BgArt News Blog
Thursday, September 27, 2007
  Personal Coach for Artists
In Robert Genn's latest newsletter he is talking about personal coaches and the value that artists could gain from them. He isn't about to become a personal coach himself, but he has made a list of things that an artist could do to make progress.

Here's the full newsletter and here's his list (I hope he doesn't mind me posting it)..

Robert is a Canadian landscape painter and also publishes the Painter's Keys newsletter twice each week. His paintings can be seen on his website here.
>> Being an Artist

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
  Banksy eBay Fraud
fake banksy prints sold on ebay auctionsThe Art Newspaper has reported that employees of the company that authenticates and publishes Banksy prints "Pictures on Walls" (POW), have been selling unauthorized Banksy prints on eBay. Not only have the Banksy prints been forged with a replica POW stamp and fake Banksy signature, but they have also used shill bidding, where the bids are artificially inflated by friends of the seller.

A whistelblower that was involved with the scam alerted the Art Newspaper to the eBay auctions. There were anything from 25 to 100 fake Banksy prints sold.

Revealed: the eBay Banksy print fraud
In a statement Banksy, his dealer Steve Lazarides, and the directors of POW, confirmed that unauthorised prints “have been sold on eBay” and stressed that they along with members of the public “have been victims of criminal behaviour”. The company has launched a full-scale investigation and is inviting concerned collectors wanting to reauthenticate their Banksy prints to come forward." The Art Newspaper
>> Banksy News, Art Fraud
Monday, September 24, 2007
  Lucian Freud the Great
lucian freud painting in the studioI think it's safe to say that Lucian Freud is the greatest living painter of the figure. Even his bad paintings are better than the best work of most other artists.

If you don't think Freud is the greatest, you may still find the way he works fascinating.

He recently finished painting the 26 year old art handler for the Victoria & Albert Museum, Ria Kirby. It took 16 months of sitting for the artist, 7 nights a week, for 5 hours each night, and the sitter only had 4 nights off during that time. That's more than 2,400 hours of sitting, or in this case lying down.

Not only is that an impressive schedule for the subject of the painting, but at the age of almost 85, the painter is showing that he can still work.

The Telegraph has a fascinating report on the whole ordeal. Ria Kirby said "To start with it was quite exhausting, because I had only about 10 minutes' break between finishing work and beginning to pose. I went through every possible emotion in my life. At the beginning I was very conscious of trying to be a good sitter. It took a bit of practice to feel very relaxed, but be totally still at the same time. I was conscious of getting back into the same position after a break. After a month or so, it became second nature, and felt completely natural. I realised there's no point in trying to be anything. You just have to lie there and be yourself. But in the end I found it quite a release. It was one place where I could be where I didn't have anyone phoning me or hassling me. All I had to do was lie still, which I'm quite good at." Telegraph

The finished painting of Ria Kirby, called "Ria, Naked Portrait 2007" will be on show at the Tate Modern in London from the 5th of October.

The art critic Martin Gayford also sat for a portrait by Lucian Freud a couple of years ago and talks about his experience here.
>> Lucian Freud, Painting
Sunday, September 23, 2007
  Vincent van Gogh Masterpiece for Auction
vincent van gogh painting the fieldsA painting that is believed to be one of the last few paintings that Vincent van Gogh painted will soon be put up for auction at Sotheby's. "The Fields" was was painted on the 10th of July, 1890 and the artist died on the 29th of July.

Experts believe that Vincent was talking of "The Fields" when he wrote to his brother Theo, saying "They are vast fields of wheat under troubled skies, and I did not need to go out of my way to try to express sadness and extreme loneliness.. I almost think that these canvases will tell you what I cannot say in words, the health and restorative forces that I see in the country."

The Van Gogh painting will go on display at Sotheby's in London and Hong Kong, before being put up for auction in New York on the 7th of October. It is estimated to sell for about $34 million, but I think Sotheby's is just trying to get more billionaires into the bidding room. Just like real estate agents giving you a really lowball estimate to get you to attend the auction (and hopefully bid).

My random figure pulled from the sky is $100 million for the painting.

