We’ve been thinking movies recently and more so in the wake of the Oscars. With Steve McQueen winning the coveted prize, it makes us look more closely at the artist as a story teller and whether you can do both – capture a single moment in time, or successfully weave the entire story that enfolds it. And though McQueen has crossed the fence to join the other side, today we stand inspired by the moment, that single instance as captured by artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson in her Crying Men series; one that is sometimes lost or forgotten when the camera moves on to the next. And what better way than to highlight this using the very people who magic our screens.
A series of images of famous movie actors as they sit mid-cry, these were all staged on the command of Taylor-Johnson as she got them to weep for her camera. If it’s all acting, the same kind of make-believe, then the sheer variety of expression communicated through glistening cheeks and furrowed brows is truly remarkable.
Daniel Craig, 2003
Michael Gambon, 2003
Forest Whitaker, 2004
Laurence Fishburne, 2002
Hayden Christensen, 2003
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Steve Buscemi, 2004
Gabriel Byrne, 2002
Today we’re inspired by The Tutu Project where one man, photographer Bob Carey, stands responsible for countless smiles and an amazing outpouring of support and awareness for cancer. Seeing Bob at work makes us realise that it doesn’t take much to brighten up the world, but pink tulle could help you go a long way.
Here are our favourite images from the project.
Life is often hard, embarrassing, and sometimes lonely. But take a big leap and you never know where you might land.
You know that Darren Almond’s To Leave a Light Impression exhibition at White Cube Bermondsey is special the moment you walk through the door.
In a quiet subliminal way, it depicts the majesty of nature while highlighting the limitations of what we as humans can experience with the senses we have naturally available to us. When technology and in this case long exposure photography comes to our aid, it opens up a world of untold beauty that we otherwise would have been unaware of.
Comprising of two series – Fullmoon and Present Form, the former depicts landscapes in Patagonia, Tasmania and Cape Verde all taken in full moon, pollution free light, while the latter captures the standing stones on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
Both series stand tall in the galleries, and it is only when you find yourself staring absently at an image where time is traced by the length of a star shooting through the sky, that you realise just how powerful these images are. It is art that makes you think about the invisible, the real lived experience, and how this artist has frozen time and light within a frame.
Darren Almond: To Leave a Light Impression
White Cube Bermondsey
Till 13 April 2014
Images (c) Darren Almond and various sources. Borrowed with thanks.
In 2012, Bombay Saphire ran an interesting competition called The Imagination Series, where filmmakers were invited to send in their interpretation of a script written by Geoffrey Fletcher. The five most imaginative entries were shortlisted and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival 2013. Here are two of our favourites.
James W Griffiths’ Room 8 that also won a Bafta award for Short Film.
Alexis Barroso Gasco’s Concrete made us smile.
And looking back on the work these filmmakers have made in the past, we reckon James W Griffiths is someone to watch out for. Here’s a film he shot entirely on a Nokia N8 that won the Nokia Shorts competition 2011. Stuff that not only hits the spot, but actually makes you wish you had made it yourself.
For this week’s Friday Inspired, Veerangana Solanki shares with us some snapshots of the recent Dhaka Art Summit that took place in early February 2014. In its second edition, the Summit focused on art from the South Asian region and included solo art projects, curated shows, and art fair style booths by galleries that had been specially invited to participate. Visited by representatives from several international museums and foundations, and with an audience of over 50,000, the Summit has been seen as a great success, albeit with the reckoning that participants have taken greater risks than are usually seen on the art fair / biennial stage.
Veerangana, an independent curator and writer based in Mumbai, also curated an exhibition titled ‘Citizens of Time’ at the Summit that featured works by Remen Chopra, Vibha Galhotra, Riyas Komu, Baptist Coelho among others.
All images (c) Veerangana Solanki
A documentary street photographer famous for her images of New York City graffiti, we’re inspired by Martha Cooper’s photographs of children playing on the streets of the poorer parts of her New York neighbourhood.
She didn’t intend to make money from these images that she took in the 1970s.
This is what she saw on her way home from her job at the New York Post. And this is what she did with the extra film she had at the end of the day.
Sometimes in the long run, what we do for play can have a bigger impact than what we do to pay the bills.
So we never stop playing.
It was one of these very kids who introduced her to graffiti and the first graffiti artists she went on to meet and document. Before long Cooper was accompanying these artists and taking images as they tagged trains and derelict buildings.
