The Brooklyn Museum Should Evict the Brooklyn Real Estate Summit

brooklyn_museum_v1_460x285That’s the day that the museum will be playing host to the all-day Brooklyn Real Estate Summit, where, for $500 a ticket, over 800 developers will converge to hobnob and plan new ways to jack up your rent.

If you want to get mad, hop on over to the summit’s website. The agenda advertises that it will help you learn how “to find overlooked neighborhoods to invest in;” teach you “what you need to know about the latest batch of newcomers;” and provide tips on attracting sources of “international and institutional capital” to fuel the gentrification machine.

Everyone I know who has seen the agenda for the summit has their own favorite panel title to hate-share. My personal favorite is the afternoon session on “Mixed Use Strategies for Retaining Brooklynites.”

Reading over the title, I briefly thought it was some kind of fleeting, tokenistic gesture at social conscience. Like a human, I thought “retaining Brooklynites” might mean preserving the fabric of existing Brooklyn communities.

As it turns out, it concentrates on how to keep wealthy shoppers in the borough rather than going to Manhattan to satisfy their desire for boutique goods


Proposal For 800 Artist Studios in London Ditched in Favor of Retail Space

GurneySouthwark council has rejected a proposal to convert an abandoned multistory parking lot in London’s south borough of Peckham into 800 artists’ studios.

The proposal, dubbed the Bold Home project, was supported by several of the UK’s leading cultural figures including Tate Modern director Chris Dercon, and Serpentine Gallery co-directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Instead, the council accepted an alternate proposal from the property development firm Pop Community, who want to convert the facility into “multi-use event spaces, pop-up retail and cafe/bar.” The plans includes only 50 artists’ studios.

Bold Home is a collaboration between local arts organization Bold Tendencies, Peckham gallerist Hannah Barry, and Second Home, a cultural venue.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rohan Silva of Second Home criticized the council’s decision. “Artist studios in London are now critically endangered. The creative industries are one of the main drivers of growth and new jobs in London—if artist studios continue to be decimated in this way, all this will be at risk.”

He added, “Artists and creative startups have no trade union representation, and no voice whatsoever. That’s why they’re being squeezed out


Raphaels Mona Lisa

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s new show, Sublime Beauty, marks the very first time Raphael’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” has visited the United States, itself a reason for celebration (it was loaned by the Galleria Borghese in Rome, which acquired the painting in 1682). Like many masterpiece portraits, the painting occupies both a realm of intense clarity and ambiguity, the former made possible by Raphael’s courageous use of color and sumptuous detail, the latter owed to historical and scholarly discrepancies. I’ll admit that I was not entirely prepared to view and review an exhibition that consists of only a single painting, as is the case with Sublime Beauty. Of course, the act of showing only a single work automatically lends an air of authority and importance, but it also allows more room for scrutiny — for the viewer to interrogate the piece with his or her imagination. The painting is equipped with a catalog of vagueness. There is the fact that until the 1930s the


Aboriginal Art: Traditional and New

You will find religious and ceremonial elements in almost all art. This certainly holds true for the aboriginal art that has survived for centuries and for the art that is being produced today. In addition, a survey of these beautiful and fascinating works shows that a variety of styles that existed in the past and continue in current art.

Much of the painted and carved art that has been discovered in the past is either naturalistic/figurative or the opposite. Naturalistic or figurative art generally contains images that are recognisable. The images look quite natural or even appear to be an actual figure. Art that is the opposite tries to present similar subjects but in a more abstract form.

However, aboriginal art is not so easily categorised. While there are many natural subjects in this art, the treatment of those subjects by individual artists is too varied to submit to strict definition. Some artists strive to depict the vegetation that abounds in their homeland, but use a technique that stops short of being literal.

Others are telling stories through complex use of colour and shape, infusing their art with some of the ceremonial elements mentioned earlier.


Must See Art Guide at Italy

Those of you lucky enough to be in Italy this week can’t afford to miss Artissima. As one Italy’s most important art fairs (sorry, Venice Biennale!), Artissima gathers 200 galleries from around the world in Torino for three days dedicated to celebrating the best of emerging artists and collectible contemporary art. And hey, since you’re in Italy already, why not jaunt around to different cities and check out what else is currently on view in the country’s best galleries? Our guide has got you covered, from Florence to Naples.

Grab a stiff espresso, and hop aboard a train to Milan, because this stylish city is packed with shows of every stripe, from painting to sound art to…snail art? First stop, Monica de Cardenas, to see Thomas Struth’s latest show of large-scale photographs documenting three very different subjects: scientific research centers, Disneyland California, and Israel and the West Bank. Next, head to Brand New Gallery to enjoy Ry David Bradley’s dreamy, psychedelic digital paintings. He sources his images from the New York Library archive of rare pictures, and uses a complex technique of heated dyes on suede to achieve a uniquely gorgeous surface, so be sure to see these in person


Meet the White Artist Who Pretended to Be Chinese for a Decade and Just Got Busted

For over a decade, artist Tao Hongjing has been creating work inspired by his “oriental identity,” according to his artist statement. He’s found success creating and selling traditional Chinese artworks like gold-plated Buddha statues, ink prints on rice paper, and Chinese characters made in neon lights, some of which sell for as much as 200,000 yuan ($30,000).

The issue? The artist is not actually Chinese. “Tao Hongjing” is the assumed name of Nantes-born artist Alexandre Ouiary.

According to Agence France-Presse, the pseudonym was the brainchild of a Shanghai gallerist, who observed that the market for Chinese contemporary art was growing in China, but that there was little interest in work by a French transplant.

“The collectors were primarily foreigners and they wanted to buy Chinese work, because for them it was a good investment,” Ouairy recalls. “I saw all that counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Prada, and I said to myself: If they make fake bags, why don’t I make a fake Chinese artist?”

Is Ouiary the Rachel Dolezal of the art world? Or a version of Michael Derrick Hudson, who used an Asian pseudonym to land a spot in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology? Or is he just an enterprising artist who took advantage of supply and demand?

On November 7, Beijing’s Red Gate Gallery will


A Living Copy of Vincent van Gogh Ear Makes Its New York Debut

A little piece of a long-dead artist is coming back to life in New York this fall when Diemut Strebe’s creepy living copy of Vincent van Gogh’s ear makes its New York debut at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.

Titled Sugababe, the ear was created using genetic samples Strebe collected from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, the Post-Impressionist artist’s brother. Strebe used computer imaging technology to recreate the ear’s shape based on its appearance in van Gogh’s self-portraits, and a computer processor the simulates nerve pulses allegedly allows the ear to hear.

Though Sugababe is admittedly macabre, visitors at the original exhibition at the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, “loved the ear,” Strebe insisted in an e-mail to artnet News.

“I’m not sure that everyone understands the full scientific and biological implications,” the artist writes. “The scientific approach is based on the Theseus’s paradox by Plutarch… He asked if a ship would be the same ship if all its parts were replaced. This paradox is brought into a 21st-century context by using a living cell line (from Lieuwe van Gogh) in which we replaced (at least as a proof of principle) his natural DNA with historical and synthesized DNA.”

Perhaps the most famous detached body part in all