Thursday, 24 October 2013

Artistic twinships

How has this post emerged

Sometimes we walk in a museum or exhibition space and have a déjà vu feeling. When it comes to Picasso and Braque I struggle sometimes to identify who painted what since these two guys for a few years had what I call "artistic twinship". If you want to have some fun, try to name or guess who painted what and you can later check the answers at the end of this post. Actually, while searching for the images online, I have noticed that Braque paintings are usually more yellowish while Picasso's - grayish, also Picasso's works from that period are more clustered with geometric shapes or color ranges, but I might be wrong. 

6.  7.

Before you scroll down to check the answers, one more question: Do you think that these two paintings are made by Paul Cezanne? Well, one yes.    


While development of cubism is attributed to Picasso and Braque, it was Paul Cezanne  who first described the nature as "<...> in terms of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone; put everything in perspective, so that each side of an object, of a plane, recedes toward a central point" (1904). 

Discovering Italian futurist Gino Severini's painting from his Parisian period, has aroused a question that I should still investigate and probably write a separate post: why guitar is so often a subject of a cubism painting? 

Gino Severini, 1919, Nature morte à la guitare

These two paintings to me fall into artistic twinship, despite Google Image Search disagreement (click here and here). 

Umberto Boccioni, Dimensional shapes of a horse, 1913 
Robert Delaunay, Simultaneous Windows on the City, 1912

Looking at all these early XXth century paintings spurred still fresh impressions from visiting Pollock e gli Irascibili (Pollock and the Irascibles) at Palazzo Reale in Milan and how Jackson Pollock was making drawings after Picasso's Guernica before he developed his own dripping style in 1947.

Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm, October 1950
Untitled, Jackson Pollock      ;    Museum of Modern Art, New York      ;    Emiliano Sorini, American
Jackson Pollock, Untitled, 1944-45

Pop-art start Roy Lichtenstein has made series of pop interpretations of famous paintings including those of Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse and Carra.

Roy Lichtenstein, Vincent's Room, 1992
Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent's Room, Arles 1888
Roy Lichtenstein, The Red Horseman, 1974
Carlo Carra, Red Horseman, 1913

Copying famous artists is not new. If you happen to be in Madrid's Prado search for Adam and Eve painting and when you discover the two in the same room, you can play a game "find some differences". I've counted five, no, six.

Adam and Eve by Titian, c.1550 
Adam and Eve by Rubens, 1628-1629

Same artist? Nope, actually 3: Jesse Draxler, Musta Fior and Till Rabus


The latter also reminds a bit of Tim Hawkinson's Fruit, 2004 from Body Parts post.

Of my recent online random discoveries of "artistic twinships", I can name Giuseppe Mastromatteo's Indepensense 2009 series that I first saw the same year during MiArt show in Milan and Diana Chyrzyńska's Face Self-Portrait.

Giuseppe Mastromatteo
Diana Chyrzyńska

From first sight, the two photos below might look like belonging to the same artist, yet young Seattle-based photographer Austin Tott (Concept pictures) and Jasper James (City Silhouetteswho currently lives in Beijing probably never met as well as aware of their art similarity.

Austin Tott 

Jasper James

Look at these double exposure portraits by Dan Mountford, a young designer from Brighton, Aneta Ivanova who merges portraits with cities in Germany, Christoffer Relander from Finland and Francisco Provedo from Argentina both preferring nature, and animated double exposure photos by Daniel Barreto.

Dan Mountford, Early 2010-Late 2011
Aneta Ivanova

Cristoffer Relander
Francisco Provedo

 Daniel Barreto

Do you prefer sad trees by Kristina Gentvainyte...

..or less gloomy version of Traci Griffin?

I will have to repeat the question: do you like photos by Alexander James from his Glass series...

...or Tim Walker's exotic rose desert he shoot for Italian Vogue? 

M.C. Escher's 1946 Eye Color drawing was probably inspired by Rene Magritte's 1928 The False Mirror that reminds me a traditional Middle Eastern bad eye amulet...or maybe vice verse?
M.C. Escher, Eye Color, 1946
R.Magritte, The False Mirror, 1928

I mistakenly thought that Bertrand Lavier's kinetic sculpture below belongs to Alexander Calder or one of those that Calder's relatives claim to be fake and been sold by his art-dealer Klaus Perls.

