Month: June 2017

MoMA/Tate Dataset

Found this MoMA dataset on Kaggle:

https://www.kaggle.com/momanyc/museum-collection

The artworks dataset contains 130,262 records, representing all of the works that have been accessioned into MoMA’s collection and cataloged in our database. It includes basic metadata for each work, including title, artist, date, medium, dimensions, and date acquired by the Museum.

Yet to try out more interesting analysis, but here’s a list of top 20 countries with the most number of artists featured in MoMA. A simple gender count shows that about 18% of all featured artists are female. 

MoMA_nationality

Top 20 Countries with most artists featured in MoMA

Top 2 longest artwork titles:

  1. Lisa Oppenheim, 2012, photography. ‘A Handley Page Halifax of No. 4 Group flies over the suburbs of Caen, France, during a major daylight raid to assist the Normandy land battle. 467 aircraft took part in the attack, which was originally intended to have bombed German strongpoints north of, Caen, but the bombing area was eventually shifted nearer the city because of the proximity of Allied troops to the original targets. The resulting bombing devastated the northern suburbs, 1944/2012’
  2. Jimmie Durham, 1989, moose skull with antler, metal pipe, wood, and paint. ‘The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan is the World’s Largest Gothic Cathedral. Except, of course, that it is a fake; first by the simple fact of being built in Manhattan, at the turn of the century. But the stone work is re-inforced with steel which is expanding with rust. Someday it will destroy the stone. The Cathedral is in Morningside Heights overlooking a panoramic view of Harlem which is separated by a high fence.’

To be updated! There’s also a dataset by the Tate Collection in UK. Should be interesting to compare the two. https://github.com/tategallery/collection

 

 

Takashi Murakami: Flatness in 3D

I never knew how flat a painting could possibly be, until I saw the collection of Takashi Murakami at Broad. So flat. As flat as an iPhone screen. As flat as a blade straight out of a knife sharpener. Super flat.

murakami_my_arms

My arms and legs rot off and though my blood rushes forth, the tranquility of my heart shall be prized above all. (Red blood, black blood, blood that is not blood), 2007, acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on board, signage in platinum and gold leaf

^ Yes, that is the full title of the painting.

I wanted to touch it so bad. Of course I didn’t. Instead, I looked it from the left, from the right, from all kinds of side angles. After looking at it for 10 minutes, I still couldn’t convince myself to believe that it was painted, instead of digitally printed.

My friend told me that Takashi Murakami hires a group of young artists to execute his paintings and make them super flat. Poor young artists. I feel bad for them.

There’s something theatrical about seeing a giant flat 2D object in a 3D space. In comparison, when you see the picture of the painting above, the picture is flat, but you can’t tell if that implies the original painting is flat. There’s a difference between the 2D projection of a 3D object, and an actual 2D object in a 3D space. You need to be in a three-dimensional space to recognize if something is inherently two-dimensional or just a projection. We see 2D objects all the time, film, photography, manga, etc, but it is still such a novel experience to view Takashi Murakami’s superflatness in a 3D context.

In one of his interviews, Murakami mentioned that the ‘superflat’ movement ties back to flatness of post-war Japanese culture, but for me I see it more as a reminder that paintings are three-dimensional art. By taking away the bumps and the brush strokes, he draws attention to the lack of texture, and therefore reminds us the importance of texture as an artistic expression.