BgArt News Blog
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
  Child Prodigies
child art prodigiesI've noticed a few child art prodigies popping up on the internet lately. Marla Olmstead has been mentioned before on buygazette, as the 4 year old art prodigy, and for being featured on 60 Minutes.
But there's also Akiane, the 11 year old internationally known child art prodigy. That's her pictured on the left, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show! She also has a list of appearances in the media and articles published that would make a lot of 40 year old artists feel a little under exposed. Some of her radio and television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, the Lou Dobbs Show/ CNN, Fox News, Fox Magazine, Late Late Show, KING TV/ CBS, Fox News Rising, Time Warner cable News, KREM NEWS/ CBS and plenty more.
She is an amazing talent for her age and will probably go on to become a much better artist, but I'm still tempted to fall back on a quote by art critic Clement Greenberg: "In visual arts, prodigies don't count. In music and literature, yes, but not in art."
I feel like I'm being really negative, but would her works attract this much attention if she was 25 years old? They're great paintings for an eleven year old, but they don't have any life experience in them, they're awkward like youth, and they're still growing. The attention comes from the novelty of the "child prodigy". It's news! But the fact that it's only news because of the novelty aspect shouldn't be forgotten.
I'm more impressed by the person behind her marketing. Many artists don't have the PR skills to get into their local newspaper, while an 11 year old has managed to appear on everything from the Oprah Show through to the Time magazine!. See her Website too. It is set up to sell. It first sell her story, then gives you the option to buy your own piece of history (probably at a very impressive price too.. I couldn't see the prices published though).
There's also a "child prodigy" writer by the name of Adora Svitak that has appeared quite a bit in the media. She says that "Reading and writing is my life" and claims to read 2 or 3 books a day.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
  Hitler's Art up for Auction
hitler art auctionA collection of 21 watercolors and sketches by Adolf Hitler will be up for auction this coming March. The auction house Jefferys in Lostwithiel estimates that they will make up to one hundred thousand pounds from the sale.
I haven't seen much of Adolf Hitler's art, but what I have seen was pretty un-impressive. The rage of the dictator may have just been an expression of his failure as an artist. If only young Adolf could of sold a few more paintings in his time, or taken up expressionism, he may not of had to lash out at everyone! A little less time mocking the expressionists and more time being one could of let him vent his anger at the canvas instead of the people.
Unknown Hitler paintings head for sale room
"The collection came to light after being kept in a suitcase in a Belgian attic for nearly 70 years, close to where Hitler served near the border with France." Telegraph
>> Art Auction News
Friday, January 27, 2006
  The Triumph of Painting - Saatchi Collection
thr triumph of painting"The Triumph of Painting" exhibition from the Saatchi Gallery is opening another chapter of its six part showing, at the Leeds City Art Gallery (running from the 25th of January through to the 12th of March).
"The Triumph of Painting showcases an international line-up of contemporary painters and sets out to show how today’s artists, and audiences, can still be intellectually and emotionally engaged by a form of art (painting) often declared defunct and outmoded in a technological and digital age."
The multi-part Triumph of Painting exhibition has broke the world record for visitors to a contemporary art exhibition.

“For me, and for people with good eyes who actually enjoy looking at art, nothing is as uplifting as standing before a great painting,
whether it was painted in 1505 or last Tuesday.”
Charles Saatchi

