Art in Print

Chile tiptoeing into global cultural recognition

In 2011 to protest against a “rotten” system 3,000 student demonstrators took to the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago dressed as goblins and ghouls to perform Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. This combination of performance art, street art and political protest exemplifies Chilean culture that is wayward and angry and yet funny and defiant.


Chilean performance art has gone from strength to strength this year presenting itself at the annual fair of Fira Tàrrega in the town of Tàrrega in Catalonia, Spain on September 8th as well as being represented at the first London Design Biennale from September 7th.


Alfredo Jaar, Chile’s best known artist and radical thinker, unveiled his controversial neon “A Logo for America” in Picadilly Circus last month. He criticises the assumption that America represents the whole continent. “For many it is the first step”, he says. “Latin America is the poor relation but is now getting some recognition. The art world is a perfect reflection of a global geopolitical reality […] The artists, roughly speaking, represent the strength of the economy.”


Via The Financial Times


Björk Digital at Somerset House

The highly anticipated exhibition of the amazing Icelandic singer opens tomorrow at Somerset House. The show is filled with videos, head-spinning immersive virtual-reality experiences and app-based technological trickery. The main bulk of the exhibition is made up of four VR film clips that the singer made for the songs ‘Stonemilker’. ‘Mouth Mantra’, ‘Notget’ and ‘Black Lake’ off her 2015 album ‘Vulnicura’. Then there is a cinema showing of all Björk’s influential music video back catalogue and a chance to play with her educational app ‘Biophilia’.


This morning, Björk opened the exhibition in spectacular fashion from Iceland as a live avatar, which mirrored her movements using motion-capture technology. Björk constantly and consistently challenges the status quo, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in music, art and technology.


Via Time Out 


Can the old masters be relevant again?

At Christie’s over the past few weeks, two experts in old masters paintings and drawings left the auctions house following a year of poor sales in which the values of old masters works fell by 33 percent. Struggling with shrinking inventory and elusive profits, auction houses appear to be devoting most of their resources to contemporary art, the most popular area of their business.


An appreciation for old masters, experts say, also requires a deeper history of collecting and an educated eye. Christie’s, for example, trains its old master specialists for six to seven years, whereas its contemporary experts get three to four years. And new collectors tend to find contemporary art more accessible.


“They want to be associated with the new and the now,” said Edward Dolman, chairman and chief executive of Phillips auction house, who spent much of his career at Christie’s chasing works by old masters but now focuses on contemporary art.


Via The New York Times 


Body of Devotion: The Cosmic Buddha in 3D

While the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art is undergoing renovations, curator of ancient Chinese art Keith Wilson has moved a five-foot-tall, 800-pound stone figure to the Sackler next door. It is the centerpiece of “Body of Devotion: The Cosmic Buddha in 3D,” a show about the ways digital technologies can help unlock centuries-old secrets.


What makes this sixth century Chinese object exceptional are the detailed narrative scenes that cover its surface, representing moments in the life of the Historical Buddha as well as the Reals of Existence, a symbolic map of the Buddhist world.  With help from the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office, the Cosmic Buddha also exists as a 3D model, enabling scholars to study the work as never before and providing worldwide access to this masterpiece of Buddhist sculpture.


Via The Wall Street Journal