The Dutch Know How to Do It

I know how ridiculous this sounds, but before I went to Europe I would never have expected to dig the museum scene over there as much as I did. I've been to plenty of American museums in my tenure as an artist and art teacher, but naturally there is a distinctly American flavor to what's happening over here. It's the flavor of newness, of a wink-wink nudge-nudge self reflexiveness, of an endlessly creative populace with no distinct past and an overwhelming urge to reinvent the present while hurrying toward the future. And then you have Europe -- a continent teeming with centuries old, continuously operating cultures. Old art was never my thing (so dark! so fussy!) but to see it in person is to experience an almost religious revelation. I thought my head might explode from the amazingness of it all.

This is all my roundabout way of saying I really wish I could go to Holland and see this show:

Let's see -- incredible architecture: check. Color and light like only the Dutch can do: check. Old art that will make you doubt the dubious talents of any contemporary painter: check. Add in a few sly contemporary feints and tricks and I'm altogether annoyed that I haven't already booked a plane ticket. Stupid money.

Rineke Dijskstra? Hot double damn.

The Portrait Pavilion at the ancient Duivevoorde Castle in the Netherlands is simply stunning. The castle is almost 1000 years old, the paintings are hundreds of years old, and the idea is so right now. It's like looking at time in a three way mirror.

via Design Upcomers

Pictures of Pictures

Art is an undervalued endeavor -- it does not create algorithms to invest money, invent pharmaceuticals, or generally further business interests in any way. And so, when the young and ambitious set their sights on the humanities, parents get nervous and friends shake their heads, and the young and ambitious learn to eat ramen and wear black. Street cred is a necessity, but so are clothes that hold up to paint, chemicals, and infrequent laundering. It's pretty glamorous, the life of an artist is.

Photograph by Tracey Moffatt, via Emmas Designblogg

I have spent 15+ years slaving over a hot darkroom sink, many more poring over art books, and several years teaching, but I still can't get enough of the photographs that set me on the path to poverty in the first place. Once afflicted, there is no cure for what ails you, save to embrace the disease.

Photograph by Andres Serrano, via NYT

And as much as I enjoy just browsing images on the net, it warms my cold, dirty black heart even more to see some of my favorite artists in the homes of the rich and famous. Thank jeebus somebody can make a living off their work, because who else could inspire the young and ambitious to sacrifice wealth, hygiene, and nutrition, in the name of art?

Vik Muniz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Christopher Bucklow, via David Netto

Photos by Mark Shaw via Nate Berkus

Images by Rineke Dijkstra via Fox Mahem

Work by Adam Fuss via David Duncan Livingston

Image by Candida Hofer via Richard Powers

Image by William Eggleston in the home of Krysten Ritter

Photos by Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky via Michael Richman

Photo by Thomas Struth (on the right) via Met Home

Photo by Gilbert and George via OWI

Works by John Coplans (left bottom) and Loretta Lux in the home of Vicente Wolf

Photos by Steven Klein in the home of Nacho Figueras

I got a little obsessed while doing, ahem, "research" for this post, so I hope you won't be terribly disappointed if I hit you with a two-fer. Back on Monday with another roundup of not quite so epic proportions. In the meantime, I'm entertaining out of town guests, but Karly will be here to regale you with her always acerbic wit.

Have a great week!