Jeppe Hein: Please Touch the Art (Public Art Fund Lecture)

Adventures, Art World News

I went to an awesome talk last night where public artist and interactive sculptor, Jeppe Hein shared his charming thoughts and work. Hein was absolutely inspiring and really fun to listen to. The lecture included interactive elements with balloons, raisons, impromptu musical performances, and ricocheting ping pong balls to keep everyone on their toes and “in the here and now.” Most of Hein’s recent work deals with this concept of living in the present and embracing spontaneity. It’s an important reminder. Plus, it was cool to see an artist whose work so accurately reflects his personality and self. Loved it!

Jeppe Hein Ping Pong Ball!

I even kept a ping pong ball šŸ˜€

Millennials in Museums

Art World News

I found this on Tumblr recently and thought it was kind of fabulous. You’ve gotta love the irreverence millennials have for ancient art and museums. It’s ridiculous.

Cell Phone Art

There is, however, a lot of serious and merited debate currently happening in the museum world over this very topic. Should we embrace this type of behavior or condemn it. A lot of museums are starting to do away with or readjust their iphone policies.

Juarez Women

Art World News, Painting

Initially I was a little skeptical of anĀ Irish man making art about murdered Mexican women. However, his work and his statements are a thoughtful and respectfulĀ tribute and I am glad this important crisis is getting the attention it deserves. The portraits themselves are beautiful, powerful and tragic.Ā It’s important work by Brian McGuire and definitely deserves a look.

“The killing campaign in Mexico has taken the lives of more than 1,400 young women since 1994, mainly factory girls working in maquiladoras,sweatshops of sorts, who were abducted around town. Maguire spent time with the victim’s mothers, discussing their daughter’s lives and premature deaths, before beginning to paint two portraits of each victim: one representing the young girl during her life and another, after death. Though his works are intuitively somber in subject matter and style, they convey a subtle hopefulness in the boldness of strokes and in the unexpected pops of color.”

 

juarez woman

Juarez woman 2

maguire juarez women

The title of this seres is The Absence of Justice Demands This Act and it’s showing at Fergus McCaffrey in New York through the end of the month. Check out this article and the gallery website, if you’d like.

Art Ranting for the Claremont Spotlite

Adventures, Art World News, Contemporary Women Artists

The Claremont Spotlite is a brand new online publication that highlights local artists and cultural events in the Claremont area. It’s a really neat idea and, despite just launching this year, the site already has a bunch of great content. Last week I wrote a guest blog post for them where I got to rant about art. In particular, I wrote about how I’ve been using the widespread availability of online arts communities as an excuse to stop experiencing art in person. Why trek all the way into LA during rush hour traffic to see an exhibition when I can discover just as many inspiring and innovative artists on Tumblr? It’s all online. I don’t even need museums or galleries anymore!

It’s been something that I’ve grappled with a lot over the past year butĀ I’ve recently been reinvigorated by in-person art experiences. If that’s at all interesting to you, go check out the article on Spotlite for some personal musings and unsolicited advice.

With the unlimited potential of a Google search bar, itā€™s easy to forget about the opportunities for discovery that exist right here in sleepy Claremont. Finding artists online is so easy that I often donā€™t pursue opportunities that are unique to my geographic location. I can count on one hand the number of times Iā€™ve actually made it to an LA gallery show, and I can count the number of museum visits on two. The Internet is an amazing tool, but I fear that I have been using it as a crutch instead; as a way to avoid seeking out creative experiences in person. With the whole world wide web at my fingertips, it is easy to forget that we have an impeccably curated gallery right here on campus. Every time I stumble into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery I am impressed by the variety and caliber of artists shown, but I always forget itā€™s there. I always plan to attend the exhibitions, but even as an Art History major, Iā€™ve missed more shows than Iā€™ve attended.

Linda Lopez 3

Linda Lopez

linda Lopez 2

Fly Art: A Fresh Take on the Classics

Adventures, Art World News

fly artI feel like by now everyone on the internet has seen this image with “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS” written over Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. If you haven’tĀ then you’re welcome. It’s quite clever. Enjoy. But if you’re an Art History major like I am, then I’m willing to bet that at least a few of your friends wear this t shirt on the regular.

So yes. Queen Bey and The Goddess of Love. It’s a thing. I’m way behind.

But I had no idea how many of these incredible Hip Hop/Art History mash-ups existed. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, there are so many good ones! I’m just going to share a couple of them but check out Fly Art Productions and visit their shop on Rad.

fly art

fly art versace

fly art

fly art degas

fly art

fly art

Hopefully this can brighten up someone else’s Monday because it definitely brightened mine.

What’s it worth?

Art World News

ā€œOne of the reasons thereā€™s so much talk about money is that itā€™s so much easier to talk about than art.ā€ ā€“David Zwirner

Art as a business is such a crazy concept. There are massive amounts of money being thrown around in the US and internationally for works whose value is inherently subjective. What makes one piece worth more than another? It isnā€™t just the aesthetic value, or the prominence of the artist, or the size, or cost of materials. It is all of these things combined but somehow the end value is greater than the sum of its parts. There is an ā€œitā€ factor to art that probably has more to do with marketing and PR than talent. And possibly has even more to do with people like the ones Zwirner refers to; thoseĀ who would rather talk aboutĀ priceĀ than about art.

