Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Prada phone

The LG Prada phone is an entirely new concept, unlike the recent collaboration between D&G and Motorola, which was just a Razr in an expensive looking coat.

The basic handset is the LG KE850, which we know is coming out soon, but it won’t be branded LG. It will have a Prada design and packaging and will have a unique Prada user interface.
Rumours have been circulating recently that the KE850 is actually a working version of Apple’s imminent iPhone, but we can categorically say that this is not the case! We know that the iPhone is going to come in 4GB and 8GB versions, but the KE850 has only a nominal onboard memory.

The phone is unique in the fact that it does not have a keypad, sporting instead a touch screen display, but unlike the touch display on the LG Chocolate, which was just a couple of fixed buttons that lit up, the Prada display will change according to the application on the screen.
It has a classic minimalist design, featuring an utterly stylish white on black user interface and will come in a swanky Prada designed leather case.

Prices have yet to be confirmed, but it will be a lot cheaper (around 600euros) than might be expected of a Prada branded product, not like we know it will be at the top end of the market, somewhere around the Nokia N80 or the Sony Ericsson W950i (available on 02), but crucially a lot cheaper than the D&G Motorola or the even the original Nokia 8800 mobile.

It will be with us in late March or early April and will be released in five European countries.(courtesy from


Keith HARING was born on May 4, 1958 and was a pre-eminent artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York street culture of the 1980s.

St. Sebastian, 1984Acrylic on Canvas60 x 60 inches 152.4 x 152.4 cm

Interested in art from an early age, he studied graphic design at The Ivy School of Professional Art, a commercial and fine art school in Pittsburgh. Keith moved to New York City where he was greatly inspired by the graffiti art, and additionally studied at the School of Visual Arts.

Untitled, 1983Vinyl Ink on Vinyl Tarpaulin120 x 120 inches 305 x 305 cm

Many of his works as a graffiti/pop artist show homoerotic themes and use various type of material such as plastic or iron for example. He achieved his first public attention with his chalk drawings in the subways of New York. "The Radiant Baby" became his symbol and quite often his art is at the edge of publicity.

Red-Yellow-Blue No.10, 1987Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

He contributed in the New York New Wave display and got to know Andy Warhol. Warhol was also the theme of several of Keith Haring's pieces including "Andy Mouse". Also influenced by the New York city nightlife ranked among his friends Madonna, Grace Jones or Basquiat (see the following post).

The Keith Haring Foundation, established in 1989, continues Keith's legacy of giving to children's organizations. Keith Haring died in 1990 of an HIV-related disease. He had been diagnosed HIV positive two years earlier.

Boxers, 1988Polyurethane Paint on Aluminum46 1/2 x 33 x 22 inches 118 x 84 x 64 cm

Quote to remember :
"I don't think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it."

More about Keith Haring :

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jean Michel Basquiat

Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn, NYC, from a Haitian father (Gerard Basquiat) and a Brooklyn born Puerto Rican mother (Matild).
As a young child Basquiat displayed an excellent talent for art. Today Basquiat ranks among the most expensive artists. Influenced by graffiti, urban art, as well as primitive art; he is commonly described as a Neo-expressionist artist.

Catharsis 1983 triptych, acrylic on canvas, 72-3/8 x 92-7/8 inches

"Untitled (Angel)," by Jean-Michel Basquiat, acrylic on canvas, 96 by 169 inches, 1982


Unlike the average graffiti artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat came to personify the art scene of the 80s, with its merging of youth culture, money, hype, excess, and self-destruction. Paintings and drawings that conjured up marginal urban black culture and black history, as well as the artist's own conflicted sense of identity.

In 1977, along with a friend Al Diaz, Basquiat started to spray painting cryptic sayings on subway trains and around lower Manhattan.
In 1982, Basquiat met Andy Warhol and became close friends. Therefore they collaborated on a various range of works. They painted together influencing each other's work. Their relationship continued until Warhol's death in 1987. His drug addiction and depression increased after the death of this artistic soulmate, driving him to death.

Michael Hasband photograph.
In 1996 a brilliant movie relating his life came out : "Basquiat". The performance of the actors, among those the performance of David Bowie who played Warhol, was saluted by the critics.

Quote to remember :
"Believe it or not, I can actually draw."

More about Jean-Michel Basquiat :

Friday, February 23, 2007

David Lynch : 2 majors events

On February 7, a new film: Inland Empire and March 3 to May 27, 2007, an exhibition of his artwork at the Cartier Foundation in Paris. From one artistic area to another, this exhibition is the occasion to measure how his art is dense. David Lynch is unique !
Inland Empire: more than a film it is an experience. Trying to tell the story or finding a rational explanation would be vain, as always with Lynch. Therefore I would say Inland Empire is the continuation of Lost Highway as well as Muholland Drive re-using topics that were already present in those two past movies. For instance : cinema = mystery; reality = nightmare ; woman = double and schizophreny.

