Luciano Castelli

17th February 2015 | Alice Taylor

Swiss artist (1951) Luciano Castelli is a painter, photographer and sculptor.

‘When the painter Luciano Castelli began posing for the camera in the early 1970s, he adopted a variety of roles, acting out every conceivable facet of himself. In utter disregard of gender distinctions, he variously transformed himself into an androgynous mythical creature and a glam rock diva. His virtuoso, surreal self-portraits, so far published only in limited form, are of an undiminished vibrancy in their playful eroticism and darkly narrative thrust. They reveal a hitherto underrated aspect of Castelli’s ouevre, which now, several decades later, could well be seen in an entirely new light. Very much in the spirit of the French psychoanalyst and art critic Jean-Michel Ribettes, who already in 2001 read Castelli‘s expressive theatricality as a timeless phenomenon and critique of a puritan society: “Castelli‘s expressive theatricality is there to protest at the confusion of a gregarious, prudish, vilely mercantile period.”‘ – Luciano Castelli: Self-portrait 1973 to 1986

The book Luciano Castelli: Self-portrait 1973 to 1986 edited by Patrick Frey and designed by Beda Achermann is available to buy here.


Backside Nude, 1992

Die Sonne Macht Geil, 1983

Jenny, 1986

Luciano Kuckt Auf Japan, 1980

Via: Luciano CastelliVanished like a Breeze, Comma22, Angle Records

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden

19th January 2015 | Alice Taylor

Figurative painter Marlene Dumas is soon to have an exhibition at the Tate Modern between the 5th of February until the 10th of May. In anticipation and to give you a taster of her work to date, here are some of her paintings of nudes.

About the exhibition:

‘She is one of the most prominent painters working today. Her intense, psychologically charged works explore themes of sexuality, love, death and shame, often referencing art history, popular culture and current affairs.

‘Secondhand images’, she has said, ‘can generate first-hand emotions.’ Dumas never paints directly from life, yet life in all its complexity is right there on the canvas. Her subjects are drawn from both public and personal references and include her daughter and herself, as well as recognisable faces such as Amy Winehouse, Naomi Campbell, Princess Diana, even Osama bin Laden. The results are often intimate and at times controversial, where politics become erotic and portraits become political. She plays with the imagination of her viewers, their preconceptions and fears.

Born in 1953 in Cape Town, South Africa, Dumas moved to the Netherlands in 1976, where she came to prominence in the mid-1980s. This large-scale survey is the most significant exhibition of her work ever to be held in Europe, charting her career from early works, through seminal paintings to new works on paper.

The title of the exhibition is taken from The Image as Burden 1993, a small painting depicting one figure carrying another. As with many of Dumas’s works, her choice of title deeply affects our interpretation of the work. It hints at the sense of responsibility faced by the artist in choosing to create an image that can translate ideas about painting and the position of the artist. For Dumas it is important ‘to give more attention to what the painting does to the image, not only to what the image does to the painting.’’

Via: Tate Modern & The English Group

Oneself As Another

14th February 2014 | Katherine Jane

The Royal West of England Academy in partnership with bo.lee projects presents us with a provocative and challenging exhibition that will awaken the emotions. The exhibition in Bristol is showing until 26th March.

The Boob Artist

9th January 2014 | Alice Taylor

Marcey Hawk, also known as the ‘boob artist’, uses her 30D bosoms to create abstract art that has attracted high-profile clients like Rob Dyrdek, Russell Brand , and to no one’s surprise, Hugh Hefner. Inspired by witnessing a performance artist covered in paint rolling around on a sheet, she decided to mimic the style, albeit with a more erotic twist.

Takashi Murakami

7th July 2011 | Katherine Jane

There’s a stunning new exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Takashi Murakami at the Gagosian Gallery in London.

I think the Japanese male sexual complex originated in the two-dimensional world –animation, games and so on – which then transferred to small three-dimensional sculptures. But before my sculptures Miss Ko (1997) and My Lonesome Cowboy (1998), it had never been represented life-size. –Takashi Murakami In his distinctive “Superflat” style, which employs highly refined, traditional Japanese painting techniques and formats to depict a charged mix of historical subject matter, Pop, animé and otaku content within a flattened representational picture-plane, Murakami moves freely within an ever-expanding field of aesthetic issues and cultural inspirations. Parallel to his distinctive toonish formulations of utopian and dystopian themes, he has recollected and revitalized religious and secular narratives of transcendence and enlightenment favoured by non-conformist Japanese artists from the Early Modern era, commonly considered to be counterpart to the Western Romantic tradition. By situating himself within their legacy of bold and lively individualism in a manner that is entirely his own, he revealed himself to be an artist in dialogue with history and very much of his time.

To read more: Gagosian Gallery

June 27 – August 5, 2011

Gagosian Gallery 6-24 Britannia Street London WC1X 9JD T. 44.207.841.9960 F. 44.207.841.9961 Hours: Tue-Sat 10-6