Thursday, 16 April 2009

New York, New York!

Well, my trip was amazing! I did all the usual site seeing. We stayed in a lovely hotel opposite Madison Square Garden so everything was walkable. We managed to walk everywhere, only resorting to getting a taxi home on one of the evenings - I blame the high heels I was wearing!

We were going to go on the boat trip over to Liberty Island but the queue was a few hours long and we just didn't want to waste that much of the day so instead we got the free Staten Island ferry and managed to get close enough to the Statue of Liberty to take a few pictures.

Times Square was simply amazing at night, to come home to Birmingham/Coventry is just, well, boring haha! I have decided that if I ever receive a large amount of money I would love to travel around America - In my dreams haha.

The Guggenheim was such an interesting building and the works of art on display there were fantastic. Unfortunately I was with my Mother who just does not understand art so she was just sat down - really! I would have loved to have been able to discuss things with a like minded person but there we go. 

This first image, a piece by Charles Caryl Coleman was the first to catch my eye in the Guggenheim. Absolutely beautiful and so intricate both from afar and up close. Something similar would be lovely as a backdrop for one of my portraiture pieces.

Abbott Henderson Thayer is another artist I discovered whilst browsing The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia. His piece which was untitled, I have unfortunately not been able to find on the internet at the moment =[.

Another piece which intrigued me was The Tramway by Mary Cassatt. Having done a bit of research on her I have discovered that she was given an invitation to exhibit with
 the Impressionists by Edgar Degas - surprising being that she was an American and only one of two women in the Impressionist group. This piece is so subtle yet it speaks so much to me. The colours are quite sombre yet there seems so much warmth in the image due to the tenderness between the baby and what must presumably be the nanny. I love the simple lines and block colours. 

Further Artists I saw to research further: Kenneth Callahan, Phillip Guston, Sam Francis, Timothy Leary, William S Buroughs and Brian Gysin.

I also went to the International Centre of Photography where there we
re two amazing exhibitions; Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Condé Nast Years and Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now. Both were interesting as I was viewing them both as a Fine Artist. I am not normally interested in 'Fashion' as such but these pieces were pieces of art in my mind. Not disputing the fact that the image serves to sell clothing and accessories, each piece was uniquely imaginative and amongst the photographers was one of my favourites, Cindy Sherman. 

Excerpt about the Weird Beauty Exhibiton taken from the official website:
"This exhibition, organized by Carol Squiers and Vince Aletti, will present the most innovative fashion photography of the last few years, from photographers who draw on a range of influences, including art, sexuality, narrative, digital media, and youth culture. It will also consider the impact of graphic design on the way that fashion photography is presented. Along with original photographic prints, the exhibition will feature hundreds of tear sheets and magazine covers from both mainstream and independent publications, by a range of photographers including Steven Meisel, Cindy Sherman, Mario Sorrenti, Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Miles Aldridge, Paolo Roversi, and Sølve Sundsbø."

Absolutely stunning images, I really did not have time to take them all in properly. I definitely must research a few of the other photographers and put the research in my log book.

The Edward Steichen Collection, again an excerpt from the wesite:

"An exhibition of 175 works by Edward Steichen drawn largely from the Condé Nast archives, this is the first presentation to give serious consideration to the full range of Steichen's fashion images. Organized by the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, in conjunction with the International Center of Photography, the exhibition will open at ICP after an extensive tour in Europe. Steichen's approach to fashion photography was formative and over the course of his career he changed public perceptions of the American woman. An architect of American Modernism and a Pictorialist, Steichen exhibited his fashion images alongside his art photographs. Steichen's crisp, detailed, high-key style revolutionized fashion photography, and his influence is felt in the field to this day—Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Bruce Weber are among his stylistic successors.

Edward Steichen: In High Fashion features the finest examples of his fashion and celebrity portraiture made for Vogue and Vanity Fair. Much of the exhibition is drawn from the Steichen Archive at Condé Nast, which contains more than two thousand original vintage prints. A select group of prints from the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester will be shown only at ICP. Some of the images in the exhibition are well-known, iconic images in various histories of photography. Never before, however, have more than a modest selection of these prints bee

n exhibited or published. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book devoted to images from Steichen's Condé Nast years. The book's authors are William A. Ewing, Carol Squiers, and Nathalie Herschdorfer, co-curators of the exhibition along with Todd Brandow, and Tobia Bezzola. The exhibition is traveling to ICP after presentations in Paris, Zurich, Madrid, and Reggio Emilia, Italy."

Again, I just did not have time to properly appreciate each individual photograph, I did however purchase a small book of his works because although they are photographs, they feel like intense paintings. There is so much atmosphere and emotion in his photographs which I wish to gain in my artwork. I leave you with my favourite photograph from the exhibition:

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