Exhibition - Pop Life: Art in a Material World

Before celebrating Halloween my flat mates and I went to see the much talked about exhibition at the Tate Modern. I had heard a lot of criticism about it but I thought I should form my own opinion and I must say I was positively surprised. The exhibition is very pleasantly curated, very informative and surprisingly inspirational (for me it was at least) and is definitely worth the £11 concession. The whole exhibition is based on pop culture , like its name implies, and explores the most provocative and influential pieces of the 21st century ranging from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Because I recently developed a vast interest in pop culture for my recent projects I enjoyed every bit of the exhibition, it's quite the eye opener. Here are the/my high-lights:

Koons' iconic Rabbit never fails to impress me with it's simplicity and genius. Even more interesting were the pieces from his Made in Heaven series, a collection of art works in different media depicting himself having sex with hungarian porn star and politician Iona, based on the celebrity age we live in today.

On the same subject comes Richard Princes' Spiritual America IV and Takashi Murakamis' collection of work about modern Japan. Their work is a brilliant reference for an idea I've had for a personal project, something I will concentrate on as soon as I find the time (I am constantly collecting references, images and information on the subject, which is - very broadly described - today's pop and celebrity culture and the illusion-lifestyle it creates. If anyone has seen a piece of work or article that links to that subject please feel free to email it to me - illustratemyday.mail@gmail.com!).

Another personally interesting part of the exhibition was Keith Haring's Pop Shop room, along with a couple of his prints. I've always felt a strong connection to his work because my earliest art-related memory is of me going to see an exhibition of his work in Knokke, Belgium, sitting there for two days in a row trying to draw the different pieces of work displayed.

A technically interesting part of the exhibition was the first part, Warhol's legacy.
For some obscure reason I have never really thought about mixing my silk screen printing inks with things like diamond dust (Gem). Displayed in addition the Gem series are quite a few celebrity portraits and promotional films Warhol made.

Besides the 'obvious' big names, the gallery included a couple of very impressive work by artists previously unknown to me. Most notable ones in this category would be Martin Kippenberg's Martin is Great, Tremendous, Fabulous, Everything and Peter Nagy's Est Graduate. I found both pieces to be visually very pleasing.

On a side-note:


It is impossible for me not to mention the Tate Modern's new installation: How It Is by Miroslaw Balka.
If you can, be sure to pass by the Tate to experience this weird installation, the feeling you get is pretty hard to describe.

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