Archive by Author

Successful opening of three exhibitions at the art center CADA

12 Apr

Last Thursday, on the 7th of April, the Art Center of Alcoy CADA opened its doors to inaugurate three exhibitions at a time: “Picasso and the Mediterranean”, Mónica Jover Calvo‘s “Panorámicas” and the video art “Fluido elemental”. The art center was almost at its full capacity.

The artist Mónica Jover, together with Joan Peiró -Vice-chancellor of culture for the Polytechnic College of Valencia- and Robert Sellés -Director of the Social and Culture Area of the CAM- were in charge of giving speeches and presenting the collections. Around a hundred people came to see the exhibitions, among them artists, friends, professionals of the sector and people interested in art.

Here you can see some images of the event.

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Mónica Jover and Picasso: Mediterranean landscapes in the CADA

17 Mar

On April, the 7th, the art exhibition Panorámicas will take place in Alcoi’s recently opened Art Center CADA. The exhibition will show the most recent works of Mónica Jover, an artist specialized in depicting landscapes, particularly of the most interior area of the province of Alicante, in Spain. Parorámicas will be the complement of Picasso’s pieces collection Picasso and the Mediterranean which will be opened at the same time at the art center, filling out CADA’s proposal for this spring, a homage to the Mediterranean culture.

Picasso and the Mediterranean is a collection of etchings, ceramics and illustrated books by Pablo Picasso where he represents, on several objects, his particular view of the culture impregnating the countries at the Mediterranean seashore. Mónica Jover’s Panorámicas, on the other side, is a collection of canvases where the Mediterranean mountainous landscape is represented from the artist’s point of view. She establishes a dialog with her surroundings, becoming the interlocutor with nature. The result is pictures where the inner and outer side of landscape is represented.

Clicking here you can see the invitation: Panorámicas by Monica Jover

Díptico 1- 190 x 160 Acrylic on canvas 2011

RED in the Fair

8 Mar

The Spanish Contemporary Art Show ARCO took place once again in Madrid. This year the fair was reduced in size and in the words of some collectors, works of art could be better seen.

If I should define this 2011 edition of ARCO with a colour, it would be red.

I always wondered if there anything subliminal when talking about colours. Neil Harbisson told us in a previous post of this blog that he can see colours through sounds. For him colours are rational, mathematical, and if Nice in France was azure for him or Madrid brown, it was due to empirical matters. But for me, a common “seeing” person, colour has more to do with the unconscious.

I especially liked this edition of ARCO as it seems to me that there were more paintings. I was amazed by the striking works of some artists who really take colour seriously like Herbert Brandt, Bosco Sodi or Peter Krauskopf. Now after some weeks, if I try to recall the fair, it is just the colour red that comes to my mind.

Why? Maybe because the artists that have use it, have done it with an intense hue which gives their works a powerful presence? Maybe because for some works of big format have used this colour? Because I am especially sensitive to this colour? It could be because Russia was the guest of the fair and still the red flag flutters in my mind? Or because China is being talked everywhere and we associate this country with this colour too? I cannot tell, I leave it to you to decide.

I attach some fantastic artworks that stroke me in the fair. And of course, red colour is everywhere.

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Augment-ARt: Linking dimensions

15 Feb

Real Landscape                Mónica Jover’s landscape       In the fourth dimension

Augment-ARt is a project designed by Mónica and Eva Jover in order to research if artworks are better understood when observed in the spot they have been inspired. With this objective in mind, we will “hang” a landscape picture in the spot where it has been conceived with a Sekai Camera App. With this camera we can make a photo of the picture, georeference it and post it in a “fourth dimension”, the dimension provided by  the “augmented reality“, in such a way that the picture will be invisible to the human eye but could be seen through an smartphone Android, IPhone or IPad. The application also allows to make comments and disseminate the experience directly to social networks.

