Saturday, December 28, 2013

Copyright Office reverses its position on droit de suite in the US

The organisation recommends that Congress enact a resale royalty for visual artists

US Copyright Office says "the art world is becoming less an exclusive club and more a general market"
In a report published on Friday, the US Copyright Office has encouraged Congress to consider enacting a resale royalty, or droit de suite, for visual artists. The recommendation, which is the result of a year-and-a-half-long review, is a volte-face for the organisation. In 1992, when it last considered the subject, the office was “not persuaded that sufficient economic and copyright policy justification exists to establish droit de suite in the United States”.
Several factors contributed to the reversal, the office wrote in its 124-page report. First, the art market has grown exponentially since the early 1990s (from around $9.7bn in 1991 to $59bn in 2012). “The art world is becoming less an exclusive club and more a general market,” the office writes. Second, the increase in online art databases and analytics makes it easier to predict how a resale royalty might affect the art market as a whole. 

Most importantly, more than 40 foreign countries have adopted a resale royalty provision since 1992, including the United Kingdom and the European Union. Studies show that “the adverse consequences predicted in the 1992 report”—including a loss of market share in the global auction business, decreased incentive for artists to produce new work and a negative ripple effect on the primary market—“have not materialised for countries who have adopted droit de suite”. 

Because it is still unclear exactly how a resale royalty might affect the art market, the copyright office recommended that the royalty only be applied proactively and only for the duration of the life of the artist. The estates of deceased artists like Picasso, for example, would not benefit from the proposed royalty. This differs from the European model, where droit de suite is applied for the artist’s life plus 70 years.

The office’s recommendations are timelier than ever. A revised bill for the Equity for Visual Artists Act, which would enact a resale royalty for visual artists in the US, is due to be introduced in the Capitol in January. The new legislation, which succeeds a 2011 version that stalled in Congress, proposes a slight reduction in the amount that would be put aside for artists when their work is resold at auction, from 7% to around 5%. The copyright office recommends that figure be reduced further, to 3% to 5%, bringing it in line with Europe, where the fee is calculated on a sliding scale starting with a maximum of 4%. 

Speaking at an event hosted by the International Foundation for Art Research (Ifar) last month, Congressman Nadler, who is sponsoring the bill in the House, said the new legislation would only apply to auction houses, to eliminate any additional opposition from dealers. However, the Copyright Office recommends the royalty be applied to commercial galleries and private dealers as well as auction houses, in order to ensure the maximum number of artists benefit from the scheme. “A law limited to public auction transactions would exclude vast numbers of artists from royalty eligibility given that fewer than half all art sales are made through public auction,” the office writes.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Global Activism

Street protest in Cairo in 2011 by Arnold Faud
One of the largest surveys of Activist Art in recent years, the Berlin biennial in 2012, was not very well received. 

The Artur Zmijewski-organised show was roundly criticised for inviting protestors to “occupy” the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, which many believed made a spectacle out of social struggle. 

Now, the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, is taking another stab at the topic with “Global Activism”, organised by the museum’s director, Peter Weibel. 

Unlike political art, Activist Art “doesn’t happen in the traditional domain of art,” Weibel says. “It has no product that can be sold nor easily be exhibited in galleries and museums.” Instead, Activist Art revolves around documents, blogs, videos, magazines, etc. 

Thus the definition of art is turned on its head, with the curator rather than the artist establishing the artistic intent behind an activity. 

The approximately 200 objects on show come from nongovernmental organisations such as Greenpeace, protest movements such as ­Occupy, websites such as Wikileaks, and a host of blogs, including Actipedia, Visualising Palestine and Anon News. 

They will be shown alongside works by more traditional artists such as the photographer Taryn Simon, the Berlin-based Thomas Kilpper and the Turner-prize winner Mark Wallinger, whose recreation of Brian Haw’s protest camp originally in London’s Parliament Square, State Britain, 2007, will be a highlight. 

Pieces by the punk rock group Pussy Riot will also be on show. The expansion of art’s boundaries in the 1960s elevated everyday actions to the status of art. 

