BgArt News Blog
Monday, March 30, 2009
  Radiology Art
Chicken McNuggets Radiology ArtI found out about the "radiology art" of Satre Stuelke from a NY Times article called "The Inner Beauty of a McNugget" but I would have called it something like "Scary, Toxic Looking Chicken McNuggets."

Stuelke has also done a few McDonalds burgers for his Radiology Art project and they look just as scarily toxic as the McNuggets. Sure, they're beautiful to look at but they're probably not something that should be put into your mouth.

The New York City artist's statement for the project says it is "Dedicated to the deeper visualization of various objects that hold unique cultural importance in modern society, this project intends to plant a seed of scientific creativity in the minds of all those inclined to participate"

He has photographed/scanned toys, food and electronics. My favorites are the toys, especially the wild looking barbie doll and the toy elephant. See them on his Website here.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
  Search Art Keywords
I never know what to expect when I browse through the keywords that people use to find BgArt News Blog. They range from the funny, to the disgusting, to just stupid.

Here's some earlier search terms from 2006, 2007 and some stupid Banksy searches.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
  Paper in the Wind
Simple, everyday things amuse me. For example, a piece of paper blowing in the wind..

It was made by Sydney based artist Gary Deirmendjian.

1. a wondering through city fringe laneways;
2. a scrap of paper torn from a nearby skip;
3. a breeze; and
4. a pocket camera aimed with the hope of catching something interesting.

Gary says "It was all inspired and spurred on by the moment, as in there was no preconceived idea or intent to begin with - it took form as I began the filming. The breathing was added in editing."

It made me think of the plastic bag in the wind scene from the American Beauty movie (I love that scene).
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."
Sunday, March 22, 2009
  Gone Walkabout
I have been on the road for the past week exploring a few places that I thought I might like to move to (see earlier post), which has slowed posting down. Friends were renting a massive holiday apartment on the Gold Coast so I invited myself around to stay. It was on the 70th floor of a building which claims to be the tallest residential building in the world. It was like living on a plane without all the turbulence and flight attendants offering coffee and bad food.

Here's some storm clouds rolling in..
gold coast storm clouds

Here's a painting that I couldn't stand looking at in the apartment, so I turned it around as it would have ruined my week. Friends thought I was crazy but I didn't want it to influence me in any way.
bad painting

People looked like ants on the beach.
bad painting

I have a few more places to explore, but I'm starting to think I will just travel around Europe and America for the next year or two.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
  Pig Skin Portraits by Heide Hatry
I knew there was something strange about these portraits when I first looked at them but I just couldn't figure out what it was. I thought the eyes had a realness about them that is hard to create, which turned out to be partly correct.

The artist Heide Hatry created these weird little creations with animal skin and body parts. So the eyes are real, but they're real pigs eyes. The lips are raw flesh and the skin is from a pig.

Heide Hatry pig skin heads

Heide Hatry pig skin portraits

In her statement from here website here, Heide Hatry says.. "My intention with the work was to make it as life-like as possible, vivid and sometimes disposed in positions suggesting movement. I used untreated pigskin to cover a sculpture I had made out of clay, with raw meat for the lips and fresh pig eyes in order that the resulting portrait would appear as if it were looking at the viewer with a vital expression which the photographer had just captured at that moment. In fact, a photographer taking a picture of a model does more or less what I've done with my sculptures: the model will be made up, its hair will be done, appropriate lighting and pose will be chosen, etc. Or, if you prefer, what I am doing is reminiscent of what a mortician does in preparing a corpse for viewing: creating the illusion of life where there is none."

She is currently showing at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Heads and Tales" finishes on the 17th of March. View more of the portraits at the artist's website here or see a slideshow of images on the Phoenix newspaper.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
  Portrait Prizes
Two of Australia's best known art prizes recently announced their winners. The Archibald prize is best known for creating controversies and receiving lots of mainstream media coverage, even if there isn't a controversy, and the Doug Moran portrait prize is known for having a first prize booty of $150,000.

