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Year 1, No. 5, May, June, July 2011

magazine


LARmgazine

Director Catalina Restrepo Leongómez catalina@livingartroom.com Art director Texts Rebeca Durán Aetzel Griffioen http://reckss.blogspot.com/ Sylvia Navarrete David Gremard Romero Alessia Armeni Editor Photographs Daniel Vega artists’ courtesy serapiu@hotmail.com Acknowledgements: Adriana Restrepo Arturo Medina Adrián de la Garza

Contributors Octavio Avendaño Trujillo Valeria Farill Alejandra Baltazares Cover Peeping Sarajevo, 2004 Kanako Hayashi

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EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL Magazines

clear and direct style and vast knowledge, which transmits an infectious pleasure for art and photography.

The press media has been -and always will be- a good symptom of the contemporary art scene growth. It could be said that the quality level of a country’s exhibitions and cultural events is directly proportional to the quality of its publications. The quantity is not that determining, but nevertheless widens the range of possibilities of finding good material.

Valeria Farrill, another collaborator, tells us her point of view on pros and cons of the popularization of art, and the mark left by it in Mexico City’s editorial field, where many art, fashion, design and architecture magaThis fifth issue of LARmagazine is dedicated zines are published. to publications, starting with an interview to Rosa Olivares, editor of EXIT magazine, Among other things, we would like to by critic and independent curator Octavio share a feature in this issue: it is the most Avendaño Trujillo. Rosa is a woman I international one we have made. We present personally admire for her intelligence, her artists from many countries: Jasper de 1


EDITORIAL

Gelder (Netherlands), Alessia Armeni (Italy), David Gremard Romero (U.S.A.), Kanako Hayashi (Japan) –who is in the cover-, and Sofía Echeverry and Jeanne Saade Palombo (Mexico). We also have portfolio updates on Jorge Carrera, Antonio Ibarra, Alejandra Baltazares and Javier Areán. About Alejandra, this time around she wrote an article for LARmagazine, on her personal experience in an artistic residence in Bolivia. Without giving a verdict on contemporary art in that country, she shows us that it does exist, and that there are many artists worth checking out. I hope you enjoy this edition as much as I do.

Catalina Restrepo Directora Living Art Room www.livingartroom.com

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CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS Valeri Farill

Alejandra Baltazares

(México, 1980) Sculptor with a Cum Laude diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Italila, with the thesis Dopo Frida, ultime tendenze nelle artiste messicane (After Frida: the latest tendencies of Mexican artists).Today she Works as an independent curator and art promoter, after a long trajectory in renowned national and international contemporary art galleries. She lived in Florence, Italy, for more than seven years, and currently lives and works in Mexico City.

(1985) Photographer and videoartist, she studied Visual Arts in the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City, Mexico, and in L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Villa- Arson in Nice, France. She recently was part of an artistic residence in La Paz, Bolivia. In 2009 her piece Je t’aime moi non plus was exhibited in the VIDEO DUMBO video festival in New York. Currently, she is the recipient of a scholarship from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) in Mexico, for the period 2010-2011.

http://www.valeriafarill.com/

livingartroom.com/alejandra_baltazares 4

Octavio Avendaño Trujillo

(1985) Art critic, investigator and curator. He has contributed for the main cultural supplements in Mexican newspapers. In 2010 he was part of the Museo de Arte Moderno’s curatorial team, in Mexico. He publishes Cubo negro, his column, every Monday in Eje Central. He has worked as an administrator in Spain, Canada, United States and Turkey. He was a producer and host of the radio show Los Colores del Arte, coordinator in the Centro de Investigación de Lugar Cero, a project of Casa Vecina. He has also made collaborations for TEVE UNAM http://www.octavioat.blogspot.com/


CONTENT

CONTENT New Artist Portfoilios P:08 Kanako Hayashi A PLACE FOR PLAYING P:20 Sofía Echeverri SUSPICIOUS VISION / FALSE BLINDNESS P:032 David Germard Romero MY STATEMENT P:44 Jeanne Saade Palombo MASK OR MASSACRE P:058 Jasper de Gelder NATURAL INSTINCTS P:70 Alessia Armeni LIGHT EXPERIMENTS Interview P:82 ROSA OLIVARES by Octavio Avendaño Trujillo Portfolio Update P:92 Alejandra BaltazaresP:105 Antonio Ibarra P:116 Jorge Carrera P:126 Javier Areán Article P:138 CONTEMPORARY ART IN BOLIVIA TODAY by Alejandra Baltazares Opinion P:146 The “popization” of art by Valeria Farill Special Guess P:152 Mariele Williams Recommended P:160 Contemporary Art Magazines and Web of the World

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NEW ARTIST PORTFOLIOS


NEW ARTIST PORTFOLIOS

Jasper de Gelder (The Netherlands) (Italy) Alessia Armeni David Gremard Romero (United States) (Japan) Kanako Hayashi SofĂ­a Echeverri (Mexico) (Mexico) Jeanne Saade Palombo

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KANAKO HAYASHI

Paysages do Aich iestrela, 2010

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KANAKO HAYASHI

KANAKO HAYASHI A place for playing

Kanako Hayashi was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1981. For many years, she professionally practiced synchronized swimming, which influenced the way she conceives her projects. Being underwater without hearing anything, not even her breath, thoughts flow from a very personal position, solitary and reflective. Despite this, there is a strong search for contexts in the societies she has lived in, constantly interacting with people and places.

of Tetris- in doorframes, handrails and publicity signs. She of course registers all these actions.

