The Art of Fernando Carpaneda – artmarketblog.com

The Art of Fernando Carpaneda – artmarketblog.com

Todd 2004

Todd 2004

I sometimes come across artists that I just have to let the world know about and Fernando Carpaneda is one of those artists, but be warned, because Carpaneda’s work is very confronting and will be not be to everyone’s taste. Those willing to keep an open mind and explore Carpeneda’s work will be glad they did because he is a truly amazing artist. A brave artist too. Brave enough to use rent boys, thieves, punks, goths, homeless people, and other unsavoury types as the subject of his work. If you are intrigued then please read on.

When I first saw a picture of one of Carpeneda’s works I didn’t know what I was looking at. What I saw looked like a photo of a person but had a surreal element to it that suggested that there was more to Carpeneda’s work than the image revealed. As soon as I found out that I was looking at a clay sculpture I was completely blown away. The level of detail and the amount of work put into each sculpture is quite astonishing especially for a clay sculpture. To give each sculpture a personal association with the person they depict, Carpaneda uses objects connected to that person in the sculpture. Carpaneda says about his work on his website that: “All his portraits are like a relic, a holy place, a moment caught in time. He uses objects that have a connection to the portrayed person to composing his work, such as cigarette butts, condoms, beer cans, underwear, semen, empty toothpaste boxes. In other words, things that are part of these people’s real world, and his own. He uses such objects and remains as a beginning for his portraits”

Most of the people we see on a day to day basis whether it be at work or at social event dress and prepare their appearance so that the look as one would expect a normal person leading a normal life to look. Most of the people that Carpaneda depicts, however, dress and prepare their appearance in a way that reflects their true personality.  These are the sort of people one would normally want to stare at but would try and refrain from doing so because we are taught that it is rude to stare. Instead of depicting the perfect male figure that most people are familiar with as a result of classical sculptors, Carpaneda utilises classical methods and materials to construct highly detailed analogues of what many would consider to be the outcasts of society.

A classical sculpture of a nude male figure is an image that almost everyone is familiar with and is able to view without feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed or repulsed. A sexualised image of a homosexual male, however, is a totally different story. Carpaneda’s sculptures challenge our perceptions of gender and identity as well as questioning the labels that society put on people who do not conform to the accepted norm. Yes, his work is confronting and will not be to every one’s liking but it is undeniably the work of a talented artist who is not afraid of challenging the boundaries of artistic practice and confronting viewers with the issues of stigma and division in modern society.

For more information on Fernando Carpaneda and his work visit
http://www.fernandocarpaneda.com/

and for information on the newly released book on his work see:
http://www.artslant.com/chi/articles/show/8249

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Susan Graham at Compound Editions – artmarketblog.com

Susan Graham at Compound Editions – artmarketblog.com

Susan Graham Vessel for Safekeeping (Survivalism) 2009 Porcelain Edtion of 50, plus 10 APs $250.00 each

Susan Graham Vessel for Safekeeping (Survivalism) 2009 Porcelain Edtion of 50, plus 10 APs $250.00 each

It is good to see that there are people willing to make a stand against the global economic crisis and start new ventures to promote the work of emerging artists even though many would shy away from making such commitments. Two such people are the owners of Schroeder Romero and Winkleman Gallery who launched Compound Editions, a collaborative fine art multiples publishing venture, in November last year. The latest offering from Compound Editions is by New York based artist Susan Graham who has created a fantastically witty work that is very much a memento of our times. “Vessel for Safekeeping (Survivalism)” is a sort of “alternative” mantel piece ornament that consists of a hand sculptured and hand glazed porcelain lacy box which contains a porcelain credit card and porcelain scissors.

We all like to think that we have complete control over our financial status but Graham’s use of a very fragile and rigid material in the construction of the box, card, and in particular the scissors, suggests that we do not have as much control as we may think. Although a pair of scissors is provided to cut up the credit card the porcelain scissors are completely useless as though mocking the helplessness of the viewer. Even though we can’t cut the credit card with the scissors the fragility of the porcelain credit card makes it very vulnerable to damage, just like our financial status, if not properly taken care of. Graham also appears to be suggesting that our identities are very much defined by our financial status and that people judge others according to their financial means in much the same way as the sort of ornaments that a person has on their mantel piece can say a lot about them and and their family.

