Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chestnut Mare Zebra and Esthetic Bankrupty

ralf kwaaknijd, chestnut mare zebra, 2012
Chestnut Mare Zebra
(own work, 150 x 80 x 150 cm * ceramic and porcelain * 2012)

Jeff Koons' Ushering in Banality has to be the epitome of postmodernism's inevitable emptiness, leading to Esthetic Bankruptcy. No doubt the visual art critics responsible for the Postmodern Air Bubble will claim this is Koons' deeper message...how deep! We are impressed. To the child not in the emperor's court it's just a practical visual joke, with a shallow punchline, based on word play through the title. If ever sculptures were competing to demonstrate the need for postpostmodernism, this one would win first prize.

Recent exponential growth of superficiality in art has forced me to abandon my apoliticality. Behold therefore the Chestnut Mare Zebra in all her magnificent glory.

ralf kwaaknijd, chestnut mare, 2012


I have put in a request to one of the owners of a version of Ushering in Banality to put the Chestnut Mare Zebra in the same room and then flatten both sculptures with a road roller. The request is being considered.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Monument for Ecological Farming

ralf kwaaknijd, monument for ecological farming, 2012
Monument for Ecological Farming
(own work, 20 x 8 x 20 cm * acrylic, iron and mixed media * 2012)

Ecological farming is what the rich happy few salve their giant ecological footprints with. Deconstructing the superficiality of social feelgood products should be combined with political confrontation of the mass production of food, and (the trampling of) animal rights.

Recent exponential growth of consumerism has forced me to abandon my apoliticality. Behold therefore the Arc de Triomphe of Ecological Farming in all its current glory.

ralf kwaaknijd, detail of siberian monument for putin, 2012
Monument for Ecological Farming
(own work, 20 x 8 x 20 cm * acrylic, iron and mixed media * 2012)

The monument is in the process of being acquired by the gentechlobby.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mondrianification of a second monument for Putin

ralf kwaaknijd, Mondrianification of a second monument for Putin, 2012
Mondrianification of a second monument for Putin
(own work, 400 x 400 x 1200 cm * acrylic, plastics and mixed media * 2012)

This work combines the Monument series with the Mondrianification series.

Politicians have too often produced anti-artistic megalithic monuments, starting already in Antiquity. Tottering dictatorships lead to ultra-ugly oversized edifices meant to convince the masses that all is well and the powers that be are just. (Monument series)

To see Him everywhere. Mondriaan's legacy is His lasting influence on our perception of primality, linear interaction and rectangularity. (Mondrianification series)

Again the monument is freely available for any country willing to build it. A close-up of the Red Russian Bear:
  ralf kwaaknijd, a second monument for Putin (detail), 2012
A second monument for Putin
(detail of own work, 400 x 400 x 1200 cm * acrylic, plastics and mixed media * 2012)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Siberian monument for Putin

ralf kwaaknijd, siberian monument for putin, 2012
Siberian Monument for Putin
(own work, 400 x 400 x 1000 cm * acrylic, wood, iron and mixed media * 2012)

Politicians have too often produced anti-artistic megalithic monuments, starting already in Antiquity. Tottering dictatorships lead to ultra-ugly oversized edifices meant to convince the masses that all is well and the powers that be are just.

Recent conviction of fellow artists of Pussy Riot to 2 years of prison camp has forced me to abandon my apoliticality. Behold therefore the Russian Bear in all its current glory.

ralf kwaaknijd, detail of siberian monument for putin, 2012
Siberian Monument for Putin
(detail)

The monument is freely available for any country willing to build it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Abstract biotope, abstractivity of life

ralf kwaaknijd, abstract biotope, 2011

Abstract Biotope (own work, 40 x 60 cm * acrylic and mixed media * 2011)

The vagaries of nature are vastly understated in art. Even the postmodernists, who should be in a position to explore new paradigms vis-à-vis nature, are caught up in their own self/art-centered quabbles and quibbles.

Therefore I have set myself the task to paint the unspeakable abstractivity of life forms, and life itself. The (Semi)Abstract Dunescape series and the Mondrianification series are also to be seen in this light.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Painting can harm your misperception

painting can harm your misperception, ralf kwaaknijd
Painting can harm your misperception (Ralf Kwaaknijd, digital work, 2012, click for enlargement)

Conceptual art is so easy it sucks. If you want to be impressed by seemingly deep meanings, please buy the above work while it's still available. Don't interpret this work as advice to start painting. Painting is horribly difficult. Any artist still painting is rather outdated, and anyway, misperception is what makes the world go round.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flamingo Man

flamingo man, ralf kwaaknijd & unknown nigerian artistFlamingo Man (Ralf Kwaaknijd in collaboration with unknown Nigerian artist; 45 x 10 x 10 cm, wood & flamingo feather, 2009)

I sold the above Flamingo Man to a friend, at a friend's price to help inspire him in his new studio.

I had to explain it to him, though, because he first questioned me about it, thinking it to be "Art appropriation taken too far, an extra theft, on top of the already physical theft of an enormous amount of african art by western collectors. And in fact a theft of a worse kind. Because you also claim the artistic credit, one would say the one inappropriatable element left the original artist."

So let me post my reply here:
Dear Frank, you still don't get it do you? Flamingo man is precisely a statement about the theft of art from the `primitive' cultures - so `primitive' that Picasso, Giacometti, you name it, all took their forms and ideas and became famous with them.

Apart from the purely visual beauty of Flamingo Man (you will have to admit that the feather is transformative!) I wished to demonstrate that one can steal easily from the unknown `tribal' artist. (S)he cannot protect her/himself. One buys a sculpture, and the material possession opens up a can of worms of artist's rights' infringements.
Perhaps you will recall the utterly shaming history of the song the lion sleeps tonight? Please look it up to see what I mean (I even saw an American performer claiming it as his own in some historic footage, but I don't recall precisely where).

Yet, Flamingo Man can actually help by drawing attention to this, I feel. So yes, you are right, appropriation a step too far, that is precisely the idea. But I do not wish to profit from it. And since I appreciate you taking the time to really reflect on my work, if you wish I will sell it to you for the price that I paid for the sculpture, the flamingo feather you get for free.

This way you can own a real Kwaaknijd, and maybe reappropriate it!

Kind regards, Ralf

(What is art appropriation? Wikipedia:
In the [(visual arts)], to appropriate something means adopting, borrowing, recycling or sampling aspects (or the entire form) of man made visual culture. The Oxford English Dictionary defines appropriation in relation to art as 'the practice or technique of reworking the images or styles contained in earlier works of art, esp. (in later use) in order to provoke critical re-evaluation of well-known pieces by presenting them in new contexts, or to challenge notions of individual creativity or authenticity in art.". The term appropriation refers to the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work (as in 'the artist uses appropriation') or refers to the new work itself (as in 'this is a piece of appropriation art'). The artist who uses appropriation may borrow image, sound, objects, forms or styles from art history or [(popular culture)] or other aspects of man made visual culture. Inherent in the process of appropriation is the fact that the new work recontextualizes whatever it borrows to create the new work. In most cases the original 'thing' remains accessible as the original, without change.
)