Archive for February, 2009
KAWS fans already going into synaptic overload at the thought of Mr. Donnelley's opening of new works at HONOR FRASER this Saturday nite can rejoice in the news that Friday nite, February 20th will see an additional event by the XX-eyed imagist featuring new artwork at the Culver City hotspot ROYAL T. You just better hope you RSVP'd in time. Needless to say, keep it locked on ST for coverage tomorrow...
Rabid KAWS fanatics are literally counting the hours till the Brooklyn-based Pop phenomenon opens the doors to his new solo show "The Long Way Home," at HONOR FRASER gallery in LA on SATURDAY NITE, FEBRUARY 21st. Featuring an incredible array of new paintings and sculptures, the exhibition is a real stylistic breakthrough for the artist and promises some good surprises for longtime fans who thought they'd seen it all. Pictured here are some tight details of the epic new paintings just to get the drool factor pumping in advance. Full coverage of the show starts on Saturday at 6pm, stay tuned...
Representing two diametrically opposed visual dialectics, the twin solo shows by eighty-one-year-old American painter CY TWOMBLY ("The Rose") and forty-six-year-old Japanese pop artist TAKASHI MURAKAMI ("New Paintings") currently on display at mega gallerist LARRY GAGOSIAN's twin London outposts (Brittania Street and Davies street respectively) create an incredibly exciting dynamic when considered in tandem. A progenitor of graffiti-style writing as fine art, Twombly earned his art world stripes in the late 1960s with challenging paintings depicting loose text-based scrawlings reminiscent of early bathroom stall graffiti. Murakami, currently the high priest of Pacific Rim postmodern Pop, is literally a product of his consumer-centric environment who both seeks to achieve the impossibly clean aesthetic of product in his artwork while simultaneously commodifying his art as product in and of itself. While the two bodies of work share little in common from a technical standpoint, the disparate shows are united in their visceral use of pulsating color. While Twombly's five monumental rose paintings are loose and primal in their execution with color employed as a prime and raw edged emotional force, Murakami's works are so tightly rendered as to appear silk-screened with colors employed as pure eye candy and reminiscent of the hues found in a toy store. Located within walking distance of one another, the disparate exhibitions make for a hell of an uplifting walking tour of the Old Country for those lucky enough to be able to still afford plane tickets these days, let alone the ever-elusive price of ownership. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
For those not in the know, unlike his uncommunicative predecessor, BARACK OBAMA releases a weekly “State of the Union” announcement online with a breakdown of the week’s major issues from a presidential perspective. Since 2009 is serious as a heart attack, we’ll be relaying it here at Supertouch on the regular.
In a sure sign of the state of the modern art world, the single artwork attracting the most attention at ARCO (the Madrid International Contemporary Art Fair) that opened today was not a masterpiece by DAMIEN HIRST, but rather a parody of the UK bad boy artist by EUGENIO MERINO depicting the master financial strategist encased in one of his own white display cubes, shooting himself in the head. Titled "For the Love of Gold" in reference to Hirst's $100 million diamond encrusted skull "For the Love of God," the hyper-realistic yet oddly contorted piece incorporates real human hair, glass eyes, and realistic blood pouring from a gaping hole in the cranium and was quickly snapped up on opening day by a Florida collector for $33,500 USD. Sounds like Damien's busy decorating his Miami winter home...
Given BARACK OBAMA’s predilection for all things contemporary, rumors have been swirling in the artworld since his victory last year about how the new White House will embrace the modern art world. His interior decorator has been reaching out to museums and galleries in a frenzy to secure significant modern works to display in the Obama’s presidential residence and it’s likely that the wild west & cowboy artwork that ol’ W had placed around the White House will soon be replaced by more timely visions (rumors that Shepard Fairey will be allowed to tag the side of the White House remain unconfirmed). The epic unanswered question of course is, what artist will Obama choose to paint his presidential portrait (may we suggest Eric White?). Luckily, art world heavy DAVID ROSS has just weighed in on the subject with a great piece for this week’s DAILY BEAST:
"The art world is buzzing that the president wants contemporary art in the private residence of The White House. Former museum director David A. Ross on what could (and should) be hanging at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Late in the first Clinton administration, I made my only visit to the White House. A New York art patron who was receiving an award invited me to witness the event. I hardly remember the art on view in the public rooms—when I search my memory, I recall only a sweet portrait of Mamie Eisenhower, in a fluffy pink dress, painted by W.G Williams, who is purported to have been a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe.
Now, in the first weeks of the Obama administration, the art world is aflame with rumors that the president and the first lady want serious works by living American artists for their private quarters. This is not the art that the thousands of tourists and VIP visitors will see in the public rooms of the White House. So does it matter whether the Obamas turn out to have good taste or a sophisticated take on the art of our times?
