Archive for the ‘Art and Design’ Category

Damien Hirst, Tate Modern, review

Richard Dorment reviews the Damien Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern.

For more than 20 years pretty much everything Damien Hirst he has made, done or said has received media attention. But attention is different from respect, and if you ask the man in the street he’ll tell you that Hirst became a billionaire by cynically exploiting our collective greed and stupidity.

For reasons that I don’t understand, he insists on presenting himself as a fraud who is somehow pulling the wool over the eyes of the public. And that’s a pity, because in Tate Modern’s full-scale retrospective he comes across as a serious – if wildly uneven – artist.

We emerge from this strange, flawed, but hugely ambitious show with a sense of Hirst as complex and troubled personality. As an artist his work is indeed difficult to take – not because it is dumb, but because no one in his right mind wants to think about the painful subjects it deals with.

Brought up a Catholic (though a non-believer), Hirst’s imagination is haunted by that Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Hell and Heaven. This is not always obvious when you encounter one work or group of works at a time, but it is made crystal clear in the work selected for this survey, which has been ruthlessly edited and shaped to emphasise the eschatological narrative that runs through his career.

Hirst starts from a premise: we are so inured to even the most graphic images of death that we no longer experience it as real. By preserving the carcasses of animals in formaldehyde and by then exhibiting them in glass vitrines in an art gallery, he found a remarkably effective way to bring us face to face with death’s emptiness, its finality, its silence. Not all of the animal and fish pieces work, but when they do they are mesmerising.

Take a few minutes to look closely at the goggle-eyed fish arranged in neat rows facing the same direction in ‘Isolated Elements Swimming in the Same Direction for the Purpose of Understanding’. To me it looks as though death caught each one by surprise. They look startled to find themselves in a state of eternal non-existence, having reached the final destination that still awaits you and me.

Unlike in Goya’s still lifes with fish and game, in Hirst’s vitrines the extinction of life elicits neither outrage nor pity. What there is, I think, is something akin to compassion. For me, by far the most touching of the animal pieces is ‘Away from the Flock’, a lamb captured by death in mid-frolic. With such an emotive image Hirst could easily have thrown us a crumb of comfort. Instead he makes it plain that death is not a state of eternal rest or endless sleep – it is eternal suspension in nothingness.

Hirst explores the theme of death from another angle in the assemblages in which he breeds flies and butterflies, allows them to gorge on blood, sugar and flowers, and then steps back to watch them die – either by flapping aimlessly around for their short life span or by flying into an insect-o-cutor. In these cruel, nihilistic pieces, he imagines a God who gives life gratuitously, only to take it mindlessly away.

Such works are much more ambiguous and far more resistant to simplistic interpretation than they at first appear. Hirst’s incredulity at the idea of a god who could allow pointless suffering is balanced by what I perceive as his longing to find some purpose, order or perhaps even redemption in our lives. For most of his career he has been dealing with how we live with this ambivalence, how we deal with the knowledge of our mortality.

The many pieces involving ashtrays full of cigarette butts in his show speak of state of endless waiting – for escape, for change, for death, or for consolation. Such works are thematically paired with medicine cabinets in which formalised arrangements of bottles, boxes and bags testify to the innumerable pains that afflict our bodies and minds and the lengths we go to keep death at bay.

The gallery-sized installation ‘Pharmacy’ adds another dimension to Hirst’s obsessive quest to wrest some meaning out of life. The white-on-white vitrines filled with drugs, the colourful apothecary jars sitting on a white counter in front of white chairs all feel ethereal, a glimpse of heaven, a secular church with a cross in green neon that symbolises hope. More than once as I walked through the show I thought of the work of Caspar David Friedrich.

From the modest scale of the earlier work the art becomes bigger, more colourful, and more excessive in every way. Giant rotating ‘Spin’ paintings and a multi-coloured plastic beach ball kept precariously in the air by a blower simply say in different forms what Hirst has been saying all along: life is fragile, a matter of chance, so you may as well have some fun while you can.

What’s missing from Hirst’s relentlessly nihilistic view of life so far is any sense that there might be some cause or explanation for our human condition. This is why I see ‘Mother and Child Divided’ as one of the pivotal works of Hirst’s career. In it, the carcasses of a calf and a cow are bisected laterally, and then placed in vitrines side by side. In my reading of the work, Hirst sees the origins of our identity as autonomous beings in the child’s inevitable separation from the body of the mother, the cataclysmic event in every life that leaves us in a permanent state longing to be made whole again.

As the show moves towards its close and Hirst’s stratospheric financial success becomes more and more apparent, the imagery becomes almost apocalyptic. I began to think of Hirst’s career as a sort of perverse pilgrim’s progress, a weirdly inverted morality tale.

‘For the Love of God’, a life-size cast in platinum of a human skull covered in more than 8000 diamonds, reminds us that, even when Hirst makes something beautiful, death, beauty, and evil are all constant presences. Here, and in canvases in which thousands of butterfly wings are collaged into designs resembling a stained-glass window and a Buddhist mandala, Hirst gives his works titles that make it impossible to miss their spiritual content. The show closes on a note of possible redemption, with a vitrine containing a dove with outstretched wings. The exact opposite of everything the skull stands for, this is the dove of peace, the Holy Spirit, love itself.

Remember as you walk through this show that what you see represents a mere fraction of what Hirst has done – major pieces like ‘The Golden Calf’, the ‘Twelve Apostles’, the paintings, and the bronzes are excluded. But even so Hirst has some sort of compulsion to repeat himself. When a piece works he either makes it again or makes it bigger and at Tate Modern I couldn’t see the point of including so many of the medicine cabinets, spot paintings and ashtrays.

In many ways this is a difficult show, but I left it with a sense of Hirst as an artist whose moral stature can no longer be questioned.


Picasso’s Works Found with His Electrician

Trigger Controversy and Legal Battle

Artist Pablo Picasso remains in news and as controversial as ever even after decades of his death.  The fresh controversy is about nearly 271 art pieces which are in possession of a retired electrician who had worked for the famous artist.  Pierre Le Guennec, who is 71 year old now, has claimed that those works were gifted to him by Picasso himself.  Picasso’s estate administrators are planning to fight a legal battle for this treasure trove worth nearly 60 million euros.

There is no controversy regarding authenticity of the art pieces which consist of lithographs, cubist paintings, notebooks and a water color painting by Picasso. Pierre Le Guennec had worked for Picasso for nearly three years, he had installed burglar alarms in different houses owned by the artist. It does seem intriguing as to why would Picasso generously give away so many works to the electrician.  Also will electrician be able to prove in court that they were indeed gifts?

It is indeed sad that true art has to go to the courts before reaching museums and auctions. Well, that’s capitalist world for you and me, everything comes here with a price tag and legalities. Pablo Picasso has to go under hammer at both the places.


The Definition of Art

As stated by Webster dictionary, “design means to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to its plan”. Also, according to some other means of information on the Internet, art is the creation of significant things. It is a skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation. Similarly, as Wikipedia says it, art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture, and paintings.

British Museum’s collection.

The British Museum’s collections are quite wide-ranging today in this world because they have been collected from many continents because they depict and document the human culture from the time it began to present day.  In 1753, the British Museum was established with a variety of collections from the scientists and a physician. The British museum is a non-departmental public body. This museum is majorly backed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The British Museum doesn’t change any entrance fee, however the museum charges on some short-term special art exhibitions.

