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Thomas Demand: Paper Weight

The German Artist Talks TMZ and Evil's Kitchen from his LA Studio

Conceptual artist Thomas Demand discusses how an encounter with a picture on a celebrity gossip website instigated his latest work in today’s film from White Zinfandel magazine, which will celebrate the release of its “Food Fights”-themed issue during this week's NADA Miami Beach fair. Based between Los Angeles and Berlin, Demand is known for building life-sized, three-dimensional paper and cardboard models of spaces, inspired by found images, that he then photographs himself and almost always ultimately destroys. This singular technique is behind his recent “Junior Suite,” a work for which the Munich-born sculptor and photographer recreated Whitney Houston’s insalubrious half-eaten “last meal” in her Beverly Hilton Hotel room as it appeared in an image published on TMZ. The film by Friend & Colleague, a studio founded by Alexei Tylevich with his sister Katya, sees Demand reveal how he visited the hotel and ordered the same food in an attempt to achieve a kind of accuracy within the murky world of trivia and generalization. Since his rise to prominence in the mid-1990s, the artist's innovative work has earned him a mid-career retrospective at MoMA in 2005, as well as major solo shows at London's Serpentine Gallery and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and past inspirations for his scale copies include a soldier’s snapshot of the kitchen Saddam Hussein used before his capture and the studio of an artist targeted by the Baader-Meinhof gang. “An underlying assumption in my work is that one way we come to understand who we are is through the images that we collect and remember,” he says. Seen through Demand's oeuvre, images as we remember them, much like those intended to sell the most newspapers or get the most clicks online, are in many ways fictional. 

Thomas Demand is among 30 contributors to the latest issue of White Zinfandel, which will host "De Nada", an amuse-bouche culinary collaboration taking place at Miami's Hotel Deauville this Thursday December 6, 2012.

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Conversations (1)

  • ToddAnthony.org
    Words of wisdom :) Interesting. Captures the spooky element of the subject quite well! Haunting and enthralling yet very funny at moments.

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  • MOST SHARED IN ART
    MOST SHARED IN ART

    Art Basel Miami: Marco Brambilla

    The Artist's F1-Inspired Short Gets Behind Ferrari's Wheel

    Video artist Marco Brambilla shares his densely hypnotic and kaleidoscopic 3D film RPM, commissioned by Ferrari in celebration of their latest auto masterpiece, the 458 Spider, and premiering at Art Basel Miami tonight. Assembling footage shot on location over several months at the Italian Formula One Grand Prix in Monza with imagery from the Scuderia Ferrari archives and the artist’s own recordings, RPM is a visceral, cubist representation of a Formula One driver’s state of mind during a race. “I wanted to make a portrait of speed,” says Brambilla, a life-long F1 fan. “Something as subjective as can be, that explores the connection of man and machine and tests the limits of human endurance.” Featuring Möbius strip racetracks, wind-gritted teeth and a howling soundtrack of throttling engines, RPM accelerates in complexity with every turn of the circuit. “[The film is] always accelerating,” says the artist, “just building, no payoff, no win.” The New York-based Brambilla, who created the digital tableau vivant for Kanye West’s “Power” and the 3D videos Evolution and Civilization, wanted to push the limits of his own aesthetic vocabulary with this project. “This one is a little bit different in that we used 3D as an editing tool,” he says. “As the piece speeds up, the multi-planing—the foreground, mid-ground and background objects—all cycle through each other to create an acceleration in 3D space.”

    Formula One Stats

    An F1 driver loses on average 5 kilograms in weight during a Grand Prix race and burns approximately 600 calories.
     
    Drivers' heart rates reach peaks of 190 beats per minute during a Grand Prix.
     
    A typical F1 car is made up of 80,000 components, in a package weighing less than 550 kg—less than half the weight of a Mini.
     
    When an F1 driver hits the brakes, he experiences deceleration comparable to a regular car driving through a brick wall at 300kmph.
     
    An F1 car can go from 0 to 160 kph and back in 0 to 4 seconds. During the 2004 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, the record top speed for an F1 car was set at over 360 kph.
     
    Top F1 pit crews can refuel and change tires in around 3 seconds.
     
    An F1 car generates enough downforce that it could drive inverted at top speed. In a street course race, this is enough suction to lift manhole covers, which have to be welded down before each race.
     
    Scuderia Ferrari, founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1932, is the oldest and most successful F1 team in history with a record of 15 drivers’ championships and 16 constructors’ championships.

    Today's video is courtesy of Christopher Grimes Gallery.

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  • ON REPLAY
    ON REPLAY

    At Home with Anouck Lepère

    The Sleek Belgian Supermodel Opens Up Her Chic Antwerp Apartment

    Face of Hugo Boss, muse to Gaia Repossi and dedicated charity ambassador, supermodel Anouck Lepère found time to welcome photographer Estelle Hanania into her elegant Antwerp apartment. A tasteful blend of old meets new, Lepère’s home offsets Moroccan rugs sourced at Antwerp’s vintage market Kloosterstraat with a bespoke lily pad-like spiral staircase made by Belgian architecture company Import-Export. On her travels around the globe, Lepère always scours whatever city she lands in for star pieces to add to her collection, so each one is imbued with a special story of how it fell into her hands. “The beautiful lacquered Japanese bowls are from Tokyo,” says the Belgian beauty, who has fronted campaigns for Missoni, Chanel and Peter Pilotto and been photographed by the likes of Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino. “I got them as a present while I was working with Shiseido.” One of Louis Vuitton’s latest Amble Ambassadors, Lepère originally studied to be an architect at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and still harbors a design-conscious eye. “When I was younger my family went on amazing holidays in farfetched places with the accent on cultural richness,” says Lepère. “I’ve seen a lot of the world and try to take inspiration from wherever I go.”

    See Anouck’s guide to Antwerp on the Louis Vuitton Amble application
    here.

    (Read More)

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