Vesica Blog - Taking museum and art collections to the cloud

December 24, 2010

Season’s Greetings and 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 3:26 pm

As 2010 is coming to an end, the team at Vesica would like to wish all users and readers happy holidays and a propserous new year.

In 2011, the Vesica gallery is due for launch along with the Vesicapedia platform.  Version 2 of the Vesica platform is also set to be released in Q1 of 2011. The new platform features extensive art management and art marketing functionality in addition to the current documentation platform. In addition, the new interface will result in an enhanced user experience with much faster response times.

Release dates for the above platforms will be announced in January, 2011.

November 15, 2010

The Malpractice of Art Collecting

Last year, I made the conscious decision to move away from tempting but morally void allure of the corporate world. After having spent many years dealing with large corporates and their representatives, or with other businesses in general, with support from some great people, I turned towards the art industry. It seemed different – unlike the business world, the art world appeared to have some character and the people who were involved in the traditional arts (that was my primary exposure at the time) appeared to very passionate about their work. Finally, I was getting to know some people who actually cared about what they were doing and did it because they wanted to do it and enjoyed doing it.

“This would be a great bunch of people to work with,” I thought to myself. That was a while ago. As I have become involved with the museum and art collecting ‘industry’ over the last year or so, the true character of the art industry has become clearer. It appears that the majority of art collectors collect for the wrong reasons, the majority of contemporary, modern artists produce art for no reason at all (and if you can’t see this in most modern art then you’re either part of the former, present or the next group) and the majority of art consultants or galleries, and in many instances, museums, are motivated and involved with the arts for what, shall we say, is questionable motivation.

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by an art consultant (who is involved with some museums and a company that writes software for museums) who is starting an art consultancy to help collectors manage and ‘enhance’ their collections. Whilst I would personally disagree with this person’s approach to collecting art, they made it clear that art world did not, and does not, really care about the actual objects or pieces of art in a collection, or their symbolical or historical importance. The interest lies around acquisition information, insurance details, rights management, in which employee is responsible and what they can do to maximize cash and revenue from the collections they help collectors manage.

This is a part of Vesica which has been lowest on our list of priorities (and is currently being developed as part of a new, single submission driven interface). Our current focus so far has been on documenting the art collections – documenting for those who are passionate about their collections, understand the techniques, materials, symbolism and effort that goes into producing a great piece of collectible art – not this modern mumbo jumbo of let’s assign a value and compute our commission. We are, after all, talking about an art collection, not an art calculation.

The reason for this is simple: so far we’ve dealt directly with collectors who have little of no commercial motivation – they collect art because it speaks to them. These are the people who are not involved in the malpractice of art. However, there are hundreds of thousands of galleries, collectors and artists who are all involved with this industry for only commercial reasons – and that’s ruining the sanctity of art.

These are the politicians and bankers of the art world – they are corrupting the essence and practice of art – especially in Europe. They’re involved in the industry because it’s a status symbol – because being an artist is hip, because collecting art means you’re sophisticated, and being an art consultant or art gallery means you will affluent clients. But does anyone really understand what they are involved with or trying to sell. Do you really think most of these people know why some of Monet’s work is worth millions – other than the fact that he’s dead and it is what Pierce Brosnan was trying to steal in the Thomas Crown Affair? Not really, no. It’s all about the Hollywood effect.

So if you’re one of those artists drawing squiggly lines and asking the viewer to discover the abstract meaning of your blindingly painful insult to art, one of those collectors who’s collecting art from someone because they’re about to get a deal signed with Sotheby’s or Christie’s, or one of those art consultants who are so ignorant about the symbolism of an Indian miniature painting or the skill involved in proportionately well drawn portraits or illustrations, you are involved in adding to the corruption of the art world. You are essentially involved in what I consider to be the malpractice of art. I would even name government institutions in several countries promoting such malpractice, but because of laws pertaining to libel, at this point, I will not name any person, artist, consultant or government organization. Really, none of them deserve any credit.If the motivation is commercial or financial, you should go into the business world – not hide behind the ‘innocence’ or purity of art.

