Miami Art and Design: Miami Welcomes Sculptor Angel Orensanz


By: Tom Bellachio, 2014.

Miami Art and Design - Angel Orensanz - New York City

Sculptor Angel Orensanz presents his work at the Miami Art and Design art fair in Feburary 2014.

Sculptor Angel Orensanz represents just one of a notable list of contemporary artists who have made Miami a favorite destination for development, production and public formulation the artistic mind.

Orensanz’s work was actively accessible and on display at the current Miami Art Fair (Booth 312), which included a mesmerizing anthology of his sculpture, painting, drawing and photography/video.

Miami Art and Design - Angel Orensanz Foundation - New York City

Miami Art and Design 2014 fair presented the work of artists and galleries from across the international arts community.

His booth is one of the most visited at the Miami Art and Design fair; hundreds of experts, collectors, documentarians and visitors gathered in excitement over Angel Orensanz’s presence in the Southern metropolis.  This year, Orensanz presented bronze pieces, paintings, drawings and photography.  The common trait of his work is a subliminal, transcending magic that inserts into the visitor a universe of disturbing associations.

Miami Art and Design - Angel Orensanz Foundation - New York City

Luis Bunuel – Angel Orensanz develops a new installation art piece in the lands of Spain featured in much of Bunuel’s work.

Angel Orensanz developed a deep and mutually supportive rapport with surrealist and photographeer Luis Bunuel. Both were born in Aragon and were attracted to Paris and New York. Presently, Orensanz is developing an open sculpture project in the same landscapes of Western Spain where Luis Bunuel shot his “Tierra sin pan”  (Land without Bread), not far from the frontier with Portugal.

Bunuel visited Angel  Orensanz’s studio and Foundation in New York, installed for the last 30 years in a building that was erected in the early 19th century and is the oldest synagogue building in Manhattan. Bunuel enjoyed that heartland of references and meanings.

Angel Orensanz enjoys Miami’s artistic openness and fervor. He has brought a trove of mythical reptiles cast in Miami, which are featured in his booth (#312) at the current Miami Art Fair. Besides his mesmerizing sculptures his booth is populated with paintings, drawings and photography.

His photography work at the Miami Art and Design fair displays how prominently the medium serves as the doorway to the inner mind of Angel Orensanz, through which we levitate in a universe of oniric and fantastic constellations.
Miami Art and Design - Angel Orensanz Foundation 20134

Taxi Cab: New York City from the Rear Seat

THE REAR SEAT: Answering Questions and Asking Questions.

The Journey of a New York City Taxi Cab

By: Al Orensanz, PhD; Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

taxi cab, new york city, angel orensanz foundation for the arts

The New York City taxi cab serves as a conduit between destinations, but also the interwoven lives of individuals within them.

Most of our day-to-day information accumulates through idle conversations, and it infiltrates our awareness unexpectedly. We interact constantly and randomly with people who talk to us or who listen to us. We are educated through radio and TV broadcasts, and we are constantly alerted by our cellular phones, iPad messages, radio transmissions and commercial ads blinking from the skyscrapers. Throughout the city, we are exposed to taxi cab drivers, vendors, compatriots, old colleagues, spouses, children, receptionists relatives and neighbors.

We traverse the city by taxi cab. Points of interest are brought in by the kaleidoscope of the streets, advertisements, shop windows. The curiosity grows and a decision has to be made: should I engage or retreat? I still have some 30-odd minutes of taxi traveling left. Let me ask the driver. He is most likely talking on a device that I do not see.

taxi cab - new york city - angel orensanz - angel orensanz foundation for the arts

“Light Matter” by Angel Orensanz. The commute, even by taxi cab, can be the venue for inspiration and art.

Darkness engulfs us both. He has the front window available to scout and evaluate traffic strategies. I can see the sides but not my rear window view. My options are very limited. His are much wider and diversified. The driver initiates a conversation with me. The surroundings act as a backdrop. Our conversation gets more intense and specific as our trip progresses. The backdrop of the city moves and evolves as traffic weaves around us, providing context. The centerpiece of the discourse is a reservoir of memories, references, adapted anecdotes that are formulated and adapted to this specific moment and circumstance.

