A man with paint on his jeans lying on a purple couch
A man with paint on his jeans lying on a purple couch

Ricky Burrows in a moment of pause © Maryam Eisler

Ricky Burrows, the Brooklyn-based artist originally discovered by Rashid Johnson, speaks to LUX’s Chief Contributing Editor, Maryam Eisler about how he made it from the streets to the studio, now opening a solo show at Harper’s, New York.

Maryam Eisler: How did Mr Ricky Burrows end up in this impressive building, the Brooklyn Army Terminal?

Ricky Burrows: Well, my parents are originally from Brooklyn and I was born here. I moved to Connecticut and I came back to Brooklyn after I got out of detention; I was separated from my Mom because she was on drugs. I started painting seriously in 2014, and I met one of the building owners, Mr Gunn; he came to an open studio. He liked my work and told me he had a studio for me, and that I could paint there and that I wouldn’t have to pay rent. When he said ‘no rent’, I said ‘send me the location’. To this day I don’t pay rent. From the start, he absolutely believed in me. He’s one of my earliest first supporters, for sure.

red and white blocks on the ground by a bridge and industrial building

Scenes from the Brooklyn Army Terminal © Maryam Eisler

ME: Talk to me about this incredible building, and your studio space.

RB: This place (the Brooklyn Army Terminal) keeps me sharp. Everybody’s working here 24/7, and I’m a sponge. As soon as you walk into the parking lot, there are a thousand trucks going past you. As soon as you get into the elevators, five or six people from all different walks of life doing different things are saying hello to you, high fiving you … You’ve got the FBI and the FIT here, movie directors, students, sanitation, dialysis…It’s like a small city… a city within a city, and no one ever sleeps.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

ME: When did you start painting?

RB: Around maybe the age of sixteen.

ME: Was it something you had to do? Something you could not escape from … or, was it an actual escape from reality – your reality?

RB: I would say both. My inspiration came from my neighbourhood and the street. So, painting was actually weird. But I couldn’t help myself. I had to do it. I was drawn to it. I wanted to paint, but I was also influenced by my friends who had nothing to do. So, it was a bit of both. It was like ‘let me avoid it as much as I can, but let me also stick to it as closely as I possibly can …’ if that makes sense?

A man sitting on the floor surrounded by artworks

Burrows sitting on the floor with his works © Maryam Eisler

ME: Yes, it does. You mentioned drugs at some point in your life – which you’re clearly over now. What was the reason? Was pain at the source or was it just what street kids d0?

RB: For me, it was about not wanting to think about the stuff I was dealing with in my life or stuff I was going home to later at night. So the more loaded I was, the better it was for me … it helped me deal with whatever was coming my way when going ‘home’.

A man standing next to a yellow painting

‘Goldfish don’t bounce’ referring to Jimi Hendrix’s song © Maryam Eisler

ME: Which leads me to Jimi Hendrix. Talk to me about ‘When Goldfish don’t bounce’.

RB: Well fish don’t bounce. And, I’m the goldfish.

Paintings of colourful distorted faces

Early career works by Ricky Burrows © Maryam Eisler

ME: You are. But you bounce. You bounced out of the bowl, it appears.

RB: Yes, I did. But I didn’t manage to go too far. That’s the scary part about it. Along my art career, I’m always that close to crashing out. I really don’t know how to talk to people outside of myself. So I’m only just learning how to be more social and to trust the public, because I’ve dealt with a lot of sh*t. It’s been hard. And I’ve only just started to see the light at 30.

Yellow Zebra crossing on a chair

The exterior of the Brooklyn Army Terminal © Maryam Eisler

ME: You win the biggest battle when you start believing in yourself. Are you there?

RB: THAT is the biggest battle right now. The fight with myself, you know. But I would say that maybe I’m doing a good job because it got me this far.

A man wearing a white t shirt and black and green cap

Looking out the studio window © Maryam Eisler

ME: Well, if you’re having a show at Harper’s, in Chelsea, New York in November, I would say you’re definitely over the 50% mark, wouldn’t you agree? More win than lose?

RB: Yes, but what am I supposed to do at night? When there is no art to make or no Harper’s shows? No girls to see? That’s the kind of stuff I try to escape. Because I don’t like being alone.

plastic dolls and books on a desk

Inspirational objects around the studio © Maryam Eisler

ME: Comfort in and with yourself. You need to find that peace, wouldn’t you agree?

RB: I’m trying to. But it’s taking me a long time to get there.

A room with art and paint all of over the floor and chair

In an around the studio © Maryam Eisler

ME: Patience is a virtue! I wanted to talk to you about street. You mention your street life and your street friends; I also see a lot of street style and influence in and around your studio – Supreme, Palace, AWAKE, Nike collaborations with Virgil … powerful brands where art, lifestyle, design and commerce have come together successfully. Are you personally interested in engaging in these types of commercial collaborations down the line?

RB: Yes definitely, yes. That is definitely of interest. As far as I’m concerned, I try to make as much art as possible so that my mind isn’t just limited to creating paintings, you know? I like to extend myself beyond the canvas.

blue and white Nike Air Jordans

Where art meets street, Nike collaboration with ‘Off White’ by Virgil Abloh, part of Ricky’s own personal collection © Maryam Eisler

ME: So it’s not just the esoteric and conceptual side of art which interests you? You actually see the application of the concept to a more utilitarian and more commercial environment ?

RB: Very utilitarian, 100 percent yes.

ME: Is your idea to take your art out to the crowds (with an S) as opposed to just ‘A’ crowd ? Do you want your art to be democratic and for the people, mixing highbrow and lowbrow?

RB: I want my art to be highbrow, but I also want it to be accessible to those on the street, where I came from and to people who are not even of the ‘art world’. Because a lot of people that I have met or who have helped me, couldn’t even tell you who Francis Bacon was to save their lives, you know! I really appreciate them just wanting to be here with me, for me, or just calling me to send me money for no reason other than just believing in me … ‘I know you need some paint, so go buy some paint. I know you need canvas? Here you go, go buy it ‘.

"RB" painted in black on a white canvas

Ricky Burrows’ ‘signature’ © Maryam Eisler

ME: So, all that I see in your studio has just been given to you?

RB: Yes, all of it. So, I feel like I owe the public more than I owe the art world.

A man sitting on a drawing wearing red shoes, yellow socks, a green cap and white t-shirt with jeans

Ricky Burrows sitting on his work in the studio © Maryam Eisler

ME: Some of the greatest artists in America, the likes of Warhol and Basquiat, mixed high brow and low brow. Are you just continuing in that same direction?

RB: I would say that I’m actually really (even more) from the streets, you know… If I lose the studio today, I’m going straight back to the street…I ain’t going to nobody, calling no aunty that can come pick me up in her fancy car. No, no, no, no, no. So lowbrow, lowbrow, lowbrow, lowbrow…

ME: You’re having your first solo show at Harper’s this November. What did you say you were going to do with the money from Harper’s show?

RB: Well with the money from Harper’s show – because I know I’m going to sell out – I’m going to develop and start my own apparel company. I’m of course still learning how to manage my finances so I don’t crash out or run out of money. It’s all so new to me.

A picture of a woman coloured in at the top and left blank on the bottom

Works in progress © Maryam Eisler

ME: Please share with me the story behind your ‘big break‘ moment. From the street to Harper…how did that happen?

RB: I met Harper through Rashid Johnson.

ME: And how did you meet Rashid?

RB: Off the internet. At, like, 5 o’clock in the morning, March 6, 2023. I was here. I didn’t have as much stuff; it was a lot cleaner because I was broke. I had just broken up with this girl… she said either get a job or I’m leaving you. That instagram page which you follow me on (@presidentrickyburrows), well, I just made that, two or three days later. I was like, let me give it a shot, so I reached out to him (Rashid). Two hours later, he had his assistant Alex send me a list of paintings that he said he wanted. People tell me all the time ‘I’ll get this, I’ll get that’ so I kind of blew it off and went to sleep. But when I woke up, I had a message from his Alex: ‘I’ll meet you at your studio at 11 o’clock.’ I was like ‘Whatever man, whatever !’ I reread the message like ten times. I also checked the name ten times. That’s when I realised that this is a real page, Rashid’s page. Then his Alex called me and I was like, oh sh*t, this is really happening.

They actually came to see me and two days later, he brought Harper here. Harper lost his mind when he saw my work. He showed some of my work at Nada; it sold out. And, he’s been my best friend ever since.

A man leaning over a bridge overlooking train tracks in a tunnel

A moment of reflection at the entrance of the Brooklyn Army Terminal where Ricky holds his studio © Maryam Eisler

ME: What is the inspiration behind your upcoming show with Harper?

RB: It’s a unified story. I say ‘unified’ because it includes all the people around me… friends, the streets and the Bible; I think the show will just be a nice introduction to my life.

pain brushes in a jar on a chair

Inspiration around the studio © Maryam Eisler

ME: The Bible?

RB: Yes, because I grew up with the Church. We’re Baptist.

Read more: An Interview with William Kentridge

ME: Do you work a lot with local churches?

RB: No, I work a lot with and in my mind. I haven’t been to the Church since I was fifteen. I don’t have a religion.

A man wearing a white t shirt sitting on an art work on the floor in a studio

Burrows’ work-in-progress of Jesus coming off the cross © Maryam Eisler

ME: So is it the concept and the philosophy of religion that interests you?

RB: Yes, the concept. It’s really about the human stories. I think I only realised this maybe three months ago.

ME: Would you say you are the ‘Chosen One’ ?

RB: Yes, maybe I am!

The Brooklyn Army Terminal‘s (designed by Cass Gilbert) construction was originally approved in 1918, during World War I, and was completed after the conclusion of the war. The terminal was subsequently leased out and used for various purposes, including as a dock, a military prison, and a storage space for drugs and alcohol during the Prohibition. During World War II, the terminal was the United States’ largest military supply base. The site occupies more than 95 acres, on Brooklyn’s western shore.

