There are certain things I treasure in life. Art and its ancient history would be one of those things. Celebrity culture another. As much as I appreciate baroque art, I truly live and breathe for all things millennial.
Let me introduce you to internet sensation Caroline Goldfarb. She admins the viral Instagram account OfficalSeanPenn, and hosts the tv-show This Week Had Me Like. Through these channels she highlights crazy things famous people do. Caroline Goldfarb has built an entire brand on the strange psychology of celebrity.
On top of the aforementioned feats, she also creates collages. And there is nothing not to love about them. Everything from a collage of white people wearing cornrows, to a collage paying homage to the greatness that is Drake’s mother. <3 Caroline Goldfarb’s artistry is in my humble opinion an entertaining commentary on the absurdities of contemporary society, communicated through a very millennial aesthetic. Ugly? Yes. Would I still hang this on my wall? Yes, for sure.
Swoosh Art is the type of art I am here af for. I truly believe masters wanted the Nike logo incorporated into their art when painting their Madonnas and goddesses. They just did’t know it yet.
Swoosh Art is a tumblr page run by award-winning fashion film director Davide Bedoni. In his words Swoosh Art “is what I do when I am bored.”
Placing the so-called Nike ‘swoosh’ in 18th and 19th century masterpieces may seem like a way to emphasise the absurdities of commercialism. But to me this is about creating a connection between visual propaganda of the past with visual propaganda of today. Although these paintings might seem like harmless decorations, they were more often than not commissioned to propagate the message of a social, political or religious conviction.
And besides, who knew that Jacques-Louis David’s iconography would be such an aesthetic match with Carolyn Davidson’s logo-design?
In an alternate universe, I would wake up to five large, canvas-shaped presents under the Christmas tree this year.
I would proceed to ripping those presents open real quick to find that Santa very generously gave me paintings by 23-year-old, London-based artist George Rouy. Preferably paintings from Rouy’s In Dirty Water series. Too bad his paintings sell out so fast Santa doesn’t stand a chance against all the art investors out there. Maybe next year.
Growing up as a die hard Destiny’s Child fan, you bet I’ve had my eyes on Solange since the days of her sister Beyonce’s girl group. I distinctly remember staying tuned on MTV just to watch Solange’s music video to Feelin’ You. And listening to I Decided while biking to and from school every day. Although I loved everything Solange did from day one – little did I know she would become one of her generation’s most forward-thinking artists.
Of course if you’re reading this you have already watched the music videos to Don’t Touch My Hair and Cranes in the Sky… because otherwise you would be in jail by now. Jail for people I don’t like. Rather than writing about the aforementioned videos, I wish to spotlight Solange’s live performances.
In 2016 Solange channeled the message of her album A Seat at the Table through a performance piece titled An Ode To, at the Guggenheim Museum. She requested that the audience come dressed in white, and banned usage of all phones and electronic devices. Hence there being very little documentation of this event.
The message that Solange communicates through her music is clear: it’s all an intelligent commentary on racism, and a celebration of blackness. After the standing ovation, Solange gave a speech regarding her role as a black artist in a predominantly white art world : “inclusion is not enough”. It’s time to enter institutions and tear “the fucking walls down.”
Solange has some of the best curated aesthetics out there. But most importantly – Solange turns the idea of museum exhibitions as we know them, into a safe space for activism through creative expression.
Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde creates fluffy, white clouds in unique indoor settings. In his ‘Nimbus’ series, Smilde has developed a well versed technique that produces clouds, which he then photographs in churches, museums and castles.
Clouds are just about the most universal matter one could think of. But seeing them indoors, with their organic forms in contrast to manmade architecture, really throws me off.
Berndnaut Smilde carefully adjusts the temperature and humidity of his scouted locations. Thereon he produces perfect little clouds using water vapour and a fog machine. The lifespan of his artwork is about 10 seconds – just long enough for the cloud to be photographed.
The term ~ contemporary art ~ is often synonymous to weird art. Just to be clear, ‘contemporary’ just means that the artwork was made fairly recently.
Anyway. Artist Christopher Chiappa‘s installation of 7,000 fried egg miniature statues in the Kate Werble Gallery is definitely just as weird as it is contemporary. Nevertheless… I’m a big fan of fried egg statues.
The Kate Werble Gallery describes the exhibition as follows: “Chiappa’s fried eggs operate squarely within the uncomfortable intersection of two symbolic legacies, mining the darkly humorous vein where perfection and failure meet.”
Haha operate squarely who?!? Uncomfortable intersection whatttt? Darkly humorous vein whom??? This is literally gibberish to me. EITHER WAY. I’M A BIG FAN OF EGG STATUES.
British artist Danny Fox has really been poppin’ off on the art market lately. His paintings are (what people in the art world call) naive, yet super confident.
Danny Fox grew up in a small town in the British country side. He lived a hard knock life in London for a few years until he relocated to Los Angeles as his career took off. Now he and his famous tattoo artist wife, Tati Compton, are the ultimate LA hipster couple.
Danny Fox’s naive painting style almost becomes iconoclastic in the context of Sotheby’s prestigious auctions. The one with boxers and birds is my favourite :)))
Heather Day is a San Fransisco-based artist who creates large-scale abstract paintings and murals. A few months back she collaborated with Facebook to create the first ever artwork using augmented reality as a medium.
I came across the incredibly aesthetically pleasing works by Heather Day a while back and was immediately mesmerised by her sense of color and composition. In a podcast interview with The Jealous Curator, Day explains how she usually has about 50 works in process at once. I personally l o v e contemporary abstract expressionism and Heather Day is arguably one of the most interesting names out there.
This spring, Day was asked to produce the first ever augmented reality art to be installed at the Facebook headquarters. Day accepted the challenge not knowing exactly what she was getting into, and the next day the Facebook team invaded her studio with cameras and computers. Watch the result in the video below! The finished product is in itself perhaps not a groundbreaking masterpiece, but I am fascinated by the many opportunities that a merger of tech and art would entail. Augmented reality is a new artistic medium and it’s exciting to see how technology will challenge the definition of making and experiencing art!
Nigerian contemporary artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby moved to the US at age 16 to pursue a career in medicine. Little did she know that she would end up with a Master of Fine Arts from Yale, and skyrocketing auction sales.
As a student of art, I unwillingly try to see the value in studying obsolete art theories invented by dead professors. Half the time my energy goes towards not writing sassy things like that ^ in my academic texts :))) What I prefer to do is staying updated on the art market. Because trust me, theories by Panofsky or Bourdieu won’t be going anywhere any time soon. The art market however, so much is happening there! And so much of what is happening at the financial end of things affects what is happening in the rest of the world.
With this being said I would like to shine the light on Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. She has become a breakout star at auctions, showcasing at the most prestigious biennales and institutions. Just over a year ago, her pieces sold for around $100,000, and now, last spring, her painting ‘The Beautyful Ones’ sold at Christie’s for more than $3 million!
Njideka Akunyili Crosby layers her canvas with images from Nigerian magazines or movies. What I appreciate about her work other than the aesthetics of her color palette and painting technique, is that it truly feels like she is telling a story with each piece. Most of her paintings depict normal scenes of family members casually interacting with each other in domestic settings. With this Akunyili Crosby is challenging the myth of what is ´authentically African´. By showing how relatable and normal life is in Nigeria she hopes to de-mystify African culture: “It’s hard to think people matter if you don’t feel connected to them. And so it’s about making that connection.”