‘The art army’ by seattle-based artist michael leavitt is a collection of handcrafted action figures that depict well-known artists in the manner of their individual work and style including the likes of Takashi Murakami (with removable glasses), Jeff Koons (with poseable balloon penis), and Ai Weiwei (with removable digital camera and articulating cell phone phallus), the series is a part of Leavitt’s on-going work where he explores the phenomenon of idolization within the world of contemporary art and culture.
Each figurine is fabricated from scratch using coloured polymer clay and feature at least 20 to 30 body part pieces. No more than 10 editions of each model is built and comes with a choice of three display configurations: hand-built recloseable package, custom diorama background, or a glass dome and plastic base. To see more models from the series, click here to visit michael leavitt’s website.
Takashi Murakami (村上 隆 Murakami Takashi?, born in Tokyo) is a prolific contemporary Japanese artist who works in both fine arts media—such as painting—as well as digital and commercial media. He blurs the boundaries between high and low art. He appropriates popular themes from mass media and pop culture, then turns them into thirty-foot sculptures, “Superflat” paintings, or marketable commercial goods such as figurines or phone caddies.
Murakami’s style, called Superflat, is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga. Superflat is an artistic style that comments on otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism and sexual fetishism.
Like Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami takes low culture and repackages it, and sells it to the highest bidder in the “high-art” market. Also like Warhol, Murakami makes his repacked low culture available to all other markets in the form of paintings, sculptures, videos, T-shirts, key chains, mouse pads, plush dolls, cell phone caddies, and $5,000 limited-edition Louis Vuitton handbags. This is comparable to Claes Oldenburg, who sold his own low-art, high-art pieces in his own store front in the 1960s. What makes Murakami different is his methods of production, and his work is not in one store front but many, ranging from toy stores, candy aisles, comic book stores, and the French design house of Louis Vuitton. Murakami’s style is an amalgam of his Western predecessors, Warhol, Oldenberg and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as Japanese predecessors and contemporaries of anime and manga. He has successfully marketed himself to Western culture and to Japan in the form of Kaikai Kiki and GEISAI.
Article excerpts courtesy Wikipedia
Image by Takashi Murakami – Courtesy Google
The winter solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet is farthest away from its star, depending on the polar hemisphere of reference. Earth’s maximum axial tilt to our Sun during a solstice is 23° 26′. More evidently from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s wintersolstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as midwinter, the longest night or the first day of winter.
The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice usually occurs on Dec. 21 or 22 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere.
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time. (Wikipedia)