Ricky Burrows’ show, Saved, will be on display at Harper’s from November 16-December 23

@presidentrickyburrows
@harpersbooks

All photography by Maryam Eisler

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Reading time: 10 min
A girl looking at a painting frightened clutching a notepad
portraits of people

Dilara Begum Jolly, Parables of the Womb. Image courtesy of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

Barrister A B M Hamidul Mishbah, who specialises in Intellectual Property (Copyright & Visual Art) and Technology Law writes about three historic derivative artworks from the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation’s extensive collection, and provides insight into the complex issues of copyright and ownership in the art world

“I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph” said Leon Levinstein. Every element of an artistic or creative work, be it a photograph or a painting, weaves a tapestry of ingenuity. The pursuit of collecting such artistic or creative works is a testament to the realities we encounter in our lives.

“Parables of the Womb”, acquired and preserved by the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF), is a series of portraits of Birangonas (War Heroes) of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. The masterpieces were created by Dilara Begum Jolly, acclaimed artist, painter, and sculptor in Bangladesh. Jolly  rejuvenated original photographs to commemorate the plight experienced by women during the troubled times of the Liberation War.

The artworks consist of reprinted photographs of the Birangonas (War Heroes), adorned with needlework, achieving the status of ‘derivative work.’ Derivative work is a form of creative expression spawned from pre-existing original work that contains substantial transformation in line with the creator’s vision. As a result, it receives the protection of copyright law and allows the creator to control her integrity and commercial interests.

A profile of a woman in lots of different colours

Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman, Edition 10/30. Image courtesy of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

Andy Warhol, perceived as one of the pioneers of Pop Art, created the artwork “LIZ” in 1963. The “LIZ” series comprises several paintings devised from Elizabeth Taylor‘s publicity photograph for her film ‘Butterfield 8.’ Andy Warhol used a method of silkscreen printing, and the series showcases Warhol’s signature style of vibrant and bold colours blended with contrasting hues to highlight the artist’s fondness for fame, iconic personalities, and celebrity culture.  The series remains a significant part of Warhol’s enduring legacy, speaking to the relationship between art, commerce, and mass media, inspiring the artists and audiences of this age. One of the artworks in the series of derivative works, is another jewel of the DBF’s collection.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Atul Dodiya, one of the most coveted contemporary artists in the Indian subcontinent, rose to prominence in the late ’90s for a series of artworks he created on Mahatma Gandhi. One of the artworks from that series depicts Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose engrossed in a deep conversation, created using a public domain photograph dating back to 1938. The original photograph was captured during a session of the Indian National Congress in Haripura, marking the first resolution after regaining India from the British Raj.

The artistic rendition created by Dodiya is a sepia-washed watercolour painting, immortalising the historic moment that paved the way for India’s liberation and commemorates the significant roles played by the two iconic leaders. The DBF steadfastly preserves this piece.

A girl looking at a painting frightened clutching a notepad

Atul Dodiya, Noakhali, November 1946. Image courtesy of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

Original photographs enjoy copyright protection under copyright law. Copyright protection for photographs begins the moment the image is created, i.e., fixed onto the film negative through the camera’s shutter click. The person who captures the photograph is considered the ‘author’ and becomes the first owner of the photograph’s copyright, enjoying exclusive rights, including the right to reproduce (copy, print, download, etc.), the right to communicate to the public, create derivative works, and the right to prevent unauthorised use by third parties.

This means the original photographs, whether portraits of the Birangonas, Taylor’s publicity photograph from the film ‘Butterfield 8,’ or stock images from the 1938 session of the Indian National Congress in Haripura, were standalone works created by independent photographers. These photographers are presumed to be the authors and owners of the copyright in those photographs unless there is covenant to the contrary; the portraits are unequivocally not orphan works.

Maurizio Cattelan
has said: “Culture has been rewritten many times from many different points of view. If we look at history, copying has been the method of disseminating knowledge as much as in the contemporary world: scribes copied books to ensure future generations had the same knowledge and to preserve their culture over the centuries. A few years earlier, the Romans copied Greek sculptures, as today we copy the great classics and see them in souvenir shops. Copying is a concept as old as humanity because it is the presupposition of knowledge tout court.” This philosophy that resonates with Rabindranath Tagore‘s school of thought on ‘moner mukti’ (indulgence of the mind). This is the juncture where the law intersects with creativity and innovation.

Three artworks of tools in the sky

Shilpa Gupta, Unnoticed, 2017. Image courtesy of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

Creating derivative works from original photographs is permissible if endorsed by, and without prejudicing the interests of, the original author. Some jurisdictions are accommodating to derivative works created for certain purposes under the principles of ‘fair use,’ without the original author’s permission, taking into account the underlying purpose, nature, extent, and potential impact of the derivative work.

Read more: Syed Muhammad Zakir’s imagined city of Baghreb

By and large, artistic works create bridges that connect our past, present, and future, reminding us of the timeless beauty and relevance of human creativity. Artistic works such as “Parables of the Womb”, the “LIZ” series, and Dodiya’s paintings have the innate ability to evoke emotions, resonate the connection between art and human experience, and ignite the passion for collecting and celebrating art.

Two women, one holding a child in a dark room wearing large green glasses

Firoz Mahmud, part of a photograph series, ‘Soaked Dream’. Image courtesy of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

The interplay between copyright protection for photographs, derivative works, and digital artistic assets has become remarkably intense in the age of NFTs, which consistently push the boundaries. NFTs have revolutionised the concept of ownership and the domain of collecting and preserving art. Owning an NFT and owning a copyright are not the same. Copyright law does not confer any rights to the NFT owner, but the NFT owner may use ownership to exert substantial control over an NFT. This control is not automatic; two separate rights come into play here—the right to own a single copy of the artistic work, and the right to make copies and generate derivative works from the original work. NFT technology enables broader access to innovative creations. Collectors of artistic works can now play a transformative role and foster a dynamic ecosystem that blends artistry and commerce in ways never seen before, while the tokenisation of artworks into NFTs opens new streams for generating revenue.

Nonetheless,  collectors remain custodians of history. It’s not the financial gain but the narratives woven by the creators that motivate most collectors. They dedicate themselves to safeguarding artworks as a testament to the evolving journey of humanity. Each piece of artistic work encapsulates a moment frozen in time. With every piece of work, artists breathe life into their visions, and collectors, in turn, take on the responsibility to ensure that these visions endure for generations.

A family with children wearing large green glasses in a dark room

Firoz Mahmud’s photograph series, ‘Soaked Dream’, is a project about performative refugee, displaced and migrant families, being progressed between 2015-2021. Image courtesy of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

The acquisition and conservation of artistic creations like “Parables of the Womb”, the “LIZ” series, or Dodiya’s watercolour paintings by a collector passes down our narratives to the generations to come.

This article was published in association with the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

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Reading time: 6 min
A painting of a devil with red, green and black paint dripping on the canvas
A painting of a devil with red, green and black paint dripping on the canvas

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Devil), 1982. Private Collection; © 2023 Phillips Auctioneers LLC, all rights reserved; © Estate of Jean-Michel
Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Eight monumental works created by Jean-Michel Basquiat when he was 21 years old are brought together for the first time in an exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, institutional partner of Swiss luxury watch brand Richard Mille. By Darius Sanai

What is it about Jean-Michel Basquiat that continues to captivate, 35 years after his death in the summer of 1988 at the age of 27? His art, for sure. Although he wasn’t quite the global superstar he would become after his death, his art was recognised at the time as being original, monumental, complex, important.

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Then there are the societal and political themes. Born to a Haitian father and a mother born to Puerto Rican parents, Basquiat was, and arguably remains, the only black artist to have achieved global superstardom. The representations of racial oppression in his works came less than 20 years after segregation – a form of apartheid – was formally abolished in the US.

A painted black canvas with bits of blue and a devil with his hands in the air wearing red

Jean-Michael Basquiat, Profit 1, 1982. Private Collection, Switzerland © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Robert Bayer

And then there is the social context. Although many of the themes in his work are deadly serious, Basquiat was a pioneer and a high-flier in perhaps the most exciting art scene that has ever existed in the western world, that of New York during the birth of hip- hop, punk, new wave and rap. He was friends with Andy Warhol, sold his first painting to Debbie Harry (for $200) and made music with some of the biggest names in the emerging hip-hop scene. Basquiat was friends with Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, as well as a punk-art crowd at the Mudd Club and CBGB. He also had a good fortune, or misfortune, to shoot to fame during one of the art world’s biggest booms, which subsequently went bust not long after his death of a death heroin overdose.

The 1980s are, in many ways, when the contemporary era began, and Basquiat, and graffiti poet, musician and multimedia artist, was a fresh symbol of the era, both in his works and his vivid social life, making Warhol at the time seem old and outdates to many. There is also the fact that Basquiat was making art in parts of New York that were run down to the point of abandonment – this is a city that declared bankruptcy in the 1970s – and which are now the site of the homes of wealthy art collectors, who may have been children when Basquiat’s legend was being established.

A yellow and blue painted canvas with a black painted woman and a body on the side

Jean-Michael Basquiat, Untitled (Woman with Roman Torso [Venus]), 1982. Private Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Robert Bayer

Basquiat’s life itself seems to be out of a fictional movie so cruel it could not be made. Inspired in art and poetry by his moth, who subsequently disappeared into a universe of insanity; a poet writing on walls with a sharpness of words and perceptiveness that could shock society; a socialite and charmer so handsome he was asked to work as a catwalk model and who counted himself as Madonna‘s first boyfriend; an artist of such originality and brilliance that his work s have grown with time; and a young man with countless pressures pressing down on him who died of a drug overdose in new York’s 1980s peak.

Ultimately, it’s all about the art, as this monumental exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, demonstrates. “Basquiat: The Modena Paintings” showcases eight huge canvases, all over two metres by four metres, created by the artist when he was invited to create works in the Italian city in 1982, at the age of 21. Already a celebrated name on the contemporary art scene, Basquiat was invited to Modena by the Italian gallerist Emilio Mazzoli, who provided Basquiat with a warehouse space to create work for an intended solo exhibition. It was not a happy time for Basquiat, who later commentated, “They set it up for me so I’d have to make eight paintings in a week”, adding that working in the warehouse made him feel like he was in a “sick factory”. He made eight paintings, before a disagreement between the artist’s representative and Mazzoli led to the cancellation of the exhibition. The gallerist paid Basquiat for his work and he returned home.

