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Christian Jankowski's Living Sculptures: Caesar, Dali Woman, El Che at Doris Freedman Plaza
NEW YORK, NY.- Through April 2009, visitors to Central Park's Doris C. Freedman Plaza will come across three sculptures by Christian Jankowski that may require a second look from passersby. New Yorkers and tourists alike are accustomed to seeing the occasional performer on the streets of our city, entertaining crowds with dance, magic or impersonation. When visitors encounter Jankowski's Living Sculptures, they may at first think they are seeing three street performers, surprisingly motionless and grouped together. In actuality, the figures are bronze sculptures that reference the tradition of professional street performers who strike poses as historical or fantastical characters for passersby. Specifically these works draw inspiration from three street performers Jankowski observed and selected from a public thoroughfare in Barcelona that regularly present themselves as the likenesses of a Roman legionnaire who refers to himself as "Caesar", the revolutionary leader Che Guevara, and an enigmatic woman inspired by a figure known as "The Anthropomorphic Cabinet Woman" created by artist Salvador Dali.

Jankowski's sculptures are, in essence, statues of people performing as statues. Representing modern day figures, both real and imagined, they are exceptionally life-like, though solid bronze in their composition. Their human scale and figurative representation beckon viewers to come close, consider whether they are real people, pose next to them for photos, and perhaps even leave a few coins in appreciation. The installation of Living Sculptures at the entrance to Central Park is especially fitting given that it is a favored and prominent spot for public sculptures as well as some of the New York's actual street performers, including a frequent impersonator of the Statue of Liberty.

In these works Jankowski fuses the tradition of monuments with popular references: Che Guevara's image circulates as a symbol of politics as much as of counterculture. This representation of an impersonator of El Che demonstrates a further remaking and another interpretation of this icon. Dali's "Cabinet Woman" similarly exemplifies the extent to which Dali's imagery has entered into popular consciousness and has inspired numerous adaptations; the familiar has been reinterpreted expressively by the street performer standing with a decorative umbrella and an unused crutch. "Caesar" similarly displays a creative adaptation; here, the traditional costume of sandals and sword has been modified by the modern day wearer. Jankowski conflates the real, historical sources with the street performers' interpretations, fusing and memorializing the two in sculptures that call our attention to the way figures are personified in art and popular culture.

Working in a variety of media including video, installation, performance and photography, Jankowski often confounds reality and fiction, while typically engaging the subjects of his works in the creative process. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with fortune tellers, border guards, professional magicians and children all of whom have appeared in his work. In this case, three Barcelona street performers modeled for the casts of sculptures; each of them conceived their impersonations of the characters they represent, as well as designed and produced their costumes and make up. The three figures that compose Living Sculptures have been presented publicly in Barcelona, London and Berlin in 2007.

Christian Jankowski was born in 1968 in Göttingen, Germany and lives and works in Berlin and New York. He has shown extensively in the United States and abroad and has had recent solo exhibitions at: Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart (through January 2009); Galerie Martin Klosterfelde, Berlin (2008); Maccarone, New York (2007); and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007). Jankowski has also participated in group exhibitions at: ICA, Philadelphia (2008); Villa Manin Center for Contemporary Art, Codroipo, Italy (2008); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2008); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2008), and the List Center for the Arts, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2007), among others.






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December 13, 2008

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Whitney Museum Names Curators for 2010 Biennial

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Massachusetts Historical Society Announces Major Discovery In Its Collection

The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Presents BESRevelacao 2008

Amon Carter Museum has Reframed their Fitz Henry Lane with Eli Wilner & Company

The Cartier Award 2009: Call for Entries

Malba Design Presents Design in Process Exhibition

December 12, 2008

Culture Minister Places Temporary Export Ban on Pope's Villa at Twickerham By JMW Turner

First Ever French Artist Edgar Degas Exhibition Opens in Australia

Collected Thoughts: Works from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection Opens

Lehmbruck Estate Secured for Duisburg After 4 Years

John Cale to Represent Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art 2009

Friedrich Kuhn (1926-72) - The Painter as Outlaw Opens at Kunsthaus Zürich

Frankfurt Kunstverein Presents Experimenta FOLKLORE

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Genji:The World of the Shining Prince Opens at Art Gallery of New South Wales

Equivalence: Acts of Translation in Contemporary Art at the Glassell School of Art

Color & Light: Embroidery from India and Pakistan Opens at Rubin Museum of Art

Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt Awarded the Kandinski Prize

Portland Art Museum Remembers Curator Terry Toedtemeier

Victoria & Albert Museum Presents Masterpieces of Ukiyo-e from the V&A

LACMA Presents Masterworks from Arts and Crafts Movement

Anastasia Khoroshilova - Russkie at Moscow Museum of Modern Art

Amon Carter Museum Publishes Charles M. Russell's Illustrated Letters

December 11, 2008

Getty Museum Acquires Landscape Painting by Roelandt Savery and Drawing by Rodin

Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Unveils Redevelopment Plans

Hirshhorn Museum Presents Strange Bodies: Figurative Works from the Hirshhorn Collection

Vik Muniz Creates Rebus, an Inventive Narrative of Works from MoMA's Collection

Milwaukee Art Museum Announces Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered

Museo Soumaya Opens Tobacco Exhibition in Mexico City

Julio Quaresma: Playing Equality Opens at Institut Valencia d'Art Modern

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Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz Presents Anne Schneider: Nothing Without the body

New Gallery at the World Museum Liverpool Reveals Mummies

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Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum Presents Jubilee: African American Celebration

Philbrook Announces Major Gift of Modern and Contemporary Industrial Design

Kunstmuseum Bonn Exhibits Finalists of the Dorothea von Stetten Art Prize

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December 10, 2008

100 Masterdrawings from New York: Munich Plays Host to The Morgan Library & Museum

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December 9, 2008

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards The RISD Museum of Art $1 Million Grant

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December 8, 2008

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Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

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5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach

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