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Wednesday 29th December 2010A Private Moon to Brighten up Your Day

While browsing through a range of different creative blogs, we came across Toxel, a daily blog that takes a sneak peak at the best that design and technology have to offer. A particular post that we took interest in on the site was Beautiful Moon Photography from Russia
As the post claims, back in 2005 two Russian artists, Leonid Tishkov and Boris Bendikov created their very own moon, and took it to various locations to get some truly stunning photographs. 
A little more investigation proved that there was a little more to these series of images, than just random shots capturing some great scenes of Russia; there was a story to the whole project. 
"Private Moon", as the project was called, is "a visual poem, telling a story about a man who found the Moon and stayed with her for the rest of his life". These are the words of Tishkov, who went on to describe the story of the man and the fallen Moon and how their relationship embodies the age old dichotomy between the mythological and the human; fairy tale and reality. 
The project is beautifully shot and represents a beautiful story. Take a look at some of the shots below:

Posted on December 29th 2010 on 01:56pm
Labels: photography

Monday 27th December 2010Once Again, Olafur Eliasson Takes Us Closer to Our Surroundings

Any one that has visited an exhibition of the work of Olafur Eliasson will be able to testify to how complete an experience it is. You are able to see, hear, feel and be part of creations that speak to the full range of your senses. By intervening in the gallery space to create something which transcends physicality and permeates the entire room, Eliasson invites you to be more aware of your surroundings and to response to things which may be common place, but which we take for granted. 
Take for example, Eliassons famous work, The Weather Project, which was part of the Unilever Series held at the Tate in 2003. The installation, which dominated the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, aimed to represent the sun and sky.  Hundreds of mono-frequency lamps, in a semi circular formation, were used, along with a mirrored ceiling to re-create the sun indoors. Mist filled the room in varying densities to produce cloud like effects or the haze of an autumn morning. 
The project allowed visitors to the Tate Modern, the chance to get up close and personal with the sun; with a weather effect that we deal with on a daily basis, yet completely take for granted. Bringing the weather indoors, and into the gallery space, opened up conversation about how we live with weather and experience it throughout our lives. 
Eliassons latest project it entitled Din Blinde Passager (Your Blind Passenger) and it is a 90-metre-long installation that is filled with a dense fog.  As a visitor to the installation you are able to walk through the 90-metre-long tunnel to experience the fog first hand, making your way from one end to the other with visibility being at 1.5 metres at best. 
Eliassons work once again transcends the physicality that this is just a tunnel full of fog - it opens up the gallery space to be a  full body experience that asks you to use all of your senses to partake fully in the installation. With visibility so low, your other senses are heightened and you are asked to concentrate singularly on the work of art for an extended period of time.  It is well known that for gallery and museum audiences, the average amount of time spent looking at a single piece of art can be quoted in seconds rather than minutes - Eliasson has created something here which leaves the visitor unable to move their focus elsewhere until they have reached the end of the piece. 
The installation which investigates our individual relationship with our surroundings, can be seen the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. The exhibition is on view until the 27th November 2011. For more information, please visit the museum website. 
Image Credits: (Left) Courtesy of Tate website. (Right) Olafur Eliasson,Test for Din blinde passager, 2010, foto Studio Olafur Eliasson © 2010 Olafur Eliasson

Posted on December 27th 2010 on 04:47pm

Thursday 23rd December 2010Gallereo Tip of the Week - Social Media Linking on Your Website

Social media has become a global phenomenon that helps people to communicate, promote and share ideas amongst like minded people. Social media can also help you to connect with fans, find out about new opportunities, and let people know more about what you are doing as an artist or photographer. 
If you have social media accounts at the likes of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, why not let more people know about it, by linking them directly to your Gallereo website?
It's easy, all you have to do is go to General Settings on the Configuration menu, which is here:
Have a look for the 3 social media linking fields, tick the boxes for the ones that you want to show, and add the URL for your Facebook page, Twitter account, or LinkedIn profile. 
Press save at the bottom of the screen, and your social media links will be displayed here in the bottom right of your website.
Happy sharing!

