Today's Featured Article Archive. September-October, 2009

NeoPopRealism Starz Int'l Art Competitions and NeoPopRealism Journal & Wonderpedia: Introducing 3rd Place Winner Sigmund Abeles (New York, USA)

Sigmund Abeles
Sigmund M. Abeles was born in Brooklyn, New York City in 1934 and grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC. In 1955, he earned a B.A. Degree from the University of South Carolina, and studied at the Art Students League of New York in NYC, and the Skowhegan School in Maine. In 1957, he received a Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University.
Look_Mare_No_Mom.JPGIn 1961-64, Sigmund Abeles was an instructor at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts and in 1964-69 at Wellesley College. He has been a member of the National Academy since 1990. Since 1994, he lives and works at his studio in New York City.
Sigmund Abeles focuses in an empathetic investigation and intense of the human figure and how it relates to our world. He believes an artist needs to be able to draw well in order to communicate what he senses, sees, and dreams about, to create convincing visual expression.
Mainly figurative, his work has been critically acclaimed. His awards include National Institute of Fine Arts & Letters Award, National Council of Arts & Humanities Sabbatical Grant, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant for Graphics, and now, he is the 3rd place winner of the 3rd NeoPopRealism Starz Int’l Art Competition. His works are in more than 100 private and public collections worldwide, including the leading institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and top art museums of the U.S.
Juror Nadia Russ said, “Sigmund Abeles’ work Look Mare, No Mom is a strong voice which is good and important as a part of art history and the time it reflects.”

Conran Octopus: Woman As Design and More

Woman as Design, Conran OctopusWoman as Design: Before, Behind, Between, Above, Below by Stephen Bayley published by Conran Octopus in 2009. How can something so familiar equally also be so strange? How can the very same components respond to the vast, inexorable mechanics of reproduction, but also speak to the cultured subtleties and infinite varieties of erotic love?.. Author of this book wanted to understand just a bit more about the woman’s body and he started musing about how the female body evolved. This deluxe, fully illustrated title is a completely original reappraisal of that most familiar yet mysterious, of things, the female body. It is a fascinating mix of design and erotica, cultural history and fashion, fetishism and observation. Stephen Bayley is one of the world’s best-known authorities on design and popular culture. A curator and an academic consultant, he is an outspoken commentator on all aspects of art in everyday life. He is architecture and design correspondent of The Observer and contributes to GQ, Car and Los Angeles Times, and many other publications
Eco House Book, Coran OctopusEco House Book by Terence Conran published by Conran Octopus in 2009. This is Conran’s fifth House Bbook. He has touched on environmental issues before, here he is looking at everything to do with the home - design, servicing, decorating and furnishing from the eco point of view. Buildings are the biggest polluters on the planet, responsible for a far greater proportion of the carbon dioxide emissions that get pumped into the atmosphere every year than cars, factories, or planes. There is a great deal we can do to convert our existing homes into greener and healthier places to live. Now, there is an appetite for a return to a slower and more satisfying way of living. This book is designed to provide the answers: How much carbon will you save if you insulate your home properly? What is more effective, a rooftop wind turbine or solar panels? What type of water-saving fixtures and fitting are available and how efficient are they? There are no guilt-inducing doomsday scenarios because Terence Conran is an optimist about the role design can play in improving the quality of life. The author and one of the world leading designers, retailers, furniture-makers, restaurateur and founder of the Habitat group of stores, Terence is Chairman of Conran Holdings, the parent company of his retail and restaurant businesses, and Chairman of Conran & Partners, his architecture and design practice.

