Petr Pavlensky nailed his scrotum to the Red Square in protest of Putin. Now there’s going to be a Burger King meal about it.
Weirdest art news we’ve read in awhile: fast food giant Burger King is making a series of burgers inspired by Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky for its Saint Petersburg location. Pavlensky is famous for nailing his balls to Moscow’s Red Square, setting fire to a government office building, and sewing his mouth shut to protest the arrest of Pussy Riot. He’s not exactly the type of political figure usually associated with international corporate junk food. [BBC News]
“Of the 40 galleries and nonprofits that took part in the first edition of the NADA fair, only 13 remain in business—Derek Eller Gallery, Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, James Fuentes, Galerie Zink, Inman Gallery, Moniquemeloche, Momenta Art, Taro Nasu Gallery, Participant Inc, Peres Projects, Kavi Gupta, Hiromi Yoshii, and ZieherSmith.” ARTnews tracks down what became of the first class of NADA, and the results are depressing. [ARTnews]
The news above makes us ask: what is the average lifespan of a gallery? Does it map to what gallerist and art fair founder Edward Winkleman once described as the average length of time an emerging artist’s work remains profitable for a gallery—seven years? [Art F City]
In other NADA news, the fair’s Miami Beach iteration is moving back to the Deauville this year. Thank God. Fontainebleau sucked the life out of NADA. [ARTnews]
Star Trek Beyond’s weird/desperate cross-promotion with Rihanna was pretty terrible. But for the film’s Chinese release, they replaced her with pop star Zhang Jie and an even more terrible track. His song sounds a bit like it was written by an algorithm in 15 minutes, which at least makes it a little more interesting that the U.S. brand of schlock. [Fansided]
People in one South Carolina apartment complex have convinced the local police that clowns are in the woods offering money to children and flashing laser pointers. The Atlantic seems to be the only publication wondering if some kids just made this bizarre story up. [The Atlantic]
Lisa Crossman discusses the state and importance of art criticism in Boston. It sounds like institutions get most of the mainstream press coverage, and the criticism that emerges from those institutions tends to focus on its own bubble. It’s a great read about the need for criticism in general. [Big Red & Shiny]
Starchitect Renzo Piano will lead the cleanup effort in Italy after their major earthquake. Amongst other buildings Piano designed the new Whitney building in New York’s meatpacking district. [The Guardian]
Can cities be too tall? According to most Londoners they answer is yes. Residents associate tall buildings with rich people and are increasingly voicing their opinion that cities should not be so dense. The anti-density movement is heating up. [Curbed]
An interview with artist, activist and Arts Advocacy Project Program Associate Joy Garnett from the Arts Advocacy Project at the National Coalition Against Censorship. She discusses Artist Rights, a new online resource that informs artists on their rights and what is and isn’t protected under the first amendment. [Creative Capital]
Last week I had the pleasure of participating in The Contemporary’s first artist retreat. The first, I hope, of many. For four days, 50 artists from Baltimore joined dozens of “consultants” and “guests” that included national arts professionals and artists, representatives from nonprofit organizations, gallerists, curators, and critics at a Jewish retreat center with a farm in rural Maryland. The program included presentations from artists, numerous panels and workshops, and one-on-one meetings; all catered towards networking or “this weird vortex hellhole that is professional development for artists,” as director Deana Haggag described it. What follows is a diary assembled from the notes I ended up scribbling near-constantly.
Arts funding giant, Creative Capital, has a new President and Executive Director. Following a nationwide search, the Creative Capital board chose Susan Delvalle to succeed Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital’s founder and current President and Executive Director. Delvalle will start June 1st and becoming the organization’s second president in its 18 year history.
Andrew Russeth loves the SFMoMA building, but reports that the initial hang is uneven and full of blue chip art by white men. [ARTnews]
This is the best Prince video I’ve seen on the net since his death. Sheila E is amazing. [Youtube]
Carolina Miranda visits the Met and reports on the museum’s annual rooftop commission, this year by the overrated artist Cornelia Parker. Parker has recreated the creepy house from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Miranda seems to have had a reasonable time, but concludes that the house Universal Studios recreated for their studio tours does the job better. [Culture: High & Low]
Good grief. Here is an astonishingly ornate carpet made of paper. [Colossal]
This is a Canadian art world listicle I can get behind: “10 Indigenous Artworks that Changed How We Imagine Ourselves.” Richard William Hill launches a monthly column based on research for a book, making a compelling argument that 1980s-1990s works by artists like Shelley Niro (see above) and others gave a much-needed contemporary dose to Indigenous representation that subverted the expectations of art audiences. I would also argue this coincided with a huge cultural equity overhaul in the Canadian institutional funding system. [Canadian Art]
Are the stolen art scandals finally catching up to Geneva? Not according to the Art Market Monitor’s Marion Maneker who takes issue with what he calls Bloomberg’s “scare mongering non-story”. The title, “Art Collectors Quite Scandal-Hit Geneva”, and content suggests that over the past six months, art collectors have been pulling their works from Geneva’s free port storage facility in response to the charges of money laundering and tax dodging. But Maneker notes that Bloomberg’s very own reporting tells us that, in fact, very few collectors have pulled their work from said storage. [Bloomberg, Art Market Monitor]
Normally, we don’t link to recipes here, but this one comes with a headline we can get behind: Best Eaten Alone With No Pants: Kimchi and Spam Fried Rice. [Serious Eats]
Oooh. Livecam season is beginning! In NYC there’s a livecam tracking two falcons on Water street that are about to hatch five baby falcons! [WNYC]
Creative Capital’s 2016 Arts Writers Grant Program is now accepting applications. Deadline is May 18th. [Artswriters]
According to new research published by the Freelands Foundation, only 25% women artists scored big solos at London’s major museums from 2014-2015. Depressing, but not surprising. It appears, however, that female philanthropist-driven initiatives are having impact, like the New Museum’s Artemis council, or London-based collector Valerie Napoleane’s Valeria Napoleane XX programme. [The Art Newspaper]
“Aren’t we beautiful? Where are you from? I hear Toronto! I hear Puerto Rico! I’m from the earth! From my mother’s womb!” A dispatch from Denver’s annual Women Grow conference, which connects and supports women in the weed business. [Jezebel]
Creative Capital just announced $4,370,000 of support for 46 projects and 63 artists in 2016. Of those 43 projects, nearly half are located in New York City and of those 63 artists. over half are people of color.
