Sunday, April 29, 2007

Keen eye of Leo Castelli

You have to have a good eye, but also a good ear. There's no other way if you want to make a good choice. You hear things, feel vibrations, gauge reactions. You spot movements emerging, and you try to pick the best practitioners.
—Leo Castelli

It is one of nice mind sparkle of one mostt amazing man in history of modern art, Leo Castelli. this great man never wanted to work with fartist that were already known. He is icon of Europe smelling american art and opposite.
Leo Castelli was born on September 4, 1907, in Trieste, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was a successful banker, and the family lived well, spending the years of World War I in Vienna before returning to Trieste, now an Italian city, in 1919. Leo, fluent in several languages, attended law school in Milan and, guided by his father, began a career in the insurance business. His company sent him to the office in Bucharest in 1932, and there he met and fell in love with Ileana Schapira, the daughter of one of Romania's richest men. They married and moved to Paris in 1935, where Leo and Ileana quickly discovered and entered the world of art. Leo Castelli's first gallery, in partnership with an architect friend, combined modern furniture and decoration with Surrealist and neo-Romantic paintings.

The gallery had hardly opened when World War II began, and the Castellis left Paris for New York. They arrived in 1941, and Leo soon joined the United States Army, which trained him as an intelligence operative. He served in France and after that country was liberated, was sent to Bucharest as an interpreter for the Allies. Because of his military service, Castelli was granted American citizenship.

After the war, Leo Castelli returned to the New York art world. He befriended many American and European artists, but he never wanted to work with artists who were already known. Therefore, he did not open a gallery in New York until he could embrace new work, work that made Castelli feel what he called "pure enthusiasm."

Leo Castelli saw Robert Rauschenberg's work for the first time in 1954. Shortly thereafter, while visiting Rauschenberg's studio, he was taken to call on Jasper Johns, who lived in the same building. Castelli's gallery, the first to exhibit Rauschenberg and Johns, soon added Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist. Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.

Leo Castelli's gallery continued to pave the way for contemporary art by exhibiting more new artists, including Ellsworth Kelly, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Joseph Kosuth.

As a dealer, Leo Castelli broke ground by putting the artists he championed on a stipend, paying them on a regular basis. As an art patron, he made many important gifts to museums and public collections. Among these is one of the icons of postwar American Art, Robert Rauschenberg's 1955 Bed to the Museum of Modern Art in 1988. At the time, this work, which Castelli had bought in 1958 for a little over one thousand dollars, was valued at about $10 million, and tax deductions for gifts of art to museums were very limited.

Leo Castelli moved his gallery from uptown to Soho in 1971, initiating a major art business migration. He rarely proposed selling a painting to a collector. Interviewed in 1994 by Suzi Gablik, he said, "I just give my shows and try to make everybody aware that they are there, through publications and so on. But then if people don't come, well, it's too bad. I can't really be on the phone all the time to find clients. Sometimes I feel very frustrated about it, but it's not in my nature to be someone who runs after people." Neither a gifted salesman nor a trained art historian, Leo Castelli was nevertheless a great art dealer. He had an unmatched instinct for the new and important in art, and total confidence in his own ability to spot it. This made it possible for him to exhibit his artists with complete conviction. "I am in the category, myself, of having always dealt with art because of its groundbreaking importance. As far as the selling of that art is concerned, the devil can take the hindmost."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

King of art mr Saatchi

I don't ever think about money, so obviously in that sense I'm fantastically rich ...' Charles Saatchi, photographed by Nigella Lawson

The brainchild of the London-based advertising magnate and collector Charles Saatchi, this social networking outlet — a kind of MySpace knockoff for artists — is causing something of a sensation, boosting traffic at the gallery’s Web site overall to more than three million hits a day.

In May Mr. Saatchi, famed for spotting young unknowns and turning them into art-world superstars, created a section on his Web site for artists of all ages to post their work at no charge. It is called Your Gallery, and now boasts contributions by about 20,700 artists, including 2,000 pieces of video art.

Everything there is for sale, with neither the buyer nor the seller paying a cent to any dealer or other middleman. About 800 new artists have been signing up each week.

And since Stuart (shorthand for “student art”) went online last month, some 1,300 students (including 450 in the United States) have created Web pages there. No one vets the quality or style of the art.

