Tag Archives: Charles Saatchi

Art|Basel|2017 – Bernhard Hofstetter: «Die lebende Schnittstelle zwischen Kunst, Mode, Design und deren adäquate Zubereitungsformen».

2 Jul

Bernhard Hofstetter und Mouna Rebeiz auf der Art|Basel
von unserem Redaktionsfotografen Andreas Baier
Click to enlarge hofstetteredly

Fangen wir der Einfachheit halber mal ganz klein und basic an; oder, um im internationalen Sprachgestus zu bleiben: «Bernhard Hofstetter, a designer and artist from Switzerland, wears a Tom Ford shirt, Fendi shoes, an Olympia Le-Tan bag, Alexander McQueen sunglasses and a hat he had personally designed by himself.» Well, und da es unser Haus- und Hofphotograph mal wieder nicht hatte lassen können, sich reichlich an digitalen Farbtöpfen zu bedienen, möchten wir unsere hochgeschätzten Meerschweinchenreportleserinnen und Meerschweinchenreportleser mit einem Link zum «New York Times Magazine» versorgen, der Sie zu «Bernhard Hofstetter digitally untouched» führen wird. Wählen Sie einfach das dritte Bild im Slider aus – et voilà!

Na? Eben! Das Leben kann so wundervoll durchinformiert sein, n’est-ce pas? Kommen wir also nun zum eigentlichen Kern unseres Anliegens, zumal es dazu noch so hübsch und gut und überaus verlockend aussieht: Das Ding mit der kombinierten Ästhetik im grenzüberschreitenden Medium der integralen Kommunikationsdisziplinatik. Dochdoch, Sie haben ganz richtig gelesen: Disziplinatik! Das Leben kann so wundervoll woanders stattfinden, nicht wahr? Schrauben wir also das Rädchen der Zeitmaschine H.G. Wells’ ein paar Jährchen zurück – also nur so weit, daß wir beim Aussteigen nicht Gefahr laufen, daß uns ein paar durchgeknallte wilde Irre mit Allmachtsphantasien unsere Finger mit ein paar unter geschmacklichen Gesichtspunkten deutlich überbewerteten Chicken-Wings verwechseln – und klicken diesen Link an. Wir befinden uns in der Pariser Galerie Hubert Konrad; und zwar am 12. März 2013. Präsentiert wird die «Betty Boop Collection» der französich-libanesischen Künstlerin Mouna Rebeiz. Und wen erblicken wir auf besagtem Foto ebenfalls? Genau: Bernhard Hofstetter – who else?

Das sollte uns zu denken geben. Aber, was sollte uns zu denken geben? Ganz einfach: Was Generationen von international agierenden Spitzenmodels nur bedingt hinkriegen, gelingt einem Bernhard Hofstetter scheinbar mühelos: die stil- und geschmackssichere Kombination von Kleidungsstücken, die normalerweise nichts miteinander zu haben dürften. Allein schon deshalb nicht, um bei der Bank keinen schlechten Eindruck zu hinterlassen. Aber unser Protagonist stellt mal soeben und ganz locker fast jeden Modeschöpfer kalt. Grandios. Da dürfte sogar ein Tom Wolfe in der Pfanne verrückt spielen. Ähm, was? (Erinnerungen aus dem Kindergarten: «Das heißt nicht: Was? Das heißt: Wie bitte? Und wir konnten gefahrlos süße Kekse mampfen, ohne daß uns eine frustrierte Magersuchttussie, die sich ob eines kulturellen Mißverständnisses versehentlich zum Kindergärtnern berufen fühlt, entsetzt den bösen Zuckerkeks entreißt, um ihn in der Folge vermutlich heimlich selbst zu verdrücken.)

Kommen wir nun zum nächsten Streich. Wir begeben uns direkt dorthin. Wir kümmern uns um diesen Link. Wir befinden uns nun am 26. Februar des Jahres 2015 auf der Vernissage der Ausstellung «Le Tarbouche» der, once again, Künstlerin Mouna Rebeiz in «The Saatchi Gallery», Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4LY. Klar, daß wir auch hier Bernhard Hofstetter antreffen. Und was schreibt das «Tatler»-Magazine zu seinem Outfit? Ziemlich präzise dies hier: «Where to begin? There’s the fur, the printed jumpsuit, the spotted bow tie and that Teletubby hat stolen from Dipsy. The whole combination is far more fabulous than anything we have worn in the last year. Top marks.» Es hat, in der Tat, auch irgendwie ein bißchen was eltonjohneskes, keine Frage. Aber letztlich: auch nur «irgendwie».

