Review: The Brooklyn Museum’s ‘Iggy Pop Life Class’ (November 4, 2016, to March 26, 2017)

michael-grimaldi

At the Brooklyn Museum you can explore an extensive and comprehensive permanent collection that includes ancient Egyptian masterpieces, African art, European painting, decorative arts, period rooms, and contemporary art. You’ll also experience intelligent, cutting-edge exhibitions and programs that reflect a fresh view of traditional and historical works as well as engagement with today’s most important artists and artistic practices and ideas.

This was my second time to the Brooklyn Museum.  I love that I can navigate the space within a few hours, dwell on works that that I want to see without hovering over people and also be guaranteed with some interesting pieces I can take away with me in my memory bank.

An exhibit worth checking out before March of 2017 is the ‘Iggy Pop Life Class’.

In Iggy Pop Life Class, Turner Prize–winning artist Jeremy Deller uses the traditional life-model drawing class to stage a performative event with Iggy Pop as model and subject. The resulting drawings, created by twenty-two participating artists, will be shown at the Brooklyn Museum from November 4, 2016, to March 26, 2017. Along with works depicting the male body selected from the Museum’s historical collections, the exhibition examines shifting cultural representations of masculinity across history.

Deller’s collaboration with Iggy Pop as a nude model is essential to his concept. A pioneer rock musician—as a singer, songwriter, musician, and actor—Pop began performing in the 1960s, becoming known for strenuous and unpredictable stage performances—highly physical, deliberately aggressive events that often left his body battered and cut. These corporeally charged acts radically confronted the rock and roll trope of male sexual appeal. As Deller notes, “Iggy Pop has one of the most recognizable bodies in popular culture. A body that is key to an understanding of rock music, and that has been paraded, celebrated, and scrutinized through the years in a way that is unusual for a man. It is also fair to say that it has witnessed a lot. It was for these reasons that I wanted him to sit for a life class.” For Deller, the life drawing class offered the opportunity to study his body in direct and palpable terms.

On Sunday, February 21, 2016, the twenty-two participating artists gathered at the New York Academy of Art, where Pop was the unexpected model. The artists represent New York’s diverse community, ranging from 19 to 80 years of age with varying backgrounds, and include undergraduate and graduate students, practicing artists, and retirees.

Iggy Pop Life Class expands on the ways in which different cultures have traditionally considered the male body by including objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, chosen by Deller, that represent male figures from different cultures and periods around the world. Works include sculptures from ancient Egypt, Africa, India, Japan, and Mexico; prints and drawings by Egon Schiele, Max Beckmann, and Daniel Huntington; and photographs by Eadweard Muybridge, Horace Bristol, Jim Steinhardt, Robert Mapplethorpe, and John Coplans. “Pop’s use of his body in his performances, and Deller’s multifaceted approach to examining it through this project, offers the opportunity to discuss maleness, and to consider how feminism has expanded to apply not only to women, but  to all genders on the spectrum,” said Sharon Matt Atkins.

Jeremy Deller is a London-based conceptual artist Jeremy Deller (English, born 1966) is known for orchestrating large-scale collaborative projects. In 2001, Deller worked with former miners and members of re-enactment societies to restage a violent confrontation between the police and striking miners that had occurred in 1984 during the yearlong miners’ strike in the United Kingdom. For It Is What It Is, commissioned by The Three M Project and Creative Time in 2009, Deller toured the United States with a car destroyed in a 2007 bomb attack in Baghdad, inviting journalists, Iraqi refugees, soldiers, and scholars to share their experiences. He has developed several music projects including Acid Brass (1997), a brass band performance of acid house music. More recently, he created Sacrilege (2012), a life-size inflatable Stonehenge, and we’re here because we’re here (2016), a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Winner of the 2004 Turner Prize, Deller represented Great Britain at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. His appreciation of academic drawing can be traced to his art history studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of Sussex.

Iggy Pop is a pioneer of rock music, Iggy Pop (American, born James Newell Osterberg, Jr., 1947) is a singersongwriter, musician, and actor. Born and raised in Michigan, Pop began performing in the 1960s. In 1967, he formed The Stooges, a band that significantly influenced the trajectory of rock music in the 1970s and 1980s. Pop became known for dynamic and unpredictable stage performances, a trademark throughout his career. His music has encompassed a number of styles over the decades, with well-known albums such as The Idiot (1977), Lust for Life (1977), Blah Blah Blah (1986), Brick by Brick (1990), and Skull Ring (2003). In 2010, The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. March 2016 marked the release of Pop’s seventeenth album, Post Pop Depression, a collaboration with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.

Iggy Pop Life Class is organized by Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director, Exhibitions and Collections Management, Brooklyn Museum.

https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

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