With dealers and collectors scouring student shows for undiscovered talent and students hunting for dealers to represent them, Mr. Saatchi has tapped a vein that can’t stop gushing. If Stuart gains anything like the cachet of MySpace, it has the potential to morph from a nonprofit venture into a gold mine for Mr. Saatchi.

For now, he said, he is simply enjoying the role of spectator. “When I launched the site, I took the view that the best thing was to leave it alone for the first year and purposely not buy anything, because I didn’t want to compromise what the site was supposed to do: appeal to a wide group of students,” he said.

His office, meanwhile, is fielding e-mail messages and calls from dealers, museum curators and directors, and collectors around the world who have discovered new work at the site and want to meet some of the artists in their studios. (Of the 20,700 or so artists at Your Gallery, roughly 6,000 are from Britain and 6,000 from the United States, with the rest scattered across the world.)
But for students visiting Stuart, the main attraction for now is linking up with their peers.

In addition to lists of her favorite artists, books, films and television shows, Ms. Travis has posted the name of a new friend on her page at Stuart: Erhan Ozturk, a photography student at T. C. Maltepe University in Istanbul whose work she viewed at the site.

“I don’t know him,” Ms. Travis said, although they have conversed electronically. And while she doesn’t love his art, she said, “I think it’s pretty interesting.” (New friends tend to reciprocate: Mr. Ozturk lists Ms. Travis on his Web page, and with a simple click, visitors viewing his work can connect to hers.)

Some students hear of Stuart by word of mouth from friends, and some through their schools, many of which were alerted to the site by Mr. Saatchi’s office. In addition to a free Web page, each student has the opportunity to share ideas, inspiration and advice on a discussion board, an arena that can forge new friendships and foster exposure on expanding lists of friends.

The site’s Web masters have ensured that creating a personal page is as easy as singing up for an e-mail account. After supplying a name, gender, school, college, country and e-mail address, each student must post at least one image.

“Electronically is the way we tend to communicate these days,” said Denise Parsons, 39, a student at the San Francisco Art Institute who has a page on Stuart. “Being an artist is a solo endeavor, and this is a safe way to see what others are doing.”

Mr. Saatchi said he was startled by the rapid response, which had driven home how “students very much need to talk to other students about their work.”

As one of the first people to exhibit the work of unknown British artists (and now stars) like Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Rachel Whiteread and Chris Ofili, Mr. Saatchi is a natural magnet for students who hope that someday they too will be discovered by a kingmaker.
With Mr. Saatchi’s willingness to take on emerging artists (although some fault his propensity for selling off their work as soon as they get hot), many students dream of one day being shown in his new gallery, a 50,000-square-foot space on Kings Road in the Chelsea section of London that is scheduled to open next summer. Until then Mr. Saatchi is without a gallery, having closed his former site on the South Bank of the Thames in 2005.

The Saatchi name gives the Web site “a certain cachet and legitimacy,” said David W. Halsell, a 39-year-old installation, video and performance artist who is a student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Saatchi said he seized on the idea for remaking his overall Web site,, “because I haven’t got my gallery to play with.” With the site’s revamp in May, it began with an online daily magazine and blog offering art news and reviews, an interactive forum in which visitors debate art issues, a chat room for art enthusiasts and a page where children can create and display art.

Stuart grew naturally out of and Mr. Saatchi’s voracious appetite for the new. “I’m glued,” he said. “I spend hours a day looking at students’ work on the site.”

He said he was thinking seriously about allotting rotating space in his new gallery to artists discovered at Your Gallery and Stuart. “There’s something thrilling about seeing the work of young artists for the first time even before their school shows,” he said.

The diverse offerings have caught the eye of contemporary-art experts like Olivier Varenne, director of the Museum of Old and New Art being established in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. He recently contacted the Saatchi Gallery by e-mail. “I am always looking for new talent,” he wrote, and since then he has arranged studio visits with four artists whose work he finds interesting.

In addition to linking artists with new friends and dealers, the site has in some cases enabled artists to reconnect with their old schools. Tori Murphy, a 26-year-old student at Kingston University in Surrey, England, who has heard from a gallery in Dublin and one in London, said she had been contacted by Repton, her old boarding school, which ended up buying a painting for nearly $1,400.

“I’ve done a couple of commissions, but this is my first sale,” Ms. Murphy said. Yet what she likes best about Stuart is not so much the commercial rewards as the ability to gain access to other students and their work.

