Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Edgar Martins Topologies Book @ Aperture Foundation

Please enjoy the blog header photo this week by Edgar Martins titled The Accidental Theorist.

ARTmostfierce recommends the new Topologies book by Edgar Martins published by Aperture Foundation.

For art collectors , do not miss his limited edition of two prints also available at Aperture

For more info please find links below or contact Kellie McLaughlin Manager of Limited Edition Prints at 212.505.5555.

Limited Edition Print By Edgar Martins
The Accidental Theorist, 2007
Edgar Martins
Price $ 1500.00
Paper: 17" X 20 1/6"

Image: 13 1/16" X 16 5/8"


Signed and numbered
by the artist

Presented in an archival
paper folder

Edition of 40 and
4 artist's proofs

Here is a brief summary review of the book followed by an interview with Edgar Martins.


Edgar Martins photographs have an absence of life, a paucity of purpose, and a sense of the uncanny that permeates the silence of them, whose scenes, like a black hole, seem to have consumed all traces and signs of life. The sun has been usurped, in its absence, by a mysterious source of lighting, that pushes back the blackness of the night and we are obliged to fill in the absences that it relentlessly exposes. All that represents the ambience of a holiday beach is missing. The pervasive tranquillity is paradoxical, not calming but disturbing, discordant, incongruous, the viewer longs for the signs and symptoms of life to pump up the visual volume and superimpose the social identity of this place.

Given the paucity of clues offered, our curiosity is inevitably aroused and the detective in us begins to prowl around these scenes. The possibilities proliferate but there are always more questions than answers, always more assumed reasons than reality could hold down.

This is the flip side of Massimo Vitali’s photographs of North Italian beaches which teem with life and action where our gaze becomes satiated by detail, our eyes and our minds held firmly within the frame, here in these images our mind begins to wander beyond the frame. In an attempt to reinforce the rickety ontology of this work we are tempted to rove beyond the confines of the frame, under the red-hot glare of analysis the frame begins to melt, imagination breaks through its thwarted threshold, the party’s over and we want to find out where the revellers have gone, denied access to the social raison d’ettre of this scene we inhabit it with our own imagined populations and their narratives.

The solid blackness in these images has an air of the supernatural reinforcing that intangible yet somehow persistent presence of the uncanny – an abyss whose threshold teeters on the edge of credibility, where the indexicality of the image can only be tentatively maintained by the viewers suspension of disbelief.

The dark skies seem to offer a conduit to that whelming black void of interstellar space that signals things eternal – time is not just frozen here but eternity-touched. These scenes take on their own existence whose stillness and silence can only be suggested, a suggestion decisive enough to strongly signify a gnawing absence, an overwhelming sense of the melancholic. The sober and solemn reflections that haunt us after the euphoria of the party has passed and worn off, as entropy picks at its remains, as conversations fade into memories that bridge the void, all imbue the mood of this work.”

ARTmostfierce had the pleasure of interviewing Edgar Martins .Find out some of the intentions behind the Topologies series incorporated in a book published by Aperture Foundation. Please see interview below:

ARTmostfierce: Your compositions seem to be perfectly symmetrical and of a graphic abstraction of the space and I find that fascinating:

Edgar Martins: I know what you are saying. Yesterday (at the book signing lecture) I mentioned that what I have been trying to do is to create a new visual language with which to work with. It all comes down to this.

Since I started working with photography, I have become increasingly aware that I am able to engage people more If I strip down my visual language. When you are stripping down your language, you are working with very basic mathematical issues, -- symmetry plays a part, some geometry plays a part but. However, though the work is apparently precise, the process by which it is produced is completely imprecise. So this paradox really interests me...

AMF: And then you go the other way and you are dealing with very organic forms and organic landscapes and they seem to have the same order and abstractions too.

EM: Yes, when you are dealing with organic forms and shapes and landscapes there is only so much stripping down you can do -- particularly when you are photographing forests. The starting point is different. And this dictates how the final images will pan out.

AMF: There is a photo in particular, the one in Iceland, a winter landscape that has several tire tracks in the road and the eye goes to mountain and it leads you to a creation of triangular compositions of all kinds in its surroundings? It is sort of endless.

Are you aware that people are looking at your art and they are seeing all these things, maybe because your eye is so trained on it, but they see things that you might not even see yourself?

EM: I know what you are saying with the triangle composition, because part of my work deals with the process of producing and reading images. They are images about images, so to speak (meta-images) -- those landscapes also refer to a history of landscapes. And you know its true that the eye tends to read images in a certain way. So when you are stripping down images and if you really want it to work, whether you are doing it consciously or not, you end up following a certain visual structure, but it’s not a conscious geometry, you know, I am making use of very simple tools which photography has to offer such as the depth of field , perspective, color, density, etc. If the images are deceptive and illusionary is because photography has these qualities.

AMF: Were you involved with graphic design or any kind of design at some earlier point in your life ?

EM: I studied visual arts, I also study additional things outside of the visual arts, like philosophy, social sciences and urbanism. I followed architecture, definitely, with the kind of work that I do it is impossible not to follow architecture. Architecture is present everywhere. And if your work deals with the impact of modernism on the environment, then architecture is an important subject in your images.

AMF: You don’t photograph people. What is the reasoning or is there a purpose behind it?

EM: You know, I always have a fascination with empty spaces because it gives me a blank canvas onto which to project one's own experiences. But there is also something more interesting which is, you know, it is probably the easiest and most objective way to make people revisit places they already know, thus providing them with a different experience of those spaces.
I mean every space has a use.

AMF: Oh, meaning like people imagining themselves in the space or image what they would do if they were there?

EM: Yes, because people take spaces for granted. They go past them every day, and perhaps if they crossed them at a different time of the day they may look at them in a different way. But you know someone yesterday told me that even though the spaces were empty there was a certain humanity in these places.
And you know I think that that is important, actually, because when they are empty, it becomes easier for people to project their own humanity in these spaces.

When I photograph I don’t do any post production to the images, either in the darkroom or digitally, because it erodes the process. So I respect the essence of these spaces.

When you become a perfectionist, the perfection takes over, you know? And that really skews the overall meaning of the image. So that ‘s why I try to make the images as organically as possible…But I don’t have anything against digital photography,

Also any one can take a picture. And anyone with a bit of training can take a beautiful, eye-catching picture.

AMF: I also understand that you worked with the fire department in Portugal. Did they ask you to do that, to be able to document and be so close to the fires?

EM: No, it wasn’t actually like that .. what I tried to do initially, in order to photograph these fires, was to contact a local fire Brigade. I proposed to do residency with them. I actually lived in the fire station for a period of 10 days. However, it seemed to me that during this time there were fires happening all over the country, except in that specific area. They had very little jurisdiction so I decided to take matter into my own hands and so liaised with the Civil Protection Unit, which coordinates all the fire brigades in Portugal. So I rang them up at 7:00 every morning and asked them to give me the details of where the fires were, how big they were, how many fire brigades were at that spot and then they gave me the coordinates to the place. That was really the only interaction I had with them.

