The Art Inquirer is your source of news for the artist and the Art appreciator
Established in 2008

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Banksy Did It Again (Guilty or Not ?)

The famous grafitti artist Banksy, who recently had a major exhibition at the Bristol Museum, has supposedly stenciled over a work of 1985 by Robbo who is a reference from the grafitti artists of the 80's.
This act has triggered some controversy among the community and The Art Inquirer wonders about the causes that may be behind this public stunt.
It's not common for an artist to repaint over another artist's work without a plausible reason for it, so maybe in the near future we may update this article with further development.
Illustrating this article are the photos in the following sequence: original work by Robbo; Robbo's work with Banksy's painting over it; Robbo's repaint and modification over Banksy's work.




From left to right: Photo by Citrus Topnote Jr. Photo by TheMammal Photo by Robbo
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The Life and Art of Caravaggio (Part Three)


You can watch the first part here and the second one here.
There will be more episodes, don't miss them.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009



I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all of you, namely those who have supported my continuous effort to make of The Art Inquirer a valuable resource for artists and art enthusiasts.
Enjoy this season in the good company of family and friends, but don't forget others and make the spirit of Christmas a whole year event.

José
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

And the Winner is...

One of the followers of this blog has won a $25 Gift Certificate sponsored by Blick Art Materials.
An e-mail was already sent and the winner has until December 25th, 2009, to claim the prize.
Should the gift certificate not be claimed, another reader of The Art Inquirer will be chosen.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Brooklyn Museum Customized Tours

The Brooklyn Museum gives the possibility to visitors using a cell phone or smartphone with a compatible browser, to customize their gallery tours and share them with other users.
Visitors are also able to create notes that will serve as customized tours and can accessed by others through the Brooklyn Museum website, while the program itself can suggest tours based upon the visitor's preferences.
This interactivity makes possible to share cultural information between people from the same and from different cultures in a friendly way, while through the supplied data, the system is conceived to carry modifications thus growing more intelligent.
Including a vast number of cultures from antiquity to the present, the museum's website contains images and information on more than 11,000 objects.
The costumizable guide is free to all visitors and was developed by Shelley Bernstein, chief of technology, assisted by Jennifer Bantz, manager of interpretive materials, Brooklin Museum.
Paul Beaudoin, programmer, Brooklin Museum, was in charge of the web application.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Life and Art of Caravaggio (Part Two)


You can watch the first episode about Caravaggio here, or the third one if you prefer.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Curriculum - Artist Residency Programme

From March 8th to May 2nd, 2010, A Foundation (Liverpool, UK) in association with Saatchi Online and John Moores University will launch an artist residency programme named A Curriculum.
Eight artists will be selected for this programme and provided with a studio space at the Blade Factory.
During the A Curriculum, participants will develop their work and attend discussions with art professionals, including gallerists, curators, commissioners and artists, during wich they will learn how the different aspects of the art world interrelate and how they can develop a sustainable artistic activity.
Other activities are scheduled, including a public closing event.
The application deadline is January 4th, 2010.





The programme is open to all EU residents of all ages, who have completed a BA or MA in Fine Arts within the last five years.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Life and Art of Caravaggio (Part One)


Watch the second episode about the life and art of Caravaggio.
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New Series of Videos About Artists

During the next weeks, The Art Inquirer will show a series of videos from BBC upon the life and work of famous artists, including Bernini, Caravaggio and Rothko.
Presented by Simon Schama, the series was called The Power of Art.
You can subscribe to the newsletter by using Feedblitz, found on the right column of this blog.
This way you will know when a new video is available.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Los Angeles Art Show 2010



Organized by the Fine Art Dealers Association (FADA) and JR Martindale Show Management, the Los Angeles Art Show 2010 and International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) Print Fair, will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
With the opening preview night gala on January 20, 2010 and through January 24, 2010 ( January 21 - 24 for the general public), the show will count with over 130 international exhibitors and 15,000 items.
From old masters to contemporary artists, exhibiting paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, video and prints, the Los Angeles Art Show 2010 will include lectures and panel discussions.
Inner-City Arts, one of the beneficiaries, will provide a hands-on workshop specially catered for for children.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to see a sculptures garden.
The 2009 show was attended by 35000 visitors, with sold works by Charles Patridge Adams, Jasper Johns and Rembrandt, among others.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

II Colective Exhibition "O Nosso Bairro"

Located at the 15B of the Augusto Gil street, in Lisbon, the bookstore Círculo das Letras presents the second edition of the collective exhibition "O Nosso Bairro".
With the purpose of connecting the people who live or work in the neighbourhood and have art as their main activity or a hobby, this exhibition counts with Fernando Vicent as its main mentor and the indispensable collaboration of those woking at the bookstore.
After last year's successful opening, the same is expected for 2009.
The exhibition takes place from December 16, 2009 (7 pm) through January 6, 2010.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Oedipus and the Sphinx (Bacon after Ingres)



Visitors to the Berardo Museum have the opportunity to compare two interpretations of the same subject: Oedipus and the Sphinx.
Thanks to the loan by the Louvre museum, the painting upon the mythological riddle asked to Oedipus by the Sphinx, by the french neoclassical painter Auguste-Dominique Ingres, is placed aside the work "Oedipus and the Sphinx after Ingres" by Francis Bacon, part of the Berardo Collection.
The exhibition ends on January 10, 2010.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blick Art Materials $25 Gift Certificate Giveway



The Art Inquirer has the purpose to provide its readers with interesting and relevant content, permiting them to be acquainted with what is happening the art world.
News about workshops and competitions give artists to have the chance of getting their art known, while the interviews with artists give the readers the opportunity to get to know those who make art one of the most important aspects of their lifes.
Through their opinions, readers (many of them artists) play an important role in the development of this blog.
With the sponsorship of Blick Art Materials, a gift certificate in the value of $25 and a catalogue, will be offered to one of the readers of The Art Inquirer.
The participation in this event is quite simple. Readers will receive a token for each of the following connections that they have with this art blog (the more connections the better chances they have of winning) : Followers - 1 token; Facebook Fans - 1 token; Newsletter Subscribers (Feedblitz) - 2 tokens; Writing an article about this with a link to this article - 3 tokens.
If you are one of the readers who will write an article on your website or blog about this event, please leave a comment on this article with a link to your post.
Links are not permitted for other comments, unless requested.
The winner will be announced on December 20th, 2009.
If you have any doubts, you may post them here or contact me via e-mail.
Thank for for being a reader of The Art Inquirer.
Good Luck and Merry Christmas !
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Korda - Conhecido Desconhecido



After Havana and Madrid, the collaboration between the House of Latin America (Casa da América Latina) and Lisbon's City Hall (Câmara Municipal de Lisboa), brings to Portugal the exhibition "Korda - Conhecido Desconhecido".
Comprising 200 photos selected from personal archives of friends and colaborators, many of them unpublished and not even printed by the author himself, the exhibition takes place at the East Turret Gallery in the National Rope-factory museum (Galeria Torreão Nascente – Edifício da Cordoaria Nacional), in Lisbon (Portugal). Guided visits will be carried out in the days of December 2nd, 2009 and January 5th ,2010 at 3pm, to which you can attend by calling first at (351) 218170600.
Open to the public from December 2nd through January 31st, 2010 and with free admitance, this is a singular opportunity to know more about the work of the cuban photographer Alberto Korda (Alberto Diaz Gutiérrez), famous for the photo "Che Guevara - Guerillero Heroico" (Heroic Guerrilla Fighter).The taste of Korda for fashion photography and beauty has brought this characteristic to the photographs that he took during the revolutionary cuban times.