Posted on December 23rd 2010 on 03:00pm

Monday 20th December 2010James Franco to Take On Berlin as a Fine Artist

James Franco may be particularly well known for his acting roles in films such as Spiderman (1, 2 and 3), Pineapple Express or more recently 127 Hours. Franco has been in the press a lot recently with regards to the latter movie presentation as he plays the role of Aron Ralston; the climber and outdoor sports fanatic who notoriously ends up trapped under a boulder in an isolated canyon, where he has to remove his own arm in order to escape. 
Directed by Danny Boyle, the film has had a lot of press surrounding the the fact that there has been a high faint-rate amongst initial audiences. 
Looking forward to 2011, it's not Franco's film career that we are curious about, it's his career as an artist. He made his move into the art scene back in June this year, where he exhibited at the New York Clocktower Gallery. The show, entitled The Dangerous Book For Boys, was curated by the founder, and former director of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, Alanna Heiss; adding a certain level of validity to what may have otherwise been overlooked as a celebrity indulgence. 
Franco's 2011 exhibition, which is to be held in Berlin at the Peres Projects Gallery, will be an expansion upon the work shown in The Dangerous Book For Boys show. The work looks at themes of boyhood and sexual confusion in adolescents. Reportedly, the show will contain many of the same videos as the show at the Clocktower, but will have more drawings, paintings and photographs by the artist. 
Speculation about how the work will be priced, given Franco's Hollywood celebrity status, and the reasons for him opting to show in Berlin, rather than closer to home has been on the rise since the exhibition was announced. In various interviews, including one with ARTINFO, gallery owner and curator Javier Peres has commented that the works have yet to be priced, but that they are likely to be "quite reasonable". 
As for having Berlin as the host city to the show, it has also been suggested that Franco may be taken more seriously as a fine artist in Europe than he would in the States. Peres has said that, "we don't have the same general fixation on [celebrity] in Germany". Whether that is true or not, Berlin is certainly an amazing city to exhibit in if you are a contemporary artist; it's a great hub of artistic energy and there are some great galleries there. 
Franco's show will open in February, during which Franco will also be screening a film at the Berlin Film Festival. 

Posted on December 20th 2010 on 10:03pm
Labels: exhibitions

Saturday 18th December 2010Andy Warhol: Show Me the Money!

Installation of Andy Warhol Enterprises at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
I think it goes without saying that not all artists are in it for the money, many artists construct, create and innovate because that's what they love to do. Andy Warhol, however, was definitely in it for the money.
The commercial and business aspects of art fascinated Warhol and infiltrated every aspect of his artistic practice. Before Warhol truly became Warhol as most of us know him, he was a commercial artist for magazines and publications, creating illustrations for articles or advertisements. 
Upon breaking into fine art circles, Warhol didn't dropped the commercial drive that had brought him from Pittsburgh to New York in the first place, in fact, he saw the creation of art as an opportunity to make big bucks.
Warhol and Pop Art are inseparable; Pop Art being a movement that started in England, but really found its leg in the US where artists were truly able to grab hold of commodity culture and popular culture that was built on ease of living and excess. 
Warhol was building up his Pop Art oeuvre at a time when the New York Abstract Expressionists were bringing art down to abstracted canvases depicting the emotive stroke of the paint brush or the emotional pull of colour above that of figurative depiction. There are artists like Jackson Pollock creating his 'paint splash' canvases or Franz Cline with his sweeping monotone depictions. 
In parallel to the Abstract Expressionists, Warhol was working at a time when Capitalism in was viewed skeptically or even with hostility by many artists and creative types. 
Warhol was never shy about his exploits in the art world, and  never tried to hide his commercial goals or drive for money. He is famously quoted as having said that "Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art". He also named his studio The Factory, opening alluding to is as a place where works are commercially produced on mass for economic gain.  Throughout his career, money, consumerism and celebrity culture have filled his canvases as he depicts everything from dollar signs to Elvis Presley, sex and drugs to Superman. 
Right now there is an exhibition of Warhols work at the Indianapolis Museum of Art entitled, Andy Warhol Enterprises. The exhibition takes a look at Warhol as businessman and commercially successful artist; taking views on how Warhol treated money and art during his life.
The show runs until 2nd January, visit the website for more information about visiting.

