Over 80 years ago, the first feature-length animated movie was produced, not by a bunch of dudes and their rodent-obsessed leader, but by a German woman named Lotte Reiniger. Reiniger created her own style of animation, called sihouette animation, by taking what she loved about shadow puppet theatre—namely the cut-out puppets and backgrounds—and with her husband as cameraman, adapted them to the screen. Acting as director, animator, paper cutter, writer, and one-woman art department, Reiniger worked on over 70 films.
When I first saw Bethany Hays's work at a student show, it was the work that stood engraved in my mind out of many talented students work. Maybe it was because of the innocent, playfulness that I could relate to as a mom who spends her fair share of time with kids books, or maybe it was the form of the painting–rich colors, light patterns and shapes that teased me. In any case I was hooked.
A commentary on the way women and girls experience violence worldwide, Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women, and Art is an exhibit of work by thirty contemporary artists currently on display at Art Works for Change in Oslo, Norway.
Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Brown at Birdland, photo by Marcel Fleiss
So, the good news, as I see it anyway, according to a recent study by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA),
is that a third of Americans reported making art themselves. We're
making it in the form of music, photography, weaving, sewing, painting,
etc. Hooray! The bad news is that Americans are attending fewer
art-related events put on by professionals, like musical concerts,
plays and dance performances. Audiences are getting older and fewer
(for example at classical and jazz music events).
When I happened across this image on my Google Reader, I couldn't help but click through. AtJPG Magazine, I found "Fallen Princesses" project by Dina Goldstein. I was impressed with how the portrait "Snowy" ironically contrasted the cartoonish/iconic Disney outfits with a domestic scene out of the Feminine Mystique, Snow White staring coolly back at the camera all the while.
What do you do when the artist you love is, well, kind of a
jerk? I always tell people that it's important to separate the art from
the artist. I mean, if I had to like the personality of every musician,
painter or designer as well as their art—I'd be in trouble (Woody Allen
anyone?). So when I sat down to write this post about incredibly
talented graphic design/calligrapher, Marian Bantjes, it's funny that
I, myself, struggled with this very issue. (read on and take the poll on this at the end of the blog!)
I first learned about Paulo Rego when I was a teenager working in a bookstore, I spent endless hours of dead time flipping through the giant Phaidon book devoted to her work. Since then I have taken art classes on and off for ten years now and am shocked that not one of my teachers has ever brought up her work. It is just a reminder to me how women artists can slip into the cracks so easily, compared to their men counterparts.
France's Centre Pompidou houses the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, so the banishment of male artists for an entire year is quite an expression of solidarity with women in the art world.
I recently went to a screening of the film Handmade Nation at
Portland's excellent Museum of Contemporary Craft. And while the movie was good,
what really stayed with me was what I saw on my way to the screening
room. Seattle artist Mandy Greer's installation Dare alla Luce, which
closes next week, manages to combine macro and micro in the most
striking of ways: The installation comprises ropy tangles of fabric
that hang from the ceiling like primordial chandeliers, shimmering with
shells, beads, and buttons. Beaded orbs and stars hover between them,
and a huge black pelican holds court in the corner, its mouth spilling
streams of sparkling fabric onto the floor of the space. Getting up
close to the different parts of the installation, it's impossible not
to marvel at the intricacy of each one — what look like random masses
of fabric and yarn are carefully sewn, crocheted, beaded, and knotted.