Many contemporary scholars have studied the drawings of Rembrandt for many centuries at the British Museum. His art has been proved to be troublesome for all as they have been signed and dated by making available enough comparative material. There is not a single group of art drawings which depict the draughtsman as finely as done by Rembrandt.  His art drawings are therefore extremely rare as his work on paper exhibits a variety of experimental work.

The British museum does not contain any silverpoint drawings. This art collection presents the broad vision of Rembrandt’s style and culture which he belonged to. Rembrandt’s prime interest was in the human figure which was observed from life experiences. Thus, he makes a special contribution to the

Other interesting features and services which the British Museum provides are of the film and radio. You can plan to make films, documentaries, advertisements, do a research documentary or any other kind of coverage with the help of special sources from the British Museum. So you don’t need to worry about the helping staff which is available for guide at all times. Also, the museum provides the facility of providing with high quality videos, licensed too if you don’t have enough time to film it.

The British Museum is unique in a way that it has high graded public gallery with a matching set of modern conference holding facilities. This was designed by the Lord Foster for any kind of event. The visitors and guests really appreciate state-of-the-art facilities and services. The admin is available at all times for administration and planning for every kind of an event.

Pinching paintings

Forget the lavish exhibition openings and celebrity collectors (who needs Roman Abramovich?). In the art world, a robbery is now apparently the best form of PR. According to a report in the Art Newspaper, Norwegian auction houses believe that works by Edvard Munch have shot up in price as a direct result of the  theft of his paintings The Scream and Madonna from the Munch Museum in Oslo.
And the proof that crime pays? In May, Munch’s Girls on a Bridge, , sold for a hefty $30.8m at Sotheby’s, tripling the painter’s previous auction record.
Richard Elgheim of Grev Wedels Plass Auksjoner (GWPA) in Norway believes the theft helped drive up prices. “Price increases are especially strong since  and at least partly linked to the robbery,” he says.
He’s not the only one to spot the publicity potential. “[Munch’s] works got a lot of attention from the robbery at the Munch Museum in 2004. Attention always drives prices up,” says Knut Forsberg of Blomqvist auctions in Oslo.
These claims are, quite frankly, laughable. The Munch crime may well have hit the headlines worldwide (is there anything more glamorous than an art raid?) but the Norwegian expressionist was already a paid-up member of the art A-list.
A blue-chip painter who ticks all the right boxes (dramatic imagery, angst-ridden themes perfect for the gloomy 21st century, a museum staple) his stock has got increasingly hotter.
The robbery simply reflects art market dynamics and the desire for those unscrupulous types to get their hands on the best top-dollar art booty (you’re hardly going to target a 16th-century Welsh portraitist over Van Gogh, are you?). Individual works gain notoriety if they’re swiped off a museum wall, but established stellar artists don’t really need that exposure.
So, will Munch still be on the must-steal list in years to come? Early 20th-century artists are performing well at auction with £102.2m spent at the sale of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s in London last month.
And there are plenty of Norwegian oil and shipping magnates reaping the rewards of the current high price per barrel who are keen to bag their own Madonnas. Expect auction sales to reflect that supply and demand. It looks like Munch is set to remain an art market darling for some time – heist or no heist.

Students Art and Design

Art and Design is a strong area at Strode College. Students have access to qualified staff and specialist studios and workshops to support a wide range of 2D and 3D practical skills. To support the computerised elements of art and design there are several Applemac rooms with specialist software, interactive whiteboards and essential peripherals. Photography students will have the opportunity to work in traditional and digital mediums. Students can also get involved in running the College Radio Station (Freq FM). Students can borrow specialist equipment eg digital video cameras from the College LRC to complete specific projects. The highlight of the year is the End of Year Art, Design and Media show where students work is on public display. The quality of the work on display rivals that of specialist art colleges and many university level institutions.

Decline in art and design applications

I’m sure many of you will have seen the recent reports in the media about a decline across the HE sector in home/EU student applications for art and design places for 2012 entry. My perspective on UAL’s position in this new environment is below – I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
Across the art and design sector, applications for degree places fell by 16%. Across UAL in particular, we experienced a 17.4% decline in applications for degree places and a 29.2% decline in the applications for foundation degree places. Compared to  entry, applications were down 7% overall.
On these figures, we will have approximately seven applications per 2012 home/EU place and this is high by comparison with our sector. It is also worth noting that we have in previous years received a very significant number of additional applications after the 15 January deadline (5,000 in 2011) so, as long as we have courses listed as open with UCAS, applications will continue to come in between now and the summer.
On this basis, the overall reduction in applications should not be problematic and I remain confident that we will fill our 2012 home/EU places.
For comparative purposes, applications at University for the Creative Arts were down 29.7%, Goldsmiths were down 23% and Arts University College of Bournemouth were down 19.2%. Ravensbourne and Norwich University College of the Arts did relatively better, with applications down by 9.7% and 4.4% respectively.
Our Colleges are now analysing applications per course. This analysis will provide important data to enable us to focus continuing recruitment efforts on those courses for which applications have fallen significantly.
The reduction in applications will also provide a further incentive for us to focus on developing our internal processes to manage applications more effectively.
All staff briefings will be held across all Colleges and for central services next month so I will be able to give you more information then. In the meantime, please do share your thoughts on what this situation means for UAL and how we should respond.

2012 Artist Invitational

Art Professor Nick Potter, who helped organize the exhibition, said that “we were interested in bringing together a diverse group of artists who spend hours and hours working in a repetitive manner to create astoundingly interesting work.” Potter continues “a thread that combines the works of all these artists is the interweaving of concepts of time, repetition and obsessive art practices into the finished works.”
Photographer Kirkman Amyx is a digital media artist based in San Francisco. His recent work explores the use of photography as a data visualization tool which can allow for the seeing of patterns, structure, and meaning through image repetition. Through the use of image repetition, “Basic Cable” is a visualization that explores media over-saturation and the abundance of specialty programming. By capturing nearly 500,000 images, 7200 images per week and per channel, a unique visual representation is created of all 69 channels found on Comcast’s Basic Cable broadcasting.
Painter Richard Bruland has set himself the task of using only traditional methods and materials to produce paintings that – even in this modern world of sensory overload, can hold their own and draw people in. His work looks laborious and yet the forms he creates have an abstract quality. Born in Peru and now living in Los Angeles, Bruland is interested in making paintings that refer to landscape in a non-specific way. They are not about ‘that’ mountain or ‘this’ tree – instead they suggest the effects of nature and the real world.
Los Angeles situated ceramic artist Roger Lee explores the sensual relationship between the object and the body. He investigates forms that address the intimacy of form, scale, surface, gesture, and the human interaction. Through the repetition of folds and bulbous objects, Lee builds a relationship between the viewer and his or her body.
In creating her time-consuming paper scroll ‘paintings’, the Iranian born artist Hadieh Shafie marks the significance of process, repetition and time. In her KETAB: Scroll Series individual strips of paper have been marked with hand-written and printed Farsi (Persian language) text. Each strip is then tightly rolled to create a core, around which successive strips are added. During the repetitive process of adding paper strips to create individual rolls, text and symbols are sometimes revealed and often hidden within the concentric rings of the finished object. The time it takes to make each work can vary and the time spent in writing and rolling the strips of paper is an important part of the artistic process and a performative aspect of the making of this work.

