Friday, November 14, 2014

Arty Farty Friday ~ Arman

The artist known as "Arman" was Armand Pierre Fernandez , born in Nice, France on 17 November 1928. He retained as his signature a printer's spelling error. He was son of an antique dealer/musician. After showing artistic talent in childhood he studied art in Nice and Paris, took European road trips with friends, during which experiences he absorbed some Eastern philosophy, felt inspired by early Chinese art as well as the martial art of judo. He even worked as an instructor at a judo school in Spain for a while. He served two years as an orderly in the French military in Indochina.

Inspired by collages of Kurt Schwitters, Arman’s first solo show, in Paris in 1954, exhibited his “Cachets,” assemblages and accumulations of stamps and fabric. In 1960 he and other artists signed the manifesto of the "New Realism" movement. New Realism aimed for "new, sensitive, perceptive approaches to the real.” Arman began examining the artistic possibilities of everyday objects, giving them an importance never seen before - in effect, transforming garbage or abandoned items into art - yet another, more complex, interpretation of Pop-art.

His style developed gradually, incorporating “colères,” (manmade objects smashed and reassembled, mounted on wood panels); “coupes” (slicing mass produced objects); and “combustions”: objects set ablaze, charred remains exhibited, aiming to represent acts of artistic creation through destruction.

After spending time in New York, inspired by the energy of the city, he made a home there, became a US citizen in 1973, with the official name Armand P. Arman.

More, and more ambitious, projects followed, including accumulations of tools, clocks and costume jewellery. Hundreds of pieces welded together into sculpted forms, some in miniature, some huge. The shapes of musical instruments inspired him too, to create accumulations and “coupes” of cellos, violins, and trombones.

Arman was the first contemporary artist to receive commissions from the Renault car company; a collaboration resulting in a series of works using car parts which Arman exhibited at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan.

 Long-Term Parking
 Hope for Peace
Arman created some monumental public sculptures. His “Long-Term Parking,” (1982) in a Parisian suburb, for instance: a 50-foot-high column of concrete encasing dozens of cars. Also, his “Hope for Peace”, commissioned in 1995 by the then Lebanese Prime Minister. It stands alongside the Lebanese Army Headquarters in Beirut and towers even higher than “Long-Term Parking”. “Hope For Peace” encases armored vehicles and tanks, whose barrels poke out through the concrete, pointing upward.

Later, Arman returned to painting. In 1991 he created a series of “robot-portraits” of classical composers, large-scale works evoking their subjects via assemblages of sheet music and instruments.

Arman was passionately engaged with human rights issues throughout his life. He served for five years as President of the New York Chapter of Artists for Amnesty International. In 1990, in his hometown of Nice, Arman made a major statement against religious prejudice. Weeks before the scheduled opening of an exhibition of his work, the city of Nice had hosted the convention of the Front National, a right-wing French political party whose guest of honor had been a German Neo-Nazi. The Mayor of Nice honored the F.N. and had made anti-Semitic remarks. In protest, staying true to his convictions, Arman cancelled his planned retrospective exhibition. It was not until 2002 that his work was exhibited in the city of his birth.

Friends had advised Arman not to mix politics with art. He responded, “If you are not willing to mix with politics sometimes, politics may one day mix with you—whether you want it or not.”
Arman died in 2005, he was 77 years old.
"I specialize very much in… everything,” the French-born American artist Arman told an interviewer in 1968. “I have never been — how do you say it? A dilettante.”
Main source: Arman's Website

A few examples of his work - there are dozens more available - see them by typing "Arman" into Google Image, or visit his website.

 Do ra mi fa so

 Avalanche (on campus of Tel Aviv University)


Data from Astrodienst.

A well spread-out chart for a change! First thing grabbing my attention is a Grand Trine linking
Venus/Jupiter/Neptune in early degrees of Earth signs Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo. That's an artistic signature for Arman if ever I saw one! Venus (the arts), Neptune (creativity, imagination) and Jupiter (lots of everything - accumulations). If time of birth is near accurate, Jupiter was on the ascendant too- a powerful position in the natal chart!

Rather oddly, there's no planet in an Air sign - his Earthiness led his enthusiasm for practicality in using objects found or thrown away in his art. The skills needed to produce some of his work asked for more than the ability to wield a paintbrush. Craftsmanship and the more mundane practical abilities as well as creative vision, were a necessary accessory for success in his type of artwork.

