Alberta Diary: That Portrait of a Certain Lady: a bargain for Albertans at $12,000? Or not?

Is this what Alison Redford’s official portrait is going to look like? Below: Ms. Redford as she might have been seen by Pablo Picasso or Gustav Klimt. We can do better, people! VICTORIA, B.C. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray  While ...

Art Threat: Banksy in NYC: highlights from the first two weeks

New Yorkers have spent the past two weeks tripping over themselves as they attempt to locate new Banksy works as they pop up each morning. The British artist is currently halfway through a month-long residency “on the streets of New York,” and his daily creations, which include video and other creative interventions, have been generating ...

Art Threat: Canadian gov’t approves filming immigration raid, deportation process for reality TV

The Canadian government has approved what appears to be the crass exploitation of human suffering for entertainment.  In a new low, Safety Minister Vic Toews approved the filming of an immigration enforcement raid at an East Vancouver construction site for a reality TV show.  In the raid, workers were arrested and some of them face ...

Art Threat: Art Seen: The Sleepers

Who: Sergio Clavijo What: Les dormeurs / The Sleepers Where: Montreal, Quebec, as part of Art SouTerrain (a literally underground city festival of art) When: Friday, March 1, 2013 Why: The implications of this installation are more than artistic. The Sleepers is a disruption in a process of exhange. To create this piece, Clavijo traded ...

Art Threat: The DNA of a public space: The place, history and activism of a public square – Artists invite Montreals to share 9 day cultural festival

This is an amazing event!  ATSA — the collective nom de plume of artists Annie Roy and Pierre Allard — have announced FIN NOVEMBRE: THE DNA OF A PUBLIC SPACE.  Montrealers are invited to join the artists from Nov 16 – 25 in yet another of their experimental communities at Place Emilie-Gamelin, a gathering of ...

Art Threat: An art exhibition hidden in plain sight

Street artist JR’s pasted eye watches the corner of Berry St and South 5 in Williamsburg, NY. If you happen to be walking around Williamsburg this month, you’ll likely pass right through the inaugural exhibition of New York’s newest art museum without realizing it. The Street Museum of Art has taken the guerrilla tactics of ...

Art Threat: Blasphemous maggot artist erects new illegal billboards

Provocative Polish artist Peter Fuss is back with a new pair of guerrilla billboards. Each monochrome board is wallpapered with 36 depictions of an US one-dollar bill, with the text “reasons are still the same” pasted in loud, bold type across the rightmost panel. Fuss has pushed political buttons with his past work, which includes ...

Art Threat: Blu mural tackles Italy’s Chernobyl

Italian street artist Blu has created a towering critique of the militarization of Sardinia. His latest mural depicts the devastating impact that industrialization and military bases have had on the Mediterranean island. In the south-east near Salto di Quirra, a rocket launching site run by the Italian Air Force, electromagnetic pollution, hazardous waste and depleted ...

Art Threat: Brandalism – Taking back public space for public debate

Twenty-four artists, 37 spots, 5 cities, 8 months. While millions of eyes look to London this week, these small numbers come together for a big purpose. Brandalism, a ‘crew’ and project that takes inspiration from Sean Tejaratchi and Bansky, has been re-appropriating ad space (billboards in particular) to creatively interpret big brands. “There are over 100,000 large ...

Art Threat: Banksy the Olympian

Bansky posted a couple new pieces to his site that comment on the Olympics. It also gives me a great excuse to share my favourite quote of his with you: “The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow ...

Art Threat: Representing Eisenhower – The ongoing dialogue around the design of the Eisenhower Memorial

I caught wind of a different kind of political art and politics of art this past weekend while reading the latest issue of Vanity Fair. As anyone who’s done any kind of planning in teams can imagine, building a monument can be a mighty task. As it turns out, the recent efforts to create a ...

Art Threat: Walking as art to avoid global catastrophe – Review: The Robinson Institute by Patrick Keiller at Tate Britain

Portrait of Patrick Keiller. (Photo: Samuel Drake) It is not always the case that definitive moments in art history can be precisely located. Certainly not the first act of artistic creation, that “strange beginning” of Gombrich’s Story of Art — a 35,000 year-old mammoth ivory carving, perhaps? The American architectural theorist, Charles Jencks, controversially proclaimed ...

Art Threat: 7th Berlin Binennale highlights political art – Curator Artus Zmijewski creates exhibition of activist art

When you go to the website for Berlin’s 7th Binennale, you encounter a stream of changing photographs from occupy and protest movements from around the world — Venezia, Toronto, Florence, Malacky, Athens and on and on. It is emblematic of curator Artur Zmijewski’s approach the largest art exhibition in Germany, which opened on April 27. ...

