Monday, September 26, 2011

Back to Blogging

So I have been in the process of moving and I am undertaking some new things in my life that keep me very busy. That being said I am going to start blogging more but the posts will be less analytical. More to come soon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rumor has it- There is no One of a Kind in NY

A little insider info: MMPI (Merchandise Mart Properties Inc) is the largest producer of trade shows and consumer of events in the world. This company is responsible for Art Chicago, The Armory Show, Volta, The Architectural Digest Home Design Show and the One of a Kind Show. This newest series of shows takes place in Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and ..... not New York apparently.

With New York's Art Fair week in March, the news was covering them all and commenting on the increase of art fairs over the last 20 years. This is most likely due to the economy. Investors are seeing the art market not as hit as hard as others and art fair directors are giving consumers a less expensive way to invest in art then going to the auction house.

Unfortunately rumor has it that not all of the art fairs are working out as expected, including the One of a Kind Show New York. Last year the show was in coordination with the popular Architectural Digest Home Show. The show set to be in the Fall represented independent artist in a mix of mediums, most of which fit in the decorative arts category. According to the artists they were making good connections such as meeting curators, art fair coordinators, ect but they were not making any sales.

The reason was accessibility. As artists one of the first things we learn is to not make the viewer or consumer do too much work. Patrons of the show first had to go through the Home show, then MADE (a section of the show already designed for artists and artisans) and then up chancy metal stairs to a separate space. MADE, which launched in 2008 was very successful unlike the One of a Kind Show which re-enforces my argument of accessibility.

MMPI are obviously superb art business leaders, with more than enough experience. By tapping the market of home enthusiasts they were really hitting their ideal market, but because many of those patrons were initially there to view the Home Show they were not willing to spend extra time and energy to search out these artists. The MADE section of artists and galleries located on the same floor, blurring into the show turned out to be very successful as it always has been in the past.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Carole Epp

Carole Epp, arguably the most influential ceramic blogger, posted a video a couple of hours ago created by Mendel Art Gallery. Her work both as a blogger and artists is quite amazing. I insist that you at least visit, if not follow Musing About Mud to see her recent work and to get updates globally on calls for entry.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Contemporary Ceramics at SOFA NY

This was the first time I have made it to SOFA in NY and in my lucky disposition I was able to make it in for the set up. Interestingly enough, upon arrival 29 hours before the VIP preview opening on Wednesday, lights were not yet hung, people had just begun painting and the isles were still exposing the worn wood floor. By 3pm that same day, I saw the first pieces of artwork out and all of the isles were cluttered with boxes, pallets and peanuts.

When I came back Friday to see the show, there was not a sign in sight of the set-up except for the faint smell of wall paint that added to the clean gallery set up of the space. Ferrin Gallery was the first you saw when you walked in on your left with bold red walls. Chris Antemann had a large presence, as well as Molly Hatch (an avid blogger as well as an artist). On the right of the entrance was more ceramic work represented Joan B. Mirviss Gallery who focuses on contemporary Japanese work. The two booths represented the wide spectrum of ceramics with the masculine stoneware works by Akiyama Yo on one side and the feminine porcelain works on the other.

Clare Beck at Adrienne Sassoon was represented as usual with big artists like Kate Malone, Felicity Aylieff and Michael Eden. In an interview with SOFA's Mark Lyman he expresses his opinion about the high standard of New York's SOFA as compared to Sante Fe or Chicago because of the smaller venue. The Clarke Beck at Adrienne Sassoon was a god example of this. It was refreshing to see such a well ran space with remarkable work from a variety of artists representing very different aesthetics. Another great aspect was that the gallery had the artists there to discuss the work. I dare say that Adrienne Sassoon has some of the best business practices of all the global ceramic focused galleries.

Ornamentum had a solo at SOFA by Jennifer Trask's ornamental work. Her piece "Acanthus" was also used for a significant amount of the marketing material. Her work was well crafted and represented the simply ideology of beauty. The downfall is one may look at her jewelry work and consider it unwearabl, though on the contrary I witnessed a woman trying it on. I was worried about the weight of the piece, the construction, clasping mechanism, I was even scared for the man putting it around this women's neck. Yet she allowed her curls to fall and the piece looked beautiful on her. It was bold and heavy yet still kept the charm and richness of the porcelain.

