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Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Beautiful Losers Print Exhibit Travels Spain


Contemporanea continues its series of scaled-down Beautiful Losers exhibits across Spain, this time presenting Grafika: A Collection of Prints by the Artists of Beautiful Losers at Cincoechegaray music and book shop in Málaga. The show opens this Wednesday, August 5 and is sponsored by ANP Quarterly/RVCA with additional production support from Narita design studio.

Previous presentations of Grafika took place at Subaquatica, Madrid and Cabeza de Raton, Cáceres. USA Today, an exhibit including original works, was on view earlier this summer at Sala Europa, Badajos.

Grafika: A Collection of Prints by the Artists of Beautiful Losers
August 5 (8pm reception) – August 31
C/Echegaray, Málaga

Participating Artists:Thomas CampbellHenry ChalfantLarry ClarkCynthia ConnollyCheryl DunnKAWSShepard FaireyGlen E. FriedmanEvan HecoxWes HumpstonJo JacksonTodd James,  Andy JenkinsChris JohansonHarmony KorineAri MarcopoulosGeoff McFetridgeBarry McGeeRyan McGinnessMike MillsRaymond PettibonStephen PowersTerry RichardsonClare E. RojasRostarrEd Templeton and Tobin Yelland.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Design, Editions, Europe | Comment now »


Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

National Portrait Gallery Claims Copyright Violation Against Wikipedia User

A 1544 portrait of Mary I housed on Wikipedia and credited to the National Portrait Gallery.

The Independent reports that The National Portrait Gallery of London is taking action against a Wikipedia user for violating copyright laws. In question are some 3000+ images owned by the state-funded gallery that were uploaded to Wikipedia by Derrick Coetzee, a Seattle based PhD student.  Several issues complicate matters. First, the centuries old portraits in question are long out of copyright and within the public domain, while the Portrait Gallery claims they retain the rights to the reproduced images of them and are entitled to licensing fees. Second, with Coetzee in the U.S. and the NPG in England, there is dispute concerning jurisdiction and conflicting international copyright laws. As if all this wasn’t enoug, the gallery argues that Wikipedia’s servers are housed in the UK and therefor fall under their nation’s jurisdiction. Yet, upon investigation of  its own Wiki entry, we report that the non-profit parent Wikimedia Foundation is located in California, organized under Florida law where it was initially based, and holds servers across three nations – 300 in Florida, 26 in Amsterdam, and another 23 in South Korea. None, according to the company, are in the UK.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Europe, Legal, London, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Trio Charged with Counterfeit Banksy Operation

An outdoor wall stencil by Banksy imitator, Bonksy (unrelated) takes on new meaning with the recent investigation. Image: Johnny Vulkan

Police have arrested three individuals in the UK for conducting a counterfeit Banksy print operation, as well as selling fake Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren designed clothing at auction. A statement issued by the Metropolitan Police identifies the accused trio as Lee Parker, Grant Champkins-Howard and Vesna Grandes-Howard, who face charges of fraud and money laundering. The crimes have ignited a firestorm on several online art discussion boards, where investigators are attempting to reach out to victims.

The statement encourages “anyone who has purchased ‘Banksy limited edition’ prints (except if bought directly from Pictures On Walls) or ‘Banksy back door’  prints in the past three years” to contact DC Ian Lawson by telephone at +44 (0)20 7230 2150 or email via Ian.Lawson@met.police.uk

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Europe, London, Market Talk | 1 Comment »


Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Jeff Koons Keeps Criticism Alive with Serpentine Survey

Jeff Koons with Triple Popeye, 2008. Image: Getty Images via Telegraph

There has been plenty written lately on the turbulence of the art market. Major auctioneers are noticiably scaling back on guarantees and offerings from contemporary art titans like Hirst or Murakami, whose seemingly unstoppable growth finally appears to be tapering off. Even Jeff Koons, whose rise to fame predates both of the above mentioned artists by more than a decade, has been affected by the market slump. In April, 2009 the NY Times reported that one of Koons’ five Hanging Heart sculptures was quietly sold for $11 million in a private sale. This was little more than a year after he set the world record for a living artist when Gagosian Gallery bought another color from the same series for $23.6 million during Sotheby’s November 2007 contemporary evening sale (view auction result here).

