Highlights November 24 – 30

December 1, 2014

The Hunt for Banksy

Isn’t street art supposed to be about something else? When did it become solely about money? Ironically, the movie that showed the phenomenon to a wider audience already created a large shift in the contemporary art market. The basic message pointing to art and activism, jolted the prices of artworks by the artist who (at least, initially) didn’t want all of it being about money. The more you think about it, you realize it is a mind bender: a subculture, condemned as a populist take on art, started occupying high places on art auctions and quickly being appropriated by those who had labeled it a lesser form of art. So, why is this important? We could spend hours discussing the aesthetical dimension of Banksy’s art, but, whatever our opinions and conclusions might be, one thing is certain – Banksy’s presence on the art market could help us understand the aspects of street art potential within the market of contemporary art… However, before this, we must ask ourselves: what are the attributes of this presence?

Read the full post “Banksy: A Relentless Market

Erotic Photography? Be Different!

There are different kinds of erotica. There are different kinds of photographs. Today, when everything is about huge breasts and even bigger behinds, what can really count as provocative? David LaChapelle taught us his plastic aesthetics polished to perfection, which appears to be a depiction of every porn-lovers dream. Ren Hang stripped China and played with bodies very graphically, without losing a bit of their pictorial quality. Nobuyoshi Araki propagates another type of aesthetics, rooted in taboo, and finally, we cannot overlook the immense impact of the one and only, great Helmut Newton, the godfather of nude photography, the man behind the kink. All of this taken into consideration makes one ask – what is a contemporary photographer to do in order to attract attention? Are his models better off being even more plastic, even more tied up or even more naked? Juergen Teller has an answer to that – a photographer only needs to be different. Not following trends means one is setting them, and his original approach to the art of the lenses tells a different story from all the mentioned ones.

Read the full post “Juergen Teller: Different Nudes

The Art Movement That Changed a Country

Few weeks before the grand opening of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the streets of Rio de Janeiro were covered in World Cup-related street art. Murals revealing conflicted feelings about the enormous amounts of money spent in a country struggling with massive poverty became an instant hit among the media and soon everyone was talking about the dissatisfaction Brazilian people felt concerning the biggest event in football. Perhaps one of the most noticeable ones was the mural painted on a school in Sao Paulo by the Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito, portraying a hungry and crying boy with nothing to eat but a foot ball. This is a great example of the power of art that is especially noticeable in the moments of political and social discontent. However, this is not the first time Brazil used art as a political and social message. Street art in this Latin American country has a long and complex history and even though street art today covers every conceivable surface and space within Brazil’s sprawling urban zones and it is decriminalized since 2007, it wasn’t always like that. This is the story of how a small art movement became a way of life for Brazilians.

Read the full post “When Graffiti Matter the Most: Brazil

Berlin Printmakers

Draw A Line is Berlin’s first destination when it comes to contemporary and urban art prints. The printmaker’s from Neukölln always work in close collaboration with the artists to produce the best possible outcome. Draw A Line specializes in producing high-end lithographs at a price that makes art accessible to all. Using only experienced and Berlin-based screen printers enables the publishers to offer the highest quality silkscreen prints. This not only convinces art collectors to buy their prints but also encourages artists to work together with Draw A Line. Artists that have worked with the online shop include Andrew Schoultz, Cleon Peterson, Mark Jenkins and Sainer. We obviously had to meet the people that started their urban art venture at a similar time as we did and conceptualized this fantastic project. Widewalls interviewed one of the three founders, Gunnar Triebel, to find out more about printmaking in Berlin, artists at their studio and editions they produced. The perfect occasion to lead the interview is Draw A Line’s one-year anniversary.

Read the full post “Words that Draw A Line

Underground Street Art

Why is an urban art intervention an important creative output? That is the crucial question here. It is more important than “just painting or building something beautiful.” It is a symbolic imprinting of meaning in the significant contemporary environment of societies. More and more, we are existing in the spaces of virtual reality, heedlessly going through life, neglecting the importance of sublime occurrences. This is where urban art achieves more for the spirit than we can imagine. This is how urban projects transform our existence. The inspiring world of urban art is articulated in the activities of Madrid Street Art Project, a partnership promoting the grandeur and excellence in urban and contemporary art. With a devotion to such practices as urban art workshops, public space interventions and other interesting initiatives, Madrid Street Art Project ameliorates the existence of the cultural space of Madrid. The Project aims to contribute to the public discourse on art, as well as encourage fellow citizens to enjoy urban art and support its creators in any way possible.

Read the full post “Madrid Street Art Project

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