Art in New York: Beyond the Tourist Attractions

Art in New York: Beyond the Tourist Attractions

New York is the Capital of Art in the United States

Art in New York can be found in museums and galleries, and often in the open.

The city is the capital of art in the United States, a true paradise especially for art lovers

 

It is the place where some of the world famous artworks are exhibited

Even if your visit is brief, there is no way you can not see Art in New York, the city offers many different things to see and do, and without a doubt also, for all types of pocket and taste.

What makes NY so special

NYC is so special because it is probably one of the most iconic places in the world

It is home to stunning architecture, art galleries, modern restaurants, alleys and hidden corners, and has the most Instagrammable places of any other urban center.

In the five districts, there is no shortage of things to do and most importantly, places to see. NYC is pure Art!

From Radio City Music Hall to Madison Square Garden, from Broadway to Barclays Center; from Central Park to Coney Island, from Times Square to Empire State Building, from the famous Fifth Avenue to Rockfeler Center, NYC is permanently boiling.

All the things that make New York so special are the things that also make it an Instagrammer’s dream

With endless possibilities of scenarios and focal points for your next post, these destinations are a surefire way to get the photos that will make your feed, above all, perfect.

Because New York has become the Center of the Arts in the World

NYC became the Center of the Arts in the World because, in 1913 John Quinn, a lawyer passionate about art, organized together with the Association of American Painters and Sculptors a large art exhibition called “The Armory Show”.

The exhibition took place in downtown Manhattan and marked the first time that the American public was widely exposed to the news of the art world of that time, that is, they were exposed to ImpressionismCubismFauvism and Futurism.

The Armory Show was so innovative that it led the United States to the “vanguard” of the arts world and established the Big Apple as the Center of Art and a debut stage for radical artistic expressions.

 

 

New York has become the Center of the Arts in the world, because from 1913 to the present, it has been renewed in the symbol of autonomy, originality and creative freedom that is manifested in the generalized perception of Western culture as the Capital of Arts of modern times.

Where can I see Art in New York?

In addition to appreciating Art in New York, you will visit the most Instagramables places in the United States

A multitude of things, but to make it easier we made a list. In addition to enjoying Art in New York, you will visit the most Instagramables places in the United States, photograph the famous streets of the films and get lost in the neighborhoods dominated by graffiti. Here is our list of things to do in NYC.

New York Art to See in Museums

Museums are a must for anyone looking to see art in New York. There are more than 80 museums, but we will list where are some of the most famous artworks of the Big Apple.

MoMA

Museum of Modern Art #MoMAPicks – @themuseumofmodernart

 

Metmuseum

Metropolitan Museum of Art  @metmuseum

 

Guggenheim

Museu Guggenheim #guggenheim @guggenheim

 

 

October 25, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama: “Infinity Nets”, 1989, painting and “Narcissus Garden” 1966-2010, installation at the Voorlinden Museum ; photo Beatrijs Sterk

 

The well-known Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama had her 90th birthday on 22 March 2019. Museum Voorlinden near The Hague celebrated the event by staging an exhibition which will run until 1 September 2019. The fact that the artist’s hallucinations oblige her to live in a psychiatric institution has not hampered her creative urge in any way. With the help of assistants, she continues to paint large canvases in her continuous patterns which are so like textiles. Her hallmark is polka dots, round dots which she paints on canvas, sculptures and people. In 2017 the artist even opened her own museum in Tokyo! It is said that Yayoi Kusama is the most prominent living artist. She achieved world fame in 1966, when she failed to be invited to the Venice Biennial but nevertheless erected her “Narcissus Garden” installation of 1500 reflective silver balls in front of the Biennial entrance. Visitors were able to purchase the balls until the police eventually stopped the sale. However, by then she had already become the most talked-about artist of the Biennial. Museum Voorlinden, one of the most beautiful museums of modern art in the Netherlands, has been collecting her art for years. The current exhibition presents several of Yayoi Kusama’s key pieces as well as a number of loans by private collectors. Kusama’s 2008 work, “Infinity Mirror Room: Gleaming Lights of the Soul” is featured as a special exhibit which attempts to realise the concept of infinity. A maximum of two visitors at a time are guided into a completely darkened room. Light and reflection are used to create a feeling of boundlessness in a universe conceived by the artist. The experience generates a sense of playfulness, one feels like a child again and is left with a sense of wonder. This effect is produced in spite of the fact that the room is not all that large. It is visitors’ imagination which makes it appear infinite. Another piece featured in the exhibition is “Pumpkin“, again from 2008 – a black pumpkin two metres tall covered in yellow dots, created from a hallucination of a talking pumpkin which the artist experienced in her childhood. The show also presents one of her most recent works from the “My Eternal Soul” series, “I am dying now, there the death” from 2014. Reportedly, Kusama works with painted motifs such as dots, nets, eyes and flowers without a preliminary design. New ideas bubble up in her mind and are implemented without hesitation. The aforementioned “Narcissus Garden” is juxtaposed with “Infinity Nets” from 2010. The latter piece represents the reflection of the sun on the infinite ocean as seen through the window of an aircraft. Naturally there is no lack of polka dots which appear, for instance, in “Dots” from 1999. As a young girl, the artist once had an experience where flowers in a field began talking to her. The flowers seemed like an endless sea full of dots. For Kusama, her paintings are a way of overcoming her fears. Her work “Invisible Life“, created from 2000 to 2001, is a combination of silver balls and her dot patterns. Visitors who walk into the maze of semi-spherical mirrors mounted like dots enter another world – the boundless world of the artist.