To an arts community that has been alternately ignored and reviled by Washington in recent years, it matters enormously, so, like Kremlinologists, it scrutinizes any bit of news. Michelle Obama wears J Crew—there must be a clue there? President Obama is close to Chicago museum heavyweights Penny Pritzker and Lewis Manilow and counts among his early supporters Eli Broad and Agnes Gund, two people with enormous influence in the American art community. Surely the president will take their counsel seriously? Click HERE to read more...
Otaku MARK RYDEN fans got a much-needed dose of face time with their art idol in Tokyo last Saturday nite when his hotly anticipated new "Snow Yak Show" debuted at TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY. In attendance were longtime Ryden brothers-in-arms TIM BISKUP and GARY BASEMAN who helped their bearded elder celebrate in true snow yak style replete with fuzzy white headgear and ice cold hearts to boot. The sold out show of new oil paintings and drawings represents a stark aesthetic departure for the artist who leaves behind his trademark meat-laden painting style and ornate frames behind with this collection of minimalist new work.Read More
Masters of vinyl toydom TIM BISKUP and Tokyo's T9G teamed up to blow minds of Japanese collectors with their "T x T Project" of collaborative vinyl toys and new paintings from Mr Biskup that opened last weekend at STITCH GALLERY. Cobbling together new toys mad scientist style using the best parts (giblets included) from their own respective signature artist toys, the dynamic duo gave frenzied onlookers a glimpse of how cool the modern world of vinyl toys could be if places like Kid Robot didn't actually exist. Needless to say, the pair's legion of devoted fanboys and girls lined up for blocks to get a glimpse at the neon colored spectacle and snatch up newly released colorways of the pair's new collaborative production toy "Rangeas" which sold out instantaneously. Also of note was the sneek peek look at the new prototype of T9G's version of Tim Biskup's iconic "Helper" toy set to be released this spring. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Not only did DAMIEN HIRST, the most controversial and highest paid living figure in the art world redefine how business is done late last year with his groundbreaking Sotheby's auction, he's managed to thumb his nose at the world of retail this week by opening a second London shop in the middle of the 21st Century Great Depression:
"Damien Hirst has defied the slump in U.K. consumer spending by opening a second shop in London. Other Criteria, the U.K. artist’s publishing and merchandising company, started the store this week at 14 Hinde Street in the Marylebone district. It sells works including some by Hirst himself ranging from his keyrings at 3.50 pounds ($5) to prints showing pills on mirror glass shelves, from an edition of 125, at 4,000 pounds ($5,800) each.
The first branch of Other Criteria opened in October in Bond Street next to Sotheby’s. The previous month, the auction house staged Hirst’s 111.5 million-pound sale, “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever.” Since then, U.K retailers have suffered in the economic slump. Woolworths Group Plc, MFI Group Ltd. and Zavvi Group were chains that collapsed and closed stores.
“Other Criteria makes objects and books created by artists to an exceptional standard,” said Hirst in an e-mailed statement. “I don’t think art has ever been as popular as it is today and Other Criteria aims to sell affordable art of the highest quality to everyone who wants it.” Click HERE to continue reading...
Last year saw the art market operating at unprecedented highs with works by blue chip artists being snapped up as commodities in an array of auctions that made the heads of even seasoned dealers spin. Of course, by year's end Damien Hirst had claimed the title of "ultimate master of the game" with his masterfully timed, record setting "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" Sotheby's auction at the precise moment the entire worldwide financial market threw a rod and seized. Since then auction houses have been in the kind of despair heretofore known only to the American auto industry while the art market in general has slowed considerably in keeping with the beleaguered economy. The International Asian Art Fair scheduled to take place during this year's NYC-based Armory show in NYC was even cancelled due to financial concerns and was quickly followed suit by the Moscow World Fine Art Fair (May) and the Salzburg Fine Art Fair (August) which were killed off entirely for 2009. Needless to say, the February auctions by Sotheby's, Christies, and Phillips de Pury that began in London on February 5th and run through the 13th are off to a promising start with a smaller, more carefully curated collection bringing in nice returns (the Sotheby's evening sale brought in $25,785,250 alone) and brightening expectations for this year's art market considerably in the process:
"Predictions of an art market meltdown were confounded in London this week as six sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary art at Christie's and Sotheby's turned in solid results.
The auction houses managed to restore confidence to a jittery market with successful sales by radically shrinking the size of the catalogue and lowering estimates compared with last year. Some distress selling is, however, beginning to filter through.
Among the week's highlights were a classic impressionist painting by Monet that fetched £11.2m, a Degas sculpture that sold for £13.3m and a carved stack of cartoon-like animals by Jeff Koons that made £2.8m. The day sales, which offer more moderately priced works, also proved successful.
"We feel a lot better than we did a week ago," said James Roundell, a London dealer. "At best, people thought the sales would be patchy. These results send a positive message to the market." Click HERE to continue reading...