Wins Slam Dunk Contest

Evans endeared himself to the fans with a mix of props and creativity, and they voted him the winner of one of the marquee events of the NBA’s All-Star Saturday festivities.
Evans, who got into the competition as a replacement for injured New York guard Iman Shumpert, earned 29 percent of the 3 million votes cast by fans. He beat out Houston’s Chase Budinger, Indiana’s Paul George and Minnesota’s Derrick Williams for the Jazz’s first-ever trophy in the contest.
In a departure from past dunk competitions, fans were given complete voting power and cast their ballots by text message after each of the four participants competed in three one-dunk rounds.
Evans dunked with a camera on his head, slammed two basketballs while jumping over a seated assistant and donned a Karl Malone jersey while dunking over mailman-dressed comedian Kevin Hart.
Budinger got just as many cheers from the Amway Center fans as Evans, and some in the celebrity-filled crowd sighed when the winner was announced.
Budinger got his loudest cheer when he donned a Cedric Ceballos jersey and imitated his 1992 blindfolded dunk, completing it with a reverse slam.
Kevin Love knows something about dunking. He does most of his dirty work inside for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he got to show off his outside touch on Saturday night.
Love beat out Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant to win the 3-Point Shootout.
The former UCLA star was consistent throughout, but had to survive a tiebreaker in the first round and sweat out the last few shots from Durant to pull out the 17-14 victory in the final.
Love is in the middle for a breakout year for Minnesota, averaging 25 points and 9.9 rebounds a game. But he also has connected on 49 of 141 3-point attempts for the Timberwolves.
Celebrities lined the court for the appetizer before Sunday’s NBA All-Star game, and the first event saw the continuation of the good vibes that New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin has brought to the Big Apple recently
With Knicks super fan Spike Lee looking on, Team New York had the touch from the outside and won the Shooting Stars event. Former Knicks star Allan Houston nailed his third attempt at a half-court shot to give his team consisting of current Knicks guard Landry Fields and Cappie Pondexter of the WNBA’s New York Liberty the victory.
San Antonio point guard Tony Parker then won the Skills Competition. Parker was the only one of six participants to break 30 seconds in the first round (29.2) and this time of 32.8 in the final run on the obstacle course was better than Boston’s Rajon Rondo (34.6) and New Jersey’s Deron Williams (41.4).
Love was tied for third after the opening round of the Shootout and beat Miami’s Mario Chalmers 5-4 in a tiebreaker. Defending champion James Jones led all shooters in the opening round with 22 and Durant was next with 20.
Orlando’s Ryan Anderson just missed eliminating both Love and Chalmers, totaling 17 after missing his final 2-point money ball.
Love and Durant both had 16 in Round 2 to advance to the finals, with Jones posting 12.
Houston, Fields and Pondexter completed the shooting course in 37.3 seconds in the final round. It was better than the 47.6 posted by the Team Texas trio of former Houston Rockets star and TNT analyst Kenny Smith, current Rocket Chandler Parsons and Sophia Young of the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Team Orlando and Atlanta posted the slowest times of Round 1 and were eliminated.
The speedy Parker put together an impressive display on the skills obstacle course, which involves participants moving through a dribbling circuit, successfully throwing chest passes through a hanging tire and driving for a layup.

Art Hybrid Collection

Art and design studio CTRLZAK have launched a collection of tableware where half of each piece resembles traditional Chinese porcelain and the other side features a European design.
Based on an earlier collection of one-off pieces, the new commercial range for Italian brand Seletti is intended to highlight the mixing of aesthetics between Western and Eastern production.
Unlike the earlier CermamiX range, the plates, bowls and cups in the new Hybrid collection are cast as single objects in bone china.
The two halves of each object are then decorated with different colours and motifs.
You can see more stories about ceramics here and more stories about tableware here.
Seletti presents the Hybrid collection designed by CTRLZAK studio.
A line of tableware reflecting on the historical production of Chinese and European porcelain and its’ centuries of cross-fertilisation between Western and Eastern aesthetics.
The pieces in the collection are graphically divided between east and west with a coloured line marking the boundary between the two styles and, paradoxically, strengthening at the same time the union.
The Hybrid collection looks at the present while reflecting on the irony of history proposing consequently an evocative contemporary interpretation.


Fine Art Department

Genève’s restructured Fine Arts Department’s philosophy lies at the confluence of the very ideas of pedagogy as experience, artistic research and interdisciplinary cooperation. Five main notions articulates its programmes: Art in its expanding field, New positions, Practicing theory, Experimental transmissions, Freedom & responsibility and Being artist.
The Bachelor programmes are organized around six options, ran by a collective of teachers composed of artists, curators and theoreticians. Each of them is named after a notion serving as a prism to go beyond the traditional divisions by mediums, themes, methodologies, or even the very notion of the traditional studio or “atelier”: Appropriation, art/action, Construction, Information/fiction, Interaction, Representation.
The Department develops new devices and platforms such as LiveInYourHead (curatorial institute), Hard Copy (artist’s books series by students), Fieldwork: Marfa (postgraduate research-based residency in Marfa, Texas) and numerous collaborations with institutions and individuals open up the school on the art community and on the world at large.
HEAD – Genève offers three specialisations in the Master of Arts HES-SO in Fine Arts:
CCC Research-Based Master Programme – Critical Curatorial Cybermedia
TRANS – Art Education
WORK.MASTER – Contemporary artistic practices
These programmes offer high calibre arts training based on a broad, cross-disciplinary approach to practical experience with research placed at the center of their educational programme. These three specializations—with strong identities and distinct methodologies—aim to encourage the emergence of creative figures on the widest sense who are independent and able to assert themselves in the fast-moving world of contemporary art. Their research, pivotal to their training, makes it possible to unite the different taught elements to enhance their personal project, in order to finally shape their own trajectory.
Head of the Fine Arts Department: Yann Chateigné
Assistant: Livia Gnos
CCC Research-Based Master Programme
CCC Programme promotes the affirmation of art research made up of sensuous and audacious thinking and rigorous execution.
The study fields (critical curatorial cybermedia studies) are integrated in a transdisciplinary and bilingual programme advised by a Faculty of international professors and researchers.

It founds its practices on political thought, postcolonial and gender theories, hybrid forms of distribution, and the art of networks and Internet culture and emphasizes research training through art. It considers art practice as situated and discursive knowledge production, organic to the distribution context.

The Programme welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity. It is open to all—with required diplomas—including candidates from the sciences, humanities, politics, economics, polytechnics, law, art and various interdisciplinary practices.

