UCT Graduate School of Business: Business for Art Bursary Deadline

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UCT Graduate School of Business is providing one South African artist the opportunity to study the much-need business acumen required to become a financially successful, practicing artist. The course, which will take place Monday evenings over a period of 13 weeks, is worth R7500 and will be hosted by Elaine Rumboll – entrepreneur, former performance artist, internationally published award-winning poet, blues singer and academic. 

 

Topics covered include how to negotiate when pitching artworks, how to manage finances, how to market your work, and how to understand required administrative processes like budgeting, cash flow and tax. The deadline is today, Thursday 30th of July so get your applications in before the close of business!

 

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Click here to find out more about the Business Acumen for Artists programme.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 05:46

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A Look at the Remarkable Illustrated World of Drawn to Death

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Cropped stills from the video game Drawn to Death courtesy of Kotaku.com.


Drawn to Death is a free-to-play competitive multiplayer game in production for the PS4 by famed God of War creator, David Jaffe, which recently had some heads turning at a number of big gaming conventions in the USA. The first-person-shooter videogame is unique in the sense that it simulates a sketchbook format, animating illustrations and typography as you explore the mind of a young boy currently going through a number of personal and family issues, his notebook being a productive way in which to express himself. The artwork is quite remarkable with personal notes being strewn across the walls and passing through the sky along with written, narrative vignettes. 

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A photograph of the video game Drawn to Death being payed courtesy of Kotaku.com.

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A photograph of the video game Drawn to Death being payed courtesy of Kotaku.com.

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A photograph of the video game Drawn to Death being payed courtesy of Kotaku.com.


Click here to read the full article on Kotaku.

Click here to wath in-game footage of Drawn Together on Youtube via IGN.

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Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 05:40

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Puppetry and Animatronics: Building the Apatosaurus in Jurassic World

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Left: A cropped still of the animatronic Apatosaurus in Jurassic World.

Right: A cropped still from the scene depicting a dying Apatosaurus.


Remember the good old days when movie-makers and directors relied on puppetry and animatronics to make convincing science fiction movies? Practical effects, as they are otherwise known, were used heavily before the mid-nineties to bring an array of strange creatures - including dinosaurs - to life. Well, since the massive progression of CG and digital animation in the film industry, practical movie effects have seen somewhat of a dip since featuring heavily in successful movies such as Jurrasic Park and Blade Runner. In Jurassic World, however, one scene of a dying Apatosaurus has people talking after the film's director approved the use of an animatronic puppet to depict its liveliness, allowing the movie's lead actors to engage and interact with it.



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The scene from Jurassic World depicting the use of the Apatosaurus puppet.


If you're into that sort of thing, here's a fascinating look at what went into the making of this terrific puppet. It turns out that the art of puppetry and animatronics isn't dead just yet.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 07:20

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Speechless Comic Book Market & Colloquium and the Big Debate

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Cropped photographs of the Speechless colloquium with Zapiro, Andy Mason, Stacey Stent and Sean Christie.


The month of May witnessed the successful opening of SPEECHLESS, South African Comic Artists on the State of the Nation, currently on show at Erdmann Contemporary at 84 Kloof Street in Cape Town until 11 July. The Erdmann Contemporary gallery, the CCIBA and AMAK also hosted a comic book market and colloquium on Saturday 20 June where passers-by had the opportunity to buy local South African comics and rare comic book publications from all over the world. The colloquium was a hit with a lively discussion around cartooning and comics in the fine art space and the current state of newspaper cartooning thanks to generous comments from Zapiro, Stacey Stent, other panelists and colloquium attendee Chip Snaddon. 


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Photograph courtesy of Erdmann Contemporary.


The conversation started off with the intention of showcasing cartoons in a gallery environment. Panelists raised the question of whether or not comic art is or can indeed be art and if the comic art medium was financially viable, especially in a gallery space. According to Erdmann Contemporary's Twitter feed, Zapiro explained how sales of his work including prints and originals are not limited to exhibition in galleries, the artist producing an edition of prints for most of the cartoons he illustrates and making them available on his website and through his formiddable network. Zapiro fondly reminded the audience how William Kentridge made satirical cartoons for a newspaper for a short period of time.


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Photograph courtesy of Erdmann Contemporary.


Sean Christie went on to explain the transition from cartoons for newspaper to cartoons for the gallery wall and articulated some of the 'hang-ups" involved. Christie also mentioned the shift from original to digital works and how collectors prefer to buy original pieces, namely those created using non-digital media. Panelists went on to discuss Brett Murray's Spear and how the attention surrounding the work affected the manner in which South Africans view caricature cartooning and the way in which we galleries price these sort of works. The exhibition contains a significant amount of President Zuma imagery, Sean Christie going so far as to say that some of the works were overly literal. Zapiro started the gender in cartooning debate and asked why it is the case that Stacey Stent is one of South Africa's only published female political cartoonists and one of very few women in industry locally.


Erdmann Contemporary recently released a statement on their Facebook group regarding the Speechless colloquium and comic book market:


The comic book market was a huge success & will become a monthly event! Thank you to Andy Mason & Rafael Powell for organising and Blah Blah Bar for hosting. Andy Mason, Blank Books and Bibliophilia put on a fantastic display of the best comic books I have ever seen in one room. The Colloquium with Zapiro, Stacey Stent, Sean Christie and chaired by Andy Mason was equally successful and continued long after the initial two hour discussion. Thank you to the panelists and Andy for a good debate on a touchy subject. Both these events were centered around our current exhibition, SPEECHLESS which remains on view until 11 July. Images of work by participating cartoonists Alastair Findlay, Zapiro, Chip Snaddon, Stacey Stent & Brandon Reynolds.

Click here to view more about Speechless.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 17:56

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A Brief and Fascinating History of Ultramarine Blue

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Left: Cropped image of Vermeer's, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665.

Right: Cropped image of Sassoferrato's, The Virgin in Prayer, 1640–50.

 

Have you ever considered the history behind ultramarine blue? As a colour it has long been imbued with connotations of royalty, divinity and wealth. It turns out there is a very particular reason for this, the first and foremost being that it was outrageously expensive to have it sourced and made. Ravi Mangla narrates a fascinating historical tour of ultramarine blue in The Paris Review saying:

 

Derived from the lapis lazuli stone, the pigment was considered more precious than gold. For centuries, the lone source of ultramarine was an arid strip of mountains in northern Afghanistan. The process of extraction involved grinding the stone into a fine powder, infusing the deposits with melted wax, oils, and pine resin, and then kneading the product in a dilute lye solution. Because of its prohibitive costs, the color was traditionally restricted to the raiment of Christ or the Virgin Mary.

 

To read Ravi Mangla's full article in The Paris Review click here.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 15:03

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