Tag Archives: New York City

The Graffiti Artist and Street Vendor

The Graffiti Artist Street VendorThe streets of New York City are littered with street artists. Those who succeed at this trade often combine unique artistic ability with marketing efforts. Beyond taking time to create numerous works, they have to sell them too. This is not always easy. In fact, it is downright hard, even for a world famous artist.

Banksy is a world famous graffiti artist.

While Banksy is not his birth name, art featuring this “tag” can be found decorating cities throughout the world. Beyond this talent, Banksy uses film and traditional canvas paintings to advance his position as a political activist. His satirical style, stenciling technique, and creativity lead to priceless masterpieces.

Of course “priceless” is an exaggeration. His work sells quite well, considering those who purchase it usually have to assume responsibility for cleaning it off the walls of city property. Yet the sliding scale of his work is drastic. A piece that sells for $249,000 in one venue may only sell for $60 in another.

Banksy’s Street Vendor Experiment

This was the case when Banksy arranged for an anonymous sidewalk art booth be erected in New York City’s Central Park. A piece titled, “Love is in the Air,” was on the table, listed at $60. This summer, a limited edition of the same work sold in auction for a quarter of a million dollars.

Banksy hired a man to sit in front of the booth and sell art work. He recorded the day’s happenings and created a two and a half minute Youtube video. Throughout the course of the day, only $420 was earned.

Regardless of sitting in front of a sign that read, “Spray Art,” (which was painted in Banksy’s signature stencil print) no one knew the vendor was selling original artwork signed by Banksy.

The Value of Art

What can be gained from the experiment in Central Park? Nothing, according to Banksy. He does not admit any motivation behind this stint. Instead, he describes the act with the following statement:

“I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There’s no gallery show or book or film. It’s pointless. Which hopefully means something.”

But this display was not pointless. It says something about the value of art. More so, it reinforces the saying, “you better shop around.” A few lucky people got one heck of a deal that day.

Image found on Opticalspy.com http://www.opticalspy.com/high-speed-photography-gallery.html.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Retirement:

More Marketing Tips for Artists

The World’s Favorite Color

Marketing Art in the Digital World: An Introduction

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Good bye and farewell to famous Expressionist artist LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman died June 20, 2012 in New York City just after his 91st birthday. He was most known as an Expressionist painter. Neiman’s first work for Playboy Magazine’s fifth edition which then started him authoring for 15 year a feature titled “Man at His Leisure”. He worked for Playboy Magazine monthly even until recently. I think he was also my mom, Lois Ostrov’s most favorite painter as well.

He received many awards during his lifetime and authored twelve books of his art. Before his death, his originals could sell for up to $500,000. He surely will be missed!

Do you want to know more about Neiman? To read more about the Neimen visit the website provided below.

Images and story available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/arts/leroy-neiman-prolific-painter-of-sports-dies-at-91.html?pagewanted=all

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Romare Bearden and Abstract Expressionist Art

Romare Bearden was an artist whose personal style went against the “mainstream” of art in the post World War II era. Overtime, Bearden’s style did not change as other artists’ did. He remained consistent in his abstract and expressive approach.  This is evident in all of his paintings and even more so in his collages.

Being an abstract expressionist, Bearden’s individual style developed over time.  At first he drew cartoons for magazines, then he began to paint and finally he started making collages.  All of his art was influenced by locations, people, and culture. His many travels along the east coast of the United States influenced his art work, along with his loyalty to his heritage.

The culture of African American life was a large focus for him. He shed much light on the oppression of African American people from the time of the Great Depression, through the Civil Rights Movement and onto their advancements toward equality.  He also concentrated on his heritage, depicting slaves and their migration to the north.

In addition to this, another common theme of his art was jazz music.  This greatly advanced his individual style. His art relayed one common theme but his style was advanced by his personal interpretation of jazz music.  Bearden constructed collages in the same way jazz musicians created a song — with many staccato notes played by multiple instruments. In the same sense, Bearden cut and pasted many small excerpts of paintings and photographs to create a larger work of art.

He also added paint to his collages making many pieces a hybrid of two art forms; half of the piece was painted and the other half was cut and pasted. Such creativity earned him the title of an abstract expressionist artist. While abstract elements were painted, the collage portions were realistic images taken from photographs.

The reason Bearden used this technique was because he felt that art portraying the lives of African American’s did not give full value to the individual.  This is why he used collages. In doing so he was able to combine abstract art with real images so that people of different cultures could grasp the subject matter of the African American culture: The people. This is why his theme always exemplified people of color.

Through the work of Romare Bearden, many lives were affected and individuals were better positioned to understand the struggles that African Americans faced throughout the 20th century.  The heritage of African American’s influenced an entire movement that advanced human equality.  Their struggle produced freedom.  In effect, the outside the box thinking of Romare Bearden created his unique style. A freedom all of its own.

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Did you love this Segmation blog post? If yes, great! Here are a few more posts you will enjoy:

— How the Father of Abstract Expressionism Forsook Fame to Pursue Art
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/how-father-abstract-expressionism-forsook-fame-pursue-art/

— The Beauty of Abstract Art
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/paint-by-number-kits-create-thousands-artists/

— Knitting Is More Than an Art, It Is a Cause
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/knitting-more-than-art-cause/

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Do Not Disturb Signs: Putting a Sweet Twist on a Clear Message

Do Not Disturb

The words, “Do Not Disturb” have never sounded so sweet, or looked so unique.