In 2011 CCC Programme inaugurates a practice-based pre-doctoral seminar in art CCC Pre-Doctorate/PhD Seminar in Fine Arts—critical cross-cultural cyber-based, which ensues from the ProPhD seminar (prospective PhD et post PhD) opened in 2006 in anticipation of the doctoral cycle.
Professor, coordinator: Catherine Quéloz
Assistant, coordinator: Laura von Niederhäusern
Professors: Pierre Hazan, Anne-Julie Raccoursier, Gene Ray
Assistants: Hannah Entwisle, Sophie Pagliai
Lecturers and/or researchers: Giairo Daghini, Sylvain Froidevaux, Yves Mettler, Nathalie Perrin, Gregory Sholette, Bettina Steinbruegge
Recent Professors visiting Faculty (2010–2011): Andy Bichlbaum (The Yes Men), Franco Berardi, Renée Green, Anna Grichting, Marina Grzinic, Silvia Kolbowski, Antonio Negri, Christian Marazzi, Nils Norman, Claire Pentecost, Fred Wilson
TRANS – Art Education
TRANS – is addressed to students and artists who wish to further their research and explore the fields of transmission on the basis of their own artistic practice. Through partnerships with cultural and educational institutions, the artists/students following programme undertake art and/or cultural heritage mediation projects and participate actively with different groups in community or institutional contexts. TRANS – can also open into art education training. Part of the teaching is carried out in conjunction with the University Teacher Training Institute (IUFE) of the University of Geneva. TRANS – forms a multi-disciplinary team comprising artists, historians and theorists of art, culture and mediation, journalists, heads of institutions and of cultural and social associations and cultural mediators invited to share their knowledge and their individual points of view and to initiate, guide and support the implementation of projects. The aim is to acquire the appropriate critical and reflexive tools for artistic practices linked to art education and teaching as well as in social and cultural fields in general.

Art And Design

Watch developing is an art that only handful of have mastered. The truth is that a timepiece must possess many interacting qualities that work collectively as properly as are attractive. This gets a little tricky but if you are a nicely respected maker like Gucci… it really is just the way you do things. Gucci’s artistry shines via in all of their luxurious items and when it arrives to their view line nothing much less than perfection is anticipated. Gucci watches has been generating substantial high quality timepieces given that 1921 when Guccio Gucci opened his initial outlet. The line has expanded from that little outlet to turn out to be the largest offering and most popular Italian view brand in the planet. Let us have a search at two of their most fascinating models 1 for the girls and 1 for the gentlemen:

Girls 1st one particular of my best picks for intriguing design and style from Gucci is the Signoria women’s assortment. I believe the most beautiful product is the Gucci Signoria women’s timepiece #YA116513. This design is innovative and stylish. It is produced for a lady who desires a bold search. The situation is crafted from robust stainless-metal and is introduced in a square housing. The dial is white Mom-of-Pearl and is accented with a stunning diamond set bezel. The movement is a Swiss Quartz which means sturdiness as properly as excellent accuracy but the actual showstopper is the bracelet style. The polished metal bracelet of the Signoria is one particular of the most interesting link designs on the industry making it actually stand out. This observe retails for just above $1 000.
completed with the Gucci “G”. The YA101309 is also a stainless-metal model but it functions a black dial with textured detailing. The black chronographic subdials are rimmed in white and the arms and indexes are also in white for simple readability. This is also a Swiss quartz product which keeps the pricing down and adds to its toughness. The men’s G-Chrono observe arrives off polished and sophisticated. This men’s timepiece is ideal for the up and coming businessman. It retails for $one 080.

Gucci is a brand name that has truly earned their status for exceptional design and style. They provide one thing for everyone from the most modest to the daring and daring. Examine out the complete line of Gucci’s globe famous styles on-line nowadays.

International Art and Design

Let’s think about your future as an artist. Look ahead five, maybe six, years: Your art work has already been exhibited in Australia and you are attracting attention at home as a talented artist, one whose work is international, contemporary and able to tell the story of your own life and that of your community, or maybe you imagine your career in Design: You have already had professional experience in design: you have seen your, designs put to work in the real world in Australia. (more…)

Mondrian, Nicholson in Parallel, The Courtauld, review

A new exhibition pairing the works of close contemporaries Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson fully justifies the British artist’s place alongside his more illustrious Dutch counterpart, says Mark Hudson .

Calm isn’t a quality you expect to knock you sideways. But when Ben Nicholson first visited Piet Mondrian’s Paris studio in 1934, he was so struck by the mood of serenity he had to repair to a café afterwards, to sit down and try to digest what he had seen: not just in the cool, geometric paintings, but the whole ambience of the place.

The Dutch abstractionist’s studio stood next to a dance studio, right above the tracks leading into Montparnasse railway station, so this sense of peace was clearly something he carried within himself. Nicholson, meanwhile, 20 years younger and searching for his own path in abstract art, could only look on in awe.

If Mondrian’s status as one of art’s key innovators is now unassailable, Nicholson, along with most of his British Modernist contemporaries, has tended to be seen as a brave, but secondary figure – an artist who flew in the face of British hostility to modern art, but lacked the killer instinct of the European greats. Now, however, with British art flying higher than ever before, there’s a desire to think the best of British art in a period when it has generally been considered to have been shamefully behind the rest of Europe.

This modest-sized, but fascinating exhibition presents Nicholson and Mondrian’s friendship as one of equals, almost a partnership. If the letters exhibited attest that it was far more than a matter of adoration on Nicholson’s part, it is the careful selection of works that really tells the story of their relationship: from that first meeting in Paris, to Mondrian’s flight to London in 1938, when he became Nicholson’s next-door neighbour in Hampstead, and his departure for New York in 1940.

Among a number of choice works, we see a Mondrian that probably hung in his studio at the time of Nicholson’s visit, a painting owned by Nicholson’s first wife, Winifred, the first Briton to buy his work, when he was still virtually unknown here, and a painting by Nicholson, a photograph of which hung prominently in Mondrian’s studio.

If the space is divided scrupulously, the impression on entering is that Mondrians practically jump off the walls, while Nicholson’s paintings retreat into them. Despite their aspiration towards transcendental calm, Mondrian’s works radiate tension and energy. Everything is pared back so that each element reinforces the others, even the relative thickness of the lines separating his white and primary-coloured rectangles having a critical impact on what we see and feel. As we move on, the numbers of rectangles per painting grows, while colour is consigned to the edges.

Nicholson, meanwhile, seems to move in Mondrian’s wake, his lines and shapes becoming harder and sharper after their first meeting. Not that he was a mere imitator. While Mondrian pushes everything to the surface of the painting, employing the simplest primary colours, Nicholson explores the spatial effects of subtler, secondary hues.

Where Mondrian’s compositions appear weightless, pulling outwards in every direction, as though sprung from within, Nicholson’s can seem to drag towards the base of the canvas.

Where Nicholson scores is in his superbly elegant “white reliefs”: layerings of cut and white-painted board – never more than three – in which shadows form a similar function to Mondrian’s lines. One, entitled simply 1935, is just two layers of board placed on a third larger piece, with a circle and a rectangle cut from the top layer. If it sounds as though almost nothing has been done, this is where Nicholson comes closest to Mondrian’s essential minimalist geometry. By the time of the last of these pieces, 1936, he has abandoned the Dutchman’s relentless parallel lines in favour of tapering, asymmetrical forms that look towards the work of his second wife, Barbara Hepworth.

When Nicholson and Hepworth moved to St Ives in 1940 to escape the Blitz, Mondrian declined to join them, heading instead for New York. He seems to have needed the challenge of a great city. His genius lay in his decisiveness, in his ability to cut to what is central and essential in form. He clearly realised that a Cornish fishing village wasn’t the best place to pursue his ambitions. Indeed, the very perfection of his geometric balance and harmony has about it a certain urban ruthlessness.

If Mondrian dominates this exhibition, you’re left wanting to see a lot more of Nicholson. There are a series of beautifully subtle paintings that look well worthy of further exploration. But they’re rather overwhelmed here, just as Nicholson was on that first meeting in Paris.

Modern sales review: when Moore means more

Modern sales review: when Moore means more
The £19.1m sale of a Henry Moore bronze nude has put him into the top five of 20th-century sculptors.