Yayoi Kusama: “Infinity Mirror Room: Gleaming Lights of the Souls”, 2008 ; photo Beatrijs Sterk
Yayoi Kusama: “Pumpkin”, 2009, collection Voorlinden ; photo Beatrijs Sterk
October 01, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Gallery Sector

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Gallery Sector

Art Basel and UBS today published a 2020 mid-year survey 'The Impact of COVID-19 on the Gallery Sector' written by renowned cultural economist Dr. Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics. The survey findings present an analysis of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global Modern and contemporary gallery sector throughout the first six months of 2020.The report also presents the results of a survey of high net worth (HNW) collectors, a research collaboration between Arts Economics and UBS conducted in July 2020, across three major art markets – the US, UK, and Hong Kong SAR (China) – with a particular focus on how the COVID-19 crisis has changed their interactions with galleries in the art market. The full report is free to download on the Art Basel and UBS websites.

 

The survey is based on responses from 795 galleries operating in the Modern and contemporary art sectors, representing 60 different national markets across all levels of turnover.

Key findings of The Art Basel and UBS 2020 mid-year COVID-19 Survey:

 

  • Employment: Despite already having very tight employment structures, many galleries have had to furlough or permanently lay off staff in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Findings reveal that one third of galleries downsized during the first half of 2020, losing an average of four employees, with around half of the losses being full-time. The report predicts that more galleries may be at risk of closure before the end of the year and in a more precarious position in 2021, which could pose significant losses to the wider art economy. It also details how the financial impact of the pandemic depends in part on the level of public support available to each gallery on a national and local level.

 

  • Gallery Sales: The COVID-19 pandemic has had and will continue to have a critical impact on sales in the art gallery sector, particularly given the industry’s reliance on events, travel, and discretionary spending. Sales have contracted by an average of 36% in the first half of 2020 as nearly all galleries (93%) had closed their premises between January and July 1 of 2020 – findings that mirror sales across luxury goods industries. Still, a range of online offerings and new developments allowed galleries to continue making sales despite physical premises being closed. The HNW collectors surveyed continued to buy works of art through a range of both online and offline channels in 2020, with 75% of those surveyed having purchased through a gallery.

 