She made her first interventions in busy Tokyo, where she realized the almost complete lack of places to play. To counteract this deficit, Kanako made the most of every corner, wall and hole, to create actions that change the routine of the passer-by. A good example is the series Fitter (2008), where she looks for cracks in the city’s walls to get inside, or assembles friends –like pieces

Later, being on a residence in Sarajevo, she saw the streets had bullet holes marked in red, like indelible scars of the war. She noticed other holes that were not wounds, nor had anything to do with bullets. That is how Peeping Sarajevo (2004) was born; a project where she placed a large door filled with holes -the holes themselves small sights for people to observe the interior of

For Street Practice (2009), Kanako took zenith pictures of her, where she climbs, it seems, a wall, when in reality she is in the floor crawling. She also filled the sidewalk’s lines with petals. In an innocent and playful way, the artist made the walkers play “don’t step on the lines” with her.

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the building. With this, she made two things clear: that a stranger will never understand the full reality of another country, but only the small amount seen through a hole; and most severely, that Sarajevo is not only war. Kanako’s position does not seek activism, or to change the world with her work.

Her goal –simple and honest- is to divert society’s square and individualist look and, for moments, to use accents that bring reflections on the way one can appropriate his own city. To others she will, at least, try to alter their routines on the way to work.

STREET PRACTICE:03 –Road Climbing-, 2009

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KANAKO HAYASHI

Paysages do Aich iestrela, 2010

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KANAKO HAYASHI

FITTER –Acrobatic Fitter-, 2008-2009

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KANAKO HAYASHI

FITTER –Acrobatic Fitter-, 2008-2009

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KANAKO HAYASHI

Look in Sarajevo, 2004

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La! Alegria de Mexico!, 2006


STREET PRACTICE:02 -Camellia japonica.2009


KANAKO HAYASHI

FITTER – Kiyoshima-Apartment-, 2010 17


KANAKO HAYASHI

www.livingartroom.com/kanako_hayashi

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Cells, 2010


SOFÍA ECHEVERRI

SOFÍA ECHEVERRI Sospechosa visión / falsa ceguera

Her themes are usually politic towards the media, publicity and social hierarchies, among others. She speaks of the relationship between human beings and nature, and with other beings that share the Earth with him. For example, in Requiem (2009) she shows animals lying on the floor: it is inevitable to wonder if they are dead or only Her work has a defined interest in drawing sleeping. and painting, but has of late shown some experimentation in other types of bi-dimen- Another series, Verdugas (2009), features sional formats such as laser cut on acrylic hooded women that, from their postures sheets. The simplicity and delicacy in her or clothes, recall protagonists in hailed classic trace is a gesture always present in her paintings from periods where the artists work. Conceptually, Sofía creates images were men, and women were cult objects. that dwell on the idea of power, expressing Since their head and faces are covered, the different ways of it. female figures seem like victims, although at the same time, executioners or killers. Sofía Echeverri is a young artist, one of the most recognized in Mexico, who received a FONCA scholarship in 2004 and 2006. In December 2010 she he exhibited different pieces, covering her whole career, in the Museo de Arte Raúl Anguiano in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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The shapeless evil, 2010


SOFÍA ECHEVERRI

None of us, 2010

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SOFÍA ECHEVERRI

None of us, 2010

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SOFÍA ECHEVERRI

Requiem, 2009 26


SOFÍA ECHEVERRI

Requiem, 2009 27


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Executers, 2009


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Hybrid-girls, 2009 29


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Blindness Catalogue, 2009 30


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www.livingartroom.com/sofia_echeverri

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DAVID GREMARD ROMERO

DAVID GREMARD ROMERO Mi statement

The unifying themes behind my current body of work are Lucha LIbre, or Mexican Free Wrestling, and the confluence of cultures brought about through conquest and emigration in the America’s, both ancient and modern. Masks, capes and tights become important accessories of the luchador as a modern day super hero/warrior. My work deals with the syncretism of Lucha Libre costumes and pre-hispanic and colonial mythology. The works also touch on the homoerotic connotations of hypermasculine activities like wrestling and male bonding at sporting events. Most importantly, my pieces bring a contemporary Chicano perspective to colonial painting and the textile traditions of the Americas and to larger issues of multiculturalism, our shared and painful history and to identity politics.

The central preoccupation unifying all my work is an engagement with the practice of the old masters, particularly those of the Baroque and Rococo periods. Their perfection of craft, their exploration of narrative modes, and their explicit connection to history and politics are a source of continuing fascination and inspiration to my work. Embedding contemporary iconography and themes in a classical figurative craft, I seek to tease out the hidden relationships and continuities between classical art and current culture. As a gay, Catholic, Mexican-American artist, the complex themes of race, sexuality, subjectivity and identity find themselves entwined within the baroque imagery of my paintings, sculptures, textiles, and videos.

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Metamorphisis, 2006


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Self-portrait as Xipe-Totec ,2010

Portrait of Jody in the embrace of Amleia Earhart, 2010

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Triple portrait of Amanda as Three manifestation of Virginia Dare, 2010

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Luchadores with cherubim, 2006

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www.livingartroom.com/david_gremardromero

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Pink milk,2007


JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO

JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO Mask or Massacre. The (In) voluntary Brutalities of Jeanne Saade Palombo by Sylvia Navarrete (fragment) translated by Isay Podgaetz

What is uncomfortable then? The cartoon accent, latent in the interpretation. In one of his drawings, for example, she appears wrapped in a bath towel, its open mouth in a lion yawn that is a little unflattering. Although there is no insinuation of eroticism in her self-portraits, interestingly the resonances that I find lead me to authors dedicated to drawing brothels: Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Jules Pascin, Jose Luis Cuevas and the claimed influence of the late Eduardo Cohen, who in its classes inherited her the economy of plastic resources, a small weakness of the obscenity of the flesh and, above all, “the experience of the unfiltered beauty gaze�, as Andres de Luna noted. Jeanne makes herself ugly and aging in her self-portraits. In person she is a young blond, tall and attractive. The only thing that comes out of the rule in her physique are the eyes, a glacial and opaque blue that seems to belie the cordiality of the smile.

