Sunday, September 18, 2016

MoMA digitizes archives!!

MoMA has digitized its archives with over 3500 shows! You can view work from exhibits from decades ago! Read this article from Hyperallergic:

Thursday, September 15, 2016


A Caiman Wearing a Crown of Butterflies Photographed by Mark Cowan


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Looking at Oscar Murillo's falling prices

     Below is a link to an article about Oscar Murillo's prices at market, complete with charts and stats. The artist burst onto the scene in 2013 when a piece sold for just over $400k at Phillips NY. The Colombian born/London based artist was just 27.

     He's since tried his hand at installation/performance based art with mixed results. The candy factory he made at David Zwirner in 2014 had lukewarm reviews and some harsh ones. He's also been in biennials and “The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World,” at the Museum of Modern Art in 2014. This was very cool - he had unstretched canvases of his work strewn about the floor for adults and kids to pick up, touch, wear, play in, whatever suited the participant within reason.
     As much as The Gallery Guy likes to see artists stretch and take a shot at different things, my opinion is that Murillo branched out too far, too soon. The candy factory was such a wild departure from his other work, many people didn't get it or wrote it off as a joke. Perhaps another few shows of his intriguing painting/mixed media canvases would have given him more leeway with collectors and reviewers? But hey, he wanted to do it and was obviously jazzed about it, and Zwirner gave it the green light, so why not?
     But this all raises another interesting question: when an artist that young within a year of that huge sale at Phillips is set or nearly set financially perhaps for life, does that give that artist the choice of ignoring critics, gallerists, collectors and the art market and doing whatever he/she wants? To take wild chances, experiment, try new media and styles regardless of the reception those works receives? Should the artist take the stance of, "I no longer have to worry about whether or not these sell, I'm OK financially. This new work is what excites me, moves me now" or be concerned about their collectors' investments, their "legacy," trajectory, and the effect that attitude could have negatively on their past work and sales? and their future gallery representation and sales? One could point to other art market stars like Damien Hirst who has done a wide range of work from animal cadavers to large dot paintings, yet continues to be quite successful.
     The general sentiment among artists is to do what you want, what moves you. To work with one eye on marketability and worrying if the work will sell is a fool's game unless you're doing Blue Dogs. However, few of us get to be that tiny percentage of being a living artist whose work is in demand for six figures early (or ever) in our career. I imagine being there brings great advantages as well as great pressures and a paradigm shift that could be overwhelming.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Detour Gallery opens in Red Bank, NJ

A 9,000 sq ft gallery doesn't open every day. Or very often for that matter. However, Kenny Schwartz, an art collector who made his bones in car dealerships and real estate, has gone all in on this venture. The large building has a large facade mural by the Wall Dogs aka Tait Roelofs from LA's Acme Murals and Patrick Kane McGregor from Brooklyn's Colossal Media. Director Tara Amelchenko has a big canvas (pun intended) to work with in this space, which is exciting and quite a challenge.

The work has a pop surreal/street bent to it, mostly (or all) from Schwartz's extensive collection. Some recognizable names, some not so much which seems to fit part of his plan to promote new artists. This gallery is quite an addition to the Red Bank arts scene. Photos below aren't great, but it's not so easy snapping photos at an opening reception as busy as this one!

Detour Gallery, 24 Clay St, Red Bank NJ

Faile, "1986 Challenger" 12x18 silkscreen on paper
James Andrew Brown, "Big Ones" 44x65 mixed media

Dain, "Ginta Biloka" 60x48", mixed media

Tait Roelofs, "The Tiny Green Wings of Desire Slowly Etch Away Your Ability To Soar" 56x83, oil

Heinrik Aarrestad Uldalen, "Untitled" 43x23 oil on panel

Michelle Doll, "Couple" 60x60, oil on canvas

Ron Haywood Jones - several untitled pieces

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Met: huge attendance, huge deficits

This article from Artnet talks about the Met's increase in attendance yet having a large deficit.
Maybe those cutbacks explain the horrible low lighting at the Met Breuer? Saw the Unfinished show and many of the works were lit so poorly, people had to lean way, way in to get a good look. Some of the Dutch works are dark to begin with. Thumbs down, Met Breuer, no excuse for dimming the lights.