Photo by Ricardo Malta

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"The Passenger" by Chris Jones



Result of an amazing dedication and creativity, together with the right portion of humour, "The Passenger" is a short film animation completely created by the australian artist Chris Jones.
This project developed through the course of six years and completed in 2006 has received the
Best Animation - 2006 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival (premiere) and the
Best Australian Film - 2008 Melbourne International Animation Festival awards.
Its screenplay has a quality that can be compared to ones that we are used to see from Tim Burton, grabbing the viewer from the beginning to the very end of the film.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year Award 2010



In 2009, BBC Wildlife introduced a competition for natural history artists.
With more than 700 entries, featuring artworks of high standards, this initiative proved to be a success.
Neil Allen was the overall winner with his painting "Bee Orchid" and will be present at the 2010 Festival of Wildlife in Brazil, taking place at the region of Pantanal.
With 13 categories to choose from, the winners from each one will have their work displayed at the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society annual exhibition, 2010.
The overall winner will exhibit at the Society of Wildlife Artists between 21 September and 2 October 2010,at the Mall Galleries, London, alongside with some of the finest wildlife artists and will have the chance to participate in the 8th Annual Festival of Wildlife in Baja California, Mexico, in search of whales and other marine life, which will take place in 2011.
The winners of each category will have their work published in the August 2010 issue of BBC Wildlife magazine (on sale 8 July).
All entries must be received by February 28th, 2010.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fernand Pelez at the Petit Palais



The artworks of Fernand Pelez can be seen at the Petit Palais (Paris) until January 17.
Entitled "Fernand Pelez, la parade des humbles", this unprecedented exhibition brings to the public the drawings and paintings from the artist, including street sellers, jugglers and famine people who made the streets of Montmartre their home.
On December 22nd, visitors will have the chance to attend a free interactive concert by the National Orchestra of France.
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Arte Lisboa 2009 - Contemporary Art Fair



The 9th edition of the contemporary art fair Arte Lisboa 2009 opened to the general public this Thursday, November 19th (the preview and vernissage took place on the 18th).
Occupying FIL's pavilion 4 at Parque das Nações, Arte Lisboa 2009 hosts 67 galleries (33 from portugal, 31 from spain, 1 from cuba, 1 from hungary and 1 from Korea).
Visitors will have the opportunity to attend panel discussions during the exhibition.
November 23rd is the closing date (finissage).
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Interview with British Artist Paul Coventry-Brown




Originaly from Liverpool (UK), Paul Coventry-Brown is a mostly self-taught full-time artist.
Having spent seventeen years in Japan, he now resides in the South West of France.

TAI - You use belgian linen. What characteristics make you want to work on it ?
Do you use a certain weave according to the subject ?
Paul - I use hardboard/masonite a lot because of the smoothness of the surface.
As for the linen panels, I use Claessens #13 which is their finest weave. It is still quite a rough weave compared to a fine detail cotton canvas but the first coat/layer fills most of it in and by the second coat the paint goes on very smoothly and very fine unbroken lines are possible.
It come the nearest to being able to replicate some of the techniques and feel that I have observed in the old masters.
The reason I like it so much is the way the paint goes onto the surface, it's very hard to explain, it is just a joy to paint on and I would recommend it to everyone to give it a try.
After the first coat it becomes very smooth but still has a slight texture and the paint does not 'sink in' (become dull) like it seems to do on normal acrylic primed cotton (this is usually because they don't put enough coats of gesso on to save money).
TAI - Do you prepare your owns canvases with primer ?
If so, do you prefer the acrylic or the oil one ?
Do you use hide glue or PVA resin/glue, if prepared with an oil primer ?
Paul - On hardboard I use about four coats of acrylic gesso (usually lightly sanding the last coat).
If I ever use cotton canvas I always give that two extra coats of gesso too.
I never need to prime a canvas as I never buy any that have not first been primed.
The Belgian linen needs no extra gesso at all:
Starting with the finest unprimed surface, the canvas is inspected, smoothed with a pumice, cleaned, and sized. It is then oil-primed with linseed oil and zinc white and allowed to dry for 3 days in a dry air oven before the final coat of titanium white is applied.
TAI - Which brushes do you prefer, taking into account : shape of the brush, quality/kind and subject being painted ?
Paul - use a mix of brushes, long/short handled and mostly synthetic ones, very rarely do I use bristle brushes.
I use the same brushes for all subjects, still life or portrait.
Winsor & Newton - Cotman watercolour brushes
Robert Simmons - White Sable
Siverwhite
I use only flats and brights (the round 'pointy' ones).
TAI - Differences between student/beginner quality paints and artist quality ones ?
Namely in terms of final results i.e. the aspect of the painting.
Paul - would always advise everyone to use artist quality paints, even for beginners as they are loaded with more pigment and some of the student ones have too much oil in them so they are a bit thin and don't cover well.
I know that some artists use cheap oils because they put them on very thick so there's no worry about covering power. But for my kind of work I found the artist quality to be better suited ... I don't know about vibrancy as you can probably get the same effect with the student ones but you would need more coats and more paint. When you put a lighter colour on top of a darker one, it's harder to cover if the light colour is thinner on pigment.
TAI - What acccessories do you find essential ?
Paul - A sheet of glass with white paper underneath for my palette, it's so easy to clean each night.
Winsor & Newton Liquin Original medium. I have tried every type of medium (including lead based ones) and always come back to this.
I always paint using an 85W, 5,600K daylight, energy saving bulb, this duplicates the light of the sun at midday and seems to give the best results when the paintings are moved to different lighting conditions when they are finished.
A 'mahl stick'. This is a 1cm diameter, round piece of dowel that is one meter long. This is to rest my hand on as I paint.
I rest one end on the top of my easel and the other end I hold in my left hand (I never rest it on the painting itself).
TAI - How important to you find draughtsmanship ?
Paul - It is not so important to me as I work from photos to set up the composition and lighting and then mostly 'square them up'. That is, I make small squares on the photo and the same number of bigger squares on the canvas (like a grid) and then just copy; it's been done for hundreds of years, why change it ;-)
With the less complicated compositions I just go straight onto the canvas with a brush and draw the outlines very freely with a very thin burnt umber. I much prefer this to pencil of charcoal. Even beginners can do this, as I proved at a class I taught in the Spring (see the May posting on my blog).
TAI - Do you find that a good knowledge of colour plays an important role in your paintings and in art visual arts in general ?
Paul - This is something I am not sure about. Colour theory can be taught and it can also be instinctive. My theory is very weak and I just work from a subconscious level.
A basic understanding of mixing colours is valuable and so is experimentation.
TAI - Share with us a little about your technique for painting core and cast shadows.
Paul - Sometimes I paint cast shadows as near to the colour and darkness I need and other times I paint them lighter and then glaze them darker, I use both just as much.
I will always make sure to paint the shadow and the surface it is cast onto at the same time so I can blend the edges into each other, I don't want hard edges shadows.
I usually work from dark to light.
TAI - Are the techniques that you use to paint a certain theme, influenced by those that you use on others ? i.e. when you are painting a portrait, do you feel that sometimes you are applying the techniques that you use on still lifes and vice-versa, even if sometimes without noticing ?
If so, what are the pros and cons ?
Paul - always apply the same technique to whatever I am painting and this is generally dark to light. That is to say, I put the darker areas in first, then the middle tones and then the lights, with the highlights at the very end.
TAI - Why trompe l'oeil ?
Paul - don't always paint 'trompes' but I do love the challenge of making something look as though it is 3D and fooling people into thinking that a flat surface of a panel has real depth. This is easier to achieve on hardboard rather than canvas.
TAI - Tell us about your comissions for Winsor & Newton and Blick Art Materials.
Paul - Well, Winsor & Newton picked me up as a featured artist on their UK web site and, apparently, the office staff there liked my work, so when they were looking for a painting to feature on the label of their new range of fine detail canvas the office staff recommended me to the marketing division. Of course, I was delighted and so surprised when I received a phone call from them. I haven't seen the design yet but I will put it up on the blog once I get a copy (if it isn't a total disappointment that is ;-). The canvas should be going out in December I think.
The work for Blick will go out on the cover of their Winter flyer and apparently goes out to 350,000 people! Again, I don't have a sample yet but keep your eye on the blog.
TAI - What marketing strategies do you think work best into getting customers ?
Paul - My secret weapon is my sister in law, Sheila, in Bermuda who worked really hard to help get me started and has built up an amazing client base for me out there. I don't really know of a surefire strategy, but a blog is essential I think.
I have been lucky in that many people have seen my paintings that other people have bought and then bought some themselves.
I don't have any gallery representation but I would like to try that one day.
TAI - To which countries do you sell more ?
Paul - Mostly the USA and Bermuda with the UK next.
TAI - Is there's a social level that is more interested in your works, namely according to subject ?
Paul - No, I don't think so. My work seems to appeal to a broad spectrum of ages and social levels.
TAI - Do you have future exhibitions happening soon ?
When and where ?
Paul - I don't exhibit. No one has asked me to and I don't have any unsold work to show.
I have a regular client base and, luckily for me, most of the paintings are sold by my mailing list and sometimes through my blog.
Sometimes I sell some on eBay that I don't manage to sell privately, but only a few.
TAI - What about your projects for the future ?
Paul - Just to get better and better. Like most artists I never feel that I have done well enough and that I should be better; I find fault in everything I do and want to move on and try and learn from my mistakes.
I would love to do some really good original 'trompes' but they take so long to do as you have to be a lot more careful.
TAI - Thank you for the interview to The Art Inquirer, would you like to add anything else ?
Paul - If anyone has any questions at all about painting (beginners or advanced) or my work I will be delighted to reply to any queries. We should pass on what we learn to help each other.