NeoPopRealism Starz Int'l Art Competitions and NeoPopRealism Journal & Wonderpedia: Introducing 2nd Place Winner Jacob El Hanani (New York, USA)

Jacob El HananiJacob El Hanani was born in 1947, in Casablanca. In 1969, he graduated from the
Avni School of Fine Arts, Tel Aviv, Israel.
His art style developed as a reaction to the life he experienced when he moved to New York many years ago. He is interested in micro aspect of drawing. It was natural for Jacob to use ink and paper. Why? Because the abundance of time and lack of money. He could not even buy art supplies.
It was a personal challenge for Jacob El Hanani to bring drawing to the extreme and see how far his eyes and fingers could go. He tries to compete with a computer to make his drawings as perfect as a machine would, and he thinks, he fail for only one reason - because of the human imperfection. By using the square, he is trying to give attention to the execution which was neglected by minimalism that gave more importance to the idea.
When people look at his drawing, he would prefer to hear "How?" rather than "Wow!"
Jacob’s art works can be found in many different collections worldwide, including the following:
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Jewish Museum, New York, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, The Menil Foundation, Houston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Philadelphia Museum, Philadelphia, The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, The Tel-Aviv Museum, Israel, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Caracas, Venezuela, Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN, Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, GrJacob El Hanani, Untitled, Drawingeensboro, NC, Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York – Purchase, NY, The British Museum, Great Britain, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and other.
“Jacob’s drawing 'Untitled' appeared in the Entries Gallery of this competition as a result of our meeting in New York City and will be published in the book ‘NeoPopRealism Starz: 21st Century ART,’ 2nd Vol. ‘Erotica As A High Artistic Aspiration.’ among other selected art works. This deluxe edition will be available in the beginning of 2010,” Juror Nadia Russ said.

The New View On Universe

Biocentrism, BenBella Books
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Key to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza with Bob Berman published by BenBella Books in 2009.
Until recently, we thought we knew what the universe was made of. But it now turns out that 96% of the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy. And we have no idea what they are. Our understanding of the fundamentals is retreating before our eyes. This title offers a new perspective: that the current theories of the physical world do not work, and will never work, until they account for life
and consciousness. This book proposes that life and consciousness are absolutely fundamental to our understanding of the universe. The authors call this new perspective biocentrism, they unlock the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed to confine itself. Consciousness is not just an issue for biologists, it is a problem for physics. Nothing in modern physics explains how a group of molecules in our brains create consciousness. Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Consciousness comes up in a different realm of physics… Biocentrism takes the reader on an inescapable journey through a foreign universe full of many shocking new perspectives. Robert Lanza, MD, is one of the most respected scientists. He has teamed with Bob Berman, the most widely read astronomer to produce this book, which offers an absolutely new view of the universe.

At Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute

From Thursday October 1 to Saturday November 28, the Mezzanine of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute will be home to Take a Day for Yourself!, a new installation by the Brooklyn-based Danish artist Mads Lynnerup. The genre-crossing Lynnerup has long been interested in the everyday: His last installation was devoted to routines. But with Take A Day for Yourself!, he charts what happens when people depart from those routines—or even disrupt them. Specifically, he's enlisted random members of the Troy and Rensselaer communities to take an unscheduled day off work or school or whatever else they're supposed to be doing. Everything else is up to them.
The rich and inventive uses Lynnerup's subjects make of their ensuing 12 hours of stolen time are shown on short videos and oversized posters that together make up a whimsical visual guide to taking a day off in Troy—or anywhere else, while gently tweaking some of our society's fundamental assumptions about usefulness, leisure, and productivity.
Mads Lynnerup's work incorporates video, printmaking, sculpture and performance in an ongoing investigation of phenomena that most of us take for granted. His subjects have included the anti-terrorist posters on the New York subways (If You See Anything Interesting, Please Let Someone Know Immediately) and the daily routines of residents of a Copenhagen neighborhood (Routines). He has shown his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, P.S. 1 in New York, and Warsaw's Zacheta National Gallery of Art, and is represented in the collections of the Blanton Museum of Art, the Miami Art Museum, the Orange County Museum of Art, and the San Jose Museum of Modern Art.
. Lynnerup will attend a second reception held as part of Troy Night Out on Friday October 30 from 5-7 PM. All events are free and open to the public.
Additional event information can be found on the EMPAC website,
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) opened its doors in 2008 and was hailed by the New York Times as a "technological pleasure dome for the mind and senses… dedicated to the marriage of art and science as it has never been done before."
Founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC offers artists, scholars, researchers, engineers, designers, and audiences opportunities for creative exploration that are available nowhere else under a single roof. EMPAC operates nationally and internationally, attracting creative individuals from around the world and sending new artworks and innovative ideas onto the global stage.
EMPAC's building is a showcase work of architecture and a unique technological facility that boasts unrivaled presentation and production capabilities for art and science spanning the physical and virtual worlds and the spaces in between.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation's oldest technological university. The school offers degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the social sciences and humanities. For over thirty years, the Institute has been a leader in interdisciplinary creative research, especially in the electronic arts. In addition to its MFA and Ph.D. programs in Electronic Arts, Rensselaer offers Bachelor degrees in Electronic Arts, and in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication – one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind in the United States. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and EMPAC are two major research platforms that Rensselaer has established at the beginning of the 21st century.

