Posted inArt

Art + Sparks at BETA

Last Sunday’s BETA Spaces 2010 didn’t disappoint as we all got what we were looking for. Organized by the all-volunteer organization Arts In Bushwick, BETA Spaces (Bushwick Exhibition Triangle of Alternative Spaces) offered the public a big block party full of art. A truly overwhelming affair with more than 50 exhibitions spread out across galleries, studios, apartments, temporary locations, and any place else that could possibly contain art, it displayed the works of 400 artists in a fantastic collaboration between curators, artists, and art fans of all kind.

Posted inBooks

Reading The Believer’s 2010 Art Issue

It’s easy enough to tell that The Believer is a publication from California from looking at the cover of their 2010 Art Issue, much less getting to the table of contents. A 70s psychedelic mashup of art icons, a John Baldessari suited figure, a dinosaur figurine, and a Picassoian acrobat by Clare Rojas march up a ray of red and yellow light into … the mouth of a skin-less human body? New York this is not.

Famously co-edited by Vendela Vida, writer spouse of writer wunderkind Dave Eggers, The Believer is well known for its cutesy tone and off-beat vibe, helped along by its graphic design and a coterie of Californian cultural denizens. None of these are bad qualities in themselves, but when editing an “art issue,” it might be best to start looking outside of the narrow perspective of your own aesthetic.

Posted inArt

Punch Me Panda by Nate Hill Starts Today

Starting today, artist Nate Hill will be performing his newest piece, “Punch Me Panda” (2010) at #TheSocialGraph. If you are in Brooklyn, you can text (347-742-2293) or tweet Hill (@natexhill) to come to your home, where you can punch him for one penny. This is the first-time the artist has performed in the context of a gallery show and a rare opportunity to see “Punch Me Panda” in his natural habitat.

Posted inArt

Blue Chip Chelsea: Keifer, Rauschenberg, Sugimoto + Surprises

Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out into the bordering on bad weather and braved the gray skies to bring you the latest on Chelsea this November. The gallery district is probably much as you remember it, with high-end galleries showing off their blue chip stables and smaller spaces skipping to keep up. Yet there are still pleasant surprises to be found in the warehouse-strewn streets, from lesser known painters that include (gasp!) a ceramicist to commercial shows that may as well be museum retrospectives. Continue below for the blow-by-blow of my blue-chip Chelsea trip.

Posted inNews

Ai Weiwei Attends “Little Ai” Trial, Wu Yuren’s Fate Still Uncertain

RT @markmackinnon: Dissident artist @aiww, freed from own house arrest, argues with police outside Wu Yuren trial than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Posted inNews

Get Ready for The Sound of Art This Thurs, “Brooklyn Sounds More DIY”

Ever caught yourself thinking about what an art space sounds like rather than what it looks like? Perhaps provoked by artists who use sound as their medium or the cavernous qualities of the space art usually inhabits, Paddy Johnson of ArtFagCity fame has put together an LP that documents “the last five years of art in the city” through recordings of gallery spaces, collected audio ephemera, and even some guitar thrown in for good measure. The album’s opening party kicks off this Thursday for eight straight hours of remixes by an assortment of bands and artists at Santos’ Party House from 7pm to 3am. See below for the juicy details, plus a Q+A with the brains behind the LP.

Posted inNews

Boston MFA Builds New Wing For 17-Foot Painting

If you’re been anywhere near the Green Line or Museum Street in Boston, you’ve seen the hulking glass structure perched to the side of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ old Beaux-Arts building. Finally, we get a peak inside the new structure thanks to a media preview this past week. Designed by eminent architect Lord Norman Foster, the museum’s new wing provides a dedicated home for the MFA’s strongest collection: American art, from pre-colonial to modern. Plus, the expansion provides a special home for one of the masterpieces of American colonial painting: a seventeen-by-fifteen-foot canvas depicting George Washington, by Thomas Sully.

Posted inArt

A Trip Through BETA Spaces

I spent my Sunday wandering into the living spaces of Bushwick, searching for art, and there was a lot to find. Though, much of what I found seemed to have woken up at 11:30am to start setting up for the event that technically started at noon. Truly, I didn’t mind. Who am I to complain, when I’m spending my day invading the homes of artists?

The experience for me was as much about walking through the grey, unwelcoming streets of Bushwick as it was seeing the plethora of work being created there. It was stumbling around, looking for the garage entrance; It was walking down a dark, graffiti’d hallway, wondering if I was even on the right floor; and it was opening the many different doors to find vibrant colors, projections, snacks, wine, or any other sort of welcoming warmth.

Posted inOpinion

Charlie Finch Thinks Art Galleries Should Leave China. He’s Wrong.

In a column for Artnet, veteran art critic and grumbly curmudgeon/cheerleader Charlie Finch responds to Ai Weiwei’s recent house arrest with an ultimatum: the art world should stop having anything to do with China. He calls for a boycott of the country, Western art galleries abdicating their Beijing spaces, auction houses to cancel Asian sales. Here’s why Finch is wrong.

Posted inArt

Social Mediaites Throw Real-Life Party at #TheSocialGraph

Last Friday, the virtual art world became the real one as fellow Twitter followers met one another in reality, Facebook friends shook hands and a certain performance artist crossed the thresholds between digital and analog. During #TheSocialGraph’s opening at Outpost in Ridgewood, a growing community that exists largely online met in person — and actually talked. Like, with sound, instantaneously. This was all helped along by a large keg and stacks of plastic cups that may have been an exercise in relational aesthetics, but probably were not.