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Friday, December 28, 2007
  Biggest, Best, Weirdest, and Most Important Lists of 2007
I really can't believe that the end of the year is here already, but I can't argue with the calendar. I think the earth might be spinning faster each year as the years seem to keep getting quicker!

Anyway, this is the time of the year that the media tries to sum up what has happened in the past 12 months. Rather than putting my own list together, I have put a list of lists together. Most are art lists, but some have very little to do with art..

Also: If you have posted an art list of some kind, mention it in the comments and I might add it to the list below.

>> General Art News, Art Blog News

Monday, December 24, 2007
  Happy Holidays!
Happy holidays people! Stop reading blogs for a few days, turn your pc off, and go spend more time with real people.. go on.. (I'll try and do the same!)

santa hit by plane

I also received this picture below from Coxsoft Art News. It's a Banksy called "Dove of Peace".

banksy dove of peace

I would be wearing a bullet proof vest too if I was a dove of peace in this day and age.
Friday, December 21, 2007
  Nicole Kidman & David Beckham Renaissance Pics
For those that haven't used Adobe Photoshop before, there's some great examples of what it can do over at They are always having all kinds of competitions, but I really like their art related contests.

The digital mischief below is from their Modern Renaissance 8 contest, where the famous people of today are put into old renaissance paintings.

painting of nicole kidman
This is Nicole Kidman.

painting of david beckham
And this is David Beckham by Rembrandt.

I mentioned some previous photoshop competitions at Worth1000 with a Scary Mona Lisa, Famous Photoshop Fakes, and another Renaissance Nicole Kidman picture.
>> Art Competitions, Famous People
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
  ANB in NY Times - Art Collecting
BgArt News Blog in new york timesHarry Hurt has mentioned BgArt News Blog in the NY Times this week, which apart from swelling my head a little, also lead me to an interesting article about how an art novice starts collecting art.

Harry teams up with the art consultant Simon Watson and spends a day in the West Chelsea art district looking for "emerging artists with potential star quality." Their challenge was to find good art at an affordable price, in the 3 to 4 figure range.

Sticker Shock a Hazard, Even When the Artists Are Only Potential Stars
"Although my budget was so small as to be virtually indivisible, Simon had arranged visits to five galleries and two artists’ studios. I figured that gave me at least an outside chance to pick up a bargain in what he’d called the zoo, the West Chelsea district, bordered by 30th and 20th Streets and 10th Avenue and the Hudson River. With more than 300 galleries and countless studio spaces, it is one of the world’s most fertile cultural preserves." Read full story at NY Times
>> Collecting Art, Art Blogs
Monday, December 17, 2007
  Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth Video (Tate Crack)
Anonymous left a comment on the Doris's Crack post, with a link to a video response of the exhibition at the Tate. But he/she must have did something wrong as the link was to So, I did a search myself and come up with some interesting videos on YouTube.

It shows the work in a new light. The photos that I have seen of Doris's Crack are very staged and only show the work from perspectives that the photographer finds interesting, but letting someone loose with a video camera shows it how it is. It also shows how people interact with it, which is quite interesting. I still have no idea how people are hurting themselves though.

There's another video of the Tate Crack here.
>> Online Videos, Exhibitions, Doris's Crack, Comments on Doris's Crack
  Blocks of Poop by Santiago Sierra
blocks of shitThe Spanish / Mexican artist Santiago Sierra has managed to create another piece of tasty bait for the media, with his exhibition of human excrement at London's Lisson Gallery. The 21 blocks of shit each measure 215 x 75 x 20cm and was collected by "scavengers" in New Delhi and Jaipur, India.

"Workers of the sanitary movement Sulabh International of India are mostly scavengers who, by birth, have to undertake the physically and psychologically painful task of collecting human faecal matter, being charged with the blames of a previous life of bad deeds." Santiago Sierra

There's a message that the artist wants to get across, which could be honorable or mocking, depending on which side of the fence you choose to sit. The optimist in me sees an artist highlighting the exploitation of a group of people that need a hand up. The cynic in me sees an artist doing something shocking for the sake of publicity (exploiting the media). The humorous me sees an artist shitting on the floor of an upmarket art gallery and laughing at those that take it seriously (exploiting the gallery and public).

I couldn't figure out who was exploiting who in the end. If the objective of the exhibition was to get a lot of attention, it was a success, as I saw that most of the mainstream media publications had their fun with the story. It's not something I would go and see though.
>> Art Exhibitions, Weird Art
Friday, December 14, 2007
  Missing in Inaction
photo of newcastleSorry about the lack of posts lately. I would like to say that I have been busy in the studio or working on something really big and exciting, but I have just had a lazy week. The busiest I got was when I drove into Newcastle on Tuesday (about 20 minutes drive) and stared at the ocean for a while (see pic).

There's something about the ocean that seems to recharge my batteries. Particularly when there is a storm happening; when it makes you feel small and insignificant, but it also seems to share its power with you. I don't think I could ever live much more than half an hour away from the water.

The rest of the time was spent reading, writing and listening to music. The books that I have been reading are;

Anyway, I just thought I would explain my disappearance as a couple people were checking to see if I still existed ;-) Things should be back to normal on Monday.

Monday, December 10, 2007
  Needs and Wants For Sale
painting of one million dollarsThe internet seems to have spawned a whole movement of entrepreneurial artists that have worked out that an idea and a little viral marketing can get you a lot of attention and maybe even a little money.

I have already mentioned the Money series paintings, 1000 Paintings (and an imitator), Bond Paintings and NYC Rubbish. I think they're probably all better ideas than they are art, but they're all very interesting ideas.

Another idea is to paint something that you want (for example, one million dollars) and then sell the painting for the price of that object. One million dollars would be quite expensive as it would cost one million dollars, but if you only wanted things like a pizza slice ($3), dinner at a Japanese restaurant ($152), or a piece of steak ($18), you might find a buyer.

Christine and Justin from New York City are the artists (or should I call them entrepreneurs?) behind the project. Wants for Sale has a list of things that they want, while Needs for Sale has a list of things that charities need (with all the money going to the chosen charity.)
>> Contemporary Artists, Internet, Art Marketing
Thursday, December 06, 2007
  Politics and Art
politics and artAn exhibition of contemporary art prints at the New York Public Library has created a mild stir. The NY Times has reported that a number of library patrons have protested because of a series of 8 digital prints in the "Multiple Interpretations" exhibition called "Line Up."

The Line Up series by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese depicts people from the Bush administration in fake mugshots. The slates that they hold have the dates of lies or exaggerations about Iraq spoken by the holder. For example, President George W Bush in his State of the Union address on January 28 (my birthday!), 2003, reported, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa…. He clearly has much to hide."

"It is at first mildly shocking to come upon such bluntly partisan artwork on a New York Public Library wall. Biting political satire is deeply a part of printmaking history — see Goya, James Gillray and Daumier — but handmade prints are no longer a significant form of political communication, and we don’t expect anything so brazenly tendentious in the public library context." New York Times

My opinion on the situation is that politics and art don't happily mix, but I do love a good political cartoonist. I think artists should have the right to say things that are political though, without it costing them their freedom. Most political art has a very short shelf life, just like the politicians they depict. The best way to make political art live a little longer is to hire a bunch of protestors to march at the exhibition or to have the artist put in prison.
>> Controversies, Exhibitions
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