"What does it mean to be British? Read five outspoken collectives' views on identity in UK culture in this roundtable." - text by Zing Tsjeng for Dazed magazine (part of a series of articles on the state of the nation as the May 7 election approaches in the UK).
From eagles and robots to wrenches and cruise ships, the artisans of Ghana's Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop ensure decedents will be ushered to the afterlife in meticulously detailed coffins designed to fit the dearly departed's lifestyle, in accordance with Ga-Adangme traditions. [more inside]
After sketching combat in WWII, Howard Brodie drew the Watergate trial, Klaus Barbie, and Jack Ruby. Bill Robles drew Charles Manson and his followers, Roman Polanski, and the Unabomber. Richard Tomlinson drew "Son of Sam" and John Gotti. Elizabeth Williams illustrated the Central Park Jogger Case, Martha Stewart, the Times Square bomber. Aggie Kenny sketched Oliver North, Angela Davis, and the Gainesville Eight trial. They are all featured on The Illustrated Courtroom blog*, and Kenny and Williams were interviewed about their craft. Their book, The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art, came out last year from CUNY Journalism Press. [more inside]
Drew Riley explores the visibility "explosion" for trans and gender-nonconforming people in gritty, vibrant portraits that capture the eye.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming figures rarely pop from the page quite like they do in artist Drew Riley's new collection Gender Portraits. Painted with splashes of bright color, full of dynamic movement or charged silence, and set against whimsical or brooding backdrops, Riley's portraits are nothing short of arresting. They pull the viewer in for a closer look — which is exactly the response Riley was aiming for, she tells The Advocate.[more inside]
This book is a collection of solutions to common roadblocks in the creative process, with a specific emphasis on solving musical problems, making progress, and (most importantly) finishing what you start.
Victorian mourning dress embodies black history
"Vancouver artist Karin Jones has made a powerful installation about black history at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.It’s a braided black Victorian mourning dress made from artificial hair extensions used by black women. Surrounding the dress on the floor are cotton bolls that contain the artist’s hair. I’ve only seen images the work online. Even so, I found myself really moved by the way it uses beauty to embody painful truths about slavery and the history of people of African descent in North America."
So you think you're too old to make significant art. Or have too little training. Or what you want to build will take too long. Or maybe you just want to travel places that'll make your spine tingle. Here are eight artists to make you believe. [more inside]
They Say Art Is Dead in New York. They're Wrong. – Alan Feuer, NYT (December 2014):
Somehow, in the last few years, it has become an article of faith that New York has lost its artistic spirit, that the city's long run as a capital of culture is over. After all (or so the argument goes), foreign oligarchs and hedge-fund traders have bought up all the real estate, chased away the artists and turned the bohemia that once ran east from Chumley's clear across the Williamsburg Bridge into a soulless playground of money.
Last year, the foremost proponent of this doomsday theory was the rock star David Byrne, who complained in The Guardian that artists, as a species, had been priced out of New York. This year, others joined him. The novelist Zadie Smith lamented in October, in The New York Review of Books, that the city's avant-garde had all but disappeared. The musician Moby wrote a comparable essay in February, describing how creative types are fleeing New York and referring to his former home, accurately but narrowly, as "the city of money." Just a couple of weeks ago, Robert Elmes, the founder of the Galápagos Art Space in Brooklyn, declared the indigenous "creative ecosystem" was in crisis — so, naturally, he was moving to Detroit.
Gilbert & George, "Gordon’s Makes Us Drunk" (Tate Modern Video installation, 12 min, 1972). [more inside]
Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket (video 27:21). Sweetgrass Baskets: "This basket-making tradition came to South Carolina in the 17th century by way of West African slaves who were brought to America to work on plantations." The Sweetgrass Basket Tradition: "Sweetgrass basketmaking has been part of the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities for more than 300 years." Sweetgrass Baskets: A History (pdf): "Coiled basketry, one of the oldest African crafts in America, appeared in South Carolina during the late 17th century." The South Carolina Lowcountry. Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes). [more inside]
What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees? A new report (PDF) by activist collective BFAMFAPhD laments the shrinking job prospects and growing debt burden for art school graduates. [more inside]
Matthew Cox is a Philadelphia- based artist who embraces and joins a variety of media to produce several thematic series of work. Medical x-rays and embroidery, couture and crime, rubber stamps, short -story prose and paint all layer toward a darkly comic and anachronistic impression of the human condition in the twenty-first century. [more inside]
If you've walked along Broadway between 15th Street & 17th Street in downtown Oakland recently, your eye may have been caught by the colorful zodiac animals and enigmatic faces painted on the sides of two utility cabinets in front of 1542 Broadway. They're the work of Oakland-based artist and musician Thailan When. 2010 interview.