 Bertrand Lavier - Compositions noir et rouge, 2011
Alexander Calder, 'S-Shaped Divine', 1946

Takato Yamamoto and Alfons Mucha might not be identical in their style, but Czech artist was probably an inspiration for Takato.  

Takato Yamamoto
Alfons Mucha, calendar

Another pair, different media, but very similar result: cut colored paper of Jen Stark vs. cut and then painted wood by Jason Middlebrook 

Jen Stark, Sunking Sediment
Jen Stark, Vortextural 
Jason Middlebrook, Finding Square 2011 
Jason Middlebrook, Finding Square 2011, detail 
Jason Middlebrook, Vertical Landscape Painting

While Satoshi Hiroshi creates cosmic landscapes out of various small objects like beans, stones, pearls and chocolate, Palestinian-Lebanese artist Mona Hatoum used less aesthetic material - cut human nails, which still did not undermine the beauty of the piece: entrapped in the raisin nails remind me letters from Arabic alphabet. 

 Satoshi Hiroshi - Beans Cosmos, 2013
Mona Hatoum, One Tear, 2007, Human nails and polyester resin

More sculptures... I admit, there is a less obvious connection, still I find these three artists are very similar in their style, so if I looked at these pieces without knowing who did what to me they would seem an artistic creation of the same person. 

Rafael Barrios, NIMBUS ASCENDENTE, 2013 - Opalescent Magenta, Hand Made Lacquered Steel, 150.00 X 56.00 X 10.00 cm. Source: ArtSawa
 George Charman, The Way Bacl, ceramic sculpture.Source: Saatchi Online
Kevin Caron, Counter Sink. Source: Saatchi Online

Fantastic Four Levitation

Probably inspired by Magritte's Castle in the Pyrenees  1959 oil painting, few artists have made their versions of levitating castles. Out of the four artists, the two are using digitally modified images to create the effect of levitation (Yang Yongliang and Giuseppe Lo Schiavo), but Ahmet Ogut went further by building an installation of a balloon floating above Ghent. Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant's piece of getting some aid from science and nature to reach real levitation effect is my favorite.

Agnieszka Kurant, Uncertainty Principle, 2008.Wood, foam, dried plants, electro-magnets 
The Silent City - Digitally Assembled Futuristic Megalopolises by Yang Yongliang
Giuseppe Lo Schiavo 
Ahmet Ogut

Let's Make Plastic Fantastic 

In the group of plastic lovers Elena Saenko, Naomi White and recently discovered Edi Go are the ones I know so far working in converting usual plastic bags we so often use and waste in our lives into refined art objects. My comment is off-topic, but in Soviet Union plastic bags were a capitalistic rarity, so people would wash and reuse them! 

 Elena Saenko's Rustling Series

  Naomi White's Plastic Currents

Edi Go's Elastic

Hats are boring!

Dutch artist Heldrik Kerstens likes to experiment with "daily objects" converting them into medieval head wear. A noble and calm gaze of a model, supposedly his daughter, completes the experiment. Sebastian Schramm's  head wraps are a bit messy  probably also representing the thoughts of our generation.

Heldrik Kerstens
Sebastian Schramm, Portrait 16
Nina Katchadourian, Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style, an ongoing project since 2010

Some go further preferring octopuses on their heads  like on Monica Cook's hyperrealistic painting and Sarah Ann Loreth's photography.  

Monica Cook
Sarah Ann Loreth


Henry Hargreaves
Hedi Xandt
Giuseppe Archimboldo
Henry Hargreaves, Mark Rice-Ko
Mark Rothko
Vik Muniz
Michelangelo Caravaggio, Medusa

While artists as small kids experimenting with their food on the plates (Vik Muniz with his spagetti in particular), Caitlin Freeman, pastry chef of Miette bakery and Blue Bottle Coffee from San Francisco, saw the opportunity from another angle: making her desserts inspired by famous paintings and sculptures. The whole collection is now in a book published this year.

Mondrian Cake made of vanilla and red velvet cake with chocolate ganache (right) inspired by Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow” by Piet Mondrian (1930). 
Image Source:

And something that I've experienced myself in Amsterdam's Bridges restaurant - the dessert version of these three little creatures from the painting in the restaurant's hall.

photos were taken in April 2013

(Flying) Carpets Revisited

"Wait a minute, I have seen that before!" popped up in my mind when I saw Babak Golkar's Need to Communicate, 2010 on Dubai-based gallery's website Indeed, it reminded me Faiq Ahmed's work dated three years earlier.