NeoPopRealism Starz Int'l Art Competitions and NeoPopRealism Journal & Wonderpedia: Introducing 1st Place Winner Vanessa Bahmani (New York, USA),
Rokafella & KenFury, Photography

Vanessa Bahmani was born in the early 80’s in Guatemala City. Soon after, her Vanessa Bahmanifamily moved to Berkeley, California were she and her sister were raised surrounded by arts. She grew up attending cultural events, theater, music performances. Her family started a Guatemala folkloric dance group named “Ixim Tinamit” (Ee-sheem-tea-na-meet), meaning people of corn in Quiche, which incorporated modern interpretation of traditional dance. Quiche is one of the many Guatemalan indigenous languages. Through this creative outlet, which she was a part of, Vanessa began to appreciate art.
Later, she received a B.A. degree in Ethnic Studies & African-American Studies from UC Berkeley. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she moved to New York City and in 2009 earned an MFA degree in Photography from School of Visual Arts.
Vanessa exhibited her photographs in “The Hustle” art show at Power House Books Arena in Brooklyn in 2008. The same year, she was nominated a semi-finalist for the Adobe Achievement Awards in Photography. Next year, 2009, she exhibited her work at the ISE cultural foundation in SoHo, New York, and received the prestigious nomination for the 2009 NY Photo festival student book category.
To the question “What is art and what is your art inspiration?” she said: “Art is a creative outlet of expression. Art, and particularly photography is my voice of self-expression to the world. I am inspired to make art by subject matter that moves me both emotionally, and politically. I draw upon personal experiences and interests to begin a project, and continue to build on them.
In this particular case I took break dance as the focus of my study for its ingenuity and high degree of difficulty, but above all for its ability to speak to youth worldwide. Break dance serves as a vehicle with which a new cultural identity can be created. Since its inception, Hip-Hop has been a culture of re-inventing, appropriating and transforming itself, with each generation bringing a willingness to cross boundaries between tradition and innovation. In this same spirit I set out to developed my own visual style through photographic exploration of the break-dancers’ body gestures and movements.”
Vanessa said that she feels pretty fortunate to be able to be an artist and make a
Vanessa Bahmani, Rokafella & KenFury, photographliving doing what she loves. The things, she loves most about her life are her family, her husband, making photographs, and living in New York City.
“My future goals are to be recognized as an international artist/photographer and to show my work in museums and galleries around the world,” Vanessa said. “I want to publish my photography book, and become a prominent commercial photographer in the entertainment industry.” In future, she would also like to open a great restaurant in New York City.
Looking in her future, she said: “Ten years from now, I see myself working as a prominent photographer in the entertainment industry in NYC. I’ll be living with my family and own my restaurant in Manhattan…”
“Vanessa Bahmani captured the moment with her photo camera and gave to this moment a long and fascinating life,” Juror Nadia Russ said.

