Saturday, 13 December 2014

Live! Survive!

Gabriele von Lutzau’s very touching and thought-provoking sculptures, which are intimately related to her own life experience, show viewers that “life is not a long, calm river”.

Faithfull to one of the objectives of “Touching Art”, that of featuring Art produced within projects of humanitarian nature, we are introducing to you today the creations of an angel. Once a flight attendant for Lufthansa, Gabriele von Lutzau (born Dillmann) became known to this day as the “Angel of Mogadishu” for her bravery and the relentless support given to the victims of flight 181 – where she was serving – as it was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists in 1977.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Cinderella's Glass Dress

Karen La Monte’s stunningly beautiful glass dress sculptures raise questions about the social and cultural role of clothing, while also introducing a ground-breaking chapter in the history of Sculpture.

Once upon a time, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, imagine that a talented artist with the gifts of a fairy decided to completely revolutionise Cinderella’s gala outfit and dress her in glass. Instead of – or even inspired by – her uncommonly beautiful glass slippers, this contemporary Fairy Godmother improved Perrault’s character’s attire by creating stunning figurative cast glass gowns fit for a queen which go beyond imagination and become literally breath-taking sculptures. And so a completely ground-breaking chapter was open in the history of Sculpture.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Gothic Glory on Paper

Eric Standley’s ground-breaking creations have brought viewers closer to 12th-century artistry, while also breaking barriers and completely revolutionising paper art.

Have you ever entered an imposing gothic church and felt absolutely overwhelmed by its beauty and by a feeling of reverence inspired by the lacelike work on stone and stained-glass windows? On the other hand, have you ever visited a Moorish palace and found yourself standing in awe, staring at the incredibly elaborate and exquisite decoration of walls, windows and patios? Inevitably, this makes us wonder at the amazing genius, creativity and artistic skills of mankind and, particularly, of all those involved in the building of such admirable sites.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Travelling in Misty Lands

Travelling in Misty Lands: Valerio D’Ospina takes us on a fascinating trip through his thought-provoking oil paintings depicting beautifully dramatic cityscapes.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”, an adaptation of a sentence by famous French novelist Marcel Proust in ‘In Search of Lost Time’ could well become our touchstone to look at Valerio D’Ospina’s fantastic paintings of blurred cities. In fact, his artworks not only offer audiences completely unexpected aspects of well-known iconic symbols of towns around the world, but they also show the artist’s very own, personal way of seeing those same towns.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Cascading Threads of Wonder

Cascading Threads of Wonder magnificently woven by Ana Teresa Barboza take embroidery out of domesticity and into the realm of Art, while they also posit innovative concepts about sculpture.

“I don’t think I make much of a distinction between the ‘real’ and the ‘fantastic’. They both seem to be threads in the same cloth...” stated Alice Hoffman, an American novelist and young-adult and children’s writer, about her work. She is best known for her 1996 novel “Practical Magic”, which was adapted for a film with the same name in 1998. Now, this could perfectly apply to Ana Teresa Barboza’s beguiling textile artwork.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Inside Wonderland: Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Part II

Inside Wonderland, a territory of Art and dream offered to us by the genius of  Frank Gehry.

After an attentive and fascinated stroll around the awesome building that the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum offers – and which has been described in our last feature – we ventured into its inside. In fact, it was with a feeling of reverence and excited anticipation that we stepped down the wide stairway leading to its entrance.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A Museum that is a Work of Art

Frank Gehry’s stunning Bilbao Guggenheim Museum is “a soaring exercise of the human imagination”.

“Technology, like Art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination” stated Daniel Bell (b. 1919), U.S. sociologist and educator, in his book “Technology, Nature and Society”. Nothing could better suit Frank Gehry’s stunning building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, justly elected the most remarkable structure from the twentieth-century.

“Touching Art” hit the road to go to Bilbao and see the Guggenheim Museum, so as to have a live experience of this awesome work of art and to be able to convey to our readers a more direct impression of all it has to offer. This is, therefore, a very particular view of this unique building, a first person report which deliberately does not look for foundation on formal sources, but rather depends on our very own reactions to this fantastic work of art.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Fluttering Translucency

Michelle McKinney’s ethereal translucent installations introduced ground-breaking uses of industrial media in the art world, offering viewers creations of exquisite beauty.

An unknown author once stated that “we delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”. In fact, think of all the beauty that Nature has in stock for us. Consider how far we often disregard this gift and fail to enjoy the best around us. Assess how much labour and transformation goes on unseen so that we can profit from the privilege bestowed on us by that very same Nature. This could be the key to understand the amazing and unique artwork created by Michelle McKinney.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Of Urban Bondage

Barbara Licha’s ethereal wire sculptures explore the loneliness of contemporary urban life while they also captivate viewers with their awesome and uncommon beauty.