Art Threat: Art for social justice: 12 remarkable women – Roots to Resistance project shares stories of courage

Natalia Estemirova Twelve women. Twelve stories of political courage. Twelve portraits. The Roots to Resistance project is spreading word about the groundbreaking work of twelve women who have dedicated their lives to fighting for social justice. Artist Denise Beaudet is creating portraits of 12 remarkable activists. Postcards of these images and small posters are available ...

Art Threat: Storytelling in post-Mubarak Egypt – Al Jazeera short-doc on performance artist Abeer Soliman

Al Jazeera’s Artscape presents a wonderful short documentary on Abeer Soliman, an Egyptian storyteller and performance artist whose work changed after the uprising.

Art Threat: Managing Public Art – An interview with the Bryan Newson of Vancouver’s Public Art Program

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas ‘Abundance Fenced’ Bryan Newson is the Manager of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program. He and his staff have been responsible for bringing you everything from Ken Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver to Rodney Graham’s Aerodynamic Forms in Space, and hundreds more. I met with Bryan a few weeks ago to ...

Art Threat: Ai Wei Wei installs live webcams in home – Artists winks at Chinese authorities with a Big Brother flourish

Artist Ai Wei Wei has installed live webcams in his home so that authorities – and worried supporters – can keep track of his day-to-day whereabouts and welfare. Feeling hemmed in by increasingly invasive state surveillance – being followed day-to-day, round-the-clock surveillance on his home, searches of his studio, phone taps, opening his mail — ...

Art Threat: News Remix: Mar 23 – April1, 2012 – A bricolage of (some of) last weeks news stories

Nairobi graffiti by artists Uhuru B, Swift, Smokilah and Bankslave Kenyan graffiti artists are painting the walls of Nairobi with reminders of government corruption. Executions are up in the Middle East – in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Yemen – as governments there continue their efforts to quell political turmoil. Malaysia is introducing a minimum ...

Art Threat: Le 22, on ferme! – Artist-run centres across Québec support the student movement

Over the last month and a half, students across Québec have been mobilising against the dramatic tuition hikes being imposed by the Charest government and education minister Line Beauchamp. Emerging out of the 2005 student movement that successfully (if controversially) challenged the Liberal government’s proposed cuts to the loans and bursaries program, an estimated 270,000 students ...

Art Threat: Big Bang Big Boom: Animated graffiti – An endlessly fascinating warning against the temptation of war

BIG BANG BIG BOOM – the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo. For those who haven’t seen it, Big Bang Big Boom (2010) is yet another fabulous animated graffiti parable from the blublu art collective. Their work is endlessly fascinating — animated creatures sliding seamlessly from walls, through sand, along pipes and ...

Art Threat: Artists invited to join Occupy Arts Committee – 3rd gathering in Montreal set for March 17

Bryant Park, Manhattan. Photo by Eric Walton Montreal artists are invited to join the growing collaboration of the Occupy Arts Committee, a gathering of artists from all disciplines who want to support Occupy Montreal with creative practice. According to organizers, this meeting will be a creation workshop to start imagining, painting & drawing … Artists ...

Art Threat: Occupy Museums challenges Armory Show – Artists invited to join free art exchange at Piers 92 / 94 in NYC

New York’s prestigious Armory Show opens on March 8th at Piers 92 & 94 in New York. The Armory Show was created in 1913 amid the challenges and excitement of early 20th century avant-garde art and artists intent on denouncing the status quo. Today, the Armory Show is the status quo — art for the ...

Art Threat: Crowd sourcing a little curatorial control – National Gallery of Canada invites young artists to submit art & public to judge

"Beat Nation" at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver Calling young (aged 16-19) Canadian political artists. Here’s a chance to get your work noticed, publicized and into the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). The NGC has announced its second annual So You Want to Be an Artist contest. It’s a cheezey title, but an opportunity for young artists ...

Art Threat: Call for artists in support of ‘Occupy’ movement – Online, international platform for performances, installations, actions in real time

Project Lowlives is seeking artists for a global online live presentation of artistic work in support the Occupy movement. Lowlives: Occupy! will take place on March 3, 2012. From the website: The Occupy protests, and the myriad of perspectives and experiences related to this unique moment, will be amplified, explored, and experimented with, through Low ...

Art Threat: 23 political art stories from 2011

Washed Up by Alejandro Durán The New Year is officially upon us, but we want to take one last opportunity to look in the rear view mirror. Here are 23 of our favourite stories and projects that took place in the world of political art in 2011. Do you have any personal picks that we ...