But how does he do this?

Bernhard Hofstetter, modernes Bauhausverständnis
souverän zelebrierend: Das Runde schiebt das Eckige
photographiert von Andreas Baier
Click to enlarge bauhausedly

Ganz so wie bei «Merz-Spezialdragées» die natürliche Schönheit immer von innen kommt, so ist eine entspannte Grundeinstellung zu allen Fragen rund um Kunst und Kultur eine zwingend Voraussetzung, um ungezwungen ganz selbst zu sein. Nur dann läßt sich modernes Bauhausverständnis in der praktischen Anwendung – beispielsweise auf der Art|Basel, oder gar signifikant verkleinert in einem Brotkasten – auch souverän zelebrieren. Ergebnis: Das Runde schiebt das Eckige.

Would you like to visite «World Redeye» in order to find out how Mr. Hofstetter’s outfit looks like in colour? Sure, just follow this link.

Bleibt eigentlich nur noch die Frage, was Bernhard Hofstetter beruflich macht. Hierzu gibt es, wen wundert’s, im Netz unterschiedliche Angaben. Vergleichsweise häufig heißt es, daß er Künstler und/oder Kunstvermittler sei. Gemäß dieses aktuellen Berichtes des SRF heißt es jedoch, daß er in einem Alters- und Pflegeheim arbeitet. Auf jeden Fall ist er, unabhängig davon, wie sehr er sich um die ebenso abwechslungsreiche wie perfekte Gestaltung seiner Oberfläche kümmert, inhaltlich klar strukturiert und entsprechend bodenständig ausgerichtet. Woher wir das wissen? Nun, wer Meerschweinchenreport regelmäßig liest, weiß, daß wir nicht wissen sondern spekulieren wollen. Aber dennoch: Wir sind im Falle Bernhard Hofstetters von der Richtigkeit unserer Vermutungen felsenfest überzeugt.

Auf der «QVED 2016» hielt unser Haus- und Hofphotograph einen Vortrag über seine Arbeit. Mit dabei auch das Aufmacherportrait von Bernhard Hofstetter und Mouna Rebeiz auf der Art|Basel, wie eines der Bühnensituationsfotos zeigt.

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Art|Basel|2017: «An Experimental Interview With Larry Gagosian»

21 Jun

Larry Gagosian’s Experimental Interview
Portrait created by Andreas Baier
Click to enlarge gogogagosianedly

Larry Gagosian, one of the most influential art dealers in the world, very rarely gives interviews. Nevertheless, he agreed to do an experimental one with us on this year’s Art|Basel|2017, which means that we were preferably communicating with each other on a spritual level only; a mental area where spoken words should be recognised as an exotic exception.

Meerschweinchenreport:
When looking at Jean Pigozzi’s photograph which was taken in 1991 and that shows Charles Saatchi, Leo Castelli and you all dressed to the nines in swimming trunks, we are asking ourselves what all of you might have had for breakfast that very same day?

Larry Gagosian:
That’s an interesting question, indeed. As far as I can remember, we first tore one of Lucio Fontana’s «Concetto spaziale»-paintings apart in order to make its taste a bit more sophisticated. We then had a plate of the usual course: ham, eggs, sausages, baked beans, French toast with strawberries, black pudding and coffee. Lots of coffee. Sure, there was orange juice too. At that moment we thought that this was pretty cool but after all these years, honestly, we’re still busy digesting Fontana properly. The only thing that helps starting collectors to not underestimate Fontana’s work is the price they’ve got to pay for it. If you want to make the people obeying work of art the perfect way, then make the objects as expensive as even possible.