A painting of a stick man with a body and top hat in black on a pink and blue painted canvas

Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Guilt of Gold Teeth, 1982. Nahmad Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Annik Wetter

It took time for the eight works to find homes – astonishingly, in retrospect, as they are now considered some of his greatest works, perhaps his greatest. The exhibition at the Beyeler was the first time they have ever been reunited and shown in one place, and the location is highly apposite. In 1983, a year after his unhappy trip to Modena, Basquiat was invited by Ernst Beyeler to take part in the exhibition “Expressive Painting after Picasso” at his gallery in Basel – a Basquiat work was on the cover of the exhibition catalogue. Years later, in 2010, the Fondation Beyeler, of which luxury Swiss watch brand Richard Mille is an institutional partner, held the first major museum Basquiat retrospective.

Read more: The Richard Mille Art Prize with Louvre Abu Dhabi

We can only imagine what Basquiat – who would be in his sixties now – would have produced had his life not come to such an early end; what contributions he would have made not just to the art world, but to the broader world of the arts – to poetry and to society as a whole, as perhaps the first celebrity contemporary artist. But in these canvases in Basel, his power and brilliance are compelling.

Find out more: fondationbeyeler.ch

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Reading time: 4 min
framed polaroids hung up on a wall
framed polaroids hung up on a wall

Andy Warhol’s polaroids framed at Bar Nineteen12 at The Beverly Hills Hotel

To be a fly on the wall at Studio 54, privy to Hollywood glamour and New York nightlife, during Warhol’s heyday is now closer than ever. The largest private photography collection of its sort is currently adorning the walls of the context-appropriate Beverly Hills hotel. LUX speaks to the art curator of The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, Jim Hedges, to find out more about the curation and selection of images

The collection, belonging to James R. Hedges consists of photographic still life moments and memories of Warhol’s innermost circle of confidants and collaborators, from Jerry Hall to Grace Jones, and will now reside on the walls of Bar Nineteeen12, which has reopened just in time to celebrate the Hotel’s 110th anniversary taking place this year.  

The photos taken by his infamous Polaroid and a unique 35mm black and white silver gelatin print, are not only ‘behind the scenes’ moments of a star-studded life, but works of art in their own right that fit in a Warholian canon. From his use of photo appropriation from Hollywood stills in the 50s to use of a Times Square Photo Booth in the 60s, these photographs are decidedly closer to the artist’s hand than in previous snapshots.

Jerry Hall and Grace Jones black and white photo

Jerry Hall and Grace Jones are shown together at the Palladium night club in New York in May 1985. Image courtesy of Hedges Projects, Los Angeles. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

LUX: How did you find the challenge of curating in a space which does not have a sole artistic purpose such as a traditional gallery does?
JH: Art can be experienced in a variety of venues, and white box galleries are often sterile, intimidating and unwelcoming. Showcasing Andy Warhol’s works in a more residential, human-scale environment creates a more initiated engagement with the work and animates the space even more.

LUX: You will have so many people passing through the Bar, how does the curation urge them to slow down and enjoy the photographer?
JH: Each wall is installed with different themes and subjects, such that the visitor is taken on a journey into Andy Warhol’s world of celebrity, Studio 54, his own studio, The Factory, and organized by venues and subject themes.

black and white photo of a topless man sitting with another man at a table

Andy Warhol with Ronald Perelman at the Beverly Hills Hotel, circa 1985. Image courtesy of Hedges Projects, Los Angeles. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

LUX: How did you select the images from the large Hedges IV Collection of Andy Warhol Photography?
JH: I wanted to offer an encyclopedic survey of Warhol’s photograph oeuvre and pulled works which spoke to the best of his images and subjects and were relevant to The Beverly Hills Hotel in some manner.

LUX: Warhol is perhaps not as widely known for his photography; do you think the presentation of this collection will amplify this medium in his pop culture canon?
JH: Warhol was above all else a photographer. He used a camera from the time he was a child and nearly every painting or print he made in his career began as a photographic image, such as Hollywood publicity shots, newspaper images, or polaroid’s he took of his subjects at The Factory. Warhol’s first gestures as an artist were with a camera, and the final exhibition of his life was of photography.

A woman with short brown hair and a fringe wearing a white blouse

Carol Burnett, 1978. Image courtesy of Hedges Projects, Los Angeles. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

LUX: How can these photographs give us a greater insight to Warhol as an artist, and further the wider social scene at the time?
JH: The works provide a survey of Warhol’s photography practice over the course of nearly 30 years giving us insights to his art making process, his social circles, his travels and his singular ability to identify iconic imagery.

LUX: Is there a photograph that defines the artist and the collection for you?
JH: The expansive breadth and depth of Warhol’s subjects show that there is truly a Warhol for everyone. His photography practice is so diverse that it defies limited definitions.

The exhibition is free and open to the public Tuesday – Saturday between 3pm and 11pm in Bar Nineteen12, at The Beverly Hills Hotel

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Reading time: 3 min
portrait artwork

Jimi Hendrix, London, 1967, Gered Mankowitz

With many national lockdowns reinstated across the globe, the majority of this year’s festive shopping is  taking place online. Launching her new monthly column for LUX, artnet’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Sophie Neuendorf discusses the benefits of buying and gifting art remotely

Sophie Neuendorf

Nothing is more enduring or powerful than a work of art. Throughout history, it has been artists who have documented the zeitgeist, from religious convictions to frivolous fêtes or times of social unrest and upheaval. It is also always artists who push boundaries and promote an atmosphere of tolerance and peace.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Especially now, at a time when we’re all forced to be secluded and are closing our houses and boarders, art has the power to open up a cross-cultural exchange and bring hope and light into our homes and our hearts. What’s more, art has the potential to provoke important discussions around current issues such as religion, gender, race, and politics. With the recent presidential election, and the ongoing Black Lives Matter, and Me Too movements, these topics will remain very current leading into this year’s holiday season.

For many of us, the holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year. 2020, however, is confronting us with unprecedented new challenges, and also an element of sadness and caution. Many of us will not be able to visit our grandparents; some of us won’t be able to travel home for the holidays; and a few of us will have suffered the loss of a family member or friend this year.

abstract art

Untitled, 1964, Sam Francis

So, the question is: how do we celebrate the holidays pandemic style? By surprising our loved ones with witty, thoughtful gifts to make them happy for months, and years to come! Thanks to online technology it has never been easier to buy and ship directly, allowing us to get into the spirit of giving without the anxiety of social distancing.

Read more: Three major art patrons and a fine art photographer are transforming London’s shopfronts into a pop-up gallery

Whilst sites such as net-a-porter.com and matchesfashion.com provide excellent browsing material, why not try something new this year and invest in an artwork? Buying art online isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Although the art market has been slowly moving online over the past few years, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this transition. Now, with the help of cutting-edge technologies such as AR or VR, you’re able to visualise an artwork within a room and to scale, to ensure that the piece you love is perfect for your home. You can also chat with a specialist throughout the research and bidding process.

artwork of forest

Study for Canadian Forest, Robert Longo

At artnet, for example, we offer a range of ongoing auctions which you can browse and bid at leisure from the comfort and safety of your home. From David Hockney to Richard Prince and KAWS, from Modern & Contemporary fine art to photography or abstraction, you’ll be spoilt for choice. It takes two minutes to register and then, you’re ready to go. Once you place a winning bid, your funds will be safely held by artnet in escrow until you or your loved ones receive the artwork in a perfect condition. And yes, there’s a returns policy. Now go ahead and treat yourself or someone else!

Sophie’s 5 top tips for buying art online:

1. Learn how to recognise quality and prioritise it over everything.
It’s much better to own one great artwork than five mediocre works. The beauty of bidding online is that it removes the time pressure of a live auction room. Take your time to browse, choose, and place your bid on that one piece you love.

2. Be patient and wait until a work of high quality within your budget comes up for sale. Then be prepared to act decisively and quickly. Don’t get discouraged if you miss out or end up being outbid; the next opportunity is always around the corner.

3. Study prices and the market extensively so you can spot good deals when they come up. At artnet, we have the art market’s most extensive and trusted price database, which is an excellent research tool. If you don’t have time, get advice from one of our specialists who are very happy to help, or work with a reputable advisor.

4. Take transaction costs into account prior to bidding. Buyer’s premium, shipping, insurance, taxes and duties can add significant costs to your acquisition. We can calculate all that for you at artnet.

5. Enjoy yourself. Art collecting is excellent fun!

Browse artnet’s current auctions via artnet.com/auctions

 

 

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Reading time: 4 min
Gallery exhibition of art
artworks hanging on wall

Installation view of ‘Works on Paper’ by Peter Schuyff at Carl Kostyál Gallery, London

Peter Schuyff was a central figure in New York’s East Village scene in the 1980s, where he worked for a period at Studio 54, sitting for Andy Warhol and living in the historic Chelsea Hotel. Over the years, his artistic language has evolved from loose figuration to abstraction. Following the opening and subsequent suspension of two consecutive exhibitions at White Cube, Masons’ Yard and Carl Kostyál, London, Nick Hackworth speaks to the artist about lockdown, nothingness and Sylvester Stallone

LUX: So, how’s the apocalypse going for you?
Peter Schuyff: Well, I’ve run out of pencil lead unfortunately. I’ve started work on this very obsessive project and I was using a rather specialised pencil and half-way through I ran out of lead and I can’t think of a single place where I might get more…. I’ve been working on these samplers. It’s what I often do when I get frustrated, or right after a big show. I sit down and make these very obsessive renderings that are like a smorgasbord or a sampler of all my oeuvres.

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LUX: Like the one you had in your show at Carl Kostyál Gallery a few years back?
Peter Schuyff: Yes, that one was called Plato Combinato. That’s a really good example. At the moment, I’m making a portrait of the show that I have at the White Cube.

Abstract artwork on wall

Plato Combinato (2010), Peter Schuyff

LUX: Why do you think you tend to do these sampler works after completing shows? Are you visually cataloguing or processing the shows?
Peter Schuyff: Yeah, I’m visually cataloguing the show I guess, just so I can see it clearly. I’ve always had a fascination with pictures of pictures, whether it’s in 17th Dutch paintings where you often see paintings hanging in the background or in those preposterous 18th century paintings of salons. I’ve often commissioned friend to make drawings or paintings of my drawings and paintings. They help me see my own work a little bit clearer.

