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Posted inArt

Art Before Images

When you come across a mirror it’s nearly impossible not to look in it. But what happens when the reflective surface is an artwork — when looking at yourself precludes looking at it, and vice versa? Carrie Yamaoka’s exhibition at PK Shop, titled after the Jimi Hendrix song “Are You Experienced?,” is reminiscent of the cognitive illusions of the young girl and the old woman or the rabbit and the duck.

Posted inArt

A Look Inside Miami’s New Art Museum

MIAMI — On opening night, I dutifully parked my car in the Omni parking lot as instructed and got inside the double-decker bus that would take me five or so blocks to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). That ride on the top deck took nearly twenty minutes. We drove up the long driveway, past half-finished buildings, and were deposited in front of a gleaming jewel with swarms of people lined up at the doors.

Posted inArt

The Twilight Performance of an Aging Queen

MIAMI BEACH — Amidst the overabundance, overproduction, and overstimulation of the spectacle that is the Miami art fairs, it becomes progressively harder by the day to recollect what I have seen or even what I have liked. And yet, the thing about authenticity is that it can persist, despite an environment designed to shout it down. And I saw it in Conrad Ventur’s installation Montezland, at Participant Inc’s booth at the Untitled art fair.

Posted inArt

Finding Empathy in the Confines of Our Skin

Two billion cells make up the skin encasing our bodies, and 300 million of them are replaced every day. We need a sense of bodily integrity so much that if we lose a limb, we imagine it’s still there, itching and aching, and yet our skin, that exterior layer actually holding us together, is constantly dying off and renewing itself, sloughing off and repairing.

Posted inArt

Sympathy for the Devil

Claudia Joskowicz is the master of the tracking shot. In her video “Music to Watch Dead Girls By” (2006), the camera moves seamlessly for 20 minutes through an endless interior, entering into and departing from rooms, discovering and leaving dead girls in its wake. In her next series, the camera moves outdoors and away from directly pop cultural source material, but never far from pop culture, beginning its examination of historical events and “real spaces” based on anecdotal histories and actual historical events, for the most part focused on her home country of Bolivia.

Posted inArt

Founded by Twin Artists, a Residency and Foundation Brightens Vietnam’s Art Scene

HUE, Vietnam — Brothers Thanh and Hai Le are at the center of the contemporary art scene in Hue, the Imperial City, located on the coast midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. They have a frenetic and positive energy, and everyone in Hue seems to know who they are. They have relationships with established artists in Hue, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as with young students and artists who have just completed their studies. I learned about them from the artist Morgan O’Hara and contacted them because I planned to travel to Vietnam. They invited me to stay at their residency at the New Space Arts Foundation.

Posted inArt

Female Artists, Female Bodies

I was standing with a female painter friend in the Metropolitan Museum recently, in front of work by Van Gogh, when she said, “There are no rules.” Then, after a beat, she added, “Or he was hallucinating all the time and painted exactly what he saw.” For women, rules define a set of social expectations that are meant to keep them under control. In the arts, purportedly so much more liberal than the rest of society, this problem is acutely magnified, since culture tells us who we are, both literally and imaginatively.