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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Modern Painters’ inaugural Re:Vision Design Award is a call to arms to consider how this discipline can be applied to making our homes more efficient, sustainable, emotionally comforting, and beautiful. We focused on the home in an effort to act locally while thinking globally and restricted candidates to the under-40 set to encourage young talent to stay the ecologically and socially responsible course.

For the difficult task of selecting the best among our outstanding candidates — 120 lighting, product, interior, and environmental designers from more than 20 countries — we enlisted a distinguished panel of jurors that included designer Ross Lovegrove;  Droog cofounder Renny Ramakers; the Museum of Arts and Design’s chief curator David Revere McFadden; furniture maker and Rhode Island School of Design professor Rosanne Somerson; gallerist Cristina Grajales; and the founder of Design Within Reach and the newly launched bicycle company Public, Rob Forbes.

Re:Vision Design Award article


The rabblerousers at Greenpeace know that a company’s logo is sacrosanct — it’s the brand’s visual identity to the world. That’s why they’ve decided to hit BP where it hurts. With a new Web site calling for public submissions, Greenpeace wants graphic-design-savvy activists to reimagine the lively green-and-yellow BP logo in the wake of the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill. An entire set of the entries thus far is up on Flickr. We’re especially fond of the sad bird (left), the surfer riding a wave of oil (below), and this BP sun rising on a polluted horizon (above).


Damien Hirst is a brand, because the art form of the 21st century is marketing. To develop so strong a brand on so conspicuously threadbare a rationale is hugely creative—revolutionary even. —Germaine Greer.

In 2007, London-based art critic Ben Lewis wrote an article for the Evening Standard newspaper entitled “Who put the ‘Con’ in Contemporary Art?” The article discussed the overinflated art-market bubble that Lewis thought was ready to burst. Doubting the compelling idea that capitalism nurtures art and creates a free-trade zone for ideas and feelings, he suggested that the current art market might actually not be good for either making meaningful art or for democracy and freedom of expression. Lewis notes that the art market is notorious for its lack of regulations and transparency. He also points out that, between 2003 and 2008, billionaire hedge-fund managers, as well as the new business classes from Asia, Latin America, and Russia, pushed the already inflated prices of contemporary art into overdrive. Additionally, according to Lewis, the world’s biggest galleries, dealers, and artists were buying work by their most prominent artists, propping up their ever-rising prices. He concluded that the art market’s recent roller-coaster ride was fueled by “cynicism, absurdity, and greed,” accurately predicting the art-market crash at the end of 2008.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

Ben Lewis’ The Great Contemporary Art Bubble Trailer

“I do have a problem with that modernist legacy of trying to simplify your practice down to a single significant form or a single significant issue or way of thinking. Historically it has a place, but now I can’t believe that any artist would still work through such an agenda and be painting five hundred identical yellow paintings. I think that’s an antiquated way of thinking about the work.”

-Keith Tyson (interview)

video interview (1)

video interview (2)

Boltanski has always been a maker of monuments and memorials. His medium is the human trace and the memento mori. In the 1970s, he used to exhibit the “documents” of his own life, letters, scraps, locks of hair, photographs of himself as a child (which were probably nothing of the sort). Later, he began to commemorate the lives of others.

The Dead Swiss, the Children of Dijon: these world-famous shrines were assembled from photographs cut from obituaries, heaps of secondhand clothes, biscuit tins that might, or might not, contain personal effects; false memories, so to speak, especially since the dead were always anonymous. But these objects and images, no matter their provenance, were inevitably powerful for the sympathetic mind can hardly help but reconstruct a life from the smallest and most trivial of relics.

Pawned brooches, lost umbrellas, dogeared telephone books with their intensely intimate yet resolutely impersonal listings: your mind would rush in, imagining all these other people in other places. It did not matter that the evidence was meagre, partial, perhaps entirely specious, because the objects themselves were real, had once belonged to real livings beings.

That their owners were unknown equated very precisely with the universality of the evidence – a watch, a coat – and the poignant truth that one could only mourn the unknown through an act of the imagination.

Guardian review

Christain Boltanski’s Personnes

“Everything is art. Everything is politics. You can call it art or non-art, I don’t give a damn”

Ai Weiwei (Video Clip)

Guardian article

Prior to the Renaissance, and even during it, the supreme objects of popular and official veneration were not works of art: they were the relics of the saints. That is to say, pieces of the saints’ bodies, and objects which they had worn, touched, or with which they were associated. It is in the culture that flourished around such relics that we find the ancient analogue of our own art-world. From early in the first millennium AD and for a period of over a thousand years relics — essentially useless and worthless pieces of bone or hair or skin, or scraps of cloth, or other random objets – were collected and worshipped with a fervor that is today reserved for art.

Dust to Dust Essay