Babak Golkar, Need to Communicate, 2010, Persian carpet, acrylic paint, 61 x 61 cm
Faiq Ahmed, Flood of Yellow Weight, 150 X 100 cm, Woolen handmade carpet, 2007

Déjà-vu happened again when writing a post Oriental Carpets Revisited on contemporary carpets and art inspired by oriental rugs, I have discovered how similar are the works of the two homonym artists, David Thomas Smith and David Hanauer: aerial view of US cities views and landscapes obtained through Google maps were mirrored to replicate the pattern of Persian carpets with the only difference that Smith kept his Photoshop images as C-prints while Hanauer put them on carpets.

"Based on the generated vocabulary of forms, while also modifying the template, David Hanauer ties on the traditional ways of figurative story telling with the carpet being the image carrier. „Worldwide Carpets“ are not only everyday objects: they do as well report about the contemporary human being who is using the carpet."

David Hanauer, WorldWide Carpets series, 140 x 190 cm, photograph printed on carpet material. Single carpet. Source:

"The term Anthropocene suggests that the Earth is now moving out of its current geological epoch, called the Holocene and that human activity is largely responsible for this exit from the Holocene, that is, that humankind has become a global geological force in its own right."
Paul Crutzen

"Composited from thousands of digital files drawn from aerial views taken from internet satellite images, this work reflects upon the complex structures that make up the centres of global capitalism, transforming the aerial landscapes of sites associated with industries such as oil, precious metals, consumer culture information and excess. Thousands of seemingly insignificant coded pieces of information are sown together like knots in a rug to reveal a grander spectacle."
David Thomas Smith

David Thomas Smith, Anthropocene series, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2010-2011. Source: The Copper House Gallery
David Thomas Smith, Anthropocene series, Biosphere 2, Oracle Arizona, USA, 2010-2011. Source: The Copper House Gallery
David Thomas Smith, Anthropocene series, Three Gorges Dam, Sandouping, Yiling, Hubei, People's Republic of China, 2010-2011. Source: The Copper House Gallery

The other two pieces below I would call "same, same, but still different", I hope, you get what I mean. 

Faiq Ahmed, Piece of Tradition, Woolen handmade carpet, wood , 2012

Farhad Moshiri

There is also a Dutch group called We Make Carpets that make carpets and they came into my mind when I saw a photo by Sanan Aleskerov in the Ornamentation catalog of Azerbaijan pavilion for Biennale 2013 in Venice. 

Sanan Aleskerov, Carpet, 2003, materials: different fruits, 100x400 cm

We Make Carpets, Candybar Carpet (made out of Twix and Bounty chocolates), commissioned by Slokdarm festival, Veghel, The Netherlands. 

For some reason, Farid Rasulov, Carpet Interior digital print series remind a Novotel commercial and I find Robert Heinecken's installation from Sensing the Technologic Banzai  at Cherry and Martin gallery quite similar to what Farid came up with.

Farid Rasulov, Carpet Interior, digital print on aluminium, plastification, 150 X 100 sm

Novotel 2007 commercial
Robert Heinecken's installation from Sensing the Technologic Banzai  at Cherry and Martin gallery. Image Source: Contemporary Daily

Same, same, but different II

Before Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman started experiments in Color Field technique, Russian avant-garde artist Olga Rozanova's pieces anticipated the evolvement of abstract art by more than two decades.   

Olga Rozanova, Abstract composition, 1917
Mark Rothko, No.5/No.22, 1949
Olga Rozanova, Green stripe, 1917
Barnett Newman, Onement, I, 1948 

Same, same, but different III

Gerhard Richter, Tante Marianne, 1965 painting

Andy Denzler, Nico (after Warhol Screen Tests), 2006, Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm
Ryan De La Hoz, Maiden No. 2, 2013, 24 x 36, Hand manipulated archival print, laser-cut acrylic sheet. Source: artist's website

When visiting Budapest's Kuntshalle I have found works Judit Rita Raboczky very much resembling to the variation of Pawel Althamer's 2011 commission for Deutsche Guggenheim, Venetians large-scale sculpture installation for 2013 Venice Biennial while the installation of Szanyi Borbàla - to another Polish artist NeSpoon whose works are based on lace patterns usually inserted into urban landscapes. 

