"Why are young black men 20 times more likely to be shot by the police than young white men? Especially while only 13% of the US population is black?" These words are not from the pages of The Huffington Post, or the lips of Jon Stewart, but from a viral video released by MTV.
It's been a long time since MTV's values seemed to reflect anything deeper than the interiors of the planet's richest and worst human beings, but in the video, the station's sex educator Laci Green makes what could be on... [more]
Paint, in its ancient origins, was made from available materials: egg yolks to bind, sand, soil, plants, and so on for pigment. The whole process of manufacturing materials to make art has been steadily removed from the artistic process over time, but some artists still introduce the physical messiness of making art, by remolding everyday materials to provoke uncanny, humorous—and often, revolting—reactions to substance in the viewer. They might arouse strong responses, but they als... [more]
In late October, a YouTube video for a hotel in Copenhagen went moderately viral—you may have seen it. Filmed using the glossy “people coming together” bank advert template, an orthodox voiceover man says things like “together we laugh at conformity” and “buzzing with authentic vibes” over footage of hipsters using their phones, visiting microbreweries, sitting in cafes, and generally looking like they’re auditioning for an alt reboot of The O.C. A... [more]
This weekend Amsterdam's prestigious Rijksakademie opens its doors for the annual RijksakademieOPEN, a perennial highlight of the Amsterdam Art Weekend, a weekend packed with exhibitions and events, which runs this year from November 27–30. What happens behind the closed doors of the academy is only visible once a year for the general public, so as soon as the doors opened, I went in for a sneak peek.
The Rijksakademie is a post-academic institution offering young artists time, space, and both t... [more]
The job of artist’s assistant has a confusing reputation in the press. Articles about the ongoing saga of Jasper Johns' civil suit against his longtime assistant James Meyer for the theft and sale of $3.4 million of his drawings is a prime example of the way the media talks about the relationship between artist and assistant. The horrifyingly giant and blatant theft aside, this recent Vulture article about the incident presents the power difference between an artist and his assistant as tau... [more]
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]
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]
A few years ago, I was working for a not-for-profit art space in Tel Aviv. One of the most successful shows there was a group exhibition of video works. One afternoon, a woman entered the dark space of the gallery, stopped at the reception desk and asked me: “Are there only video works?”
“Yes,” I replied. She turned her back and walked away.
Since this incident, I often encountered sentences such as “I hate video art,” “all video works are bad,” and &ldqu... [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]
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]
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]
In his essay “Why I Hate Post-Internet Art” Brian Droitcour complains that “the post-internet art object looks good online in the way that laundry detergent looks good in a commercial.” He bemoans the art object that looks like it has leapt off the screen into the gallery to pose for its photo before being disseminated online. His criticism is that such objects are too aware of the gallery system, playing to the capitalist brand mentality of the art world—the image/ob... [more]
As the saying goes, all art is, in the end, about sex or death. They're the two oldest themes in art history. But then at some point someone must have thought, how about getting them both in there, and creating the best art ever? And then a lot of other people thought that'd be a good idea too. And then it went to some weird grisly places and became a bit scary. Here's our selection of the most macabre love moments in art.
Joel-Peter Witkin, Kiss, 1982
King of the Bizarre, Witkin's grotesque take o... [more]