Friday, December 30, 2005

How long will NYC continue to be the center of the art world?

How big does New York loom on America's creative landscape? A new report takes some measures: "No other place in the U.S. even comes close to matching the city’s creative assets. In fact, 8.3 percent of all creative sector workers in the U.S. are based in New York. The city is home to over a third of all the country’s actors and roughly 27 percent of the nation’s fashion designers,12 percent of film editors,10 percent of set designers, 9 percent of graphic designers, 8 percent of architects and 7 percent of fine artists." Center for an Urban Future 12/05

To Americans, NYC is the the holy grail of the art world. I admit that Londoners and Parisians may contest that belief. But my point is not to argue over USA vs European art influences. My question is this - With the advent of the information age, will the major metropolis be able to maintain its control over the art market? Even now with tens of thousands of galleries across the United States, NYC is still the goal of contemporary artists. Even I relocated to Santa Fe for the purpose of "cracking" the second largest art market in the country. NYC often just seems out of reach. But is that elitism exactly what will keep the city on its pedestal?- DN

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I have found the next art movement!

Stan Murmur applies paint to canvas using his buttocks as a stamp.

Read the section titled - "My Story"

I literally laughed my butt off. - DN

Click here:

Monday, December 26, 2005

Novelty or Art to Last?

Seth Weiner's The Terranaut Project is a vehicle piloted by a goldfish. It is one of the winners of The Art Newspaper's first Bartlebooth Prize. Click here to read about the Bartlebooth Prize, see the other winners and nominate works for next year's prize.

I'd be the first in line to see "The Terranaut Project", if it came to town; but I still question its place in greater art history. This is by no means a question of its artistic significance. The originality and skill of the "project" are unquestionable. But is this "novelty" the direction of the next movement - or just a really fun way to win a prize? - DN

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Top 40 List of Art Figures

Top 100 Art Figures
The ArtReview magazine has released its list of what it considers to be the top 100 people in art. They include gallerists, artists, curators, and art collectors from all parts of the world.Gallery owner Larry Gagosian is number one, with a stable of famous artists and galleries placed in all the important places. He has five galleries located in London, New York and Beverly Hills. The artists he represents include giants like Andy Warhol, Georg Baselitz, Jasper Johns, and Cy Twombly.

Top40 in the Art World..The full list of 100 can found at the Guardian-arts..(position last year is in brackets)

1 (4) Larry Gagosian, dealer
2 (14) Glenn D Lowry, director, MoMA New York
3 (3) Sir Nicholas Serota, director, Tate
4 (24) Maurizio Cattelan, artist
5 (15) Samuel Keller, director, Art Basel
6 (10) Dakis Joannou, collector
7 (-) William Ruprecht, CEO, Sotheby's
8 (1) Ronald Lauder, chairman, MoMA
9 (-) Robert Storr, US curator and academic
10 (7) Takashi Murakami, artist
11 (17) Iwan Wirth, dealer
12 (5) Gerhard Richter, artist
13 (2) François Pinault, owner, Christie's
14 (-) Rem Koolhaas, architect
15 (28) Marian Goodman, dealer
16 (-) Steve Wynn, collector
17 (6) Charles Saatchi, collector
18 (48) Jeff Koons, artist
19 (9) Leonard Lauder, collector, philanthropist
20 (21) Zaha Hadid, architect
21 (-) Marc Glimcher, gallerist
22 (19) Eli Broad, collector and philanthropist
23 (-) Richard Serra, artist
24 (26) Adam D Weinberg, director, the Whitney
25 (-) Peter Brant, publishing magnate, collector
26 (77) Nicholas Logsdail, owner, Lisson Gallery
27 (-) König family, gallerists, publishers
28 (-) David Teiger, collector
29 (-) Olafur Eliasson, artist
30 (-) Daniel Buchholz, gallerist
31 (8) Maja Oeri, presides over Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation
32 (-) Amanda Sharp & Matthew Slotover, magazine publishers
33 (-) Jasper Johns, artist
34 (32) David Zwirner, gallerist
35 (43) Mick Flick, collector
36 (18) Barbara Gladstone, gallerist
37 (-) John Currin, artist
38 (27) Sadie Coles, gallerist
39 (-) Gary Garrels, director of painting and sculpture, MoMA
40 (-) Don & Mera Rubell, collectors

Quiz time. How many do you recognize? How accurate is it? - DN

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

When Critics Earn Their Money.

