Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
NEWS

Artist Group Postcommodity Opens Installation Commission in Chicago

August 16th, 2019

Artist group Postcommodity have unveiled a commission in Chicago reflecting on the history of migrant cultures in the United States, and calling on the U.S. government to create space for those deprived of basic human rights. “We need to acknowledge this migration in real time and start preparing for that transformation. Rather than fight it, embrace it,” member Kade L. Twist said. “There’s a lot to learn from how Black people were treated and disregarded through most of [the Great] Migration. There’s a desperate need to humanize.”
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The Guardian Interviews Life Models on Their Work Posing for Artists

August 16th, 2019

The Guardian speaks with a group of life models on their practice sitting in a studio, and their perspectives on their job posing for learning artists. “I’d been waiting for someone to tell me it’s fine to pose for students if you’re different,” says Suzon Lagarde, a painter. “You might feel vulnerable posing, but as a painter I also know how vulnerable people can feel behind the easel – you are always questioning and judging yourself. I soon realized we are a team, all trying to be brave.”
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NYT Profiles Recent Private Collection Database Startup

August 16th, 2019

The NYT profiles a recent digital venture, Collecteurs, which serves as a database for private collections. “If I don’t put them in some kind of public database, these works essentially disappear from the planet,” says collector Roberto Toscano.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Banksy


Always Hope, Banksy, via Banksy Official Website

Details of Banksy’s life remain to be completely confirmed – though exhaustive efforts have been undertaken by various sources to nail down this street artist’s identity. What is certain is that Banksy was born and raised in England, has worked with various crews of grafitti artists since he was a teen, and currently maintains, paradoxically, a high-status anonymity in both the art world and the public’s imagination.


Flower, pictured here with construction workers, Banksy, via Banksy Official Website

In an effort to dodge street police, Banksy adopted innovative stencils to create his now-signature works. They allowed for much faster application on public surfaces that have included the walls of zoos, hospitals, tunnels, and otherwise unremarkable locales. However in recent years, he has also traveled around the world, gaining international attention with tags in various countries, including the controversial West Bank territory.


Have a Nice Day, political image using iconic smiley face, Banksy, via Banksy Official Website

His work incorporates satire, images of animals, small children, British references of Royal Guards and Queen Victoria, anti-war messages, riffs on classic paintings, etc. Sneaking into famous museums like the Metropolitan in New York and the Louvre in Paris to personally hang up his works is one well-known Banksy stunt.


Maid, Banksy, with his wall-exposing illusion,  via Datscool

Banksy has, however, had gallery showings of his work, and the artist has taken on commercial projects, like the design of Blur’s album cover. Celebrities such as Christina Aguilera and Angelina Jolie have purchased his pieces for sums of up to approximately $500,000, while other works consistently sell at high prices through venues, including Sotheby’s. His art has accumulated so much value that owners of walls with his graffiti have actually auctioned them off to the highest bidder.


Image of rat found in Austria, Banksy, via Graffiti


Monkey image with the artist’s signature in the corner, Banksy, via Daily Mail

Regardless of Banksy’s much-contested value as an artist, his influence on the boom of street art in both the fine arts market and contemporary culture cannot be denied. The artist displays his drawings and “indoor” works on his website, Banksy.co.uk, and also offers published books of his art.


Queen Victoria canvas, Banksy, purchased by Christina Aguilera, via Luxist


Pissing Guard, in England, Banksy via Current

Banksy Books: