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11 posts from July 2006

July 31, 2006

Stuck in NYC for the HOT weekend

Pines_ivy2

OH! those funny GAYS out there on Fire Island..

How I missed them all so much this weekend.

And NO.. While, this is one handsome girlfriend fellow..

This is neither MAO, nor Dr.Quiz!! Just an original photo taken by the staff at MAO... FYI.. signed limited edition prints still available...please inquire..

OH.. and, just one warning.. Don't ever let this "boy" anywhere near your garden!

To All MAO Quizlings..

FYI... Tomorrow is already August First.. which means, the summer is half over, and it's time for the next big MAO Art Quiz!

And WARNING..this time.. The Quiz is going to separate the men from the sheep be a difficult one!!

July 28, 2006

MAO Art Image of The Week - Kota Ezawa

So what do think of Art Appropriation ? Or more specifically, what about new young emerging artists, appropriating images from other, more established contemporary artists work?

Of course, OH SOO much has been spewed articulated on this topic of Appropriation in contemporary art. For example.. see these:

Plus many a rich famous artist has based their entire career off of appropriation. Just to list a few.. Sherrie Levine, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Tasumasa Morimura, Vik Muniz, etc..

Which brings us to our image of the week by new artist Kota Ezawa. The image is called, "Photography Remix - After Nan Goldin, 2005" it's Duratran transparency on Light Box, 40 x 30 inches. Kenanafterbeingbattered Here is a posting, from the Tate's Collection of the Original classic Nan Goldin photograph from which it was stolen appropriated.

This 2003 Stanford MFA grad, Kota Ezawa, is most certainly already a quickly rising star of the new art millennium.

I first saw his work at Murray Guy Gallery last summer, and than again at Art Basel Miami in 2005.

Kota was a featured artist at the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, the 2006 Whitney Biennial's Wrong Gallery "Down By Law" Show, A Solo show at the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford, CT, plus he's also had some very gracious press already..

NY Times Review, Artforum, and Parachute.

Kota Ezawa, and his  Photo Remix series, was a winner of the SFMOMA 2006 SECA Art Award. Plus this image was featured on the cover of respected photographic journal, SF Camerawork the Wrong coast copycat of Aperture in the Fall/Winter of 2005.

So what do you think of this image? And the work of Kota Ezawa?

  1. LUV it or Hate It? True Blue.. or just a Black and Blue?
  2. Can't Beat-It! A great appropriation, or just an inappropriate artistic beating?
  3. A visionary artist, or a photographer rip off with all flash and no focus?
  4. Just another copy cat artist cashing in, or a true cutting edge digital genius?
  5. A Warhol for the digital age, or just pain old tomato soup?

July 26, 2006

Studio Museum Opening Party

The Studio Museum of Harlem has a new show!

Well.. It's summer.. so it's been a slow few weeks for the art obsessed in NYC. Which means in order to get a desperately needed art fix, one has to travel to all ends of the earth.  FYI..in NYC this would be defined as..the outer boroughs or any block north of the Guggenheim.  Anyway..it was a good excuse to trek way the hell uptown.. to 125th street!! Yikes!  It's actually somewhat uncharted art country up there, so I needed a travel guide, and a body guard to drag along this bad little lost Sheep, and my pal JG.  Oh, just one note about JG, since leaving art publishing, he's looking and sounding more and more like my old high school English teacher everyday! Can you say fashion emergency?? Carson.. Help!

So.. we attended the opening and the "clearly too cool for us" dance party last week at the Studio Museum.  The party was rockin!! The sculpture garden was packed with lots of uber chic people busy guzzling the free booze, and tearing up the hip-hop dance floor.  Naturally, being in the NYC art hinterland, we saw many people with shaved heads, chain mail jewelry, bandannas, and combat boots.. and those were just the women! Or in other words... we blended right in with the crowd! NOT!

Studio_museum2It would seem the Spike Lee look is "in" on 125th street. (See photo #1) So I probably shouldn't have been surprised when someone ask me if we were the Museum's audit team from Pricewaterhouse!  Just kidding.. actually... they only asked JG that question! But I digress..