Consider the amazing progress Humanity has achieved over the last century or so. Think of how far our life style has changed as a result of that. Ponder on the sophistication of contemporary urban life and all the commodities made available to us. On the other hand, assess how much we have become dependent on the very wonders we have created and we may tend to agree with Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the French philosopher and writer whose novels inspired the leaders of the French Revolution, when he said, although within a different context, that “man was born free, but is everywhere in bondage”.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Let’s get Digital

Antonio Mora’s mind-blowing portrait compositions challenge viewers’ imagination and posit innovative statements on the use of digital photography.

The brave new world brought about by the amazing development of technology has also been the source of new forms of art, offering countless and unexpected possibilities. Digital photography and the tools associated to it have triggered explorations which have resulted in awesome artworks within totally innovative fields.

This, in turn, has fired the imagination and creativity of talented photographers and artists coming from different media for the benefit of the arts community which has, thereby, widened the scope of its possibilities. Antonio Mora, a Spanish photographer based in Elche, near Alicante in eastern Spain, not far from Valencia, formerly an art director and artist, is a good example of how far innovation in such areas can contribute to the creation of new art forms.

Monday, 2 June 2014

A Touch of Radiance

Phan Thu Trang’s minimalistic paintings offer viewers unexpected landscapes of unique freshness and radiance.

Think of the verdant, lush forests of Vietnam. Now think of beautiful naïve paintings depicting landscapes. Consider the magic effect that such paintings always seem to exert on us by taking us back to the innocence and freshness of our childhood years. Combine all these ingredients and picture yourselves taking a walk through such imaginary scenery. You have entered Phan Thu Trang’s realm.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Arabian Nights

Anila Quayyum Agha´s unique art transfigures places into magic spaces filled with mysterious beauty and resonance.

This is an invitation to take a ride on a magic carpet through time and space to land in the fascinating territory of the Arabian nights. Imagine the lace-like decorated Moorish palaces surrounded by beautiful patios set amidst orange scented gardens where water flows day and night, providing freshness and playing a never-ending melody that sounds like music coming out of a harp. Venture wandering through that romantic and enthralling scenery and you might just perceive the fleeting shadows of some figures among the vegetation and the colonnades. Magic is in the air and anything may happen.

Monday, 12 May 2014

This time, for a change…

...Touching Art was invited to the opening of a solo exhibition by Portuguese painter Alexandre Magalhães. Held on May 1, 2014, at Ericeira, a small beautiful fishing village a few kilometres north of Lisbon, we couldn’t miss this opportunity to offer you something different and to introduce a Portuguese artist.

Alexandre Magalhães, born in Lamego, a small town in the north of Portugal, and living in Ericeira, is a retired colonel who has dedicated his time to his favourite activity: painting. A self-taught painter, he started painting in 1995 having first tried his skills at watercolours. About ten years ago, however, he resorted to oil paint on linen canvas and a palette-knife. Since then, he has exclusively been using these materials and perfecting his technique through a long and patient process of experimenting, which gives him the pleasure of challenging his own limits, skills and talent.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Sunset Reflections

Most of us have had the experience of stepping into the meditative twilight of the huge nave of some gothic church somewhere in the world to wander in complete awe, looking at the tall, magnificent stained glass windows, filtering the most beautiful effects onto the floor. Light beams across the shadowy interior to flood the contemplative mood of the church with inspiring colourful patterns.

Something similar is created by the talent of Bing Wright in his uncommon art works made of photographs of sunsets as seen through broken mirrors. Born in Seattle and based in New York, this photographer has devised a unique kind of art which immediately reminds viewers of stained glass works.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Fallen Leaves

“The environment is one of the essential parts of a living being”, stated Jorge Wagensberg Lubinski, Spanish eminent professor, researcher and author, very much within the same line of thought of Claude Levi-Strauss, the prominent French anthropologist, who argued that man cannot help but be influenced by the environment into which she/he is born. This is something that Lorenzo Duran always bears in mind when he creates his delicate, awe-inspiring artworks.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Burning Beauty

“Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity”, stated Damien Hirst, controversial and famous British artist considered as one of the most prominent contemporary talents. And gravity, indeed, seems to be something Seon Ghi Bahk defies and overcomes in his deeply intriguing and fascinating sculptures.

Born in Seonsan, South Korea, in an area set amidst the scenery of imposing mountains and deep forests, Seon Ghi Bahk has revolutionised the field of sculpture by introducing charcoal as the main medium for his art works. This material, which is a by-product of wood in its essence, makes sense to him since it connects him to his origins, while also evoking the cycle of Nature, from generation to extinction.

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Alphabet of Wonder

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web”, stated the celebrated painter Pablo Picasso about the source of inspiration for his artworks. Curiously enough, these words seem to fit like a glove the awesome art pieces produced by another Pablo: Pablo Lehmann.

Born and based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pablo Lehmann uses words and paper to produce masterpieces of art that feed our minds, seize our senses and arrest our emotions. Unlike other artists using the same medium – paper –, Lehmann has adopted an approach in which he works layered paper and synthetic cloth to create massive letter-based installations which vary from cut-outs to huge wall-hangings of extreme beauty and astounding originality.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Borrowed from Milan Kundera’s celebrated novel, the title for this text seems only too adequate to the work of Odani Motohiko we are featuring in this text. Interested in capturing “the concepts of movement and transformation, dynamism and speed in sculpture”, according to his own words, Motohiko’s art pieces strike viewers with their eerie and almost surreal appearance.

