Ron Mueck

Australian-born, London-based Ron Mueck is as enigmatic as his sculptures. From a distended baby, stuck to the wall crucifixion-style and bearing an unnervingly intelligent demeanor far beyond his age, to a smaller-than-life, sick old woman, who curls up in a fetal pose under a blanket, Mueck’s works command an uncanny ability to amaze with obsessive surface detail and intense psychic discharge. Engaging and wildly popular, they expose our need to validate our humanity, even as they thwart our attempts at full disclosure.
Mueck first gained international attention with Dead Man, a naked, half-scale impression of his father shown in “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection” (1997) at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. With no formal art training, he perfected his skills in the commercial world of special effects, model-making, and animatronics. In 1996, he presciently created for his mother-in-law, well-known British painter Paula Rego, a figure of Pinocchio, the quintessential embodiment of truth and lies. Saatchi saw this sculpture, and smitten, began acquiring Mueck’s work.
Since then, he has been making silicon or fiberglass and acrylic sculptures cast from clay models. A solo show at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, in 2002, featured the museum’s own Untitled (Big Man). More recently, exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sidney and at the National Gallery in London included work conceived during Mueck’s two-year residency as Associate Artist at the National Gallery. One of the sculptures, Pregnant Woman, an eight-foot-high Ur-mother with arms crossed overhead, feet squarely planted, and a downward glance, was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra, for $461,300, the highest price paid at the time for art by a living Australian.
To get bogged down in a debate over naturalism, realism, and illusionism when trying to sort out the hows and whys of Mueck’s oeuvre is to miss the point. More interesting is a discussion of his standing in the history of figuration. A certain freshness and sincerity of vision distinguish him from the blasé irony of many of his contemporaries who also explore strategies of realism. Above all, Mueck is a master at orchestrating tensions that both attract and estrange. His figures invite close-up inspection of blemishes, hairs, veins, and expression, taking you on a psycho-topographical journey. If you stare long and deeply enough, you experience a horrific beauty. Yet the very same verisimilitude creates a weird distance that is as equally penetrating of our current existential state.
In this interview, Mueck explains the genesis of Untitled (Big Man) and offers an explanation of his technique—a bold adaptation of traditional conventions in defiance of computer-assisted design. Part intuitive, part willed, his multi-staged process involves a series of experiments and discoveries. Far from a servile copyist of nature, he reveals the need of making selective adjustments to maximize the physical and emotional aura of his figures. In the end, Mueck’s success hinges on faith and control. Through mastery of his materials in a seamless, seemingly effortless way, he awakens our willingness to believe in images that our imagination keeps alive.