But there is one saving grace for the deserving artist, the passionate collector, and the art collection consultant (who really is more of an elaborate and personalized curator, in my opinion, as opposed to an art collection calculator as many of them are today). Some of the world’s most affluent art collectors are the ones who will not make the media; they really don’t care to. These are the collectors who have collections in their houses which are more valuable than what museums have on display; these are the collectors who know which artist has real skill; these are the collectors who know which consultant to go to for documentation, research and advice, these are the people who don’t really care about acquisition notes or rights management issues – and you won’t find any of them on LinkedIn or Facebook as art collectors. Why? Because for them it is a passion – it’s not how they try to do business or make a living.

Whilst I have every intention of having Vesica capable of supporting the business functions required to manage art collections from a commercial standpoint, I don’t ever want us to become a business involved in the malpractice, inflatable commercialisation or demoralisation of art or antiques. It’s just not the artistically humane thing to do.

November 1, 2010

Plans Announced for Vesica Institute

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — vesica-press-releases @ 12:10 am

The Vesica Board today announced plans to start working towards launching the Vesica Institute of Traditional Arts. Whilst the company has yet to announce any more details, the Vesica Institute will focus on offering courses in Traditional Arts and Crafts – a field that very few art schools are willing to explore. A plan is being prepared to get administrative, financial and legal paperwork in place for next year.

“Whilst we have talked about the Vesica Institute of Traditional Arts before, it is still in the very early stages of planning. At this point, all I can say is that the Vesica Institute will, like the Vesica software platform, strive to excel and will offer the best in terms of traditional education,” said Asif Nawaz, Director and Chief Software Architect at Vesica Limited.

We anticipate that the management team will make more information available in the first quarter of 2011, potentially offering courses to students in the second or third quarter of 2011.

October 22, 2010

Dedicated Support System Released

Filed under: News,Using Vesica — Tags: , , , , — vesica-press-releases @ 1:03 pm

As the Vesica user base grows, we’ve received support requests from users like yourself with questions about their accounts and how to use various aspects of the software via email and live support. Many of you also mentioned your hesitation in using the forum for support because there were details about your collection you did not want to share.

We’ve listened – Vesica now has a dedicated support system in place. Using the support system is easy – a link is availble from the Help and Support page on https://vesica.ws/support/. To access the support system, you must be signed in to your Vesica account. Once you’re there, you can create new support tickets or respond to existing ones you may have created before.

It’s easy to use – here’s what it looks like:

Vesica Support System

Vesica Support System

The Vesica Support System allows you to submit and track support requests specific to your account, 24 hours a day. In addition, whilst the Live Chat team is not available outside UK business hours, the Support System is monitored and support tickets are dealt with 24 hours a day.

It’s all part of our plan to improve Vesica and make customer service our number one priority.

October 5, 2010

The Artist Tab Gets a Makeover

When we made the switch from beta to live last month, one of the last things we had not had time to redo for wider user and browser support was the “Artist” tab under “Pieces.” In fact, several users approached us with concerns over the interface being too heavy for their browsers or PCs (or Macs). We, therefore, made this our number one priority and have released the new interface. It works faster, looks better, is easier to use and allows you to associate multiple artists with one piece or work of art.

The screen is split into two parts – one where you can see which artists are already associated with the piece and another where you can search and associate more artists to a piece or work of art. It’s as simple as typing and clicking – and you’re all done. No more scrolling through 10,000 artists to pick the right one!

Here’s a screenshot to give you an idea of how it now works:

New Artist tab

New Artist Tab in Vesica - Art Collection and Management Software

To see how this works for yourself, create a Vesica account or Sign in.

September 23, 2010

Free online art shop revolutionises student art shows

Filed under: For Art's Sake,News — Tags: , , — vesica-press-releases @ 10:05 am

Vesica, a revolutionary new art management software, is set to transform the ability of art students to promote their work, by offering them a free web-based platform to show and sell their art.

The system, which has recently completed beta testing, has been designed to help art collectors, galleries, museums and artists themselves manage their art collections and share information around the globe. Vesica’s document – manage – market model is unique globally in the art world.

A key part of Vesica’s capabilities is the way it provides an online art gallery, enabling artists to show their work – and offer it for sale. The Vesica online gallery enables anyone, from a collector to a student, to list up to three pieces of art for sale in the online gallery, free of charge. Additional items may be listed for a modest charge, and Vesica’s commission structure for sales is set well below comparative costs for traditional galleries.

