Saturday, December 31, 2022

Artist of the Day, December 31, 2022: Time "Person of the Year" history (#1740)

 Person of the Year (called Man of the Year or Woman of the Year until 1999) is an annual issue of the United States news magazine and website Time featuring a person, a group, an idea, or an object that "for better or for worse ... has done the most to influence the events of the year". Time also runs an annual reader's poll that has no effect on the selection, which is made solely by the magazine's editors.

The tradition of selecting a "Man of the Year" began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating the news makers of the year. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year of not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic transatlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.

Since the list began, every serving president of the United States has been a Man or Person of the Year at least once with the exceptions of Calvin Coolidge (in office at time of the first issue), Herbert Hoover (the subsequent U.S. president), and Gerald Ford. Most were named Man or Person of the Year either the year they were elected or while they were in office; the only one to be given the title before being elected is Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1944 as Supreme Commander of the Allied Invasion Force, eight years before his election. He subsequently received the title again in 1959, while in office. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only person to have received the title three times, first as president-elect (1932) and later as the incumbent president (1934 and 1941).

Before 1999, four women were granted the title as individuals: three as "Woman of the Year"—Wallis Simpson (1936), Queen Elizabeth II (1952), and Corazon Aquino (1986)—and one as half of the "Man and Wife of the Year", Soong Mei-ling (1937)."American Women" were recognized as a group in 1975. Other classes of people recognized comprise both men and women, such as "Hungarian Freedom Fighters" (1956), "U.S. Scientists" (1960), "The Inheritors" (1966), "The Middle Americans" (1969), "The American Soldier" (1950 and 2003), "You" (2006), "The Protester" (2011) represented on the cover by a woman, and "Ebola fighters" (2014). However, the title on the magazine remained "Man of The Year" for both the 1956 "Hungarian Freedom Fighter" and the 1966 "Twenty-five and Under" editions which both featured a woman standing behind a man, and "Men of the Year" on the 1960 "U.S. Scientists" edition which exclusively featured men on its cover. It was not until the 1969 edition on "The Middle Americans" that the title embraced "Man and Woman of the Year".

In 1999, the title was changed to Person of the Year. Women who have been selected for recognition after the renaming include "The Whistleblowers" (Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley, and Sherron Watkins) in 2002, Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono) in 2005, Angela Merkel in 2015, "The Silence Breakers" in 2017, Greta Thunberg in 2019 and Kamala Harris (jointly with Joe Biden) in 2020. In 2020, to celebrate International Women's Day, Time editors released 89 new Time covers, each showing women, in addition to the 11 already chosen, as counterparts to the Person of the Year choices from the past century.

Groups and non-humans

Despite the name, the title is not just granted to individuals. Pairs of people such as married couples and political opponents, classes of people, and inanimate objects have all been selected for the special year-end issue.

Special editions
In 1949, Winston Churchill was named "Man of the Half-Century", and the last issue of 1989 named Mikhail Gorbachev as "Man of the Decade". The December 31, 1999 issue of Time named Albert Einstein the "Person of the Century". Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi were chosen as runners-up.

Controversial choices
Despite the magazine's frequent statements to the contrary, the designation is often regarded as an honor, and spoken of as an award or prize, simply based on many previous selections of admirable people. However, Time magazine points out that controversial figures such as Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), Nikita Khrushchev (1957) and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) have also been granted the title for their impact on events.

As a result of the public backlash it received from the United States for naming Khomeini as Man of the Year in 1979, Time has since shied away from using figures who are controversial in the United States for commercial reasons, fearing reductions in sales or advertising revenue.

Time's Person of the Year 2001, immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks, was New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The stated rules of selection, the individual or group of individuals who have had the biggest effect on the year's news, made Osama bin Laden the more likely choice that year. The issue that declared Giuliani the Person of the Year included an article that mentioned Time's earlier decision to select Ayatollah Khomeini and the 1999 rejection of Hitler as "Person of the Century". The article seemed to imply that Osama bin Laden was a stronger candidate than Giuliani, as Adolf Hitler was a stronger candidate than Albert Einstein. The selections were ultimately based on what the magazine describes as who they believed had a stronger influence on history and who represented either the year or the century the most. According to Time, Giuliani was selected for symbolizing the American response to the September 11th attacks, and Albert Einstein selected for representing a century of scientific exploration and wonder.

Withdrawn and alleged selections
In 1941, the fictional elephant Dumbo from the Disney movie of the same name was selected to be "Mammal of the Year", and a cover was created showing Dumbo in a formal portrait style. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 pre-empted the cover. The U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt was named Man of the Year for a record third time, although Dumbo's Mammal of the Year profile still appeared on the inside pages of the magazine.