AMF: What was the reasoning of your taking those photos? Was there a message? Some sort of environmental message?

EM: Well, no, but you can’t disassociate the project from that. These fires have a catastrophic effect in the landscape.

AMF: Did it bother you?

EM: It was the only project that I remember pausing, looking at what I was photographing and feeling quite emotional about it. Perhaps because of the devastation and maybe because I felt completely impotent to do anything about it. The experience of the space was totally different. I was in the presence of death. An all consuming act. Usually I am excited I am focused, I am concentrated. But you know the reason why started working on this project was because it was going to be the third chapter of a book, which portrayed foggy landscapes in the first two chapters. It occurred to me that at first glance the aftermath of these fires also looked like foggy landscapes, beautiful arcadian depictions of specific landscapes. However, something more sinister was taking place. The editing of these three chapters together made the viewer confront him/herself with an interesting dichotomy. Only towards the end of the third chapter that I started revealing the fires in their true capacity. Until then the images were somewhat ambiguous, so the smoky haze could be confused with mist or fog. I am always very careful not to demystify things or to reveal hidden narratives. For the most part it is the viewer who has to come to these realisations on his/her own and in his/her own time.

AMF: You took these photographs in Portugal, The Azores Islands and then you have photographs in Iceland. Is there a reason why you chose such drastic environments to photograph?

EM: I am not a travel photographer. I am very critical of people who produce whole bodies of work in 3 days, in places they hardly know. I carefully research the spaces I photograph, often revisiting them over a period of time. Portugal, the Azores and Iceland fitted the criteria I was searching for. I know some of these spaces well, which also helped.

AMF: I know you are originally from Portugal . Were you going home in a way by documenting it? What about Iceland?

EM: No, I don’t think I was going home at all (Portugal). My home is still China. These locations suited the criteria I was looking for. In Portugal access to specific sites is easier, less bureaucratic. And the landscape also has a lot to offer. Iceland because the terrain is stark and remote, and secondly, because, you know, for about 6 or 7 months of the year the roads literally close and the interior of Iceland is impenetrable. I really wanted to experience those harsh conditions, recreating the early topographic surveys.

AMF: Who is your favorite American photographer?

EM: Oh, you know there are so many...

AMF: The sound barriers in Portugal...The photos are completely geometrical and full of color composition. What was your main intention of documenting it?

EM: The purpose was to create images which represented something without physically portraying it. Your first interpretation of these images is very different from when you know what they truly depict. You are initially seduced by the graphic shapes and colors. But then you realise that behind the barriers, lies the the true consequences of Modernism. Communities that have been split apart by major developments, etc. I have always found photography to be a highly inadequate medium for communicating ideas. A subject of lack, if you like. In this project I was highlighting this. The subject of the images, isn't identified in the images. The only way the viewer can pick up on this is through supporting information: either audio or textual. So these beautiful modernist structures actually mask broken social realities. When I drove past these barriers they immediately grabbed my attention. Photographing them was also difficult because, it is illegal to stop your car in highways, nevermind get out it, set-up your tripod and shoot...

AMF: Those are quite stunning and the variety of composition and color between them is quite exceptional. Thank you Edgar for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

EM: No, Thank you!

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Elizabeth Peyton

ARTmostfierce is great fan of Elizabeth Peyton. Her portraiture paintings are quite stunning specially in this era of the digitized media. Please read this review written by Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine. Read and go and see the show!
Worth it!

Elizabeth Peyton returns to life.
Jerry Saltz
Published May 11, 2008

Elizabeth Peyton, the artist known for tiny, dazzling portraits of radiant youth, is now painting tiny, dazzling portraits of radiant middle age. The change is so subtle you can miss it, and it’s not even in all her new pictures, some of which just seem pretty—although one should never bemoan such a delicate touch and honed sense of too-muchness. Yet Peyton’s lavender, lilac, and crimson love letters to the age of innocence are finally reflecting the age of experience. Her deft brushwork and starry-eyed doting are still in evidence, but her color has darkened and her gaze is less moony. Several of her subjects look world-weary, like they’re living life, not just being fabulous. Some artists, like Robert Ryman or On Kawara, aren’t expected to change, because their work is about continuity. But change is built into what Peyton does. That’s why these signs of growth are good.

Peyton’s career took off in November 1993, when she and Gavin Brown (her current dealer, who back then had no gallery) sent out postcards requesting that viewers come to the Chelsea hotel. For two weeks, people went to the desk, asked for the key to room 828, and there beheld drawings of Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth. As innocent and as “girly” as her work seemed, her subjects, scale, and exhibition strategy were inherently critical of the large work and massive gallery exhibitions then in vogue. The show was open 24 hours a day; no personnel were on hand. I went there alone on Thanksgiving and felt like I was in nineteenth-century Paris. According to Brown, about 50 people saw the show. Peyton’s star was ascendant.

Over the next two years, Peyton focused on painting and added modern life to her art. Her new candy-colored work titillated the eye while commenting on the photorealism of Gerhard Richter. Where the cool-as-a-cucumber German claimed to have “loathed subjectivity” and painted soldiers, terrorists, and historical figures “without sentiment,” Peyton used photographs from fan and fashion magazines. Far from feeling detached, Peyton said her subjects evoked a feeling like “I love you; I think you’re the best thing I’ve ever seen.” Since then, she’s painted beautiful, androgynous boys like Sid Vicious, Beck, and Liam Gallagher. We’ve seen Brown (“Meeting him was huge, like Brian Epstein and the Beatles”) and the late gallerist Colin de Land. There have been portraits of angel-faced male artists like Maurizio Cattelan and Rirkrit Tiravanija (to whom she was married for a time), and of course Andy Warhol. In Peyton’s world, these lads were thin, fashionable, and famous forever.

That’s where the problems set in. The times changed, and as Peyton became a star, her paintings became psychically static and claustrophobic. There were startling moments—in her 1999 depiction of the German rocker Jochen Distelmeyer, his baby blues can melt you—but her Prince Charmings seemed lost in time, unthreatening, more elves than flesh and blood. Her visions of modernity floated free of anything vulnerable.

That’s changing, especially in the drawings. Her swoony weightlessness is sprouting roots and gaining gravity. She is painting and drawing more from life. In one picture, of Matthew Barney, he’s sitting slightly hunched. He isn’t just some lambkin; there are circles under his eyes, he stares into the distance and into himself, posing in such a way to accept and reject our gaze. It’s a performance, a surrender, and a protective defense. In her portrait of poet John Giorno, we see him radiating self-awareness and comfort in his older age. In several arresting pictures of Peyton’s girlfriend, we see a severe, pretty woman reading or sleeping. She isn’t an idealized angel; she’s someone with moods, thoughts, and psychic power.

