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Category: Art World

Warsaw Mermaid On Powiśle

The history of the Warsaw Mermaid by Pablo Picasso

Portrait De Picasso, 1908
Portrait De Picasso, 1908

Born: 25 October 1881, Malaga, Spain

Died: 8 April 1973  in aged 91, Mougins, France

Name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso

Educated: Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and by father José Ruiz y Blasco.

Art Movement: Cubism, Surrealism

The fact that Picasso visited Poland in 1948 is not so well known. The goal of this visit was Wrocław where the First World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace took place. The noble idea of the event, though devoid of any real meaning, was supposed to be for a protest of the elites against the political division of the world. The Congress, organized under the favour of Stalin, was supposed to fulfil mainly propaganda goals. He was agitating against the capitalist West.

Picasso was invited to this congress as a member of the French Communist Party.  As Teodor Toepliz wrote about Picasso and revolution: “Like millions of people in Europe, Picasso treated the end of the war as openness to intellectual development, cheerfulness, and joy. He expressed his faith in progress, justice and in the liberating power of cognition by joining the Communist Party”

Picasso himself commented on his accession to the KPF with a laconic printed declaration: “My accession to the Communist Party is a logical consequence of my whole life, my entire work. I can proudly say that I have never considered art as a pleasurable lifestyle, as entertainment. With the help of drawing and colour, I wanted, since it was my weapon, to keep moving forward in the knowledge of life and people, in order to liberate us every day with this knowledge. In my own way, I tried to say, what I think is the truest, most justified, the best and what has always been the most beautiful – the greatest artists know it well.”

Initially, Picasso was not eager for doing this trip. First, he had never flown before. He did not like travelling or leaving France. He did not have a passport. The courtesy of representatives of the Polish government was quite big, for instance, they promised medals made with his picture. In the end, he made the decision to travel. Maybe he also agreed, because he was promised accommodation in the most luxurious hotel – Bristol, or because the Polish government has prepared a private plane for the artist – the Soviet painted green Li-2.

Lisunov Li 2 Soviet AF Monino
Lisunov Li 2 Soviet AF Monino 1994
First World Congress Of Intellectuals In Defense Of Peace In Wroclaw
First World Congress Of Intellectuals In Defense Of Peace In Wroclaw
Pablo Picasso Stanislaw Lorenz In MNWarsaw
Pablo Picasso Stanislaw Lorenz In MNWarsaw
Pablo Picasso and poet Paul Eluard decorated with the Commander's Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta
Pablo Picasso and poet Paul Eluard decorated with Commander's Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta

For the organizers of the Peace Congress, the participation of a person like Picasso was of great propaganda importance. It is no wonder that they had a huge pressure on their heads so such a huge artist could appear at the Congress. Picasso was a living legend. For the organizers of the Peace Congress in Wroclaw, the artist was like the icing on the cake among other prominent figures invited to participate.

Among them were such celebrities of those times like:

Joliot-Curie (daughter of Maria Skłodowska-Curie), Paul Éluard and Fernand Leger, Sartre, Bertrand Russell, and Julien Huxley, Louise Aragon, dean of Canterbury Hewlett Johnson, Roger Vaillant. At the Congress, Picasso read resolutions regarding the poet and communist activist Pablo Neruda, imprisoned in Chile. Because of the arrest, the poet did not appear in Wrocław. According to the rumour, Picasso was accepted with such popularity in Warsaw that the offended and jealous Ferdinand Leger left Wrocław before the end of the Congress. In the French party, Leger was older than Picasso and he was offended by all the splendour that fell on Picasso. Artist was to stay in Poland for 3 days, in fact, his stay was extended to 2 weeks. He and accompanying writer Paul Eluard were taken to Krakow, Oświęcim, and Warsaw. Several accounts from this period tell us that Picasso was very interested in the situation of the country he knew mainly nothing about and in people he met.

Among other things, he received a distinction from the hands of Bronisław Bierut, the communist president of Poland. It was the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Osiedle Na Kole
Osiedle Na Kole in 1947
Osiedle Przy Pruszkowskiej. Photo Odkrywca Warszawy.
Housing estate at Pruszkowska Str. was built in 1931. Photo by OdkrywcaWarszawy.
House on Sitnika.str. 1. Photo by AniaiJurek
House on Sitnika.str. 1. Photo by AniaiJurek

However, Picasso himself donated to the National Museum in Warsaw a collection of ceramic plates made and painted by him.

His companions in Warsaw were the married couple of architects Helena and Szymon Syrkus. Privately, Syrkus’ were friends with Picasso. Those who were deeply interested in French architecture had many common topics with Picasso. Helena and her husband were members of the Polish section of Congrés Internationaux d`Architecture Moderne. In particular, Szymon was an enthusiast of Le Corbusier’s architecture. Both pursued their leftist social views by designing functional housing estates for the working class.

Among other things, in the years 1931-1935, they implemented a modern housing estate on Rakowiec at Pruszkowska St. in Warsaw. Personally, as a child, I was fortunate to live in one of these blocks with my parents.  I can honestly confirm that these apartments, although small, were very functional.

Syrkus couple used system solutions with the use of fixed segments of the kitchen and bathroom, which was an extremely innovative solution for those times. After the war, the Syrkus designed their greatest achievement – a housing estate in one of the districts of Warsaw – “Osiedle na Kole”.

In addition to the segment solutions, innovative technologies were also used, such as the construction of external walls made of foam concrete blocks, and a ready-made concrete face layer was used. The layout of the greenery was also designed. The construction began in 1947. In 1992, the estate was entered into the register of monuments.

