Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque’s latest series of work title “Blow Job” was created using an unlikely (and currently illegal) substance, marijuana.
De la Rocque’s work is being showcased at La Cucaracha gallery in Rio de Janeiro and the intrigue of seeing political and religious icons created with pot smoke is likely to draw both those interested in art as well as those who support the artist’s view of decriminalizing marijuana.
While he does not believe the drug should be illegal, De la Rocque says his work is about more than that. “More important than freedom to smoke marijuana is the freedom to think about it and make art with it.” he said.
“Polemic issues divide opinions, forcing people to think and debate. Inertia is useless when we want to overcome something.” De la Rocque creates his art by making stencils and blowing the smoke from his mouth over the template a varying number of times depending on the darkness of the “line”.
A classically-inspired peep show has been set up in the middle of the National Gallery.
Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger took to Twitter to find six women, all called Diana, willing to take turns to be spied upon by the public while they sit naked in a mocked-up bathroom.
The work, also called Diana, is inspired by three paintings by Titian which form the centrepiece of the exhibition and features scenes from Greek mythology.
They tell the story of how the young hunter Actaeon stumbled upon Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt, bathing naked and was turned into a stag to be torn apart by his own dogs in revenge.
They are part of a series of six works created for King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century and were deemed so racy they were covered up with a curtain in the presence of the ladies of the court.
Visitors to Wallinger’s work can look through peepholes, blinds and a keyhole to catch a glimpse of the women who perform the role of Diana working in two-hour shifts.
Wallinger said: “Diana is about watching and being caught in the act and evolved out of my desire to find a way of representing Diana bathing in a contemporary way.”
He said there were very few rules for what his models could and could not do but they had to behave “suitably goddess-ish”.
The artist said: “I wanted a real naked person for people to have that relationship with.”
He said finding his real-life Dianas was difficult, adding: “I did it initially through emails and contacts and then finally Twitter was the key that unlocked it.”
The show, called Metamorphosis: Titian is on at the gallery from this Wednesday to September 23.
The mayor of Calgary admitted that seeing his portrait created from 12,000 gumballs was a little unsettling.
American artist Franz Spohn enlisted some Calgary youngsters this weekend to help him build a mosaic of Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary.
“It’s still a little weird,” Nenshi told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. after he visited the museum to see the work in progress.
“It’s still a little awkward, but it is very neat to see all these people of every age come together and make this art together.”
Spohn’s vision was realized meticulously with the kids placing each gumball into a tube then dropping it into place until his honor’s likeness came into view.
Art lovers can chew on the finished work at the museum all week as part of the Calgary International Children’s Festival.
A leading gallery in the UK is to push the boundaries of visual art with an exhibition of works which cannot be seen.
London’s Hayward Gallery will gather together 50 “invisible” works by leading figures such as Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Yoko Ono for its display of works you cannot actually see.
It is thought to be the first such exhibition staged at a major institution in the UK.
Gallery bosses say the £8 a head exhibition demonstrates how art is about “firing the imagination”, rather than simply viewing objects.
Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957 – 2012 opens on June 12 and includes an empty plinth, a canvas of invisible ink and an unseen labyrinth. It includes work and documents from French artist Klein who pioneered invisible works in the late 1950s with his concept of the “architecture of air”.
Also in the exhibition will be Warhol’s work Invisible Sculpture – dating from 1985 – which consists of an empty plinth, on which he had once briefly stepped, one of many explorations of the nature of celebrity.
Another, 1000 Hours of Staring is a blank piece of paper at which artist Tom Friedman has stared repeatedly over the space of five years, and another by the same artist Untitled (A Curse) is an empty space which has been cursed by a witch.
Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery, said: “I think visitors will find that there is plenty to see and experience in this exhibition of invisible art. From the amusing to the philosophical, you will be able to explore an invisible labyrinth that only materialises as you move around it, see an artwork that has been created by the artist staring at it for 1000 hours, walk through an installation designed to evoke the afterlife, and be in the presence of Andy Warhol’s celebrity aura. This exhibition highlights that art isn’t about material objects, it’s about setting our imaginations alight, and that’s what the artists in this show do in many varied ways.”
Ben Campbell, a dude who refers to himself as “some kind of artist from west Texas”, sent odditycentral these photos of a life-size mummy he created out of about $200 worth of McDonald’s food.
You’re probably thinking Ben needs a better hobby, but you have to remember he’s not just some guy with nothing better to do, he’s some kind of artist, so he has a pretty good explanation for creating his unique McDonald’s food mummy.
Apparently, for the last couple of months, Campbell has been working on an art show to highlight the connection between ancient Egypt and modern society, and his meat mummy is the centerpiece.
It makes a lot of sense if you think about it and Ben himself explains that “ancient Egypt was obsessed with achieving immortality through customs that included mummification and the construction of pyramids.
Modern society is likewise obsessed with achieving a from of immortality through our own customs that include pursuing celebrity status and constructing corporations.” And since McDonald’s is one of the world’s biggest corporations… See the connection?
A museum in Italy has started burning its artworks in protest at budget cuts which it says have left cultural institutions out of pocket.
Antonio Manfredi, of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples, set fire to the first painting on Tuesday.
“Our 1,000 artworks are headed for destruction anyway because of the government’s indifference,” he said.
The work was by French artist Severine Bourguignon, who was in favour of the protest and watched it online.
Mr Manfredi plans to burn three paintings a week from now on, in a protest he has dubbed “Art War”.
Artists from across Europe have lent their support, including Welsh sculptor John Brown, who torched one of his works, Manifesto, on Monday.
Mr Brown said that his organisation, the Documented Art Space in Harlech, North Wales, had exhibited at the Casoria museum in the past.
He said the loss of his artwork had not been particularly upsetting.
“We work in a fairly contemoporary manner so the process of making art, and the interaction with people, is more important than keeping it as a precious object.
“He called the burning “a symbolic act” to “protest against the way the economic crisis is being dealt with. These cuts reach beyond the confines of the visual arts and affect the cohesive well-being of millions of people all over the world.”
Italy’s debt crisis led to the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last year. Since his departure, the government has passed a tough package of austerity measures and other reforms.
Art institutions says they have been particularly affected by the country’s economic woes, with state subsidies and charitable donations drying up.