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Showing posts from June, 2020

The Art World Works From Home: Dealer Sean Kelly Is Reading About Winston Churchill and Scrambling to Reschedule Canceled Shows

The art world may be on lockdown, but it certainly does not stop. During this unprecedented time, we're checking in with art-world professionals, collectors, and artists to get a glimpse into how they are working from home.The British-born dealer Sean Kelly founded his gallery in New York in 1991, and has since established a reputation as one of the city's leading dealers of contemporary art, often with a distinctly conceptual bent. The artists Marina Abramović, Joseph Kosuth, and James Casebere are among those who have been with the gallery since the day he launched.Read on to find out how Kelly is honing his gardening skills, cooking spaghetti bolognese for his family, and working to get artists who have been derailed by the ongoing shutdowns back on track.Where is your new "office"?We are currently at our Hudson Valley home, which is quite isolated at the best of times, but especially now. We are very lucky as it has outdoor space and spectacular wide vistas of th…

'Artivist' Nikkolas Smith Combines Art And Activism Into A Singular Superpower

Artist Nikkolas Smith found inspiration for this painting in Dai Sugano's photograph of a protester kneeling before police. Smith posts his digital paintings — many with social justice themes — to social media in the hope that his art will inspire change. Nikkolas Smith hide caption toggle caption Nikkolas Smith Nikkolas Smith calls himself an "artivist": an artist and an activist. For the past seven years, the Los Angeles-based concept artist has celebrated and mourned Black lives in his work. He says he's following the lead of the late singer Nina Simone, who advised it's the artist's duty to reflect the times."I'm always looking at what's going in the world and trying to reflect that," Smith says. "There are so many Black lives that have just been taken from this Earth. I've been trying to trying to process how that made me feel as a Black man."Smith's portrait of George Floyd, whose killing by a police officer sp…

The San Antonio Museum of Art is glad it kept mask requirements

Visitors in the galleries of the San Antonio Art Museum. Courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of ArtCoronarivus cases in the state of Texas are surging. The rapid rise in cases and waning hospital space have caused Gov. Greg Abbott to scale back the state's plans for reopening. The reopening plan overall has been put on pause and bars and river-rafting business have been told close again. Most business that were already open can continue operation. The San Antonio Museum of Art reopened its doors at the end of May and is continuing to receive visitors.Emily Sano, the co-interim director of the museum, said the staff created an internal task force back in March to help ensure a safe reopening of the museum for staff and visitors.Emily Sano, co-interim director of the San Antonio Museum of Art and senior advise r for Asian art. (Courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art) When the task force was deciding on its guidelines and rules for reopening, it debated its rule on masks."T…

First look: Kanye West’s new website turns shopping into art

Kanye West will soon unveil the newest iteration of Yeezy Supply, the website that features his collection of shoes, clothes, and accessories. When it debuts, you can expect a shopping experience unlike anything you've seen on the internet.You'll be able to pick an outfit, then put it on a 3D model who walks across the screen. And if you want to know more about that model, you can click to get a few background details, like her favorite food, or a significant life experience she has had. There are no words on the screen. The overall aesthetic is as if a video game were set in a medical supply store. In a good way.[Image: Yeezy Supply]"We were trying to make the internet a more humane place," explains Nick Knight, West's creative partner on designing the website, in an interview with Fast Company. "We've gotten used to the internet being a flat, two-dimensional place. But the internet is also this amazing tool that connects everybody in the world: What if…

A New App Aims to Help UK Art Dealers Struggling to Comply With the Country’s Confusing New Anti-Money-Laundering Rules

Art dealers in the UK were taken aback in January when they found out that new anti-money laundering regulations had taken effect and would transform the way the art market operates. Dealers participating in transactions of €10,000 (£8,500 or $11,000) and above must now register with the government, keep records of due diligence checks on their clients, and report any suspicious transactions—or face jail time.Since the new rules came into effect, dealers have been grappling to get their heads around the extra administrative work required to become compliant. Enter Susan Mumford, a creative entrepreneur who is building a tech solution for galleries to meet their new obligations without the hassle.While galleries will still have to appoint an in-house money-laundering reporting officer, Mumford's platform, ArtAML, will offer dealers a simple all-in-one service that will allow them to verify client identities, check for suspicious activity, and keep secure records, as required by the…