Weibel says: “Everybody was an artist; smoking a cigarette or not smoking one, could be called art.” And so, he says, books such as Julia “Butterfly” Hill’s account of living in a Redwood tree for 738 days, have a legitimate place in an exhibition. 

But the impetus for the show is the rise of mass uprisings in the Arab world and Turkey, which have shown that established systems of power can “at least for a short moment in history” be interrupted. 

“There are more and more non-governmental institutions,” Weibel says. “This is evidently because people feel that human rights and the environment are no longer protected by the government anymore, but might actually be threatened by it. 

What we are seeing now is a dynamic modern democracy, not created through normal parliamentary dynamics but through people going on the street and protesting.” Julia Michalska Global Activism, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 14 December-30 March 2014 Categories: Thematic

Monday, November 18, 2013

This photo was taken of Poncho at his 13th Annual Studio Show. For those of you who do not know.....Poncho is drawing a "Remarque" in the "Artist Creations Cookbook." By doing so, he has just increased the value of the book by 100-200%! Now... this collectors edition cookbook has a signature and original artwork by one of the featured artist. In the fine art and book collecting world, the book is now a (one of a kind collectable) signed by artist Larry Poncho Brown! Great Job Poncho!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

at: Faison Firehouse Theater

Fine Art Show & Sale of Works by African-American Master Artists and their Contemporaries ...

Black Art In America™ (BAIA) is the leading online social network focused on African-American art. On October 4th - 6th, 2013, BAIA will host an extraordinary showcase of works by African-American Artists in Harlem at: Faison Firehouse Theater, Six Hancock Place, NYC 10027 (124th Street between. St. Nicholas & Morningside Avenues)

Featuring Original Works By:
Charles Alston / Romare Bearden / Herbert Gentry / Hughie Lee Smith / Bob Thompson / Charles White
Louis Delsarte / Frank Frazier / Mr. Imagination / Vincent Smith / Purvis Young Mason Archie / Najee Dorsey / Lawrence Finney / Nnamdi Okonkwo / Woodrow Nash / Najjar Abdul-Musawwir / ScareCro ... and many more

Hosted By: George Faison, Celeste Beatty and Najee Dorsey.

Special Guest: Kenny Leon, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre Company, and supporter of Black Art In America, Kenny Leon, is an acclaimed film and theater director. Leon is the first African-American director to have two shows running on Broadway simultaneously with the Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett; and Stick Fly, produced by Alicia Keys.

Host: George W. Faison, patron and fine art collector, danced with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1967 through 1970. He was the first African-American choreographer to win a Tony Award for his choreography in The Wiz (1975). In the early 1970s, he created two modern American dance classics, Suite Otis and Slaves for the George Faison Universal Dance Experience. Mr. Faison choreographed for Broadway and choreographed and directed numerous productions for regional theaters. In the early 1980s, he changed his professional career focus to writing, directing and choreographing dramatic and musical theater pieces. Mr. Faison co-produced and wrote the Cosby Salutes Ailey, NBC TV special, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He is co-founder and the producing artistic director of the Faison Firehouse Theatre, located in a former Harlem firehouse. In addition to the theatre, Mr. Faison has developed a unique performing arts-based outreach and youth theatre project, the Faison Firehouse Respect Project.

Host: Celeste Beatty, is an avid collector and founder of Harlem Brewing Company. The Harlem Brewing Company's flagship brand is Sugar Hill Golden Ale. Their artisanal craft beers celebrate Harlem's rich cultural history. At Harlem Brewing Company, supporting arts programming has been a part of the companies mission for 13 years. Harlem Brew is available at many special events, restaurants and retailers including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Sylvia's, Whole Foods and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Host: Najee Dorsey, is Founder / CEO of Black Art in America™ (BAIA) and is an avid collector and patron of the arts. Black Art in America™ is the leading online social network focused on African-American art, Najee is also an accomplished visual artist -- now preparing for his solo show at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Georgia, entitled "Leaving Mississippi: Reflections on Heroes and Folklore". Philadelphia Daily News called Dorsey's contemporary work "a highlight of the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show" (2012).