However I felt quite disappointed about the movie. I had the impression that Lynch didn't pay much attention to the audience gathering together all the short movies he's been working on and made to be aired on the internet...or it could be something else. A portrait of Laura Dern or a polish nightmare about prostitution ? Could be anything. Sometimes we even have the impression that he is caricaturing his own art. The first part is really intriguing and I almost felt it would become another cult movie. But then the second half reaches grotesque.
Could also be that Inland Empire, a carticature close to grotesque (e.g the scene when Laura Dern's supposed husband splits ketchup on his shirt)...

Let's remember some scenes and codes that are really powerful, such as the passing through doors and the scene where Laura Dern faces a moment we've already experienced : the moment when the Hollywood actors (that Laura Dern was) are repeating their text...

But before being a movie director, he was a plastic artist inspired by Kandinsky, Hopper or Bacon. Therefore the Cartier Foundation is dedicating an exhibition to this prolific artist. Entitled "THE AIR IS ON FIRE MARCH 3—MAY 27, 2007 : Paintings – Drawings – Photographs – Video – Sound" this event marks the first time a filmmaker has made a large number of his work available to the public. It also reveals the scope of his artistic creation with never-before-seen works, installed in an environment designed by him and complemented by a program of events, including live performances and concerts, that he has created.

More about David Lynch:

More about the Cartier Foundation:


"Shortly after unveiling his collection at Venice's Palazzo Grassi last spring, French billionaire and collector François Pinault expressed an interest in opening up a second exhibition space inside the Dogana, an old customs post at the tip of the Grand Canal. But as Le Monde's Jean-Jacques Bozonnet reports, Pinault is facing some tough new competition from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. On July 24, Pinault officially submitted his project, which includes a €20 to €30 million ($25.6 to $38.4 million) investment and a design by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, to the Venetian municipality. By September 20, the Guggenheim Foundation—already present in Venice via the Peggy Guggenheim Collection—made a surprise bid for the location, naming Zaha Hadid as the architect. A committee headed by Achille Bonito Oliva plans to reach a verdict in a few weeks.

Palazzo Grassi - Pinault's Foundation

"How to choose between the Pinault and Guggenheim collections?" asks Bozonnet. The "battle of the Dogana" is not only about the quality of each collection; it also pits two rival architects against each other: the "minimalist" Ando and the "exuberant" Hadid. Local politics also plays a vital role. While Massimo Cacciari, the left-wing mayor of the city of Venice, supports Pinault's project, Giancarlo Galan, the right-wing president of the region of Venice, is said to back the Guggenheim Foundation. According to Bozonnet, Galan persuaded the Guggenheim to collaborate on the finances with Alberto Rigotti, the founder of the bank ABM Network and a patron of the Munus society, which specializes in the promotion of cultural events. Bozonnet adds that the Guggenheim attempted to open a new space there in 1999 with a design by the Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti, but that this project was never realized.

Guggenheim Museum

For some, the competition would be more interesting with a few more rivals. "A cultural system for contemporary art in Venice must be instituted, and only the Biennale could pilot it," said Marco de Michelis, rector of the IUAV university of Venice. "Pinault and Guggenheim are already there—they won't add anything else." " ( text by Jennifer Allen)

At the end of January, the result came out : Pinault will have to share the place with the Guggenheim. But through the voice of his director Jean Jacques Aillagon, the Palazzo Grassi will communicate later on the modalities of this participation with the Guggenheim Foundation.

More about the Guggenheim Foundation :

More about the Pinault's Foundation :

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Murakami, born in Tokyo in 1963, is one of the most prolific and commercially successful contemporary Japanese artists of the 1990s. Not only is he an artist but also a brilliant curator, entrepreneur, and a student of contemporary Japanese society.

" And Then" (Rainbow), 2006

His work ranges from cartoony paintings to quasi-minimalist sculptures to giant inflatable balloons, to performance events, to factory-produced watches, T-shirts, and other products. His inspiration comes from Japanese anime cartoons and Manga comics, and has always intended to erase the difference between high and low culture, grounding his work in "otaku," or "nerd" culture. Quite often his art goes as far as using provocation.

He recently collaborated twice with the luxury firm LVMH in order to design a special monogram for LOUIS VUITTON. His work with artistic director Marc Jacobs also led to a commercial success.

2004 Takashi Murakami / Kaikai Kiki Co, Ltd.

Now at the head of a business empire made of accountants, administrators, assistants and computer engineers or students, Murakami describes his work as a "fusion of art and computing".
More about Murakami:
Quote to remember: " Art is on the verge of becoming very big business right now, so if we (his company) find artists who have potential to exploit, then naturally we will bring them aboard."

