Headlines: Stickers, Google, Sculpture Theft
1) Whitney Museum Releases Laura Owens iMessage Stickers
In conjunction with its mid-career survey of the artwork of Laura Owens, New York’s Whitney Museum has released a series of iMessage stickers designed by Owens herself. The stickers are photographic reproductions of sculptures that the artist produced based on some of the most popular Apple emojis. Carved by hand and rendered in three-dimensions before being digitized, the sculptures-turned-emojis are conceptual artworks in themselves, exploring the tension of ethereal objects, briefly realized, before being rendered non-physical again. Download the stickers from the Apple Store!
2) On Google Arts & Culture's Selfie Comparisons
Speaking of the Apple Store, you might have seen or even used the new app that’s taken the store by storm in recent weeks. With Google’s Arts and Culture app, you can take an in-app selfie and have the database select the work of art that most closely resembles your visage. Jacob Brogan, writing for Slate, muses on the reasons for the app’s memetic popularity, not the least of which is its simultaneous “[appeal] to and [deflation of] our narcissism.” Brogan suspects (probably quite correctly), that most users are taking numerous selfies in order to achieve the most flattering or humorous comparison. Sadly, as the selfie function is currently only available in the United States, we at Artist Run Website were not able to test it out.
3) Women Come Forward With Misconduct Allegations Against Chuck Close
Chuck Close has recently come under fire for alleged sexual misconduct with a number of women who modeled for nude photographs at his studio. Hyperallergic spoke to several of these women. (The link contains some explicit descriptions of the events in question.) A frequent theme of the incidents seems to be the idea that the women felt pressured indirectly, not because Close was physically threatening or explicitly verbally abusive, but because his status as a well-known and powerful artist made them second guess their initial discomfort. The idea raises larger concerns about the public, often masculine image of the “rock star artist.” Close himself stated that he has never received a complaint about his conduct with models, but has apologized “without qualification.”
4) Markus Lϋpertz Sculpture Stolen from Foundry
A large bronze sculpture by Markus Lϋpertz was stolen from a foundry in Dϋsseldorf, Germany last weekend, marking the second time in two years that the sculptor has fallen victim to art theft. Given that the sculpture was 2.3 metres high and weighed around 230 kilograms (just over 500 pounds), the theft is rightfully being called “brazen.” German authorities are not ruling out the possibility that the thieves were interested in the raw bronze, rather than the sculpture itself -- though as an artwork, the sculpture is reportedly worth several hundred times more than its weight in the metal.
5) Nan Goldin Petitions Purdue Pharma
A couple weeks ago we looked at Nan Goldin’s essay in Artforum about her addiction to Oxycontin and subsequent recovery. The artist has now started a petition on Change.org calling on Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family to address the issue of opioid addiction in the United States.