Recently on Hyperallergic, An Xiao’s “Cover Art, or Vito Acconci Gets a Follow Back,” made the case for artists who choose to directly reference or re-stage existing artworks. She draws a comparison between derivative works and cover songs. This may be an apt comparison, but she glosses over an important fact: most cover songs are terrible.
An Xiao organized a 40th Anniversary tribute to Vito Acconci’s “Following Piece” (1969) for @Platea, the social media art collective she performs with. She likes to call what she did a form of “cover art” and she explains why.
Daniel Larkin reflects on Brent Owens’s solo show Gnastic Pursuits, which took place earlier this fall at the English Kills Art Gallery in Brooklyn. Describing his work, Larkin writes, “Owens likewise takes the rich tradition of wood carving and melds it with that millennial taste for biting wit and quirks of fate.”
Artist/Artshow is an image-heavy book produced this year by AllRightsReserved, a self-described creative studio based in Hong Kong that seeks to publish high-quality texts which explore issues related to the visual arts. You’ll love the pictures but …
Artist Kevin Regan grew up in a family of Reagan Democrats. Today, he continues to be plagued by Reagan, and he uses the image of our 40th President in his own personal art. To amplify the trauma, we asked Kevin to visit a recent exhibition titled Reaganography and report on what he saw.
Jack Early has turned over a new leaf. Accused of racism in the early 1990s for an installation he created with then-partner Rob Pruitt (and recently recreated at the Tate Modern for their “Pop Life” exhibition), Early fell from grace, spent many years underground, and now has reemerged with a striking exhibition at Williamsburg’s Southfirst gallery.
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.
In his latest edition of Hypermedia, artist Artie Vierkant explores ideas of surveillance and sousveillance in the work of artists Jill Magid, Steve Mann, Josh On, Ryan McKinley, and Trevor Paglen.
This movement of art in- and outside has been of interest to me since I regularly began following street art about a year ago. The contexts in which the work can be seen often varies dramatically, and these environmental shifts raise a number of questions: does the work itself change as it traverses public and private domains? If so, how? And what does this translation mean for our understanding of the work? A few months ago, I crisscrossed Brooklyn and Manhattan to investigate street art’s translation from the street to a gallery setting.
Depending on how a street artist uses the street they may have something to lose by moving into a gallery space. Peru Ana Ana Peru, which is composed of two artists, use the street primarily as a way of making their striking and fantastical images even more so. We are struck by a colorful image or by a traditional picture frame on a signpost. We wonder what they’re doing there, so we investigate. But a closer inspection is unhelpful: An old portrait with the face scratched out? What does “Peru Ana Ana Peru” even mean?
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.
Much has been written about the traveling exhibition The Americans, but here’s a recap: Swiss photographer Robert Frank won a Guggenheim fellowship and drove around the United States in 1955-56 taking pictures. His book The Americans, with a forward by Jack Kerouac, was published in 1959, and met with acclaim and controversy. Some people didn’t like the America that Frank saw. On the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication, the entire series has been shown at several U.S. venues, and is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
From images of a funeral in South Carolina to a wedding chapel in Reno, Frank revealed a nation that looked burdened, anxious, and lost.