One hundred and seventy-six elegant woodblock prints by Japanese nineteenth century artist Katsushika Hokusai are on display in Melbourne at the NGV. It’s a huge exhibition and a popular one. What is it about these images, from a culture aeons from mine in sensibility and almost two centuries in time that are so riveting? And why do they remind me of Turner, Freidrich and Cozens – those Northern European painters for whom landscape was a metaphor of transcendence? What could a Japanese printmaker have in common with a Romantic painterly sensibility? [Read more…] about The Humility of Hokusai
Can you find quality artwork online?
If you like art, the internet is a great resource. It has become much easier to see very high quality images of artworks without leaving home. This is a boon to all of us art lovers – exhibitions that are held overseas or in distant places suddenly become (in a lesser version) available.
Of course the experience of an artwork online can only ever be an attenuated version of the real thing. The actual bodily experience of a work is about the presence of an object not an image. But as the market has discovered, we are limited in time and space and still want to experience art. The online world is working hard to meet this desire.
Can you find quality artwork online and is it a safe place to purchase art? I am often asked this question, and the answer is yes, with caution. It will be no surprise to you that profiteers producing large volumes of formulaic works for quick return will take advantage of sites that connect them to buyers. Added to this, the online market is geared towards turnover, not quality. Sites are emerging based on the models of real estate and car sales. But with the right navigational tools, you can also connect with top quality art and artists and see work almost in the process of emerging from the studios. This opportunity to connect with the makers is unprecedented and one of the best things about the online space.
I have researched the players, the motives and the market and put together a guide to take you on your art journey online. I don’t sell my work online, but I am passionate about artists and their audiences connecting. I have written this ebook to help people find genuine artists and high quality artwork. It’s a mad world out there – click on with caution!
Alexandra Sasse is a painter and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She has a Masters in Fine Art from Monash University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Visual art from the Victorian College of the Arts, but she can still speak English. She does not sell art online.
Seeing the world as more than a backdrop or stage-set for unfolding narratives is the basic premise of landscape painting. It requires sensation rather than symbol to be the dominant motive. This is at odds with the corrosive didacticism of much academic art which looks for the obvious moral in every artwork. The recently set up Hadley’s Art Prize – a $100,000 prize for an Australian landscape painting, is a case in point. It has been called a landscape prize when what they really require is history painting, and a certain kind of history at that.
Hobart hotel owner Don Neil has launched one of Australia’s richest art prizes, with an annual $100,000 award for landscapes…. and this year invites artists to address the theme “history and place”.
Artist and curator Julie Gough, who is one of the judges, says the award encourages artists to think beyond European concepts of landscape as depictions of sublime nature. “History is about story, and the entrants have to consider that as much as things such as vegetation and landforms,” says Gough. “It will be interesting to see how people push that theme.”
The Australian 27th Jan 2017
And here is Ben Quilty, judging the 2017 Glover Prize for Australian landscape painting and commenting: [Read more…] about Is Landscape Painting History?
There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. Oscar Wilde
Films about backing one’s dreams appeal to us all. This one comes with a disclaimer in the title: La La Land is where dreams become reality; it’s not the real world. For most of us, there is compromise and complication, along with a large dose of the basic machinery of life. But even in La La Land, (is it a play on Los Angeles/LA?) success is not without cost.
The opening scene – a traffic jam in LA transformed into an exuberant dance sequence involving hundreds of people and cars – sets the mood. In this film, writer and director Damien Chazelle has managed to simultaneosly sustain optimism and probe doubt, intermingling a love story with two creative journeys. [Read more…] about Why You Will Love ‘La La Land’
Are you confused about Art? Do you know what you like or where to find it? Is the work any good or is someone just trying to sell you something? And how are you expected to decipher those dense wall texts? Even Google translate is stumped.
There are some simple guidelines to unlocking these mysteries and they can make a big difference to finding and enjoying art. [Read more…] about Confused about Art?
Berger’s ground breaking Ways of Seeing was a cultural tour de force. It remains highly relevant today. But I have never been able to agree with most of what he said.
Growing up in an outer Melbourne suburb, I was blissfully unaware of Berger whose book was published when I was about 11. What I was aware of was the painful ugliness of miles of new suburban housing and the almost visceral reaction I had to the destruction of bush, re-routing of creeks and bulldozing of apple orchards in our neighbourhood. This left me with a life-long appreciation of beauty, and a consequent resistance to any philosophy that told me I couldn’t have it, or it didn’t exist. I had seen it, and I had seen it destroyed.
So Berger and I were never going to get along, as for him, concepts like beauty are merely conditioned responses, built into us through culture by the powerful for the purpose of control. [Read more…] about Why I could never agree with John Berger