Subtle as these changes are, they are promising for an artist that some have feared has been drifting in her own lighter-than-air meringue style, making bonbon portraits of the cute and famous. We’re getting to see what life is doing to Peyton and what it’s doing to us.

A Baghdad ART Rescue Operation

ARTmostfierce found this article and was quite touched by it.It is such a good reminder of not taking our freedom of expression for granted!
Please read this article from NY magazine by Jake Helpern...wow.
Art can be so powerful that even a war can't get in the way!

More blogging coming up tonight!

How one Navy officer whisked Iraqi art out of the country—and into Soho.
By Jake Halpern Published May 11, 2008

Christopher Brownfield was something of an oddity on his nuclear-powered submarine. While the other seamen hung out and watched taoks films—crew jargon for flicks involving tits, ass, ordnance, kung fu, and swordplay—the 28-year-old lieutenant was just as happy to curl up in his bunk and read T.S. Eliot. Perhaps not surprisingly, Brownfield wasn’t long for the Navy.

Last October, he was honorably discharged and returned to civilian life in his New Haven bachelor pad, which, on a recent visit, looked like it had been converted into an art gallery’s warehouse. Virtually every inch of wall and floor space was occupied by artwork. There were Cubist-like oil paintings, bronze statues, drawings so lifelike they could pass for photographs, and ornate collages that incorporated materials like old shirts, charred dolls, and election ballots written in Kurdish and Arabic. “They’re on loan from artists in Baghdad,” he explained. “I suppose I have become their agent.”

Back when he still worked for the American military, Brownfield volunteered to go to Iraq, where he was stationed at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. One day, while wandering around the Green Zone, he stumbled upon the closest thing to a museum that exists within the compound: a souvenir shop selling Persian rugs, hookahs, and a large number of oil paintings.

“The paintings were made for tourists, which means U.S. soldiers, and they featured the kind of clichéd images of Arabs and camels that would be too cheesy to make it into Lawrence of Arabia,” recalls Brownfield. “But at the back of the shop I came upon a painting whose front was turned against the wall.” He flipped it around to find an abstract depiction of a child holding a balloon against a collage of newspaper articles about recent suicide bombings. The painting was signed by a man named Mohammed al Hamadany. Brownfield found the shopkeeper reluctant to talk about Al Hamadany—“they were feeling me out”—but he persisted, and eventually the shopkeeper told him that he would ask the “supplier” to come with more “gallery pieces” like this one.

Several days later, Brownfield met the supplier, who, it turned out, was a painter in his own right. During the following year, the supplier—who Brownfield fears would be labeled as a collaborator and killed by extremists if he were identified—made frequent visits to the Green Zone, where he and Brownfield would meet at the souvenir shop to discuss art.

Brownfield would bring art books of American painters like John Singer Sargent and Jackson Pollock, and the supplier would unfurl his latest gallery pieces. These paintings came from several professional artists in Baghdad who, like Al Hamadany, couldn’t sell their work amid the violence and were struggling to feed their families. These painters were so poor, and art supplies were so expensive in Baghdad, that their canvases often contained only the thinnest veneer of color. Indeed, on one of the few occasions that Brownfield encountered Iraqi painters in the shop, they told him that Vincent van Gogh, great as he was, used too much good paint.

Brownfield fell in love with the supplier’s art, and promised to send much of it back to the U.S. and try to sell it. His smuggling technique was remarkably straightforward: the U.S. Armed Forces’ postal system. At one point, clerks got wind of what he was doing and tried to stop him, suspicious that he might be looting. Brownfield said that he owned the paintings (untrue; he was just acting as a middleman), and when they became insistent, he pulled rank. “I said, ‘Look, I am not going to argue with you—this is my property.’ And they didn’t challenge me, partly because I was a much more senior officer.” Over the course of five months, Brownfield sent more than 100 paintings, as well as five drawings and two bronze statues, back to his mother’s house in Detroit. On May 22, a show of all the paintings will open at the Pomegranate Gallery in Soho. He has priced them inexpensively (to make sure everything sells), and he plans to deliver all the proceeds, in cash, to the supplier when they rendezvous in Egypt later this summer.

Among the haul were paintings by Sat’aar Darweesh, whose childhood-themed canvases were once joyous but have taken on a much darker tone, and by Mohammed Hamdan, who has since (thanks to a French visa) moved to Paris. He is, Brownfield believes, the only artist among the group to have left Iraq.

As I perused the artwork in Brownfield’s apartment, my attention was soon drawn to a haunting series of 25 paintings dubbed “Laylat an Nar,” or “The Night of Fire,” which depicts the shock-and-awe bombardment of Baghdad. The work of the same Al Hamadany who first attracted Brownfield’s eye, the paintings show ghostlike faces being drawn to the windows of buildings as the city below is consumed in flames. I recently spoke with the 38-year-old artist over the phone from Baghdad. (I called his cell phone, and—rather miraculously—it worked.) It was quickly apparent, however, that Al Hamadany was distressed. “Right now, while I am speaking to you, there are rockets going over my house!” he said through a translator, Yale Near East expert Simon Samoeil. The phone crackled with static, and a great deal of commotion could be heard in the background. “The situation is very, very bad. The infrastructure is zero. Electricity is zero. I work with all the difficulties to put food on the table for my children.” Al Hamadany went on to explain that he had four children and that he and his wife were expecting a fifth in just two days. It seemed inconceivable that, given the circumstances, he would want to continue with the interview. But he seemed intent on talking, so I asked him about the “Night of Fire” paintings.

Americans Are Heaviest Bidders on Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby’s

ARTmostfierce had a busy week! Over the weekend there will be more personal blog posts and reviews. In the meantime enjoy this article by Carol Vogel of The New York Times.
Are Americans challenging the current economic crisis by simply enjoying the escapism of buying art or just being savvy investors ?
What do you think?

Published: May 8, 2008

Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and modern art on Wednesday proved to be a solid if unexciting evening. Experts there, however, pronounced it “fantastic,” as if to again reassure buyers and sellers that the art market was alive and well despite setbacks in the financial and real estate markets.

Léger’s “Study for the Woman in Blue” (1912-13) sold Wednesday night for $39.2 million, an auction record for the artist.

Monet and Rodin Set Price Records at Christie's For Sale: Art and Optimism As was true at Christie’s auction of Impressionist and modern art on Tuesday night, the great wealth made all over the world is still being poured into art. But unlike at the Christie’s sale, which was dominated by European buyers, at Sotheby’s Americans took home 67 percent of the work, and Europeans bought 27 percent.