Meerschweinchenreport:
Tom Wolfe wrote in his book «The Painted Word» that abstract expressionism is, at least, about celebrating «nothingness». And he reported that one day Jackson Pollock appeared on one of Peggy Guggenheim’s soirées uninvitedly and completely drunk, managed to get himself undressed and urinated to her guests’ greater surprise stante pede into the living room’s fireplace. Are those days over?

Larry Gagosian:
These are two good questions proving impressively how much the so-called «nothingness» and a strong performance transporting the unbeatable taste of abstract expressionism rely on each other significantly. Irritation is the basis of seduction. I remember a conversation I had decades ago with a professor teaching English literature that led us from literature over aesthetics to contemporary art. For some reason he ended up saying that abstract art were not worthy of serious consideration—that they were superficial and overrated, which was a funny comment to hear in an English class at UCLA. To illustrate the point, he said, «If you look at this da Vinci or this Raphael, you can go from the eyes to the woman’s navel and there is a perfect triangle. But now we have artists who paint a triangle and they call that art.» So I stuck my hand up, which I didn’t do very often, and said, «Maybe sometimes you just want to look at a triangle.» But that sticks out in my memory as something that got me thinking about aesthetics. And to answer your third question: yes but no.

Meerschweinchenreport:
Let’s talk about Leo Castelli and Susan Sontag. While Mr. Castelli was dealing with Gabriele and Alexander Baier about an article in «Magazin KUNST», Susan Sontag grabbed the chance to introduce our staff-photographer with the real essence of life: «Sleep, sleep, sleep!». At that time he was a baby and enjoyed it very much being instructed quite gently this way. Is there anything Leo Castelli taught you in particular, so you feel that you learned from him?

Larry Gagosian:
That’s another very good question. I can’t answer it simply, but he showed me how a gallery could really make the art feel important. Of course, it helps to have work by artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, and Jasper Johns. But the way you present the work has a lot to do with how people receive and regard it. Leo always had great style in the way he presented the work—and without making it too fussy. Leo also showed me that you could have a lot of fun being a dealer. He liked to have a good time. But the fact that you could have a business as serious as Leo Castelli’s and still have a wonderful life—that was a life lesson as well as a business lesson. The other thing he taught me was not to give too many interviews. In the later years of Leo’s life, we were partners. We had a gallery together, we shared artists, and we had a fairly formalized business relationship. But I’d call him up because I wanted to talk about a painting or a show or a deal, and I’d be told, «Mr. Castelli is being interviewed.» [Larry Gagosian laughs]

Meerschweinchenreport:
Sounds like a «Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl» – as we say in Germany. Mr. Gagosian, thank you very much for this highly experimental interview.

Larry Gagosian:
You’re mostly welcome.

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Interviews that helped us very much to be spiritually experimental: Interview Magazine, Bidoun Magazine, WSJ. Magazine and The Guardian.
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Arthur Mac Straightface: «Just My Type Font Collection»

8 May

Arthur Mac Straightface: «Prestige Elite Bold» – This piece of artwork inspired «the guys from Wolff Olins to give me a ring» as Mac Straightface remembers but «I was too busy at that time so I had to refuse their generous offer joining the design-team for Olympia 2012».

Arthur Mac Straightface is a remarkable artist; provided with a huge sense of humour and an extraordinary understanding of typography he is the one of the ones – whenever both qualifications shall come in play at once.

Arthur Mac Straightface: «Futura Condensed Extra Bold» – One day, when Mac Straightface visited his favourite SM-Club he suddenly recognised the C.E.O. of a worldwide operating company carefully coated with a blown-up rubber suite. Surely a great kick for his «extra bold career in future» as Arthur points out smilingly.

Ignoring his German nationality, Mac Straightface prefers more referring to his jewish mother and his arabic father. Consequently, his brother, also an artist, has chosen Mustapha Mandelbaum as his artist’s name.

Arthur Mac Straightface: «Euphemia» – For the artist the power of euphemism makes life worth living. So, he is more than just happy that a type font named «Euphemia» exists.

Being brought up in such a mind-expanding atmosphere it is not a matter of greater surprise that Mac Straightface combines the uncombinable. He mixes milk and Tabasco for breakfast, honey and Mamite for lunch, peas and dynamite for a proper dinner ceremony. No wonder that he blends pornography with a serious amount of corporate typography. A combination-mania that led him and his stunning work straight into famous private art collections such as Charles Saatchi’s, Solomon Guggenheim’s, Sylvester Stallone’s or Enzo Ferrari’s.

