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Monday, November 8th, 2010

Scott Campbell’s on Fire

Tattoo artist to the stars Scott Campbell just had a show of new works open in Mexico City at a gallery sponsored by Vice magazine. Don’t expect to see it even if you live nearby. As this email to Purple magazine founder Oliver Zahm suggests, apparently the artist dumped his work on the sidewalk and lit it all on fire after disagreements with the gallery’s owner.

Purple via TWBE / Wicked Wink

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Last Chance | 1 Comment »


Monday, August 30th, 2010

Accidents Will Happen :: Barry McGee Hits Houston Street

(All images and text © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

After a month away overseas (more on that to follow), I’ve come home to New York. Before leaving I had gotten word that Barry McGee and company would be coming to the city sometime soon to lend their treatment to the Houston Street mural wall on the Lower East Side. I thought for sure I would miss it, but returned earlier this week to learn I had made it back just in time. So, after several weeks of being absent from TheArtCollectors, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to jump back into things. I hope you’ll agree.

In an amazing twist, life imitated art in New York Sunday night when Barry McGee and crew descended on the Houston Street wall. Beginning at midnight, McGee, together with longtime collaborator Josh Lazcano (Amaze), began a massive spray-painting spree, bombarding the surface with hundreds of simple red tags. Working through the cover of night, the team created the ultimate graffiti writer’s roll call and a strangely beautiful, if not challenging piece of commissioned abstract art. By dawn, it would go much farther than even they could have imagined.

In the coming weeks, reactions to the piece are sure to be mixed, and it didn’t take long for questions to begin. Police made their first visit around 2am, clearly not knowing what to make of the Tony Goldman sanctioned property previously occupied by a Ketih Haring replica, a meticulously illustrated mural by Os Gemeos and the design heavy graphics of Shepard Fairey. No, this couldn’t be legit, this couldn’t be art. After a minor interruption a permit was produced and the police were on their way. They’d be returning though.

By 4am (with some added contributions from Chino) Twist and Amaze had completely filled in the wall with the names and crews of graffiti writers past and present. Seeing the project near completion, spectators, assistants and overseers had left the scene, leaving the artists free to “touch up” a few things. They were soon disrupted by a carload of ass-shaking club girls who briefly hijacked the sidewalk for a personal photo op. Acting as official photographer, Martha Cooper quickly stepped in keeping control over the site, and we turned our cameras on the drunken booty bunch. Barry and crew entered the frame. However amusing it was, this was clearly not how those involved had intended to end the night. Whatever – DFW – this bullshit would all be over soon and they could get back to what they were here for and waiting till dawn to complete.

4:45am and back to work. As it ascended to a few of the harder to reach spots, the buzz of the boom lift was suddenly drowned out by screeching tires. We turned our heads left just as a passing SUV smashed full force into a graffiti-adorned box truck, briefly taking flight and coming to rest on its side. The smell of oil and gasoline filled the air as it trickled out and drenched the pavement. “Call 911,” “Get that fucking cigarette away from here!” A few passersby rushed in and attempted to tear back the shattered windshield to reach the driver. Trapped on his side in an airbag filled compartment, they eventually opted to use the back end as an escape hatch. Bleeding from his forehead, but able to walk, he was pulled from the rear of the vehicle and helped into an ambulance.

By 5am the street was blocked off by police and fire department, bringing more unwelcome attention to the wall. Ordered down from their perch, the artists were subjected to another round of police scrutiny, this time focusing on their recent early morning final additions and concerns regarding the exact zone the work permit covered. Things seemed uncertain, if not dismal over the next hour.

What the hell had just happened? Walking west from the wall, a few hundred feet down the street to the accident and back up again, I started to take it all in – the totaled truck flipped on its side, the broken glass, the flashing lights and sirens all set the backdrop of 850 sq. feet of graffiti. I felt a certain sort of chaotic energy and unnerving excitement, as if one of Barry’s frenetic gallery and museum installations had spontaneously slammed full force into the middle of Houston Street. By 6am he and his mates were in there clear and off to the airport to get the hell out of New York City. Me? I walked up the block and back home where I couldn’t fall asleep for another three hours.

READ ON FOR MORE IMAGES Read the rest of this entry »


Friday, June 18th, 2010

Murakami to Exhibit in Qatar

(Image: Getty Images)

Reporting from Art Basel, the Art Newspaper says dealer Emmanuel Perrotin has revealed that a Takashi Murakami exhibition in Qatar is in the works for 2012, and will be more substantial than the show set to open at the Palace of Versailles this coming September.

