Expat

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The White Cube


The White Cube - a new era in comedic sequential pictorial narratives taking place in the context of the contemporary art world and/or business.

Check out more of Thomas Marquet’s The White Cube blog here.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Poster Girls - Greenbelt

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A re-work of a 2006 photograph for inclusion in my new book "I'm for the Birds" upon which I am waiting for the proof copy from the printer. More details when I have eyeballed the sucker.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A portrait of Sorts

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Over the past few months I have been working on portraits without a great deal of success, well not anything I would own up too. Although this latest effort doesn't make me want to instantly delete it. It started from a passport mug shot (which are endemic here in the Philippines) of my stepdaughter and after some playing in the digital light room, viola, in all its illustrative glory.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Other Saatchi Showdown

According to Alexa.com, the web traffic measuring site, Saatchi Online has overtaken art.com as the webs most visited art site. Over the past week Saatchi’s ranking was 1989 compared to art.com’s 2366.
Art.com did manage to annoy a lot of its artists, if the negative chatter on art forums is any indication, with their re-structure a few months ago. Saatchi, on the other side of the pond, quietly went about building an impressive traffic base with its Showdown competition and its recently opened Saleroom. And according to www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk front page they had 56,483,120 hits in the 24 hours preceding the writing of this post.
The Showdown competition is in its second incarnation and attracting healthy interest from the 70 thousand artists registered at the site. The Saleroom Online has been open just over a week and has over 16,000 works of art available for sale commission free for both buyers and sellers. According to London’s Financial Times, annualized art sales of $130m have been estimated.
Also according to the FT, Charles Saatchi has no interest in any kind of commercial participation in artists’ sales. Has the man with the reputation of re-invigorating the British art scene now set his sights on the internet art scene?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More LA

What's the go here? A couple of days ago Going LA hit the net scape (see post below) with pictures fom the City of Angels. Now over at BLDG BLOG there is a prose ode to the city.

"No matter what you do in L.A., your behavior is appropriate for the city. Los Angeles has no assumed correct mode of use. You can have fake breasts and drive a Ford Mustang – or you can grow a beard, weigh 300 pounds, and read Christian science fiction novels. Either way, you're fine: that's just how it works. You can watch Cops all day or you can be a porn star or you can be a Caltech physicist. You can listen to Carcass – or you can listen to Pat Robertson. Or both."

I take on faith that both know what they are talking about, New York and Boston I have experienced but for LA I have a total of about 3 hours experience split over 2 occasions. And each time I only got a few steps outside of LAX to puff on a ciggy.

Perhaps next time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Desperate Housewives or Desperate Pinoys?

There has been an outpouring of national indignation of the past few days in blog-o-sphere that has even made it into the op-ed pages of metropolitan dailies. A derogatory slur about the competence of Philippine medical training “… before we go any further, can I check those diplomas because I just wanna make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines,” on the US sitcom Desperate Housewives.

The fuss is similar to that of about a year ago when the indigenous fast food outlet, Jollie Bee, received a serve from an American customer who didn’t like the pink dressing on the burgers. For a few weeks the internet ran hot with indignation. Why are Filipino’s so thin skinned in these situations?

When this latest piece of negativity hit the air waves my 23 year old step son asked “Why are they saying that?” He, like almost all the Filipinos I have met, regards America as the land of milk and honey. Prick a Filipino and out gushes the desire for a Green Card, if I could just get to America all my troubles would be over.

Whereas for the average American the Philippines is barely a blip on the radar. Apart from a cheap tourist destination of exotic tropical beaches and available mocha coloured maidens the Philippines is sorta like Mexico, but far enough away not to worry about. Outside of natural disasters and political coups things Filipino are page 10 at best.

For the writers of Desperate Housewives it was pick a 3rd world country, any 3rd world country, the Philippines, the Maldives, India, whatever. But yes, it does hurt when those you have put on a pedestal flip you the bird even if they are a 3rd rate TV sitcom.

Monday, October 08, 2007

And All the Fun of The Fair

On Thursday the latest art fair opens its flaps. The London art Freeze is off and running for its 4 days in its tent in the park. And the spin masters have been working over time to ensure its success.
To wit from the Times “Five years after they founded Frieze, the directors, Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, have put together a hugely ambitious series of events, performances and talks designed to move Frieze beyond an art fair and turn it into a larger event where art is made and the cultural agenda is set.”
A coloured light set up to make coloured shadows is really cutting edge stuff as is watching a stranger’s toddler’s first steps albeit on a raised dais. Or perhaps a re-enactment of the eleventh minute of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’s minute of silence is where it’s at. Admittedly more than one randomly timed throughout the event with a voice over the PA counting backwards from 60 to ensure you don’t miss it does make it all new, fresh and unthought-of.
Or perhaps it is as the Times says it is the opportunity to rub shoulders with ones betters. “People fly in from Miami and New York, from LA and Chi-cago, from Berlin and Zurich, and now, I see, from Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. Hotels are packed, restaurants booked. You can’t get a limo for love nor money.” “And it’s why a hardened art-fair hater like me will be at the head of the queue on Thursday, making sure I get in before you.”
One can only hope that amongst the side show hoopla and the Celeb spotting there is some actual art to view for those foolish enough to think that is what it is all about.

Monday, October 01, 2007

10 Minutes LOL and a 95 minute yawn.

I finally got round to seeing this 10 year old flick, thanks to HBO. It is a small screen filler for a dull Sunday afternoon, if I had put my money down for a hard top experience I would have been sorely disappointed.
“My Best Friend’s Wedding” is 10 minutes of a set up and high camp sing-a-long of a very funny rendition of Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer” and 95 minutes of Doris Day/Rock Hudson fluff.
Julia Roberts in the lead and Julia Roberts, is Julia Roberts. Cameron Diaz is predictable but does actually do some acting. Dermot Mulroney must be acting, no one can be that much of a jerk in real life, but ultimately forgettable. It’s Rupert Everett’s 10 minutes as the gay boy friend at the wedding rehearsal and dinner that saves this film from utter oblivion.
And those 10 minutes are good, very bloody good and did I say funny?