Kawaii, Kachinas, Cinematic Dreams, and Devils in the Dark
Welcome to your November edition of Signified
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Announcing the November exhibition at : six : shot : gallery
Victoria Si Wah Dong on “Excuse Me, But Where Do You Come From?”
“Excuse me, but where are you actually from?” is a sensitive question for a lot of people, including the artist. Identity has always been a complex question, where no one’s identity is always a constant, but rather, a compilation of your past, present, and unpredictable future…
Recently published in Signifier:
Take a Bow: The Power of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Local Power Japan is a fine example of what an artist with creative stamina and a strong sense of social responsibility can achieve and may well be the most sophisticated and accomplished iteration of Pop Art. The ambitious initiative couldn’t have been helmed by just any artist as it’s made possible by a rich visual grammar tenaciously established over more than a decade by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ) whose multi-media…
Kachina Dolls: Ancient Spirits, Modern Art
Kachinas represent the spirits of living things encountered in the real world as well as natural phenomena and sometimes more advanced abstract concepts. They inhabit a realm of varied ancestral ‘ghosts’ who hold essential ancient wisdom and bring blessings to their descendants. Central to some native American belief systems, particularly those of Hopi, Zuni, & other Pueblo peoples, Kachinas are benign elemental spirits…
Stalking the Sublime: Two Fine Works of Cinematic Art
The shared dreamings of Andrei Tarkovsky and David Lynch transcend consciousness and run deeper than the screen. Interestingly, for films so different from each other, they do share some characteristics. Though both films can be approached from a variety of critical and conceptual angles. They utilise enough ‘dream logic’ to qualify as works of Surrealism, particularly the latter. Both are accepted as being auteur pieces…
Goya, Goats, and the Grotesque
In the twilight years of an illustrious, and tumultuous, career the great Spanish painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes — more usually referred to simply as Goya — purchased Quinta del Sordo, a two-storey house on the banks of the Manzanares river in the countryside near Madrid. Over the next few years, he painted a series of sinister murals that would rank among his most famous works, now known as The Black Paintings.…
Spooky Art for Halloween: from the archives of Signifier
This new regular feature of our Signified Newsletter, will list a few choice articles from our archives linked by a monthly theme. For November, as autumn sees ancestral celebrations abound, we focus on Halloween. Picking-up on Remy Dean’s delve into Goya’s Black Paintings, we peer into the darker side of some important art…
Out of Darkness, into Light
French painter Paul Cézanne has often been called “the father of modern painting.” It’s his mid-career landscapes of Aix-en-Provence, and late-career still life paintings, that are most noteworthy and have the clearest influence in terms of broader art history. Though, we can gain insight into the development of his ideas by looking at some of his earlier, lesser…
Most children in the west know what fairies and goblins — even vampires and werewolves — are. They’ll even have a general idea of what they look like and how they may behave. There’s little need for detailed descriptions and explanations. Well, that’s how it is for Japanese children and yōkai. Indeed, fairies, goblins, vampires, and werewolves would all come under the umbrella term… as would umbrellas…
Sat Upon my Heart, an Incubus
Henry Fuseli once said, “one of the most unexplored regions of art are dreams.” His haunting painting of 1781 allows us to voyeuristically view a sleeping woman, contorted by her dreams, whilst visualising those private visions. She’s draped across a dishevelled bed. Sitting on her chest is a goblin or incubus, and the head of a ghostly horse with blank ‘zombie’…
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“…will be enjoyed by fans of fantasy of all ages, particularly those who like classics, like the ‘Narnia’ saga.”
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