BgArt News Blog
Sunday, August 30, 2009
  BgArt News Blog iS 5 YeArS oLd!
BgArt News Blog is FIVE years old. That must make me some kind of blogger or arts writer or something. I'm most comfortable with the "something" label though. Someone called me an art critic recently and I didn't know how to react. He said it in a way that was supposed to be flattering but I was actually very offended.

If I was forced to label myself it would be Wanderer or Watcher of things. If I had to put something serious on my business card (which I don't have.. even though ALL artists should have one) it would be Painter.

I'm really not a fan of labels and boxes though. We get too comfortable wearing them and before long we can't live without them. It doesn't matter if the label is one of power and influence or it's one of lack and degradation, we cling to them like our life depends on them. A lot of opportunities are missed and interesting paths not taken because of labels and our fear of peeling them off.

Ok, I'm starting to rant and getting off topic. Happy Birthday BgArt News Blog!!

Thanks for reminding me Woo ;-)
Friday, August 21, 2009
  And, umm.. Lucian Freud Interview
Easily the best living painter in the world.. in my humble opinion.

Before seeing or hearing Lucian Freud speak I thought he might be a more forceful person. I figured that the man would have been much less delicate than he is in person as his paintings are so strong and self assured.

I almost feel uncomfortable watching him as he seems naked, even if he is fully clothed.

The Lucian Freud interview is in 5 parts, so do go watch them all on YouTube. If you are a painter, you have to watch it all.

I found the video on Leith O'Malley's Facebook page. I also started a Facebook page for BgArt News Blog. I haven't figured out what I do with it yet though!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
  Australian Artist Leith O'Malley's Studio
Here's the art studio of the Australian artist Leith O'Malley. Leith's work was recently showing at the The 4th Wall Gallery in Dallas, Texas.

Australian artist Leith Omalley
Art in various stages of completion.

Australian painter Leith Omalley
Artist, palette and portrait.

Australian artist in studio
This is Leith in front of a Rory Gallagher portrait.. sharing the same shirt.

See more of Leith O'Malley's work on his website here.

Or more artist studios here. Also, if you have sent me photos of your studio I will post them, I just thought I would spread them out rather than posting them all at once.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
  Jeff Carter at Expressmover and Janet Gillian
Just a quick post to try and rank on Google for two active art scammers at the moment. I have been getting emails and new comments on old art scammer posts about "Janet Gillian" and "Jeff Carter" of Expressmover.

Janet Francis has magically morphed into Janet Gillian and is busy trying to scam artists at the moment.

Jeff Carter of Expressmover or Express Mover has been their imaginary delivery man for a while now. Expressmover is a fictional mover invented by a Janet or a Jeff.. who knows. The names are not so important, it's their method of scamming artists which is most important. Janet Francis turns into Janet Gillian and Expressmover might be Express Packages next week.

This particular little group of cockroaches seem to like the names Janet and Jeff. My apologies to most Jeffs and Janets out there, but if a Janet or Jeff contact you using worse English than mine, make sure you ask them to pay with and they'll scurry away back to their dark and sad little holes where they belong.

Here's a comment by an artist..

I have just been royally scammed by "Janet Gillian". I was about to contact the FBI when I decided to google the address of the mover. Yes, all "her" emails are almost identical to those posted. I believe she got me for $2700. I received a check via UPS overnight in an amount which was $2700 over my asking price. The check was drawn on Lowe's Inc. Same story--the overage was to cover moving costs and should be wired to the moving company before they come to pick up. I asked for a contact name for the movers who would be picking up and ignored the fact that I never got one. I am feeling really foolish even though my instincts told me there were strange inconsistencies. I could rationalize all of them away on the basic notion that this is an honest person. My question now is what to do. Someone mentioned contacting the company the check was drawn on. How does one do that? Who do I contact at Lowe's Inc.? I will go to my bank and the bank the check was drawn on to see if they can do any investigative work. Otherwise, I would appreciate concrete feedback.

By the way, here are the names they used:

Janet Gillian:
Jeff ("her" "husband") he actually
called me! Maybe I spoke to
the real "Janet"
James Carter, the moving agent
who signed "his" name Jeff
Jeff Moll whose name was on the
check from Lowe's

"She" told me they were moving from NJ to "Jo'burg" and actually gave me both addresses so I could put them on my mailing list. I could quite understand why the check came from Lowe's in North Carolina. (Red flag ignored!)

