Fine Arts & Digital Media

“Welcome to convergence culture, where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways. Convergence culture is the future…”

so says the renowned media theorist Henry Jenkins, and we can’t help but agree. We are living in a time that is embracing media convergence of an unprecedented scale. No longer do our media objects perform the one function for which they were originally intended, but rather a vast array of different functions previously thought impossible to exist all within one entity.

This is presenting exciting new possibilities in the world of fine art, as high-culture and high-tech collide. Here are a few of our favorite recent examples of fine art and digital media convergence…

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iPhone featured in a fine art painting at the Grey Gallery at New York University

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Beautiful design created by Electric Sheep, a distributed computing project for animating and evolving fractal flames, which are in turn distributed to the networked computers and displayed as a screensaver

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A computer mouse gets a fine art makeover by an employee at the Khokhloma Painting Art Association in Russia.

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Art & Fashion- Unmistakably Intertwined

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Fashion and Art have always had a close relationship, as those buying couture wear are often the same people that are buying fine art, however, today we see the two worlds completely intertwined.  The first issue of W magazine this year (for what may be the first time in their history) featured a painting of an actress instead of what would normally be a photograph; the magazine focuses on artist Chantal Joffe and her current muse-actress, Jessica Chastain.  Inside features model spreads with fine art in the background, and the unique nature this focus is definitely exaggerated.  I love the artist and all of the content included but can someone please tell me why this was never thought up before?  Seems obvious enough! I would love to make a magazine comprise completely of these two worlds intertwined, tell me your thoughts!

xoxo

THE (UN)FAIR art show

Copyright Daniel Sprick

Copyright Daniel Sprick

Copyright Aleah Chapin

Copyright Aleah Chapin

Copyright Adam Miller

Copyright Adam Miller

After writing a post on Adam Miller on the smokers club blog last week, I decided to checkout his work at the opening day of the (UN)FAIR art exhibition.  To my surprise, the exhibit was composed of over 30 different artists, of which they were all far from the ordinary.  The classification of the art could easily be considered post-modern as many of the paintings depicted apocalyptic/disturbing scenery in the modern world with the use of traditional techniques such as realism.

I have to say I was less impressed with the work by Adam Miller and the other displaying artists than I would have originally anticipated.  As the pieces were clearly advanced in their techniques and may have claimed to have some sort of deeper meaning (or soul), but I truly find it hard to believe that most of these artists are trying to capitalize on their message rather than the shock value produced.

When I looked back to some of the older work produced by the same artists, it seemed that much of the evolution to these postmodern depictions came from their mastery in the traditional techniques of realism.  This realization only took about a minute to upset me.  However complex realism may be for the ordinary human, these artists later decision to move to the postmodern realm of art made me only see an aura of pretentiousness in their current pieces.  Mastering realism is one thing, but mastering realism and manipulating that skill to make headlines is another.

I understand that postmodern art will (unfortunately) define my own generation, but I can only hope that paintings such as these, will be not be those that are coveted for centuries to come in the Met.   After all, I much rather see colorful-shiny balloons by Jeff Koons in a park than a 6 foot by 12 foot painting of a women thats had a mastectomy.

Coffee Addiction is Real.

Coffee, a short-film by Guru Group videographer-Theo Rosenthal.

I must say, the habitual process of coffee preparation and consumption looks quite beautiful on 16mm film.  Even without sound, Theo was still able to captivate the senses with his use of light and focus.  Keep your eyes open for some Guru Group x Theo Rosenthal collaborations! But for now, I am craving an upside-down carmel macchiato, proof that coffee addiction is real.

Jason Altaan, 19 Year-Old Guru

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

Copyright Jason Altaan

The start of The Guru Group has initiated a constant search for our generations next artistic masterminds.  The Guru Group primarily focuses on those under the age of 25 with impeccable, inimitable, and innovative creations- “guru’s” of their craft.  We want to show the world that young people can produce exceptional art, and inspire children to take a leap into the art world if that is what interests them.

This week I came across yet another amazing artist that is only 19 years old, his name is Jason Altaan and he is an incredible drawer, painter, and new-found photographer.  His images carry heavy messages through their surrealist(/realist) expression.  Included are some of our favorite pieces by Jason, you can visit his website at wix.com/jasonaltaan/jasonaltaan (currently under construction but functioning).  His style is cross between the surreal and real, seJason is currently selling pieces displayed online and is also available for commissioned work; please contact The Guru Group at perry@thegurugroupnyc.com if you have any interest as Jason will be personally funding schooling at Central Saint Martin’s coming later this year.  His work is amazing and can only get better (hard to imagine right?)

Aldo Carrera Shoots Academy of Art Runway Pieces from NYFW

Last week, photographer, Aldo Carrera, was lucky enough to be selected to exclusively shoot pieces from The Academy of Art University’s runway show.  The Academy of Art University in San Francisco was the only school fortunate enough to show at New York Fashion Week; the schools top 8 designers were selected to participate and the looks were absolutely phenomenal.  The Guru Group’s  favorite designs were done by knitwear princess, Heather Rose McDonald; Heather was previously working for the knitwear department at VPL and the debut of her personal collection was nothing short of extraordinary.

Pictures included are photographs by Aldo Carrera of Models Christina Anderson & Laila Elguindi in Heather Rose McDonald Pieces, Hair&Makeup by Monae Everett, Styling by Melvin Harper, Production by Perry Silverman.

Photos of pieces by other AAU designers by Aldo can be seen at http://www.AldoCarrera.com

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Copyright Aldo Carrera Photography

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Copyright Aldo Carrera

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Copyright Aldo Carrera Photography

Chuck Connelly, Artistic Genius & Alcoholic

Valentino, 2007

Valentino, 2007

Vogue, 2007

Vogue, 2007

The Martyr, 1993

The Martyr, 1993

Autumn, 2001

Autumn, 2001

Chuck Connelly

Chuck Connelly

After viewing Chuck Connelly’s painting, Autumn, and a few others, in the privacy of a friends personal art collection, his style resonated with me.  These pieces truly need to be viewed in person (the sizes of the images above do not suffice) to appreciate his overpowering texture and abstraction; this distinctive and consistant style is what intrigued me to look further.  You can view more of his pieces on his website at http://chuckconnelly.net/.

Turns out, Connelly has been an alcoholic for many years, which has greatly affected his business and personal life.  His dramatic history even incentivized HBO to create a documentary on Connelly, The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly, Not For Sale, to portray the rise and fall of his career.  The documentary greatly highlights the low points of his career; Connelly almost completely alienated himself in the art world due to his unstable personality and went as far as hiring an actor to pose as a young, upcoming artist to sell his work to galleries. For more information on this documentary visit http://www.theartoffailure.com/.

tchau!