… Kiev awaits its own art destination-worthy art center … Banksy gets marked up before people have a chance to vote about keeping it or not … the Getty Trust & the Egyptian gov’t is working together to preserve King Tut … a San Francisco muralist gets stabbed on the job … the Obama’s send mixed messages on art … a report from BETA Spaces in Bushwick.
Two weeks ago, I found myself in Los Angeles with an afternoon to kill. I ventured to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and stumbled across a small exhibition by 18th C. Spanish still life painter Luis Meléndez. The exhibition, titled “Master of the Spanish Still Life,” was a quaint two-room show decked out with bizarre gray stucco walls treated with a ragging technique that made it look like a display at a suburban home furnishings shop. Faux finishes aside, what immediately struck me as I perused the canvases were two works in particular that I would characterize as Rococo food porn — they were pretty hot.
…Jean Nouvel’s new MoMA tower gets chopped and approved…Bushwick politico meets with local arts community…San Francisco galleries are branching out…and starting this week everyone will be looking to the art auctions of New York as a barometer of the art world’s economic health.
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On Sunday, many New Yorkers were probably trying to figure out who whitewashed and pimped out some of the city’s boring billboards. If you liked what you saw then let me introduce you to the man behind the renegade campaign, known as New York Street Advertising Takeover (NYSAT), his name is Jordan Seiler and he wants to return public space to the people.
…Grand Rapids, Michigan, stunned by success of ArtPrize Festival…Mark Rothko’s first solo show in Moscow to take place this spring…van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam launched “Vincent van Gogh: The Letters” website with complete images and text of all the artist’s correspondence…Ukrainian art website Proza is shut down for kiddie porn, and a Kiev gallery is set on fire after a gay literary anthology presentation.
My husband was walking down Bedford Avenue on Wednesday, and he spotted someone pasting up posters on a wall which is almost always dominated by a giant Shepard Fairey poster, so frequently in fact that it might as well be his permanent ad space. It was lunchtime and no one stopped or cared. Knowing my love of street art, and what can sometimes be inane details, he quickly snapped a pic with his camera phone and emailed it to me with the message, “Someone covering up fairey [sic].”
What at first glance appeared to be a run of the mill “sniping” (i.e. illegal posting of corporate advertising), turned out to be a new street art campaign, iBlanket, though the artist prefers the term public art. The brain child of Bushwick artist Ann Oren, iBlanket riffs off the ubiquitous Apple “i” genre and turns our attention to the problems of homelessness just as the temperatures have started to plummet.
The @Platea social media art collective is doing a cover of Vito Acconci’s seminal “Following Piece” (1969), which was first initiated forty years ago this month.
A study in the public spaces we occupy and assumptions around privacy, Acconci followed random people in Manhattan during the month and reported on their activities until they entered a private area such as an apartment or car.
It’s an epidemic in street art publications, picture books with no little or no text and often no photo credits or explanatory text. The democratization of publishing, accompanied by the popularity of street art, has created a mass delusion that just because anyone could that everyone should publish a street art book. It’s far from the case.
MOMO is one of my favorite New York street artists though I tend to dislike his work outside (or is it inside) of that context. Nowadays, his large abstract paper pieces are plastered on construction sites and sidewalk overhangs throughout downtown Manhattan and northern Brooklyn.
Quirky, clever and crafty are words that immediately come to mind when describing the work of Andy Yoder. His brand of conceptual sculpture easily manipulates scale, surfaces and materials to create fetishistic objects that are familiar and alienating.
In his latest solo show titled Man Cave at Winkleman in Chelsea, Yoder continues looking at the banal objects of our culture (a garage door, a bowling pin, hub caps, a lifesaver) but transforms them in ways that seem to comment on our societal need to covet material possessions, no matter how ridiculous.
New York-based art blogger James Wagner recently declared “New Museum Commits Suicide with Banality” after the institution on the Bowery announced that they will be exhibiting the collection of one of their mega-rich trustees, Dakis Joannou. To add insult to injury, the whole museum show will be curated by one of Joannou’s BFFs, Jeff Koons. While James is right, I would argue that there have been signs of the institution’s death wish for some time.
From day one, the new New Museum has been presenting odd shows with allusions to trendy topics that feel disconnected from its roots as a barometer of the city’s artistic culture. Remember “After Nature?” Well, I’m trying to forget. And how about the Michelle Obama portrait that was carted in for the Elizabeth Peyton show after Obama’s election victory? How delightfully chic!
In the International Center of Photography’s (ICP) third global survey of photography and video, known as the Triennial, the focus is on fashion and “its relationship to art and other cultural and social phenomena.”
Titled “Dress Codes,” the exhibition is an ambitious look at fashion, which is interpreted to include everything from issues of identity, corporate consumption and politics.