Posts Tagged ‘race’

Artist of the moment…..Photographer Santiago Sierra

Santiago Sierra is a photographer born in Madrid, Spain in the year 1966. He is renown for conceptual and installation art. For these works he likes to point out the dangers and the results of the super charged capitalism taking place in the poorer countries of the world. This can be taking advantage of immigrant labor or those people just hovering at the poverty level to the immigrants and young women involved in the sex industry.  One image in the gallery is a collection of 100 beggars. Sierra likes to make the viewer more aware of where they stand on the economic ladder.

A great example of how he might refer to race is the image in the gallery of the men arranged from lightest to darkest color of skin. The men are also lined up as to who might be the best laborer to purchase.

The artist has also done audio mixing somewhat similar to Christian Maclay. The artist took the 27 members of the European Union and played each national anthem at the same time continuously. The other side of the record included the national song of the European Union members playing backwards and regularly at the same time continuously.

Some examples of his conceptual ideas include creating a gas chamber inside a former synagogue located in Berlin, Germany.

price range information: Most works priced between $10,000 and $30,000.

Based out of Madrid, Spain.

A link to the website of Santiago Sierra:

In addition to his photography the artist also organizes installation and performance art. Watch this clip from the Tate modern as Sierra arranges for homeless people to stand with their backs to the audience for one hour. Very original concepts in both photography and performance art. Sierra is always trying to get the viewer to look beyond what they might normally see in the economic food chain that he considers capitalism:



Artist of the moment….Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare¬† was born in London, England in the year 1962. He moved to Lagos, Nigeria as a three old and lived in the city until the age of 16 years old. Shinobare returned to London for his education. At the age of 18 he experienced an illness titled transverse myelitis, his spinal cord suffered long term damage. As a result of his disability Shinobare can’t really make any art, and must rely on assistants to execute his ideas.

For his artistic education Shonibare attended the Byam Shaw College of Art. The artist went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of London.

The artist loves to explore ideas of class and race. In this regard I found his work very similar to Kara Walker. Both use many mediums to get their ideas of both race and class to the viewer.

Part of a foundation called SHAPE, that helps disabled people produce art.

Loves to work with bright colors and fabrics often found in African clothing.

Has been nominated for the Turner Prize.

Some works contain actual life size mannequins.

price range information: Sorry none available.

In this clip we visit the PBS series Art 21 for a brief bio about Yinka Shonibare.

And we visit the artist with a work titled Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle. Nelson was the leader of the British against the Spanish and French in this naval battle. The British with 27 ships defeated the French and Spanish who had 33 ships. At the end of the battle the British lost not one ship whilst the French and Spanish combo lost 22 ships.

And in this clip we visit a show dealing with global conflicts. You can see some of the mannequins on display and check out their awesome shadows they create on the walls. Also see his thoughts on the business of oil and big energy companies.

Artist of the moment….Glenn Ligon

Glenn Ligon is a brilliant artist that uses many mediums alongside text to share cultural themes and explore themes including racism and cultural identity. Ligon was born in the Bronx, New York in the year 1960. For his collegiate education Ligon attended Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut. He himself has quite a unique vantage point being a gay african- american artist. His mediums include neon, paintings, prints, drawings, and mixed media works.

He often uses past events for current works. One series was focused on signs from a sanitation strike that took place in Memphis in 1968.

Another well received series included the Ligon using posters to describe himself as if he were a runaway slave.

Used the erotic photographs of african american males of Robert Mapplethorpe and included ex Congressman Dick Armey’s words about the works below.

Started working with neon in 2005.

Included in many prominent collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Nationally Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

President Obama chose a work by the artist to hang in the White House. The name of this work is Black Like Me.

During a charity auction to raise money for Haiti a record was set for the artist with Jennifer Aniston paying $450,000 for a work titled Stranger #44.

Currently based out of New York City.

In this clip Ligon talks about working with neon and a show dealing with the current culture of America. He also talks about where he finds text such as from the author James Baldwin, who went to live in a remote village in Switzerland and was the lone person of color.

In this clip we reunite with our dear friend James Kalm as he takes us through a show featuring neon works from Ligon.

Hats off to all artists working with text!