You never ride a taxi twice; you never talk to the same taxi driver twice. The streets are the same, and the buildings blur and dissipate in the immediacy or the distance. The speed renders the faces imperceptible. My attention splits and divides as I interact coincidentally with the driver and the city around me: on-going conversation is syncopated and distracted every few seconds.

Inside a New York City taxi cab, the darkness surrounds both parties. Conversation is either inevitable or avoided at all costs

Inside a New York City taxi cab, the darkness surrounds both parties. Conversation is either inevitable or avoided at all costs

The questions and answers are all stereotypical. We do not see faces but we hear our voices. With that alone, we can establish a bridge of communication. Obviously, our allocated time is short; the view of our faces is limited therefore is not engaging. The context of the streets and roads we circulate speeds ahead of us fast and uncompromising. There is very limited time for self and mutual exploration. Most of the time we instinctually agree on a common subject matter inconsequential for both sides.

The last moments of engagement come when the trip is ended; and we both descend. These are very short moments, seconds, of the encounter. But they are crucial, ceremonial and engaging.

taxi cab - new york city - angel orensanz - angel orensanz foundation for the arts

“Light Matter” by Angel Orensanz. The voyage as a source of inspiration.

While the departure from inside the taxi is uneventful, the farewell is reduced for the most part to the paying of the fare. The departure at the airport is marked by the eventful ceremonial of many other departures and arrivals: the suitcases, the trunks, the flowers bouquets, the gift-wrapped boxes, and the garments.

taxi cab - new york city - angel orensanz foundation for the arts

The New York City taxi cab.

The departure within the city streets and the departure at the airport have very different ceremonials for both the driver and the passenger. The taxi ride within the city has the specific limits of a domestic movement that remain within the domain of the immediate. The trip to the airport has the flare of a departure away from the confines of the routine, the familiar and the controllable.

We never look back to the departing taxi cab as it pulls into the street, having deposited us at our requested destination. The expensive and weary routine has been completed. Whether en route to an airport or twenty blocks home from work, the departure from the rear seat, from the interplay of questions and answers, results in a ever-hopeful forward glance to the journey ahead.

In the Steps of Gargallo: Figurative Monuments in Metal Sculpture

In the Steps of Gargallo: Figurative Monuments in Metal Sculpture  

By: Al Orensanz, PhD., Director - Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts  

Abstract or figurative? This was the disjunction with which all the artists of the time were faced, and even though pictorial modernity in Spain had for some time already been inclined to informalism, sculpture artist Angel Orensanz followed the cautious steps of his admired Pablo Gargallo and Julio González, and those of so many other more recent sculptors that also vacillated between the abstract or figurative.

This was especially true if such artists aspired to dedicate themselves to monumental sculpture, since this type of commission is almost always given by the authorities, who in the Spain of that time were not as open and modern as some more advanced private or corporate patrons.

sculpture - Angel Orensanz

Monumento a la Jacetania. Ángel Orensanz. Monumental sculpture. 1969.

It is thus not at all surprising that it was for a private collector, owner of a sculpture park in Bellaterra (Barcelona), that the first totally abstract exempt monument erected by Angel Orensanz emerged in 1969: a menhir of 7 meters in height which he executed in two blocks of stone, working by carving directly into grooves and irregularities, which this time were not reserved only to the upper parts, but also extended throughout the lower parts.

sculpture - Angel Orensanz

“Monumenta a la Jota” – Angel Orensanz. Sculpture. 1970. Spain.

In contrast, on September 25, 1970, feast day of the patron saint of the village, Angel ORensanz inaugurated in Albalate del Arzobispo (Teruel) his Monumento a la Jota (Monument to the Jota), in which for a change the abstract geometries remained confined to a tall poured-cement podium.

This serves simultaneously as a backdrop for the ground level statue of a well-built singer of jotas, and as a podium on which are raised those of a pair of young dancers: they are once again hieratic figures —something striking in the representation of joteros, even though the dance of Albalete is known for its grace.   They are formed of geometric planes, like those of the Saragossan monuments to the Mother and to Tío Jorge; but this time Orensanz uses for the first time cut and welded steel plates, marking out planes and hollows in a style derivative of the cubism which was so widespread in the Spain of the transition and the start of democracy, one of whose most tenacious exponents would be the Aragonese José Gonzalvo. This said, the model for this solemn mastery in the evocation of volume based on plates and striking hollows was none other than Pablo Gargallo, Aragonese sculptor well known to Orensanz, since he had dedicated to Gargallo,

sculpture - Angel Orensanz - Pablo Gargallo

“The Great Prophet.” 1933 (bronze) – Pablo Gargallo. Sculpture.

