Jos de Gruyter and Herald Thys Remove Color in “Miracle of Life”

Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, De Drie Wijsneuzen, 2013

Water spews from the mouths of three blank faces. Without expression nor body, the pure white heads stand guard, looking out in three directions. Rising high into the air, they watch you and they watch the surrounding art works

In the new exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien in Austria, Das Wunder de Lebens (The Miracle of Life), Belgian artist duo Jos de Gruyter and Herald Thys use an all-white color palette to remove hierarchical structures from objects, with the goal of creating an open arena for sight.

De Drie Wijsneuzen, 2013 (Photo by Stephan Wyckoff. Courtesy of Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin)

De Drie Wijsneuzen, 2013 (Photo by Stephan Wyckoff. Courtesy of Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin)

Curated with a minimal and orderly aesthetic, the exhibition produces an eery, science-like atmosphere, augmented by the steady trickling of water, in which the viewer contemplates the ‘miracle of life.’ The exhibition title refers to a 1934 exhibition for Nazi propaganda, in which the ideal of deutschen Rassenhygiene (German racial hygiene) was promoted. Alluding to Nazi Eugenics programs, the Gruyter and Thys offer both a commentary on modern society and a warning signal to contemporary viewers.

400 drawings of cars, city views, weather maps, and several other markers of modern life are no longer objective in the staged exhibition context. Stripped of color and displayed with a sense of authority, the encyclopedia of information suddenly becomes an index of political and cultural cues. Examining the drawings of everyday scenes and objects, the viewer finds himself seeking deeper truths within the innocuous images and mapping his own meaning unto various objects. As the viewer moves through the exhibition space, he becomes both scientist and actor, the center of his own arena, in which it is his responsibility to remain neutral and to resist the human impulse to create hierarchies and statuses.

A daring and provocative exhibition, Das Wunder de Lebens is an exercise in visual discipline.

Das Wunder de Lebens is on display until May 4, 2014 and is accompanied by an audio guide as well as an extensive video program by Gruyter and Thys.

Installation View (Photograph by Stephan Wyckoff)

Untitled, 2010 (Photo by Stephan Wyckoff, Courtesy of Zeichnungen)

Untitled, 2010 (Photo by Stephan Wyckoff, Courtesy of Zeichnungen)

Installation View (Photo by Stephen Wyckoff)

Installation View (Photo by Stephen Wyckoff)

Saturated Skies: Eric Cahan

While living on a lake in Northern Idaho this summer, I swear I have never seen skies soooo blue.  Every day around lunch time, I take a break from blogging work and walk outside to text my hubby ( danger of living in the boonies, spotty cell reception ) and almost every day as I look up above the canopy of trees and into the sky, it is the most impossible shade of blue.  A blue so deep and saturated and perfect that it would be impossible to capture, at least for this amateur photographer.  New York artist Eric Cahan seems to have a similar obsession with sky, but where my own limitations keep my from even trying, his skill and talent beautifully capture the simple magnificence of the expanse above us.

Bridgehampton, NY Sunset 7:48pm

His work focuses on the pure joy of color that the sky and landscape affords, breaking the vast space and complexity of the natural world into simple gradients of color.

Tri-Color Diptych Gradient Window Wedge, cast polyester resin, 30x8x4

Pink Gradient A-Frame, cast polyester resin, 20x80x20


In his sculptures and photographs alike, we are left to revel in the pure liquidity of color and environs.  We forget the chaos on the earth below and are transported to the space above.

Gardiners Bay NY Sunrise 6:28am


To see more of Eric Cahan’s work, please visit his website.  Eric represents just one of the many talented artists and photographers I’ve found via Pinterest.  It’s not just shoes and recipes!  Check out the Artsy Forager Pinterest board, Artsy in Living Color, for more found photographic talent.

Acorn grid square

Sexual Colors – Inside the mind of Gabriel Wickbold

Gabriel Wickbold

By Rayna Hewitt

Gabriel Wickbold

HAHA MAG: Where do you get the inspiration for your projects?
Gabriel Wickbold: I am a person who is influenced by the simplest things. I find that the main thing is to be sensitive enough to perceive these influences. All artists or people who work with art have to be researchers in the first place. A distinguished piece of work has to have synthesis, enough influence to represent a cultural moment. The sensuality makes peace with breaking moments. People breathe innovations all the time, and with paint they make a rethought sensuality.

When I started the Sexual Colors project, I started in a very curious way, wanting to reach a new plasticity. I find that the creation is in curiosity. We have to dare with the curiosity of bringing about a new result. Generally we are very tied to briefings and necessities of the customer, as speed and deadlines and sometimes lose the principle, which is to let the curiosity for new forms to carry through the same tasks.

HM: How much does Brazilian culture influence or drive your photosets (particularly the colors)?
GW:
Brazil is a country of very strong sex appeal. People treat the body as a very valuable thing. This has a positive and a negative side. I find that we’re more healthy, but there are many people that suffer and we place our lives at risk for intangible objects of beauty. Brazil is a very colorful country, and our projection concerning the city is an organized mess, our aesthetic and chaos. We come from immigrants of many places. We’re very rooted in our day to day, so that if this work becomes global, it’ll try to translate these references.

Gabriel Wickbold

HM: What do you think of when you shoot?
GW:
When I shoot, I tend to focus my energies on sensitivity, in order to understand when I have a result. To imagine and compose an image through references is the easy part of the of the creative process. The difficult part is to have the sensitivity to discover something new during a session.

HM: If you could be any color of paint, what color would you be?
GW:
I am very passionate for green. I find that it possesses very interesting nuances, and it translates slightly differently than blue. It seems to bring more personality.

Gabriel Wickbold

HM: Do you dream in color? What do your dreams look like? (Is there paint everywhere?)
GW:
I find that my dreams are more about nudity and sensuality. The colors come later.

HM: Your photos showcase a lot of movement and high energy.  Is this a good indicator of your personal energy level from day to day?
GW: I try to channel the maximum energy during each photo essay. It’s very tiresome to do, and it take my time and concentration. Before an essay, many people ask me if I am quiet, or if I am sad, but in reality I am concentrating. At the moment of the essay an explosion of energy and conduction must always come out of the photographs. The model is in a fragile situation; exposed. We have the mission to create a new reality, trying to manipulate the perspective, but in an indirect form; not saying, “imagine that you are in such a place.” Thus, I find that you are underestimating the condition of the model; this manipulation has to be returned to the attitude, for the way that we construe energy in a set.

Gabriel Wickbold

HM: What is a day in the life of Gabriel Wickbold like?
GW:
I am the face of many ideas, and it makes me pretty anxious. Because of this, I don’t have a car – I walk and bike. I take photos in the studio almost every day. The days where I’m not photographing, I’m searching references, treating images, or having meetings with customers. I’ve practiced squash a lot – it’s an excellent sport for alleviating stress – and I still have time for my son and my wife. I’m twenty-six years old with many responsibilities, but I’ve capsized very well lately. (laugh)

HM: Is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?
GW:
In 2011, I want to expand my work internationally, work more for Brazil, and use to my financial advantage this moment where the international media is being provided to me.

HM: Who are you, in five words?
GW:
Creative, passionate, enthusiastic, entrepreneur, funny.

Gabriel Wickbold

HM: What color do you think love and happiness are?
GW:
I consider those two sentiments so complex that they can be translated into a huge mix of colors.