Linda Stein's wearable sculptural avatars
Linda Stein wants people to armor themselves in her art. She creates full-length wearable sculptures embedded with all manner of found objects, including driftwood, engraving plates, steel wire, zippers, pebbles and comic book imagery of superheroes.[more inside]
If you heard the recent NPR's Codeswitch segment on The Green Turtle, the first Asian superhero created in the United States, you heard descriptions of the 1940s comic. But there's more (so much more!) online. Start with the entire run of The Green Turtle on the amazing Digital Comic Museum, which hosts public domain Golden Age comics (late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s). If you want to know more about Chu F. Hing, the artist behind the original Green Turtle, here's an extensively researched biography on the astounding Chinese American Eyes blog, which covers "famous, forgotten, well-known, and obscure visual artists of Chinese descent in the United States." [more inside]
Twenty Seven pieces of artwork that defy comprehension; not because of the quality of work, which is amazing, but for the quality of work performed in the mediums used. [more inside]
Controversy about Woody Allen is in the news again due to an open letter by Dylan Farrow, who explicitly details sexual abuse allegedly committed by Allen when Farrow was seven. The letter appeared shortly after Allen was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, prompting the old question, is it possible to separate the person from the art and if so, how?
Gigapixel ArtZoom is a multi-billion-pixel panoramic image celebrating the arts in Seattle, featuring artists and performers in the context of their city. Pan and zoom the image to find each artist/group (and enjoy the sights and scenery along the way); when an artist is in your sights, a pop-up ID tag will link to an artist profile page featuring a bio and video showcase.
ROSLER, Martha: Martha Rosler Reads Vogue (1983) and Born to be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads The Strange Case of Baby S/M (1988) are accessible works of video art created by Martha Rosler in association with Paper Tiger Television to illustrate basic issues in feminist thought. Rosler is also well-known for her video performance piece, Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), which continues to inspire new work. Her Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained (1977) has a similar take on the measurement of a woman's body. KREISINGER, Elisa: Pop Culture Pirate is the home of remix artist Elisa Kreisinger's feminist utopian works, including videos related to Mad Men: Set Me Free (2012); Don Loves Roger (2012); and The Evolution of Peggy Olson (2013). But also Queer Housewives of NYC (2009): One & Two. Queer Carrie (2009-2010): One, Two, & Three. The Real Feminists of Beverly Hills (2011). The Real House Husbands of New Jersey (2012). Ann Romney Loves Women (Remix) (2012). And For Your Consideration: Oscars 2011 (2012). That's two ... [more inside]
Painters on Painting - 1972 documentary on the New York Art Scene 1940-1970, directed by Emile de Antonio. It spans American art movements from abstract expressionism to pop art via conversations with artists in their studios. Including Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell and others. (via Bibliokept) [more inside]
Kit Cameo is an artist whose themed paper snowflakes include everything from Doctor Who and famous Archie McPhee items to Cthulhu and Batman. She describes some of her commissioned snowflakes and her process on her Facebook page. [more inside]
Tackling everything from Abba to the Velvet Underground, Brian Eno reveals his insights into popular music in this 81 minute talk at a music academy sponsored by a popular sugar-and-caffeine-infused drink. [more inside]
Great artists rise early, stay up late, float themselves in coffee, flirt with amphetamines, drink carefully, eat if necessary, take morning walks followed by afternoon naps, procrastinate, amuse themselves, avoid their friends, hold down jobs, indulge their oddities, and work — work like draft horses. [more inside]
In the new game Avant-Garde, you play an up-and-coming artist in 19th century Paris, a contemporary of Manet and Bouguereau. Carve and sell allegorical statue groups! Get snubbed by Napoleon III! Subsidize Gustave Courbet's drinking! Compose and promulgate your own aesthetic manifesto!
Hamish Steele! Be moved by his brief-yet-poignant award-winning animated film The Right Time. Be charmed by his commissioned portraits of couples and their pets. Be inspired by his loose and fresh superheroes (Batman, Phoenix, Hawkeye)! And it wouldn't be Tumblr without an appearance by Sherlock Holmes (not that one).
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man - "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
ArtHistoryImages: Over 1000 artists organized by movement, from Byzantine to Realist, from Gothic to Pop. Each movement gives you a list of artists, and each artist's page joins images of their works with information from Wikipedia about their lives. [via mefi projects]
Sure, the follies of art-speak are easy to laugh at, but often criticism of it begins and ends with a dismissive chuckle – which ignores profounder problems. Why should academic terminology be the default vehicle for discussing art? Why is there such an emphasis on newness, schism and radicality? Even when the art itself may be enjoyably throwaway, language pins it to deathlessly auratic registers of exchange. This suggests a subliminal fear that, if the subject in question is not talked up as Big and Culturally Significant, then the point of fussing over it in the first place might be called into question, bringing the whole house of cards tumbling down - Dan Fox, the associate editor of frieze magazine, discusses the contemporary art scene in detail.