David Benjamin Sherry

28 year old photographer David Benjamin Sherry creates enthusiastic, eccentric photographs that transform the landscape, his friends, and himself into a sometimes psychedelic, sometimes punk, always rich and rather glamorous fantasy of youth in paradise. His first book, It's Time (Damiani), collects 48 photographs taken since 2006, when Sherry entered the Yale MFA program, and represents the artist's body of art photography to date through exotic locales, and posed yet intimate moments. In the book we see Death Valley rendered spearment and mirrored over a horizontal axis, such that the center of the picture appears like a vagina; elsewhere the artist is painted gold like an Oscar Award, set against a wave of cliffs straight with the color palate of a Jodorowsky film. In the book's title photograph (2007), a dashing skinhead is shot from below, the trees and the sky visible behind him. The color is bleached out, so the photograph looks like a photocopy from a zine (particularly those by Toronto punk-chapbook publishers GB Jones and Bruce Labruce).
Another bifurcation: this one is at two-thirds the height of the portrait, so that the sky both opens and closes, and the point of view becomes entirely disorienting.
The cover of the It's Time is a photograph of a cotton-candy Mt. Adams, Washington, pasted atop the cloth binding. It's an immediate tip-off to Sherry's dual interests in effervescent naturalism, and the material processes of photography. In interviews, Sherry consistently emphasizes that he doesn't digitally manipulate his work, which seems a moot point in an age where digital is the norm. But Sherry cares about analog photography, and his prints require extensive research, and a whole lot of patience, both on-site and in the dark room, to achieve. Describing an interest in process that defies cold formalism, Sherry says, "If I am romantic of the past for one thing, it would have to be the handwork, feel, emotional content, labor-intensive and traditional printing of photography." If photoshopping a picture relies on the assumption that a picture is a normalized fiction, Sherry's method holds out hope for an abnormal reality, even permitting, however melancholically, that the moment didn't occur quite as dramatically as it was recorded: "It's all about giving life to a still moment and trying to re-capture that energy through color, trial and error, and surprise."
But if Photoshop's effect on the documentary function of photography is a moot point then so, supposedly, is kitsch as a method of altering a viewer's understanding of an art object. And here's where Sherry's art photography as represented in It's Time (as opposed to his expert but relatively refined editorial photography) takes off by expecting nothing less than our complete acceptance of photography's enduring magic. Vivid colors and sexual fantasies aside, when Sherry photograph of his friend as a jewel-like nymph  legs splayed in the forest looking like a porcelain nymph, he names it no less than "Rainseraphita," a reference to Balzac's mythical symbol for sensuality. The background is so impossibly lush and stacked up with waterfalls and foliage as to invite comparisons to Thomas Kinkade. Elsewhere, a black and white portrait of the model Lenz Johnston, captured with the friendly intimacy of a Gap ad, is grandly called "And Then There Was Lenz." In spite of those comparisons, you never doubt the sincerity of Sherry's imagery or his exchange with the sitter—and the composition is stronger. It's Sherry's willingness to use heterogeneous, boldly referential, and out-of-vogue styles while embarking on an ostensibly romantic and autobiographical project that so experiments with the elements of contemporary photography. It's Time pictures a world beyond taste; a world that adventurously integrates itself into fashionable corners; and a world worth taking a long look at.
Taking a lead from his peers widespread commercial success, Sherry has shot some memorably fresh fashion editorials for magazines such as Dazed and Confused, Purple, i-D, V Man and Japanese Vogue. Part of the group of young artists (and much-chronicled downtown bad boys) around Ryan McGinley, Dash Snow and Dan Colen, Sherry makes photographs that range from reality to fantasy, from portraits to abstractions, landscapes to fashion. Drawing inspiration from contemporaries such as Wolfgang Tillmans to past generation artists such as Derek Jarman and Kenneth Anger. He has exhibited in Berlin, Vienna, Los Angeles and New York. This well-illustrated volume includes an essay by independent curator and critic Neville Wakefield.

Anthony Aziz

Anthony Aziz has been a member of full-time faculty at Parsons since 2001, and is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Photography. He is an artist and photographer specializing in digital imaging, and a collaborator in the team of Aziz + Cucher. Since 1991, the team has exhibited photography, sculpture, and video installations in museums and festivals world-wide, including the Venice Biennale, The Biennale de Lyon, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the List Visual Art Center at MIT, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the National Gallery of Berlin, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Fondation Cartier in Paris. His work has been published in the New Yorker, New York Times, the Village Voice, Art in America, ArtForum, ArtNews, FlashArt, October, Cabinet and Parkett. The work of Aziz+Cucher was included in ART TODAY published by Phaidon Press, 2008. Aziz received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990, and is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Aziz+Cucher have a solo exhibition scheduled for Spring 2012 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which will be accompanied by a catalog raisonee featuring work produced during their 20 year collaboration.

Marina Bychkova

Marina Bychkova was born in Siberia and spent her childhood there until the age of fourteen when her family emmigrated from Russia to Canada. Her passion for making dolls began when she was six years old. 
Marina earned her BA degree from Vancouver's Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, before perfecting her dollmaking skills by seeking out a course of studies in advanced jewelry making techniques, including lost wax casting, enameling and stone setting.
The sculptress sketches constantly, filling books with drawings of potential new works. She dislikes banal dollmaking intensely, and her own creations express ideas that challenge the commonly accepted attitudes about what a doll should be.
One of her iconoclastic beliefs is her insistence that dolls shouldn't be stripped of their sex to accomodate a view of sexuality as evil or shameful. Her BJD's are anatomically correct, with some featuring carefully painted, lifelike genitalia.
Marina also incorporates her unique and challenging views about mythology into her fairy tale creations, and her sometimes dark musings about human nature find expression in many dolls as well.
Artist Statement
"My need to work with dolls became evident as a calling when I was six years old. As a child I became painfully aware and appalled at the mediocrity and the uninspired dullness of mass-produced dolls. This profound frustration coupled with my natural sensibilities inspired me to create my own dolls, suited to my own ideas of feminine beauty. A particular point of interest for me was not only the life-like articulation of the body, but also the beautiful balance between a delicate form and an extraordinary function of a doll.
At first, I just wanted to have beautiful toys to play with for a change, but soon, my desire to make dolls evolved into its own passion for its own sake, and by the time I was ten I no longer cared about playing with what I made, because designing and constructing them became the most challenging, intriguing and entertaining game of all.
Although I began selling my first articulated paper dolls to my classmates in grade five, I didn’t make a decision to commit to a career of doll making until I was twenty four years old and with 3 years of art school struggle under my belt. Surprisingly it was my conceptual art training at the Emily Carr Institute of art and design that influenced this choice, shaping the direction and stylistic qualities of my work into its present form.
When I needed to come up with brand name to give my dolls an identity, I decided to name them after Paul Gallico’s fictional, short story called “Enchanted Doll”, where a young woman creates dolls with so much love that they enchant people at first sight with their compelling, delicate, life-like beauty.
And this is my goal also."

