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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The British Royal Art Collection needs returning to the public

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Monarchs are very good at collecting art, they can expropriate vast sums from the public to pay for it, they have huge homes to hang it in, they are well educated to appreciate it and it is a useful tool to aggrandise their own status. So where are the great royal art collections now?

Russia: State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.
France: The Louvre, Paris.
Spain: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.
Holland: Mauritshuis, Den Haag.
Austria Hungary Empire: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Saxony: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.
Great Britain: spread among the Queen’s various homes.

As you can see, one nation still has its national art treasures hidden from the public who paid for it. And what a collection it is, by far the largest “private” collection in the world. As far as we know (there is no publicly accessible inventory) it contains at least 7,000 paintings, 30,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 500,000 prints. By comparison the National Gallery in London has just 2,300 paintings.
We are talking about some amazing art. About 200 Dutch Golden Age pictures including 6 Rembrandts, a Vermeer, a Frans Hals and 7 Jan Steens. An amazing British collection including 33 Gainsboroughs, 50 Thomas Lawrences, 20 Joshua Reynolds, 18 George Stubbs and 100 Landseers. From the Italian Renaissance there are 8 Raphaels (and a huge number of his drawings), 5 Tintorettos, 4 Titians, 3 Veroneses, 12 Giordanos and, famously 600 Leonardo da Vinci drawings, among many much more. And so it goes on. This one “private” collection is actually better than many of the world’s great public art galleries. It takes a staff of 29 curators and 32 conservationists to run it.

Admittedly the Queen loans out some of this work, admittedly there are exhibitions (£10 to get in, after we already paid for this work!) of small bits of the collection at the Queen’s Gallery, next to Buckingham Palace and admittedly you can glimpse some of it on guided tours of the royal palaces. But the vast majority is unavailable to the public. Even Buckingham Palace is only open to the public for two months a year. Which is all, frankly, immoral. That the Queen, purely as an accident of birth, gets to “own” a huge chunk of the world’s greatest art for her own entertainment, denying the people who paid for it access, really is utterly appalling.

We need change. The entire Royal art collection should be available online, to everyone, immediately. The National Gallery, Tate, British Museum and V&A need extensions, then the Royal collection needs moving into these public institutions, for the world to see. The National Gallery would become by far the worlds best art museum. Many, many times more people would visit Britain to see this than come to the UK to “see” the Royals. This amazing art would be seen by many millions of people every year. The Queen can put copies of the work up in her houses if she wants.

There is precedent for this, the National Library (then part of the British Museum) was gifted the King’s Library (65,000 books) in 1823 by King George IV as was the Old Royal Library (2,000 manuscripts), donated by King George II in 1757. So these are now public property for anyone to see. What is good enough for books must surely be good enough for art.

Read more at here https://www.bruceonarthistory.com/

The Rise of Graffiti

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The graffiti art of the 1970’s has made one of the biggest historical impacts on the visual arts. It has impacted and changed fashion, style, graphic design and even marketing and promotion used in advertising. Graffiti is a style of art and painting done with cans of spray paint. Surprisingly Its origin is the urban subways of new york city and it is still one of the major aspects that helped create the hip hop culture.

Graffiti was very unique for so many reasons. It is the only visual art form known to be created with no “physical touch”. Meaning the hands and fingers don’t touch the surface that the artwork is designed and painted on. The actual art is done with spray paint, held from a short distance of the surface, which means the artist had to have an accurate aim and there own perfect technique in shaping and designing the actual art. Another thing that makes this style of visual art so unique is that ninety percent of it was done outside in public. You could easily find graffiti on busses, trains, buildings, and walls. You not only understood the look and artwork of hip hop graffiti, you also understood that you were in a hip hop culture environment. Last but not least, and sadly, it is still the only art form that you can get arrested for doing. As beautiful and fascinating as it is, it is illegal to spray graffiti art on the subway trains and public buildings. It just goes to show the love these artists had for this craft, they were willing to take the risk of being arrested just to perform and display their artwork.

In many eyes this was not just a new form of self expression, but it was the most artistic form of self expression that the hip hop culture had to offer. Each artist has their own individual style, from the style of letters, to human and non human drawn characters, to the ways they blended different colors of paint on the walls. This art form was about not only expressing yourself, but also building a reputation as one of the top graffiti artists. All graffiti artist had their own special signature which at the time was called tags. Your tag was the signature “nick name” for your graffiti artwork if you were a graffiti artist. The tags was how these artists made a name for their selves and got recognition in the urban communities.

To this day, graffiti can be seen on Hip Hop album covers, posters, t-shirts, and flyers. It is consistently used in graphic design art that is used to promote hip hop concerts, albums, and other hip hop events. It is incorporated into our technology through graphic design. Hip Hop music changes but the graffiti never does! Even air brush graffiti is an extension to the original graffiti that was done with spray cans. Air brush graffiti can still be seen on fashion today.

Overall, hip hop graffiti art told a short story of an urban lifestyle and the hip hop culture. Painted walls of hip hop ciphers rapping, painted graffiti of break dancers dancing, and even painted graffiti of neighborhood kids rolling dice in the alley. This was more than visual art, it was also visual story telling. New york subways and walls tagged with graffiti will always be looked at as landmarks of the birthplace that originated and elevated the “graffiti art” in the urban community.

The site is selling all types of specialist spray paint, for graffiti and many other art & DIY projects such as youth workshops, stage building and general media art use.