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Archive for August, 2008

Guy Portelli (Dragon’s Den)

Monday, August 25th, 2008

I was just watching British BBC’s Dragon’s Den, a tv-show where entrepreneurs look for investors for their business. And then Guy Portelli, a contemporary artist appeared. Guy Portelli makes limited editions sculptures of famous contemporary icons ranging from Grace Jones to Amy Winehouse. It is definitely interesting art that will be appealing to many contemporary collectors.

However it was the idea behind openly showing business intentions that struck me. It is obvious that Guy Portelli does know a thing or two about business and profit is one of the main reasons he makes the art. But does this compromise his artistic life ? Is his passion genuine or did he merely choose these popular subjects to get better sales ? As long as money is only the result and not the cause of the art, I’m perfectly fine with the idea.

For the record: he did get the investment which will be used for an art exhibition later this year/early 2009. I will follow up on what happens and how much a decent marketing campaign can help an artist to gain popularity (and hence inflate prices). Who will buy, how much does media influence “art taste”, will someone who is so open about moneymaking ideas ever gain respect in the die-hard (sometimes hypocritical) artistic world ? A very interesting experiment in many ways indeed.

Best of luck to Guy Portelli !

You Minjun meets Moshzilla

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Above: Famous Chinese contemporary artist You Minjun with Kung Fu III

Below: Famous Photoshop victim Moshzilla

This is what I hate about art

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

From the Saatchi Gallery on Chinese artist Yue Minjun

Immediately humorous and sympathetic, Yue Minjun’s paintings offer a light-hearted approach to philosophical enquiry and contemplation of existence. Drawing connotations to the disparate images of the Laughing Buddha and the inane gap toothed grin of Alfred E. Newman, Yue’s self-portraits have been describe by theorist Li Xianting as “a self-ironic response to the spiritual vacuum and folly of modern-day China.”

Often basing his compositions on well known European masterpieces and iconic Chinese art, Yue subverts the grandiose aura of art history through his adaptation of pop aesthetics. Using both the exaggerated expressiveness of cartooning and the stylistic rendering of graphic illustration, Yue depicts his cloned doppelgangers as contorted and grotesque, all scalded pink skin and maniacal toothy cackles.

The acidic tones and commercialised vacuity of his works are used to underscore the insincerity of his figures’ mirth. As both antagonists and anti-heroes, Yue’s hysterical cohorts equally bully the viewer and stand as subjects of ridicule. Using laughter as a denotation of violence and vulnerability, Yue’s paintings balance a zeitgeist of modern day anxiety with an Eastern philosophical ethos, positing the response to the true nature of reality as an endless cynical guffaw.

I immediately adored his work but this bombastic piece of writing almost put me off again.

Installation of Nele Azevedo

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008


installation de Nele Azevedo, originally uploaded by Lemoox.

Flickr art

Friday, August 1st, 2008


Paint_Art (8), originally uploaded by keanh.codon@yahoo.com.