I Attended a Screening of Iron Man 2 Last Night

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, Pepper Potts has a thing for modern art: I noticed, not only the Barnett Newman she alludes to, but also a Motherwell and a very nice Giacometti.

There is a funny little scene when the very vain Tony Stark, having sold off half of the corporate art collection, pushes his luck by removing the Barnett Newman from the wall and replacing it with a poster of IRONMAN done in the style of Shepard Fairey.

I wonder if, within a round of art collecting jokes, it is fair use to copy Fairey’s now very recognizable treatment of the notorious Obama photo?

Oh and the fight scenes with Scarlett Johanson? Amazing.

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ESSAY: How to Say Hirst Was First

Who's on first?

Heraclitus was right. When the waters are everflowing, you can never step into the same river twice.

It is therefore, always safe to claim that some work of art, some event, some person, is a “first” — nothing will be the same after so and so, after thus and such, after this.

The controversial Damien Hirst sale at Sotheby’s in 2008 was a first: the contemporary art market would never be the same afterward.

Go ahead and say that, Google it: you won’t lack for support. The press was, after all, in a frenzy, mounting stories about the show, Beautiful in My Mind Forever, and the subsequent two day sale, onto the background blitz of financial failures and the Lehman Brothers collapse.

But what kind of “first” was it?

Continue reading “ESSAY: How to Say Hirst Was First”

TREND: Street Art, Outsider Art, and URGENCY

With all the Banksy, Fairey hubub this year, all the Darger-loving last year, and the current, frequent calls by curators for art that’s made from a sense of “urgency,” I’m taking away the message that art’s new direction lies in a reaction against (<– always a good jumping off point for a convo about art) academic, heavily conceptual art on the one hand, and factory style, assistant/money-driven art on the other hand.

So, out with the Gregg Crewdson budget, the Jeff Koons assembly line, the Damien Hirst branding, and in with the heartfelt scrawls and scribbles, or hard-won wheatpaste murals.

Artists Cut Out The Middleman

Squcky Roller Racoon
Squcky Roller Racoon $35

No, I don’t mean big name art celebs who go straight to auction.

I mean URGENT artists, the starch-fed masses, rabble who… well, are putting their art up for sale on Etsy, a popular handmade crafts site.

Are they doomed to obscurity for making such an inadvisable career move? Perhaps. But, if you are an enterprising curator, they are a garden of outsider artists just waiting to be picked.

That’s what Squcky (William Robert Holland) is. Self-taught, he boasts that he “has taken tried and tested mediums and developed a style all his own.”

Continue reading “Artists Cut Out The Middleman”

Quote of the Day: Mary Boone

“Get them into debt … Get them to buy lots of houses, … get expensive habits and expensive girlfriends and expensive wives.”
~ Mary Boone (on how to get artists to produce)

Shepard Fairey Changes the Mainstream

wall
Before Shep got to it, the wall had been tagged.

The wall at Houston and Bowery has sported Keith Haring’s crawling babies, and Os Gemeos’ trippy amusment park: now it’s wearing something from the OBEY line of products: a wheatpaste collage in Shepard Fairey’s best and latest fascist poster colors. It’s looking good.

The wall will be finished in time to promote Fairey’s upcoming show at Deitch Projects, May Day: a series of portraits of revolutionary personages who, “started out on the margins of culture and ended up changing the mainstream.”

But a few steps too many into mainstream, and one may not end up changing it, but only changing how one makes money in it.

From the OBEY site
From the OBEY site

For example: the May Day show will reflect the incendiary mood of spray can and eaves-clinging guerilla art, with it’s tribute to political activism; in the meantime it will also serve to promote Shepard Fairey’s OBEY clothing line. And the OBEY clothing line, will spring a pop-up store on Orchard Street coinciding with the Deitch show, thus providing a promotional supplement to it.

As if there’s not enough money in all that marketing, recall that this will be Jeffrey Deitch’s last show at the Wooster street location before he closes shop and moves off to LA MOCA. The draw will already be huge.

Shepard Fairey, May Day
Deitch Projects | 18 Wooster Street, New York
May 01, 2010 — May 29, 2010

MORE SNEAK PEEKS at Flavorwire

OBEY Pop-Up Store
151 Orchard Street, New York
April 30 – May 16

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Addendum: On April 22, as Shepard Fairey and crew were clearing out and getting ready to go get some dinner after finishing the mural on Houston Street, I, and my husband, David Kaplan, a writer for PaidContent, stopped to chat with him. David asked him some questions about his law battles with the Associated Press. Here’s a link to the story.

