DISMALAND

DISMALAND

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DISMALAND, WHERE SADNESS MEETS CONFUSION

So, what’s Banksy’s heritage? What does he wanna leave to us after years of war (with a spray can)? His apparent spiritual testament lies in Dismaland, a far too evident word pun for a park intended to exist without any amusement.There’s someone who says it is the mixture of all his theories, or the nauseating self-congratulation of his mediatic genius, or again the dismal
(pun intended) taste of a sadist.

First, let’s examine the location: Weston-super-Mare is a small village on the southwest English coast, which has everything the average family on a holiday hopes to avoid. It is like a zombie-ridden Brighton (with the oldsters as the zombies), like Santa Monica being abandoned for 100 years, a place that no random person in their right mind could ever attend.58 artists have collaborated with Banksy to complete the park, sharing with a worldwide public artworks like Jimmy Cauty’s scale model of an hypothetic post-riot society, formed only by policemen, or like a horses’ carousel, which actually is a harrowing transformation from a horse to a lasagna, ending – inside the crumbling version of Disneyland castle – with an upside-down Cinderella trapped in a wrecked carriage, lit up by several camera flashlights.

The doubt that strikes me, as should be the case for others, is what actually Banksy wants to pass on to us with Dismaland. It can’t be his heritage, after all it’s only a 5-week artistic installation…
it looks more like events such as
Cans Festival or Rats, intended as a phase of a bigger plan.
Self-defining itself as a “bemusement park”, Dismaland doesn’t cause despair, but discomfort, confusion, a sour smile, invites to meditate, and I have the sinister worry that who doesn’t ponder on what he has seen will be somehow absorbed by the park and his sinister outline.

The park is a peaceful place in which a consciousness has to be armed to survive, whose message is completely different from the advertised one. Maybe Banksy had planned it all,
to confuse us, to raise our awareness, waiting for his next sally.

BANKSY, GUERRILLA ARTIST

BANKSY, GUERRILLA ARTIST

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Many things have been said about him. He’s hated or loved, with no middle ground. Where Andy Warhol theorized the 15 minutes of fame, he reaches fame through anonimity. They say he’s a plumpish man, a Philip Seymour Hoffman as an artist, but the truth is that Banksy from Bristol redesigned and – if we want it – united the whole landscape of worldwide street art. He legitimized it, putting it on the same level of an art proudly considered “conventional”.

How he made it? Transmitting a very loud message, through the perfect mastery of the stencil. He is the spokesman of an anti-capitalistic and anti-institutional, almost anarchic movement, spreading his “word” through pushovers, kids, old men, the lower classes, or even rats.

It is an underground and barely visible war, but Banksy proved in several occasions that he can step out on the forefront and “fight”, infiltrating in many museums paintings in perfect classic style, but edited them with touches of a spray can to pass through his message. The methods to spread this message can sometimes differ, but the final purpose remains the same: being always inclined to pacifism and self-determination of the lower classes.

Banksy is an exceptional leader with the look of an ordinary man, apparently ubiquitous (he left his mark in New York as in the Gaza strip), who conceives art through different media.

So why act in the shadows, making use of the lowliest to spread his word? Because they are who, being insignificant and invisible, could indeed bring an entire society down on her knees.

ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY #3

ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY #3

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The work of art is a scream of freedom”. These are words of Christo, the contemporary genius who, along with late wife Jeanne-Claude, enchanted (and still enchants) the whole world, not only art’s cosmos.

Through a duo that lasted for over 40 years, a duo that’s still present in a trascendental manner, Christo wraps monuments, splits lands, surrounds islands. His art is full-scale, global, all-out, whose only purpose is to give “joy and beauty”, the most independent art possible, that wants to fly but facing reality is grounded to earth by missing authorizations and legal hurdles. His last masterpiece, The Gates in Central Park, needed 26 years for its actual realization…to only 14 days of actual exhibition, the norm for all of his works.

Works like The Umbrellas, Running Fence and Wrapped Reichstag required years and years of theoretical study, court battles and several millions of dollars to be fulfilled, in the face of a very limited display.

So…why operate like that? And especially…whence springs the charm of works that seem so transient?

Christo with his art entirely recreates new landscapes, in an apparently destructive act (with “limited time”)

that actually generates very strong emotions inside of the spectator. New environments in which he wants us to believe (with always a positive meaning) that what’s inside the wrapping actually never existed, only to promptly bring us back to reality.

The monument, the bridge, the building “exists”, but he, removing them from our view, wants to emphasize the void left by their “non-existence”. Using his words, the presence of the missing.

Christo and his wife always funded their works by selling sketches and drawings, becoming totally independent from commissions and external funding. The materials used are removed and then recycled. It seems that it’ll remain only the remembrance of their mobile installations. Thus, which heritage do you think they have left to us? A “gentle disturbance” or something extraordinarily ineffable?

ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY #2

ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY #2

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So let’s test a novice of contemporary art. Let’s put him in front of a minimalist work of art, such as National #1
of Robert Ryman. An American artist known to have conceived the majority of his works as a completely white
(or blank) canvas. How could a novice of art, a visitor of his first museum or a simple tourist think that’s art?
And how could he accept the fact that no, he absolutely cannot reproduce the work of art neither to a visual extent nor to a merely conceptual extent?

A random tourist visiting London, who runs across Marc Quinn’s Toxic Sublime exhibition, can’t do anything but feel astounded and bewildered by those extraordinarily complex metal sculptures, painted with materials such as human blood, sand or ice.

Constructs that, to an inattentive or a poorly trained eye, seem just like sheets of paper curled up and then unfurled. On one side, Ryman depicts the moments before the creation of a work of art: the anxiety, the void,
the apprehension… the whiteness of it. Quinn symbolizes a serie of atavic dualisms concerning human life.
Both sublimate(d) brilliantly their philosophy… are you so sure that you could do the same?

ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY

ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY

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The quote that entitles this post isn’t inspired by any famous artist whatsoever. It’s a casual neon sign created by who knows which anonymous burgeoning artist, but highlights two crucial concepts for an individual that tries to approach the art: the former tells that everyone can light the way and give an alternative glance on the art world – and the latter – every artistic tendency, even of the past, was contemporary in its days.

NOFRAME’s idea was conceived by three friends: an artist, a spirited law student and an art enthusiast. Our primary goal is to give a different look on art to the reader. Not a look of a critic, not a look of a columnist, a look of three passionate young men. And maybe, for that reason, possibly unique.
To better clarify the concept of “contemporary art over the centuries”, let’s take Italy as an example.

Every masterpiece, every genius, every artistic technique was, in its times, contemporary. Giotto, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and the other geniuses of Italian art created, brick by brick, the foundation of what nowadays we call “the cradle of worldwide art”. And every one of them started as an innovator.

The current contemporary art finds itself in the same situation. The context may be different, because there isn’t a predominant tendency, and the artistic works are easily accessible, but who doubts it should look behind his back. Not contemplating the past means not wanting a future.

NOFRAME

NOFRAME

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The art gallery has always been a physical space of free sharing. Art of every shape and medium stimulates and satiates the visitors’ souls. It is a space which accommodates the expert and the novice, because it has this capability: it offers emotions to every individual, without any reserve or limitation whatsoever.

NOFRAME tells about a gallery which, being born in Italy, has begun to live into an environment that – from an artistic point of view – is the symbol of a meeting between two cultures which have created a new attitude of living and conceiving art. Fashion, interiors, lifestyle, design, Dubai: all of this revolves around the gallery and Dubai is a sort of primordial ooze.

The intention is to emerge from the boundaries of the gallery, a gallery without walls, a painting without a frame, to let breathe the true spirit of the artist, of the art per se and what outlines it.

The gallery is that painting where, frame taken off, the color can expand into the souls of the people. NOFRAME wants to touch everyone’s heart, passing to them the essence of an environment which lets you live art in every manifestation. Wants to eliminate every frame so that the oils, the temperas and the watercolors manage to color the emotions of every reader, even the furthest one.

Imagine a city without barriers, without obstacles, without boundaries. The city speaks, is alive, breathes, lives within nature, lives through people, lives of what people do.
Anything that springs emotions can touch the soul of who strive to know, listen and see.

Like a frameless painting…

THE BLACK HOLE

THE BLACK HOLE

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The black hole, the maelström, the unavoidable center of gravity, the axis on which revolves the whole Middle East: Dubai.

A worldwide financial landmark, as well as the most shining star of the Emirates, it has absorbed and reinvented a large part of the Western infrastructure and lifestyle, applying on that a typically Arabic and Middle Eastern philosophy.

Even the Art world couldn’t resist to Dubai’s charming presence and, on the other side, the Emiratines, admirers of every type of “excellence”, haven’t waited much to open their doors to Contemporary Art. Dubai is known as a worldwide center of attraction for tourism and businesses, but also as a link between East and West itself, and ultimately as an ideal platform to showcase the Far East trends.

Auction houses (the queen Christie’s), art fairs (Art Dubai) and art galleries filled the already lavish city skyline with other peaks of excellence.

In this background operates the Sconci Art Gallery, armed with dynamic and innovative projects, such as giving an eye to the newest tendencies regarding Western contemporary Art and the most symbolic art streams of the last decade, not forgetting the roots on which it rests, the Middle Eastern art.

The gallery offers a portfolio of established Italian, European and Middle Eastern artists and introduces a roster of up-and-coming artists.

The Sconci isn’t certainly the first gallery to set foot on the Dubai soil, and there is and interesting mix of local and international entrepreneurs that monopolizes the market of private sales.

The Sconci Art Gallery works around the frame of the Dubai Design District (@d3dubai on Instagram). She wants to begin a synergic relationship between the district and the gallery herself, creating the conditions to blend in: perfect synchrony and correspondence between work environment and the work itself. Selling art in a place that breathes art.