Category Archives: Art News

Art & DATA – 2020 Vision

Today, October 25, is the day we celebrate International Artist Day.

We chose this date back in 2004 because it’s Picasso’s birthday, the artist who brought cubism to our modern world of art and changed the contemporary landscape forever.

So … here’s a toast to Pablo, to change, and also to DATA Digitalism — our topic du jour.

2019 has been a year of mainstream integration of art and data.

2020, will be beyond words in this respect–where art should always be.

And yes, we’re talking about DATA not DADA, although there are esoteric similarities. I’ve been geeking out on data for decades, ever since Napster and P2P kicked open the door, but this, is different. Digital Art Data took off this year, mostly in the underground when artists realized they could now easily protect their work online and market it globally using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The real game-changer however, is the Distributed Web 3.0 – light years of improvement and a successor to the outdated and spindly HTTP.

We can now affordably and relatively easily do things with data and art we didn’t even dream of a few years ago.

Data changes everything … and how you manage it changes everything else.

There are very cool blockchain art galleries around the world developing technology that makes it easy to register, certify, and display art. A small handful at this point use automated processes that allow experimental artists to slip in safely to check out the new blockchain environment. It’s not what you think, but it does work for artists and galleries alike, although in different ways.

There are two camps, purists who groove solely on digital and what they create on their computers, and in a parallel world, experienced artists with traditional and digital skills who are quickly learning that analog is rapidly moving to a digital arena. It’s a perfect world for photographers, but foreign for most two dimension canvass and paper artists, although they also have a lot to gain.

When film disappeared there was an elite collection of loyal fine art shooters who hung on until companies quit making film – not a lot of film choices anymore. A few of us reluctantly slipped over to digital earlier when we realized our film catalogs were prohibitively expensive to digitize. It was a better economic move to buy a digital camera system. There were a number of fine art film photographers who absolutely refused to make the switch. They hung on for years. A few well known film-only shooters also slipped into retirement.

Well guess what? All those fine art negatives and transparencies are finding new interest with collectors and gaining rapidly in value at unprecedented levels.

The reason, film, for the most part is almost gone, and now at finite equilibrium spiraling to a natural state of scarcity, which is the magic elixir for all collectibles.

When only one exists, and everyone wants it, that’s scarcity at its finest.

Large format 8×10 inch sheet film is one of those “when one only exists” moments because inherently, if you were shooting fine art with a large format camera using film, you weren’t clicking off ten brackets like we do today with digital, and also shooting half a dozen different perspectives. At thirty to fifty dollars a sheet with processing and printing, you took your time and created images ala fine art Zen. Most photographers shooting large format were devoted artists. It would sometimes take me days to set up a single shot. The crispness, depth, and tone of those images screamed to be reproduced billboard-size museum quality. When a grain of sand prints as wide as your thumb, the other elements around it take on an otherworldly feel. I used to sell large archival prints because it’s where the value fell, but today the interest has shifted.

I had no idea I was sitting on resurrection until I put a few old fine art film pieces on blockchain to sell as limited edition posters. No one purchased the twelve dollar posters using ETH, at least not yet, but offers to buy the original film are interesting, and cause to rethink value in photographic elements other than prints of any size. The format now also has value.

Fine art is going digital on blockchain, but it’s not fine art like you know fine art.

It’s more like, a good time to dispense with the “fine” part and find new descriptors.

The term Fine Art is too reminiscent of secretive galleries manipulating prices based on opaque information, blurry relationships, and innuendo. It’s almost the exact opposite of transparency and immutability of blockchain, and instead the new provenance of “fine” art.

Blockchain is for all artists, and when painters figure out what musicians have known for a while, and what photographers are discovering today, it will be interesting to see what happens when more and more canvasses are digitized and offered as limited edition posters. Digital blockchain posters are affordable and good purchases for entry level collectors, while more experienced art buyers will benefit from the added visibility of the original canvasses promoted through limited edition blockchain posters.