“Vessel for Safekeeping (Survivalism)” is an edition of 50 plus 10 APs and can be purchased for $250 from Schroeder Romero and Winkleman Gallery or by emailing compoundeditions[at]gmail.com

Further information and other editions can be found here:
http://compound-editions.blogspot.com/

Susan Graham has been included in numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe including recent shows at the Tucson Museum Of Art, John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Michigan; the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, the Sherman Gallery at Boston University, Hunter College Leubsdorf Gallery, New York; the Musee d’art et d’industrie de Saint-Etienne, and the Musee International des Arts Modestes, Sete, France.

More info on Susan Graham and her work can be found here:

http://www.susangrahamart.com/

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Adam Reeder on Your Mac Life – artmarketblog.com

Adam Reeder on Your Mac Life – artmarketblog.com

zeusSculptor Adam Reeder whose work I featured on this blog not long ago has been interviewed by Your Mac Life, the internet’s number 1 Mac broadcast. To listen to the interview follow this link: http://yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/stream.mov and, if you don’t want to listen to the whole show, fast forward to 51:10 which is when the interview with Adam starts. Adam’s work has also been featured in two Mac related publications which you can see here :
http://www.macworld.com/article/139275/bay_area_artist_combines_apple_gear_with_greek_gods_.html

and here:
http://cultofmac.com/apple-gear-gives-new-life-to-classical-figures/9349

Well done Adam!!!

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Adam Reeder and Pan’s Ipod – artmarketblog.com

Adam Reeder and Pan’s Ipod  – artmarketblog.com

"Pan with his Ipod"

"Pan with his Ipod"

If I am going to be honest I have never really been a big fan of classical figurative sculpture but after being introduced to the work of California based artist Adam Reeder I may have rethink my position. Judging by the pictures on his website, Reeder is a very accomplished artist with a particular talent for classical style sculpture and drawing but it is his most recent project titled “Socio-Technic Evolution” that really caught my attention. As you would expect, classical themes and subjects are an integral part of Reeder’s artistic practice but with his latest series he has taken the conventions of classical sculpture and added a 21st century twist. “Sleeping Gamer”, “Atlas With his iPhone” and “Pan With His iPod” are the titles of a few of the sculptures that are part of the “Socio-Technic Evolution” series which, as the titles suggest, are no ordinary classical figures.

I was so impressed by the “Socio-Technic Evolution” series that I thought that I would ask Adam to explain the concept behind these works and how he came up with the idea.

This is what Adam has to say about his work:

They are all based on the concept of how technology changes the way western culture interacts with it’s world. To display this, I have combined technological objects with Greco-Roman gods, or iconic Greek sculpture. This is because the Greco-Roman period is the root of western civilization. My work is not about the change that takes place but the change in interaction, facilitated by technology.

Pan with his mp3 player is the first in the series. It has won first place in the spring show at the San Francisco Academy of art university, as well as getting into other shows. My goal was to combine iconic Grecian images, and god’s with well known technological objects. The Grecian images and god’s were to represent western culture. The Greco-Roman empires are known as the root of western culture. I avoided using anything from the Cartesian time periods so as to keep the religious contexts out of the discourse.

The technological objects should change the context of the original image, but not the nature. Arguably, any change could change the nature of it. However, my thought was that the nature of the interaction between the image and the object, would not change the way the image would have originally interacted. I used Pan with his mp3 player as the example for my final proposal. The Greek god Pan, used a flute which he played in the wood and danced with nymphs. My depiction shows Pan, still dancing as before, but no longer playing his own music. Thus, the technology changes the context, but not the nature.

This work is not about consumerism, or commercialism. Rather it is about how technology changes the way in which Western culture interacts with it’s world. This body of work should remind the viewer of pop art, because pop art showed viewers what they were consuming in popular culture. It should also feel like an ad campaign.I like the fact that the initial reaction upon viewing (even for me) is, “oh great, another classic figure”, then upon closer inspection, the viewer recognizes these iconic technological objects and it all comes together.

I have seen that process happen in the eyes of viewers, and have been told about it from museum directors, gallery owners, exhibition organizers, and art agents. This thesis stemmed from an internal reaction I had to my 6 year old daughter’s request for an iPod for her birthday, as opposed to a Barbie, or easy bake oven. I became acutely aware at that moment, that technology was changing the way western culture interacts with its world.

To clarify, this is not a series of sculpture about a little girl, or about how I feel about the change which is taking place. My Thesis is simply a playful reflection of that change.

To see more of Adam’s work go to http://www.adamreeder.com

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.