Though Perrotin promises the Qatar show to be “a new concept and much broader,” we wonder just how much further it will go. Both exhibits are partly funded by the Qatar Museums Authority, largely an extension of the nation’s royal family (who were among the VIP visitors to Art Basel this week along with QMA director Roger Mandle). Considering the mixed civil and Islamic law code of the Arab emirate, don’t be surprised with a fairly reserved display showcasing the tamer side of Murakami, perhaps heavier on his smiling flowers and DOB characters, with less of the questionable body fluids.

Murakami tours his 2008 exhibit at MOCA Los Angeles. (Video via MOCA LA)

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Asia, Exhibition, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

New Record set for Walton Ford

Walton Ford’s Lisbon Rhinoceros, 2008 set a record for the artist at auction last month. (Image via Phillips de Pury)

As Marion Maneker has suggested, recent events indicate Walton Ford is fast on the rise, with his works crossing into blue-chip status. Last month Ford shook the auction market when Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros (estimated at $550-750,000) sold for $1,022,500 at Phillips Halsey Minor Collection auction, setting a new record for his work. The next day, Fords’ 2006 work La Fontaine, (also from Minor’s collection) took top-lot at Phillips Part II Contemporary Art sale when it sold for $746,500, far out-performing its original $250-350,000 estimate. Early this year, Wal-mart heriess’ Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum announced it had acquired Fords’ 11ft x 8.5 ft triptych, The Island, which first appeared as the centerpiece of his Oct. 09′ show at Paul Kasmin.

Walton Ford – La Fontaine, 2006. (Image via Phillips de Pury)

Walton Ford – The Island, 2009. (Image: Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Market Talk, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Monday, June 7th, 2010

LACMA to host Baldessari Retrospective

John Baldessari –Sediment: Leg and Shirt, 2010, Inkjet print and acrylic on canvas. (Image: © Margo Leavin /John Baldessari)

American art icon, John Baldessari, is the subject of a new retrospective set to open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on June 27.  From pioneering conceptual text-based works of the 1960s, to his photographic amalgamation of film stills that helped to inform the art of appropriation, Baldessari has been at the forefront of multiple contemporary practices. John Baldessari: Pure Beauty will feature over 150 pieces, highlighting early works as far back as 1962, up to his most recent.  The retrospective will also feature a special installation conceived especially for the occasion.

The museum will hold a free conversation with Baldessari and curator Leslie Jones at 2pm, opening day. Tickets for the event will be available on a first-come basis, one hour prior to the program.  In addition, new 324 page exhibition catalog is available now in LACMA’s online shop.

Pure Beauty first debuted at the Tate Modern, London, in October 2009, before traveling to the Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona. After LACMA, the exhibition will continue on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, this coming October.

Baldessari also has a new series of photographic works, entitled Sediment, on view through July 10 with Margo Leavin, Los Angeles. A work from the series is pictured above.


Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Big Week for Fairey Amidst Growing Controversy

Art of Elysium’s 2010 Heaven Gala (Image via Art of Elysium)

It wouldn’t be a week without some sort of news from the Shepard Fairey camp, and this one is jam packed.

Fairey was named Visionary of the Year and lent design and decoration to children’s charity The Art of Elysium’s 2010 Annual Heaven Gala (pictured above). Fairey is participating in their annual benefit auction, and has donated several items to the fundraising event. The most exciting lot is a personal portrait sitting with the artist.  The winning bidder will be entitled to a visit with Fairey for a photo shoot, which the artist will use to create a one of a kind 30″ X 44″ mixed media canvas. The prize is valued at $30-$40,000 for the in person sitting and final artwork (or $20-$30,000 if photos are sent). Other lots include unique 40″ x 60″ canvas depicting his Burmese Monk image, estimated at $20,000, and a rather quirky one of a kind collaged 7 foot lamp, valued at $7,500 (both pictured below).  Both the portrait sitting and Burmese Monk can be bid on live via CharityBuzz until March 4, 12pm EST. If interested in the lamp, download an absentee bid form here

The opening of the third and final stop of his museum retrospective, Supply and Demand, set record attendance numbers at the Cincinatti Contemporary Arts Center this past week. Naturally, while in town, Fairey and crew were also out making their mark on the streets. (Lots more photos of the exhibition preparation, opening celebration, and outdoor campaign at the end of this post.)

(All museum and street images via Obey Clothing)

Next, Fairey’s design firm, Studio Number One, has lent their hand to titling sequences for the new Basquiat feature film, which can be seen in the trailer below.

