Healing the World by Joseph Boyce: The Ideas of the Last Utopia in the Twentieth Century

Posted on 03 September 2019 (0)

Joseph Boyce is a German artist and activist, one of the main theorists of postmodernism. He advocated the expansion of the traditional concept of art: the creative process was to encompass all spheres of human activity, blurring the boundary between art and life. Boyce referred to his work as “anthropological art” and claimed that “every person is an artist”.

From childhood, Joseph Boyce dreamed of becoming a doctor. He enthusiastically studied works in biology, zoology, as well as art and philosophy. Therefore, when the National Socialist Party came to power in Germany, the boy painfully experienced the burning of his so beloved books in the schoolyard and saved Karl Linnaeus from the fire. He forcibly enters Hitler’s youth, escapes once with a circus, where he cares for animals, and becomes a Luftwaffe pilot during the war. Such is the biography of Joseph Boyce before the miraculous metamorphosis that occurred to him in March 1944, when a Soviet fighter downed his plane over Crimea.

According to Boyce himself, he was rescued by nomadic Tatars who smeared his body with grease and wrapped it in felt to warm it, and when he woke up a few days later, he tasted the honey in his mouth that fed him. Whether or not that story is real doesn’t matter. Boyce creates personal mythology and thus legitimizes himself as an artist, cleansing himself from previous experience. At that crucial moment, Joseph made the decision to heal humanity with a “brush” in his hand. It undergoes the ceremony of initiation, rebirth, after which artist Boyce is born from the cocoon.

Medicinal properties of organic materials

After the war, Boyce turned to sculpture in search of new forms of art. He may not have chosen this type of art by chance, because sculpture is basically a pagan idol, a worshiped totem, a medium that conveys ideas.

It uses unconventional fragrance-specific materials, organically, associatively warm, which saved it: felt, grease, honey. The artist conceptualizes the special properties of matter. For example, animal fat is a very tricky carving raw material that can only be poured or molded at a certain temperature – a metaphor for the smoothness and caution with which changes in society should occur. Felt has thermal and sound insulation properties. Boyce uses them in the Felt Suit to signify his function of preserving not only physical warmth but also spiritual warmth.

The work “Homogeneous Infiltration for the Piano” is the artist’s reference to children who, due to their pregnant mothers taking talmidol, had upper limb mutations. Here is a felt in the felt because it is music in potential, because there is no one to play it. The Red Cross here is a symbol of both the cure and the crucifixion found in many of the works of the healer. As an avant-garde artist, Boyce develops his own artistic language as well as manifests and theorizes. Therefore, you can always explain what this or that piece is about.


“Homogeneous infiltration for the piano”

Sigmund Freud’s philosophy in Surrealism

Posted on 18 March 2019 (0)

To understand the philosophy of surrealism, we need to keep ourselves on the philosophy of the unconscious, i.e. on the ideas of Sigmund Freud regarding art.

Andre Breton believed that surrealism would not only unite art and literature, but, as stated in the first Surrealism Manifesto, “solve all the major problems of life”. This will affect all aspects of existence and introduce social and psychological changes in society. This concept was based on the ideas of Sigmund Freud, who adjusted Breton to his needs. He believed that Freud, by chance, rediscovered the powerful power of dreams and imagination, hidden under a layer of rationalistic views of life that he ruled at that time.

Sigmund Freud’s contribution was to describe and define the subconscious as a true phenomenon that determines human behavior and thought. Breton translated this understanding into the methodology of art and literature, based on sub consciousness and imagination, which he felt was suppressed by rationalism, civilization and progress.

Adoption by surrealists of the first Freudian situation (the absence of a fundamental difference between healthy and mental patients) led to the recognition of madness as the most favorable conditions for surrealistic artistic creativity, due to the complete lack of control of the mind in this state. In practice, this has led to a large number of surrealistic works, which cannot be distinguished from pictures made by psychiatric hospitals in the process of their treatment with work. Using the analogy Freud made between dreams and art, surrealists have very widely applied psychoanalysis methods to their artistic work.

They applied such aspects of psychoanalysis to art, as Freud never mentioned in relation to artistic creations. Freud found that the dreams are made up of visual images (situations), formed from a mixture of immediate “yesterday’s” impressions and other experiences experienced in reality. Images, thoughts, dark desires and memories permeate dreams, Freud claims, “human sub consciousness, where their consciousness has been suppressed and where they are continuously shaped as unconscious complexes.” It has been scientifically established (and in Freud’s time) that the occurrence of dreams is the result of poorer work (incomplete exclusion) during the sleep of individual brain centers. It was the world of Freud’s dreams, devoid of logic and meaning, distorted and impoverished, reproducing certain random elements of reality from which surrealists made the object of their art. Trying to turn into “over” realism, Surrealists are practically “buried in the jungle of sub consciousness”, created similar and unexplainable works that rose to the point of a surrealist artistic creation.

The very concepts of Surrealists have received strong support from psychoanalysis and other Freudian discoveries. Both before and in front of others received tough confirmation of the correctness of their aspirations. They could not fail to notice that the “random” methods of early surrealism (for example, glaze) corresponded to the Freudian “free association” method used in the study of the inner world of man. When later in the art of Dali and other artists the principle of illusionist “photographing of the unconscious” is confirmed, it is impossible not to recall that psychoanalysis developed the technique of “documentary reconstruction” of dreams. In addition, psychoanalysis devoted the greatest attention to those states of the soul, which, above all, are also interested in surrealists (sleep, mental disorders, child mentality, primitive psyche, exempt restrictions and the prohibition of civilization). It is therefore impossible to recognize the parallel interests, views, methods and conclusions of Surrealism and Freudianism.

Malevich and subject

Posted on 07 March 2019 (0)

Overalls, trams, pillowcases and, perhaps, the famous faceted glass. Malevich, a tireless singer of objectlessness, had a hand in the design of quite earthly and tangible things.

The genius of the great artist found expression not only in painting, but also in the decorative and applied direction. So, for example, Malevich and his followers actively disseminated the ideas of Suprematism at the State Porcelain Factory in Petrograd … The fruits of their porcelain success in our time are stored in the leading museums of the country and are desired items for collectors. And everything was conceived as dishes for daily use. For ordinary people

Malevich created not only incredibly beautiful and comfortable dishes – the artist actively participated in the formation of an entire school for young artists, such a Soviet equivalent of the German Bauhaus.

Here are some facts of the development of this extremely important for design and art institutions:

* In 1919, Malevich began directing painting workshops in Vitebsk.

A group of students and followers of the idea of Suprematism is forming around him. * In 1920, the union received the name “Unovis” (“The Affirmative New Art”). Branches of UNOVIS appeared in Smolensk, Moscow, Odessa, Orenburg, Perm, Samara, Saratov.

The participants of the association tried to implement the utopian project of creating an objectively Suprematist world by designing new architectural buildings, creating monumental scenery for cities, furniture and other household items, books, organizing a new painting museum, etc.

* 1922 – Malevich together with his students moved to Petrograd, where he headed the State Institute of Artistic Culture (Ginhook) created by him, in which members of the UNOVIS began working. In 1922, students of Malevich Suetin and Chashnik began working at the State Porcelain Factory, trying to embody the plastic system of suprematism in samples of dishes.

* 1926 – UNOVIS activities ceased due to the closure of Ginhuk.

For 4 years of activity, Soviet design has reached the world level. But did not go further … Sorry.

And here are the porcelain masterpieces themselves. According to the authors, all Soviet people should have used these services. It is very sad that as a result, our grandmothers do not have sideboards …

And here are the porcelain masterpieces themselves. According to the author, all Soviet people should have used these services. It is very sad that as a result, our grandmothers do not have sideboards …

The history of UNOVIS and the followers of Suprematism is rather sad. Soviet design experienced an incredible rise, a very short development and a long oblivion. But even in such a short time he managed to leave such wonderful examples of the organic combination of the conceptuality of high art and applied functionality. For all their complex ideological background, Suprematist compositions turned out to be very decorative and capacious. They are still actively used by modern designers.

Christian theme in the works of Dali

Posted on 26 February 2019 (0)

Creativity of one of the most odious artists of XX century – Salvador Dali, from the very beginning “stirred” the minds and connoisseurs and contemporaries, and critics, at the same time, the estimates were completely diametrically opposite, from admiration to complete disregard, but absolutely indifferent. At the same time, the most mysterious of the works of the Spanish king of surrealism are his paintings devoted to Christian themes, according to Dali himself: “… only spiritual images can save – this crazy, insane, crazy world”.

Paradoxically, the boy, born and raised in a strictly Catholic country, grew up as a stiff atheist, but with time and with tireless energy he returned to religious topics, and in his religious work he expressed an almost admired relationship with his mother, the Savior’s mother. At the same time, researchers today reduce the characteristic of Dali’s divine theme, solely to analyze his paintings by unintentionally forgetting his drawings, in which he achieved the classic perfection of technology, which is most clearly seen in his cursory drawings: “The Divine Comedy” of Dante and, of course, the Bible.

The whole complex of Dali’s works dedicated to Christianity is commonly referred to as one general definition: the “pillar and affirmation of textbooks” deriving from the name of the famous work of P. Florensky, among these works are canvases such as:

– “Suffering of St. Anthony (1946);

– Madonna (1950);

– “San Juan de la Cruz” (1951);

– Crucifixion (1954);

– The Last Supper (1955).

The painting “The Temptation of sv. Anthony ”, this is a retrospective, with the help of which Dali, showed the erotic addictions of the“ Sweet Friend ”- G. Maupassant. The picture is literally teeming with appropriate images: an obelisk in the form of a phallus, a horse, elephants, personifying sensuality, advancing on disgusting spider legs.

The paintings: “Christ San Juan de la Cruz”, “Crucifixion”, “The Last Supper”, is so deep and spiritual in their content, and they are also made at such a high level that they even more than balance all the images that are create an image of darkness and evil.

The light triangle, in which the crucifix is ​​inscribed, pierces the sleepy soothing gloom – the light of the world. At the same time, the artist in the whole picture with his images: octagonal hypercubes, shows his reverent and sacred attitude to the ideal number “eight” in which the life-affirming, saving power of earthly harmony lurks; Christ, who embodies the Platonic One, together with the eight forms the absolute, heavenly nine. Near the crucifix, placed in the interior of the house of Dali, depicts Gala – the artist’s wife, dressed in heavy “Surbaran” golden robes. If in the first “Crucifixion” Christ appears in his divine, heavenly nature, then in the second – his human hypostasis is revealed.

Picasso Ceramics

Posted on 14 February 2019 (0)

Picasso’s ceramics work begins in 1946, when he comes to Valore, in the southeast of France for the second time. Initially, he works in a workshop with his friends at the Madeira workshop, to later move to his own studio. In the following years it produces over 2000 pieces of ceramics. Initially, he took containers made by other ceramists, vases or trays, and painted them with colored glazings. Later, he himself began modeling the objects, initially only by deforming freshly made ceramic vessels so that the usual symmetry was lost. By further distortion, it has been achieved that certain objects, such as vases, turn to another form. The frequent motives of his works from this period are mythical scenes, owls, goats, and unavoidable bulls.

Picasso: “You need to do ceramics. It’s magnificent! “(Turning to me)” – This head is baked. “(Turning to Laurent /):” I made this head. You can watch her where you want, she stays flat. In fact, it makes it a flat color, naturally- because it is colored. I took care of it to look flat on all sides. What is it for what is traced in the picture: depth, maximum space. In the sculpture it has to be closed down in order to achieve a flatness from all sides … “

He first experimented with the clay 1905, when he modeled a group of heads, some of which were later poured into the bronze. The “Vase with Bathers” from 1929 represents an early work that is remarkable for the relationship between painting technique and the shape of a ceramic vessel, and anticipates Picasso’s approach to his later ceramics.

Picasso ceramics are inextricably linked to Vallauris, a small village in Provence. In the first few years of his work at this site, working together with local potters, Picasso made nearly 2,000 works in ceramics. Ceramics was a true ancient artistic skill with a long tradition, which was previously avoided by the painter and sculptor.

Picasso initially took the plates, pots and vases, familiar props from many still images of dead nature, and decorated them with colored glazings, giving a completely new and unusual look to these everyday objects. For example, a plain plate made by a potter in a traditional way would become an arena for fighting bulls. Several flickers of color would turn the edge of the plate into the rows of spectators who watch the spectacle in the arena, the bottom of the plate, in which toreador and bull fight. Thus, by painting a specific shape of a plate in a specific way, Picasso managed to make the metamorphosis of everyday objects into an artwork. With very few strokes, the brush turned the traditional usable object into a picture. Picasso only showed in his art something that is already part of everyday life, after all, we are talking about the neck and body of the vase, like the neck and body of a living person. When a piece of ceramics is painted, it becomes a painting, or sculpture.

After this, it was logical that Picasso also began to model shapes. He began by pressing and folding the ceramic parts that were still fresh, just removed from the potter’s wheelchair. The stiff symmetry of these vessels is thus lost, and the surface has lost its smoothness. In this way he also highlighted the specific characteristics of clay, its characteristics as material. In this way, for example, bent and compacted vases became a woman who kneels.