Well.. for those who are completely clueless don't know, The Studio Museum of Harlem is mostly focused on the work of local black artists. Many of their featured resident artists have grown to have international reputations, such as current art stars Wangechi Mutu, and Kehinde Wiley just too name a few MAO favorites..

The new show is a culmination of the work just completed by their current Artist-in-Residence program. The exhibition is named "Same Difference" and includes work by Rashawn Griffin, Karyn Olivier and Clifford Owens.  You may recognize both Karyn Olivier and Clifford Owens, since they have recently been featured in the successful Greater New York 2005 show at P.S.1.  As for this group show, there's not much of a real connection between any of the artists works.  But there are some innovative individual pieces presented, and it's still well worth a look if you find yourself lost   way up north anytime soon. This group show is up until October 22.

So..here's a bunch of additional pictures from the opening night party which were posted on someone's New York Social Diary.....needless to say.. we didn't make that cut. But I'll stay on the lookout, there's always a chance our ugly mugshots pictures could be in the next Studio Museum's annual report or financial statements!

July 21, 2006

Art Image of the Week - Painter Jules de Balincourt

I've been feeling very anti-Bush political lately.. Maybe it's just all this Israeli Hezbollah hullabaloo.. and seeing our current administrations total failure to do anything helpful in the Middle East that's got me depressed. Maybe it's been reading about this naughty black sheep  Ex-Ohio bloggers trip home that keeps me thinking.. what were those stupid mis-informed people in OHIO thinking when they voted again for GW Bush! Yikes! Well.. Anyway...

Julesdebalincourtusa_1 So this weeks Art image is a painting by French born artist Jules de Balincourt.

It's titled "US World Studies III, 2005," Oil, Acrylic and Enamel on Panel, 150 x 183cm.

Jules is one of those young hot artists represented by the Dealer with the Golden touch Zach Feuer.

Jules has had several solo shows at the Zach Feuer/LFL Gallery, and was featured in Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the PS 1 Great NY show last year, and past Whitney Biennial just to name a few. He'll be included in the up coming USA Today show.

Here's an Art In America review by Brian Boucher, and a James Wagner "Terrific Show" review.

Plus Notes and Queries, Joao Ribas, just chose Jules to be his pick for the Salzburg HangArt-7 exhibition, saying Balincourt's work stands as some of the most affective and politically charged painting of the last decade..[more...]

So what do you think of this painting and of Jules de Balincourt's work??

  • Outsider Art Genius, or just more Flat Folk Art Feuer Funk ? 
  • A Jasper Johns want-to-be pop artist or a new Visionary Virtuoso ?
  • An Artist on the Verge of a Breakthrough or Breakdown ?
  • A 32 Year Old, Hunter M.F.A. in the prime of his career,or just another Hyper-Zack Attack ?
  • Is it a psychedelic-palette of plain political paranoia, or simply smart social studied structures of sophisticated cynicism?
  • Cartoonish, or future art icon?

All thoughts are welcome...

July 20, 2006

Merrill Lynch Reports That Art is Among the Worst-Performing Investments

In a concerted effort to further beat to death the concept of Art As An Investment, I found this new Merrill Lynch research report worth shredding sharing.

Oh... and for those financial geeks interested in further art financial beatings, please see this wise art Hunter blogger, or that witty floorwalker blogger, or that vulture girl blogger, or this smarty cat blogger, or plus that ultra smart blogger, oh, and not to ever forget this astute but edgy blogger, just to rename a few.. 

The US Investment Strategy team at Merrill Lynch, Richard Bernstein, and Kari Pinkernell, have published a new detailed historical asset allocation study, attached below. They looked at all the major asset classes (stocks, bonds, real estate,commodities, etc) which surprisingly included, ART !  They then compared the historic performance, and relative risks of each of these major asset classes. These results are presented in numerous puffy pretty graphs. As expected, the Art sector didn't fare too well on an absolute return basis, but at least it was included! By Merrill Lynch including the Art sector, they implicitly suggest all investors should consider utilizing art as a regular part of a prudent long term financial plan.

The asset classes with their calculated probability of negative absolute returns for each are shown below for various time periods. The historic time periods spanned over 35 years, from December 1969 to June 2006. For art market returns, Merrill used data that only went back to 1976, which was provided by the auction data focused Art Market Research.

Ml_probability_negative_returns_2

I thought this was one of the most interesting charts in the  Merrill Lynch study

Of the 10 major asset classes, during a 5 year holding period,

  • Commodities had the worst highest probably of losing money, 41% of the time, followed by
  • Gold with a 36% probability, and then
  • Art with a 17% chance of a loss.

But just remember, Wall Street's analysis of any asset class (like art) that they don't sell, maybe very a bit biased, plus it's just one way of looking at the potential risk of owning art. It doesn't take into consideration, non art auction related returns, and the all other non-financial benefits. Additionally, I wish they had analyzed and presented the return correlations between art and other asset classes. Intuition is the Art sector returns should be a better diversification tool than most traditional investments choices. Plus art looks pretty over the sofa, you ever try hanging a mutual fund or stock certificate on your wall ?? Ha! Just kidding.. but you get the point!

Well, you can read the study for yourself, but, the major gee-whiz conclusions of this study are: chasing an outperforming asset class can end up hindering ones performance, and diversification among a broad range of assets is important. Not exactly revolutionary thinking on the part of Merrill Lynch.. so much for Wall Street "Professional" investment advice! Next!

Here's the actual Merrill Lynch Study - Deleted At the Request of Merrill Lynch..  Just Email me at mike@ModernArtObsession.com and I will send it to you.

And, this is a Bloomberg News Story written by Linda Sandler which also reviews the study, Download BloombergNews_MerrillStudy.txt

July 19, 2006

MAO Art Buy of the Month by Photographer Atta Kim

Atta_kim_museum_projectSo you may have seen the Atta Kim : On Air show at ICP this month. It's been very well received. Here's a few reviews..

which all gave the show thumbs up.

Also there is an opportunistic impressive current gallery show "The Museum Project" at The Yossi Milo Gallery. As always expected in this world of insane hyper art demand, the show has equally impressive sky hi print prices. Most of the large prints in the show range from $15,000 to $20,000 each.

But for those Atta Kim fans who don't have a few extra (like 20 thousand) dollars to burn invest don't fret.  You can still have an Atta Kim in your home!

This month only, there is a special Blockbuster Book and Print Sale at the Aperture Foundation. 30% off on all Aperture books, and 15% off all of their limited edition prints!
So the winner of MAO Art Buy of the Month goes to this 2001 Museum Project image photo by Atta Kim. (Shown in this post) Right now, it's only $510 for the nice size, 20 x 16 inch photograph, in a edition of 50. I think the price goes up as the edition sells out..so don't wait too long!

FYI.. this image is also the cover of Atta Kim's first major monograph "The Museum Project". Which is also available for only $35 at Aperture.org.

July 18, 2006

The Dog Days Of Summer - Life in the Baked Apple

Dogdaysofsummer OK..Back in the office today.. and  It's 104 freaking degrees outside as I'm looking at the digital thermometer on the New York Magazine building clock tower! Ouch!

It's too hot to post anything... and we should all be at the beach.. and not reading art blogs.. so..turn the computer off.. and go out and play!

July 15, 2006

Art Image of The Week - Erick Swenson

OK.. The MAO Staff Summer Vacation is almost freaking over.. So next week we'll return to our normal dull posting schedule..

Erick_swenson_untitled This week we're going to try something a little bit different..

This work of art is an installation by Dallas, Texas artist, Erick Swenson. Yes... some great artistic bright creative people do come from TX..just not above average presidential politicians!  These are the photo's of a single work...so we actually have three images this week.

Erick_swenson_untitled0003 I first saw Erick's haunting hyper realistic work at a show at the James Cohan Gallery.

Plus he also was included (and arguably one of the few standouts) in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

This work spans more than seven meters, and is Untitled from 2004 - 2005. It's an allegorical winter scene made of Styrofoam snow, polyurethane ice which engulf a brick street featuring a white mystical frozen deerErick_swenson_untitled0018.   

For more info on Erick Swenson here is

So.. What do you think of Erick Swenson's Art and this specific work? Fan or Foe??