When I got her first email I googled her but couldn't put anything together. I got to this site by googling "expresmover kings cross"

Thank you so much for all your comments. Any advice anyone can give me would help me regain a little confidence.

See more Art Scammers.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
  Neuroesthetics & Artists as Brain Scientists
This year I finally relented and bought myself an iPod. It's easily the best gadget I have ever bought and I really don't know how I lived without one for 33 years! I love it because I can take my whole music collection anywhere, it shuts off the outside world while working in the studio, and when I'm at the PC I am always listening to podcasts and lectures.

The best podcasts haven't necessarily been art podcasts either, they have been podcasts on the mind, nature, spirituality, and business. One podcast which I always look forward to listening to is All in the Mind by Natasha Mitchell.

In her latest episode (which can be downloaded Here, even if you hate music and don't own an iPod yet) she talks about neuroesthetics and an exhibition at London's Hayward gallery called Walking in My Mind.

Semir Zeki pioneered the field of neuroesthetics and says that scientists have a lot to learn from art, but artists have a lot less to learn from neuroscientists. And he says that we (artists) are mostly all neurologists in some sense.

It's an interesting listen..
Saturday, August 15, 2009
  Art and Vaginas
I always seem to have a giggle when I look through the keywords used to find BgArt News Blog. I mentioned vaginas on the pussy casting post a while ago and people came up with these creative vagina search terms..

vagina art

painted vaginas
is vagina art
funny vaginas
how to draw a vagina
interesting looking vaginas
white vaginas
weird vaginas
big fat vaginas
fattest vagina
huge vaginas
small vaginas
5 different looking vaginas
black vaginas
boobs and vaginas
do black women have pink vaginas
are japensee women's vaginas look different?
asian vaginas
fake vaginas
circumsized vaginas
show me sexy vaginas of women
i want vaginas
different colored vaginas
renaissance art why no vagina


art pussy
painted pussies
why do pussies look so good?

Looking at the search terms using "nude" to find the blog are much more disturbing to say the least. People were looking for everything from nude 3 year old girls through to senior sex. I seriously do worry about the intentions of some searchers.
Friday, August 14, 2009
  Bush Football - Dinni Kunoth Kemarre
Mixing sport and art is a lot like mixing oil and water, jews and muslims, christians and atheists, or any other unlikely combination which doesn't mix well. But like any generalization, it is often proven to be not entirely true. Sometimes a jew will marry a muslim, a christian will convert an atheist, and good art will be inspired by sport.

I think the sculpture of Dinni Kunoth Kemarre at the upcoming "Bush Football" exhibition (nothing to do with George W. or soccer) at the Mossenson Gallery, Melbourne proves me wrong; art and sport can mix.

aboriginal sculpture
Dinni Kunoth Kemarre
Footballer (Kangaroo)
acrylic on wood

Dinni Kunoth Kemarre sculpture
Dinni Kunoth Kemarre
Footballer (Bomber)
acrylic on wood

afl football sculpture
Dinni Kunoth Kemarre
Footballer (Bomber)
acrylic on wood

Bush Football will be on display at 41 Derby Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia from Tuesday 18 August until Saturday 5 September, 2009. Mossenson Galleries website.

Ps.. this post has nothing to do with religion.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
  Cy Twombly has Style
The 81 year old Cy Twombly made the Vanity Fair's 2009 International Best-Dressed List. His personal style is considered to be "rumpled artist" by Vanity Fair. His signature look is Blue-and-white-striped shirts with linen or flannel pants and custom-made jackets, and his signature wardrobe item is Green suspenders.

Cy Twombly Vanity Fair Best Dressed List

Just recently, while getting dressed I was thinking that I need a change in clothes. So I went and told a friend that I'm changing my style in clothes and he just laughed at me. His message was that I have NO style, which means I have to get some. I usually only buy clothes and look after my appearance when I have a girlfriend, but now that I'm single I couldn't be bothered.. which may be why I'm single.

I expect artists to look like this..

Ike Ude Vanity Fair Best Dressed List
Ike Ude - By Neil Rasmus/

Or maybe photographer Bruce Webster..

Bruce Weber Vanity Fair Best Dressed List
Bruce Weber - By Will Ragozzino/Patrick

See more good and bad fashion on Vanity Fair's best dressed list here.
  Who Killed Bambi? Patricia Waller Killed Bambi
Remember the Knitting for Psychos post a little while ago? A couple people even wrote to me and told me that I was disgusting for posting them, but I think they just forgot to take their pills before writing to me. Well, I didn't know who the works belonged to at the time, but now I do (thanks to those who let me know).