Exactly this housing estate, the “Osiedle na Kole”,  been still under construction, on September 3-rd in 1948, was visited by Picasso and Paul Eluard. Helena Syrkus wrote in her memoirs that when Picasso visited their architect studio, he saw the plans of the  Osiedle na Kole and asked them to show it to him.

Warsaw Mermaid In Old City
Warsaw Mermaid In Old City
Mermaid by Picasso
Mermaid by Picasso
Warsaw Mermaid On Powiśle
Warsaw Mermaid On Powiśle in Warsaw

Apparently, he was delighted with the functionality and the idea of building recycling he liked the most. The debris from war damage was used for reconstruction. The almost completely destroyed Warsaw was raised from the ashes. New, modern ones buildings were erected in place of old buildings. After the housing estate was led by artists Picasso and Eluard, the architect, Halina Pągowska-Czyżyńska, was leading the construction project according to the Syrkus project.

In her memoirs, she wrote that Picasso was very interested in the technical issues of construction. He even wanted to sign up for the memorial book, but there wasn’t one on the construction site. He decided, however, that he would leave something from himself.

Picasso even wanted to draw something for Halina, but she did not want to bother the artist. She asked only for an autograph. A moment later, Picasso entered one of the tiny apartments of the estate and drew with charcoal a Warsaw mermaid on the wall of the kitchen niche. The Mermaid with a sword and shield is the coat of Warsaw. After finishing drawing Picasso said: Pour Vous Madame (For you Madame).

The drawing stretched almost from the ceiling to the floor, was measured like 180 by 170 cm. Known for his pacifist ideas, the artist did not want to draw a traditional sword, which the mermaid holds in her hand. He wondered what else it might be, so Helena would propose a trowel as a symbol of the construction and the workers’ movement. Unfortunately, she did not know how to say trowel is in French, so she came up with the idea to draw a hammer. And that’s how a mermaid with a hammer came into life, mermaid having a shield with the sun, a prominent bust, and supposedly a face of Halina.

As later remembered Helena Syrkus, who was not present when drawing the mermaid:

– If only he would ask us where to place his wonderful signature! We would certainly advise him a large entrance hall, where his drawing would be viewed daily by all residents and where shows could be organized. You could even fix it, even glaze the entire wall. And so …

Auction online at BeArte Gallery
Woman In An Armchair No.1 (The Polish Cloak) 1949 By Pablo Picasso
Woman In An Armchair No.1 (The Polish Cloak) 1949 By Pablo Picasso

After Picasso’s departure, people were wondering who to give away the apartment with, or indeed the work of a living legend. As a result of Picasso’s stays in Poland, there was, among others, the image of the “Woman in a Chair or at the “Woman in a Polish Cloak”. Picasso, fascinated by Polish folklore, to his girlfriend François Gilot bought in Krakov a sheepskin coat with folk motifs and then portrayed her in them. To mention more, he sent a number of prints to the National Museum in Warsaw.

Finally, flat No. 28 at the street Deotymy 48 (at present, J. Sitnik Street) was assigned to Franciszka Sawicka-Prószyńska. She lived there with her husband, who was ill after returning from the Nazi concentration camp. Because Franciszka worked in a community center, she was taught on how to take care of the Picasso mermaid. Tenants were proud of acknowledging their mission and opened the apartment doors to hundreds of visitors.

For them, it was a kind of social mission. At first, Mrs. Franciszka was proud of the task entrusted to her, she even made a guest book and asked the visitors to sign in it. In short, however, she got the prose of life. The interested people were lining up from 7 am and the number of visitors during the day could reach up to 400 people. Individuals, people from all over Poland, domestic and foreign delegations, working-class people, school trips. Apparently, even Bierut came to see the mermaid. Franciszka was so tired of the situation that she began to cover the mermaid with a rug or curtain so that she could rest for a moment.

According to Franciszka, it looked like this:

“In the winter time, visits were bringing mud to me, in the summer debris and dust from the ever-growing housing estate … I did not have the right to paint, renovate the apartment, which had black walls after five years … Do I like Picasso art, I do not like such questions. What was on the wall was not one of the masterpieces. Finally, my husband and I tried to not look at the mermaid, but it was difficult, because the mermaid, was on the whole wall. So we hung the curtain to at least for a day to have a normal room … The rebellion in me gradually increased… I decided to go to somebody, to do at least something about it…”

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Franciszka also was writing a letter after the letter to the administration of the community with a request to transfer the Picasso’s work. The numerous commissions to decide how to move the work of Picasso was gathered but they did not bring any results. So Franciszka continued writing, this time with a request for permission to paint. In an application from 1952, she wrote to the administration mentioning that author is Picasso. After about six months, the answer came with permission to renew the flat and paint over the mermaid.

In August 1952, the renovation brigade entered the apartment. And as Franciszka continued telling us: “…painters came. They spread their ladders. One took a wall with Picasso. “Damn! – said the painter – who did this to you, my brother-in-law could paint it better!!”. And splashed the paint. That’s how there was no longer the mermaid by Picasso.

You can say that back then, the drawing of the famous artist has lost its life because of the ineptitude and stupidity of administration. Due to the impossibility of moving the drawing, there where other possible options to save the mermaid, such as organizing a Picasso’s museum in Warsaw and move the tenants to another flat. The mermaid would certainly be an additional attraction in Warsaw. It is also known that Picasso painted the second mermaid while being in Poland. This time a lot more modest. It happened during a solemn dinner at the President of the city, Stanisław Tołwiński. His wife asked Picasso to enter the family album and draw something.  The artist drew a mermaid with dimensions of 21 cm x 29 cm. Unfortunately, this mermaid also went missing with the album. It is being sought for by the National Museum in Warsaw. I keep my fingers crossed for success

“Bouilloire et fruits” by Cezanne
Courtesy of Christie’s
Courtesy of Christie’s

Criminal affair from the past and “Bouilloire et fruits” by Cezanne that was sold for $ 59.3 million.

