Sara Tecchia Roma New York and Saatchi Online are pleased to present
"And Who Are You? Work from Saatchi Online"--a group exhibition of
artists whose work is on view at the Saatchi Online website. The
exhibition is curated by critic Ana Finel Honigman.
Since its debut a year ago, Saatchi Online has made its mark as an
ever-expanding, democratic network of artists who can boast an
art-school education and a roster of credentials, as well as outsiders
whose age, location, style or preoccupations have kept them away from
the recognition they crave and often deserve. The website now averages
over 50 million hits a day and is ranked in the top 500 websites in the
In a September interview with England's Guardian newspaper, Charles
Saatchi expressed his desire that Saatchi Online should function as "an
artists' community, where artists can load up their own work, visitors
can browse. You don't have to pay a dealer 50% commission." Saatchi's
motivation for establishing the site was not only to enable artists to
avoid tying themselves financially to brick-and-mortar galleries, but
also to circumvent what he decried as a high level of art-world
inbreeding and snobbery. As he put it, "Dealers tend to buy artists
that other artists they already show recommend. If you're not in the
loop, if you didn't go to the right art school, if you don't know the
right people who have the right dealers, it's very hard to break in."
To showcase the site's wide-ranging cache of talent, Saatchi
Online's London Correspondent, Ana Finel Honigman, has gathered known
and neophyte New York-based artists registered on Saatchi Online for
the first exhibition of Saatchi Online artists in the U.S., entitled
"And Who Are You? Work from Saatchi Online."
Whether thought to oneself or spoken to another, the question "and
who are you?" can be the start of a cocktail party confrontation, an
opening gambit for flaunting one's own CV or the catalyst for a
profound crisis of existentialist and creative purpose. Working in
various mediums, each of the artists in "And Who Are You? Work from
Saatchi Online" uses Saatchi Online as a platform to address questions
about how the established art world parcels out or responds to value,
fame, favoritism, integrity and pretension.
The artists selected for the show include Boston-born and
Brooklyn-based Eric Doeringer, who grants gallery goers' wishes for
affordable small canvases of images made by their favorite art stars by
selling his 'Bootlegs' series outside hot Chelsea galleries, inside
international art fairs, at the Whitney Biennial and now on Saatchi
Online. Here, he will present an array of his souvenir-scale versions
of well-known paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings and works in
other media by more than a hundred contemporary artists.
Jay Batlle, who has shown extensively abroad as well as at the
Whitney Museum, New York's Thomas Erben Gallery, L.A's The Happy Lion
and Blum & Poe Gallery will present an ongoing body of work
entitled "The Minimalist Series," paintings that combine fragments of
teaser lines and recipes from Mark Bittman's New York Times culinary
column, "The Minimalist."
New York- and Paris-based photographer Sara White Wilson, who has
not previously shown in New York, will present an installation of
images shot on the streets of Paris and Berlin in which unintended
juxtapositions between peeling posters and graffiti markings illuminate
larger cultural dichotomies.
The artist team Fame Theory will present a performance lampooning
artist pretension. Loki-like social commentators, Fame Theory members
mix Ivy League academic backgrounds in economics and sociology with
sophisticated satire to emerge as agent provocateurs channeling Andy
Warhol, Andy Kaufman and everyone who eagerly wished that JT Leroy was
intended to be an actual hoax, not the wan brainchild of another
hopeless wannabe. Examining a similar theme is recent MFA graduate
Airyka Rockefeller, whose series of photographs test how much of
herself an artist ought to show, when youth and cool are prioritized so
highly in the contemporary art community.
Photographer Bill Durgin, whose surrealist fashion imagery could be
seen in Paper Magazine's recent fashion issue, will show self portraits
from his series figurations, that use physical distortion to question
limitations of artistic identity and signal to the way artists' ideas
can be oversimplified and pushed out of context.
For his debut art exhibition contribution, video and sketch comedy
director Joshua Powell, of Dilettante Films, will show work deriding
discrepancies between hipsters' hedonistic urges and aspirations for
the moral high ground.
Questioning the legitimacy of moving art in an on-line marketplace,
German-born and New York-based video artist Nora Klumpp will present a
video game demonstrating the disquieting possibilities of flexible
on-line identities. In the same vein, Amsterdam-based artist Eva
Roovers will offer samples of her "How to become a famous artist" kit.
Finally, Brooklyn-based Miranda Maher will stage a three-part
installation entitled "The Anxiety of Influence", inspired by Harold
Bloom's theories on creative influence, and artist/ fashion designer/
musician William Lemon III will contribute pieces from his multi-media
art-opera to highlight the importance of timeless creative inspiration
and the significance of pushing past a desire for immediate artistic
To supplement the exhibition, Ana Finel Honigman will spotlight
each of the artists selected for the show on Saatchi Online's daily
Ana Finel Honigman is a New York- and London-based critic. She
writes about contemporary art for fashion and art magazines including
British Vogue, style.com, Art in America, Artnet.com, Art Journal,
Dazed & Confused, UK Harpers Bazaar and the Guardian Art &
Architecture blog. She is also Arts Editor for Alef, a new fashion
magazine focused on Middle Eastern culture and style. A Sarah Lawrence
graduate, Ana has completed a Masters degree and is currently a PhD
candidate in the History of Art at Oxford University.