You can see the paintings of Paul Coventry-Brown and contact him at his website.
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Art Calendar Self-Portrait Cover Contest 2010

The readers of the Art Calendar have the opportunity to participate on the Self-Portrait Cover Contest 2010 and win gift certificates to Blick Art Materials, with the winner being feature on the cover of the March issue.
Submissions must be sent electronically and the deadline will be 23:59 on December 11th, 2009, Eastern Standard Time.
The winner will be notified on December 15th, 2009.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Johannes Vermeer's The Milkmaid at the Met




The Metropolitan Museum of Art is running a special exhibition from the Duch Golden Age through November 29th, 2009.
Making part of this exhibition is the famous work The Milkmaid from Johannes Vermeer, loaned by the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam to commemorate the connection between New York and the Netherlands on the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river that would bear his name.
Financed by the Dutch East India Company, his explorations led to the rise of the city New Amsterdam, later renamed New York.
The Milkmaid is regarded as one of the last works of Vermeer's early period, during which he adopted the style and subjects, namely domestic life, that were so common between the painters of that dutch period.
Artworks from famous painters such as Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Nicolaes Maes, part of the Metropolitan's collection, are also included in this exhibition.


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Saturday, November 7, 2009

NanoArt 2009 - 4th Edition



Open to all artists and scientists worldwide, the 4th Edition of NanoArt International Online Competition will will open for public on January 20th, 2010.
The artist and scientist Cris Orfescu, founder of NanoArt21, will provide 3 high resolution monochromatic electron scans of nanosculptures, which will have to be altered by the participants in order to create their own artworks.
The artists and scientists are encouraged to enter artworks (up to five) based upon their own images of micro or nanostructures.
All the submitted works will be will be exhibited on the NanoArt21.org website until March 31, 2010, together with artist's name, website and a description of the artistic process.
The top 10 artists, chosen by a jury, will have their art exhibited at the NanoArt21.org website for one full year and will be invited to exhibit at the 3rd edition of The International Festival of NanoArt (the 2008 edition took place in Stuttgart, Germany).
The deadline to enter this competition is January 15th, 2010.


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Open Day at Sotheby's Institute of Art New York



With academic centers in London, New York and Singapore, the Sotheby's Institute of Art provides graduate programs for students seeking a career in the art world.
Featuring an object-based approach to teaching, students have the opportunity to learn through hands-on examination of works of art in museums, galleries and private collections.
The range of disciplines covers art valuation, curatorship , galleries and auction houses working methods, passing through the basics of copyright and tax laws.
Lectures are given by specialists on a regular basis, including artists, art critics, gallery directors, art lawyers and Sotheby's auction house experts.
The Sotheby's Institute of Art also offers intensive programs and short courses, focusing on the art market and Summer studies during June and July, both in New York.
On November 10th, between 6pm and 8pm, the Institute in New York will hold an Open Day event, covering the fields of Contemporary Art, American Fine & Decorative Art and Art Business, where prospective students will have the chance to learn about the graduate programs and ask questions.



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Monday, October 26, 2009

CultureInside Halloween Contest 2009


The artistic community CultureInside is running a free contest for its registered members.
Adressed to artists and photographers and having the Halloween as its theme, the call starts on Monday October 26th and ends on Friday October 31st.
Selected by the CultureInside team and its community, the winners will have their works exhibited in a permanent online exhibition

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Art Enclosures - Call for Artists Venice 2009 - 2010



Sponsored by the Fondazione di Venezia, together with Polymnia Srl (fully participate of Fondazione di Venezia) and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, the three year residential program , now on its second phase, aims to provide emerging young artists from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific area, an opportunity of visibility and intercultural exchange.
During the three-year span, twelve young artists will be hosted and their artwork will be showcased in periodic exhibitions and pubished in a catalogue.
The forthcoming residency program will take place in Venice from January 20th through April 20th, 2010 and is destined to four artists from the african continent.
The project will cover travel expenses and lodging in the Palazzo Carminati, provided by the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa.
Artists will receive grant in the value of €700 (pre-taxes) for living costs while in Venice.
The ateliers of the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa and the necessary materials will be available to the artists for the completion of the artworks during the three months period, during which they will have the opportunity to get involved in public meetings, conferences and other cultural activities organized by the Fondazione di Venezia and the Fondazione Bevilacqua Masa.
The residential artists will also be given the chance to visit some of the museums and exhibitions in the area free of charge.
The application deadline is November 7th, 2009, you can download the prospect here.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sand Animation by Kseniya Simonova 2009



Winner of Ukraine's Got Talent 2009, Kseniya Simonova (Ксения Симонова) performed amazing sand animation that portrayed life during former USSR's Great Patriotic War against the Third Reich in World War II (animation on top).

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2009 Artistic Infusion Program - Call for Artists



Created by the Congress in 1972, the United States Mint is a self-funded agency with the primary mission of producing an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce.
The United States Mint program is seeeking up to 6 artists to participate in the creation of designs for coins. The selected artists will join the current designers under contract with the program and will be paid the established fees.
Please read the application carefully.


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Fingerprint on Vellum Portrait may Belong to Leonardo da Vinci



What can be a major discovery in the last one hundred years of a work by Leonardo da Vinci, has been recently announced to the public.
Sold at Christie's New York as " Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress" and catalogued as "German, early 19th cantury" for $19,000 to art dealer Kate Ganz who kept it for 12 years before selling it on for a similar price in 2007 to a swiss art collector, the 13in by 9in (33cm x 24cm) chalk, pen and ink on vellum portrait, mounted on an oak board, may have been painted by da Vinci.
A fingerprint was found at the top left by the forensic art expert Peter Paul Biro and compared to one found on "St. Jerome", a Leonardo's work kept at the Vatican, when the artist is not known to have assitants.
A palm-print on the neck is also consistent with da Vinci's use of his hands to create shading and texture.
The claim made by Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of History of Art at Oxford University, is backed by tests done with a "multispectral" camera from Lumière Technology of Paris and by the carbon-14 analysis of the vellum, carried out by the Institute for Particle Physics, in Zurich, which resulted in a date range between 1440 and 1650.
Infrared analysis also reveals that drawing and hatching were made by a left-handed artist.
Professor Kemp believes that the sitter is Bianca Sforza, daughter of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan (1452-1508) and his mistress Bernardina Corradis. He suggests that the portrait may be dated from around 1496, when aged 13 or 14 she married Galeazzo Sanseverino, the Duke's army captain and a Leonardo's patron.
No other artwork on vellum by Leonardo da Vinci is known, however the artist had inquired the french artist Jean Perréal about techniques using coloured chalk on vellum.
Should these tests be proved reliable, the artwork that was previously sold for $19,000 is now valued at £100 million, according to London dealer Simon Dickinson.
The portrait is due to go on display at the Eriksbergshallen, Gothenburg, included in the exhibition called "And There Was Light: The Masters of the Renaissance Seen in a New Light".
Earlier this year, a portrait thought to be of Leonardo da Vinci was found by Nicola Barbatelli in a private collection of an aristocratic familiy from Acerenza, a town near Potenza in Basilicata.
A research commissioned by the owner's agent is available for reading.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

National Portfolio and Graduate Portfolio Days



Art students who are looking for an opportunity to get their portfolios examined by experts, can be attended by art colleges and art schools that participate in the Portfolio Day events.
Taking place in several parts of the country and dates, there are two kinds of events : the National Portfolio Day, specifically for students of visual arts and design interested in undergraduate programs like BFA, BS and BA degrees, and the Graduate Portfolio Days for students that already have a Bachelor’s degree and are interested in MFA, MArch, and MA degrees.
The Graduate Portfolio Days is managed under the National Portfolio Day Association and in both websites, students can consult the 2009/2010 schedule for graduate and undergraduate programs.
If you have any questions, there is a FAQs page available.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Terry Ludwig Confetti Pastels



Known by their exquisite colours, including some successful dark tones, Terry Ludwig has recently introduced the "Confetti" line of soft pastels.
With the characteristic square shape that Terry has made us familiarized with, these new pastel sticks feature multiple pigments of different hues, enabling the artist to achieve interesting effects and details, such as sparks on water and shadows, or to deliver more interest to porcelain elements on a painting.
Terry Ludwig developed this new interesting line of Confetti soft pastels, now it's up to the artists to use their creativity and give the best use to it.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

List Your Art Workshops For Free

If you are looking for a website where you can list your art workshop for free, Artist Workshop is one of the options.
Recently developed by Peggy and Robert Stermer-Cox, the website permits registered users to list their workshops for free, including online ones.
In the future we will see further development as the Artist Workshop is a new website and will continue to improve its service, namely based upon users' feedback.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alive Gallery (Seoul, South Korea)


Located in Seoul, South Korea, the Alive Gallery uses advanced IT technology to enhance the visitor's experience.
This enables the interaction between visitors and the characters from famous western paintings, such as The Last Supper and The Arnolfini Portrait.
It's possible that you may not need to travel far to enjoy the experience, since there's the possibility of exporting this technology to other galleries and museums, or even being developed in your own country.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Social Networking for Artists



Over the last couple of years we have seen a constant appearing of social networking websites, permiting users to make themselves noticeable to connect with people sharing similar interests.
However one sometimes thinks to what extent people are finding a right balance between the time that they pass using those websites and the time shared in person with other people.
What The Art Inquirer wants to suggest is to use those social networks to bring people together, namely artists.
Instead of using those websites to only communicate, you can use them to arrange meetings with other artists and develop your artistic skills.
You can look for artists who share similar interests, or different ones if you want to learn new subjects or media, find them by using geographical options (if the network has that option) and so on.
This can work especially well for "plein air" painters or potential ones who have the desire to go paint outside but still didn't find the guts to or someone to go with.Of course that is advisable to have some information about the people that one is going to meet with and going with someone already known is advisable. One should also choose a non isolated spot, unless of course one already knows the person or group.
Working with other artists will enlight your artistic perceptions and develop your skills, besides the positive fact of doing new friendships.
Usually it's not permited to post links on comments, but if you have any ideas about this, are thinking about joining or forming a plein air painting group, or are already part of one, you are welcomed to leave a link.
image found at webtreatsmysitemyway
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Museum of Chinese in America



Design by the artist and arquitect Maya Lyn (known for creating the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC), the new building of the Museum of Chinese in America was inaugurated this September 22nd.
Occupying a once machine shop at the 215 of Centre Street, the building features a sky-lit courtyard that opens onto exhibition galleries, a research center, an auditorium and a space for public programmes.
An historical look upon the chinese immigrant culture in the US and the museum's first exhibition of contemporary work by artists of chinese descent living in New York, "Here & Now: Chinese Artists in New York", are included in the inaugural show.
Organized into three parts, with the first one running until November 2nd and featuring the artists Cui Fei, Lin Yan, Xu Bing and Yun-Fei Ji.
The other two will open on November 19th and January 10th.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego



The museum dedicated to the portuguese artist Paula Rego was inaugurated on August 18th with an exhibition dedicated to the work of the artist between 1987 and 2008, including paintings loaned by the Marlborough Gallery.
Featured are also other artworks such as "Life Painting" (1954), created when studying at the Slade School of Fine Art (London).
Many of those paintings depict the female model Lila Nunes, Paula Rego's favourite model since 1988 and who also was Victor Willing's nurse.
Design by the portuguese arquitect Eduardo Souto Moura, the Casa das Histórias de Paula Rego museum has 750sq. meters, featuring an auditorium with a capacity for 200 people, a library, bookstore and spaces for permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The artist has loaned several paintings to the museum, including 15 by her later husband Victor Willing (1928-1988). for a renewable period of 10 years.
Among the several works of art, including 257 etchings and 278 drawings, the visitor may see a large tapestry based upon the work "Alcácer Quibir".
With free admitance between 10am and 10pm, the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego museum will present two temporary exhibitions per year (Spring and Autumn).
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Stop-Motion Animation by Eleanor Stewart

Hoedown from Rodeo from Eleanor Stewart on Vimeo.


