One of the drawbacks of living in a mud-brick house is that you can’t hang anything off the walls. Every painting in our house has to be suspended by cable off hooks in the wooden beamed ceiling.
In any case, since we have large windows and french doors in every room there’s very little wall space for art. I barely found enough place to hang up our beloved turquoise & crimson splashed Gunarsa and the diptych Chua Ek Kays, and the rest of our art resides incongruously in our garden shed.
So I dream of beautiful blank walls. Especially those of my studio, which we are building in our upcoming renovation, along with a guest wing.
Since it’s Christmas and everyone seems to be sharing their fantasy wishlists, I thought I’d do mine as well. Only mine happens to be an Art-themed one, as I must admit I’ve pretty much have everything else covered. I mean it when I say please, no presents for me. Give them to someone deserving, someone who’s not a retail addict!
My Christmas fantasy wishlist of art
1) A post-88 Chuck Close woodcut print/painting
In 1988, Photo-realist painter Chuck Close had a spinal blood clot which left him virtually paralysed. Wheelchair-bound, Chuck’s paintings went from minutely detailed realist paintings to colourful montages of elliptical and ovoid abstracts, which when viewed from a distance, formed a human portrait.
I love the energy in these paintings, they seem full of dancing light.
Self Portrait, Chuck Close
Emma 2002 Chuck Close
2) A James Nares painting
I have loved these paintings for a long time. They seem to embody the essence of Chinese calligraphy and zen philosophy, as they are literally created in one breath, a burst of energy. James Nares suspends himself from the ceiling by a harness and uses a huge self-made brush, repeatedly lunging at a blank canvas to made a single stroke. It takes him hundreds of tries to get a “keeper” and his long-suffering assistant stands by his side to sluice the paint off the canvas after each rejected attempt.
John Barrett’s apartment from July/August 2007 ELLE Decor
3.) A Bill Henson Photograph
Of course there has to be a Bill Henson photograph in my wishlist. Either one of his luminously gloomy landscapes, or one of awkward teenagers up on the hill, overlooking the cityscape below. So Douglas Coupland.
Bill Henson 2005
Untitled #63, 2000/2003
4.) A Marilyn Minter painting
I love Marilyn Minter. Everything about her paintings scream dirty glamour, JG Ballard-esque excess, peeling glitter and glossy surfaces.
One of these huge photo-realist paintings would be great.
But I’ll settle for these limited edition skateboards she designed – I’d mount them on the wall of my powder room.
5.) A Rosemarie Fiore Firework drawing
Rosemarie Fiore who produces drawings through avant-garde techniques such as lighting fireworks on paper and containing them, to produce vivid neon bursts of colour. She also has “scrambler” drawings and “waffle-iron” works. This woman really knows how to have fun with her art. I’m terribly jealous.
Rosemarie fiore, “Firework Drawing #20” 2007
lit firework residue on paper, cardboard and collage
6.) A Phillip Lorca di Corcia photo
I’m not fussy, they are all gorgeous whether he’s photographing pole-dancers, rent-boys or subway commuters.
My favourite series of his is the Hollywood series, where he offered people on the street money to pose for him, and then subsequently displayed the photographs with the name, age of the person, and how much he asked for.
Phillip Lorca di Corcia, W.March 2000, #14, from Cuba Libre, 2000.
Phillip Lorca di Corcia, Hollywood Series, 2000
7.) An Anish Kapoor sculpture
I have loved this one since we saw it in the beautiful walled gardens of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. So minimal and intelligent, the two polished concave spherical surfaces reflect you in the world when you approach it, one the right way up, and in the other, the inverse reflection. Very thought provoking, and the picture below doesn’t do it justice in the least.
Black granite, 225 x 145 x 30 cm
8.) And finally, a relatively affordable indulgence – artist Vuk Vidor’s very funny silk-screen work of “art history”
Munch owns Despair, Pollock owns Drippings, Koons owns Kitsch, Hirst owns The Pharmacy. Love it!
Hope you enjoyed my fantasy, it was incredible to realise that this has been my 100th post in the short space of about a year! I’ve really enjoyed writing the blog and receiving everyone’s comments. Sometimes, I think that I feel closer to a lot of old friends now that I’m in Australia than if I had never left Singapore at all. And the new friends aren’t too shabby either!
p.s. Would it be trashy to admit to wanting a Jeff Koon’s Balloon Dog sculpture as well?