© 2022. All content on this blog is protected by international copyright laws All images are copyrighted © by Time magazine or assignee. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, the use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained. All images used for illustrative purposes only

1988 The Endangered Earth
by Gianfranco Gorgoni
1989 Mikhail Gorbachev
by Nikolai Solonunkin Fedosinko
1990 George H.W. Bush
by Greg Heisler
1991 Ted Turner
by Gregory Heisler
1992 Bill Clinton P
by Robert McNeely
1993 The Peacemakers
1994 Pope John Paul II
by Robert Ammirati
1995 Newt Gingrich
by Greg Heisler
1996 David Ho
1997 Andrew Grove
1998 Bill Clinton and Ken Starr
by Tim O'Brien
1999 Jeff Bezos 
by Greg Heisler
2000 George W. Bush
Photo by Time
2001 Rudy Giuliani
by Gregory Heisler
2002 The Whistleblowers
by Greg Heisler
2003 The American Soldier
by James Nachtwey VII
2004 George W. Bush
by Daniel Ade
2005 The Good Samaritans
by Greg Heisler
2006 You
2007 Vladimir Putin
by Platon
2008 Barack Obama
Art by Shepard Fairey
2009 Ben Bernanke
2010 Mark Zuckerberg
by Martin Schoeller 
2011 The Protester
Illustration by Shepard Fairey
2012 Barack Obama
Photo by Nadav Kander
2013 Pope Francis
Illustration by Jason Seiler
2014 The Ebola Fighters
by Jackie Nickerson
2015 Angela Merkel
Painting by Colin Davidson
2016 Donald Trump
Photo by Nadav Kander
2017 The Silence Breakers
Photo by Billy and Hells
2018 The Guardians
Photo by Maria Ressa  
2019 Greta Thunberg
Photo by Evgenia Arbugaeva
2020 Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Portrait by Jason Seiler
2021 Elon Musk
Photo by Mark Mahaney 
2022 Volodymyr Zelensky
llustrated by Neil Jamieson


Friday, December 30, 2022

Artist of the Day, December 30, 2022: Sinta Tantra, a British emerging artist (#1739)

 Sinta Tantra (1979) is a British artist of Balinese descent. She spent her childhood in Indonesia, America and the UK. Tantra’s practice is diverse, ranging from painted canvases, to site-specific sculptural interventions, to large-scale public artworks. She describes her work as 'painting on an architectural scale'. Colour is central to her practice, as a 'material which lies between the language of art and industry'. Her distinctive palette is inspired by her Balinese heritage and childhood holidays: 'I remember things through colour – especially the way in which colours vibrate against each other. I like the idea of ‘colour semiotics’ and the associations one has to particular colours in relationship to either brand or narrative.'

When Tantra was aged 6, the family relocated to the UK. Tantra has said, 'Like many first generation children whose parents migrated, I could never really identify with being from just one particular place. My work explores my identity and the layering of cultures specific to my own experiences. I am inspired by the colours of Bali, an English Heritage palette and 1980s pop Americana.' After completing a BTEC diploma in Fine Art at Middlesex University in 1999, Tantra took her BA at the Slade School of Fine Art from 2000 to 2003, under the tutor Andrew Stahl, head of Painting. It was here that she met the sculptor Nick Hornby, who she would go on to collaborate with in the future. During her studies, Tantra was introduced to the work of the conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), whose reduction of painting to a 'series of instructions or blueprints' she cites as a ‘huge’ and enduring influence on her practice. Like LeWitt, Tantra's work lies at the intersection between art and architecture, exceeding the confines of the canvas and of the gallery space. Likewise, Tantra cites the Indonesian painter Mochtar Apin (1923-1944) as an inspiration: 'In my work, there are specific elements inspired by Indonesian patterns. These patterns are reduced, distorted or enlarged to such a scale that the viewer becomes submerged in the decoration itself.'

After graduating, Tantra was accepted onto the Royal Academy Fine Art Masters Programme. Her studies were funded by a Paul Smith Postgraduate Scholarship. It was at the RA that Tantra's interest in large-scale artwork in the public realm began. She regards this as a reaction both to the stereotype of female work as modest or decorative. 'Even at art school, painting on canvas didn't really appeal to me- I was more interested in playing with architectural space, injecting colour, line, and form into new environments. Admittedly in the early days, there was also the desire to challenge the gender stereotype, that both men and women could make large scale works.' She describes the expectation of her lecturers and peers that she would create 'something cute and feminine, in small sizes' as fuelling her desire to ‘consistently create abstract and structured paintings’.

Tantra completed her MA in 2006, and that year was awarded the prestigious Deutsche Bank award. She began running a studio space for artists in the London Borough of Camden, organising workshops and community projects. Through her work she made contact with Camden Council, who commissioned her first public art piece, a mural stretching across Regents Park Bridge titled Isokon Dreams (2007). The work was praised by local councillor Flick Rea, who said 'The mural is fantastic. It really brightens the [Regents Park Road] bridge'.

Tantra's early work was composed of intricately cut vinyl and painted designs, featuring vibrant colours and geometric shapes. Her work remains recognisable for its distinctive use of colour and pattern: clean lines, geometric abstraction, a preoccupation with decorative symbols, and a bold and arresting choice of colours. Among her first commissions was a 2006 project for Transport For London’s Art on the Underground initiative, for which she produced a vinyl installation at the exit of Piccadilly Circus Station.

