Banksy

Banksy

The famous English artist and writer Basky was born in the 70s and is considered one of the most influential members of the Street Art community. His identity is still unknown.
Banksy’s works first appeared in the underground areas of Bristol, as a matter of fact streets and public areas are preferred places to express his art.
His works illustrate the weakness of humankind. His pieces have an ironic and satirical cut and deal with issues such as the absurdity of the western world, media manipulation, homogenization and the horror of the war, as well as pollution and the exploitation of children, the brutality of police repression and animal abuse.
He delivers messages through a wide variety of references featuring animals, in particular monkeys and mice, police officers but also children and members of the Royal Family.
Bansky exploits and manipulates mass media and cultural codes with refined skills, he transfers horrible but still existing themes in brilliant and pleasant to see artworks that raise awareness on the issues proposed in those who receive them; he is able to transform the social fabric of western cities into places of thought.
Thus, Banksy’s stencils are illustrated with a direct and comprehensible beauty «like an advertisement poster».
Banksy is the man who was able to transform a “vandalistic” act in a socially widespread and comprehensible message for all. He has become this was a defender of human rights in favor of peace and equality.

 

 

May 27, 2020 — Bruno Szabadkai
The Birth of a new Urban Revolution

The Birth of a new Urban Revolution

 Around the 60s, following the death of the great Charlie Parker (12 March 1955), a number of “Graffiti” on the urban walls in Philadelphia appeared: "Bird Lives" or simply "Yardbird". These were the nicknames given to the musician (because he often listened to other jazz bands from the courtyards, outside the clubs and also because he was considered "free as a bird").

Parker was a “virtuoso” who introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas into jazz.

He was an innovator, an icon for the Beat Generation as well as a ground-breaking counter-cultures for hipsters, rappers, hip-hoppers. His death fertilized a new Revolution: Street Art was born.

This language, which later became more articulated and is now seminal, reversed art ​​fruition (no longer limited to museum or sold to wealthy collectors, or serving the market and institutions). This new form of revolutionary art could be “seen” by everyone, becoming explosive, widespread and extensive in several cities. A new Urban Art was giving voice to those who had been  “silent” or  out of the ordinary art circuits through the “scratches” of Artists, among which Jean-Michel Baquiat, Keith Hering, Cornbread, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, JR, Banksy.  They express in a powerful, intense, rebellious and concise way, concepts and human situations that are difficult to illustrate otherwise. This way showing, a contemporary counter-cultural “music of dissent”.

Cities around the World, beginning with the American ones, Philadelphia first, and New York then (from the 70s, in Washington Heights, in Uptown Manhattan), and Detroit (especially after the car industry “crash”), became centers of this widespread and permanent artistic movement, despite the war waged by some mayors.

If the City talks to its Inhabitants, these in return talk to the City by means of the Street or the Urban Art. Graffiti represent their emerging “texts”.  Sometimes even though non-authorial, they mark and re-invent places, especially in marginal or abandoned areas (when ghost industry areas appear, empty walls increase); Urban Art gives these places a new life.

Walls are no longer only borders but are “aggregating” mediums, clean "sheets" where everyone can write and rewrite, changing the image and perception of the city, which is no longer monumental or cold, but vibrant, rhythmic and vital.

Street Art has a political value, it is a "scream" which manifests a counter-power: this way persons’ “screams” conquer the fragments of urban space.

Screams that invade freed spaces, making them even more free.  Artistic actions, through "Revolutionary" acts activate "agreements" among art, people, institutional power and the City, as well as a different balance of social conflicts. A new anti-monumental cityscape is created, in which the new landmarks change places and people, becoming more accessible to everyone and more connected.

May 14, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
Art Basel

Art Basel

Art Basel is an art fair that has been held annually in Basel, Switzerland since 1970. Here more than three hundred of the most eminent galleries in the world exhibit. They are selected from over a thousand nominations by an international jury made up of renowned gallery owners.

 

It was conceived by the gallery owners and collectors Trudl Bruckner, Balz Hilt and the spouses Ernst and Hildy Beyeler. Art Basel of Basel, takes place in mid-June and has established itself over the years as an important international appointment not only for the art market, but also for eclectic artistic research.

