Contemporary Art

Tagsmart First Open Call

Tagsmart First Open Call

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first Open Call! We were thrilled to receive so many high calibre submissions and we want to thank everyone for their time.

After much deliberation, we were able to shortlist four artists…

The Art of Seeing - Photography and painting converge in Alice Gur-Arie’s work

The Art of Seeing - Photography and painting converge in Alice Gur-Arie’s work

Digitally hand re-painting her photographs from around the world, Alice invites viewers to replace the window through which they see the world, with a lens that interprets "reality" into something familiar yet foreign.

Andrew Salgado, our artist of the week

Andrew Salgado confronts concepts of identity face-on in his spectacular, large-scale works. The London-based Canadian artist is playful with media, effectively producing emotive, engaging images. We’re proud to have Andrew as part of the Tagsmart community!

Our new service: Connect is live!

Tagsmart Connect allows artists to offer trusted artworks direct to online retailers, who in turn can offer DNA protected and professionally certificated artwork to their collectors.

How does it work?

Artworks are protected using Tagsmart Certify - DNA tagging technology.
Artists are then able to submit protected art, directly to online retailers.
Retailers are able to select trusted inventory and offer it to their collectors.
Collectors purchase works with confidence.

“I see a great value in the partnership with Tagsmart, we want to sell trusted art online via our marketplace. It is important for us to have complete and accurate records relating to the works whilst being able to reduce administrative effort. Tagsmart allows us to do so in a very efficient and secure way.”

Nicolas Gitton, Founder of ArtSnap

Tagsmart weekly discovery: Laudi Abilama’s Arabian Pop

Born in 1986 in Surrey, Laudi Abilama spent most of her life in the United Kingdom where she received her BA in Arts and Media from the University College of Creative Arts.

image

At the age of 20, she moved back to Lebanon to be part of the rise of contemporary art in the region. Much of her work is based on portraits and iconic imagery; representing personalities and images that have at some point influenced or touched her.

image

Orientalism and Arabism have greatly influenced her work. She is influenced by what is currently popular in the Middle East and by how Arabism is misrepresented in the West. She often focuses on stereotypes within Arab society and critiques them in subtle ways.

image

Abilama mixes her own pigments, integrating into her images subtle, spontaneous, uncalculated traces of oriental forms, created much in the same way they were hundreds of years ago. Living in the United Kingdom for such a large part of her life has allowed Abilama to look at the Middle East with a more critical eye, as she describes her work as Arabian Pop

image

She exhibits in Beirut, London and Dubai, and her work is acquired internationally. She has participated in many collective shows, namely the Sursock Museum’s Salon d'Automne and at Sotheby’s as part of their ‘Shubbak’ Festival in London.

image

Mario Testino’s art collection goes up for auction at Sotheby’s in Los Angeles

One of the most influential fashion and portrait photographers of our time, Mario Testino kick-started his photographer career as a freelancer for Vogue and Vanity Fair after a chance encounter.

In his 40-year practice as a photographer, he gained worldwide attention with his unique talent in capturing his subjects candidly and effortlessly. Testino has documented A-list celebrities, supermodels and artists, as well as many royals, including his most memorable sitting with Diana, Princess of Wales, commissioned for Vanity Fair in 1997.

image

In 2012 Mario Testino established the not-for-profit MUSEO MATE in Lima to promote and support local and global culture in Peru. 

His impressive contemporary art collection is now at auction at Sotheby’s revealing the artist as collector, patron and collaborator. All proceeds will go toward the expansion of the centre’s programme of exhibitions, residencies and education initiatives, ensuring its success in the future.

Some of the artists include Adriana VarejãoRichard Prince, Georg Baselitz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cindy Sherman, and Gilbert & George.

image

The Shake It Up: Works from the Mario Testino Collection auction will be taking place in Los Angeles from August 15 to 17.

Marit Geraldine Bostad exhibits at Madelyn Jordon Fine Art

Marit Geraldine Bostad describes her paintings as “intuitive, rich in colour, and passionate”. Her work is largely emotional and has a significant process behind it, eliminating the unnecessary and capture only the essence of the subject, resulting in strong, dynamic, abstract compositions.

image

This Thursday, August 10th, Bostad presents her richly coloured and textured works, imbued with a fresh, youthful approach and positivity, alongside Liz Tran and Gary Komarin, in the Body Electric exhibition at the Madelyn Jordon Fine Art

image

While diverse in methodology, technique and intent, the three artists share a passion for a vibrant, high key colour palette which imparts a celebratory energy to their work. With range and depth, the exhibition defines how the artists are advancing contemporary art practice through time-honoured modes of art-making. The show runs until September 9th.

image

Originally an Art Director with 10 years of visual projects within film, illustration and concept building, Bostad has exhibited her work in Oslo, London and New York. Since her debut at The Other Art Fair in London in 2016, she has received substantial attention curators as well as galleries throughout Europe for her vibrant, joyful and contemporary abstract paintings. 