LUX: I managed to catch your show just before it got locked-down along with the rest of the world. It’s stunning, so congratulations, but commiserations on the timing. How are you feeling about it all?
Peter Schuyff: It hurts, of course. I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of years now and I guess I was expecting the show to be a liminal moment for me, y’know? With a before and after. Somehow, that before and after thing has been taken away a bit. But if it would have been a show of new paintings, I think I would have been really destroyed.

Read more: Art photographer Senta Simond on the female image

LUX: Because of all the labour you would have invested in the work?
Peter Schuyff: No, no, it’s not the invested labour, it’s about momentum. When I show new paintings, they’re paintings I want to show now, not later. Do you know what I mean? Whereas these painting were shown last year (in a touring show at Le Consortium, Dijon and Fri Art, Fribourg) and many people know them already, so it doesn’t feel quite as much of a loss.

LUX: What’s it like walking into a show of your works from three to almost four decades ago? Do you still feel connected to the paintings?
Peter Schuyff: I’m really impressed by them! I’m impressed that I was young and handsome [laughs] and so I could afford not to give a shit, which is a great recipe for making paintings! Today, I’m old and cynical so I have another way of not giving a shit, which enables me to make really clean and clear paintings and I love that. There was a lot of time in between where I couldn’t do that. When I see these works I always surprised at how big they are and how much balls I had. My God! Especially the paintings at White Cube, the audacity I had.

Gallery exhibition of art

Installation view from ‘Works on Paper’ by Peter Schuyff at Carl Kostyál Gallery, London

LUX: We’ve talked over the years and you’ve always said your paintings are ‘about nothing’. Is that how you thought about the paintings when you were making them back in the 80s?
Peter Schuyff: Yeah, I did. A teacher of mine in Vancouver, Michael Morris, used to talk about the problem of nothing. I guess it was almost a spiritual principle of work not needing to be about something. When I got to New York, that came more naturally, but I always talked about my work in this way and it’s always been an issue. When I showed in Germany in the mid-80s, I remember a lot of the German artists being mystified by how little was there was going in the work.

LUX: In your other show at Carl Kostyál, you’re showing several of your 80s watercolour works, which I love. I’ve been trying to get my head around how you achieve the precise gradations of colour and shade in them?
Peter Schuyff: So, I’ll answer it this way. That great big painting downstairs at White Cube, the one with the prism of colours, it’s a ten-foot-square canvas, and it’s broken up into one-inch units, and I made that with a four-inch brush with a round bristle. So knowing that, you should be able to figure out how I made them… It’s the same with those watercolours. Those watercolours were broken up into little squares that are about a half a centimetre squared or something? There’s no way I’m going to pay attention to each of those little squares.

watercolour artworks hanging on wall

Both Untitled (1990), watercolour on paper, Peter Schuyff at Carl Kostyál Gallery, London

LUX: Well, it’s a very effective trick then, because the apparent precision is amazing in those works.
Peter Schuyff: And just like a good magic show, it’s all about engineering.

Read more: Boundary-breaking artist Barbara Kasten on light & perception

polaroid of two men and a woman

Peter Schuyff with Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen

LUX: In the book accompanying ‘Works on Paper’, there’s picture of you with Brigitte Nielsen and Sylvester Stallone. I gather Stallone is a bit of a collector?
Peter Schuyff: Oh yeah, a very sensitive collector. One time that I remember particularly was when Sylvester came to my house. I had all these Louis M Eilshemius paintings on the wall and Sylvester walks in and – I can’t do a Stallone impression, I wish I could –  says, ‘Oh my God, you have all these Louis M Eilshemius paintings!’ He knew exactly who Louis M Eilshemius was despite him being a totally obscure American cultural presence in the 1910s and 1920s. I was so impressed. Sylvester was so well read about American art from the early 20th century, The Ashcan School period and so on. He was so smart. Another time we met in Los Angeles and he gave me a tour of the post-production set of Rocky and I met Apollo Creed, which is the guy he fights at the end of the film.

LUX: Sounds like an interesting time.
Peter Schuyff: Well, it was different. When I first showed up in New York there was this idea of the underground. It was about glamour that was absolutely free. All you had to be was some kind of fabulous. It didn’t matter what kind.

Peter Schuyff’s exhibitions ‘Works on Paper’ at Carl Kostyál Gallery, London and ‘In Focus’ at White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London both opened in March 2020 and are currently suspended due to Covid-19. For further updates visit: kostyal.comwhitecube.com

Nick Hackworth is the Director of Modern Forms, a contemporary art collection and platform founded by British financier, Hussam Otaibi. For more information visit: modernforms.org

 

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Reading time: 6 min
Artist sitting by sculpture of a gorilla
Artist sitting by sculpture of a gorilla

French artist Richard Orlinski is known for his large-scale vibrant sculptures

The contemporary art world might turn up its nose at Richard Orlinski’s Disney collaborations, but the French artist couldn’t care less. For him, it’s about connecting with as many people as possible. Here, Jess Brown speaks to the artist about making his work accessible, saying yes to every opportunity and his love of Andy Warhol

Pikachu sculpture in yellow

Pikachu (yellow resin) by Richard Orlinski

LUX: Can you talk us through your sculpting process? Do you begin by sketching, or by experimenting with your chosen material?
Richard Orlinski: It really depends. Sometimes I start with computers, sometimes I start just by watching nature. I’ve been somewhere like Mexico, for example, watching the animals for inspiration and then I will make a mould. I have so many ideas, I know what I want to do, but what about the size and about the material? So as I said, sometimes I draw the design on computer to try it out and then I 3D print it to see what will happen. So there’s a big block of polystyrene foam and  a real robot picking away at the material until a sculpture appears. Then I can change it by hand and make a mould. For one sculpture, I need 10,15, 20 sometimes even more moulds. These are for the resin and then we stick them together. But I also work with aluminium and stainless steel which requires laser cutting. I’m not working alone though, I work with a big team and together we work out how to fix things. Of course, I have the final say but I always listen to what my team says about the creation – having ten brains is better than one.

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LUX: How long does it typically take to make a piece?
Richard Orlinski: I’m like a kid. I’m always very much in a hurry to make things, but sometimes, it’s not possible to do it quickly. It depends on the complexity of the project and sometimes it can take a very long time. Time can be a real problem if I have a big commission, for example, someone asking for something to be ready in 15 days. Even if the person is offering me billions, it still wouldn’t be possible. Some of my pieces can take six months to create, sometimes a year.

LUX: How do you think your artistic style has evolved over the years? Was there a moment when you felt that you’d found your niche?
Richard Orlinski: I have no red line underneath my work. One day I do, that day I do something else. I find inspiration everywhere and I want to be free, but also for the auctioneer and the art buyer customers to feel free to take what they want from my sculptures. I find it interesting that you can ask three different people about one sculpture and they’ll say something different: ‘Oh it’s against petrol or it’s against pollution.’ People read the piece through their own emotion and I’m okay with that. I love watching kids seeing the sculptures and laughing. For me, it’s about connection and sharing with the world, I suppose that’s my ‘niche’. I’m really mainstream. I like commercial music, I like the things that everyone likes and I don’t want my work to be elite.

Sculpture of a red stag

One of Richard Orlinski’s resin animal sculptures

LUX: Speaking of sharing and connecting, your work has been exhibited on the ski slopes of Courchevel. Do you ever consider where your work is going to be exhibited when you’re making it?
Richard Orlinski: No, never. In Courchevel, we put animals because it goes with the snow: the wolf, the bear. But you know, my work can go anywhere. Last year, I was in old coal mines in the North of France. All of the people are poor there because there’s no more more work since the mines shut down. I put my sculpture there and they were so happy. I really like that it’s not for money, it’s for sharing and I was so happy to see their reaction. I was supposed to stay for one hour, but I stayed for two days in the end because there were so many people to meet.

Read more: Why we love the ‘Jeux de Liens Harmony’ necklaces by Chaumet

LUX: Do you have a particular type of person that your work is aimed at or is it for everyone?
Richard Orlinski: Any religion, any age, from all kinds of backgrounds. We have sculptures for a million dollars and sculptures for a few euros because I make some co-branding with Disney and you can find a small Mickey Mouse for fifty pounds. I’m very proud of those kinds of collaborations. Many of my followers, don’t have money to buy sculptures, to buy art, but they can maybe afford to buy the Mickey Mouse and they’re proud to show that to their friends. I like this connection with people. Not everyone likes that approach though. I’m not loved by other artists or by the establishment because I break the code.

Large sculpture of a gorilla beating its chest

‘Wild Kong’ by Richard Orlinski

LUX: What draws you to sculpt animals in particular?
Richard Orlinski: It’s really simple. You would have made the same choice. What do you like when you’re a kid? You like to to go to the zoo, you like animals on TV. Basically all of the cartoons have animals in them, and even if you look back historically, humans have always had this connection with animals. Think about ancient Egyptian culture, Greece, all of the old civilisations. So when I was a kid, maybe as young as four years old, I started created small elephants and hippos.

Read more: Jewellery designer Theresa Bruno on authentic bespoke design

LUX: Which artists from past or present have been the biggest influence on your work?
Richard Orlinski: I think maybe Andy Warhol, not so much his work, but I think he is really amazing. He was from the commercial side, he was a publicist and he did so many things. I think if he had internet during his time, he would be huge now. I mean he is still huge now, but he would be like a king of the world because he was making movies, books, kitchen appliances and everything was amazing. Anyway, he started from the commercial side of things and nobody loved him, but I think he opened a way through pop art. I like his mind, his way of thinking.

Product image of a white watch

Richard Orlinski has an ongoing collaboration with luxury watch brand Hublot. Pictured here: Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski Sapphire. Below: The artist wearing the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski

Man wearing a watch draped over a sculpture

LUX: You also make lots of different things: music, sculpture, fashion. How do your artistic mediums intersect or influence one another?
Richard Orlinski: For me, art is not just sculpture or painting or music – art is everything. Nowadays, we tend to put people in a cage, we categorise them, but I think when you have a certain sensibility, you can feel something about music and about sculpture. At my studio, I have a sculptural studio and my studio for music downstairs. I work with a lot of different people: people from music, people from TV, rappers. It’s a real melting pot. I like this mixed energy.

LUX: Finally, what are you currently working on?
Richard Orlinski: I have so many projects. I’m working now on a club in Belgium, and then we’re going to build a huge disco in Europe. I get a lot of offers for collaboration and I always want to say yes, sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. I also have my sculptures, of course, and my ongoing collaboration with Hublot. I like doing new things, taking on new opportunities.