Scheidegger & Spiess
: Art And Architecture

Caroline Bachmann und Stefan Banz
What Duchamp Abandoned for the Waterfall / Caroline Bachmann Stefan Banz, author Luc Debraine, published by Scheidegger & Spiess in 2009 (in English, French and Deutsch) on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of Marcel Duchamp‘s Etant donnes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, July 7, 2009..
Duchamp repeatedly said it is the viewer who makes the work of art.. The creative act involves both the artist and the viewers. Duchamp always used
photography in his conceptual work. He was interested in the analogy between the eye and the camera lens; he experimented with stereoscopic photography and with laboratory techniques. For him photography was equal to painting…

Raumsequenzen und Urbane InfrastrukturenRaumsequenzen Und Urbane Infrastrukturen/ Spatial Sequences And Urban Infrastructures by Graber and Pulver at ETH Zurich published by Scheidegger & Spiess in 2009. Our cities become strangely “landscaped,” orientation and identification has become problematic. In this book, Swiss architects Marco Graber and Thomas Pulver outline their design practice and present results from a 2-year visiting professorship at the ETH Zurich. The title includes the architecture of thermal baths, resorts, parking facilities, and the interplay of dance and architecture. Fully illustrated with 500 images, the book contains essays by Graber, Pulver, Nadine Olonetzki, Andreas Ruby, Axel Simon, and Judith Solt.

Wise Books: Renewable Energy For Your Home

Renewable Energy For Your Home : Using Off-Grid Energy to Reduce Your Footprint, Lower Your Bills and Be More Self-Sufficient by Alan Bridgewater and Gill Bridgewater published by Ulysses in 2009.
of this important title talk about global warming, rising fuel prices, dependency on foreign energy. For all these reasons Americans are more motivated to invest in renewable energy now than ever. This book offers clear, practical solutions that anyone can put to use.
This title allows average homeowners to find solutions that fit their lifestyle.
Authors explain which type of solar panel fits your roof and sun exposure, where to set up a small wind turbine to determining if geothermal energy is an option... This book is a wonderful do-it-yourself guide if you wish to reduce carbon footprints and save on energy bill.

Parsons in New York

Parsons School of Art, Media and Technology will launch its Intermedia Initiative with a symposium on October 3, 2009, entitled Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Performance and Politics in Guatemala. The symposium brings together visual artists, cultural theorists and investigative journalists to explore how contemporary art engages with the struggle over official public memory of civil strife in Central America.
This symposium will feature Regina Galindo, Anibal Lopez and David Perez, three contemporary artists from the Guatemalan capital whose works explore the residual effects of state violence on public memory everyday life. Combing body art, street actions, video and photography, they draw attention to recent histories of political unrest, genocide and urban lawlessless. In addition to presenting their work at the symposium, the artists will be performing and lecturing at various New York venues between September 29th and October 3rd.
Regina Galindo, recipient of a Golden Lion award at the 2005 Venice Biennale, creates powerful visual metaphors by subjecting her body to various forms of aggression. Her first solo exhibition in New York will open on October 2nd at Exit Art, where she will also perform. She will also lecture at NYU's Hemispheric Institute on September 29th.

David Perez 's collective performances comment on global power relations through the careful positioning of
participating bodies. Supported by a commission from the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, he will create a new piece involving ten performers entitled Túmulos that will premiere at Exit Art on October 3rd.
Anibal Lopez, otherwise known as A-1 53167, creates street interventions that combine the rationalist detachment of
Conceptual art with the political bravado of Latin American guerrilla fighters. He will stage a new work in the Wall Street area of Manhattan on October 1st.
The artists will be joined by art historian Johanna Burton (Whitney Independent Study Program), Performance Studies scholar Jill Lane (NYU), cultural theorist Silvia Vega-Llona (The New School) and National Security Archive Senior Analyst Kate Doyle, who will be discuss the artists work and the social context in which they are immersed.
Guatemala endured more than three decades of brutal armed conflicts from the 1960s through the 1990s in which more than 200,000 people were killed. Although a peace agreement was finally reached in 1996, the past thirteen years have been marked by the rule of impunity, social inequality and violent crime. Assaults, death threats and killings continue. None of
the political officials who presided over massacres have been brought to trial. Although political activist efforts continue to by thwarted by forces of repression, in recent years, many artists in the capital city have devised creative means of addressing the political turmoil that continues to shape the lives of all Guatemalans.
Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Performance and Politics in Guatemala is organized by Professor Coco Fusco for the Intermedia Initiative at Parsons School of Art, Media and Technology.
For more information please contact Fusco at: or call 212 229 8942

