Category Archives: Art

Value Your Art

Part 1 > Looking at the Art It self
  • Research the artist’s output. How many works of art did the artist complete? The output of the artist in general greatly affects price. Prolific artists’ pieces of work tend to be less valuable than those of artists who simply produced less, all things being equal.
  • Find out if there are duplicates. Is the work one-of-a-kind? Because of supply and demand, works that are singular are worth more than replicated works. For this reason, a paintings is usually worth more than a print or a lithograph — there are simply fewer of them out on the market.
  • Pinpoint when in the artist’s career the work was completed. Was the work completed early on or toward the twilight of their career? Interestingly enough, works of art completed early in artists’ careers are usually valued higher than those completed later on.
  • Ask yourself if the work epitomizes the artist’s style. Works of art that epitomize an artist’s aesthetic are usually appraised higher than works of art that are tangential or not representative of the artist’s oeuvre.
  • Investigate whether the artist is well-known or has a reputation. Artists generally fall into three categories of renown: well-known, up-and-coming, and unknown. Artists who are well-known and have a rich history of collection can almost always command more value more than artists who are unknown.
  • Know that size matters. Generally, bigger works of art are appraised higher than smaller ones, usually because of the degree of difficulty involved.
  • Find out if the piece of art has ever been owned by someone renowned. Barring the artist themselves, works of art that were formerly owned by someone famous or well-known can command much higher prices than those pieces who don’t ha or condition issues. An item that is ripped, water-damaged, discolored, or otherwise damaged can return significantly less than an item that is in perfect shape. Note that an item that isn’t technically damaged but isn’t as vibrant as it was when first completed will qualify as having a “condition issue.”
Part 2 >Taking the Market’s Pulse
  • Investigate market demand. In short, how many people want to buy the piece of art? Art is sold in a market. This means that the value of items offered in the market fluctuates depending on how much buyers want the piece, as well as how much they are willing to pay. Ask yourself if the market is in a peak, where demand is usually high, or a trough, where demand is depressed.
  • Look at liquidity. Liquidity, also called marketability, is the reliability with which an asset or security can be sold without affecting its asking price. In the art world, high liquidity means that it’s relatively easy to sell an item quickly and thus convert its value into cash. Low liquidity means that it’s harder to do this, creating a barrier to converting an asset into cash.
  • Look at market trends. Related to demand, pricing trends are usually the result of changes in people’s perceptions of art or changes in their material circumstances.
  • Place the art in a primary or secondary market.  The primary market is what the work of art is valued at when it is first sold. The secondary market is what the work of art is valued at after it has been sold at least once. The secondary market value has a direct relation to what the item was sold for in the primary market

Arts and Entertainment

How to Become a Famous Artist

Your dream of becoming a famous artist may not be as far-fetched as it might seem: child prodigy Sir John Everett Millais was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, and won a silver medal at the Society of Arts at age nine. Also, Pablo Picasso, co-founder of the Cubist movement, was regarded as a boy genius. Even today, young artists such as Akiane Kramarik are heralded as prodigies. If you have what it takes, your name may be destined to be remembered throughout the ages.

Practice. Being called by the muse is a wonderful thing, without a doubt, but without the technical abilities to realize your vision, you won’t get very far. Whatever your chosen medium or media, become an expert in every part of it.

  • Set aside an hour or more each day to devote to nothing but practicing your technique.
  • Focus especially on those areas that are the weakest for you, but build your strengths as well.
  • Take advantage of the communities and resources that you can find. Artist supply manufacturers, and art stores themselves, often have free literature, tutorials, videos, and websites that are loaded with tips, techniques, and more.
  • Some stores even offer weekend training seminars, where you can not only pick up some new skills, you’ll also meet other artists.

Work on the things you love. Choose one subject that is meaningful to you and that you want to be able to draw well.