Henry Moore inched past Lucian Freud last week to become the second most expensive 20th century British artist after Francis Bacon, and toppled Damien Hirst from his position as Britain’s most expensive sculptor at auction when his eight-foot bronze, Reclining Figure: Festival (pictured) sold for £19.1 million. This exceeds Freud’s $33 million (£17.2 million) record and Hirst’s £9.6 million record.*

The price also places Moore in the top five of international 20th-century sculptors – above Picasso and trailing only Giacometti, Modigliani, Matisse and Brancusi. This will not surprise those who remember that, 30 years ago, Moore was the world’s most successful living artist at auction. In 1982, four years before his death, Sotheby’s in New York sold a 6ft reclining figure, made in 1945, for $1.2 million to US collector Wendell Cherry.

That sale marked the pinnacle of a career that was nurtured by the British Council, selecting him to represent Britain at the 1948 Venice Biennale and exhibiting his work regularly worldwide.

With the encouragement of his dealers, Moore was the first British artist to enter the world of big business, producing monumental bronzes in editions that fed the demand of civic planners and architects internationally for what had become cultural status symbols –symbols of a community’s embracing of the modern.

But the sheer ubiquity of his work had its drawbacks for critics such as Clement Greenberg, Norbert Lynton and Robert Rosenblum, who felt Moore lost his sharp modernist edge for the sake of mass public appeal.

Although a new record of $4.1 million was set in 1990, Moore’s market slumped during the recession that followed. Between 1991 and 1995, average prices fell by up to 73 per cent. It was during this period that the New York real estate developer, Sheldon Solow, acquired the Festival figure that he sold at Christie’s last week, paying $2 million for it in 1994.

Ten years ago, Moore’s market began a fitful recovery due to the belief that he was undervalued. But in the last four years, it has been positively bullish. Last November, Art Market Research calculated that average auction prices for the best Moore sculptures had increased by 183 per cent since 2007, with a record £4.3 million ($8.4 million) set in 2008.

This would not have taken into account another edition of the Festival bronze that was exhibited by the Lefevre Gallery at the Masterpiece fair in London last summer, priced at $15 million. There are five in the edition, two of which are in museums, and an artist’s proof. “People said we were we mad to price it at that level because nothing by Moore had made that much at auction,” says Lefevre director, Alexander Corcoran. “But we sold it soon after the fair for close to the asking price. It certainly doesn’t look too expensive now.”

The edition that sold last week for £19.1 million was bought by Alexander Lachmann, a dealer from Cologne who often buys for Russian collectors, notably the Alfa-Bank president, Petr Aven. Russian interest could well have been stimulated by the Henry Moore exhibition to be held in the Kremlin, the first by a modern artist, later this month.

Another stimulant could have been the entrance of a powerful new dealer in the Moore market. While it was not unexpected that Montreal’s Robert Landau or London’s Richard Green were among the buyers of the 18 works by Moore that were offered and sold last week, it was a surprise to see the Gagosian gallery buying Moore’s Seated Woman: Thin Neck, and bidding on an eight-foot reclining figure from 1963, which sold above estimate for £3.3 million. The gallery does not list Moore among the long list of successful artists whom it sells, nor does it discuss its future plans, but at least two informed sources have stated that Gagosian is planning a Moore exhibition. While the gallery is not known for creating markets, it does tend to stoke them.

London dealer Ivor Braka sees the new Moore record as part of what he calls ‘a cliché-driven market’, in which wealthy buyers are going for the most familiar works by established artists. Originally commissioned by the Arts Council to celebrate the Festival of Britain in 1951, the sculpture certainly stands out as one of Moore’s archetypal images.

It may also, as Robert Landau points out, be part of the much broader effect which the private sale of a Cezanne painting for $250 million has had.

“The whole game plan has changed,” he said last week. “It’s not just the Moore market, it’s the whole market.”

*Freud’s record is actually higher than Moore in dollars but, because of the exchange rate, the Moore is higher in pounds.

General Franco in a fridge art sparks controversy

A sculpture of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco set inside a fridge has divided opinion in Spain.

A sculpture of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco set inside a fridge has divided opinion in Spain.

The work is by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino – who sparked controversy at the fair in 2009 with a sculpture depicting British artist Damien Hirst shooting himself in the head – and is a star attraction at a major contemporary art fair which opened today in Madrid.

Merino depicts the general wearing a green uniform and dark sunglasses with his knees bent inside the fridge, which is decorated with a white and red design similar to the Coca-Cola logo.

Merino said his piece “Always Franco” is meant to be a comment on how the former dictator, who ruled from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975, continues to make headlines in Spain.

“It represents the idea that in Spain people are keeping the image of Franco alive. We don’t stop talking about him, debating about him. A fridge is where things are kept alive and fresh,” he said.

He cited the trial this month of top judge Baltasar Garzon for trying to prosecute Franco-era atrocities, and a controversy over the publication last year of a favourable biography of Franco by Spain’s Royal Historical Academy.

The sculpture – made of resin, silicon and human hair – was one of the most sought after by photographers, television crews and visitors to the five-day fair, which features works from 215 art galleries in 29 countries.

“There are people who really like it, others who can’t stand it. Spain is very divided on the topic of the dictatorship,” said Merino, who was born just months before Franco died at the age of 82.

Barcelona-based gallery ADN is asking £25,000 for the sculpture.

In 2010 the Israeli embassy in Madrid protested over his sculpture “Stairway to Heaven”. It depicts an Arab man on his knees praying, with a Catholic priest on the Arab’s back also knelt in prayer and a Rabbi in turn standing on the shoulders of the priest.

The Medicis: money, myth and mystery

They were a family of Florence bankers whose riches powered the Renaissance, yet their art ignores the material world. Why?

In the Sainsbury wing of the National Gallery in London, the founding masterpieces of modern art are arrayed in all their splendour. The modern idea of art – our belief that artworks deserve to be taken seriously not as mere decorations or religious icons but unique displays of imagination and intellect – began in Italy in the Renaissance. The city that was most self-conscious about this new idea of art in the 15th century was Florence, and here in the Sainsbury wing you can see some of the glories of that place and time: the Pollaiuolo brothers’ Saint Sebastian, Fra Filippo Lippi’s Annunciation, Sandro Botticelli’s Venus and Mars.

These artists had something important in common, beyond the fact that they all worked in 15th-century Florence. All of them had close ties with one family: the Medici. The Annunciation panel by Lippi actually comes from the Medici palace, and Antonio del Pollaiuolo painted decorations for this domestic temple of the arts. Botticelli was a Medici protege, who portrays himself among the men of this famous lineage in his Adoration of the Magi in the Uffizi.

The Medici are among the most renowned art patrons in history, and with good reason. But here’s a fascinating thing: they are also among the architects of the modern economy. They were the greatest bankers of their age, and the Medici bank pioneered crucial aspects of modern finance. They were “foreign exchange dealers” who enacted a “transfiguration of finance”, points out the financial historian Niall Ferguson. When we look at Botticelli’s Venus, we are looking at money.

An exhibition at the Strozzi palace in Florence this autumn (24 September, to be precise), called Money and Beauty, will explore this very contemporary aspect of the Medici. This timely show proposes, according to the press release, to “show how the modern banking system developed in parallel with the most important artistic flowering in the history of the western world”. It sounds riveting. But there is one aspect of the relationship between art and money in Medici Florence that is deeply enigmatic.