  • Online Sales: The growth of online sales accelerated in 2020 for galleries at all levels, offering a way to continue sales efforts while physical spaces were closed or restricted. The share of online sales for the galleries surveyed was 37% of total sales in the first half of 2020, up from 10% in 2019. Despite having the lowest share in 2019, galleries with the largest turnover showed the highest increase, with those in the $10 million-plus segment rising almost fivefold to 38%. New buyers accounted for 26% of online sales in the first half of 2020, while 74% were to regular clients of the gallery (including 29% to collectors who were new to online buying in 2020). The HNW collectors’ survey also found little difference in the price younger segments bought at online or offline in 2020.
  • Digital Strategy and Enhanced Technologies: Dealers reported using a range of online strategies to maintain liquidity and relationships in 2020: 72% of the galleries surveyed noted an increase in the online content offered through their websites and other online channels compared with 2019, while 69% increased their social media activity. Around half of the galleries surveyed used online viewing rooms for their galleries with varying success. Some felt it was difficult to attract new buyers due to the volume of competitive online offerings, while others noted the benefits of digital forums in providing a more level playing field for smaller and mid-sized galleries. 87% of the HNW collectors surveyed had visited galleries' online viewing rooms during the first half of 2020, and 41% had used them to purchase a work of art.
  • Art Fairs: The absence of physical events this year meant sales were significantly reduced through this channel, down from 46% of total sales in 2019 to 16% in the first half of 2020, with the biggest declines at the highest end of the gallery sector. A majority of dealers took advantage of online viewing rooms staged by art fairs, with 67% using these virtual exhibitions more than they had done in 2019. 85% of the HNW collectors surveyed had visited online viewing rooms of art fairs, and 40% had purchased works through them. Price transparency was one of the most highly valued features of these digital forums, with 81% of collectors reporting that it was important or essential to have a price posted when they were browsing works of art for sale online. Dealers reported that they plan to reduce the number of fairs they will exhibit at in 2021, with the average dropping to three fairs from four in 2019. Many galleries noted that online forums did not come close to replicating the experience of physical fairs – a sentiment shared by HNW collectors, with a majority (70%) preferring to view art for sale in person.
  • Gallery Priorities: The effects of the pandemic continue to cause a substantial shift in galleries’ current and future strategies, as well as their priorities. Galleries reported that their key priorities in 2019 were art fair exhibitions, their current artist exhibitions and widening the geographical reach of their client base. These priorities shifted markedly over the first half of 2020 to trying to boost online sales, cutting costs to maintain profitability, and maintaining relationships with existing clients who were seen to be critical to their survival.

 

  • Global Wealth and Art Buyers: Arts Economics worked in collaboration with UBS to gather insights from 360 HNW collectors across three different markets: the US, the UK, and Hong Kong SAR (China). The survey found that, despite the COVID-19 crisis, 92% of collectors had purchased a work of art so far in 2020. The value of spending was relatively high across the three regions: a majority (56%) of collectors had spent over $100,000 in the first half of 2020, including 16% spending over $1 million. The millennial segment had the largest share of high spenders, with 17% having spent over $1 million (versus just 4% of boomers). While most HNW collectors were actively working with galleries during the crisis, relatively few (14%) were looking for new galleries to work with, and most were sticking with those with whom they already had relationships. If this applies to a wider collector base, it could make it potentially harder for newer and younger galleries to establish themselves or gain a competitive foothold.

 

  • Looking ahead: The majority of galleries expected sales to continue to decrease in 2020, with only 21% expecting an uptick in the second half of the year. There was more optimism in 2021, but even so, only 45% of galleries expected sales to increase from 2020. However, HNW collectors had a relatively positive outlook – 59% felt that the COVID-19 pandemic had increased their interest in collecting; this boost was particularly strong among younger collectors, with 70% of millennials reporting the pandemic had increased their collecting interest. Over the longer term, collectors’ confidence in the art market is advancing in all regions. Young and wealthier collectors appear to be most optimistic, with over 60% of millennial collectors being optimistic about its performance in the next six and 12 months versus 24% of boomers.
September 26, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
HOW STREET ARTISTS AROUND THE WORLD ARE REACTING TO LIFE WITH COVID-19

HOW STREET ARTISTS AROUND THE WORLD ARE REACTING TO LIFE WITH COVID-19

As much of the world continues to shelter in place, those states and countries slowly easing restrictions are heading out into a world adorned with new art. Graffiti artists, street artists and muralists have been taking over public spaces during the pandemic, using their art forms to express beauty, support and dissent.

One of the newest pieces is in Milwaukee, a colorful, geometric mural by local artist Mauricio Ramirez that depicts a front-line medical worker in prayer. In Dublin, a neon-hued psychedelic coronavirus graces a wall, painted by SUBSET, an artist collective that focuses on social issues. In Berlin, there's a mural of Gollum from Lord of the Rings worshipping a roll of toilet paper. Even more coronavirus-inspired art can be found on walls in Russia, Italy, Spain, India, England, Sudan, Poland, Greece, Syria, Indonesia and elsewhere.

 

 

Smithsonian magazine spoke to Rafael Schacter—anthropologist and curator focusing on public and global art, senior teaching fellow in material culture at the University College London and author of The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffitiabout the current coronavirus art movement. Schacter addressed why the art is so important to our collective experience during this pandemic, and what it means for the art world in the future.