Program Schedule:

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 (6pm - 9pm) - Private Collector Preview Art Tour and Champagne Toast (Opening Reception) -- light fare, cocktails, private collector preview, art exhibit and opening of online auction.

Friday, October 4th, 2013 (2pm - 9pm) -- exhibit with online auction (public opening), (6pm - 7pm) -- BAIA Member Workshop with Tantra Zawadi, (8pm - 9pm) -- Harlem happy hour with George Faison and Celeste Beatty.

Saturday, October 5th, 2013 (12 noon - 10pm), (12 noon - 2pm) -- valuation day hours,

(8pm - 10pm) -- dei 7 free range music (multimedia, playlists and music performance).

Sunday, October 6th, 2013 (by appointment only) -- closing business sales, end of online auction.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Queens Museum to double in size

The New York space is due to reopen in October after a $65m revamp

Rendering of interior of Queens Museum. Image: Courtesy of Grimshaw and the Queens Museum
The Queens Museum of Art in New York is set to reopen on 11 October after a two-year, $65m renovation that will double its size. The expansion adds an additional 50,000 sq.ft of exhibition, education and office space as well as eight new artist studios. On 3 June, the museum closed to the public for the summer to complete the project.
“If we had a one-word mission statement, it would be ‘openness’, and that’s what we’ve tried to achieve with this building,” the museum’s executive director Tom Finkelpearl told The Art Newspaper. The east wall of the new atrium is made almost entirely of glass and offers an expansive view of the neighbouring Flushing Meadows Carona Park. Rather than create a labyrinth of rooms to maximise wall space, the designers, Grimshaw Architects, left much of the floor plan open to accommodate performances, freestanding sculpture and traffic flow. The cavernous space —a converted ice skating rink—houses just six walled-in galleries, all covered with porous aluminium airfoils to diffuse incoming natural light.

The design is fitting for a museum with a collection that Finkelpearl calls “quirky”. Its holdings include the world’s largest scale model of New York City, a relief map of New York’s water supply system and a large collection of Tiffany glass. Until now, Finkelpearl says, the museum hasn’t always had enough space and material to entice visitors to make the trip from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Queens. “You need to have a decent ratio between travel time and time spent at the museum,” he explains. “You need two hours’ worth of stuff. We believe that between the collection and our exhibition programme, we’ll soon have more than enough to keep people occupied.”

The museum’s inaugural exhibitions include the first solo museum presentation of Bread and Puppet Theatre founder Peter Schumann and a performance and sculpture exhibition by the Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, who took inspiration from the building’s history of hosting the UN General Assembly between 1946 and 1950.

For three days in November, Reyes will hold a mock assembly of the United Nations in the museum’s atrium. Artists, writers and others from the 193 member states will debate pressing international issues such as the drug trade. The sessions—half public, half behind closed doors—will be led by experts in alternative conflict resolution, including facilitators from the avant-garde Brazilian performance group, Theatre of the Oppressed.

After the UN performance, Reyes will install five new sculptures that also examine war and peace, including a drone with the wings of a dove. “It will be a fantastic grouping of classic Modern sculptures, each with an absolutely un-Modern symbolic twist,” says Larissa Harris, the exhibition’s curator.

The museum’s programme in the new space will retain a close connection to the history of Queens and the social issues relevant to its residents, Finkelpearl says. “We have community organisers on staff and we offercourses in native tongues to adult immigrants,” he notes. “We believe there are values to be learned from community centres. But community centres don’t spend millions of dollars on the quality of light in the gallery.”

Rendering of exterior of Queens Museum. Image: Courtesy of Grimshaw and the Queens Museum

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mexico: a Revolution in Art, 1910-40

Until 29 Sep 13
Rivera’s Dance in Tehuantepec, 1928

Early 20th-century revolutionary Mexico is characterised by chaos, despondency and bloody civil war, but it also unleashed a surge of artistic production. The revolution began in 1910 as an electoral movement to overthrow Porfirio Díaz and his 30-year presidency, igniting a period of armed warfare. 

