29 February 2008

A truly modern affliction

"Art paralysis: It is a widespread and often crippling malady, striking everyone from the new college grad in his or her first apartment to the super-rich banker, lasting anywhere from a few months to a lifetime.
"How many are affected is not known, perhaps because the victims are often too embarrassed to come forth. Who wants to admit that “I’ve had these posters since college, I know that as one of the American Top 10 Orthodontists I should get some real art, but I don’t know what that means”?
"Or that “It’s not that I’m trying to make a minimalist statement with these empty white walls, I just don’t know what to buy”? Or “I walk into those snooty galleries in Chelsea and feel like I just don’t belong”?

On sale now

Art World: "... beautifully designed ... jargon free ... news, previews, reviews ... inside information ... hundreds of images of the world's most exciting contemporary art ..."

I've been watching the domestic art magazine market shuffle awkwardly around the long-running institution that is Art New Zealand for years now (even daring to suggest a makeover/takeover at one stage).

I haven't looked at the circulation figures of the art magazine sector recently, but suspect that might tell some interesting stories - one of mass market expansion at entry level, one of shifting balances of advertising to editorial, and one of style over substance.

A story of beautifully designed, jargon free inside information, perhaps.

Art World: for sale now. Pictured: ad from P2 of the Dominion this morning (not mentioned in the Herald).

28 February 2008

Why I love student radio

"...thanks guys.
We're now going to listen to a song by Peaches called Tent in your pants."

4 seconds following an interview with Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena, about their show Ani Wani Wa (ph.), Active, Saturday.

27 February 2008


The race is on to open New Zealand's first artist-specific museum, with a $9 million Hundertwasser gallery in Whangarei, lining up against New Plymouth's proposed $15m Len Lye Centre.
Interesting that both are seeking to open without an ounce of ratepayer cash, relying on central government, private and corporate investment for development and construction.
Here's hoping Whangarei manages to avoid the letter-to-the-editor bunfight that New Plymouth has gone through in an effort to get this major community asset up and (more to the point) running.
For the record my money's on Lye, literally and otherwise.
Left: Lye's Water Whirler proto
Right: Hundertwasser's Kawakawa toilet

25 February 2008

The Superfino Sessions

Superfino Session 2

The ongoing debate and solution series continues this week, with a focus on artist run spaces. Sure, they're artists, but have you ever seen any of them actually run?

Sunday morning-ish, Superfino, World Trade Centre, Ghuznee St.
(Would have gone Floriditas, but they take bacon sandwiches off the menu on weekends).

12 February 2008

The Challenge

Late last year we got a small work by Julian Dashper which consists of a series of 5 found metal rings in ascending sizes. It's wonderfully relevant to us right now for a whole for a bunch of reasons, but the most fun is the reaction it elicits from visitors. Generally there's a stunned silence, followed by "You paid how much? For that?" and the inevitable "How can you call that art/I just don't get it" accompanied, usually, with a shaking of the head. As you can imagine, it's an intensely rewarding work for precisely that reason.

In unrelated news, there are currently 10 Constable prints available on Trade Me. Just before Christmas, there were 14. (Just think: 4 lucky people received a faded Constable print under the tree on 25 Dec).
This week's OMC Challenge, if you will, is to trot out the tried and true contemporary art reactions in a generally un-contemporary art situation. For example, my Grandparents have had a Constable print (embroidered from memory) on their wall for at least 30 years now, and not once have I questioned it or asked for an explanation. Time for a trip to Taradale, I think.

11 February 2008

Photos out of airplane windows 4

Heading north to convince someone they need shipping-container sized lightboxes to get their message across (top), and again to test-drive fuel-efficient cars on a cloudy start to a sunny day(bottom). More on the shipping containers later, all going to plan...

08 February 2008

Board room dramas

Of the ten or so surfboards I've owned over the years, the most advanced the graphics ever got was a red stripe around the edge of the board, or in the case of a 1960s mal I have sitting in the rafters of a garage in the provinces, red and black stripes.

I'm starting to think about the next board (probably a custom 6'6" rounded square thruster) and thinking it might be a fun project to commission an artist to create a work on the board.

It would ideally require a painter, as the raw foam surface would be too soft for the application of many media, and I'm picking photography is out, though may have to discuss this with my shaper. While solar panels and video screens would be fun, I'm not sure my lack of surf fitness would overcome the weight penalty. And while there are some nice conceptual parallels to walking on water, function still reigns.

No doubt I'll post progress as it, well, progresses, but suggestions for artists warmly received.

Provincial identity

Hastings has apparently rejected an Auckland (Big Little City) branding company's proposal to adopt 'Salt of the Earth' as it's borough slogan, which raises the question of whether or not New Zealand's small cities and towns actually need a slogan. I'll be able to answer this next month, when I take over the propaganda dept of one such small city, and raise that question at board level.

Of course it would be a real shame to miss out on such gems as Foxton: the Fox Town and the obtuse yet possibly quite brilliant Dunedin: it's all right here, and who would have thought that Hamilton's slogan was City of the Future. Still.

Cue sordid mental picture of mayors and local marketing managers meeting up and calling each other by their brand positioning statements. Dances with Wolves. Evidently a lot more influential that we gave it credit for.

Pic: Unnatural looking Kiwi in Naturally wonderful Rotorua.

Better by design

I'm not normally one to shamelessly plug any one or other product (unless, of course, it looks really good, works really well, and I really really want one), but I came across the following quote and liked the imagery, but also it reminded me of a tiny photograph by Fiona Pardington that I bought from Paul McNamara once, which in turn got me to thinking how similar to the Leica emblem the McNamara Gallery's red square logo is.

"When you take a picture with an SLR, there is a distinctive sound, somewhere between a clatter and a thump; I worship my beat-up Nikon FE, but there is no denying that every snap reminds me of a cow kicking over a milk pail. With a Leica, all you hear is the shutter, which is the quietest on the market. The result — and this may be the most seductive reason for the Leica cult — is that a photograph sounds like a kiss."

Anthony Lane, The New Yorker