Tom Ford and Jeff Koons from Iconoclas…

Tom Ford and Jeff Koons from Iconoclasts

Conversations about art – primarily good vs. bad art - pain me. There is something about those people who most vocally appreciate art that make them (myself included) constantly seek out something special, unique, new, or even worse… underground. Even Banksy, the lord of all street artists, is not immune from the perils of popularity. His book is available at Urban Outfitters. Christina Aguilera and Brad Pitt own his art. That makes it hard for the downtown kid to still maintain devotion. When I see a 100′ x 100′ painting on the side of our building at work, I stand in awe. When I see goofy tourists taking pictures in front of it, I can get annoyed.

But I am totally torn on some levels. All that being said, I love big shit. Pop music. Pop culture. And I love when people do shit really big and high profile. It is so easy to dismiss high-profile art. But I love it. I think it is actually more impressive than the underground. These artists are laying it out there for huge audiences, the media, radio, moviegoers, etc. – way more people than the tiny Brooklyn gallery. Love them or hate them, Jeff Koons, Banksy and Tom Ford are still very much artists. Take Tom Ford… He was labeled a total control freak at Gucci, and I am sure it is the same at his new company. He refused to let anything have his name on it unless he had total control of every aspect. Not only did he design every product, he also led all of the advertising, pr, and other crucial functions. He even re-shot an ad campaign himself, after he wasn’t pleased with the professional photographer hired for the job. As an artist, Tom Ford has sold well over a $1 Billion worth of his art, comes off as totally arrogant and is easy not to like. He wears ultra-expensive suits, frequently fails to button the top 3 or 4 buttons, and admits to using Botox and Propecia. Not quite a hoodie and Red Wings, but he is by all means an artist.

So when my DVR picked up an old episode of Iconoclasts, the best show on television (and it is completely funded by Grey Goose as marketing), featuring Tom Ford and Jeff Koons, I was glued to the television and actually watched it twice. Would the same be true if the show was two emerging artists from Brooklyn? No way. I can hardly watch a 5 minute video interview with Neckface. I simply cannot watch another interview with such visionaries of as A-Ron or a young artists like Charles Hamilton or Kid Cudi. All people who I totally respect. For the same reason I don’t think anyone would want to interview me, because at some point, you have to start doing some shit – not just talk about shit you are gonna do.

Extreme success only makes an artist more interesting in my opinion. Emerging artists are a dime a dozen, as are their messages. If he continues producing art, the insanely rich Banksy will be more interesting than the street kid version. How does he deal with it? How does it impact his message? How does his palette expand, now that he can afford to take his art to a new level? “Fuck a canvas, I want a building. A pop-up store with motorized McNuggets and fishsticks.” Jeff Koons gets to make a 40′ sculpture out of 70,000 flowers. Or a 30′ balloon animal made out of steel. Tom Ford gets to make unique fragrances, apparel, advertising and a brand.

I have loads of respect for emerging artists, and I will continue to highlight them on my blog. But at the same time, I guess for me, size matters.

Fahamu Pecou Really is The Shit!

From the artist himself:

“FAHAMU PECOU IS THE SHIT” is a painting, video and performance series that parallels the marketing campaign and identity design strategy of hip-hop artists and the conceptual framework of mass media and consumer products conceived in pop art.

My recent body of paintings in this series, NEOPOP, explores the phenomenon of contemporary propaganda, the cultural context and significance of media and marketing and how they are both disconnected and relevant to fine art. This project was a response to the grassroots and often times, aggressive marketing campaigns that surround artists in the music industry.

Thinking through the process of media propaganda brought me to my current work with magazine covers. Magazines are the embodiment of the psychology behind marketing and advertising. Playing on the public’s psychological reaction to magazines, and preconceived ideas about who should be in them, I began projecting my image and ideals on the covers of magazines. I further abstracted the concept by juxtaposing my character’s in-your-face, hip hop bravado on fine art magazines. The work begins with professional photo shoots and graphic design to create sketches for the over-sized canvases. A combination of ideas are then examined in the final pieces that play with notions of fame, image and black masculinity as well as fine art insider politics.

See 83 magazine covers on his site.

Texas Rednecks: Rachofsky to Sell Koons Balloons

As intellectual as NYC inhabitants are supposed to be, I am still blown away by how clueless so many are about Texas, its culture, its cities, and perhaps most of all, the general perception of Texans’ level of sophistication. I am clearly on the low end of sophistication, but I do feel the need to document the redneck lifestyle for all the cosmopolitan New Yorkers that read my blog. Yes, I do admit that Texas has it’s morons – of all levels – just like the abundance in New York, L.A., Chicago, or anywhere for that matter.

So I am going to start a new feature on my blog called Texas Rednecks, which will hopefully serve to dispel some of the common beliefs of my more pseudo-intellectual friends in New York:

First up:

Rachofsky’s to sell Koons sculpture…

Last week, Christie’s set the record for the most money ever paid at auction for a work by a living artist with $33.64 million for a Lucian Freud painting. While the Rachofskys’ Koons piece probably won’t break that record, it should be in the neighborhood. The auction house is not publishing a pre-sale estimate, but Amy Cappellazzo, deputy chairman of Christie’s postwar and contemporary art sales, puts a conservative estimate at 12 million pounds, about $24 million.

Oh yeah, the Rachofsky’s live in Dallas. Do you think it will fit in the back of their pick-up truck? Will it fit in the back of their covered wagon? Maybe Willie Nelson can lend a hand!

Koons on the MOMA rooftop of the Met in NYC:

The Art of Tony Bones

I had a lot of questions come in response to my post of this year’s Valentine’s Day gift to the lady. Today when I was walking out of the apartment, I remembered that the painting above was her gift last year. Ronda and Robby as interpreted by Tony Bones.

Ironically, we found this painting at the end of our block here in Brooklyn. No doubt the work of Mr. Bones, during his time spent here in NYC.

Thomas Lee Bakofsky

I have admired this guy’s work for the last 10 or so years and through following his work, I have been introduced to dozens of other artists that he rolls with. I fully expect him to have a long, prosperous career. I have also always appreciated that he does not hold my corporate status against me.

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