Exhibition: Maya Hayuk & Jacob Ciocci at Cooper Cole

The mind-bending visuals of Maya Hayuk‘s Multi Versus opens tonight at Cooper Cole gallery in Toronto, accompanied by Jacob Ciocci‘s multimedia installation, Experience the Creativity.

Multi Versus / Experience the Creativity
Cooper Cole Gallery
1161 Dundas St. W

Read on for more information, courtesy of Cooper Cole.

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Case Study: An Elderly Woman’s Misguided Foray into Art Restoration

Staff members of the Santuario de Misericodia church in Borja, Spain came across a rather unpleasant surprise in the archives of their art collection early last week.

A 19th-century painting by Elias Garcia Martinez, ‘Ecce Homo,’ had been amateurishly “restored” by an elderly woman who evidently has had zero formal training in visual art.

The noncommissioned touch-ups to the painting involved completely painting over the face of Jesus, obliterating any semblance to a recognizable human face.

The case is being taken in rather good humour because it is thought that the woman had set out with the best of intentions and only wished to bring the painting back to it’s former glory, not to destroy it; it has even sparked a petition to save her version of the work from being properly restored.

Click here for a report from The Guardian detailing the case.

Case Study: Is ‘Gallery Girls’ on Bravo as Horrible as Expected?

Kenny Schachter, the unique curator and dealer from New York now based in London and known for his ROVE series of art programming, offered a sarcastic and hilarious rant in the Observer about just how bad the new Bravo chanel “reality” show ‘Gallery Girls’ is turning out.  After just two episodes, Schachter slams the show:

“…a few minutes into this program I wished I were doing just about anything else, including having my teeth drilled with no anesthetic and getting shot in the face by a .38, at close range.”

But Schachter is just getting warmed up. In the next paragraph, he drills in further:

“This is lowest-common-denominator television at its cattiest, bitchiest best. I’ve changed diapers on more articulate kids.”

Is the show really that bad? Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), it’s not available on Bravo in Canada, so we’ll have to just live vicariously through Schachter’s eyes.

You can read the full article from the Observer here. 

Case Study: iPhone Art Fair in Los Angeles

The lasting legacy of Steve Jobs extends deeply into the visual arts. For decades now, the Mac computer has unleashed and enhanced the visionary qualities of artists working in film, music, painting and photography. But with the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the ability to be spontaneously and powerfully creative has been overwhelmingly pervasive and has gushed into the mainstream. By some estimates, more than 200 million iPhones have been sold. With each app-enhanced device packing superior computing ability practically tailored artistic purposes, many millions of people who previously neglected their creative impulses now dedicate chunks of their day to creating digital masterpieces.

One reflection of this phenomenon is the Los Angeles Mobile Arts Festival which kicked off last weekend at the Santa Monica Art Studios. Showcasing more than 600 pieces, all of the works displayed were created on mobile device, the vast majority of which produced on iPhones. In addition to photography, more than 100 of the works are digital paintings.

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Essay: From dOCUMENTA 13 With Love

(For the essay that follows, the Ministry of Artistic Affairs invited Toronto artist Bogdan Luca to discuss his recent experience at dOCUMENTA 13, the highly important exhibition of modern and contemporary art that takes place in Kassel, Germany, every five years.  He sent this essay from Berlin on July 27, 2012.)

Located in the very center of Germany, Kassel is a city where history has a tangible presence, both in the sense of two world wars, and the cummulative history of the twelve Documentas that precede this one. Here you may happen to lean on a basalt pillar, one of 7000 Oaks planted by Joseph Beuys across dOCUMENTA 7 and 8. In the center of the city there is a brass rod driven into the ground during dOCUMENTA 6: Walter deMaria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer. Only the top surface of this metal column is visible, appearing as a small disk on a granite plaza and leaving the actuality of its real dimension invisible and only comprehensible as an act of faith. Reaching deep through geological strata, this piece is a good symbol for an entire exhibition which often pairs new art with select 20th century works as a way to question the new coordinates of the world we inhabit in this 21st century. Kassel becomes part of a network of historically, politically and artistically active sites connected by an effort to redefine and understand anew our roles in creating the world.