Perhaps the most closely watched work of the evening was a 1912-13 painting by Léger, “Study for the Woman in Blue.” Sotheby’s had advertised it around the world and took it to art-buying capitals for all the rich to see. The Cubist canvas, which was the evening’s priciest offering, was being sold by the heirs of Hermann Lange, a silk manufacturer from Krefeld, Germany. Sotheby’s had estimated it would sell for $35 million to $45 million. Bidding was thin: Only two people went for the work, which ended up selling to Doris Ammann, a Zurich dealer, for $35 million, or $39.2 million including Sotheby’s fees, a record price for the artist at auction. (The previous record was set at Christie’s in New York in 2003, when Léger’s “Woman in Red and Green,” from 1914, sold for $22.4 million.)

The auction house had given the sellers a guarantee — a secret amount promised regardless of the outcome of the sale — which experts familiar with the negotiations said was $38 million. If that is true, then the painting was not a big money-maker for Sotheby’s.

Still, it was the highest price in an evening that totaled $235.3 million, in the middle of an estimate of $203.9 million to $280.1 million. Of the 52 lots being offered, 11 did not sell.

The results were fairly similar to Christie’s sale on Tuesday night, which made $277.2 million, shy of its $286.8 million low estimate. At Christie’s, 14 of the 58 works did not sell.

More popular than the Léger was Munch’s “Girls on a Bridge,” from 1902: Five determined takers wanted it. Graham Kirkham, a London collector and the founder of the retail chain DFS Furniture, was selling the painting. It had been around the auction block several times. In 1980, Wendell Cherry, a founder of the Humana health care corporation, bought it at Christie’s for $2.8 million. In 1996, Mr. Cherry’s widow put it on the block at Sotheby’s, where Mr. Kirkham bought it for $7.2 million. On Wednesday night, the painting, depicting a group of young women huddled together, brought $30.8 million, above its high estimate of $28 million and another record price for the artist at auction.

(Final prices include the commission to Sotheby’s: 25 percent of the first $20,000, 20 percent of the next $20,000 to $500,000 and 12 percent of the rest. Estimates do not reflect commissions.)

As with the Munch, when a work was considered tops, there was a lot of bidding. Five bidders made a serious attempt to bring home Picasso’s “Crane,” a sculpture of an elegant bird fashioned from found objects like a shovel, twisted wicker, two forks, a gas spigot, screws and a spike. Conceived in 1951-52 and cast in 1952-54, it was estimated to sell for $10 million to $15 million. Ms. Ammann again was the winner, paying $19.1 million.

Perhaps the biggest bidding war of the evening was for Matisse’s “Geranium,” a rare 1910 still life in a rich palette of greens that was expected to fetch $2.5 million to $3.5 million. Six bidders kept going tenaciously, and the painting ended up selling to the Acquavella Gallery in Manhattan for $9.5 million.

Sculptures of all sizes were the winners at Christie’s. Sotheby’s had its share of sculptures on Wednesday, too. Top among them was a group of works collected by Raymond Nasher, the Dallas real estate developer who died last year at 85, and his wife, Patsy, who died in 1988. The Nashers owned several Giacomettis, including “Femme de Venise VIII,” conceived in 1956 and cast the following year. It was expected to sell for $8 million to $12 million, and it brought $10.1 million from an anonymous telephone bidder. (The price was far from the record $27.4 million paid on Tuesday night at Christie’s for “Standing Woman II,” from 1960.) A slightly later Giacometti “Standing Woman,” conceived in 1961 and cast in 1966, was also for sale at Sotheby’s, and it, too, brought a strong price. Three bidders went for the sculpture, which was estimated at $800,000 to $1.2 million; it sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $2.3 million.

Another work by Giacometti also brought a strong price: “Portrait of Caroline,” a 1963 painting of the artist’s lover and frequent model that was expected to fetch $10 million to $15 million. Four bidders wanted the painting, which ended up selling to a telephone bidder for $14.6 million, a record price for a painting by the artist.

The Nashers also owned paintings, and on Wednesday night their estate was selling Picasso’s “Kiss.” Late Picassos have been all the rage recently, and this work, which the artist painted in 1969 while he was on the French Riviera with his wife Jacqueline, portrays an angry couple kissing and was expected to fetch $10 million to $15 million. Five bidders tried to buy the painting, and it sold to a telephone bidder for $17.4 million.

Not everything went as smoothly. One of the evening’s most expensive casualties was a 1952-53 Léger, “The Party in the Country,” which had no takers. The colorful canvas had been estimated to bring $12 million to $18 million, but there was not a bid in the room.

“Things that didn’t sell deserved to,” said David Nash, a Manhattan dealer. Over all, however, he said the sale showed that “there were no clouds over the horizon.”

An Auction of New Chinese Art Leaves Disjointed Noses in Its Wake

ARTmostfierce keeps finding more good articles. Check this one out!
NYTimes also by David Barboza
Published: May 7, 2008
SHANGHAI — Sotheby’s auction house called it the “most important collection of contemporary Chinese art to ever come to market” — some 200 works by some of China’s hottest names.

And when the first half of the trove, called the Estella Collection, went on the block in April in Hong Kong, it brought in $18 million and set some record prices for artists, like $6 million for a canvas by the Chinese painter Zhang Xiaogang.

But the sale of the works has stirred indignation among many of the artists and their dealers and some curators.

Those artists and curators say that as the collection was being formed, they were duped into thinking that a rich Westerner was putting together a permanent collection and would eventually donate some of the works to leading museums.

Instead, they say, the buyers were a group of investors who quickly cashed in by selling the works last August to the Manhattan dealer William Acquavella, who is in turn selling them through Sotheby’s. (The second half of the collection is to be auctioned this fall in New York.)

Some of the artists say they sold works in the Estella Collection at a discount in the belief that the collection would gain long-term renown and help enhance their reputations.

“I feel cheated,” said one of the artists, Feng Zhengjie, 40, known for his gaudy portraits of fashionable, lushly made-up women. “I can’t believe it ended up like that, just for an auction.”

Michael Goedhuis, the New York dealer who formed the collection for the group of investors, said he never misled anyone and had expected his investors to hold onto the works.

“The story was the same to everyone: this is a collection we intend on keeping intact,” said Mr. Goedhuis, who traveled to China for more than three years to collect the pieces. “There was a change of direction for various reasons. It was a big surprise and it was out of my control.”

Mr. Goedhuis declined to identify his investors, but The New York Times has already named two: Ray Debbane, president of the New York investment firm Invus Financial Advisors, and Sacha Lainovic, a co-founder and managing partner at Invus. Neither Mr. Debbane nor Mr. Lainovic returned telephone calls seeking comment.

Mr. Goedhuis said that in any case the artists had no reason to complain because they had benefited from the exposure. “They’re riding the wave,” he said.

In a statement issued last week, Sotheby’s acknowledged that in the final weeks before the sale it “became aware that a few artists had sold their works with a different expectation about what would happen to them in the future.” It said it hoped “the international exposure during this exciting time in the market would be helpful in furthering their careers.”