Augment-ARt is a bridge-project linking the artist’s works to their inspiration, the environment to its subjective interpretation, the physical area to virtual reality, the artwork to the opinion of the public by a single application. To achieve this we will use the artwork of Mónica Jover Calvo, an artist specialized in landscapes, and an Augmented Reality app, the Sekai Camera.

Landscape works are most frequently shown in art galleries or museums, in enclosed and clean-aseptic rooms, where they are placed against a white background to avoid distraction of any other element which is not the artwork itself. In this project we tried to experience the possibility of building a virtual exhibition in the same landscape where the artist gets the inspiration. We know that an artwork without a context has a value in itself, by its aesthetics, but the sensations it provides. However, we know that it really achieves its relevance when it is placed in context. As context provides the necessary elements to fully understand the artwork with Augment-ARt we will make the context placing the picture in the same spot that started its inspiration.

New technologies are now opening infinite possibilities to think art in different ways. To these possibilities we can add now the capacity of geopositioning pictures of works, and leaving them hanging in the open in a “fourth dimension”, make comments and share them among the social networks. The result thus, is not a landscape picture decontextualized in a gallery far away from the place it started, but an artwork that is part of the same natural landscape. An artwork that is also being enriched by the comments of the visitors and being disseminated without external agents, through the new social networks.

Being somewhere else

4 Feb


Octubre number one– Acrylic on canvas 160 x 190 cm.

Neil Harbisson: where sound and color merge

18 Jan

Did know that colours broadcast with a frequency imperceptible for the human ear? Neil Harbisson does. He learned about it when trying to see something that is granted for us, the colors of the world.Sonochromatic artist

Neil Harbisson is the first cyborg recognized by a government and a sonochromatic artist. He was born with achromatopsya, a dysfunction that restricts his vision to black and white. He struggled a way to see all the color-range, and finally, in 2004 managed to produce an artificial “eye” that turns a color into a specific sound. The way he sees the world and the introduction of sound has granted him a new sense, as every color has a sound and every sound has a color. Life for him is a visual symphony of colors and music. His latest works are an example of this: sound portraits, where the skin, hair, lips colors make a specific sound for every face.

Color broadcasts in a frequency much too high for the human ear. To see the color that is in front of him, Neil Harbisson’s “eye” reproduces the color frequency into sounds and provides Neil a note to know the shade of the color and a tone to know its saturation. He can see the light to know if it is a lighter or a darker hue.

With this new tool, the eye, he can make very personal portraits of people. Now, not only proportions in face and body are important, or even expressions, but also how a person “sounds” according to his/her color combination. The result is faces pictured into more or less harmonic sounds. And that is what he made in his latest artwork Sound Portraits, he translated into sound the color of the faces of known people (for example the opera singer, Montserrat Caballé and Prince Charles).

Neil Harbisson’s work provides us a new way of seeing the world. A world full of sounds and sounds full of color. However, his work is more conceptual than esthetic, as he opens up new ways of observing and experiencing the world. I knew that anyone could perceive that I could be more or less proportioned, that I wear a matching outfit, but I did not that my colors could also make a sound. Now, when I decide what to wear in the morning, a thought comes to my mind: shall I wear a A and a E or a C and a D note?

Beauty as a burden

19 Dec

Pectinidae is a moving sculpture that displays, through a shell dress, how beauty can be a determining factor for women.  Isabel Castro Jung’s artwork, made by a scallop shell structure, plays with the cultural beliefs and symbols that arise from the intense relationship between the masculine and the feminine. The sculpture shows the contradictory uses of any dress by a woman, as it can be worn to enhance her natural charms, as a symbol of a status or a group, or as a shield to protect her from the world.

Following the same line as Jana Sterbak’s meat dress (1987), rediscovered by Lady Gaga this year, Isabel Castro (1974) crosses the line between art and fashion, bringing her sculpture the possibility of being worn. Pectinidae is a sculpture wearable as a dress. It is made by more than 500 scallop shells sewed on a fabric net. The shells create an organic and articulated structure thanks to a handmade process that follows a uniform and repetitive patron. While Sterbak played with the concept of “vanitas”, Castro deals with beauty and how it can sometimes be considered an advantage and sometimes a burden, an obstacle, a hindrance, as it puts pressure on the expectations for a woman. In any case, she argues, beauty is a determining factor for a woman.

Pectinidae represents the symbols and the beliefs around masculinity and femininity. A woman dressed in this shell garment could be seen as a sea goddess, representing a beauty ideal, like a nude Botticelli Venus, offering herself to the world. However, this shell coat is also a scale skin, a shield that protects a woman from the exterior, from being the object of desire.

In the movements this Pectinidae dress allows to make, lies the mise en scène of Isabel Castro’s artwork.  As in any dress, wearing it implies to play a certain role that could become a burden. This feeling is represented by the difficulty of moving around with the shell dress on. It is heavy and the shells must be dragged slowly through the sand, being this load a real and a symbolic one.

Santiago Serra rejects the Spanish National Prize for Fine Arts 2011

9 Dec

Rejecting this prize, the artist makes another conceptual work of art that questions power relations.

Santiago Serra is known by his work representing Spain in the Biennale of Venice where he criticised the Spanish immigration policy. The artist, in the letter he sent to the Ministry shortly after being awarded the National Prize, appealed to his independence and rejected being instrumentalised by the government. This opinion goes along the concept of questioning power relations that was behind his latest works. Examples of this are the exhibition in Venice where anybody who wanted to enter and see the Spanish Pavilion had to show a Spanish ID, or the project “NO, Global Tour” where a huge NO was travelling throughout the world as a enormous visual opposition to the “establishment”.

In the letter to the Minister of Culture Gonzalez-Sinde, he defends his position arguing that art has given him a freedom that he is not willing to renounce. Therefore, to be consequent with his values, he has to reject this award. He believes this prize instrumentalises the prestige of the awarded in the interest of the State.

The power of the seed

17 Nov

It’s difficult to believe that simple sunflower seeds can arouse contradictory feelings. But they do. The simplest the idea, the strongest the impact if there is a deep reason under it. Weiwei’s Sunflower seed installation at the Tate Gallery provokes, in the controversy of being made by real seed or by porcelain, a strange feeling to those walking over it.

Chinese artist Weiwei’s Sunflower seed installation at Tate Gallery, this last October didn’t pass unnoticed. If you approach the installation from the entrance, the view is of a beach-like carpet but then, if you walk over it and take a closer look, you realize that what is under your feet is not sand, but seeds. Moreover, once you overcome the horrible sensation of walking over food, Weiwei gives then another turn of the screw. The seeds are not real seeds but tiny pieces of hand-made porcelain, more than 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds. Tiny pieces that together made up a whole beach with uncountable sand grains. I don’t know if the sensation of walking over food was worse than realizing that I was stepping over the result of the work of so many people. I admit it. Weiwei knows how to give a punch in the weakest part of our Western consciousness and at the same time leave us flabbergasted with China proportions. His true art is how he aroused all these contradictory feelings with such simplicity. With simple materials such as sunflower seeds, porcelain and the labor of more than a thousand craftsmen.

Red Pump

28 Jul

Red Pump, 2010. 60 x 55 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

If I had to define this picture, I will say that is a visual haiku. As for me it shares some of its characteristics. As A.C. Missias defines it a haiku is “a poetry marked by brevity, reality, nature/seasonality, a moment’s duration, and insight or intuition”.

It shares as well the most usual shape for haikus:

“This bell curve (See Highly Technical Figure I) can be seen as a distribution of haiku along an axis of, say, objective <——–> subjective, and most haiku will tend to group in the center. There are some poems that are far more subjective than the haiku norm, and others than the haiku norm, and others that are far more objective, but the bulk, the haiku most typical of the genre, can be expected to array themselves toward the middle of the curve.”

Haiku figure resembling a pump

For me, the picture Red Pump is a haiku in the way its meaning is structured and in its visual structure.