The relatively stable governments of the 1920s introduced reforms that promoted literacy, nationalism, citizenship, hard work but also violent repression of Catholicism and other dissidents. Art was enlisted to serve Mexico’s revolutionary cultural transformation and Mexican Muralism was born. 

Adrian Locke, the curator of “Mexico: a Revolution in Art, 1910-40” (6 July-29 September), persuaded the Royal Academy “to take on a show that perhaps they wouldn’t normally do” (the RA’s only other exhibition on Latin American art was in 1974). In Mexico, artists began to “experiment with nationalist images” and “Modernism takes a different direction altogether; it becomes much more polemic and political”, Locke says. 

“I think something can be learned by looking at art being made in Mexico at the time, and seeing what role, if any, it plays in the progress of Modern art.” The show features Mexican Social Realist works never before seen in the UK, such as Diego Rivera’s Dance in Tehuantepec, 1928, and work by Francisco Goitia, a lesser-known artist on the staff of the revolutionary general Pancho Villa, who documented decomposing bodies left after public hangings. 

However, slightly fewer than half of the works on show are by Mexicans. Locke says: “The exhibition works in two parallels: one is the Mexican art being produced at the time, and then there are the Europeans and Americans who come and respond to what they see, and sometimes influence the direction that art takes... 

The idea is to show how Mexico attracted these significant artists.” Laurie Rojas Categories: Thematic Modern (1900-1945)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Diasporal Rhythms

Diasporal Rhythms seeks to build a passionate group of collectors engaged in actively collecting visual art created by contemporary artists of the African Diaspora as well as to expand the appreciation of  those artists’ work. 
On September 6, 2002 the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) hosted a Collectors Forum, the first in a series of seminars held in 2002 and 2003 that brought together, and provided dialogue among, the African American visual arts community in Chicago. On the panel for that Collectors Forum were: Carol J. Briggs, Principal of the Jean Baptise Pointe DuSable High Schooland a private art collector; Joan D. Crisler, Principal of the Arthur Dixon Elementary School and Curator of the Dixon School Collection; Daniel T. Parker, Emeritus Professor, Olive-Harvey College and a private art collector; and me, Patric McCoy, Environmental Scientist, USEPA and a private art collector. This was the first time the members of that panel had been brought together to discuss their collections. We listened intently to each other’s presentations. Each panelist successfully conveyed in their presentation both the thoughtfulness and the passion involved in their collecting of African American fine art. Common themes emerged from the presentations - each panelist had a special passion for works of the African American and African diasporal artists that were actively producing in the Chicago area; each noted that most of those artists were neither given the recognition within, and outside of the community, that the quality of their work merited; and those artists’ works had special meaning for the African-American culture, especially for the youth. We parted with an enhanced appreciation of each others’ commitment to promoting and preserving our culture through the collecting of contemporary African American art. On February 15, 2003, I attended an artists panel discussion held in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago’s Century of Collecting African-American Art exhibition. The African American artists’ conflicting positions, heatedly expressed, on the importance of that show were both enlightening and confusing to me. Later that day I was introduced to Nathaniel McLin, art critic for Kennedy-King College radio station, WKKC. He too had attended the panel discussion. In our discussion on the dynamics of that panel and why the artists were in disagreement, Mr. McLin clearly identified to me the central importance of the ‘collector’ in the evolution and preservation of a culture; in the establishment and growth of museums and archival institutions within that culture; and in the identification, validation and promotion of those creative persons producing works of cultural importance. That conversation charged me to pursue the formation of an organization of collectors of contemporary African-American art for the purpose of addressing the issues raised in the Collectors Forum and in the artists panel. By May 2003 the original collectors on the SSCAC Collectors Forum had met several times and, because of a shared belief that we and like minds should be an initial force in the validation and preservation of our own visual arts culture, agreed to form an organization to further the following mission: 1.To build a passionate group of collectors engaged in the activity of collecting visual art created by contemporary artists of the African Diaspora. 2. To expand appreciation of visual art created by contemporary artists of the African Diaspora. We have chosen “Diasporal Rhythms” as the name for our organization because the term was used by Dr. Richard Powell in his book Black Art - A Cultural History to describe Jeff Donaldson's 1967 painting Victory in Zimbabwe. Dr. Powell said “ [the painting] is also [a] black disaporal rhythm...” In the 1960's and 70's, Jeff Donaldson, as an artist, worked out of the South Side Community Art Center and co-founded AfriCobra. With our name we honor the artists of the AfriCobra movement, the Works Project Administration artists, the Post war artists and all contemporary and future artists that will create diasporal rhythms.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Art Canon

Defining Art, Creating the Canon

Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt

Paul Crowther


What is art; why should we value it; and what allows us to say that one work is better than another? Traditional answers have emphasized aesthetic form; but this has been challenged by Institutional definitions of art and postmodern critique. The idea of distinctively artistic value based on aesthetic criteria is at best doubted, and at worst, rejected. This book champions such notions. It restores the mimetic definition of art on the basis of factors which traditional answers neglect, namely the conceptual link between art's aesthetic value and ‘non-exhibited’ epistemological and historical relations. These factors converge on an expanded notion of the artistic image (a notion which can even encompass music, abstract art, and some Conceptual idioms). The image's style serves to interpret its subject-matter. If this style is original (in comparative historical terms) it can manifest that special kind of aesthetic unity which we call art. Appreciation of this involves a heightened interaction of capacities (such as imagination and understanding), which are basic to knowledge and personal identity. By negotiating these factors, it is possible to define art and its canonic dimensions objectively, and to show that aforementioned sceptical alternatives are incomplete and self-contradictory

Sunday, June 2, 2013

If we ignore art we will find ourself in a spiritual desert. Roger Scruton, in “Why Beauty Matters,” his provocative BBC documentary on contemporary art, claims that we are losing beauty, and with it, the meaning of life itself.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hirst Ends 17-Year Relationship With Gagosian Gallery

The U.K.’s wealthiest living artist, Damien Hirst, has parted ways with the Gagosian gallery, which represented him for the past 17 years.
Hirst, 47, whose best-known work is a tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde that billionairehedge fund manager Steve Cohen reportedly acquired for $12 million, had been a major moneymaker for Gagosian.
"The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (1991) by Damien Hirst. It belongs to Steve Cohen. Source: Tate via Bloomberg
James Chanos Cocktail Party
Crystal Connors, Kynikos Associates Ltd. founder and president James Chanos, artist Damien Hirst and Jay Joplin attend a cocktail party at Chanos' Miami home. Hirst will continue working with his longtime art dealer Joplin. Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg
'For the Love of God'
This is an undated handout photo of "For the Love of God" by Damien Hirst. The life-sized platinum skull, studded with 8,601 stones weighing 1,106.18 carats, cost Hirst $20 million to make. Source: Bolton & Quinn via Bloomberg News.
'Lullaby Spring'
This is an undated handout photograph of artist Damien Hirst's "Lullaby Spring." Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg News.
'Eucatropine' (2005) by Damien Hirst. The work was part of the exhibition "Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings" at Gagosian galleries worldwide. Source: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates Copright Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012 Courtesy Gagosian Gallery via Bloomberg
“Damien Hirst has decided to cease working with Gagosian Gallery worldwide,” Hirst’s company Science Ltd. said in an e- mailed release. “Damien has had a fantastic and productive working relationship with Gagosian Gallery, but after 17 years of representing him Larry Gagosian and Damien have reached an amicable decision to part company.”
All 11 Gagosian galleries presented his Spot paintings earlier this year. The dealer has since opened a 12th branch, at the Le Bourget private-jet airport north of Paris.
London’s White Cube gallery said it will carry on representing Hirst through its galleries in London, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo. Tim Marlow, the director of exhibitions at White Cube, said on the telephone today: “We are working with him now and will continue to represent him internationally in the future.”
Science Ltd. would not respond to questions about who would represent Hirst in the U.S.