Judit Rita RaboczkyLooking in the Mirror, 2011, achor
Judit Rita RaboczkyLooking in the Mirror, 2011, achor. Detail
Judit Rita Raboczky, 2011, achor
Pawel Althamer at Venice 2013 Biennale with a variation of his 2011 commission for Deutsche Guggenheim, Venetians large-scale sculpture installation

Szanyi Borbàla, YSA PUR III, 2013, iron
NeSpoon, Franciacorta project for Art Kitchen Foundation. Source: artist's Behance page

Make Love, Not War!

The two photographers, Claire Felicie with Marked snapping photos of Royal Netherlands Marine Corps between 2009 and 2010 before, during and after their military service and Lalage Snow executing the same project but involving UK soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan and called We Are The Not Dead back in 2012, through these triptychs research the impact of the war on individual person. 

"The photography is pretty simple so it is what the viewer chooses to read or see. This project was about making the Afghan war personal, I guess, and not just about numbers."

from Lalage Snow's interview to my 

 Claire Felice, Marked, Arnold, 21
Claire Felice, Marked, Emiel, 26
Claire Felice, Marked, Nicky, 22
Claire Felice, Marked, Remon, 21
Claire Felice, Marked, Sjoerd, 21
 Lalage Snow, We Are The Not Dead, Corporal Steven Gibson, 29
  Lalage Snow, We Are The Not Dead, Lance Corporal Martyn Rankin, 23
  Lalage Snow, We Are The Not Dead, Private Chris MacGregor, 24
  Lalage Snow, We Are The Not Dead, Private Matthew Hodgson, 18
 Lalage Snow, We Are The Not Dead, Private Sean Patterson, 19


Frequent Flyer

Anne-Julie Raccoursier, Jet Lag, 2007
Nick Relph, Lady Elephant, 2010, fabric, scale model airplane, stand, 152 x 118 x 190 cm

Sajjad Ahmed, Science Philosophy Religion (IV), 2012-13

 Jim Darling, Window Dallas
 Jim Darling, Window Hearthland 


Czech artist David Cerny's Saddam Hussein 2005 image in formaldehyde, direct parody of Damien Hurst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, was banned few times  due to its controversial subject-matter. 

Another provocative parody by David Cerny is quite recent: it was installed on October 21st, 2013 on Prague's Vltav River facing Prague Castle, president Milos Zeman's residence, as a response to early general elections of this Friday that might bring The Communist party back in power after 1989. 

The concept reminds Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture frozen in fascist greeting with all but one finger cut off that was installed in 2011 at Piazza degli Affari of Milan in front of Palazzo Mezzanotte (built in 1932 during fascism era and now home of Borsa Italiana) with the dubious title L.O.V.E. The author himself explains it as acronyms for libertà, odio, vendetta, eternità (liberty, hatred, revenge and eternity). Quite different from Robert Indiana's Love! 

Maurizio Catellan, Love

When it comes to sculpture, these two artists have the same approach of "vandalizing" classical art: 

Chad Wys 
Chad Wys
Nick van Woert

When having the idea of this post two months ago, I though to be original, but actually, there is a whole tumblr blog Who Wore It Better that makes "an ongoing visual research project presenting associations and common practices in contemporary art."  I also follow the arty crowd, so now can be found on tumblr.

And for dessert, Oliver Laric's Versions II, 2010 video explores how objects and images are continuously modified to represent something new, copied or remixed. 

1. Georges Braque, Man With a Guitar, 1914
2. Georges Braque, Nature Morte (The Pedestal Table), 19113
3. Georges Braque, La Tasse (The Cup), 1911
4. Georges Braque, Compotier, bouteille et verre, 1912
5. Georges Braque, Fruit Dish, 1913
6. Pablo Picasso, Still Life with a Bottle of Rum, 1911
7. Pablo Picasso, Guitariste (Woman playing guitar), 1910
8. Pablo Picasso, Landscape with Bridge,1909
9. Georges Braque, Le Viaduc de L’Estaque, 1908
10. Pablo Picasso, Girl with a Mandolin (Fanny Tellier), 1910  
11. Georges Braque, La guitar (Mandora, La Mandore), 1909    
12. Pablo Picasso, Nature morte au compotier (Still Life with Compote and Glass), 1914-15
13. Georges Braque, The Table
14. Georges Braque, Woman with a Guitar, 1913
15. Pablo Picasso, The Poet (Le poète), 1911
16. Paul Cezanne, Bibemus Quarries, ca. 1900
17. Georges Braque, Le Viaduc de L’Estaque, 1908 

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