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Being an artist in Russia: meet Asya Marakulina

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K o p y r n o v a  I n n a

Being an artist in Russia: meet Asya Marakulina

Asya Marakulina was born in Perm, Russia. She lives and works in Saint Petersburg. Russian journalists marked Asya as the “Turgenev’s girl of Petersburg art” and the “hope of Russian contemporary art”. So, we decided to talk with Asya about how convenient or not can be a life of the contemporary artist in Russia.

About first exhibitions in Perm and Saint Petersburg

I started exhibiting when I was still living in my hometown. At that time, I was studying in an art studio and we organized exhibitions for various holiday fairs. After that, I had a long period of moving to St. Petersburg and time to join the student body. At the University, I received a classical art education: painting, drawing, and so on – at the same time I was engaged in creative work. I studied at the school of a young artist “ProArte“. This fund was created specifically for children who want to develop in the field of contemporary art. My first exhibition was held in the Peter and Paul fortress in 2014. Then I returned from a residence in Belgium and used the collected material this way. This was the first conscious display.

It was from this residence that I began to get to know the foreign art space. At the time, I didn’t know what I am involving myself in. I even went to Belgium more out of curiosity and interest in travelling. Before that, I only travelled inside Russia. After that, I soon went to a residence in Norway and then participated in a group exhibition in New York. There were artists from the Urals and from Brooklyn. Now it is even difficult to remember the complex concept of how it all was interconnected. My curator who now works at the Yeltsin centre in St. Petersburg called me there. Usually, I participate in foreign exhibitions at the invitation of my friends from Russia – this was the case with New York, then with Stockholm, and with Texas. My experience of working abroad is not quite big.

About attachment to a place

I have a workshop in St. Petersburg, and there I can be alone without any noise – write texts, think, create. I spend most of my time in the workshop.

I am also coupled to Russia – all the projects that I have done in residences are somehow linked to the local context. It is much easier and more interesting for me to work when I am immersed in the language, visual, and cultural environment. For example, in France, I worked with difficulties in translating and understanding a foreign language in Russian. Of course, a new place gives you a lot of new information, a new material that you can’t ignore. But at the same time, you analyze your personal baggage, already collected at home. The Russian reality certainly affects me a lot – I live here.

About moving to another country

The idea of moving is always present. Especially when I’m abroad, comparing and trying on other locations. I want to study somewhere else, but now I’m not ready to move to another country – it takes a lot of energy. I lived 3 months in France and realized that if you move there, you need to absolutely start everything from scratch. I’m a stranger there. I don’t want to spend time adapting to a new social space now – I want to work. I have projects that need to be done now – maybe a little later they will no longer be relevant to me.

About the advantages and disadvantages of Russia for the artist

In Russia, an uncomfortable environment is not only for an artist but for any person of any profession. It is aggressive for pensioners, artists, doctors and businessmen. There is strong resistance to material and society. But at the same time, you can do things in Russia that you can’t afford in other countries. At home, I can rent any space and work there. In Germany, for example, it is much more difficult to do this – there is too strong and complex social and economic structure.

There are pros and cons everywhere. In Europe, there are more opportunities and space for the artist – almost every house has two galleries in Paris, but in my city, there are only 3 of them and everyone is chasing them. On the other hand, when I was in Switzerland, I could not understand how artists find themes for projects in such comfortable conditions. There are no “rough edges”. I need irritants and inconsistencies for my work. Since many foreign artists grow up in a different environment, the focus is set on other things, and the art is completely different. It might be difficult for me to change my mind.

About the news agenda in Russia

Every time I open the news, it seems to me that this is the limit of senility. A little later, I open it again, and I realize – no, it can go even further. The current absurdity sometimes makes you speechless.

How the government helps artists

I have a feeling that the projects that are sponsored and supported by government structures are most often of an ideological and patriotic nature. In Russia, everything is not so smooth with modern visual culture. It seems to me that civil servants do not have an as well developed taste as we would like – there is no sensitivity to different forms and meanings. It is difficult for an artist to be seen and heard. I limit myself from such cooperation.

In Russia, the attitude to culture has been built up as something marginal. There is a constant cultural barrier between the artist and the rest of society. At the same time, there is a lot of material for criticism – unfairness that can be reflected.

About politicization of art 

I don’t work with politics in my art, but it’s not an intentional choice. My strength lies elsewhere. We must remember that an artist is not only a citizen of his country. He lives, feels, and is tormented by existential questions. We cannot avoid themes of love, death, and emotions. The surrounding agenda only penetrates the mood and sometimes is expressed in increased anxiety. It is natural for me to find more universal images in this aggressive environment.

All of the images were taken from Asya’s Instagram profile.

Art Digest: June 22—29

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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: June 22—29

Now that the brightest day of the year has been left behind, it feels like we’re slowly coming to winter. However, there is still so much summer time left full of events and appointments! Finally one can choose between online and offline. Along with contemplating arts you can also take a proactive approach and stand up for a creative who desperately needs support. More detail about that in this week’s Art Digest.

A C T I V I S M

Time for action: join ‘Free Yulia Tsvetkova’ campaign 

Russian artist and femme activist Yulia Tsvetkova has been recently charged with the dissemination of pornography. She’s being accused of administering the social media group ‘The Vagina’s Monologues’, which contains depictions of female sex organs as well as creating a series of body positive drawings called ‘A Woman is not a Doll’.

