All posts filed under: art

Floating fantasy

In Carlos Bongiovanni’s works, objects are not what they seem. Seen from afar, these unsettling paintings may appear to contain conventional imagery – birds, pieces of fruit, for instance – but upon closer inspection, strange, unsettling objects appear. They retain some elements of the original image, but morph into something else, something less obviously recognisable and disconcerting. Bongiovanni was born in Ushuaia, Argentina in 1983 and now lives in Buenos Aires. To see more images of Bongiovanni’s work, read the  July/August issue of The Kurios. Photo: Heart © Carlos Bongiovanni. Courtesy of Galeria Mar Dulce, Buenos Aires. Advertisements

Beautiful waste

Serene mosaic figures rise out of the courtyard at Pallant House Gallery, the subject of a new exhibition displaying the eclectic work of the late Nek Chand (1924-2015). The renowned Indian artist died just a few days before the exhibition opened in mid-June, giving this show special significance. Chand was born in 1924 in the village of Berian Kala, in what is now Pakistan. In 1947, he relocated to India with his family. As his day job he was a public roads inspector, but in the evenings he began to mould figures out of recycled and found materials including shells, cooking pots, broken crockery, glass bangles and electrical fittings. Chand, who as entirely self-taught, would make the body of each figure from a mixture of cement and sand, before covering it with discarded objects. The resulting sculptures are highly tactile but also transcendently beautiful. “Nek Chand is a deeply spiritual man, fascinated by the mystical significance of rocks,” said the curators of the exhibition, which is taking place at the gallery in Chichester, southern England. “Chand believed that …

Through the looking glass

Since Europeans first made contact with China in the sixteenth century, Chinese art has exerted a heady influence on Western fashion. A new exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, China: Through the Looking Glass, examines the influence of Chinese aesthetics on some of the West’s most lauded fashion designers. A collaboration between the Met’s Asian Art department and The Costume Institute, it mixes high fashion with costumes, films, paintings, porcelains, and other art from China. The exhibition seeks to draw out the image the West has of China, a country which has inspired nostalgia and fantasy in the minds of many of these designers. The curator’s decision to reference Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in the title of the exhibition reflects the fantasy China has inspired in the West. Chinese history and cinema are seen to have exerted a particular pull on the West’s imagination. Three periods of Chinese history are given particular emphasis — Imperial China, the Republic of China, and the Imperial Republic of China. In the Republic of China, Shanghai …

Truly, madly, beautifully

Portia Zvavahera’s sumptuous paintings draw on subjects from both life and dreams and combine printmaking with painting. Her vivid imagery is drawn from religious narratives from both Christian and indigenous African traditions. Her deep understanding of colour and form is evident. Zvavahera represented Zimbabwe at the Venice Biennale in 2013. The artist was born in 1985 in Juru, Zimbabwe. To continue reading about Portia Zvavahera’s work and see more images of her paintings, read the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: ©Portia Zvavahera, I Can Feel It in My Eyes [14] © Portia Zvavahera. Courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town/ Johannesburg. Photo: Mario Todeschini.

Nature overflows

Janaina Tschäpe’s organic and ethereal work reflects the abundance of nature in Brazil. Her beautiful multi-layered paintings are like nature itself. She has said she seeks not to portray a dream world, but the sensation of being inside one. Tschäpe was born in 1973 in Munich, Germany and was raised in São Paolo, Brazil. She lives and works between New York and Rio de Janeiro. To continue reading about Janaina Tschäpe’s work and see more images of her paintings, read the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: Janaina Tschäpe, Contemplating Landscape (2014), Installation View. Photo courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery.

New voices

Mawande Ka Zenzile’s bold work deals with memory, ethics, politics, the politics of representation, and history. Through compelling imagery, he often draws attention to Xhosa history and heritage. The Xhosa are the second largest cultural group in South Africa, after the Zulu-speaking nation. The artist was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa, in 1986. He is in the process of completing a BA in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. Please continue reading about Mawande Ka Zenzile and see more images of his work in the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: Mawande Ka Zenzile, The Problem We Didn’t Create (The Death of Socrates) 2015 © Mawande Ka Zenzile. Courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town/ Johannesburg. Photo: Mario Todeschini.