The first time that I had the opportunity to see in detail a work of Jeanne Saade Palombo was in 2005, at the VII FEMSA Biennial of Monterrey. Of the two drawings that the author sent, the members of the jury (of which I was part) selected Hidden Exposed (2004), a self-portrait that intrigued all at once: Who was this artist capable of such tension in the expressiveness of its strokes, of such a lapidary impact on the image? The immediate impression that produces a work of Jeanne Saade Palombo is embarrassment. Not that it has confusion in it, but it has a very disconcerting ambiguity. The pencil line is trembling, syncopated and sometimes feverish, but the hand is relaxed, sure of itself. The composition does not change: the pose of the model is three-quarters, with a full bust. The body remains erect, like in a defensive attitude, without undulations that suggest abandonment. The gaze, serious and perhaps melancholic is fixed in the viewer. 45


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to sneer. Should we think, then, that irreverence is the antidote to your good education? Well behaved and dejected; sweet and cruel… beyond a prank probably without consequences and fleeting entertainment of the visual massacre, I am convinced of the solid talent of Jeanne Saade Palombo for drawing and confident that she will amass it in the future, with or without the subterfuge of (in)voluntary brutality.

What we see in the sketch –a mature woman of cautious stance, with a grin that anticipates the bitterness– makes us sense a suspicious temperament, something tormented. Paradox: there is no feel for the anguish of the personality of Jeanne Saade Palombo but, on the first contact, joy, simplicity and pleasantness. In fact, when you ask her, for example, what are her physical complexes, she sparklingly responds: “My feet, it distresses me greatly that my feet are seen (I am already overcoming it), as a little girl I swam with socks. I have one worse: I totally suffer when I have to be in public, including going to the supermarket or walking in the street…” She goes direct to the psychologist with this confession: “Are perhaps her self-portraits a catharsis, a vengeful therapy for her own phobias?” Jeanne Saade Palombo is little lenient with herself. When she portrays others, she is not so. But in this case the (mis) treated and the severity yield slightly, under the influence of a rather acid sense of humor. An unquestionable gift of the detail and the gesture is discernible in all portraits. Jeanne Saade Palombo declares not to have a desire

Oculto expuesto, 2004 46


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Tres cuerditas, 2005 47


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SINESTESIA

Oculto expuesto, 2004

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Retrato de familia, 2011


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De zorros y erizos, , 2006 52


JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO

De zorros y erizos, , 2006 53


JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO

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De zorros y erizos, , 2006


JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO

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De zorros y erizos, , 2006


JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO

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De zorros y erizos, , 2006


JEANNE SAADE PALOMBO

www.livingartroom.com/jeanne_saadepalombo

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Series morphology,2003


JASPER DE GELDER

JASPER DE GELDER by Aetzel Griffioen

picture perfect, bleeding show dogs forces it onto the viewer with the same bluntness as the unsuspecting consumer experiences when he realizes that his “natural” products are actually the artifice of a marketing agent. Now three years have passed since his graduation, and not only has de Gelder changed his technique from photorealistic use of oil paint to a more abstract, free stroke in tempera; also his depth has increased manyfold. The theme of nature has stayed.

Jasper de Gelder’s work is about situatedness. But in the face of most of his paintings and his threedimensional pieces, that would not be the first conclusion to draw. When walking through de Gelder’s studio, I hear the bubbling of two great aquaria and feel the breeze as it rustles through the reeds that reach his high ceiling. The smell of egg tempera penetrates my nose and as I look at his latest paintings on the wall, prepared skulls of predator fish stare back at me – all the more menacingly for being dead. Nature surrounds him, and throughout his portfolio I sence a deep fascination with nature and the way people change, use and cope with it.

Point in case is his latest, at the time of writing yet unfinished series where something as natural as a seabird changes into a political being. Three cormorants, one eating a fish, one vomiting up a fisherman’s reel, and another standing besides a fisherman’s boot, depict the battle Dutch Fisherman are waging against, one the one hand, the decreasing fish stock, and on the other, increasing European legislative action. Although studies show that the cormorant has no negative impact on the eel population, the fisherman belie their own impact on the environment

But what does nature mean in a country where one hundred percent off the land is cultivated? Is there any nature left at all in The Netherlands, one of the economically most developed countries on the planet? This must be the question that inspired de Gelder in 2006, his last year at the Rotterdam Willem de Kooning Visual Arts Academy. His work of that time, the series of 59


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as well as their impasse with Brussels by as befits the power with which a hidden nature blaming the negative birds for the shortage can sometimes assert itself like during a high of eels. rise or a storm, but the increasing ambiguity he has incorporated during the past three Thus, while de Gelder’s subjects could years assures that his work transposes the equally be actors in wildlife documentaries, idea of a nature “over there” onto that of a his playful handling of natural reality slaps reality of complicity from which humans the consequences of a western lifestyle can no longer afford to subtract themselves. right on canvas. His work is far from safe, We are our milieu.

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Sardine,2006


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Series Morphology, 2003-2004 61


Series morphology,2003


Regal Python, 2009


JASPER DE GELDER

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Conjoined Twins, 2005 67


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Sardines, 2005


JASPER DE GELDER

www.livingartroom.com/jasper_degelder

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Sogni Urbani II, 2009


ALESSIA ARMENI

ALESSIA ARMENI Ligth Experiment

perspective designed to depict the human mind, made of memories, elaborations, and sudden connections. At the same time, I embarked in a performative project, “24h painting�, during which I captured and represented light throughout an entire day, inside a white room.

I have always been attracted to light as the revealing source and building block of the visible world. For me, it becomes the tool with which a new reality of the mind is created, a revelatory device of spiritual complexity. My research began as descriptive: a homage to the light that inhabit the parks of Rome and to the people who bask in it, in the blinding daylight of spring, or in the cool summer shade; sometimes in the brisk and tepid winter light.

In my most recent work, I use the angle, the elementary degree of spatial configuration, as a natural reference system for the relative nature of light, constructive element of space both mental and real. Through light, the ultimate symbol of life and an indefinite and ever changing element, I seek the simplest way to represent our complexity.

