Halloween is here (almost!) and in the spirit of dressing up it’s a perfect time to introduce Julian Wolkenstein – a photographer who’s become known for elevating costume into art.
No horsing around for Julian Wolkenstein; he takes humor very seriously. He and a small team spent several days turning his Pony Pin-Up concept into reality. First was casting, they had to find horses with the right look and make sure they were comfortable in the limelight. Apparently many horses aren’t! Then it took about five hours to dress each horse in human hair extensions. Julian says “…you just need buckets and buckets of hair extensions…The horse absolutely adored having been groomed and being played with.”
All of this effort was well worth it. The images, with their beautiful painterly look and deadpan expression, are completely charming. They’ve garnered much attention in the media too, including a feature on The Today Show and UK publications like The Guardian, Daily Mail, and The Independent.
We are thrilled to be sponsoring this year’s Slideluck Fundraiser along with Sotheby’s, Brooklyn Brewery, Perrier and others!
Sotheby’s staff will be auctioning off prints by Lux Archive artists Joe Baran, Michael Hall, Michael Schlegel, Geoffrey H. Short, James Knight-Smith and Julian Wolkenstein alongside work by Shepard Fairey, Spencer Tunick and many others talents!
Auctions proceeds will go to Slideluck Potshow, a non-profit dedicated to building and strengthening community through food and art in over 40 cities globally.
If you’re in New York on November 9th then please join us for a fantastic evening of dinner, drinks and art!
Today we introduce Nixenberg, the partnership of German artists Meike Nixdorf and Grit Hackenberg. Their landscape images are a delicate mixture of natural beauty and digital enhancement. Like a painting that is layered with mood and meaning these photographs enchant us with their quiet beauty and powerful spirit. The team writes:
“We like to capture the unspectacular, easily overlooked places and spaces. Some more vibrant, others almost dreamlike with a darker depth to them. We hope to create an experience for the viewer in which his or her own stories will blend into the reflection of the image.”
Meike has won many awards and exhibited throughout Europe and the Americas including an inclusion in “Moment of Recognition” a show curated by Amy Arbus at the International Center of Photography in New York. Grit has been retouching award winning images for art and commerce for fifteen years.
What do you think of Nixenberg’s images? Join the conversation on our Facebook page and on Twitter @LuxArchive. These images are also available for purchase in our online shop. Limited edition prints start at only a hundred bucks!
It’s Thursday and the weekend is fast approaching! So in the spirit of relaxation we’re introducing the work of photographer James Knight-Smith. James uses long exposures to create photographs of the ocean like we’ve never seen before. They stand on their own as beautiful abstractions but at the same time convey the absolute essence of sky and sea. James explains his work:
“I have always found the beauty of the ocean both inspiring and difficult to capture in one decisive moment. Living, breathing, constantly moving, the sea is dynamic and never the same.
To capture this eternal ebb and flow, I use movement and long exposure to record a number of moments that evoke and portray the scene as one single image. This creates an almost diaphanous layered effect.
With no primary focal point, the viewer is better able to feel and become one with the infiniteness of the ocean. This allows me to represent a solitary moment of the sea’s perpetuity.”
James has won numerous international photo competitions and awards and has exhibited his work throughout the US and Australia. His work hangs in homes around the world including the famous Glass Pavilion in California.
Like James’ work? You can own it. These images are available as limited edition, artist signed prints exclusively through Lux Archive starting at only $100!
Visit our shop for more info.
Ever buy a piece of art you love and then get home and have no idea how or where to hang it? There are so many options out there: frames, mounts, colors, shapes, styles, sizes…it can be completely overwhelming! So we’ve sought out the advice of Kati Curtis a top-notch interior designer to help sort things out.
Kati is Principal of Nirmada Interior Design and shares some great tips for displaying fine art. Kati was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, and she has a wealth of interior design experience including luxury New York City homes, offices, and boutique hospitality projects.
LUX ARCHIVE: Framing artwork is the classic option for displaying artwork. When do you suggest mounting a photograph instead of framing it?
CURTIS: Mounting fine photography directly to a substrate was historically the only way to display photography. Mounting instead of framing was preferable so that the viewer could see the photograph without the glare of a glass cover. Nowadays, non-glare glass and Plexiglas, allow us the freedom to protect a photograph without compromising the look and clarity of a photo. Only in very recent years has framing photography become acceptable, and we typically do this in more traditional settings. Mounting photography to Plexiglas is our go-to method for contemporary environments. It’s a simple, clean and sophisticated way to display and protect your art.
LUX ARCHIVE: When would you recommend people stick with a traditional frame for their artwork?
CURTIS: Stick with a traditional frame when framing a portrait or landscape painting. Modern art and fine photography are better suited for simple, clean frames that don’t detract from the art itself.
LUX ARCHIVE: Can you tell us some do’s and don’ts of displaying fine art?
