Thursday, June 30, 2011

Salvator Mundi

Salvator Mundi by da Vinci

Eerie Christ created by Leonardo daVinci, a.k.a. the Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World). The da Vinci is worth $200 million. Lost, but now is found, but doesn't it look like another famous painting?

Graffiti is the only news

"How many futures have to be sacrificed at the altar of "art" by ivory-tower academics like those in L.A. with an adolescent need for street cred?" - Peter Vallone Jr.

June 29, 2011 edition of the NY Daily News featured an opinion piece written by City Council Member Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), "Graffiti draws out the worst in society." "Last year there were 3,840 graffiti-related arrests; out of that number 2,755 involved suspects under 20." Many know Vallone as a person who is tough on graffiti and those who paint the town. Also, in the editorial Vallone talks about how companies are capitalizing on the idea of graffiti as "cool" and being basically a bad influence on the youths of NYC.

Peter Vallone Jr.

In contrast, in the same issue, just a couple of  pages away, Macy's took out an entire page ad for the Fourth of July fireworks. Also, a couple of pages away, feature on the artist who created the ad Mr. Totem.

Mr. Totem Graffiti Artist

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bulgarian Monument Gets Graffiti Upgrade into Super Heroes

Sophia, Bulgaria-a monument which honors those who fell at the hands of the Soviet Union in WWII has been graffitied into a series of super heroes. Government has changed it back, both activists and officials were angry. In Bulgarian the vandal wrote, "Moving with the Times." A conscientious movement of culture and literally depicting those fallen as modern heroes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Protests in Spain

In Europe and around the world, revolutions and protests are springing and thriving among the people. Protests usually incorporate art, which depicts the government in a different light. The following photos were taken by Adriana Arroyave who lives in Valencia, Spain. Currently the people of Spain are protesting against high unemployment and the poor economic climate. The young student protesters known as 15-M (for the 15th of May) built tent villages within the cities plaza's. Inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions, Spain's young also want a transformation. The Christian Science Monitor says, "Critics, meanwhile, call it an excuse for a big party."  But it also could be that the angry youth might just be angry because, Spain has the the highest unemployment in all of Europe at a whopping 21%.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Surfing Madonna Needs a Miracle

The Surfing Madonna, in Encinitas, CA, was created by Mark Patterson, who now finally claims  his work. Patterson, who quit his day job in order to complete the mural has stepped up in order to help conserve it, since officials want to take it down.

 The coolest part of this story lies in how it was installed onto the side of a train bridge. Guys dressed up in fake construction outfits were able to apply the mosaic with ease, during broad daylight, just before Easter 2011.

Surfing Madonna 

An even more awesome part is that City Council has in fact been trying to preserve the mural by hiring conservationists (definitely not conservatives). The issue is that conservators say that it is pretty impossible to remove the image without destroying it. The negative here is that the City Council spent $2,000 of tax dollar money to learn that the mural would not be able to be taken down without destroying it.

Businesses around town have been collecting donations and have been trying to pool in order to conserve the piece.

Encinitas Mayor James Bond doesn't want to leave it up, according to the Associated Press, because it would encourage others to "graffiti" the town.

Personally the Virgin of Guadalupe riding a surf board, is absolutely brilliant, it was craftily done and is gorgeous.

A petition to save the work has already met its goal of 500 signatures, but for fun if you feel like signing the petition.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


     I was first introduced to the term while reading about a 4-year-old girl Aelita Andre. The Australian native over the weekend held her own SOLO show called The Prodigy of Color in New York City. While watching the video below, Angela Bello, the Agora Gallery curator describes the work as Abstract Expressionism, but with a twist of Surrealism.

     The young artist's first show was in China when she was 2 years old. Her parents, who are also artists, her father Michael Andre says, "There is no education, no understanding of art history or art movements....I am so curious to see what she does."

     So, is the story in a young 'prodigy' who like many other 4-year-olds produces art for fun? Or is the story that her works of art are being sold at a rapid pace for thousands of dollars. According to the Periscope Post, her art is valued anywhere between $4,000 and $10,000. She has also sold paintings for about $30,000 if not more. The part of the parents, as marketers, have done a phenomenal job in selling art. But is fair to have already labelled the young artist?

     Labeling her work as accidentalism and as the father said, "No understanding of art history or art movements," is this really more than just colors splattered on paper? For Picasso and Pollack had painted with meaning and methods, and had an understanding of art history and meant to break rules. Where as for Andre's pieces and lack of intent is where the artistry falters, exactly as her work is labelled, accidental. Does this start to undermine the context of what we know as Modern Art, because buyers are so eager to buy a 'prodigy' just in case?

     While there is no doubt that she might grow into an actual artful talent, for now good PR has thrusted her into the spotlight. Now, that she has been able to fund her own savings for college with just a couple of paintings, I wonder how many other parents will start painting with their kids?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kanye West's Monster, another art vid?

Kanye West in Monster Video.
In Kanye West's new controversial video he is proclaiming it as art as well. Released just a few days after Rihanna's 'Man Down' video which claimed that it was also an art piece.

In the video it shows women's bodies hanging around rapper Rick Ross. While Kanye West lays in a bed with two other corpses, propping and positioning them. The video shows gratuitous amounts of blood and dead bodies, which correlates to the theme of a 'MONSTER' (a little GAGA much).

The video opens with a statement: "The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any groups of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such." 

MTV has not aired the music video and has asked for edits to be done in order to air. Since MTV has yet to receive the requested edits they have not aired it. MTV claims that it has been banned for the visual mistreatment of females.

Here are some comments from Huffpost users. 

18 minutes ago (12:19 PM)
It is art but it bad art

23 minutes ago (12:15 PM)
It is weird....t­hat is for sure. I don't know I feel about the corpses. But the part with Nicki Minaj was brilliant. 
Her alter ego even sounds different. We have only begun to see what she is capable of. The girl is smart.

To think and to be fully alive are the same.
17 minutes ago (12:22 PM)
Sexual objectific­ation of women in a rap video? 

How creative. (sarcasm)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Is Rihanna's New Video Art?

     The new music video Man Down by the famous pop artist Rihanna is in the news for being too controversial, but the artist disagrees. Parents Television Council, Industry Ears, and Enough is Enough are upset, once again, at the video which portrays Rihanna shooting a man after being raped. Though there is no actual nudity or *actual rape* the intention is implied. Rihanna from her twitter responded with


     In response Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council said, “BET’s justification for airing Rihanna’s video is beyond inadequate. If BET is serious that the video ‘complied’ with its standards, we would like to know just what those ‘standards’ are. In the interest of full disclosure, we call on BET to issue a public explanation of its programming guidelines and urge MTV to keep the video off its network. This video offers a gunshot to the back of the head as a way out of abuse and assault. Victims deserve better.” 

Yesterday on BET's 106 and Park defended her piece by calling in and saying, "art with a message." She then continues to talk about how rape is universal and "wants girls to be careful...and girls be everything they are, but don't be naive." You might remember that Rihanna was a victim of domestic abuse in real life.


     Another controversial video that features a trigger being pulled was Erykah Badu's Window Seat.