Sunday, May 22, 2011

22nd May 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

More This week I've been watching one of my favourite sketchers Enrique Flores (4ojos) posting reportage sketches about the amazing peaceful  protests by young people in Madrid within the context of today's elections.  This, in a way, is the Spanish version of the revolutions which have been sweeping through the Arab world since the beginning of the year.

It's always worth recording the fact that those who sketch and blog can also contribute to a much wider understanding of how life is lived in some parts of the world.   It's the drawing version of the cameraphone!

Hundreds of young Spaniards camped out in the Puerta del Sol all last week as a part of a peaceful protest relating to the government's handling of the economic crisis. With nearly five million people jobless, Spain has the highest unemployment rate in Europe.  It's nothing to do with political parties per se - and a lot of those who camped out are still sitting there working out how to get some consensus on what happens next.

Just after midnight on 21st May, around about 30,000 Spanish protesters defied a government ban (to assemble or demonstrate on the day before an election - which is today) and filled Madrid's Puerta del protest about high unemployment and austerity measures.

This is Enrique Flores's blog 4ojos and the posts about this week's camp in the Puerta del Sol.  As he said in the email to me the text is all in Spanish but the sketches speak for themselves.

The problem is the system - sketch by Enrico Flores (4ojos)
What I found interesting was how the sketches changed as the week went on - not only were they more numerous, they also began to focus less on the banners and the people and more on recording the practical aspects of being a demonstrator - like how do you put tent pegs into tarmac (love that one!) and the long queues for the "facilities"!  Now that's what I call a civilised society - "facilities" for the protestors - who I understand were also handed brushes to clean up the square after the overnight vigil!  Plus lots about what was being said by various participants - which, of course, I can't read but it looks interesting and it's an important contemporaneous record.  On Sunday it was returning to the question of how to achieve a more participatory democracy.

It's such a  unique record that I guess a book will not be long in the making.  Here are some of the film versions of the same thing
  • A minute long video on YouTube of what it was like as midnight changed and the demonstrators commenced an unlawful act  - Spain demonstrations continue in defiance of rally ban - which almost seemed like a joyful event.  Very sensibly the police decided to do nothing.  Enrique's blog has links to a lot more videos from inside the crowds.
  • These are the BBC slideshow of what it was like
Today Spain goes to the polls.  The current government is not expected to survive.  I wonder if Enrique will be sending the incoming government a record of his sketching?  I think he should.

Art Blogs and Artists

(After) Self-Portrait c1799
by JMW Turner (1775-1851)
Drawing and Sketching
  • This time last week I discovered that I'd lost a sketchbook.  I hoped it might turn up somewhere but the uneasy feeling remained when I woke up in the morning.  

Botanical Art
Simon is currently one of the hottest properties on the international art photography market. Her prints fetch stellar prices at auction and have been acquired by leading institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney in New York, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Modern in London. Taryn Simon: the woman in the picture
Sculpture and Installation
  • The whole Ai Weiwei issue begins to look a bit more complicated.  This Guardian article Ai Weiwei's company evaded taxes, claim Chinese police indicates the Chinese Police assert that the detained artist's company has evaded 'a huge amount' of taxes and destroyed accounting documents.  Now if there's one thing you don't want to do is annoy the taxman!
More New Art Blogs
Art Economy and Art Collectors
Art Competitions
Art Exhibitions

Major Galleries
The exhibition will be the first to present Degas’s progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film; indeed, the artist was keenly aware of these technological developments and often directly involved with them.