Blockchain is a perfect tool to create a perfect storm of scarcity.

 

Art & Culture Reporters – The Missing Link

Written by Maurice Cardinal

If art is a vision of the future today, why are so many artists still stuck in the past?

Quality of art slipped quietly out the back door when MP3 and Napster noisily pushed their way to the front of the line. Contemporary visual art got caught in the vortex as professionalism across the entire art industry started to slide. Visual and performance artists claimed technology as the panacea for corporatism, but they were only half right.

MP3 was a mega boost for art and technology and a nod toward the future. In the late nineties the big five record companies took relentless hits from a stream of frustrated studio musicians who were the artistic lifeblood of the music industry. These artists played on almost every single hit album, anonymously, and were the first to recognize that the internet would have a major impact on their art by providing exposure and distribution they never had in the past.

Within a couple of years every garage band in the interplanetary universe started dumping free music into the audio jet stream. While peer-2-peer technology undermined and turned record companies inside out, iTunes recognized a corporate opportunity, and within a decade claimed galactic data victory in the music industry, making it seem like corporations had won again.

File sharing was a boon for artists, and it still is for those who know how to speak data.

For the other ninety-nine percent of artists, data was, and still is, incredibly frustrating.

As it turns out, most of us are the data–it’s how FaceBook works, and it’s where it went wrong for contemporary artists–FaceBook was fined $5 billion for a reason. Artists who still naively and improperly use FaceBook will only get buried in the crowd and lost. FaceBook is not what most people think. There are now options that are much more effective.

Napster was the first marketing disruptor to go mainstream and leverage the power of file sharing. Back then the only types of files that could be shared through internet file-swapping networks were audio files. Today all types of data–BIG DATA can be shared just as easily, and now affordably and securely with zero risk of being ripped-off. Thanks to blockchain and distributed networks running IPFS, anyone can put their art online now and not worry about it being copied or stolen, but that’s just half of the story. It takes way more than technology to effectively market art.

In the nineties, and for the first time, musicians everywhere could connect directly with their audience, and in a few years, through social media, fans would also be able to hook up with singers and musicians– kinda like a real conversation, but different. The converging apex where both sides crossed paths is the strange attractor described in the scientific theory of chaos that redefined forever how artists and audiences communicate and relate to each other.

Well, not all artists. Musicians are the communicators of the art industry, and know how to work cohesively within their own teams and their audiences. Visual artists on the other hand are often social loners, most with underdeveloped public relations and communication skills.

Painters hide, while musoids party – which is code for network!

Musicians know how to engage and talk to art reporters, while most painters still believe the world will find them if given enough time. Musicians don’t wait. Their success is reflective of their gregarious natures. Musoids are also techno-freaks and know how to leverage data and make the most of social media, while most visual artists toil alone in their studios painting, sculpting, and waiting for some type of divine intervention, which very rarely if ever comes.

FaceBook is NOT God, although Zuckerberg would like you to think so.

Musicians have a love-hate relationship with reporters, but mostly, they love them. Most visual artists completely fail to appreciate the significance of an art writer, let alone know how to approach and talk to one. On the surface it looks like artists are narcissistic and arrogant, and some are, but mostly, artists of all ilk are simply afraid of being judged. Theories of why they have this debilitating psychological neurosis are numerous, but it often stems back to a less-than healthy upbringing and self-esteem issues–although sometimes it’s just in your genes. Old school visual artists struggle the most with the digital revolution, and many simply ignore it, while younger artists experiment and discover new worlds and exciting ways to reach audiences. Successful artists embrace promotion, which means talking to art reporters

Art writers …are also artists in their own right, and they play a critical role. Many are also artists in genres outside of writing. As trading and streaming free music became more prevalent, it was at about the same time that we started to lose the comfort-food filter of intellectual thought and gumshoe sleuthing by art writers. Over the course of several years the anemic opinions of our fake friends on fake-news FaceBook became seemingly more important than writers like Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic at the NY times who has written about art for more than forty-five years.

