Art blog

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An art blog is a common type of blog that comments on art. More recently, as with other types of blogs, some art blogs have taken on 'web 2.0' social networking features. Art blogs that adopt this sort of change can develop to become a source of information on art events (listings and maps), a way to share information and images, or virtual meeting ground.


Defining Art Blogs

Art blogs entries cover a wide range of topics, from art reviews and commentary to insider art world gossip, auction results, art news, personal essays, portfolios, interviews, artists’ journals,etc.

Art blogs may also serve as a forum to reach out to anybody interested in art — be it painting, sculpture, print making, creative photography, video art, conceptual art or new media. In this way, they may be visited not only for the practitioners of different forms of art, but also collectors, connoisseurs, and critics.

Art Blogs and the Mainstream Media

On April 28 2009, Art Connect produced an in-depth interview by Peter Cowling for Art Connect and Jessica Palmer of Bioephemera. The interview, titled It is not Really Bloggers vs. Journalists, You Know [1], pointed to five trends that were shaping the communication and discussion of art on the internet, and that the real picture was much bigger than just the bloggers vs. journalists that had been discussed to date. These five points were:

1. Media convergence will continue to improve consumer choice, providing a better match between desire and availability.

2. Content producers are just that. Consumers care less about how and where they can get the content they want. What they do consistently care about is the quality of the content, and whether the content is produced to their timescales.

3. The content producer-to-content consumer relationship is changing. Requests for feedback and further debate have been partially overtaken by things like Twitter Tweet conversations, and further fragmentation will certainly occur.

4. Information technology and systems, provided as commodity (pay-as-you-go) services. Such services range from processing and storage, through to credit card processing and super-fast content delivery.

5. The economic downturn.

On January 8 2009, Regina Hackett, art critic of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, noted in her article Art Blogs Hit Wikipedia [2] that commercially run, mainstream media supported, art blogs face issues of acceptance among the independent art blogging community.

On January 7 2009, The Village Voice art critic Martha Schwendener suggests that art blogs have helped shape a more laissez-faire climate for art writing. "Art blogs have created a new, largely unedited, admirably 'unprofessional'—hence, democratic—venue for people to speak their minds, gossip, or theorize about art."[3]

In September 2008, the Brooklyn Rail contributor James Kalm produced an article titled "Virtually Overwhelmed." [4]. A practicing artist and video blogger himself, Kalm has this to say about art blogs, "The art blogosphere is a work in progress, and you’ve got to be vigilant of hidden agendas. As with anything online, take it with a grain of salt. Have fun, speak out, but don’t let it cut too much into your studio time; you might end up in a twelve step-program."

In the November 2007 issue of Art in America, Peter Plagens contributed "Report from the Blogosphere: The New Grass Roots."[5] Plagens convened a round table of veteran art bloggers, who conversed via email on a range of questions, aimed at getting a better understanding of the what art blogs were, how they were run, and their relationship with the mainstream media.

In an October 2007 article for artnet Magazine, critic Charlie Finch suggested that art critiques and reviews by art bloggers are overrated and lengthy, and implied that the art blogging community was overly insular.[6] The article includes several ad hominen arguments against specific art bloggers, and ventures the opinion that art blogs "have no readers".

In the January 2005 issue of Art in America [7], Raphael Rubinstein mentioned several blogs in the magazine's "Front Page" section, where he penned a brief, annotated survey of 12 art blogs that he found "to be worth regular visits.". Rubinstein opined that “art-related blogs” had not, at the time, become as consequential as blogs in other fields such as poetry or politics.

Other Coverage of Art Blogs

Other coverage of art blogs includes interviews of art bloggers, reviews of art blog site, and recommendations of favourite sites. Art Connect has produced around 90 reviews of art blogs, and undertakes interviews with art bloggers [8]. The Courtauld Institute of Art, in London, maintains a list of recommended art blogs [9]. Directories such as Yahoo! Directory and BlogCatalog maintain a list of user submitted art blogs.

Examples of art blogs

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Absent Without Leave
Absent Without Leave[10] is an artist's blog by Ivan Pope, artist and internet evangelist. AWoL covers art practice, other artists work and the wider art world. Pope is a 1990 graduate of Goldsmiths' College, University of London fine art BA. He has written extensively on art, technology and the internet. Absent Without Leave was one of the first personal artist blogs, started in January 1994.

anaba is quoted from in Deborah Solomon's New York Times profile "Figuring Marlene Dumas", featured in James Kalm's Brooklyn Rail article "The Ethics of Aesthetics", alluded to and quoted from in Jerry Saltz's New York Magazine apology "A note from our art critic Jerry Saltz", quoted from and cited in Christoph Buchel's appeal to the US Court of Appeals (Mass MoCA v. Christoph Buchel).