“Before we were very limited to our school,” she said. “This is the first time I have had the chance to see what’s happening all over the world.”

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

cyber panic in saatachi gallery

I am thirty six – but I don’t feel any older than twenty-five. But then again since the age of six I have felt ninety nine. I have a thin scrawny body. But I now have a potbelly. When I was young I went to the doctors to try to put on weight. I thought every woman liked Chippendale type men - and would never fancy me. I was twenty four before I met girls who liked me and I am chronically shy in public. But I am full of life around friends I trust.

I still don’t know who I am. If I am anything I a someone who sufferers from a Borderline Personality Disorder. Which means I swing from the pits of depression to elation on a daily basis. Moreover my feeling and thoughts about things ricochet around like demented ping-pong balls. That’s why I have no one style and I swing from aggression to self-pity in my art.

I have dark hair – slightly graying. I have an oval face, green eyes (my girlfriend says ‘dark hair and green eyes a lethal combination’) and a rosebud mouth which I hate. I have no fucking chin! So I wear a goatee. Oh and I am practically blind – I wear glasses! I smell of tobacco, Joop aftershave and Linx deodorant. I dress in skater indie clothes.

I have no tattoos because I could never make up my mind what I wanted to have tattooed. I have five piercings – one in my left nostril, one in my left ear, one in my right eyebrow and one in my right upper ear. I used to have four more piercings in my left ear but they have fallen out over the course of fifteen years. My piercings are the vestiges of my young aggressive Grunger and Punk self. God I was an angry young man! I can’t remember the number of punch ups I had in nightclubs as a youth. And I loved to fucking mosh! These days I can’t mosh and I haven’t raised my fists to someone in maybe five years. These days I try to be a softer and more conciliatory self.

On my left arm I have twenty thick and thin scars from cutting my wrists. On my right arm I have eight thick and thin scars. Some of my scars have little white spots running along them, they were the sewtcher marks the Nurses made when sowing up my arms. They are twenty five years old and yet they still mock me. Trying to cut your wrists is hard. I had to listen to The Pixies song ‘Debaser’ to do it. First I would slash into the wrist with the razor blade exposing the blue worm of a vein underneath. Then slashing into that to release the blood in spurts – God the pain! But once your wrists are in the bath the pain subsides. Overdoses are much easier and they leave no scars. But being forced to drink Epcot syrup to throw up, and then throwing up for twelve hours is hard too. Stumock pumps are the worst – it feels like oral rape. Psychiatric hospitals are mind numbingly boring and sad places. But they are a good chance to catch up on some essential reading of Nietzsche or Wittgenstein. That’s another thing of youth! I spent ten years reading philosophy to try and understand the world, but I just ended up with more questions than answers. Trying to understand women through Feminist books was another lunatic idea of mine. I ended up hating being a man and feeling guilty for all men's sins.

When I was ten I vowed to myself “One Day I Will Be The Greatest Artist In The World” but then I was also playing wargames with toy soldiers thinking I was Napoleon! After my fathers death and my mothers slide into paranoid schizophrenia I looked around for something in life that seemed permanent and meaningful. Art seemed to offer immortality. Whats more I seemed to have a talent for it. I spent my youth bunking off school and haunting the museums and art galleries of Dublin. I took night classes in watercolour and oils. No matter how bad my mothers illness or her abuse of me got I could retreat into my bedroom and paint. While painting I lost myself and all my troubles seemed to disappear. Even when you are starving, painting can ease your hunger. Art seemed like a demon obsession in me. I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a day in twenty six years when I have not thought about art, dreamed of being famous and finally respected and loved.

The trouble is when your ambition is to be ‘The Greatest Artist In The World’ and your actual abilities are about a quarter of what that would require – you are going to live a life of unrelieved misery.

I love music but I am very picky. Morrissey is my God. I think I have lived every line of his songs. I love originals in music – The Beatles, The Smiths, The Libertines, Charlie Parker, Billy Holiday, Leonard Cohen you get the idea. I constantly listen to music as I paint and sometimes write lyrics from songs on my paintings. I like films but not that much. Again I am very picky – The Godfather, Scarface, Once Upon A time In America, The Rebel, Tango In Paris, Lust For Life, Basquiat, Blue Velvet, Taxi Driver, Naked - you get the picture.