That guy Bob I used to know in high school, who now works at Wal-Mart and whom I never really liked that much, is now giving his FB followers advice about what type of art and music he thinks we should listen to and buy.

Something is missing. Turns out it’s the art writer, as in, professional opinion and context.

It is not just that I value an experienced and studied opinion, it is also that most of us don’t have the time, inclination, or tools to filter the oceans of big data that stream unchecked through the universe and into our consciousness. Sure, tech-talk AI is smart and fills the small gaps, and someday it might even drive my car. I also love the smart contract concept, and blockchain is great too–a bone fide technological advancement right up there with IPFS and distributed networks, but artificial intelligence is still light years away from being humanly intuitive, which is what is required in the last mile to turn art complexity into order. Machines are incapable of making real connections because they still can’t read and interpret nuance – the 1% factor.

Art writers deliver that relevance and clarity, not AI plugged into a machine.

Tech geeks who write this idealistic gobbledygook are often loners, similar in some ways to painters and many writers who sequester themselves in their work. An inordinate number have few real friends, if any, and also quite often a skewed concept of social reality – which isn’t necessarily bad when you factor in creativity. The challenge is that all this data and SocMed tech stuff is great in theory, but it has to be balanced with humanity. Most nerds hide in a dream world, which ironically is where most artists reside, so be careful about what and whom you believe.

You don’t have to unconditionally believe art writers, or coders, but it would be smart to at least consider the opinion of someone who thinks about and researches art considerably more than you.

Another unfortunate irony is that the residual effects of trusting your uninformed FB friends has eroded the coffers at real news companies. All those hard-working intellectual human filters are losing their jobs, thousands of them, thanks mostly to social media.

 Disruption is a bitch.

Each time an art writer is fired, art audiences suffer because standards soften.

Over the last twenty years or so standards have fallen away considerably.

Technology can do that, especially when it’s in its infancy and only half-baked – for example, today, technology forces automatic phone updates on us that flip our lives upside down, yet, we put up with it and have forgotten how to demand quality and value for our money. Also, back in the day, MP3 had terrible audio fidelity, but we sacrificed quality over convenience and the prospect of FREE MUSIC! The thirty-year transition back to quality has taken us full circle, this time though, the end game is considerably different.

There was a time when standards for the masses were high across the board. High quality vinyl records were available and affordable for everyone, with only moderate fidelity improvements for a very small number of elite audiophiles. Western society was mostly middle class, and as the divide between the rich and poor increased, standards of quality fell away. Writers who wrote about art mattered less and less, because for the most part, consumers cared less and less about quality.

There is also an undertone of irony to this diametrical transition because visual art is now more important than it has ever been in all of history. It is now the domain of the masses and used as a tool of comfort – like a worn pair of slippers. Centuries ago, during the era of the masters like da Vinci and Rembrandt, art was primarily a sport for white rich men. Many claim it still is, although Asian markets are rapidly changing the landscape through sheer volume alone. 1.43 billion Chinese can’t be wrong, can they? 

Art is now much more than something to hang on the wall to match the sofa.

Art is now therapy! Not for the viewer though–like it kinda used to be. It’s therapy for the millions of paint-by-numbers artists who collectively spend tens of millions on group art classes that help them cope with life. Art is a great way for frustrated women to drink red wine, spill paint, yak, and purge emotions. Men have sports bars, women have art classes.

Art’s place in the world has radically changed, especially over the last decade.

We’re not satisfied to just look at contemporary art anymore.

We want to be art and be the ball!

The billion dollar question is, where does that leave professional art writers?

If amateurs are now creating art, of which ninety-nine point nine percent of it looks amateur, plus, artists and artists’ friends are recommending this art to their friends on FB, or not, why do we even need art writers and critics? We have each other, and who better to give us advice than someone who knows even less about art than we know? “I bought it because I like it” is a great meme and mantra, but the critical factor is, and as the songs goes, “When the night meets the morning star, will you still love me tomorrow?”

Real art needs substance, not one night stand flashes of lust that slink out in the morning.

CNN Business reported that in January 2019, 1,000 news media people lost their jobs.

Many would have been art reporters and writers, because as we are all painfully aware, when budgets need to be cut, art funding is the first to get the axe! FB and Instagram are the new messiahs because now anyone and their mother can trickle inch-deep doodles onto an online public forum in the name of art, and ask their friends to hock it for them.

Also, artist tools, which at one time were hard to find and expensive, are now ubiquitous. You can buy “Made in China” art supplies at Wal-Mart for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Box stores also sell huge art prints, framed, for $49.45. Unfortunately, competition like this for the eyes of the mass art market is a race to the bottom–unless you like street urchins and cats with big eyes.

Here’s some good news … just like in the music and film industries, a new fine art ecosystem has grown that caters exclusively to high-end art lovers and collectors. This elite fractionalized community is relatively easy to find, if you look, but that’s the problem. Not enough art buyers know it exists so they still plod aimlessly like lemmings through small galleries looking for emerging treasures. You can’t blame them though because most artists also don’t even know that the fractional art market exists.

Part of the reason for the disconnect is that experienced collectors valued art writers who were usually found in mainstream publications. Now however, art writers are often tucked away in obscure online corners that are harder to locate, but when you do, you’ll find the same intellect and passion as is present in high visibility art reporting publications like the NY Times.

The contemporary fine art market is still there, but it is now broken up into thousands of ad hoc sub genres waiting for the perfect buyer who has the same niche proclivity as the artist. It’s like online dating; your art might not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me. If an artist presents it properly, the value and what a collector will pay can be surprising and sometimes hit six figures for no obvious or rational reasons.

The task of deciding what is “artful” and at least worthy of our awareness is the purview of art writers, not ill-informed FB friends. Plus, we need art writers now more than ever if only because of the glut of art-carnage sunsets, pretty flowers, and fluffy cats being dumped into the art ecosystem like white noise. The only exception I’ll make is CryptoKitties, because they at least recognize technology for what it is, and the challenges of real world transition.

To make things even more confusing, the definitions of art are expanding at an exponential rate mostly because the traditional art centres of NYC and London are now also lost in the noise of thousands of towns where issues of culture, politics, gender, and race are just as important as in big cities.

Art is fractionalized. Thankfully though, each segment is attractive to someone.

Older artists still resist getting political, but in this era it’s one of the few ways to stand out. Fear of a political stance and opinion is outdated. Today, collectors want to know, beyond loneliness, what inspires an artist and drives them to create. The backstory defines the cachet and value of the work. Contemporary fine art today needs to be a mix of relevant, allegorical, and political muse in order to rise above the noise and confusion of legions of amateurs who do little more than bounce up and down yelling, look at me, look at me!

Museums are also starting to get in the game by displaying regional fine art that has timely political significance. Events like Black Lives Matter and many others inspire artwork that needs to be viewed today and collectively on a global platform across a network of large and small cities. The sensitivity of a society’s important cultural issues cannot be trusted to what only your FaceBook friends think. FB might be a place to start, but the conversation deserves a more intellectual and thought provoking commentary that only a professional art writer can deliver.  Experienced writers capture the heart of an issue and move considerably deeper than superficial feelings. Real writers not only eloquently express real emotions, they also offer reasons that add substantial depth of insight.

Writers who write in any real depth about art look at a wide cross section of artists before they carve even a single word. They boil the broth down to a rich, full bodied and complex reduction. When a writer looks at and researches that many artists, the differences become readily apparent. Artists who deliver more than aesthetic appeal deserve and need to be identified and explored. If you paint flowers, and for example you don’t somehow connect the loss of bees to your work, it’s just another painting of a flower. Who really cares enough anymore to invest in it when there are tens of millions of paintings of flowers stockpiled in artists’ closets. Wal-Mart also sells cheap copies for $12.95.

