Tag Archives: Contemporary art

Pins and needles

Desperate to avoid another social network hungrily eating at my time, I did everything I could to avoid the colourful world of Pinterest. But I love pictures and I have no self-discipline, so it’s started. Here’s a link to my first board (let’s face it the first of many boards) of my favourite living artists, these are the artists I follow the works of like a crazy stalker, leaching on them for their inspiration and enlightenment. Tell me if you think there’s anyone I’ve missed.


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Filed under Installations, Misc, Painting, Performance art, Photography, Public art, Sculpture, Video art

Sign of life

Everyone who lives in a city is surrounded by hundreds of adverts on their daily commute, each one with a life-changing message, ‘be beautiful’, ‘see the world’, ‘live forever’. None of them tell you to stop or switch off, because it doesn’t make any money.

This is why this painting by Jonathan Borofsky stopped me in my tracks. Who ever tells you to slow down and stop living your life for others? Perhaps a concerned friend but never a gigantic yellow billboard.

When I first moved to Paris I suddenly had more time. Previously I lived in London, where time was so precious that I felt if I didn’t fill it with something valuable I was letting myself down. The realisation that it was possible just to stop every now and again was like I had discovered the cure for the common cold.

I once described this feeling to a friend who had experienced a similar change. She offered me some words of wisdom, ‘The only problem about having more time is that you have more time to take a look at yourself’.

With his huge warning sign of a canvas this is exactly what Borofsky is doing. It’s what all art has a responsibility to do, to get the viewer to think about themselves for a while. In the gallery, even if you’re with a friend, when you’re looking at art you’re alone in your thoughts. If it’s really good art you shouldn’t be able to explain in words exactly how it makes you feel, you have to keep it inside.

The only downside to Borofsky’s statement is that it’s in a gallery, a space already designed for slowing down and pleasing yourself, if it was my work I’d have it on billboards in the middle of every capital city.

‘You are Alone Slow Down There is No One to Please but Yourself ‘ by Jonathan Borofsky (1975-76) is part of Fresh Hell, an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris – 20/10/10 – 16/01/11

Photo credit © Jonathan Borofsky, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery (New York).

This post also appears on Artsharks

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Filed under Painting