Thereafter, my work moved to tackle more complex structures, developed on different levels: the comparison between indoor and outdoor light, the juxtaposition of multiple pictorial languages, a multiple-point 71


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ALESSIA ARMENI

A cosa stai pensando?, 2009-2011 73


Sogni Urbani II, 2009


ALESSIA ARMENI

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W le vacanze, 2008

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Ne ha tal donde di siffatte ciufole,2010


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Ne ha tal donde di siffatte ciufole,2010 80


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www.livingartroom.com/alessia_armeni

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ROSA OLIVARES

ROSA OLIVARES Interviewed by Octavio Avendaño Trujillo

Rosa Olivares (Spain, 1955) is one of the most notable figures in the contemporary art scene, for her contributions in the art criticism field, photography and promotion. She is currently the head of a project conceived along with the beginning of the 21st century: EXIT, a photography-oriented magazine that proposes a visual discussion of today’s culture. With the event of her visit to Mexico City to take part in Zona MACO, Living Art Room invited curator and critic Octavio Avendaño Trujillo (Mexico, 1985) to interview her, getting some interesting opinions on photography, art criticism, curatorship and art itself.

Bordo Póniente, fotografías cortesía RESIUDAL 82


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OAT: Rosa, I would like to begin this interview with a genealogy of two editorial projects essential to contemporary art: one of them was Lápiz; now it’s EXIT, to then go through your contributions to art

had previously made a study of world magazines- because there were no art magazines in Spain at that time. Not even the Reina Sofía existed; we´re talking 30 years ago, you weren’t even born. Young people that now work with me used to read me in college. RO: Lápiz began when I was very young, It´s two lives, like couples that divorce and 21, and when I look back it seems crazy, have two marriages, two sons. because we were all so young. It was the first real project for all who took part of it -a Then, with a lot of enthusiasm and little project now owned and directed by Alberto means, Lápiz began, in a country that had López. I come from the world of specialized no contemporary art tradition, got out of information. I had done art and literature, and a dictatorship and had no contemporary he asked me to prepare a magazine project – I art museums, no galleries: a country shut 83


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to the outside world. Lápiz had different stages: the first thing we did was to inform -in Spanish- what was happening in the world, because there were no exhibits in Spain; the second was to mix art, Spanish and international; the next one was more about theorization and normalization. For all of this, it must be said that in Lápiz we always had a lot of interest and attention for Latin American art, photography and architecture. On this, the magazine did pretty well; it was translated to English and went out to the world.

photography magazine that didn’t need all the editorial structure, without all the people, a tri-monthly thing with depth, because times have changed. EXIT is different; it’s a European magazine about everything that’s going on in the world right now. I must say that EXIT has had a great international reception. We are the most important -and better thought of- photography magazine, which is great because we may not be rich, but we are well respected. I realized that I had a lot of free time with a tri-monthly magazine. I wasn’t earning anything, so I started expanding the team and we did EXIT Book, a magazine dedicated to theory and contemporary art books: it was an incredible success. A lot of specific people write on EXIT, one or two each issue, a lot of Americans and Germans, and I thought I needed a magazine that allowed me to continue in the business, so many of the academics and theorists started to write in EXIT Book, which gave us a strong local following again.

I left Lápiz because it had been 20 years, it was a project that needed radical changes and the country’s structure had changed considerably. Two generations of readers had come and gone, and we had to renew ourselves. The magazine’s owners were more conservative and didn´t agree, so I decided to leave before some bad blood ensued. I was here and there for a year, made some curatorial work with big success and traveled a lot. Then, going around and thinking about traveling to Cuba with Silvia Gruner, I decided my thing was doing magazines; I actually offered it to Lápiz’s director, who thought it was crazy. Then I decided to do a

Five years passed and we decided to make EXIT Express, which as you know is a 84


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WE TRY TO DO EXIT AS A WEDDING: SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW...

gets people interested, hard worked products that people like. We try to keep the language comprehensible and, since we have three magazines, we go to complimentary audiences, but different also. Mexico, Latin America is a very good audience; that is why we are strengthening our online version.

magazine with interviews, a worldwide network of contributors, original texts, movie section, architecture, contests. It aims to a younger, cosmopolitan generation with artists that, I most confess, I don’t always know - I got some years on me. I got an editorial staff with young, very capable people, I want to set that straight: there’s no project that works out well without a team. You can have an idea, but you need a team.

Our next step is making an iPad app for the magazine, so you can download everything without all the complicated and expensive trouble paper and courier companies bring. We are planning a summer release for the iPad issues. We are also renewing the photography website for EXIT, that will feature very interesting and free stuff to people in general, and maybe a virtual photo gallery. We´ll see.

We opened a website two months ago, EXITexpress.com, which is already generating readers and money, since it is updated daily. For example, we were the first ones to give the news about MUAC renovating its chief curator position, enter María Inés Rodríguez, who left the MUSAC. No newspaper has published that note. It can no longer be done on paper and it is fine with us. It is a young team, I like to give chances to newcomers. Plus they are in tune with their generation. We make a good team that

OAT: Now that you talk about the virtual gallery, this, in a way, curatorial process that every EXIT issue entails, is very interesting to me as part of the relevance of the project.

