Posted inArt

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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.

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The 18th C. Food Pornographer at LACMA

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.

Posted inArt

Indoor Migration: Dain, Aakash Nihalani & Peep-o-rama

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.

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Peru Ana Ana Peru Goes Inside at Brooklynite

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?

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iBlanket: “Ads” That Don’t Sell & Encourage Debate

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.

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Frankly American at the Met

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.