Month: June, 2012

First Impressionists Aren’t Everything

Learning firsthand how to navigate Charles Stuckey’s new e-book, Great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings: the Musée d’Orsay.

Though reluctant at first, over the past few months I have jumped wholeheartedly onto the rampant, prolific tech bandwagon, trading my Blackberry for an iPhone, my PC for a Mac. I’ve even upgraded from a good old fashioned washcloth to a super-fun Clarisonic face cleanser. But my books? With their stiff leather spines, their ornate covers, and that smell–that musty, academic combination of paper, ink and glue—am I really ready to give that up just to feel linked in (pun intended) with my high-tech peers? Without books,what will I put on my coffee table (…when I finally buy a coffee table)? And what is so good about e-readers and e-books anyways?

On Tuesday night at the launch of art historian and curator Charles Stuckey’s new e-book, Great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings: the Musée d’Orsay, I learned—to my simultaneous dismay and delight— that in many ways, the e-book can be far superior to its paper counterpart. Stucky’s e-book, for instance, is not merely a work of nonfiction, but rather, it is an interactive and multidisciplinary tool conducive to learning and researching. The text—which focuses on the lives and works of 27 of the Museé d’Orsay’s Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists—is embedded with hundreds of links to videos, articles, and exhibition catalogues. In addition, the e-book also boasts immaculately detailed images of the artworks, as well as three hours of supplimentary audio commentary by the author. These features allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the text, and therefore of the museum and its collection. Stucky’s 21st century take on 19th century European painting goes to show that the e-book can be a modern, didactic, and beneficial tool with the potential to uniquely enhance our cultural and artistic educations.

Post-Impressionist Paintings: the Musée d’Orsay by Charles Stuckey is published by Artepublishing and will be available for purchase on Apple iTunes July 14.


Down to the Wire

Seung Mo Park. park soo young. 2140x1700x800(mm). aluminum wire,fiberglass,life casting. 2012.

As a frequent visitor to the galleries at 56 Bogard Street in Bushwick, I have come to know the types of art that I can expect to see there­. The exhibitions typically don’t disappoint­–they are sexy and radical, often created at the hands of young artists who have a lot to say about our culture and the roles that art and art history play in it. My visit to the galleries this past weekend for Bushwick Open Studios was no exception, especially when I think back on one artist in particular, whose work was not only distinctive (a characteristic which seems to be germane to that space), but also incredibly impressive on a visual and technical level.

The exhibition of Korean artist Seung Mo Park showcases a variety of intricate, large-scale pieces, all created from aluminum wire. In addition to visually striking sculptures, the show also features remarkably elaborate  portraits, in which the artist overlays a digital image with many layers of aluminum wire. Then, he cuts through the wire at various depths to create shadow and dimension in the figures.  By using a material typically associated with severity and rigidity to create works that are fleshy and delicate, Seung Mo Park’s work not only evokes a great sense of beauty, but also  a complexity, depth and irony. The sheen of the wire creates a visual effect that is simultaneously lifelike and futuristic. His work reminds us that the media of sculpture and portraiture are not outdated modes of representation, but rather, that they are growing and evolving with contemporary culture.

To better understand Seung Mo Park’s creative process, check out this video: