Editors’ Pick: Oktoberfest

November 2, 2014

If you are a citizen of the Northern hemisphere, October most certainly appears as a synonym for autumn. If you are an art lover, then the month of October means that it is time for numerous art fairs and the rise of energy when it comes to exhibitional activity. Just like last time, the team of Widewalls editors, brings you some of the instances that you might have missed during the last 30 days. We have had a chance to revisit some of the most interesting moments, but what is more important, take a closer look into the work of various artists and ask ourselves some challenging questions which reside in the core of the concept of art. Join us on a short journey of intriguing questions which involve individuals such as Damien Hirst, Robert Rauchenberg, Simon Heijdens, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and many more… Truly, the month of October has been a festival of questions!

October Pick No.1: Unoriginal?

A documentary was released earlier this year describing Wolfgang Beltracchi’s conman adventure, unveiling the frightful truths such as him being the most exhibited living artist in the world! This event only articulated, yet again, an ongoing discourse which is mostly present in the art collectors’ community, and in various fields of art professionals. However, what does all of this mean, in terms of the art market, new technology and the changes in art expertise? Find out in our article More Than Half of Art is Fake.

(The image above displays Yan Walther (R), Executive Director of the Fine Arts Experts Institute (FAEI), and Dr. Killian Anheuser, head scientist at the FAEI, prepare a painting for a light imaging studio analyse on September 19, 2014 at the FAEI in Geneva. The FAEI analyzes paintings, searching for signs of forgery. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD JUILLIART.)

October Pick No.2: Original!

Simon Heijdens is an artist from Breda, The Netherlands, born in 1978. His experimental practice leans on intricate technology and natural processes alike, while his work has been exhibited in over 50 museums and galleries across the planet. This artist has managed to create an installation which articulates the situation of the outdoor and the indoor space. But that is not it! The methodology is determined by the forces of wind and light, which, in the abundance of diversity, become the artist’s tools. Read about the intriguing creative process, glass walls and light manipulations and be sure to check out the video of the installation in our article Shade is the Result of Light.

October Pick No.3: The Metallic Taste of Contemporaneity

The postwar era of American art in the wake of Abstract Expressionism was greatly influenced by Rauschenberg’s work which drew inspiration from such phenomena as materialism and conceptualism. The artist had always aimed to create art which should be as unpredictable as the attributes which constitute our existential situation. The exhibition of the contemporary art master is still on show at Gagosian Gallery. To find out everything you can about this, check out our article Robert Rauchenberg – Works On Metal.

October Pick No.4: Erotic Art or Porn? That is the Question…

We bring you one of the most interesting articles, not only form our Provoke! category, but also when it comes to the whole month of October. From the semantic and cultural predispositions of the notion of erotica and erotic art, to the questions of the imaginative possibilities of pornography, where is the line where one cold say that art ends and porn begins? In the commercial world governed by the credo “Sex sells”, try to ask yourself how does this transpire in the field of art. Is there something from the past that can help us determine the tendencies of tomorrow? Can it solely be about aesthetics, or are we talking about something more complex? Dwell upon these and many questions concerning the relation between Erotic Art and pornography in the article When Does Erotic Art Turn into Porn?

October Pick No.5: The Hell That is Tomorrow…

Why do you think that there are more and more of us thinking about the outcome of the global society in terms of dystopian realities? Is this something that is inherently present in the postmodern epoch, or are we just beginning to realize that both our relations with nature and with each other come with a price? It is no surprise that the best attempts for answering these question come from a paintbrush. Because, even the dark and unflattering messages of certain art pieces convey an aura of mesmerizing imagery, rendering these pieces to have hypnotizing effect on the viewer. Thus, a thought-provoking and intriguing rapport is always established between the artwork and the public. Read about exciting work of a young artist in the article Journey to the Present.

October Pick No.6: There is no Escaping Social Media…

Today, there practically isn’t a dimension of human existence which cannot be realized through the vast universe of the digital world. Why shouldn’t this be the case with art? If the system of economy is changing do to the fact that we are trading online, if politicians are interacting through Twitter, and if the art market functions so good on the web, why can’t the creative process itself be rooted in the body of the internet? After all, entire online communities have grown through those small actions of showing creativity. What is more, artist themselves make it hard not to follow their online endeavors… The universe of social media has brought us to a moment in time when the things which were unimaginable years ago are becoming possible. Find out more in our feature article Is Instagram a New Artistic Medium?

October Pick No.7: Memorable Storytelling

Month of October was marked by an interesting exhibition by Kyle Hughes-Odgers at C.A.V.E Gallery. The visual language of this artist is truly a memorable one. Seeing his works come to life makes a unique experience for the viewers, becoming a visual story-telling event full of ceremony, tradition, repetition and reflection. Kyle’s heroes are highly stylized figures living in a unique folktale world. They explore themes of journeys, often symbolizes by ladders and boats. Bottles represent choices, memories and the things we collect along our life’s journey. Skewed, stilted buildings, often out of scale to their inhabitants, are connected to each other with lines that represent communication. Read more in All the Wrong Places.

October Pick No.8: To Appropriate Means To Create…

Appropriation is not a new method in art. Defined by the experts at MoMA as the intentional borrowing, copying, and alteration of preexisting images and objects, it has been a legitimate instrument of expression for over a century, although controversy regarding authorship has frequently been related to it. Appropriation of imagery was present even in the work of Edouard Manet, but more even more concretely in Synthetic Cubism collages made by Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Marcel Duchamp was perhaps the one responsible for the final constitution of appropriation, inventing the readymade and causing much art world turmoil with his outrageously brilliant Fountain in the now distant 1917… All of this has some thought-provoking repercussions on the notion of urban art and the work of some of the individuals we have come to admire very much. Read about this in Age of Appropriation.

October Pick No.9: There is Something About Poland

Polish urban art has proven to be a growing and simulative phenomenon within the arena of street art. Artists from Poland are widely recognized today, all of which was made possible through the activities of inspiring artists. The recognizable style and the intense street activity have rendered Polish artists to showcase work and spread their imagery across the borders of Eastern Europe and all over the globe. Through Polish Urban Art project, the public of Europe’s seven cities will be able to enjoy the work and creative process of individuals coming from the cultural environment of Poland. This project has begun in October and it will last to the mid of December. Find out everything you need to know in Polish Urban Art in Berlin.

October Pick No.10: Play it Again, Sam. One Last Time…

Many a times, the stories tried to unravel what was really happening with the two artists, the intricate details of their relationship and its abrupt ending… Consequently, it seemed as though these stories had taken a life of their own, making the discussion on art intertwined with various aspects of the existential situations of the two great artists. Many aspects of the Warhol and Basquiat story never happened and the proliferation of popular culture discourses did its part to mystify everything greatly. Join us in addressing only some of the questions which might be important for understanding the prolific collaboration of the 1980s in our feature article Warhol and Basquiat: Play It Again, Sam.

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