 

More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in multiple sections of the fair. Art Basel, in its three geographical expressions, specializes in Modern and Contemporary Art and offers space for all types of artistic language: painting, drawing, installation, photography, performance and video art. This fair hosts the stands of almost three hundred international galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and also dedicates a space to Site-specific artistic projects ravishing in quality and expression.

 

Given its huge success since 2002, the Basel fair also realizes a winter edition that takes place every year in December in Miami Beach: “The Art Basel Miami Beach” which has perhaps surpassed its reputation, certainly as regards the glamour. The choice of Miami as second location, the third is Hong Kong, was favoured by the proximity of Miami to South America consisting of an extremely lively artistic market.

 

Last year's edition of the American city was visited by 75 thousand people including gallery owners, artists, collectors, journalists and art lovers. There were over 300 exhibitors and they came from all over the world. This latest edition was perhaps the event that most impressed us among all the exhibitions, salons, vernissages, that characterized the Miami Art Week.

 
   
May 10, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
Tags: artbasel
Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in    New York in 1960, was an  American writer and painter. He is  remembered as one of the most  important exponents of American  graffiti, managing to bring this  movement from metropolitan  streets to art galleries.

His life and artist career has been  very complex but his talent has  made him one of the most  established geniuses of the past century, making some of the most expensive works that have ever been sold.

From an early age he showed a strong interest in art, probably encouraged by his mother who accompanied him around the museums of the big apple. At 17 he discovered the love for graffiti and from there he began to fill all the walls of Manhattan, signing himself as SAMO, acronym for "Same Ol'Shit" but his artistic turning point came in 1978, when he sold some postcards to Andy Warhol illustrated by him in a Manhattan restaurant. The two discovered they had a common idea of ​​art intended as popular and public, so much so that shortly afterwards he moved to the famous Warhol Factory, learning to perfect his pictorial style. Basquiat's style, absolutely recognizable and unique, is inspired by the subjects from his Caribbean heritage, as the father was Haitian and the mother of Puerto Rican origin. These elements have merged perfectly with other inspirations that derive from African American, African and Aztec cultures with classic themes and contemporary heroes such as athletes and musicians.

In a short time the young artist had a great success, while keeping his distance from the world of the press. After Warhol's death, Basquiat appeared increasingly depressed, so much so that just a year later, in 1988 at the age of 27, he died in his New York loft due to an overdose. In his short career as an artist he has created an invaluable patrimony of masterpieces. His first exhibition dates back to 1980: the Times Square Show and since then his life changed radically. Among his most famous works we remember:

 

-Irony of the Negro Policeman

 

-The Dux

 

-Dustheads

 

-Riding with Death

 

-Hollywood Africans

 

Despite his young age, Basquiat has left an indelible mark on the artistic world, which is why he is still remembered as "the wild king of the urban jungle".

April 21, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, born in Pittsburgh in the 1930s, is considered one of the greatest artistic geniuses of his century. He was not only a painter but also a sculptor, screenwriter, film producer, director and actor. Major figure of the Pop art movement is remembered as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

He began studying Commercial Art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. After graduation, he moved to New York and the "big apple" immediately offered him many possibilities to establish himself in the world of Advertising: he worked for celebrated magazines such as Vogue and Glamour.

Repetition on a large scale was his method of success: he reproduced on large canvases the same image many times, altering its usual bright, strong and visually striking colours. Through advertising images of the major commercial brands, such as Coca-Cola bottles - among his most famous and remembered works - or impact images such as road accidents and electric chairs, he was able to empty the imagery he represented of any meaning.

His art, which got the shelves of a supermarket in a museum or an exhibition, was a provocation not even too veiled. In fact to Warhol art had to be "consumed" like any other commercial product.

He often reiterated that mass products represent social democracy and as such must be recognized: even the poorest can drink the same Coca-Cola that any iconic character drinks.

His artistic activity includes many works, which he produced in series with the help of the screen printing system. Among his most famous masterpieces there are representations of the most famous characters of that period, who have now become real icons: Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and also some family members.

Through the analysis of Pop Art images and works, it has been understood how the economic boom of the 50s and 60s started the consumer society to which we also belong.

After his death, the fame and the quotation of the works of Andy Warhol grew to the point of making him the "second most bought and sold artist in the world after Pablo Picasso".

April 14, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
POP ART : Why is it seen as a threat to traditional art?

POP ART : Why is it seen as a threat to traditional art?

 

A short background ...

At the end of the 2nd world war in 1945, the US experienced not only a post-war economic boom but also ″The Baby Boom″. Nearly 76 million babies were born in America between 1945 and 1957.

Pop Art comes from and is inspired by the people, places, things and events happening in popular culture. As such, it can be found in the different forms of mass media: packaging, television, advertisements, comic books, etc. The purpose of Pop Art was to challenge tradition. It attempted to break down the barriers between high art and contemporary culture. It believes in the concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source.

Pop Art′s colors don′t reflect the artists′ inner sensation of the world. Instead, there colors refer to the popular culture.

CHARACTERISTICS OF POP ART

The predominant colors used in Pop Art are yellow, red and blue. The colors used were vivid. It employed images of popular culture, emphasizing ordinary elements of any culture, usually through the use of irony.

Utilizing commercial art techniques made it easy for pop artists to mass-produce.

Material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated or combined with unrelated material.

 

SOME INFLUENTIAL DESIGNERS

Wes Wilson

He was one of the best-known designers of psychedelic posters. He is known for inventing and popularizing a psychedelic font around 1966 that made the letters lkook like they were moving or melting.

Roy Lichtenstein

He developed a style using bold colors, black outlines, and tones rendered by ben-day dots. These were the methods of printing tones in comic books during the 1950′s and the 1960′ss.

  

Andy Warhol

He became the most famous American pop artist when he used silkscreen to paint commercial objects such as Campbell′ss soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles and for portraying major celebrities like Marilyn Monroe.

 

 

 

 

POP ART VS. TRADITIONAL ART

Pop Art critics, mostly art authorities of the 60′ss and 70′ss, think that Andy Warhol′ss works were boringly “unoriginal″s and ″scommercial″s. Their greatest objection is coming from pop artists′s lack of pedigree and training. That doesn′st seem to be stopping the popularity of Pop Art though.

Today, Pop Art is everywhere, in all forms of mass media and now even in the social media. Logos, banners, posters, graphic icons, you name it. Pop Art is widely used not just because it can be mass produced and reproduced digitally and in print, but also because it is easily ″sconsumed″s by the public.

 

April 10, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
Tags: pop art
Top Tips for Buying Art Online

Top Tips for Buying Art Online

Where to start

No matter what you are purchasing, an impulse buy can be a tempting and exciting way to shop. However, when it comes to purchasing a canvas online, it is a good idea to spend some extra time checking out the artist, considering your space and taking your own personal style into account.

Decoring your home with Canvases bought online has become quite popular these days because of the ease and convenience it can offer you. But, in order to find the perfect piece for your needs, you need to consider these top tips for buying art online

Take your time

Sure, a big benefit of internet shopping is that it is super-fast, but when you want to buy art, it is recommended that you take your time in browsing online, reading about different artists and then make your final selection.

Similar to the artwork, choosing it is a very personal experience because everyone has a different personality and style. The trick is to find the perfect balance between not letting an excellent piece of art slip away and mulling over your decision.

Consider your existing interior décor

If you want to add personality to your home, art is the best tool for this job. Nevertheless, when you are buying a piece of art, it is important to consider how it works with your current interior décor. Are you trying to spruce up an otherwise dull room? In this case, you can inject some color with a bold graphic print. Are you trying to detox your cluttered space? You can use a calm and neutral picture for this purpose.

Even if you fall in love with something really unexpected, there is no harm in that because your art collection will most definitely outlast your current decorating and styling scheme. Sometimes, a modern room can be made quirky with a piece of traditional art or a contemporary piece can shine in a traditional interior space. You can also shake up your choice in unusual ways like creating a clash with your furniture or incorporating your artwork into a room’s color palette.

Think about the space

Shopping for art is a creative and imaginative process, but you also need to be practical in order to make the right choice. First, take a look at the space you have for placing the art. Consider the light in the room you want to use it in and if it has other artworks.

Even though these questions are simple, they are necessary and you need to ask them before taking the plunge. For instance, if you like a bright abstract painting, your office space might not be the best fit for it as it can be distracting. Think of the practicalities and take dimensions beforehand so you can choose a piece that can fit easily.

You can also ask questions online through the customer service option and eliminate any doubts you may have about the artwork you are purchasing. As long as you use these tips, you will be able to buy art online easily.  

March 15, 2019 — Riccardo Nicosia