Brian Dettmer

Dettmer is originally from Chicago, where he studied at Columbia College. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.
Dettmer’s work has been exhibited and collected throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. He has had solo shows in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta and Barcelona and has had projects exhibited in Mexico City, Berlin and London. He has been represented at several international art fairs including Pulse (Miami), MACO (Mexico City), ARCO (Madrid), Scope (London, Miami), Art Chicago (Chicago) and many others.
He is currently represented by Kinz + Tillou Fine Art in New York, Packer Schopf in Chicago, MiTO Gallery in Barcelona, Toomey Tourell in San Francisco and Saltworks in Atlanta. Dettmer’s work has been exhibited Internationally in several museums, universities and art centers including the Museum of Art and Design (NY), Museum of Contemporary Art (GA), the International Museum of Surgical Science (IL), Museum Rijswijh (Netherlands), Wellcome Collection (England) the Bellevue Arts Museum (WA), The Kohler Arts Center (WI), and the Illinois State Museum (IL). His work can be found in several private and public collections throughout the U.S, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Dettmer’s work has gained International acclaim through internet bloggers, and traditional media. His bibliography includes The New York Times, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, AJC, Modern Painters, Wired, The Village Voice, Harper’s, Time Out, The San Francisco Chronicle, and National Public Radio among several others.

Artist Statement:
"The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book's intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect communicative objects or systems such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium's role transforms. Its content is recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge."

Chen Wenling

Wenling Chen was born in 1969 in Anxi, Fujian China.  He studied at the Xiamen Academy of Art and Design, and at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.  He is now living and working in Xiamen and Beijing as a professional artist.
Chen Wenling is recognized as one of the top ten contemporary sculptors in China today.
In the Chinese contemporary art circle, Chen Wenling  is indeed a rising star who quickly establishes his artistic outlook. With persistent diligence and  vigorous creativity, he presents the world of art with one series  of work after another. He also participates in various exhibitions and attracts the attention of many people. More importantly, due to the
consistency  within the developing logic of his art, his works  are characterised by a salient feature.  In  the  contemporary art, the  unity between the personality of conception and the personality of style is  at least the basic measurement of mature art. By this standard, Chen Wenling has constructed his own world of art.