Since then Tantra has gone on to make increasingly ambitious works, including her painting across the length of the DLR Bridge in Canary Wharf titled A Beautiful Sunset Mistaken for a Dawn, which was commissioned by Canary Wharf Group in anticipation of the 2012 Olympics. Other projects include an installation at the Open Eye Gallery as part of the 2012 Liverpool Biennial.

Of public art, Tantra has said: 'There's a sort of "constructivist" approach to the entire process which I like [...] there are the practicalities of making the work itself whilst giving the artwork a "social function"'. She feels that her Balinese heritage has affected her work less in its appearance than in the way that art 'is embedded in life- which is what public art does- and the idea of working together with people [...] I guess that it is like a celebration'.

During Tantra's Bridget Riley Fellowship at the BSR, she was selected to design the Drappellone for the 2017 Palio di Siena, a twice-yearly tradition stretching back 600 years, in which representatives of the 17 contradae (districts) of Siena race on horseback to win the prized flag. Since 1970, it is convention that an international artist be chosen to design the flag. Tantra united her contemporary design and colour palette with the compulsory elements: the Madonna of the Assumption, the City insignia (Terzi), and the symbols of each contrada participating in the race), as well as that year's commemoration for Giovanni Duprè.

As part of the 2017 Folkestone Triennial, Sinta Tantra was invited by Lewis Biggs (founder of the Liverpool Biennial) to paint the Cube building on Tontine Street. Inspired by the diversity of Tontine Street's migrant residents, Tantra took visual cues from an eclectic mix of sources. The fluid lines and spliced circles flanking one side of the building are a gesture to the colour patterns of Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979). The work's title, and its colours (candy pink, racing green and Wedgewood blue) were lifted from a poster from 1947 advertising rail travel to Folkestone.She says ‘I wanted to inject some of that [advert’s] romance into the intervention’.

Tantra has said that the aim of the work was "to make the building fizz. I wanted to have a retro feel, because I was thinking of Folkestone as a seaside town", she says. "I was thinking about post-war Britain and what that meant, and the idea of holidays, because after the war it was obviously quite difficult."

Tantra was commissioned by the city of Songdo, Korea's ‘High Tech Utopia’, to create a floor painting as part of its major public art programme. Songdo is one of the world's first "Smart Cities". The artwork is located by the waterfront and measures over 3,300 square metres. Seen from above, it communicates the forward-looking drive of the "city of the future".

Tantra's palette of muted pinks and blues was complemented by a lighting scheme by Lighting Design International. LED projectors under the bridge washed soft coloured light from end to end, which adapted to echo the transitions of sky from day to night.[26] The painting required 5,000 litres of paint and over 3 km of specialist masking tape to achieve the clean, precise lines that Tantra is known for.[27] As part of the project, Tantra recorded a 24-hour time lapse sequence that showed the sunset and sunrise over the bridge.[26] It is part of Canary Wharf Group's Permanent Collection, alongside artists such as Lynn Chadwick, Bruce McLean, and Catherine Yass.

As Tantra puts it: "Growing up in London, my Balinese father daily played Gamelan music on the cassette player at home. For him, it was a way to transport himself back to the small village where he grew up and immerse himself in fond memories. In his book, McPhee writes about the relationship between the abstract and syncopated sounds of Gamelan music and how, like Jazz, the music is percussion led. In this new series of paintings, I wanted to draw a stronger focus on a sense of rhythm and how line and colour represents a sort of musical notation across the canvas."

© 2022. All content on this blog is protected by international copyright laws All images are copyrighted © by Sinta Tantra or assignee. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, the use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained. All images used for illustrative purposes only

Ms. Sinta Tantra
Old Kombat, 2014.
City of Songdo, Songdo, South Korea, 2015
On Being Blue, A Philosophical Enquiry, 2015
Giapponese A Roma II, 2017
The Sound of Colours, 2017 St Paul's Way Medical Centre, London
Follow Constellations and Star Paths (Buckminster Fuller), 2018
Sections of Global Map (Buckminster Fuller), 2018
Tabuh Tabuhan (in Sepia), 2018
A House in Bali (Sunset Beach) II, 2018
A House in Bali II, 2018
Gianpponese a Roma, 2018
In the Mood for Love, 2018 Lee Tung Avenue, Hong Kong
Polarised Skies, Rotating Screens II, 2018
 Sunset at Tanah Lot, 2018 Facebook London
The Music is in Me III, 2018
The Music is in Me, 2018
Zenith of Sky in Prussian, 2018
Statera, 2019
Rose Kiss II, 2019
An Atomic Age in Pink, 2020
Crossing Mt Daemo, Dawn, 2020
Factory Worker, 2020
Kiss III, 2020
Modern times, 2020
Star Clock at Night II, 2020
Nusa Penida Coral in Twilight, 2021
Temple of Flora, 2021
Bird of Paradise (Day), 2022
Constellations of Being II, 2022
On Being Blue II, 2022