Art Fag City
AFC[11] is a blog of New York art news, reviews and gossip maintained by Paddy Johnson. Johnson, a 2001 graduate of Rutgers University MFA program, also writes for Art Review, Frieze, Time Out, and the The L Magazine.[12] has been produced since 2003 by Franklin Einspruch, an artist and writer in Boston. Einspruch is also the editor of an online archive[13] of the writings of Walter Darby Bannard.

The Artblog
Maintained by artists/writers Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof, "The Artblog"[14], founded in April, 2003, is based in Philadelphia but also covers art from around the world. Like many art bloggers, Fallon and Rosof are collaborating artists; Fallon also writes about art for Philadelphia Weekly and both write for print publications and lecture about contemporary art.

Bad at Sports
Created by Duncan MacKenzie, Bad at Sports[15] is a weekly podcast produced in Chicago that features artists talking about art and the community that makes, reviews and critiques it. Bad at Sports also features a series of video interviews with artists, gallerists, and other involved in the art world.

The true identity of C-Monster is unknown, and the bibiographic record of this Brooklyn-based art blog appears to be in jest: "Raised by a clan of gypsies throughout the Andean puna, C-Monster speaks five languages and was taught to read palms and recite epic poems at the tender age of three. She fled to the U.S. during the Great Border War of 1941, and after her arrival, worked for many years at a Luby’s Cafeteria in Lubbock."[16] The blog is best known for its "Digest," which appears most weekdays.

Catherine Spaeth
Art historian and critic Catherine Spaeth[17] teaches the history of contemporary art at Purchase College and provides art tours of museums and galleries in the New York Area. Her blog is known for essays that place work in a critical and art historical context.

Lee Rosenbaum covers museums, auctions, and art law news.[18] Rosenbaum, a cultural journalist, writes frequently for the 'Wall Street Journal,and is a regular cultural contributor on New York Public Radio (WNYC). She has also published several Op-Ed pieces in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

The Daily Render by Nikolas R. Schiller
A periodically updated art blog by map artist Nikolas Schiller[19]. Created in May 2004, the author uses the blog format to post renderings of arabesque aerial photographs of cities throughout the United States of America. The format employed is that of a portfolio that tangentially includes art criticism, upcoming gallery exhibits, publications, videos, and social commentary.

Edward Winkleman
New York dealer Edward Winkleman's blog[20] features discussions about art, politics, and culture. Winkleman is noted for offering advice to emerging artists. Winkleman Gallery[21] is located in the Chelsea arts district in New York City.
Founded in Jan. 2003, Eyeteeth: A Journal of Incisive Ideas[22] focuses on the interstices of art, media, activism and politics. It is written by Paul Schmelzer, founding editor of the Walker Art Center blogs and contributor to the Royal Society of Arts' book "Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook."[23] He has written on art for Adbusters, Cabinet magazine, the Minnesota Independent, Raw Vision, The Outsider,, Version magazine and others.

John Haber Art Blog
New York-based John Haber writes and blogs about art in an accessible, journalistic prose to write online reviews and essays about topics ranging from the early Renaissance to Postmodernism, with more than 5,000 links between reviews. His Haberarts blog and hyperbook [24] was founded in 1994 and currently features over 850 artists, critics and art historians. Of special interest is the connection of art to feminism, philosophy and politics.

Hrag Vartanian
A contemporary online flaneur explores the New York art world.[25] Hrag Vartanian was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Toronto, Canada, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is a writer, critic and designer who regularly contributes to AGBU News Magazine, Ararat Quarterly, Boldtype, The Brooklyn Rail and other publications. He is currently Director of Communications at AGBU, the world's largest Armenian non-profit organization.
New York-based James Wagner writes about art and politics.[26] He is the editor, along with Barry Hoggard, of the New York weekly arts calendar ArtCat[27].

Joanne Mattera Art Blog
Although her blog description reads "Guaranteed Biased, Myopic, Incomplete and Journalistically Suspect," Joanne Mattera maintains a site that reports responsibly and in some depth on art shown in New York City and elsewhere, including the Miami art fairs[28]. Mattera is a painter who divides her time between Manhattan and Massachusetts.

Modern Art Notes
Modern Art Notes[29], maintained by Tyler Green covers modern and contemporary art issues and criticism. Green attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism. He is a member of the United States section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and lives in Washington, DC. Forbes magazine once named MAN a "Best of the Web" site, and publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, the Detroit Free Press, the Boston Globe, the Denver Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Slate, and Art in America have all featured MAN.

Modern Art Obsession
MAO[30] is maintained by a young modern-art-obsessed collector who is a member of the Guggenheim Photography Acquisition Committee.