Arthur Mac Straightface: «Vacances En Charlemagne Std» – On the beach of Dunkirk, the unofficial main capital of the French region Charlemagne, you can still see some ghosts from World War II shadowing around while young couples enjoying themselves, and their pure salty nakedness; and a vitamin D creating sunbath.

Apart from focussing on his professional work, Arthur Mac Straightface is a religious man who strongly believes in an open-minded and sophisticated way of incarnation. That includes both financial modernism and modern realism:

Arthur Mac Straightface: «Credit Card Incarnation»

Before closing this review, we shall not forget to pay Mac Straightface’s new world map all the respect it deserves to receive: It is designed to make things easier and much more efficient. Now, the distance between Los Angeles and Shanghai is only to be measured in minutes to walk. In this case you will have done it in five. A perfect start fighting successfully against the nasty side-effects of a much more nastier climate change.

Also the Chinese Yellow Sea now touches America’s Yellowstone National Park in order to please all the fans of the Swiss music group Yello, which will – we are somewhat from being convinced of that fact – appreciate this step very much. And Dieter Meier? Well, he will remain as such. Of course.

Arthur Mac Straightface is driven by the idea that the whole world should comfortably fit on the back of a credit card. This would also constructively correspond to the actual size of the Internet, which is vital, virtual and perpetual, notable, variable and acceptable, which means that everybody can do everything without facing the consequences of an oversized workload.

So, let’s now examine the whole piece in detail: Basically, the first thing we see is «Baskerville». What does this want to tell us? We definitely know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s (1859 –1930) masterpiece «The Hound of the Baskervilles» (1902) and since mankind uses computers excessively he must have become aware of a typeface named «Baskerville» as well. Its creator was the famous John Baskerville (1706 –75) who was an English printer, a designer of typefaces, a close friend of Benjamin Franklin and a man who – the last stir he caused – was buried straight upright in an optimistic I’m-still-standing-position.

Is it that Mac Straightface wants to combine, once again, the uncombinable? We know that Sherlock Holmes was personally fighting against his enemy Professor Moriarty; and that both finally dropped off the cliffs of the deep Swiss Reichenbach falls. Since then they were never seen again. We also know that John Baskerville wrapped all negative forms of his priceless typeface in order to drown them literally in a small river close to his workshop. He had to repeat this procedure more that a hundred times until it was all done. These are, of course, two combinable facts.

But since it was not John Baskerville who did this to his own work but the typeface designer Thomas Cobden-Sanderson who carefully destroyed his «Doves» in August 1916, we are now, again, dealing with two uncombinable facts. And that is a typically characteristic aspect of Mac Straightface’s fascinating way to work. Needless to say that Thomas Cobden-Sanderson was not buried straight upright in an optimistic I’m-still-standing-position. But, as an emotional compensation, Mac Straightface put the German Tegernsee close to the centre of the map, a lovely and gorgeous place where Cobden-Sanderson used to regularly spend his summer holidays:

Arthur Mac Straightface: «Baskerville»

Arthur Mac Straightface refuses to exhibit his work. It is part of his philosophy to directly communicate with his collectors. He does not like the hype some art dealers are creating, pushing up the prices straight into outer-space without having bought a valid return-ticket in the first place.

From time to time Mac Straightface discovers some of his artwork on art-platforms, on which his collectors offer them for sale. He states that he could have noticing the prize for his work has risen constantly in the past without suffering through overheating. A classic win-win situation.

How does his work look like? Most of it is sized 120cm/180cm, printed on canvas which recognises high-quality art-market standards. His largest piece, however, measures 4 meters / 6 meters.

We gratefully say «Thank you!» to Mustapha Mandelbaum who recommended us to his brother. That is why we are now allowed to enjoy the luxurious advantage of launching Mac Straightface’s first feature ever. He himself does not even run a personal website.

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Anri Sala: «No Barragan No Cry»

25 Aug

via: Hauser & Wirth
Website Anri Sala

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