Aggravating the controversy, the auction was announced just after the works had been exhibited at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark, from March to August of last year. Had they known the Estella Collection would quickly be sold, officials at the Danish museum said, they would never have organized the exhibition.

“We seriously regret that it turned out to be mere speculation, and there was dishonesty,” said Anders Kold, the curator of the show, titled “Made in China.” “We didn’t have that information, and so as a consequence, we went on with it.”

To retain the public trust and ensure that they are not used as marketing tools, museums generally try to avoid exhibiting private collections that are soon to be sold.

The show also traveled to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, closing there shortly before the April auction in Hong Kong. "At the time that the museum made arrangements for the exhibition, there was no indication of any intention to sell the collection,'' the Israel Museum said this week in an e-mail. "The museum learned of this development only toward the end of the showing.''

Please read more about it . Click link below!

Paris is burning with Richard Serra!

ARTmostfierce is quite busy this week. Please enjoy the NYTimes article by Steven Erlanger about Richard Serra monumental exhibit in Paris.

PARIS — France is making a fuss this week over Richard Serra, the 68-year-old American bantamweight who fashions elegant, gargantuan art out of steel.

Richard Serra’s Paris Moment On Wednesday Mr. Serra opens the annual solo show called Monumenta in the echoing Grand Palais; the city of Paris has restored one of his earlier works to its proper place in the garden of the Tuileries; and he has been made a commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Academy — a two-rank leap from his previous knighthood, the starter kind usually given to singers like Kylie Minogue, who recently received hers.

France has always welcomed Mr. Serra, even before he became iconic, in the days when some of his work in America was dismantled for scrap. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, are expected to attend the opening of “Monumenta,” prompting Mr. Serra to ask, “What U.S. president would do that?”

But the sheer scale of Mr. Serra’s work has always created difficulties, to which Paris has found two creative solutions — for now, at least.

Monumenta started last year under the French Culture Ministry as a way of filling the enormous Grand Palais, built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, after a long and expensive restoration.

A cruciform crystal palace of filigreed iron and glass, the Grand Palais rises 197 feet at the nave and covers 775,000 square feet, and filling it is a monumental task. The German sculptor Anselm Kiefer did it last year with seven stand-alone houses, or galleries, each about 50 feet high, and concrete towers.

Mr. Serra began struggling with the problem two years ago. “First, you have to figure out scale,” he said. “I was overwhelmed by the space and wasn’t exactly sure what to do. But I realized you have to deal with the entirety of the space — to think otherwise was to kid myself.”

He couldn’t just deal with the floor plan, he said. “I had to go vertical here.”

His answer is a sculpture called “Promenade,” five enormous slabs of Cor-Ten steel set along the central axis of the floor. The steel slabs are each 56 feet high, 13 feet wide and 5 ½ inches thick, and each weighs some 73 tons. Yet they are precisely placed and angled, leaning 20 inches in or away from their axis, creating shifting lines of sight. As the sun moves over the course of the day, casting different latticed shadows from the building, the plates appear at times to bend toward or away from the viewer. At night, with the ceiling dark, the sculpture becomes “more somber, more of a sanctuary,” Mr. Serra said.

Formalism seems to require words, and Mr. Serra complies. “You have to set up a formal structure; it makes sculpture interesting,” he said, wandering among the slabs in the otherwise empty hall. “If we hang new material on old forms, it’s boring.”

His generation, he said, “wanted to open the entire field — to see something in time and place,” and take sculpture off its pedestal, which “makes it seem like furniture or commodities,” he said.

“People don’t perceive the art but the surplus value of art — art as photographs, as J-PEGs. People talk of art and ask: ‘How much does it cost? What’s its pedigree?’ But people don’t go to see the work in place.”

He wants people to experience the art in a particular time and setting: “It’s about apprehension, how you apprehend the space and the piece,” he said. “It’s part of the experience of walking around the space in which the art appears — you implicate yourself in the space, and the experience is in you, not in the frame or on the wall.”

It’s a democratic thought in an elitist field. But it can be troubling too, as his experience with “Clara-Clara” demonstrates.

Mr. Serra met his wife, Clara Weyergraf-Serra, in 1977. In 1983 he created “Clara-Clara,” a sculpture commissioned for the pit, or forum, of the Pompidou Center as part of a Serra retrospective show. Two large, inclined steel C’s, each roughly 12 feet high by 108 feet long and weighing 105 tons, curve away from each other at the ends and nearly meet in the middle, but allow a viewer to walk through.

Please read more ...click link below!


Gone in an Instant!

More Polaroid news. Please enjoy NY Magazine article by Christopher Bonanos
Top photographers are angry over Polaroid’s fade to black.
By Christopher Bonanos
Published May 4, 2008

Robert Mapplethorpe, Untitled, 1973
(Photo: courtesy of the Whitney with permission from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation )

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but “Polaroids: Mapplethorpe,” opening this week at the Whitney, has become a memorial to the medium. Several weeks ago, the diminished Polaroid Corporation announced it will, in 2009, quit the instant-film business. Of course, it’s hard to argue with the ease of digital for the lion’s share of see-it-now picture-taking. Nevertheless, a lot of photographers are vehement about what they’re losing. “It’s the worst disaster since Hiroshima,” shouts Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, who shoots large-format Polaroid Type 809. “I just bought $5,000 worth—I’ve got it in my basement. I never shot color till the mid-eighties, when I started to work with Polaroid. It was such a beautiful film—lush color, very forgiving for skin. It was always something artists liked.” Chuck Close, who uses Polaroid’s 20-by-24-inch studio camera, loved the black-and-white tones: “It’s loaded with silver. Actually, there used to be even more, in the old films that you had to coat. It was beautiful. It’s not replaceable, and they’re leaving it like roadkill. These corporate raiders who buy a company and strip it for everything profitable—they just pick the bones.”

Mapplethorpe’s work at the Whitney is from the early seventies, when he was learning how to take pictures, and “its instant nature was incredibly important,” says show curator Sylvia Wolf. “You can see that he was learning how to expose, how to compose. He said he was too impatient to wait for a lab.” It’s also evident that he was working in the moment. Over and over, he photographed Patti Smith, his roommate at the Hotel Chelsea. “There’s a sexiness and titillation to the instant process,” says Wolf. It’s intimate.

“Now what the hell am I supposed to do?” asks John Waters, who’s shot a Polaroid of each person who’s come into his apartment since 1992—friends, interviewers, deliverymen, everyone. “Digital isn’t instant gratification, and those cameras don’t make that sexy sound.” Waters, too, is hoarding film. “What are wardrobe departments supposed to do?” he continues. “How else will they keep costume continuity shots? And has anybody thought about the poor home-porno enthusiasts? Are they supposed to now risk arrest by taking some memory disk to the drugstore to get printed? The world is a terrible place without Polaroid.”