In the midst of all this pop art-star uncertainty, Serpentine Gallery is hosting Jeff Koons’ first public (nothing’s for sale) gallery exhibition in London. Jeff Koons: Popeye Series presents a survey of works conceptualized by Koons and painstakingly executed by the employees of his some 100 person NY studio team.  The focal point of the show are Triple Popeye (2008) and other recent paintings infusing iconic cartoon characters in a hyper dense mash-up of abstracted imagery generated with computer aid, but meticulously painted by hand (not Koons’ own). Also on view are the artist’s well-know cast aluminum “inflatables” sculptures that take on the appearance of cheap mass-produced plastic pool toys. These have been updated and combined with “readymades” – that’s Koons-speak for every-day household items like a stepladder and garbage can.

For more than twenty years, Jeff Koons has been the subject of much praise and ridicule.  His ultra-modern style of pop has been simultaneously applauded as some of the most culturally relevant  and revolutionary art being made today, and attacked for being intellectually void, utterly low-brow kitsch that epitomizes the speculative glitz of the last several years. This new show is no different. Writing for the Telegraph, Richard Dorment suggests that “Koons’s subject matter may appear to be innocuous, but he is the most subversive artist alive today.” Adhering to the more cynical view, is the Guardian’s Adrian Searle, who says Popeye Series “is art for a world with deep pockets and a short attention span.”

Via Channel 4

Taking the middle ground is art critic Michael Glover, who calls the show “a mind-numbing spectacle…quite difficult to know whether to laugh or to cry at,” and that “it seems preposterous, almost beyond the most absurd critical joke, that anyone should take this stuff seriously at all, or have the gall to stick the label of art on it.” Yet, In the same breath he ponders the notion that “Koons wants to get rid of all that kind of old-fashioned guilt by making an art that is readily approachable, understandable and enjoyable. He wants to be entirely non-judgmental. He doesn’t want people to have to feel that they are nervously looking up at something that they don’t quite understand. He doesn’t want people to have to think and worry about pesky things like meaning. What you see is what you get. Koons brings us all together, in one big happy family. He makes us feel good about ourselves in the presence of art.”

Should Jeff Koons be heralded for democratizing art for the masses, or chastised for ushering in an over-inflated balloon of meaningless and shallow art? Koons himself might agree with both sides of the critical spectrum, and has said his art should readily evoke immediate reaction and not be contemplated or deconstructed for deeper meaning. Talking with Glover, Koons reflected on his own works: “They don’t have to bring anything with them other than exactly what they are, and they’re perfect for that experience because it’s about them…I want people, when they look at my art, to have engaging moments. I want them to feel that everything about their lives is perfect – their history, their culture, their selves. Everything is in play. Everything is possible…”

Jeff Koons: Popeye Series
July 2 – September 13
Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London W2 3XA

Lead Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images via Telegraph. Triple Popeye painting with Acrobat (Lobster): Ray Tang/Rex Features. All other images: Serpentine Gallery/Jeff Koons.


Monday, July 6th, 2009

Lance Armstrong Stages Art Benefit

Kaws designed Lance Armstrong Tour de France Bike, 2009. Image: Emmanuel Perrotin

Official information is becoming available about Stages, the traveling art show and sale co-sponsored by Nike to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG). The group of participating blue-chip  and emerging art stars (see below) is near monumental and will undoubtedly entice an A-list of philanthropic spending. The exhibit opens July 17 at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris and runs till August 8 before heading over to NY and LA this fall, with a final destination at the Portland Art Museum in early 2010. To coincide with the occasion Armstrong will ride on bikes designed by Damien Hirst, KAWS and Marc Newson during the 2009 Tour de France.