The maximum sentence of imprisonment she faces is 6 years. Artists and just concerned people from all over the world have decided to rise for Yulia and created a special platform. If you want to join and help the artist, the easiest way to do that is to sign a petition and spread the news through social media. Using back channel to resolve the situation is also encouraged. Find out more about the case, the social initiative, and ways to contribute on the platform. For those from outside Russia there is an English-language video by artist Nicole Garneau

Yulia Tsvetkova doesn’t only promote women’s agenda, but also supports LGBTQ rights. Until recently she was the director of an activist youth theatre in her home city Komsomolsk-on-Amur, having produced 9 plays there. Charged by the authorities, the artist was placed under house arrest in November 2019 and was released in the middle March, just as the COVID-19 lockdown became effective. Recently many social initiatives in supporting the artist have been established. One of them is ‘Yulia Tsvetkova 500-Meter Solidarity Walks’ launched and conducted by artist Nicole Garneau in Russia, Berlin, and London. The artist herself has been awarded the 2020 Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Arts Fellow. Yulia Tsvetkova’s case is tried in early July 2020, thus, it’s time for action (and everyone can help).

V I D E O  A R T 

‘Love is the Message, the Message is Death’ by Arthur Jafa streaming online all weekend long 

Arthur Jafa’s 2016 film ‘Love is the Message, the Message is Death’ will be streamed online via 13 art institutions on June 26—28. A seven-and-a-half-minute video work by Jafa is accompanied by the Kanye West’s song ‘Ultralight Beam’ and provides both colour and black and white footage, exploring the life and experience of Black Americans. It’s not only that the 13 remarkable institutions (among which are the Tate, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum) will synchronize doing that, but also the fact that Arthur Jafa has never made his video work available online before.

Arthur Jafa was born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1960. The artist focuses on making video works and producing films, exploring the African-American identity in the cultural-historic context. His works have been widely recognized and shown in the major US and world museums, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, LUMA Foundation Zurich etc. Regarding his moving video installation ‘Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death (2016)’, which has been highly acclaimed by critics, the artist said in a statement to Tate:

‘I want to make Black cinema with the power, beauty, and alienation of black music. That’s my big goal.’ 

F A S H I O N  

Paris Fashion Week to go ahead in September 2020 

The pandemic managed to strike on the fashion industry, however, the latter just won’t give up. We’ve already discussed a few online shows by some world-renowned brands launched recently — now it’s time to go offline. As you remember, Men’s Fashion Week was cancelled this year and SS20 Fashion Week has been turned online… Meet the Paris Women’s Spring/Summer Show this September, after all! The womenswear show will run from September 28 to October 6, 2020, the further details will be provided later. However, Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has announced that Paris Fashion Week ‘will comply for its implementation to the recommendations of public authorities’.

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

V&A Museum releases Glastonbury Festival archive online 

The V&A has acquired the Glastonbury Festival archive since 2014. In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Festival, the Museum reveals the collection of Glastonbury highlights and invites visitors to join. If you ever visited one of the largest greenfield music and performing arts festivals of the world, you can share your written memories, sending them to glastonbury@vam.ac.uk. The V&A appreciates being able to ‘collect and capture a living performance archive and to document and trace the Festival’s history and influence across 50 years’. Since Glastonbury has moved online this year, checking the V&A’s archive might be a good chance to remember the best parts of it. 

New online collection by Annie Leibovitz to benefit social goals 

Swiss-born contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth presents a series of limited-edition prints by the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz. Called ‘Update’ the online collection explores the sense of a place and composes the photographs made by the artist both before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. 100 % of proceeds raised from the sale will be equally splitted between the Black Lives Matter, the Equal Justice Initiative, and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

Some of the ‘Update’ photographs were made in upstate New York, where Annie Leibovitz has spent her quarantine period. These are primarily about documenting the landscape of the artist’s home environment. The other part was shot previously at the places where prominent figures, such as Emily Dickinson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Darwin, and Virginia Woolf used to live and work.

‘There are no people in the pictures. I photographed houses and landscapes and objects that belonged to people who are no longer there.’ (Annie Leibovitz, on the ‘Update’ series) 

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Pioneers in colour in photography: William Eggleston, Joel Meyerowitz and Mitch Epstein

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L i s a  L u k y a n o v a

Pioneers in colour in photography: William Eggleston, Joel Meyerowitz and Mitch Epstein

Nowadays when we can create light and colour of the picture with the help of digital apps, it seems rather odd that it took several decades for color photography to regain its rightful place in collections and museums. The Kodak color film was already introduced in the 1920s and the full production of the improved Kodachrome began in 1935. For a long time, however, the color photographs had muted tones: the crowd dressed more than modestly, burgundy cars, brown houses.

However, when colour photography finally overthrew its monochrome father it became the major source of inspiration and work for many artists such as Mitch Epstein, William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz.

Joel Meyerowitz (1938, New-York, USA)

Joel Meyerowitz is a acknowledged genius, a universal master of photography, who knows how to find exceptional moments in ordinary places and has frequently changed the way he shoots. The famous photographer Robert Frank (author of the photo book „Americans“) had a tremendous impact on the oeuvre of Joel Meyerowitz.

