Month: July 2011

A Genuine Smile: Photographs of Andy Warhol by Raeanne Rubenstein

posted by – 07/29/11 @ 5:02pm

Warhol’s genius is generally acknowledged by most people; Even it you’re like me, having not witnessed the apex of Andy Warhol’s multi-faceted art career, American’s likely recognize that Warhol’s impression on this world was something special— something that will live on.  But behind the conceptually–stimulating Campbell’s Soup screen prints and mind-numbing six-hour films of people sleeping, there was a very peculiar man. Beneath his crazy wig, glasses and sometimes make-up, Warhol was a man that not many understood; Celebrity photographer and Tinney Contemporary artist, Raeanne Rubenstein, was one of the lucky few that did.

Rubenstein, a very accomplished photographer who worked for Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Life and People magazine, spent ten years photographing Warhol. Her photographs, to be shown at Tinney Contemporary from August 6th to September 3rd, are almost dangerously revealing of Warhol’s true persona. For someone who was very exclusive in who he chooses to spend time with, Warhol surprisingly welcomed Rubenstein— and her camera. The result of this precious bond was an extensive documentation of Warhol’s life—more specifically—the unconscious, contemplative and personal moments. Rubenstein’s black and white photos capture raw emotion—a somber face, a concentrated focus, a blank stare and sometimes, a genuine smile.

Raeanne will not only share these rare moments that she captured; She’ll also be giving a talk on August 5th at 7pm— come by for an evening of truly rare insight into the life of an unusual artistic genius.


Barnes Foundation To Change– Barnes Legacy of Forward Thinking To Stay The Same

posted by – 07/15/11 @ 4:46pm

After taking a course on Modern Art with esteemed Vanderbilt Art History professor, Leonard Folgarait, my understanding of Impressionism, Cubism and Avant-guard art was forever changed after realizing just how revolutionary those movements were. During the changing times, artists like Matisse and Renoir contributed to the abstract movement by slowing pushing their paintings towards the limits of abstraction. Society, of course, rejected this disfigured, unrealistic and radical style. Just as radical, though, were those visionaries who were daring enough to buy it.

One special supporter of the movement was a peculiar man named Albert C. Barnes, who dedicated the walls of his home to an astonishing collection of impressionist and early modern artwork. By collecting artists like Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and Seurat (at the time they were painting), Barnes showed a great admiration for the fearlessness of the movement—something rare during the especially  fearful times of World War I.

I applaud what the New York Times called Barnes’ “fiercely unconventional ideas about what good art was.” Even more interestingly though, was the way Barnes decided to present his work—he hung pieces in an old-fashioned-looking cluster that spanned high and wide across the walls of his neo-Classical home. His odd arrangement of paintings was organized in order to mimic and harmonize with the qualities of the paintings themselves. As you can see (above), this doesn’t look like your typical art gallery!

Since his stupendous collection turned into an official museum in 1925, visitors have appreciated these unique aspects of Barnes’ collection. However, due to a poor financial situation of the museum’s foundation, a Pennsylvania judge ruled it permissible to bypass the charter on which Barnes had demanded that no painting be moved, lent or sold. Now, as the paintings move to a new building in downtown Philadelphia, the rarity and eloquent strangeness of the Barnes collection will be lost. Critics of the move believe this will destroy the uniqueness of the Barnes collection, and it may be so. But I believe that if Barnes were alive today, with the same radical and forward thinking, I think he too would accept that it is time for change.

To have a look at the original Barnes collection, take a virtual tour of the gallery here.


Warhol Live Exhibit at Frist Reveals An Unfamiliar Side of Warhol

posted by – 07/09/11 @ 4:09pm


Whether you have an appreciation for music, dance, film, 2-dimensional art, 3- dimensional art, or just Andy Warhol himself, The Frist Center’s exhibition, Warhol Live, is an exhibit for everyone. With a specific focus that includes pieces carefully chosen to fit the theme of performance, this show stuns viewers with everything from a never released soundtrack of Andy Warhol singing, to the original “Banana Stickers” that went on the Velvet Underground’s first album cover.

The Frist took a step outside the box by picking an aspect of Warhol’s art that is foreign to some and digging up all that Warhol had to offer in terms of that aspect. Although his famous Campbell’s Soup Cans are featured in the show, my focus was more on the interesting, more personal, parts of the show—like a doodle Warhol made of his plan for a performance in his factory, or a hand-printed ticket to one of his shows. It is because of these aspects of the show that I felt a very intimate connection with Warhol—something that I find rare.

The exhibit allows you to go at your own pace; you can take a quick walk through and be instantly submerged in the neon colors of his prints, or you can sit back for hours, watching his film “Sleep (1963),” where he captures poet John Giorno as he sleeps. Interestingly, Warhol was never alone, therefore this exhibit not only dives into his life and work, but the lives of others too. Lou Reed, John Cage, Edie Sedgwick, Mick Jagger, and Liza Minnelli all make multiple appearances throughout the show. Open until September 11th, I promise this show is not one to be missed.

Nashville really got lucky in landing this incredible bit of Warhol this summer, but there is actually more to come. Raeanne Rubenstein, Photographer and owner of Dish Magazine, who spent time in NYC during the 1970’s, will be showing black and white photographs of Andy Warhol and his “Superstars” at Tinney Contemporary this fall.