It seems that Virtual Reality is here to stay and we're expecting plenty of events this year that use it in some form or other. Here, VR meets art with a collaborative pop up project between the virtual reality platform HTC Vive and the Royal Academy School. Three graduates have been chosen to create works using the technology and if you fork out the £45 for it, you can immerse yourself in the strange worlds they've created, where gravity and common sense have no business. Each evening features a different artist and you'll also be able to try your hand at creating a virtual reality masterpiece of your own, if you feel like it.
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Björk Digital Exhibition
The ever-enigmatic, mythical Icelandic creature Björk will be bringing her distinct brand of weird genius to Somerset House for a special digital exhibition. Coinciding with a special performance at the Royal Albert Hall, the songstress in the swan suit (#tbt, ya'll) collaborated with leading digital artists to bring her work to life through virtual reality. The exhibition promises to be a "private theatrical experience" - a way for the pop star to connect more intimately with her audience. Get enveloped in the Icelandic highlands, get a one-on-one recital with the lady herself, or, uh, go inside her mouth. Yep, sounds about right.
In collaboration with Madrid's ArtFutura festival, which aims to exhibit new frontiers in new media-centric art, Hackney Picturehouse will be presenting an audiovisual programme of VR works over the course of two days. The event will draw from the festival's 27 years of forward-thinking, presenting immersive works that push the boundaries of art.
Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans
A 'tormented modern master' is the kinda thing we hope people one day say about us — though we haven't produced the kind of theatrical, macabre and radical paintings the Belgian artist James Ensor did. Yet. Ensor spent his whole professional life in the Belgian seaside town of Ostend, with a childhood surrounded by the fantastical treasures of his family's curiosity shop. And these works are pretty clearly the fruits of an imagination run wild. Both an innovator and outsider, he rebelled against the conservative art teachings of the late 19th century academy in Brussels, drawn instead to the avant-garde salons where his radical creative vision could thrive. This major show displays paintings full of the imagery of masks and carnivals; with vibrant colours and flamboyant costumes and an ever-present sense of drama and satire. The artist Luc Tuymans, a fellow Belgian and admirer of Ensor, has curated this exhibition with a selection of his most bizarrely and surreal creations.
This exhibit at the Royal Academy celebrates one of the most eccentric, distinctive and accomplished portraitists: Jean-Etienne Liotard. Living during the 18th century, he was renowned for his unflinching powers of observation, was a master of PR and was labelled 'theTurk' due to his penchant for wearing Oriental costume. This expo will feature over 70 rarely seen portraits that covering the artist’s time in Paris, Vienna, Geneva, Constantinople and London.