The Importance of the Critical Eye In today's world of instant information and do-it-yourself media, the world of the critic, based as it is on an assumption of expertise and some vague notion of "the eye," seems increasingly old-fashioned. But Jerry Saltz writes that the trend towards art criticism that is all ideas and no expertise is a dangerous one. "Having an eye in criticism is as important as having an ear in music. It means discerning the original from the derivative, the inspired from the smart, the remarkable from the common, and not looking at art in narrow, academic, or "objective" ways. It means engaging uncertainty and contingency, suspending disbelief, and trying to create a place for doubt, unpredictability, curiosity, and openness." Village Voice (NY) 12/16/05

As a painter trying to outgrow my training 'to master the technical skills of rendering realism'. I was struck especially hard by the following comment -

"All great contemporary artists, schooled or not, are essentially self-taught and are de-skilling like crazy. I don't look for skill in art; I look for originality, surprise, obsession, energy, experimentation, something visionary, and a willingness to embarrass oneself in public. Skill has nothing to do with technical proficiency; it has to do with being flexible and creative. I'm interested in people who rethink skill, who redefine or reimagine it: an engineer, say, who builds rockets from rocks."

De-skilling... now there's a term for a contemporary art-making process. - DN

Monday, December 19, 2005

A good time to sell art?

The Golden Age Of Art Collecting? "That rarefied practice of collecting high art — from canonized old masters to contemporary works by both international art stars and marketable young upstarts — is experiencing a surge it hasn't seen since the explosive moment in the late 1980s when the market ballooned to a thinly stretched bubble, before bursting, finally, along with the stock market, in the 1990s. According to Artprice, a Paris-based information service that lists auction prices from more than 300,000 artists, prices for contemporary art alone had risen 40 per cent this year, pushing past even the heyday of the '80s explosion... Contemporary art, traditionally a tough sell, has also caught the fever... Put simply, the art world is in a full-blown boom." Toronto Star 12/17/05

Anyone else feeling the surge? - DN

Friday, December 16, 2005

A New Kind of 21st Century Art Center

A New Kind Of 21st Century Art Center? Peter Noever, the "globe-trotting head of Vienna's MAK Center" has a plan for a new art center in an old WWII antiaircraft tower in Vienna. "The idea is to build a collection of the 21st century. And to do it on site, and step by step. It will be very slow — 15 to 20 years. You invite one artist, and then see what he has done, and then see what you do next. It is the very opposite of the kind of collection that's offered on the market, which changes as parts are bought and sold." Los Angeles Times 12/16/05

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Truer vision without critics and professionals?

An exceptional interview with the author, Philip Roth -

Philip Roth: Let's Shut Down The Literary World
"I would be wonderful with a 100-year moratorium on literature talk, if you shut down all literature departments, close the book reviews, ban the critics. The readers should be alone with the books, and if anyone dared to say anything about them, they would be shot or imprisoned right on the spot. Yes, shot. A 100-year moratorium on insufferable literary talk. You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalise, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there's no bridge between the two." The Guardian (UK) 12/15/05

I found this interesting because it could easily be more than just a literary phenomenon. If you take away the critics' push to promote the most outrageous work and the art departments' influence over "good" and "bad" art; then you're left with artists finding their own way, naturally seeking one another out. Reminds me of the "Abstract Expressionists" - de Kooning, Pollock, Krasner, Kline - DN

Monday, December 12, 2005

Are Blogs Replacing the News?

One of the earliest on-line art-only news sources is gone. How much of this had to do with blogs (word-of-mouth) replacing news outlets (non-print) in the art world?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Morris Graves

I will exhibit at the Morris Graves Museum of Art
on September 15th - October 28th, 2007

The following is an article about Morris Graves.

Creating a Market, within a Market.