Other contemporary ceramics to note included Bonnie Seeman represented by Duane Read Gallery. These popular works are made of glazed porcelain with added lamp worked glass details. Maria Elena Kravits represented rising NY artist Bob Clyatt, who is also having a spotlight at An American Craftsman Gallery in Manhattan. Next Step Gallery and Studio (a gallery getting quite a bit of publicity quickly) represented figurative works by artists Joan Rassmussen, Kaiser Suidan and Mark Chatterly. Mark Chattery a Michigan artist is also is having an exhibit at the well established Clay Art Center in Port Chester NY. Christie Brown's figurative doll like rabbit sculptures were represented by Contemporary Applied Arts. While the intriguingly morbid scull like heads of Catrin Howell were represented by Joanna Bird.

In an article by Art Info a collector was quoted saying the following: "The quality has fallen off," groused one disappointed American collector who felt SOFA had dumbed down for commercial reasons alone. "They have third-rate stuff here," continued the ceramics collector who steadfastly declined to be identified. "Is this a show for collectors," she asked, "or is this a show for shoppers?" I would argue with the collectors comment of the quality of the work, but I would agree that works tended to be smaller then I expected, most likely because of galleries were accommodating to a less financially stable market. I believe there was a wide variety of ceramic works, some more well crafted then others. Some were masculine, others feminine. Everything including abstract creations, vessels and figurative works were represented in the ceramic field. Even traditional wood fired ceramics had a place, juxtaposed against brightly painted low fire glazes. After all was said and done artist Bob Cylatt said it best "Everyone works very hard at making it all look easy." This statement applies to both the representing galleries and the artist's work.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Art & Copy in Context

Art & Copy is an insightful movie that takes a deep look at advertising and it's influencers. It's real focus is more on the creative innovative advertising that changes lives. Interestingly the movie bring about a larger realization that I have been thinking about for some time now that relates to teh success of individuals in the art world.

For the last couple of months I have been submerging myself further into the NY art world and the fine art fair circuit. As a part of this I have seen first hand the fine art business and the idea of constructed worth. Advertising constructs a value on things based on it's marketing and aesthetic promotion. Artist do the same thing, only the brand is themselves, therefore they must construct a manor in which to conduct themselves. Further artists need to construct a value for their art.
     In most occasions the price at which is sold for, does not reflect the actual costs of that art. Artists who are focused on selling come in two types, people who create on a small affordable scale in large numbers, and artists who create larger, more complicated works that sell for more. The artists who create these larger scale works fabricate higher costs to reflect the increased amount of time that they take but let's face it, there is plenty of work that absolutely overpriced. 

This work that is overpriced is the same work that is in all the right locations and it is by artists that are usually well connected. So artists assume they they just know the right people, but what it comes down to is advertising, and constructed worth. These artists make a high price for their work and if it sells, they believe it to be that value, or at least know it will sell for such. These artists are risk takers, but they can mentally surpass their risk by believing in the constructed outcome of their success. 
      How does this relate to Art & Copy? Advertisers create things in which the public comes to believe, but we can create the same things within our own lives. By self proclaiming something in the realm of reality, you can begin to believe it enough, that it comes true. An example in Art & Copy is when Tommy Hillfiger's first large campaign compared him to the most well known clothing industries like Ralph Lauren. Well, now it is true.
     The idea of constructing a worth, or importance within a person is not new, and has given way to some of our top leaders. The same theory can be applied to the artistic industry and the future of your work.  

Coe & Waito

This evening a friend sent me an image of some ceramics she thought I would be interested in. I looked at it quick through all of my emails and thought of how nice that was of her. Well while I compile my list of the dozens of things I need to do, I realized I had to look at that image again. As I look at it I am inspired by the portrayal of the absolute limitlessness of the ceramic medium. 

The smooth surfaces of the jellyfish compared with the fluid tendrils creates a sense of fluid fragility. The layered thin lines of the tentacles also give the impression of weightlessness. By creating in a well crafted thin fragile nature the artists successfully imitated the surreal nature of jellyfish. This work challenges all ceramic artists to execute with perfection and reminds the ceramic community that clay has many characteristics, all of which have almost no boundary. 

To see more of their work visit:

The Influence of Anatomy

This is some really great work by artist Adelaide Paul. Paul is a sculpture who works with a variety of materials including clay, leather, bone, ect. She currently works at Maryland Institute of Art and is represented by Garth Clark Gallery.

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