  • Start with a still life, or a photo that’s yours, in public domain, or that you have permission to use. Draw or paint that same photo over and over, using different approaches—paint, pencil, abstract, realism—whatever moves you.
  • Build up from easy subjects, like a rubber ball or a rectangular block, to more complicated, difficult subject, like a rose, a clear glass marble or a shiny metal bowl. And try to get the details right: the curves of a petal, the clarity of the glass, or reflections so good that Escher would be impressed! Each of them will improve your ability to draw in general.
  • Practice timed gesture drawing. Pick your subject, set your timer for two or three minutes, start drawing, then stop when the timer goes off, even if the drawing isn’t finished.
  • Set the timer again and start over. Doing 10 three minute drawings will give you more skill than taking half an hour to draw the same thing in detail.

Vary the art tools you use. Start off with a pencil, then go to charcoal, colored pencils, pastels, paint, whatever interests you. Never fear trying new tools or techniques.

  • When trying an expensive new medium, visit Dick Blick or Jerry’s Artarama and email them for samples. Many types of art suppliers make sample sized products or the company will send out just one stick or a small piece of the expensive paper or canvas for you to test before deciding what to buy.
  • This gives you a chance to try it first and see if you like it. Try more than one brand—the samples are usually not the same color and you can find out which brand to invest in by those trials.

Get critiqued by family and friends. Make it clear you want a real opinion, not just a biased, “I love you so everything you do is wonderful” opinion. If they think it’s good, then you’re on the right track! If they don’t, you’re still on the right track: if several people think your technique is great, but your subject matter leaves something to be desired, that’s an opportunity for self-reflection and to learn something.

  • Don’t confuse critique with personal criticism, especially if the critic is somebody who is not interested in seeing you become an artist.

Look outside your circle for opinions. Look for critique from people who draw better than you do. Make friends online with real artists whose work you admire. Compliment them and ask intelligent questions about their techniques. You’ll rapidly find that many artists enjoy teaching beginners and will be happy to share what they’ve learned.

  • As you learn more, reach out to those who are just starting. You will learn more every time you explain and demonstrate what you already know. It’s very common for teachers to learn from their students!

Learn to accept compliments gracefully. When friends and family members love everything you draw and think it’s wonderful, or your mum was putting your childhood scribblings up on the fridge from the time you were two (and believes you’ll be Picasso someday), relax and enjoy that as support.

  • The better you get at art, the easier it is for people to compliment you and call you talented.
  • Compliments can sometimes be critiques, and those are very valuable! Should an artist whose work you admire give you a compliment such as, “I love the colors in this,” this means they are not only nice enough to compliment you on your work, but have taken the time to understand and appreciate the choices you made.

Develop a strong personal style. Do this by learning to paint and draw your favorite subjects in all the ways that every painter you like best has done them. The more you learn technique and understand your own passions, the more your own style will emerge.

  • Having a personal style is a combination of learning to draw and paint well in your favorite mediums while consistently paying the most attention to your favorite subjects.
  • You will become a specialist, a “brand of one” at a certain intermediate level of competence. Mastering a subject and a medium comes later, at the point when you could do it easily without thinking at all about how you do it, yet always have consistent results.

Difference Between Art and Design

The subject of what separates art and design is convoluted and has been debated for a long time. Artists and designers both create visual compositions using a shared knowledge base, but their reasons for doing so are entirely different. Some designers consider themselves artists, but few artists consider themselves designers. So what exactly is the difference between art and design? In this post, we’ll examine and compare some of the core principles of each craft. This is a subject that people have strong opinions about, and I’m looking forward to reading the various points of view in the comments.

This post isn’t a definitive guide, but rather the starting point for a conversation, so let’s be open-minded! Perhaps the most fundamental difference between art and design that we can all agree on is their purposes. Typically, the process of creating a work of art starts with nothing, a blank canvas. A work of art stems from a view or opinion or feeling that the artist holds within him or herself. They create the art to share that feeling with others, to allow the viewers to relate to it, learn from it or be inspired by it. The most renowned (and successful) works of art today are those that establish the strongest emotional bond between the artist and their audience.

