One of the earliest depictions of voting in art: Greek chieftains use pebbles as ballots to decide who should win the magical armor of Achilles. This reflects how the ancient Greeks actually voted.
Detail from the reverse side of Wine Cup with the Suicide of Ajax, about 490 B.C., attributed to the Brygos Painter. The J. Paul Getty Museum
“Citizen 941 _0042”
Photo by Ashley Thompson
The images from the “Citizen 941” project are of disenfranchised voters from Sarasota, FL and the surrounding area. The photographer, Ashley Thompson, is also a disenfranchised voter.
In Florida, individuals convicted of a felony are stripped of their civil and voting rights, even after completion of their sentences. Loss of civil rights takes away not only the right to vote, but also the right to hold public office, serve on a jury, and qualify for certain types of state licenses necessary for many jobs, such as those in the construction and medical fields.
This picture shows the gated community in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave his infamous “47% speech.”
It’s a detail from a picture was taken by Magnum Photos member Zoe Strauss, who is traveling through Florida this month with fellow Magnum-ites Alec Soth and Alessandra Sanguinetti. They’re posting some of their work here on Tumblr, at Postcards From America. If you’re not following it, you should! (Here’s another of Strauss’s photos.)
On the occasion of Strauss’s mid-career survey at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, she was the lead guest on Episode No. 10 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast. Strauss’s appearance will make you laugh and cry — and you’ll understand why she and her camera see the things she’s seeing in Florida.
Romney has promised to kill the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which funds PBS and NPR), the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. That would likely put thousands of Americans — maybe tens of thousands — out of work. Why is Mitt Romney running on a platform of killing jobs?
For more on Romney’s record on cultural-sector jobs while governor of Massachusetts, see Modern Art Notes.
The picture on the right shows a racist ‘symbolic political display’ in the Bay Area exurb of Morgan Hill, Calif. It was apparently erected by local resident Blake la Beck, reports KTVU-TV. The display features two watermelons, a noose and a ‘Romney for President’ sign. A nearby object set up to recall a teleprompter included a text panel that said, ‘Go back to Kenya.’
As I’ve noted before during this election season, artist Carrie Mae Weems has anticipated this kind of racism in her work for decades. The image at right is Weems’s Black Man Holding Watermelon from the series “Ain’t Jokin’” (1987-88). (Larger image here.) It’s among the work Weems and I discussed when she was on last week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast. A major retrospective of Weems’s work is now on view at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville.
A Kalashnikov For $89,000, and Sculptures in Search of Nose Jobs.
We’ve often said that many commentators — be they gun buffs, journalists or aid organizations — make a mess of describing Kalashnikov prices. You’ve heard the apocryphal and endlessly repeated stories: an AK for a chicken, an AK for $15, an AK for a sack of grain.
We’ve never seen prices like those, and if they have existed here or there then they were extraordinary and short-lived, and should not be the basis for talking about arms transfers and prices in a serious way. Ignore the echo otherwise. The common price range for a Kalashnikov in a conflict zone runs from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on many factors we will not trouble you with here or now. Today we point in the opposite direction — a price at the other end of the scale.
Now comes perhaps the most expensive AK yet, and documented in London as a public fact: 55,000 British pounds for a rifle dressed in splashed paint.
That’s $89k, USD. And several other AKs sold at a charity auction for prices nearly that high. Talk about knocking around your assumptions.
Damien Hirst’s spin painting on an assault rifle fetched the top price in an auction that raised $675,000 for a peace charity.
Hirst’s “Spin AK-47 for Peace One Day” sold for 55,000 pounds ($89,000) last night in London. It had been estimated at 25,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds in a Phillips de Pury & Co. auction of works donated by contemporary artists to benefit Peace One Day’s Global Truce 2013 campaign.
The project, titled “AKA Peace,” was conceived by photographer Bran Symondson, a former soldier who served in Afghanistan. It followed an exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts showing 24 works by artists such as Antony Gormley, Marc Quinn and Sam Taylor-Wood inspired by the AK-47. The ICA show was curated by Jake Chapman, who, together with his brother Dinos, was among the contributing artists.
“I am not readily associated with a sense of philanthropic optimism,” Chapman said in a statement before the sale. “But after a meeting with (charity organizer) Jeremy Gilley, my pessimism was suspended in favor of supporting this audacious attempt to intervene against human injustice.”