Ed Ruscha – Vital To The Core, 2009. Image: Gagosian Gallery

Stages (Destination 1)
July 17 – August 8
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
76 rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 16 79 79
Contributing artists: Cai Guo-Qiang Rosson Crow, Jules de Balincourt, Dzine, Shepard Fairey, Andreas Gursky, KAWS, Geoff McFetridge, Yoshitomo Nara, Catherine Opie, Jose Parla, Raymond Petibon, Lari Pittman, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Tom Sachs, Kenny Scharf, Eric White, Christopher Wool, and Aaron Young.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Benefit+Fundraiser, Europe, Events, Exhibition, Paris | 1 Comment »


Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Hydra School Projects’ 10th Anniversary Exhibition

Hydra School Projects 2009: Alpha Exotica show poster featuring lettering by Robert Wilson.


Mathew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton’s site specific collaboration isn’t the only installation on the Greek island of Hydra worthy of a pilgrimage. Entering its 10th year, is Hydra School Projects, an annual art exhibition housed in the the historic Sachtoureion, the old Hydra High School which once functioned as a sea captain’s house. Each year Hydra Projects joins together a select group of established and emerging contemporary Greek and international artists to fill the building’s former class rooms. This year’s exhibit, Alpha Exotica, opens July 4th and groups seven participants around the theme of portraiture, ranging from video installations by experimental theater icon Robert Wilson, to the ultra-pop Kurf (rebranded Smurf) “product paintings” of the increasingly popular New York artist KAWS (who exhibited alongside the event’s founder and curator, Dimitrios Antonitsis, at Gering Lopez Gallery’s 2007 PopCentric group show in NY).  The other artists on view are Margarita Bofiliou, Carsten Fock, Gerald Förster, Sissel Kardel, and Kostas Sahpazis. The 2009 pack are certainly in good company. Past participants include Marilyn Minter, Brice Marden, and Vik Muniz, who, along with other Hydra Projects alumni, have lent additional installations to scatter the island in honor of the 10th anniversary celebration.

Read on for images of the complete Alpha Exotica exhibit catalog, appropriately printed in the style of a traditional exam booklet, as well as a map of installation locations around the island. View the 2008 catalog here. Read the rest of this entry »


Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Magda Danysz Launches Shanghai Gallery, Exhibits JonOne


Parisian gallery Magda Danysz celebrates its 10 year anniversary with the launch of 18Gallery, a new exhibition space in Shanghai. To commemorate the occasion both galleries are hosting solo shows by JonOne, one of the earliest NY writers to import graffiti to Paris, when he relocate there at the end of the 1980s. Since then his art has gained widespread popularity and is arguably more well known in France and throughout Europe than back here in the States.  His Shanghai show is already underway and the Paris exhibit launches this Saturday, July 4.

Read on for more images from the 18Gallery opening and a video interview with JonOne. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Asia, Europe, Galleries, Graffiti, Openings, Paris | Comment now »


Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

First Solo in Italy for Ron English


On july 9th Ron English opens his first solo exhibition in Italy at Milan’s Don Gallery. In the meantime, here’s a small preview of some classic images that will be on display. More to come…

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Europe, Openings | Comment now »


Friday, June 26th, 2009

Jim Houser in Milan


Philadelphia based artist and founding member of  Space 1026, Jim Houser, opens The Tip of The Sword, his first solo exhibit in Italy, on July 1 at Milan’s Galeria Patricia Armocida. We’ve been vocal about our admiration for Houser’s instantly recognizable visual narratives and folk-inspired installations. If you are in the Milan area, this one’s not to be missed. Here’s a couple of images of new works.


Jim Houser – The Tip of the Sword
July 3 – July 31
 Galleria Patricia Armocida
Via Bazzini 17, 20131 Milan, Italy

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Europe, Installation, Openings | 1 Comment »


Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Preview :: Neckface in Copenhagen


On June 26 V1 Gallery welcomes Neckface for the opening of Return To The Womb, his second solo show with the space. Judging from the preview images we received, it looks like Neckface is conjuring up more densely layered imagery than seen in his previous work, and incorporating some pop cultural references for the first time. One thing is clear, even with the new approach, its as nasty as ever.

Read on for images Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Europe, Graffiti, Openings | 1 Comment »