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RO: We have a motto: image and culture. paper. A lot has been said about the place It used to be the 21sth century magazine, of art: museums, the streets, but it is also because we were born along with the paper. A magazine is a visual space. In century. So we feature topics of general that way, it is making the impossible interest, cultural and social. If we talk exhibition, gathering artists you could never about adolescence, we now it’s a global get together, work you could never obtain. subject, from Japan to the Middle Eastern countries, something that is alive every- OAT: And much more in photography, where, but treated from the contemporary since it makes a lot of styles possible. visual side: photography. We also include cinema and video, everything that is post-pho- RO: Photography has a very documental tographic images, with texts not necessarily history, the whole idea of black and white from art theorists, but from sociologists, photo, and a brutal plastic creativity historians and writers, and with a very too. With the years, all of this has made strong photographic image, every number photography an open field of possibilities, displaying 20 or 30 artists from all over the just as any other artistic discipline. Let’s world. The magazine is made in Spain, but not forget that it is only a language now, has no origin denomination whatsoever; it a tool for expression, which has turned it is a magazine that works in any part of the into something much more open. There’s world, first because it is published in Spanish every kind of photography: abstract, and English, which are the most widely subjective, narrative, figurative. I think spoken languages of the world –along with yes, photography is a constantly changing Chinese-, but mainly because we use the world. It is here to stay. most universal language of all: image. We try to do EXIT as a wedding: PHOTOGRAPHY IS A something old, something new. Yes, historic photography, modern, very CONSTANTLY CHANGING young. With that mix we try to bring WORLD. IT IS HERE new names, respecting a tradition, a lot of things together. As you say, TO STAY. every EXIT is like an exhibition in 86


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answer the same thing when people ask me what one needs to write art: first you need to know how to write. Then you need to know about art –which you learn as you live on. But you also need to know about life. That is why this tendency towards the young is a great problem: a young artist is an immature artist; a young critic is an ignorant critic, with all my respect and love. I was young too, I’m not being rude. Today’s young critic will be tomorrow’s

OAT: On the other hand, EXIT has undoubtedly been a platform for many artists.

RO: There have been some Spanish artists who come out because of the magazine, some of them never even had galleries, but we supported them a lot. I don’t have any pretention of throwing out names, but EXIT does give them a lot of presence. There are some of the “home” artists like Thomas Ruff, who has grown with us and I think is one of the most important contemporary artists. I follow closely the generation that was born between “... a young critic is an the 1950s and the 1960s, mid-career artists, already accepted. In that sense ignorant critic, with all EXIThas been like Boxes, a place that has my respect and love. I was featured someone like Cindy Sherman young too, I’m not being repeatedly.

rude.”

OAT: That is referring to artists. I would also like to stress the importance of your language: simple, clear, related to the reader, against another sector of art criticism that has fallen prey of a dark, baroque style.

critic, but cannot pretend to now it all. It’s just like curators: nowadays everyone is a curator. A curator is someone who has a personal vision of art and wants to express it. Like Gerardo Mosquera’s exhibit in the Palacio de Bellas Artes Museum, a splendid showing

RO: This is a cultural matter. When I give a master on art criticism, I always 87


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with mostly unknown art from the 50s, 60s and 70s. That is a curatorship, not just choosing three of your friends and putting them in an exhibition. A curatorship is a superior level of artistic knowledge. We forget the pioneers: Pontus Hulten, people who have innovated the way of seeing art, which is the curator’s job. Now everything is curated, everything and nothing is, it says nothing. That is a problem, the language problem that you talk about. There’s a professional language in art; you use technical language when writing a theoretical work, an essay, something that will be analyzed by professionals. When you work in different media or in an exhibit’s catalog you will be read by people interested in art, but that doesn’t mean you have to make them suffer when reading your text. We write to be read by others, so the critic must put his intelligence aside. He must become a mediator between a piece of art and the audience, not draw the latter away. One of the essential problems of contemporary art is that it is drifting away from society every day. You can not think of yourself as a political artist when nobody cares about

THE CRITIC MUST PUT HI your work, you can not think of yourself as a successful artist when your work is not understood, or when it is by only five collectors who buy it because it was on ARTFORUM, or because it is owned by some art gallery director. Those are all media manipulations, but art is always for the people -selected people, let’s not cheat ourselves. Art has also a way of communicating the day to day problematic. I’m always surprised to see people in the streets who like ancient art and not the art of their time: they like the Renaissance; they don’t understand Goya, but they can see it since it is narrative, figurative. That’s the reason photography has been so strong, because people see it, recognize it and feel close to it. It has a figurative, narrative structure easily recognized at first–although this is decreasing. But we must not forget that photography, painting and drawings made today are about what the artist is experiencing in society. The language is much more abstract and cryptic, but art –I talked about this with Osvaldo Sánchez- is something 88


ROSA OLIVARES

want how I want. One of the things I do is being against the grain, which is a problem. I never work for the power, for the government; I make an exhibition incidentally, but my work is always independent. I am very critic regarding the political management of culture. I will never be a fashion commissioner; I’ll never be Cuauhtémoc Media, people who make great commissions for the country. I respect them, appreciate them, but that is not my role. I am a woman that generates projects, things. I like the territories of culture, I like edition. To live 30 years in art, in the art world, and to still enjoy it is a merit itself. When you run an art magazine and you have a team of more than 15 people, art becomes a product. Sometimes you need to get out of it and go to a museum, enjoy as a regular spectator. I will never be a fashion star and have never expected to be one, but I hope to be respected and valued by the work I do, which seems enough to me.

IS INTELLIGENCE ASIDE that moves you inside, either it repulses you or drives you crazy, but it moves you. It doesn’t leave you cold or is something that you have to sit and read, or spend five hours studying: that is something else. That is why I write to be understood, and I write as I speak, you don’t need to include a handicap. When you are young, one of the reasons for writing is to show off everything you know and how smart you are –I did it too-; you include a lot of quotes, do a lot of foolish things that later, with a little luck, you stop doing. That’s my idea: I know when I need to say something and how to write it clearly, because the problem comes when you got nothing to say. OAT: You have always had something to say, why don’t you tell me something about yourself.

