News Recap: November 2, 2018

A weekly update of art world news.

Ara Güler by Frank Payne via  Wikimedia Commons

Ara Güler by Frank Payne via Wikimedia Commons


Ara Guler, Photographer of Istanbul, Dies at 90
Magnum Photos announced on Wednesday that Ara Guler, a photographer known for his poetic photographs of Istanbul, passed away at the age of 90. Guler romanticized Istanbul through his Leica lens in the light of the early morning or evening, before the city was taken over by modern advancements. He also photographed the greats, like Pablo Picasso and Winston Churchill. While Guler photographed widely and was recognized around the world for his talent, the photographer resisted the title of “artist”. He is quoted as saying, “If it’s art, it’s art. If it’s not, it’s not. Other people will decide that 100 years from now. Photography looks like art, but art has to have some kind of depth,” continuing on to say, “I hate the idea of becoming an artist. My job is to travel and record what I see.” The Ara Guler Museum just opened in Guler’s honor on August 16th of this year, his 90th birthday.
Read the full story (The New York Times)

Magnum Photos and Aperture Foundation Team Up for Activism with Square Print Sale
The second annual Square Print Sale put on by Magnum Photos and the Aperture Foundation ends at 11:59 PM tonight. The week-long sale offers signed 6” x 6” prints by a number of photographers represented through the two establishments for just $100 each. This year’s roster included the likes of Nan Goldin, who is donating all proceeds from the sale of Drug on the Rug (2016) to P.A.I.N., the activist group she founded to combat opioid producers and addiction. Other photographers participating this year include Ed Templeton, Martin Parr, and Stephen Shore. Reflecting on the theme of “Crossings”, the Square Print Sale hopes to make meaningful contributions, through discussion and donations, to the field.
Read the full story (Artnet News)

Metropolitan Museum of Art to Expand Open Access Program
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has partnered up with Google to produce their own API (application program interface) to represent the 406,000 photos of their 205,000 artifact collection. This new interface allows digital use of the Met’s collection under the Creative Commons Zero license, widening the scope of their open access program. According the Director of the Met, Max Hollien, “The new Met Collection API further enables the Museum to connect its vast resources with our audiences on a global scale, which is absolutely fundamental to our mission as an encyclopedic museum in the 21st century. As a next step in our Open Access program, it ensures that the most current collection of images and data are accessible and available to the public and our partners, making the Met collection one of the most discoverable and useful on the internet.” With the goal of making art easily accessible to everyone, the Met’s collection is now also available through Google’s Arts and Culture application. However, if you wish to see the works in person, the Museum still implements a $25 cover charge.
Read the full story (Artnet News)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Calls for More Women in the Arts
At a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Germany’s Culture Ministry, the country’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for equality in the arts, “Let’s ask ourselves—how many female conductors have we experienced? How many women rank among the top-selling painters? The answers are rather sobering. This means we need real equality of opportunity for men and women in arts and culture.” Merkel’s statement comes after a study, published last year, found unequal representation in decision-making positions, as well as increasing pay disparity, between German men and women represented in the arts. Solutions offered by the Chancellor included balanced representation on award juries and grant bodies, citing the federal film grant-making authority as a good example.
Read the full story (The Art Newspaper)

First AI Artwork Sold at Auction
The first piece of computer generated artwork to be sold at auction just reached a height of $432,500, 45 times the estimate. The work, titled Portrait of Edmond Belamy (2018) by GAN (generative adversarial network), is the result of a specific algorithm and over 15,000 portraits of source material to reference. It appears unfinished, with exposed canvas and an out of focus subject, but accomplished its algorithmic mission. Portrait of Edmond Belamy is just the first to be recognized in a growing field of AI artwork.
Read the full story (Christie's)