Find out more: richardorlinski.fr

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Reading time: 6 min
Two women watch water rising up out of a surface in a black room
Two women watch water rising up out of a surface in a black room

‘Big Bang Fountain’ (2014) by Olafur Eliasson

The Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson famously brought the sun to Tate Modern. He is now returning for a major retrospective this summer. He talks art, cuisine, and slumber with Christopher Kanal
Portrait of artist Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

“I am incredibly happy about the whole thing,” Olafur Eliasson explains of the major retrospective of his work at Tate Modern in London that opens in July 2019. With ‘Olafur Eliasson: In real life’, the revered Danish- Icelandic artist returns to Tate 16 years after his ground-breaking The Weather Project famously filled the gallery’s Turbine Hall with the illusion of a sunset that was as eerie as it was sublime. Hazy memories of basking in the dazzling surreal sunlight mask the fact that The Weather Project has been one of the most critically acclaimed art installations so far this century and was experienced by over two million people.

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“We were lucky to warm up with the iceberg project,” Eliasson says with a gentle laugh. In December 2018 Eliasson staged a feat that could have come straight out of an Icelandic saga, but which had a very contemporary and urgent environmental message. The Scandinavian artist hauled centuries-old icebergs from Greenland to the banks of the river Thames to demonstrate the effects of climate change. Twenty-four icebergs, originally from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in south-western Greenland, and weighing up to six tonnes each, were placed in a circle outside Tate Modern and another six were put on display in the City of London as part of Ice Watch, a collaboration with award-winning Greenlandic geologist Minik Rosing. People gawped at, touched and even tasted the ice. “I’ve been studying behavioural psychology, and looking into the consequences of experience,” says the artist. “What does it mean to experience something? Does it change you or not change you?” When Ice Watch London debuted, Eliasson and Rosing pointed out the sobering statistic that 10,000 blocks of ice such as these are falling from the ice sheet every single second.

A small girl experiencing a dust art installation in a dark room

‘Beauty’ (1993) at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2015

Ice cubes lying outside the tate modern in london

‘Ice Watch’ (2018) by Eliasson and Minik Rosing, outside Tate Modern, London

Of course, Eliasson is not just celebrated for The Weather Project and icebergs. His varied works span not just temporary public art projects such as The New York City Waterfalls (2008) and large civic projects, such as the design of the façade of the Harpa concert hall and conference centre in Reykjavík (2013), but also small art projects and social enterprise endeavours. For Glacial Currents (2018) Eliasson created a group of watercolours produced using ancient glacial ice fished from the sea off Greenland. The ice was placed atop thin washes of colour on paper. As the ice gradually melted it displaced the pigment to produce extraordinary shades.

The studio’s Little Sun project, meanwhile, provides clean, affordable solar energy and light through a simply designed LED solar-powered lamp. “It brought me back to being a student,” he says of envisaging the design. “This is of course the greatest thing that you are not in fact getting older but you are getting younger.” The Little Sun lamp, which was launched in 2012, produces up to five hours of bright light. Over half a million lamps have been distributed to off-grid communities in 10 African countries.

Read more: Why you should be checking into L’Andana in Tuscany this month

The prolific 52-year-old artist is also an avowed foodie. So much so, that his Berlin studio has a professional kitchen run by his younger sister Victoria Eliasdottir. “This experimental kitchen is very much part of the life of the studio where dining together and sharing ideas has become enormously important for us,” he says. “The food in the studio is more family style where we put the pots on the table and we eat out of them,” he says, adding, “It’s not French service.” In late summer 2018, the siblings opened Studio Olafur Eliasson (SOE) Kitchen 101, a temporary restaurant/gallery by Reykjavík’s harbour and it became a hugely popular hangout. “Really great food always has a frictional element because it reminds you of all the not-so-great food you have eaten,” Eliasson says. “Good food is always on a trajectory and a journey. A great cook shapes a taste just as an artist shapes a sculpture. In that way great cooking is a very sensual, alchemic activity.”

Architectural facade of the landmark Harpa building on the lake's edge in Reykjavík

Façade of Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre (2005–11)

Eliasson’s studio is in a former brewery and chocolate factory in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, an area that was once part of the city’s Soviet Sector during the days of the German Democratic Republic and a haunt of intellectuals, artists and East Germany’s gay community. Eliasson splits his time between Berlin and Copenhagen, where his art historian wife, Marianne Krogh Jensen lives with the two children they adopted from Ethiopia. The huge four-storey studio is home to a collective of around 80 artists, architects, engineers, developers and researchers. Each floor is a distinct hive of creative activity. Eliasson is certainly not the first artist to run a collective. Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York springs to mind, but Eliasson and his studio work very much as a collaborative team – he likes to call it ‘The Lab’. He is, however, no ringmaster: “I have always insisted on an open and transparent studio. There is no mystical, magical authenticity idea in keeping me as a kind of mythical figure.”

One of Eliasson’s most celebrated designs involved a collaboration with Copenhagen- based architectural firm Henning Larsen and Icelandic studio Batteríið Architects. Inspired by basalt crystals found in the geology of the dramatic Icelandic landscape, Eliasson’s glass façade design for the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavík scattered reflections of the surrounding harbour, the fluid sky above and the looming Mount Esja across the bay. By night Harpa is a glittering spectacle of light. The building is in a constant flux of visual metamorphosis, which constantly alters perceptions. No one minute is the same. “The object is not necessarily the most interesting part about art, says Eliasson. “It is what the object does to me when I look at it or engage in it that is actually interesting. You are somehow provoked into a more negotiating role because you think, ‘What am I looking at?’ Then you are also more likely to enquire, ‘Well, what does looking actually mean and why am I seeing things the way I see it?’”

Installation artwork of a waterfall at the Palace of Versailles

‘Waterfall’ (2016) at the Palace of Versailles

Eliasson was born in Copenhagen but returned often to Iceland after his parents separated when he was eight. His father was a cook on fishing boats as well as an artist, his mother a seamstress. Growing up in Scandinavia, the varying light, storm winds, bible-black winter nights, crystalline ice and vibrant norðurljós (northern lights) all infused Eliasson’s imagination. During the long summer holidays of his youth, Eliasson returned to Iceland to spend time with his parents and grandparents. The Icelandic landscape has been a lasting source of inspiration to him, particularly in its unique power to challenge how as an artist you interpret place and space through its beautiful yet unfamiliar and primal character. Eliasson tells me he likes to sit in his Reykjavík studio for inspiration because of the extraordinary quality of light in Iceland due to the island’s high latitude. As a boy he recalls that during the oil crisis of the 1970s, the Icelandic government used to switch the power off at 8pm to save energy, announcing the blackout by ringing the church bells. Eliasson fondly remembers the long, haunting twilights of dense colours and long shadows that were the only source of light.

Curved stairway sculpture in the courtyard of buildings

‘Umschreibung’ (2004) at KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft, Munich

At 15 Eliasson had his first solo show, of landscape drawings in Denmark. “My father was an artist who influenced me and both my mother and him were more focused on me feeling successful with what I did,” he reflects. “When I did crazy doodles, they would say, ‘This is a great drawing’ instead of ‘This is not a house’. My father would say, ‘Why don’t you just fill in the blanks and it may end up being a dog or cat?’ I realise now that this was not so bad because it gave me the confidence that something abstract actually had the potential of becoming meaningful. This is something I have carried throughout my life.” After studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Eliasson moved to New York and worked for the Canadian minimalist artist Christian Eckart in Brooklyn. In the mid 1990s, he moved to Berlin, then a new cultural frontier following the fall of the Wall.

Read more: 6 Questions with renowned British art collector Frank Cohen

During the financial crisis Eliasson had an idea that he could save the Icelandic economy by buying all the grey sheep running around the country. Grey sheep are less popular than black or white sheep with farmers as they are harder to spot in the autumn, when they are rounded up and brought down from high mountain pastures where the grey sheep are indistinguishable from the rocks and the ground. “As an idea, a grey sheep is indecisive, it is a making-your-mind-up-as-you-go kind of sheep,” he says, with a bit of mischief. Eliasson’s plan was to farm these sheep in the harsher northern fjords where they would graze on wild berries and grasses. “The southern sheep are generally grass-fed sheep fattened up like turkeys in Kentucky,” he points out. “The texture of the wilder sheep meat is a lot darker, like deer.” Eliasson reveals he envisaged making his own version of Icelandic blóðmör blood sausage but with a North African twist, adding dates, onions, raisins and truffle oil. “People thought I was insane,” he says. “I guess Icelanders are not so much into North African food considering the history of the Tyrkjaránið pirate raids by the Barbary corsairs on the Vestmannaeyjar [a small archipelago off the south coast of Iceland] in 1627. I realised that I had probably contributed to the financial crisis rather than saved it but I tell you this sausage was amazing!”

Installation artwork in the Tate Modern London of a large yellow sun

‘The Weather Project’ (2003) at Tate Modern, London.

Amongst the sketches, models and large collection of vintage light bulbs in Eliasson’s studio there is an archery target. For inspiration, the artist will often pick up a bow and shoot an arrow into it. A lucky bulls-eye indicates a ‘yes’. It reveals Eliasson’s particular approach to his work. “I love supporting the people around me who I believe in and trust,” he says. “I learn so much from them, so it is a nice exchange. It’s a great luxury to be working with chefs, scientists or politicians. As long as I don’t start to cook or make science. I get stressed when I boil an egg.”

Answering the call

“This is a kind of profession you end up in,” says 29-year-old Victoría Elíasdóttir, who Condé Nast Traveller hailed in 2016 as one of the ‘10 Young Chefs to Watch’. “I kind of did,” she adds but then adds, “No, I kind of didn’t.”

Born in Denmark but raised in Iceland from infancy, Elíasdóttir grew up with food. After travelling around South America in 2007, she returned to Iceland and went to college. “Society said that being a chef was bad for your body, it’s not family friendly, you drink a lot and do drugs,” she says. “I tried graphic design and psychology. I started all these things but I always ended up talking about food, talking to my classmates and teachers about what I cooked yesterday, what I was going to cook tomorrow. In the end one of my classmates said ‘Why don’t you just give in?’”