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece - An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud.
Franz Sedlacek (1891 – 1945) was an Austrian painter who belonged to the tradition known as "New Objectivity" ("neue Sachlichkeit"), an artistic movement similar to Magical Realism. At the end of the Second World War he "disappeared" as a soldier of the Wehrmacht somewhere in Poland.
They created a home together that catches the eye, and their story of love and art is even more captivating, despite tragedy and loss.
John Jerome O'Connor produces infographics of a different sort. Subjects include; obesity and binge drinking by US state; cultural differences regarding personal space; the lottery; earthquakes and wars; offensive words on TV; differences between predicted and actual temperatures; and itches. (via) [more inside]
Did you know that there's an art museum on the moon? A tiny, tiny one. The Moon Museum features works by Forrest "Frosty" Myers (the instigator), Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, David Novros, and John Chamberlain, inscribed on a little chip of silicon and surreptitiously transported to the moon's surface on the Apollo 12 mission. But of course there's a mystery, in this big of a secret: who is John F., the engineer at least partially responsible for smuggling the chip onboard the lunar lander? Related: other stuff people have left on the Moon (!)
Gestalten TV - Exploring Visual Culture. A series of documentaries on (mostly) art and artists.
How To Explain It To My Parents: a video series from Lernert & Sander where conceptual artists explain their work to their parents. [more inside]
On Tor.com, Mefi'sown Patrick Garcon (smoke) is writing lively essays on Victorian fantasy illustration, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Orientalism. [via mefi projects]
MaCab Films is producing a documentary on artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Trailers for the film here and here. Jones is known for her comic book work, fantasy and science-fiction cover paintings, and romantic paintings, usually of women. Some links may be NSFW if your work has problems with impressionistic and artistic paintings of unclothed women. [more inside]
Why preserve Van Gogh's palette? - an exploration of color from the actual layout of various artists' color palettes - Degas, Delacroix, Gaugin, Moreau, Renoir, Seurat, Van Gogh. (via Neatorama) [more inside]
The yearly show on contemporary printmaking, Originals 10, is currently on in London. Some of the artists and work include: Anthony Dyson’s etching The Voyeur; John Bryce’s wood engraving Thames Arachnid; Morna Rhys’s Taf Estuary; Leila Pedersen’s etching Gloria gets Dizzy; Cordelia Cembrowicz’s etching Avon Amazons; Eileen Cooper’s woodcut Skipper; Hilary Paynter’s amazing wood engravings (site requires popups); Giulia Zaniol’s My City; Emiko Aida’s aquatint Reverie in the Rain; Paula Cox’s aquatint Magnolia Tree; Jessie Brennan’s Six Boys; and Graham Smith’s linocut Tattooed Lady. The gallery site has a brief summary of the exhibition and a link to the press release mentioning the work of Barton Hargreaves and Ralph Steadman.
American artist Kiki Smith, a life long Catholic, has taken on an unlikely project: a stained glass window for the Eldridge Street Synagogue Museum on New York City's Lower East Side.
The Art & Life of Annie Truxell [via mefi projects]: Annie Truxell is a well known painter who has lived a long and fascinating life. Her adventures have been legendary, encompassing Greenwich Village in the 50s, London in the 60s and India in the 70s. She was friends with Franz Klein, Bill de Kooning, Truman Capote, Terry Southern, Mati Klarwein & many other wild & woolly people.
WATIM [We Are the Image Makers] is an online publication that promotes Australian artists, illustrators, designers and photographers. Issue 19 is out this month. There have been more than 150 artist contributors in their four years online. [some art nsfw]
Are times of recession good or bad for the contemporary art market and artists? "Affordable" is becoming a leitmotif: there are events, international fairs, as well as various galleries. Some collectors and artists are sharing survival tips and tricks; and there are plenty of special offers to be had: Josh Poehlein - screenshot collages, free ; Shepard Fairey - "Obey Eye" screen print, 18 x 24 inches, signed and numbered, at a random time on April 21st: $45.00 ; Michel Gondry - your portrait, signed: $19.95 (allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery); 'Damien Hirst' - "For the love of Paris" postcard, 10.5 x 14.8 cm, signed and sent: € 1,80 ; Banksy - original, freely usable, high-quality jpg files: free.
"Ah, the mythical $100 home. We hear about these low-priced “opportunities” in down-on-their-luck cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland, but we never meet anyone who has taken the plunge. Understandable really, for if they were actually worth anything then they would cost real money, right? Who would do such a preposterous thing?" Amongst others, artists who have hope for the future and money to invest. [more inside]