 

Why is this type of creativity needed right now, during this time of crisis?

 

The very concept of 'the public,' both in terms of people and in terms of space, is really being stretched right now. We’re also in a time where scrutiny of public policy, discourse and debate is hugely important. One of the spaces where that debate can emerge, especially among those who are marginalized or less able to speak within the media, is the street. A lot of issues of public space that were issues before the crisis—like increasing privatization, surveillance, increasing marginalization, corporatization, housing—are coming forward with the crisis. And these are issues which are often discussed through the medium of the street.

The crisis is not a leveling one. This whole idea of the crisis targets everyone the same, it really doesn’t. All our struggles are being exacerbated by the virus. Discourse emerges out of our ability to congregate, to protest, to come together. At a time where our ability to be in public is lessened, when the public space is being evaporated and displaced, it’s even more important that we’re able to have that space for debate. Yet we’re in a situation where we can’t be in that space. When one’s voice needs to be heard in public and public becomes a danger itself, it’s even more important that scrutiny and dissent is able to be articulated. Graffiti is a space where dissent can be articulated and discourse can be pronounced. And even though it’s in many ways more difficult to produce because you can’t be in the public space, the focus on it becomes ever sharper because everything else is so empty around it.

 

How is coronavirus street art and graffiti pushing forward the world conversation about art and the virus itself?

 

We’re having to use the digital public sphere for sharing and viewing art for the most part. So on that side of things, perhaps this will be the moment where that shift really does take place. There will actually be more thought taken about the way we view art online. On a more a local scale, there’s a lot of graffiti popping up about issues such as rent strikes and issues related to basic needs of survival. Plus, a lot of graffiti now is about 5G or conspiracy theories. Of course, that leads us to think about the people who fall into conspiracy theory thinking. When you’re most powerless, it’s the safest thing to have a conspiracy theory to make us feel better about understanding things. I’m noticing a lot of that kind of graffiti emerging.

 

Have you seen any parallels between graffiti and street art during the coronavirus and during other pivotal moments of history?

 

It’s such an odd situation we’re in now, where just being in a public space is more difficult than ever. Not only does that make it more difficult to produce graffiti because there’s a more surveilled view of the public space, meaning you can’t hide in plain sight, but also our ability to see it is lessened because we’re all at home. The public is now in private so in many ways it’s hard to parallel this with anything in the more recent frame. I think the rent strike graffiti, which is what I’ve seen most prominently, is something we’ve seen throughout politics of the last ten years. I saw some really interesting graffiti from Hong Kong recently. It said, 'There can be no return to normal, because normal was the problem in the first place.' That’s very powerful. A lot of the most powerful work I’ve seen is coming out of that occupy, anti-austerity protest aesthetic. This is political graffiti. This is graffiti that is part of the debate around contemporary politics, but from a voice which is often unable to enter into more mainstream political debate.

What does art mean to the human experience?

 

Humans have been producing art before they were even human. We’ve found wonderful cave paintings, Neanderthal decorative art. There’s an innate need to relate our experience, and I think a lot of art is also about relating with each other. It’s about trying to transmit one’s experience to others or create experiences together in a more classical ritual. The way we understand art now, in western history, is a tiny dot in the history of humankind’s relationship with producing art. But an integral part of human existence is producing art. It will always be a necessity. There’s this idea that it’s only produced when you have all your other basic needs taken care of, but art is a basic need.

 

How do you feel that this current movement will be reflected in art in the future?

 

The one thing I hope is that we rethink digital public art [public art that is shared online through social media or other internet capabilities]. Rather than just being an addition to the existing practice, we can really try and start thinking about a way to use the digital public sphere to really engage the people that otherwise wouldn’t be engaged by this kind of practice. There’s a real possibility of creating new audiences.

September 14, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
・Keith Haring・

・Keith Haring・

Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was raised in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.

 

 

Upon graduation from high school in 1976, Haring enrolled in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, a commercial arts school. He soon realized that he had little interest in becoming a commercial graphic artist and, after two semesters, dropped out. While in Pittsburgh, Haring continued to study and work on his own and in 1978 had a solo exhibition of his work at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center.

Later that same year, Haring moved to New York City and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts (SVA). In New York, Haring found a thriving alternative art community that was developing outside the gallery and museum system, in the downtown streets, the subways and spaces in clubs and former dance halls. Here he became friends with fellow artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as the musicians, performance artists and graffiti writers that comprised the burgeoning art community. Haring was swept up in the energy and spirit of this scene and began to organize and participate in exhibitions and performances at Club 57 and other alternative venues.