Tagsmart weekly discovery: the art of Dave White

image

Born in 1971 in Liverpool, Dave White brings a fresh take to the traditional paint-to-canvas medium. He uses oil and watercolour to create works that are filled with expression, emotion and dynamism. Known for his animal series’, White captures creatures from the natural world with astonishing vividness, exploiting colour, texture and tonality to generate a unique aesthetic. His works are characterised by an energy of movement, achieved through the sharp splashes, drips and strokes of paint that fill the canvas.

Opening tonight, White is exhibiting his Apex series in the MIX: Summer Group Show 2017 at Lawrence Alkin Gallery

image

The artist has also recently donated the edition number 30/30 of his Gold Leaf Tiger for Artsy’s online auction to raise funds for the Grenfell Tower victims. The auction runs until 1 August and the grant goes to The London Community Foundation

image

White has also taken part in the largest installation of public art ever to appear in London BT ArtBox, designed the trainers for the American Olympic basketball team and worked alongside Nike, a collaboration which continues until today. His work has been exhibited at international art fairs and in New York, London, Shanghai, Miami, Rotterdam and Dallas, to name a few. 

image

As his career continues to reach new heights, and his work attracts more and more attention, Dave White remains fundamentally a brilliant painter.

Tagsmart was here: Sculpture in the City 2017

Every year contemporary sculptures by internationally renowned artists are taken out of their natural habitat and placed in surprising corners of London’s financial district, Square Mile. With this year being the largest to date, with 16 artworks taking up residence amongst some of London’s most famous buildings, our team had a little wander around the city and picked our favourite pieces.

Nathaniel Rackowe’s Black Shed Expanded at Bury Court 

image

This piece, which recently featured at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, is a large-scale urban shed structure, seemingly mid-explosions upside-down, exposing its illuminated interior. It stands out amongst the London skyscrapers which surround it, the force of the light emanating from within, it seems to be ripping it apart. This work is in line with Rackowe’s usual practice, combining light and movement with urban infrastructure and industrial products. 


Gavin Turk’s Ajar at the St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Gardens 

image

This random open doorframe in the middle of a park has been left on display from last year’s Sculpture in the City and is rather intriguing. Why a door frame in an open space? Is it opening or closing? Do we walk through the door frame? Why is the handle so low down? Why has it been left open? Is it a portal through time? The door leads to never-ending questions and possibilities, and yet, it also leads to nothing. It is a playful homage to William Blake’s famous doors of perception as we are invited to walk through Turk’s door into the enchanting realms of the imagination and beyond. So, if you need a time out of the office head down to Bishopsgate!


Kevin Killen’s Tipping Point at The Leadenhall Building

image

Using the city streets to guide him, Killen has mapped out the urban landscape of Belfast with a series of light arrangements. The artist captures accidental, unexpected, spontaneous and playful fleeting moments of movement with his camera. He then deconstructs and visualises these images with the use of neon lights. The intricacy and experimentation of his work are highly impressive. When looking at this colourful installation, you would never guess that such thought has gone into its creation, would you? His translation of urban settings into kinetic light pulses is just beautiful!


Damien Hirst’s Temple in Cullum Street 

image

The anatomical model of a male torso, with the musculature and organs exposed, stands 21-feet high near one of London’s oldest markets, Leadenhall Market. This piece, made in 2008, is reminiscent of many other Hirst sculptures, such as The Virgin Mother, which was one of the largest bronze statues in the world at the time. The famed artist’s obsession with anatomy and death is clear throughout his work, whether with people or animals. Standing under this sculpture, you come to realise that we are human and beneath our skin, these organs reverberate keeping us alive. Quite scary!


Karen Tang’s Synapsid at Fenchurch Street Station

image

Reminiscent of a mutated, radioactive monster, this piece is rather playful and interactive. But what is it actually? An alien, some animal form, a monster? The neon greens and blobby segments evoke some kind of sci-fi evasion where extraterrestrials descend from space and rampage through London’s city centre. Tang’s works often reference science, sci-fi, architecture and city life.

A Taste Of Art

To commemorate the London Food Month, a month-long celebration of food conjuring up over 400 events across the city, we have gathered a selection of artists from around the world who focus on and involve food in their work. The creators of these pieces use the physicality and history of food to give their art meaning, both obvious and subliminal.

Food was created for consumption through the use of our mouths, but not everybody has the capability of digesting with their eyes. So put the paintbrushes, cameras and tools aside, and open your brain-buds to the sweet and savoury side of the art realm!

