BgArt News Blog
Friday, November 30, 2007
  I am 45% Tortured Artist
I found this test on Jafabrit's blog. She's only 17% tortured artist and hasn't come to the realization that everyone is an idiot yet. I think my percentage was higher because I realize that everyone that isn't an artist is an idiot.

I am 45% Tortured Artist.
I know Art, I just don't live it.
I have some artistic ability, but it is probably a hobby and doesn't drive my life into a dark abysmal hole were I am alone and against the world.
Take the
Tortured Artist Test
@ FualiDotCom

From a few other tests on the Fuali website, I also worked out that I am 30% hippie (I smell too good), I'm 57% evil genius (evil courses through my blood), and 49% Internet addict.
>> Being an Artist
Thursday, November 29, 2007
  Faberge Eggs
faberge eggs auction at christiesA pink Faberge Egg has sold at Christie's in London for around 9 million pounds or 18 million US dollars. It's an egg-cellent result for the Rothschild banking family that owned it, but an egg-spensive little egg for the Russian tycoon that bought it! (sorry, I couldnt help myself)

Faberge Egg Goes Back To Its Nest
What makes Faberge eggs so special? "They're almost a myth," said Philips. "There's a terrific romance associated with them, initially with the Russian Revolution. The workmanship of the Rothschild egg is simply extraordinary.. the gold work, the wonderful pink enamel. Every aspect of it was just fantastic."
Each Faberge egg took up to a year to create and required the skills of several hundred craftsmen.
Forbes (The Forbes family used to have the largest private collection of Faberge Eggs, before selling all nine of them in 2004)

They are well crafted little things, but I have never understood why they are so important. It must be the historical importance to Russia that makes Faberge Eggs so valuable.

PBS has some information on the history of Faberge Eggs online.. "In the harsh light of historical hindsight, the Fabergé Imperial Easter eggs can be seen as nothing more than the frivolous indulgences of a decadent monarchy. But stripped of revolutionary ideology, they endure simply as fragile mementos of the doomed Russian dynasty, each not only an artistic masterpiece, but a remarkable reflection of the joys and achievements of a family at the crossroads of history." PBS - Treasures of the World
>> Art Auctions
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
  The Artist's Magazine Online
I stole this news from the Coxsoft BgArt News Blog.. The Artist's Magazine has started publishing an online edition of their publication here. It's free for now, but I can't see that price lasting.

The Art Newspaper's free online version that I mentioned a couple weeks ago now has a subscription fee of 45 pounds per year.

To be honest, I don't think art magazines have figured out the Internet yet. I have seen three different digital versions of art magazines recently and I wouldn't pay one dollar to subscribe to any of them. They're basically just scanning their magazine and throwing it online, expecting people to pay subscription fees.

There's no incentive to struggle with their clumsy online versions, other than the fees being a little less than their published magazines. I would rather pay a little extra and have the magazine in my hand.
>> Art News, Internet News
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
  Tate's Crack - People are Stupid!
tate modern crack in the floorEither people are on crack while visiting Doris's crack at the Tate Modern in London or they are just downright stupid. How could 15 people hurt themselves in the first four weeks of the "Shibboleth" installation by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo?

I mentioned a story a couple of weeks ago where the first few idiots fell into the Tate Crack, but that figure has been rising each week.

Times Online has reported that the Tate Modern may have to implement options that could include "higher levels of control of entry, barrier or demarcation lines, Perspex bridging over certain sections or other physical interventions which may become required."

The museum already has warning signs everywhere and leaflets about the work are handed out. So, unless you are blind, there is no excuse for falling into a crack that is clearly marked as a crack (unless you are trying to sue the museum!). I'm truly amazed at the stupidity of some people. Are these people just after attention or are they seriously this stupid all the time?!

Phew! That's my rant for the week. I feel better now ;-)
>> Art Exhibitions, Art Controversies
  Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair
Contemporary Istanbul Art FairThe "Contemporary Istanbul" art fair will be held in Turkey for its second year. It will run from the 29th of November through to the 2nd of December. There will be more than seventy art galleries from around the world exhibiting at the art fair. In addition to the contemporary art will be roundtable discussions, performance art, and concerts.

"Istanbul, a teeming hub of cultural activity and a longstanding site of the fusion between Eastern and Western cultures, is both the backdrop and inspiration for Contemporary Istanbul. Contemporary Istanbul's venue, the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center, located in the heart of downtown Istanbul, provides an ideal base for exploring the rich cultural attractions the city has to offer." Contemporary Istanbul
>> Turkish Art News, Istanbul Biennial
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
  Damien Hirst Buys Francis Bacon
francis bacon selfportrait paintingDamien Hirst sets auction records for sales of his own work, but he has also been setting auction records for the work of other artists. At a Sothebys auction last week Hirst was an anonymous phone bidder on a small Francis Bacon self portrait. The final price for the 1969 painting was $33 million or £15.9 million.

Francis Bacon would easily be one of my top 20 all time favorite artists, but I don't think he hit the target with every painting. I think this Bacon self portrait is one that didn't quite hit the mark and it doesn't deserve to be a record setting (small) work by Bacon.

