Tag Archives: museums

Nudity: Going Naked for Art? or Just Chimp Marketing?

Nudity has been the bedfellow of art since the ancient Greeks. The Greeks had naked bodies everywhere in their art not to mention what the Romans did with theirs. It’s not the sight of a naked human body that I find rather disturbing. Rather it’s the degree to which the idea of getting naked as performance art at major art venues is becoming the norm.

We recently covered an article about the artist Milo Moiré. Her strange desire to get naked in Basel, Switzerland during an art festival did not go unnoticed by either the authorities, who could do nothing legally, or the sponsors of the event.   I realize that one naked performance artist tramping her way through crowds of art sightseers is hardly a pandemic of nefarious nudity.

However, according to Artnet news, in May, the performance artist Deborah de Robertis decided to produce her own version of Gustave Courbet‘s L’Origine du monde (Origin of the World) and exposed her genitalia for the room to see.   The authorities at the Musée d’Orsay saw very little humor in the unscheduled event and had her performance cut short with a police escort.

At this point you might believe that this is a European problem. Alas, no. According to NPR, Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi is currently facing a potential 2 year prison sentence in Japan for creating a kayak modeled after her genitals. This is a strict no-no in Japan. She has already run into trouble with the Japanese police for just trying to raise the money for the Kayak and once again for sending pictures of it online.

Again, the issue is not the nudity. It’s the notion behind the nudity. None of these artists are arguably creating anything more worthwhile that scandalous publicity. It’s one thing to dutifully perform these acts as a symbol of protest or support for some political or ideological ideal, it’s quite another to just get naked and/or proudly display your genitals for a bit of publicity.

For the record, each artist claims they did these acts of exposure for artistic reasons. That’s fine in a sense. However, the more skeptical minded would see this as a mere attention-getting stunt. I mean, what are you protesting by exposing your genitals to a room full of people in front of a painting made in 1866?

Would it be wrong to see this as a simple yet rather effective marketing ploy that hopefully results in higher art sales? That of course brings us to a secondary question. Will it work? That these stunts might actually lead to a rise of personal sales by each of these artists is troubling.

I find this kind of marketing desperate and rather inartistic. If one wants to openly display oneself as some primal oriented object to garner personal attention, then how is that art?

Feeling by Andrew Chianese

Our primate cousins do this on a daily basis. Have we reduced  the arts to the level of chimpanzee marketing?  How then does this display make for art of a higher purpose? If it doesn’t, why do it?

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The Art Show Curator: A Glimpse Into the Future? Part 2

In our last post we discussed some of the problems curators deal with finding that perfect combination of artwork thus creating the perfect art show for both their clients and their gallery.

Currently, gallerists/curators  rely on the old-fashioned methods of data collection through sales reports, customer feedback, and various marketing campaigns to address the need for understanding what clients want to see. But often, these collection methods are slow, ponderous and often open to interpretation.

However, in the past decade the computer industry has improved the artificial intelligence of computers to the point where they may take over many of the tasks of trying to curate the perfect show. Advances with interactive technology such as Siri or sensor based data programs such as Nest allow for a possible look into the future.

Imagine walking into an art show and stepping in front of a blank panel. The computer sensors scan your face and using expression recognition software deduces what mood you’re in. Other sensors can detect the cologne or perfume you’re wearing, posture, tension in voice and respond by calculating out what piece of artwork would statistically offer you the most comfort.

It sounds rather cold and calculating doesn’t it?  But all the data processing would be done behind the scenes. All you would know is that suddenly a work of art with the greatest chance of improving your mood and providing the best experience would appear for your enjoyment.

So, our collector that loves sepia and sepia type formatted artwork will, with a single spoken sentence, enjoy work after work of art tailored to his particular desire.


What if you don’t like a particular form of art?  Imagine saying a simple sentence that you did not like abstract oil painting, and afterwards the computer makes sure you would never see one. It would be a custom tailored art experience for each person.

Names would not need to be collected and data not stored on individuals thus guaranteeing a person’s privacy. It could become a wonderful system to drive sales for the artist and the collector’s enjoyment.  While the actual system does not exist yet, the technology to create such a system either already exists or is in the development stage now.  Sci-fi technology and art working together to create the perfect show.

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Art Show Curating: A Glimpse Into the Future? Part I

Imagine a collector of art going to a new art show featuring the latest photographic art.  This collector loves to buy art, but his absolute favorite kind of art is old-fashioned sepia filtered photography like in our work Old Farm House.   Envision what would happen if he could see an entire show of sepia photography done by several artists.  You don’t need to know a lot about marketing to realize the chances of his purchasing a work just increased exponentially.

Old Farm House
Old Farm House

The result is a happy collector, a happy artist, and a happy gallery owner.  The perfect combination for a successful art show.

However, one of the more difficult aspects of art gallery work is the curating of the works that you present. The art of curating is fraught with peril. So much of your chance for success as an artist and a gallery owner depends upon this task.

Curation of your artwork means looking critically at your work or the work of others and come to satisfactory decision as to what art pieces you will display to the public. But it’s not only what you show, it’s also where in the gallery you show a particular piece and of course how you will do it.   Further, for success it necessary to have a rudimentary understanding as to why those particular answers will work.

Yet, I’m not just referring to finding one’s own satisfaction. It’s more about the audience, or hopefully the collectors that are perusing your works. This is when the difficulty truly creeps in.

Unless you were born as a psychic empathy, your ability to determine whether a person likes a particular piece or what piece a particular individual may like is completely driven by data. This data is, at the moment, captured using surveys, sales reports, and endless tomes of marketing research.

But what if it wasn’t so. What if through the advances of technology we could do away with that collection of endless data and almost, statistically speaking, guarantee you will love the next art show you walk into.   It sounds incredulous doesn’t it?

In our next post I will give a glimpse into the possible future of the art show and the huge difference computer technology will bring to our collective experiences.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!