Editors' Pick: Golden Leaves and Art Fairs

November 3, 2015

We can now officially welcome autumn into our lives, whether you’re a fan of it or not. For the art world, and especially if we’re talking the month of October, it was all about art fairs, and this year we’ve had quite a few - from FIAC and its sister fair OFFICIELLE to Frieze Masters and Frieze London, trading events in Zurich, Paris, London, Toronto, San Francisco… If you’re an art collector, I bet it was really hard to plan where to go, as all these events, whether established or debuting, offer a really amazing oeuvre of Modern and Contemporary art in all its wonderful shapes and forms. Oh, and brace yourself, because there are many more coming our way in the upcoming two months, and particularly in December - Art Basel ring a bell?

Fall also means a rich exhibition season, and in the month behind us, there were the openings of some big names: Takashi Murakami in Tokyo, Jim Shaw in New York City, Shepard Fairey (who is also awaiting trial regarding that Detroit vandalism story) in Pessac. It would seem that drawing had quite a good period this year, with works of Daniel Zeller, Pippa Young, Samantha Wall and a group of artists at Le Tiny Cafe in Paris on display. It was also quite busy for our Art News department - Retna collaborated on a new Justin Bieber album cover art, Roy Nachum did the same for Rihanna, an artist in Ukraine turned Lenin into Darth Vader, there were some unexpected graffiti in Homeland, and an exhibition in Italy was trash - well, it wasn’t, but it became one thanks to the museum cleaning personnel.

Who said autumn is boring? October was fun, and now you can scroll down and revisit its highlights.

Goodbye, Hilla Becher

The photographer died on October 10th, 2015.

It is indeed an end of an era in contemporary photography. Hilla Becher, of influential photographic duo Bernd (or Bernhard) and Hilla Becher, has died eight years after the death of her collaborator and husband, at the age of 81. Together, the Bechers revolutionized the documentation of landscape and the way this type of imagery is perceived, through many series of curated chronicles of industrial architecture scenery. Over the past fifty years, they developed a unique technique in portraiture, where their subjects were man-made structures, but not the man himself. Driving around Germany, the Bechers took pictures of industrial landscape with their 8×10 large-format camera. Their artistic style was simple, consistent and direct – black and white photographs, centered and frontal framing of architectural elements, no human presence, and cloudy weather which produces no shadows and exalts as much detail as possible.

Read more about their work here.

10 Brilliant Female Latin American Street Artists

Kick-Ass Latinas

Shaking off its turbulent past and dark history of drug cartels, paramilitaries and violence, Colombia and many other countries of South America have become centers of vibrant street art. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Puerto Rico are just some of the countries that have been adorned with amazing urban and street art, forming a uniquely vivid and diversified scene of South American street art. In countries with many social political issues and struggles of the people, it is art that alleviates the suffering and transcends the hardships we must go through. For these and other reasons, Latin America has had a flourishing scene of prominent and underground young artists who embellished the streets of the cities they live in. Many of these women went through the same struggle, or even worse, being a female in a predominantly male-oriented world of street art. Alas, they have managed to thrive and make a name for themselves through their artwork, regardless of the gender, political and social issues they had to overcome.

Check them all out here.

An Interview with Artissima Director Sarah Cosulich

Artissima will take place in Turin, Italy, from November 6th through 8th 2015.

Under her now four-year guidance, Artissima has become a proper force to be reckoned with among the world’s biggest art fairs. Sarah Cosulich Canarutto is someone with a rich background in curating, which reaches events as big as the Venice Biennale – for the 50th edition, she was the assistant to Director Francesco Bonami. But her achievements do not stop there. Born in 1974, Sarah Cosulich Canarutto worked as a curator of the Villa Manin Centre for Contemporary Art in Udine, Italy, where she successfully realized over 20 exhibition projects. In 2009, she helped the foundation of Cardi Black Box Milano and worked as the artistic director during the first year of its existence (she was in charge of Carsten Hoeller’s major show there). Currently, and for five years now, she’s been living in Switzerland, working as an art advisor and being in charge of many private collections. She is a contributing editor of many art magazines, a curatorship and museology speaker at many universities in Italy and abroad, and the author of two monographs (on Jeff Koons, 2006 and Gabriel Orozco, 2008).