RISD Museum of Art Presents Inner City

The RISD Museum of Art presents Inner City, an epic narrative of urban growth, decay, change, and life itself, realized in clay by one of the most significant contemporary artists working in ceramics today—Arnie Zimmerman (American, b. 1954). Comprised of more than 150 figurative and architectural glazed stoneware elements, the installation is adapted to the Museum's Chace Center galleries by architect Tiago Montepegado and Zimmerman.
Sprawled across a 4,000-square-foot space, the exhibition will feature a ramp with a viewing platform, where visitors can survey the panorama and appreciate the city's narratives from a variety of perspectives. The city itself is organized in a grid pattern across the floor, and punctuated by pedestals of different heights and elements attached to the walls. Smaller versions of Inner City were presented in 2007 at the Museu da Electricidade for the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, and in 2008 at the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands). The RISD installation significantly expands on these shows, featuring a new body of work which includes a large bridge. This presentation marks the first in North America.
Installed within a structural framework designed by Montepegado (in response to José Rafael Moneo's architecture for RISD), Inner City's diminutive tenements, skyscrapers, scaffolding, and construction workers evoke a whimsical, mythical world. A closer look reveals signs of something amiss, as workers brawl or tumble down I-beam shafts and dumpsters overflow. Indeed, Zimmerman's vision is an ominous one, a cautionary tale about urban corporatization, gentrification, and the waning connection to history in general and in the everyday. Zimmerman has lived and worked in New York for more than twenty-five years, observing its streetscape with a mix of awe and regret. "The parts of the city I was most familiar with when I first arrived had a visceral, palpable connection to the past," Zimmerman observes. "Over the past few decades, New York City has
irrevocably changed into a different urban environment—something more civil and benign, more bland and corporate," he adde d.
Arnie Zimmerman (American, b. 1954; lives and works in New York) received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1977 and an MFA in 1979 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. In his early career, Zimmerman became known for architecture-scale carved vessels that by the late 1980s began to resemble totemic columns. Zimmerman's work changed dramatically in the early and mid 1990s, when he began to consider the human figure on a smaller, more intimate scale. By the late 1990s, he focused on groupings or tableaus of figures.

Skyhorse Publishing: Revisiting Kapka's Past is Never Easy, Especially When It Is Communist Bulgaria

Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria by Karka Kassabova published by
Street Without a Name
Skyhorse in 2009. This memoir is the story of a girl who lived under a mindlessly authoritarian regime in a world of State-sanctioned murder, corruption, and paranoia. She grew up in a place where the decaying streets had no name, where she was referred to by her teacher as “Number 16”. This is Karka Kassabova’s reality, her childhood in Communistic Bulgaria, where the local stores only sell lemonade and beer, and every aspect of life is tainted by dogma. She was surviving the subtle emotional pain and unsubtle material hardships that her communist homeland inflicted on an working family. She had joined the 1st wave of former Communist bloc emigrants. Fifteen years later, she rediscovered her homeland. This memoir is very relevant and will be a wonderful lesson and reminder for those groups, who would like to establish communist regime in the U.S.
Kapka Kassabova was born in Bulgaria in 1973. At the age of 16 her family emigrated to England and new Zealand. Now she lives in Scotland. Kapka is the author of 4 poetry collections, 2 travel guides, and 2 novels.

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