Zoe Strauss, Philly & Brotherly Love!

ARTmostfierce made it to the City of Brotherly Love by bus (I do not drive and the Chinese bus will get you there in 1 1/2 hours for $10.00 each way ...Fierce!) to meet and see Zoe Strauss and her 1-95 exhibit going on her eight year as part of a 10 year project.

Let me tell you folks, you have to check out this project before it is over(only 2 more years). It is so refreshing to see an artist commit to a cause and help its community(Philadelphia Arts Project).

What a nice experience was to get out of New York City where sometimes the business savvy, money hungry, cold and calculating art scene diminishes the true appetite for art. Zoe's outdoor exhibit under 1-95 in Philadelphia on the other hand provided kindness, sense of community, manners, reflection and lots of brotherly love . Let's not forget the wonderful photographs .

For only $5.00 you could obtained images in a very humble but, quite organized event. At the end of the event the real photos hanging are given for free. ARTmostfierce of course had its favorite and stood like a bulldog for more than 1 1/2 to snatch it off the wall. People were doing the rounds but, I smiled and said it is mine!..lol

While waiting, I got interviewed by the United Artist Organization (who gave Zoe a grant this year) and you could see by the photos that, I got my prize at the end of the day.

Zoe, you got a friend and a true admirer of your work in NYC. Love you!
Your mom, your partner, your sister, the girls that gave me a ride back into downtown... love you all and thank you. It was a great Sunday and a great event. See you all next year!

For Sale: Art and Optimism

ARTmostfierce was just discussing this topic while doing a Eric LoPresti studio visit sponsored by Phillips de Pury last Wednesday.Please enjoy this article. I had not stopped! There is so much to talk about in the upcoming days including a post about Edgar Martins, Eric LoPresti and the unique Zoe Strauss.In the meantime enjoy this NY Times article by Carol Vogel

Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for Self-Portrait” (1976) is expected to sell for between $25 million and $35 million at Christie’s New York.
Published: May 4, 2008
By Carol Vogel

YOU can’t help but wonder just how many of the smartly dressed people sitting night after night at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips de Pury over the next two weeks will be serious bidders and how many will be voyeurs hoping to witness an implosion of the multibillion dollar art market.

Auction Season’s Highs and Lows For years collectors and the news media have been speculating about when prices would finally top out. Spring sales estimates don’t suggest pessimism. The auction houses clearly hope that things will play out as they did three months ago in London, when, despite global economic queasiness, a Francis Bacon triptych sold for $51.6 million. Now two Bacon triptychs, whose owners no doubt want to capitalize on that high, are going on the block, at estimates of $25 million to $35 million (Christie’s, shown above) and a whopping $70 million (Sotheby’s).

But despite the bullish prices, this auction season feels different. Economic anxiety has deepened in recent months, with the proposed bailout of Bear Stearns in March, continuing stock-market gyrations and increasing signs that we either are in or about to be in a recession.

And the art market has its own problems. Sotheby’s stock price is roughly half what it was last October, and its latest annual report shows that the amount of money owed to the house more than doubled to $835 million last year. Hoping to keep the bubble afloat, Sotheby’s has been giving buyers more time to hand over the money for their purchases. (It is the only publicly traded company of the three houses.)

But despite it all, sales estimates at the auction houses are more robust than ever.

Aside from the Bacon triptychs (to be auctioned at Christie’s on May 13 and at Sotheby’s on May 14), Sotheby’s is selling a coveted Cubist painting by Fernand Léger at its Impressionist and modern art sale on Wednesday. It is estimated to fetch $35 million to $45 million.

Christie’s boasts some splashy offerings too. A rare Monet will be auctioned on Tuesday, and next week’s sale includes a strong sampling of Pop Art by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann. Sotheby’s and Christie’s are also selling 1950s red-and-yellow Rothkos that they predict will bring $35 million to $45 million each.

This season’s sellers include the television producer Douglas S. Cramer; the newsprint magnate Peter Brant; and Helga Lauffs of Germany, who is selling pieces by Robert Rauschenberg, Mr. Wesselmann and Donald Judd after terminating a long-term loan to the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld.

To land consignments like these, auction houses have given most of these collectors guarantees, an undisclosed sum promised to the seller regardless of the outcome of a sale. Obviously this poses a considerable risk for the houses. Whether the gamble will pay off is anyone’s guess.

Seasoned dealers and collectors are guessing that market cracks will emerge first in sales of less expensive works, that this is the season of the great divide between the Best and the Rest.

Auction house executives are busy talking up the soaring numbers of Asian, Russian and Middle Eastern collectors, trophy hunting with cash to burn. They also cite the recent $600 million private sale of art from the estate of the dealer Ileana Sonnabend — proof, they say, that there is still enough money out there and that no price is too high.

Yet the creative business maneuvers adopted by the auction houses to land big consignments and encourage buyers speak of desperation. Sotheby’s and Christie’s are at the point where they are often willing to forgo profits just to win commissions and beat out the other on sales totals. In addition to the guarantees granted to sellers, which in some cases this season are said to be even higher than the works’ sales estimates, the two companies are buying works of art outright, advancing sellers money ahead of the sales and in rare cases even becoming involved in sellers’ real estate transactions.

These confidential deals are so abundant that it is difficult to judge whether a strong evening sales result is a smoke screen. But if profits dry up, such face-saving strategies can’t last forever.

For now auction houses are playing up the suspense. “We really won’t know till the night,” said Tobias Meyer, director of Sotheby’s contemporary art department worldwide. “Even in this market collectors are tortured by the idea that they could miss an opportunity.”

Risky Play?

TITLE “Le Pont du Cheminde Fer à Argenteuil,” 1873
ESTIMATE $35 million

SOME dealers must have gulped when they saw that the most expensive painting in Christie’s May 6 Impressionist and modern art auction is a Monet, not a modern work. In a sense Christie’s seems to be swimming against the tide. (The most expensive work in Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and modern art is a 1912-13 Léger, “Étude Pour ‘La Femme en Bleu,’” which carries a $35 million to $45 million estimate.) Yet the Monet, “Le Pont du Chemin de Fer à Argenteuil,” depicting two puffing locomotives, was considered unabashedly modern in its time. In 1988 Stavros Niarchos, the Greek shipping magnate, sold it for $12.6 million at Christie’s in London to the Nahmads, dealers with galleries in New York and London.

Please click link below for rest of the article and slide show.


Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson

ARTmostfierce recommends to see Olafur Elliasson show at the MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art
11 W. 53rd St., New York, NY 10019
nr. Sixth Ave.

Another event also coming up by Olafur Eliasson this summer (keep an eye on! ) is the New York City Waterfalls in Lower Manhattan. Inspired by the Niagara Falls in Upstate New York , the falls will be conceptually created at five different locations. This event might have equal or larger magnitude effect in the city (aesthetic & economic) as The Gates project by Christo and Jean Claude did.

