Day 355- Marta Minujin- Everything is Art

It’s Day 355 and I had a blast doing today’s extra bold and colorful piece.  She did so many different forms of art, but I really wanted to do something insanely bright and colorful today.  Please join me in honoring Marta Minujin today!

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujín (born January 30, 1943) is an Argentine conceptual and performance artist.

Freaking on Fluo- Marta Minujin

Freaking on Fluo- Marta Minujin

Marta Minujín was born in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She met a young economist, Juan Carlos Gómez Sabaini, and married him in secret in 1959; the couple had two children. A student in the National University Art Institute, she first exhibited her work in a 1959 show at the Teatro Agón. A scholarship from the National Arts Foundation allowed her to travel to Paris as one of the young Argentine artists featured in Pablo Curatella Manes and Thirty Argentines of the New Generation, a 1960 exhibit organized by the prominent sculptor and Paris Biennale judge.

Her time in Paris inspired her to create “livable sculptures,” notably La Destrucción, in which she assembled mattresses along the Impasse Roussin, only to invite other avant-garde artists in her entourage, including Christo and Paul-Armand Gette, to destroy the display. This 1963 creation would be the first of her “Happenings” – events as works of arts in themselves; among her hosts during her stay was Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (later President of France).

She earned a National Award in 1964 at Buenos Aires’ Torcuato di Tella Institute, where she prepared two happenings: Eróticos en technicolor and

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

the interactiveRevuélquese y viva (Roll Around in Bed and Live). Her Cabalgata (Cavalcade) aired on Public Television that year, and involved horses with paint buckets tied to their tails. These displays took her to nearby Montevideo, where she organized Sucesos (Events) at the Uruguayan capital’s Tróccoli Stadium with 500 chickens, artists of contrasting physical shape, motorcycles, and other elements.

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujin

She joined Rubén Santantonín at the di Tella Institute in 1965 to create La Menesunda (Mayhem), where participants were asked to go through sixteen chambers, each separated by a human-shaped entry. Led by neon lights, groups of eight visitors would encounter rooms with television sets at full blast, couples making love in bed, a cosmetics counter (complete with an attendant), a dental office from which dialing an oversized rotary phone was required to leave, a walk-in freezer with dangling fabrics (suggesting sides of beef), and a mirrored room with black lighting, falling confetti, and the scent of frying food. The use of advertising throughout suggested the influence of pop art in Minujín’s “mayhem.”

These works earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1966, by which she relocated to New York. The coup d’état by General Juan Carlos Onganía in June of that year made her fellowship all the more fortuitous, as the new regime would frequently censor and ban irreverent displays such as hers. Minujín delved into psychedelic art in New York, of which among her best-known creations was that of the “Minuphone,” where patrons could enter a telephone booth, dial a number, and be surprised by colors projecting from the glass panels, sounds, and seeing themselves on a television screen in the floor. She was on hand in 1971 for the Buenos Aires premiere of Operación Perfume, and in New York, befriended fellow conceptual artist Andy Warhol.

She returned to Argentina in 1976, and afterwards created a series of reproductions of classical Greek sculptures in plaster of paris, as well as miniatures of the Buenos Aires Obelisk carved out of panettone, of the Venus de Milo carved from cheese, and of Tango vocalist Carlos Gardel for a

Geometria blanda, 2014- Marta Minujin

Geometria blanda, 2014- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

1981 display in Medellín. The latter, a sheet metal creation, was stuffed with cotton and lit, creating a metaphor for the legendary crooner’s untimely 1935 death in a Medellín plane crash. She was awarded the first of a series of Konex Awards, the highest in the Argentine cultural realm, in 1982.

The return of democracy in 1983, following seven years of a generally failed dictatorship, prompted Minujín to create a monument to a glaring, inanimate victim of the regime: freedom of expression. Assembling 30,000 banned books (including works as diverse as those by Freud, Marx, Sartre, Gramsci, Foucault, Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz, and Darcy Ribeiro, as well as satires such as Absalom and Achitophel, reference volumes such as Enciclopedia Salvat, and even children’s texts, notably The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry), she designed the “Parthenon of Books,” and following President Raúl Alfonsín’s December 10 inaugural, had it mounted on a boulevard median along the Ninth of July Avenue. Dismantled after three weeks, its mass of newly-unbanned titles was distributed to the public below.