In his reminiscences, he notes that it was Frank who contributed to his decision to take up photography. One of the episodes that took place in 1962 is quite remarkable. At that time Meyerowitz worked as an art director of the magazine and did not even think about photography. However, by chance got on the Frank’s shooting, was almost enchanted by his dynamic way of working, the constant movement around the model. At that moment it was not important for Meyerowitz how the result of the photo shoot would appear – he was attracted by the process itself.

Having no theoretical training in photography, Joel Meyerowitz was able to wrap this flaw in his favour. He was not bound by any dogmas or rules – he took pictures as he saw and felt in his heart.

In 1966, Meyerovitz took an 18-month trip across Europe, a journey that deeply inspired him and could be regarded as a turning point in his career as a photographer. There Meyerowitz was taking many shots from a moving car.

William Eggleston (1939, Tennessee, USA)

William Eggleston is an American photographer who contributed to making color photography an admissible and venerated art piece deserving of a gallery exhibition. 

The first big research on colour photography was in 1976, with an Eggleston exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and then the genre grew with the collaboration of the Dusseldorf School of Photography.

William Eggleston has an astonishing skill at creating amazing compositions from the most common items. Those who have seen the master at work have noted that Eggleston is very serious, even fanatic about the composition of objects. Picking the right angle sometimes took a lot of time for the photographer, but he always was rewarded with an impressive outcome.

The ordinary life of the American people. This is exactly the focus of the vast majority of William Eggleston’s photographs. He was not chasing sensational photos, did not shoot loud happenings – and, nevertheless, his shots are exciting, capturing the viewer’s attention for quite a long time.

Eggleston is still taking photographs as usual today. A new documentary film called „William Eggleston in the Real World“ presents the viewer with a unique personality, transmitting his view on work and life. The documentary was released in 2005.

Mitch Epstein ( 1952,  Massachusetts, USA)

Mitchell „Mitch“ Epstein (born 1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts) – American photographer, and one of the first photographers using color. His photographs are in numerous major museum collections, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art; The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tate Modern in London.

By the mid-1970s, Epstein had abandoned his academic studies and started traveling, beginning to study photography in the United States.

Ten of the photographs he made during this period were in a 1977 group exhibition at Light Gallery in New York. Ben Lifson wrote in his Village Voice review: “Mitch Epstein’s ten color photographs are the best things at Summer Light…. At 25, Epstein’s apprenticeship is over, as his work shows. He stands between artistic tradition and originality and makes pictures about abandoned rocking-horses and danger, about middle-age dazzled by spring blossoms, about children confused by sex and beasts. He has learned the terms of black-and-white photography, and although he adds color, he hasn’t abandoned them, loving photography’s past while trying to step into its future.”

During his life he published several books: New York Arbor, (Steidl, 2013) Berlin (Steidl & The American Academy in Berlin, 2011); American Power (Steidl, 2009); Mitch Epstein: Work (Steidl, 2006); Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988 (Steidl 2005); and Family Business (Steidl 2003), which won the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award.

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Art Digest: June 15—21

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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: June 15—21

Having happened once, some cases keep on echoing through time long afterwards. Artists from all over the world confront discrimination of any kind, supporting those who are at risk. Discover some vivid examples of artistic actions as well as other inspiring news of the week below.

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

‘See In Black’ launches a charitable photography print sale 

80 black photographers will share their vision of America through a series of prints telling the story of black people, their families and culture. The initiative has been inspired and organized by See In Black, the recently established coalition of negroid photographers and creatives. The mission of See In Black is to document history accurately, ‘with intentionality, respect, nuance and care’, which doesn’t necessarily imply making images of black figures. However, this time we’re going to see an exceptional photographic homage to black identity, which coincides with the Juneteenth (June, 19). Starting from that day, one can peruse the sale lots on the website of the coalition. The sale will end on July 3. What’s the price? $100 USD per each print. 

Juneteenth is an annual holiday in US, commemorating African-Americans freed from slavery. Exactly 155 years ago, on June 19, 1865 the Civil War ended and African-Americans were informed they were free. The holiday has been celebrated ever since, however, in the wake of tragic events such as Floyd Case, it has regained its’ meaning and relevance. The name of the holiday derives from the combination of the words June and 19. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

By Bobby Rogers. Photo_ See In Black

By Josef Adamu. Photo_ See In Black

By Marc Clennon. Photo_ See In Black

Meet the 2020 Street Photography Awards winners & finalists 

LensCulture Awards had it hard this year, just take the Street Photography competition: due to the pandemic and the follow-up safety measures, city streets have almost become lifeless… but not quite, fortunately. Despite everything, hundreds of photographers from different countries took part in the 2020 Edition of Street Photography Awards, either submitting the works done before the outbreak of the COVID-19 or even sending recently shot ones. Along with the series & single image winners, each of the 8 jurors of the Awards has made a special pick, briefly explaining one’s choice. Learn more about the winners & finalists from the LensCulture website. Or at least, enjoy our quick photo review below.

The jurors say, they had to make an extremely difficult choice this time. The percentage of the worthy works was high — many submissions had that special kind of storytelling, which distinguishes street photography from the other genres. 6 top winners, 8 special juror’s picks, and 25 finalists — 39 photographers from 19 countries in total, whose works charged with the right ambience and street feeling you will hopefully savor.