Creative Capital’s Star Wars themed fundraiser video couldn’t be better timed—the newest Star Wars will screen worldwide next Monday (and this one George Lucas hasn’t been involved with, so it’s supposed be a lot better!). We recommend donating to Creative Capital—they fund the best artists, many of whom make work that is too great a challenge for the commercial gallery system—and seeing Star Wars. We want to discuss the new movie here on the blog! [Creative Capital]
In 2005, 24 paintings and 70 pieces of silver from the Dutch Golden Age were stolen from Holland’s Westfries Museum. Years later, the collection turned up in the villa of deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Now, a nationalist militia is holding the paintings and demanding a “finders fee” for their return. No one seems to be able to agree on how much the artwork is worth. [The New York Times]
The group Historic England is calling on the British public to help locate and preserve the country’s postwar public art. It has become not-uncommon for modernist sculptures to be stolen and sold for scrap metal. [BBC News]
Woodland, North Carolina needs to invest in education. The town council just voted to reject a rezoning application that would allow a solar farm to be built by Strata Solar Company and put a moratorium on all solar development. One resident, Bobby Mann, expressed fears that the panels would “suck up all the energy up from the sun.” Retired science teacher, Jann Mann, was concerned that the panels would prevent photosynthesis from occurring. [Mashable]
London-based art critic Adrian Searle offers his top ten exhibition list. Number one on that list is the Whitney’s reopening. Woot! Number six is Juan Muñoz, whose figurative sculptures have always been a bit of a head scratcher for me. Why are a bunch of laughing footless figures in a room supposed to be beguiling? [The Guardian]
Franklin Sirmans is settling into his new role as director of the Perez Art Museum Miami. The problem? Miamians apparently don’t like giving donations—especially to an institution that was renamed in honor of another private donor. [The New York Times]
An oddly gripping stream-of-consciousness reflection on Christopher Wool by Richard Prince. [Wool735.com via @gregorg]
Jeff Koons is being sued by photographer Mitchel Gray for copyright infringement. The case stems from Koons’ 1986 painting “I Could Go For Something Gordon’s” which recreated a scene from an ad Gray shot for Gordon’s Gin earlier that year. [The Telegraph]
Huh. Upper West Siders who oppose the Museum of Natural History’s expansion plans are planning to protest the opening of Tina Fey’s new film Sisters. Apparently Fey is on the museum’s Board of Trustees and voted in favor of the expansion. [artnet News]
Every summer, when Creative Capital grantees and consultants arrive at the annual Creative Capital Retreat, President and Executive Director Ruby Lerner is there to meet them. It’s a small gesture, but I always thought it reflected the spirit of the organization and Ruby herself: warm, generous, and there for you when you want to get down to work. (Nobody goes to the retreat expecting not to work.)
This year, Ruby announced that she will step down from the helm of Creative Capital.
Given all the accomplishments of the foundation under her lead, I wanted to get a better sense of that history. With the organization hosting its fall benefit tomorrow—a homecoming ball in honour of Ruby—the timing couldn’t be better.
In one of her many talks at the Creative Capital retreat this July, President & Executive Director Ruby Lerner spoke of the importance of keeping the organization weird. The short explanation of what this means is simply that she wants them to continue to fund projects that aren’t beholden to the market. (Lerner has announced her retirement, so the succession planning has begun in earnest.) More specifically, though, it means supporting artists who bring a point of view to the table, who aren’t afraid to fail, and who pursue excellence in whatever field they work in. These are artists who exemplify the creative spirit. Their work must be supported.
In my previous two posts summing up highlights from the Creative Capital retreat, I’ve tried to highlight presentations by artists who I felt exemplified those qualities. In my last post on this year’s retreat, I highlight three more. Here goes.
What were the craziest presentations at this year’s Creative Capital retreat in Troy? In my first installment I provided a brief overview of the arts granting agency’s conference—it’s several days in an auditorium listening to amazing artists give seven minute presentations on their projects—and discussed the work of three stand out artists: Lorraine O’Grady, Brittany Nelson and Narcissister. This week I highlight three more. Let’s get this started.