After many posts from my travel around the world I decided it’s time for a few local shots from Sofia and its street art. Just like the New York graffiti scene being based in Bushwick (as reported in https://kirilson.com/2018/01/14/us-art-bushwick-graffiti/), the most of street art in Sofia can also be found in the more run-down parts of the city. This makes the street art even more meaningful and beautiful in my opinion, so the two afternoons it took me to walk around the places you’ll see was definitely time well-spent. After browsing through my Bushwick photos and comparing them with the ones below I think you’ll realize the artists in Bulgaria are really world class. So, enjoy!
Another post from Napoli coming with another less commonly featured theme in this blog, contemporary art inside metro stations. Maybe some of you have already seen my photos from the Stockholm metro (https://kirilson.com/2016/12/22/konst-in-and-under-stockholm/), but it’s clear most people don’t immediately make the connection between underground trains and art. Well, I hope my photos help showing you a different and more beautiful example of how metro stations everywhere in the world could look like.
So after almost 3 years I finally made it to the 100th post on my blog, which I decided to be a special compilation with some of my favorite shots over the years under the common theme of people observing and interacting with art. If I ever get to showcase some of my photos in a gallery, I imagine it will be a selection similar to this one. So thanks a lot to everyone for following, liking and commenting on my photos! As you know the feedback process is really indispensable to the idea of blogging and I wouldn’t have made it without all this support. So, any further ideas for photo topics or compilations are very welcome, and I hope the next 100 posts are way better!
Recently I was in Paris for work and one evening had the chance to visit Palais de Tokyo, one of the major modern and contemporary art musea in the centre of Paris. Of course, just like in all other contemporary art spaces, the exhibitions can be fairly abstract and might not appeal to everyone. The particular exhibition I was lucky to catch (as I really enjoyed it very much) was called ON AIR by the Argentinian Tomas Saraceno. The main theme was interconnectedness and it was explored by a series of installations that included plenty of real spider webs, as well as interactive rooms where people could touch various objects (e.g. the photo on top) and thus actively participate in the creation of the pieces of art. Unlike usual, I won’t be describing in detail my photos in the captions in order to keep a bit of mystery (deliberately increased by my black and white choice for all the photos). I instead urge everyone interested to have a look at the official webpage, https://www.palaisdetokyo.com/en/event/carte-blanche-tomas-saraceno, or even better just go visit the place.
But before letting you explore the pictures, I have a quickquestion: while collecting the photos I realized that a recurring theme in my shots is how people watch and interact with art. So I’m wondering if it would be interesting for you to see a dedicated post where I make a short collection of shots with real people observing art pieces? Let me know, and enjoy the rest of the photos!
This is the second part of my contemporary art biennale visit in Venice in 2017. Here are some selected photos from the Giardini part of the exhibit (literally, the Gardens), hosting most of the country pavilions. An example is the top photo of a suitcase in the Austrian pavilion where the main topic was immigration. As suggested by the name, the biennale takes places every two years, for about six months at a time. So the next one in 2019 is just around the corner, in case you’re into contemporary art.
It was long overdue that I post my photos and share my impressions from last year’s contemporary art biennale in Venice. I visited it more than one year ago but (hopefully) still remember something about the exhibit, so I’ll try to guide you through the photos with my comments. The art exhibits at the biennale are staged in two separate venues, Arsenale and Giardini, in two slightly different formats – a mix of various artists put together by the main curator under the name “Viva Arte Viva”, versus pavilions organized on country-basis, respectively. So let’s start with the Arsenale where the curators had mixed a number of various styles and artists in a series of big exhibition halls, with a few country pavilions towards the end.
The last episode in the US art series, at least for now, takes us to one of the best established museums for modern art in the world, the MoMA in Manhattan’s Midtown. Along with some of the iconic art pieces from their permanent collection I’ll also show you some of my favorite works of Robert Rauschenberg who was the main focus of the temporary exhibition at the time I visited.
The Whitney Museum of American Art only exhibits very contemporary local artists, resulting in a weird mix of different media and perceptions. So for me Whitney is the most unconventional episode in the US art series (some parts of the Venice biennale beat it, but I’m yet to post about it), but I’m of course always open to visit new American galleries. Enjoy, and don’t be scared by some of the pieces, it’s just art!
This episode in the US art series takes us out of NYC and further north to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). The MFA can probably best be described as Boston’s version of the Met, and despite the worldwide fame of the latter I’d definitely rate the quality of both museums equally. So I hope you enjoy this short and, as always, highly subjective peek into the MFA. I have to admit by now I have forgotten a lot about the art pieces you’ll see, so please correct my ignorance if you spot mistakes in my comments under the photos.
As promised I am continuing the “US art” series in the new 2018, this time with a perhaps slightly surprising graffiti post from the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. As hopefully you’ll soon be convinced, the Bushwick street art tour is actually much like a modern art gallery tour, only open-air. The Bushwick collective initiative actually attracts many of the world’s leading street artists, and it’s therefore not surprising that the neighborhood became one of the top tourist destinations in NYC in recent years. I visited the place on a rainy Sunday afternoon and only managed to see and capture a small fraction of all the street art, so I’d urge people to go explore the area for themselves. Enjoy and let me know which piece you like the most!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply the Met, can best be described as the American Louvre (from the European perspective at least). It is the largest art museum in the United States and hosts a huge collection of art pieces from all periods and locations of human life, meaning that it’s virtually impossible to visit it just once for a couple of hours and truly understand and appreciate fully everything. This was my second time at the Met and I originally planned to be very picky about the parts of the museum I see. As it turned out I also didn’t have too much time for the permanent parts of the museum as I was unexpectedly drawn to the temporary photo exhibition of Irving Penn’s works where I spent half of the time. So here comes a random and very limited collection of photos I took at the Met with my usual comments. No riddles this time (you can still try all the Guggenheim’s puzzles though, nobody got the right answers yet)!