Price Drop

Though Hirst’s prices have fallen recently -- only four of his works sold for more than $1 million at auction this year, and none above $2 million, according to Artnet -- his decision to leave Gagosian will be keenly felt.
“Hirst is in the uppermost echelon of the contemporary art canon, and high price or low, it’s a blow for the gallery,” said Jehan Chu, an adviser who runs Vermillion Art Collections in Hong Kong.
The news comes a week after David Zwirner, a major New York art dealer that recently opened a space in London, announced that Jeff Koons, another market star from Gagosian’s stable, will have an exhibition in May in Zwirner’s New York Chelsea gallery. A Gagosian spokeswoman confirmed that the gallery continues to represent Koons.
A formal break like Hirst’s raises the question of who will represent him in New York.
“Why would he commit to one dealer when he can have them all?” said Alberto Mugrabi, whose family has supported the Hirst market for years. “Any great gallery in New York would love to do a show with Damien.”

No Talks

David Zwirner gallery spokeswoman Julia Joern said she wasn’t aware of any talks between the artist and her gallery.
Mugrabi said his family’s commitment to the Hirst market won’t be affected by the artist’s departure from Gagosian, saying, “I will support his market until I am dead.” He said the family owns “several hundred” pieces by Hirst.
This year, Larry Gagosian was accused in two lawsuits, including one brought by billionaire Ron Perelman over a $4 million sculpture by Koons, of using his position in the art world to negotiate secret deals, push clients around and manipulate prices for contemporary works.
Both Gagosian Gallery and Gagosian have declined to comment on the accusations. The gallery filed its own case against Perelman but later dropped it and will defend itself in Perelman’s suit.
This spring, Gagosian also lost John Good, a gallery director of 13 years. Good left for Christie’s, where he is now senior vice president and international director of postwar and contemporary art.
“I am not worried about Mr. Gagosian,” Mugrabi said. “He is still at the top, with or without Damien.”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Preserving Paints

Painting is a beautiful art form, but it has its challenges. Practical aspects of storing paints and preserving them for future use are always a concern to the artist—especially when resources are limited. Who wants to toss away unusedpaint that is no longer usable?
Unfortunately, for most artists, throwing away dried paint is just one of the costs of the trade but. At some point in time, it's going to happen. But there are some things you can do to help you preserve your paints. The first suggestion is simply to avoid buying more than you need at any one time. This is a tough one, we know. It's easy to say you want 50 paint colors in whatever medium you may be working in. A watercolor kit, for instance, might be enticing and can be more cost-effective. The question is, how much are you painting?
It helps to prime your work surface with a product such as gesso so that your paint supply will stretch a bit more. Gesso primes any surface for painting, creating a surface that is somewhat textured. Without it, paint would soak into whatever you are painting—a canvas for instance. Using gesso on unprimed surfaces can keep you from having to buy as much paint at the start of your project.
Another way to preserve your paint is with proper storage. Keep your paints in a cool area away from heaters and blowers. The more airtight the better. Remember that all plastic containers are slightly porous and allow a small amount of water vapor to escape. Clean the threads of lids and jars. If paint accumulates there, the tops will not seal properly and the paints will begin to dry out.
Because of the versatility of acrylics, they are widely used by artists. They can also quickly dry out if not sealed tightly. An issue with acrylics, too, is drying too quickly while they are being used. Paint additives can be helpful in keeping acrylics from drying to quickly. Another option is to use a non-absorbent palette. Glass works well, as do plastics such as polyethylene. In addition, a small amount of retarder can keep paint from forming a skin for up to six hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. You can also simply mist the paint on your palette with something like a plant mister. Be careful not to use too much, though.
If you abide by these tips, you should do well in keeping your paint preserved and fresh for your next project.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saudi artist plans Arab state's first artist-run foundation
Amen Art Foundation will support emerging artists and encourage art education