Silver spiral sculpture in an art gallery space

‘Your Spiral View’ (2002), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Basel

Elíasdóttir went to chef school in Reykjavík and initially found it tough: “My initial experience of being a chef was not very encouraging. On the other hand, I have always been drawn to things that kick up the adrenaline in a way.” After graduation she worked as head chef in a small summer hotel in southern Iceland, an idyllic place by a lake filled with wild trout and which grew its own tomatoes and cucumbers. There followed a stint at Chez Panisse in California under the eyes of culinary visionary Alice Waters before ending up in Berlin and helping run her big brother’s studio kitchen.

In 2015 she opened Dottír, a temporary restaurant in Berlin’s Mitte that occupied a building that had been a Stasi surveillance centre. It was a hit, with inventive dishes such as beet-infused salmon served raw and North Sea cod with Jerusalem artichoke cake, creamy sauce and trout roe. “Beetroot has been something that has been with me from as early as I can remember,” Elíasdóttir enthuses. “When I was child my mother used to serve it to me on a piece of rye bread with liver paté.” She also has a fondness for lakkrís (liquorice) and uses it when she can.

Elíasdóttir also caters for high-end corporate events. She recently created a seven-course vegetarian menu for Mercedes-Benz. “Everyone was a bit sceptical but afterwards I had comments from these big men, used to lobster and meat dishes, saying, ‘I don’t feel like I missed anything!’”

Avoiding the tired New Nordic cuisine label, the heart of her cooking is avowedly rooted in Scandinavian gastronomy. Think simple fresh seafood, herbs and regional, seasonal produce. “We have great farmers here in Iceland,” explains Elíasdóttir.

Sci-fi by design

Acclaimed French director Claire Denis’s new film, the sci-fi drama High Life, boasts a spaceship designed by Olafur Eliasson. Denis, best known for her widely praised films including the existential Foreign Legion drama Beau Travail (1999) and avant-garde vampire story Trouble Every Day (2001), has made her first English language film also her first foray into science-fiction.

High Life stars Juliette Binoche and focuses on a group of miscreant astronauts on a mission to reach a black hole in search of an alternate energy source. Eliasson’s involvement is his first work for a feature film but his second collaboration with Denis – together they made short film Contact in 2014 that explored themes of black holes and abstraction. Denis and Eliasson’s mutual fascination for these phenomena is evident in High Life, a story that Denis has been nurturing for 15 years. High Life opens in spring 2019.

‘Olafur Eliasson: In real life’ is at Tate Modern, London from 11 July 2019 to 5 January 2020. For more information visit: tate.org.uk and olafureliasson.net

This article was originally published in the Summer 19 Issue.

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Reading time: 12 min
Painter Kenny Scharf pictured in front of his artwork

Kenny Scharf reenacting his emoji-like paintings’ emotions with ‘Scardey’ (above his head) and ‘Tribali’ on his side

American artist Kenny Scharf’s work straddles a line between pop-art, street art and neo-expressionism. Through surreal imagery and humour, he challenges the elitist boundaries of fine art. Granted exclusive access to his new LA studio, LUX editor-at-large and artist Maryam Eisler spoke to Scharf about cosmic donuts, emojis and his friendship with Keith Haring.

Photography by Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler: You posted on your Instagram page that you found the black hole (referring to your image of a donut suspended in space) long before the black hole was photographed! Tell me about that.
Kenny Scharf: Well, I’ve been making cosmic donuts for quite some time now. I was always intrigued by this theory that the universe was shaped like a donut. I love the way donuts look….so it seemed so natural to do donuts in space! So when I saw the new blackhole image, I said ‘Uhhhh that looks like a donut!!’ I couldn’t help it.

Maryam Eisler: So I cannot help but ask you the question: where do we end up? In the donut’s hole or do we keep sparkling like its sprinkles?
Kenny Scharf: I don’t really know…maybe it’s even more sparkly in the hole!

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Maryam Eisler: Would it be fair to say that you invented the emoji?
Kenny Scharf: I guess I did. I’ve been doing it [referring to the round paintings] for 40 years before the actual internet came about.

Maryam Eisler: So copyright on the emoji?
Kenny Scharf: Yeah I need to get a penny every time someone uses those emojis. Actually I have my own emojis app. It costs two dollars!

Maryam Eisler: You’ve never been about definition, have you? And pretty much spanned across all mediums…
Kenny Scharf: I’m always wanting to break boundaries. If there’s a border, I’m going to go outside of it. You can’t keep me in. That’s against my…everything!

Artist studio belonging to Kenny Scharf with one of his pop art paintings on a round canvas

A view into the mezzanine of Kenny Scharf’s LA studio space

Maryam Eisler: Talk to me about New York in the 80s and the confluence of art, fashion, music, and the night clubs.
Kenny Scharf: When I moved to New York in the late 70s, there weren’t a lot of places artists could show their work or even make their work. There were so many young kids like myself who moved to New York with ambition. There were musicians and writers and people in fashion too. So nightclubs were a great venue to do your thing. Not only were nightclubs a place where you could make and show art, but they were also our livelihood. So we worked a couple nights a week and that was all you needed to pay your bills for the whole week, and you were then free to make your art. So New York became a place where you could move to, as a young artist without money, and find your way and meet other artists. It was this whole community that was just there. I feel very lucky that I arrived at that moment in time. But, I think the nostalgia for the 80s is more about the late 70s’. Because by ‘82, people started dying. I was just in my 20s and I was spending most of the latter part of the 80s going to hospitals and funerals and saying goodbye to friends and people. It was just beyond a nightmare.

Maryam Eisler: From Studio 54 to Club 57, tell me about it.
Kenny Scharf: Studio 54, I only went into once. Everyone knows it was a famous disco, a happening place. But my kind of group was more Punk-rock, New-Wave, downtown and very anti-uptown.

Read more: Artist Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar on the rise of interest in Iranian art

Maryam Eisler: East Village right?
Kenny Scharf: Yeah. At that time, Manhattan was very different with different parts to it. We hardly ever went north of 14th street, and the uptown people never ventured down to our neighbourhood. Club 57 was an amazing place and it did get its spotlight recently. There was a show at the MoMA that highlighted it. It was just this kind of moment. I don’t know if that kind of gathering place exists anymore, now that everything is online and internet-based. It almost harkened back to Berlin or Paris before the war and to these moments where artists got together and created with and for each other, always testing new ideas.

Artist Kenny Scharf painting an abstract composition of flowers

Kenny adding his final touch to an untitled painting depicting a flower arrangement

Maryam Eisler: A form of inner salon of some sort?
Kenny Scharf: Exactly. And the thing that was so good in retrospect, even though we were all dying to be famous and whatnot, was that we had each other to test out whatever we wanted to do. It was very inspiring. You were able to do whatever you wanted to do in the safety of this audience before you went out into the big world. A chance to incubate ideas.

Maryam Eisler: Would that idea of safety and sanctuary translate into your own Cosmic Taverns?
Kenny Scharf: Yes, that idea is definitely about safety and sanctuary. In fact, the very first one I did was around ‘82 and I was living in an old ramshackle townhouse in the middle of Times Square. Keith Haring was my roommate. It was on 6th Avenue and 42nd street. There was so much madness on the street surrounding us that I would create these environments inside, using artificial things – mostly plastic garbage and appliances and stuff which I would find on the street. And I would create this very chaotic artificial environment that actually acted as a refuge. Let’s call it artificial nature for urbanites!

Maryam Eisler: The idea carries on today. I see it here in your studio. It seems like you still work with found objects, recycled plastic and disused garbage ….
Kenny Scharf: I’m obsessed. I’ve been obsessed with garbage all my life. When I first moved to New York in the late 70s, the whole city was garbage. Nobody was picking it up. Everything I needed for my new life was there on the streets: I found my furniture, my clothes. This whole New Wave scene … we were all wearing 50s clothes because we all found them in the garbage! I feel like trash is such an indicator of the society that we live in. Not only does it show a lot about who we are, but I love the idea that these objects were actually used by somebody, and that they have this whole story and life that I don’t know about. And of course, there’s also recycling and the fact that we are drowning in our own garbage!

Artist studio with huge painted canvases and paint brushes

A view into the ground floor of Scharf’s studio

Maryam Eisler: From garbage to accessible artistic content, philosophically speaking?
Kenny Scharf: Yes. Philosophically, I’ve always been a proponent of accessibility. When I moved to New York in the late 70s, Conceptual and Minimal art were in fashion. I just didn’t like it. It felt too elitist and I don’t want to be elitist. I’m always staggering this fine line because I want to be in museums, that upper echelon of where art is shown, but I don’t like the idea of alienating anyone either. And I mean Joe Blow on the street who may have never read art history or gone into a single museum before! I would like to get those people interested in art and maybe inspire someone with an uplifting message. My language is the language of art so I don’t want to turn off the art-educated either!

Read more: Why you need to see the Luc Tuymans exhibition at Palazzo Grassi

Maryam Eisler: Isn’t art, at the end of the day, about interaction and connection?
Kenny Scharf: Yes, and communication. I have a message. You have a show in a major museum and you are going to get a certain amount of people to go and see it. You do a mural in a high traffic spot on the street, and you’ll get the same number of people, if not more, seeing it every day. I also love the idea that art goes beyond boundaries. Most people think that art belongs on a wall in a gallery or a museum. I think it should be everywhere. I often like to think about ancient civilisations, the Greeks and the Egyptians, and how they infused art into their everyday objects the same way I do. I really believe that by doing this, you elevate your daily existence.

artist Kenny scharf poses in his studio with a sculpture

‘I’ve been obsessed with garbage all my life!’

Maryam Eisler: Your emojis are a form of hieroglyphic art, right? Image after image, you try to describe a state of mind, an emotion, a space, a place …. There’s an emotive aspect to your art.
Kenny Scharf: Yes. Communication, feelings, history… Art that I love is art that emotionally gets to me, and I want to convey the same thing to people. I want people to feel.

Maryam Eisler: I love your lack of concern about the monetary value of your art in a world dominated by the $ sign . You paint cars and give them away as long as they’re not resold for gain!
Kenny Scharf: Yes, I’ve done 250 cars. We take pictures. People have crossed the line only two or three times in the past. Not cool.

