The top tastemakers in culture part II
James Franco, Damien Hirst, Leonardo DiCaprio and more
Dutch architect, and head of the famous OMA, Rem Koolhaas was appointed as the curator of the next Venice Architecture Biennale. Titled 'Common Ground', Koolhaas has lengthened the run of the show to almost double - instead of its usual three months this year the 2014 Biennale will run for six months.
"After several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories - on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years", he explains.
2013 was a big year for architect Koolhas - apart from his newly appointed curator position - Koolhaas' OMA developed the famous transparent Coach flagship store in Tokyo, the Lehmann Maupin gallery in Hong Kong, and won the title of architect for the redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center. In October, his plans for designing a new building for the State Hermitage Museum in Russia were approved - the building will house the Hermitage Library, the Costume Museum, the gallery's publishing arm, and a public event space. His contribution to great architecture gives him a top place on our tastemakers in cultures list.
2013 was quite the year for Iraqi/British architect, Zaha Hadid - whose buildings can be described as futuristic, characterised by the "powerful, curving forms of her structures". In 2013 she debuted her first project in New York, 37 apartments in Chelsea, The Serpentine Sackler Gallery housing block, which began its work in Se ptember and the Hong Kong polytechnic university's 'Jockey Club Innovation Tower'. It was quite the year for this talented architect - landing her a spot on our top tastemakers in culture list as well as a spot on the top 100 most powerful Arab women list.
One of our generation's favourite Hollywood stars, James Franco, dipped his toes the world of art and theatre in 2013. During the summer he held a solo exhibition of his work at the London Pace Gallery as well as curated an exhibition titled 'Cinematic Visions: Painting at the Edge of Reality' at the London Victoria Miro Gallery along with British artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien and gallery director Glenn Scott Wright. The actor also released a video piece 'Rebel Dabble Babble' with artist Paul McCarthy and his son Damon McCarthy, which showed at the New York Hauser & Wirth Gallery as part of his 'Rebel' exhibition - themed around Franco's resemblance to James Dean.
Top British artist Damien Hirst took a step into fashion in 2013 - developing a collection of handbags for Prada, appearing in the first ABC clutch-book by Olympia Le-Tan and designing prints for Alexander McQueen - which appeared on 30 limited edition scarves. Apart from his adventures in the fashion world, 2013 was also a big year for his art - he opened the largest exhibition of his work in Qatar, he provided the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum with many works from his private collection for the show 'Freedom not Genius' and he even appeared as the subject of famous portrait painter Jonathan Yeo at the London's National Portrait Gallery. Hirst also designed the album cover for Pete Doherty's band Babyshambles last year.
Hollywood veteran DiCaprio distinguished himself in the arts world during 2013 when he held an auction at Christie's - the '11th Hour'- benefiting environmental and wildlife conservation efforts, which he has been supporting since 1998. Expecting to raise $15 million, the auction brought in a staggering $38.8 million and was said to be the most important environmental charity ever staged.
Another Hollywood actor - Orlando Bloom - also dipped his toes into the world of the Broadway stage in 2013 for possibly one of the most famous Shakespeare plays, Romeo and Juliette. Alongside two time Emmy nominee Condola Rashad, the play opened on September 19 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre - and earned great reviews, where Bloom was said to touch the heart of every single spectator. A passage of the play was recorded exclusively for the New York Times In Performance - in which Mr.Bloom recreates the most famous 'balcony scene', where Romeo sees Juliet as a "bright angel" and wishes that he were a glove that touched her cheek. Blooms award worthy performance has landed him a rightful spot in our top tastemakers in cultures list.
American art dealer, Larry Gagosian, announced his plans to open a 13th art gallery under his name in 2014 located in London's Mayfair. During 2013 he hosted a series of major art exhibitions with works from the likes of Richard Avedon, Urs Fischer, Cecily Brown, Gerhard Richter, and Jeff Koons, to name a few. The Gagosian Gallery in New York was also chosen to house and sell 10 paintings of the late Williem de Kooning to support the Williem de Kooning Foundation for an endowment that would support scholarly and educational initiatives.
Lady Gaga, pop singer and friend of artists Jeff Koons and Marina Abramovic, who both made part one of our top tastemakers in cultures list - dove into the world of pop art in 2013. Sculpture pieces of Koons appeared on the cover of Gagas album cover titled Artpop as well as in her pop-exhibition, titled 'Artpop Pop Up: A Lady Gaga Gallery' where the artist showcased a quick retrospective of her most familiar looks and styles, in New York.
Gaga also took part in the Abramovic Method - a three day retreat in upstate New York with Abramovic in which, Gaga ran through a wood, hugged a giant crystal and sat together with Abramovic on a chair by a river.
Last, but certainly not least, is yet another Hollywood heartthrob turned theatre actor - Jude Law. Law played an outstanding performance as King Henry in the most recent adaptation of William Shakespeare's King Henry V, earning top reviews after the press night in London's West End in December. "It was one of the richest and most detailed performances in the role of Henry V that I have ever seen in a production of rare distinction and dramatic depth," claimed the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer. His contribution to a year of great theatre earns him a spot on our top tastemakers in culture list.