Neo-Decadent

The Art and Opinions of Heidi Celeghin, Aesthete


Leave a comment

Galleries – Singapore & Houston

I’ve been going to several art shows in Singapore, which has allowed me to begin immersing myself in the art scene here. Although Singapore is known as a financial center, it has a very vibrant and growing art scene as well.  On my first week here, I went to a group show in TAKSU Gallery showcasing work by seven artists from the Philippines.

This week I went to Art Seasons Gallery and saw their new group show, which had some truly spectacular work by Asian artists.  There were two paintings by Jung Jae Ho capturing contemporary cityscapes with unexpected bursts of color. Lee Yong-Deok’s work played with perspective and I would place it in a category of sculptural paintings. As I walked through the space, his paintings would change perspective and “move”. Cao Jingping’s modern take on Chinese painting was detailed, monochromatic, and emotionally powerful. The first piece I saw as I walked into the gallery was Zheng Lu‘s stainless steel installation, Impression of Hongren’s Landscape. I also got to see the work of and meet Donna Ong – she’s an amazing person and artist, definitely check out her website!

For all the photos check out my main website please!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Hello, Singapore!

I arrived in Singapore at the beginning of the week and have been settling into my apartment and studio space with the INSTINC program. I’ve begun my project, which will ultimately take the form of a new media installation. I will be exploring Singapore’s multicultural facet – seeing how diverse cultures coexist in a single space.

Interestingly enough, today at lunch we were discussing cultural differences and how to navigate visiting other countries. Each country has its own set of social rules or norms and when a visitor breaks those rules, there can be humorous (or not-so-humorous) results.

Yesterday, I tried some Malaysian food at a hawker market near the studio. It was a noodle dish with lime, tofu, a boiled egg, beansprouts, and green chilies. It was delicious though not as spicey as I had expected.  The green chili had a sugary taste initially and then it would gradually become a little spicey.

I also purchased some watercress at a supermarket in Clementi Mall but found that the unusually pungent smell was impossible to overcome. Verdict: this type of watercress was inedible. Today I purchased some fresh lemongrass to make with tofu later this week. Later, I’ll have to experiment with the red chilies.


Leave a comment

Some Photos from my Travels

Now that I am back home, I have time to upload some photos of my time in Portugal.

Porto - Old and New

Porto

Porto - Church

Porto - Rio Douro

Apulia, Portugal

Apulia, Portugal

Lisbon

Sintra

Sintra

Cascais

Cascais - A Boca do Inferno

Coming soon: updates on my latest paintings!


Leave a comment

PaperCity Houston & Other News

This month I was published in the ArtNotes sections of PaperCity Houston.  A photo of me and a friend was also included for the Canvases and Cocktails event at Colton & Farb Gallery.  I have also been taken up by Artcessible, a Houston-based art dealer.

In other news, I have been working on several paintings while in Barcelona – some commissions and some personal projects.  After a several-month hiatus, I have returned to the animal painting commission that goes with the Tiger.  I will also be starting an interior in the beginning of May, which is something new that I am really looking forward to.  I have been asked to design and paint the ceiling of the living room of an apartment here in Barcelona.

Barcelona


Leave a comment

Barcelona : Near the Port

Columbus

I have been spending time both painting and getting to know Barcelona.  The two photos included in this post were taken near the port.  The Christopher Columbus statue essentially demarcates the port and behind it starts La Rambla Catalunya.

I recently had to return to Barna Art for more supplies and to order some canvas and stretchers.  That store is beyond amazing!  The employees are knowledgeable and helpful.  One of the things I truly love about art supply stores in Europe is that you can actually find people who make the stretchers for you.  In Barna Art, I could not only define the exact measurements I needed (down to the millimeter) but also could select the type of fabric I wanted stretched over the custom stretchers.  And making things even better, they had a wide variety of linen!  One more reason to love Barcelona.

building


Leave a comment

Thirty-six Views of the Eiffel Tower

I recently visited the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art exhibit at the MFAH.  The show was spectacular.  However, this post is not about the exhibit, it is about books.

Cover

When I was browsing the books at the museum store, I happened upon Les Trente-six Vues de la Tour Eiffel by Henri Rivière.  The book was published in its original format – which is what made it completely irresistible.  It is in the traditional Decadent, Art Nouveau style that was initially pioneered by Whistler.  The combination of text and image on the page is pervasive.

title

Prologue

The prints, however, are large and therefore, allow for close inspection.  They are inspired by Japanese wood-block prints (see Hiroshige), something that Decadent book designers were drawn to.

image

 

In order to fully appreciate the wonderful find that was this book, one has to explore Decadent book-making and design practice.  The theoretical desire to meld text and image, combined with technological advancements, resulted in the creation of the adult illustrated book.  Whistler pioneered the aestheticized book in his objet d’art publications such as The Gentle Art of Making Enemies.  Whistler’s combination of text and image in a compositionally balanced design inscribed the book within aesthetic discourse.  Subsequent publications of “little magazines” such as The Chameleon, The Yellow Book, and The Savoy continued the trend begun by Whistler.  These publications elevated images, traditionally relegated to a secondary position, to the level of text.

The creators of the little magazines tried to unite visual and written art in order to highlight their belief in the possibility of combining diverse arts and paving the way for a new form of art.[1] These magazines were the ultimate mode of Decadent expression and, due to their careful attention to composition, their target audience was the aesthete.

I also ordered painter Odd Nerdrum’s book How We Cheat Each Other and it just arrived in the mail.  Nerdrum is a fantastic artist and I cannot wait to delve into his writing – after all, we are both representational artists who write!  Below is a photograph of the book on the table my grandfather made.

Nerdrum


[1].  Murray G.H. Pittock, Spectrum of Decadence: The Literature of the 1890s (London: Routledge, 1993), 57.