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News: Art Collector Herbert Vogel Dies

Herbert Vogel, who, along with his wife Dorothy, amassed one of the most important collections of Minimalist art worldwide, died on Sunday at the age of 89.

A postal worker and a librarian, the couple used their modest salaries to collect works by artists including Sol LeWittDonald Judd, and Robert Mangold.

A few years ago, the Vogels donated their entire collection to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. The Gallery is exhibiting about 1,000 of the donated works; the other pieces have been distributed in 50-item lots to one museum in each state, a project called Vogel 50×50.

Via: Artnet

Case Study: Yoshitomo Nara Supports Nuclear Protestors

One of Japan’s most beloved and world-reknowned artists, Yoshitomo Nara, has offered a free download of his ‘No Nukes’ image in support of the recent protests in Japan; earlier this month Japanese officials made the decision to restart a reactor at the Ohi power plant,  despite public outcry and malaise towards nuclear energy post-Fukushima. ‘No Nukes’ first appeared in Nara’s 1998 book Slash with a Knife.

Download a free, high resolution copy of ‘No Nukes’ here.

Case Study: GO Transit and Toronto Artists Borins & Marman

GO Transit, the Province of Ontario’s mass public transportation system, has teamed up with local Toronto dynamic artist duo, Daniel Borins and Jennifer Marman, to install contemporary art inside and outside train corridors throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  In a brilliantly out-of-the-box way to encourage discussion about sustainable transportation and the serious transit issues facing residents of the GTA, this new public art partnership combines technology, fresh thinking, and colourful aesthetics.   Video clips, an Android app, abstract billboards, and bright vinyl train wraps will be accompanied by human docents on board to explain the project and encourage participation.

“What we’re trying to do is to reach out to the public to get things started,” explained GO Transit President Gary McNeil, “to talk about why public transportation is important. A lot of people out there just take it for granted that it’s there.”

It’s about time.  Toronto is at least twenty years behind where it should be in the development of its public transportation system and recent public discussions at the municipal and provincial government levels have been marred by shameful and wasteful infighting and lack of grand vision.  This effort by GO Transit to harness the power of contemporary art to push the discussion in a positive direction is a very welcome initiative.

You can read more about this moving, mobile public art project, called “Art Train Conductor No. 9“, at the special website launched by Borins and Marman here and listen to the artists discuss their intent on CBC radio’s Here & Now here.

By Randy Gladman for The Ministry of Artistic Affairs.

You can see more pictures from the project after the jump.

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Case Study: Nan Goldin Awarded MacDowell Medal

Legendary American photographer Nan Goldin has just been named this year’s recipient of the MacDowell Colony‘s Edward MacDowell medal. The medal is awarded each year to an individual artist who is considered a master of their art practice and has made outstanding contributions to their field. Goldin is one of only four photographers to have ever received the award, and will join the ranks of past winners in the visual art category such as photographer Robert Frank and painter Georgia O’Keefe.


Case Study: Values in Contemporary Art

One aspect of art we are very interested in at The Ministry is how artworks are valued by the market and how this system operates.  Writing yesterday for The New York Times, Adam Davidson (co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money”) makes an interesting argument that the contemporary art world is a proxy for the fate of the superrich themselves and that the current conditions in this market are similar to the Gold Rush.  ”In the late 1840s, there were tons of people who wanted to find gold,” he writes, “but it was mainly the middlemen, who sold the pickaxes and gold pans, who made money.”

You can read the entire article after the jump.
(Thanks to Ministry of Artistic Affairs member Kevin Kelly for the tip about this article.)

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Case Study: Takeshi Miyakawa Arrested Over Public Art Installation

New York based artist and furniture designer Takeshi Miyakawa was arrested over the weekend in Williamsburg while installing a new series of light sculptures. A passerby mistook his sculpture, which involved illuminating an “I ♥ NY” plastic shopping bag from the inside with LED lights, for something more sinister, and Miyakawa was arrested on the charge of planting false bombs. He is being held pending a psychological evaluation, and a trial date has been set for June 21st.

Read on for more details regarding the incident.

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