“By allowing artists and collectors alike to have a free listing of their art, we are revolutionising the way art can be shared, experienced and purchased around the globe,” says Asif Nawaz of software development firm VAFTA, who developed Vesica. “For the first time, students can list their pieces and expose them to a worldwide audience, without charge.”

Vesica was developed in response to a specific request for a system that would allow an art collection to be effectively catalogued and documented. For the first time ever, its online system allows a collection to be fully documented and managed, with the system retaining a high level of information and photographs.

Galleries and photographers can make use of Vesica’s online shop facility to list art for sale, making it visible to a worldwide audience. And for museums, galleries and private collectors, there is the opportunity to share highly detailed information on a discretionary basis with other professionals around the world; making the loaning of artwork and the staging of special exhibitions easier.

Vesica’s software format is universal. Developed as an online software system, it has a simple monthly subscription and is accessed via the internet, making it easy to use whatever computer a subscriber has. Updates and support are available immediately and a growing discussion forum will enable art topics to be discussed by interested individuals globally.

Vesica is also a carbon neutral system, hosted using solar powered servers located in California.

For further information, please contact the Vesica office on +44 (0) 20 8133 8050 or .

Vesica R&D Director to Teach Traditional Textiles Courses

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — vesica-press-releases @ 7:03 am

Nausheen Sheikh, Research and Design Director at Vesica, will be teaching Traditional Textiles Courses at the Nour Festival of Arts at Leighton House Museum in London, UK.

The courses will include hands on explorations of traditional Middle Eastern textiles. Participants will be tutored to create their own textiles in a course that explores the following areas:
  • Colour combinations in traditional textiles from primary and secondary resource materials;
  • How to achieve harmony and balance in the colouration of patterns;
  • What is ‘texture’ and how it is created;
  • Introduction to the Biomorphic forms, ‘Islimi’ motifs and their application to geometric patterns;
  • Exploring various embellishment techniques.

Workshops run from October 6 to October 27 and at £45 for each session. Advanced booking is required. Please call 020 7471 9153 to book.

For more details, please visit http://www.nausheensheikh.com/index.php?page=13.

September 22, 2010

Galleries go online without tears using Vesica

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — vesica-press-releases @ 9:00 am

Vesica, a revolutionary new art management software, is set to transform the way art galleries use the internet to drive additional gallery sales.

The system, which has recently completed beta testing, has been designed to help collectorsmuseums, sellers,galleries and artists themselves manage their art collections and share information around the globe. Vesica’s document – manage – market model is unique globally in the art world.

A key part of Vesica’s capabilities is the way it provides an online art gallery, and allows individual subscribers to develop and manage their own online shops. Vesica enables anyone to manage up to three pieces of art and  list them for sale in the online gallery, free of charge. Additional items may be added for a modest charge. For those wanting to get more directly involved in promoting the contents of their gallery, Vesica has facilities to establish a simple, online shop branded in the gallery’s own name and accessed via their own website. In addition to their own galleries, clients can list their items in the soon to come and highly marketed, comprehensive online Vesica Gallery.

“The internet is growing ever more powerful as a marketing and selling tool worldwide,” says Asif Nawaz of software development firm VAFTA, who developed Vesica. “Yet the art world is largely missing out. Of more than 800 galleries in the UK, less than ten per cent have an effective online presence. Vesica gives them an easy and very cost-effective way to promote online, and drive extra sales.”

Vesica was developed in response to a specific request for a system that would allow an art collection to be effectively catalogued and documented. For the first time ever, its online system allows a collection to be fully documented and managed, with the system retaining a high level of information and photographs.

Galleries and photographers can make use of Vesica’s online shop facility to list art for sale, making it visible to a worldwide audience. And for museums, galleries and private collectors, there is the opportunity to share highly detailed information on a discretionary basis with other professionals around the world; making the loaning of artwork and the staging of special exhibitions easier.

Vesica’s software format is universal. Developed as an online software system, it has a simple monthly subscription and is accessed via the internet, making it easy to use whatever computer a subscriber has. Updates and support are available immediately and a growing discussion forum will enable art topics to be discussed by interested individuals globally.

Vesica is also a carbon neutral system, hosted using solar powered servers located in California.

For further information, please contact the Vesica office on +44 (0) 20 8133 8050 or .

