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Char Jansen

20150928161431-screen_shot_2015-09-23_at_16 We're Not Gonna Need Clones Cos We're Only Gonna Be Clones   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/28/15

Recently the Independent reported on new revelations concerning Duchamp's Fountain including the possibility that it was made by a feminist Dada practitioner. Why does this story interest us—and why does it change our understanding of that iconic work of art? Aside from the gender politics at play around the pissoir's origin, the article shows us something about the psychology of iconography in the western-centric capitalist mindset: we want our icons to be original. We expect icons, (sig... [more]

20150829174758-ntdxp5z0mpe83thrcq4pldkxostc3zr7eb-d5kaxt9o The Best Public Art Installations & Murals Around the World This Season   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 8/29/15

One of the best things I read about the status of art in the public space this year was written by Edo Dijksterhuis, covering Taturo Atzu's rooftop intervention on Amsterdam's oldest church: "It becomes like urban furniture, not something people notice. No one seems to care about monuments or how they’re perceived, whether they’re perceived at all. It takes a conscious effort to really see them again." This really made me think: public art is a huge commitment, but it's true—it rarely has the ab... [more]

20150827094446-20150805013858-katybinks_studio_2 Artists' Desks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 8/27/15

In today's mode of techno-voyeurism, we're constantly peeking into the factory to see how the sausage is made. The artist's studio has always had an allure, the inchoate site of creativity, the setting for private practice—like an escort's boudoir, the biggest mystery is, what do they do when they're alone in there? We zoom in closer to see what artists keep on their most personal work space: their desk. What does it reveal about them, or about their art? We invite artists from very different... [more]

20150824103011-20150824013023-untitled-7 The Best B Movies About the Art World   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 8/23/15

When art and artists appear as a subject in cinema, it's typically in the form of a too lengthy/too sexy biopic (think: Mr. Turner or Frida) or a hyperbolic thriller that suffuses the cliché of scintillating glamor with filthy corruption (The Thomas Crown Affair, anyone?) The big screen is always attracted to prurience, but there are some movies in the straight-to-dvd crate that, whether they present artifice or archetype, deserve to be revived for the morsels of wisdom they impart about t... [more]

20150818170111-photo_9 Anonymous Art: Secret Sale Trend Plays on the Psychology of the Purchasing   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 8/18/15

The Secret Art Sale Exhibition has been popping up all over the place lately: we reported from Art Dubai on the RCA's Secret Dubai and the democratizing power of the anonymous auction. Now London's Fold Gallery in partnership with social art enterprise Artbox are hosting a summer inspired secret postcard sale. Starting August 20 and running for a week, Artbox London has taken the RCA format—exhibiting the work of 30 artists with learning disabilities alongside internationally acclaimed names.... [more]

20150716074402-20150714204805-anastudio Artists' Desks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 7/14/15

In today's atmosphere of techno-voyeurism, we're constantly peeking through the keyhole to see how other people live. The artist's studio has always had a certain allure as a site of creative aspiration and the setting for private artistic practice, like the escort's boudoir it ignites our imagination. But what do artists keep on their most personal work space, their desks—and what does it reveal about their art? Exclusively for our Collector's Catalogue, we invite artists we know from ve... [more]

20150603181620-sturtevant_drawing_wesselmann_lichtenstein Penis Envy: Sturtevant in Los Angeles   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 6/3/15

"Oh God, it's coming up now, I recognize the sound... I mean, I don't need to see this when I'm at work!" We looked on fearfully as a large-scale penis enters stage left, in profile, and decants a trickle of urine onto an unsuspecting potted plant. This was Dark Threat of Absence (2002) a two channel projection at the center (physically and thematically) of the only comprehensive institutional presentation of Elaine Sturtevant's work in America since the '70s (the show has traveled to L.A. after... [more]

20150526112021-54c0a8a104a5726d1af104c95c1cc8fa The Awkwardness of Averageness: Raymond Pettibon’s American Sickness   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Raymond Pettibon at Regen Projects (Hollywood) April 23rd - May 30th
Posted 5/26/15

“I’m not walking down there, there’s a body on the floor,” my friend Shai said. We were coming out of a pizza place that had a gunshot mark in the TV. “Come on, it’s fine. She’s not dead.” As we walked past the disputed human being lying face down in the middle of the stenching sidewalk, she turned on her side and smiled vaguely into the distance with her elderly, meth-lined face. No Title (There are beds), 2015, Collage and ink on paper Sickness is something you encounter on a daily basis in Los Angeles. Sinking below the hot h... [more]

20150515002447-ruby-onyinyechi-amanze Top 10 Picks at 1:54 Fair   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Pioneer Works May 15th - May 17th
Posted 5/14/15

Opening Friday, May 15, 1:54 is the latest addition to New York's Frieze Week satellite circuit. Dedicated to contemporary African Art, 1:54 (the name references the number of countries that constitute the African continent) has already run two editions in London. By bringing together 16 galleries engaged in the field the fair takes a cultural stand within the art market, an important way to redress the balance of previously neglected and underrepresented regions. Of 16 galleries to present at... [more]

The Three Best Portrait Painters in the World?  

