Art Digest: November 02—08

By November 8, 2020 November 22nd, 2020 No Comments

Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: November 02—08

For many established artists their creative paths were also the paths of struggle. That would be fair to say of South African LGBTI artist Zanele Muholi as well as Sabine Weiss, who pioneered the ‘humanist’ movement in photography half a decade ago. Those who dare to fight for what is dear and important to their hearts, risk a lot, since it’s hard to be the first, going against the crowd. Yet when the results of such action start to show, there is always more courage and determination. You know, the winner takes it all… 

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

African LGBTI in the lens of Zanele Muholi at Tate 

Hail the dark lioness or Somnyama Ngonyama, Brave Beauties, Being, and Only Half the Picture — the Tate Modern showcases the entire artistic heritage of Zanele Muholi, South African artist and activist.

Starting off on November 05, Muholi’s UK major solo exhibition will feature 260 photographs of Black LGBTI people presented ‘as fellow human beings bravely existing in the face of prejudice, intolerance, and often violence’, according to the artist herself.

Non-binary people and trans women at gay beauty contests, gay couples tenderly spending time together, plus a few other scenes from the lives of LGBTI community, that’s what the lens of Zanele Muholi’s camera has been focused on since the early aughts. The artist refers to photography and film to appeal to social justice and harmony. It’s important, however, that Muholi doesn’t consider her works to be portraying beauty per se, but rather feels the need of documenting realities of people who deserve to be heard <…> and seen’. The exhibition will run until March 07, 2021.

Women in Motion prize by Kering goes to Sabine Weiss

International luxury group Kering has always celebrated women’s power and supported the outstanding female representatives quite for a while. This year the group proceeds with its Women in Motion program initially founded in 2015 at the Festival de Cannes and since then, extended to the fields of photography, art and literature. It’s Sabine Weiss, the 96-year-old photographer with an active social stance, who has won Kering’s Women In Motion photography award in 2020.

Although nearing her 100th anniversary, Sabine Weiss is still engaged in photography. Until the 2000s she collaborated with major editions, brands, and institutions (Vogue, The New York Times, Esquire, to name a few) for fashion shootings, commercials as well as some social campaigns. Born in Switzerland with maiden’s name Weber in 1924, Sabine recognized her passion for photo shooting from an early age. On the rise of her career, which came in the forties, she assisted to German fashion and portrait photographer Willy Maywald. Having married Hugh Weiss in 1950, the aspiring photographer decided to switch to free flight taking on projects as an independent artist. Famous for her black-and-white photographs of street life, Sabine Weiss is usually associated with the ‘humanist’ movement in photography. It’s ordinary people, their everyday experience, emotions, and relations that arouses Sabine’s genuine interest. And that makes her works so special and sincere.

A R T 

Meet two illusionists from Latin-American street culture (they’re twins)

One can call them Brazilian Banksys, yet it makes more sense focusing on the artistic manner of the duo. Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo aka OSGEMEOS (Portuguese for the ‘twins’) are renowned graffiti artists based in San-Paulo and, yes, they were born the same day in 1974 and look identical. Bringing the spirit of hip hop culture into the art, they create illusionary voluminous works that remind of dreams in colour or illustrations for a magical realism book. No wonder the new exhibition by OSGEMEOS at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo is titled ‘Segredos’ or secrets. 

Seven exhibition rooms filled with vivid compositions include some of their earliest works by the duo inspired by their teenage notebooks. OSGEMEOS grew up in Cambuci, central region of São Paulo, densely inhabited by workers and migrants. At the ‘Segredos’ the twin artists recall the exciting years of childhood that were also full of mystery and strange revelations. Today OSGEMEOS are widely-known for their yellow subjects that usually appear on the buildings facades as murals. If you want to know more about the motifs and characters that preceded the current practice of the duo, the ‘Segredos’ exhibition at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo is right there for you. 

Artworks by Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, and Norman Foster to support Beirut’s reconstruction 

Two massive explosions that shook the Port of Beirut in August 2020 turned into a lasting traumatic experience for the entire Lebanese capital. Good thing is that some international support won’t be long in coming. Here I am talking not about the politicians, but the artists community, whose creative energy and recognition has long proved to be an effective means for various kinds of social actions. 

The initiative is called Architects for Beirut, which is a charitable auction to be hosted virtually by the Design Miami fair in the late November. About 60 architectural bureaus all over the world have passed on some artworks and drawings authored by the most talented architects for auction. Among the lots are a lithography by David Adjaye, a one-off sketch by Renzo Piano, and a limited-edition sculpture designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Some works like Stefano Boeri’s ‘Mediterranean Mosaic map’ have been specially created for the fundraising initiative.

F A S H I O N 

Alena Akhmadullina new collection explores Middle East aesthetics 

Russian designer Alena Akhmadullina, the owner of the homonymous clothing brand, has recently presented her second capsule collection. This time it’s all about the Middle East region.
Akhmadullina didn’t only seek inspiration in the Slavic and Eastern cultures, but also searched for some similar features between the two. 

If you at once have noticed plenty of glass beads embellishing the outfits, you were right to do so. According to the designer, the form of the beads symbolizes a stitch, which came as a shaping element for the entire collection. The cross-stitching technique applied as well as the primitive symbolic patterns and basic bright colours stand here for tradition, while the principles of image composition remind of some modern technology units such as the computer screen or the graphics editor. Long dresses and puffed sleeves prevailing in the ‘Middle East’ collection, let alone some fancy hand-made accessories, emphasize the feminine nature of the label.

On the cover: Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo aka OSGEMEOS at the ‘Segredos’ exhibition at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo

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