This Wired article is about a service for art that works a lot like Pandora does for music. You can take a picture--or describe in words--an art work you like, and it recommends others that share similar traits. Interesting fact: the article claims that art sales are greater than music sales, they just are among a much smaller group of people.
I've documented a few examples of artists using money--either literally or in representation--as their subject. John Baldessari joins the game with this billboard on the High Line. The $100,000 bill was actually printed, but never circulated.
I knew--thanks to Ms Harris's comment a few weeks ago--that Maurizio Cattelan has a big show at the Guggenheim. What I didn't know until today is that he refused the service of walls and instead hung all the art from the ceiling in the center.
I've seen this talked about in a few places over the past week. (S)edition Art Gallery--I've also seen it as S(edition), you get the point--is selling limited digital downloads of contemporary art from big-name artists (anyone heard of this Damien Hirst fellow?) for your digital collection.
I didn't go through the registration process to see what's inside, but let me know if you're curious and you do. I'd love to see what's in there.
Some art restorers have found a way to use bacteria to clean up old frescoes. Basically, you grow bacteria that are good at eating up the things you want gone, and then you let them loose on your fresco. And, um, then you kill the bacteria.
At the moment everyone is calling it the Wal-mart Museum, because it's located in the same town as Wal-mart's headquarters, is funded primarily by a $1.2 billion endowment from the Walton family, and features art owned by the Waltons.
But if the collection is good (it seems to be) and it is run well (it promises to be), then this will no more be a Wal-mart museum to future generations than the Guggenheim is the Yukon Gold Company Museum or the Menil Collection is the Schlumberger Oilfiled Services Museum.
Next Friday, the 4th, we'll be doing our next "Picture of the Day" exercise. The entire class will be devoted to an open-ended discussion of the Saint Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels. Do as much research as you like and be prepared to speak. This is also a great selection to practice your formal analysis skills.
Fort Worth is already my favorite city in Texas, but if you're looking for a reason to go visit, this ought to do. Since the Kimbell is the only US venue to host this show, you had better get your behind to Fort Worth some time between October 16 and January 8.
I expect to see a lot more of this type of analysis, which uses scanners to see exactly what in a picture people are looking at. Basic formal analysis sentences, "the blah-blah-blah line leads the eye to blah-blah-blah," can now be tested. With science!
And now he's taken over The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Taken over. He had all the work from one gallery removed and 85% from another. He had floors raised and moved. He rearranged and changed and made it a completely new space, which is fun because The Hermitage is one of the most imposing spaces around.
I subscribed to two more daily feeds this weekend:
Artwork of The Day from the Metropolitan Museum of Art gives a small picture and the basic catalog info for a different work from their collection each day. Click on the picture, and it will take you to the page in the catalog database for more detailed commentary.
Contemporary Art Daily provides multiple photos and (often but not always) some sort of commentary or gallery description. It tends to focus on a particular exhibit at a gallery rather than a single work. I highly recommend this one to anyone interested in contemporary art or the "art scene," whatever that may actually be.
I can (occasionally, rarely, quietly) be a pretentious, elitist snot. But I've never turned by back on Hockney, and I'm glad the art establishment, for what it's worth, hasn't either. Get to know this guy. This seems like a good place to start.
I'd like you to read two things in commemoration of the anniversary.
One is a recent essay from Simon Schama. If you don't already love Schama, you will. He's English by birth, but he's a New Yorker by choice and I trust his opinion on the Memorial more than anyone else's. (I know this is probably inappropriate, but: those of you who are already indoctrinated in the Schama cult, click on the slide show and check out Simon's shoes!)
The other is a 2001 essay by Laurie Kerr about the Islamic symbolism and tradition present in the World Trade Center building itself. I think it opens up a new way of looking at the attacks that only adds to what we already know and think about Bin Laden's horrific project.
Before we begin Chapter 3, our first big one, and before the Tutankhamun exhibit opens at the MFAH, you should probably check out this video. It's got pretty much everything you need to know in a compact three minutes. "Maybe we can all learn something."
No doubt you've already participated in a few "what is your learning style" or "what is your personality type" surveys. Here's a story about another type: types of museum visitors.
Museums are just beginning to put a lot of thought into the types of museumgoers (thanks to the DMA--yay for my hometown museum!), and it seems a good thing to know how you like to experience art. You may not have a preference yet, and you may find that your preference changes after taking an art history course and building up your knowledge base. Over the years I've moved from a timid "observer" to a fierce "independent."
Perhaps you followed the story this summer about Ai Wewei, the well-known Chinese artist who was "detained" by Chinese authorities for several months and eventually released. I thought I'd put together a quick primer on who he is and what happened:
Video about a current show of his architectural work.
There are a few web sites that are attempting to become complete Art histories, but in a different model than the traditional survey textbook.
ArtHistoryUnstuffed is based on a blog and podcast model--it's got a single author with a vision and control.
smarthistory is slightly more wiki-like. It has a number of contributors, allows users to submit content, and includes multi-media presentations. It's attempting to become an online textbook and course unto itself, not just to supplement a traditional book or course. The cool thing about smarthistory is that it's got more than you could ever want. The problem may be that it's got more than you can possibly fit into your schedule. Or your brain. (Hint: the Flickr pool may be a great place to get good notecard images.)
Have fun with both, and let me know if you come across any other sites of this type.