Published December 15, 2010
Art news , Museum news
Tags: contemporary, museums
After commissioning a mural for the football-field-sized wall of MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary building, MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch ordered that the mural be painted over this week. The story contains some interesting facts – a few: a) the decision to cover up the mural was made by Deitch alone (and not based on any complaints); b) the subject of the mural, which was apparently not known before its execution, was considered by Deitch to be potentially offensive because of the proximity to the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Japanese American war memorial; c) MOCA went through a similar mural-censorship controversy in 1989; and d) the artist involved in that controversy, Barbara Kruger, now sits on the MOCA board of trustees.
The artist of the mural, Blu, considers this censorship. Christopher Knight of the LA Times places the blame pretty squarely on Deitch’s shoulders, and emphasizes the differing responsibilities of public and private institutions in regard to controversy and public response, and reckons some planning and communication could have avoided this mess.
It’s a still-evolving story – stay tuned.
The ARTstor Digital Library now contains two collections from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The first is 1,269 images from the museum’s permanent collection and the second offers 4,896 contextual images documenting the history of the circus in America.
In other news, ARTstor announced a future collaboration with UC Santa Barbara alum Allan Langdale to share 3,351 images taken between 2006 and 2008 of lesser known and, in some cases, endangered architecture and archaeological sites of northern Cyprus. ARTstor will also collaborate with Columbia University to host roughly 2,000 digital images and 200 QTVRs of architecture in Japan. Stay tuned!
Published December 10, 2010
Blogs & websites
Tags: fun, video
In honor of finals week, here is a link to the recent Art edition of the Colbert Report. Especially interesting is Colbert’s “Tip of the Hat” to Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) and the censorship of David Wojnarowicz’ video “A Fire in My Belly” at the National Portrait Gallery’s Hide/Seek exhibition. Later in the show Steven Colbert tests Steve Martin on his knowledge of art (or “Art”) and special guests—including Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano—lend a hand in trying to sell Colbert’s portrait.
UPDATE: This painting, “Portrait 5, Stephen(s)”, was auctioned off on March 8, with the proceeds to go to school arts projects through DonorsChoose.org.
Published December 8, 2010
Art news , Museum news
Tags: museums, sculpture
Patrons visiting the Getty Villa in Malibu have until this Sunday to view the ancient Greek “Cult Statue of a Goddess”. Her trip back to Sicily in January is a piece of a “cultural collaboration” with the Sicilian government to return objects that had been sold to the Getty under questionable circumstances. The Villa’s current display of “The Agrigento Youth” through April 19 is the collaboration’s inaugural loan from Sicilian museums to the Getty.
via L.A. Times
Wafaa Bilal, a professor of photography at NYU, has had a camera implanted into the back of his head. His project, called “The 3rd I”, was commissioned by the Arab Museum of Modern Art. Photos will be taken every minute, and will be streamed from his website beginning December 15. He will wear the camera for one year, with the goal of “constructing a methodical documentation of his existence and surroundings after having no ability to do so during a nomadic existence in the Middle East” ( Bilal is Iraqi). He is required to cover it with a lens cap while on NYU property.
Bilal had the camera “surgically” implanted into the back of his head – first, titanium plates were installed under the skin, then a camera attached – all at a piercing studio (!?).
Read an interview and more on the project at The Wall Street Journal.
Published December 3, 2010
According to ARTINFO, Picasso wasn’t quite as ungenerous as many have stated. They cite several examples of his repayment of services or friendship with works of art, e.g. to his chauffeur and his barber. Nevertheless, the French government has seized the trove of 271 works that electrician M. le Guennec had in his possession. His account of how he came to have them has been revised a few times. One version says that Picasso’s wife Jacqueline was actually the giftor, but family members and experts have denied the possibility of this.
Stay tuned for further developments.
Published December 1, 2010
Pablo Picasso’s former electrician Pierre Le Guennec, who installed security systems in the artist’s homes, is at the center of a battle over 271 works of art he claims to have been given by the artist as payment for work. He brought several pieces to Picasso’s estate to have them appraised and Picasso’s son, the estate’s administrator, has accused Le Guennec of stealing them. The value of the entire collection is estimated at roughly $80 million and ownership will be settled in court.
via The Seattle Times