The work of artist and illustrator LolaDupre has been contended for by the world’s leading magazines and brands for the past few years, her collages having been published in the New York Times, TIME Magazine, and among the pages of Vogue, among others, or have accompanied Nike campaigns. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Dupre makes collages that deform the bodies of humans and animals, not forsaking the realism of the subjects but almost playing on the possibilities of manipulating them, to make them an alternative version of themselves, sometimes grotesque, in other cases fantasy.
Cats end up having a thousand eyes and barbed tongues, women’s and men’s necks elongate as in a Modigliani painting, all harking back to a concept of an experiment, performed in a laboratory or in a dream. The reference to the Dada world is strong, as well as to surrealism, the avant-garde thrust is contained, however, by the compositional scheme of the works, which has much in common with traditional art in its close-ups and genre subjects. Discover all of Lola Dupre’s works on the artist’s official website and Instagram account.
On the occasion of the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2022, an annual exhibition art project staged in Seoul (South Korea), artist ChoiU-Ram presented one of his latest works, managing to combine art, technology, inventiveness and existentialism by putting them in perfect balance with each other, in the true sense of the word. “RoundTable” is a work of art that touches on the concepts of kinetic art and technological experimentation, representing a group of 18 headless mechanical figures made of straw and balancing a black table on their backs. The disc, with a diameter of 4.5 metres, is in continuous motion, made to sway by the figures balancing the tilt through their own movements. The aim of the 18 figures is actually to carry towards themselves a sphere, ‘head’ as the artist calls it, resting, free to roll, on the board, without ever reaching a destination.
The work is as perpetual as the movement of the waves, the 18 ‘bodies’ are in continuous motion, caught up in a hasty attempt to claim the lead, which however escapes everyone from time to time. No one wins and no one can assert their precedence, the rest of the group will make sure to push away the object of desire through well-organised movement. Choi U-Ram is about man’s continuous need to possess objects that satisfy his cravings and to organise himself as a collective only when the aim is to hinder a minority, isolated in their own efforts. “Round Table” is about the natural cycle, human life, desire and existence, visit the artist’s official website to discover all the works.
In his black jacket, slung tightly over his shoulders and painted with splashes of colour, Mexican art collector MartinMobarak is holding a party in Miami, the guests are smiling poolside, about to watch a FridaKahlo painting burn. The crowd is looking right at Mobarak and this is not a performance like those seen in the past, where attention-seeking acrobats deface this or that masterpiece of art. Our anti-hero lives in a different timeline from the one that considers Frida to be one of the most intense artists of the 20th century, he lives in the one where the Mexican artist makes works in the metaverse, and it is there that Mobarak wants to take the painting Fantasmones Siniestro, which the meta-collector claims to have purchased in 2015 from the New York gallery Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, who however claim to have never heard of him, as Vice reports.
In an aperitif atmosphere with plastic cups, Martin Mobarak pulls the work out of a black case, removes the cloth protecting it and starts unscrewing the frame with a screwdriver. Having completed the bricolage work, the meta-carpenter proudly displays the work that Frida Kahlo had created in 1944 for the Venezuelan art critic Juan Rohl, later exhibited in New York and sold first in 2004 to the Vergel Foundation and then to a private collector in 2013. It is here that the meta-bartender places the work in a giant Martini glass, filled with ice and fuel (not even an olive, come on!). Flames start burning Fantasmones Siniestro, while in the background to make everything more surreal, the volume of Cielito Lindo (Ay, Ay, Ay, canta y no llores) is turned up. The cup is then transformed into an altar, on which a piece of art is sacrificed in the name of the future, the ritual of the ‘alchemist of art, who transforms physical art into digital gold’, as the meta-shaman called himself, is completed.
The ritual is nothing more than a stunt by Mobarak to present his Frida.NFT blockchain project, which plans to make 10 thousand NFT digital copies of the work, each worth 3 ETH, about $4,000, for a total figure of $40 million, not very meta, very neoclassical. Part of the proceeds, however, will go to associations supporting children, a statement that does not conceal doubts about the value of the project. The collector claims not to have destroyed the work but to have “consigned it to the metaverse”, to have thus introduced Frida’s work into a dimension that would “This community-driven initiative has a vision to introduce Frida’s work into the metaverse and leverage her powerful likeness to bring together a community of collectors, creators, and art lovers on a mission to merge the traditional art world with the digital art world’s expanding potential and immortalize humanities story”. A concept that does not convince insiders in the first place, who have doubted the provenance of the work, causing the case to reach Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, which has opened an investigation in recent days.
In Mexico, in fact, the destruction of an artistic monument constitutes a crime by law, and then there is the added doubt as to the provenance of the work (now a crypto work) authenticated by the merchant Andres Siegel on 30 July 2022, the day of the ceremony. It no longer seems a coincidence, then, that the performance took place in Miami and not in Mexico, a grand entrepreneurial project perhaps, which has cast shadows on the management of artistic heritage in the possession of large investors unconnected to institutions. Who knows if Fantasmones Siniestros is really in the metaverse, for the time being it is certain that we have lost a page in the diary of Frida Kahlo’s story, in which a giant weight, a broom, a duck, a bird and spectral creatures represented all the complexity and magic of one of the greatest artists in the history of art.
Jeremy Olson’s work leaves the viewer with many question marks. The paintings, as well as the sculptures that the artist creates, either 3D printed or mixed media, represent clearly imaginary worlds in which monsters live, performing actions so human that they create a curious alienating effect. The artist’s landscapes take up the concept of the interregnum, or an era, or a place of transition between different historical epochs, in which mutation occurs. There is a notion of the future in Olson’s work; the subjects are in fact anthropomorphic monsters, at home in contexts on the brink of catastrophe, such as a house with its roof caved in or a forest that appears to have been destroyed by fire. In this global collapse, the characters perform very simple actions such as scrolling on a smartphone, perhaps leaning against a red dragon as if it were a comfortable sofa.
The landscape component is very evocative. Jeremy Olson depicts spatial, alien landscapes, both in colour and form, often abstract elements are inserted into the landscape out of the blue, making no connection with the landscape, in some cases created with naturalistic elements. A small mountain landscape becomes an exhibition model, leaving one with the continuous feeling, when observing Olson’s complete production, of moving from the micro to the macro, with doubts as to where we ourselves are viewing these worlds from.
Of all the periodic events and “weeks” that take place in Milan, that of JazzMi (Sept. 29 to Oct. 6) is really one of the few not to be missed. It is a super cool format, which really manages to enchant you and improve you as a person. Yesterday, Oct. 6, drumming star Yussef Dayes lit up the amphitheater of Milan’s Apple Piazza Liberty with a breathtaking live performance and in a location no less impressive, as Apple Music is a media partner of JazzMi. With a rocking lineup (especially for the most connoisseurs of jazz music made in the UK), Yussef proved once again that he is a cross-genre artist who can make any musician come back humble and thoughtful, perhaps because he has an English mother and Jamaican father and because he was raised with bread, jazz and reggae.
Having become an artist known to most through the album “What Kinda Music” (2020) with Tom Misch, he managed to impress the sold-out Apple Amphitheater with unique musicianship, playing on his instrument with impeccable dynamics and delivery. This was, of course, also due to the chemistry created with his accompanying musicians- Mali Venner on sax, Rocco Palladino on bass, and Elijah Fox on keyboards. These raised the live performance to an even higher quality, surprising the entire audience with complex, well-framed, well-orchestrated and above all (which is never a given) songs with a smile on their faces, all set in a context that tells of encounters and sonic transformations like JazzMi. In conclusion, it was hands down one of the most sincere and true concerts of the last 2 years.