Cooper also took some fantastic images of subway trains, often standing for hours on the roof of her car waiting for the perfect shot. Patience and skill are etched across all of these.
In our exploration of how colour defines and influences our impressions of people and places, we came across the work of Tony Ray-Jones.
Ray-Jones is known both for his colour images of America taken in the early 1960′s, and his later black and white images of England from 1965 onwards. He tragically died at the young age of thirty from leukemia, but not before leaving behind a large collection of images that capture both the colour consciousness of America (in more ways than one), and the stark natural eccentricity of the English.
Ray-Jones’ images are said to have a rare blend of compassion and irony, and were highly influenced by the films of Vigo, Bunuel and Fellini along with Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. Here are some of our favourites:
To see more of Tony Ray-Jones work, visit the Science Museum where they currently have on display a selection of fifty previously unseen works from the National Media Museum’s Ray-Jones archive. Selected by and interspersed with works of Martin Parr, another photographer with the uncanny ability to capture quintessential English society, these images make us all the more fonder of our adopted home.
Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr
21 September 2013 – 16 March 2014
We’ve been following Chicago based photographer and storyteller Paul Octavious on Instagram for a while now, and are inspired by how creative, colourful and versatile his work is. Here are some of his images, we count among our favourites.
Paul has also done some great images as part of #thepantoneproject. What a great way to appreciate how truly colourful the world is <3
If you like what you see, follow Paul Octavious on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
All images (c) Paul Octavious and borrowed with thanks.
An artist whose playfulness both amuses and baffles us,
who takes the everyday apart to put it back in ways you never thought of,
Martin Creed is one artist we turn to when we need to be reminded that art is as much about nothing as it is about everything.
So with air filled with balloons,
works that are in all honesty described as ‘A door opening and closing and a light going on and off‘,
with cacti arranged in a logic that only man can give nature,
and a piano that plays no symphonies but where the human hands of an enlisted gallery assistant play the chromatic scales one note at a time…
Everything about Creed’s work shouts ‘does what it says on the box’.
but in a way that forces us to observe how trite our thought processes are,
and how quickly we follow what the majority of society thinks, does and expects,
because that way life becomes easier,
and quicker to the top.
Martin Creed’s current exhibition at Hayward Gallery is aptly titled – What’s the point of it?
It gave us a chance to refresh and to stop expecting to ‘get’ each work just because we ‘see’ so much art.
We were humbled by the sapient simplicity of Creed’s work – nothing is as complex as you think it ought to be, yet he never fails to hit the nail on the head, right through the wall.
For more on Martin Creed, read here.
And we cannot fail to mention that if there ever was a work we loved and would want to possess, it would be Creed’s Work No. 850 that featured people running as fast as they could across the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain in 2008. We’ve been looking for ways to gush about this work since the first day we started Beanstories – in all secrets revealed, this hits our spot.
Martin Creed: What’s the point of it?
Till 27 April 2014
We recently discovered Ann Hamilton’s the event of a thread (2012-13) that combines everything from the beauty of motion and sailing through the wind, to the momentary feeling of weightlessness and being alone together. All the while surrounded by the rhythm of the spoken word, as a voice reads aloud to you from a text that offers warmth in its wisdom.
Staged at Park Avenue Armory the event of a thread consisted of a field of swings connected via ropes and pulleys to a white silk cloth, that moved and swayed with each tug of a swing. Across the room two readers read from special scrolls, surrounded by birds in cages - ‘one species bound by gravity to another whose capacity for flight provokes irreconcilable longings in the other’.
Tiny speakers placed onto hand carried paper bags, carry these voices through the Drill Hall where this work was installed, ‘offer(ing) the intimacy of a private voice in a public arena. Words allow us to travel while the tactile keeps us present; a rhythmic exchange of reeling out and pulling in that is also the swing’s pendulum’.
As Ann says in her artist statement -
‘the event of a thread is made of many crossings of the near at hand and the far away: it is a body crossing space, is a writer’s hand crossing a sheet of paper, is a voice crossing a room in a paper bag, is a reader crossing with a page and with another reader, is listening crossing with speaking, is an inscription crossing a transmission, is a stylus crossing a groove, is a song crossing species, is the weightlessness of suspension crossing the calling of bell or bellows, is touch being touched in return. It is a flock of birds and a field of swings in motion. It is a particular point in space at an instant of time’.
We cannot help but be moved by this work. Just as the crossing of threads make a cloth, so do the crossing of people make a community, and in this case, art.
All images borrowed with thanks (c) Ann Hamilton