North Korea is often prefixed with the words "the most secretive country in the world." It was therefore a surprise to discover not only that the country has a rather unusual embassy in London—a suburban home in Gunnersbury quite far from the center—but also that it recently opened its doors to visitors for an art exhibition.
The North Korean Embassy, London; Photo: Mark Hillary
The exhibition was short-lived—lasting only three days—but after being mobbed by press on day one, its p... [more]
Ever had the feeling weapons technology would be better suited to making love, not war? Brooklyn film company Ghost + Cow have too, and have made the world's first porno filmed by drone.The most immediate thing that hits you about the trailer of Drone Boning is how picturesque it all is; military tech manages to capture gliding shots over San Franciscan beaches, orchards, and mountain vistas. Rutting couples are placed artfully around the natural canvas in a way that wouldn't look out of place... [more]
This past Wednesday evening, the arty crowd in Turin paid no heed to Maurizio Cattelan’s “exhortation.” Considering the line outside Palazzo Cavour, Cattelan's command, Shit and Die—the title of the most eagerly-awaited event of this year’s edition of Artissima—has not been taken literally by anyone. Rather than warily getting out of the way, shitting, or dying, a throng of curators, artists, critics, and collectors—myself included—couldn't wait to... [more]
Now entering its 14th year, Artissima’s Present Future is an acknowledged launch pad for the careers of emerging young talent. Indeed, internationally renowned artists such as Dora García, Jeremy Deller, Ryan Trecartin, and Phil Collins all had early presentations in this section of the fair. This year, 20 artists have been selected by a team of five international curators: Luigi Fassi, Catalina Lozano, Piper Marshall, Jamie Stevens, and Xiaoyu Weng. Each curator’s distinctive aesthetic... [more]
Around 80 percent of the art encounters I have these days begin on my phone, tablet, or computer screen. In most cases I am attempting to find out what's going on and where, so I can then see it in person. But the "where to see it" question is a digital art minefield. Pretty quickly we’re into the daft question of whether it is more real to see a digital work on a large format screen in a gallery than on a phone. Does a show need to have an opening with warm beer and too many people to have... [more]
Sleepy Hollow, a small Hudson Valley town best known for its place in Washington Irving’s 1820 tale of the headless horseman, is also home to another lesser-known oddity: 15 incredibly detailed large-scale, hand-woven tapestries that painstakingly imitate Picasso paintings. Commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller in 1955 for his family’s Kykuit Estate, the tapestries are the work of atelier Madame J. de la Baume Dürrbach, though they are often attributed to Picasso himself, who worked in collaboration with the studio,... [more]
I read recently about a group in the States called The Order of the Good Death, who describe themselves as “a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality,” a mission which seems like both good sense and nonsense in equal measure.
I myself am what I suppose could be labeled death-phobic. The many other things of which I am afraid —mechanical or puppet clowns, ventriloquist's dummies... [more]
Halloween, for me, is the true “most wonderful time of the year,” and so it came as no real surprise to be asked to outline a few costume suggestions for the readers of this website. While most of my own clothes can do double-service as both everyday wear and Hammer-Horror garb alike, I recognize not everyone reading is capable of making the same assertion.
(I should note that when this article was first proposed to me by an Editor, it came with the suggestion that I dress my partner&mdas... [more]
In this recurring series, ArtSlant will introduce a number of international artists making the best in contemporary art.
Picturing the international is no easy task. Mona Hatoum, born in Lebanon 1952, does so with ease—as if manifesting the aesthetics foreign policy out of thin air, using familiar objects to craft sleek, suggestive environments that appear governmental in their use. The UN aesthetic turned sexy. The clinical yet open quality of the work (policy, of course caters to ev... [more]
What is it about the art world that rappers love so much? Perhaps it's the patina of glamor and luxury, the clash of low and high culture, or the opportunity to promote a shiny new ideology. Forty-one-year-old hip hop icon turned feminist philanthropist Pharrell Williams has teamed up with NY-based photographer and filmaker Ryan McGinley to shoot a new multi-ethnic campaign for Adidas Originals.
The campaign, which launched yesterday, presents Pharrell and McGinley's vision of a better, more equal... [more]
To say the overall breadth of the US punk scene through the 80s and 90s is sprawling is to make a massive understatement; thousands of bands and myriad esoteric subgenres mean that picking a mere ten examples of choice record cover art is a weighty and daunting proposition. Conspicuous absences abound—a list like this failing to feature Ray Pettibon could be considered more than heretical, but how do you choose between Nervous Breakdown and Slip It In?—but what follows is a relatively t... [more]
For a moment, let’s just take a second to appreciate the manmade structures around us: the blue-printed, hand-crafted, conceptualized edifices we interact with on a daily basis. Let’s think about the wonder of architecture, and how every ounce of character that is placed into a building is felt tenfold by its occupants for years to come. Some nations built castles, some cultures built temples, but for contemporary downtown Manhattanites, there is value, intrigue, and inspiration to be fo... [more]
Time is the one thing we can all agree to call supernatural. It is at least neither energy nor matter… and yet it is the beginning and end of the creation of the world.
Joan Jonas concluded her performance at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan with these words from Under the Glacier (1968), a little known, visionary novel by the Icelandic writer Halldór Laxness. The acclaimed New York video and performance artist looked like a Lilliputian creature, an aged little fairy; her snow-whit... [more]
As Camus incisively observed, it is our lot as human beings to try (and fail) to give meaning to life's invisible forces. Thrust out into the real world, after you finish your education ( and unless you're in the army) there's no way to know just how important you are. Yes, you're the Director of the Tate—but how to validate the magnitude of your success? As Three 6 Mafia would say "We eat so many shrimp"—but sometimes, we get iodine poisoning.
The Art Review Power 100 is a shining exampl... [more]
The recent Swedish election grabbed national headlines: Pharell appeared onstage in Stockholm with Feminist Party candidate Gudrun Schyman. Schyman is no stranger to the 'sleb, having been a popular contestant herself on Let's Dance, Sweden's version of Strictly Come Dancing, and is a pal of ABBA. Schyman's party may have lost out to the center-left Social Democrats lead by Stefan Löfven, but her daughter, a former graffiti writer, will be happy nonetheless: last week the new government announc... [more]
It’s been played. The recent onslaught of exhibitions quoting and using the art fair as a form is well established—and some artists use it better than others. While the market is undeniable, and the phenomenon of the art fair is internationally far-reaching, what are the implications of its criticism through replica?
As case studies, two recent exhibitions come to mind: José Lerma's La Bella Crisis at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), which took place over the summer of this year... [more]