The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.Sir Francis Bacon
With Ann-Christine’s choice of topic — Weird and Wonderful — for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, we were reminded of a recent trip to Lexington, Kentucky, and a stay at 21c Museum Hotel. It’s not that the hotel was weird by any means, but the contemporary art both in the lobby and in the large museum on the second floor gave us pause.
For example, take a closer look at the above pigment print by David Scheinmann called Elvis/Marilyn created in 1993. From the information beside this larger-than-lifesize piece comes this description: “An uncanny double-portrait, Scheinmann’s work resembles Warhol’s Pop Art silkscreens of the rich and famous while also alluding to ongoing myths about Elvis evading death.” We can tell you this: it got our attention. And it’s no wonder we stood in front of it quite a while marveling at the likenesses of the two famous stars embodied in one portrait.
Another piece — an almost floor-to-ceiling portrait of Abraham Lincoln — also caught our attention, not so much that it was weird, but more that the technique was wonderful. Artist Djawid C. Borower’s Picture of a Dollar done in 2006 recreates the image seen on currency but on a grander scale.
And how did he create the watery quality on this portrait? By dragging a squeegee across the still-wet paint to form an abstract image.
Wonderful? We thought so.
But the one portrait that made us move even closer was this one: Barack Obama by Robert Silvers, a chromogenic print created in 2009.
By repositioning ourselves directly in front of the portrait, we could see up close thousands of individual photographs of Obama that created light, shadows, and intricate details of his facial features.
We should have been tipped off that this hotel was a special one when we checked in and noted two circular formations behind the desk, an art installation titled Face to Face with Death II by Spanish artist, Carlos Aires. So special, in fact, that we returned several times to see it from various perspectives.
A closer look revealed animals, people, and objects (weird and wonderful that they are) created from vinyl records. And when taken altogether, it’s truly a unique piece of art for greeting guests and introducing them to the wonders of 21c Museum Hotel Lexington.
For more entries in this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge, head to Anne-Christine’s blog and check out the unusual scenes and objects. And let us know if you’ve seen some weird and wonderful art in your neck of the woods. We just might want to visit!
Travel weirdly and wonderfully,
Rusha & Bert