Graduated by the Visual Communication at the Glasgow School of Art, Eleanor Stewart has created this cutout stop-motion animation inspired by Westerns.
The musical score is called "Hoedown", from the Rodeo Suite by Aaron Copland.
Eleanor did this work for her final year degree.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

XVI Galeria Aberta - Beja 2009



Resulting from the colaboration between the city council of Beja and the Jorge Vieira Museum, the Galeria Aberta event has brought together artists and public througout the years, with a consistent increase of the number of participants and visitors.
Now on its sixteenth edition and with an aproximate number of three hundred artists and circa five hundred artworks, the opening of the 2009 edition has proven to be a well organized event, result of a dedicated group of people who have put their effort into turning this into a great experience for artists and visitors.
Such fact was noticeable through the judicious distribution of the artworks and a well thoughout catalog.
The Mayor of Beja, Francisco Santos, interacted in a very positive way, showing interest about the event, as well as the artistic director of the museum, Rui Pereira and the other people involved in this project, who's names are too many to mention but are equally important.
As a featured event, this year the Galeria Aberta hosts the works of the rewarded artists from the Contest/Exhibition "Banco dos Artistas da Cidade da Horta" in Azores.
The city council of Horta has been actively participating in cultural partnerships with the Jorge Vieira Museum and was represented by its culture department town-councilor Maria do Céu Brito.
The XVI Galeria Aberta - Beja 2009 is a cultural event without restrictions of style, medium or subject, where artists from several status and countries are invited to express their creativity.
Besides the Jorge Vieira Museum, the other participating venues are the Galeria dos Escudeiros, Galeria Desassossego and Casa da Cultura.
One of the most important moments of the day was the attribution of prizes and honourable mentions, with the winning artists receiving sincere applauses by their coleagues.
A final word must go to a detail that although not a key factor, is the proof that the organizers of this event did their best : the buffet was of very good quality.
The event takes place from September 12th, through October 24th.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Artist Bill Guffey Uses Google Street View

Bill Guffey is an artist born in Kentucky, where he now resides, with passings through Colorado and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Member of the Oil Painters of America, he was awarded a grant through the Kentucky Arts Council and was accepted into the All Kentucky Juried Fine Art Exhibition 2008.
Using Google Street View, Bill paints views from around the world, including european and north american cities. In fact, the artist has recently finished a series of one painting from each state, with the exception of Hawaii where Street View is not available yet.
The artist is also an author of the Virtual Paintout blog, to which artists can submit their Street View based artworks.
The online version of the Daily Mail has an interesting article where you can compare Bill's paintings with the virtual views.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

A Short Story About Quality

Although the primary reason for doing art is usually the simple joy of doing it, one of the main objectives of most artists is to make money from it.
We all know how difficult it can be to gain visibility and being represented by a gallery, even with some good connexions.
The internet has permited artists to show their artwork to a vast public, but the competition is huge and many times people are reluctant about buying online.
How can you convince the public to buy from you ?
Besides the usual marketing strategies, there is one word that will help you alot : quality.
Your online presence must transmit quality to the viewer, not only in terms of your website or blog, but especially your artwork.
When you are selling online, most of the people visiting your website don't know you and the only thing that will probably make them want to buy your art is its quality.
But let me tell you about something that happened to confirm what you have been reading.
I sign a newsletter of an artist who's work I appreciate and when she posts a new painting on her blog, I get the news about it.
Yesterday I opened the newsletter and saw this painting that I truly enjoyed, it was of great quality and I even thought about acquiring it.
After I clicked the link, a word confirmed the quality of this painting : "SOLD".
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

The artist João Rodrigues Vieira passed away

Born in Vidago (Trás-os-Montes), October 4th 1934, João Rodrigues Vieira entered the Escola Superior de Belas-Artes de Lisboa ( Fine Arts Superior School of Lisbon) in 1951, where he attended the first two years of the painting course.
The artist starting exhibiting in 1956, the same year when he joined the group of the Café Gelo.
João Vieira shared a studio over this cafe with Gonçalo Duarte, José Escada and René Bertholo.
Later in Paris, these four together with Christo, Jan Voss and Lourdes Castro form the group KWY and publish a magazine with the same name.
In 1959 the Galeria Diário de Notícias presents his first individual exhibition and in that same year he receives a scholarhip from the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, permiting his return to Paris, where he starts working with Arpad Szenes, while maintaining his collaboration with the KMY group.
After a passage through London, where he teached at the Maidstone College of Art, João Vieira returns to Lisbon in 1967 and starts working as a set painter.
In what fine art is concerned, the artist becomes well known by his paintings of letters.
João Rodrigues Vieira passed away on August the 5th, 2009, after being submited to a heart surgery the day before.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

"Mirage" by Youngwoong Jang, US, 2006



In 2007, a korean student from the New York School of Visual Arts, Youngwoong Jang was attributed the animation gold medal, by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
His CG animation "Mirage" is about a bio-mechanic character who has to fill his chest with water in order to sustain his life and the importance of water to all living beings.
Back in 2006, Youngwoong Jang was interviewed by Sam Chen.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gallery Guide - Worldwide

Saatchi Gallery online has made recently available a guide of galleries worldwide.
Divided into countries and regions, this guide may prove itself quite useful for artists and art dealers.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Subscriber Won a Free Artwork

Today another lucky subscriber of the newsletter won a work of art.
And if I'm not mistaken, this is the second original painting that will be sent to this reader of The Art Inquirer.
Are you still missing the chance of starting your private art collection for free ?
You can sign the newsletter right here. It's simple and spam free.
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Dangerous Ink - Lowbrow Art Magazine





Conceived by Tom Green and Will Couper, both from Glasgow, this Lowbrow Art dedicated magazine has hit the shelves in July 2007.

Will Couper left the the team in 2008, although once in a while he still contributes.

By the end of 2008 Cosmic Publishing Ltd. (producer of Comics International) acquired part of Dangerous Ink Magazine.

Well Know artists such as Chet Zar and Ray Caesar have been featured in this magazine.