On my recent US trip I visited plenty of art museums and exhibitions, mostly in New York City, and decided to assemble a series of posts with art pieces and occasionally the people and places surrounding them. Most of the art you’ll see is quite modern and abstract so it’s open for various interpretations and might not appeal to everyone. Yet this first post in the series is probably the least controversial as it features extremely famous and well established works mostly from the first part of 20th century exhibited in the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan’s Upper East side. Paradoxically with the title of the series I chose, Guggenheim’s art pieces are predominantly European and there’s very little connection to the American continent except for the venue (with one notable exception, let’s see if you spot it). To make things more fun for the reader, I decided to give three small riddles in the photo comments below in order to challenge the artistically inclined people among you. Enjoy and good luck with the answers!
As mentioned in my previous post (https://kirilson.com/2017/08/10/weekend-in-lombardia/), the main reason to visit Milano this spring was a contemporary art exhibition curated with the main theme “Love”. In addition to that we also visited Torino for a day and saw the museum for ancient Egyptian art and the Cinema museum there. The combination of these three subjects seems almost impossible, and yet I decided to show you some photos with the art pieces put together from all the three museums (and even some extra bits). Hope you still enjoy them, and please let me know if you figure out the (possibly nonexistent) connection between the various art forms.
The next place I visited this fall was Sweden and one the main sights I was eager to see in Stockholm was the famous metro system, which is one of the cheapest and biggest modern art (or “konst” in Swedesh) museums in the world. In particular the blue “tunnelbana” line, built quite recently, hosts some jaw-dropping sights that I tried to capture. My photos are unfortunately limited to only several stations as the station-hopping turned out to be quite time-consuming and there were plenty of other things to do in Stockholm. On the plus side I had time to visit the Fotografiska museaum so I’ll also show you a few photos of other much more famous and crafty photos exhibited there. The metro and the photo museum sum up my Swedish art exploration, but there are plenty of other photos from Sweden that I promise to show you soon.
As promised in my previous post from Hamburg, I decided to give you a pure art experience from the exhibitions I visited there. Obviously the photos here won’t represent anything original from me, they are more of a random collection of pieces I enjoyed seeing in the three main kunst (= art) exhibitions I visited in Hamburg: the main Kunsthalle with quite famous classic and modern art, the small art festival in the Fischmarkt which offered various art pieces for sale, and the contemporary art exhibition in the Deichtorhallen. I won’t spend much time explaining the paintings, in hope to make you search for them online or visit the actual exhibitions offline. Hope you enjoy the virtual tour and the new type of photo-topic here, and as usual feel free to comment on your favorite piece of art below.
This is the third out of three posts about my participation in the Sofia photomarathon (scroll down to see them in chronological order). The last theme in the contest was also pretty conceptual: “Escape”. So it can be pretty much anything – a city escape to the nearby mountain, or people running away, some friends were suggesting escaping somewhere up high on a tall building..I liked instead the “escape from reality” idea making use of one of the places we went to for the previous topic in search of “silence”. I thought someone reading books in this isolated place at the library would be the true “escape” photo, but it required submitting a different type of photo for the second topic and we were happy enough with the stopped clock for this purpose.
So we headed back to the library with this idea and then wanted to try some street photos afterwards, just to try the “running away” idea and see what chance brings. And here’s what happened:
But at the end of the day we went for the reader escaping reality photo, which was probably my best shot for the day if I compare the three photos in the different topics. But surely others would think differently, so I again remind you that you can rate all the photos at http://photosynthesis.bg/maraton-glasuvane.html by entering your email and clicking on a photo rating it from 2 to 6 (2 is bad, 6 is excellent).
This is the second post of the photomarathon series (you better check part I below first), where we’re moving on to the second topic: “Silence”. An important detail I should mention already here is that the time of the day allocated for this topic was between 1am and 3pm (the reason I say it here will come later). And everyone I asked was thinking first in the direction of finding some big empty space, like a theater hall, a school, a cinema. I guess people naturally associate emptiness with silence, but at the end of the day that’s not the type of picture we chose, even if we tried plenty of them. The other ideas my friends thought of are photos in a graveyard, or a public library. Meanwhile I realized I have an easy access to huge empty lecture halls at the Faculty of Physics at the Sofia University where I teach, so we decided to head that way, and then on the way back pass by a public library and see if suitable photos can be made there. As the Physics faculty building is further away from the centre of the city there wouldn’t be more time for any extra ideas and places anyway, as we already had less than two hours.
So that was the plan, and here’s the photos I took and why I chose the one you see on top:
And so in reality my favorite photo from the series is probably the empty desk in the library, yet in the end I decided to officially submit the old stopped clock. The reason you’ll see in my next post, as it turned out a similar library photo would fit perfectly not only the topic of “Silence” but also the third topic in the photomarathon. I remind you that my three photos from the marathon are now also part of an online competition that everybody can vote in if interested – http://photosynthesis.bg/maraton-glasuvane.html – just enter your email address, confirm it and then by clicking on a photo you can rate it from 2 to 6 (2 is bad, 6 is excellent).