A Sotheby's spokeswoman said "As a unique work of art from the final days of the artist's life, the price will most likely be driven by passion. This is perhaps the last opportunity for a collector to acquire a landscape of this quality by Vincent van Gogh." Independent UK
>> Art Auctions, Vincent van Gogh News
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
  Artist Facing Prison Time in Turkey - Petition
Turkish prime minister and American President BushLast year I mentioned that the British born collage artist Michael Dickinson had been accused of insulting the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was held by Turkish police for ten days after exhibiting works which included one where prime minister Erdogan was depicted as a pet dog being patted by president Bush.

The artist thought he had served his time and that the issue would be dropped, but he has now been summoned to appear in court on the 8th of October and faces up to two years in a Turkish prison.

The artist says "When the judge asked me to describe what I was trying to say in my 2 collage pictures of Erdogan in the role of America's dog, I said that it was up to the viewer to make his own interpretation; a visual artist shouldn't need to explain in words. Pictures are for eyes. Words (spoken) are for ears.
I said that over the years I'd made countless collage pictures of President GW Bush and Tony Blair in much more unflattering roles without persecution. In the Western/European world, artists are allowed to express their feelings in their works."

MungBeing has started a petition for Michael Dickinson and is encouraging people from around the world to support the artist and the right of freedom of expression in Turkey by adding your name to the list.
>> Turkish Art News, Controversial News
Monday, September 17, 2007
  Etch A Sketch Art - George Vlosich
etch a sketch artThe artist George Vlosich has a video posted on that has been viewed more than 1,600,000 times. It's of him doing an Etch A Sketch drawing for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.

Each work takes between 60 and 70 hours to create, with prices fetching up to $10,000 for an original piece.

He has been featured in top magazines and on television shows all around the world (I found out about him from watching TV in Australia).

Looks like George Vlosich is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame and getting to meet a bunch of his favorite famous people (see his celebrities page on his website).

I mentioned the marketing value of ideas like this a couple weeks ago, so I'll just quote myself.. "I think there's something to be learned from stories like this. Especially for artists that are working away in the studio, feeling unloved by the media, and looking for a couple minutes of fame. The media are hungry for gimmicky, throw away ideas that capture the attention of readers for a moment." Post it Notes and Marketing Art Post

Here's the video on YouTube (he sped it up and edited it down to about three minutes, so you don't have to sit there for 60 hours)

The Etch A Sketch art of George Vlosich can be found at his website here.
>> Strange Art News, Art Videos Online, Marketing Art
Saturday, September 15, 2007
  Environmental Art
global warming art prize for childrenTwelve year old Charlie Sullivan of the United Kingdom won the 16th International Children's' Painting Competition on the Environment. The theme for the year was "Melting Ice-A Hot Topic?"

Here's how she describes her work.. "The silhouette of a figure in my painting represents government and global businesses idle hold over the world. In the background the reds, oranges and yellows represents the fossil fuel power plants and warming of the planet while those that could act use the umbrella to shelter behind. The umbrella pictures the world being turned inside out and upside down by the wind. Therefore we must all act to save the world from being polluted. Global warming is an issue that we can all do something about by the 3Rs; reduce, reuse and recycle."

More comments from the regional winners of the prize can be found here (they're very smart kids!) and the global warming art can be found here.

The prize was awarded earlier this year, but I only just noticed it published on one of my favorite green blogs here.
>> Art Competitions
Friday, September 14, 2007
  The Virgin of the Rocks

leonardo - the virgin on the rocks

Coxsoft Art has pointed out that the National Gallery in London scanned the under-layers of Leonardo's "The Virgin of the Rocks" painting. They used a technique called "Infrared Reflectography" which is similar to x-radiography. There's more on infrared reflectograms at the Art Institute of Chicago for those that are interested.

They found that Leonardo had planned to have the virgin mother kneeling before baby Jesus. He abandoned the first version before he got around to drawing baby Jesus.

The National Gallery has much more about The Virgin of the Rocks here. For a close-up view of the infrared reflectogram of the painting, where the kneeling figure can be seen, see here (her clasped hands praying can be seen in the head of the virgin).

Art conservator Rachel Billinge said "It was an extraordinary moment when we pointed the camera on the Madonna's face – just to get the settings right because the paint was thin there – and instantly we saw a hand which had no place there. We all had to go away and sit quietly for a bit, just to get our thoughts in order." National Gallery News
>> Leonardo Da Vinci

Thursday, September 13, 2007
  Turner Prize Winners - What's it like to Win?
The Guardian has asked the winners of the Turner prize what it's like to win one of the most famous art competitions in the world. From Malcolm Morley in 1984 through to Tomma Abts in 2006, the artists have shared a little of their experiences with winning.

