Persecuted Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's biggest ever solo exhibition opened today at the Brooklyn Museum. But prior to an 81-day detention by Chinese authorities in 2011, Ai's passport was confiscated, and he cannot travel to coordinate or even see his own exhibit. The Brooklyn show includes "Sacred," a depiction of his incarceration in six dioramas, in its first North American appearance.
National Geographic met and spoke with Ai in Beijing where he lives.
Longtime Supertouch buddy Camille Rose Garcia's trademark storybook surrealism has been a dominant force in the world of underground art for years and is now gaining the proper recognition in fine art circles it so rightly deserves. And though that attention has come through the elevation of her artwork at elite, high-end art galleries in recent years, her dedication to the upstart art spaces that built her career remains intact, as evidenced by the opening of her latest body of work, "La Danse Macabre," at Kirsten Anderson's landmark Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle last Read More
Renowned for his minimalist organic modernism, design world luminary Marc Newson—who's sculpted everything from from watches to children's bunk beds, cars, boats, and even shoes by Nike—has brought his aesthetic to one of Japan's most ancient & enduring design objects: the traditional katana sword. In collaboration with Japanese design firm Wow led by Read More
Underground art fans have long been devoted collectors of the kitsch paintings of Margaret Keane who became a veritable art star in the 1960s & 70s with her imagery of big-eyed girls and boys that seemingly populated every suburban American living room and den of the era. Read More
Telling a thorough history of where tattooing's been and where it's headed in this country with the help of heavyweight authorities like Ed Hardy, Jack Rudy, Mark Mahoney, Freddy Negrete, and Mister Cartoon, "Tattoo Nation" is the first major documentary on the subject to see a widespread theatrical debut. Beginning this week, the film will begin showing in major theaters throughout the country, illustrating (no pun intended) exactly how massive and mainstream the once outlaw art has become. Read More
BOB DYLAN is the rare musician who's late career output remains undiminished with some of his best albums of his oeuvre having been released in the last 10 years. We can't quite extend that accolade to his fine art career, however, which makes the transition from drawings on paper (his "Drawn Blank" series) to formal paintings with the opening of his show, "BOB DYLAN ON CANVAS," currently on display at London's upscale tourist art gallery HALCYON. Ranging in price from $150,000–100,000 USD, the canvases depict everyday subject matter with titles like "Two Sisters," "Staircase," and "Motel Pool," and illustrate the rock legend's naive style that teeters somewhere in the netherworld between Impressionism and Expressionism. In spite of the heady pricetags, however, Dylan doesn't seem to be taking his own work too seriously: "I just draw what’s interesting to me, and then I paint it. Rows of houses, orchard acres, lines of tree trunks, could be anything. I can take a bowl of fruit and turn it into a life and death drama. Women are power figures, so I depict them that way. I can find people to paint in mobile home communities. I could paint bourgeois people too. I’m not trying to make social comment or fulfill somebody’s vision and I can find subject matter anywhere. I guess in some way that comes out of the folk world that I came up in." We at ST prefer to think of these paintings as sort of the visual equivalent of Jakob Dylan's musical output. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!...
McGinness sheds his mop in the name of art and relocates his downtown studio to Madrid...
NYC-based artist RYAN McGINNESS is currently on an extended residency at Madrid's esteemed LA CASA ENCENDIDA cultural institution (January 24–March 7), where a large show of his graphic paintings is on exhibit in the space's cavernous main hall. His entire downtown studio has been replicated as an art project titled, "Studio Franchise Exhibition," and 40 art assistants have been recruited by the artist and La Casa to assist in his usual prodigious output throughout his stay. Upon arrival, the artist promptly shaved his head, using the hair to create a "wig sculpture" which guests can view on display in his studio.
"The Studio Franchise exhibition created by Ryan McGinness for La Casa Encendida will be open to the public beginning February 5. Ryan’s studio which can be found in Espacio C, will not be an exact recreation of the artist's studio but a new one created and inspired by certain guidelines of his original studio in New York. It will be in full operation during opening hours of the center and will be honored by the presence of the artist. A casting call was conducted in order find and hire Ryan McGinness clones or duplicates to serve as assistants in the studio for the duration of the exhibition.
As the primary drive of Ryan’s art practice concerns itself with the creation of and (re)production of original symbols, this new Madrid studio and the assistants will serve as symbols of the artist’s New York studio and as symbols of the artist himself. Furthermore, the studio and the assistants are not reproductions of the original, rather, they are productions based on the original. This is the essence of the franchise concept—not the deployment of reproductions or duplicates, but the production of originals created within a set of acceptable pre-determined guidelines—symbols with no referent, but that exist in their own right.
Espacio B will have paintings and sculptures in the making, empty frames, extensive sketches for compositions and paintings on the walls, boxes, plans for the exhibit taped on the wall, stairs, setting-up materials and tools, etc. During the course of the exhibit, the finished works created in the studio will be moved to Espacio B for viewing. McGinness will count on the help of participants in creating these works in the studio."
HAVE A LOOK: Read More