Required Reading

Images from Sam Horine's "iphoneography" post (via samhorine.com)

Jeff Koons’s art collection, thoughts on LA MOCA’s questionable art history, Invader in Paris, a tour of the Calatrava building in Milwaukee, something fishy about Warhol, iPhone photography and corporate culture and the US government … all on this week’s Required Reading.

You may know that A-list artist Jeff Koons collects art, much of it Old Masters. Well, blogger Laura Gilbert has discovered some interesting tidbits about the strange relationship Koons’s collection appears to have with the Metropolitan Museum:

He’s getting plenty of wall space for them from the Metropolitan Museum, which, as any serious collector knows, generally gooses up their value.

And she’s also discovered a dedicated website that lists the Koons collection, which includes (among other things) five Rene Magrittes, four Roy Lichtensteins, five Ed Paschkes, four Gustave Courbets, three Edouard Manets, three Pablo Picassos, a Quenten Massys and  Jean-Honore Fragonard. (via Art Market Monitor)

Art critic Christopher Knight writes a thoughtful review of LA MOCA’s Art in the Streets show and questions how revolutionary graffiti actually is:

… MOCA’s claim for the magnitude of graffiti’s post-Pop influence on art is overblown. “Art in the Streets” cites global reach, including London; São Paolo, Brazil; Athens; and Tokyo, as evidence. (Sixty artists are surveyed.) Since the 1970s, however, the deepest impact on art culture has come from Conceptual art, not graffiti.

I should mention that Knight does make some claims that seem odd, such as graffiti being the “visual wing of hip-hop.” He provides no proof of this and if you talk to early graffiti artists you’ll know that most weren’t even listening to rap or related music. Even now it isn’t related to hip-hop, that was a marketing ploy by brands like MTV in the 1980s to create an “urban” style.

And while we’re on the topic of street art, it appears street art photog Charles le Brigand was just in Paris and lucky for us he snapped a whole lot of photos of Invader’s work around the city. His Flickr set is solid and shows some of the nicest works by the artist I’ve seen.

Carolina Miranda provides us with a lovely photo tour of the Milwaukee Art Museum and its gorgeous Santiago Calatrava building. One of the most thrilling shots is of an orange settee from the Biedermeir period — circa 1820s — that looks very contemporary.

There’s something strange about the art market and its obsession with Warhol. First we have Sarah Thornton at The Economist who writes “there is more to the Warhol market than first meets the eye.” And Felix Salmon builds off Thornton’s piece and writes, ”

In the hands of professional photographers, the iPhone camera can be pretty amazing. Proof.

Not art-related, but … Naomi Klein, of No Logo fame, pens an interesting article about how corporate culture has taken over the US government. She has some interesting insights into the Obama brand:

In February 2009, Portfolio magazine put the size of “the Obama economy” – the tourism he generates and the swag he inspires – at $2.5bn.

… Does Obama’s failure to live up to his lofty brand cost him? It didn’t at first.

… Personally, none of this makes me feel betrayed by Barack Obama. Rather I have a familiar ambivalence, the way I used to feel when brands like Nike and Apple started using revolutionary imagery in their transcendental branding campaigns.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning at 7am-ish EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.


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