Editors’ Pick: For the Love of Art

June 1, 2015

What a great month it has been! Such variety of topics, turning our magazine into a little something for everyone, and it’s all just beginning, as those long, warm summer days are ahead of us. Many galleries have started their Spring/Summer season, with legends like Ellsworth Kelly, Yoko Ono and Yayoi Kusama showing at the world’s biggest art institutions, proving their ever-lasting relevance. And it’s not just the hot shots - it is great to see so many young, talented artists on a recurring exhibition strike around the world, be it solo or groups shows - it’s inspiring anyway.

Apart from all the great exhibitions put on view, it was art fairs that stole the show. One of the most important events, the 2015 Venice Biennale, started on May 9th in all its usual frenzy; New York had been flooded with artworks, as there were SELECT Art Fair, Art Miami NY, Frieze, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair and NADA; Europe was the place to be as well, with ROMART, Art15 and Art Safari. We gave you a hint on what to buy during New York’s art week, as well as the list of top 10 art hotels you should stay in and 10 galleries you should visit while there.

Let’s not forget that the art market thrived more than ever in the past 31 days, setting some serious world records - reigning at a Christie’s auction were Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon, selling for an unbelievable amount of money. This event inspired us to list the 10 highest sales at Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips during Spring auctions and to explore the sales trends in that period.

As for us here at Widewalls, we were excited to start our Editions Specials, with plenty of information about what makes editions special. Whether it’s photography, posters, sculptures or urban art, we told why they are the best way to start a collection, or to expand one. Our Interviews/Podcast section got richer, and Provoke! (NSFW) has been thriving as usual. There is, of course, always more to come, so be sure to stick around.

Scroll down and revisit, once again, the blossoming month of May.

The 56th Venice Biennale

It’s Biennale di Venezia time again!

The 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy started on May 9th, as this year’s edition began a month earlier than usual. One of the most important art events in the world, the show under the name of All the World’s Futures, will be curated by Okwui Enwezor, a curator, critic, editor and writer from Nigeria, and will see 89 national participants and 136 artists and groups showing in the historical Pavilions at the Giardini, Arsenale and the city of Venice. This year, the 56th Venice Biennale also marks 120th anniversary, as the exhibition takes place every two years (in odd years). The biennial will also offer 44 collateral events promoted by non-profit national and international institutions, which will present their exhibitions and initiatives across Venice. Taking part once again is the Holy See, with a show to be held at the Sale d’Armi. The Italian Pavilion will be curated by Vincenzo Trione.

Read full article here.

Shepard Fairey: A Serious Addict

Known for giving HOPE, for taking over of the most unapproachable of walls, the ultimate paster, printmaker, image inventor and influencer, Shepard Fairey is heading to Detroit for his first appearance in the (ex-) Automobile city after a decade. These 10 years have marked both Fairey’s artistic path and Detroit’s urban development, and when the two meet – we cannot expect anything other than a creative extravaganza. For the show, next in the Printed Matters series, the celebrated artist will revisit some of his most memorable moments in print, while parallely creating the biggest mural in his career in the section of the exhibition called Public Matter.

With a little help from our friends at Library Street Collective, a progressive gallery from Motown, we got Mr. Fairey to answer a few questions in an exclusive interview, revealing his feelings, thoughts and plans regarding the Detroit exhibitions, as well as hint about the mural. Well sort of a hint.

MoMA and Yoko Ono, Reunited

It’s a proper comeback.

Forty-four years after Yoko Ono’s unauthorized exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art titled Museum of Modern (F)art, quite perplexing in the minds of visitors who were invited by a fellow with a sandwich board to follow a multitude of flies Yoko Ono has released within the Museum and across the city of New York, The Museum of Modern Art is presenting the exhibition Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1970. This exhibition examines the decade in Ono’s artistic practices and her involvement in the Feminist movement which preceded this decisive event. Visitors will be able to see 125 of her objects, installation, performance documentation, works on paper, video and audio recordings, and rarely seen archival material.

Read about the exhibition here.

Featured image: Yoko Ono - Touch Poem 5, c. 1960

The Highest Spring Auctions Sales

Those numbers give me chills!

Month of May was a turbulent one at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. May 13 was a significant day at Christie’s since we have seen some surreal results. As previously seen in the article about the top 10 sales for the first four months of this year, some names seem to be repeating again: Gerhard Rihter, Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Two sold artworks by Mark Rothko made it to the top 10, as well as two Francis Bacon’s. These ten artworks were sold for insane $441,250,000 altogether, and the most expensive artwork was No.10 by Mark Rothko which was sold for amazing $81,925,000!

See all 10 of them here.

A Podcast With Peeta

For the 14th in our series of Widewalls Podcast interviews, we were privileged to be joined by the esteemed graffiti writer and graffiti sculpture artist Peeta. The Italy based street artist has gained a well-deserved international reputation for his phenomenal 3D graffiti writing style on walls and impressive graffiti based sculptural works. Earlier in the year, Peeta enjoyed a successful solo exhibition entitled Parallel Realities, which was presented by Montana Gallery in Barcelona Spain. We thought it was time to catch up with the talented graffiti writer Peeta and pose him a few questions, where we discuss how the Italian street artist started out creating graffiti, the importance of light and shadows within the 3D sculpture works and life with the graffiti crews that he is a member of, EAD Crew from Italy plus the FX and RWK Crews from New York.

Hear the conversation here.

Featured image: Peeta in front of a mural in Rovigo. Photo via ilgorgo.com

Richard Prince - A Genius Thief

While Jerry Saltz might still think this is all “genius trolling”, I am happy to belong to the larger group of people who think there’s no catch here – Richard Prince is simply not creative. Honestly, just because someone’s got a thirty-plus-year long career as an artist – hence a famous name and a reputation, whatever it might be of – and one of the most influential galleries watching their back, it doesn’t mean that what they do is automatically “brilliant” or “impeccably revolutionary”. After all, Richard Prince surely isn’t the only appropriation artist out there, but his way of doing “art” has little or no sense, and on top of everything – it sells like crazy. While he is getting away with it, we can only rave about how absurd the art world sometimes is. Because hey, if at least those “signature” comments he’d leave on people’s Instagram photos were clever or, you know, meant something whatsoever, then maybe I would think about considering all of this a tad of an interesting project.

See why he’s pissed off a lot of people here.

Featured image: Richard Prince. Photo via AP

The Urban Art Editions

This month has seen Widewalls exploring the theme of editions in art, a generic term for a series of artworks. Here we turn out attention to the world of urban art and street art, which by its very definition belongs on the street, but with its increased popularity and a host of galleries opening the doors to contemporary urban art, the scene has become a fertile area for developing various editions. With the urban art scene showing no signs of abating and a great number of urban and street artists now running successful studio careers, the chance of picking up an original canvas artwork for a reasonable price is decreasing and beyond the average person. However, urban and street artists have been quick to realize that there is a great demand for their works and have been perfectly placed to use the idea of editions for maximum impact.

Here we explore some of the urban art editions that are available and a reasonable way to get some street art into your home.

Featured image: Zino Platinum Make of Texas - Collectors Edition with Gonzo 247. Via halfwheel.com

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