Three (white, middle-aged, male) artists have been announced for the final shortlist for this year's BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London—one of the world's most prestigious portraiture painting prizes, aimed at encouraging artists to develop the portrait in their work. The entries must all be painted in oil, tempera, or acrylic on canvas or board and must be painted from a real life sitting. Matan Ben-Cnaan, Michael Gaskell, and Borja Buces Renard are the final three... [more]

20150501030230-dg_at_alys_beach_006 Digital Graffiti Festival Announces 2015 Line-Up  

Northwest Florida's little know Digital Graffiti Festival at Alys Beach has just announced its 27 artist line-up for its 8th edition taking place in 2015. Digital Graffiti (creating graffiti using computer software and technology) is a relatively undeveloped field, surprising considering the surge of interest in both graffiti and digital arts practices respectively. The festival elicits participants come from the fields of film, art, and music who project their art on site at Alys Beach, a lu... [more]

20150423033911-thecylcleoffutility-static Branding a Genre: INSA's Gif-iti   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/23/15

Is it possible to trademark a whole genre of art? UK-based artist INSA has done just that, and gives an insight into the practicalities of defending your art in the digital era. In his most recent project, INSA’s Satellite Gif-iti (racking up more than 2.5 million views at the time of writing) the artist puts a behemoth brand stamp on the earth, endorsed in a 3 minute film—which sees the artist paint a carpark the size of two football pitches in Rio De Janeiro, and create a Gif from i... [more]

20150416081503-20150413072754-unnamed Artists' Desks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/13/15

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" —Albert Einstein The art voyeur has often fawned over the luxury artist's studio, and even seen the artist's bed—but the superior furniture item to any working person is surely their desk. Desks are a synechdoche for 9 to 5 imprisonment and paperwork drudgery, a statement of power and efficiency in the office regime, a dumping ground of daily deitritus—but what does a d... [more]

20150324162601-mr_art_critic_poster The Internet as a Platform for Art Criticism, and Dildos   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/24/15

The much-loathed profession of art criticism is facing an odd future online: the myth of the click web has turned out to be apocryphal, and according to recent research conducted by and written about by Chartbeat, we're heading towards the era of the "attention web." But traffic-seeking clickbait has not been completely disbanded. We know that last year one of the most searched for words on our site was "dildo." How does this data-crunching on how readers navigate, and on what they enjoy on our s... [more]

20150304180459-bsf_london_pic_monoprixx Exhibition Preview: Bicicleta Sem Freio Debut Solo Show   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/4/15

Opening tonight in East London is the first-ever London exhibition by Brazilian duo, Bicicleta Sem Freio. The artist pair have crossed over from graphic design and illustration to muralism and back again. Entitled FERA (meaning "wild" in Portugese) Douglas de Castro and Renato Perreira will bring an eye-exploding dose of color to London through new works on canvas and paper. The guys are big '80s fans, drawing not only on the gaudy color clashes of the era but also on its iconography, full of capi... [more]

Boycott or Action? Bansky in Gaza  

Shot simply and in his typical parodic style, Banksy's latest project to go viral is a short video that sees the anonymous street artist and activist enter the Gaza Strip. It is the first work the British artist has completed in the Palestinian territory, but in 2005 nine pieces of his art appeared on Israel's West Bank barrier. The two minute video is titled "Make this the year YOU discover a new destination"—a satirical reimagining of an aspirational travel ad. It ends with th... [more]

20150212115129-20150210174634-7k9a0250-1277x848 Our Favorite Pow! Wow! Hawaii Murals   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 2/10/15

Hawaii's annual Pow! Wow! jam officially kicked off on February 7, and artists will be busy painting into the weekend. The arts festival brings together curators, artists, photographers, and musicians for a week of painting, parties, and IG-friendly beaches. Curated by Japser Wong, Pow! Wow! is only in its fifth year, but with its sheen of street-styled glamor and exotic vibes it has managed to attract some of the best artists on the mural festival circuit. The predeliction is still for old... [more]

20150210100534-dana_boulos Yes, Selfies Can Be Feminist. But...   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 2/6/15

I was naively unprepared for the wave of vitriol I woke up to on Twitter from Caitlin Stasey, the 24-year-old former Neighbours actress and founder of, following my article last week which attempted to discuss several interesting new art exhibitions and platforms that deal with female self-image online: "Can Selfies Be Feminist?" @onaartist @ArtSlant this article declares tht self expressions of nudity r countr productive 2 feminist agenda w no real explanation as 2 y — caitlin stasey (@caitlinstasey) Februa... [more]