A conversation with Warhol in New York regarding the Latin American debt crisis inspired one of her most publicized “happenings:” The Debt. Purchasing a shipment of maize, Minujín dramatized the Argentine cost of servicing the foreign debt with a 1985 photo

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

series in which she symbolically handed the maize to Warhol “in payment” for the debt; she never again saw Warhol, who died in 1987.

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Minujín has continued to display her art pieces and happenings in the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, the National Fine Arts Museum, the ArteBA festival, the Barbican Center, and a vast number of other international galleries and art shows, while continuing to satirize consumer culture (particularly relating to women). She is well known for her belief that “everything is art.”

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  My eyes hurt just a little after painting it, but I think it came out pretty nice.

I will see you tomorrow on Day 356!

Best,

Linda

 

Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 156- Kazuo Shiraga- “Happenings”

It’s Day 156 and I have to say when I found this artist, I couldn’t wait to get started.  I painted this entire painting with my foot…well, I give my big toe most of the credit.  I am only painting on 10″ x 10″ canvases so I couldn’t really use both my feet or my entire body so I had to minimize the scale of that. 😉  Join me in honoring Kazuo Shiraga today!  He wasn’t on wikipedia so I found multiple sources to compile a nice biography.

Kazuo Shiraga

Kazuo Shiraga

Below excerpt is from- www.artsy.com

Kazuo Shiraga

Kazuo Shiraga

For Kazuo Shiraga, a painting was defined by the gestures of its creation. He famously used non-traditional techniques to make his works, including performances using parts or the entirety of his body as a tool. In his famous piece, Challenging Mud (1955), Shiraga created an ephemeral form by wrestling with a mixture made from wall plaster and cement, causing injury to his body in the process.

The majority of Shiraga’s work, however, was rendered on canvas via diverse methods,

Kazuo Shiraga

Kazuo Shiraga

from dripping paints to painting with his feet. Speaking of his work, Shiraga once said that he wanted to make paintings “as slippery, as uncatchable as a sea cucumber, […] a painting with no center.” Shiraga was a founding member of the Zero Group; in 1952, he joined the Gutai Group and was active through its disbandment.

Below excerpt is from his obituary in the independent- www.independent.co.uk

Kazuo-Shiraga-Painting-at-the-2nd-Gutai-Art-Exhibition-Ohara-Kaikan-Tokyo-1956.1The artist Jiro Yoshihara may have been a touch mean-spirited when he sniffed that Kazuo Shiraga was “nobody if he didn’t paint with his feet”, but history has taken much the same view. In May 1957, Shiraga, dressed in a red Pinocchio suit, suspended himself by a rope from the ceiling of a gallery in Osaka and, dangling in space, began to kick oil paint around on a piece of paper lying on the floor. The resultant image was, roughly speaking, an action painting, although of a highly specialised kind. For all that came afterwards, this was to be the genre of work for which Shiraga would be remembered, the defining moment of his art.

The show – “Art Using the Stage” – in which the event took place was the second by a

Soryu No Mai- Kazuo Shiraga

Soryu No Mai- Kazuo Shiraga

recently formed group of Japanese avant-gardists called the Gutaï. (The word translates roughly as “concrete”, in the sense of concrete poetry.) Although Shiraga was one of Gutaï’s founders and its artistic leading light, the group was bankrolled and run by Yoshihara, the oldest and richest of its 11 members. In the tradition of Japanese art, Yoshihara was the Gutaï’s master and sage: it was his urging to make art “of a kind that no one has ever seen before” that led to Shiraga’s first foot-painting performance, which he called Sambaso Super-Modern.

Kazuo Shiraga 1962

Kazuo Shiraga 1962

At the original Gutaï show, held in Tokyo two years before, Shiraga had staged an action called Challenge to Mud which consisted of the artist hurling himself into a pile of clay on a stage and wrestling it into sculptural shapes. Although Yoshihara had insisted that the performance was what mattered and that any physical remnants were mere “residue”, Shiraga was careful to preserve these body-sculptures, as he was his later foot-paintings on paper. Excited by the critical acclaim for these, he began to work on canvas from 1959 onwards, hanging from a rope in his own studio rather than in front of an audience. This pro-object heresy irked Yoshihara, although it also paved the way for Shiraga’s international success in the 1960s.

