- THE BIG STORY -
The iPhone has already made an enormous impact on contemporary art, providing artists (and everyone else) with ever-present ways of recording and refracting the world around them, leading to iPhone-originated artworks by everyone from Rob Pruitt to Venice Biennale artist Mohamed Bourouissa. The design, of course, has revolutionized that field too. So, what does the iPhone 5 bring to the table? Well, aside from beefing up the power of its video and photo capabilities, the device will now allow users to take panoramic shots by sweeping it through the air. Monet would have had a much easier time with his Water Lilies, no? But the most significant development may be the launch of Apple's new proprietary mapping system, to replace Google Maps.
The Google product has literally changed our perception of and interaction with the world around us in profound ways, a phenomenon archly commented on by such new media artists as Aram Bartholl. The new Apple maps add a tweak to this by providing flyover views that provide the kind of cinematic sweep expected from James Cameron movies-expect to see aspects of this popping up in galleries shortly-but thus far the app has been panned for having choppy visuals that can make some roads look like ripply ribbons of pasta, along with imperfections like a lack of public transportation information.
Apple said it's working on improving it, but as for now the wrinkled road imagery actually looks a bit like an Andreas Gursky-so play with this glitch while you can. As for what artists themselves have to say about the iPhone 5, perhaps some of that will emerge tonight, when-on the same day the globally fetishized product appears in stores-a panel is convening at the New Museum to discuss how artists can embrace smartphones as "an emerging platform for interactive screen-based art."
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK -
"Contemporary art cannot be judged" - Rome Cultural Heritage department official Umberto Broccoli (ha) making a wonderfully sweeping defense of sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi's widely ridiculed tribute to Pope John Paul II, which nonetheless is undergoing a makeover to address "technical imperfections" after being compared to a public urinal.
- MUST READ -
AAARGH! The Scream Is Heading to MoMA! - If Glenn Lowry knows the anonymous buyer who picked up the only version of Munch's masterpiece remaining in private hands he's not telling, but the record-setting $120 million painting will go on view at the museum from October 24 to April 29. (AP)
Paris Embracing, Provoking Muslims With Art - On a week when the Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo-which was firebombed after publishing anti-Islam cartoons last year-decided to do it again with spoofs of Mohammad, the Louvre is opening its new Islamic art wing, sponsored in large part by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. (Business Insider)
The Art of OWS, One Year Later - In one of his too-rare columns, the critic Ben Davis takes a probing look at the legacy of Occupy Wall Street's exuberant artistic production and its relationship to the functional activism at the movement's core. (Artinfo)
Has Anyone Seen a Porsche Stuffed With Art? - Bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach is offering $200,000 for anyone who can retrieve his stolen red Porsche that thieves loaded up with $10 million in art by Johns, Mondrian, Diebenkorn, and others. (LAT)
Is the Shock of the New Getting Old? - Roughy a century after the eruptive debut of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the New York Times has devoted a series to whether art still has the power to shock audiences into radically new ways of perceiving the world… to which the short answer is, "of course." (NYT)
The Smithsonian Tries to Be Totes Cool - In an article that begins with a scatological joke, the New York Times considers a new campaign by the Smithsonian to hip-ify its image—with ads and a Web site called seriouslyamazing.com (seriously, amazing)—a few years after the institution outraged the art community by censoring David Wojnarowicz's Fire in My Belly video to appease hard-right Christian groups. (NYT)
Lady Gaga Becomes Art at the Gugg - New York magazine's truly excellent new fashion (and more) blog The Cut has a piece by a writer who touched Lady Gaga while she pretended to sleep inside another one of her weird egg things at the Guggenheim during the Fashion Week launch of her "Fame" perfume. Just read the article—it's too weird to explain here. (The Cut)
See Ahn Duong's "Casual Hamptons Cottage" - Architectural Digest is treating its readers this month to a sumptuous slide show of the painter's summer house in East Hampton, a stone's throw away from where Pollock and de Kooning lived. (Architectural Digest)
- ART MARKET -
Sotheby's Makes Beachhead in Mainland China - Following the example of Marco Polo, the venerable auction house has convinced the Chinese government to let it open a salesroom in Beijing, making it the first Western auctioneer to gain direct entry to the world's leading (for the time being) art market. (WSJ)
Megacollectors Fuel Fall Auctions - Billionaire Steve Cohen, an intensely private collector whose contemporary-art holdings are the stuff of legend, is sending a 1983 Gerhard Richter painting to Christie's with an estimate of about $15 million, while TV producer Douglas Cramer is speeding $25 million worth of art to the auction house, including a stunning Jasper Johns expected to fetch up to $5 million. (NYT)
Eric Clapton Is Also Selling a Richter - The artist formerly known as God is also tapping into the Richter-mania surrounding the great German painter's traveling retrospective, flipping a 1994 Abstraktes Bild that he bought for $3.4 million in 2001 at Sotheby's London, where it will carry an estimate of $14.5 million. (Bloomberg)
- IN & OUT -
Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, once displayed contemporary art-most notably a Giacometti sculpture that fell apart-and it will again this Saturday, beginning with a sculpture by the late artist Ken Price. (NYT)
The echt-Brooklyn Barclays Center won't only have locavore cuisine and Jay-Z when it opens, it will also have an art collection beginning with a beautiful and uncharacteristic Mickalene Thomas mural, a 70-foot-long painting by José Parlá, and a LED marquee out front by OpenEndedGroup. (NYT)
The Hammer Museum has appointed "independent writer-curators" Karin Higa and Michael Ned Holte to curate the next edition of its region-spotlighting "Made in L.A." biennial, to open in 2014. (LAT)
A1 News Roundup: What the iPhone 5 Means for Contemporary Art, Porsche Crammed With $10 Million in Art Stolen in L.A., and More News
By Andrew M. Goldstein
- THE BIG STORY -