By contrast, when a designer sets out to create a new piece, they almost always have a fixed starting point, whether a message, an image, an idea or an action. The designer’s job isn’t to invent something new, but to communicate something that already exists, for a purpose. That purpose is almost always to motivate the audience to do something: buy a product, use a service, visit a location, learn certain information. The most successful designs are those that most effectively communicate their message and motivate their consumers to carry out a task. Another difference between art and design is how the messages of each are interpreted by their respective audiences. Although an artist sets out to convey a viewpoint or emotion, that is not to say that the viewpoint or emotion has a single meaning.

Art connects with people in different ways, because it’s interpreted differently.

Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has been interpreted and discussed for many years. Just why is she smiling? Scientists say it’s an illusion created by your peripheral vision. Romantics say she is in love. Skeptics say there is no reason. None of them are wrong. Design is the very opposite. Many will say that if a design can be “interpreted” at all, it has failed in its purpose.

The fundamental purpose of design is to communicate a message and motivate the viewer to do something. If your design communicates a message other than the one you intended, and your viewer goes and does something based on that other message, then it has not met its requirement. With a good piece of design, the designer’s exact message is understood by the viewer.

Art Economics

Economics of the arts and literature or cultural economics (used below for convenience) is a branch of economics that studies the economics of creation, distribution, and the consumption of works of art, literature and similar creative and/or cultural products. For a long time, the concept of the “arts” were confined to visual arts (e.g., painting) and performing arts (music, theatre, dance) in the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Usage has widened since the beginning of the 1980s with the study of cultural industry (cinema, television programs, book and periodical publishing and music publishing) and the economy of cultural institutions (museums, libraries, historic buildings). The field is coded as JEL: Z11 in the Journal of Economic Literature classification system used for article searches.

Cultural economics is concerned with the arts in a broad sense. The goods considered have creative content, but that is not enough to qualify as a cultural good. Designer goods such as clothes and drapes are not considered usually to be works of art or culture. Cultural goods are those with a value determined by symbolic content rather than physical characteristics. (For further considerations, see also Cultural Institutions Studies). Economic thinking has been applied in ever more areas in the last decennia, including pollution, corruption and education.

Works of art and culture have a specific quality, which is their uniqueness. While other economic goods, such as crude oil or wheat are generic, interchangeable commodities (given a specific grade of the product), there is only one example of a famous painting such as the Mona Lisa, and only one example of Rodin’s well-known sculpture “The Thinker”. While copies or reproductions can be made of these works of art, and while many inexpensive posters of the Mona Lisa and small factory-made replicas of “The Thinker” are sold, neither full-size copies nor inexpensive reproductions are viewed as substitutes for the real artworks, in the way that a consumer views a pound of Grade A sugar from Cuba as a fully equivalent substitute for a pound of Grade A sugar from United States or Dominican Republic. As there is no equivalent item or substitute for these famous works of art, classical economist Adam Smith held it was impossible to value them. Alfred Marshall noted that the demand for a certain kind of cultural good can depend on its consumption: The more you have listened to a particular kind of music, the more you appreciate. In his economic framework, these goods do not have the usual decreasing marginal utility.

Key academic works in cultural economics include those of Baumol and Bowen (Performing Arts, The Economic Dilemma, 1966), of Gary Becker on addictive goods, and of Alan Peacock (public choice). This summary has been divided into sections on the economic study of the performing arts, on the market of individual pieces of art, the art market in cultural industries, the economics of cultural heritage and the labour market in the art sector.

Powerful Works of Public Art in the World

The history of powerful public iconography is long—and fraught. Here are eight works across the world that startled audiences and began other important political discussions.

Banksy’s Flying Balloons Girl

Roll your eyes if you will at the still-anonymous artist’s provocations—they do grab attention. An early, powerful work of Banksy’s, Flying Balloons Girl, uses the trope of the innocuous young girl, much as the bronze Wall Street sculpture does. The stenciled work of a young girl such as you might see in an old time-y children’s book appeared in 2005. She’s holding tight to a bunch of balloons as they begin to carry her afloat. But in Flying Balloons she’s spray-painted onto the wall in the West Bank that separates the Palestinian Territories and Israel.

Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich—better known as Pussy Riot—were arrested in 2012 after disrupting a church service in Moscow. The impromptu performance of the band’s song “Punk Prayer,” in which they shout “Mother Mary, please drive Putin away,” protests the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for Russia’s president, whom the trio see as an imperialist autocrat. The feminist band was sentenced to two years in prison on the charge of “hooliganism” because they offended churchgoers and “had intended to insult the Russian Orthodox Church and undermine public order.”

Olafur Eliasson’s Ice Watch

Sometimes a simple demonstration works best. Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson teamed up with a geologist named Minick Rosing in 2015 to import from southern Greenland 12 icebergs, which he arranged like the 12 digits on a clock. During the Paris Climate Conference he installed them in Paris’s Place du Pantheon, so onlookers could watch them melt, in his site-specific work Ice Watch. The 12 blocks took 12 days to disintegrate—the length of the conference. The ten-ton pieces of ice traveled via shipping container to Denmark and then ten hours by truck to reach the City of Light, according to a report in The New Yorker at the time.

Ai Weiwei’s Berlin project

Early last year dissident artist Ai Weiwei made waves in an unnamed follow-up installation drawing attention to the refugee crisis in Europe. (It may have been damage control after his previous work on the subject, a photograph where he substituted himself for the image of the drowned Syrian three-year-old without much embellishment, fell very flat.) Last month, Wei, whose family was taken to a Chinese labor camp when he was only a year old, strung up about 14,000 bright orange life jackets used by refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East and seeking refuge in Europe along the columns of a well-trafficked Berlin concert hall. While it might seem like a misplaced effort—Germany takes in more refugees than any other country in Europe—the piece was mounted to coincide with the Berlinale, a massive film festival that attracts Hollywood power brokers, celebrities, and the press.

The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi

The rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is generally a place of respite, where simple sculptures are installed in the summer and visitors can gaze out at the city after a long day wandering through the institution’s massive collections. But in the summer of 2013, artist Imran Qureshi, who hails from Lahore, Pakistan, transformed that space into an explicit war zone in his installation work And How Many Rains Must Fall Before the Stains Are Washed Clean. Painted all in blood red, flowers and intricate patterns emerge from what looks on its face like the scene after a bombing. Qureshi explained that the grand metaphor in the piece is that violence can obscure but not extinguish life.

How to Make a Mind Map

Sometimes coming up with ideas for an Art project takes place within the classroom – an interactive discussion between students and teachers; on other occasions students formally document ideas within their sketchbooks. Humans have a tendency to think in a multi-dimensional way – that is, with lots of things occurring simultaneously, triggering further ideas. Rather than attempting to record thoughts in a sequential, linear fashion (i.e. writing these down in lists or paragraphs), students can find it helpful to collect, record and organise ideas graphically, using visual diagram such as a mind map. If this brainstorm is submitted as part of assessment material, it is essential that this is presented well.

Guidelines for Art Students

When brainstorming ideas for a high school Art project, remember that:

  • Single words are unlikely to express an idea adequately. As you think though possibilities, it is likely that you will want to jot down whole phrases and brainstorm possible ways of beginning or approaching a subject. Intentions and possibilities should be clear to someone else who reads the mind map at a later date
  • Images should be sourced first-hand (i.e. drawn or photographed yourself) or clearly referenced, and should be integrated within the mind map in a visually pleasing way
  • The appearance of the mind map is crucially important. This is likely to be one of the first things an examiner sees when opening your sketchbook – first impressions count

Creative mind maps and visual brainstorming

Please note that although some of these presentation methods are more complex and time consuming than others, this not does mean they are better. Sometimes a quick, expressive splurge of ideas upon paper is all that is needed.