Monday, May 13, New York’s Christie auction house had significant reasons for satisfaction.

Paul Cezanne’s “Bouilloire et fruits”, valued at USD 40 million, was finally sold for an impressive sum of nearly USD 60 million. It was one of several paintings belonging to the media magnate S.I. Newhouse Jr. deceased in 2017.

You might say that “Bouilloire et fruits” deserves this price and deserves to gain fame again. But not everyone remembers that decades ago the painting was a part of a crime story that began in 1978 and which finally ended in 2008.

The history of this painting can be a perfect topic for a screenplay and from what I know it happened.

The beginning of the story begins from the moment Cezanne or his son sold the painting. The buyer was a collector Baron Denys Cochin, a French writer who became famous for the purchase of several French works of Impressionists. During Cezanne’s lifetime, Cochin bought and sold many of his paintings.

Cezanne Bouilloire Et Fruits
Paul Cézanne, Bouilloire et fruits, 1888–90. Courtesy of Christie’s.

In 1902, the “Bouilloire et fruits” was sold to Paul Durand-Ruel. Ruel is considered one of the first contemporary art dealers who also dealt with financial support for artists. There are speculations that Cochin and Ruel collaborated and speculated in the art trade. Then the painting came into the hands of the Cassirer family. For a time, it was on the deposit of Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, and the Municipal Art Gallery, Johannesburg.

The story has gone on and around 1952, the artwork was sold to the German art dealer Justin Thannhauser. After ten years, “Bouilloire et fruits” was in the possession by American collectors Dr.Harry and Ruth Bakwin. The Bawkin’s were doctors who created one of the best private post-war collections in New York. The collection was inherited by Michael Bakwin and this is where our proper story begins.

It was in 1978, during the celebration of the Remembrance Day, M.Bakwin and his wife left the estate for a short time. After returning, it turns out that they fell victims of the burglary and from their collection disappeared the 7 best paintings including our “hero” the “Bouilloire et fruits”.

Decades and involvement of several countries needed before the theft was resolved. Both a lawyer and a criminal had their participation in it. As it was mentioned in the beginning – a ready topic for the script.

The owners of “Bouilloire et fruits”.

  • Baron Denys Cochin, Paris.
  • Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (acquired from the above, 11 March 1902).
  • Paul Cassirer, Berlin (acquired from the above, 5 February 1903).
  • Hugo Cassirer, Berlin (acquired from the above).
  • Lotte Cassirer-Fürstenberg, Berlin (by descent from the above by 1933; on deposit at the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, from 1933 and until 1939; then on extended loan to the Municipal Art Gallery, Johannesburg, circa 1939-1952).
  • Justin K. Thannhauser, New York (acquired from the above, 1952).
  • Harry and Ruth Bakwin, New York (by 1955).
  • Michael Bakwin, Stockbridge, Massachusetts (by descent from the above; stolen in May
  • 1978 and recovered in 1999); sale, Sotheby’s, London, 7 December 1999, lot 31. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

Source: Alain.R.Tuorg

Auctions

The case regained momentum after 20 years when the unidentified owner wanted to put 7 paintings at the London auction. Photos of the paintings planned for the auction aroused interest in the Art Loss Register which was dealing with the recovery of stolen artworks.

It was confirmed that the photos depict seven paintings stolen in 1978. M.Bakwin authorized the Art Loss Register agency to take action to recover the collection.

However, it was not easy. First of all, it was impossible to determine who is the current owner of the stolen works.

All negotiations were conducted with the help of a Swiss lawyer representing an unidentified holder.

The place of storage of artworks was also unknown. To prolonged activities, that did not bring results, was added also the people’s fear, that contact with the owner of the paintings was broken.

The Swiss lawyer, on behalf of the unknown owner, made several proposals to Bakwin, which were to be a condition for returning the artworks. He offered artworks for a refund of $ 15 million. The next offer was that Bakwin has to pay 10-15% of paintings value or $ 1 million.

Time passed, the stolen collector was losing his hope to recover the collection more and more. Finally, Art Loss Register advised Bakwin to demand the return of at least Cezanne’s painting, the most valuable in this collection, for transferring ownership of the other six paintings to the unidentified holder.

After informing the FBI and the Swiss police about the situation, Bakwin, fearing the loss of everything, finally but reluctantly agreed.

At the same time, the Art Loss Register has set the conditions for the holder of the paintings. He had to submit a written statement in the presence of his lawyer that he was not involved in the theft of the artwork, that he had acquired them in goodwill. The sealed document was to be deposited in a public institution.

Paul Cezanne 1861
Paul Cezanne 1861

In 1999 the deal was finally closed. The Swiss lawyer and the representative of the Art Loss Register met and exchanged Cezanne’s painting for the proprietorship of the remaining 6 paintings. The originality of Cezanne’s work of art had been confirmed by two impartial and invited experts. The illegal holder still did not want to reveal himself and the ownership of the paintings was transferred to a newly established Panama company called Erie International Trading Company, Inc.

In the same year, M.Bakwin decided to sell Cezanne, and it was bought by a press magnate and collector S.I. Newhouse for 29.5 million USD. However, the story does not end yet.

The case of the remaining paintings came to life again when in 2005 part of the collection popped up at the Sotheby’s auction. Again, the Art Loss Register was involved in the case, and again M. Bakwin tried to regain his right to the ownership of the paintings with the help of English lawyers.