A New App Aims to Help UK Art Dealers Struggling to Comply the Country’s Confusing New Anti-Money Laundering Rules

Art dealers in the UK were taken aback in January when they found out that new anti-money laundering regulations had taken effect and would transform the way the art market operates. Dealers participating in transactions of €10,000 (£8,500 or $11,000) and above must now register with the government, keep records of due diligence checks on their clients, and report any suspicious transactions—or face jail time.Since the new rules came into effect, dealers have been grappling to get their heads around the extra administrative work required to become compliant. Enter Susan Mumford, a creative entrepreneur who is building a tech solution for galleries to meet their new obligations without the hassle.While galleries will still have to appoint an in-house money-laundering reporting officer, Mumford's platform, ArtAML, will offer dealers a simple all-in-one service that will allow them to verify client identities, check for suspicious activity, and keep secure records, as required by the…

For artist Panca, ‘art is my salvation’

Cross-border artist Paola Villaseñor is grateful for her comfortable Tijuana home where she has been sheltering during the coronavirus pandemic. But she has also been feeling a bit guilty about it because so many of the city's poor don't have anywhere to go.For the artist, those conflicting emotions collide into creativity."I'm trying to channel those things and make art," said Villaseñor, who goes by the name Panca. "Art is my salvation right now."Since the pandemic started, Villaseñor has created a claymation short on the importance of social distancing and hand washing in collaboration with filmmaker Giancarlo Ruiz. She is also getting ready to paint a mural in her home, live streaming pieces of processes. And to channel her frustration and anger, Villaseñor said, she is "diving into a political piece."The artist, who grew up in Chula Vista and has been living in Tijuana for 15 years, was planning on a busy year, starting with "I am th…

Art Institute lays off 8% of staff due to COVID-19 pandemic

© JoseM. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Mark Witteveen, left, owner of The Chicago Flyhouse, and Keith Walsh install a large Chicago flag mask on one of the lions at the Art Institute. Following on the heels of most of Chicago's major cultural institutions during the global pandemic, the Art Institute of Chicago this week laid off staff in what it called a necessary adjustment to a new reality and still uncertain future."The Art Institute of Chicago has informed staff of a reduction in force affecting 51 individuals, or just over 8% of our team," Executive Director of Public Affairs Kati Murphy said in a statement. "This difficult decision was made in response to a reduction in museum visitors and changes to our internal structure that reflect the evolving needs of our institution and our community moving forward." © Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Chicago Flyhouse owner Mark Witteveen, left, puts Chicago flag mask on a lion…

Open Letter Lambastes Racism and Homophobia at New Orleans Museum of Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art (Reading Tom/Flickr) Former staff members at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) accuse the institution of sustaining a "plantation-like culture" in a damning open letter released this week.The letter was penned by five former NOMA workers: Jennifer Williams; Dr. fari nzinga; Ifátùmínínú Bamgbàlà Arẹ̀sà (formerly known as Kelsi Brooks); Jonathan Serrette; and Jane Kate Wood. The authors say they are part of the 30 employees who have resigned from the museum in the past two years as a result of its "toxic work environment and institutional racism."The group outlined a number of detailed allegations accusing museum officials of blatant racism and homophobia. They list the use of slurs; discrimination against Black workers in wages and job promotions; and surveillance of targeted workers, among other complaints. The letter is signed by hundreds of supporters.The former workers say that when they reported these incidents to the museum&…

Keahi de Aboitiz and the Art of Getting Barreled a Million Different Ways

Put aside your bias for a moment. Forget that your 5'10", 28-liter thruster is the best and only tool to use in the ocean. Simply consider style. The art of making the difficult look pristinely easy. If you do that, then you could watch Keahi de Aboitiz and appreciate his effortless grace in heaving waves – on any type of equipment. Yes he's proven himself on traditional sticks. But the ease with which he moves using any tool is what's to be honored here. And that is more than evident in his new film, Tunnel Vision. As the title suggests, he gets plenty of that, while showing off that effortlessness of his. I caught up with the newly-inked Patagonia athlete as he released his latest work to the masses.Tell us about the film.It's the culmination of what I've been working on over the last couple years after leaving the kitesurfing tour to focus more on chasing the better swells around the world. Growing up as a surfer, I've always felt that kitesurfing is th…

