13 February 2015


Global Art-marketing: Where The Crowned Kings Of Auctioneering Find Their Sovereignty

In my best Sam the Eagle voice: “Sales is vanity, profit is sanity”. Splashed all over the art newspapers this week were the impressive sales figures of Christie’s Surrealism auction, where lots sold for a combined total of £147m, (Write it in full: £147,031,000.00 – oooh look how titillatingly long that is!), with Miró’s ‘Women, […]

5 February 2015


Some Curators Think They Are More Important Than The Art Itself

Why put on an exhibition? What’s the point? The term curator comes from the Latin ‘curare’, “to look after”, simply meaning to care for a group of items, including cataloguing, conservation, and by extension academic research and education. When an exhibition is planned, the curators are tasked with moulding themselves to whatever agenda the display […]

29 January 2015


National Gallery: One Small Step Towards Privatisation One Giant Leap Towards BP

The National Gallery found itself the centre of a large PR pickle this week as the dirty word ‘privatisation’ was bandied back and forth over its decision to outsource gallery invigilation to security firm CIS, to the mass dismay of unions. Indeed, anyone who visited ‘Rembrandt: the late works’ will have noticed for the first […]

23 January 2015


Kitsch Happens: Utilitarian Objects Rather Than Works Of Art?

This spring twelve Jack Vettriano paintings are expected to fetch up to £1.2m when auctioned at Bonham’s. Previously the personal effects of this Scottish painter – such as his first easel – sold for a total of £21,000, and brand new paintings cost anything from £48,000 to £195,000. Factor in the estimated £500,000 he makes […]

16 January 2015


Art Replicants: Why Is The Dulwich Picture Gallery Full Of Fakery?

Following last week’s musings on intellectual property, the Dulwich Picture Gallery has recently announced that as part of its exhibition programme for 2015 it would temporarily replace one of its current collection with a replica, commissioned from a Chinese workshop specialising in churning out high quality (if they can be called that) fakes. Apparently this […]

9 January 2015


Is Image Appropriation Just Plagiarism Of Intellectual Property

Jeff Koons is facing a second lawsuit over alleged plagiarism of intellectual property in two weeks; first regarding the sculpture ‘Naked’ supposedly copying the photography of Jean-François Bauret, and now the sculpture ‘Fait d’Hiver’, borrowing from a French clothing advert of 1985 by Franck Davidovici. They form part of his 1988 ‘Banality’ series, of which […]

27 December 2014


ArtBytch Round-Up The Best And Worst London Art 2014

The highs and lows of art in 2014: early on the Whitechapel Gallery scored a big hit with deco-haired Hannah Höch’s impressively hard-hitting collages, an under-valued figure operating with relative independence alongside the Dadaists and a clear precursor to the celebrated current collage work of John Stezaker. A palpable hit for feminist art history. Aside […]

18 December 2014


Art The Miracle That Exists Outside A Saccharine Schmaltz Christmas

It’s that time of year again, when a saccharine schmaltz descends in snowy suffocating blanket over us; Christmas is the most profitable time of year for many retailers and commerce, when persistent inane joy wrapped in sprinklings of jagged plastic and shiny film clutters our daily vision on the high street, on television, our insides […]

12 December 2014


Art Basel Miami: Summing Up Superficiality In The Contemporary Art World

If you thought the Frieze Art Fair was the pinnacle of superficiality in the contemporary art world, Art Basel which took place last week on Miami Beach is its attention grabbing, celebrity obsessed, glitter sprinkled sister: part art fair, part Spring Breakers! This is what Frieze would look like if frequented by the excessively moneyed, […]

5 December 2014


Shia LaBeouf Is Living Proof That Actors Can’t Be Visual Artists

News emerged this week that Shia LaBeouf was ‘raped’ by a spectator at his collaborative show with the artists Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö #IAMSORRY. Hold on a second, Shia LaBeouf has referenced Marina Abramovic’s famous ‘The Artist is Present’ performance?! That’s as depressing as similarly annoying youngish American actor James Franco pinching (and woefully […]

28 November 2014


ArtBytch: Black Spider Memos, Victorian Excess, And Smell-O-Vision Art At Leighton House

Art history generally lauds the arrival of democracy in Greece in the 5th Century BC, accompanied by a similarly noble pinnacle of super-naturalism in sculpture; that is, a form of art generally received as characteristically ‘pure’, or ‘above nature’. The arrival of the rule of law signified the backbone upon which democracy continues to structure […]

20 November 2014


Allen Jones: Wince-inducing Furniture Women Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Welcome to the Establishment, Mr Jones, you may now safely wheel out your once risqué, now wince-inducing archaic women as furniture. Compare an artwork of the same era which borrowed the fetishistic imagery of Allen Jones’s women clad in bondage gear acting as domestic fittings; Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ approached him to dress the […]

7 November 2014


Brand Beckham, Warhol and Koons ArtBytch Reveals The Common Denominator

My name is Charles Saatchi and I am an alcoholic: given the growing trend for sprinkling the magical commercial fairy dust that is “Art” onto consumable liquid, this would have been the perfect slogan for the market-defining marketer, if indeed he were still actually defining the market. For even David Beckham has cottoned on that […]