Two characteristics that I found worth mentioning are : the possibility of sending articles and artwork to be eventually published and being able to read the magazine online.

Although still in its first steps, this magazine looks promissing as it seems to be written with passion and tries to bring the artists closer to each other and to the public.


This publication has been discontinued for now
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Original Painting Giveaway



As usual it's time to present one of our readers with an original postcard size watercolour painting.
Since this is being done with some delay, the draw will be taken this Sunday, August 23rd.
Every month one of the subscribers of The Art Inquirer's newsletter has the chance to win a free work of art.
If you are still missing this opportunity, read how you can participate and win.
Of course that there is no obligation of accepting the prize.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Festival International du Pastel - Feytiat 2009



Organized with the colaboration of the Société des Pastellistes de France, the Festival International du Pastel takes place from July 4th through September 6th at the Espace Culturel Georges Brassens, in the village of Feytiat, near Limoges.
The event that usually receives around 20,000 visits every year, counts with approximately 350 pastelists.
This year's guest of honour is the artist Pierro Caro.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Salon du Pastel en Bretagne


From the 15th until the 30th of August 2009, takes place at the Juliette Drouet Cultural Center in Fougères (Bretagne), the "Salon du Pastel en Bretagne".
Counting with approximately 250 artworks, this year's guest artist is the pastelist Paul Billard.
As for the demos at the event, these will be presented by Patrice Bourdin.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The First Wetcanvas T-Shirt Design Contest

Wetcanvas is probably the most well known artistic community online and now brings to its members its first design contest.
Artists are invited to submit their designs for a t-shirt.
Five designs will be chosen through voting and winners will receive prizes.
Read how you can enter the First Wetcanvas Design Contest.
The deadline is September 30th, 2009.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who Are The 100 Personalities ?

On a previous article I mentioned a painting with over 100 world known personalities.
Today I disclose their identities and the name of the painters.
Painted by Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi, and Zhang An in 2006 this oil on canvas represents the following historical personalities :

1. DAI DUDU - painter 2. DANTE ALIGHIERI 3. SONG QINGLING 4. MOTHER TERESA 5. LI TIEZI - painter 6. MIKHAIL GORBACHEV 7. ZHANG AN - painter 8. KOFI ANNAN 9. LIU XIANG 10. PRINCE CHARLES 11. DOWAGER CIXI 12. OSAMA BIN LADEN 13. GEORGE W. BUSH 14. LUCIANO PAVAROTTI 15. SALVADOR DALI 16. CLAIRE LEE CHENNAULT 17. JULIUS CAESAR 18. YASSER ARAFAT 19. MARILYN MONROE 20. MARLON BRANDO 21. FIDEL CASTRO 22. LAOZI 23. CHE GUEVARA 24. JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE 25. ZHOU ENLAI 26. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE 27. MAO ZEDONG 28. MARIE CURIE 29. ABRAHAM LINCOLN 30. GENGHIS KHAN 31. PABLO PICASSO 32. STEVEN SPIELBERG 33. FRIEDRICH NIETZCHE 34. WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART 35. KARL MARX 36. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE 37. LEONARDO DA VINCI 38. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER 39. HENRI MATISSE 40. JOSEPH STALIN 41. ELVIS PRESLEY 42. FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT 43. WINSTON CHURCHILL 44. BRUCE LEE 45. ALBERT NOBEL 46. MARGARET THATCHER 47. PETER THE GREAT 48. CHARLES DE GAULLE 49. BILL CLINTON 50. MAXIM GORKY 51. PAVEL KORCHAGIN 52. RAMSES II 53. VLADIMIR ILICI LENIN 54. GUAN YU 55. CUI JIAN 56. HOMER 57. BILL GATES 58. PELE 59. ADOLF HITLER 60. SADDAM HUSSEIN 61. LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN 62. AUDREY HEPBURN 63. BENITO MUSSOLINI 64. NORMAN BETHUNE 65. LEI FENG 66. HENRY FORD 67. CHARLIE CHAPLIN 68. ERNEST HEMINGWAY 69. SUN YAT-SEN 70. DENG XIAOPING 71. SIGMUND FREUD 72. MIKE TYSON 73. JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH 74. CHIANG KAI-SHEK 75. ALEXANDER PUSHKIN 76. VLADIMIR PUTIN 77. LU XUN 78. HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN 79. QUEEN ELISABETH II 80. SHIRLEY TEMPLE 81. LEO TOLSTOY 82. ALBERT EINSTEIN 83. LI BAI 84. MOSES 85. CONFUCIUS 86. CORNELIU BABA 87. MOHANDAS GANDHI 88. AUGUSTE RODIN 89. DWIGHT EISENHOWER 90. VINCENT VAN GOGH 91. HENRI DE TOULOUSE LAUTREC 92. MARCEL DUCHAMP 93. MICHAEL JORDAN 94. ARIEL SHARON 95. HIDEKI TOJO 96. MICHELANGELO 97. YI SUN-SIN 98. QI BAISHI 99. QIN SHI HUANG 100. RUN RUN SHAW 101. JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU 102. RABINDRANATH TAGORE 103. OTTO VON BISMARCK
104. Is a woman from a photograph by Cartier Bresson 105. Dolly The sheep.

To better help you identifying the characters, here's an image where you can rollover the cursor and the respective names will show up.

Subscribe to The Art Inquirer's newsletter and don't miss another interesting article
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Saatchi Gallery - Free The Artists



Since April 2009, Saatchi Gallery and Clear Channel Outdoor have launched a national campaign across UK to help artists gain visibility and permiting potential art collectors to contact artists directly, thus avoiding the comissions charged by art dealers.
Most artists face themselves with many barriers before they get their art seen by the public and with this digital bilboard outdoor based project, Saatchi Gallery and Clear Channel Outdoor take a major step into that direction.
There are plans for expanding the Free The Artists campaign into other countries, namely France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.S.A. .
Saatchi Gallery Online hosts over 120,000 artists and receives over 70 million hits per day.
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Strathmore Artist Papers - Illustration Contest



Strathmore Artist Papers is holding an illustration contest where participants are requested to submit original artworks, using any dry media on Strathmore paper, representing their views upon green environment.
With the title "How Do You See Green", the contest features two categories : student and professional/hobbyst.
Two winners from each category will be chosen and each one will have their work featured on 1 of 4 special edition Strathmore Premium Recycled pads.
Student winners will also have a scholarship awarded to their art department, in the value of $1,000.
Winning artists will also receive a carton of pads to hand out to family and friends.
Entries must be received by 11:59:59 PM (CT) on November 20, 2009.
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Maggie Price is the new president of IAPS - International Association of Pastel Societies

During the recent convention of the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS), that took place in Albuquerque, Urania Christy Tarbet nominated Maggie Price as the new president.
Urania Tarbet served as president of IAPS for 15 years and .
The announcement was made on May 30, 2009.
Maggie Price who was previously the vice-president, is a well known author of books upon pastel painting and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Pastel Journal.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