Octavio Avendaño Trujillo Crítico y curador www.octavioat.blogspot.com

RO: We all have a big ego, myself included, but my mission is to do what I 89


ARTIST PORTFOLIO UPDATES


Alejandra Baltazares (Mexico) (Belgium) Antonio Ibarra Jorge Carerra (Mexico) (Mexico) Javier Areรกn

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ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

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Beauty Queens (Bolivia), 2010


ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

Beauty Queens (Bolivia), 2010

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ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

Beauty Queens (Bolivia), 2010

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ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

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ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

Hairstyles for a beauty queen, 2010

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Orphanage for girls, 2010


Orphanage for girls, 2010


Orphanage for girls, 2010


ALEJANDRA BALTAZARES

www.livingartroom.com/alejandra_baltazares

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ANTONIO IBARRA

ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

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ANTONIO IBARRA

www.livingartroom.com/antonio_ibarra

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JORGE CARRERA

JORGE CARRERA

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The memory project, 2011


The memory project, 2011


The memory project, 2011


JORGE CARRERA

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JORGE CARRERA

Citoplasma/Mozaic, 2009

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JORGE CARRERA

Astromozaic, 2010

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JORGE CARRERA

www.livingartroom.com/jorge_carrera

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JAVIER AREAN

JAVIER AREAN

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White paintings 2010


White paintings 2010


Family buisness, 2007-2008


JAVIER AREAN

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JAVIER AREAN

Family buisness, 2007-2008

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JAVIER AREAN

Stock Images ships that transported slaves to Venezuela

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MĂşltiplos, 2011


JAVIER AREAN

Múltiplos, 2011

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JAVIER AREAN

www.livingartroom.com/javier_arean

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Julio Gonzรกlez


CONTEMPORARY ART IN BOLIVIA TODAY by Alejandra Baltazares


I write this from one of the artistic residences offered by Kiosko Gallery in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The intention of this comment is to open the door to a country whose art has not been explored much, and generate interest and a link with Bolivian artists, who without a doubt offer attractive proposals, sadly not included in today’s art.

Raquel Schwartz, director of Kiosko Gallery, besides being one of the most outstanding exponents of Bolivian art, makes an important job in the spreading of local artists. She has taken Kiosko to fairs such as CH.ACO (Chile Arte Contemporáneo) and ArteBa. Now, in her role as curator, she prepared the exhibit Miamicito, which opened doors to the public on April 9th, 2011 on Dot Fiftyone Gallery, in

To travel to a South American country not known for its contemporary art is risky, but my experience turned out to be a pleasant surprise. During my stay I met a small but vivacious group of artists. I will mention some –they are few- with whom I was able to relate more, got to know their work closely and above all –in my point of view- represent the production of the place where they live. The residence program which i was part of had a precedent: KM0 workshop, aimed to Bolivian and international artists to develop a proyect in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The workshop became, years later, an important artistic residences program sponsored by the Hivos and Stichting Doen foundations, where 13 bolivian artists and 24 from more than 13 countries have participated.

Miami. As an artist, her work has participated in important biennials, like Sao Paulo or La Habana. It is truly important to mention her, since her work is the example of an international formation, tackling themes relevant to the Bolivian context; giving freedom to interpretation –through some


subtle and some more energetic elementsshe faces current, sometimes controversial realities from her country, which at the same time fit with the rest of the world. On the other hand, there are also emerging artists from Santa Cruz. One of them is Julio González, who includes his own nudity in different contexts and daily situations. Sometimes he is part of the scene, accom-

Raquel Schwartz

panied by characters that don’t seem to be upset with his presence. Julio speaks of his body as a “formal object, where the body itself is always as typical as strange”. One of his photographs stands out, where he takes up the “la cholita” character (similar to the Mexican “marías”), but in this case one that

belongs to the Transvestite Cholitas Sexual Workers Association. In contrast with Santa Cruz and its artists is La Paz, a highly politicized city with an overwhelming indigenous presence. Graffiti-covered walls from the Mujeres Creando (Women Creating) Collective do not go unnoticed. The group does not consider itself an artistic one, but its main representative, María Galindo, is an important reference for La Paz culture. María, a woman of a radical feminism, seeks to fight machismo and homophobia through these actions. These acts can be considered either as contemporary art or activism, and they lead us to the old question about what is art and who legitimizes it. Maybe the Museo Reina Sofía, which has shown her work, can answer that question for us. Andrés Bedoya is another artist from La Paz. Although he has lived in New York for many years, Bolivian culture persists in his work. Ultramadre, a performance and installation presented in Bolivia’s Museo Nacional de La Paz in 2009, is a clear example. The city of La Paz characterizes itself for the presence of the “cholitas”, women of long braids and peculiar hats, mother of many and none, just as Ultramadre. The piece is part of the artist’s introspection


Colectivo Mujeres Creando

and the relationship with his mother –who died when he was a teenager-: a wall of hair formed by the same cholitas, who only in intimacy untangle their braids, hair being of great importance in their culture, as it is on the work of Andrés. Between Santa Cruz and La Paz is Cochabamba, another one of the artistically active cities where mARTadero stands out, a space dedicated to production, cultural management and artistic experimentation. Cochabamba is home to Alejandra Alarcón, whose work is about women in her different stages. She uses the world of fairy tales using technique and concept to raise a

discreet discipline as watercolor to the contemporary art scene. After a small tour through the main cities and some of its artists, I’ll speak briefly about the artistic production in the country. To create art in Bolivia is hard, as it is in any of the so called “developing countries”. A well known Bolivian artist said: “the environment in Bolivia gets in the way of creativity, blocks, inhibits and kills it”. And it is true, Bolivia stands out for its contrasts, that to some are like heavy anchors that do not help culture, and for others (myself included) is full of triggers for creation, virgin spaces hoping for new proposals that


unfortunately go unnoticed by society, artists or cultural institutions. But not everything is inspiration or will. The economic situation is a heavy burden, as well as the lack of interest from institutions, or limited basic materials for drawing or quality prints. But at the same time you can have access to places you hardly could in Mexico or any other country. For example, I needed one phone call to photograph Miss Bolivia, and carrying out a project with the legendary stylist in charge of preparing the queens of the most important beauty contests in the country.