We can say that Gargallo’s splendid Gran Profeta (Great Prophet) has, as adopted sons, two colossi of imposing beards and manes made by Angel Orensanz for the cities of Jaca and Monzón.   The Monumento a la Jacetania (Monument to the Lands of Jaca), raised in 1969 in the square of Biscós in Jaca, is a gigantic titan 7 meters in height and more than two tons in weight, which represents in concrete and steel a pilgrim of the Road to Santiago. The figure’s facial expression shares the limelight with a model of the cloister of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña carried in an offertory gesture with arms outstretched, also in steel. In the lower part, below an oculum of Romanesque reminiscences, the pillars that evoke his body have on each side of a split which represents the Aragon river crosssing the Jacetania in vertical alignment, four sculptural vignettes decorated with fired-enamel gold paint, in which are paid homage other typical elements of the region.

sculpture - Angel Orensanz

“Monumento a la Jacetania.” Sculpture. Angel Orensanz.

These include the Holy Grail of San Juan de la Peña, the Cathedral of Jaca, The Book of La Cadena and musical instruments—and also a modern industry as well as an skier (of which he also made a larger version, with welded iron plates, which has been in the exhibition Los Orensanz de Orensanz).

sculpture - Angel Orensanz

“Monumento a Joaquín.” Costa Monzón, Huesca, Spain. Angel Orensanz. Sculpture. 1978.

His Monumento a Joaquín Costa (Monument to Joaquín Costa) in his native city of Monzón is also colossal: in this case the homage to Gargallo’s largest and most well known sculpture is even more evident, since the celebrated deputy raises his arms like a prophet preaching. This imagery is not typical in any picture of Costa, but is very appropriate for the staging of the “Grito del Agua”, when every September 14th social groups of all kinds gather before the monument in homage to the great apostle of regeneration and irrigation. His strange gesticulating figure in plates of enameled steel presides over the Avenue of Lérida from a podium of coffered concrete, before some pillars, also of concrete, which serve as a visual backdrop on the other side of the fountain.

Once again then, a very stage-like composition in two parts, like in the monuments to Tío Jorge and the Jota, although the style here is already very different, much more abstract than figurative, since it is of much later date, for it was inaugurated by the local authorities on September 21, 1978, as is stated on the identifying plaque. This same plaque alludes to the financing of the work by CAMPZAR, a savings entity which a few years later would place works by Ángel Orensanz in front of their Saragossa headquarters.

Art Basel 2014: Basel, Miami Beach, Hong Kong

Art Basel 2014 - Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

Art Basel 2014: Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong

by: Zoe V. Speas, The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

A strong tradition of art fairs in the international arts community emerged out of a need to cultivate connections between artists, galleries, and individual patrons, regardless of cultural or geographical divides. This year, the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts is proud to promote the Art Basel 2014 art fair in Miami Beach, Hong Kong, and Basel.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts presents the work of founding artists Angel Orensanz at such fairs as Art Palm Beach 2014 and Miami Art + Design (MA+D), but also presents artist materials and publications such as ARTSCAPE Magazine to the Art Basel 2014 Fairs out of Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong.

Art Basel 2014

Visitors gather at the exhibition area of the Gallery Bernier/Eliades (Athens) at the international art show “Art 39 Basel”, in Basel, Switzerland. Art Basel 2014.

(From the ART BASEL 2014 website.)


Connecting the international art community has been Art Basel’s goal since its beginning. Now, over forty years later, it ranks as the premier show of its kind, presenting 20th and 21st century art with a strong curatorial perspective. Its tradition of excellence across a wide range of genres offers visitors the most vital art that the world’s best galleries can offer.

In both Basel and Miami Beach now, and in Hong Kong moving forward, the week of the Art Basel 2014 show teems with parallel exhibitions and cultural events, creating an exciting environment that deepens and strengthens the relationship between gallerists, artists, curators and collectors.