Please click on link below so you can see how ingenious and exciting this project is going to be.



Jean Nouvel Architect of the moment!

Jean Nouvel, the bold French architect known for such wildly diverse projects as the muscular Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the exotically louvered Arab World Institute in Paris, has received architecture’s top honor, the Pritzker Prize.

Jean NouvelMr. Nouvel, 62, is the second French citizen to take the prize, awarded annually to a living architect by a jury chosen by the Hyatt Foundation. (Christian de Portzamparc of France won in 1994.) His selection is to be announced Monday.

“For over 30 years Jean Nouvel has pushed architecture’s discourse and praxis to new limits,” the Pritzker jury said in its citation. “His inquisitive and agile mind propels him to take risks in each of his projects, which, regardless of varying degrees of success, have greatly expanded the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.”

In extending that vocabulary Mr. Nouvel has defied easy categorization. His buildings have no immediately identifiable signature, like the curves of Frank Gehry or the light-filled atriums of Renzo Piano. But each is strikingly distinctive, be it the Agbar Tower in Barcelona (2005), a candy-colored, bullet-shaped office tower, or his KKL cultural and congress center in Lucerne, Switzerland (2000), with a slim copper roof cantilevered delicately over Lake Lucerne.

“Every time I try to find what I call the missing piece of the puzzle, the right building in the right place,” Mr. Nouvel said this month over tea at the Mercer Hotel in SoHo.

Yet he does not design buildings simply to echo their surroundings. “Generally, when you say context, people think you want to copy the buildings around, but often context is contrast,” he said.

“The wind, the color of the sky, the trees around — the building is not done only to be the most beautiful,” he said. “It’s done to give advantage to the surroundings. It’s a dialogue.”

The prize, which includes a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion, is to be presented to Mr. Nouvel on June 2 in a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington.

Among Mr. Nouvel’s New York buildings are 40 Mercer, a 15-story red-and-blue, glass, wood and steel luxury residential building completed last year in SoHo, and a soaring 75-story hotel-and-museum tower with crystalline peaks that is to be built next to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown. Writing in The New York Times in November, Nicolai Ouroussoff said the Midtown tower “promises to be the most exhilarating addition to the skyline in a generation.”

Born in Fumel in southwestern France in 1945, Mr. Nouvel originally wanted to be an artist. But his parents, both teachers, wanted a more stable life for him, he said, so they compromised on architecture.

“I realized it was possible to create visual compositions” that, he said, “you can put directly in the street, in the city, in public spaces.”

At 20 Mr. Nouvel won first prize in a national competition to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. By the time he was 25 he had opened his own architecture firm with François Seigneur; a series of other partnerships followed.

Mr. Nouvel cemented his reputation in 1987 with completion of the Arab World Institute, one of the “grand projects” commissioned during the presidency of François Mitterrand. A showcase for art from Arab countries, it blends high technology with traditional Arab motifs. Its south-facing glass facade, for example, has automated lenses that control light to the interior while also evoking traditional Arab latticework. For his boxy, industrial Guthrie Theater, which has a cantilevered bridge overlooking the Mississippi River, Mr. Nouvel experimented widely with color. The theater is clad in midnight-blue metal; a small terrace is bright yellow; orange LED images rise along the complex’s two towers.

In its citation, the Pritzker jury said the Guthrie, completed in 2006, “both merges and contrasts with its surroundings.” It added, “It is responsive to the city and the nearby Mississippi River, and yet, it is also an expression of theatricality and the magical world of performance.”

The bulk of Mr. Nouvel’s commissions work has been in Europe however. Among the most prominent is his Quai Branly Museum in Paris (2006), an eccentric jumble of elements including a glass block atop two columns, some brightly colorful boxes, rust-colored louvers and a vertical carpet of plants. “Defiant, mysterious and wildly eccentric, it is not an easy building to love,” Mr. Ouroussoff wrote in The Times.

A year later he described Mr. Nouvel’s Paris Philharmonie concert hall, a series of large overlapping metal plates on the edge of La Villette Park in northeastern Paris, as “an unsettling if exhilarating trip into the unknown.”

Mr. Nouvel has his plate full at the moment. He is designing a satellite of the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, giving it a shallow domed roof that creates the aura of a just-landed U.F.O. He recently announced plans for a high-rise condominium in Los Angeles called SunCal tower, a narrow glass structure with rings of greenery on each floor. His concert hall for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is a tall rectangular box with transparent screen walls.

Before dreaming up a design, Mr. Nouvel said, he does copious research on the project and its surroundings. “The story, the climate, the desires of the client, the rules, the culture of the place,” he said. “The references of the buildings around, what the people in the city love.”

“I need analysis,” he said, noting that every person “is a product of a civilization, of a culture.” He added: “Me, I was born in France after the Second World War. Probably the most important cultural movement was Structuralism. I cannot do a building if I can’t analyze.”

Although he becomes attached to his buildings, Mr. Nouvel said, he understands that like human beings, they grow and change over time and may even one day disappear. “Architecture is always a temporary modification of the space, of the city, of the landscape,” he said. “We think that it’s permanent. But we never know.”

Whitney Museum Downtown

The Meatpacking District promises to be one of the most exciting areas of Manhattan in just a matter of time.

Thanks to designs of the extremely talent architect Renzo Piano (also working in a major expansion of Columbia University) the Whitney Museum Downtown will be part of the wonderful High Line Redevelopment.

The photo is a computer rendering of Renzo Piano Building Workshop proposal for the downtown annex of the Whitney Museum.

Mr. Piano’s project for a site on Gansevoort Street, west of Washington Street, is a striking departure from the ethereal glass creations that have made him a favorite of the art-world cognoscenti. Its bold chiseled form won’t appeal to those who prefer architecture to be unobtrusive

Rising among the derelict warehouses and hip boutiques of the rapidly changing neighborhood, the museum’s monumental exterior forms are conceived as a barrier against the area’s increasingly amusement-park atmosphere. It makes a powerful statement about the encroaching effects of the global consumer society. Inside, Mr. Piano has created a contemplative sanctuary where art reasserts its primary place in the cultural hierarchy.

The feat is especially impressive given the obstacles Mr. Piano and the Whitney have overcome. Mr. Piano’s design is certainly distinct from Breuer’s, presenting a strange, even forbidding aura. The design is preliminary, and needs more work. But Mr. Piano has laid the groundwork for a serious work of architecture. The bold form expresses a level of experimental courage that he hasn’t shown in years. This is a building that could revive the Whitney, and inject welcome creative energy into the city’s cultural life.

Miami ART Machine

ARTmostfierce loves Miami and hopes that some day it can become an Art destination other than when Miami Art Basel happens every year.

