ALAIN LABOILE| 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS
Alain Laboile, “La bouée”, 2015, 29 Arts in Progress
Wrought-iron craftsman, photographer and father to six children, Alain Laboile (b.Bordeaux, 1968) started a family album in 2007, at the age of 39. His “La Famille” series was, at first, a private treasure. This self-taught photographer who only possesses one picture of his own childhood simply wished to record the passing of time with his family.
The family album quickly goes beyond the private setting and seduces the web. Tens of thousands of internet users all over the world await, daily, the new images of this French “tribe” insolently living on the edge of the world. In December 2012, the New York Times celebrates Alain Laboile’s talent. The first shows ensue in Japan and the United States, then in France in 2014 when the La Famille series joined the Musée français de la photographie collection. Alain Laboile’s work was since published several times and exhibited worldwide.
Laboile catches the essence and the fugacity of a childhood made up of exploration, freedom and innocence without interfering. The soft monochromatism which distinguishes Laboile’s work manifests itself in a timeless, essential and universal atmosphere where his subjects are captured in spontaneous poses.
The photographer invites us to enjoy his personal enchanted world where his intimacy and his emotions give us back the infinite shades of a suspended time that here flows slowly, kept in an ongoing album that doesn’t want to come to an end. In so doing, Laboile is pursuing the rarity and beauty of that Proustian temps retrouvé.
KATERINA BELKINA| GALLERY LILJA ZAKIROVA
Katerina Belkina, Personal Identity, 2016, Gallery Lilja Zakirova , Courtesy Katerina Belkina
Born in Samara in the southeast of European Russia, she was brought up in an creative
atmosphere by her mother, a visual artist. Her education at the Art Academy and the School for Photography of Michael Musorin in Samara gave her the tools to visualize her ideas. Exhibitions of her sublime, mystic self-portraits ensued in Moscow and Paris.
Katerina Belkina was nominated for the prestigious Kandinsky Prize (comparable to the British Turner Price) in Moscow in 2007. She won the International Lucas Cranach Award 2015 and the prestigious Hasselblad Masters Prize in 2016. Currently she lives and works in Berlin.
With her latest work, Personal Identity, Katerina Belkina is finishing her Revival series exactly one year after the premier and solo-exhibition in my gallery in Heusden.
By placing a modern woman in an oval frame, in the style of the Italian Renaissance portraits mixed with an illusionary window on the world with a mirror, the artist again turns towards herself and at the same time towards us with a questioning gaze “Who am I?” In Katerina Belkina’s own words: Personal Identity is a combined image of modernday men. All you can say with certainty is that it is a woman but there is no clarity on her age, social status or emotions. In Paris, in the Musee de l’Homme, there is a device that can interpret from the image of a face the estimated age, gender and which emotions are experienced at that moment. To what degree the person feels anxious, he’s feeling timidity, if he is happy or depressed. She decided to create that informational circle in front of the heroine of her story. We live in a time where with the help of a telephone and a device like this we can guess who you are talking to. But, and that is the most curious, it remains the most difficult to know and understand yourself.
MATTIA ZOPPELLARO| TRAFFIC
Mattia Zoppellaro, Kid, Appleby, 2013, Traffic
Mattia Zoppellaro was born in Rovigo in 1977. He studied photography at IED in Milan from 1997 to 2000. In 2002, after two years working experience at the Photography department of Fabrica, Mattia moved to England, where he started shooting for several music magazines and record labels. Between assignments, Mattia develops different projects from social reportage (Irish Travellers, Kosovar Refugees, Western Africa Witch Hunters, Hackney’s Homeless, Maximum Security Prisons in Italian North East), to entertainment (Sicilian Religious Ceremonies, Milan Porn Fair) and youth culture features (European Rave Parties, Mexican Punks, Dakar’s Hip Hop Scene). He is now living between London and Milan.
MINHEE AHN| FOCUS KOREA
Minhee Ahn, your hands #6, 2014, Focus Korea
Minhee Ahn was born in 1991 in Cheong-Ju, Republic of Korea, she graduated in Art and Design at Shingu College in Sungnam-si, Department of Photography & Image Media, then she graduated from Kyungil University in Gyeongsan-si, South Korea, section of School of Photography & Motion Picture, completing her studies at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, the city where she lives and works, Germany) She is an artist who works with photography and the photographic set to denounce, with scathing irony, mass stereotypes related, in particular, to the dictates of fashion clothes, accessories, body worship, make-up, signs of standardisations to create a belonging to a group, such as excessive thinness, reconstructed nails, tattoos, piercings and other stratagems invented by the “beauty” industry. An industry that was born in the 1920s and progressed rapidly in capitalist societies, characterized by mass consumption. Her photographic cycle entitled Your Hands is hilarious and corrosive, in which the protagonists are, unpredictably, not the beautiful smooth and soft hands of a mannequin, but wrinkled crow’s feet with long nails glazed with red nail polish, plunge in a sea of pearls or enriched with the brands of Gucci, Dior, Prada. Her appeal to glamour, to glitter, to Kitsch, raises the critical level of her provocative denunciation, correlating beauty and price elements and stimulating, in the viewer, the awareness of the level of influence suffered by the collective imagination.
ARIEL SCHLESINGER |GALLERIA MASSIMO MININI
Ariel Schlesinger, Three Commas Club, 2017, Galleria Massimo Minini
Ariel Schlesinger (born 1980, Jerusalem) is an Israeli artist who lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City. His diverse body of work navigates sculpture, conceptual art, and installation art. Schlesinger’s installations often dislocate everyday objects, rearranging them in ways that leave viewers simultaneously amused and apprehensive. In 2017, Schlesinger won an international competition to design a public work for the entrance of the newly renovated Jewish Museum in Frankfurt.
Between 1999 and 2003, Schlesinger studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Since moving to Berlin shortly after his graduation, he’s been awarded residencies in Germany, France, Italy and Japan. In 2012, Schlesinger was named “VHV-Artist of the Year,” earning a €25,000 prize from the German insurance and reinsurance company VHV Group. The work for which he won the prize, A Car Full of Gas, has been exhibited in Berlin and across Europe.
His installations, sometimes deemed “space-interventions”, consist of ordinary objects, including cars, gas tanks, bikes, lighters, pencils, paper and socks, which are arranged in ways that both de-familiarize their everyday meaning and generate unexpected, humorous, and sinister associations. In his work A Car Full of Gas, for example, it is not human passengers that sit in the front seats of a vintage mini car, but rather two, 60-litre gas canisters, inevitably anthropomorphized given their context. From one of the car windows, a small flame burns. The clean, everyday elegance of the work has been read as an omen of catastrophe. Perhaps nobody has been as precise as Gal Katz in capturing a key motive of Schlesinger’s work: the tension between the order of perfectly immaculate objects and arrangements, on the one hand, and a poignant sense of looming calamity, on the other.
In 2017, Schlesinger won an international competition to design a large-scale public work for the newly renovated Jewish Museum of Frankfurt. The proposal consists of an 11-meter tall sculpture composed of two trees whose branches are connected such that the roots of one tree point to the sky, while the other is firmly rooted in the ground.