  • Take a beautiful photograph to place in the centre
  • Use painted areas to contain text
  • Draw lots of small pictures to illustrate ideas visually
  • Overlay words digitally around a central image
  • Integrate a mind map with an ‘incomplete’ image that extends across the page
  • Collage torn images, textures and surfaces together
  • Create mind maps from flowing painterly forms
  • Draw over an abstract watercolour ground
  • Create a simple mind map using text, with circles and dots for emphasis
  • Record a stream of consciousness using handwriting and images
  • Brainstorm ideas using chalk on a blackboard and photograph it
  • Make a mind map on small pieces of paper and cardboard
  • Attach images and notes to a pinboard
  • Hand write ideas over a photograph
  • Create a mind map online
  • Make a textural collage of ideas
  • Produce a sprawling hand-drawn mind map
  • Use illustrations and colours to communicate and emphasise ideas
  • Organise ideas visually in a grid formation
  • Combine a mood board with a brainstorm
  • Used multiple coloured pens

Important Steps You Can Take to Ace High School Art

People often think that high-achieving Art or Design students are blessed with a gift: bestowed with a creative talent since birth. You might be surprised to learn that those who excel in high school Art often excel in a wide range of other subjects too – that it is not so much a creative gift that they possess, but rather a practical understanding of howto succeed. Every day thousands of skilful Art students underachieve, while others slowly and steadily inch their achievement levels higher and higher.

1. Dream of success

Most people spend their days fretting about the past or worrying about the future. They carry around an inner critic that belittles their skill, intellect, appearance, decisions, actions and worth as a person. The human capacity for anticipating the future based on the events of the past has resulted in us dominating the planet; it is also the leading of cause of misery. If you are depressed, worried or anxious, read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (Amazon affiliate link). He will remind you that what has already happened has gone and will only ever exist as a memory experienced in your mind now. Similarly, the future is an imaginary concept that can only be considered in this moment: now.

2. Get enough sleep

80% of the teenage population is estimated to be suffering from a lack of sleep according to a 2006 poll by the American National Sleep Foundation. Even worse, we don’t know it. As sleep deprivation increases, the body adjusts in order to cope and we don’t register the feeling of tiredness – especially if we try to stimulate alertness with caffeine, junk food, artificial lights or digital screens. Average sleep hours are estimated to have decreased by two hours per night over the last fifty years; primarily the direct result of electronic devices disrupting our circadian rhythm – the natural cycles that prompt us to wake and sleep.

3. Eat well (and stop dieting)

Like the rest of the world, teenagers are image and health conscious. This often leads to restrictive dieting, excessive hunger and other ongoing eating issues such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder (conditions estimated to be rampant in modern society). Dieting has – at best – a 98% failure rate. Restricting calories mutes your brainpower, makes you tired, erodes willpower, ruins your mood and is the leading cause of eating disorders. Eat like a normal person: satisfy your appetite with a combination of nourishing food and easily absorbed energy. Never, ever starve yourself.

4. Stop poisoning yourself with addictive substances

You might be surprised how many teenagers compromise their high school performance as a direct result of taking drugs or engaging in other harmful behaviours. Many countries have a crazy youth culture that involves experimenting with alcohol and other addictive substances (those which – by their very definition – offer the fleeting illusion of pleasure in exchange for long term pain). These cause the deterioration of physical health and a depression of your mental state. Very often this is compounded by foggy memories, social embarrassment, regret and a lack of sleep.

5. Get some sunshine

Sunshine exposure triggers the development of vitamin D in your skin; helps with bone strength and resistance against diseases. It has been linked to higher levels of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that promotes a good mood and regulates appetite, sleep and memory. Humans are not designed to be trapped inside, under artificial lights, for hours on end. Kick a ball outside. Lie in the sunshine for 10 minutes and see how this changes your mood, your outlook and your approac

How to Create an excellent Observational Drawing

Observational drawing is an integral component of many high school Art courses, including GCSE/IGCSE and A Level Art. Often, drawing is the core method of researching, investigating, developing and communicating ideas. While it is accepted that there are many wondrous types of drawings – and that non-representational drawing methods have an important role in student Art projects – it is usually advantageous to demonstrate competent, realistic observational drawing skills to the examiner (particularly in the early stage of a project).