Art Institute Lion statue vandalized; suspect in custody

A person was arrested Thursday after allegedly vandalizing one of the iconic lion statues at the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago.The lion at the north end of the main entrance at 111 S. Michigan Ave. could be seen late Thursday with the words "inside mania" spray-painted on its base.Chicago police said officers saw a female suspect tagging in that block at 10:41 p.m. and took her into custody. They recovered three cans of spray paint.On April 30th, two men stole a face mask off the same lion statue, which had been applied as a symbolic gesture ahead of a statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks in public.Read more on crime, and track the city's homicides.

Sisters use art as activism, give back to Black and Brown communities

A group of artists called 5ive Creatives set up an affordable virtual art show, with proceeds going to organizations that help Black and Brown people.GLENN DALE, Md. — After joining the MoeChella protest in D.C., two Maryland sisters, both creatives, decided to use their art as activism.With family ties to Minneapolis, George Floyd's death and the resulting protests hit home for them."It was very empowering," Kalyne Bruce said. "It had a big impact on us."Kalyne, a videographer, and her younger sister Olivia Bruce, an artist, were moved by the protests and felt compelled to act."One quote that came to mind, especially after leaving the protest was something that Nina Simone said is that 'the artist's duty is to reflect the times,' and I just knew then we have to do something," Olivia said.The sisters partnered with other artists to form the group 5ive Creatives and set up an affordable virtual art show. It features prints of artists' p…

Art galleries reopen on July 4: here’s what you need to know

After three months of lockdown, museums are allowed to reopen from July 4. Curators all over the country are welcoming the news. Some are even tearful. For months their treasured collections have lingered, unlooked at, in locked galleries. "It's like Sleeping Beauty," as Iwona Blazwick, the director of the Whitechapel Gallery in east London, playfully puts it.Yet every institution has its own particular complications to grapple with before they can be awakened. The grade I listed building that puts staff in the old servants' quarters in the attic must, without the space for adequate social distancing, pay particular attention to bubble systems. The institution that relies on often elderly volunteer staff has to pay particular attention to their wellbeing.If more doors are

Art activism: Stories behind murals, street paintings and portraits created in protest

As thousands of Americans lend their voices to protests, artists are letting their brushes speak of racial reckoning.They're coloring streets with the words Black Lives Matter. They're spray-painting walls with memorial images in rainbow hues. They're illustrating fists, flowers and faces and sharing them on Instagram. They're acting on an urge to create, spurred by the pain of George Floyd's death and the global pandemic.Although the term that many use for this kind of work, artivism, feels new, the idea that artists also serve as activists and leaders of cultural change has a deep-rooted history."Artists have always been at the lead of protest, resistance and hope in Black communities and other marginalized communities across the country," says Aaron Bryant, the curator of photography and visual culture at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.As a collective, artists illustrate and impact history. As individuals, they have their o…

Holm Auto Good News: Event marks decade of downtown art

What began in 2011 as an ambitious project to bring public art to downtown Salina and showcase some of the most gifted sculptors in the country has now been mostly embraced by the community after several initial years of skepticism, according to Mike Hoppock, chairman of SculptureTour Salina since its inception in 2011."People are more accepting of public art now," said Hoppock, who also is Salina's current mayor. "The sculptures have inspired people and helped educate the whole community on different types of art."During its 10 years, SculptureTour Salina has exhibited nearly 200 sculptures along Santa Fe Avenue and the Lee District of downtown Salina. Sculptures are mounted along the streets each spring, where they can be viewed for a year until they are switched out for an entirely new set of artwork."It's great to see downtown transform once a year, taking on a new look because of all the sculptures," Hoppock said. "I think people look fo…