Sunday, May 15, 2011

A-town is Art town

This week was the kick-off of the 27th edition of Art Amsterdam, transforming 'A-town' into Art town for the occasion.

Hundreds of both Dutch and international galleries, museums, artist collectives, art fairs and events got together celebrating contemporary art in the city. I was privileged to attent one of those great initiatives: Young & Collecting! A program designed for young, aspiring, collectors, with an artistic mindset: needless to say, I felt immediately challenged to participate, especially after hearing we would get an opportunity to nominate an art piece for an actual corporate art collection (the corporation shall remain nameless)!

Although my team and I knew what to look for, we showed some guts and took a risk by nominating a sculpture by artist duo CAVINATO/TREVISI, called Teatrino Tunnel (2010)

At first sight it resembles a white painted shoebox with carved square holes. Upon closer inspection however, you detect the complex interior and a different space to be discovered, both imaginary and fantastic. Playing with spaciousness and light, in combination with architectural and geometric features, the artists create the simple image of a composed space. However, the interior is a distorted and ambiguous labyrinth which contains the essence of multiplicity. Too bad it was too complex for the judges to be included in the collection...

Being such a good sport, I overcame the defeat of our team in no time, and decided to look around at the art fair some more. Strolling around at the huge fair ground can be a little overwhelming, especially if you're ambitious to see it all! So, covering the entire offer here would require a little too much of your (and my) time. However, there are always those works of art that grasp your attention. For me, it's the in your face, pop art inspired, absurdly comical works of art, often with a message.

GREAT LI(F)E or WASTE OF TIME? displays our society's misplaced priorities of consumerism, power, money, education, television and relgion, instead of creativity, our soul, love and pleasure, the latter being regarded by the artist BIRGIT VERWER as more important than the former. At one end of the installation you find a fox selling tickets for GREAT LI(F)E - notice the ambiguous use of words! 

At the other end of the exhibition a crow is selling tickets for WASTE OF TIME

Once you enter the 'show' an angel with dollar-billed wings is waiting to shoot anyone who approaches.

Kinda makes you think whether the efforts we put into our daily pursuits - which educational path to tread on, wearing that blue skirt or a pair of jeans, or if we'll ever bump into Mister Right - will one day have bullets flying along our ears. Now go on and let that marinate for a while!



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