Archive for June 10, 2012

Artists working with the face and figure……Liu Xiaodong…

In 2008 the artist was commissioned to do a piece for the Boston Museum of Fine Art.  For the works he used nine high school seniors.

A great interview that features the artist talking about Chinese Contemporary Art from 1980s and 1990.

The artist the the Mary Boone Gallery having a show in 2008.

The artist was born in 1963  Liaoning Province in China. He is well known for painting the daily life and in China.  He is a narrative painter that tries to make the viewer think about the Chinese culture and ways of society.

Works with oils and acrylics  on canvas and paints very large pieces. Several works have sides larger than 100 inches.

low price range: $10,000

high price range:  The artist has sold a work at auction that was painted in oils titled  “Battlefield Realism.” The work was 79 inches by 39 inches and was done in oils. His record for an acrylic painting is $967,000 for a work titled ” Bathhouse series Number 1.”

The artist went to college in Beijing ,attending the Central Academy of Fine Arts, finishing college in 1988. He received a masters degree from the same university in 1995. The artist then moved to Spain to study fine arts at the Madrid Complutense in Madrid.

The artist has also dabbled in the film industry. He was a lead character in movie called the “The Days.” It was named one of the most important movies in the past 100 years by the British Broadcast Channel. In 2006 was the lead in a documentary titled ” Dong” which means “East.” It was entered in 2006 in the Venice Film festival. Has also been the director of art in the movie industry as well.

Currently lives in Beijing and is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

What I enjoy about the artist is what I call emotional realism.  His brushwork seems loose and relaxed, yet his characters all have a great deal of emotion. In the work where the men are doing pull ups, the exertion of the men is so great it has made the bar have a curve to it, rather than being straight. In fact seldom if ever do you see a straight line in the artist’s work.

When painting the female figure the artist seems to exaggerate the sexiness of the women. Many times the canvas will show one solitary figure that is trying to lure men, be it for money or just for pleasure. The pig I included because I was reminded of the pigs painted by Jamie Wyeth. Wyeth’s pig paintings were warm and captured the happiness of an animal that takes mud baths and relaxes on the farm. Having visited many farms growing up in Montana I felt Wyeth captured the “pigginess” of just perfectly.

In contrast you have the pig painted by Xiaodong that looks lifeless and appears to have been caught in flood. Both works have the same subject matter, but both go in opposite directions and capture the feelings of the moment perfectly. One deals with life and vibrancy and the other with death, stillness, and quiet.

In true contemporary art fashion the artist painted a sexy person walking down the stairway and then by looking at the name of the work the viewer finds out that the person is a transsexual. The artist loves to push boundaries such as having all the naked men in the back of what seems to be  a truck. The piece is titled breaking rules.  Very creative artistic mind at work, I love it!

On line and land based galleries:  Mary Boone Gallery in New York City.     http://www.maryboonegallery.com/artist_info/liu_info.html

The artist mainly sells work at auctions.

Happy painting!

D