Don’t let your frame compete with your art. The art should be the star. A fancy frame highlights a fancy piece, but could overshadow a modern piece or detract from the details of a photograph.
Don’t buy art to match the furniture. A truly curated art collection speaks for itself.
Don’t just go black and white when it comes to fine photography. Ansel Adams’ are beautiful, but color photographs can be sophisticated, stunning, and add interest to your interior.
Don’t blow up or Andy Warholize photos of yourself, your kids or your pets. There is a time and place for everything and you don’t need to memorialize yourself just yet.
Don’t Ask your friends or co-workers if they like or approve of your art. Art is extremely subjective, and what matters is if you’re happy with it.
Do always use a professional to mount or frame your art – don’t insult you art with anything less than the consideration it deserves.
Do buy art that speaks to you personally. The amount you paid for it is irrelevant! If you love it it’s great.
Do hang art at eye level. Most people hang art too high. 60” on center above your finished floor is a great rule of thumb.
Do realize that fine photography can be a sophisticated and high-end addition to your home or office. Photography can be slightly less expensive than paintings, but still provide a significant collection you’re happy with for generations.
Do preserve your photos with high quality, museum grade mounting boards and non-glare, UV protective glass.
LUX ARCHIVE: Any parting thoughts?
CURTIS: Remember – all rules are meant to be broken! Follow your gut – do what you like, and most importantly buy and display what has meaning to you!
If you’re new to Lux Archive you’re not alone. We just launched four days ago…everyone is new here!
Thank you to those who have left us kind comments, emails, and tweets over the past few days. Please keep sending us your feedback, we love hearing from you. And speaking of hearing from you: this blog will regularly feature exclusive content about contemporary fine art photography. So if there’s a topic, trend, or artist you want discussed here then tell us!
Now, onto the introduction of the first artist we’re featuring this week: Geoffrey H. Short.
Geoffrey H. Short has become widely known for doing something that would get many grown men to tremble with delight: blowing stuff up. He hires special effects technicians to create explosions so exotic they would make Bruce Willis jealous.
But it’s not all fun and games. Like many great artists Geoffrey uses spectacle to grab his audiences’ attention. The meaning of his work is layered and complex. Geoffrey writes:
“The series is an exploration of risk, terror, beauty and the sublime through the medium of controlled explosions. The inherent mystery and ultimate inevitability of death makes it a staple subject of contemplation in philosophy and in art. Risking death means both terror and excitement, and the eighteenth century philosophers Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant suggested that whatever is terrifying is also sublime.
The photographs offer both illusion and allusion, and while they document actual, staged explosion events, they allude to every explosion from the original big bang of creation to the anxiously anticipated big bang of a terrorist bomb or nuclear disaster. The near absence of a recognizable physical context emphasizes this referential quality, allowing the viewer to imagine their own context, to supply their own narrative around these isolated climactic moments.”
Geoffrey has had dozens of gallery shows around the world and is in the permanent collections of fine institutions including the Aperture Foundation and the Musée de l’Elysée. In 2010 was Geoffrey was chosen to be featured in reGeneration² – Tomorrow’s Photographers Today, a widely publicized book and touring exhibition featuring what many industry heavyweights forecast to be the photographers that will shape the next generation of image-making.
Like Geoffrey’s work? You can own it. This image is available as a limited edition, artist signed print exclusively through Lux Archive. Visit our shop for more info.
The goal of the Lux Archive Blog is to inform and educate people like you about fine art photography. Whether you’re a university student or long time art collector you’ve come to the right place.
Here you’ll find thoughtful, engaging content including interviews with artists, curators, collectors, and interior designers about a range of topics related to fine art photography. You’ll also find occasional announcements related to the photography prints that we sell on our sister website Lux Archive. Nevertheless, this blog will stand on it’s own as a valuable resource for fine art lovers; regardless of whether they’re looking to make a purchase.
We are excited to introduce our very first interview on this blog! We spoke with the very intelligent and accomplished Karen Irvine, Curator and Associate Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. She has organized over forty exhibitions of contemporary photography at the MoCP and other institutions and is a part-time instructor of photography at Columbia College Chicago. Our discussion follows below.
Let us know what you think! Join the conversation on our Facebook page and on Twitter @LuxArchive
LUX ARCHIVE: You consistently produce interesting new topics for exhibitions, how do you come up with ideas for curating a show?
IRVINE: Most of my ideas come from meeting an individual artist and seeing what they’re working on and then thinking ‘wow, what a great idea, what a great topic.’ Most of the group shows I organize stem from one person’s work and expand on it. For example I’m working on a crime show right now which opens at the end of October and although I had been considering the topic for some time, the impetus for organizing the show this year was a book project I began working on with Christian Patterson of his Redheaded Peckerwood work [about crime]. I built a group show of eight artists who look back at crimes, mostly historical but some more recent, and revisit violent stories. So that’s a very typical scenario. And then sometimes ideas come from looking at what’s happening in the world and then thinking ‘okay, this seems like an important topic.’ We also want to keep our programming fresh so we try to do a variety of things to appeal to different people and different audiences.
LUX ARCHIVE: Do you fee like there are certain photographic topics or content that appeal to certain audiences?
IRVINE: Our general audience still likes very classical photography. We have an amazing collection of historical work and I think sometimes people expect to see work by extremely well-known photographers such as Ansel Adams when they come to a photography museum. I think at its broadest, our audience is typically looking for that sort of work. What they think of as fine art photography is typically black and white, very sharp photographs of an exotic place or some grand scene.
LUX ARCHIVE: What about the people who are in their late twenties or thirties, who didn’t grow up with Ansel Adams or black and white photography, do they respond more to the ‘contemporary’ works?
IRVINE: That’s a good question—I’ve never measured it in any way, but I wouldn’t say they respond more to contemporary works, but are perhaps more open to them. Possibly because everybody’s hooked to a screen and used to looking at a lot of imagery all the time on the Internet, I do think that it makes sense that there are certain types of artwork that that a younger generation would respond to a little bit more easily. I’m very interesting in challenging, conceptual work but I also have to keep in mind that a lot of people walking into this museum perhaps don’t engage with contemporary art or photography on a regular basis, so I’m always looking for artists who make work that is accessible on some level, and then has multiple layers of concept and complexity. Work that can be appreciated if you know about art history or not, if you know about the political situation of this place or not, or what have you—but there should be something that can touch everyone.
LUX ARCHIVE: Do you have your own personal collection of photography that you collect?
IRVINE: At home I have mostly small membership prints like the ones our museum commissions from artists to sell and raise money for our programming. Since photographs are editioned artists often are able to produce large editions at smaller sizes for various purposes. I’ve bought some from because it’s a good way to get nice pieces of work cheaper—but the end result is that everything is a bit more miniature. Working as a curator I have the pleasure of collecting vicariously for my institution. I also keep a collection of bad photography in my desk, just really cheesy stuff that comes in as mailers, for example. At one point I am going to make all my colleagues Christmas cards with images from that collection.
LUX ARCHIVE: Do you have any recommendations for younger collectors out there who are interested in starting a collection or adding to one?
IRVINE: It’s all about just getting to know the medium and what you like. So I think the best advice is to travel and look at shows, visit galleries, and start by buying things like the membership prints I mentioned. In general the rule is never buy for investment but buy because you love it. I think if you love what you buy you can’t make any mistakes. And the great thing about collecting contemporary work is that you can meet the artist. I would encourage people to reach out to the artists, often they’re very accessible and it will likely enrich your experience with their work.
Find out more about the exhibitions at MoCP >>
Artist Joe Baran is able to make dreams come true. With imagination, sophistication and a sense of wonder his images transport us to a world of fantasy. But it’s fantasy that’s based completely in reality. Like the child who sees the magic in everything, Joe shows us that the ordinary can be extraordinary…it’s all in how you look at it.
Joe’s work has been featured in the Communication Arts Photo Annual, the PDN Photo Annual and the Communication Arts Design Annual and The One Show. In addition to creating artwork, Joe has been commissioned by clients including Absolut Vodka, Outside Magazine and Men’s Health.
Want to know what else is dream come true? You can buy a signed, limited edition print of Joe’s artwork starting as low as a hundred bucks.
What do you think of Joe’s images? Let us know! Join the conversation on our Facebook page and on Twitter @LuxArchive
We created Lux Archive for one reason: to make it easy for you to buy fine art photography. Whoever you are, a seasoned collector or an art lover looking for their first great piece, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve hand selected the best images from established photographers around the globe and have made those images available with prices starting as low as a hundred bucks. Each museum quality print comes with a certificate of authenticity individually signed by the artist. We sell only limited edition prints — guaranteeing that you own a unique piece of art.
You may not like everything but we’re sure you’ll like something. Our mantra for curating photography is: good looks and an engaging personality. It’s got to look good — or what’s the point of having it up on your wall? And it’s got to engage the viewer. Lot’s of people can take a pretty picture but few can take images that also generate a response. That response is what art is all about. If it doesn’t move you, don’t move with it.
Did we mention that we’ve got good karma? The majority of our proceeds are given to the artists who create these works. So when you buy art from Lux Archive you’re directly supporting artists. That’s a good feeling now isn’t it?
One could spend a lifetime sorting through all the artwork in the world. Let us make that our life’s work. We’ll bring our best finds straight to your inbox. So sign up for email updates and join us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the know about the new art we introduce each week.
**Be sure to check this blog often for exclusive interviews with everyone from museum curators to interior designers and of course artists! Our goal is to make this blog a valuable resource for anyone interested in collecting fine art photography.**