Friday, June 29, 2007

Makati Ave Bridge

Another from the Pasig river ferry trip which depicts the bridge that connects Makati City with Mandaluyong.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

reviews on art and artists on the Web

D L Kuer is an artist with strong opinions about art who isn’t afraid to express them and she has a blog where does just that. Naked Genius - reviewing art by online artists.

She does this, “Because,” as she says, “there is a lot of good art out there that never gets noticed. And there is a lot of bad art out there that receives LOTS of notice. What I do is give you my opinion, and only my opinion. I’m not going to argue, fence words, or debate technique. I’m not going to come off as some high-end art expert, because I’m not. I’m an artist. I’m also someone who invests in art. (That means I pay money for it, collecting it.) I know what I like, and I am certainly not ashamed to say it, no matter how PC or un-PC is the art and artist.”

For a fresh perspective on some of the artwork on the web Naked Genius is well worth a visit. That she has reviewed my work has nothing to do with it Ü.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Skyline with Reflection

Took a ferry ride on the Pasig River which flows through Metro Manila and this is one of the scenes that presented itself.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Scary Stuff

The self appointed arbiters of public taste are on notice after a recent decision by the High Court of Australia.

Sydney Morning Herald restaurant critic, Matthew Evans, bagged the up market Sydney restaurant Coco Roco five years ago saying they served unpalatable food. Three months later the restaurant went belly up. The owners sued saying the review played a crucial role in the Coco Roco demise. The restaurant lost, appealed to the High Court who decided that they indeed had been defamed. And have sent the case back to the lower court so the SMH could put up a defense and court can decide on damages to be awarded.

The High Court’s Justice Margaret Beazley said ‘The food served in any restaurant is its essential business. If the food is “unpalatable” the restaurant fails on the very matter that is the essence of its existence...because of that [it] is defamatory. In my opinion, no reasonable jury properly directed could reach any other verdict.’

The quality of the food served by the restaurant seems to have very little influence on the decision. That a person said it was unpalatable in a public place is the crime. That the subject of the litigation is ephemeral and its appreciation subjective is of little regard to the good judge.

Currently, art shares this lack of rigour and remains a subjective discipline where a piece of work is an artwork if its maker says it is so. Others, more often than not with an alternative agenda, then determine its status. Those who would keep the bastards honest have had the ribbon pulled from their typewriter by this decision.

Does this mean the future of the public discussion of art will be reduced to Press Releases?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Snaps

Chris Rywalt over at the NYC Art blog is not a great fan of photography. His gripe is “And ultimately that's what keeps it [photography] from being art, in my opinion: It's not a communication from deep inside a human being, it's a document of a moment in the physical world. Staged or not. And, at bottom, I'm interested in people, not in images of people.”

As I tripped around the net over the past week I kept tripping over the pre-publicity for a new american portrait at the jan beckman gallery. This lady sure knows how to push an idea, in fact it would seem the criteria for inclusion in this group exhibition is how well you can help with the promotion. On the gallery web site you can see the 18 pieces selected for the exhibition and they support the Rywalt proposition with a capital ‘S’.

The exhibition is co-curatored by Joerg Colberg of the Conscientious blog fame which is a temple for the banal. Between them these two sure have made it hard to argue that photography is an art form.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Greenbelt Entrance at Night

Like moths to a flame the lights, the sights and the smells of the fine dining and entertainment through these doors attracts those in Manila, with a few thousand pesos to spare and intent on a good time.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Do you sell art online?

For those readers who sell their art online you could do a lot worse than check out the Online Visual Artist's Forum. The members of this forum discuss the various ways an artist can sell their work online, the good, the bad and the ugly without fear or favour. Membership is free, so adding your two bob's worth is pretty painless except for the time you will spend there.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Is It Art?

The New York Gallerist, Edward Winkleman (which has to be one of the best names a gallery owner could ever hope to aspire too) had a piece on his blog What's an Artist? Take 459 which has attracted over 70 comments which mostly seem to be splitting hairs.

It all tends to wind its way round the concept purported to the afore mention gallerist “A person is an artist if they say they are”. A concept that supports my claim to be a brain surgeon, although I would strongly suggest to anyone who saw me scalpel in hand to head in the opposite direction at speed.

Fortunately my claim to Brain surgery is rubbish because brain surgery is quantifiable but it seems, especially from the above blog comments, that art is not. A search of the web tends to suggest that such is the case. Even the venerable Wikipedia says art is subjective which really is just a restating of the old adage “I nothing about art, but I know what I like” and basically a cop out.

A little further investigation came up with a paper by Kenneth M. Lansing a Distinguished Fellow of National Art Education Association, who defined it as “Visual art is the skillful presentation of concepts and/or emotions (ideas and feelings) in a form that is structurally (compositionally) satisfying and coherent.” A not too shabby definition to my mind and armed with such the identification of art practitioners becomes possible.

For to be without such a definition all paintings, photographs, sculptures at al become works of art with the eye of the beholder determining if they are good or bad art. If such a beholder is a gallerist the good art is that which they think they can sell, ie those works which are the current flavour of the month. And when art becomes a fashion statement, God help us all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Last Look


The Manila skyline as seen from the Departure Lounge concourse at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

This image along with several others is part of the latest gallery of work to be added at Entitled "skylines" it explores the various ways the built horizon interacts with the heavens above.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rizal Monument


Jose P Rizal, Doctor, poet, novelist, martyr and national hero. References abound to him in the Philippines with parks, monuments and numerous streets, avenues and roads bearing his name. This particular monument is in his self named JP Rizal Park which incorporates the site of his execution situated between the old Spanish walled city of Intramurous and the red light district of Ermita.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Weekend in the Country

First Light - Batangas
Spent the last couple of days in the Batangas Province, lazing on the beach soaking up the sun and eating far too much. This is the sight that greeted us on Sunday morning.