Gormley’s “Silence”, featuring a section of steel with one of the Russia-designed AK-47s, sold for 50,000 pounds.
The Chapman Brothers’ fiber-glass sculptures of assault rifle-toting girls, “Yin” and “Yang,” went for 35,000 pounds and 45,000 pounds.
All 24 of the lots sold, raising a formal total of 417,100 pounds for Global Truce 2013. Phillips didn’t charge fees.
While the auction must be put down as a success (take a bow, Mr. Symondson), it’s hard to know what make of the noses on Yin and Yang, beyond the obvious. Yin and Yang sold for a combined $129,000. We won’t be including them in our files of AK price data, but if you want that kind of thing in your office or your living room, so be it. Taste, like speed, is hard to coach.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS
From Peace One Day. For more about Peace One Day, check out their FB page.
In last night’s debate, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talked a lot about job creation and how he’s good at it. Well, not when it comes to the arts and arts-related industries. On Modern Art Notes, I present the facts about Romney and jobs in the arts. You might be surprised at how many arts jobs there are in Massachusetts — and how bad Gov. Romney was when it came to helping create jobs in the sector.
Image: Carrie Mae Weems, Black Man Holding Watermelon from “Ain’t Jokin’”, 1987-88.
Today would be the 95th birthday of Jacob Lawrence, an artist the New York Times considered “among the most impassioned visual chroniclers of the African-American experience”. This vibrant tempera painting from our collection, 1963’s ‘Taboo’, comes from a period in Lawrence’s career when he turned to civil rights issues, inspired by the struggles for integration in the American South.
Dorothea Lange, Toward Los Angeles, Calif., 1937. Collection of the Library of Congress, Washington.
3rd of May’s artwork for Day One of the Democratic National Convention.
An important, thoughtful look at how and why art happened in the 1980s. (The catalogue is a must-own.)
Painter Lari Pittman is at the heart of the show and was a wonderful guest on Episode No. 21 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast. Download it here, see images from “This Will Have Been” and Pittman’s work here.
#walkerartcenter I want to see this - @martha_kirby- #webstagram
Today’s “Curator’s Pick” from the Senior Curator of CAMH, Valerie Cassel Oliver, is the current exhibition, “This Will Have Been: Art Love & Politics in the 1980’s”.
This traveling exhibition features some of CAMH’s favorite contemporary artists such as: Donald Moffett, Guerrilla Girls, Gerhard Richter, Felix Gonzales Torres, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall.
Episode No. 36 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast featured Barbara Kruger, an artist who dislikes the term ‘feminist artist,’ but whose art has given image to feminist thought for several decades. Kruger’s most recent commission, Belief + Doubt, is now on view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
One of the topics Kruger and I discussed was the genesis and development of Kruger’s interest in works that deal with sociopolitical themes — and male-dominated power structures in particular. Given the outrageous, rape-excusing statements and positions made by GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin and presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, today seemed like a good day to share the Kruger show.
Kruger was the subject of an Ann Goldstein-curated 1999 retrospective at MOCA, an exhibition that traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her installation at — and actually on — the Italian Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale helped her win the Biennale’s lifetime achievement award.
To download the Kruger program directly, click here. To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. You can see images of artworks discussed on the show here.
Image: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989. Collection of The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, Calif.
Sue Coe, Woman Walks into Bar — Is Raped by Four Men on the Pool Table — While 20 Watch, 1983. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Cross-posted from Modern Art Notes: Yesterday Missouri GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said that victims of “legitimate rape” do not get pregnant and that women have a biological defense that prevents them from becoming pregnant if raped. According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 32,000 American women become pregnant each year after being raped. Last year presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan tried to re-define rape to require “force,” whatever that means. Presumably this counts?
You should read what Coe said about this painting here. It’s pretty astonishing.
The art: Barbara Kruger, Plenty, 2010 as installed at the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York (site specific installation). Walls read, “Money makes money and a rich man’s jokes are always funny.” Ceiling reads, “You want it/ You need it/ You buy it/ You forget it.”
The news: “Who’s Very Important,” by Paul Krugman in the New York Times.
The source: Guild Hall via one of my favorite Tumblrs: iTeeth, a must-follow!
The art: Michael Ray Charles, The Target of Opportunity Gameboard, 1995.
The news: “GOP Super PAC Weighs Hard-Line Attack on Obama,” by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg for the New York Times. Some astonishingly racist stuff there.