Posted on December 18th 2010 on 02:30pm
Labels: exhibitions

Friday 17th December 2010Art Stimulates More Than Just Imaginations In New York City

New York City was very much at the forefront of the global economic collapse in 2008, with eyes around the world watching what was happening to the likes of Lehman Brothers and wondering what would be in store for us financially in coming years. The same was true of the art world; people looked to New York for signs of how the global economic crisis would affect the art market and culture on a whole. 
Two years later we are looking back at New York, and in particular the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), to see how art and culture are helping to stimulate the economy for everyone.
In a survey and report by the MMA, it has been announced that, over the Summer period, the MMA's trio of exhibitions - Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú, and American Woman: Fashion a National Identity - stimulated a staggering $784 million in economic activity.  That activity came from local, national and international tourists making the journey to New York to feast their eyes on some of the best art that the world has to offer. 
Statistics from the Museum show that the three exhibitions drew in crowds of 703,256, 631,064 and 335,759 visitors respectively. Of those visitors, the report stated that 72% of visitors travelled from outside of the five boroughs of NYC, 20% were from the Tri-state area, 34% were from other US states and 46% were international visitors. 
Each person that visited the museum is thought to have spent around $1,050 on accommodation, sightseeing, entertainment, admission to museums, food and shopping. 
Overall, the report which was conducted by the Office of Market Research in the Visitor Services Department, calculated that the City and State of New York would receive a direct tax benefit of $78.4 million as a result of the Museums activities over the summer period. 
While New York and the MMA have proven to be a great example of how art and culture can benefit cities and economies on a whole, there is no doubt that other institutions around the world are having the same effect by continuing to put on quality exhibitions and running  programs that continue to innovate and bring world class art to the masses.

Posted on December 17th 2010 on 02:19pm

Wednesday 15th December 2010The Benefits of Selling Fine Art Online

The practice of selling art online has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the buoyancy of the online market and the fact that the cost effectiveness of selling online proves to be just as competitive, and even more profitable than trying to sell via a traditional bricks and mortar business model. 
Firstly, the price of obtaining an online exhibition or portfolio space, as opposed to that of a physical gallery space, is certainly more cost effective and 'hanging' the work out there for people to see definitely take a lot less time - time that you can put into marketing that work. 
Selling art online also offers you a higher margin on the sale of your artwork. You don't have to put that money into rent, heating bills, electricity bills or paying for staff. To take it to the extreme, you don't even have to get out of bed to update your art gallery website so no paying for commuting and no battling rush hour traffic to meet the expected opening times of a traditional gallery space.
In talking about gallery times - a physical space is generally restricted to regular opening times, whereas an artist website ensures that you are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year. 
All that being said, it's not enough to build an artist website and expect the sales to come flooding in - that's not how the internet works, and it definitely isn't how the art world works. Selling art online will take dedication to marketing and a great deal of communication with potential collectors or interested parties. 
You should make an effort to be as descriptive as you can on your artist website to encourage trust and comfort amongst your audience. It is also wise that you think about the keywords that you use to describe your work as this will be useful for search engine optimisation. We have already put together a few blog posts on search engine optimisation, so take a read to find out more. 
To make the best use of the benefits of selling online you should aim to get to grips with how the internet works in terms of people finding your website, and how people behave when they visit your site. Then do your best to create an artist website that looks good, works well and offers your visitors just what they are looking for. 
To be successful in selling art online, you have to drop the penny somewhere between having a great website that showcases your work and the marketing activities surrounding that website that will let the world know who you are. Having confidence in your artwork and your website so that you can promote it to the best of your ability is the first step in becoming successful at selling online. 
Stay tuned for a blog post about potential places for marketing your artist website, and how to go about having your site featured there.

