UK

Tagsmart weekly discovery: Sara Shamsavari’s global identity

Born in Tehran in the midst of the Iranian revolution, multi-disciplinary artist Sara Shamsavari overcame childhood cancer while she and her family fled persecution.

Raised in London and educated at Camberwell School of Art and Design and Central Saint Martins, her experiences inspired her exploration of identity and engendered a profound desire to make a difference through art.

At a time of increased division, conflict and polarisation around the world, Shamsavari’s works explore and celebrate global identity. While each of her photographic series has a distinct focus, together, they all seek to encourage a deeper understanding of our nuances as human beings in contrast to the current popular narratives that misrepresent, malign and often succeed in dividing and ‘othering’ those in the minority.

London Veil was her first series, portraying young women wearing the hijab on the streets of London, Paris, New York and Toronto.

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Her series Britain Retold: A Portrait of London is an exploration of British identity as known by the diverse communities living in London.

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She has also contributed to series such as The Dandy Lion Project by curator Shantrelle P. Lewis, which challenges its audience to rethink the outlook of black men perpetuated in the media today.

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With a belief that artists can be leaders in social and spiritual progress, Shamsavari seeks to encourage both participants and viewers in transforming the way we view society and ourselves.

Shamsavari’s work has been featured across various media and publications including BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Elle, i-D and Dazed & Confused. Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries, museums and public spaces and she has delivered a number of talks at cultural institutions, including Tate Britain and Southbank Centre.

Adam Lee's ‘This Earthen Tent’ exhibition at Beers London

Adam Lee works from his studio in the hills of the Macedon Ranges, Australia, and he works mostly with traditional painting and drawing materials. His work references a wide range of sources including historical and colonial photography, biblical narratives, natural history and contemporary music, film and literature to investigate aspects of the human condition in relation to ideas of temporal and supernatural worlds.

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Lee’s This Earthen Tent exhibition at Beers London presents a new series of work in which he continues to explore pilgrimage and the experience of lamentation as a metaphor for the experience of painting. 

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Themes of family, shelter, and a sense of protection tend to represent the works, evoking a sense of ethereality or nostalgia, but ultimately reflecting his fascination with our longing for home, however evasive or mysterious that may appear.

As viewers, we quickly become aware of Lee’s interest in archaic figures and a tendency toward folkloric and fantastical imagery. From the idyllic to the pastoral, his paintings include shrine and tabernacles, funerary scenes or pilgrimage groups, often circulating around the hermit as a metaphoric figure or unknowing protagonist.

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Lee’s works are often accompanied by a sense of regeneration. It seems time converges; the past, future and present become one, and narratives become complex and uncertain.

Adam Lee: This Earthen Tent will be on display until September 30.

Visit us at the London Art Fair 2017

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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.

British doubts over Joan of Arc's ring

The Joan of Arc ring, which was temporarily taken out of the UK in March before an export licence was applied for, may not have belonged to the saint. After being taken to France by its new owner without proper documentation, it was quietly returned to London after pressure was exerted by the British authorities. An export licence was then applied for and was quickly granted, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence that the ring had really once belonged to Joan of Arc.

Race is on to beat art forgery with DNA technology

A British company is the latest to launch a labelling system that uses synthetic DNA to help protect works by living artists. Mark Darbyshire, the London framer, and Steve Cooke, the software developer, have created Tagsmart Certify to help combat forgeries. While issues of authenticity dog the market for older works, Cooke says the dynamics of today’s broader landscape—including online channels and emerging markets—heighten the need for immediate authenticity in contemporary art.

“Some artists don’t want to get technical, but they may now just have to be,” he says. Artists who have already endorsed the product—which has 12 security features, including its DNA label—include Mat Collishaw, Idris Khan and Gary Hume, who are among Tagsmart’s founding supporters.

A brush with the law: forger turns fine artist

He spent time in prison for forgery, but now David Henty has found a better use for his artistic skills. He’s discovered a talent for copying the works of geniuses like Van Gogh and Picasso. David, from Saltdean in Sussex, denies his paintings are fakes, but not everyone agrees. Ebay, for example, has banned him, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

Copycat artist defends sale of 'Grand Masters'

A reformed forger has rejected criticism that selling his near-perfect copies of world famous paintings is damaging the art world. David Henty, who has previously been convicted of forging passports and number plates, insisted he is simply allowing the public to own great artworks at an affordable price.

Until recently he sold forgeries of Van Gogh, Picasso and Modigliani online, auctioning off hundreds of his works through multiple eBay accounts. He trod a fine line between legality and law-breaking by never explicitly claiming – merely implying – that his reproductions might be authentic originals.

Stolen artefacts stashed by British art dealer are returned to Italy

Italian and Swiss police have recovered priceless archaeological artefacts stolen from Italy and stored by a notorious British antiquities dealer, Italy’s culture ministry has said.

The haul, worth €9m (£7.1m), was discovered in 2014 in a storage unit at the Geneva Freeport warehouse complex in Switzerland rented by the disgraced art dealer Robin Symes, a giant in the illegal antiquities trade with ties to Italian tomb raiders.