The launch of Damien Hirst’s new Web site, which offers a voyeuristic live camera feed into the heart of his studio, is certainly a step forward in adventurousness for famous artists on the Internet (in comparison, Gerhard Richter’s looks like Geocities). But Hirst is still far from avant garde in the wild world of artist Web sites, where new media artists turn the Internet into a visual playground and conceptualists build puzzling and wonderful hybrid pages. Below, ARTINFO rounds up our picks for 20 of the most notable Web sites for contemporary artists, from figures you know to others more obscure.
Cory Arcangel — http://www.coryarcangel.com/
As in his work, Cory Arcangel’s site embraces nostalgia for earlier digital times. The header title, “Cory Arcangel’s Internet Portfolio Website and Portal,” might tip you off if the lo-fi table structures and tiled background didn’t already.
Tauba Auerbach — http://taubaauerbach.com/
The typeface on conceptual painter Tauba Auerbach’s Internet home looks like alien hieroglyphics, but that’s okay — if you got there, you probably know where you are. Beyond the funky, color-changing intro is a directory written out in another set of squiggly type. Finally, you get to the paintings, prints, and books.
Rather than speckling the Internet with colored dots, Baldessari’s site uses information trees to create an interactive menu for visitors wanting to find out more about the veteran painter. It takes some exploring to find all of the branches.
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Fans of the street artist can pick from “Inside” and “Outside” galleries, selecting either guerrilla public installations or sculptural objects and paintings that are clearly collector fodder. Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy wins for his stylish portfolio, handwritten typeface, and hilarious FAQ.
Blu — http://www.blublu.org/
The street artist and famed muralist has a brown paper sketchbook for a Web site. Click the virtual book and it opens to reveal scrawled news updates handwritten in MS Paint. Online replicas of his physical sketchbooks are also available, for a peek inside the artist’s process.
Jake & Dinos Chapman — http://www.jakeanddinoschapman.com/
The BritArt duo's polished site is notable for having a section titled "What-We're-Working-On-Right-This-Very-Minute" which offers galleries of random disorienting photos from their studio, as well as a separate bulletin board section titled "Have-Your-Fucking-Say," where you can weigh in on what you think about the notorious Chapmans' scabrous art.
Computers Club — http://computersclub.org/
Home to the Web’s foremost crew of Internet artists, Computers Club is part portfolio and part virtual treehouse, a fantastical landscape that visitors can wander at will. The Club is always getting built out, so visit often — just make sure you don’t fall into Computers Cult by accident.
Petra Cortright — http://petracortright.com/
Petra Cortright, an Internet artist who creates video performances with the help of a web-cam, uses an intense amount of emoticons to make up her site’s splash page. The gothy smiley-face cross leads to a surreal collage of totally bizarre GIFs and a selection of links to her YouTube videos. Useful and crazy!
Wim Delvoye — http://www.wimdelvoye.be/
Wim Delvoye’s homepage takes the term more literally than most. He has created a pixelated city as a portfolio — each building in the isometric drawing leads to a different gallery of Delvoye’s work (they also have really cute animations, the camera-shaped building in particular). There’s even a billboard listing the artist’s recent exhibitions.
Obviously Fairey’s site would share the same aesthetics as his graphic design. The black-and-red layout is classic Fairey, and besides perusing the art, visitors are treated to some of the artist’s politically aware blogging.
Hockney’s site has a great, hand-drawn splash page, though the interior of the homepage is a bit less exciting. There is a great directory of work that features a selection of his pro-technology iPhone drawings, though.
JODI — http://www.jodi.org
JODI’s web site is also the pioneering Internet art duo’s greatest work, a mess of glitched-out HTML, weird windows, and digital dead ends. Get as far into it as you can and try to escape, or just close the tab and start over.
Much like Anish Kapoor’s art, his Web site is crisp, simple, and well-produced, as well as conceptually tricky. The grid of words and links lights up as visitors select what kind of information they want to filter for. It’s an exercise in clarity.
The same goofy sense of fun that goes into Japanese artist Misaki Kawai’s sculptures and paintings is apparent in her Web site as well, with a few animated GIF elements and a host of colorful cartoon characters.
Michael Manning — http://mirrrroring.net/
Going to Michael Manning’s site is like watching TV late at night, forever flipping through the channels without stopping to understand what you’re watching. The series of psychedelic interactive animations that greet visitors are surreal, but extremely fun.
Murakami’s Web site is a front for his art company, Kaikai Kiki, a ragtag bunch of Superflat artists that Murakami has helped to popularize. It’s certainly not as strange as the artist’s work, but it’s nice to see the shopkeeper side of Murakami’s career.
Rafael Rozendaal — http://www.newrafael.com/
New media artist Rafael Rozendaal makes Web sites as art objects, so clearly his own site is going to be awesome. Rozendaal doesn’t disappoint — topping a pleasantly clear layout is a header that includes retro-style icons linking to every art-site he has ever made.
Keith Tyson — http://www.keithtyson.com/
The British artist, who is obsessed with systems of order, presents his projects in the form of a solar system that you float through. Click into the planets and each one unlocks a whole universe of data about one of his works.
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries — http://www.yhchang.com/
One of the most entertaining artist Web sites, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ homepage includes versions of many of their animations, frenetically paced videos that tell stories through rapidly flickering text and expressive music. Add in a dollop of stylish, retro minimalism, and you’ve got an all-around winner.
Andrea Zittel — http://www.zittel.org/
On her faux-corporate Web site, conceptual artist Andrea Zittel advertises the services of her company, A to Z Administrative services. The branding is spot-on, but beyond documenting art projects, it is Zittel's blog that makes this worth the visit, with its bravely quotidian accounts of home renovation and feeding her turtles.