Please read article by Brett Sokol from NY Magazine

If the glory, freneticism, excess, and sunny evanescence of the current contemporary-art boom has a symbolic home, it’s Miami Beach. Thanks to the appearance of an exponentially more fabulous Art Basel Miami Beach fair each December since 2002, the once-tattered resort town has gained a new sense of itself as an aesthetic destination that goes beyond the mere appreciation of a set of well-wrought silicone implants. Now members of the local Establishment, enamored with their smart new friends—collectors, artists, and curators from around the world—want to see if they can get them to stick around. It’s partly about wishing to be taken seriously as a cultural alternative to New York and Los Angeles. But it’s also a bet that fertilizing the creative class is good economic-development policy—especially in a city hit hard by the real-estate meltdown. Which is why a local developer and collector, Craig Robins, is starting a free postgraduate art program in Miami.

He’s not alone in this municipal-improvement gambit: Terry Riley, a former Museum of Modern Art curator, moved down two years ago to be director of the Miami Art Museum and oversee building its $220 million Herzog & de Meuron–designed home. Riley cites the example of Spain and its Guggenheim Bilbao as a model: “They wanted to catch up, join the European Union, and transform the country. They realized that to do that, they had to go from being a cheap vacation destination of sangría, sand, and sun to a place that could compete with the rest of Europe as a major cultural destination.”

Please read more about it in the link below!

The Sparky Show

ARTmostfierce recommends stoping by and seeing this show. Over100 Artists and among them my artist friend Reyez Melendez!

The Sparky Show

May 15-June 28, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 15, 6-8 pm

Schroeder Romero / Winkleman Gallery Project Space
637 West 27th Street (btw 11th and 12th Ave) NYC
The Sparky Show

May 15-June 28, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 15, 6-8 pm

Schroeder Romero / Winkleman Gallery Project Space
637 West 27th Street (btw 11th and 12th Ave) NYC


Strike for Visual AIDS!

Visual AIDS is having a benefit May 19th at the Chelsea Piers, a fun filled
night of bowling, dancing, art, cocktails, snacks, and Yoko Ono. See
link below for details. Promises to be a fun time!

Visual AIDS strives to increase public awareness of AIDS through the visual
arts, creating programs of exhibitions, events and publications, and working
in partnership with artists, galleries, museums and AIDS organizations.
See link below for more info!


Zoe Strauss Under I-95

ARTmostfierce has always been a great fan and supporter of Zoe Strauss photographs and its portrayal and reflection of social-economic way society chooses to ignore the every day life of a sector of human American landscape.

The images of Zoe sometimes are hard to look at because we are always so used to look for pretty things and to ignore or to just escape the cruel reality that life can be for some individuals. Even in these images Zoe, manages to bring beauty and a great sense of reflexion.

Sunday May 4Th for the second year in a row, Zoe is holding a special event and they will be color Xerox for sale yes ...$5.00 of her images.

I am planning to attend!

I do also own this photo... so this is your warning!

Check out her blog in which she documents on almost a daily basis, her trails and tribulations as a photographer.

Party !

Please enjoy this week header photo above by Mickalene Thomas Quanikak Goes Up, 2005 c-print 48 x 60 inches courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

ARTmostfierce party was a lot of fun!

The crowd was just phenomenal! Mostly from all walks of the Art, Fashion,Design & Architecture industry.Lots of smart , cool and beautiful people!
The images above are from the sponsors and artists who graciously donated their artwork and their products for the event. Thank you!
Would like to express my most sincere thanks to the following:

1. Kellie McLaughin -Aperture Foundation- Kellie you are so fantastic!. So great doing business with you! Thanks also to Christina Caputo and all the whole Aperture Gang!

2. Victor Grasso- Artist - Thanks for the wonderful box of postcards illustrating samples of your great paintings. Thanks for coming , your wife is a doll ! Also your guest friends were a joy to talk to.

3. Dena Fereira -Sales Manager @ Equinox- Thanks you so much for help sponsoring the event, your free daily passes and your generous $250.00 monthly pass donation for the silent auction.

4. Frank Martinez & Madeline Morales-Rums of Puerto Rico- Thanks for keeping the Rum flowing all night and for the wonderful t-shirts , hats and beach towels! This is from my homeland! Great!

5. Steve Madden -Designer-For helping sponsoring the event , the great bags for VIP's and who can forget the luscious lipstick pens. Also many thanks for donating a $500.00 shopping gift certificate at Steve Madden for the silent auction.

6. Mickalene Thomas- Artist - Mickalene so great that you came and Carla Camacho from Lehmann Maupin and your posse. Special thanks for the card that Mickalene made for the event gracing the ARTmostfierce blog header above...love it! Fierce indeed.

7. Pablo Colon- Artist-Pablo -Thanks for the great limited edition photo 4min. for the VIP bags. Also for the delicious drinks drinks made by him that made us twirl all night!

8. To all the Gang at The Switzer Group Architects & Interior Designers (where I work also!) for coming and buying art in support. Laura , Mandy, Christen and Michael .

9. Leslie Farrell- One of my Motorcade Mafia posse ! Leslie you are the best! Your support and help goes beyond words! Love you!

10. Maxi Cohen- Thanks for the great cards promoting your work!

11. Printed Matter - Thanks for the cards promoting the Book Fair!

12. Stacy Boge- Photographer- Stacy thank you for contribution to the silent auction.

13. Leah Oates- Photographer- Leah you are just incredible, great 5x 7 photo and presentation.Always such a class act since we met ! Looking forward going to your studio soon.It is so refreshing to know that they are people like you in NYC. Rare and a great find like your photos!

14. Reyez Melendez- Artist- Reyes loved the beautiful card you made for the VIP bags.So great !I am glad you made it to the festivities.Thank you!

15.Lou Corredor -Editor of Departures Magazine -American Express- Thanks for coming!Long way from the SoHo Grand days...lol

16. Yeni Mao- Artist-Thanks for coming and looking forward seeing more of your creations!

17. Mike Hoeh- Modern Art Obsession blog- Thanks for your support Mike, you know ARTmostfierce is the rebellious stepchild of MAO!..lol

18.Robin Rice- Photographer and Gallery Owner- Thanks for coming Robin!. This made me rediscovered your gallery and my wallet is marching to 11st very soon for some classic photography!

19. Dean Papademetriou- One of my oldest friends from my college days in Boston.Dean, the same night you had a book reading from your publishing company and I had a art blog launching party.Who said that the Sex and the City characters were not based on gay boys lifestyle?

20.William Tyler- Friend...well more like the only family I got here. Thanks for coming and the music CD donated for the VIP gift bags!

21.Andrew Valli -Photographer and his sweet intelligent wife Aimee. Thanks for coming from Florida! Please check my blog post on Andrew's work and his web site!

22. Janet Finkel- Friend- Janet thanks for your support and your V2K cards!

23.To the rest of you all...you know who you are Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!