New York has been the center of the art world since Paris stopped being the headquarters of cool in the early 1900s. With all this innovation comes a healthy (OK, sometimes not-so-healthy) dose of the weird — some good, some bad, and more than one involving sexual organs with their own creative juices. Only in New York would hundreds or thousands come out to witness such normal life events as making lunch or giving birth — in the name of art. Below, we round up ten of the strangest art happenings in the city’s (exceedingly strange) history. … Read More
Some artists aren’t moved by the beauty around them, their patrons’ sponsorship, or some deep need for catharsis. Some artists operate on a different wavelength, channeling the injustices, imbalances, and harsh realities of their daily lives or the lives of those in need to create their art. That’s not to say these artists are entirely motivated by altruism. Suppose they get self-satisfaction from sticking it to the man, from pointing to the bad guys with a big giant neon sign, from being badasses themselves. Nonetheless, kudos. In the wake of the freshly concluded presidential debates, here are a few recent art projects made with a political message in mind. From the Yes Men to Ai Weiwei to the Guerrilla Girls — these artists employ more tools than one can pick up at the neighborhood art store. Check out their culture-jamming, intervention-throwing, order-disrupting, and trouble-making ways, and see if it inspires you to stand for something. … Read More
Halloween is right around the corner, party people! When it comes to costumes, are you one of those perfectionists who will settle for nothing short of a handmade masterpiece? If yes, this one’s for you. If you’re still searching for some Halloween “masterpiece” costume inspiration, why not just dress like an actual masterpiece? After the jump, you’ll find a smorgasbord of art costumes from the realms of surrealism, post-impressionism, symbolism, pop art, and more. Check ‘em out, and hit the comments to add your artsy and/or spooky tips for those who might actually try to execute these suckers. … Read More
“For the past three years I’ve been an intern at Eli Klein Fine Art,” says one of the characters on Bravo’s Gallery Girls by way of introduction. This should give you a good idea of what the reality series, which premieres Monday at 10 pm, entails: a handful of pretty young women trying to make their way in the New York art world despite multiple indications that it may not be the best path for them. Pitting the blonde Upper East Siders with fabulously wealthy parents and apparently permanent internships against Brooklyn brunettes on the verge of opening their own gallery/boutique (also with the help of family money), its relationship to art is roughly the same as The Hills’ was to journalism.
In other words, if you like to watch rich girls pick fights with each other and call their dads while soaking in a bubble bath (really), Gallery Girls is for you. But its lack of actual art world relevance got us thinking about what kinds of art-related reality shows we’d rather see — along with Bravo’s fun competition series, Work of Art, of course. It occurred to us that there is no shortage of fascinating, entertaining, and controversial personalities in contemporary art, so we hope you’ll excuse us for mixing the highbrow with the low in this list of famous artists who would make great reality stars. … Read More
Back in May, we featured You Are Not Banksy, a series of photographs that recreate Banksy’s most memorable street art pieces with real people. Less than two months later, photographer Nick Stern is back with the second installment, another excellent set of Banksy re-enactments that celebrate the artist’s Diamond Jubilee stencil, Pulp Fiction riff, Abu Ghraib commentary, and more. There’s even a shot that captures Banksy’s homage to Keith Haring — a tribute to a tribute. Click through to see the newest installments in the series, then visit Stern’s website to see the images side by side with their inspirations and buy prints. … Read More
Guy Fawkes, los Luchadores, Sleep No More — there are oh-so-many masks in today’s popular culture, and so many questions. What’s with this desire to plop on another’s image and transform into something different, new and strange? Why hide your identity behind an oval-shaped obstruction and gawk at the world from behind its eye-holes? What kind of wrestling tights does one wear with a sparkly aquamarine Lucha libre mask? Just kidding. Let’s swerve the conversation into the field of visual art and investigate. From masks’ roots in ancient ritual performance to their use in contemporary art and related ruckus, peek under a few here and see if they’re still relevant. … Read More
Banksy has provided us with some of the most recognizable images of the 21st century, his bold street art mixing political and social commentary with dark humor. Part of what makes his work so effective is its particular brand of absurdist realism, inserting into city streets characters that whose presence seems both believable and transformative. So it’s fascinating to see British-born, Los Angeles-based photographer Nick Stern bring some of Banksy’s most powerful images even further into the real world, recreating Flower Thrower, Kissing Coppers, and more as photographs. See the series, which we discovered via My Modern Met, after the jump, and visit Stern’s website if you’re interested in buying prints. … Read More
If you salivate at the sight of bacon, would you be OK with watching a squirming pig being tattooed? If the thought of eating animal flesh sickens you, do you hate the very idea of using live animals in art, or can you justify it if the art is good? Do you feel more sympathy for a horse, a dog, or a goldfish? Some calls are easier to make than others, but there’s a bit of an ethical grey area when it comes to live animals in art. Check out our brief survey of works and the creatures that made them possible, and find your own gradient of sensitivity. Where do you stand? … Read More
The Simpsons have been on air since 1989. Just think about that for a second. Over 500 episodes chock-full of pop culture references, current event bits, film allusions, and art history homages, so very many art history homages. Ay caramba!
Alright. Let’s approach this the only way one can — with conspicuous subjectivity. From Bosch’s hell to Warhol’s wrath to Dalí’s delights, behold: Our ten favorite art history moments from The Simpsons, selected for their authenticity, context, visual loyalty, and utter ridiculousness. Feel free to argue. Really, do. … Read More