Working with a variety of media, we shall, however, concentrate exclusively on one of his lines of creation, which fits our choice of aesthetics to which we want to remain faithful. Addressing philosophical issues and sculpture concepts not easily grasped by the majority of viewers, let us then solely focus our attention on his lighter-than-air, stunning, imaginative works which leave viewers breathless with wonder.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Steel Filigree

“Life is filigree work. What is written clearly is not worth much; it’s the transparency that counts”, stated Louis-Ferdinand Céline, French writer and one of the most influential authors of the twentieth-century. Contradictory? Maybe not so much if we bear in mind that it is contradiction that often assigns sense to life and makes visible what would, otherwise, be invisible.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Treading Uncharted Territories

One of our major concerns has been to bring you Art that touches the heart and to show innovative approaches that can set minds working and stir emotions. The recent and continuous improvement that has been brought by new technologies offers artists plenty of field for groundbreaking experiences to the wonder and benefit of viewers. That is precisely what has prompted our choice of the artist we are featuring today.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Humming Beauty

Insects seem to cause contradictory reactions on people. Some find them irritating, dangerous, a never-ending source of discomfort. On the other hand and curiously enough, there is a great number of children’s stories in which they play the main roles and are depicted as sweet, loveable creatures. They have inspired the famous Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumble-bee” and Alexander Scriabin, another Russian composer and pianist, said about his 10th Sonata (1913) that “(it) is a sonata of insects. Insects are born from the sun... they are the sun’s kisses”.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Going Vintage

Look around you and check if there is any vintage object within your sight. An old magazine, your father’s camera, an old-fashioned picture frame, one of your mother’s favourite trinkets, memorabilia of some kind. Most certainly you will find something. As Sloane Crosley, a young writer living in New York and a professor at Columbia University, puts it “our culture’s obsession with vintage objects has rendered us unable to separate history from nostalgia. People want heart”.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

In the Kingdom of OZ

Fact one: the artist we are featuring today goes under the name of Olga Ziemska. Fact two: literally, her name Olga means “of the Earth”. Fact three: she works within the area which is now commonly known as Land Art. Fact four: she works wonders and creates magic. You may now get ready to enter the Kingdom of OZ.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Making Rainbows

A song released as the soundtrack for the comedy Fitzwillie in 1967, which gained different shades in the voices of singers such as Ella Fitzgerald or Lena Horne, said “make me rainbows, make me Spring in the snow, make me music wherever I go”. This could well be the touchstone to refer to Leonid Afremov’s paintings.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Ravages of Time

“It is useless to contend with the irresistible power of Time, which goes on continually creating by a process of constant destruction”. This apparently paradoxical statement by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), an American critic, jurist, author, composer and artist, perfectly suits the keystone concept behind the awe-inspiring sculptures by Manuel Martí Moreno.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Flying on the Wings of Dreams

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite and you do not know what it will bring back...” once said Anaïs Nin, the French-born novelist and short story writer most widely known for her Journals. Now think of the enthusiastic kite flying competitions in which kids excel to present the most beautiful gears and to show their skills and expertise at handling them.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Rainbow Reflections

“A happy childhood can’t be cured. Mine will hang around my neck like a rainbow...” once stated Hortense Calisher, an American novelist and short-story writer of unpredictable turns of phrases. This incredibly beautiful way of describing a happy childhood seems to fit like a glove Ester Roi, a talented and creative artist who says about herself, her source of inspiration and her creative and ethereal artworks: “I’m inspired when I’m fearless, when I put on my child-like glasses and look at the world as if I’d never seen it before. In that state of mind I find inspiration everywhere.”

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Trapped in Beauty

Susan Sontag, a Jewish American literary theorist, novelist, filmmaker and feminist activist once stated about photographs:  “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

Freezing moments is, in fact, very much what Seung Mo Park, a Korean artist based in Brooklyn, does with his stunning aluminium wire sculptures. His artwork is intimately linked to photography, since he actually starts his creations using a projected photograph and then slowly placing layer after layer of wire meshing by cutting and welding until the three dimensional sculptures of his subjects materialise to the fascination of viewers’ eyes.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Tempus fugit

“... Time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail", stated the Roman poet Virgil in his poem Georgics. Commonly found under the form of an inscription on clocks, it enhances our concerns about the fleetingness of time and the ravages thereby caused. This further evokes French author Marcel Proust´s work À la Recherche du Temps Perdu – “In Search of Lost Time” – whose theme is exactly the anguish and grief about time that has irretrievably gone.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Imagination at Work

Do you remember the transformers, those toys which made the wonders and delight of kids in the 80s and which could take various forms? Mainly, they looked like incredible futuristic robots which could, by skilful manipulation and the use of imagination, become highly sophisticated cars defying our wildest dreams.