I have never taken a meaningful exam in my life. I have absolutely no qualifications to my name. I got into art college at the age of eighteen on the basis of ‘exceptional talent’ in other words on my portfolio alone. But I absolutely hated art college. I only went to make my mother happy. I barely attended. I stayed home and painted the pictures I really wanted to paint like nude self-portraits masturbating – which I had enough sense to know would not go down well in college. I was expelled after a year. I didn’t give a dam it was one of the happiest days of my life! Years later my attitude would change and I would have sold my soul to go to N.C.A.D. But every time I applied - I was rejected. My art career such as it is - has been a story of one rejection after another. To date I have 87 of them. My only lucky break was in November 2000 when in my ‘Twenty Years of Panic Art’ Exhibition in the Oisin gallery in Dublin, I sold over e37,500 worth of art. But that was seven years ago. And now I can’t even give away my work. It is staked up around my house like a giant folly.

I have smoked hash since the age of twenty one in Amsterdam. That was also where I lost my virginity to a series of prostitutes. In fact I had my first kiss from a prostitute. I hated myself so much and thought the only girl who would touch me would have to be paid to do it. After a series of one night stands I met my first girlfriend who I went out with for seven years - before she dumped me because I was too needy and too poor. I thought I would never find love again but I am very happy with my second girlfriend who I have been going out with for two years. She has Pink Hair! Died from a bottle of course! We both love art! We are both recluses! We are both shy. We met on ‘Faceparty’!

Like I said I have smoked dope for fifteen years! It’s the only thing that has ever seemed to cure my depression. I have tried all kinds of other drugs, but hash is the one for me. I think that's because I never did things like have sex, drink or take drugs until I was twenty-one - I have spent the last fifteen years rebelling.

I am a voyeur. As an artist my life is all about looking. So naturally I love pornography! I feel safe looking at porn. I don’t have to risk rejection from a woman. I don’t have to risk not getting it up or getting it hard enough. I don’t have to worry about being judged. As my interest in art reached fever pitch when I had passed the witching hour of sixteen - I also became intrested in erotic art. Why couldn’t art be honest about the body? Why couldn’t an artist paint the genitals and the act of ‘love making’? This was after all fundamental to human existence.

Another word for a schizophrenic is a compulsive lier. My mother lied so much to me that I swore never to. I vowed to make the most honest art the world had ever seen. I would out do Egon Schiele for sexual explicitness!

But painting porn has brought me nothing but misery, rejection, hate, and criticism. No one has applauded my honesty the way Henry Miller was applauded for his sexual honesty in his books. Maybe because my work is mad!

Before my very first exhibition in 1994, I decide to write a small manifesto. It was four pages long and was called ‘The Panic Artist.’ Today it is 960 pages long! I can’t stop writing about myself! I am utterly fascinated by myself! I have never really given a dam about my writing. By which I mean my only dream is to be recognized as a painter and draughtsman. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent years studying the great writers of art criticism and history (like Robert Hughes, Brian Sewell, Clement Greenburg, Harlod Rosenberg and artist/writers like Delacroix and Van Gogh) in order to improve my own writing skills. The trouble is I am a murderous speller! It is only in the last few years as a logger that I have begun to enjoy writing and the feedback it gets. I think many people prefer me as a writer to a painter – which is really annoying!

Zach Feuer Gallery

What's next... Blue Light Specials? Tag Sales, Coupons, and Widow Discount Signs?

Now I have to wonder... if you were an existing client of the Zach Feuer Gallery Website.. and you had asked for one and hadn't been given a discount would you be mad after reading this? Well.. maybe those clients don't read the Weekend Wall Street Journal!

Not to poke fun of Zach Feuer.. but what's the typical practice for gallery discounts? Once I was given a 10% discount by a really super wise gallery without me even begging asking.. it just showed up on my invoice.. a very pleasant surprise.. and money well spent for them.. cause it came back to them 10 fold in additional business and friendly referrals. Sometimes a little goodwill goes a very long way!

Oh.. And to all those happy discount getting collectors hosting open houses in Miami next week.. The editorial staff (who'll be flying down Thursday) at MAO is now accepting all Invitations!! It would seem our Art Miami Social schedule still has a few openings. Cheers!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

new york galleries

first read about art and music

David LaChapelle at Maruani & Noirhomme
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