In the English court, a case was brought to the attention of the Sotheby’s and Erie International Trading Company. It must be emphasized that Sotheby’s was a party to this case only because of the possession of collection. It was obvious that Sotheby’s had nothing to do with the illicit acquisition of works of art.

At the same time, Erie Company founded the case in Geneva, as in the case regarding the ownership of the artworks mentioned in the contract, it was subject to Swiss jurisdiction.

In the English court, M. Bakwin tried to prove he was forced to transfer the ownership to Erie International Trading Company and the whole proposal was a forced situation. However, in the court in Geneva, the Erie Company has proved that their company is in legal possession of the paintings.

Soon, the English court took the side of M. Botwin’s lawyers. Thus, representatives of the Erie company to save the situation tried to reach the owner of the paintings.

The company came across a trace of Robert Mardirosian, a criminal lawyer who was supposed to represent the real thief. At the same time, the Art Loss Register established the connection between the creation of Erie Trading Company and Mardirosian. This could indicate that the robber was Robert Mardirosian.

Explore Still Live from  Artists at BeArte Gallery

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Des Pommes Et Une Poire
Des Pommes Et Une Poire. B.Krajewska
Piknik
Picnic. J.Szumska
Stilllifewithlemon
Still life with lemon.C. Fertey-Green
Flowers in Pastel Colors Gallery Bearte A.Rogowska
Flowers in pastel. A Rogowska
Bouquet. C. Christine Fertey-Green
Bouquet. C. Christine Fertey-Green

In order to get proof of whether Mardirosian is actually the unidentified owner of the paintings, the Art Loss Register reached for the case of the sealed document which was in deposit in London. By the court order, the document was opened.

The two signatures, one the statement and one from Mardirosian, were compared and confirmed to be identical. This was evidence that Mardirosian was involved in the theft of collection from the beginning.

Robert Mardirosian hired a lawyer who tried to prove that he received the paintings from criminal David T. Colvin. At the same time, Mardirosian has made public that David Colvin really stands behind the theft of works of art. Robert also involved a lawyer who tried to prove the veracity of his version.

Mardirosian claimed that the paintings were in his office thanks to David Colvin, who left them during one of the visits. Colvin was a Mardirosian’s client accused in a criminal case. He was on his way to Florida, and since he had nowhere to stay, Mardirosian offered him a place to stay for one night. In the morning, David Colvin disappeared and left the artworks.

The investigation indicated that the paintings had been in Mardirosian’s possession for over 20 years. Robert Mardirosian first moved them from Massachusets to the Swiss bank and then tried to sell at an auction in London. David Colvin could not confirm the Mardirosian version because he was shot in 1978 for a poker debt of $ 1,500.

Mardirosian was arrested by the FBI and finally, he the lawyer who possessed the happiness of the stolen paintings was sentenced to 7 years in prison in 2008.  Is reported by the FBI on its pages: “In November of 2008, retired Massachusetts attorney ROBERT R. MARDIROSIAN, of Falmouth, was sentenced to prison on August 18, 2008, for possession of stolen goods. The case of Stockbridge home in Massachusetts history.

In February 2007, finally, Michael Bakwin regained the remaining six paintings by means of court decisions.

Additionally, Bakwin in 2011 won a $3 million in a civil judgment against Robert M. Mardirosian.

As wrote John M. Guilfoil in boston.com: Michael Collora, the lawyer of Mr Bakwin said “I think the civil jury here has sent a strong message to those dealing in stolen art that there will be a price to pay for that activity’’.

Collora said Bakwin, who is now in his late 70s, finally feels that the story has concluded.

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Sources used when writing the article:

  • Paul Cezanne. Życie i Twórczość. Maria Teresa Benedetti. Arkady. 1998
  • http://www.alaintruong.com/archives/2019/05/10/37326883.html
  • http://www.artloss.com/case-studies/cezannes-bouilloire-et-fruitshttps:/
  • www.businesstimes.com.sg/keywords/bouilloire-et-fruits-pitcher-and-fruithttps:/
  • www.christies.com/features/Masterpieces-from-The-Collection-of-SI-Newhouse-9761-3.aspx?sc_lang=enhttp:/
  • www.alaintruong.com/archives/2019/05/10/37326883.html
  • www.ifrancja.fr/iportal/twarze-cezannea-paryski-dziennik/
  • http://ow.ly/Ae8T30oPGE7

Photography and illustrations: images used for this article have been placed for non-commercial purposes and only for informational and educational purposes. Photographs contain information about the source or links to the source.

storytelling

How the death of an old oak tree inspired artist Dorothy Berry-Lound to create a series of images and a story, narrated with her own voice, in memory of the tree.

Love Attraction

To fall in love
or just to feel addicted

How art affects us and influences our everyday lives

Warning! This article is about emotions. Maybe it will be too fierce to call it a love story. But it’s close. Perhaps it is better to describe the feelings as an addiction. At least it is even closer. It’s about your first art purchase. Your first crush and falling in love. It’s also a little about the influence of Art on society. But let’s get into the influence a bit later.
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Art is alluring. It is a kind of magical magnet that switches on our possessive primeval instinct. We watch and immediately our brain is bombarded with signals that push us toward the moment of purchase: ‘It’s incredible; It’s so beautiful. It awakens deep feelings in me. I MUST OWN IT!’
After your first art purchase, you are on the hook. There is no way back. Suddenly, the old wall decor, posters and whatever else you have had hanging over the couch, become strangely tame. It is as if they seem false. At least boring. They do not contain the excitement that you have just experienced. It is mass production, and even though the colours fit the curtains, they somehow bleach next to your newly purchased artwork. Out of nowhere, some of your needs disappear so that everything must fit together as in a Laura Ashley showroom. Lines, patterns and colours can be broken because what entered the room is ‘art’ and it encourages you to dare break out. Something more valuable than matching pillows, blankets and vases has entered your life. Art simply pushes you beyond the edge where the colour composition in the living room determines the decor.