In the Sainsbury wing, you can easily see the fruits of Medici largesse. But what you cannot see, what in fact you rarely find in Florentine Renaissance art, is a brass-tacks portrayal of merchant life.

The Medici chose to have themselves portrayed not working at the bank, but in the robes of the Magi. They commissioned paintings not of the marketplace, but of mythology. There is a glaring contrast between the art of Renaissance Florence, with its passionate recreations of classical myth and history, and the raw realism of northern European portraits of businessmen. Hans Holbein’s portrait of a merchant surrounded by the instruments of his trade has no equivalent in the art associated with the Medici family. Why is that?

An answer may lie in the history of the family itself. The Medici bank was brought to the forefront of the European economy by Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, who died in 1429. His son Cosimo was the richest man in Europe. Yet Cosimo did not earn his honorary title “Father of his country” through financial brilliance. He was given it because he used the wealth of the family business to reshape Florentine politics. That obsession with politics grew until the most powerful and charismatic Medici of all, Lorenzo the Magnificent, let the bank decay while he concentrated on running the Florentine state.

It’s a strange irony that Renaissance Florence was built by capitalist innovation, but went out of its way to make money invisible in its art. Politics, not money, dominated this city’s culture. The ultimate beneficiary of Medici patronage was Michelangelo, who shared both the Medici instinct for making money and the Medici determination to ignore it. His Moses really has loftier things than money in mind.

The absence of financial imagery in Florentine Renaissance art may even explain why the city went into cultural decline after 1529. The later Medicis completed the change from merchants to aristocrats and even royals. As they made themselves Dukes of Tuscany and intermarried with European royal families, the art and architecture of Florence gradually lost its edge. The moral might be that if money makes art, snobbish disdain for money can kill it.

Visual College of Art and Design

Visual College of Art and Design teaches students the skills that are required in order to succeed in a career in Graphic Design, Interior Design, Web Design, Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion, Fashion Design or 3D Modelling Animation Art and Design.

Believing that individuals should pursue what they love and are passionate about, the Visual College of Art and Design want to help their students to prepare for a creative career that allows them to use their imagination and talents. The highly regarded college has been teaching artists and imaginative people to follow their creative passions in an environment that emphasizes creativity and individuality for 35 years.

The Visual College of Art and Design is proud to be associated with this educational heritage and eager to bring its studio-based legacy into the digital age at their campus in Vancouver.

The school’s reputation is based largely on the reputation of its programmes, which combines theoretical learning with hands-on training, in order to build the skills needed when launching a career within the field of arts and design.

To ensure that students develop into successful graduates and meet the requirements in their chosen field, the Visual College of Art and Design have opened a brand new Creative Lab on campus where students can train on the hardware and software that they’ll use on the job. The Creative Lab at Visual College of Art and Design contains the latest Apple Mac Pro computers, each with two quad-core Intel Xeon processors.  The machines also include 12 GB of memory, 3 GB ATI video cards and two 640GB hard drives for ample storage space. This means that students are learning on the fastest and most powerfully efficient Mac Pro ever.

In addition, students will learn to use the tools that they’ll work with in the field, including the Adobe Creative Suite. Using Adobe CS4 programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver, students will learn to create visually rich, engaging designs for almost every media.
Students will also learn the most recent version of MAYA and AUTOCad, depending on their programme of choice.

By the end of their studies, Visual College of Art and Design-students will have a professional portfolio that not only displays their creativity, but also shows employers that they have the skills and talent required.

Being aware of the fact that the cost of tuition often deters students from pursuing an education, the Visual College of Art and Design keep the tuition fees lower than other schools. This is accomplished through a large student base that allows the college to capitalize the expenses of running a school over a very large population. Tuition fees are also reduced by eliminating the unnecessary and redundant programming from the curriculum which allows students to focus on learning the skills that employers demand.  Therefore, the cost of secondary expenses at the Visual College of Art and Design is reduced without taking away from the quality of the education.

If you want to find out more about Visual College of Art and Design, you can make an information request below and the school will contact you with further information.


Land art by Richard Shilling

Richard said: “The process doesn’t involve a lot of planning I will see a shapely rock or a beautiful leaf and it will inspire me to make something with it. It’s the ephemeral nature of land art that really appeals to me. There is a point a sculpture reaches where it is at its most vibrant and it’s then that I take a photograph, often just before it completely falls apart. Every time I go out and make something I discover new and wonderful things about nature. That is why I love it.”

The Duchess of Cambridge has seen naked bits before

The Duchess of Cambridge came face to face with one of Lucian Freud’s most famous nudes as she attended her first solo public engagement.

Sue Tilley was invited to join the Duchess at a private view of a Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

She has posed naked for four Freud portraits including the famous Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995), which set a world record price for a living artist when it sold for over £17 million in 2008.

But Miss Tilley, 54, who goes by the nickname of ‘Big Sue’, laughed off the idea that she might feel awkward about the Duchess surveying her naked form.

“I’m not embarrassed about her seeing me naked – I’m a human being,” she said before the event.

“I may not be the most gorgeous one under the sun but that’s what I am.

“It’s art, you know. Poor woman, I’m sure she’s seen things before.”

The London job centre worker was introduced to Freud in 1990 by a mutual friend, Leigh Bowery, and first posed for the artist in 1991.

They became fast friends and Miss Tilley sat for four portraits in total. Asked why Freud enjoyed painting her, she once said: “I think he probably picked me because he got value for money – he got a lot of flesh.”

Benefits Supervisor Sleeping was bought by Roman Abramovitch, the Russian tycoon and Chelsea FC owner, for a record £17.2 million.

Freud died last summer, aged 88, and Miss Tilley described him as “a marvel, really, a complete one-off”. She said: “Do you know, there wasn’t one bad moment sitting for Lucian, excepting the painting when I was lying on the floor – that wasn’t overly comfortable.

“But it was such an interesting experience. He’s a person you’ll never meet again. Really, he did what he wanted and that was that. I think that’s a trait to be admired. I wish more of us were crazy enough to do that.”

The exhibition includes an unfinished painting, Portrait of the Hound. Freud was part-way through it when he died.

The Duchess of Cambridge became a patron of the National Portrait Gallery last month and her attendance at the Freud event marked her first solo public engagement. The Duke of Cambridge is currently on a tour of duty in the Falkland Islands.

Sarah Howgate, the exhibition curator, said: “The Duchess studied art history so I’m sure she will find the exhibition absolutely fascinating.

“I’m sure she is already familiar with Lucian’s work but she won’t have seen this body of work before. I think she will thoroughly enjoy it.”

New exhibition reveals Picasso’s

New exhibition reveals Picasso’s love affair with English style
The artist Pablo Picasso transformed himself from a Bohemian artist into a quintessential gentleman after developing a love for English fashion and style, a new exhibition will reveal.

With his notorious fiery temperament and colourful private life, Pablo Picasso embodied all the qualities of a hot-blooded Spaniard.

But a major new exhibition on the artist will reveal how Picasso developed a taste for all things English during his first trip to Britain.

Picasso spent 10 weeks in London during the summer of 1919, designing scenery and costumes for The Three-Cornered Hat, a new Ballet Russes production directed by the Ballet’s impresario Sergei Diaghilev which premiered in London that year.

His base was a studio in Covent Garden belonging to the Ballet’s principal set designers, the Russian émigré Vladimir Polunin and his English wife, Elizabeth.

