Us, Animals and Art History; Chapter 1: Prehistory

Artistic expression has been present roughly since the first physically-modern men wandered the earth, and will likely never disappear from human cultural practices. Across all eras and continents, artists have used painting, sculpting and myriad other techniques to produce representations of generic daily life, broad zeitgeists and internal emotions or curiosities. Whether rendered with lifelike accuracy…

Back to School

Inarguably, one of the most influential causes behind the development of many upheavals in modern art was the Bauhaus art school. Founded and directed by Walter Gropius in Germany on April 1, 1919, Staatliches Bauhaus sought to reform art education, and in doing so, to create an entirely new type of society. The Industrial Revolution played…

In a Barbie World

Unlike many one-time little girls, Mariel Clayton never gave up playing with her Barbies. Born in Durban, South Africa in 1980, Clayton is not a lackadaisical sufferer of Peter Pan Syndrome but a self-described “doll photographer with a subversive sense of humour.” Her portfolio, indeed worth a few warped chuckles, is built on eye-boggling dioramas which poke at contemporary…

Meet Dave

Today in history, a very well-known, very handsome man made his debut on the world stage. Sure, he’s a bit advanced in years now, but his shaggy curls, square jawline and rock-hard abs are still as comely as when he was a whippersnapper.  And, ladies, he’s got big hands. I’m not referring to any of the…

Rousseau's Wild Side

The French Post-Impressionist painter Henri Julien Félix Rousseau left our world for another on this day in 1910, at the age of sixty-six. Without doubt he ought to be remembered for his enchanting, direct compositions. Though, personally, it is the unlikely fact that Rousseau ever set a paint-dipped brush to an easel that endears him so to the…

Poetry in Morrison

Jim Morrison is remembered, both admiringly and chidingly, for being all sorts of crazy. A white-hot star who rocketed across the stratosphere ever so quickly, fizzling out mysteriously in a bathtub at a too-young twenty-seven years of age. A tuned-in spiritual guide, born to aid willing young masses in breaking on through to the other side. A strung-out, alcoholic lunatic…

Creating Commodities

When considering the consumption of fine art, it becomes evident almost immediately that art is a commodity, something defined as a useful or valuable item which can be bought or sold. Contemporary art auctioned off at Sotheby’s between 2003 and 2007 had a 600% increase from £218 million’s worth sold in 2003, to £1.3 billion sold…

Here's to You, Peggy G.

Happy birthday to you, wherever you are, Peggy Guggenheim! What a gal. The adored, slandered and all-around infamous niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, yes, those Guggenheims, would have turned one hundred eighteen years-old today. Her father Benjamin most unfortunately went down with the Titanic, dragging all of Peggy’s yet-to-be-earned inheritance with him. Nevertheless, when she came of age in 1919, she also…