AndrĂŠs Bedoya

The official spaces for exhibits are few, and in a city with a population of two millions, the audience is basically the same. But surprisingly, you can create a lot of important ties with artists and institutions in a city like Santa Cruz (that would appear to be far from the mainstream networks). A good example was the Santa Cruz International Art Biennale, where thanks to curators Cecilia BayĂĄ and Roberto ValcĂĄrcel, guest artists like Nicola Constantino and Bill Viola were present. In what seemed to be a small Biennale, the second prize was for Ricardo Lanzarini from Uruguay, an artist who shortly after would be part of the Armory Show in


New York. I mention this to demonstrate there is a real possibility for a young artist to present his work next to important figures in the field, and thus opening doors for future collaborations. The same situation would be more complicated in another country, and would surely take more time. The adversities of a country like this are not different from the rest. There are serious limitations, it is true, and as AndrĂŠs Bedoya says: “as Bolivian artists we have felt victimized by our environmentâ€?. But the chances are there, and even more when there are such interesting proposals, with enough quality to be on any level. Without fear of being wrong, I can say this is the best moment to turn our heads to Bolivian art and support it, being as critical as inclusive.

LINKS OF INTEREST: replicantelabc.blogspot.com | www.martadero.org | www.kioskogaleria.com | losartistasdicen.blogspot.com | replicantelabc.blogspot.com | www.andresbedoya.com | www.manzanauno.org.bo


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The “popization” of art

The “popization” of art and its editorial traces in Mexico by Valeria Farill

The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art is merely romantic fiction. The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened. Tom Wolfe

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The “popization” of art

And suddenly, when we were more focused on complaining about the lack of support for art, about its marginalization, its inaccessibility and elitism, just in that moment, when we got distracted with our crazy satisfaction in complaining about the system, art suddenly became hip. Without noticing, one after another, spaces began to open in the city, pointing out the new chic neighborhoods. Famous personalities of the high society were photographed while attending some important international opening, and massively consumed brands announced new collections of contemporary art. And again, we became drunk with bubbles of this new phenomenon -that will surely be referred by some as the golden age of contemporary art in Mexico-, while we feasted going from opening to opening, from an urban art demonstration to a lecture by an artist with an Eastern Europe last name, while we delighted in discovering that we could actually pronounce the name of three Chinese artists, it was then that contemporary art in the city changed its face. We came into the realization that during all this process our attitude, our clothing and relationships stopped being

those that identify someone alienated from society, the misunderstood, the original, the risky, and without knowing how, we became socialités. And it’s just that contemporary art became hip. “Finally!” we feel like screaming, “We have achieved the unthinkable!” some others will claim. And it’s interesting to interrupt the jubilation, stop one second and observe the outlook: contemporary art is now part of a hipster identity, alongside commercial music (including underground commercial), design and fashion. I’m not sure, but I feel that Andy Warhol had something to do with this. Since then, and more each day, we find curators dressed with the very last tendencies, and discover the stupor with which the country`s contemporary art fair is defined as the “summit event of Mexican high society” in all social magazines. Huh? When did this change happen? The cliché of the bohemian artist, asocial and daring, became a character that dresses with what magazines dictate, takes part in all important events and many times becomes an art star. Even though I can’t help but feel some kind

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of jealousy (the same I felt when my favorite bands became high society idols), it’s clear that this phenomenon provides many advantages. In its purer utopian essence, art must belong to all. Art becoming hip can lead to a tide of frivolous consequences, but essentially delivers the message to a wider audience. Popization (not popularization) of art stimulates collecting, which stimulates the market and quantity/quality of the offer. And yes, popization also has an important role in the popularization of art. A clear example of this is social magazines that include among their pages artistic events, causing more people to turn their eyes to artistic activities. It is known that tendencies, most of the times, start in the highest mark of a social pyramid, and with time begin stepping down, adapting to the masses’ tastes.

especially prolific since, because of ZONA MACO fair, many spaces changed their scheduling and offered their strong cards in exhibits, and some popular magazines as Chilango and Tomo, the Excelsior diary supplement- dedicated their monthly issues to contemporary art in the country. These publications have had a big welcome, and taken an essential role in the spreading of contemporary art to social levels previously not considered by the old culture world. The relationship they establish with the general public –otherwise not involvedbecomes more direct and simple. And we’re not only talking about people with money, but anyone with a subscription to a certain newspaper, or who buys a magazine to look up movies in theaters, and with a happy coincidence discover something interesting in a museum. Nevertheless, despite an apparent simplicity, these magazines do not neglect their editorial responsibility, incorporating critics, curators and other scholars that touch certain subjects without underestimating the intellectual level of their readers.

Another editorial consequence of this process, and surely a more serious and concrete effort of promoting culture, have been art/design/fashion magazines –and even some farther subjects as gastronomy and recreation-, that slowly started There is also another kind of magazines populating shelves of stores, libraries, and publications that fancy the word cultural centers and malls. April was “art” in their titles and covers. They are 148


The “popization” of art

known for being dedicated to a young audience capable of spending money in fashion, travels and art. They are hipsters, fashionists, condechis, romechis (isn’t there an adjective yet to describe the tribe starting to populate the streets of the Colonia Roma) and socialités. Said magazines are the pinnacle of popization of art. Art blends with design objects, luxury boutiques, graphic design, indie music, architecture and other digestible themes. Their designs, for obvious reasons, focus on the images, usually taken by guest photographers. They use both very wide and thin formats (Spot, Taxi Art Magazine), as well as little and sturdy (Código 06140), and are printed in thick matt good quality paper. Their pages are infected with luxury objects’ publicity, and they make a special ending by inserting a discreet socials section.

but most of them have an unfortunately predictable limited run. Their readers/ observers are still a short percentage of the population.