S O U N D 

Conceptual artist Ekene Ijeoma to show a ‘voice portrait’ of NYC residents

New York City is famous for its’ diversity in every way. Artist Ekene Ijeoma wants to capture and honor this unique city trait by recording the voices of its’ more than 8.5 million residents. The art project A Counting consists of recordings of citizens, each of them counting from 1 to 100 in one’s native language. The project’s website reports, there are 600 languages spoken in NYC, the records of 854 participants speaking in 70 languages have been already collected.

If you want to contribute to the initiative, you can either share own voice record (it might take about 5 minutes), or help the project by transcribing other calls (just 3 minutes). All you need to do is to enter the website and choose the language you want to transcribe, be it Persian, Hawaiian, or Mandarin-Chinese

Artist Ekene Ijeoma together with his group Poetic Justice at MIT Media Lab, and The People in response to the U.S. have established the project to support non-White and English-speaking communities through ‘language acknowledgement’. 

New York City is one of the most diverse yet segregated cities and, at a time of increasing division, ‘A Counting’ meditates on how to heal those divides and speculates on what a unified city could sound like. 

(Ekene Ijeoma) 

F A S H I O N 

Model Halima Aden to become first Vogue Arabia’s Diversity Editor-at-Large

Somali-American model Halima Aden will take over the newly minted position of Diversity Editor-at-Large in the Arabic edition of Vogue. Aden will be responsible for contributing a monthly column, thus, ‘highlighting hard-hitting social topics, inspiring personalities, and committed organizations with impactful work’. While the model says it’s a great pride for her to join the team of the Magazine, Vogue Arabia Editor-in-Chief, Manuel Arnaut finds this collaboration effective and meaningful. The Magazine needs extra support from a credible and competent figure, believes Arnaut

Still, what’s so impressive about the 22-year-old Halima Aden? She was the first model to wear hijab on a Vogue cover (June 2017 issue) as well as to walk with her head covered New York Fashion Week two years later. A UNICEF ambassador since 2018, Halima Aden embodies the world industry of modest fashion. Wearing hijab is a demand of Islamic faith, which is always covered in her modeling contracts. 

Photo_ Harper’s Bazaar

Halima Aden on Vogue Arabia cover. Photo Condé Nast

Photo_ Jean-Paul Pietrus_The Observer

C I N E M A 

Five films by Shirin Neshat available online for 24 hours 

Some of the most important works by the US-Iranian artist Shirin Neshat can be viewed online on the website of Goodman Gallery. From June 20—June 24 the Gallery will broadcast the following films one after another, which of them being available for an overnight: Women Without MenDreamers trilogy: Illusions and Mirrors; Sarah; Roja — Turbulent; Rapture; SoliloquyTooba; The Last Word — Looking for Oum Kulthum. Don’t miss the start of your favorite film (whatever it is) at 7 pm CEST on each of the days. 

An Iranian-born Shirin Neshat started her artistic career as a photographer creating politically engaged works that explore femininity in the context of the severe state regime. Later she switched to video works, which, though conveying a straight message, differ by a more poetic imagery and softer narratives. Shirin Neshat has both won a Golden Lion at the Venice Art Biennale (1999) and a Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival (2009), which is considered a rare achievement. She lives and works in New York.

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Will you pattern me? The Great Art of scarves

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A l e x a n d r a  K h a r k o v s k a y a

Will you pattern me? The Great Art of scarves

We ask minimalists to be more tolerant at this point. PURPLEHAZE could not avoid readers with a secret predilection to look at patterns on carpets, mother’s handkerchiefs and lovers of signs, even in the coffee grounds. We don`t mind either. The brands listed below write their history on the fabric. Fortunately, not with blood, like the chroniclers, but with threads of silk and artists‘ brushes.

Hermès. Horse crazy brand

Imagine a square mirror with which you reflect the projection of the world. This is what Hermès scarves look like, reflecting a passion for geometry, color and, of course, horses that started the brand’s history back in 1837. The house created wrought iron harnesses, brides for carriage trade, as well as leather saddles and bags for them. To date, the masters continue to use this key story and on many shawls you can see graceful horses from traditional images to fantasy ones. There is a storyline behind each drawing, so this takes the scarf from a simple accessory to a “collector’s edition” class.

Pegase Pop scarf 45х45 £165/ Designed by Dimitri Rybalchenko

Favori du Faubourg wash scarf 90х90 £385/Designed by Florence Manlik

Patchwork Horse shawl 140х140 £880/Designed by Nigel Peake

Of course, this isn’t the entire list of animalistic prints of the brand. The heroes of hermès shawls can be giraffes, birds with a variety of their feathers, tigers, as well as ethnic patterns, cosmography, portraits of native Americans, Trompe-l’oeil still lifes, abstraction and much more.

By the way, only in a big secret, our editorial staff is ready to share with readers the tricks by which you can distinguish a fake from the original:

  • The stitches should be carefully sewn on the front side of the handkerchief, and the threads should ALWAYS be matched to its main color.
  • All scarves have the inscription “Hermès-Paris“, but many” pirated copies “miss one very characteristic thing: the acute accent above the second ”e“.
  • The copyright mark ©Hermès must be present on all brand items. Yes, the buyer will have to look for it, first of all, because of its size, and secondly, due to its complete dissolution in the design.
  • The care label is written exclusively in the manufacturer’s language, French, or English.

