Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Killed the LA MoCA?

If “LA MoCA” sounds to you like something you’d order from Starbucks, than you probably don’t know anything about the recent kerfuffle surrounding what is being called the murder of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Like any great murder mystery, this one features plenty of high-profile suspects—some physically present, others purely metaphorically. The fact remains that the MoCA’s severely, if not fatally, wounded by the forced resignations of curators, subsequent resignations of artists on the board of trustees, bad reviews of questionably designed exhibitions, and the highly questionable conflicts of interest surrounding former (and possibly present by proxy) art dealer turned MoCA director Jeffrey Deitch. As sad as the current state of what was once known as “the artists’ museum” is, the real mourning is over whether this is just the first fatality in what might become a cultural serial murder. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Who Killed the LA MoCA?"

Yayoi Kusama: Still the Queen of Pop?

All apologies to Michael Jackson, but in the art world, Andy Warhol will always be the King of Pop. The bewigged eccentric didn’t start Pop Art, but his works largely influenced what we think of as Pop. But who is the Queen of Pop? It might just be Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, subject of a huge retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Perhaps the most important Japanese female artist of the 20th century, Kusama’s made art for more than six decades, including the Pop-crazed 1960s, during which Kusama exhibited alongside the likes of Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Kusama’s much more than just that decade, but in many ways she’s still the Queen of Pop in making her ideas and images pop in the imagination of the viewer. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Yayoi Kusama: Still the Queen of Pop?"

[Image: Yayoi Kusama, b. 1929, Fireflies on the Water, 2002. Mirror, plexiglass, 150 lights and water, Overall: 111 × 144 1/2 × 144 1/2 in. (281.9 × 367 × 367 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Postwar Committee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of Betsy Wittenborn Miller 2003.322a-tttttttt. © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph courtesy of Robert Miller Gallery.]

[Many thanks to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City for the image above and other press materials related to the exhibition Yayoi Kusama, which runs through September 30, 2012.]

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why Are the London Olympics so Afraid of Graffiti Artists?

With less than a week before the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, anticipation and some dread both fill the air. Ever since the Munich games in 1972, the specter of terrorism comes to play as much as the greatest athletes in the world. It’s estimated that as much as £553 million (or approximately $864 million USD) will be spent on security for the London games. Authorities are looking for any edge they can get to keep people safe, but an unlikely “edge” was sought recently by the “raiding” of graffiti artists in England in a preemptive strike against possible graffiti-related attacks during the games. Of all the flavors of terrorism on the modern menu, why would the authorities waste the time and resources necessary to thwart graffiti artists? Why are the London Olympics so afraid of graffiti artists? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Why Are the London Olympics so Afraid of GraffitiArtists?"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Will the Tate Tanks Bring Performance Art into the Mainstream?

Performance art and film art have always been the afterthoughts of museums—the new kids on the block with no room of their own in the big culture houses. Institutions designed to house paintings and sculpture usually need to find some temporary corner to stage a performance or screen a film, implying to the viewer, however subconsciously and unintentionally, that those media don’t rank a room of their own. With the opening of the Tate Tanks at the Tate Modern in London, England, performance art and film finally have a big stage all of their own—one that not only celebrates those media but can, in return, inspire practitioners to create knowing where they’ll be working. With such a significant venue for significant pieces, will the Tate Tanks finally bring performance art into the mainstream? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Will the Tate Tanks Bring Performance Art intothe Mainstream?"

[Image: Washing Brain and Corn, Sung Hwan Kim, 2010, video still. © Sung Hwan Kim.]
[Many thanks to the Tate Modern for the image above and other press materials related to the opening of the Tate Tanks with the Art in Action program from July 18 through October 28, 2012.]