About these magazines, which I read with pleasure when I find them, I wonder if associating art to design objects, brand clothing and high lineage is a good thing. Its neocharacter of an in vogue accessory turns it into an objet du desir hunted by those that strictly follow the ultimate tendencies. It becomes tempting. But doesn’t flanking art with luxury objects makes it more frivolous? No one can deny art being a luxury object per sé, but we are relieved to think of it as a luxury responding to the soul’s most complex and profound needs. Can it really be placed on the same level as a Chanel purse, or an ergonomic bamboo chair built by a Norwegian designer? The lifespan of these publications is usually Aren’t we stripping art from its primordial not very long, since they are expensive and essence, while we congratulate ourselves wanted objects, and the aimed market is for disguising it with fur coats? restricted. They are easy to read, because they have a lot of drawings, the articles are short and the design eye-catching. They are It’s true: art in the most Cosmopolitan full of eye candy, visual delights. Two or cities is closer to people than ever. The three have positioned themselves in the taste last 30 years have activated an interesting of a select group of readers for ten years, process, through which artistic task and 149


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all of its components have come closer to the population by a repositioning of image. For an average spectator, art went from being something scholar, boring and not understandable, to a fun adventure, still hard but unexplainably chic and interesting; something worth investing in. One of the fruits of these changes -but quite possibly one of its origins too- is the birth of new pop magazines that, although being right in getting art closer to a new audience, have also created a vane halo –to call it something- around it. But it is not my intention to demonize them! This vane halo is precisely one of the originators of this explosion of new talents, and the opening of a great variety of new spaces with strong offerings in the city. And let’s face it: maybe it is the only way of creating a contemporary culture that carpets today`s society. In the end, the end justifies the means.

1.) To simplify the understanding of this article i will use the term “pop” to describe a commercial event, frivolous but well studied to be attractive to a large percentage of the population. I’m not talking about past artistic trends, or the abridgement of the word “popular”.

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SPECIAL GUEST

mariele williams ww.mariele-ivy.com


mariele williams

For Mariele Williams accessories are not only objects that people wear to adorn an outfit; for her, each necklace, locket, ring, etcetera, talks about memories, places, stories, loved-ones who are not around but somehow still present 154


mariele williams

As the daughter of a boat builder and a gardener her works have always been inspired by the symbiosis of humans and their environment. Each of her unique creations begins with one basic element: antler, feather, fossil, wood, or leather. Durable and delicate, ancient and fresh, her accessories are constructed with a tenacity that pays tribute to the places from which they came. The natural items included in her designs have been sourced from family and friends in and around Montana. As the materials around her change according to availability or hunting season so do the designs, ensuring no two pieces are alike. Her innate connection with the environment around her can also be seen in the many illustrations, installations and projects surrounding her constantly

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mariele williams

“I am from western Montana, very beautiful and mountainous. Being from MT has influenced my work tremendously. I grew up on farmhouse in a small orchid playing in the woods and near the river my whole life. I have always been inspired and excited to work with nature. My father is a drift boat maker and i grew up watching him create beautiful boats that allowed people to explore and interact with the beautiful rivers and nature in Montana. I think my jewelry does a similar thing for people. It allows them to take the beauty of nature and incorporate it into their daily lives. That is why “make nature jealous” is the motto I design under”.

“Travel has always been a huge part of my life and I have been lucky that my designs benefit from my travels immensely” 156


mariele williams

“The pig tusk was found at a market in Laos, the chain I bought in Japan and feathers I found during a 5 night long trek into the northern jungle of Laos. A guide and a translator took us into the heart of jungle to stay each night in a different hill tribe village.

“We were the first westerners to travel into the area since it had not developed as a tourist destination until recent. I was the first white woman that any of the women and children has ever seen in person. I hiked 8 hours that first day staring at the live chicken tied to the translators back. That evening we enjoyed the chicken for dinner and the feathers i collected that night have been incorporated into many different jewelry pieces.� 157


mariele williams

“The teeth gold leafed in these pieces are from an organic farm in Idaho. The little lamb couldn’t quite make it through the hard first hours of his life, but here he will continue to be appreciated much longer then he was actually in the world.�

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SOFÍA ECHEVERRI

“Each piece is cut by hand and incredibly unique. Wood types used include zebra wood, pink ivory, tulip wood, lace wood, purple heart, red heart, coco bolo, bubinga, rosewood and king wood. I come from a family rich with woodworkers, my grandfather made rifle stocks, my uncle is a luthier (guitar builder) and my father is a musical instrument maker and has built over 100 river drift boats.”

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Identitytheory (US)

Arte y Parte (Spain)

Blind Spot (USA)

BT / Bijutsu Techo (Japan)

Esfera Pública (Colombia)

FUSE (Canada)

Springerin (Austria)

Art (Spa

Arte (Colomb

BT / Bijutsu Techo (Japan)

ARTGUIDE Moscow (Russia) Contemporary Visual Art CVA (UK) Area Zinc (Spain)

Wallpaper (UK)

Lápiz (Spain)

Cabinet (USA) Brazil Contemporary (Brazil)

piktogram (Poland)

Flash A (Italy)

Art Signal (Spain) Bordercrossing (Canada)

Apollo Magazine (UK) Flux News (Belgium)

Art (Ge

Art (German

Metropolis M (Netherlands) TATE magazine (UK)

Recomended

Contemporary art printed and web magazines in different countries around the world

leave your comment at LAR’s blog saying which are your favorite ones or which


Notes ain)

eria bia)

o )

Artension (France)

Bola de Nieve (Argentina)

ARTECONTEXTO (Spain)

Asterisco (Colombia)

Frog (France) Curare (Mexico)

juxtapoz (USA)

Circa (Ireland)

Frieze (UK) Art

Neuroblasto (Mexico) Art & Australia (Australia)

Interview magazine (USA)

tforum ermany)

Codigo 06140 (Mexico)

Kunstbulletin (Switzerland)

Beaux-Arts Magazine (France) Parachute (Canada) EXIT (Spain)

Artcritical (USA)

ny)

Art & Auction (USA)

Artnexus (Colombia/USA) Ramona (Argentina)

Papers d'Art (Spain)

Revue Noire (France- about Africa)

Art Bites (Japan) Replica 21 (Mexico)

which ones do we have missed>>> livingartroom.wordpress.com


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