July 13, 2006

July Art Quiz Winner... DADA Show At MOMA

Sorry for not posting much the last 2 weeks.. But what do you want for free, plus, my Jury Duty is now over..it was pretty cool..We found the big drug dealer him Not Guilty, and if it had not interrupted my ab fab PTown summer vacation.. It would have been fine. I don't know why everyone complains so fucking much about Jury Duty.

So we had several winners of the July Art Quiz.. But there was one Super Art Genius who got the correct answer in under one hour of the post! So yes..it was too easy he's a genius!

The winner was.. Edwin Smalling from San Diego and he's got a cool new website... www.west-ghost.com check it out!

FYI.. Edwin has not yet picked an art charity yet for his prize.. so stay tuned.. oh.. and all art charity suggestions are welcome. So.. Maybe he'll pick your favorite!

Here's the answers.. Object A..

Julyartquiza_1

Object B Julyartquizb_1

Edwin's Answer..

Object A is man ray title is gift originally made in 1921 and reproduced in 1958

Object b is Duchamp and is titled Fresh Widow made in 1920.

They are both currently on view at MOMAs Dada show and i think they are in the permanent collection as well. a

As to how the man ray got its name, origin, straight from the moma site:

"Man Ray's first solo exhibition in Paris included paintings, aerographs, and collages, mostly brought from New York in his steamer trunk. Not listed in the catalogue was an object Man Ray constructed on the very afternoon his show opened: he glued a row of fourteen tacks to the bottom of an iron and added it to the works on display as a gift for the gallery owner, the poet Philippe Soupault. With its menacing blend of domesticity and sadomasochism, the object apparently attracted unusual attention—by the end of the day, Gift had vanished."

So the Dada show at MOMA is really great and up till Sept 11th.. I saw it last weekend. So for all those stuck in NYC this summer.. it's one show not to be missed!

July 08, 2006

Art Image of the week by Barnaby Furnas

Sorry for the delay again.. Somehow I got screwed picked to be on a Jury Trail.. so I've been without internet all week. Can you image..? Picking someone as biased, jaded and judgmental as MAO to be on your Jury.. OMG.. talk about scrapping the bottom of the moral barrel! I almost feel sorry for the apparently totally guilty defendant! But that's another story... now ..back to our AIOTW...

So this weeks image is by Artist Barnaby Furnas.. This large painting is titled "DuaBarbabyfurnasduell, 2004." It's an oil painting and measures 325 x 193 cm. I believe the scene "depicts two ex-presidents in battle, simply for the sake of seeing the beauty of the carnage in slow motion."

Interestingly.. For this young artist, I've not seen much written on Barnaby's work lately.. but you may remember him from his hot debut a few years ago.  He's one of the overhyped 2000 Columbia University, MFA super stars who had his first show at Marianne Boesky Gallery in 2002.

Barnaby's use of hot colors, and intense hyperactive narrative scenes have always been an attraction to collectors.

Here's some background info..

an  Artforum Review by Jordan Kantor,

His listing on ArtFacts

and a little more

from the Saatchi Gallery Website about the artist.

So what do you think?

A Young Art Star who burned out quickly?

Still a major force in modern painting of the new century?

All Washed up at age 33?

or A fresh voice, gliding effortlessly between the worlds of representation and abstraction?

All thoughts welcome..

July 06, 2006

July MAO Art Quiz - Sorry for the Delay!

Sorry for the delay.. For the staff at MAO, it's been a wild first few days of July.. here's just a taste of the weekend as partly caused reported by this devil sheep witty ass blogger! Happy July 4th everyone!

So.. I'll keep this one very easy..Cause it's already July 6th, I'm still hungover tired, and there's no time to waste..

Here are two art objects (made by different artists)....
Object A.Julyartquiza
and
Then we
have this one..

Object B.
Julyartquizb
To win, you need to give the names of the artists which created each of these works,

and

In what current museum show are these two works both currently on view??

First person in with the complete correct answer gets to pick an Arts Based Charity for a nice donation to be made in their honor.

Extra MAO Art Genius Bonus Points if you know the names of each of these objects.. and if you can explain where the first one got it's name?

Good Luck..
And enjoy the summer!