10 Armory Show Artworks We’d Like to Take Home

Celebrating 100 years since the original Armory Show brought avant-garde art to American audiences, the 2013 edition of the modern and contemporary art fair opens to the public today. “The fair looks fantastic this year,” Armory Show executive director Noah Horowitz told Flavorwire at the preview. “I think it’s a real improvement over last year, which was already a significant improvement on the previous year. There’s a lot of energy. There’s been huge support from the American collectors, as well as international collectors. The uniform feeling is that the fair looks different and feels stronger and much more sophisticated.”

We got a first look at artworks by some 1000 artists at more than 200 gallery booths on the expansive Piers 92 and 94, and played the roles of consultant and collector, selecting ten pieces — both big and small, expensive and affordable — that we would like to take home. … Read More

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10 Contemporary Outsider Artists Everyone Should Know

When one thinks of outsider art, the work of Henry Darger, Martin Ramirez, and Bill Traylor immediately comes to mind. Celebrated masters of medium, they are, however, all long dead. With the Outsider Art Fair returning to New York for its 30th year, we decided to comb the fair for self-taught artists who are still kicking. From former pot washers, cotton pickers, and gravediggers to protégés and political activists, the growing number of active outsider artists continues to keep this fragile art form vital… Read More

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From Warhol to Miró: The Top-Selling Artists of 2012

Andy Warhol is still a superstar; Pablo Picasso remains a household name; and Jean-Michel Basquiat will forever be a creative rebel without a cause. Artnet.com, the online art site whose price database includes the auction results from more than 1,400 auction houses worldwide, just released a list of the world’s top-selling artists of 2012, with both surprising and anticipated statistics.

We analyzed the list to discover that Warhol was making amazing 3-D paintings back in 1962; Francis Bacon’s twisted portraits of his suicidal lover are his most coveted works; and rock legend Eric Clapton is a major art collector who’s reaping big returns on his past purchases. We also learned that 1981 — when he was still just 20 years old — was bad-boy Basquiat’s best year and that works from a handful of obscure Chinese painters are now selling for millions. Click through to see images of the year’s top-tiered works and read about who sold what and for how much. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Top 10 Picks from Art Basel Miami Beach

There’s no other art fair in the world that gets as much buzz as Art Basel Miami Beach. From star-studded parties and delightful dinners to major concerts on the beach, pop-up promotions for the best fashion and alcohol brands, and spontaneous art performances, ABMB is always at the top of the heap. There’s so much happening that people sometimes forget what it’s actually all about — the art! With an eye toward the new and whimsical, we combed the endless aisles of the massive fair to find the latest… Read More

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15 of Our Favorite Pictures from Paris Photo

If you want to know what’s new in photography, there’s no better place to go than Paris Photo, which runs at the Grand Palais through November 18th. The current edition of the prestigious photography fair features more than 150 international exhibitors and 1000 amazing artists. Adding a new element to the fair this year — “Paris Photo vu par…” (Paris Photo seen through the eyes of…) — David Lynch is picking photos from select booths to be included in an upcoming book, Paris Photo vu par David Lynch, published by Steidl. Not wanting to wait, we browsed through hundreds of images on the Paris Photo website and assembled 15 of our favorite photographs shot over the past five years — ranging from Michael Wolf’s misty shot of a woman on a Tokyo subway and Valérie Belin’s multiple exposures of brides combined with New York City shop facades to Katharina Bosse’s interior images of colorful bordellos and Edward Burtynsky’s dynamic aerial views of dryland farming in Spain — to represent the best new photography at the famous fair. … Read More

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Harry Benson’s Intimate Photos of Cultural Icons

A Scottish-born photographer, Harry Benson’s big break came when he started traveling with The Beatles in 1964. His photo of the band having an impromptu pillow fight at a Paris hotel quickly became part of rock ‘n’ roll history, but his six decades of imagery have captured more than just the music world. A steadfast photojournalist, Benson has shot portraits of every American president from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama. Photographing for Life magazine from 1970 to 2000 and producing more than 100 cover shots for People, the talented lensman has enjoyed unlimited access to celebrities while also spending time in the trenches to report on protests and conflicts around the world.