Art Basel 2014

Art Basel 2014 links the artworlds of Miami Beach, Basel, and Hong Kong through its international fair.


The dynamic relationships between art galleries, their artists, private collectors and public institutions play an essential role in today’s artworld. Galleries support emerging artists by funding their production, introducing them to the artworld, and helping to shape and develop their careers. Well-established artists are generally represented by gallerists who over time have built an extensive international audience for the artist, both through shows in their own spaces and by promoting their work worldwide. Similarly, galleries active in historical material can help to increase or revive interest in an artist long after their death.

Today, fairs such as Art Basel 2014 function as the primary global promotional platform for galleries, allowing them access to a massive number of collectors and curators, people who come to fairs not only to discover new artists and new galleries, but also to deepen their engagement with those that they already know. Thus, a successful fair is one that not only generates sales for exhibitors, but also spurs new collectors and curators to follow the activities of their favorite artists all over the globe – and drives them to see shows in the year-round spaces of the galleries that have supported those artists so strongly.

ARTSCAPE Magazine Now Available!

It’s here! The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts proudly presents the latest issue of ARTSCAPE Magazine.

Now available for print or online subscription, ARTSCAPE Magazine is LIVE and ready for you to download today.

Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts - ARTSCAPE magazine

The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts – ARTSCAPE Magazine Summer/Fall Edition

ARTSCAPE Magazine reflects the cultural and artistic activities of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a Manhattan-based organization for the arts and culture. Operating out of a beautiful, gothic-inspired building designed by Alexander Saeltzer in 1849, the Foundation seeks to reflect and maintain the artistic energy that pervades the New York City community.

Our magazine serves as a conduit between the affairs of the Foundation and the network of producing artists and innovators throughout New York City. By presenting content that relates art to implications of society and global culture, ARTSCAPE provides up-to-date arts-news coverage in the universally accessible format of vivid imagery and engaging texts. The goal remains, as always, to spark conversation and foster connectivity in an ever-expanding and ever-changing city.

ARTSCAPE magazine - Angel Orensanz Foundation

ARTSCAPE magazine – in print and available for purchase at The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Photo credit – Alexa Eskinazi

This edition features a collection of all-new reports on the arts scene in New York City and beyond. 

ARTSCAPE Magazine Articles Include:

  • Sacred Space: Art in Non-Neutral Environments
  • Language, Mind and Memory
  • Building an Art Paradise
  • Origins: The Influence of Space and History on the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

Visit the Angel Orensanz Foundation homepage for more information about the Foundation and upcoming issues of ARTSCAPE Magazine and our NEWSLETTER!

Lou Reed: the Death of a Poet, Musician, and a Friend.

Lou Reed: the Death of a Poet, Musician, and a Friend.

By: Al Orensanz, Director of the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

 New York, November 5, 2013.

death of Lou Reed

The death of Lou Reed hits hard at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed.

Laurie Anderson, wife of the late Lou Reed, has sent us copy of her letter to her husband’s friends, admirers and followers:

What a beautiful fall! Everything is shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water is surrounding us.

Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in upstate New York for the past few years, and even though we’re city people, this is our spiritual home. Last week, I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!

Lou Reed

from the letter written by Laurie Anderson, wife of the late Lou Reed.

Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician’s hands moving through the air.

Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

Laurie Anderson, his loving wife and eternal friend.”

Lou Reed

Lou Reed; 1942-2013.

Lou Reed came often to our building in Lower Manhattan for concerts and literary presentations. We conversed frequently: he was an admirer of the art of Angel Orensanz, and we were devoted admirers of his talent and his charm.

Lou Reed, enjoy your eternal rest. Remember us; we will always be here. 

TEDx Lower East Side at the Angel Orensanz Foundation

TEDx Lower East Side at the Angel Orensanz Foundation

by: Zoe V. SpeasThe Angel Orensanz Foundation

TEDx Lower East Side comes to the Orensanz

TEDx Lower East Side comes to the Orensanz.

I’ve been watching TEDtalks forever. I rely on them constantly to fill me with inspiration and renewed purpose to pursue – uh, whatever it is I intend to pursue in life. That part’s a work in progress.

