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THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from Feb. 16, 2011):  An unusual print from around 1540 by German artist Peter Floetner, which shows that “Brazilian” pubic aesthetics predate the bikini and Nair. In the latest, hair-themed issue of Cabinet magazine, I argue that the “ideal” hairlessness of classically inspired art actually has its roots in real, down-to-earth, quite un-Platonic trimming – and shaving, and waxing, and even singeing. Read it at thebea.st/pubicdepilation.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Jul 31, 2014

THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from Feb. 16, 2011):  An unusual print from around 1540 by German artist Peter Floetner, which shows that “Brazilian” pubic aesthetics predate the bikini and Nair. In the latest, hair-themed issue of Cabinet magazine, I argue that the “ideal” hairlessness of classically inspired art actually has its roots in real, down-to-earth, quite un-Platonic trimming – and shaving, and waxing, and even singeing. Read it at thebea.st/pubicdepilation.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Posted at 4:07 PM
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THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from Aug. 6, 2011): A 1970 DS 21 convertible, about which I waxed eloquent (I hope)  in Newsweek. The car was dreamed up by the Italian designer Flaminio Bertoni, who trained as a sculptor, and it was launched to raves in 1955. And here’s a funny thing about it: I don’t really think it starts to reach perfection until 1967, three years after its maker’s death. In the original model, the headlamps stood proud of the hood, so that they still echoed the lights on “primitive” cars such as the Ford Model-T. It’s only later, when the lamps get inserted right into the car’s front end, that the model achieves its full, seamless potential. Citroen purists all want the original model, because all collectors want “originals” and “firsts”. Design purists should prefer the car once it reaches perfection.
For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Jul 30, 2014

THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from Aug. 6, 2011): A 1970 DS 21 convertible, about which I waxed eloquent (I hope)  in Newsweek. The car was dreamed up by the Italian designer Flaminio Bertoni, who trained as a sculptor, and it was launched to raves in 1955. And here’s a funny thing about it: I don’t really think it starts to reach perfection until 1967, three years after its maker’s death. In the original model, the headlamps stood proud of the hood, so that they still echoed the lights on “primitive” cars such as the Ford Model-T. It’s only later, when the lamps get inserted right into the car’s front end, that the model achieves its full, seamless potential. Citroen purists all want the original model, because all collectors want “originals” and “firsts”. Design purists should prefer the car once it reaches perfection.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Posted at 5:59 PM
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THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from Jan. 6, 2012 – as a late tribute to Kawara, who died last week): This is the very first of the “date” paintings by On Kawara, out of the thousands he’s made since 1966. (Click on the image to expand it.) It is on view in a show that opened today at David Zwirner gallery in New York, along with another 165 canvases from this “Today” series  – including the very latest one. They are usually positioned as austere, rule-bound conceptual art of a distinctly philosophical bent, but I prefer to see them as well within the tradition of the artist’s self-portrait. After all, each one is hand-painted by Kawara himself on the date he inscribes on its surface, meaning that they register his brush-wielding presence in the world, over a specific span of studio time, in much the same way that a mirror-painted portrait does. For lots more on Kawara and his show, see my feature on today’s Daily Beast.
For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Jul 29, 2014

THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from Jan. 6, 2012 – as a late tribute to Kawara, who died last week): This is the very first of the “date” paintings by On Kawara, out of the thousands he’s made since 1966. (Click on the image to expand it.) It is on view in a show that opened today at David Zwirner gallery in New York, along with another 165 canvases from this “Today” series  – including the very latest one. They are usually positioned as austere, rule-bound conceptual art of a distinctly philosophical bent, but I prefer to see them as well within the tradition of the artist’s self-portrait. After all, each one is hand-painted by Kawara himself on the date he inscribes on its surface, meaning that they register his brush-wielding presence in the world, over a specific span of studio time, in much the same way that a mirror-painted portrait does. For lots more on Kawara and his show, see my feature on today’s Daily Beast.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Posted at 2:31 PM
[Permalink] 11 notes

THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from March 1, 2013): This is one image from a 2012 series made by the conceptual artist Sherrie Levine that involves near-perfect duplicates of photos taken by the great German photographer August Sander in the 1920s and 30s, from his “People of the 20th Century” project. Both Levine’s versions and Sander’s are now on view at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York. Levine’s best works all duplicate (or, more correctly, appropriate) works by other artists, which makes her the most derivative creator ever – and by that token, one of the most innovative. The visual impact of source and copy may be similar, but their social and intellectual impact are utterly different. Proof of that lies in the extraordinarily complex caption I’ve been asked to run with this image:

Sherrie Levine. After August Sander (detail), 2012. 18 Lambda prints in artist frames. each: 9 5/8 x 6 7/8 in. overall dimensions variable. August Sander: Rural Bride, ca. 1925-30 © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archive, Cologne; ARS, New York, 2013. Courtesy Sherrie Levine, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and Galerie Priska Pasquer, Cologne.
That involved caption, and the copyright issues it confronts, makes clear the spanner that Levine throws into art’s works, and the little crises that she spawns in the aesthetic-industrial complex. The caption is almost a definitive  statement of her work’s meaning and excellence. (Complicating things further is what it omits: That the “original” images were in fact chosen and printed by August’s son Gunther and editioned by his own son Gerd, so that “by August Sander” is a vexed and involved concept.) What many observers may not realize, however, is that August Sander’s magnum opus is almost as complex a conceptual piece as Levine’s. As I’ve argued elsewhere, its avowed aim of cataloging humans by type (and its obvious failure to do so) may in fact be intended as proof that such a catalog – and therefore such typologies  – cannot exist, and should not be attempted.
For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Jul 28, 2014

THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from March 1, 2013): This is one image from a 2012 series made by the conceptual artist Sherrie Levine that involves near-perfect duplicates of photos taken by the great German photographer August Sander in the 1920s and 30s, from his “People of the 20th Century” project. Both Levine’s versions and Sander’s are now on view at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York. Levine’s best works all duplicate (or, more correctly, appropriate) works by other artists, which makes her the most derivative creator ever – and by that token, one of the most innovative. The visual impact of source and copy may be similar, but their social and intellectual impact are utterly different. Proof of that lies in the extraordinarily complex caption I’ve been asked to run with this image:

Sherrie Levine.
After August Sander (detail), 2012.
18 Lambda prints in artist frames.
each: 9 5/8 x 6 7/8 in. overall dimensions variable.
August Sander: Rural Bride, ca. 1925-30 
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archive, Cologne; ARS, New York, 2013.
Courtesy Sherrie Levine, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and Galerie Priska Pasquer, Cologne.

That involved caption, and the copyright issues it confronts, makes clear the spanner that Levine throws into art’s works, and the little crises that she spawns in the aesthetic-industrial complex. The caption is almost a definitive  statement of her work’s meaning and excellence. (Complicating things further is what it omits: That the “original” images were in fact chosen and printed by August’s son Gunther and editioned by his own son Gerd, so that “by August Sander” is a vexed and involved concept.) What many observers may not realize, however, is that August Sander’s magnum opus is almost as complex a conceptual piece as Levine’s. As I’ve argued elsewhere, its avowed aim of cataloging humans by type (and its obvious failure to do so) may in fact be intended as proof that such a catalog – and therefore such typologies  – cannot exist, and should not be attempted.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Posted at 6:44 PM
[Permalink] 59 notes

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