A Few Stops in the Blogosphere

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Here’s what I like about art blogs: they cross boundaries freely

Edward Winkleman, owner and director, and Max Carlos Martinez, associate director, behind the desk at Winkleman Gallery, New York

as they dip into art reportage, gallery gossip, personal venting, politics, rampant image appropriation (see below), and shameless self promotion. The best ones pull it off by being well written, and the very best have such unique points of view that someone should swoop down and pay them for their writing.

. Edward_Winkleman: The subtitle for this blog is "art / politics / gossip / tough love," and it lives up to its claims. Some recent posts: "Worst.War.President. Ever" is all about you.know.who. "The Reality of the Collector-Driven Art World," talks about who’s buying and what that means for artists. And "The 50/50 Split" explains from a dealer’s point of view why the sale price of an artwork is divided the way it is. When Winkleman offered advice on how to find a gallery, scores of readers responded. (Yes, I put my two cents in, as I do from time to time.) He raises many interesting questions: What’s a mid-career artist? How does the issue of artist’s age affect the market for that artist’s work? What’s the value of Art Fairs?

Winkleman is a New York gallerist (Winkleman Gallery, on 27th Street in West Chelsea) whose daily posts are well written and thought provoking. His blog has a huge following. Often the responses are as interesting as the posts. The participants, mostly artists, I think, are smart and articulate with points of view that range from radical to occasionally reactionary in tones that are incendiary, conciliatory, measured, considerate, agressively opinionated and monumentally pissed off—all of it spiced with bitterness, bloviation, genuine appreciation, non sequitors, humor, a few puns, and the occasional bad typing. Now that’s an essential daily read.

Last year about this time I wrote about several blogs I liked (still do). The following are some new ones I like. All are listed on the blog roll at right:

. Artist, Emerging: We go from an established dealer’s blog to an emerging artist’s blog. Deanna Wood, from Texas, is the artist. Her blog description: "One artist's struggles and triumphs in starting an art career. Sharing resources and ideas..." Her posts are all over the place: entering juried shows, dealing with rejection, how to hang artwork, her travels. She’s not hemmed in by New York art politics, so her comments are sometimes naïve but always refreshing. In a leap of faith recently, she quit her non-art job and is now making art full time. If you're an art student, this blog gives you a glimpse of what's ahead; if you're an emerging artist, you know you're not alone.

The Intrepid Art Collector: Author of a book the same name, the Montreal-based collector Lisa Hunter describes her blog as "Adventures in the art market -- plus occasional museum and art book reviews." Hunter is a smart thinker and good writer, and she doesn’t pull punches. For instance, a recent entry,"Team Art: A Modest Proposal," starts: "Has anyone noticed that Blog and book: The Intrepid Art Collector (Image from the blog) art coverage has started to sound a lot like the sport pages? It's all about big scores [by collectors] and record-setting [auctions]. Artists are "over the hill" at 35, just like athletes." She goes on to suggest scoring it, a la Grand Prix racing. She also posted a video of a fly larva being made from pearls and gold—disgusting and fascinating, and certainly over the top (which might describe much of the artworld we’re all blogging about these days)

. Two Coats of Paint: The intent of Sharon Butler’s new blog is "Articles, reviews, writing about painting." And that’s what you get. Butler started the blog this spring and has covered a lot of ground. I learned, for instance, that a Frida Kahlo Centennial Exhibition, which opens at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in the fall (October 27, 2007–January 20, 2008), will come East and then head West: Philadelphia Museum of Art (February 20–May 18, 2008) and then the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (June 14–September 16, 2008). I plan to see it in Philly and, of course, blog about it.

I also love the blog’s title, the second coat being, presumably, journalistic coverage of the painting in question. (Disclaimer: she’s posted two items that relate to me: one, my take on the painterly surfaces of Richard Serra’s Sculpture; the other, Beauty Show in Atlanta, a link to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s review of "Luxe, Calm et Volupte'," a show I curated this summer for the Marcia Wood Gallery).

. CultureGrrl: This is the name of the blog, and the nom de blog, of Lee Rosenbaum, a veteran cultural journalist (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Art in America) whose site is full of art news info from all over. Writes Rosenbaum, "Since I always have more opinions and information than the Mainstream Media can use, I've decided to throw some of those juicy tidbits into this blog." Her writing makes you understand that art is not just about the artists; it's about the academics, collectors, corporations, critics, curators, dealers and media outlets (am I leaving anyone out?) who/that have input and opinions about our collective endeavor. Required reading for art professionals.

. Color Chunks: This one's totally quirky: Tennessee artist John Tallman posts pictures of colored objects, like a pink tarp or a roll or blue masking tape tape or green soap--sort of like Jessica Stockholder deconstructed and in 2-D. It's a

It has to be hue: John Tallman's blog is, uh, what's the opposite of colorblind? (Image, Color Chunks)

new blog ("dedicated to assertive color," says the tagline) and I’m curious to see how it develops. To be honest, after all the reading I do each day, online and on paper, I like that when I log onto this blog, all I have to do is look.

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