Tuesday, October 27, 2009


With Halloween week here I wanted to present an image that speaks of spookiness and things that go bump in the night, in the world of fine art of course. For me, one of the first images that comes to mind is this woodblock print by Hans Baldung Grien from 1510 called Witches' Sabbath.

The image is of three naked and grotesque women gathered around a cauldron in a gloomy and nocturnal setting, with pitchforks being used as brooms and shovels scattered about the work. It has a bizarre and cryptic message on the vase in between the legs of one of the coven's members, as their concoction explodes and spews forth unidentified objects, fumes, and liquids. Another hag, with her arms outstretched, holds a platter with dead poultry, possibly making an offering to the devil, as a fourth witch zooms by riding backwards on top of a goat. These women are definitely a perversion of the natural order of things, celebrating with wicked abandon their sheer glee and rapture as they perform their evil rituals.

If you have not had the opportunity to explore the works of this artist I highly recommend you do some searching and check it out. Hans Baldung Grien took printmaking to a whole new level during the first half of the 16th-century. He incorporated unusual themes, such as witchcraft, into his work, making his imaginative prints and paintings an interesting record of life in 16th-century Germany.

Have a safe, spooktacular, and Happy Halloween everybody!

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Controversial New Sculpture

Entropa by David Cerny, January 2009, outside the European Union in Brussels.

As I was catching up on some reading on the latest controversial works by artists, I came across this odd piece by artist David Cerny titled Entropa. The sculpture was created for and installed outside the entryway to the European Union in Brussels. The work was supposed to have been a collaboration between 27 artists and a somewhat patriotic and non-controversial work to celebrate the Czech Republic's presidency of the council of the European Union.

It is customary for the presiding country to place an exhibit in the Justus building to mark their presidency of the EU, and it is usually rather uncontroversial, such as when France, the previous holder of the presidency, erected a large balloon clad in the nation's colors of red, white and blue. Instead of an ordinary patriotic message or a collaboration among 27 people as it was supposed to happen, David Cerny and three assistants got together, faked artist profiles and descriptions of their supposed contributions, and created this satirical and controversial work depicting stereotypes of EU nations.

The other pickle in the works here is that the sculpture was ordered to be taken down; but, not by any of the nations depicted in vulgar and inflammatory ways. The artist, David Cerny, demanded his work be moved as a protest against political upheaval in his own country. It amazes me honestly, that none of the people visiting the building or those working within it seemed upset by the blatant mocking of their nations outside the building where so many politicians scurry off to discuss important maters of state relations. The little devil on my shoulder also wonders what Mr. Cerny would have done had he tackled the idea of making a piece for the U.S. in such a satirical and mischievous manner....??

Pictured below are details of four of the countries on the piece:

Bulgaria - represented as a Turkish toilet

France - represented by its near constant striking

Denmark - represented by Lego pieces in the shape of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (referring to the Jyllands-Posten cartoons controversy)

Poland - represented by priests wielding and planting in the ground the pride flag

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Blog Awards

Some awards this blog has received thanks to some nice folks!

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award
given on 07/24/2009 by Nanny Dee (http://newenglandnanny.blogspot.com/)