In the highly-competitive contemporary art market, artists (and often gallery owners) have to take it upon themselves to prove their worth.

Click on the following link to read about Artists Crashing an Art Fair.

The article says everything. - DN

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Realism worth the viewer's time.

My last post included a tirade on the lack of merit in most realism painting I encountered in Montana. Now I am originally from Missouri, so I realize that low-quality art is everywhere.

To make it clear, I am not anti-realism. I just feel it should be held in high regard for what it says rather than the the 6-12 months the artist spent glazing the surface.

Click here, Tim Joyner, if you want to see the type of low-quality art I encountered on a regular basis in Montana.

Click the link for artist, Tim Eitel to see the TYPE of high-quality I envision in REALISM.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

When is a gallery visit of value?

Here is the mother of all questions.... What makes something art?

Click on the link to read a well-done critical analysis of the "place" for performance art in galleries - When is a Gallery Visit of Value?

"... That's why people still go to art galleries. And that's why people still want to own art: so they can look at it again and again, and always find something new. It's the same reason some people go to church. To experience something so magnetic, and so mysterious, that it's almost sacred. Few works on video, no matter how smart, and no matter how fancy the setting we watch them in, have that pull." - By Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2005

Now keep in mind, he did not say all videos are "one-timers", just the majority. So is he right? Is the internet the best venue for performance art? Should the galleries remain relegated to art that can be bought and sold? How does that influence innovation? Does it stifle creativity?

Or does it force the artist to return to the "idea" and process of making art. Humans are a "quick-study". This is proven by the overwhelming number of children dominating the internet. It is easier in this time, than any other, for an artist to master styles and techniques to the point of boredom.

Michelangelo said - what I create here destroys all those who come after me. He knew that masterful technique had been accomplished. That from then on, it was a matter of looking within the artist for new ways to interpret and create. Think about it this wasy - is there only one master plumber in the word or millions? Technique is mechanical. Thinking, now that's fresh.

Once the technique is mastered is when the "intellectual" aspect of art must take over (especially if it has been missing until now) for the work to continue.

I was raised in the school of realism, but have evolved into an abstract painter. I mastered traditional works, such as the portrait, years ago. It was after the mastering of technique that I turned inward to find the source of my art. Without this constant flow of questions, I would never have artwork to create the answers. Are there new questions in traditional realism? Of course, but it is still a matter of the intellect.

The works I condemn are the realist paintings and sculptures that are quiet. The ones that have no answers, because they ignore the questions associated with the most general "WHY?". I spent the past two years in northern Montana, where Charlie Russell and all his copycats are king. I eventually broke through the barriers to get a footing in the market there. But it was not without some effort. I went to the mountains to see them through my eyes. Not to recreate them through the eyes of an artificial cowboy. I didn't care about glorifying the terrain or cattle. I only wanted to use paint to interpret how average people instinctually utilize philosophy, religion and literature to deal with a beautiful environment that constantly tried to kill them with weather, emptiness and wild hardship.

I really have quite the appreciation for performance/video works. But I am basically an action painter, and the slow tedious preparation put into video artworks is in direct conflict with my creative process. Its the same reason I keep my sculpture works to a minimum. I produce over 200 paintings/year, because I have a lot to say. More than I feel I can get across in six-months of prep to make a video project. - DN

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Charles Jencks

Omega posted about the following artist/architect/designer - Charles Jencks

Click on his website:

Very interesting work, along similiar lines.

Intellect IS the Movement

In the last post, Omega commented...

"The 'intellectual' wins the prize. Simon Starling won the Turner Prize because, it is said, he thinks deeply and does research. The beginnings of a new art movement?"

In this time of the "information age" with the world-wide-web available in the majority of homes and college becoming a fore-gone-conclusion for many children- Can the "intellectual" be the lone survivor of the art world? Hasn't it always been that way? Isn't this just another time in the ever-developing history of art to recognize the "intellectual quotient"?

Over the course of time and experience, I have run across numerous individuals that are masters of technical skill in the "traditional mediums" of visual art. Unfortunately, many have been unable to master the thought-process behind the creation aspect of "new" ideas. They are simply content to rehash and recycle "safe"methods of art-making- without purpose.

