Saturday, July 27, 2013

Museum of Modern Art Medellin

The last museum I visited in Colombia was The Museum of Modern Art Medellin. The museum is housed in a large industrial style building and has two main wings.
The museum is full of photography and painting but very few sculptures. The only thing sculptural was an exhibit of ceramics by artist Alexandra Agadelo.
"Melgar" by Debora Arongo 1954

"Inocente" from a series by Ivan Hurtado
One of my favorite things in the museum was a series of photographs documenting a work by Ana Mendieta. It shows Mendieta igniting one of her earthworks traced with gunpowder. Ana Mendieta is one of my all time favorite artists. Her work was very ephemeral and almost always avoided the restrictions of normal venues. It was a pleasure to see the late artist's work represented at the museum.

Another treat was a drawing by Anibal Villejo "Is the Glass Half Empty or is it Half Full?"
This piece is one of the only works in the museum that displayed a sense of humor that I related to.
It is always nice to see someone taking a jab at an artist like Damien Hirst. I myself have yet to make the piece I have had in my head for years titled "The Impossibility of Scale in the Work of the Artist with No Budget"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The First Multiple of The Thirteenth Grape series- an explanation.

The 1st multiple of The Thirteenth Grape subscription has been mailed out.
This piece was made in Medellin, Colombia with materials available to me at the work site
which I was consulting at and various other sources (found objects).
Titled- Ghost of a Guanabana, it is made from MDF, balsa wood, fabric and guanabana seeds.
The seeds are commonly used as stringed beads for necklaces and are poisonous. The seeds contain the neurotoxin annonacin. The Ghost of a Guanabana is fashioned after old school images of ectoplasms with the seeds placed like eyes. The fabric has also been treated with UV paint so if viewed under a UV lamp it will give off a glow.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Medellin through pictures 22 days and counting

Twenty two days in Medellin Colombia and most of what I have seen is the worksite that I have been consulting on (as well as doing a large amount of work with my own hands- this has made it much more bearable). However, for one brief afternoon recently I was free to take in more of the cultural side of Medellin. Not that a work site doesn't instruct on the culture of a place- it is just that I wanted to see the crown jewels as well.
Our first stop ( I was traveling around with a scenic professional from Bogota who speaks excellent English and made it much easier to navigate- Thanks Ricardo! ) was Parque Lleras which is a nice little park surrounded by restaurants and bars.
We had lunch at a little Mexican place on the corner and then headed out by taxi to the Museo de Antioquia.
The first thing you see when you arrive at the Museo de Antioquia is a courtyard filled with huge bronzes by Fernando Botero. Botero is perhaps Medellin's most celebrated artists and the Museo has a fantastic collection of his work.

Across from the Museo de Antioquia is the very beautiful Catedral la Candelaria. I was struck by the unusual checkerboard stone work of this building.
The Museo de Antioquia was once I gather a library and looks very institutional. We got to see two floors which included the Botero collection, an exhibition called "Horizontes 100 anos" which is a celebration of 100 years of an independent Antioquia, and the international collection. Below are a few of the highlights of the "Horizontes" exhibition.

Detail of painting by Fredy Serna "Sin Horizontes"

Installation by Santiago Velez- very clever use of material. The open boxes were sealed and held water which was so still it looked like resin... until i stuck my hand in one to feel the surface I would have sworn it was clear casting resin.

Beautiful work on paper by David Manzur "Tribute to a White Wall"

The Botero section has very nice work as well. I am not a fan of the huge sculptural figures but I like some of his drawings and painting. Here are a few examples from the collection.


I think this one is called "Black Bishop" which has inspired me to make a drawing in my sketchbook called  "NegroHumptyDumpty"


"El Noche"

This last drawing held me for some time "Dying Bull" is a master work in my opinion.
On to the International collection which had an unpleasant surprise at its end. I can not really give an opinion of this collection as we were literally being chased out of the wing by security as the museum closed ( lights being turned off and everything like a club at 3am) (except in the club the lights come on). They did have one Picasso drawing-

 And then I entered a room after breezing by a Stella and a Rauschenberg and there it was. A giant canvass with an obscene frame holding a spilly splash of pigment. Without even looking at the tag I knew the author of the horror before me.
Another monstrosity from Julian Schnabel. I have titled it "No Energy"
Next I hope to get to the Museum of Modern Art Medellin. More to come from Colombia!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

3 weeks in Medellin so far

It has been twenty days since I arrived in Medellin Colombia and I figure it is time for a review of what I have seen and done here. First let me describe Medellin from my vantage. Winding roads impossibly folding onto themselves like a smooth noodle map leading down into a cool dark upside down question mark. An obscene frenzy of birdcalls at dawn, blue finches and parrots swarm the six story high bamboo lazy to wake in the valley mists of morning (June 12th). Squirrel crossing signs, newspaper sales girls on the corners, El Tesoro- a mall with an amusement park connected to it like a remora fish attached to a shark, as if a Cicagoan breathed infection into a courtyard three stories deep and out grew an elaborate boil in the shape of a ferris wheel- but still I have seen no squirrels here.
The flash of lightning every night sometimes accompanied by a loud sharp boom sometimes by silence.
Horses blocking street traffic gently nibbling on mountainside grasses.
Fire lanterns floating silently past condominiums into the sky to finally mock the stars with quiet laughter and a whispered threat to the world below.
Can't get Death Grips out of my head "I'm in your area.....I'm in your area"
Sin salt except for cured peppers. Picante vs caliente, pequeno vs poco..........................................