The internet has allowed people from around the world to have a voice and display their art. Some people have used the internet to scam others of money. All of us have probably received e-mails from Nigerian scam artists claiming we will receive millions of dollars if we supply them with our bank account numbers. These scam artists are not representative of Nigeria as there are many talented artists who live there. One of these artists is Yemi West.
Yemi West, a Nigerian artist in Lagos State, sent me some images of her families' wonderful artwork. She doesn't have an internet presence, so I decided to post some of it here for the world to see. As you can see, the carved ivory and wood carving sculptures are beautiful.
Says Yemi, "I started creating art at about 8 years back with my grand father. My grand dad has been into art for several years, so I pick (sic) interest in it some years back and I really found it interesting. It has actually become part of me. It has been easy and at the same time not too easy because it takes time and a dedicated job. My grand dad made us realize that art is a thing of the mind and should a part of our daily lives. Most of the catalogs I sent to you was not actually done by me alone. It was a collective job done by my grand dad and two of my younger ones. I hope the designs are OK, they were strictly Africa Classic designs."
Click on the images to see the full view
The subject of her designs are old African heroes, kings, queens, and gods. She says her small wooden sculptures are $80 each. If you would like to contact West about her art, here is her contact information:
No. 17 Cash Street
Mushin, Lagos State
Tel: +234 8029490208
Raindrops on Roses and Sculptures on Needles
Many are calling this artist the eighth wonder of the world. The artist's name is Willard Wigan. Wigan creates the world's smallest sculptures on pinheads and the eyes of needles between heartbeats. His sculptures are barely one hundredth of an inch tall and have to be done under a microscope.
Willard sculpts his work from gold, nylon, carbon fiber and grains of sand. He's developed his technique for more than 40 years. Each sculpture takes several months to complete and is done in total solitude in his studio.
"The stillness of it is very important - you have to control the whole nervous system, you have to work between the heartbeat - the pulse of your finger can destroy the work," explains Willard.
The Titanic on the tip of a pin
Elvis Presley on a pinhead
There is a dark side to his life, however. He is
dyslexic and had tremendous difficulty in school. Says Willard, "I can't read or write but I have a way of expressing myself. The teachers at school made me feel small so they made me feel like nothing. I'm trying to prove to the world that nothing doesn't exist."
Because of the humiliation he experienced as a child, Willard kept his art secret for many years. He felt that it too would be criticized. He started out building miniature homes for ants and other insects. He then transferred that to art while using special tools such as a hair to brush on the paint. To do this, he has to have a very steady hand. His work is so small that he inhaled one of his sculptures while working on it.
"You have to control the whole nervous system, you have to work between the heartbeat - the pulse of your finger can destroy the work," says Willard.
Peter Pan in a fish hook
Willard was born in 1957 at Birmingham, England. He has received his MBE for service to the arts from the Prince of Wales in 2007. Lloyds of London commissioned Willard to replicate the Lloyd's of London building on a pinhead. This art was later sold for £94,000 ($143,689). His first exhibition sold for £11.2 million ($17.1 million). Willard is currently touring the UK and is scheduled for America and Canada. This month his work is at the Friar Lane Gallery in Nottingham.
Educators should take to heart his comments and work at reaching students like Wigan. In spite of it all, he fought against all odds and is now a millionaire. Says Willard, "People haven't seen the best of me yet. I'm going to take it smaller."
Amazing! I'm going to show my students this video, perhaps they will realize the things that I ask them to do in their projects are not NEARLY as painstakingly detailed :O) December 22 , 2008 4:18 PM
Wigan is doing a US tour this summer! First stop: L.A.! Show runs June 11 to July 5th at DAC Gallery in Los Angeles. (UPDATE - July 7, 2013; The show is over but you can see his current shows on his website.) May 18 , 2009 3:48 PM
Charles Schulz Lives On Laptops
A screenshot of the second Peanuts Motion Comic. This webisode is free for a limited time on iTunes.
Shortly after the death of Charles Schulz, the surviving Schulz family did not want anyone to take over drawing the strips. Only old strips would appear in what are called Classic Peanuts. Many newspapers still carry the Classic Peanuts strips.
The Schulz family and estate have had a change of heart and have allowed Peanuts' comic strips to be put to life in animated webisodes through Warner Brothers. Peanuts Motion Comics, as they are called, are now on sale on iTunes. The first two episodes are free and the entire volume of 20 episodes can be had for $7.99 or $.99 each. Although the episodes are short at about 3 minutes 20 seconds, the color is sharp and the images are vibrant. Comic strips from 1964 have been animated and have new voices.
