Art in Print

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic

 
Abramovic believes her performance pieces are expressions of limitless artistic freedom. But when they are listed here in her memoir, one after another over the years, boundary-pushing fatigue soon sets in. In practice, most of her work falls back upon repeated themes of nudity, staring and self-harm.
 
Born in Yugoslavia in 1946 under Marshal Tito’s dictatorship, Abramovic had a materially comfortable upbringing, thanks to her father’s high position in the Communist party, but her childhood was “emotionally desolate”. Her parents’ marriage was “like a war” — she never saw them hug or kiss and her mother would use her as a human shield when her father started beating her.
 
In the early Seventies she joined a small group of anti-commercial, “anti-art” artists, and in 1973 she created her first major performance piece. In front of an audience she took 10 sharp knives and stabbed them between the fingers of her hand one at a time as fast as she could. When she nicked herself her groans of pain were picked up by a tape recorder. Abramovic felt “intoxicated” by the piece’s success. She came to believe that pain is “a sacred door to another state of consciousness”. For Abramovic, it is not enough to suffer for art. The suffering is the art. Over the course of her career she pushed her body to further extraordinary limits through cutting, whipping, fasting and knocking herself out. 
 
She believes Western culture is limited “in understanding the true limits of the body and mind”. Instead she subscribes to all types of fridge-magnet mysticism, whether they be ley lines, auras, parallel realities, tarot cards, telepathic Aboriginals or dream prophecy. Sometimes these beliefs veer into conspiracy theory territory. She states that cancer is caused by suppressing bad emotions.
 
Via: Evening Standard
 
 

David Bowie's art fetches £24m in first round of sale

 
The first items from David Bowie’s personal art collection were sold at auction in London on Thursday, fetching more than £24m. A 1984 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, titled Air Power, was the most expensive of the night, selling for nearly £7.1m including premium – double the pre-sale upper estimate of £3.5m. Another Basquiat work, Untitled, sold for nearly £2.4m, more than three times its £700,000 upper estimate.
 
The only work by Bowie himself to go on sale in this first batch was Beautiful, Hallo, Space-boy Painting, an allusion to the astronaut character Major Tom, a recurring presence in Bowie’s songs. The painting, which he produced with Damien Hirst, sold for £785,000.
 
The first two sales at Sotheby’s, including Thursday’s 47-lot sale and a day sale on Friday, focus on Bowie’s modern and contemporary art pieces. The third, which will also be on Friday, will include pieces by the designer Ettore Sottsass and other members of Italy’s Memphis group.
 
The proceeds of the sale will go to Bowie’s estate, which together with Sotheby’s spent several months putting the auction together, a spokeswoman for the auction house told: “David’s art collection was fuelled by personal interest and compiled out of passion. He always sought and encouraged loans from the collection and enjoyed sharing the works in his custody,” said a spokesperson for the estate. “Though his family are keeping certain pieces of particular personal significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate – and acquire – the art and objects he so admired.”
 
Via: The Guardian