I feel for people with seasonal affective disorder. I really do. And I can sympathize, too, because as soon as spring turns into summer, as the air gets muggy and heat gets oppressive and the big comforter is consigned to the closet for another year, I get reverse SAD. I really do. If you’re like me, this time of year is like waking from a shitty night’s sleep in a room that’s too hot to get comfortable to find that a cool change has finally come — it’s like you can function again, like the brisk wind has blown away a fug of depression and fatigue. And look, even if you don’t feel this way, there’s a lot to like about winter, and many of our greatest artists have done a wonderful job of capturing the mood of this time of year. … Read More
For her contribution to the Manchester International Festival, Tracey Emin has announced plans for a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois, who she describes as her “hero” in a recent Guardian op-ed. To get past the hurdle of Bourgeois no longer being alive, Emin will employ a close reading of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 2004 tome Do It, in which 165 venerated artists provided instructions on how to reproduce their work. Even though the results will fit the definition of collaboration narrowly — a far cry from the genuine two-woman jobs that Hauser & Wirth exhibited in 2011 — the idea of seeing both minds at work is intriguing, and, given the tone of Emin’s op-ed, pretty damn poignant. … Read More
Remember that life-size dollhouse that Canadian artist Heather Benning created that we fell in love with? Well, it was recently burned to the ground — by the artist. We feature a photo of the abandoned barn turned candy-colored dream home in flames after the jump. Historically, there are many reasons why artists have destroyed their own work. For some, it’s a way to keep a tight leash on their public image and bury the embarrassing early creations they’d like to forget about. Others incorporate the remains into new pieces, and several see the act of destruction as the work itself. Here’s a brief survey of artists who ruined their own creations and wreaked havoc on the art world. … Read More
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
Sure, everybody knows that Andy Warhol did the artwork to The Velvet Underground and Nico and Sticky Fingers, and that Annie Leibovitz did the cover shot for Born in the USA. But honestly, from what you read on the Internet sometimes, you’d think they’re the only two artists to have ever moonlighted in designing record covers. That’s of course not the case at all — plenty of other renowned artists have been responsible for cover artwork over the years. Indeed, we’ve addressed this topic before, but with Grizzly Bear’s Shields out this week — complete with a sleeve featuring a painting by figurative painter Richard Diebenkorn — we thought we’d have a look at some other great record sleeves you may not have known were designed by famous contemporary artists. Did we miss any? … Read More
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a new exhibit opening next week, and it’s all about Andy. Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years examines Warhol’s creative oeuvre alongside the work of dozens of high-profile artists that have taken influence directly from the Pop Art-maestro. From Jeff Koons to Ai Wei Wei to Cindy Sherman, see how the artist has affected generations of giants. Watch the influence build, compound, and transform: When Warhol turned the images of the everyday commodity of Coca Cola bottles into art, he was making a statement about US commercialism, making the banal iconic. When Ai inscribed a Neolithic vase with the logo, he made an entirely different statement about his own culture, linking the inflated value of historic artifacts and the old traditions they represent to that of a commercial product, making the iconic banal. And so on. From celebrity portraits to queer identity, get a preview of the exhibit in our slideshow. … Read More
You might be familiar with Anton Corbijn’s recent film work (Control, The American) or his music videos for bands like Nirvana, U2, and Depeche Mode, but it was photography — particularly portraiture — that first launched his career. In Inwards and Onwards, currently on view at Amsterdam’s Foam Gallery, the Dutch photographer returns to his roots, training an intense lens on a few of his favorite artists in an examination of the creative process.
“The images are basically from the past eight years,” Corbijn explained to The New York Times back in November. “After 2002, when I did my self-portraits, there was a whole period that I started in the early ’70s that I felt I had finished. I wasn’t sure what direction to go to, so I was just taking pictures. But after a few years, it dawned on me that I was just going back to basics — taking simple black-and-white photographs of people I wanted to meet.” From a candid portrait of Alexander McQueen hiding behind a turtleneck in his studio, to a photo of a naked Iggy Pop sprawled out in Central Park, to an older shot of his one-time housemate Kate Moss, see some of our favorite black and white images from the exhibition after the jump. … Read More
Art Basel, the most legendary, prestigious art fair in the world — which this year featured $1.8 billion in art — closed with a spectacular bang Sunday. Galleries boasted of epic sales, Gagosian selling $45 million worth of art within the first 45 minutes of the fair, and works by artists like Mark Rothko, Maurizio Cattelan, Anish Kapoor, and Bridget Riley fetching well over $2 million. Bloomberg declared that the art the market was officially back to, if not above, “peak of the boom” 2007-2008 levels and Forbes called the fair a feeding frenzy, reporting that billionaires and celebrities were sweeping up artworks at world-record prices. If the soaring sales at Basel serve as any sort of economic barometer, it’s clear that the disparity between the rich and the poor is graver than ever. The following list chronicles ten of the most mind-boggling sales at Basel this year. … Read More
Arguably the greatest living painter working today, Gerhard Richter is a master of every style and genre of the medium. Richter is a recognized contributor to pop art, minimalism, neo-expressionism, photo-realism, and abstraction who has made portraits, landscapes, and still-lives. A major retrospective of Richter’s large abstract paintings traveled to two cities in Germany last year, and now New York’s Marian Goodman Gallery hosts his latest experiments with abstraction. … Read More
Rosy-cheeked, nostalgic, kitschy, clichéd: our feelings on Norman Rockwell are manifold. Though Rockwell’s depictions of America evokes a certain warm feeling for yesteryear, they are more akin to propagandistic advertisements than high art. It’s worth noting, however, that Rockwell referred to himself as an illustrator, not an artist, a fact that dovetails with his use of photography in creating his iconic images. NPR has a fascinating look at the process behind the lens; peep side-by-side comparisons plus other photorealist picks after the… Read More