A rather hot and eventful summer has left us with a plethora of interesting stories, memorable events, exhibitions, interviews and various art-related news. The steamy august is now behind us, and the late summer haze is just starting to clear out. As we reminisce and wonder where the summer have gone, September has already crept in, reminding us all that the season is just about to start again in full force. Alas, before we allow the summer to fade away, leaving nothing but a few memories, let us revisit some of the most interesting stories that have marked the August of 2015. We researched the origin and significance of the world’s first photographs ever taken, we visited the Nonsense museum in Austria, New Zealand redesigned the national flag, we explored the most controversial art scandals and, of course, Banksy’s Dismaland was thoroughly covered by our team, with in-depth analysis and reviews. When we come to think of it, this August was anything but boring and uneventful, scroll down to discover these and other stories that have left their mark in the month behind us. Our editors have compiled a list of top 10 intriguing, thought-provoking and enjoyable articles from the past month, stories that should definitely be part of your summer memories.
With the omnipresent digital tools that are available today, it is hard to imagine how complicated the process of taking photographs used to be back in the 19th century when it all began. Did you know that the oldest photograph is dated back to the year of 1827? Or did you ever stop to wonder, hey, who was the first person in history to take a selfie? Or perhaps, how New York used to look like almost 170 years ago? All these and other first photographs have a story behind them, involving much more than a simple click of a button, but we have made it easy for you, so go ahead and click here to find out more.
No matter how connected you feel with the artist, or how emotionally you experience the art, there is nothing like an honest, visceral in-depth documentary that can really bring you closer to the author. Artists documentaries provide invaluable insight into the private and personal lives of the creators, making you live their life for a little while, experience the world through their eyes, put yourself in their position and connect on a deeper level. Some may even crush the fans’ fantasies they inadvertently build up while imagining how the artist must have felt or what the aim behind the artwork was, but these documentaries really bring out the truth and portray the artist as no one other than him/herself. So grab a chair and find some time to delve into the lives of the artists through these documentaries.
The woman who defined and set the framework for the future photo models to come, Marilyn Monroe, remains a legend to this day. With the term “true beauty” being wildly tossed around these days, its original meaning is still associated with the one and only Marilyn Monroe. The story behind the most iconic nude photos of Monroe is not so glamorous as people may have perceived it. With her bold decisions, she successfully redefined perceptions of sex and broke barriers, her influence can still be felt today, but her path to fame was not such an easy one. Rare photos of nude Marilyn went on view recently, and caused much attention, proving her undying status of an icon. Read the full article and the story behind the photos here.
The art community is often stirred by the controversial, shocking and even outrageous scandals that sometimes simply go hand-to-hand with the context of the unpredictable world of art. When we talk about these scandals, we talk about stealing to the point where you don’t know what’s real anymore, stealing money, ideas, doing outrageous things to get more money or fame; people getting naked in museums to prove a point, hiding stolen artworks inside their apartments, or killing animals for the sake of creation and whatnot. We’ve compiled a list of these art scandals which will not be soon forgotten, as they have really raised more than a few eyebrows and caused much controversy.
So you might have imagined so far that this list can’t go by without at least mentioning the recently omnipresent news of Banksy’s Dismaland. We have followed this story from its announcement to its opening, and we’ve analyzed it in-depth, researched the artists involved, reviewed the aftermath and gauged people’s response. If you haven’t heard of Dismaland so far, then you must have spent your summer holiday somewhere isolated in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing and no one…which actually doesn’t sound that bad… Anyway, let’s go back, once again, to Banksy’s bemusement park through our own insight and view of the whole thing.
From the dismal surroundings of Banksy’s UK tourist attraction we move to Herrnbaumgarten, Austria’s nonsense museum named Nonseum. Now this is a place that perhaps makes more sense than its name suggests. What can you do with all those failed experiments and endlessly useless items people create for various reasons other than the (im)practical use? Put them in a museum on display of course! From a miniature raft made for flies drowning in your soup, over a football shoe with a scope attached to it, to split crockery for divorced couples, this place is sure to make you stop and wonder…
The amazing American artist whose work moves the boundaries of relations between space and art, Mark Jenkins presented his new work under the name of Still Life at Fabien Castanier Gallery. It featured Jenkins’ recognizable art (i.e. site – specific installations), but also three-dimensional canvases and anthropomorphic string instruments. A truly unique set of works was exhibited in the Still Life show, so check out the full article here.
After a couple of decades of debating, the citizens and government of New Zealand have come to a conclusion that they should change their national flag. Several reasons have evoked such a decision, from the practical ones (the obvious similarity with the Australian flag which often causes much confusion) to the cultural issues where people claim the current (old) flag does not represent the true heritage of New Zealanders. The world awaits the list of four final nominees to be revealed in mid-September, so let’s have one more look at the announced 40 alternative flag designs chosen among more than 10, 000 sumbissions.
We had an exclusive opportunity to have a chat with one of the most prolific artists of the Greek street art scene. With almost weekly-made large murals he manages to perplex and astonish his admirers across the streets of European capitals. WD aka Wild Drawing was recently featured as our Artist of the Week and you had the opportunity to read all about his recent engagements, festival participations and works on the streets of Athens. Since he was kind enough to also share an interview with us, now you have the opportunity to read more about his art beginnings, comparison of Indonesian and Greek street art scene and thoughts on political power of artistic expression. Have a read through our conversation with WD.
Winner of the prestigious Hasselblad Masters Award in 2012, Olivier Valsecchi is keeping his original orientation toward the portrayal of body figures, this time engaging in a dialogue with art history and work of renowned painters from the baroque era. His astonishing photographs bring a subtle take on erotic imagery focusing on the beauty of human body as seen in the classical aesthetic canon. Through the use of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro technique, Olivier Valsecchi effectively achieves intense, dramatic and unsettling atmosphere surrounding the deathly stillness of portrayed subjects. His Drifting series engage in a dialogue with the old Masters of portraiture, exploring the notion of still-life painting style of the Flemish school, reinterpreting the genre requirements in the photography medium. Enjoy more of his unique series Drifting here.
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Read Other Interesting Stories
Among so many theories about the Banksy Identity, connecting him with the name of Robert Del Naja is the latest. And what we ask is - why?
Dismayland is the title of the first ever Scandinavian exhibition dedicated to the satirical, Disney-inspired artworks by American artist Jeff Gillette.
Tatjana Pieters Gallery from Ghent organizes Birde Vanheerswynghels exhibition titled The Cat with Nine Lives featuring new series of drawings by this great Belgian artist