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…

You're so Vain

You probably think this post is about you, don’t you? Just kidding. Carly Simon, her songs and her narcissistic rocker exes are a topic for another day, perhaps, or another dimension. Catchy tune, though. I’m more inclined right now to discuss self-absorption of a different sort, the sort often pictorially warned against throughout Western art history; centuries ago as…

New Love for Old Duds

Cherishing the significance of clothing and accessories sewn and worn in another time is a very personal way of preserving our global history. Personally, I find fashion to be one of the most detail-oriented and honest accounts of the doings of mankind. Out of every other species on the planet, we are the only animals that choose daily to clothe our bodies. Some…

Reproduction Value

The invention of the printing press and its younger sibling the camera rocked art forever by allowing all its forms to be heavily reproduced very quickly. The printing press gave way for mass media and illustrated books, manifestoes, sheet music and political cartoons among other popular ephemera to become widely available to the public. The…

On the Small Side

Despite so many colourful and lavish displays of class difference in the golden years of Elizabethan England, the visual experience, in terms of formal portraiture, was largely the same between the highest lords and ladies of the court and Her Majesty’s stooped peasants under their leaky, vermin-infested and flammable thatched roofs. Of course, the well-feasted and velveteen landed…

Fast Food

This Friday I present to you Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. A flame-grilled Whopper from Burger King, to be precise. With a full bottle of Heinz ketchup at hand, Warhol stares somewhat vacantly into the camera before a stoic grey backdrop and proceeds to unravel the contents of the paper sack before him and munch away.…

Lincoln Townley

With a retrospective at the Saatchi Gallery fast approaching in October, Lincoln Townley is a name that you’ll want to remember. It may initially seem that Townley has had a rapid ascent to notoriety in the art world— his life story demonstrates that this is not the case. Battling with drink and drug addiction up…

Right or Wrong?

In 1983, Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee created his first award-winning student film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, in which he developed a unique style of introducing films. Viewers are first taken on a ride in the black car in which Joe is being held to be killed. Music, humour, and media combine to place onlookers in the middle of a black, serio-comedic…