Louis Vuitton Eye Love Superflat, Black, 2003

Ernest Pignon-Ernest season in France

Artaud Hopital d'Ivry 5

The "Palais Lumière" (situated at the "quai Albert-Besson", in the city of Evian, France) shows a very good exhibition to this brilliant French artist. For 25 years now, Ernest Pignon-Ernest expresses his art on the walls of every city. From Napoli to Soweto he sticks his serigraphies and takes pictures of them. Following his brilliant inspiration, he either pays tribute to Rimbaud, Pasolini or even complete anonymous. This artist brings in the city his art in a very harmonious way.

More about Ernest Pignon -Ernest :

More about the exhibition:
From February 10 - to 13 May 2007
Palais Lumière
74500 Evian

M by Madonna

H&M the international retail giant and their head of design Margareta van den Bosch have teamed up with Madonna to create a line of clothing and accessories that are scheduled to arrive in all stores carrying the women’s wear collection, around the world the 10th of March 2007.

The 'M by Madonna' fashion line will reflect Madonna's timeless, unique and always glamorous style. A long standing cultural icon whose enormous global influence on how people dress and look is without equal, Madonna worked hand in hand with Margareta van den Bosch to create a wardrobe of clothing and accessories that represent her own personal and modern spin on her very own wardrobe staples.

'Madonna has an impressive feel for fashion and trends. She was extraordinarily style conscious, passionate and was involved in even the smallest details of every design. There is no doubt that Madonna's influence is reflected by the 'M by Madonna' line', stated Margareta van den Bosch regarding the collaboration.
'I've made no secret of my love of fashion over the years. Working with Margareta and H&M was an exciting and new creative challenge for me. I'm really happy with the results and look forward to wearing 'M by Madonna' along with the rest of the world', concluded Madonna.

Madonna, the multi-Grammy winning singer, Fashion icon, video visionary, constant innovator, children’s book author, human rights activist and cultural phenomenon just completed the most successful concert tour of any female artist in music history. Her most recent cd Confessions On A Dance Floor debuted at No. 1 in 29 countries.

Founded in Sweden in l947, H&M which has over 1,300 stores in 24 countries is synonymous around the world with affordable, up to date and high quality fashion. The company’s collections are created by their own designers.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Architect to know : Santiago Calatrava.

Santiago Calatrava, is a Spanish internationally recognized and award-winning architect, engineer, and artist.
He has received numerous recognitions:
In 1990 he received the "Médaille d´Argent de la Recherche et de la Technique", in Paris.
In 1993, the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a major exhibition of his work called “Structure and Expression."
In 1998 he was elected to become a member of "Les Arts et Lettres," in Paris.
In 2004, he received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
In 2005, Calatrava was awarded the Eugene McDermott Award by the Council for the Arts of MIT. The Award is among the most esteemed arts awards in the US.
Calatrava’s style creates an impressive link between structural engineering and architecture. He continues and maintains a tradition of Spanish modernist engineering (c.f Félix Candela and Antonio Gaudí).

Nonetheless, his style is very personal and derives from numerous studies he makes of the human body and the natural world such as dinosaure bones structure for example.

Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, Valencia, SPAIN.

Turning Torso in Malmö, SWEDEN.

Oriente Station, Lisbon, PORTUGAL.
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Andy Warhol is among us ! And we love soup...

12 dollars ! That is the price of one of this authentic reproduction of Campell's soup cans designed by Warhol. This limited-edition that proves that Warhol reached success since he managed to impose his view of art and marketing, will only be found at Barney's New York. (Barney's, 575 fifth Avenue, New York.)


More info on:

Is Kate Moss made of wax ?

No this is not the last Ron Mueck's artwork but the latest comer in the Madame Tussauds collection !

Indeed supermodel Kate Moss has been unveiled as the latest top star on show at the famous Madame Tussauds waxwork (kitsch) museum in London.
A wax figure of the 33-year-old standing in a "Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona couch" went on display in a section reserved for A-list celebrities.

A Madame Tussauds spokesman said the supermodel was "very pleased" with her waxwork.

"She is not just popular in the fashion world and the world of the media, she is also popular with visitors," he declared in front of the statue wearing a vintage black dress.

"We have a poll of guests every month and she is always in the top five of figures that they would like to see in here."

This proves once again that Kate Moss is definitely on the spot not only in fashion but also on a sociological viewpoint. She has definitely managed to resurrect her career after drug-taking (cocaine) pictures. She is an ICON !