Art has a specific energy. It is as if the artist’s feelings become our own feelings. Unknowingly, we notice how she or he has worked and conveyed their thoughts and emotions from the painter’s palette to the canvas. We are often not aware of it, but deep within us, we feel connected with the artist. We haven’t just bought a painting; We have been given insight into another person’s inner universe, and this insight seems like a tremendous value.
The fewest people will be aware they think it as described. But it is often the underlying feelings we have inside of us. Our ownership has become a bond between the artist and us. We have bought something ‘genuine’ that has a massive impact on us, and it immediately starts to change us and our perspectives.

“Gegenständlich”:

representational; objective; figurative; graphical

Andreas Wiese
Profession: Painter
Nationality: German
Art direction: Contemporary Art

Processed By: Helicon Filter;

Our artist Andreas M. Wiese is a wise person. He will not feel happy for me giving him this label, of being wise. But I do it anyway for many reasons. When we visited him a week ago, he once again repeated his mantra; that he does not paint anything realistic but only transform to the canvas what he has inside his head. It is we who make it realistic, with the story we create. With the fear of his anger, I translate it as described before, that we receive his thoughts and feelings, and make the artwork special, with the story we give it. We too become creators. The artist creates the artwork, and we create its story. This is how we take ownership of the artwork, and that is the way we become connected with the artwork and the artist.

The influence of Art

Art can have a huge impact on us. If we go back in time we will see art as a single form, it has often been the music and theatre that has started new cultural directions. In my last article, I wrote about the censorship of the artwork ‘Consumer Art’ by Natalia LL. A girl provokes us by performing fellatio with a banana. Itself it may seem both inappropriate and exciting depending on the eyes that see it and not least in what context and time it appears. But when we look back into history, we start to understand why it came up and how it affected us.

After World War II, society had to be rebuilt in most of the world. The industry was about to start again manufacturing consumer products rather than bombs and weapons, and cities were to re-emerge from ashes. Suburbs popped up, and society with father, mother, children and cars were created everywhere. Peace spread in pace with uniformity and fixed rhythms. All seem idyllic until the music began to play. A new kind of music. More wild and untamed. And through the 50s and 60s, first the young generation was affected, and with the total emancipation in the 70s, the established middle class was also drawn into the new era. The beard began to grow, the hair grew longer, and the sexual release grew fast. In that light and in that context, Natalia LL’s art video makes good sense. Because art always puts things at the head. It always pushes us a little further than we would have dared to walk ourselves. It gives us the courage to become part of a new direction. It makes us free. Someone is leading the art, and we follow.

So even the government of Poland, with pressure on the management of the National Museum of Warsaw, dislike the artwork of Natalia LL today, no one can take away the influence it was part of and the importance the artwork had when it was exhibited.

There is nothing that art can not express.

Oscar Wilde

The fascinating thing about art is its way of changing our perspective. We become more focused when we see something different from the normal. We get more curiosity in life. We seek more profound into the worlds of others and dare more. Because art gives us the courage and that is what has always been the most excellent power of art. To show us new ways in life and provide us with the courage to change ourselves. Whether, as written before, it’s music, theatre, literature, visual paintings, architecture or sculptures, art has always been the force that has pushed our society in a new direction.

So, when you get your first crush, it’s not just feelings and emotions you have exclusively. It makes you part of a movement. You have recognized something. You feel and listen and everything you receive from the artist, will become part of your behaviour, so you, along with the art, can change the world. It might sound crazy, but you are not alone. Every other art lover gets affected today as you do, and together, you change our culture and society.

My first artworks were four beautiful paintings by the Spanish artist Luis Frutos. I have added them at the top of the article. This was where my love story started and where art started to affect me. I hope you still remember yours.

Here is how art has changed our life

In the more dramatic part of the changes art has given, we have Leonardo da Vinci. Many titles can be put on Leonardo, but common to all his interests was a search for the underlying. Therefore, he also broke the law autopsy as many deceased as he could get hold of, so that he could better understand human anatomy. With his ‘Studies of the foetus in the womb’ from 1510, challenged moral and artistic convention and with his discoveries of the human body and organs and dramatically methods, he changes the way that both artists and scientists studied the human body.

Leonardo Da Vinci Studies Of The Foetus In The Womb
Leonardo Da Vinci Studies Of The Fetus In The Womb

A marvellous example on how Leonardo changed our life is to look at how the UK heart surgeon Francis Wells pioneered a new way to repair damaged hearts after being inspired by Leonardo’s 500 years old medical drawings. The drawings allowed him to work out how to restore normal opening and closing function of the mitral valve. You may ask if Leonardo’s drawings were art. Maybe not the one we would like to hang in the living room, though his drawings came out of his creativity and need to be able to create perfection. Feelings and needs that all artists have.

At Leonardo’s time, he shook and offended many. Today we love his work and, in many ways, they have changed our perception and our lives.

Georges Braque, 1908, Maisons Et Arbre, Oil On Canvas, 40.5 X 32.5 Cm, Lille Métropole Museum Of Modern, Contemporary And Outsider Art
Georges Braque 1908 Maisons Et Arbre Lille Métropole Museum Of Modern, Contemporary And Outsider Art
Pablo Picasso, 1910, Girl With A Mandolin (Fanny Tellier), Oil On Canvas, 100.3 X 73.6 Cm, Museum Of Modern Art New York.
Pablo Picasso, 1910, Girl With A Mandolin (Fanny Tellier), Oil On Canvas, 100.3 X 73.6 Cm, Museum Of Modern Art New York.

