2018: the year that was... (Part II)


About the Art Market
- Self-destruction after auction
The little framed drawing “Girl with a Balloon”, by the enigmatic artist Bansky, was not particularly striking till it was shredded to pieces right after being auctioned. It happened at the Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London, in October, and everyone was left speechless. The buyer of the artwork, who paid over 1 million pounds, accepted it all the same, knowing that it would probably be now worth 5 times more. 
Girl With a Balloon, by Banksy (2006)
The shredding went viral through social networks as a message against the trade of art. However, some believe Sotheby’s knew what would happen. Why was this the last artwork to be auctioned? Was Bansky in the room and activated the hidden contraption himself? Was this a protest or just another of Bansky’s jokes? 

- The highest price for a living artist
Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), by David Hockney (1972)
It is said that it took English Pop artist David Hockney several weeks and intense work to paint this 3-mts canvas. Depicting the water was a true challenge. Thus 80-year old Hockney outrun Jeff Koons (who earned U$S 58,4 M in 2013 for his “Balloon Dog”.), becoming the highest paid living artist, with U$S 90,3 M. The auction, broadcasted live by Christie’s in New York, started at U$S 18 M and reached the 50 M just 30 seconds after. Barely 10 minutes later it was sold for 80 M, which, with commissions and taxes, became 90,3!

- The most emblematic art fair arrived at Buenos Aires
Art Basel disembarked in Argentina, in its Cities mode, to position local artist in the art market. Curators, collectors and art professional arrived in town to visit foundations, ateliers and galleries. For a week the city became a true feast for art lovers.

About production 
- A video, the best of 2018
After seeing the monumental screens of John Akomfrah’s installation, we were moved in such a way that we felt survivors of a wreckage ourselves. “Vértigo” is a video installation in 3 channels that presents mankind as incapable to face the challenges of Nature, that’s why our egos are defeated and we are forced to surrender. The piece has it all: technology, discourse, message and excellent rendition, which is what we pretend from Contemporary Art.

About the exhibitions
- A Flemish Master in a Museum in Vienna
Almost all art specialists agree that the best exhibition of 2018 was “Bruegel: Once in a Lifetime” at the Kunsthistorichesmuseum. The retrospective showcased an exceptional collection of artworks, those that we’ve only seen in books, gathered together for the first time. Bruegel was a true critic of the society of his time, which renders him into an eternal Master.

- Joana Vasconcelos: I’m Your Mirror at the Guggenheim in Bilbao
This exuberant exhibition, which demanded great effort and skill from the montage team, was a perfect example of the talent of the Portuguese artist. In addition to the snake-like installation at the atrium of the Museum, she produced a series of huge ready-mades that dazzled with their brightness. A ode to femininity, a recognition to women.

About Art Communication
- Instagram as the key instrument
A chance to know first hand what museums are exhibiting, what is being said about the visual arts and a door to what the artists are preparing. These and much more is what Instagram has to offer. We get to spy exhibitions, not just by the posts shared by the museums or galleries themselves, but by the many visitors. We also get the chance to connect directly with the artists, see their studios, get to know the intimacy of their creative process. A fundamental change in the history of the Arts.

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Liliana Wrobel

Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani