The Vienna Contemporary is an art fair with a focus on Eastern Europe. This year’s edition was a welcome reminder that Europe has more to offer then nationalistic fears and (talk about) border patrols. The fair is an encouragement to cross into new territory, practice some mental migration and see what artists make in regions of Europe that are not typically in the spotlight of attention. I combined a visit to the fair with some studio- and gallery visits in the city, to find interesting artists at work, such as Erwin Bohatsch, Béatrice Dreux (Image: ‘Dark Octopussy’) and Michael Horsky. My report was published in print in the Belgian H-Art magazine #185 (in Dutch) and can also be read and viewed here .
In her opening speech, the curator of the Riga Biennial of Contemporary Art, Katerina Gregos, pointed to our busy and stressed ways of living, leaving many people with burnouts or existential fears. In some of the artworks this is reflected quite literally, while other sections of the biennial shift the attention and try to offer an antidote. The Biennial touches on many topics of our current times, luckily without degrading the art works to mere illustrations. The biennial was one of the better surprises of the 2018 summer, and still on view till October 28 in the Latvian capital. For DAMN magazine I wrote a report about how Riga and the arts relate, which you can read here
In Los Angeles I met with painter Marc Trujillo to talk about his ambivalent appreciation of American culture and his interest in the Dutch old masters. All American consumer places such as retail stores, gas stations and fast food restaurants appear in his work, painted with precision, in a way that no camera could capture. “I am American. I have mixed feelings about all this stuff. I am ashamed of Pizza Hut; I feel bad about it and meanwhile… I’m starting to get a little hungry. If you would have shown up with some slices, I would have probably liked that.”
You can read the full text in the autumn edition of Elephant magazine (Elephant #36, 2018) or here.
For the German Tagesspiegel I went to Marseille to visit the Art-O-Rama fair and measure the artistic temperature in France’s second largest city. While artists and gallerists say there is not much market and future in Marseille, the Art-O-Rama tries to prove the opposite, and energizes the city – at least once a year. You can read the text in German here
In October I’ll be in the Los Angeles area for talks and studio visits at Otis, ArtCenter and LCAD. There are two public talks scheduled:
Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA , 11 October 2018, 11.15 am
Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA, 17 October 2018, 5 pm