Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Not Quite Art :: ABC 10 O'clock Tuesday

So it's Tuesday night, 10:32. I've just watched Not Quite Art, a great new show about art on the ABC.

This week they're talking about Melbourne's amazing laneway and abandoned building art culture, 'uncollectable' artists, computer games, and many types of art that you won't find in most galleries.

It's the best half hour of Telly I've watched in ages. Unpretentious yet intelligent critique of art. I could learn a lot from this show.

Not quite sure if not quite art will be this good every week. But I'll be back on the couch this time next week.

(Thanks Mark for the tip)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Great Australian Artist #6

Jim Thalassoudis gets my vote today as a great local artist. Jim does a lot of work on skies at sunset, a subject that he does an amazing job of.

I recently saw one of his works at the brilliant Exquisite Palette exhibition at St. Lukes.

Be sure to check out Jim's Small Paintings Project, an ongoing project where Jim is going to sell small original paintings via the website, at very affordable prices. If you head over now, you might even get your hands on the first piece on sale (pictured here).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saatchi on crack?

The Saatchi Gallery has launched the latest exciting online art gallery that is taking the world by storm ... except that it isn't.

Mega art collector and Advertising doyen, Charles Saatchi, has launched the newest social networking space for artists all over the world. I couldn't be more critical.

Obviously Saatchi's decision to go online is huge news for the art world, and I can see why the online gallery is attracting lots of traffic. In fact, as I write this, there were over 55 million hits to the website in the last 24 hours*.

But I think the Saatchi online gallery is a huge disappointment. It looks as though it was built in 1997, which is bizarre since it's 2007 as I write this.

Arists are doing quite well for themselves, using a host of web 2.0 sites like myspace, etsy, deviant art, and redbubble. Sites which all tap into the real power of the internet and web 2.0 - creating a community of artists online. The Saatchi Online Gallery doesn't come close.

There is little need for a website with such poor functionality, even if it is the lovechild of such an influential art entrepreneur. The only search functionality is by artist name. Compare this to Etsy, where you can search for art by category, colour, location and the recommendations of others. If you want to see how an online art gallery should be done, Etsy is the place to go. I wonder if Charles Saatchi has even heard of it? In fact, I wonder if he's spent much time online at all. It's the worst website I've seen in a long time.

I think the Saatchi Gallery online is a case of much too little, a bit too late. Sure, it will attract a tonne of traffic in the next month or so. There'll be plenty of PR and buzz in the fine art world, pointing more than a few artists and collectors to the site.

But Saatchi has clearly done little to understand the internet, and the new ways that artists and collecters promote and buy artwork. It doesn't stand a chance.

* By the way, 'Hits' is an archaic web statistic, which was the leading online traffic indicator in 1997. It essentially means nothing in 2007.

Artist on crack?

One of the big pieces of news in the art world this week has been the new 'Crack' installation at the Tate Modern in London. Doris Salcedo's "Shibboleth 2007" is a 500ft long and 3ft deep crack in the floor.

I for one think that this is a really impressive piece of sculpture. What I'm not so sure about is the way the artist describes the work.

Colombian sculptor Salcedo, says that the piece "symbolises racial division", and "represents the gap between white Europeans and the rest of the world's population".

Has the artist really done this work in the name of racial divide? Or because it's just a very cool installation? I suspect the latter, so why go on about the former?

A piece of art can be interpreted in many ways, by both the artist and the viewer. That's fine. But I just think Salcedo should let the art speak for itself. What do you think?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Illusration and Children's Art

One thing I've affirmed for myself since I started to write this blog, I'm a sucker for illustration.

I could read blogs like Drawn, Illustration Mundo and Art Jumble all day long. I really could. And with a lot of the latest lowbrow / pop surrealist art movement being illustration based, it seems as though I'm not the only one.

So stepping away from my current online gallery ideas for a second, what do my loyal readers think of an art gallery for children, where the artwork is primarily illustration work? I'm there'd be plenty of grown-ups that would be keen to visit, too.

To my knowledge (and I could be wrong), there isn't any art galleries in Melbourne that are focused towards kids. Aside from the current Pixar exhibition at ACMI, that is. Could this be an untapped niche for a gallery? Or am I wrong - has this idea been done before?

(Photo Credit: Philippe Jalbert)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ken Keirns

I've been a little light on the posts this week. I started a new job so have been busy busy.

Ken Keirns is an artist whose work I've been digging this week. Especially his series of work framed in old Fisher Price TVs. Cool.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Make the gallery building a piece of art

That's what "Per Square Metre" on Johnston st, Collingwood have done.

Well worth checking out the inside, too.