Tip 1: Look at what you are drawing

Failing to look at what you are drawing is one of the most fundamental errors an Art student can make. This sounds obvious, but it is the most common error made by art students. Many students attempt to draw things the way that they think they should look, rather than the way they actually do look. The only way to record shape, proportion and detail accurately is to look at the source of information. Human memory does not suffice. Forms, shadows and details are hard enough to replicate when they are right there in front of you; if you have to make them up, they appear even less convincing. In order to produce an outstanding observational drawing, you must observe: your eyes must continually dance from the piece of paper to the object and back again. Not just once or twice, but constantly.

Tip 2: Draw from real objects whenever possible

The phrase ‘observational drawing’ typically implies drawing from life (see the superb observational drawing exercise set by artist and teacher Julie Douglas). Ask any art teacher and they will list the benefits of drawing from objects that are sitting directly in front of you. You are provided with a wealth of visual information…changing light conditions; rich textures; views of the subject from alternate angles; as well as information from other sense…smells and noise from the surroundings etc. Transcribing from three-dimensions to two is ultimately much harder than drawing from a photograph, but it often results in drawings that are ‘richer’ and more authentic.

Tip 3: Don’t trace

Throughout history, great realist painters have traced from photographs or worked from projections blown up onto walls. But these painters are not high school art students; nor are they assessed on their ability to replicate form. There is a place for tracing in IGCSE or A Level Art (such as when tracing over something you have already drawn or creating a repeat pattern), but tracing from photographs and then simply applying colour or tone is not acceptable. Such methods of ‘drawing’ involve minimal skill, teach you little and run the risk of producing clunky, soul-less outlines. Don’t do it.

Tip 4: Understand perspective

As objects get further away they appear smaller. The replication of this change of scale on paper (through the use of vanishing points) is called ‘perspective’. The fundamentals of perspective are usually taught in junior high school; by Year 10 at the latest. If you are a senior art student and have somehow missed this lesson, remedy this situation urgently. There are not many theoretical aspects of art that are essential to learn, but this is one of them. Please view the perspective handouts in the Student Art Guide free teacher resources to get you started.

Tip 5. Use grids, guidelines or rough forms to get the proportions right before you add details

Many students start with a tiny detail (the eye on a face, for example) and then gradually add in the rest of the image ending up with a drawing that is badly proportioned or doesn’t fit on the page (or floats aimlessly in the middle of it). This can be avoided by approximating the basic forms before adding details or by using guidelines to ensure that proportions are correct. If working from a photograph, using a grid can result in highly accurate work. It allows students to focus on one small segment of the image at a time and gives arbitrary lines from which distances can be gauged. This can be a helpful strategy when precise, detailed images are required and can itself become a celebrated component in an artwork. As gridding is methodical and involves meticulous plotting of lines, however, it is important to acknowledge that this approach runs the risk of producing tight and regimented drawings that lack in ‘spirit’ and should thus be approached with care.

Coloring Book Creativity

Tips for creative ways to color adult coloring book pages

1. Make it a zentangle

By using ink, you can color in the page using different pen strokes like hatching and cross hatching and tiny patterns to create an intricate coloring wonderland. Before you know it, the page will completely change character, becoming almost like a collaborative work between you and the coloring book page illustrator.

2. Use paint

Using paint instead of pencils or crayons can make coloring a totally new experience. In the above photo, watercolor is used to apply a delicate, translucent tone to the coloring book page, giving it a soft effect and a different character than a page colored in with crayon or colored pencil. Watercolor isn’t your only option; you could use gouache or acrylic, too (oil paint is not suggested). For best results, remove the coloring book page from the book before painting so the paint doesn’t warp the pages below or seep through. Using removable tape, affix it to a rigid work surface to prevent buckling of the page as you paint.