Kenny Scharf painting on the side of a truck parked by a brick wall

One of Scharf’s 250 painted cars, utilitarian artworks which he creates for free, with the promise that they are never to be sold for gain

Maryam Eisler: From Cosmic Taverns to Flintstone’s cavern. Where did it all start?
Kenny Scharf: The Jetsons and the Flintstones? Back in the early 80s, when I was trying to figure out how to get myself out there, I realised nobody in the gallery world was going to be interested in me if I just told them ‘Hey I make art! Come and see.’ My whole group was in the street and we met all these graffiti artists with incredible paintings on subway cars; they used the whole city as their canvas basically. Around the Times Square show in ‘81, a lot of downtown, Punk, New Wave art-types like myself, met with all the uptown Bronx graffiti artists, and there was this very interesting cultural mix moment. I had a studio at PS1 and I lived in the East Village so I used to ride my bike at two in the morning down from the 59th street bridge to the East Village and bomb the walls the whole way down. I thought that I wanted to do something that was very personal to me in many ways, the Flintstones! Not only because I grew up with them but because conceptually I love the idea of the Flintstones representing the past and the Jetsons representing the future. And everybody knows who they are. I wanted to do something that people already connected with but that was also part of me. And at one point, the past and the future collided and created mutants which were my own characters.

Artist Kenny Scharf standing by an entrance sign to bedrock city

‘Conceptually I love the idea of the Flintstones representing the past and the Jetsons representing the future. And at one point, the past and the future collided and created mutants which were my own characters.’

Kenny Scharf round paintings in his studio

Maryam Eisler: So I haven’t brought up Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat purposefully. Could you give me one word, one anecdote or a wonderful memory for each?
Kenny Scharf: I mean I have so many memories. I met Keith and Jean Michel in 1978, basically my second week of arrival from LA to New York. And we all had this instant connection. It’s like when you meet somebody and you don’t really know why you are so attracted to them and vice versa. I met Jean Michel and introduced him to Keith. The three of us were a little bit of a posse. I used to go around with Jean Michel and Keith and draw and paint on the street. One of my first memories was when I went to this apartment where Jean Michel was living; it was just about a block away from where I was living, and I saw these collages he had on the wall and I was just blown away. I swear I almost fell on the floor. It was one of those moments when you see something and there is so much energy coming off this piece of paper that it literally floored me. I’ll never forget that moment.

Maryam Eisler: Can you share your last memory with Jean Michel?
Kenny Scharf: Of course. With Jean Michel, our relationship was not easy. It started off very close and then he kind of turned on me. We had this very volatile relationship where I didn’t know which Jean Michel I was going to get on any particular day, and actually, it was the source of a lot of stress for me. I really cared for him a lot, and he could be really difficult. So in the late 80s, all that amazing explosion from the early 80s, had a little backlash where that kind of expression was not ‘the thing’ any longer and Jean Michel, as always, really took everything to heart and he was just really down. There was this moment where I remember connecting with him on the street, where he could look at me not as competition and an enemy anymore and realise that we were both on the same side of the line; he let down the guard. We had this special moment. I didn’t know he was about to die.

Maryam Eisler: I read the book The Widow Basquiat. It seems like he did that uncertain thing to everyone?
Kenny Scharf: He did it to the ones he cared about. He was always testing. He was really…very…disturbed. He really was.

Maryam Eisler: A sign of artistic genius, perhaps?
Kenny Scharf: Yes, I know.

Pop art version of the american flag by artist Kenny Scharf

Untitled 2019 by Kenny Scharf

Maryam Eisler: What was your last memory with [Andy] Warhol?
Kenny Scharf: Right before he went in for the gallbladder surgery, I remember having a similar thing as I did with Basquiat – not that we ever had any down times because Andy was always great to me. He was always very supportive. But I remember…I dunno maybe he wasn’t feeling well or something. I remember I was in a restaurant and there was an emotional connection where I really felt something strong with him. Then I went to Brazil a week later and actually Keith [Haring] was with me when we found out about his death.

Maryam Eisler: And lastly, with Keith?
Kenny Scharf: I was the last person to be with him. So I was sitting with him and he wasn’t able to talk anymore. There’s no way I cannot cry, talking about my last moments with him. He was very agitated and I just told him ‘I know you can hear me’; I also told him that he should just calm down and relax because I was with him. And as his body relaxed, I said ‘You know you’re going to live on forever.’ I was telling him everything I believed and felt….It was really hard…losing my best friend.

Maryam Eisler: For you personally, to perform the act of creation, do you have to be at an emotional high or low? Are you really that happy-faced person?
Kenny Scharf: Sometimes. All the emotions, I am. I am a happy person. I’m an optimist despite a million things that are freaking me out. My feeling is that if I’m not an optimist, then I will kill myself. So I force myself to be optimistic no matter how I may be feeling inside. I take the stance and I do it. Because I’m here and I want to make the best of it. Now, I have grandkids and I’m really freaked out about the world they’re inheriting, so I have no choice but to be an optimist for them.

Maryam Eisler: Speaking of the world, one word on Trump?
Kenny Scharf: Piece of shit. Or just shit. Everything about what he represents is the antithesis of everything that I believe in. I’ve always felt that way all the way back to the 80s. I actually met him ten years ago, and I was so freaked out by his lack of normal decent connection. He was just so creepy. The whole thing nauseated me so much. The day of the election I couldn’t stop crying. I cried for a week. It was devastating and here we are two years later, and I still cannot believe this has happened. His name and the word President do not go hand in hand.

Maryam Eisler: You are now back in LA , your ‘home’? You left the concrete for greener pastures and blue skies, with a much more laid back attitude and even more space? And, of course, your family.
Kenny Scharf: I love it here. I was bouncing back and forth between LA and New York but when my grandson was born I realised that I didn’t want to be away anymore. I am completely in love with my grandkids. Obsessed in fact. I never realised how great being a grandpa was actually going to be.

Kenny Scharf’s solo exhibition ‘blue blood’ runs from 2 May to 28 July 2019 at the David Totah gallery, New York City

Discover Kenny Scharf’s portfolio: kennyscharf.com

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Reading time: 15 min
Portrait of art collector Aeneas Bastian
Polaroid of artist David Hockney taking a photo

David Hockney byAndy Warhol, ca. 1972, Polaroid © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Established in 1989 by Celine and Heiner Bastian, BASTIAN opened its first gallery in 2007 in Berlin. Now, the gallery has placed itself on the global art map with the grand opening of a new space in Mayfair. LUX speaks to the founders’ son and gallery director Aeneas Bastian about Andy Warhol, the London art market and how collectors are doing things differently
Portrait of art collector Aeneas Bastian

Aeneas Bastian. Courtesy BASTIAN

LUX: Tell us about the London gallery and how it came to be.
Aeneas Bastian: I felt that when coming to London we should be in the middle of the traditional gallery district in Mayfair so we found a space on Davis Street [No. 8], which is fairly close to Phillips auction house and the Gagosian gallery. I remember starting this search for a London exhibition space about two years ago. I looked at quite a number of properties, but I had a very specific idea in mind so it took quite a long time to actually find the right space and this feels perfect now.

I really like Berlin, it’s my home town, I grew up there and I think it’s become a fantastic metropolis, but it is not a major market place. So I think trying to build a bridge between Berlin and London, Germany and the UK could be an ideal combination of two different worlds. And I could not think of any other major city in Europe that has the same the same kind of status or importance as London, especially when you look at the quality of exhibitions, both commercial exhibitions at private galleries and exhibitions in public institutions. Especially in Mayfair you can see that people are trying to achieve something outstanding, they’re committed to excellence. Berlin is different – it is quite experimental – so you see promising young artists working in their studios and creating fantastic work. And it’s probably the same in other fields, in restaurants or fashion. You would find some of the leading individuals in London, and maybe some of the most interesting new talent in Berlin… I think that’s the difference between the two cities.

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LUX: Why did you choose Andy Warhol rather than a German artist for your opening show?
Aeneas Bastian: That’s a good question! I’ve thought about this for quite a long time because obviously we would also like to be a showcase of German art in London, showing well known German artists who may not be as well known in the UK, but also younger emerging artists too.

Warhol, along with [Cy] Twombly and [Joseph] Beuys, has been one of the key artists when we look back at the early years of the gallery’s history. So I thought it would be interesting to bring that back and to take it to London, but I’d like the following exhibitions to be devoted to German art.

LUX: Is it Warhol’s polaroids particularly that you specialise in?
Aeneas Bastian: Yes, it’s the polaroids and we have some of the rarest and most important polaroid portraits, especially of other artists and some writers, actors, musicians and also a few people who came to the Factory when it was not just a studio or a place of production, but also an international meeting place. So, in a way, looking at these polaroid pictures is also a bit like taking a time machine and landing in New York in the late 70s early 80s. Some people are maybe lesser known today and some have become even more iconic, or famous. It’s very interesting looking back at this period now…

The gallery has always had a particular focus on post-war German and post-war American art too, including artists likeJoseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg as well as Warhol. They’ve always had a special place in our exhibition programme and have been essential for the development of the gallery, which was founded thirty years ago by my parents, Céline and Heiner Bastian. They were both curators and they knew Warhol well. There was no commercial link in any way at the time, but they worked together on exhibitions, projects, books, publications, and brought some of Warhol’s exhibitions to Germany during his lifetime. Today, we would probably define my parents as art advisers, but at the time, I think the term wasn’t really used.

Portrait of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Andy Warhol

Jean-Michel Basquiat by Andy Warhol 1982, Polacolor ER © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

LUX: The market for post-war art and now, what we call 20th century and modern art — did that rise and then fall again in the 90s?
Aeneas Bastian: Yes, looking back at those changes, of course we’ve seen remarkable increases in values, but also several moments of crisis. When I speak with my parents about those times they always tell me that the art world was so much smaller, it was essentially a few European countries including France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the UK, and then there was America, but except for maybe a small group of Japanese collectors there was no Asian market, and no one would ever go to Australia or India or Africa, or the Middle East. There was no global market.

LUX: Do you think there’s been a renewal of interest in late 20th century art recently, or has the interest always been there?
Aeneas Bastian: I think it’s always been there, at least in London. Berlin has had this sort of edgy, young contemporary art focus that sometimes modern art, twentieth century art seems to be missing because it’s always about the present. But I think London has always had this particular strength of offering such a wide range to art collectors from Old Masters to the present day. There is no other place in the world that could offer that kind of quality, especially when collectors are a bit more eclectic and interested in different periods and different forms of culture.