Myartspace Blog
Is an art blog maintained by art critic and writer Brian Sherwin for the artist social networking site Myartspace[31]. The blog focuses on art news, advice for emerging artists, and is home to an ongoing interview series involving artists, gallerists, and art critics from throughout the world. Notable interviewees include Vito Acconci, James Rosenquist, and Michael Craig-Martin. Several of Sherwin's interviews have been featured on the Juxtapoz website.

NEWSgrist[32], maintained by artist Joy Garnett, began in March 2000 as an e-zine devoted to the politics of art and culture in the digital age. For four years it was distributed entirely by email subscription. Garnett currently serves as Arts Editor at Cultural Politics[33], a contemporary culture, politics and media journal.

New England Journal of Aesthetic Research
Greg Cook's Journal[34] focuses on New England art news, reviews, and artists. Greg Cook is part of the new wave of "underground" cartoonists pushing the boundaries of contemporary comic books by experimenting with styles and subject matter that go beyond traditional newspaper gag strips and superhero pamphlets. His subjects range from history to comedy to fictional dramas about day-to-day life. He has published his comics in Nickelodeon Magazine, Tower Records' Pulse magazine, The Believer, New Art Examiner, Arthur, Non, L'Association's Comix 2000 and other publications.

The masthead and logo for the blog, showing two people at an art museum, represent the central idea, which is to report, share, and have a conversation about all things related to art. The mission is to inspire us all to be better artists.

Co-founded in 2005 by Jennifer Armbrust and Jeff Jahn (who still maintains the site) PORT[35] focuses on critical content related to the Portland art scene. PORT describes itself as "dedicated to catalyzing critical discussion and disseminating information about art as lensed through Portland, Oregon." In the November 2007 Art in America roundtable Plagens described PORT as, "the closest thing to the virtues (paid critics, office help, etc.) of a print art magazine on the Internet...." In 2007 Tyler Green described PORT as, "The undisputed champ of the regional art blogs." on Off Center, the Walker Art Center's blog.

Take the Monet and Run
Take the Monet and Run[36], a London-based blog looking at the art scene within the city, with links to fashion and illustration.

TheCompleteness, a multimedia online journal focusing on the relationships between things. The Completeness is produced in parallel with SoapBox presentation parties, which occur quarterly in New York City. The underlying purpose of both projects is to create a public forum for critique and discussion of the ways in which all things, tangible and intangible, relate to each other.

Two Coats of Paint
Maintained by artist/writer Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint[37] is a daily digest of reviews, commentary, and background information about painting and related subjects. Butler, an art professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, also writes for The Brooklyn Rail and The American Prospect.

rebel:art[38] is an art blog about art and activism, founded as a print magazine in 2004 by Alain Bieber. Today it's one of the biggest art blogs in Germany and covering all kind of subversive artworks from the field of Culture Jamming, Adbusting, Hacktivism, Net. Art, Street Art etc.

Wooster Collective
The Wooster Collective[39] was founded in 2001. This site is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world. Updated by Marc and Sara Schiller, the site also offers podcasting with music and interviews featuring street artists.

Art Sleuth: a blog on the London contemporary art scene. Part of


  1. Cowling, Peter and Palmer, Jessica, "It is not Really Bloggers vs. Journalists, You Know", April 2009 [1]
  2. Hackett, Regina, "Art Blogs Hit Wikipedia." Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 2009. [2]
  3. Schwendener, Martha, "What Crisis? Some Promising Futures for Art Criticism." The Village Voice, January 2009. [3]
  4. Kalm, James, "Virtually Overwhelmed." Brooklyn Rail
  5. Plagens, Peter, "Report from the Blogosphere: The New Grass Roots." Art in America, November 2007. [4]
  6. Finch, Charlie, "A NOT-SO-VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY" artnet Magazine, [5]
  7. Rubinstein, Rafael, "Art in the Blogoshere." Art in America, "Front Page," January 2005. [6]
  8. Art Connect review of art blogs
  9. List of art blogs recommended by the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, [7]
  10. Absent Without Leave
  11. Art Fag City
  13. Walter Darby Bannard Archive
  14. The Artblog
  15. Bad at Sports
  16. C-Monster
  17. Catherine Spaeth
  18. CultureGrrl
  19. The Daily Render by Nikolas R. Schiller
  20. Edward Winkleman
  21. Winkleman Gallery
  22. Eyeteeth: A Journal of Incisive Ideas
  23. Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook
  24. John Haber Art Blog] [8]
  25. Hrag Vartanian
  27. ArtCat
  28. Joanne Mattera Art Blog
  29. Modern Art Notes
  30. Modern Art Obsession
  31. Myartspace
  32. NEWSgrist
  33. Cultural Politics journal
  34. New England Journal of Aesthetic Research
  35. PORT
  36. [9]
  37. Two Coats of Paint
  38. rebel:art
  39. The Wooster Collective
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