Point being: TED is brain food.

Favorite TEDtalk? Easy. Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career

TEDx Lower East Side

“Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy” – This is Lucy. Lucy wants a green lawn with a picket fence with a team of rainbow unicorns grazing inside it.

Actually, I’m not the first of my friends to report this talk  as one of their favorites.

Especially seeing as most of us between the ages of 21-30 have no real clue as to what we’re doing, if we’re being honest – there’s a particularly relevant Huffington Post article entitled Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy that speaks to this predicament.

It’s all about this formula:

TEDx Lower East Side

From the Huffington Post website: Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy.

TEDTalks and TEDx Lower East Side help with that, you know, the confusion thing? Somehow having visual and auditory proof that people out there have their stuff figured out makes you a little bit more confident that you’ll figure yours out, too.

TEDx Lower East Side

Angel Orensanz, founding artist of the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts.

But the thing about working at The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts is you have to learn to be content to watch from the sidelines as people from organizations around the world walk through our beautiful front gates and transform the space into a vessel for change, development, art, science, and the future. Whether it’s Target’s Launch of Chris March’s designs for Halloween or a fundraiser for the Lowline project,  - I peer out from the office in the corner of the great hall and watch with eyes wide as saucers as the place just explodes with life and innovations.

That’s me: the wallflower of the Orensanz. 

Until now. Forget sidelines. I’m jumping into the game on this one.

Why, you ask? Oh, I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you.

TEDx Lower East Side is coming to THE ORENSANZ.

That’s right, folks. Lovers of knowledge from around the world rejoice. TEDx (in which x = independently organized TED event) is hosting their TEDx Lower East Side event at the Orensanz this Friday, October 25th between the hours of 11:00am and 8:30pm.

TEDx Lower East Side

From the TEDx website: TEDx Lower East Side comes to the Orensanz.

The TEDx Lower East Side event this Friday is entitled The Hero’s Journey and deals with the questions of why we are drawn to stories like Star Wars or The Matrix – basically, the journey of extraordinary people, or better yet, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Speakers in attendance may be found here with bios and links to more information on their background and speaking points. TEDx Lower East Side describes their mix of presenters as hailing “from a variety of backgrounds including scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, yogis, monks, educators and activists.”

Bring your brains and and prepare to melt them. I’ll be the one gnoshing on popcorn from the rafters with my ear pressed to the floor to listen in. 

Verbal Communication and the Art of Conversation.

What is verbal communication?

by: Al Orensanz, DirectorThe Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

Angel Orensanz - The Language of Fire - what is verbal communication

From Angel Orensanz’s The Language of Fire – what is verbal communication? It’s the same as the dialogue between an artist and his medium.

What is verbal communication?Conversation exists as a link between diverse minds, characters and perspectives. The immediate participants are the speakers, each equipped with a specific set of languages, registers, labels and linguistic codes.

For verbal communication  to transpire, it requires a gathering of multiple, individual minds.

These include first and foremost the minds of the main participants, but might also include some silent, distant contributors incorporated through references, quotations, pictures, video, digital background and other forms of participation. Such stimuli—TV stories and imageries that burst from the depths of distant memories—can trigger points of conversation simply by association.  That way, the verbal communication and conversation becomes multiple in the sense that interactions occur not only between the interlocutors involved, but between the environment of the room, of the urban landscape, or the countryside, which slips into and colors the content of what is being said and introduced.

There is no such thing as a spontaneous conversation.

Angel Orensanz - What is verbal communication - The Language of Fire

Selection of photo art from Angel Orensanz’s LANGUAGE OF FIRE.

We are not inventing our language as we speak; language pre-exists all our encounters. Our words and sentences were formulated, coined and exchanged long before the moment of communication. In addition, conversation does not occur in a void or in vacuum.

what is verbal communication?

Photo-Exhibit by Angel Orensanz at the Saint Petersburg Academy of the Arts

Every sentence we might think to organize has been uttered and reformulated countless times before for a variety of contexts and goals. Such previous verbal incarnations provides the key to our understanding of statements uttered in any language or in any script, once the morphology has been detected and reconstructed.

Love TEDTalks? So do we. Check out this video about by Steven Pinker: What our Language Habits Reveal – What is verbal communication?