LUX: Are the big twentieth century artists, the ones who are no longer with us – such as Pollock or Warhol or Lichtenstein and so on –  mostly collected by people of that era or by younger generations too?
Aeneas Bastian: I think it’s both. It’s two worlds coming together. Elderly collectors who have had the privilege of maybe knowing the artist, and young collectors who have obviously not met the artist, but who are now becoming familiar with the work and studying, going to see survey exhibitions and reading catalogues raisonné and books written by experts, immersing themselves in the world and work of the artist.

Read more: A taste of Hong Kong’s future

LUX: In terms of collectors and the people buying art: how are they choosing? How do they come to their conclusions and how are they guided?
Aeneas Bastian: It used to be a very personal thing. You would meet a professional or an adviser or an art dealer and have a face to face conversation, and while this still happens today, now it’s also about digital communications. People are increasingly using these new ways of communicating, they are more open to just having a look at websites, they even use social media, like Instagram.

I don’t think people would necessarily say that an expert opinion is something that counts more than anything else, and I think that used to be the case. You used to say that there’s a particular scholar or an expert who would really be the person with an expert opinion and the ability to judge a work and the purchase or inclusion of that work in an exhibition would very much depend on that person. I think that’s not necessarily the case any more.

LUX: Is that a good thing?
Aeneas Bastian: I think it’s just the way that the world has changed. It has become more open in many ways, and I do think, in the end, that this is a good development. We are not limiting ourselves any longer to an art world centred in Europe and the United States, seeing men rather than women as experts, or looking at European artists all the time and forgetting about artists from other places in the world.

Exterior of Bastian art gallery in Mayfair, London

BASTIAN Gallery, 8 Davis Street, Mayfair, London. Photo by Luke Walker

Portrait of Paloma Picasso by artist Andy Warhol

Paloma Picasso by Andy Warhol ca. 1983 © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

LUX: How important is it for artists, whether alive or dead, to be shown and supported by public galleries as well as commercial?
Aeneas Bastian: I am deeply convinced that it can have a tremendous impact, of course we are art dealers too, but we really understand understand the significance of public and non-commercial exhibitions. I think a talented artist only shown by commercial galleries may be one day more or less forgotten if there’s no public recognition. If the works are not part of museum collections, then the artist may disappear.

LUX: Finally, can you reveal anything about the other exhibitions you’ve got planned for London?
Aeneas Bastian: I’m certain we will have an exhibition of Emil Nolde, one of the German expressionists and a prominent German artists of the generation of Kirchner and Beckmann who is regarded as one of the most influential 20th century artists in Germany. He’s not unknown in the UK, but I think his work really deserves to be seen.

BASTIAN Gallery’s inaugural London exhibition ‘Andy Warhol: Polaroid Pictures’ runs until 13 April 2019. For more information visit: bastian-gallery.com

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Reading time: 8 min
Installation set up around a staircase of a crane holding a glowing yellow planet
Facade of PalaisPopulaire at night with a dark indigo sky

Originally called the Prinzessinnenpalais, Deutsche Bank’s PalaisPopulaire opened in September this year

Featuring over 300 works by some of the art world’s biggest names alongside emerging artists, Deutsche Bank’s new exhibition space, the PalaisPopulaire, presents a museum-quality show of inter-generational exploring the numerous ways in which artists work on paper – and with surprising results. Anna Wallace-Thompson hopped over to Berlin to check out its inaugural show, The World on Paper

What would be the art world equivalent of a kid walking into a candy shop? Probably something akin to walking through swish, space-age sliding doors into a room to find oneself surrounded by names such as Joseph Beuys, Marcel Dzama, William Kentridge, Imran Qureshi, Katharina Grosse, James Rosenquist, Dieter Roth, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter… the list goes on. And on. And on. To say that the inaugural exhibition of Deutsche Bank’s new arts, culture and sports space at the fittingly titled PalaisPopulaire is something of a showstopper is to put it mildly.

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Opening in late September after extensive renovations, the 18th century venue – originally called the Prinzessinnenpalais – has been remade twice during its colourful history, once in the 1960s, when it became a sort of ‘it’ destination, and now by architectural firm Kuehn Malvezzi. In its newest shiny incarnation it offers over 750 square metres of exhibition space, and The World on Paper brings together 300 works (you guessed it, on paper) by 133 artists from 34 countries. “The focus of this show was really to present the heart of our collection,” says Friedhelm Hütte, curator of the show and head of Deutsche Bank’s worldwide art programme. “Paper is so interesting because artists write on it, they use it as a kind of diary, they can cut it, make three dimensional works, and so we thought – this is almost like the laboratory of an artist, you can see what they are thinking, watch that process of how they develop their ideas. Paper is a very authentic medium and often so innovative – first ideas are often fixed on paper.”

Colourful artwork on paper by artist James Rosenquist

Study for “The Swimmer in the Economist,”, 1996/97James Rosenquist

The exhibition is divided into three sections, with visitors invited to explore these different ‘worlds’ across three floors, wandering through investigations of the body and self-image, abstraction on paper, and examinations of urban spaces and technology. It could be a messy combination of disparate subject matters, yet somehow it’s not. “It was also important for us to present more than just the big names, the ‘hit list’, as it were,” says Hütte. “We wanted to have some surprises and show artists either who aren’t that widely known, or little-known works by well-known artists, such as the early works by Gerhard Richter we’ve selected.”

Wall of framed artworks on paper by artist Ellen Gallagher

“DeLuxe”, 2004/05 Ellen Gallagher. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo credit: Alex Delfanne

In fact, it would be easy for an exhibition like this to pay lip service to big names and act simply as a promotional tool for that ‘hit list’, and the grandeur of Deutsche Bank’s (admittedly impressive) corporate collection. In fact, what is so interesting about The World on Paper is precisely that it is not a ‘safe’ show – after all, corporate collections can so easily become bland lists of big names, ticked off with due diligence but with little willingness to push the envelope into uncomfortable territory. Not so here. See, for example, Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar’s untitled pieces from her series Take off Your Shoes (2001/2002), which depict women in chadors dealing with the bureaucracy of the Islamic regime. Then there is the riot of delight that is American artist Ellen Gallagher’s multi-piece grid of photogravures, DeLuxe (2004/05). Take an array of magazines and promotional materials from the 1930s to 1970s, then remake them with interventions in screen print, embossing, laser cutting, tattoo engraving (yes, really) and Plasticine and what do you get? A bitingly witty investigation of cultural identity and race through the countless advertisements for beauty creams, hair pomades, wigs and more, that have been targeted at African Americans. “Of course we could have put together a show without any risks,” says Hütte. “We could simply have focused on the big names and the big works, but this is what one would expect, and what would be interesting about that?”

Read more: The Secret Diary of an Oxford Undergraduate – Freshers’ Week

One of the most delightful surprises is the sense of delicacy that winds its way through the works. There are the bold heavy-hitters, of course – the Rosenquists, the Kentridges – but there is immense tenderness too, such as in the evocative Heartbeat Drawing 24 Hour (1998) by Japanese artist Sasaki, or Evelyn Taocheng Wang’s witty take on traditional Chinese manuscripts in My History (2008), in which traditional Chinese painting meets life in the UK (complete with punting in Cambridge). “There are very special pieces here that one wouldn’t expect,” agrees Svenja Gräfin von Reichenbach, director of the PalaisPopulaire. “I find the three drawings by Bruce Naumann we have on display particularly special, as well as the paper works by Richter – they are so private.”

Installation set up around a staircase of a crane holding a glowing yellow planet

“Moondiver II” by Zilla Leutenegger at Deutsche Bank’s PalaisPopulaire

Ultimately, The World on Paper is a great barometer of our times – it stretches from Post-war Modernism all the way to the present day, and marks the increasingly international nature of Deutsche Bank’s collection. “We wanted this so be our first really international show,” says Hütte. “The character of the collection has completely changed during the last decade, and of our 50,000 works, here we have 134 artists from 34 nations represented.”

Perhaps the best indicator of what the show represents – and what it promises for the future of the PalaisPopulaire – is the playful intervention in the main space’s rotunda. Here, Zilla Leutenegger has installed a multimedia mural and video projection entitled Moondiver II. As visitors wander through the impressive space with its winding staircase, a large, starkly-drawn black construction crane carries a delicate, luminous moon back and forth. It’s that combination of bold and delicate, traditional mural and contemporary video projection that sums up The World on Paper: everything is possible, and this is just the beginning.

“The World on Paper” runs until 7 January 2019 at PalaisPopulaire

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Reading time: 5 min
Munch inspired prints by pop art artist Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol's colourful print interpretation of the iconic painting by Edward Munch, The Scream

Andy Warhol, The Scream (After Munch), 1984 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Photo Sparebankstiftelsen DNB

Andy Warhol first became properly interested in Edvard Munch on a visit to Oslo in 1971, where he spent time at the National Gallery and the Munch Museum. He was said to be a great admirer of Munch’s prints, far more so, in fact, than of his paintings. The Norwegian master was not only a prolific printmaker, but also technologically innovative; he enjoyed experimenting with textures and colours, which naturally resonated with Warhol as a leading figure in the Pop Art movement.

Munch inspired prints by pop art artist Andy Warhol

Madonna and Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm (After Munch), Andy Warhol, 1984. © Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum

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Between 1938 and 1984, Warhol produced a series of 15 prints, known as After Munch,  featuring some of Munch’s most renowned motifs. Like most of Warhol’s best-known works, these prints transform the meaning of the original image to lend a new and intriguing perspective.

Andy Warhol print of Eva Mudocci inspired by painter Edward Munch

Eva Mudocci (After Munch), Andy Warhol, 1984. © Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum

Read more: Why The Thief is Oslo’s coolest hotel

The most striking example of this – and the stand out piece on display in the Munch Museum – is Warhol’s interpretation of the The Scream. One of the most iconic artworks of the 20th century, if not of all time, Warhol’s reproduction of the The Scream using different colour variations and stencils gives the work a completely different mood, thus encouraging the viewer to more deeply consider the artistic process.

‘Andy Warhol – After Munch’ runs until the 26th August at the Munch Museum, Oslo. For opening times visit: munchmuseet.no/en/exhibitions/andy-warhol-after-munch

Millie Walton

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Reading time: 1 min