Many a critic has pointed out that Chen’s art originates from the reality of "consumer society". It is so indeed. For artists in Chen’s generation, the consumer culture bought by the development of Chinese economy and the resulting material abundance exerts profound influence on them  both in terms of visual perception and cultural context.  The problem faced by them is how to find an appropriate way to express their perception of consumer culture deeply and insightfully, realising the delivery of conception and creation of image at the same time. Judging from his works of more than a decade, we are able to observe that Chen closely follows his own focal perception, explores and refines his artistic language along the way and strives to express a precise perception with a visual image. With the "consumer society" as his theme, he focuses all his effort to the specific topic of how to materialise the "image of desire" so that he is able to represent vividly the features of this social reality.
It could be said that Chen’s art is strongly neo-realistic. He sensitively perceives the hedonism growing in the society at the age of rapidly swelling consumerism.  An artistic language to express, reveal and criticise this worldly reality is what he seeks and he finally finds his channel of expression by resorting to the "biological being" common to both man and animal. His works first present man at the state of certain ecstasy and glee, exposing the true nature of material desire in an ultimately egoistic phase, which can also be regarded as an artistic magnification of scenes from the material life. In many of his works, he juxtaposes the features of man and animal in one sculpture, thus  depicts the situation when the demarcation between man and animal or human behaviours and animal behaviours disappears. In terms of the mental state of  sculptures, the expression on the face of a man is as simple and obsessed as an animal, whereas the animals are given  man-like mental states and desires. No matter man or animal, they all appear to be in a deviated state of mind, happy and stimulated. The juxtaposition of  "personification" and  "hypostatization" is a method acquired by Chen in his exploration of art. He adopts this method nonstop in his series of works so  that it multiplies and gains more value, forming a developing momentum propelled by a self-sufficient driving power within.
To a certain extent, Chen Wenling is an artist who believes in the power of sculpting. Unlike many of his peers who have a constant interest in changing the medium of their art, he insists on in-depth explorations of sculpting as a form of art. The most conspicuous feature of his art works  is the modelling of a sense of  "expansion". In his modelling  of man and animal, he utilises broad and solid body parts together with many elastic curves to enable the  abstract 
concept of "desire" to express itself through the volume of the sculpture, the texture of its skin and lines of its body, with a perceptible feeling that desire is spilling out from its inside. In his recent works, he tends to use  a single gigantic sculpture or the repetition of a single image to form a hallucinating scene where man and animal, flora and fauna, the details and  the whole are reduced to a blur, resulting in a pervasive and continuous atmosphere. It is powerfully 
illusive yet it is a refraction of the reality. In many cases, it is not a single and concrete image that Chen Wenling is trying to produce but rather a scene full of life and vitality created by the language of sculpture.
When an artist possesses  a  certain  distinctive feature in his formal language, the origin of such form often comes under question. This problem is not only applicable to Chen Wenling but also to Chinese contemporary art as a whole. To answer this question, we need to trace the source of both the artist’s conception as well as his artistic language.  According to his life experience, these two share the same source. His works are immensely allegorical, both the man and things are magnified embodiments of  "desire", however, city, where social and 
economical progress are mainly made, is not the only source of desire; customs from the countryside also contributes its share. Chen Wenling grew up in a  village in southern Fujian province, where local  folk custom is filled with supplications and dreams about wealth. With the rising living standard, material desires expand and enlarge into  a  social psychological trend and invokes new scenes of life. These environmental elements have a direct influence on Chen’s thoughts. Although he has no intention to depict these vivid scenes as a whole, he still has direct perceptions of them. What he can do is to represent the sense of desire, the expression of which makes real situations specific and alive. In this sense, his language of art is not a simple appropriation from existing ones in the history of art, but a touch of life he 
himself has experienced. Certainly, powerful scenes and visual modelling in the folk culture also inspire him in the process. To a certain extent,  formal languages like the exaggerated modelling and round body parts in Chen’s work  are correlated with the traditions of southern Fujian folk art. Sensitively, Chen captures certain visual elements from life and  pushes them to the extremes in his work. 
Chen Wenling  has staged many exhibitions, but what sets this one apart is that besides his latest sculptures, the scenes he videoed at a temple faire when he returned to his home town is also on display. Amid the heated folk activities, we are able to see the local source of Chen’s art clearly. The overwhelming scenes of sacrifice, which have somehow turned into a visual miracle, demonstrate the power of materials. These two works, video documentation and his sculptures is clearly related either in content or in form, which also reveals the final answer to the riddle of Chen’s recent artistic creation. In this sense, the art of Chen Wenling is indeed an art with "well grounded form".

Kevin Titzer

Kevin Titzer (Born in 1972) is an independent artist and native of Evansville, Indiana. native has been making art for most of his life and has gained recognition in galleries across the country over the last few years. Much of his work originates as driftwood from the Ohio River.  His macabre little figures evoke the feeling of fascination inspired by circus freaks.
Kevin Titzer creates three-dimensional objects using wood, metal, and other debris found near his home by the Ohio River.  The 31 year old has been making art for most of his life and has established himself in galleries in Louisville and Nashville. His subjects are playful, yet some may carry a darker edge and suggest that much more lies beneath the surface.
Titzer says
"My process is fairly simple. I start off with driftwood that I collect from the Ohio River. Back at my studio I start to rough out the figure with hand tools. Typically the torso, legs, and base are all one piece of wood. The circumference of the base is the size of the log I started with. A head, arms, and hands are carved from smaller pieces of driftwood.
The next step is painting. I use many washes of acrylic paint on areas I want to represent skin. All of the wooden pieces are then attached with wooden pegs. When this is done I begin surfacing the outside with metal. In the past I have used rain gutters, candy boxes, ceiling tin, tackle boxes, and anything I can cut with hand sheers. This material is attached to the wood with many many tiny nails. Except for these nails and the paint, everything else I use to make my art is scavenged or recycled.
At the end of the process, I often fashion props for my figures to suggest a narrative. I enjoy telling open-ended stories with my work."

