Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Commercials imitating art?

Am I the only one who thinks that the current AT&T commercial where they wrap up everything (buildings, beaches, etc.) in orangey material is a direct rip off of the whole Christo art legacy?

Remember when Mickey D's ripped off former DC artist Thomas Edwards?

Donnelly on Gopnik

Is there room for delight in the vocabulary of art? Perhaps. Sometimes perception is actually bigger than the current vocabulary of criticism. Not everybody wants always to be striving for a leg up, or to express anger or despair. Other sides of human experience are also valid, and a great relief.
DC artist Nancy Donnelly argues that there is room and therefore disagrees with WaPo Chief Art critic Blake Gopnik. Read Donnelly's argument in the Post here.

Wanna go to an artist talk tonight?

The join "a pop up project" for a memorable artist talk starting at 6 pm with Margaret Bowland, whose work in the current show there is my favorite. She will be discussing her Murakami Wedding series, an artwork of which is currently featured at National Portrait Gallery and her series of powerful Thorny Crown drawings, exclusively available at the pop-up project exhibition.

Artist Talk and Reception
Wednesday, May 13, 2010
6 pm
625 E St, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Project Create

Hillwood has a new director

Ellen MacNeile Charles, president of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, announced today the appointment of Kate Markert as executive director. Currently the associate director at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Markert will succeed Frederick J. Fisher, who has led Hillwood as executive director for over 20 years and has long planned to make 2010 his final year heading up the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post in northwest DC. Markert, who will be Hillwood’s second professional director since its founding in 1977, will assume leadership on August 2.

Markert is co-author of The Manual of Strategic Planning for Museums (Altimira Press, 2007), which has become a trusted guide book for many museum directors and boards.

Art that sells itself

On Jan. 28, while on a business trip to Chicago, Terence Spies used his iPhone to monitor an eBay auction. He was trying to outbid a couple of rivals to win a black plastic box that was at the time on display at an art gallery in Seattle. Spies had read about “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter,” as the piece is called, on a Reuters financial blog. That’s a strange-enough place for a collector to learn about art, but Spies’s interest seems even more curious given that the blogger Felix Salmon’s write-up of the piece’s sale was titled “The Uncollectible Artwork.” Even if Spies won the object, created by a young artist named Caleb Larsen, his ownership would be tentative: the technical innards of “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” carried a program that would relist the thing on eBay every week, forever. Indeed, the terms and conditions for submitting a bid clearly stipulated that the device must be connected to the Internet, constantly trying to resell itself at a higher price to someone else.

The minimum bid was $2,500. Spies won with a bid of $6,350. “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” had generated a fair amount of buzz online when it first went up for sale as part of a show of Larsen’s work at Seattle’s Lawrimore Project gallery. And I understood why people found the concept compelling (or annoying) enough to write about it. But I wanted to know why somebody would find it compelling enough to spend thousands of real dollars to sort of own that concept.

Spies, who is the chief technology officer at Voltage Security in Palo Alto, Calif., describes himself as a collector of “baffling contemporary art.” (He mentions the almost monochrome panels of Anne Appleby and Molly Springfield’s meticulous drawings of photocopies.) He says another collector once advised him to buy art that “people have a reaction to — good or bad.” And “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” has elicited reactions ranging from “You’re really crazy” to “You’re slightly crazy.” He’s O.K. with that. It “sets people off,” he continues, “because it’s not even clear what you own.”
Read the NYT story here.