Damien Hirst Pays $33.1 Million for Francis Bacon Self-Portrait
"Hirst, 42, has a fortune valued at 130 million pounds ($269 million) by the Sunday Times. He sold 130 million pounds of his trademark pickled animals at London's White Cube galleries earlier this year, and joined a group that invested in his diamond skull, leaving little new work on the market. His art collection runs from U.S. pop artist Jeff Koons to U.K. graffiti artists." Bloomberg
>> Art Auctions, Francis Bacon, Damien Hirst
Monday, November 19, 2007
  Women Artists at the MoMa
Jerry Saltz has published an interesting article over at the New York Magazine. Saltz asks where are all the women? (at the MoMa)

"MoMA is our fountain of youth, our Garden of Eden, our Promised Land. But all these things will not last much longer if this institution continues excluding women from the display of its permanent collection of painting and sculpture from 1879 to 1969.."

and continues with..

"I'm not declaring them sexist bigots. Nor am I a quota queen, advocating that women be allotted their 51 percent: Art history isn’t about fairness. Nevertheless—and this is a vital point—MoMA's master narrative would not be disrupted if more women were placed on view. In fact, that narrative would come to life in ways it never has before, ways that would be revitalizing, even revolutionary. Ask yourself if hanging any of the following artists would really ruin the narrative espoused by the museum: Barbara Hepworth, Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell, Dorthea Rockburne, Yoko Ono, and Florine Stettheimer." Read the full article at NY Mag here.

I think it would be political correctness gone mad if museums were forced to purchase art because the artist is female, a particular skin color, or any other categorization of person that has ever felt neglected at some point in time. Which doesn't mean that I don't think more women artists should be bought by museums, but they definitely shouldn't be bought just because they are women.

Art should be bought on merit, not the sex of the artist. The sex of the artist is the last thing on my mind when I'm looking at good art.
>> Art Museums, Controversies
Sunday, November 18, 2007
  Pricasso - Penis Art
pricasso penis artPigasso was cute, but Pricasso is probably a little scarier. Pricasso is the United Kingdom born Australian artist Timothy James Francis Patch.

"I use acrylic paint water based so it washes off easy if paint gets up it Just piss it out, the only problem I have is the acidic properties in paint eating away the skin especially if I have it constantly submerged in paint, so I make a bit of performance of washing every 10 minutes." Tim Patch

There's a gallery of paintings and a video of Pricasso at work on stage over at his website here. In the background of the photo used on this post is a George W Bush portrait painted with the Pricasso penis.

I guess that's one method of saving money on paint brushes. I would recommend protection though.

Update: Tim Patch (Pricasso) paints Sarah Palin naked, along with a portrait of Barack Obama and John McCain.
>> Funny Art News, Nude News
Thursday, November 15, 2007
  Photoshop Makeover
This guy must work for a celebrity gossip magazine or a fashion magazine..

It's a good example of how powerful Adobe Photoshop can be. Celebrities would look like normal people without this software.
>> Online Videos
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
  Sotheby's Auction Panic and Christie's Auction Records
vincent van gogh painting the fieldsAfter seeing the Sotheby's auction fizzle out last week, I thought record prices might have become a rare event. Of the 76 works on sale, 20 failed to find buyers, including this wheat field painting (pictured) by Vincent van Gogh.

But a Christie's auction in New York has blown my theory of an auction slowdown out of the water. Among the artists that set new records for their work were Richard Prince, Lucian Freud, Ed Ruscha, Thomas Struth, Jeff Koons and Zhang Xiaogang.

The total for the night was an impressive $325 million, which is the second highest total for a post war and contemporary art auction.

$325 million Christie's sale reflects buoyant market
"This bewildering diversity at all financial levels of the contemporary art currently in highest demand demonstrates that visual considerations have only limited importance in the making of prices. Ideas, names, some would say the volume of propaganda, are the factors leading to financial triumph. This makes life easy when optimism prevails and commensurately precarious when economic difficulties induce a cooler approach." International Herald Tribune
>> Art Auctions
Monday, November 12, 2007
  The Art Newspaper TV
The Art Newspaper is working hard to take advantage of the internet, with a digital edition and an online TV channel about to launch. It looks like it will be a paid subscription model that will give you access to the videos and a full digital version of their publication.

At the moment it is free as they are in pre-launch mode. It's well worth a look for the price ;-)

"The Art Newspaper TV will provide unprecedented industry insight into the art world.
Featuring WebTV interviews with leading curators, dealers, collectors and artists, plus profiles of major and emerging art fairs.."
The Art Newspaper

>> Art News, Internet News
Friday, November 09, 2007
  One Thousand Paintings and Money Series Creators
Painting bondsThe Australian artist Anthony White of the Money Series paintings and the Swiss artist Marcel "Sala" Salathe of the One Thousand Paintings series have teamed up to create painting bonds.

A bond is basically a loan with an agreed figure to be repaid upon maturity. So, the Bond paintings are bought at a price (determined by an eBay auction), and Anthony and Sala will agree to buy the painting back for a price.