Angel Orensanz - what is verbal communication? - Light Matter

From Angel Orensanz’s LIGHT MATTER. What is verbal communication? An interplay between the participant and his environment, much like Angel Orensanz’s interaction with physical space in his art.

Conversation is always creative and innovative. It determines the pathways of our mind and the formulation of our sentences. It measures the appropriateness of questions and their answers, of statements and the silence of a gesture, of the accents of formulation and the position of the speaker.

The ingenuity of conversation allows us to process several lines of thought coming from multiple different speakers simultaneously. Despite the crowded environment of numerous strains of verbal communication, we are able to register one main line of discourse, towards which the various lateral and collateral observations are ascribed and formulated.

Angel Orensanz - The Language of Fire - What is verbal communication

What is verbal communication? “There is no such thing as a spontaneous conversation.” Angel Orensanz’s The Language of Fire

In a dialogue with multiple participants, it becomes the most clear it is the logos, the verbal communication, the language that first and foremost prevails and manifests itself. In the course of our inevitable departure from the original pathways of conversation, conflicting lines of thought and perception are constantly re-assembled. Therefore, the internal plurality of all truth becomes patent and operative. It becomes truly dialogue.

Art Blog ‘Writers. We. LOVE.’ series now on WordPress!

Zoe V. SpeasThe Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts.

…we’re moving to wordpress!

Thanks to an overwhelming positive response to our emerging series found on the Foundation tumblr site, the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Arts is expanding the Writers. We. LOVE. art blog series to our wordpress page!

The art blog series began with a spotlight on BMW Guggenheim Lab writer Christine Mclaren whose work with urban development theory and issues of affordability has provided a unique lens into the ideas of “good cities”, including our own.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts hopes to continue the ‘Writers. We. LOVE.’ art blog  series, and also to expand with follow-up editions of ‘Artists. We. LOVE.’, ‘Galleries. We. LOVE.’ and etc. If you have ideas or requests for spotlights in the NYC/LES area, contact Foundation writer Zoe V. Speas via the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts facebook page by sending a message.

And now, the first episode of the Writers. We. LOVE. series. Presenting, Christine Mclaren.


Writers. We. LOVE. – Christine Mclaren and the BMW Guggenheim Lab

Writers. We. LOVE.

by: Zoe V. Speas, The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts.

Christine Mclaren doesn’t identify herself as a blogger. But you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell it from her work as the resident writer for the BMW Guggenheim Lab.

Writers. We. LOVE. art blog

She’s the brains behind an exciting Lab series entitled 100 Urban Trends, an extension of concepts and ideas developed through the Lab’s discussions in Berlin, Mumbai, and New York.

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation commented on the focus of the Lab.

“Integral to these glossaries is the concept of cities as hubs for ideas, and how the Lab has captured some of the prevailing thoughts citizens and experts alike have about their cities,” said Armstrong.

The discoveries of the Lab will culminate in an exhibition entitled Participatory City: 100 Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab. It opens at the Guggenheim Museum on October 11, 2013 and runs until January 5, 2014.

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE.

Participatory City, art blog, Writers. We. LOVE.

But more about this Writer. We. LOVE. 

Meet Christine Mclaren.

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE.

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE. Christine Mclaren

Visit her website at

She describes herself as “a small town Canadian girl at heart”, but Mclaren has big-pictures idea about the world and the cities that comprise it. Her travels have taken her across the globe,  from “tucked away villages in the foothills of the Austrian Alps to urban jungles of Vancouver, New York, Berlin, and Mexico City.” In her free time, she plays the saxophone for the Carnival Band(a non-profit organization dedicated to using music to empower the community) and as a result, owns an alarming about of wacky miniature top hats.

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE.

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE. Christine Mclaren, Carnival Band

Awesome, right?

As if you’re not already impressed, her bio on claims that she speaks German and Spanish and claims that, if necessity called for it, she might be able to order a coffee, burger, or a beer in French. Unfortunately when I spoke to her in our phone interview on Friday, I failed to put this to the test.

But when speaking to Christine Mclaren, you don’t tend to question the authority of what she’s telling you.

Look at her background.