J. Renee Newcomer and Brandy Eve Allen at the POVevolving Gallery

The works of Brandy Eve Allen and J. Renee Newcomer aka Jessica Shokrian will be exhibited at the POVevolving Gallery & Print Studio in Los Angeles, CA.
Reception will take place this Saturday, 8th of August at 6 pm and the exhibition will go through September 1st, 2009.
Photographers J. Renee and Brandy Eve will show photography based works, stop motion films made from still photographs strung together, photo collages and a short video.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Flunk Art - I Made it Up

I was talking about art styles with a coleague in the painting studio and while discussing this subject, we were also talking about art schools, MFAs and academic thesis.
That was when an expression came to mind: "Flunk Art".
I had the name, now I needed the meaning.
We came up with the resolution that this wouldn't be a particular style, but an expression dedicated to all art that is "flunked" by galleries.
Are you an artist who contacted a gallery and saw your art rejected ?
Tell us about your "flunk" experience and how did you feel about it.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Painting With Over 100 World Known Personalities



This painting features over 100 world known personalities.
Can you name them all ?
Maybe that's a bit too difficult, but don't worry.
Look carefully and see how many do you recognize.
Visit this art blog soon for more news about this painting.
If you don't want to miss it, subscribe to The Art Inquirer's newsletter.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Man on the Moon - 40 Years Celebration



On July 21th 2009, the world celebrates an important event : 40 years have passed since the first man walked on the Moon. His name was Neil Armstrong.
At 02:39 UTC on Monday July 21 (10:39pm EDT, Sunday July 20), 1969, Armstrong opened the hatch, and at 02:51 UTC began his descent to the Moon's surface.
In the same mission were Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins.
To celebrate this important event, The Art Inquirer presents its readers with a movies' classic : Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902), by Georges Méliès.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Berardo Museum 24H Non Stop Party



Having completed two years of existance on June 25th, the Berardo Museum which hosts part of the private collection of Joe Berardo, is going to celebrate the event with a 24 hour non stop party that will take place at the outside and the inside of the museum.
The celebration will start on Wednesday July 15th at 7pm and will last until 7pm Thursday.
With free admitance, the event will feature Dj Chloe (Paris) and Dj Ride (Lisbon), who will animate the CCB's square from 10pm trough 2am.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Did You Win an Original Watercolour ?

Today, one of the subscribers of this blog's newsletter has been notified.
A free postcard size original watercolour is going to be sent as soon as the prize is accepted by the lucky winner.
Have you checked your e-mail ?
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Subscribe to Win this Original Watercolour



Readers of this art dedicated blog can achieved preferred benefits by subscribing to the newsletter, using the Feedblitz service found at the rith column.
Subscribers are entitled to participate in the monthly draw of a free original painting and into other art related events, such as prizes in the form of art supplies.
For this month of July, the winner will receive an original postcard size watercolour painting.
The Art Inquirer respects your privacy and its newsletter service is easy to use and is spam free.

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192,000 Euro for "Coração Independente Dourado" by Joana Vasconcelos



Born in Paris, November 8th 1971, Joana Vasconcelos has become one of the most important contemporary artists of the last decade.
Joana's sculptures and installations, made from everyday life objects, are part of museum and private collections worldwide.
Her sculpture "Coração Independente Dourado" ( Independent Golden Heart) was sold this Tuesday at Christie's for €192,000 , higher than the expected range between €94,000 and €140,000.
The sculpture in the shape of a Viana's heart, was a custom work for the Eleven restaurant in Lisbon and is made from 5000 plastic spoons settled in way to remind the filigree technique.
Possibly seen as an instalation, this artwork hangs from the ceiling and rotates at the sound of a CD containing three musics of Amália Rodrigues.
A lady wearing a grey hat and sitting on the second row of the Christie's auction, acquired the "Coração Independent Dourado", after competing with another interested buyer.
The lady offered £135,000 , which with comissions and sale prizes amounted to £163,250 (€192,000).
After having already received the agreement of the new owner, the sculpture will be shown in some already programmed exhibitions, including two at the Museu Berardo (Berardo Museum) in Lisbon.
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Monday, June 29, 2009

John Stires - Sea Life Artist




Following a series of interviews with artists, this time The Art Inquirer brings to its readers the opportunity to get to know John Stires, an artist who paints the sea life.

TAI - Thank you for accepting to give this interview to The Art Inquirer.
Let us know about yourself and how it all started.

JS - I was born in Glendale, CA. I've always like art and I've always liked fish. I just never thought about combining the two interests. In high school, they both were hobbies and when it came time to chose a major in college I went with fish (biology major at UC Santa Barbara) thinking that art was an ineffective use of my time at college. I made this decision about a year or two before the explosion of the digital arts and by the time I was a junior in college I realized that I probably should have majored in art. While I enjoyed biology, I was pretty bad at it. Luckily, I did take quite a few art classes in college, which pretty much saved my GPA. After college I moved to NYC, considered an architecture career, but soon realized that as with biology it was too technical and I would never enjoy it. So I waited tables, considered writing a comic book and ended up working as a graphic designer and creative services director at Marvel Comics. After 6 years there I transitioned into the wild world of Internet startups and landed a job as a product manager at a video product review website called Expo TV, which is where I work today.All this time I pursued creative avenues but avoided painting, mainly because I had no clue what to paint. I wanted to have a purpose with painting and felt there was no reason to consider it unless there was something I wanted to paint. By this time I had been involved with reef aquariums for almost 20 years. Last fall it finally hit me, I could paint fish and corals and other sea creatures!I consider myself to be more of an expert with reef aquariums than I consider me to be an expert in art. In fact I probably consider myself to be more of a novice at art when it comes to technique. I really don't have much technique when I paint and I'm trying very hard to learn various ways to work with paints. I do feel that I have a very creative mind and feel that in time my technique is going to catch up with my mind. While I am happy with some of the things I have painted, I still feel that I am searching for exactly what I want to convey.

TAI - How important do you find your knowledge about the species that you convey and how does that show in your paintings ?

JS - I think my knowledge of the species adds quite a bit to what I choose to paint. Understanding the behaviors of the fish and corals helps me bring forth unique personalities and movement in the subject. I am very interested in trying to capture distinct expressions from the fish rather than simply painting beautiful sea life. I think the beauty comes from the mood the animals bring. That is probably why I focus on such intimate portraits rather than large seascapes.

TAI - Wanting to paint the waterworld has forced you in study the water species with more perseverance ?

JS - Definitely. It has helped me explore certain fish and behaviors much more. It's great because the research is a wonderful learning experience and has has even helped me explore aquarium husbandry more.

TAI - When doing a portrait, be it of a human or animal, one of the objectives of the painter is to transmit the model's character or mood.How do you cope with the objective when portraying a living being from the waterworld ?

JS - Trying to capture the mood or character of a fish is pretty difficult. Fish don't express themselves with eyes and other facial expression. They express themselves with their bodies. So movement is key when trying to transmit a mood. Even though fish don't express themselves with their facial features I still think it is possible to illicit a feel through their eyes and mouths. Many fish have down-turned mouths and wide open eyes so that generally makes for sad, wary, and paranoid looking subjects. I actually like that and I think it touches on the environmental concerns of our oceans today. It is as if all the fish are wary of the humans viewing them, wondering if humans really have the best intent for their environment.

