May 4, 2014

Proposal Base is a public art factory and exhibition space

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 2:06 pm

proposalbase-flickrIf you are an artist or somebody with artistic aspirations but lack the means to make your art a reality, a new initiative just north of Arnhem promises to make your ideas come true.

Proposal Base lets you pitch ideas for public artworks to be both built and exhibited at its location in the wooded hills near Arnhem. If a proposal generates enough funding and doesn’t break a small set of rules (it may not pollute, be racist and so on), it will get built.

There seems to be two catches. One is that the area will only be reserved for this purpose for a few more years and the other is that visitors aren’t allowed except during events.

Currently the site shows a list of sample proposals. A Street View-like Flickr page shows a map of locations where you can imagine your artwork. The folks behind the project describe themselves as a 3D printer for art projects.

(Illustration: screenshot of the Flickr page; link: Trendbeheer)

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August 15, 2012

Rotterdames, 3 times 52 odes to the women of Rotterdam

Filed under: Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 11:11 pm

The name may be a bit unfortunate—rot means the same thing in Dutch as it does in English—but what were they to do?

They being three artists who post their own odes to the women of Rotterdam each week at, creating a vivid cross section of the second-largest city of the Netherlands in the process. Baschz is the sketch artist, Milan Boonstra the photographer and Janjoost Jullens the writer of the website.

According to De Weekkrant, the artists have already published more than 100 odes and are well on their way to their goal of 156 odes.

The news site quotes Janjoost Jullens about what makes the women of Rotterdam so special: “They are real, more real than anywhere else. They do not need to be pretty in a model kind of way. In Amsterdam the ladies look beautiful from a distance, but when you get closer you see it is all fake. In Rotteram what you see is what you get. We would like to thank the women of Rotterdam for that. Our odes are really a sort of ‘thank you’.”

And in that spirit I would like to tip my hat to Rotterdame Astrid Oosenburg for telling me about this initiative.

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April 13, 2009

The government sells cheap art

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 10:34 am

The Instituut Collectie Nederland, the agency that manages the national government’s art collection, is selling art (Dutch) from its depots and storage rooms of a number of museums for cheap on eBay. Much of the art was acquired as part of the BKR (Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling, Visual Arts Arrangement) during which many government-appointed artists got an income in exchange for regularly producing art for municipalities. ICN is selling about 50 pieces a week this way, and according to the Volkskrant video below (Dutch), the works are selling fairly cheaply, with prices starting at no more than 17,50 euro.

Trouw mentioned in January (Dutch) that ICN is selling all this art because the depots are brimming over. The paper quotes Marina Raymakers of ICN:

There are lots of pieces that just never leave their storage. Many collections have simply grown too big, [and] many works simply no longer fit in a museum collection.”

We organised a large auction at an auction house last year, but the Internet has a lower threshold. It draws a different audience, which is a good thing. Everybody gets a chance this way.

Before art is sold at, museums get first dibs at The smart art collector uses the latter site to see what will eventually end up at the former, says Trouw.

A lot of the art produced as part of the BKR has actually been used by the government, although the arrangement was also known for producing some hideous art that all but the artists involved were only too eager to hide in storage. I remember reading stories about artists actually suing the government over the latter type of use, using moral rights provisions in the Dutch copyright law to claim that hiding an ugly art work was a form of infringement. If anybody can tell me if I remember correctly, please do. A quick google did not produce any results.

Illustration: this unnamed painting by Bertus de Meij is currently up for auction at eBay, the price being 81,50 euro after 6 bids. His San Grimignano sold for 425 euro in January, according to Trouw.

Via Trendbeheer (Dutch).

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