Tuesday, December 28, 2010

iPad Art, David Hockney and Charles Saatchi

Much to my surprise, I got an iPad for Christmas. I already have a desktop, a laptop and an iPhone, why would I need an iPad? Then I remembered a video that went viral a few months ago of a man finger-painting a realistic portrait from a live model on an iPad, using the Brushes app. If you haven't seen it, check it out:

Being a recovering, as opposed to a practicing artist, I ignored all the red flags that go up whenever I encounter art supplies of any kind and downloaded the Brushes app. Twenty-four hours later, I came up for air.
Brushes records all of your strokes and they are immediately available for play-back, stroke by stroke. This is the feature that practically hypnotized me. After doodling for a while, the possibilities for animation became abundantly clear and I began experimenting. So, if you will indulge me and remember that I'm not a practicing artist, I offer my day-after-Christmas doodlings, just to give you a taste of the possibilities:

What can a real artist do with an iPad? David Hockney, always eager to experiment with new media, currently has an exhibition, Fleurs fraîches (Fresh Flowers) at La Fondation Pierre Bergé in Paris, consisting of iPhone and iPad drawings. Some are projected, some are shown on actual iPhones and iPads displayed museum style in a darkened gallery. He continues to update the exhibition, emailing new works every day. It runs through January 30.
Click here to see a video of the exhibition and a discussion between Hockney and curator Charlie Scheips.

Click here for a review of the show in the Atlantic.
Are you doing iPad  art? If you would like to submit a piece of your own with the animation for possible publication on this blog, upload it to YouTube and email the URL to me at iPadsubmissions@offrampgallery.com. Do not attach the original movie file to the email -- they're too large and I will have to delete them unopened.

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My Name is Charles Saatchi and I Am an Artoholic is a slim volume of questions and answers to advertising mogul, art dealer and collector Charles Saatchi. He refuses to be interviewed in person but allowed questions to be submitted by journalists, critics and members of the public.

Keeping in mind the controlled environment in which he presents himself, Saatchi comes across as surprisingly candid, self-deprecating and funny. It is also abundantly clear that he adores his wife, domestic goddess Nigella Lawson. It's hard to dislike a man who loves his wife and says when asked about a recent weight loss, "I was fat and ugly and now I'm thin and ugly."
When asked if he is concerned about his impact on the art market, he responds: " I never think too much about the market. I don't mind paying three or four times the market value of a work that I really want. Just ask the auction houses. As far as taste is concerned, I primarily buy art in order to show it off."
Just a regular Joe following his passion. He does sometimes come across as self-serving, such as when asked to look ahead 100 years and say who are the great artists who will pass the test of time:
"General art books dated 2105 will be as brutal about editing the late 20th century as they are about almost all other centuries. Every artist other than Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst will be footnote." Saatchi famously funded Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living  (a.k.a. the $12 Million Stuffed Shark) and showcased it in 1992 in the first Young British Artists exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. The piece resulted in Hirst being nominated for the 1992 Turner Prize (which he didn't win that year) and launched him to superstardom.
Saatchi redeems himself when asked what he thinks about artists: "Being a good artist is the toughest job you could pick, and you have to be a little nuts to take it on. I love them all."
This book is a light and interesting read, another piece in the puzzle for anyone who, like me, struggles to make sense of the seemingly incomprehensible world of contemporary art.

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Upcoming Events at Offramp Gallery

January 9 - February 6, 2011
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 9, 2-5pm
Offramp Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition, Anita Bunn: The Sun Tells Quite Another Story from January 9 - February 6, 2011. The opening reception will be on Sunday, January 9, from 2-5pm. For her second solo exhibition at Offramp Gallery, Los Angeles based artist, Anita Bunn, will be exhibiting a new series of works that continue her exploration of the act of noticing as well as the temporal nature of the still and moving image.
Anita Bunn, untitled, 2010, halftone photolithograph,18" x 14" framed


  1. Sans doute Monet would have loved the i-pad and the Brushes Application but, in the end,
    would he have really been happier? Is it in the nature of an artist to ever
    feel he or she has captured it all?

  2. I am glad to see you not only possess one - but - that you are are discussing the iPad for I think it has potential for Artists and new exhibition strategies that will reach more people. I wish Apple rented them! I like your iPad image - discard the modesty and post some more.

  3. Love your article on the iPad! I didn't think I would ever want one, but now I do. Love Hockney! Your animated work on the Ipad was fun to watch. Thank you!!!

  4. OMG! Digital Finger (That's double digital!) Painting! I can see this going into environmental holograms and and becoming a virtual visual orgy. More rationally, when we can abaondon key pads for touch and we can really think with our hands, computors will become more acurate extensions of our brains and the fluid ways we think. In the mean time, I will return to my primordial ooze with which I paint.

  5. Happy New Year James! Next time you drop by, I'm locking you in a room with a double cappucino and the iPad!

  6. The world of finger painting is pretty strange, and while I did enjoy the iPad video (from your Huff Post page), I really can't imagine myself getting involved with anything like that. Even with my collage work and folks asking me if I use Photoshop, the idea of manufacturing the concept in pixels beyond an idea that concerns pixels, has zero appeal to me. I like the messy, earthy activity of dragging something up from the ground against gravity. I appreciate your post though...

    Happy New Year...


  7. Hockney an iconic artist whose style is so unique, so recognizable. Love his works!

    Offer Waterman & Co.