If contemporary fine art is still primarily the provenance of rich white men, which unfortunately it is, then art writing follows suite, until it doesn’t. Thankfully, blanket elitism is eroding as we evolve to a more regional and fractured market of finding our art soulmate. Sure, it’s a bit elitist too, but it doesn’t discriminate.

If the red pill works for you, take it, stfu, and be happy!

You can now find great art writers in small towns living next door to great artists.

In a fractured art market, interests are more varied along cultural and political lines, which brings diversity to a market that for hundreds of years has been myopic and too often based on religious voodoo and political oppression.

Fortunately, there still exists a funnel of truly great and experienced art writers–among them, Jerry Saltz, Jillian Steinhauer, Peter Schjeldahl, Carolina Miranda, Holland Cutter, Christopher Knight, and Ben Davis. Today however, many more are surfacing in smaller communities around the world and displacing the omnipotent power that big art centers like NYC, Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo once boasted.

Whether you are an art buyer, collector, or an artist, you need to become familiar with these names and their community of colleagues around the globe, and engage them in conversation, or at the very least, simply listen to and respect what they share.

It’s also important to follow other members of the art industry who might not necessarily be full time art writers,  but who have writing influence, like Alex Browne, Sarah Amormino, Camille Georgeson-Usher, MOMUS, Kate Taylor, Norman Wilner, Sally McKay, Daniella Sanader, and Douglas Coupland. These writers don’t fit the old school mold, but they are still highly informed and influential in their respective fields and interests, and it is in these niche areas where investible contemporary fine art is growing and thriving.

All the rest is Wal-Mart-Art.

 

Illustrations by Maurice Cardinal :: Photos Courtesy of Gerd Altmann :: Hermann Traub :: Sarah Richter :: Victoria Borodinova - Pixabay.com

Banner Year for the IAD and Artists Everywhere

It’s been a year of major growth
for International Artist Day.

by Maurice Cardinal

Blu-ChrisMacClureSince the IAD’s inception by founder Chris MacClure in 2004, we have steadily gained momentum and visibility in our mandate to celebrate the contribution artists make to society.

When the IAD first launched, Chris would scour the internet looking for a smattering of artists who celebrated alongside of us. Today, the numbers are overwhelming when you go online to see all the artists and galleries in all the cities around the world who do something very special on our official day of October 25. It’s a date Chris chose that pays homage to Pablo Picasso, a visionary artist who has done more for contemporary art than anyone.

Picasso literally revitalized contemporary art and brought it into the mainstream.

The internet is overflowing with International Artist Day celebrations this year in cities like New York, London, Mumbai, Beijing, and all the little bergs and art communities in between. We love everyone who shares our exuberance and respect for art, so let us know what you’re doing to help promote the cause.

The IAD celebrates all forms of art, from painters to performance artists, and this year we are holding up our glasses as a toast, and extending our welcome to mixologists throughout the USA!

Creativity is the name of the game in the art world, and anyone who can stimulate our senses, whether two-dimensional visual, movement through dance or music, or … gastronomical through food and drink, we salute you … Cin Cin!

Sippable ARTWe are honored this year to lend our name to an ART FORM CONTEST launched by the Van Gogh Vodka people and CHILLED magazine, who want to celebrate the creativity of mixologists in each state from coast to coast in America. Van Gogh Vodka also chose one of the world’s most famous artists to celebrate their brand, and to literally bring creative “SPIRIT” to the world of art.

We’ve humorously played up the “Picasso meets Van Gogh” element to bring attention to a national celebration occurring today regarding the culmination of the contest in Charleston South Carolina at the Principle Gallery where the winners will be announced. Stay tuned! There are cash prizes and a double shot of prestige for the mixologist, or as Van Gogh Vodka coins them, BARtists who create the most interesting libations that are flavorful, colorful and designed as a work of art.

