olga Chernysheva, who is based in Russia, works in wide range of media: film, photography, installation art, painting and drawing (Artist’s website: www.olgachernysheva.ru).

The charcoal-on-paper drawings and sketches in this series simply represent observations of everyday life. They are images of commuters, a pair of birds, a pile of chairs, a main standing beside a tree, visitors at an art museum, a dead wasp. Thus, the above photo of a ram-headed man casually strolling down the street with the early-morning sun casting an elongated shadow behind him likely represents nothing more than a man wearing a giant ram’s head and walking down the street. You are free to imagine his story.

Click to view a higher resolution image
Couple by Olga Chernysheva, from the Graphic Performatives series (2014-2015)

You can view the entire exhibition here: Drawings from the Series Graphic Performatives. You can click on any of the photos on this page to view a higher resolution image).

In her realistic portraits, her subjects are simply ordinary people momentarily captured doing whatever it is they were doing at that time. It doesn’t matter whether they are rushing off to work, sitting by the seaside, standing around doing nothing or walking down the street wearing a ram’s head. They all have their stories, and their stories are treated with grace and respect…and sometimes with a bit of whimsy.


~by (longzijun)

artjouer

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Kyoto: Light Festival at Tadasu no Mori and Shimogamo-jinja

Resonating Spheres at Shimogamo-jinja (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres at Shimogamo-jinja (photo by longzijun)

While visiting Kyoto during the summer, I went to see the magically whimsical light installation put together by teamLab at Tadasu no Mori and Shimogamo Shrine that took place during the last two weeks of August.

To see the whole gallery of 51 photos (at a resolution of 2048 x 1365), go to my Flickr gallery: Resonating Spheres & Resonating Trees.

Resonating Trees

Resonating Trees in Tadasu no Mori (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Trees in Tadasu no Mori (photo by longzijun)

In Tadasu No Mori (Forest of Correction), the trees along the forest path leading to Shimogamo Shrine were lit up in an installation called Resonating Trees. Each tree was lit independently and had a hidden speaker nearby that emitted musical tones that corresponded to the changing colors. The colors (and their corresponding musical tones) changed according to the presence and movement of people. The color of light shining on an individual tree could also radiate out to affect other trees, which would begin to resonate with the same color and musical tone. You can see his effect in the video by teamLab:

When I was there, however, the effect was very different. As there were a lot of people there at the event’s opening, the lights and tones were changing rapidly, as in the following video:

Trees Illuminated in Tadasu no Mori (The Forest of Correction), Kyoto
Trees Illuminated in Tadasu no Mori (The Forest of Correction), Kyoto
Resonating Tress by teamlab  (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Tress by teamlab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Trees opening night (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Trees opening night (photo by longzijun)

Resonating Spheres

Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)

The courtyard at Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) was filled with large glowing floating spheres. These spheres would change color (and musical tone) when touched by people. As in the forest installation, the colors of an individual sphere could radiate out and cause other spheres nearby to resonate with the same color and give off the same musical tone. If thre was a sphere left unattended, it was almost impossible to resist the urge to reach out and touch it.

Boy and Sphere (photo by longzijun)
Boy and Sphere (photo by longzijun)
Blue spheres in resonance with one another  (photo by longzijun)
Blue spheres in resonance with one another (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab) (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab) (photo by longzijun)
Girls with a blue sphere:   (photo by longzijun)
Girls with a blue sphere: (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab  (photo by longzijun)
Resonating Spheres by teamLab (photo by longzijun)

The Installation’s Aim

According to teamLab, the aim of the installation was to change relationships among people by making the presence of other people a positive experience. As people walk through the forest path and into the courtyard of the shrine, their presence and movement cause the colors and musical tones around them to change. Thus, a stranger walking by is no longer someone to ignore or be annoyed with; he/she becomes a co-conspirator in a shared artistic experience.

The positive nature of human contact is also presented through the idea of resonance. Like the manner in which the light color and musical tone emanating from a tree or sphere can influence the lights and sounds around them, our own moods can influence (and be influenced by) those around us and radiate outwards, ‘infecting’ more and more people.

Setting the light installation in a sacred forest and an important Shinto shrine also draws the visitors’ attention to their relationship with nature, tradition and spirituality.

Obon

The light festival at Shimogamo-jinja and Tadasu no Mori (糺の森) opened during Obon, the annual festival in which Japanese honor the spirits of their ancestors. Activities related to this festival often revolve around lanterns, which are floated down rivers or across ponds or are attached to graves. These lanterns are intended to guide the spirits back to their homes. Could the glowing spheres of this installation also serve as a more modern representation of the traditional Obon lanterns?

teamLab

According to teamLab’s website,

“teamLab is a collective, interdisciplinary creative group that brings together professionals from various fields of practice in the digital society: artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, web and print graphic designers and editors. Referring to themselves as “Ultra-technologists,” their aim is to achieve a balance between art, science, technology and creativity.” (www.team-lab.net/)

Kamo-jinja

Comprised of Shimogamo Shrine (www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english.html) and the surrounding sacred grove of Tadasu No Mori, Kamo-jinja is a Shinto sanctuary complex that is said to protect Kyoto from malign influences. It is situated in northeast Kyoto within the delta of two rivers: Takano-gawa and Kamo-gawa.

Towards the end of the evening, the moon came out to play (photo by longzijun))
Towards the end of the evening, the moon came out to play (photo by longzijun))
The Tori at Shimogamo-jinja
The Tori at Shimogamo-jinja

More about the Installation

Official Website: light-festival.team-lab.net/en/


~by (longzijun)

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