Shepard Fairey: AP Suit Driven By ‘Crumbling Business Model’; AP To  Fairey: You’re The Hypocrite
by David Kaplan

RELEVANT LINKS:
Shep's Words on AP case

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SUPERTOUCH:
a nice little history of appropriation

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BITS: White Column’s Celebrity Line Up, Simon de Pury, Dumas’ Fury

 

 

Simon de Pury
The Baron. Pic from lipsticktracez.com

You’re a Fuck’n ROCK STAR, Simon!

It’s okay to love Simon de Pury. I’ve said before that his Phillips Art Expert site is really fun: it has video and games and contests and lots of color. It’s a great way to rake in the low-brows like myself who love to see the art universe brought down to size, demystified and even made out to be kinda cute. :)

So I say, big deal if Stuart Jeffries gets all fan-club on us, talking about how cool de Pury is: the dude’s just giddy-making with his darling themed auctions and his “elegant, leggy gait”.

For more about the suave art of gavel-mongering:

Simon de Pury on Contemporary Art and thematic auctions By Lipsticktracez

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Quote of the Day

“Art is not a bad thing to invest in. Historically, it has outperformed most other asset types.”

~ Simon de Pury

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White Column’s Celebrity Line-Up

White Columns2010 BENEFIT EXHIBITION + AUCTION (on view ON VIEW APRIL 24 – MAY 15,)  shows an impressive list of donating artists. Impressive in size, but also in the celebrity status of the artists themselves, with the Turner Prize winning, Toma Abts, famed prankster Maurizio Cattelan, the notorious Billy Childish and David Byrne even.

LOTS CAN BE VIEWED ONLINE AT WWW.WHITECOLUMNS.ORG FROM APRIL 24

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No Fury Like a Dumas Scorned

FINALLY, the pious facade that art marketers apply as protection to their artists, their buyers, their collections, and their reputations, is being — um– noticed.

In April 16th story for the New York Times, Randy Kennedy begins:

“Imagine a market for highly sought-after items in which the makers and sellers work hard to ensure that the items go only to certain buyers, even if other buyers might be willing to pay more. The favored buyers are then expected not to resell the items for many years, even if the values skyrocket. Ideally, in fact, the buyers are expected to give these items away eventually, for the public good. And if the buyers don’t abide by these expectations, they risk being cut off, cast out with the other unwashed wealthy who can afford to buy but have no access.”

Anyone familiar with the art market and the practices of dealers and consultants on the one hand, representing the primary market, and auction houses, on the other, representing the secondary market (traditionally), will not have to “imagine” very hard. Market savvy dealers have always sought to “place” art rather than sell it, seeking to create a prestigious provenance for their artists. And auction houses used to refuse to touch art any younger than five years old, seeing it as a tasteless and destructive practice to sell new pieces in the secondary market.

But it’s really nice to see that the practice, and it’s very elitist, very very naughty implications are finally being brought out into the light.

And in a very amusing tale of what appears to be petty vengeance, a woman scorned, in this case Marlene Dumas, has, it seems, blacklisted one Craig Robins, because he made her look bad by selling one of her works from his collection to David Zwirner Gallery.

Zany hijinks ensue.

Definitely read the whole thing:
Lawsuit Describes Art ‘Blacklist’ to Keep Some Collectors Away
By RANDY KENNEDY

Tweet This: Rhizome’s Seven on Seven Seems to Suck Wiki

When WILL the New Museum bring us something new? I ask you.

It has long been my opinion that art which partners with, or claims to make a creative statement with or about, technology, is usually crap.
And, apparently Rhizome’s Seven on Seven event proved it.

Given 24 hours to come up with a collaborative work, seven pairs of artists and technology experts failed to come up with a single original thing.
150 + people paid up to as much as $350 in order to be wowed by moiré patterns, big concept search-engines and wikis, and — gasp– movement detecting programs. Amazing.

The only charming idea: essentially a GPS and a blog for umbrella swapping.

NOW can we stop thinking the web’s going to give us anything more than variations on search engines and color-sound-movement morphs?

For deets: check this very thorough New York Times’s Review by Randy Kennedy

Quote of the Day: Matthew Collings on Street Art

“Do you like adolescent entertainment? Do you have the mentality of a teenager? Do you find Cézanne a bit overrated? If the answer is yes, yes and yes, then I don’t know what to do with you. You are a childish philistine literalist. Get down to Bonhams (one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques) next Tuesday for their first-ever dedicated sale of “street art” – this is the experience for you.”

~ Matthew Collings (January 28, 2008 in a review for TIMES ONLINE)

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