We also tip our hats to multi-skilled artists like Marilyn Hurst, a painter and writer who has constantly contributed to the IAD since its inception. Marilyn helped founder Chris MacClure in the early years as they worked together to define International Artist Day – Marilyn and Chris are married to each other. Marilyn recently posted a blog about artist Frank Arnold, well respected international figurative artist, and discussed with Frank the unconscious process of creativity and what it really means to reach into and beyond your collective souls for inspiration.

Chris, a romantic realist painter, and Marilyn just opened a new studio in White Rock with Brent Heighton. We’re all looking forward to seeing what they produce out of this new creative space.

It’s been an incredible year for me too, Maurice Cardinal, IAD co-partner with Chris. Over the last six months I’ve been exploring what blockchain and cryptocurrency bring to the worlds of art. Blockchain and smart contracts are the business tool artists have been hoping for since the inception of the internet. It’s the last piece to the puzzle. Blockchain allows all types of artist to place their art online without worry of it being infringed or illegally copied and sold. Blockchain helps artists get their work in front of interested and qualified buyers in an easy,  secure and affordable way.

It’s a new way for a new era that is proving promising for artists as well as galleries.

Galleries this year around the world are also adopting blockchain and cryptocurrency strategies because it substantially reduces their operating costs and gives them access to a market that previously was insanely and infamously elusive.

Join The PartyAn artist I work with, Doriz Anderson just hung four new pieces in the brand new Art Couture Gallery in White Rock. The canvass above, “Join the Party” was painted after Doriz took a closer look at the artistry of the cocktails created in the contest, and literally felt inspired to join the party.

Jenny Xu, Art Couture Gallery owner and curator, has graciously made space on her walls for four of Doriz’s abstract figurative paintings, including Join the Party.

Jenny  has a rolling hit with her new gallery that showcases exemplary art to our seaside community – with pieces ranging from an affordable three hundred up to sixty-thousand dollars. Jenny seems to already have the attention and respect of local Asian collectors, and is quickly becoming the west coast stage for incredible pieces by highly respected Chinese artists like Xiaoyang Yang, who sold a piece recently, Flourish of Life, at auction for over $1.7 million USD. The Yang image at the left, Tea & Zen hung at Art Couture last month for a very modest $60K.

All of a sudden our little seaside town of White Rock at the ocean, has slipped quietly onto the international art scene in a prestigious way. Look for illuminating openings and events at the Art Couture Gallery in the coming months.

Today is October 25th, 2018, our official day of celebration at International Artist Day, so get out and visit an artist’s studio or art gallery, or go online and buy a piece of art, or … at the very least stop an artist on the street (everyone knows what an artist looks like haha) and buy them a drink or dinner to thank them for the contribution they make to society.

Happy International Artist Day in 2018!

Frank Arnold – Abstract Figurative Artist

By Marilyn Hurst

Frank Arnold - Looking-Manarnold1000Frank Arnold is an abstract figurative painter and sculptor. His work is haunting, bold, bright, and imbued with allegorical symbolism. It is also dark and pulls obliquely from his unconscious – abstract intellectualism personified.

Frank has also produced two books, the first, “Frank Arnold Speaks” is a bilingual, English and Spanish biography reflecting back on his youth as an adopted child, and on his life experiences and the impact it’s had on his artwork.

 

His second book, “Your Creative Imagination Unlocked,” is a collaborative with depth psychologist, Dr. Jim Manganiello. It’s an exploration of his own creative process with observations and hypotheses by Manganiello respective of Frank’s work as well as that of other abstract artists, Cy Twombly, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Banksy. His book explores the deeper mind and how art can be a path to rediscovery of creative imagination. Frank was born in Long Beach, California, raised in the San Joaquin Valley and now has galleries in California and Mexico.

Frank graciously shared his time with us, and his personal insight into the creative process.


When did you get into the fine arts and what inspired you to do so?

It all began for me with a love of color. As a child I won a flower arranging contest at the fair. I was so taken by all the colors and the possible combinations. I have to think that was the true starting point for me.  I got into fine art in school. That was back in the days where if you talked too much, give you more art classes. “Put Frankie in art class because he talks too much.” I was kind of board with school, but my daydreaming fed my creative side and I grew to love art.

