Big Girls: Large Format Photographs by Women Photographers recently opened in NYC, featuring a variety of compelling large-format photographs by women artists. On view from until 30 July 2010, the exhibition encompasses a host of themes within the theme, including portraiture, figure studies, abstraction, autobiography, and fantasy.

Johan Grimonprez at the Fruitmarket in Edinburgh

Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez was propelled to international prominence when his highly acclaimed one-hour video Dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y, a smart, visually complex and imaginatively compelling cultural history of aeroplane hijackings, was first shown at Documenta X in 1997. In 2008, a first version of his new film Doubletake took the Basel art fair by storm.

From Tehran to London: New Painting from Iran

The noise and bustle of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport at five in the morning is a little overwhelming, especially after six peaceful hours snoozing on a flight from London. Only a few years old, but some design flaws are already showing in this sleek building, particularly in the way incoming travellers find themselves in irritatingly long queues. A glass wall brings welcoming family and friends frustratingly close, and as you inch slowly towards the exit you can read improving signs that remind how ‘Respect for Islamic Dress is Respect for the Rights of Women’. Another enormous queue outside siphons off into taxis, and by the time I am on the road to Tehran, dawn has broken.

DREAMLANDS at the Pompidou

One of the most engaging shows this summer, Dreamlands recently opened at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. The show considers, for the first time, the question of how World’s Fairs, international exhibitions and theme parks have influenced ideas and notions of the city. Duplicating and reduplicating reality through the creation of replicas, embracing an aesthetic of accumulation and collage that is often close to kitsch, these self-enclosed parallel worlds have frequently afforded inspiration to the artistic, architectural and urbanistic practices of the 20th century, and may even be said to have served as models for certain contemporary constructions.

Sensitivity Questioned at the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center

Jean Luc Blanc, Gregory Crewdson, Jim Drain, Ryan McGinley, Michael Robinson, Daniel Silver, Daniel Subkoff, Stephen Sutcliffe, Scott Treleaven, Dimitrios Antonitsis, Christos Delidimos, Kostas Bassanos, Manolis Bitsakis, Vassilis Botoulas, Antonis Donef, Eftichis Patsourakis, Theo Prodromidis, Panos Tsangaris.

Untitled (Tube Map) by Barbara Kruger

Internationally renowned, American artist, Barbara Kruger (b.1945) is the latest creative talent to design the new Pocket Tube Map cover. Kruger uses the language of publicity to draw attention to advertising and its manipulative power. Her trademark subversive tactics are played out in her Untitled (Tube Map)where the familiar imagery of the map is used to relate her own feelings about London, a city she loves and knows well.

The Artists of 2010 – The Next Big Thing?

Again, it is this time of year, where everyone is boasting about the next “big thing”, I do follow graduates, and encourage their work, but sometimes I feel that artists need to realise that there’s no quick fix. Everyone has to pay their dues, it takes time, dedication and hard work to succeed in this industry. That said, this is one of the most exciting times of year, I feel that graduates do need our support – Enter the Catlin Art Prize.

Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition Is Now Open For Entries

With creativity booming at the moment, so many exhibitions and the graduate shows coming up, it’s never been a better time to get motivated and start creating. Whether you’re a budding storyteller, painter, sculptor, photographer or wordsmith, the Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition is for you.

freshfacedandwildeyed2010 at The Photographers’ Gallery

Every year around May my phone doesn’t stop ringing and my inbox is brimming with press releases about this year’s new cohort of graduate artists. With all the graduate shows coming up and showcases like Free Range and Catlin Art Prize, this time of year, I get completely inundated with graduate work. Some of it is the same, and then once in a while you find a few gems. And this is why I love going to graduate shows, everyone is so excited and optimistic, and you know what, so they should be! I am most certainly not going to drone on about the economy, current political situation, I mean if you were to concentrate solely on that, well, frankly you’d never do a thing.

Tell Us How You See It

Tell Us How You See It – We Want to Know

Are you a cultural enthusiast? Do you visit exhibitions; attend the theatre and other various performances?

We are looking to expand our network on the popular Aesthetica Blog and get you, the readers involved. The Aesthetica Blog is a well-visited site that posts information from around the world regarding the latest in contemporary arts. We are looking to expand our network, and are inviting you the chance to become one of our regular contributors – acting as a correspondent from your local area. Are you in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford, or anywhere in between? Maybe a bit further a field? Dublin, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Beijing? Where ever you are, if you’d like the chance to contribute to the blog please get in touch.

Golden Mask 2009

Marina Abramović: Personal Archaeology

Marina Abramović (born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia), is without question one of the most important artists of our time. She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque. I was fortunate enough to have a lengthy conversation with the artist, just days before she began her latest ongoing performance, The Artist Is Present at MoMa in NYC. She is an incredibly fascinating woman, dedicated to her craft but always in pursuit of taking her work, moreover, herself to the next level pushing all boundaries aside.