A group exhibition opening this week at EOA Projects London—a 400 square metre commercial space in London dedicated to Middle Eastern contemporary art—sees six artists from the region tackle some of the vital social questions for modern Middle Eastern culture, from repression and economy to surveillance and ideology. Crucially, the art here introduces a component that is often missing from much contemporary political art: humor.
Curated by Amal Khalaf, the show reminds us of the importanc... [more]
"That's not real. Tell me that's not real. Is it?"
"This is the worst thing I've ever seen :("
These were just some of the comments I received when I started to share a trailer that landed in my inbox for the first season of Street Art Throwdown, which premiers on Oxygen network on February 3, 2015. Trying to swallow down the small bit of vomit that rose in my throat as I watched the anninhilation of a culture, I realized it was only a matter of time; in fact,... [more]
I recently came across Matthew Collings’ mid-nineties book Blimey! From Bohemia to Brit Pop, a no-holds-barred, bystander-style, verbal diarrhea of a monologue about the London Art World and its eccentricities. It’s so delightfully outdated not even two decades on that it makes you both inwardly cringe and want to read on in a “why isn’t art like this anymore?” kind of way. I was momentarily left mourning an irreverent art attitude I was too young to experience. For a w... [more]
The moving image has a long-standing relationship with trickery: deceiving the eye, suspending disbelief, displaying the impossible. In fact, it's devilishly good at it.
Everybody's heard about the audience who ran screaming from the oncoming train at the premiere of the Lumiere Brothers’ L'Arrivée d'un train... (1895). I recently read a suggestion that they ran partly to avoid being crushed by a steam train and partly because they knew doing so offered them bit parts in an anecdote... [more]
To be talked about—positively or negatively, it hardly matters—is the principle aim of every art prize with an exhibition attached to it. Of course, reward or encouragement are the motivational labels attached to them but PR is the true driving force. For a good many years the Turner Prize was the prime example of a "successful" art prize exhibition. All of Britain would be talking about the nominees and the winners, down to the proverbial cab driver, who wouldn’t need a lot of... [more]
Earlier this month, London-based artist Jonty Hurwitz made headlines with his 3D-printed "nano" sculptures. Each sculpture is approximately 80 x 100 x 20 microns—so small that they can only be viewed using an electron microscope.
The sculptures are an impressive, ambitious use of 3D printing technology in fine art. With help from the Weizemann Institute of Technology, Hurwitz used over 200 cameras and a groundbreaking 3D printing technique referred to on his website as “Multiphoton Li... [more]
Jonathan Jones writes an art blog for the Guardian newspaper. I read his column with the same morbid fascination I used to reserve for those times when I’d come across a piece by Julie Burchill. Which is to say I begin with the nascent thrill of knowing my pique is going to be stimulated, followed by a good bit of private outrage, and finally a satisfying wallow in indignation. None of these are particularly attractive human characteristics; they are, however, pleasurable and best practiced either... [more]
Hip Hop and capitalism could be said to share the same ideals. American Hip Hop and the American Dream promote the same goal of self-made material success through carefree consumerism. Money—and spending it—saturates songs and artist monikers (Curren$y, Rich Gang, 50 Cent, All$tar, etc.).
Hip Hop’s aesthetic identity has traditionally communicated just as much about consumerist society as its songs. But as confidence in capitalism is waning, with the mass disillusionment followi... [more]
It has been announced that fans of Damien Hirst describe themselves as moody, love TV's Ross Kemp, and eat vegetarian bangers and mash, according to a remarkable new web app launched this week by internet pollsters YouGov.
The app, which collates data from over 190,000 UK YouGov members has already kicked off a Twitter storm as people can find out for themselves what the most leftwing cheese is or the remarkable fact that if you like Tracey Emin, your third most likely favorite film is the Samuel L.... [more]
I was in a conversation with the curator Lucia Schreyer the other day. We were discussing the latest exhibition at Palais de Tokyo; we have differing opinions about it. I enjoyed the show very much. Once again it seemed as though the PdT had curated an exciting, interactive exhibition, fully using the space they have available and successfully iterating the concept of "Inside." Lucia didn’t like it so much. Her complaint was that it is too spectacular, like "a Luna Parc" for adults, and to b... [more]
Daniel K. Sparkes (a.k.a Mudwig in a previous incarnation) is a British artist whose offbeat approach has seen his work pop up in the most unusual spots all over the world, including Wroclaw, The Hague and Sheffield—alongside weighty venues such as Jonathan LeVine NY and Somerset House London (as part of upcoming Mapping the City). Sparke’s take on everyday life mixes surreal playfulness with humorous textuality: a "fur" print t-shirt was a recent eye-catcher. Thematically, he sets about the a... [more]
On November 15th, an article titled “Kremlin Has Mastered Propaganda, But Not Photoshop: Fake MH17 Photo Lights Up RuNet” was posted on Global Voices. The article detailed an event that occurred a few days before that had since become a widespread source of mockery and digital response, first on RuNet and then beyond. RuNet, for those unfamiliar, comprises Russian-language internet domains and websites—the essential digital component of contemporary Russian culture. The RuNet sensat... [more]
Christopher Kulendran Thomas is an artist/art strategist whose approach I have long admired. When I invited him to realize a project at my London gallery the Agency, he brought me The Air Inn Venice (TAIV) and its creator, LA artist Kristin Luke. Christopher met Kristin when she originally curated him at TAIV, along with her own practice and contributions by Ed Fornieles and Renzo Martens, in her California pad. Now Christopher is curating TAIV for the Agency. A three-way dialogue ensues as the exh... [more]
Picasso’s oft quoted “Good artists borrow, great artists steal” is one of those dubious chestnuts likely repeated in the halls of art schools enough to be painted over the doors. William S Burroughs’ notion of language as a virus presupposes that nothing or little of what we say is original—everything starts out as a borrowing, a theft. Theft, forgery, fakery, authenticity, and homage underlie all art and literature, always softly shadowing their meaning and troublin... [more]
Making the art world accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Visual art is rarely understood unless it is reckoned with in person. Even then, it is often difficult to really see what an artist is trying to express, especially with the many abstract works that have come out of modernism. A huge part of the viewing experience involves being able to face works that artists created in real time and in real space. Being able to comprehend and feel what Mark Rothko felt when he... [more]
Corporatism pervades the art world: BMWs are wrapped in Jeff Koons vinyl, museum exhibitions and art fairs are sponsored by global financial institutions, one mega luxury conglomerate even has an entire museum. It's a simple fact now: money and art go hand-in-hand. Usually, the issue taken up is the cooption of art for financial/political purposes and the impure state in which this leaves art but, frankly, it’s hard to believe this argument is still around let alone received as valid. Not since t... [more]