Posted on December 15th 2010 on 07:59pm

Sunday 12th December 2010Tate Britain Goes Conceptual with its Christmas Tree

Every year, Tate Britain in London invites an artist to create a Christmas tree for the gallery and this year, Tate has commissioned conceptual artist Giorgio Sadotti to do the honours. 
Sadotti was born in Manchester in 1955 and currently lives and works in London. As a conceptual artist, his work includes instances of sculpture, sound, performance, collage and photography, with his work having been exhibited around the world at institutions such as Tate Modern in London, PS1 MoMA in New York, Kunsthalle in Vienna and The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.
The work created at Tate Britain this winter is entitled Flower Ssnake, which consists of a Norwegian Spruce displayed in the gallery's neoclassical rotunda, without decoration. At the bottom of the plain tree lies a bull whip, coiled up under the branches. 
The tree will remain naked in the gallery until the twelfth night of Christmas, when a one off performance will illuminate the tree to celebrate the end of the festive period. The performance will take place on the 5th of January at 7pm. 
The tree will be on display from the 10th December through until the 5th January

Posted on December 12th 2010 on 01:48pm
Labels: exhibitions

Saturday 11th December 2010You're Nobody Until You Have Your Own Garage...and Then an Island!

The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow
The world's eye is on Russia at the moment as they take the glory for being named the host nation for the World Cup in 2012, but in art terms, the world has been  keeping a close eye on Russia for sometime. Some of the biggest names in collecting in recent years have come from Russia and there is no doubt as to the massive influence that Russia has had on the art market as a whole. 
If you happen to be a fan of both football and art, then you might be familiar with the name Roman Abramovich - Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club. You might also be familiar with his wife Daria Zhukova who is named as the founder of The Garage - a centre for contemporary art based in Moscow. 
The Garage opened in 2008, as a non-profit organisation for the promotion and development of contemporary art and culture in Russia. Housed in an old bus garage designed in 1926 by Constructivists Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov, making it an icon of early 20th-century Russian architecture. The 8,500 square meter space was designed in a parallelogram shape to accommodate an innovative parking system for the buses, but now stands host to a range of international contemporary art exhibitions and events. 
In 2011 the gallery is looking to really expand, opening a space in St Petersburg and it is rumoured that Abramovich has bough an island (New Holland) to fit in with further expansion plans for the gallery, and his art collection. Yes, an island. He is not alone in making such plans, there is already an island off the coast of Japan, called Naoshima, dedicated to art installations by artists such as Richard Long, WAlter De Maria, James Turrell and Cai Guo-Qiang. It was also rumoured that billionaire art collector Anita Zabludowicz also had plans for an art island in Scandinavia.
In a quote at Zhukova said "I am excited about this next stage of The Garage's development and the possibility of expanding to the cultural landscape of St Petersburg. We will release more details of our plans for New Holland once they are finalised in the coming year."
Already, 2011 looks to be an exciting year for art in Russia. Watch this space for more information.

Posted on December 11th 2010 on 11:14am

Friday 10th December 2010Rejection Has Never Sounded So Fun

I came across an amusing blog post today on Thoughts from a Sneaky Little Fox about rejection therapy. The blog is penned by the Sneaky Fox, or Craig Bush of BigBadWolfMedia as he is otherwise know.
The Sneaky Fox is currently undertaking a course of rejection therapy. As described in his blog post about rejection therapy and why you would want to partake in such an activity; rejection therapy is the process if finding ways to be rejected over a period of time in order to "reduce the fear and pain felt around rejection, encouraging more open and 'risky' social interactions and reap the many rewards that this comes with." 
In order to become part-immune to the effects of rejection and to open himself up to the infinite possibilities that come with 'putting yourself out there', the Sneaky Fox has embarked on a program of rejection under various guises. 
Yesterday's post talked about trying to be rejected via a Street Portrait Project. The Sneaky Fox offers to take photographic portraits of people in the street, both with the mission of getting some great portrait shots, which can be seen on his Flickr page, but also in the hope that someone might reject him. Unfortunately, people were pretty open to having their portrait taken. Rejection fail. 
The Sneaky Fox then moved onto other methods of fishing for rejection, including saying hello to random people in the street, which as you can imagine, worked! Rejection success. 
The same evening the Sneaky Fox attended a gig where the aim of the game was to raise money for a degree show for City of Birmingham Fine Art students - there was no game plan for rejection here - and by chance, one of the people who street portraits he had taken that morning was of one of the students who was raising money. Very small world. The Sneaky Fox was able to have a chat with Abi, and grab an invite to the final art show. 
The moral of this amusing post is that you really never know what can happen when you put yourself out there and that photography projects performed in the street are not as unwelcome as you might think.

Posted on December 10th 2010 on 12:11pm
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