3. Create lush layers

Working in layers, you can create a lush, soft effect in colored pencil that can create truly stunning coloring book pages. In this post on the Craftsy blog, the artist offers a tutorial for how to build layers slowly, with one color at a time, allowing for better control over value and consistency of color. A little bit different than working with several colors at the same time on your piece, the results are luminous and stunning.

4. Try indenting

Indenting is an awesome technique that can add texture and character to your coloring book pages. First, start by either removing the page you’re working with, or by inserting a rigid backing, so that you won’t inadvertently add texture to the pages below the one you’re coloring. Place a sheet of tracing paper over the image, and then use a pencil or pen to indent the image. You won’t be actually drawing on the image, but rather indenting the paper so that your colored pencil or coloring medium will leave ghostly white outlines in the spots you indented. This could be as simple as adding details to flower imagery or adding zentangle-like patterns within your coloring book page. It makes for a magical effect as you color.

5. Make a rubbing

Here’s a fun way to add a collage-like feel to your coloring book page: try make a rubbing! All you have to do is put some sort of textured object under the coloring book page (above, it’s a series of coins). Then gently shade the space with the side of the pencil or colored pencil point to fill in an area. It can give interesting bits of texture to an area in your coloring book page, and when used on an entire page, it can create a cool effect.

Art World

The art world comprises everyone involved in producing, commissioning, presenting, preserving, promoting, chronicling, criticizing, and selling fine art. Art world is indeed a wider term than art market, though that is a large part of it. Howard S. Becker describes it as “the network of people whose cooperative activity, organized via their joint knowledge of conventional means of doing things, produce(s) the kind of art works that art world is noted for” (Becker, 1982). In her book, Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thornton describes it as “a loose network of overlapping subcultures held together by a belief in art. They span the globe but cluster in art capitals like New York, London, Los Angeles, and Berlin.” Other cities sometimes called “art capitals” include Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, Miami, Paris, Rome and Tokyo; due to their large art festivals, followings, and being the centers of art production.

The notion of the singular art world is problematic, since Becker and others show art worlds are, instead, independent multiplicities scattered worldwide that are always in flux: there is no “center” to the art world any more. In her analysis of the “net art world” (referring to network-aided art or net art), Amy Alexander states “net.art had a movement, at the very least it had coherence, and although it aimed to subvert the art world, eventually its own sort of art world formed around it. It developed a culture, hype and mystique through lists and texts; it had a centre, insiders, outsiders, even nodes. This is of course not a failure; this is unavoidable: groups form; even anarchism is an institution.” Art worlds exist at local and regional levels, as hidden or obscured subcultures, via primary and secondary art markets, through gallery circuits, around design movements, and, esoterically, as shared or perceived experiences. The one globalized, all-encompassing art world exists only as myth; rather, there are multiplicities of intersecting, overlapping, self-similar art worlds, each expressing different views of the world as they see it.

Though the painting is not in the show, activists argue that the ICA is giving institutional approval to a “violent artifact.” Local activists, artists, and community members are calling for the cancellation of a solo exhibition of work by Dana Schutz at the ICA Boston, which opens to the public July 26. In an open letter sent to the museum yesterday, the group criticized the institution for capitalizing on Schutz’s notoriety following her controversial contribution to the Whitney Biennial earlier this year.

Schutz’s painting Open Casket (2016), which is based on photographs of 14-year-old Emmett Till, drew protests when it was shown at the Whitney Museum this spring. The work touched off intense debate over who can and should make art about historical trauma and if and how institutions can responsibly present that work. The exhibition, which has been in the works for two years, presents around 20 works by Schutz created over the past decade and focuses on her move toward increasingly complex, large-scale compositions. The museum “never considered” including Open Casket, Eva Respini, the ICA Boston’s chief curator who organized the exhibition, told artnet News. At the same time, Respini says, the Whitney controversy unfolded so publicly that the museum felt it must acknowledge it somehow. “We understand that people now read her work through this lens,” she says. The museum will address the issue in the exhibition’s wall text and through a series of public talks.