>> Art Exhibition News
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
  Tracey Emin Autobiography - Strangeland
Tracey Emin released an autobiography last year. She has become famous for sharing too much of herself with the public (used beds, a list of everyone she has ever slept with, and the Cunt Vernacular film), so if her art is anything to go by, it's probably quite a revealing book.
People are just generally interested in the confessional details of others. All my favorite artists seem to be people that that I know a lot about. Some share themselves with paintings, or diaries, or film, but they're all very open with who they are and what they think. (Artist's have also been known to create some of their own myths too, so learning about a famous artist is sometimes just entertainment). Look at the success of sites like Post Secret where people send in their anonymous confessions to share with the world. It has exploded in popularity by people sharing the address, because people are naturally sticky beaks! (Sticky Beak is Australian slang = to pry into the life of others.. being nosy).
Anyway, back to the Tracey Emin autobiography.. I am yet to read it, but hope to see it next time I head off to the book shop. Over at the Guardian there's a review of the book..
"Those who do want more detail on all the best-known Emin myths won't be disappointed by Strangeland. It follows her down the dark alley where she was raped, aged 13. It details with some relish her stinking flat, her alcoholism and her wanking habits. And it describes, movingly, how she was left holding a dead fetus in the back of a London taxi five days after her botched abortion." Read the rest.
Has anyone read the book?
>> Tracey Emin News
Monday, January 23, 2006
  Benvenuto Cellini Renaissance Sculpture
The 10 inch tall gold Benvenuto Cellini Renaissance sculpture that was one of the top 10 most wanted works of art by the FBI has been returned. The thief was an expert in alarms, which helped in the theft. He was also described as a "funny guy" that did not realize that he had taken a Renaissance masterpiece worth an estimated $60 million.
Strange case of the £35m saltcellar
"The raid was one of the most embarrassing in art history, but it was only several days later, through the media, that the thiefrealizedd he had made off with a Renaissance masterpiece. He later tried to blackmail the insurance company, Mr Geiger alleged, demanding first €5m (£3.4m), then €10m. Guardian
Thursday, January 12, 2006
  Marketing Art Online
Search Engine Optimization expert Aaron Wall recently published an article discussing how he would go about marketing art online over at his SEO blog. He talks about how he marketed an artist's site when he was first learning the ropes in regards to SEO, and how he would do it now that he has a few more years experience.
Not so long ago it used to be very easy to trick the search engines into sending you more traffic with all kinds of black hat SEO techniques, but they're getting smarter now, which means webmasters have to look for different ways of getting visitors.
One suggestion that Aaron comes up with is to start a blog. That way you can please the search engines with regularly updated content (they love that), and you can build a relationship with those that are interested in your art.
I think it's something that has to be thought about carefully for an artist. I agree that getting to know an artist influences your opinion towards their art, but it can also be a negative influence. I haven't really seen many artist blogs that made me feel closer to the artist. That doesn't mean it's not possible though.
This blog here by Audrey Kawasaki works really well I think. She doesn't use it as a boring personal diary, but shares enough of herself to let her visitors/collectors feel some kind of connection, she shares her new works, and creates plenty of discussion (feedback, criticism, or praise) about her art with the comments that visitors leave.
It's all about Feelings
"What I am saying is that story telling matters. Giving people a reason to come back and learn more about you and get to know you matters. Letting people feel they can know you and trust you and know what your motives are is really just about the cheapest for of marketing you can come across.
In the same way that SEO as a standalone bolt on product has largely died and is dying I think walls blocking off distribution to artwork will prevent many artists from succeeding."
SEO Book
>> Internet News
Sunday, January 08, 2006
  Putting your art Online
Here's an article over at discussing a couple reasons why and how to put your art online.. (I think most artists have already done that, right?)
Getting Your Art Online
"Having an online portfolio of art is now almost essential for artists worldwide. It was once the territory of the brave and adventurous to have your art displayed online, but now it is only the foolish that do NOT have their work online. Many savvy artists are even bypassing traditional art galleries and making a comfortable living selling their work online.
Telling your traditional art gallery to go jump isn't recommended just yet, but having your work online can open many new doors and get your work seen by a whole new audience that would have never seen it hanging in a traditional gallery. It can be a complimentary marketing tool with your gallery if you have one, or it can be a portfolio to get you noticed if you are just starting out."
Read the rest of the art online article here.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
  Art Website Design Tips
Carol Pentleton of has a list of 10 things to think about when designing your website (if you're an artist). They include:
  1. Make it easy to use
  2. Be consistent
  3. Skip the ornate backgrounds
  4. No goofy type
  5. Check your readability
  6. Keep the load times fast
  7. Your images should be clear
  8. Quiet please!
  9. Stop dancing around
  10. Make sure they can find you

See the rest of the details of the tips here..
Generally I think the message should be to keep things subtle and clean looking. Let your paintings speak louder than your website. If your website has loud colors and blinking, flashing images everywhere, it will take away from the paintings / artwork that you're trying to show to people.
Think of it as a real "gallery" with clean backgrounds and nothing much else around.

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