Damien Hirst won the Turner prize in 1995 and called it "a media circus to raise money for the Tate and Channel 4." The sculptor Tony Cragg won in 1988 and says that "one could argue the interest in contemporary art in the UK has increased over the years partly because of it." Chris Ofili was the first black artist to win the Turner prize and says "I know I didn't win the Turner prize only for me. I just hope that when black people look at me they don't see someone superhuman. They see themselves."

It's an interesting read..
>> Art Prizes
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
  Emily Patrick Exhibition
british artist emily patrick exhibitionThe English artist Emily Patrick has some impressive paintings online here. They're impressive in an understated way. The paintings are mostly small, color is used conservatively, and the subjects include things like clumps of grass, eggs, and tree leaves.

But they're paintings that cannot be mistaken for anything else. She's a painter that loves paint and doesn't mind letting the paint overpower the subject.

I love painters that can make any subject a good painting. They can make a dead rat or a sack of potatoes look good because they are not relying on the subject to create the work of art.

Emily Patrick is currently exhibiting at The Air Gallery in London until the 21st of this month. There's also an interview with emily from a few years ago here.
>> Contemporary Artists, Art Exhibitions
Monday, September 10, 2007
  World's Largest Photo
worlds largest photo"The Great Picture" is the world's largest photograph taken with the biggest camera in the world. I love the fact that my little digital camera with 7 mega pixels fits in my pocket and can be taken anywhere, but I don't think a giant jet air craft hangar sized camera will ever be very popular!

In July this year the Guinness Book of Records certified the hangar as the largest camera in the world, measuring 13.71 x 48.76 x 24.38 m (45 x 160 x 80 ft). The photograph was also confirmed to be the largest photograph on canvas, measuring 9.62 x 33.83 m (31ft 7in x 111ft).

The photo depicts the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. It is currently on show at the Art Center College of Design, South Campus Wind Tunnel, Pasadena, California until the 29th of September.

The Legacy Project says "The photograph is a magnificent tribute to a historic turning point in Orange County history as well as a statement about the evolution of the photographic medium, hand versus mechanical/technological processes, and the importance of “vision machines” to the advancement of culture." See more about the making of the picture and the Legacy Project.
>> Photography News, Strange News
Thursday, September 06, 2007
  Business Manager Frank Dunphy
ArtInfo caught up with Damien Hirst's business manager on the phone recently. Frank Dunphy talked a little about the infamous diamond encrusted skull and the $100 million price tag.

He seemed a little tight lipped about the skull, but here's a link to the Interview.
>> Damien Hirst News
  10th International Istanbul Biennial in Turkey
Tenth Istanbul BiennialTurkey continues to establish itself as an art friendly place with the Tenth Istanbul Biennial opening this weekend.

When I think of Turkey, I don't usually think of art. But with the success of the Istanbul Biennial, the opening of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum a couple years ago, and a big Picasso exhibition, things are looking up (for art lovers in Turkey).

There will be 96 artists exhibiting at the 2007 biennale, with 18 of them being from Turkey. The curator for the event this year is Hou Hanru. It has been called "Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism in the Age of Global War", which wouldn't look out of place on a peace protester's banner.

Here's an excerpt from the essay posted on the Istanbul Biennial page (it talks of war, Turkey, art, and moving forward)..

"In this age of global wars and globalization of liberal capitalism, it is not impossible but also necessary to revitalize the debate on modernization and modernity and put forward activist proposals to improve social progress. Today, modernization should be carried out in diverse models, relevant to local conditions and ideals, and in the negotiations between individual localities and the ‘global’. In other words, a bottom-up, truly democratic project of modernization and modernity that is based on the respect of individual rights and humanist values is necessary to bring Turkish society out of its contradiction. And this is also true of the global situation in transition." Conceptual Framework

Times and venues can be found here.
>> Turkish Art News, Exhibitions
Monday, September 03, 2007
  Art News Around the World
Here's some art news, reviews and miscelaneous ramblings from around the world..

>> Art News Mondays

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