More info on:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"Le Louvre" no longer in Paris but also in Atlanta and Abou Dhabi

The Management of Museums has changed since globalisation has risen. France is the first concerned with those changes and takes the opportunity to spread its culture worldwide. Therefore rumors about a future Pompidou Center in Shangaï or a future Rodin Museum on the shores of Bahia were recently discussed among the Paris intelligentsia. But that is the project of building future Louvres in Atlanta and Abou Dhabi that has led to controversy.

Indeed the boss of the Louvre in Paris, Henri Loyrette, was the target of the art circles. Among those Françoise Cachin former director of the "Reunion of the Museums of France" believes that the globalisation policy of the Louvre is not meant to be. According to those art circles the Louvre in Abou Dhabi is a project that conveys financial purposes and not artistic goals. Lending artworks, carrying out exibitions for one decade are among the aspects of the operation that are violently criticised. In return, the emirate of Abou Dhabi is committed to pay 700 million euros, to France. That sum represents 4 years of the Louvre's budget !
Stéphane Martin, president of the French Museum of "the Quai Branly" declares that: "Museums cannot work the way they used to twenty years ago. Museums have acquired a dimension, and a visibility that they couldn't think of, back in time. Emerging countries want to participate in this adventure and there is nothing wrong with the fact that we could help them. Besides we are not the first one to do so !" Indeed the Guggenheim Foundation has long understood it and Guggenheim have therefore grown in Bilbao, Venice and Berlin. The institution has also signed a contract to build a Museum in Abou Dabhi and it will be built once again by Frank Gerhy. The Chinese have also reached an agreement with the British and the Victoria and Albert Museums. Examples of globalization of Museums are numerous.

Are Museums becoming brands ? That is a different question that also leads to war among concerned circles. Today, Museum directors are real managers. They have well understood the financial impact of operations abroad. Stephane Martin once again said that " the aim of Museums is not to make profits". But it is not forbidden to increase its revenues. Hence this desire to increase, not without risks. Mike Kelley contemporary artist denounces "the disneylandisation" of Museums where we come to consume art as we would consume sandwich. Conservators of French Museums are also really worried about the infuence of great companies on art. Luckily for him in France it is impossible to sell a Museum's piece to buy others, which is not the case for American Museums for example.

So what are Museums victim of ? Nothing and they have to seduce audiences in order to keep growing and face emerging countries competition. This new policy is not against art. It is the total contrary since masterpieces can finally be seen by visitors. Moreover isn't it the best way to promote culture and especially make French culture known better worldwide ? Marketing is quite often pointed out as the scapegoat, but criticisms generally come from conservative people reluctant to any change, or any moves of what they consider immutable or unchangeable. But Art is meant to live, not be dead or boring !

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Is Jeff Koons the best ?

Jeff Koons born in 1955, is American and one of the most famous contempory artist. His style is inspired by kitsch imagery, and his masterpieces are generally in high formats, whether it concerns sculptures or paintings.

His style can be classified as Neo-Pop or Post-Pop, as part of an 80s movement in reaction to the pared-down art of Minimalism and Conceptualism in the previous decade mixed with a lot of irony, humour. Heritage from Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí.

His work is amongst the most expensive in the world for a contemporary artist.

Quote to remember: "I love the gallery, the arena of representation. It's a commercial world, and morality is based generally around economics, and that's taking place in the art gallery."

More about Jeff Koons:

Example of artwork : "Michael Jackson and Bubbles," by Jeff Koons, porcelain ceramic blend, 42 by 70 ½ by 32 ½ inches, 1988, numbered 3/3

Lagerfeld Confidential a film by Rodolphe Marconi

Synopsis : This movie by Rodolphe Marconi, discloses the daily life of the fashion designer, trend setter, genius that is Karl Lagerfeld. Two years of work, and over two hundred hours of footage were necessary to make that film possible. We can see Karl Lagerfeld working on a dress, talking about his passion for photography, giving public interviews. This movie intends to show the master through a real intimate portrait.

Place of Shooting : Paris Tokyo New York Monaco Biarritz

Shooting Begins : Septembre 2004
Fin du tournage : March 2006

Designers to know : Fernando + Humberto Campana

Fernando + Humberto Campana are major designers exposed in such places as the MoMA or the "Center Pompidou" in Paris.

Drawing inspiration from the culture of their country, Brazil, they create vibrant furnitures and items from waste objects and industrial material. Their work reveals a brand-new combination of everyday objects . Based in São Paulo, they describe their work as "very organic,very intensive, and very emotional..."

Quote to remember : "We subvert the utility of materials so as to create in our objects a restless world of experimentation, creativity and innovation".

More about them :

Object example : Favela Chair, 1991 Fernando + Humberto Campana Manufactured by Edra (from 2003).

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