Later in history, Georges Braque started a new direction; cubism. Throughout the history of painting, there was no other such a great break with the classic achievements of art as was done by the Cubists. Until the arrival of Cubism, paintings were supposed to reflect reality, but Cubists wanted to define reality in a new way. They saw the object first geometrized and then broken into smaller elements of rolls, cones, balls, etc. So, the basis of cubism is the principle that the object is broken into a series of separate planes, viewed in different lighting, which is then presented side by side on canvas.

In 1915, a few years after Georges Braque and Picasso started their Cubistic movement, Kazimir Malevich painted the Black Square, which has been the basis on which abstract and conceptual art movements are widely built in our days and probably the reason we have the minimalistic style and design in architecture and furniture, to make some examples.

So, when we understand Braque, Picasso and Kazimir, we also understand why our furniture’s, cars, architecture and even cloth are more simple today, why everything we find around us is shaped into squares, circles and strict lines from toilets to cutlery.

Cubism may not directly have changed us as individuals, but the direction affected us all, including fashion designers, architects, industrial designers and more, which meant our everyday lives and our impressions were also changed and continue to be.

Marcel Duchamp, 1917, Fountain, Photograph By Alfred Stieglitz
Marcel Duchamp, 1917, Fountain, Photograph By Alfred Stieglitz

When Marcel Duchamp in 1917 presenting his Fountain, a urinal signed with the pseudonym “R. Mutt”, it shocked the art world but was later, in 2004 selected as “the most influential artwork of the 20th century”. From this time the term “Readymades” created a moment where everyone could expect a beautiful design in every simplest and most miserable object or material.

Thanks to this fountain, contemporary design and fine arts were created using various means of expression and forms known to us as obvious and encountered every day. No rules or directions applied any longer. Artists take full advantage of the achievements of their predecessors, and the users can enjoy various proposals for decoration, items, shapes of furniture and even cars.

Duchamp’s Fountain, in one way, became the starting point for how we behave today, where everything is allowed and where we do not need to follow specific directions or indoctrinations to be accepted. Striped pants for the dotted shirt make you avant-garde and not tasteless. You decide for yourself, partly because a French-American artist chose to break the norm and exhibit a toilet at the exhibition at The Grand Central Palace in New York in 1917.

You can fall in love with art but be aware, it affects you more than you know.

Censured

When art is censored

Has history taught us nothing?

Or is it only the elite of power that,
contrary to art, continues to live in the Middle Ages?

banana

Who should decide whether art should be allowed and published or not? And what significance does censorship of art have? Everyone can have their own opinions on art, but for us at BeArte, it is a fact, that art should never be censored by anyone other than the eyes who see it. Your eye’s.

Art has always suffered due to censorship for political or religious reasons. Today, we also experience that the social media sets limits for what can be displayed and what must be censored. Is it acceptable? Should religious men, obscure politicians and robots ruled by men like Mark Zuckerberg decide what we can see? Of course not. It is grotesque and a limitation of our right to develop.

Dalia Split Left
Dalia Split Right

For several years an art video by the polish artist Natalia LL has been displayed at the National Museum in Warsaw, you can watch it here: https://nataliall.com/en/. The title is ‘Consumer Art’ and it was made in 1973 and showed a woman eating a banana. Last week, the artwork was taken down by the museum’s new head, Jerzy Miziolek, after he was summoned to the ministry of culture. In addition a separate 2005 video by another controversial female artist, Katarzyna Kozyra, showing a woman walking two men on all fours, dressed as dogs on a lead, was also removed.

Polish Minister of Culture, Piotr Glinski, may in some ways recall a lighter version of the German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Besides Glinski’s absurd way of trying to create a picture of Poland and the world in the (low) height of his beloved leader Jarosław Kaczyński, he must of course not be compared to Nazism. Unfortunately, however, the approach is the same when art, culture and media are to be censored and pushed in one narrow direction.

I myself have seen ‘Consumer Art’ and the artwork did not make me happier or put tragic traces in my soul. Perhaps the work of art does not have a great influence today, as it used to, or perhaps it does not fall into my taste. All of this really doesn’t matter. The artwork is an expression of its time and a way of making us think. It is important for this purpose. In the same way as Monet’s colours and works of light were important at the end of the 19th century, where he was also seen as a provocateur with his paintings.

The greater meaning of the art performed today, we will probably not understand before many years ahead. For what is it, that art is doing and why is it so important? It makes us dare more in life and make us take longer steps in our development as a species. Steps in other directions that we would take usually. It gives us the courage to try new and ask questions about the existing. And therefore, it is dangerous for politicians and religious leaders and therefore it’s important for us as humans. Once art is published, it can no longer be tamed. It makes an impression and creates development, our development.

In a way head of Warsaw National Museum, Jerzy Miziolek is correct when he claims that art affects us. But it is not harmful and when he claims that the art ‘could irritate sensitive young people’, he tries to apologise for his abuse of power. When the particular artwork was performed and presented in 1973, it was part of liberation from rigid old conservative values. The same values as Jerzy Miziolek, Piotr Glinski and Jarosław Kaczyński love today. But do we really want to go back in time? If so, why not go back to the 1930s, where we are already on the road to go with the rising nationalism and totalism, or back to the Stone Age, where we will end if we do not care. The art cannot save our world against stupid old men. But it can make us look out with different perspectives. It can open our minds and it can make us follow other ideas and goals in life. That’s the reason some politicians want to limit art and for the same reason, we fight to keep it free. We believe in freedom; for humans, the art and our development.