Richard Stipl

Working initially as a painter, Richard Stipl (Born 1968, in Sternberk, Czech Republic) has recently turned to making sculpture. Considered an exceptional talent in technical terms, Richard stands apart from his contemporaries through his uncanny ability to breathe a vital and invigorating “life force” into his art works, regardless of media.
Stipl's sculptures reflect a contemporary reinterpretation of a classical art form; rather than employ the traditional use of sculptural busts to glorify a subject, Stipl uses his art as a vehicle that forces us reconsider the role of boundaries and consequent categories of choice that comprise contemporary attitudes and approaches to art-making and art-consumption.

Using himself as a model, Richard Stipl‟s sculptures are proportionatly correct miniatures of himself. The figures made from clay wax and resin are dark yet humorous representations of the infinite cycle of recreation and rebirth undergone in a lifetime. He focuses exhaustively on the infinite nature and moment-to-moment paradoxes and singular moments that compose this cycle. The artworks are about „capturing an individual, analyzing his expressions, his weaknesses, and his limitations.‟

Magda Trzaski

Magda Trzaski received her B.F.A. at the University of Ryerson majoring in new media. Since then she has been showing in many group exhibitions. Her work is influenced by the rich Memento Mori and Vanitas themes in 17th century Dutch paintings and also, the Victorian obsession with the death culture. Compartmentalization is a reoccurring element in her work, such as taxonomy, order, boxes, collections, cabinets of curiosities, and photographs held captive within their frames. 
See the podcast of her interview Here

Jim Skull

The self-proclaimed ‘skull artist’ going simply by the name of Jim makes tribal-inspired skullptures, out of woven rope,papier mache, string and other simple materials. His work is surprisingly diverse, often highlighting the various ways in which the image of a skull will eternally hold sway over our imagination. 
the artist calling himself jim skull creates intricate sculptures of his namesake: skulls. using a variety of different materials, the new caledonia-born artist uses the skull form as his means of expression. skull is now based in paris and besides making elaborate skulls, he has also developed a new series of skulls, that each reference a well known figure including furniture designer andree putman, fashion designer agatha ruiz de la prada and LSD inventor timothy leary. 
Based in France, skull artist Jim was born in New Caledonia, “gateway for Oceania and many other horizons. He goes to New Zealand, stops over the New Hebrids, discovers Australia, India, and lands in Hong-Kong. Human experiences, cultural, ritual, he is marked by his travels and encounters…” He is informed by “contemporary art, African, Oceanian, Amerindian, popular, religious…multiple passions and a melting-pot of influences”. Now that’s a lot of location-dropping, but it’s evident that a lot of brain-stewing and new-material-hunting goes into his sculptures.

Scott Radke

Cleveland Based artist who works from his subconscious imagery… Mixed media sculpture, animal human hybrid explorations. Highly influenced by nature.
Radke’s artwork can be found from London to Los Angeles… from major art collections (Mark Parker, former Nike CEO) to work and design making cameo appearances in such films as Walt Disney’s Academy award winning Alice in Wonderland Directed by Tim Burton.

Crystal Morey

Crystal Morey graduated with a BFA with an emphasis in ceramics from California College of the Arts. Morey possesses a rigorous and prolific studio practice in Oakland, and teaches ceramics at UC Berkeley's ASUC. Artist residencies to-date include Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine. She has exhibited in Atlanta at Young Blood Gallery, in Pittsburgh at Los Medanos College, and in San Jose at Anno Domini, among multiple local shows.

"My intention is to explore human emotion, and its relationship with the environment. I want to study the tenuous, symbiotic balance between human necessities and the health of our forests, oceans, mountains, and deserts. I want to combine my love for sculpting and making with more concrete knowledge of botany, ecology, and environmental studies. I want to investigate ideas of man vs. nature and our destruction of the earth. I want to explore the psychological aspects related to the disintegration of nature and its effects on psychosis, body language, and attitude towards life. In my work I want to reveal the delicate relationship of humans to the earth and the balance that is needed in order for life to continue." -  
Crystal Morey

Maurizio Cattelan

Contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is known for his witty embrace of semantic shifts that result from imaginative plays with materials, objects, and actions. In his work, contradictions in the space between what the artist describes as softness and perversity wage a sarcastic critique on political power structures, from notions of nationalism or the authorities of organized religion to the conceit of the museum and art history. Like the traditions established by Dada and Surrealism, his uncanny juxtapositions uproot stable understandings of the world around us. For Cattelan even the banal is absurd. As he has said, “Comedians manipulate and make fun of reality. Whereas I actually think that reality is far more provocative than my art.”
Maurizio Cattelan was born in Padua in 1960. He has had solo exhibitions in the most distinguished museums worldwide such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Other recent presentations of his work include exhibitions at the Ludwig Museum in Koln, Germany and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He will present his work at the Musée du Louvre in Paris in October 2004. Cattelan has participated in five editions of the Venice Biennale as well as in many other collective exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial, Manifesta and "Apocalypse" at the Royal Academy in London.
Italian sculptor Maurizio Cattelan interprets contemporary issues of power, death, and authority in artworks which border on the absurd. The emotional responses that his performances and installations elicit are made possible by the sensitive political, religious, and cultural allusions he appropriates as subject matter. In his subversion of propriety, Cattelan’s works often implicate the art world through a critique of its own institutions.
When one asks why, Cattelan asks: why not? “My aim is to be as open and as incomprehensible as possible,” he explains to Sophie Arie, “There has to be a perfect balance between open and shut.” This balance is the paradoxical tragicomedy of Cattelan’s works, a mordant reflection of contemporary society.

Subodh Gupta

My work is about where I come from. But at the same time, the expansion of the art world means that, to a certain extent, everything is shrinking together, and you have to be aware of international discourse in your work. The objects I work with "refer to the current state of India's shifting society, migration, a sense of home and place, and the effects and frictions caused by a rapidly globalizing society." The transition in my work "from organic . . . to manufactured . . . has traced my own migration to the mainstream of art culture of urban India." Art language is the same all over the world, which allows me to be anywhere.

Like eighty percent of the population in India, I grew up carrying my lunch in the kinds of tiffin pots featured in my work."I am the idol thief. I steal from the drama of Hindu life. And from the kitchen.-these pots, they are like stolen gods, smuggled out of the country. Steel. . . first started seeping into Indian households where I was boy of about eleven or twelve . . . It was the new metal that . . . new Temples of Modernity were churning out . . . Insidiously, it was entering our hearth and home."Hindu kitchens are as important as prayer rooms. These pots are like something sacred, part of important rituals, and I buy them in a market.
Buckets are also very resonant to me. Where I grew up, big families lived together, and taking the bucket meant that you were going to bathe. It's all creating a juxtaposition between the personal and something bigger. These days…sushi restaurants are opening up all over India, indicating how…the history of the Silk Route, a route of trade across India and Asia, goes back centuries. The objects I pick already have their own significance. I put them together to create new meanings.


Born in 1964, Subodh Gupta was raised in the Bihar railway town of Khagaul in India. He studied art at school, although they had no teacher. Instead, the children would meet to talk, read books, and make art, learning from each other. In 1988, Gupta earned a BFA in painting from the College of Arts and Crafts, Patna University in Bihar. Since 1990, he has lived and worked in New Dehli, India.
Subodh Gupta has exhibited his work worldwide; he has had solo exhibitions at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (2008) and Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai, India (2007), and he has exhibited with Arsenal at the 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2005). His work can be found in many public collections such as the Charles Saatchi Collection, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Dehli, India.

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson is considered a Neo-Dadist artist who utilizes paint in humorous and non-traditional ways.

American contemporary artist born in 1939 in Sacramento. He now lives in Los Angeles, California.
Since the 1970s Jackson has developed in his work an interrogation of painting that combines conceptual procedures, humour and extreme disorder. He expands the activity of painting, abandons its traditional instruments for machines, vehicles and everyday objects. For this reason he has been referred to as a neo-dadaist.
Jackson has brought the material dimensions of painting to extremes. "Big Ideas" from 1981 consisted in hundreds of painted canvases stacked into a sphere of 5 meters diameter. His exhibition, The Maid's Room / The Dining Room (2007) is a tribute to Marcel Duchamp's last major work: Etant donnés.