Vik Muniz’s Valentina, The Fastest, from the ‘Sugar Children’ series (1996)

image

Vik Muniz has often used food to realise his impressive works. In a meticulous process and using a wide range of materials like sugar, chocolate and caviar, the artist recreates well-known images such as masterpieces or photographs. Viewed from a distance, the similarity of his works to its originals are striking. However, when seen up close the images turn the viewer’s attention to its symbolic meaning through the contextual use of materials. For example, for the Sugar Children series, Muniz took pictures of local children while on holidays in the Caribbean. Upon returning home, he recreated these images by arranging sugar on black paper. Embedded with irony, the sugar connotes both the essence of childhood and the hard labour of the local trade.


Chloe Wise’Moschino English Muffin (2015)

image

Chloe Wise uses food as a recurring motif in her work. This artwork is a replica of a Moschino bag but made of English muffins, urethane, oil paint, leather, hardware and butter container. From Wise’s Bread Bags series, the artist playfully parodies high-fashion designer logos using bread as a symbol of status and wealth and hints to the uselessness of beautiful objects. It seems the artist is making a play on the word consumption meaning both indulging in food and overspending on superficial and unnecessary belongings. She elegantly comments on current societal trends and hierarchy in a fun and trendy fashion, managing to make highly expensive, chic and timeless bags look so good that it also undermines their value and draws attention to the meaningless nature of trends. The viewer is made to question: do I really need this or do I just want it?


Pope.L, Claim (Whitney Version) (2017)

image

Pope.L (aka William Pope.L) has a long history of enacting arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces. Featured in this year’s Whitney Biennial. Claim is a giant pink cube with 2,755 slices of real bologna sausage nailed to it, slowing rotting over time and stinking up space, each affixed with a black and white photocopied snapshot of a person. From day one, the oily juices from the food were cooling into small basins that run along the floor, so the meat was not really rotting but actually curing, referencing the curing or healing of people. It is a recognition of people as human beings and not numbers. As the meat cures, the photograph is contorted, making the viewer question who are these people and if it really matters?


Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Soup/No Soup (2012)

image

Rirkrit Tiranvanija uses human interaction as his primary material. And what better way to bring people together than through a mutual love for food? For the prelude of La Triennale 2012’s opening, Rirkrit was invited to transform the main nave of the Grand Palais into a festive, large-scale, twelve-hour banquet composed of a single meal. The artist creates innovative initiatives to involve the public into the art making process, bridging the gap between public and private art and negating the notion of art as an upper-class enjoyment.


Agnes Denes’ Wheatfield – A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan (1982)

image

The area we now know as Battery Park City and the World Financial Center was once used by Agnes Denes’ to create her one of her most notorious works. Over a six-month period in 1982, Denes planted a field of golden wheat on two acres of rubble-strewn landfill. She explains: “Wheatfield was a symbol, a universal concept. It represented food, energy, commerce, world trade, economics. It referred to mismanagement, waste, world hunger and ecological concerns. It was an intrusion into the citadel, a confrontation of high civilisation. Then again, it was also Shangri-la, a small paradise, one’s childhood, a hot summer afternoon in the country, peace, forgotten values, simple pleasures.” Denes is a pioneer in Land Art and highlights the controversies such as world hunger through her expansive and impressive installations.


Peter Anton, Pink Confetti Cake (2012)

image

Peter Anton is an American artist and sculptor whose primary focus is food, with an emphasis on sweets and chocolates. The artist has a particularly interesting way of creating his artwork whereby he first needs to experience it through taste, smell and touch, to then thoroughly dissect his subject before depicting it. This intricate observation of his subjects shines through in his works which could fool anyone into believing they’re real, if not for their oversized nature. His nearly obsessive focus on all things sweet may be a hint to the human need and want for things which were once better enjoyed in moderation. An example is how through history in many cultures following a religious occasion a sweet would be offered as a special treat, however now people come up with any reason to consume sugar… Or just no reason at all.

Visit us at the London Art Fair 2017

image

London Art Fair is the UK’s premier Modern and Contemporary Art fair. The 29th edition of the fair returns to Islington from 18-22 January 2017, featuring over one hundred carefully selected galleries from the UK and overseas.

Modern art is presented alongside contemporary work from today’s leading artists, covering the period from the early 20th century to the present day.

Endorsed and used by leading and upcoming artists, Tagsmart is proud to sponsor this event. Visit our stand S4 to discover the extensive benefits of our all-round complete art authentication solutions, from DNA tagging technology to identify artworks alongside a unique system for issuing Certificates of Authenticity. These services are fully integrated with a secure digital platform which enables artists to verify the authenticity of their artworks and create an accredited chain of provenance. 

Whether you are an artist, a collector or an art seller, Tagsmart Certify is the perfect solution for you.