She’s committed her life’s work to journalism, with a focus on the intersection between urban development and environmental/social issues. Currently based out of Vancouver, Mclaren has written for publications such as Spacing, Metropolis, and Monocle, as well as many important print, television, and online news hubs internationally.

“I’m a fan of participatory journalism,” says Mclaren, “living in the place that you are writing about. It requires you to open yourself up and be honest about your place in the world.”

As a new blogger for the BMW Lab, Mclaren was forced to explore a new medium of news reporting. Her approach to the 100 Urban Trendsinvolved shaping her writing to suit the needs of the blog, which became “less about form and more about content.”

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE.

art blog, Writers. We. LOVE.

Mclaren embraced the fundamental differences between the Lab and her previous work in journalism. She was particularly affected by how personal the process of blogging became.

“Your persona is attached to the writing. You are the blog. You can’t hide behind someone else’s narrative.”

Her focus upon listening to and partaking in the BMW Guggenheim LAB programs allowed her to communicate the developing ideas and concepts to the public. She composed blog posts that illustrated the overarching general themes of the Lab’s discussions. Mclaren’s intent, she explained, was “to let people make the link to the Lab themselves.”

Mclaren’s next projects will continue her investigation of environmental sustainability, liveability, affordability and solutions to the problems of building “good cities.” She shares the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s belief in the city as a vehicle of change and preservation for the future, and hopes to return to New York City in October as the Guggenheim exhibit, Participatory City, launches into full-swing. 

For more information about Participatory City and the BMW Guggenheim Lab – visit

Art News – Angel Orensanz Foundation Newsletter 26

Art News - Angel Orensanz Foundation Newsletter 26

Art News – Angel Orensanz Foundation Newsletter 26

Art News-Angel Orensanz Foundation Newsletter 26

San Fermines. Street theater.
Aldeaduero. Mountain drama.
Tahrir. Street Theater.
Saint Petersburg.  Photography of Dreams.

Dramatic works for awesome contexts.

San Fermines in Pamplona (Spain), the mountains of Aldeaduero in Extremadura; Tahir Square en El Cairo and the Museum of the Academy of Arts of St. Petersburg are four locales in three European countries from one end of the Continent to the other. IT takes a brutal synergy and boundless imagination to erect and maintain all four installations simultaneously. You can find all these in the Art News – Angel Orensanz Foundation Newsletter 26.

The San Fermines

The San Fermines refers to the epic, massive bull runs through the narrow streets of Pamplona (Northern Spain) every year in early July. Thousands of young people run ahead and behind hordes of bulls on their way to the bull ring during the San Fermines festivals.  The deadly risk and the thrill thread on each other. Angel Orensanz has captured well the climax and spasm of the event. 

The Aldeaduero Mountains

In the mountains of Extramadura, near the frontier with Portugal, Orensanz has materialized the dreams and fantasies   of a population that is in equal part rural and urban.

The Tahrir Square

The Tahrir Square tales as narrated by Angel Orensanz in his drawings consists of visual narratives delivered a long period of time. They follow the masses that carry very pointed but unarticulated messages. The accents and nuances change by the week and the day. The social language is a western cultural accoutrement developed over the last four hundred years. It was refined and perfected over the last hundred years. It is, though totally to non western social and cultural traditions.

It is painful to see the Western correspondents or the local correspondents working for western media channeling complex social and political local realities into western formulations.  The verbal formulations and the photographic illustrations betray an alien matrix that returns every night in unexpected and disconnected formulations. It is precisely at this juncture that we appreciate best the conceptual delivery of Angel Orensanz through his drawings and graphic commentaries. They can be photographic or drawing based. 

Saint Petersburg Photographs

Orensanz’s Photograph portray a large array of flowers and vegetarian motives like frescoes or ornamental garlands from epitaphs. Flowers and floral ornamentation have that aura of distant antiquity and a wide world language that conveys deep feelings of awe and respect. Floral arrangements have been associated with funeral practices and farewell situations with heroic receptions and catastrophic departures. These are all high dimension feelings in which the heroic and massive feelings are publicly and openly expected and welcomed.These are four locales and four tense and ultra sensitive points of community and communitarian sensitivity. The eruption of the unexpected and the surprising come accompanied by the emotional and ultra expressive.