Photo Courtesy and
Property of Ben McAllister
Here's the story behind the photo from Ben:
I was walking around
Frankfurt, Germany, waiting for a plane to Siberia, where
I would spend 2 months. I was just photographing whatever looked interesting,
so I headed toward the church tower you see on the left of the rainbow.
I was winding through a
bunch of buildings, one of which was an art gallery.
I looked up and saw this, atop what looked like a water storage building
-- no main entrance and lots of water on the ground nearby. Everything
was closed around there except a cafe. The person at the counter
said she thought it was part of some art expo, but was vague. This was so out of
place and 70's looking (in modern-art-central-Germany)
I could do nothing but crack up.
After seeing this I received
this email from a GBV Fan:
I have a little more info on Ben McAllister's
great discovery in Frankfurt--the rainbow "Guided By Voices" sign.
It is actually an art piece by the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, a fairly known
artist within contemporary art circles. This piece was probably part of the
festivities surrounding the Frankfurt Art Book Fair in October.
The reason I know this is that I currently write
the catalogue copy for a distributor of art books. Imagine my shock and
excitement when I see one of the books that I have to write about is titled Guided
By Voices, a book documenting Rondinone's work. I don't know what
Rondinone's familiarity (if any) is with the best rock band of the last two
Here is a description of the book, due out in
March, published by Hatje Cantz in Germany:
Echoing Rimbaud’s “Je est un
autre,” Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone uses the question of identity as a main
theme in his multimedia creations. His
works are a balancing act of ambiguities--from art to commerce,
the fashionably hip to melancholic withdrawal,
seduction to rejection. Exemplifying these undercurrents are his photo
montages, in which
he places his face onto the bodies of famous models in sometimes elegant,
sometimes lascivious poses. This book documents Rondinone’s activity over
the past six years, presenting a variety of works—diary
entries in the style of underground comics, videos capturing the banality of
everyday life, hypnotizing circle pictures, clowns, hermetic spatial
installations, and monumental brush and ink landscape pictures.Ugo
Rondinone was born in Brunnen, Switzerland in 1963. Since 1998 he has had a
studio in the International Studio program at P.S. 1 in New York. He lives and
works in Zurich and New York.