Did you ever paint traditionally or figurative work, 
or did you plunge into abstraction right away?

I was classically trained in realism, both painting and drawing. What I found, aside from the fact that realism is a lot of hard work, is there are so many rules to follow. I wanted something to come from my soul. At first I was painting from my surface mind and it was all about me. As I began to work from my deeper mind, I began to feel something was coming to me from another place, something I call gifts from my soul. I can’t explain the source, but it guides me through my process.  The way I describe it is … I go to a place where no words are spoken, a place where there is no sound, no smell, even my sense of touch goes away. I am left in a bright place where things seem to be given to me. It’s a wonderful place where I feel I can do anything; a place that I am so grateful for because I can see.

FrankA-PX8-500

Why did you choose San Jose del Cabo Baja Mexico as one of your studios?

I have been in love with Mexico ever since I was a kid and people always think of it as an arty country. They love and respect art. There were only a few galleries in all of Los Cabos when I first came here. I felt pulled to the area for its beauty and the people and the sense of community. Now it’s become such an art Mecca for Mexico.

 

 

 

 

Has living in Cabo San Lucas changed your art expression from living in Fresno USA ?

As my art comes from within, I have to think it is affected by where I am. What keeps my interest is the work which I feel is coming from my soul, the deeper mind work over which I really have no control. I think so much of it is really messages for other people. I have seen this played out in my gallery so many times when viewers to react to the images. It’s humbling for me to see.

 Do you have one sentence that would define your philosophy in art?

If anyone’s art moves you for a moment, then it has done its job.

FrankA-AzulPaseo1000

Chris MacClure – IAD Founder, and Frank ArnoldChris MacClure and Frank Arnold

ART is in the AIR

OrangeDrink650
Art is an integral part of
everything we do and experience.

Creativity abounds even more in the “knowledge era” than it has in all of history.

Art forms can be found everywhere, from paintings to performances, all incorporating the essentials of what makes art, art – anticipation, tension, and release.

Every piece of art, like a story, needs a character, a setting, a plot, conflict, and resolution.

A great movie, like a classic book or song, contains all of these elements. Even a painting or photograph can run the gamut and deliver to the viewer, hope, or anxiety, and, a climax.

Performance art, like operas, rock concerts, and dance, when produced properly incorporate all the essential elements that keep us on the edge of our seats, or get us on our feet gyrating to the groove.

Art moves us and causes is to think. Art is intellectual. It is also, spiritual, meditative, powerful and gentle. It can change how we think about ourselves and about others. Art brightens up our day and also reminds us of the plight of others. Art can be serious, or it can be light. It can be about secret things we never see, or joyous things we encounter every day.

The important thing about art is that it is everywhere. It affects us personally at home, at work, where we play, and where we connect with each other spiritually.

Art can be fine, or it can be common and part of our everyday experience.

We can look at art, feel it, breathe it, eat it, and drink it.

The art of cooking is incredibly complex, from taste to aesthetic beauty. Half of the experience of a great meal is in the presentation. How food LOOKS impacts us even more than how it tastes. Plating is an art form unto its own. Blending herbs and spices, and playing them against texture, heat, and colour create a work of art to look at and consume in every sense of the word.

It’s called the “culinary arts” for a reason – it’s creative and artful.

Here’s an overview from Wikipedia, “The Culinary Arts, in the Western world, as a craft and later as a field of study, began to evolve at the end of the Renaissance period. Prior to this, chefs worked in castles, cooking for kings and queens, as well as their families, guests, and other workers of the castle. As Monarchical rule became phased out as a modality, the chefs took their craft to inns and hotels. From here, the craft evolved into a field of study.”

There is also an element of culinary art devoted strictly to beverages. Simple things, like roasting coffee beans for example, is a form of art. Brewing beer is an art, and so is making wine.

One of the most popular artful beverages are spirits – a drink distilled to perfection.