Hypnethnic Russia with Gourji and Sirinbird

The plot of Russian fairy tales is known to almost everyone. Those who are imbued with the spirit of Russian folklore, and maybe even memories from their childhood about their “babushka” and her patterned carpets, will definitely like the extravagant brand Gourji and the winged style of silk scarves from Sirinbird.

Sirinbird founder Irina Batkova describes the brand as „myths and legends about Russia told on natural silk.” She creates all the designs herself – first by hand, then in vector and then printed in Italy. The work begins with reading folk tales, studying the techniques of ancient painting, a blank sheet and a favorite pencil Koh-i-Noor (H).

Irina Bat’kowa

Irina Bat’kowa

Irina Bat’kowa

The site has a huge selection of ornaments based on the tales of the great Russian poet Pushkin, „The Nutcracker“, as well as natural objects. So, by the end of June 2020, a new collection dedicated to the main arteries of Russia — rivers — is expected.

By the way, both Hermès and Sirinbird shawls are based on twill weave, which creates a visible pattern of diagonal threads. This gives the finished product strength and flexibility in the drapery action.

According to the founder of the jewelry and accessory brand Gourji, Dmitry Gourji, the starting point for creating scarves was both pre-revolutionary Russia and the Soviet era. This is especially felt by those who were born during that time. Artists achieve atmospherics not only with lines, but also with color. For example, if Sirinbird reproduces the characters of the German fairy tale, while the scarf with the same theme in Gourji is made in a more subdued palette in the artists‘ own interpretation. Compare:

„The Nutcracker“ Sirinbird/ 158$

„The Nutcracker“ Gourji/ 100$

It is surprising how much the historical heritage of one country can be reflected in several directions at once: whether it is folklore, or a new reading of the entire history of Russia. Thus, Gourji is famous for its Sepia and black-and-white prints on silk, often accompanied by lines of songs and poems around the entire perimeter of the scarf. 

In addition to silk, cashmere is used in the production of shawls, as well as eco-friendly Modal, made from 100% wood pulp (eucalyptus, beech, pine tree).

Shawl „Fountain of Friendship“

Headscarf „Yalta“

Shawl based on Chekhov’s piece „The Cherry Orchard“

Collect emotions with PURPLEHAZE!
OXOXO

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Aesthetics in movies. What to watch to get inspired?

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L i s a  L u k y a n o v a

Aesthetics in movies. What to watch to get inspired?

Not only are we looking for fresh talents, we also create them. The PurpleHaze aim is to awaken a piece of creativity in the soul of every reader, to inspire and guide to the creation of something new, exceptional, sophisticated what is hidden in the consciousness and begs for free. We are searching for more opportunities to inspire you. We encourage you to create and enrich the world with art.

This week we are pleased to present you new source of inspiration: movies. Movies are full of aesthetics and beauty. Great directors and the unique way they see the world.

Bernardo Bertolucci (“The Last Tango in Paris”, “The Dreamers”, “Me and You”)

Long before Lars von Trier and Gaspar Noe, Bertolucci was known as the main provocateur and outrage of calm in the cinematic world of Europe. Even today, the untrained viewer is shocked by the degree of saturation of films with eroticism.And the director, studying the psychological sprains of his characters, did not shy away from sexual perversions, taboo topics like incest, and in general the highest frankness.

Doubtlessly, here should be mentioned the great and most scandalous Bertolucci’s movie “The last tango in Paris”. As Bertolucci said the plot of the film „The Last Tango in Paris“ was largely based on his own erotic fantasies. Another source of inspiration of this movie was Francis Bacon’s expressionist works.

Bertolucci managed to consistently combine epic breadth with chamberiness. A large part of his works comes down to the action in an enclosed space and the complex relationship of a couple or three heroes.
To catch this atmosphere we would like to recommend you to watch “The Dreamers” and “Stealing beauty”. Obviously, chamberism is an excuse for the director to take a deeper look at the characters and the subtleties of their relationships. And furthermore, the comparison of the closed world and the outside invariably produces a spectacular contrast.

Gaspar Noé (“Irreversible”, “Love”)

Gaspar Noé is famous for his non-standard and provocative vision, his works can be classified as a genre of „uncomfortable“ arthouse. His movies’ scenes trigger all aspects of emotions and leave long-lasting aftertaste. 

The full-length work „Irreversible“ with Monica Belucci and Vincent Cassel was a worldwide success for the director, but also became a principal scandalous film event. From the first minute the instability of the camera, which constantly changes the angle of shooting and the almost imperceptible low-frequency sound, similar to the noise of an earthquake, begin to irritate eyesight and hearing of a viewer.

Another prominent and not less scandalous and provocative work of Noé is “Love”. The reflection of love by the eyes of the director. True and painful, destroying phenomenon of people’s nature.
Compositionally, „Love“ is a series of pictures-remembrances that arise in the inflamed consciousness of the protagonist; a non-linear narrative – from the collapse of love to its origin, and then to the sobering awareness of the irretrievability of its loss.

Lars von Trier ( “Melancholy”)

Inexcusably confident in his artistry and shamelessly provocative, von Trier created a distinct cinema world. 

“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That’s perhaps my only sin.”
― Lars Von Trier

In this film, Lars von Trier is much more in contact with his personal than in any other of his films. Overture of „Melancholy“ is also a prologue of a terrible fairy tale about a woman’s soul, manifested in two hypostases and imprisoned in the myth of the end of the world, so gracious movie accidents.

