Monthly Archives: February 2011

reversible heads…

Surrealist genius from the 16th Century, Giuseppe Arcimboldo is on show at the Palazzo Reale in the center of Milan. No photography allowed so all you see here was taken speedily and covertly hence the lack of quality.

The Water the Water – (1563-64) part of Arcimboldo’s Elements series, neck detail in image below:

He is best known for his portraits of human heads made up of vegetables, fruit and tree roots and he was a huge influence on the surrealists of the 20th Century…

Spring (1573)

An ordinary still life with fruit when viewed in a mirror, becomes a portrait of  a man…

Reversible Head with Fruit Basket (1590-93)

Kudos to the work above (obviously not my own photo) The Librarian of 1556 for looking SO 20TH CENTURY nearly 500 years ahead of its time…Incredible.

Outside the Palazzo Reale Philip Haas has recreated Arcimboldo’s portrait of Winter, in a large scale sculpture from 2010

Not so sure about the sculpture but the paintings inside are magical. The show runs in Milan till 22 May 2011.

selection processes…

So am here at the Fondazione Pistoletto again for a number of different reasons,

one of them being that i am helping to select artists for this year’s UNIDEE in residence. Not an easy job going through all those applications trying to make a decision, especially when you know an acceptance can really change the path of someone’s life like it did with mine…or not of course! And then the other thing is that no matter how good an application is on paper, you have no idea what is going to happen until people actually arrive and start to interact with each other…It can be great, it can be terrible, it can be indifferent…we will just have to wait and see…

the loneliness of the long distance application reader

mountains and sunshine…

One thing that’s good about the winter in Biella is that even though it’s bloomin’ freezing, the sun does SHINE! Not so much the case in invernal Edinburgh…

…and the other good thing is the mountains that are present at every turn…

…another great thing is when a door that is usually close is suddenly left open and you get a wee glimpse of what lies inside…

doorway from via Italia, Biella

the space in between…

…the space between Biella and Milan, the train journey punctuates my life in italy, the ever changing landscape of rice fields (risaie) is winter barren and white with frost and snow…

maurizio cattelan’s middle finger…

Am moving around a lot at the moment, now am in Milan for work, i come across this relatively new intervention in the heart of Milan’s financial district, the Piazza Affari, right in front of the Italian stock exchange building.

The work is called L.O.V.E. in marble like its rationalist surroundings and including plinth, it is 11 metres high.

officially it’s name is L.O.V. E. – so it stands for love – but everyone can read between the lines and take away the message they see for themselves.”
Maurizio Cattelan

Well i am a pretty simple person really so i know what i read from it…It is so obvious and puerile (despite the smoke and mirror allusions to classicism..see the broken fingers) that actually i like it, and i like the idea that the stock exchange gets the finger every moment of the day, every day…and i guess, in a city as deeply conservative as Milan it’s good to see something, anything that is not so goddamn POLITE!