In addition to being impressed by the innovation and energy of his contemporaries, Haring was also inspired by the work of Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Alechinsky, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Robert Henri’s manifesto The Art Spirit, which asserted the fundamental independence of the artist. With these influences Haring was able to push his own youthful impulses toward a singular kind of graphic expression based on the primacy of the line. Also drawn to the public and participatory nature of Christo’s work, in particular Running Fence, and by Andy Warhol’s unique fusion of art and life, Haring was determined to devote his career to creating a truly public art.

 

 

As a student at SVA, Haring experimented with performance, video, installation and collage, while always maintaining a strong commitment to drawing. In 1980, Haring found a highly effective medium that allowed him to communicate with the wider audience he desired, when he noticed the unused advertising panels covered with matte black paper in a subway station. He began to create drawings in white chalk upon these blank paper panels throughout the subway system. Between 1980 and 1985, Haring produced hundreds of these public drawings in rapid rhythmic lines, sometimes creating as many as forty “subway drawings” in one day. This seamless flow of images became familiar to New York commuters, who often would stop to engage the artist when they encountered him at work. The subway became, as Haring said, a “laboratory” for working out his ideas and experimenting with his simple lines.

Between 1980 and 1989, Haring achieved international recognition and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His first solo exhibition in New York.was held at the Westbeth Painters Space in 1981.  In 1982, he made his Soho gallery debut with an immensely popular and highly acclaimed one-man exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery. During this period, he also participated in renowned international survey exhibitions such as Documenta 7 in Kassel; the São Paulo Biennial; and the Whitney Biennial. Haring completed numerous public projects in the first half of the 80’s as well, ranging from an animation for the Spectacolor billboard in Times Square, designing sets and backdrops for theaters and clubs, developing watch designs for Swatch and an advertising campaign for Absolut vodka; and creating murals worldwide.

In April 1986, Haring opened the Pop Shop, a retail store in Soho selling T-shirts, toys, posters, buttons and magnets bearing his images. Haring considered the shop to be an extension of his work and painted the entire interior of the store in an abstract black on white mural, creating a striking and unique retail environment. The shop was intended to allow people greater access to his work, which was now readily available on products at a low cost. The shop received criticism from many in the art world, however Haring remained committed to his desire to make his artwork available to as wide an audience as possible, and received strong support for his project from friends, fans and mentors including Andy Warhol.

Throughout his career, Haring devoted much of his time to public works, which often carried social messages. He produced more than 50 public artworks between 1982 and 1989, in dozens of cities around the world, many of which were created for charities, hospitals, children’s day care centers and orphanages. The now famous Crack is Wack mural of 1986 has become a landmark along New York’s FDR Drive. Other projects include; a mural created for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, on which Haring worked with 900 children; a mural on the exterior of Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, France in 1987; and a mural painted on the western side of the Berlin Wall three years before its fall. Haring also held drawing workshops for children in schools and museums in New York, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo and Bordeaux, and produced imagery for many literacy programs and other public service campaigns.

Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. In 1989, he established the Keith Haring Foundation, its mandate being to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs, and to expand the audience for Haring’s work through exhibitions, publications and the licensing of his images. Haring enlisted his imagery during the last years of his life to speak about his own illness and generate activism and awareness about AIDS.

 

 

During a brief but intense career that spanned the 1980s, Haring’s work was featured in over 100 solo and group exhibitions. In 1986 alone, he was the subject of more than 40 newspaper and magazine articles. He was highly sought after to participate in collaborative projects ,and worked with artists and performers as diverse as Madonna, Grace Jones, Bill T. Jones, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol. By expressing universal concepts of birth, death, love, sex and war, using a primacy of line and directness of message, Haring was able to attract a wide audience and assure the accessibility and staying power of his imagery, which has become a universally recognized visual language of the 20th century.

Keith Haring died of AIDS related complications at the age of 31 on February 16, 1990. A memorial service was held on May 4, 1990 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, with over 1,000 people in attendance.

Since his death, Haring has been the subject of several international retrospectives. The work of Keith Haring can be seen today in the exhibitions and collections of major museums around the world.

July 19, 2020 — Riccardo Nicosia
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 — Riccardo Nicosia
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