  • Martin Gayford reviews Tracey Emin's retrospective at the Hayward Gallery for Bloomberg in Tracey Emin’s Saucy, Egoistic Relics Seduce in London Show: Martin Gayford.  I realised just recently that although i think she's overrated as an artist, what she really is a poet.  Her work is very verbal - and if there's more than one way of making art there's got to be more than one way of creating poetry! “Love Is What You Want” is at the Hayward Gallery, London until 29th August Invented Modernity” remains through July 3 at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris;  Here's a review by the New York Times
  • After being stuck at home unable to walk very far when it opened, last week I was finally able to write up my Review: 'Watercolour' exhibition at Tate Britain.  After we'd got through the episode of the lost sketchbook!
Art Galleries
  • Egon Schiele. Women - 19 May to 30 June 2011 An exhibition of 40 unseen works by Austrian artist Egon Schiele can now be seen at Richard Nagy's Old Bond Street gallery space.  I'm not including links because all though I love his drawing and painting style I'm really not interested in some of his subject matters and this particular exhibition is emphatically not for the prudish!
Art Bloggers
  • Recent paintings by Duane Keiser (A Painting A Day) will be on view from June 3-July 1 at an art show at 1211 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Open Studios
  • The first ever Angus Open Studios event in Angus in Scotland opens next week and runs from 26th-30th May.  Over 70 artists and craftspeople will be opening their studios to the general public, and hoping for lots of visitors over the five days.  One of the artists showcasing her paintings will be coloured pencil artist and blogger Lesley Crawford (Lesley Crawford) whose studio will be open each day 10.30-5.30.  
Art Education
  • Bristol Drawing School is a not for profit private arts venue and education facility that aims to encourage and nurture the art of drawing.  They've also had a blog since 2007 but aren't very good at posting to it.
Art Galleries and Museums
Art History
  • Even contemporary art becomes history.  Is there always a point at which the Young Turks begin to look like the old fogies? Next generation turns its back on Emin and Hirst is a really fascinating article which discusses how the YBA artists are now viewed by younger artists and suggests that the notion of concept art might be dead.
Art Studios
  • Lori McNee (Lori McNee Fine Art and Tips) had a post last week about Creating Art in Small Studios;- I love the stuff hanging off the wall!  It includes a bunch of photos from other people showing what their small studios look like.  I think we might possibly have a debate about the word "small" in a cultural context - but other than that it is as always fascinating to take a peek!
Art supplies
Art Videos
Samuel Palmer, 1805-1881: Vision And Landscape
  • I bought a jolly nice book about Samuel Palmer at Tate Britain last week - Samuel Palmer, 1805-1881: Vision And Landscape.  I've been looking for a good one for some time and this one looks like it's going to get the right balanace between authoritative and accessible.  It's published by the British Museum and relates an exhibition which was held in 2005.  
....and finally

LS Lowry's depiction of one of the streets in Salford which inspired the TV series Coronation Street will go to auction next month.  This BBC news item on Lowry's Coronation Street on sale


Unknown said...

Your post about the Spanish artist, Enrique Flores, was inspirational! I enjoyed looking at the drawings on his blog very much. Made me realize I should put my sketches on my blog too! At present I put a few on Twitter. Please tell me, though, how can you subscribe to the blog to get updates? There does not seem to be anywhere to subscribe. Many thanks for all the useful information. Paulina Little

Making A Mark said...

Good point. I think I might be on a personal email list of Enrico's because we correspond from time to time.

This is the RSS feed for his blog. Stick that into Google Reader.

Deborah said...

Katherine, I do hope you work with gouache on your upcoming trip. I find it's an amazing medium, forgiving and multifaceted, in that one may use washes, much like transparent watercolor, or impasto, achieving lush depth of color and fine details. I'd love to see what you do with it. Deborah

Making A Mark said...

Thanks Deborah. The one thing I know about gouache is that it makes a very good base for coloured pencils.

Marion Boddy-Evans said...

>... produce "washy" oil paintings whether Zest-It and some decent oil pastels might be all you need. Any thoughts?>

Sennelier's oil pastels spread/smear easily so I'm sure would "dissolve" readily with some solvent. I don't have solvent in my studio (and Zest-It being orange based is not allowed in neither) but I hope someone tries and reports back.

(And thanks for the link to my review Katherine! It's appreciated, as always.)

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