Read our chat here.

Back to the Future Street Art!

It was an important day for Marty McFly.

So, we are supposing that all of you have watched Back to the Future trilogy, even though some of you perhaps weren’t even born at the time when the first part was filmed. If we are wrong, then, please, just go away. Just go and watch it, and then come back. Incidentally, this was one of my favorite movies during childhood – as well as other two sequels, of course – and even now I stop to take a look if they appear on TV when I’m switching channels. But, from now on, everything that happened in three movies Back to the Future, is officially in the past. In the second movie, Back to the Future II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown (played by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd) go from year 1985 to year 2015: October 21st, 2015, to be precise. So, as from yesterday, something that was perceived as a distant future back then, when I was a kid, has become history. Damn, I’m old.

See the murals here.

The Rise of CGI Art

The magic of Computer Generated Imaging.

So, can you remember which was the earliest movie you have watched that had some computer animation, some computer generated visual effects? Yes, the earliest one, so you can’t say Avatar. Nor The Lord of the Rings. The Matrix? Yes, you are still on the South Pole, but it is getting warmer… Hm… The Terminator? The Lawnmower Man? Jurassic Park? Alien? Warm… Star Wars? Oh, we’ve forgot that Toy Story was the first CGI (computer generated imagery) feature-length animation, but that was not the earliest film to use computer generated effects. Back in 1978, Supermen was filmed, and it was the first movie with a computer-generated title sequence. And even further in the past, movie Westworld was filmed in 1973. That was the first usage of 2D computer animation in a (significant) entertainment feature film. So, you’ve guessed so far, in this feature we will talk about CGI – how did the whole thing start, how it developed, branched into several incredibly important segments of our lives, and finally, how CGI became a legit part of the art world.

Continue reading here.

Vintage Erotica Illustrations

As alluring as ever.

People might think that erotic art has been popular only in the last couple of decades. But, in fact, erotica has existed since the first pieces of art were created. And, we could even dare to say that vintage erotica (or old erotic art) was more creative and innovative. With the development of digital technology, erotica has been usually linked with photography. However, there are many other art mediums in which perfect erotic art pieces have been created (paintings, comics, and other mediums – something that can be seen in art of Cynthia Westwood or Laura Krifka). And, as vintage erotica shows, there are so many other ways to create beautiful pieces of erotic art – book illustration and paper work with erotic content, famous secret French postcards, pin up girls, and so on. Let’s see what vintage erotica has to offer.

See the images here.

The Ai Weiwei vs Lego Saga

The Chinese artist gets to play after all.

It would seem like, sometimes, banning something from someone is the clearest path for them to actually accomplish the desired goal. Like when we were kids and teenagers, whenever we would hear things like “Don’t do it!”, “You cannot do that!”, it kinda only pushed us even further into doing that particular forbidden thing by any means necessary. Recently, Lego refused to supply the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei with his bulk order of the plastic toys, stating that the company cannot approve the use of its products for political works. As you can imagine, this sort of a decision stirred a lot of controversy and response throughout the world, so much that it actually backfired on the giant toy producer.

Find the whole story here.

John Baldessari in Frankfurt

It’s a ridicule.

To add the perfect finish to the year which celebrates two decades of The Städel Museum there will be none other than John Baldessari. As a result of an interesting collaboration between the Frankfurt institution and one of the most important living artists, there will be sixteen brand new artworks inspired by the museum’s collection, which covers over seven hundred years of European art. By paying his respects to the great masters in history, John Baldessari addresses and ridicules the issues of contemporary art simultaneously, through his signature play with imagery, language and popular culture. The sixteen diptychs created exclusively for this exhibition came from John Baldessari’s explorations of the Städel Museum collection – they’re related to and based on masterpieces by legends like Bartolomeo Veneto or Maria Lassnig, but also unusual finds in the storage depots.

See the images here.

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