The Schulz family closely monitored the adaptation. Said Jeannie Schulz, "Our interest was in keeping the integrity of the Peanuts strip. They've done a very cute job of making it really look like the old animation, but better." 
Jeannie Schulz, the widow of "Sparky" Schulz says that CG animation wouldn't work with the strip because of the simplistic style of the strip. When asked what her husband would think if he was still alive, Jeannie said, "I'm sort of glad that Sparky- Mr. Schulz- isn't alive. But even though he would not understand why people wanted to look at things on their telephone, he understood stories and telling stories." [Website no longer online]
Head on over to the iTunes store and take a gander (the link won't work unless you have iTunes already installed)
Artists Look To the Internet for Art Sales
A growing trend among independent artists is evident in the number of artists who are selling paintings, sculpture and fine art photos on the internet.
Chicago based Discovered-Artists.com, an internet marketplace for buying and selling art, reports that more than four-hundred artists have joined their online art gallery in the past sixty days.
These international, independent artists are following a growing trend among artists who are searching for a better way to sell their art. They're looking for an alternative to selling at art shows and to relying on art galleries to represent them.
The cost to exhibit work at art shows, according to many artists has skyrocketed over the recent summer season. Gas prices are making it more expensive for artists to travel to and from shows, and what's adding to the problem is that the high travel costs and heavy competition for consumers' time are dampening art buyer attendance.
Artists also complain that the cost of outdoor booth rental has increased substantially, and with uncertain weather conditions there's no guarantee that an artist will sell enough art to break even, let alone make a profit.
Traditionally, artists have relied on art galleries to represent them. But, few artists are able to get galleries to sell their work and, even those who can, are often frustrated by the high commissions that galleries attach to each sale. It's not unusual for an artist to receive only half of what a painting sells for through an art gallery.
So, many artists are looking for a better way to show and to sell their art, and they're looking to the internet as the next, big thing.
Although most full time artists have impressive websites, fewer than eleven percent have sophisticated, secure online shopping carts that accept major credit cards. So, internet shoppers must contact the artist to chat about terms, ask about shipping and make arrangements for sending payment to the artist (usually a bank check).
It's widely accepted among e-commerce marketers that internet shoppers prefer to transact business quickly, simply and independent of human touch. Being asked to "contact the artist to buy this art" can turn off a prospective buyer and kill the sale.
One of the artists turning to the internet is veteran artist, Richard Black, creator of Smokey the Bear and illustrator of the legendary advertising icon, Mr. Clean (See image at left). The internet-savvy artist started his career long before plastic keyboards were invented, but was quick to embrace the world wide web as a place to show and sell his art.
Black, who is an eighty-something, teaches at a local university, paints every day and regularly uploads finished paintings to his online art gallery. Like most artists he has had to acquire the technical skill to photograph and create high resolution ../images that are so important for successful e-commerce art sales.
And this is why artists are flocking to show and sell their work online. Self-representation in what is now a world-wide art gallery is a trend that is quickly changing the art world, and how artists go to market.
And, it's a positive change for art buyers, too. Real art is now more accessible and more affordable to the general public than ever before. For the first time in history artists have a practical way to show and sell their work, and buyers have a practical way to find and buy real art. The internet is a worldwide art gallery a thousand times larger than the Louvre and much easier to browse!
Largest Biennial of International
Prospect.1 New Orleans [P.1],the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the United States, opened to the public on November 1, 2008 in museums, historic buildings, and found sites throughout New Orleans.
Prospect.1 New Orleans has been conceived in the tradition of the great international biennials, and showcases new artistic practices as well as an array of programs benefiting the local community. Over the course of its eleven-week run, Prospect.1 New Orleans will draw international media attention, creative energy, and new economic activity to the city of New Orleans.
How to Prospect:
Prospect.1 is currently on view at over two dozen official venues throughout New Orleans from Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 AM to 6 PM. (Some venues may open or close earlier; please consult the official venue list for links to more information.) The exhibition will run through January 18, 2009.
Although all Prospect.1 venues are free during exhibition hours, you must have a ticket for admission. You can obtain your free admission ticket at the Contemporary Arts Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Old U.S. Mint in addition to the Prospect.1 Welcome Center at the Hefler Warehouse (851 Magazine Street). Your ticket will be valid for the entire duration of the exhibition.
You may also register for your admission ticket online. Click here to register for your free Prospect.1 tickets!
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