Below you can find examples of erotic art from our artists.

Bullet Lips
Couple in Menorca Island by Nacho Gonzalez at BeArte Gallery
Free spirit Svetoslav Stoyanov at BeArte Gallery
Frida HD
Frida Kahlo Portrait

This may sound insane and unbelievable, but it is true. Google Arts and Culture app launched their incredible virtual exhibition “Faces of Frida” which is totally free for all the art lovers.

Frida Kahlo was considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists. Being a talented artist she also was known for her political activities. As even having major issues with health she never stopped her political activism.

Frida Kahlo became a world known figure thanks to a movie. In 2002 film entitled “Frida”, starring Salma Hayek was directed by Julie Taymor. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards and won for Best Makeup and Original Score.

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So Google Arts and Culture decided to make a huge present for all those who love and support the art of a magnificent Frida Kahlo by creating the exhibition which is considered as “a closer look at the many faces of Frida Kahlo through her life, art and legacy.”

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The exhibition allows us to looks from all the possible angles at life, often tragic, of the artist. Undoubtedly, the huge work was done, as to present such an exhibition, the several years of cooperation with the network of museums and galleries needed to be managed.

Enjoy the collection from seven different countries which contain around 800 exhibits. And some of them have never been presented yet. So you will definitely open and face Frida from a new side.

The source of the exhibition can be found here: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/frida-kahlo 

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Wally The Organ Grinder With His Parrot Was A Regular Attraction. This Drawing By Joan Dawson From The Old Days Shows Diane Elson's Work. Diane Still Exhibits At Bayswater To This Day!

Nestling deep in the centre of one of London’s most genteel residential districts lies the Bayswater Road Sunday Art Exhibition. Bordering the glorious Royal Parks, visitors can lap up the atmosphere of one of the world’s most famous open-air exhibitions, literally every Sunday of the year. Haydn Dickenson tells the living history of a vibrant part of London’s heritage.

In the 1950’s, the London County Council set up the Embankment Art Show in May each year. The self-representing artists wanted a regular exhibiting area though, so a band of them set up near Hyde Park Corner, not being moved on until roadworks in the 1960’s when they decided to decamp to Green Park, just off Piccadilly. In time, that spot overflowed, so the maverick band tried Bayswater Road opposite Queensway on the old Kensington Gardens wire fence (the ornate iron railings, now reinstated, had been torn down to be melted up for the war effort).

As the pioneering show grew, getting space to exhibit meant a night sleeping in the car. Parking on Bayswater Road was permitted from 6.30pm on Saturday, so artists would arrive the night before to secure their spot by marking their pitch with a painting or sign.  Groups of artists organised themselves by taking turns to stake a pitch for each other on alternate weekends, but it was not a safe place to be – assaults by drunks on the road were not uncommon. Many artists wore pyjamas under their day clothes for warmth, evidenced by two or three inches of stripy material flopping about the ankles when the time came to ply their wares the following morning!

Inevitably there was conflict over spaces, sometimes violent and involving money. The London Mob became involved, roping off large stretches of Bayswater Road, patrolling them with dogs and demanding money from artists for a pitch.

By the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the show had mushroomed into a cornucopia of diverse items. Bric-a-brac, trinkets and cheap reproductions jostled for space alongside the genuine art, and brass-rubbing prints, paper flowers, clothing and even ladies’ underwear were all to be found. Hot-dog sellers, card tricksters and the like also made their presence known, and the fraud squad investigated the potential fencing of stolen art through the exhibition.

By now, the exhibition ran from Queensway to Marble Arch and beyond into Park Lane and local residents, unhappy at the increasingly ramshackle mess, tried to have the show shut down. Crisis meetings with the local council were held, and licensing was introduced in January 1973 to establish the exhibition as one with real credentials for the display of original art by self-representing artists only, a tradition which the Bayswater Road Art Association is proud to uphold to this day.

Headed up by David James (one of the Bayswater pioneers), Haydn Dickenson and a small committee, the Bayswater Road Sunday Art Exhibition will shortly celebrate its sixtieth birthday. Though smaller in recent years – due to the escalating ages of some exhibitors, and the changing shopping habits of the general public – the exhibition still packs a bohemian punch on a fine summer’s day, bursting with atmosphere and offering to the discerning public a huge variety of art across many genres. All exhibitors are self-representing artists – no dealers are permitted – so you can be sure you are buying original art, direct from the artist at studio prices. There is easy (and free) parking on the road, and many exhibitors offer chip-and-pin card payment facilities.

Many artists have been ‘discovered’ at Bayswater, being snapped up by agents or publishers to go on to bigger things – they often return to ‘Bays’ however, even if only to greet their old friends and relive a little of the Bayswater magic that they no doubt miss.

Alongside Montmarte, Bayswater surely ranks as one of the world’s most renowned open-air art events, and as it runs every single Sunday of the year from 0800 until it gets too cold or dark, there’s ample opportunity to pay a visit. Locals, whether buyers or just loyal supporters, become well-known to the artists, and overseas visitors return year after year.

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Haydn runs Social Media pages at @BayswaterART (Twitter) and at @BayswaterRoadArt (Facebook), together with a website https://www.bayswater-road-artists.co.uk/  where you can contact him with inquiries and see what the show is doing from week to week. Several new artists are lined up to join this spring, and with plenty of vacancies for newcomers available, artists are actively encouraged to apply. The cost is low, the profile is high, and the camaraderie is second to none!

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Maybe you’ll even get a bit of Bayswater-60th-birthday-cake in a couple of years’ time!

The article was created by our great talented artist Haydn Dickenson. Don’t forget to visit his profile. 