I probably complicated that description, so I'll use theirs.. "A Salathé & White painting is a debt security, in which Salathé & White owe the highest bidder a debt (indicated on the painting) and they are obliged to repay the debt upon safe return during a specific month that is indicated on the painting." Salathe and White

As an example, their first Bond painting (pictured to the left) promises to pay the buyer of the work $1,063 USD in February 2008 upon its safe return to the artists. The painting is for auction on eBay and the current bid is $53. Which means that it is currently a very good investment that would return about $1000 in a couple months for a commitment of $53!

So they are further blurring the link between art and commerce. Is it art? Is it an investment? Is it just a gimmick? Are they making fun of art buyers? Are they just great businessmen? Who knows..

Update: The highest bid for the first bond painting is now at US $1,286!! There's still eight days left of the auction, so I don't think the bidding has stopped yet. As a "bond" it is no longer a good investment, but as a work of art, the verdict is still out.

Update 2: The first bond painting by Sala and Anthony White was sold for $1,286. So it wouldn't make sense for the buyer to return the painting to the artists for $1,063 in February.

Here's a quote that seems appropriate for this post..
"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." Andy Warhol

>> Art Auction News, Anthony White Interview, Five Dollars, 1000 Paintings Imitator
  Saatchi Gallery Online
The Saatchi Gallery seems to be working hard to create a useful online resource for artists, with a new service popping up everytime I visit their website. I haven't used the site much, but I did set up an artist profile when they first started morphing into an art portal.

An article in the Financial Times says "A poll of 2000 of the 70,000 artists on the site estimated that Saatchi Online is now responsible for annualized art sales of $130m (£64m). The figure is extrapolated from the $88,000 sales reported by 500 respondents for a single week in September."

I'm not sure if that means that there has been $130 million in art sold on the site, or that the artists that have profiles on the Saatchi site sell $130 million in the real world. Either way, it's an impressive number, even if it happened to be an optimistic estimate.

Are there artists out there that are actively using Saatchi online to sell art? It would be interesting to hear if it works.

Here's some features and milestones that they have released or achieved recently (taken from the Saatchi Gallery newsletter)..

Sounds like they have been quite busy..
>> Charles Saatchi News

Thursday, November 08, 2007
  Matisse and Picasso Videos
I have probably been wasting too much time at YouTube lately. It's an excellent time waster, unless you have a "to do" list that is a mile long.

Two artists that I can never get enough of are Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. Picasso because he's a ball of energy that lived to paint, and Matisse because he painted to make the world a more beautiful place.

Here's Pablo Picasso working on some paintings (that were destroyed after filming).

And here's a collection of works by Henri Matisse, set to some nice music.

>> Online Videos, Pablo Picasso
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
  Pop Artist Peter Blake and Coke
The British pop artist Sir Peter Blake has teamed up with Coke to produce a large work of art on the banks of the River Thames in London. Only a pop artist could do this and get away with it!

If you're not all Coked out, check out the "Happiness Factory" video here. I sometimes think they're too good at advertising their fizzy brown soda.
>> Famous Artists, Marketing, Videos Online
Monday, November 05, 2007
  Photo of Banksy
grafitti artist banksy photoThe BBC has published a photo that is believed to be the elusive graffiti artist Banksy.

I found it interesting that Banksy works in daylight, with an assistant and scaffolding (if this is a real photo of the artist). I found it more romantic thinking of the artist working alone, at night, and maybe using a ladder if he had to reach up a little higher.

This work is being done on a building in Tower Hamlets (UK), where the Council has made the decision to paint over Banksy works. In the BBC report, a Tower Hamlets council spokesman said "In this case, Banksy has sought permission from the owners of the privately-owned building for his latest work. We do however need to look at the issue of the yellow lines as we have a legal obligation to reinstate the bit of the double yellow lines which has been painted out." BBC (the finished work can be seen on the BBC site.. it's quite interesting)
>> Banksy News, Who is Banksy?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
  Andy Warhol Perfume
Andy Warhol Perfume Bond no.9Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez and Miss Piggy all have a perfume of their own. Now Andy Warhol will have a celebrity perfume too, when the New York fragrance makers at Bond no.9 release a perfume called "Silver Factory" in December.

It's a collaboration between the Andy Warhol Foundation and Bond no.9 (known for making New York neighborhood scents). This is the first of a series of Andy Warhol inspired perfumes that are being produced.

I don't know much about perfume, but it smells good to me. It's for guys and girls, which seems appropriate for someone like Mr. Warhol.

Bond no.9 say.. "We conceived of Silver Factory as a smooth, smoky, spicy blend of interlacing incense (a key scent of the sixties), wood resin, and syrupy, seductive amber. But just to complicate things, we gave it a heart of jasmine, iris, and violet.. a scent that Warhol was especially fond of. These slightly dissonant florals combine to evoke a metallic effect.. that of warmed-up, molten silver. And then, for the merest hint of coolness, we threw in a handful of cedarwood."

The perfume bottle design is inspired by a Campbells soup can by Andy Warhol.

Update: A new Andy Warhol Fragrance has been released by the New York perfume maker Bond No.9.
>> Andy Warhol News, Celebrity News
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