Pictures of Picasso in the exhibition at Tate Britain reveal how during his stay in London, his style transformed from that of a bohemian artist to a dapper English gentleman.

In one photograph, Picasso, then 37, is seated with Diaghilev and Polunin, dressed in the quintessentially English outfit of a three-piece suit, watch chain and brogues, his hair neatly greased into a side parting.

Another picture shows the artist with his wife Olga Khokhlova, a dancer with the Ballet Russes, in Leicester Square. Picasso is again dressed in a three-piece suit, accessorised with a bowler style hat, pipe and cane.

Chris Stephens, the curator of modern British art and head of displays at Tate Britain, said: “Picasso developed a fascination with “Englishness” during his visit in 1919. He asked his friend, the art critic and curator Clive Bell to take him on shopping trips to Savile Row and the East End, where he would buy suits, watch chains and bowler hats, which began his lifelong love affair with British style.”

Though Picasso visited Britain only twice, in 1919 and again in 1950 to attend a peace conference in Sheffield, he continued to expand his collection of bowler hats and British-made clothes. Picasso’s father, Jose Ruiz Blaso, an artist and art teacher, was also said to be such an Anglophile that he was nicknamed “El Ingles”. His taste for English furniture and clothes is believed to have influenced Picasso, who in 1915 painted Man in a Bowler Hat Seated in an Armchair.

The exhibition will also include a rare, previously unseen portrait by Picasso of Polunin. The drawing, a gift from Picasso to his colleague dedicated with the words “Pour V. Polunin, Picasso, London 1919,” has been in the Polunin family’s possession ever since.

Mr Stephens added: “Unseen works by Picasso are very unusual so it is exciting to be able to include such a work showing a direct link with his time in London.

“The exhibition will show how Picasso evolved from an artist championed by a courageous minority in Britain, to become the figurehead of modern art both here and around the world.”

Picasso and Modern British Art which opens next month will examine Picasso’s evolving reputation here and his impact on British artists.

His paintings will be hung alongside works by artists he inspired, including Francis Bacon, whose Three Studies for Figures at the Base of the Crucifixion, 1944, will be compared with Picasso’s works based on figures on the beach at Dinard in Brittany, which are said to have first inspired Bacon to take up painting seriously.

Works by Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney will also be on display. The latter is said to have visited Picasso’s major Tate retrospective in 1960 eight times and a selection of Hockney’s homages to Picasso will be shown.

The exhibition will feature more than 150 works from major public and private collections around the wold, including 60 by Picasso.

Highlights will include Head of a Man with Moustache, 1912, a key cubist work, Man with a Clarinet, 1911-12, and The Three Dancers, 1925.

The show will also explore Picasso’s emergence in Britain as both a controversial figure and a celebrity who drew members of the Royal Family to his shows.

During his early career, several leading cultural figures were contemptuous of his work, which many critics considered too modern and abstract.

The author G.K. Chesterton described his 1911 painting Mandolin and Glass of Pernod, as “a piece of paper on which Mr Picasso has had the misfortune to upset the ink and tried to dry it with is boots”.

In 1945, following the opening of a show of Picasso’s works at the V&A museum in London, Evelyn Waugh wrote: “Senr Picasso’s painting cannot be intelligently discussed in the terms used of the civilised masters … He can only be treated as crooners are treated by their devotees.”

By 1960, however, Picasso had won round most of his detractors, and his 1960 retrospective show at the Tate attracted more than 460,000 visitors, breaking all previous records.

One critic described the exhibition as “the most vigorous, entertaining, interesting merry-go-round of art that London has ever seen,” and in a letter to Picasso, the artist and biographer Roland Penrose, the show’s curator, wrote: “the Picasso explosion … is overwhelming. There are queues the entire day until eight o’clock in the evening when the gallery closes. You have conquered London – people are enchanted and dazzled by your presence on the walls.”

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret also visited the sow, with the Queen describing Picasso’s work as “delightful”.

Following a private tour, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother declared Picasso “the greatest of our time”.

Yayoi Kusama, Tate Modern,

Japan’s most famous artist is an 83-year-old woman who has spent most of the last forty years as a voluntary resident in a psychiatric hospital. If that fact feels rather surprising of a male-dominated society where conformism rules, then Kusama has spent her entire life as a very odd woman out.

Subject to disturbing hallucinations from childhood, she studied traditional Japanese painting, before turning to the Western avant-garde and moving to New York, where she interacted with a whole range of phenomena from psychedelia to Minimalism. Her work there ranged from furniture composed of masses of phallic protrusions to an open letter to Richard Nixon inviting him to have sex with her in return for curtailing the Vietnam War.

Returning to Japan to 1973, she had herself committed to a mental hospital, from where she became a household name, her signature polka dot patterns covering everything from department stores to buses. If that brief description gives the sense of a mildly psychopathic narcissist with a taste for tabloid-baiting sensationalism, that is very far from the impression created by this first major British retrospective. The first works we see are rather beautiful, surreal watercolours from the 1950s, which occasionally echo Klee and Miró, but are far from entirely derivative. Kusama’s childhood, spent drawing flowers in her parents’ seed nurseries, gave her a taste for teeming proliferation which found expression in her large white ’infinity paintings’.

Endlessly repeated semicircular brushstrokes are covered in veils of thinner paint, creating a weblike effect which extends Pollock’s idea of the “all over” composition, with the sense that we are seeing just a fragment of a potentially endless work.

Art Style Salary Range

imageGraphic Style is one more superb avenue to take if you’re thinking of finding a degree in the arts, as this is a burgeoning field. There are countless career possibilities in the graphic arts, although, and the median salary varies very a bit from 1 job to the next. The median art Style salary is $72,000 for an art director, $98,000 for a creative director, $45,000 for a designer, $62,000 for a senior designer, $60,000 for a freelance designer, and $55,000 for a internet designer. An entry-level designer will only earn about $35,000, but there is fantastic room for advancement. As with any job, it is very important to do as a lot investigation as you can to find the appropriate career. (more…)

Migrations, Tate Britain, review

imageFrom the New English Art Club in the 1890s to the Young British Artists a century later – and with the Newlyn, Camden Town, Vorticist, Bloomsbury, Kitchen Sink, Euston Road, St Ives and school of London painters in between – let’s face it: even those of us who love British art have to admit that most of it is pretty second rate.

Since the 18th century, this country has produced only a handful of world-class portrait and landscape painters, and two animal painters of genius. Apart from that – and a unique tradition of Romantic and visionary art passed down from William Blake to the Pre-Raphaelites – our gift to the world has largely consisted of warmed-over reactions to French, Italian and American ideas, inflected with a British accent. Migrations at Tate Britain adds a further twist of the knife by showing that whatever vitality British painting has ever had depended on the presence here of foreign-born artists. (more…)

Marrakech Art Fair: eyes on North Africa There were big names and bargains to be found at Morocco’s promising young art fair. Colin Gleadell reports.

imageThere was a key moment at the opening of the Marrakech Art Fair last Friday when Vanessa Devereux, Richard Branson’s sister and the founder of the Marrakech Biennale, embraced Hicham Daoudi, the energetic young brains behind the art fair, and spoke about how the two might help each other.

While the Biennale is not about selling art and the fair is, both seek to develop Marrakech as a cultural hotspot.