The subject of an extended exhibition at Staley-Wise Gallery in New York, Benson presents his quirky images of Jacqueline Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, R. Crumb, Andy Warhol, and Muhammad Ali, as well as a few recent portraits, including a dynamic 2007 shot of a vivacious Amy Winehouse. Click through to view a selection of our favorite photos from the show. … Read More

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Lise Sarfati’s Fascinating Photos of Women on the Edge

Lise Sarfati sees the world through a cinematic lens. Her saturated photographs of modern women look like Hollywood film stills from the golden era. “I choose people for their energy and aura,” the French photographer told the Guardian in a video interview earlier this year. Whether she’s capturing disillusioned young women in the streets of Los Angeles for her latest On Hollywood series, that was recently on view at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, or documenting four related women in everyday settings in Oakland, San Francisco, LA, and Phoenix for her series She, which Twin Palms Publishers released as an expansive monograph this past summer, Sarfati constructs visual narratives of the psychological sort.

Young women that were lured to Hollywood by dreams of success now look forlorn, while a family of two youthful sisters, their mother, and her sister strike melancholic poses in mundane surroundings that become ripe with new meaning. Utilizing obsolete Kodachrome 64, the kind of film used for Technicolor movies, the self-taught, Magnum photographer creates a powerful sense of mystery with just a single frame. Click through to see some of our favorite photos from On Hollywood and She. … Read More

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Beyond the Banana: 10 Other Great Album Covers Designed by Warhol

Andy Warhol was at the height of his Pop Art fame when created the cover art for The Velvet Underground & Nico’s debut album in 1967. The first edition of the iconic cover had a yellow banana-skin sticker that peeled off to suggestively reveal a reddish banana. While his skill for crafting clever covers would be sought-after right up to his death in 1987, few people realize that he had been actively engaged in making record cover art since 1949. Employing the illustrative line technique of his early drawings to make covers for such jazz greats as Thelonius Monk and Count Basie and the splashy silkscreen style of his late portrait paintings on covers for Paul Anka, John Lennon, and The Rolling Stones, Warhol created some 60 amazing record covers over 40 years. Click though to view a selection our 10 favorites below. … Read More

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Australian Photographer’s Amazing Pictures of People Underwater

Narelle Autio has spent most of her life by the sea. The award-winning Australian photographer grew up in a beach community and keeps returning to water as a source of subject matter for her powerful pictures. Autio captures candid shots of passing bodies, playful engagements between floating figures, and potential shark bait from an otherworldly point of view. Bubbles from diving dudes come together to construct abstract forms; penetrating light from the skies above reveal mystical realms; and the eerie depths of dark waters exploit a factor of fear. Her most recent show dealt with water holes, but looking back at her whole body of work lets us know how deep she will go to get a moving image. Click through a selection of our favorite photos from five of the artist’s amazing underwater projects. … Read More

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Altered Postcards from the Belle Époque Featuring French Nudes and Comical Monsters

Turning penny postcards of erotic nudes into surrealist fantasies, artist and poet George Hugnet painted a magical series of strange creatures caressing sensual, young women more than 60 years ago that continues to astonish us today. The lecherous beasts that make up The Love Life of the Spumifiers wrap themselves around passive lovers like sci-fi film characters about to suck the life out of unsuspecting souls. In actuality, the spumifers are more gentle and cartoon-like than menacing.

Hugnet — who collaborated with Picasso, Duchamp, Miró, Gertrude Stein and other icons of the era throughout his career — painted some 40 of these trippy images in 1947-48 and added poetic descriptions of each bizarre being’s lovemaking skills in the 1960s. Hidden from view for decades, New York’s Ubu Gallery recently showed the wildly wacky works and simultaneously published a brochure of the titillating texts. Ludicrously titled — with such species names as The Frosted Quaggle, The Pond Archgoolie, and The Lecherous Yackle — these crazy critters seem set to inspire a new generation of artists, writers, and animators — both on paper and on the silver screen. Click through the humorous images below to view a selection of our favorite beasts. … Read More

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