Finally, the controversy over Fairey’s Obama portrait continues. The artist is now the subject of a federal grand jury criminal probe. Authorities are investigating whether Fairey violated federal laws prohibiting evidence tampering and perjury in connection to his copyright battle with the Associated Press. In October the artist released a public statement admitting, “in an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images.”  As noted by Copyrights and Campaigns, the criminal investigation hinges on whether or not Fairey (along with his wife) violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)and 1621. Section 1512 makes it a crime to “alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official proceeding,” while section 1621 declares that any person who “willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true…is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

Fairey has filed an injunction hoping to postpone the civil suit with AP. The injunction argues

“Plaintiffs submit that there is a compelling case for postponement. Mr. Fairey is now the subject of a criminal investigation…It appears that the AP is, at minimum, encouraging and supporting that criminal investigation. Mr. Fairey’s criminal defense counsel believes that a deposition at this time would prejudice him and impair council’s ability to properly represent Mr. Fairey. Therefor, if a deposition does take place while the criminal investigation is pending, counsel would advise Mr. Fairey to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.”

While we here at TAC have supported Shepard’s fair use claims in creating his Obama portrait (which now sits in the National Portrait Gallery), we will wait for the facts to further develop before weighing in on the separate criminal investigation, and confine our comments to reporting the findings as they emerge.

Read on for more pictures from Cincinnati opening night and installation Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Benefit+Fundraiser, Events, Exhibition, Graffiti, Legal, Museums, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Big Week for Fairey Amidst Growing Controversy


Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Kill Your Television :: Vote for Ben Jones’ TV Pilot

Your television is one step closer to the psychotic visions of multimedia artist Ben Jones. On his own and as one-third of art collective, Paper Rad, Jones’ paintings, comics, animations, and sculptural creations have been exhibited internationally at many notable museums and galleries, including the New Museum, MOMA, Tate Britain, Peres Projects, Deste Foundation, and Deitch Projects. Now Jones is in the running for a new series on the Adult Swim cable channel. Do your part and vote online for his pilot, Neon Knome here. The world will be a better place.

Check out NY Times’ profile and video interview with Ben here

UPDATE: The world is not ready.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk | Comment now »


Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Ed Templeton Rising

Internationally recognized for his painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, skate-icon and artist Ed Templeton has several significant projects in the works.

Most immediately, Templeton opens a new photo exhibit at Roberts + Tilton (Los Angeles) this Friday, Feb. 26. The works on display are culled from the artist’s personal archives, and were shot spontaneously from the inside of cars over a span of 15 years. Speaking of the project, Templeton says, “I never went out driving just to shoot pictures. Each one of these was shot going from point A to point B for some other reason, organically; they represent the in-between. Most of it is from my frequent visits to LA from my home in Huntington Beach, 1 hours’ drive south. But there is also a lot from taxi rides in Paris, Moscow, London, Barcelona, and St Petersburg.”

Next up , Templeton’s photography will be included in the 2010 Photography Biennial at MAMAC (Liege, Belgium), which runs Feb 28 – April 25. Lastly, his first solo museum exhibition, The Cemetery of Reason, opens at S.M.A.K. (Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art) in Ghent, Belgium on April 2, and will include works across multiple disciplines.

Ed Templeton – The Duality of Femininity, 2009 (Courtesy of Roberts + Tilton and Tim Van Laere)


Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Marcel Dzama at Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

Marcel Dzama – On the banks of the Red River, 2008 (Collection Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal)

In the past several years, Canadian-born Marcel Dzama has moved beyond the playfully sadistic ink and watercolor illustrations that he gained such a strong reputation for. Since relocating to New York in 2004, the Winnipeg native has expanded on his mythical narratives with film, sculpture, and diorama. Steeped in violence and moral decay, these works are metaphor for the human condition, and, as if picking up the reigns from Henry Darger, are as disturbing as they are humorous.

Dzama returns home with a new exhibit at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. While several pieces on display first appeared in his 2008 showing with David Zwirner (NY), Of Many Turns is the largest exhibition of Dzama’s works ever organized by a museum, focuses on the artist’s recent multidisciplinary accomplishments.

All images courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York except where noted.

Marcel Dzama – Of Many Turns
Feb. 4 – April 25
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal, Québec H2X 3X5

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Exhibition, Museums, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Coming Soon :: Rosson Crow at Deitch

Rosson Crow is set to unveil a show at Deitch Projects on March 4. For the series, the young painter relocated to New York City to research and submerge herself into the downtown art scene. Like the image above recalling Haring’s Pop Shop, we anticipate the other large-scale oils to drip from the canvas, conjuring up spaces past and present and the renegade debauchery and free spiritedness of this movement.

The show is Crow’s first solo with the gallery, and one of the last before it permanently closes later this year.

Rosson Crow – Bowery Boys
March 4 – 27
Deitch Projects
18 Wooster Street
NY, NY  10013

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, New York City | Comment now »