hitRECord’s Quest for Crowdsourced Art

July 24th, 2014

When the internet and mobile technology took off, everyone knew that it would be changing the way we functioned in unimaginable ways. With everything now being tied into some sort of technology, old habits are being rendered obsolete. It’s changing the way we function, and it brings about opportunities for all industries, including the art industry.

One of the most amazing things about the internet and modern technology is that it allows companies to crowdsource their services. The rapid success of Kickstarter has shown that it’s possible to bring in the community to make worthwhile projects successful, and many companies have also begun looking towards crowdsourcing and affiliate marketing programs to raise awareness of their products. [I've written previously about a few Kickstarter projects that I've personally supported and have really enjoyed doing so.]

Gaming Realms is an example of a business, whose efforts use social networking to bring their castlejackpot.com brand to mobile and social platforms that have resulted in lower cost-per-acquisition rates and higher user retention rates,. They note that social gaming should become worth upwards of $4 billion by 2015.

The art industry has benefitted immensely from these developments as well. In much the same way as a museum relies on its curators to find pieces of art to display, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has launched hitRECord, a “new kind of production company” that allows users to display their art in collaboration with other artists from all over the world. But what makes this platform different from others is that it doesn’t just allow users to post their work online, but the work is also sometimes featured on Gordon-Levitt’s TV show, hitRECord on TV, which he launched earlier this year.

Hit_Record_Sundance on Art Is Everywhere

Introducing hitRECord on TV to the Sundance Festival, Gordon-Levitt talked about his dreams for hitRECord, “In our wildest dreams,” he said, “we hope that decades from now, we’ll be nurturing artists like Sundance has nurtured us,” adding that he hoped that the platform could help launch more TV shows, documentaries, features, and live events.

hitRECord TV via Rolling Stone
Although it is now wildly successful and working on its second season, hitRECord on TV remains to be a wonderful tribute to contributors – both amateur and professional – and the perfect example of how art can be found everywhere you look. The internet and modern technology have surely changed the way we function, and for many industries, they’ve brought about a new way to do business.

(This article is contributed by Jane Simon)

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World Cup Murals

July 17th, 2014

This past weekend was the final round of World Cup games and to learn who wins the championship.

Like so many others, I’ve enjoyed watching all the games.

I’m disappointed that USA lost but they’ve all been so good to watch — except the last Brazilian defeat — heartbreaking.

The murals found in Brazil focus on what futbal means to this country.

They express mixed emotions for how much money has been poured into Brazil hosting the games when their people are so impoverished

and the burden it has been on the players to represent and please their nation.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=19649&p=0  WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 3 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 4 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 5 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 6 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 7WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 8

WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 2

All photos courtesy Washington Post

Despite any political controversy and corruption in Brazil, soccer lifts the people’s spirits and does make the world seem more universally connected.

You can read more in this article, At the World Cup, Street Art Reveals Conflicted Feelings.


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Two Art Movies

July 10th, 2014

I just came across two art documentaries that could be very interesting. The first one is called Versions by Oliver Laric and the other is a followup to Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, entitled, The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen.

Versions is actually a part of the Black Box exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum through October 5, which also has sculpture associated in the Sculpture Garden.

As Michael O’Sullivan describes in his Washington Post article, Illustrating imitation’s inventiveness, it explores what happens when an artist appropriates the imagery of another’s artwork. Artists use visual references all the time. This is interesting to me in that not only does it delve into the creative process but it questions the limits of intellectual property rights. One example that I had never noticed before was how Mogli’s stance and sequence of actions in The Jungle Book is a near exact replica of Christopher Robin in The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, except Christopher is fully clothed.

Versions video by Oliver Laric_AIE

I personally don’t have a problem with the above illustration because it is the same studio using it’s own visual reference. I wouldn’t even have a problem with another artist using one of these illustrations as a visual reference for creating new artwork, as long as it wasn’t and exact copy and they weren’t trying to claim it as their own. From a technical standpoint, visual references help artist’s produce their work with efficiency.

The second art film, The Fake Case, deals with the subject of a recent blog post about Ai Weiwei, his artwork and about the time when he was held captive in his native Chinese homeland. This film follows up on the artist after his 81 day detention in prison and his time under ‘house arrest.’ The film takes its name from Weiwei’s company called Fake. It could be a sleeper or an interesting rental.

The Fake Case film on Art is EverywhereWe’ve been watching a lot of interesting documentaries lately, with our son Jackson’s guidance. He’s the film buff, so we’ll add this to the list but will probably watch after he returns home from his school semester this fall, since this film is out in theaters now. As I was writing this, he saw it was about Ai Weiwei and knew all about him and the first movie. He said that fortunately he has many helpers helping make his artwork for him in other places. Now, that should be another documentary.

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Red, White & Blue for a Happy July 4th

July 3rd, 2014

Celebrating July 4th with red, white and blue.

Jersey City Mural on Art Is Everywhere

“A blue-hued image of a Native American woman on the side of an apartment building at Summit Avenue and Grand Street, courtesy of artists Shawn “Pawn” Edwards and Emilio Florentine”

will help Jersey City on its path to becoming a mural city.

Maybe it’s just me, but this image reminds me of Liv Tyler.

Hope you have a happy July 4th!

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Weighing in on Ai Weiwei

June 26th, 2014

When I saw Ai Weiwei’s sculptural artwork featured in the Washington Post, I remembered another artist’s work I wrote about in the post Careful Where You Step.

Like Motoi Yamamoto’s work using salt, Ai Weiwei’s artwork uses large amounts of organic and simulated-organic materials, like sunflower seeds (porcelain replicas painted white) and reclaimed wood arranged in thought-provoking ways like filling a cavernous hall or used to create a map of China.

Ai Weiwie_Map of China_Getty Images_AIE

He also uses manufactured materials like re-bar, glass and metal to produce memorable installations like Straight and Cube Light, which I can see as part of the Hirshorn’s permanent collection and the famous Bird’s Nest concept for the Chinese Olympic stadium in 2008.

Ai Weiwei_Cube Light_Hirshorn Gallery_AIE

Weiwei’s art, however, carries messages about his country with its politics of corruption and lack of transparency. Much like Liu Bolin becoming well known for his artwork while revealing political undertones and as a master of disguise, disappearing into his artistic environment, so too has Weiwie become a dissident artist. His artwork has gotten him into trouble, however. He has been ‘imprisoned’ in China since 1993, when he returned after a decade of working in the USA. China will not return his passport and is virtually holding him captive in his motherland. At least you can still see his artwork with his ideas being boundless.

Ai Weiwei_Getty_on Art Is Everywhere

 Ai Weiwie_Teahouse_WP_AIE

Read more of the full article here.

Click here to see a post featuring the Birds Nest on Beijing’s Buildings.

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Rivers Really Do Run Through It

June 19th, 2014

Here’s an opportunity to take your summer travel photos to the next level, like these below.

The National Geographic Society is having a summer Traveler photo contest. Hurry, it ends on June 30. You can also vote for your favorite Viewer’s Choice.

Because there is an ongoing epidemic killing our bees (of which I’d like to help with  bee-keeps on my roof top garden one day) and because this photo of rivers in the California Baja desert are so beautiful, they get my vote for Nature’s Art seen through man’s lens.

National Geographic Photos on Art Is Everywhere

So many of these photos are inspirational.


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Some Beautiful Scenes of Summer

June 12th, 2014

With Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, it’s time to be grateful for family and all they mean to us.

I remember family trips, picking summer fruit and playing games as being a big part of my memories of my own father and family.

its a Journey_painting by Susan Harrell_AIE

I’m not sure how I came upon Susan Harrell’s work but I love her self-taught, realistic style.


If you are getting ready to embark on your own family trip, (we’re getting ready to take our youngest son back to college for summer school and it’s bittersweet) or just thinking about scenes of summer, here are just some of the many beautiful scenes that Susan Harrell has painted.

Cherries_Painting by Susan Harrell_AIE

Fruit_painting by Susan Harrell_AIEGrapes_The Color Red_painting by Susan Harrell

And as this next painting suggests, it goes by so very quickly, so enjoy.

Growing up chick_painting by Susan Harrell

If you’d like to see her work in progress, click her video, but…

…go to her website to see more

and Happy Father’s Day!


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Peanuts for Peanuts?

June 5th, 2014

Actually, it remains to be seen if some Peanuts character murals by Charles M. Schulz will be sold or acquired by the Charles M. Schulz Museum but probably not for mere peanuts.

They were painted directly on the walls of Charles M. Schulz’ Minneapolis  home where he lived with his family in 1955, with paneling added to frame them. The home is up for sale for the first time in 54 years. The current homeowner, having grown up with the murals, does not consider them part of the sale of the house but separately. Their estimated worth is $100,000 and it is the hope that the Charles M. Schulz Museum will acquire them so we can all enjoy these early cartoon renditions.

Schulz Peanuts murals on AIE

However, if you are interested in scooping up the house in Minnesota, here’s the listing and a few pics.

Lake Sotheby_Charles M. Schulz home for sale on AIE

Lake Sotheby_Charles M. Schulz home for sale on AIE

Lake Sotheby_Charles M. Schulz home for sale on AIE


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Gettin’ on board the colorful travel tr-rrain

May 30th, 2014

It’s nearly summer and time for summer travel.

If you’re taking a train to Philly (city of murals), be forewarned, no you’re not trippin’ when you see the neon colored terrain out the window.

You’re taking a trip though, through some purposely spray-painted, colorful landscapes that are meant to be seen at high speed.

purple mural field on Art is Everywhere

purple mural field on Art is Everywhere

Berlin artist, Katharina Grosse, envisioned her Psycholustro project (as part of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program) to get train passengers engaged with the passing landscape.

Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere

Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere

Often her brightly painted, abandoned warehouse buildings covers up existing graffiti and makes them look better if not more interesting.

Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere

Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere Psycholustro murals on Art is Everywhere

Click here to go to Web Urbanist to read the full story.

Want to be a part of a public traveling art project, yourself?

Here’s an opportunity to contribute to St. Louis’ first public art bus project on May 31st, in which one bus of their newly installed articulated Metrobus system will become an open canvas.

St. Louis Art bus via NextStop on Art is Everywhere

Go to the NextStop blog to learn about the details.

All this art travel got me thinking of the perfect song to get you moving. It got me moving in my gym class and it’s now stuck in my head.

Like the choo-choo motion on a moving train, gotta C’mon N’ Ride It (by Quad City DJ’s).

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Another Flag Mural for Freedom

May 23rd, 2014

Scott LoBaido, the flag mural artist, is up to it again — in a good way.

This time, his art covers a building that had been marred with graffiti.

Great timing for Memorial Day. Here’s to all our vets and those who enlist to protect our country!

graffiti-wall now with flag mural on Art is Everywhere

Wall with graffiti and after with flag mural

Scott LoBaido with flag mural on Art is Everywhere

Scott LoBaido in front of his flag mural

Scott LoBaido flag mural on Art is Everywhere

I like the way this one realistically unfurls and maintains the shimmer of satin.

Go to SiLive to read more.

Click here for previous posts regarding Scott LoBaido, flag murals and Memorial Day.

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