Devereux discovered and fell in love with Marrakech when her brother was making his round-the-world ballooning attempts. She bought and restored a tumbledown riyadh in the old Medina district that now doubles as a base and a hotel and, in 2005, concerned about the level of anti-Islamic feeling in the West, instigated an international arts festival in Marrakech which has now become a regular, biennial event attracting an array of celebrated artists, writers and film makers as participants.

The next Biennale, for which a number of site specific works have been commissioned to be set in the beautiful ruins of the 16th century el Badi Palace, will be in January 2012. And while the events of the Biennale have the support of the King and the local authorities, this does not come in the shape of cash sponsorship. (more…)

John Atkinson Grimshaw, Guildhall and Richard Green Galleries, review

imageJohn Atkinson Grimshaw upset fellow artists by working from photographs, but he’s stirring for all that, says Richard Dorment.

The difference between good art and bad isn’t always as clear-cut as we’d like to think. Consider the case of the Victorian view painter John Atkinson Grimshaw, born in Leeds in 1836. (more…)

On Genius

imageReading the New York Times Book Review, one frequently comes across assertions like:

But looking at her writing from this perspective misses the most interesting part: her sentences. No one writing in English today produces anything quite like them. Take, for example, the following passage, early in the novel, in which the principal narrator, an authorial stand-in named Mimi, looks east from the track around the Central Park (or, properly speaking, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) Reservoir. (more…)

imageThe story I write always begins with having the experience first.

After living in Madrid for a year, I grew obsessed thinking that every new experience would then become a short story or novel.

Ten years later, I found myself still toiling on the the same scenes from the past.

Now I’ve given up The Novel of Life. One, because it was toil.

And two, because my experiences in Madrid are too far removed from where I am now. I pored over the Spain material until I could no longer see the important connections. (more…)

The imaginary audience

imageLet me describe what I see in front of me:
the Sunday edition of the NYTimes, Tricycle (a Buddhist magazine), a book of poetry by Emily Dickinson, The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang, The Energy of Delusion by Viktor Shklovsky;

and underneath the coffee table, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.

I am reading all of these books at the same (or sections of them)–in addition to the newspaper and magazine. (more…)

Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)

imageThe Savannah College of Art and Design is the most comprehensive art and design university in the world, offering more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design university.

SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor’s and master’s degrees in distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. (more…)

Art market: record total for a Latin American sale

imageSotheby’s achieved a record total for a Latin American art sale last week, in which Colombian Fernando Botero saw a record $1.2 million (£727,000) paid for a bronze sculpture of a man on a horse.

The Greek art market appears to have taken a bashing as the country continues to wrestle with economic tragedy. A Greek art sale at Sotheby’s this month saw less than half the lots sell, making just £2.4 million when between £4.6 million and £7 million had been expected. (more…)

Market news: record for peacock and butterfly painting

Bonhams proves there is still solid demand for traditional British sporting art.
Twenty-four watercolours in one sale by the 19th- century Scottish bird and game artist Archibald Thorburn was always going to be a big ask for the market. But Bonhams last week proved there is still solid demand for this type of traditional sporting art by selling 18 of them for £764,000, when a minimum £450,000 had been expected for the lot. The icing on the cake was a glorious painting of a peacock in full display in front of a tiny peacock butterfly, which sold for a record £252,000 to a private American collector, more than double the estimate and six times the price it last fetched at auction, in 1993. (more…)

Material Worlds at Sudeley Castle: A hymn to ancient and modern


Sotheby’s already held outdoor sculpture exhibitions for high-profile international artists at the Isleworth golf club in Florida, and at Chatsworth House. For Sudeley, however, it decided to change direction slightly and focus on the work of designers who make sculptural works, bridging the old, some would say outdated, distinctions between functional design and the fine arts. (more…)

Small is beautiful: stunning macro photographs of ice and snow

image Cold weather might be miserably inconvenient for most of us but there’s no denying that it can also be breath-takingly beautiful. The picture desk have been inundated with glorious photographs of snowy landscapes and frozen cities sent in by readers, but this gallery has reminded me just how fascinating snow is itself.

These images were taken by Brian Valentine, a retired microbiologist who lives in Worthing. Brian is a very accomplished macro photographer and takes most of his pictures in his garden. For this first image, for example, he simply angled the shot with a flower behind the sheet of ice to provide a colourful background and accentuate the textures in the ice. (more…)

Damien Hirst might have forgotten that he couldn’t paint

iamgeDamien Hirst has actually painted some pictures. They are on show at the Wallace Collection. The critics are not impressed. “Although they have impact as a a group,” says our own Sarah Crompton, “individually many of the paintings simply don’t pass muster. Details are tentatively painted; compositions fall apart under scrutiny.”

Adrian Searle, whom I always seem to meet at bus-stops, says: “At its worst, Hirst’s drawing just looks amateurish and adolescent.” The agreeable Rachel Campbell-Johnston says: “Think Francis Bacon meets Adrian Mole.” And Tom Lubbock says of the paintings: “They’re extremely boring. Hirst, as a painter, is at about the level of a not-very-promising, first-year art student.” (more…)

The thin-skinned scaredy

imageThe Turner Prize should accept criticism The entrants for this year’s Turner Prize aren’t too bad. Like the picture above, many of the artworks actually involve a bit of painting skill.

It makes it even more stupid of the administrators to try to gag the press, by getting photographers to sign a form saying they would give the show positive coverage. (more…)

Sad to say,

but this Turner should be allowed to go abroad


This marvellous picture, sold by Lord Rosebery for £30m earlier this year to the Getty Museum, is the one that Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has just slapped an export ban on.

You can see his point – it is a highly skilled picture of an A1 view by Turner at his best. But, all the same, it’s hard to justify keeping it here.

For several centuries – from about 1650 to 1900 – Britain, the richest country in the world, Hoovered up the lion’s share of the great European paintings on the market, not to mention some pretty good 5th century BC sculptures from the Parthenon.

That seems completely fair to me; fair too to hold on to them, given that those works, including the Elgin Marbles, were bought honestly. (more…)

Sugamo Shinkin Bank Shimura Branch

The Sugamo Shinkin Bank Shimura Branch isn’t the only design I’m drooling over by emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design. In fact, if you head on over to their website, you could spend days drooling.


From unexpected patterns to bold shapes and rainbow colors, emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design certainly knows how to stop the show. I think I’d feel very happy giving my money to a bank that looks like this…

Sugamo Shinkin Bank is a credit union that strives to provide first-rate hospitality to its customers in accordance with its motto: “we take pleasure in serving happy customers.” (more…)

Fun graphic mugs

imageAwhile back I jumped on a deal that Groupon was offering for pay $25 for $50 of credit toward any customized items at Zazzle. And it seemed imperative that I spend this on mugs. Because I like mugs. So I dusted off some designs I’d made ages ago and uploaded them to the site. I was concerned that the big white border Zazzle leaves around the print area might look goofy if I chose a rectangular design, so I kept these flower and city shapes on a white background. The cups arrived last week. Happiness!
I couldn’t decide on a color for the city scene, so I did two: girly pink and allover orange

Party decorating idea

imageBack in January, Hostess with the Mostess posted this photo from Anders Ruff. The hanging polyhedrons caught my eye, so I added this idea to my DIY decoration toolbox. The balls are just paper plates stapled together, made from this tutorial at Family Fun. Nifty! You could use colored plates or spray paint white plates orange. (Or some other color, if you must.) A nice idea for parties or shop windows.