Abdulnasser Gharem with one of his stamp works
The Saudi conceptual artist Abdulnasser Gharem plans to set up the Arab state's first artist-run foundation in Riyadh in light of “the art revolution taking place in Saudi Arabia”, he says. Gharem, who is also a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi Arabian army, aims to support emerging artists and encourage art education through the new organisation called the Amen Art Foundation.
“We have so many good artists here. The galleries and, unfortunately,auction houses are starting to move in but there are no institutions or foundations here to help the younger artists,” he tells The Art Newspaper. Raising funds will not be his biggest challenge, he says, but changing attitudes in the notoriously conservative state could be an issue. “This country is full of people who have the [necessary] money. But the problem will be getting the government's permission to launch the foundation. Such art foundations are not part of our culture,” Gharem says.

A non-selling exhibition of Gharem’s works, which opened at the Side by Side Gallery in Berlin on 25 April (until 13 July), invites people to contribute to and explore the project. Akim Monet, the gallery owner, says: “I spontaneously offered Abdulnasser to use my gallery as a laboratory, as a forum to present the idea, but also as a platform through which to develop the project.” 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Using Nature as Inspiration

Artists have always been inspired by nature. Sometimes this inspiration shows up quite literally in photography or artworks depicting realistic landscapes, animals, waterscapes or other standards of the natural world. Sometimes nature is represented more abstractly in textures, colors, or shapes. In a Nature Conservancy interview with Todd Wilkinson, founder/editor of, an online magazine devoted to the global celebration of art in nature, Todd says, "I think for most artists, interpreting nature heightens the bond of connection. … Oftentimes when we think about nature, there is an ambiance that lingers in our memory. Artists are important interpreters and translators of that. How many times have you stood before a great painting or sculpture and been staggered by its impact, the same way that we’re left awestruck by a mountain, herd of elk trailing single file across a foothill or a warming sunrise?"
Try these tips and venues to gain some inspiration from your natural surroundings.
Your own backyard 
Okay, maybe you live in an apartment or townhouse or in some other place that doesn't offer a backyard, per se, but a great place to gain inspiration from nature is right at home. If you do have a backyard, take some time to observe: the birds, insects, squirrels, trees, your neighbor's cat. Watch how various things interact. Pay attention to light and shadows. Look at the textures: the soft moss, the rough tree bark, the wispy blades of grass. And if you don't have a backyard, why not take some time to set up a still life of fruit or simply watch your pets for a while? You know you've always wanted to sketch your betta fish.
Art in the park
Yeah, we know we just suggested this recently for an Artist Date, but it holds equally true for natural inspiration. Take your sketch pad or even your easel out to a local park and draw or paint what you see. A full landscape, a single tree, some ducks on the lake, all such possibilities are open to pens, pencils, charcoal, and an array of paints and brushes. You might even take some clay to mold your own sculpture of what you see.
Take a hike
This offers such a great array of all nature's bounty. Depending on your location, you can see plants big and small, animals, insects, rocks, rivers or streams, the sky and clouds, and so much more. You can get very close for an intimate view or perhaps you can hike to a particular vista that offers long views. Take a few photos with your camera phone of the things that catch your attention so you can incorporate them into your works later.
Go camping
If a few hours of communing with nature just isn't quite enough, a weekend camping adventure can do wonders to put you at one with your natural surroundings. A great aspect of this plan is that you can take lots of art supplies with you. Stuff a backpack or a plastic container full of supplies and use the time to work on whatever medium interests you. Obviously, photography is a natural choice for a camping trip but you can also take all the supplies that we mentioned previously in the "art in the park" entry. You can relax and be productive at the same time!
Vacation time
We all need to get away on occasion. As you are planning your next vacation, though, think of some possibilities that offer surroundings that are different than your daily experiences. If you live in the mountains, go to the beach. If you live near the beach try a trip to the Midwest. If you already live amid flat cornfields, go somewhere with a rocky coastline. Have you ever been to a tropical locale? What about a desert? Shake things up. Try something new. And, of course, take plenty of photos and take your art supplies along with you.