As Mary McCarthy had remarked of American action painting, “You can’t hang an event on a wall.” By contrast, Shiraga’s canvases could be hung, and were. They could also be bought by the French critic Michel Tapié, and shipped to Europe and, eventually, the United States. When the Sixth Gutaï Art Exhibition took place in September 1958, it was held not in Tokyo or Osaka, but at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. The work Shiraga showed there was far more solid and thought-through than before, its sophistication marking an end to the nihilistic spontaneity that had marked the Gutaï experiment.

By the end of the Sixties, the work of the group as a whole had become stale and repetitive. Numbers dwindled with in-fighting and desertion,

Kazuo Shiraga

Kazuo Shiraga

and when Jiro Yoshihara died suddenly in 1972, the Gutaï quietly disbanded.

In many ways, the group’s story paralleled that of post-war Japan in its struggle between tradition and modernity. Shiraga himself had trained in Kyoto as a classical Japanese painter; Yoshihara’s distaste for objects (and his role as Gutaï’s sage and master) arguably had its roots in Buddhist thinking. There were cultural echoes, too, of Japan’s commercial success in Western markets. Given the vogue for Eastern philosophy among European and US artists of the late 1950s, the work of the Gutaï was bound to be warmly received in the West, and it was.

Even if he did not use the word himself, Shiraga’s rope-hanging performances were “Happenings”; they preceded those of Allan Kaprow, the alleged inventor of the genre, by at least two years. (Kaprow owned up to having seen Gutaï performances in New York, and acknowledged his debt to them.) Yves Klein, too, may have taken Shiraga on board, Klein’s body paintings of 1958 on bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Japanese artist’s.

Kazuo Shiraga

Kazuo Shiraga

While Jackson Pollock had pioneered action painting in the years before Gutaï’s founding, he was certainly aware of the group’s work. Copies of its manifesto, published in English in the Japanese art magazine Geijutsu Shincho were found in Pollock’s library after his death in August 1956. And Shiraga’s legacy lives on most vividly in the work of a younger Japanese artist called Yoko Ono, and in the madcap, performance-based work of the Fluxus group – the arguable font of all modern conceptualism.

For all this, Shiraga and his group are largely forgotten. Neither the Tate nor the Museum of Modern Art in New York holds any of his works, and it is a decade since a major Gutaï exhibition was held in Europe, at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. None of this is likely to have bothered Kazuo Shiraga very much. In 1971, shortly before Yoshihara’s death, he had entered the Buddhist priesthood at the Enryaku Monastery on Mount Hiei, near Kyoto. Under his monk’s name, Sodo, he continued to paint until the end of his life; a show of his late works, held last December at the Annely Juda gallery in London, showed an energy undiminished by age.

~

Okay, let's get this started!

Okay, let’s get this started!

I really enjoyed today’s painting!  How can one not be when you know you will be painting with your foot?  I was

Painting WITH my toe...

Painting WITH my toe…

prepared with a bucket of hot water, a tarp and I also chose which color paints I wanted to use with this piece.

At some point I had to stop before it turned into a brown gooey mess.  It was interesting how much (or little) control I had while painting.

I obviously didn’t hang from a rope from the ceiling and slide around on a fifty foot canvas so I had to maintain my balance while standing.  Wow, the idea of painting with my entire body sounds like a blast though!  I’ll have to get a huge canvas roll and

Rinsing my feet…the water was still hot.  Aaaaah...

Rinsing my feet…the water was still hot. Aaaaah…

do that in the future.

So like I said earlier, I mainly painted with my toes (my big toe get most the credit) since that was the closest I could get to capturing the artist’s spirit on a way smaller scale canvas that I am working with.  I hope you enjoy my piece today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 157.  I will probably just be painting with boring old brushes again.  Which reminds me…I need to buy a squeegee.  Best, Linda

 

More color please!

More color please!

Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Side-VIew Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Side-VIew
Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Close-Up 1 Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Close-Up 1
Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Close-Up 2 Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Close-Up 2
Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Close-Up 3 Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)

Close-Up 3
Akai Hi- Tribute to Kazuo Shiraga
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas (painted with feet)