His main character in the „post-marriage“ depression fatalistically concludes an amicable marriage with the Apocalypse itself, to convincingly prove the impossibility and illogicality of the very existence of man and his dwelling, a stone that has grown mildew, in the middle of an endless space. Melancholia is not a poetic mood in rainy weather, sometimes it is a serious mental illness.

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Art Digest: June 08-14

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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: June 08-14

June is the brightest month of the year — the daytime is so long that it feels like the night will never follow. And it doesn’t really matter what to do — whether to go to a museum (the one that is already open for the public), to watch a fashion show online or flip through a cool magazine. By the way, have you heard the latest news about Manifesta 13? Yes, it’s coming, and very soon! Discover about that and more from this week PH Digest.

Manifesta 13 is to run from August 28 to November 29, 2020 In Marseille 

Manifesta 13 will finally take place this year, starting from late August. 

Originally the biennial was to open in May but was moved back due to the coronavirus outbreak. Since Marseille has remained the venue for the event, Manifesta 13 is going to focus on the identity of the key port city of France, its history and diverse culture. To date, the artist list for Manifesta 13 includes 47 creative representatives from such countries as UK, Germany, Algeria, Palestine, Lebanon, Russia, US, Vietnam, let alone local French artists. 

Titled as ‘Traits of the Union, The Third Program, The Parallels of the South’, the biennial is curated by Katerina Chuchalina, Program Director of V-A-C Foundation (Moscow), Stefan Kalmár, Director of London’s ICA, and Alya Sebti, Director of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Berlin. The biennial consists of the three parts — its central exhibition Traits d’union.s; the education and mediation programme Le Tiers Programme, and the parallel programme Les Parallèles du Sud. Though the event is to be launched from August 28, you can already start discovering its educational component. Invisible Archives #4 exhibition is available at Tiers QG, the headquarters of Le Tiers Programme from June 12.

Art for Health: 100 artworks to be displayed at London hospitals 

In such challenging times like these artists don’t stay aside. We’ve already seen numerous examples of their involvement, and there’s another one. The Arts & Health service for Barts Health NHS Trust Vital Arts (London) has launched an initiative called #100NHSRooms, which aims at placing original artworks across 100 hospital rooms of the city. Now patients and clinical staff of such hospitals as St Bartholomew’s, Royal London Hospital, Whipps Cross, Mile End, Newham Hospital can enjoy contemplating art, either recovering or resting. According to the organization, #100NHSRooms is the response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, however, the impact of the initiative might extend far beyond it. The list of the artists participating and further details on the project are available at Vital Arts website.

Conrad Shawcross ‘Tamara Spline’ 2014

Diango Hernandez ‘Hashtag Love’ 2020

Henry Hudson ‘IPad Dreams’ 2020

London Fashion Week running online from June 12—14

Early in April it was announced that London Men’s Fashion Week scheduled for June wasn’t going to take place this year just like those of Milan and Paris. However, now we have an alternative — the event has been relaunched as a ‘digital only platform’, covering wear both for women and men. What does that mean, exactly? That would mean we are not going to see any fashion shows in the usual sense, but it would be rather a variety of digital content formats provided by the participating brands. The platform of London Fashion Week is free for everyone to access from June 12—14.

Panel discussions, online conversations, playlists, and podcasts instead of unveiling new seasonal collections? That may be a way out in circumstances where many factories are temporarily closed and supply chains are halted. However, while the emerging brands such as Robyn Lynch and Bianca Saunders grasped the opportunity of trying new formats, several established names refused to take part in London Fashion Week at all. Thus, Burberry, Craig Green, Martine Rose, Wales Bonner are among the absentees. And yet it’s worth visiting the LFW digital platform — first, it’s a precedent that may go down in history; second, where else would you find such a variety of audible, visual, and interactive content starring faces of the fashion scene in one place?

Sony World Photography Awards 2020 announced its winners 

One of the world’s largest photography competitions Sony Photography Awards has revealed the names of the laureates for this year edition. The recipients of the award have been chosen in the four competitions — Professional, Open, Youth, and Student, plus in the brand-new Alpha Female and Latin America Professional Award categories. In 2020 more than 345,000 images in total were submitted for the contest. On the Awards website you can not only see the winners’ works but also watch their acceptance videos.  

As a result, Pablo Albarenga from Uruguay has been rewarded twice as both Photographer of the Year and Latin America Professional Award winner. For his series of works Seeds of Resistance Pablo received $25,000. Tom Oldham from UK (Open) presented a black-and-white portrait of Charles Thompson aka Black Francis, a Greek photographer Ioanna Sakellaraki (Student) showcased a night-time view of the renewable-energy systems found on the island of Tilos, which she called Aeiforia. Lily Dawson-Punshon from UK made a photographic reference to the renowned Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring and, thus, became the Alpha Female Award winner, while a 19-year-old Taiwanese Hsien-Pang Hsieh was chosen in the Youth category for featuring a street performer. 

