The Toddler Art Explosion and How to Stop It, Google Moves Into Claes Oldenburg's Binoculars, and More Must-Read Art News

The Toddler Art Explosion and How to Stop It, Google Moves Into Claes Oldenburg's Binoculars, and More Must-Read Art News

Are Our Nation's Children Producing Too Much Art?: So asks the New York Times in a hard-hitting expose of the factory-style productivity of today's tots. "I do think my kids are awesome," one exasperated mom complains. "But we're not going to build an addition on the back for every piece of crayon art they've ever done." One professor, however, "refutes the notion that present-day parents have coddled and attaboy-ed their children into overproducing," reports Michael Tortorello, who somehow got a story from The Onion in the Times. "When Dad de-accessions a new finger painting overnight, Dr. Burton said, 'the child quickly learns that this art that they’re making is very ephemeral.'" Damien Hirst, spin-painting in Davos, are you listening? [NYT]


In Art and Architecture, Google Thinks Big: The search company is moving into the Binoculars Building in Los Angeles's Venice neighborhood, a landmark Frank Gehry-designed space that is named for the giant binoculars sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen that dominates its exterior. [LAT


What "The Social Network" Taught Us About VIP Art Fair: Artworld Salon is quite smart to remind us all of a quote from the feted Facebook film, to put the recent crash of the VIP Art Fair's site into perspective. "If the servers are down for even a day our reputation is damaged irreversibly. Users are fickle.... Even a small exodus, even a few people leaving would reverberate through the whole user base. The users are interconnected, that's the whole fucking point!" So true, fake Mark Zuckerberg! [Artworld Salon]


Not So Neighborly: British megacollector Charles Saatchi, whose plans to donate a chunk of his art collection to the U.K. came a-cropper, has now irked his neighbors by reneging on a promise to install one of his artworks outside the multimillion-dollar home he's been noisily erecting in London's Chelsea. [Daily Mail]

Adding Injury to Injury: As public funding for Britain's arts shrinks dramatically, the private sector — which many have looked to as potential saviors of U.K. culture — is cutting its philanthropy in tandem, with the amount provided by companies decreasing by 11 percent over the one-year period ending last March 31. It is the third year in a row corporate funding has declined. [Bloomberg]

Remembering Dennis Oppenheim: Of the late artist, who died at 72 last week, Roberta Smith writes that his art "could seem simultaneously driven and lackadaisical, fearless and opportunistic. Few of his contemporaries worked in a broader range of mediums or methods, or seemed to borrow so much from so many other artists…. Mr. Oppenheim's best work had a transparency, almost an obviousness, that could seem hokey. But it also took the notion of communication seriously. It refused to talk down." [NYT]

Swampy Tells All: The "bootleg artist" of cavorting swampdonkeys chats with the New York Times about hopping freight trains and how the "graffiti game isn't any less idiotic and narcissistic than the gallery game" in his first print interview ever. [T Mag]

Met Drops $782,500 on Drawing by Raphael's Student: A large-scale Renaissance drawing titled "Jupiter and Juno Reclining in an Alcove Attended by Amorini, Two Others Holding a Heraldic Shield Below," by a pupil of the Old Master, was purchased by the museum at Sotheby's on Wednesday. The work, which lays out the design for a tapestry, sets a record price for the artist, Perino del Vaga. [Raphael/?partner=rss&emc=rss" target="_blank">NYT]

Duchamp Perfume Bottle in Marathon Exhibition: The daddy of Dada's "Belle Haleine: Eau de Voilette, 1921" — owned for many years by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge — will go on display at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie for 72 hours around the clock. This is the first time the piece has been available for viewing by the public since it sold for $10.8 million at auction in 2009. [WWD]

Museum of Latin American Art President's Surprise Resignation: Richard P. Townsend, who only held the top post for less than two years, will leave the Long Beach, California museum. "Our goal is to recruit a president who will stay longer than two years," said co-chair Burke Gumbiner. [LAT]

Teens on Probation for Graffiti Showcase Skills: The 14 spray-paint-wielders in question displayed their work in a Brooklyn courtroom as a part of "Paint Straight" a program, which (much like MOCA?) encourages graffiti-ers to display their art without defacing private property. The program, founded by former street artist Ralph "Tatu Xmen" Perez, takes kids through a 10-week program that teaches them to make legal artworks. [WSJ]

AICA Awards: The annual International Association of Art Critics prizes have been awarded by the organization's 400 active members to artists, curators, museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions who have mounted excellent exhibitions this past year. Check out the winners! [artforum]

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Is the amount of time required for nostalgia to set in shortening? Yes! Remember back in the 90s when you could put a bird on something and call it art?