I have spent the last ten years developing a unique style of work based around concepts of philosophy, literature and religion and how they interact with the basic needs of individuals. Not needs such as water and air, but necesseties to stay humans from the brink of madness. Voltaire said, "If there was no God, then man would have to invent him". My own work is an exploration, how do humans cope with the most basic concept of mental survival within the land in which they live.

My paintings, "Einstein: Man is Here for the Sake of Other Men" and "Sangre de Cristo: Wandering Gentiles of the Southwest" are examples of this mental survival. The Einstein painting displays humans living in the midst wilderness, yet huddling together to form a society. The Wandering Gentiles painting narrates the struggle of thousands of "crypto-Jews" trying to find their way in the "new" wilderness desert of New Mexico. There have been Jews in New Mexico for 400 years and a number of them have been hiding their identity for nearly as long. Both of these paintings visually recreate the image of human mental survival. People doing anything they can to cope. Ironically, though people often attempt to "go it" alone, they are always in the company of others attempting a similiar course.

In an earlier post, I mentioned the "intellectual humor" of Jon Stewart and his place as a performance art. Maybe the new art movement is a combination of intellect and irony. It is only natural for me as a painter, to want that movement to be more tangible in the traditional venues of visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture). But the strongest movements transcend all mediums and are embraced across not only the field of fine arts, put the spectrum of society.

If this is the answer: intellect and irony as the catalyst of a new art movement, what is the next step? A name?

Theorists. Sagest. Rationalists. - DN

Monday, December 05, 2005

Performance Art overcomes Painting

Hugo Boss Finalists The Guggenheim Foundation announces six finalists for this year's Hugo Boss Prize. "This year's finalists are an international sampling of today's trendiest artists. The group is heavily tipped toward performance art; none of the finalists are painters." The New York Times 12/02/05

None of the finalists are painters.....

Does performance art have its place. Certainly. But how far does it go, can it honesty unseat painting permanently or is it a trend. What pushes art. Money. Like it or lump it. You can not buy/sell/auction performance art as easily as paintings.

Should trend dictate major art prizes? Does the "Hugo Boss Prize" really count as a "major" prize? If not, then why does the Guggenheim Foundation run the program? Who is more at fault the Guggenheim for following trends rather than aesthetics or "Hugo Boss" for buying their way into the museum world.

Who is more at fault the Guggenheim Foundation for not selecting painters or the painters for not binding their ideals to establish a cohesive concept to unseat performance art? - DN

Friday, December 02, 2005

How much room and for how long?

"By Chicago, For Chicago Chicago is a fabulous museum town, but some residents believe that the city's world-renowned museums frequently ignore the art that's right under their nose. Enter the Chicago Art Foundation, founded a year ago with the mission of building a new museum to showcase Chicago-based art. Such endeavors take huge amounts of time and money, of course, but the foundation has made impressive progress in a relatively short period of time.

When Ed Paschke died on Thanksgiving Day last year, television news crews called the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, asking to photograph or shoot video of his work. But even though the Art Institute and MCA owned paintings by Paschke -- perhaps the best-known Chicago artist of the past quarter-century -- none were on display." Chicago Sun-Times 12/01/05

Now for me to be glum - How long until the Chicago Art Foundation Museum has more work than they can juggle? What then? Don't get me wrong, this is a tremendous idea that is a long time coming for every city in the world. But how many other contemporary museums started out with similiar missions and are now "full"? If I decide to set-up a Chicago studio, in a few years, will there be any room left for a "new" Chicago artist? - DN

Thursday, December 01, 2005

More Whitney Biennial news

Whitney Biennial Goes Dark "The 2006 Biennial will have a title for the first time, 'Day for night', which the curators believe sums up a dark mood in contemporary culture. They say that many of the works that will be included in the show reflect a sense of foreboding, dread or anxiety which emerged as a recognisable theme from the hundreds of artist studios they visited." The Art Newspaper 11/30/05

Is this "dark mood" similiar to Picasso's Blue or Red periods? An actual recognition of movement after the fact? Or simply a curatorial stunt? - DN