Hotels and other lodging destinations are becoming more creative about how they approach this straight-forward message. And they aren’t the only ones; these signs are no longer exclusive to places where people rest their heads for a night or two. Artistic versions of these signs are appearing everywhere. Specialty shops, Ebay, and even Etsy has entire art sections dedicated to putting a sweet twist on the universal thought — leave me alone!

Wackiest Hotel Do-Not-Disturb Signs

Le Parker Meridien in New York

While these signs make some chuckle, to others they are tools for marketing. There is even one man who has made collecting a hobby of collecting this signage. Edoardo Flores, is a retired civil servant from Italy. He has the largest collection and online database of “Do Not Disturb” signs. On his website, he states how his addiction collection “started by chance with a ‘do not disturb’ sign taken as a souvenir from a hotel in Pakistan.” He continues to say that his collection is inching close to 6,800 signs from over 180 countries. He still collects these souvenirs and is happy to talk to anyone who shares his interest, or has come across a classic door sign. You can e-mail Edoardo at dndcollector@gmail.com. Also, peruse through much of the  “Do Not Disturb” sign collection on his Flickr account.

Do Not Disturb

The Dylan in Dublin Ireland

Traditionally, a “Do Not Disturb” sign has been placed on the doorknob to let others know they should not enter. This is why they are most often seen in hotels or locations of public lodging. It is a nice way to let staff members, like housekeeping, know that they are not to enter a guest’s domain. In some hotels, rather than having a “Do Not Disturb” sign, they have a “Make Up the Room” sign, or a “Privacy Please” note to inform staff they are not to enter.

Another polite approach to granting or refusing one access is to apply a little creativity to the message. Hotels all over the world have use this technique to advance the straight-forward message with subtlety. In 2008, Embassy Suites held a contest to see who would soften the “Do Not Disturb” message by adding some humor. Over 7,000 people submitted ideas. The following 3 slogans won:


For some time now, creative slogans and artistic designs have been used to soften the straight-forward message, “Do Not Disturb.” If you want to see an endless arrangement of these creative techniques, view ABC News Travel Special called, “Do Not Disturb Me!!!

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How to Write an Artist’s Statement

A sketchbook is a good place to brainstorm ideas for your artist statement.

Even though artists are more comfortable expressing themselves visually, it’s important to be able to articulate your artwork verbally as well. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a well-constructed artist’s statement may hold the key to your professional future.

When you seek gallery representation, an artist’s statement (also called an artist statement) is an important piece of your artist’s packet. It basically informs the gallery owners and curators of what your artwork is all about. Gallery owners want to see that you can speak and write clearly and intelligently about your art. They also want insight into your process and your motivations.

Some artists like to think that their work “stands for itself”, but since art is so open to interpretation, you need to be able to explain your art in words. People who look at your art need to know your intention, and a well-written artist’s statement will provide them with that insight.

If you feel like you’re not a natural writer, don’t pressure yourself. Start off with a blank piece of paper and just brainstorm. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I trying to say with my art?
  • Why do I work in this style?
  • What is the meaning behind the imagery I have chosen?
  • What do I want others to think or feel when they look at my art?
  • What informs my art – what inspires me?

You can also write about the materials you use, the process(es) that you use, and why they both are relevant to what you are trying to express.

When you write your first draft, just go with the flow. Write freely and don’t even pause to think about grammar or spelling. Just write. You can polish it later.

After you’ve written your first draft, set it aside and come back to it later with fresh eyes. It may take several revisions before it really sings, and that’s normal – artist statements are rarely “finished” after the first go. Your goal as you rewrite is to trim and tidy your artist statement until it is concise, well-worded, and revealing. At this point you should also ask your friends or family for their feedback, as they may notice things you could include or take out.

The length of your artist statement can typically be anywhere from 100-1000 words, as long as it says what it needs to say. To be sure, you can often double-check a gallery’s submission requirements on their website. If no guidelines are given, the main thing is to make sure the entire artist statement fits neatly on one page, double-spaced.

Your finished artist statement is now ready to be part of your artist packet that you send off to prospective galleries. In a future article we’ll take a closer look at the other things you’ll need to include in your artist packet.

Making Art from Unconventional Objects

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Did you know that you can create art out of things you find in your desk drawers?

Take a close look at the photo above, which shows three artworks by Eric Daigh, on display at Grand Central Station in New York City. You’d never guess that the monumental portrait on the left was actually created from push pins, or that the large mural on the right was created from a variety of colorful Post-It notes.

Contemporary artists are constantly stretching the boundaries of art by using unconventional materials to craft their artwork. Way back when, “true art” consisted of things like realistic oil paintings and finely carved marble statues. These days, even things you find in your kitchen, office or trash bin can be turned into respectable art.

Perhaps it started in 1917 with Marcel Duchamp’s submission of a urinal that he signed “R. Mutt” to an art show in which purportedly “all submissions” would be accepted. In the end, the urinal was not placed on display, but Duchamp’s impish act revolutionized the art world.

Thanks to YouTube and various social-networking websites, unorthodox works of art are now reaching a wide, and very appreciative, audience. Artists who create portraits of Elvis out of Cheetos or detailed architectural renderings on an Etch-a-Sketch are now celebrated as innovative and amusing contributors to our contemporary pop culture.

Next time you sift through your junk drawer or finish a bag of chips, think about how those everyday things could be turned into a work of art!