20150204115320-rebecca_storm Can Selfies Be Feminist?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 2/4/15

Selfie culture makes me a bit queasy: they've become an easy tool for anyone to use to get validation from an image-biased society. They exacerbate a myriad of social problems and can often come from a sad place, rather than one of empowerment, posing a real dilemma: should we exploit our looks to promote ourselves? As a consequence, selfies are surfacing in a new way in the work of young digital artists. Selfies are being wilfully dragged into feminist discourse. A lot of artists are readily a... [more]

New Research on Private Art Collectors Released  

Who collects art? Where do they live, how old are they, how many of them are there, and what do they like to buy? These are questions that most people who gravitate towards art as an industry have asked themselves. Now, thanks to a new report compiled by Larry's List and published by Publishers for Modern Art, Vienna, the answers are revealed. The most wide-reaching report on collectors of contemporary art, the document is based on profiles and data from around 10,000 active private collectors from 71 countries: the... [more]

20150123111451-borondo_spain_madrid First Look: Borondo's Big London Solo Show   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/23/15

His delicate large-scale paintings have floated on canal boats and he's one of Complex mag's favorite muralists of 2014—part of a street art sub-genre we like to call "sensitive graf." Borondo, who lives and works in a former pub in Hackney, uses his art to express the melodrama of human living, the soaring peeks and plunging troughs of our mortal condition—one reason he was drawn to the character of Ophelia in his now well-known floating work. From February 5th, the young Spanish a... [more]

20150121104514-unnamed What to Buy at the London Art Fair 2015   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/20/15

The London Art Fair, sitting comfortably in the middle ground between Frieze and the Affordable Art Fair, is geared towards the soild mid-range collector, a fact reenforced by its middle class location in Angel Islington. Whether you're new to the game, an emerging dealer, or a fastidious collector of the kind of Modern and Contemporary British Art the fair is dedicated to, the London Art Fair caters to your taste. For this 27th iteration of the fair, we've selected our recommended buys for a rang... [more]

20150113165040-7 A Graffiti Gallery Show That Might Actually Be Good   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/13/15

We've not been hugely supportive of institutional presentations of graffiti previously: too often they put out unresponsive, stale, or simply haphazard exhibitions that do not render context or format. They assign too much concept or none at all, and each is as bad as the other. But this massive group show, Mapping the City, in association with A(by)P at the new wing of Somerset House, London (ironically, a former tax office) looks like a well-balanced approach to circumventing this problematic a... [more]

20141210145432-20141210114145-tom__friedman What Is It About Tom Friedman's Up in the Air?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Tom Friedman at Tel-Aviv Museum of Art November 17th, 2014 - March 17th
Posted 12/10/14

900 sculptures of everyday objects that together comprise the work Up in the Air by Tom Friedman have arrived at the Tel Aviv Museum. Suspended from the museum's ceiling, pieces of chewing gum, miniature planes, sporting equipment, and fragments of fencing float alongside other recognizable tropes in Friedman's iconography such as crumpled boxes of cereal, cigarettes, FedEx, and big burgers, exploded into space. The piece debuted four years ago at Switzerland's Magasin III gallery last year. Its orbit now continues in Israel where it has recently been installed, and... [more]

20141209161400-dough_original_large2 Texture Trip: Surreal Substances in Art   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 12/8/14

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]

20141202231116-charlotte_justkids__copy Curator Charlotte Dutoit on Work, Travel, and How She'll Be Spending Her Time in Miami   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 12/2/14

Parisian-born, Puerto Rico-based Charlotte Dutoit is a jet set curator working with some of the hottest tipped new names in the large outdoor painting game worldwide: Brazil's Bicicleta Sem Freio, Alexis Diaz, and Borondo to name a few. In fact, their eye-catching projects are often the result of Dutoit's organizing. Recent productions have taken her to London, Las Vegas, Hawaii (she is a part of the family of the annual Pow!Wow! graffiti jam), and now she's checking out the action in Miami, whi... [more]

20141125104436-10612651_1547802092122323_1333046429617771951_n Street Art Reality Show or How the US Killed Another Subculture   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/25/14

"That's not real. Tell me that's not real. Is it?" "This is the worst thing I've ever seen :(" "FUCK THAT." "Whack." "Die." 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]

20141125155521-screen_shot_2014-10-14_at_11 New London Exhibition to Showcase Contemporary Middle Eastern Satire   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/25/14

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]

20141120115553-10550917143_155ef67feb_b Post-Capitalist Hip Hop Videos: Our Absurd, Dystopian World   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/20/14

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]

20141119111743-badger Five Minutes with Daniel K. Sparkes   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/19/14

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]

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