Aeiforia by Ioanna Sakellaraki, Royal College of Art

Black Francis by Tom Oldham, United Kingdom

Lily Dawson-Punshon, United Kingdom

Samira Nasr is the new and first-ever black editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar

The former executive fashion director at Vanity Fair Samira Nasr will head Harper’s Bazaar starting in July, replacing the magazine’s longstanding editor Glenda Bailey. Montreal-born Nasr who has Lebanese and Trinidadian routes is the first colored person to be in charge of the edition in its 153-year-history. Seems like it has taken a long time for change, yet better late than never. In comparison, the other leading US fashion edition Vogue can’t boast of ‘elevating and giving space to black editors, writers, photographers and designers’, as Anna Wintour, Vogue longtime editor-in-chief has recently admitted. Back to Samira Nasr, the new head of Harper’s Bazaar seems to have a proactive stance and much energy to continue the changes started by her precursor Bailey.

The cover of the new Vogue Italia designed by children 

Remember discussing the covers of the July print edition of Vogue UK last time? Vogue Italia has revealed the images of the June issue, which is entirely dedicated to children under the hashtag #OurNewWorld. And yes, the covers are designed by the younger generation as well. 8 kids from 2 to 10 years have presented their drawings that now decorate the face of the Italian edition. Learn more about the #OurNewWorld initiative from @vogueitalia Instagram account.

Cover of Edition 838 Vogue Italia, June 2020

Cover of Edition 838 Vogue Italia, June 2020

Cover of Edition 838 Vogue Italia, June 2020

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Religion of youth

By /ART/, /BLOG/

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A l e x a n d r a  K h a r k o v s k a y a

Religion of youth

Time is capricious and it`s better to keep on good terms with it — the Lewis Carroll`s words resonate in all areas, especially beauty. Youth is not eternal, and this idea encourages society to create standards of beauty and the image of „evergreen” Eve of the 21st century, who should be ashamed of any discoloration sign by daily faced with the poisons in household chemicals, cosmetics and cosmetology products. PURPLEHAZE will tell you that becoming gray means being honest with yourself.

Let’s start with 4 shades of noble gray hair, which make you wonder, whether it is worth masking? Just look at these gorgeous owners of metallic gloss in their hair:

If you still doubt your appearance, then pay attention to the model agencies over 40 around the world:

Oldushka (Russia)
Agency Silver (France)
Grey Model Agency (UK)
JAG Models (USA) 
JIZNELYUB (Ukraine)

What happens if you pull out a gray hair?

Everyone knows that hair begins to turn gray from the root, so if it has become only half silver, DO NOT even think of pulling it out! Here’s why:

The pigment cells responsible for the color of our hair — melanocytes — which synthesize less and less melanin with each hair that falls out. This means that the new hair growing in its place will have less pigment than the previous one. When you pull out a hair that is still pigmented at its base, you kill the melanocyte itself. The new one will be formed in its place only 6 months later, but it will work “worse” than the last one. The hair that will grow from this follicle will be COMPLETELY gray. Plus, there is a possibility of damage to the hair bulb, then a scar will appear, and nothing will grow out of it for sure.

Is Marie Antoinette syndrome a myth?

There is a legend about Queen Marie Antoinette and her sudden turning gray on the night of her execution. Many attribute this to the fact that she was deprived of her wigs and hair dye in captivity, so people who did not know her true appearance were surprised to see her white-haired on the way to the guillotine. Thus was born the legend of the instant graying.

5 tricks be gentle with hair

In the 21st century, we can say that it is not a shame to become gray, and the global fashion industry proves this. However, for those for whom gray is a problem, we don`t recommend immediately running for a hair dye tube. Start with this checklist, it will save you a hundred dollars at the beauty salon.

  • Remember the importance of hormonal balance. Raging testosterone is one of the causes of hair loss.
  • Check your endocrine system. It regulates hormones that increase the production of pigment by melanocytes.
  • Protect your hair with a headdress in hot and cold weather. In the sun, they fade and become lighter. And in the cold, the hair follicles and blood supply suffer.
  • Hair is 78% protein, 10-14% water, 6% lipids, 1% pigment. Create a sufficient flow with an essential micronutrient (iron, selenium, zinc and copper), B-vitamins (especially B12), proteins and fluids into the body, normalize nutrition and sleep.
  • Less stress. The fact is that the stress hormone cortisol reduces the number of melanocytes and as a result limits the production of melanin. Nutrition also plays a big role here: please do not torment yourself with strict diets! Provide yourself with a balanced daily caloric content and don’t forget that carbohydrates are also needed by the body for energy. More energy — less stress! But, beautie, don`t get carried away with flour products.

PURPLEHAZE quoted opera singer Barbara Hendricks, „Live your life so you can say: ‚I have really done my best to be true to who I am“.

Be loved by yourself!
OXOXO, PURPLEHAZE

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Interview with Kristina Okan

By /ART/, /INTERVIEW

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I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with Kristina Okan

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work
I am a visual artist, originally from Russia but currently live and work in Berlin.

I graduated from Moscow Stroganov Art Academy with major in Ceramic Art. After  studying for 6 years, I felt creatively lost, because Russian artistic high education is very separated from the real situation in the contemporary art world. So, I decided that the best idea would be for me to move abroad and to start the next chapter of life in a new place where I have never been before, thus I moved to Warsaw, and then – Berlin. Now I am a full time artist, exhibiting and working locally and internationally.

What set you off as an artist?
I never saw other options for me in life to be honest. All my life I practice and study art. Nothing excites me more than when I express myself as an artist. I guess, it is my nature. Even though I tried to run my own art space project, to be an art manager in the gallery and to be an art teacher – I always feel that I am out of my element and I waste my time when I do something different from artworks.

Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work
All my works derive from my fantasies about natural and organic beauty. I think that so much visual beauty and power is concentrated in simple, trivial objects such as apples, lemons, etc., that we get used not to notice, though they are always in front of us. Also, digging deeper into the topic of still lifes I was fascinated by how much meaning and symbolism fruits and vegetables carried in the past, in the Renaissance epoch, for example.

In my works, I often look for a balance between abstract forms and real natural objects. As I said before, I am highly attracted by pieces created by nature, and I play around with this existing beauty in my own way, creating my imaginary shapes – little biomorphic monuments. I also like the visual effect of repetitive forms and patterns, that is why all my works are made of repeated elements. For me is very important to leave a room for interpretation of my objects to the viewers, to give a chance to find their own meanings.

Is there something you couldn’t live without in your studio? what is your most essential tool?
My studio is where my table is. It is the basic and the most sacred object for me in my studio. Not sure it can be considered as a tool actually, but it is the most essential element for me for sure.

Tell us how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work
Working with porcelain implies a very high level of discipline and self organization. If there is a tiny bit of rush – everything goes wrong. That is why I always prepare myself mentally in advance for the new series of works and organize my schedule the way that nothing will disturb me and I will devote 100 % of my attention to work. It is like a retreat or meditation.

With watercolor works on paper is almost the same. Since all my graphic works are meticulously detailed, it takes also a lot of concentration. Sometimes, I am so much into work that after hours of drawing, I look at the work and think: oh, wow,  did I really do it myself? Because at some point, I have a feeling that the work guided my hand without my direct participation. I think these works are my favorite ones!

Professionally, what is your goal?
My goal is to reach a broader audience and to get more visibility on international art fairs and competitions. And to have my works in David Zwirner`s collection, of course.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?
I was working for a quite long time on my solo exhibition  MY SECRET GARDEN, but unfortuntely it was postponed and then finally cancelled due to current situation. Now I am very glad to announce that this show is finally going to happen in Haze Gallery and I am mostly focuced on its preparation. Besides this, I am working on a number of applications for ceramic biennales and art awards.

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TOP 3 WAYS TO BROADEN THE HORIZONS OF IMAGINATION

By /ART/, /BLOG/

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L i s a  L u k y a n o v a

TOP 3 WAYS TO BROADEN THE HORIZONS OF IMAGINATION

Not rarely creative people face burnout problems or suddenly lose their inspiration. Perhaps when you look at prominent photographers, directors and artists, you wonder how they get so many ideas and creativity. It seems that their imagination has no limits, but everyone has their secrets. 

In this article, we have collected information with unusual tips on how to unlock your creative potential and broaden horizons of your imagination.

1. Transcendental meditation 

Certainly  we all have heard about yoga, meditation practices, calmness and so on. For many people it works, for many-not, but transcendental meditation is a more specific way because it is focused on people who work exactly in art sphere. Great and famous producer David Linch in his book “Catching the big fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity” tells the story of his success, pointing out the role of transcendental meditation as every day quickly routine which has helped him to catch a creativity fish in his subconscious. In his book he is telling us that it is enough to spend 30 minutes per day (15 in the morning and 15 in the evening) relaxing and repeating mantra in your head. Sound easy, doesn’t it? He claims that after such practices our subconscious starts to produce ideas on the surface of our minds.

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper”.— David Linch 

More and more famous people start to mention this practice, for example recently Russian word-famous model Irina Shayk in her interview to Russian Vogue share her experience of transcendental meditation. 

2.Visit different places

Matthew Jordan Smith, one of the most famous beauty, fashion and celebrity photographers in the United States, once said that under no circumstances should you be deprived of the opportunity to go somewhere. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an exhibition you don’t want to attend or a concert you’d rather miss, even if you get paid to attend. The reason for this is simple – ideas come through learning. When your mind is open, you never know what will trigger a crazy and amazing idea – it could be a haircut by a vocalist, or a work of art you have seen at an exhibition that you don’t know at all.

Doubtlessly, it seems impossible sometimes to get out your bed when you are depressed or have an apathy but you need to put all  your efforts and make you go somewhere, doesn’t matter if you will go alone or with someone. The aim is to see something new. And new is a source of inspiration.

3.Productive sleep

Many scientists examine the impact of sleep on the people’s brain and there are a lot of different sleep techniques which are aimed to improve different of mental activity. As we see many artists created a particular way of sleeping and they used their ability to see the dreams correctly. Artist Salvador Dali began to draw in half-asleep immediately after waking up, also in the middle of the night, so as not to lose the images seen in his dreams. Also there is a theory that Da Vinci was a adherent of the so-called polyphase sleep. He used to work a few hours and then go to bed for 20-30 minutes.The sum total was only a few hours of sleeping a day. 

Everything you encounter in your dreams is your subconscious with your cockroaches and beliefs. Maybe you should find how to use it. The appropriate and unique technique of sleeping can be developed according to your internal biomechanics, of course, oversleeping or the lack of sleep has a negative effect on our imagination, but in particular sleep phases our brain starts to work in alternative way and we can benefit from this ability. 

We hope that our unusual and maybe a bit odd tricks will help you to develop your mindset and broaden the horizons for imagination. Create, produce and stay inspired every moment of your life!

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