Friday, August 27, 2010

Frank Gehry Presents Luma: Parc des Ateliers Project at Venice Architecture Biennale

Frank Gehry Presents Luma: Parc des Ateliers Project at Venice Architecture Biennale


US-Canadian architect Frank Gehry presents Luma, Parc des Ateliers project for Arles, France, at a preview of Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, 25 August 2010. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA .

VENICE.- The Parc des Ateliers in Arles is a model and a master plan for a new type of cultural utopia. Imagined, invented and designed as the ultimate cultural destination by artists, architects, art professionals and intellectuals, in accordance with local inhabitants who have an intimate knowledge of the town of Arles, it is an open campus for creative production, display, study and preservation. Photography and the moving image are its central force and innovative research and exchange are its ongoing mission. Aligned with the aims of the LUMA Foundation, its founding body, the Parc des Ateliers unites culture, education and the environment, and encourages a fruitful dialogue between disciplines and visions rich in contrast as vital elements of a forward-looking society. Located in the heart of the city of Arles and surrounded by the unique environment of the Camargue, it acts as a bridge between the industrial heritage and the UNESCO-protected historical core of this multifaceted city. It also recreates the public park that was once the meeting place of every layer of its population, and thus becomes a project for and with the people of Arles. The master plan was created in 2008; the estimated completion of the project is 2011.

The Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) and the city of Arles initiated a study for the economic and urban development of the area of the former SNCF railway garage, located in the very center of Arles. The final decision was to establish a cultural landmark. The LUMA Foundation – a non-profit, Swiss-based foundation, created in 2004 by art collector and philanthropist Maja Hoffmann, specializing in projects combining the environment, education, and culture – took the cultural vocation given to the site by the City and the Region one bold step further.

Joining this creative initiative are Actes Sud publishers and Les Rencontres d’Arles and with the initial observations of the ABF (Architecte des Bâtiments de France) and input from the ENSP (École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie), together they have contributed to the design of a visionary master plan for the area. The new regeneration project combines a vast cultural campus which offers exhibition and archive space, with an office and service building for Les Rencontres d’Arles, the publishing house Actes Sud, the school of photography ENSP, a cinema, commercial and residential areas and a hotel complex, and with the hope of adding over time a new train station, and a memorial museum for the railway workers. The building project will be set in a landscaped public garden.

The LUMA Foundation recruited Los Angeles-based visionary architect Frank Gehry, and Gehry Partners, LLP to create a landmark building to house the Foundation, and to create the master plan of the site. French real-estate giants Nexity are providing their expertise in terms of the commercial development and how it relates to the site planning.

A snapshot of this work-in-process can be seenat the Venice Biennale of Architecture and at the festival des Rencontres d’Arles with an exhibition of Frank Gehry and Gehry Partners, LLP’s models of the Parc des Ateliers

Monday, August 02, 2010

Stunning Nudes by Photographer Rankin at Annroy Gallery, London

Stunning Nudes by Photographer Rankin at Annroy Gallery, London


Lily Cole © Rankin Photography.

LONDON.- Rankin blurs the boundaries of fashion, photography and fine art in Painting Pretty Pictures, a collection of painterly studies of feminine beauty. Using digital retouching as a tool for artistic effect, stunning nudes of some of the world’s top models, including Yasmin Le Bon, Heidi Klum and Lily Cole, are transformed into apparent oil paintings.

Always keen to explore the limits of his chosen medium, Rankin reframes the debate surrounding the use of digital image manipulation, creating a new hyperreal aesthetic that merges fantasy and reality. With Gerhard Richter amongst his inspirations, Rankin departs from his trademark style, creating images which seem almost classical through the use of the latest imaging technologies.

Painting Pretty Pictures will run from 30th July – 29th August at Annroy Gallery, Rankin’s own Kentish Town gallery space.

Synonymous with dynamic and intimate portraiture, the photographer Rankin has shot everyone from royalty to refugees. His powerful images are part of contemporary iconography, and mix a cross section of his own personal interests with commercial campaigns, from Nike to Women’s Aid. His work is regularly exhibited in galleries around the world from Sao Paolo to Moscow, London to LA.

Rankin first came to prominence when he co-founded style bible Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack. One of the most important magazines of the 90’s, it established its stylists in the fashion elite, broke some of today’s top designers and nurtured the budding careers of a generation of creative photographers.

Earning a reputation for creative portraiture and a talent for capturing the character and spirit of his subjects, Rankin quickly became a formidable force in photography, shooting Brit-pop bands including Pulp and Blur and darlings of pop such as Kylie and Madonna. Rankin’s career continued to blossom and covers for German Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Arena and GQ quickly followed.

His body of work includes some of the most influential politicians, popular musicians, revered artists and celebrated models since the early 90’s. However, Rankin also continues to take on projects that feature ordinary people, often questioning established notions of beauty, causing controversy and igniting debates along the way. Most recently he travelled to Johannesburg with the BBC to film South Africa in Pictures, a documentary in which he traced the country’s photographic history.

Rankin is affiliated with a number of charities and has created hardhitting campaigns for Women’s Aid and Oxfam to name but a few.

A number of books of Rankin’s work have been published, including a retrospective of his work Visually Hungry, a collection of his most recognisable portraits Celebritation, a book of Rankin’s images of his model wife Tuuli Tuulitastic, Alex Box, a collaboration with the avantgarde make-up artist and a book to accompany the BBC documentary, RANKINJOZI.

Between 2004 and April 2010, Rankin has co-directed music videos, commercials and feature films with Chris Cottam. This included their debut film The Lives of Saints, penned by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas writer Tony Grisoni, which enjoyed success on the festival circuit and won the grand jury prize at the Salento International Film Festival. Rankin now continues to film commercial and personal projects independently.

Rankin lives in London with his wife Tuuli and his son Lyle.