“Morning Beauty" Sasha Pivovarova by Laurie Bartley for Vogue China November 2005

Larry’s Kids
The Face, October 2002
Ph: Steven Klein


' Quenched ! '
Collage on paper
© Sammy Slabbinck 2014
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Bruce Nauman is an American artist, born in 1941, who deals with a variety of types of art. His 1960s artwork can be considered Conceptual. His first neon sculpture, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths depicts this text in blue cursive neon lights in a spiral underlined with red. Choice of neon light to convey the message is important because neon is a material frequently used for advertisements or mass-culture and not usually associated with art. He initially displayed the work outside his studio, visible to the public who does not normally consider the role of the artist or how art relates to them. Bruce Nauman helps the world by communicating to the world the mystic truth that the true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths. This confusing spiral of a message is reflected in the spiral form of the actual text. The main concern here is not appreciation of the beauty of the neon sculpture, but the philosophical question it holds and the thinking process it causes. Nauman was not entirely sure he believed the statement- he merely puts a thought out there for the viewer to think about. He suggests that the work of art lies not in the sculpture itself, but in the ideas it induces, questioning the definition of art.