The 2009 Archibald prize winner was Guy Maestri with his portrait of the singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. I can't say I was very impressed with the portrait but the Gurrumul CD is amazing. He's a blind indiginous artist that plays the guitar upside down and sings like an angel. There's some videos of him on Youtube.

Archibald Prize Winner 2009

The 2009 Doug Moran portrait prize winner is Ben Quilty for his portrait of the singer Jimmy Barnes, titled There But For The Grace Of God Go I No. 2. Quilty collected $150,000 for his entry.

Moran Prize Winner 2009

The Archibald finalists can be seen here and the Doug Moran finalists can be found here.
Monday, March 09, 2009
  Expressionist Matt Sesow
Here's an interesting interview with a working artist, meaning an artist that makes a living from painting. He's humble about his work and he hasn't been tempted to add too many zeros to the price of his paintings. Most works can bought from his website for a few hundred dollars which means almost anyone can afford to buy a painting. He seems to be a prolific painting machine with tens of paintings added to his site each month, so there's always something new to look at.

See more paintings by Matt Sesow at his website here. One thing that I love about his website is that he isn't afraid to use good size images of his paintings online. I have been visiting his website for at least five years because he doesn't try to frustrate the viewer with minuscule image sizes covered with ridiculous copyright notices.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
  Aboriginal Art Auction
The best art to come out of Australia is Aboriginal art, both old and contemporary Aboriginal art. Everything else in Australian art is either derivative and/or regional and will never leave the shores of Australia.

The best Aboriginal art deserves so much more credit than it currently receives. Auction prices for Aboriginal art have been increasing and international collectors are buying more but I think it should be getting a lot more loving than it does.

The auction house Deutscher and Hackett will be holding their inaugural Aboriginal art auction in Melbourne on the 25th of March. They have a range of paintings, sculptures and weavings with prices ranging from a couple thousand dollars through to a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Here's a few that I liked..

I'm thinking about bidding on this little beauty. It's by unknown artist and has a low estimate, so readers of this post are NOT allowed to bid on it! ;-)

aboriginal paintings
Fish, c1950 (Groote Eylandt) natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 28.0 x 49.0 cm
ESTIMATE: $1,500 – 2,000

Australian aboriginal paintings
Untitled, 1981 (c1937 – 1999) synthetic polymer paint on linen 186.5 x 154.0 cm
ESTIMATE: $10,000 – 15,000

Untitled (Alhalkere), 1995 (c1910 – 1996) synthetic polymer paint on linen 110.0 x 201.0 cm
ESTIMATE: $150,000 – 200,000

Australian aboriginal painting
Marrapinti, 2002 born 1932 synthetic polymer paint on linen 168.0 x 46.0 cm
ESTIMATE: $4,000 – 6,000

See the full online catalog of the Aboriginal art auction at the Deutscher and Hackett website here.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
  Looking for a New Place to Live
My posting pauses seem to be getting longer and more frequent, but I have a good excuse this time. I have been looking around for a new area to live. I live in the suburbs which is as noisy as a city without all the conveniences of city, so I thought I should just move to a city (Sydney.) When I went to the city to look for an apartment I spent the whole time in my hotel room sick, so I took it as a sign that Sydney isn't the place for me right now. I probably look for signs that aren't really there and place too much importance on feelings but that's just how it is for me.

Anyway, I have one more area to explore next week and if that doesn't work out I'm going to travel the world for a year or two or three. It's a place called Bellingen, which is a quiet little place close to the beach and lots of good walking trails.

If Bellingen doesn't work for me I plan to visit lots of art museums around the world. Starting with Italy, then France, Spain, England, maybe Germany and possibly the United States. I would just stay in each place until my visa expired, so it wouldn't be a rushed trip. Flying anywhere from Australia is a loooong flight so when I land somewhere I'm never in hurry to get back on a plane.

I'm challenged by the burden of freedom. I have no responsibilities holding me down in any one place, I have been saving for a rainy day, and I have a job that can be done anywhere in the world. Every week I seem to have a new plan and a whole new direction, but each new week seems to create a more interesting plan. So I spend my time thinking about life while life marches on around me.
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