TAI - Besides painting with oils, what other mediums and venues do you use to transmit your art and work to the public.

JS - I actually dabble in quite a bit more things besides oil painting. I've always been interested in the Internet and building successful website, so I look at everything I do on the web as somewhat of an art form. My site is as much of an art project as my paintings. Through my site I do alot of digital art with wall decals and I also reproduce my artwork on t-shirts, coffee mugs and other products through Zazzle. It is another way for me to express myself and jumping into the online world helps keep me engaged with my artwork. Although I do admit that the time spent online doing this stuff also takes away from my time spent on actual painting.Recently I started taking video of various corals and fish and cutting together small clips of them. I started a new site called Reef Video and I look at this as a different type of artistic expression. There are many behaviors that need to be shown on video that I can't really do with a paintbrush. This goes for corals especially. In paintings corals look like plants or sticks or other static objects. With video you can show how they blossom and move and feed. It is quite spectacular and alien to watch a coral move and feed. Many people don't realize that they are animals and are always surprise by their unique behaviors.

TAI - How people react when looking at the subjects that you paint ?

JS - This is one of those questions that is very hard for an artist to gauge. My art is pretty new, I consider myself a novice so when people view my art I can never as to what level people like my paintings. This is where I rely on the internet to get true reactions to my artwork. If I notice that people start posting my artwork around the internet or if more and more people start coming to my site, then I'll know that people are reacting well to my artwork.

TAI - What are the species that you most like to paint ?

JS - Well, clownfish are just fun to paint. They are probably the most popular fish out there and there is good reason why, they just have wonderful personalities. I've been playing around recently with various types of corals and while I like to paint them I find them extremely difficult to paint well. I think that is one of the areas I need to improve the most.

TAI - Can you be caught painting or sketching at an aquarium or oceanarium ?

JS - Not yet, however I can be caught taking video of various corals and fish tanks in local aquarium shops. I am going to be visiting the amazing Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in a couple of weeks and hope to get some behind the scenes interviews and video while I am there. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

TAI - Please tell us about your artistic plans for the future and if you have any upcoming exhibitions.

JS - Plan to see more paintings, wall decals, video and other things. I am looking around at printing my own greeting cards with some of my work on them and selling them through my site. I still need to create a larger body of work before I can approach someone about showing my work. It's a long process but I could see myself displaying some artwork hopefully by the end of the year.

The artwork of John Stires can be seen at his website.

In a constant effort to offer its readers a pleasant reading, based on quality and relevant content, The Art Inquirer has already granted a new series of interviews.
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Advertise and Help Scott and Carol Decker



The Art Inquirer took acquaintance of the extremely difficult situation faced by Scott and Carol Decker.
Due to severe complications during and after the labour of her second child, Carol had to be submited to several amputations and later on she lost her sight due to the medication that she needs to take.
Besides all the inherent problems coming from this situation, the couple faces an untanable debt in medical treatments.
Now, as you have noticed, The Art Inquirer uses the Project Wonderful ad system which is based upon a bid system.
Advertising values start at a very low 2 cents per day and you can set the parameters of your bid limit, daily expense and for how long you want to place you ad. There is also the possibility of canceling.
To help this couple, all the revenue from the month of July will be donated to Scott and Carol using the Paypal system, which can also be found on their blog.
This is a great opportunity to advertise your business at a very accessible rate and to help a good cause.
And to thank you for your generosity, the advertiser who contributes most to this cause will gain a free month (at his/her choice) of prime spot advertising placement.
Mind that this blog is read by all ages and therefore I must approve the ads before they start running.
If you wish to know some more about their situation, please watch this video.
Thank you for your interest.
The image is used for illustration purposes and the couple's and their children privacy should be respected.




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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

11th Annual Pastel 100 Competition

Artists from around the world, using soft pastels (hard pastels are also included since the competition is opened to all dry pastels) are again able to participate in another competition organized by F&W Publications, through their soft pastel dedicated art magazine The Pastel Journal.
This is a great opportunity for pastelists to have their names recognized and published in what is probably the most well known publication dedicated to this medium.
According to F&W Publications the cash prizes totalize more than $15,000 ( a value that The Art Inquirer could not confirm at this time, but will try tomorow).
There are also prizes in the form of pastel supplies for the first five of The Jack Richeson/Unison Pastels Category Awards.
Artists may enter in all categories and the finalists will be chosen by the magazine staff.
Award winners and honourable mentions will be selected by the following jurors : Ilene Gienger-Stanfield (Portrait/Figure), Jean Dalton (Abstract/Non-Objective), Nancy MacDonald (Animal/Wildlife), Paul Murray (Landscape/Interior) and Ron Monsma (Still Life/Floral).
The 11th Annual Pastel 100 Competition may be your next important step in the world of art.
Read carefully the prospectus , namely the elegibility terms, because the simply fact of not following one of the rules may annul your chances to participate and win.
All entries must be postmarked no later than September 1st, 2009.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Banksy at the Bristol Museum



Since October that this event and its location has been kept secret, even from the Bristol City Council chiefs.
With 100 works from the Bristol based graffiti artist Banksy, this exhibition features installations, animatronics and a sensory display.
The artist started stencilling on the city's walls in the 90s and because part of the taxpayer's money has been used to erase those stencils, this exhibition may not be free of some controversy.
Although Banksy supervised the installation in loco, the museum staff was not able to guess who he was among his crew, being this one of his trademarks.
His artworks have been exhibited in Bethlehem, Los Angeles and New York, becoming highly collectable and making part of collections from known personalities such as Robbie Williams and Brad Pitt.
Named Banksy vs Bristol Museum, the exhibition may be visited for free during this Summer at the council-owned City Museum and Art Gallery, in Bristol (UK).

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Did You Get Free Art Supplies ?

Today the Art Inquirer has chosen a winner from its followers and newsletter subscribers.
Besides the winner, were also chosen three substitutes in the eventuality of the prize not being claimed.
The lucky winner will receive, free of any charges, a new set of painting brushes and a wood palette.
Should no one claim the prize, The Art Inquirer will donate it to a caring institution that includes art as one of its activities.
The winner will lose the right to the prize if not contacting within a week.
Thank you for reading this blog and participating with your comments and suggestions.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Art Basel 2009



Considered the world's leading show of modern and conteporary artworks, the Art Basel 2009 is open to the general public from June 10 to June 14.
Multiple sections show the works of over 2500 renowned and emerging artists represented by 300 galleries.
It's preview opening took place yesterday and was attended by known personalities like Naomi Campbell and Brad Pitt who bought a Neo Rauch painting for $956,000.
In the last year's edition the actor had acquired a hollow Rococo-style Carrara's marble table by the dutch designer Jeroen Verhoeven.
Within the first hour of the Switzerland's based fair, a diamond-incrusted sculpture by Takashi Murakami, sold for $2,000,000.

Art Basel 2009 expects to draw wealthy visitors, such as the russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and the american art collectors Howard Rachofsky and Eli Broad, who were also spotted at the preview.
Last year's edition was attended by 60000 visitors.
The public program and the visitor information will give you a general idea of what to expect.

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