Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kurt's Head

I took these photos at the Seattle Art Museum last Thursday. There are two exhibits at the SAM right now that are both pretty awesome--the first one, entitled "Kurt" is an exhibition of art "that asks viewers why and how Kurt Cobain came to mean so much to a generation."

What that basically amounted to was a lot of really crappy pencil drawings and other amateurish art that was either literally or very loosely "about" Kurt Cobain. It was pretty interesting to see it all. Even though most of it kind of sucked, it sort of worked anyway, since it seemed "grunge."

The stand-out piece was this one, the sculpture of Kurt's head. This sculpture was so far superior to the rest of the art that it almost made me wonder if the entire exhibit was just an excuse to display this head, with the rest of it pretty much being filler.

It looks like it's sculpted out of mud, but actually it is made of corrugated cardboard. The amazing thing is that the artist somehow totally captured Kurt's likeness, using only cardboard and nails. The hair is actually shredded pieces of cardboard, and the "stubble" is made of nails. So cool. I think Kurt would have loved it.

The other exhibit, called "love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death" is an assortment of Andy Warhol photographs and films. So, clearly, this is also awesome. From SAM's website:

"love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death includes works that compel us to consider the artist’s fascination with all things ephemeral, from beauty and youth to celebrity status. Including photographs and videos dating from the 1960s through the early 1980s—two decades in which the artist’s work had tremendous impact on contemporary art production and culture—the exhibition encourages readings of powerful themes such as fame, desire and identity construction, as well as anxiety and isolation, which often accompany stardom. In a series of self-portraits, with props or disguises such as wigs and women’s clothing, Warhol exposes his obsession with his own image and his desire to probe and push the boundaries of identity and self-invention.

"love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death — Andy Warhol Media Works is on view concurrently with the exhibition Kurt and resonates with many of the works on view, as well as the exploration of fleeting celebrity, the effects it has on the celebrated, and the ways in which even a brief career can deeply move a generation."

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