Multifarious: Basquiat, Bovey, and Chainsaw Robot Art


The Art Gallery of Ontario will host the first, large-scale thematic examination of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. Huzzah! “Basquiat,” curated by Austrian art historian Dieter Buchhart, will open on February 7 and collects over 140 paintings and drawings by the celebrated artist.

— MeganBovey Lee

I’ve been a fan of woodcuts for a long time, but papercut art hasn’t exactly been on my radar. This week TreeHugger profiled Pennsylvania artist Bovey Lee, whose papercutting focuses on the intersections of humanity and nature, the fantastic and the mundane. Bovey trained as a painted, and it shows in her use of space and light in her work, which is on rice paper backed with a layer of silk.

We live in a time when we overdo everything from technology to urbanization to consumption. My recent work is informed by our precarious relationship with nature in the twenty-first century, i.e., what we do to the environment with our super machines and technologies and what nature does back to us in reaction.

— Megan

I’m still obsessing with Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, which mentions Rodin’s She Who Used To Be The Beautiful Heaulmière. The book grows more and more fascinating the further along I get, but I had to stop to grok why this particular piece of art meant so much to two of the characters, based on this quote from the book:

Anyone can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be . . . more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart . . . no matter what the merciless hours have done. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me—but it does to them. Look at her!


Over at the Dissolve Noel Murray makes the argument that 3D can only hope to someday achieve the immersive experience of the View-Master. Neither 3D nor proto virtual realities like Glass have really found their groove yet, have they? But it took CGI years to “feel right” too — I have to wonder if virtual reality will eventually be less an attempt to copy the real, than to synthesize an immersive unreal.

— Megan

Is chainsaw art really art? (Former lead singer of the Runaways Cherie Currie seems to think so — she’s now a chainsaw artiste. Bet you didn’t know that.) And now, Canadian artist Morgan Rauscher is breaking new ground in the field of chainsaw art: automation and remote. He’s built a robot, itself a work of technological, impressionistic art imho, that you direct with game controllers to create chainsaw wood sculptures.

— Megan


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Megan Purdy

Megan Purdy

Publisher of all this. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.