The "crocheted" not "knitted" (another thing I learned from a reader) works are by the German artist Patricia Waller. I visited her website to see some of her more recent works and saw Tweety below.

tweety bird cooking in a pot
My first thoughts were "oh, she must create cute toys for kids too" but then I realized what is really happening with poor little Tweety! I'm a massive bird lover and the scene shocks me at first, but as a rational thinking (at least I think I am) person I can also see that it's just someone having a bit of fun. It's not a real bird boiling in a pot and the artist Patricia Waller is also probably an animal lover (with a weird sense of humor).

Lesson for today: have a sense of humor! Life isn't THAT serious.

One more thing, the "Who Killed Bambi?" work in her gallery is really wrong. Even I went "awww, poor Bambi" lol
Sunday, August 09, 2009
  Fake Damien Hirst Blog
I'm not sure how legal this fake Damien Hirst blog is, but it's funny. Im surprised Mr Hirst hasn't shut them down.

This fake Damien Hirst work of 44 peanut M&Ms is called "The fear of becoming fat expressed in the joy of being colorful"

Fake Damien Hirst Print

Other works include Thoughts on eternal life by someone living a mundane life in a tiny flat, The price of being a virgin in the world dominated by people who's virginity could never be proven, and Snow White and the seven dwarfs without the seven dwarfs actually being the seven dwarfs. See more on the Damien Hirst spoof site here.

Found on ArtWorldMag.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
  Jeff Koons has more than 120 Assistants
The 20 year old me would have been horrified at hearing that an artist has 120+ assisstants. (Thirteen years ago I also thought money was evil, politicians were looking after us, life was endless, and people were good.) But now I think it's absolutely amazing that one artist could sell enough work to support 120+ workers. The purist in me still wants to rant but I just don't go there anymore.

jeff koons studioThe Art Newspaper spoke with Jeff Koons in his studio about his current exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London and his studio/factory.

Here's a Q&A from the Art Newspaper interview..

TAN: It must be daunting running an operation of this scale. Are you ever tempted to go back to making work by yourself?

Jeff Koons: I used to make all my own sculpture, my paintings, but if I did that it would severely limit the range of projects that I could be involved with. I follow my interests in some way that feels profound to me, those that seem to have a deeper meaning. I feel completely free to do whatever I want to do. But I have to edit my work a lot, because of the process, the amount of time it takes to actually make things, you really have to make the things you want to make, otherwise you’re wasting a lot of energy.

Read the full interview here.

The Serpentine Gallery exhibition in London is showing until the 13th of September. It's a collection of paintings and sculptures from his Popeye series.

jeff koons popeye series painting
Jeff Koons
Popeye 2003
Oil on canvas 274.3 x 213.4 cm
© 2008 Jeff Koons

I was going to say that Jeff Koons also has one of the best websites of any super-famous artist, but he ruined it by using Flash. Now I can't even get past his splash screen. I click Enter and nothing. Artists have no idea with websites. I don't want moving, flashing, screaming, multi-colored, or cluttered artist websites. I just want to see art.. clever websites are just stupid. Here's a link to an internal page of his website as I just couldn't get past his silly welcome page.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
  BgArt News Blog on Twitter
I usually follow trends when they're about to die or years before they're fashionable, so this means that Twitter is about to die or I have finally become a good sheep and now run when the herd runs. It could be the latter as I have become quite a sell out lately.

I still haven't worked Twitter out yet, but here's BgArt News Blog on Twitter.
Monday, August 03, 2009
  Annie Leibovitz's $24 Million Loan
Art Capital Group has sued the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz over a sales agreement and a 24 million dollar loan. The portrait photographer needed the funds for "tax liens, mortgages and unpaid bills."

She first approached Art Capital in June 2008 and secured a loan in September, the company said, and drew down $5 million of a $22 million credit line. In December, Art Capital agreed to extend the line to $24 million and advanced her another $18.9 million, it said.
Leibovitz must repay the $24 million, plus unpaid interest and other fees, by Sept. 8. Without sales of collateral, Art Capital believes “Leibovitz will be unable to satisfy their obligations on the maturity date -- a point that was discussed and acknowledged by the parties at the outset of the restructuring,” the company said.

I'm impressed that any artist could get a loan for $24 million! Sure, she may not be able to pay it back and may lose her catalog of photographs and properties, but it's an interesting story to tell the grand kids. Here's some Annie Leibovitz photos on Google Images.
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