Distilled spirits go back some say to 2000 BC, but it is attributed more to the sixteenth century. The distillation process alone is a form of art, but the real creative funs begins when you take the distilled spirit and mix it with other liquids to form sippable art.

Artist Bartenders, or as the Van Gogh Vodka clan coined, BarTists, have been creating works of art for consumption for hundreds of years, and it’s about to rise to another level.

International Artist Day has joined creative energy with Van Gogh Vodka to celebrate the artistry of bartenders everywhere.

Picasso meets Van Gogh

Join us and celebrate the mastery of mixology as the best sippable artists in the country pour deep, literally and figuratively, into their creative “spirit” and design a Van Gogh Vodka masterpiece.

Cryptocurrency & Art

Blockchain Art – Preamble – 1 of 2 in the series

By Maurice Cardinal

If you don’t know what a blockchain is and how it impacts art, you’re not alone.

It’s hard to understand, but once you do, a brand new world opens up immediately.

Almost everyone has some type of artistic talent. With substantial practice, making art is relatively easy, and fun. It’s why so many people do it.

Selling art however is the hard part.

With all the information at our fingers, almost anyone today can be a “successful” artist if they also learn a few basic sales skills, but creative types usually don’t have that type of interest or drive.

Success as an artist means selling your work to support yourself. If you have to keep a day job, or a spouse supports you, you’re more of a dabbler, and that’s fine too, but if you’re serious about being an artist, you have to get serious about the full cycle from creation to selling.

This article is for devoted artists, those committed to creating art fulltime and having their work hang on the walls of others beyond family, friends, and therapy tea klatches.

The definition of a true artist is easier to understand when you compare it to other aspects of life, for example a teaching profession. If you are paid by a certified institution to teach a curriculum, you’re a teacher. If you teach your kid to toss a baseball or cook, well, you’re a parent. Same thing with art.

Statistically, most people today practice art for fun and meditative therapy, and for the calm or stimulation it brings.  A very few occasionally produce something a stranger would pay to display on their large screen TV or wall. Some also pick up a brush or a camera to satisfy a creative addiction. It’s all good, but it doesn’t define or qualify you as an artist.

MauriceC
Giant Joshua Mojave

Consider for a moment that a contemporary art gallery is the prototypical middleman, and similar in some respects to a dating site for lonely artists and skeptical buyers. In reality, one usually doesn’t get married after the first date, just as aspiring artists rarely grace gallery walls. It takes time to form a relationship. Space is reserved for the fulltime and elite artist who already sells his or her work.

Not all galleries are alike. Friendly, and transparent artist-owned studio galleries where artists collaboratively manage the space, and where they work and sell pieces in creative environments is a more welcoming experience for art buyers. 

Artists-owned studio galleries are great places to connect with artists and form long and productive relationships.

We can also buy art at fairs and auction houses, but again these spaces are exclusively reserved for fulltime elite artists in the here and now, or, who have long passed. The cost to buy in is exorbitantly high, however, the quality of art seen in these spaces isn’t always high, as is sometimes demonstrated by art that lacks soul and still sells for mega millions. Perception of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and especially the beholder who looks at art as an investment.

As the internet blossomed websites presented artists with an opportunity to create one-on-one relationships with buyers similar to the dynamic experienced at artist-owned studio galleries. Progressive artists, especially millennials, embrace the internet and have tremendous success, but in true art therapy style, most still struggle in obscurity and shyly hide their works in their closets.

Social media popped up relatively recently and once again redefined the marketing landscape for artists. Once more, a small group capitalized on it and had incredible success, but most artists missed the opportunity, often incessantly complaining the market had gone flat. It hadn’t though. The art market moved and most artists failed to move with it.

Well here we are one more time; the cosmos, in less than a twenty year span, is offering up yet another incredible opportunity for artists and galleries. It’s a second bona fide paradigm shift in less than two decades greater than anything we’ve ever seen that helps artists not only sell their work, but also protect and make it even more readily available and accessible.

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