Artmuc 2018 1500x680

Are you an Art Lover?

Then do not miss a great 4-day event in Munich. After a great success and a huge amount of visitors in the previous year, ARTMUC will be held 2 times this year. In May, from 1 – 5 and October, 17 – 20.

It won’t be a lie to say that it has become Bavaria’s biggest art event for contemporary art. Around 100 individual artists and galleries and projects from all over Europe are going to present current positions of contemporary art.

ARTMUC will represent all possible manifestations of art – paintings, illustrations, photographs, digital art, sculptures, installations and much more. So you definitely will have a great time and things to observe.

The event will take place in the Isarforum at the Dt.Museum and on the beautiful Praterinsel in the heart of Munich.

For the detailed information visit the official website of the ARTMUC https://www.artmuc.info/

Take a look at how it was last year

Notre Dame Fire article

Yesterday the whole world was observing with beating hearts the fire of the century.

Horrible news caught Paris yesterday evening, famous Notre Dame Cathedral was burning. Flames burst through the roof and started to spread quite fast. The fire was unstoppable as quite quickly it engulfed the tower, which soon collapsed.
Police were saying it began accidentally and may be linked to building work at the cathedral. Indisputable masterpiece and one of the favorite touristic places with vivid history faced yesterday the hardest burden in its 850 years.
After many hours of hard work of more than 400 firefighters, it is still hard to say how bad are the destructions.
French President Emmanuel Macron posted in his Twitter compassionate message:
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Our history is based on our culture, which has been developed in the architecture, music, sculptures, visual arts, theatres and literature. Losing a part of its culture is like losing part of its identity. There may not be many voters in spending money on art and preserving our culture. But it is absurd that even the same politicians who oppose any kind of immigration. and integration of the same people never fights for the preservation of our own culture. With a strong culture, no one needs to be ‘afraid’ of foreign cultures.
The truth is, it is not cultural influences that we must fear, but corrupt and/or incompetent politicians, from every continent, populists, suppressive religions, greed, inequality and censorship that keep people from developing. Without all of this, we could all live happily and our cultural heritage would survive, no matter if we live in North, South, East or West.
Our support goes to the French people.
Spring with Love Vibes. London – Love – Art Exhibition

International Art Events London (IAE- London) present LONDON LOVE ART international contemporary art exhibition of paintings, sculpture, digital art and photography.

London – Love – Art is an exhibition celebrating the coming of spring and honoring International Women’s Day (IWD).

Celebrating Woman is a way of feeling gratitude to each and every woman in one’s life, be it in the professional or personal life. International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level.

What makes this exhibition so special? – It aims to celebrate women regardless of race, religion, and nationality. The Day is not country, group or organization specific – and belongs to all woman all over the world.

Don’t miss such a massive event, as it is going to be 15 artists, from 9 countries including Belgium, Estonia, France, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and UK, will be exhibiting.

Exhibition lasts from 8 to 20 March 2019.

Opening Night:
Friday 8th of March 2019, 6.30pm – 9.00pm
508 Gallery, 508 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0LD
Drinks and canapés

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 6.00pm
Sunday – Close

For more information contact International Art Events London (IAE- London) internationalartevents@gmail.com

Former Rock Musician Reveals the Portrait of Crown Prince Frederik Article

Kasper Eistrup’s portrait of Crown Prince Frederik was revealed on Frederiksborg Castle on Friday.

November 16th, 2018 (Foto: Keld Navntoft /Ritzau Scanpix 2018)

Art can catch you up and become your life trade anywhere, and at a different stage of your life, if you have enough passion for it of course.

A good example of it will be Kasper Eistrup, who is also known as a singer in the Kashmir rock band. In parallel with the music, he has been involved in painting and is today full-time visual artist.

Kasper decided to break through his painting career with something really big. In addition to his new exhibition at the National History Museum, he adds a brand new portrait of Crown Prince Frederik, that has just been revealed at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød. 

Foto: Linda Kastrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Kasper Eistrup has been very proud of the fact that he has been allowed to do something that is part of a historical context. But it has also been important to him that he is faithful to himself as an artist. This is what he shared in the interview with Ritzau:

– “I think most artists will say that painting a crown prince is associated with a lot of thoughts. Everyone must be able to see that it is him, but must also be able to see that it is me who is the sender.”

Crown Prince Frederik and Kasper Eistrup have met many times in the process, and it has been important because Kasper Eistrup needed to know the Crown Prince well, in order to show his personality on the canvas.

– “I wanted to find out for his personality. And we succeeded because we have super good chemistry. Several times he has come spontaneously down at my workshop to see how the work goes… the conversations have helped me find a different term than what we already knew about Prince Frederik. 

As you can see, Art has tonnes of areas of expressions and truly is a part of our daily life. Sometimes we just need a bit more time to see it. But when we find it it will give us a lot, for someone it becomes a work of life, for some a creative outlet.

When Trash Becomes Art Article

Today we were visiting MMCA (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea). Right now Seoul is welcoming everyone to see the fantastic exhibitions of their local artists. 

Among different works and installations “Blooming Matrix” by Choi Jeong Hwa was the one that has engaged the most attention.

Choi Jeong Hwa creates art from the most humble of materials, finding inspiration in soda bottles, shopping bags, and colorful plastic dishes from the 99-cent store. Artist creates garlands made of trash but as a result, this everyday trash becomes a unique art that immediately attracts attention.  

This exhibition inspires, brings very positive vibes, gives a feeling that every piece has a second life. Looking at these fantastic garlands you realize that even simple, maybe unuseful stuff can become a great decoration or a work of art, all you have to do is switch your imagination.