Damien Hirst

      Damien Hirst (born 7th June 1965 in Bristol) is a Britishartist and probably the most famous of the group that has been dubbed "Young British Artists" (or YBA's). He is best known for his Natural History series in which dead animals (such as a shark, a sheep or a cow) are preserved in formaldehyde.
      In 1988 he gained attention for curating the student exhibition, Freeze, in a derelict building in South East London. Freeze brought him to the attention of a Charles Saatchi. After graduating Hirst was included in New Contemporaries and in a group show at Kettles Yard Gallery in Cambridge. 
    His first solo exhibition, In and Out of Love, was held at the Woodstock Street Gallery in London in 1991. Also in 1991 he had a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. By this time the major elements of his work had been established with the use of large vitrines, dead animals and pharmacological support. At this point Hirst met the up and coming art dealer Jay Jopling. At the end of 1991 Hirst was showcased in an exhibition at Saatchi's Gallery in North London including the work "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". The same exhibition included the work "10,000 Years". Hirst'sfirst major international presentation was in the 1993 Venice Biennale with the work "Mother and Child Divided".
    Hirst was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1992 but lost to Grenville Davey. He won in 1995.
      His critically-acclaimed autobiography/art book, I Want To Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, was published in 1998.
    Hirst is a friend of Alex James of the band Blur, for whom he directed the video for the song Country House. In 1998, with James and the actor Keith Allen,Hirst formed the band Fat Les, a one-hit wonder with their football-themed song Vindaloo.
    In 2000 Hirst paid an undisclosed sum to charity in an out-of-court settlement after being accused that "Hymn" (1996) plagiarised Hull-based toy manufacturer Humbrol's "Anatomy Man", designed by Norman Emms.
    In 2003 Hirst's giant statue "Charity" was sold for a reported €1m, the first time an individual work by a living British artist had reached this price.
    In 2003 Hirst had a public rift with the collector Charles Saatchi over the display of his works as part of a fee paying exhibition. Hirst bought back a number of works from Saatchi for a total fee reported to exceed €8m. 
    On 24 May 2004, a fire in a storage warehouse destroyed many works from the Saatchi collection, including, it is believed, some of Hirst's.
    In late 2004 Hirst designed a cover for the "Band Aid 20" charity single featuring the Grim Reaper with an African child perched on his knee. Not to the liking of the record executives, it was replaced by reindeer in the snow standing next to a child.
    In December 2004 the Saatchi Collection confirmed a rumour that it had sold The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living to an American collector, for $12 million (€6.5 million), in a deal negotiated by Hirst's New York agent Larry Gagosian. It is understood that the collector, believed to be Steve Cohen - a Greenwich hedge fund manager, will donate the work to MoMA New York.

Louise Bourgeois

American sculptor, painter and printmaker of French birth. She studied mathematics at the Sorbonne before turning to studio arts.

In 1938 she went to New York, where she enrolled in the Art Students League and studied painting for two years. Bourgeois's work was shown at the Brooklyn Museum Print Exhibition in 1939.
During World War II she worked with Joan Miró, André Masson and other European expatriates. 

Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists, she never became an abstract artist. Instead, she created symbolic objects and drawings expressing themes of loneliness and conflict, frustration and vulnerability.
In 1949 Bourgeois had her first sculpture exhibition, including Woman in the Shape of a Shuttle, at the Peridot Gallery; this work proved typical of her wooden sculpture and foreshadowed her preoccupations of the following years.
Her first sculptures were narrow wooden pieces, such as Sleeping Figure (1950; New York, MOMA), a ‘stick' figure articulated into four parts with two supporting poles. Bourgeois soon began using non-traditional media, with rough works in latex and plaster contrasting with her elegantly worked pieces in wood, bronze and marble. In the 1960s and 1970s her work became more sexually explicit. The psychological origins of her work are particularly evident in Destruction of the Father(1974; New York, Xavier Fourcade). Bourgeois's work was appreciated by a wider public in the 1970s as a result of the change in attitudes wrought by feminism and Postmodernism.
The art of Louise Bourgeois was created over a span of sixty years. Besides working within a surrealist strain in the late 1930's and early 1940's, she was an important force during the rise of the American Abstract Expressionists in the late 1940's and early 1950's, as well as during the 1960's and 1970's feminist movement. Bourgeois has been called everything from a Minimalist to an “eccentric abstractionist” (by the art historian Lucy Lippard). Bourgeois received an honorary degree from Yale in 1977, and was awarded an Achievement Visual Arts Award by the Woman’s Caucus for the Arts in 1980. Though Bourgeois exhibited in major museums all over the world, she was recognized as primarily a "woman’s artist" until the Museum of Modern Art gave her a one-person show in 1982. It was this show that finally launched Bourgeois to artistic stardom. In 1994, MoMA launched a major retrospective of Bourgeois' complete prints and published a catalogue raisonné to go along with the show.
 In 1975 Lippard praised Bourgeois as an artist who “despite her apparent fragility survived almost 40 years of discrimination, struggle, intermittent success and neglect in New York’s gladiatorial art arenas.” Bourgeois proved that she was not only a survivor, but an artistically and intellectually competent personality to be reckoned with. 

Ugo Rondinone

Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone (b. 1964) works in a diverse range of mediums including painting, sculpture, video, photography and installation. With his blend of cross-references, icons, signs and elusive traces and his mixture of attraction and repulsion, excitement and boredom, clarity and confusion, intensity, emptiness, laughter and melancholy, Ugo Rondinone's work is in a constant exploration of different media, themes and stylistic expressions. His work is playful and can not be fixed within a specific description. Fiction, everyday life and effect are intimately linked in a discourse which bonds art and life, aesthetics and mental experience, in a personal and linguistic productive vision.
Working across different media and styles, Rondinone takes references literature, music and theatre as well as the visual arts, creating sensory and theatrical installations combining photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture and sound. In "I Don't Live Here Anymore", he digitally attaches images of his own head to fashion models' bodies. Positioning this altered self-portrait within the invented world of fashion glossies, he deconstructs high-style clothing, cosmetics, and attitudes. He tests his own body and appearance, and he raises the issue of reality. The artist can only offer his own, man made version. With his blend icons, signs and elusive traces, and his mixture of attraction and repulsion, excitement and boredom, clarity and confusion, intensity, emptiness, laughter and melancholy, Ugo Rondinone's work is suspended in non-time and non-space where reality, fiction, possibility and effect are intimately linked in a discourse which bonds art and life, aesthetics and mental experience, in an extremely personal and poetically productive vision.
Like the great Alberto Giacometti, a sculptor of sombre aesthetic scruples, Ugo Rondinone was born in Switzerland to Italian parents. He later studied at Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna.
A multimedia artist, Rondinone often joins forces with other artists like Urs Fischer in collaborative installations.
Rondinone’s wide-ranging interests and idiosyncratic style suggests a person tunnelling into his own psyche. His audacious choice of literary antecedents seems a good way of trying to get to grips with the nature of that psychosphere. He draws inspiration from not-so-well-known yet brilliant writers, such as New York performance poet John Giorno (star of Andy Warhol’s 1963 film Sleep) and Edmond Jabès, a writer known for his meditations on exile in the desert of language (the title for Rondinone’s project, Clockwork for oracle, was taken from one of his poems). However, the novel that most influenced him was Joris Karl Huysmans’ Against nature; Rondinone has said that the way in which the protagonist builds his own world in a castle, without any outside contact, is very much the way he sees artists.
Controlling every aspect of a space, and all the corresponding and contrasting elements – such as clowns, mirrors, targets and windows – Rondinone often transforms art sites into just such a self-contained world. Life is undecipherable and repetitive, controlled by time and order, while emotions are pesky and chaos stirs.
Like his compatriot Giacometti, Rondinone knows the paradoxical rules of a game where the closer you get to the truth, the further you are away, or the more conscious you are of your distance. The payoff: a feeling of potent compassion and the startling thrill of art, as a place where detached contemplation can yield some access to life’s engulfing mysteries.
For Ugo Rondinone, the architecture is always a framework and a stimulus. Whether it was the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in South Melbourne, known as the ‘urban Uluru’, or Sydney Harbour’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Rondinone contributed amazing works for each of the two venues. Both exhibitions were realised as Kaldor projects in a partnership with Naomi Milgrom Kaldor.