Natal Sun in Scorpio sextile Moon in Capricorn:
From HERE The combination of Scorpio Sun sign and Capricorn Moon sign shows honor, integrity and authority as very important... not concerned with popularity as long as remaining true to high principles and honesty. This combination blends the emotional force, determination, and will power of Scorpio, with the ambition, shrewdness, realism, and practicability of Capricorn....

That fits Arman's obvious humanism and social conscience. I love that quote of his “If you are not willing to mix with politics sometimes, politics may one day mix with you—whether you want it or not.”


Sonny G said...

Based on that one quote alone, I think I would have liked that person.
I love musical instruments as art and have always wanted a wall of it myself.
His art definately appeals to me, mainly because it shows real items and has a certain Stability for the eye to go to.
thanks for sharing him with us Annie and his chart details.

mike said...

I've not been particularly fond of recycled-construction art pieces, probably because they were prominent in my youth and solicited as a variation of modern art. I'm further prejudiced by the use of common items compiled to create originality in the name of art. That's just me, though, and I can appreciate these pieces for the impact upon the world of art! Obviously, accumulation art is highly desired...witness the Tracey Emin "My Bed" that recently sold for over $4 million (a dirty, unmade bed surrounded with an assortment of debris, such as cigarette butts and liquor bottles. Nor am I a fan of Warhol, with his colorized photographs, most done by his assistants.

Adding to his grand trine and tied into it via Neptune, he has a wide yod formed from Mercury-Uranus-Neptune, which would put an emphasis on the unique, unusual, and surprising. I suppose Neptune allows for the mundane items to be re-seen as something more than the reality of their purpose.

BTW - I'm so cold!!! At least another week of this, too.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ I like his musical instrument pieces a lot. The rest of his artwork is interesting too, in the ingenuity and skills used.

I feel the same about his politics -his views endear him to me even more than do his artworks! :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~ I'm the opposite - lol1 I love re-cycled art. I have one or two inexpensive pieces myself - a couple of bird-like pieces in the front yard made from old tools and/or machine parts; and a smaller sculpture made by an art store's husband from old pieces of rusty machine parts; some pieces of driftwood (always loved driftood) and some petrified wood with nice markings, what appears to be an old gnarled and weathered head of a hitching post, and another small sculpture made locall in Santa Fe (I think) from bits of old wire and wood.

So I do appreciate Arman's work, and have to say that it's a world away from the abominations of Tracy Emin and her peers, crafts, art and skills-wise. I agree with you on emin and her ilk. Arman is something else.

Yes, we're (literally) below freezing most of the day here too. Starting early this year!

Twilight said...

Typos abound - fingers are cold (my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Sonny G said...

it was 29 when I woke at 7:30..
I was out by 9 and it was only 32 by then- it felt so good. I like colder weather but I do understand ya'll not lovin' the cold.
just send it over here:)

ps Mike- I did as you suggested and I have to say I cried.. some tears were sad but others were because I finally knew that how I felt and everything others have said to me thru the years made sense..
maybe next week we could get an OT thread and I could explain more.
anyway-- thank you so much..

mike (again) said...

Twilight - Have you heard of the Museum of Bad Art? It's for real. The Wiki article is a fun read:

Sonny - I like COOLER temperatures, but not outright cold! I rarely use heating, so this is rough. It's a bit love-hate, as I love a cold house for sleeping under blankets, which is rare here in the deep south. When it's this cold, the waking hours require many layers of clothing. Another cold front will arrive Sunday and will be even colder. So, I'll have to turn-on heating briefly. I have electric heating, which is expensive and severely cuts into my budget. I'm not quite sure what you are referring to regarding my suggestion. If it's Scorpio-related, I doubt that Twilight would mind you commenting on yesterday's Scorpio post.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ I enjoy cool weather, don't mind short bursts of cold - was used to that in the UK, but the rapid drop from high 70s/80s to below freezing within 24 hours is a tad disconcerting.No chance to acclimatise naturally. Still, that's OK for ya!

Re your remark to mike and his response - yes please do go ahead and carry on under yesterday's Scorpio thread. If Scorpio isn't the exact topic of your continuation, it will be there in the background, and you'll be sticking to personal experiences anyway.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, I remember seeing some reports on the Bad Art Museum a while ago. Fun stuff! Still better than I could do too. :-)