It is clear from this New Yorker article and others like it that the art industry is a formidable economic force. But what does that mean for the art? And for the artists? How does one navigate this cutthroat consumerist landscape without sacrificing the meaning and integrity of his or herĀ work?

Guerrilla Girls use the F-word Feminism

Adventures, Art World News, Artist Obsession

As both an art enthusiast and feminist, I have mad respect for the radical art activists who call themselves the Guerrilla Girls. They wear furry gorilla masksĀ and call out the art industry on its bullshit in a way that demands attention. There are some serious issues of discrimination and marginalization in the art world, one of which being the lack of representation in major modern art museums.Ā I guess the only job more frustrating than being an artist is being a female artist of color.

The group was formed in the mid eighties and has been speaking out against this and similar issues ever since. The Pomona College Museum of Art currently opened an exhibition featuring the Guerrilla Girls’ posters and performances. And last week two of the Guerrilla Girls came to speak on campus. It was awesome to hear them talkĀ about their cause and about how art can be used as a tool for social change.

They way that these women have fought back against an unjust system through art and graphic design is really cool. It was a really empowering show and lecture and I am thrilled that I was invited to attend.

“The Familiar and the Indefinable in Clay”

Art World News, Contemporary Women Artists

I just stumbled into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Art Gallery after class yesterday to discover that the new ceramics exhibition is finished and open to the public! I’ve been so crazy busy lately that I completely missed the opening reception (apparently it happened last weekend?) and was delighted to discover one of the most whimsical ceramics show I’ve ever seen. Scripps is well known for its Ceramics Annual and this is the 71st, guest curated by Julia Haft-Candell. I immediately got caught up in the beautiful colors, shapes and textures and was almost late to work because of it. (Oops.)

I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with the art as I would have liked but fully intend to go back in the coming weeks for closer inspection.Ā Here are a couple of pictures from my initial walk-around. I’ll probably post more later as I predict several new “Artist Obsession” posts in my future…

Happy Friday!

Scripps Art Show 2

Scripps Art Show 3

Scripps College Art Show

Japanese Design

Art World News, Life

Last night I was fortunate enough to listen toĀ Patricia Graham speak about Japanese art and aesthetics. She is absolutely brilliant and it was really neat to hearĀ her opinions on design and discussions of her new book. I have studiedĀ Japan a little in my Art History coursework, focusing almost entirely on the Gutai collective and Shiraga Kazao. So I was almost entirely ignorant of Graham’s particular interest, namely the universal Japanese aesthetic and how it permeates every aspect of craft and creation. Japanese art has a distinct look to it. But so does Japanese architecture, product design, furniture, fashion, and performance. It isn’t just sculpture or painting or calligraphy, it’s everything. That distinctly Japanese visual style.

All too often in Art History, we focus in on one particular artist, medium, or movement. We get so caught up in the tiny details and nuances of a particular work that we forget where it fits in the larger cultural framework. This lecture really helped me refocus my attention on the big picture.

The New Artists

Art World News

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic today which addresses the current cultural shift towards “creatives” instead of “artists.” Art as an industry has always been defined through the money-making apparatus attached. From craftsmen and artisans to renaissance geniuses; art changes along with society. But where has the artist ended up?

This article argues thatĀ the riseĀ of the internet and the ability to self-promote online has resulted in the “Death of the Artist and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur.” The industry has migrated online, appealing directly to potential customers.

“The push of institutional disintegration has coincided with the pull of new technology. The emerging culture of creative entrepreneurship predates the Webā€”its roots go back to the 1960sā€”but the Web has brought it an unprecedented salience. The Internet enables you to promote, sell, and deliver directly to the user, and to do so in ways that allow you to compete with corporations and institutions, which previously had a virtual monopoly on marketing and distribution. You can reach potential customers at a speed and on a scale that would have been unthinkable when pretty much the only means were word of mouth, the alternative press, and stapling handbills to telephone poles.”

There seems to be a lot of building going on: youā€™re supposed to build your brand, your network, your social-media presence. Creative entrepreneurship is spawning its own institutional structureā€”online marketplaces, self-publishing platforms, nonprofit incubators, collaborative spacesā€”but the fundamental relationship remains creator-to-customer, with creators handling or superintending every aspect of the transaction.”

The internet has democratized countless other industries. So why not art? But the shift from artist to creative is one that merits special attention. I find that the most successful artists online are choosing to label themselves differently. They are stylists, illustrators, designers, creative directors, graphic designers, art directors, creative content creators, makers, photographers, or some complex combination of three or more of these titles. And they areĀ running their art like a business.

So what will all this mean for artists and for art? For training, for practice, for the shape of the artistic career, for the nature of the artistic community, for the way that artists see themselves and are seen by the public, for the standards by which art is judged and the terms by which it is defined?”

Seriously, go read this article. It’s interesting.

(image is from designlovefest one of my fav design blogs which exemplifies this type of art/entrepreneurship. Bri is the ultimate creative hybrid.)