September 21, 2010

Vesica moves out of Beta

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — vesica-press-releases @ 11:14 am

Vesica – the world’s first online art documentation platform built for collectors, galleries, museums and artists was moved out of beta on Monday, September 20, 2010. Having released the comprehensive platform, Vesica’s focus now moves on to adding additional features based on the feedback received from private and general beta phases.

In addition, the company is starting to focus on helping art collectors based in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas focus on research and documentation work for their art collections. “(For many collections) there’s very little known information about the history of a particular piece of art, it’s symbolism, the techniques that went into creating it, why it was created or who created it,” says Asif Nawaz, Director at Vesica. “We aim to help collectors and museums discover, document and share this information, so that the world can be educated in the history and symbolical importance of these pieces. As future generations move away from traditional, handmade arts and crafts, Vesica aims to help build a platform that will preserve the sanctity of art and help prolong the importance of and present this information to future generations in digital formats and media that they are more familiar with.”

Vesica is a carbon neutral, solar powered and hosted on demand art management software delivered as a service that helps collectors, museums, galleries and artists document, manage, market, share and monetize their art collections. The software has been developed by London, UK based Vesica Ltd.

For further information, please contact the Vesica office on +44 (0) 20 8133 8050 or .

September 3, 2010

The Upgraded Vesica Dashboard

Filed under: News,Upcoming Features,Using Vesica — Tags: , , , — Asif N @ 12:52 pm
Upgraded Vesica Dashboard

The Upgraded Vesica Dashboard

Vesica now has a new account dashboard. The new dashboard gives you an overview of the latest news, your account details, a breakdown of the various objects / pieces in your art collection as well as a comprehensive search facility.In addition to the dashboard, a new search and filtering facility also available on piece / object listing to quickly sort and filter collections by any criteria.

The new dashboard, released last week, will become a powerfool tool for collectors, museums and galleries looking to manage and document their art collection portfolios.

More information on Vesica’s comprehensive documentation platform and it’s new eCommerce features, user galleries and the master Vesica gallery is coming soon as we get ready to move the software out of beta and share some of amazing pieces of antique art already documented in Vesica.

August 30, 2010

Choosing Your Gallery Web Address / URL

With the launch of the new Vesica dashboard and some additional features going live (yes, I have yet to blog about those), we’ve had several new Vesica users asking the same question – “How do I choose the right gallery name? What will be the marketing or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) related benefits?”

Whilst these aren’t questions we intended to field via support, we’ve been more than happy to answer these. Since several people have asked this, I figured it is time to put this into a blog post, as it really is quite important to your Vesica account and your online gallery.

I’ll break down the the importance of various aspects of choosing a subdomain on Vesica for your gallery. Let’s start by explaining this for those who aren’t familiar with this. With your Vesica account, you get the option to choose a URL for your gallery, much like you do when you create a twitter account. So, if your name was John Smith, you could choose http://johnsmith.vesica.ws much like you would choose http://twitter.com/johnsmith if you were creating a twitter account.

In many ways, the benefits of choosing the correct Vesica URL the same that you would get from choosing the correct twitter URL. There really is no exact science to it, but I will try and give you some pointers to explain the importance of a URL in general, then in context of a URL on Vesica, followed by the importance of a web URL or gallery name in the art world, especially in the online arena.

  • What URL you choose for your Vesica Gallery (or otherwise) should be driven largely by what your use of the Vesica Gallery will accomplish. For instance, an artist may choose to have a gallery for different reasons from a collector, an art gallery or a museum.
  • If you’re an artist:
    • Your URL should probably (and primarily) be motivated by your desire to get exposure and perhaps sell some of your work online. SEO, or any other form of search related stuff, should be second priority, at least at the domain name level. Think about it, even if you secure http://vangogh.vesica.ws and someone does search for Van Gogh and lands in your gallery, they’ll leave quite quickly UNLESS you are actually selling Van Gogh work (or replicas, etc.).
    • In my opinion, as an artist, you need to differentiate yourself. You need to be identified by who you are and what you do. You’ll never gain the respect of tasteful art collectors or buyers (ones who really appreciate it as opposed to the ones who just like to go to auctions to spend their laundered money) unless you define who you are, what inspires you to paint, carve, sculpt or draw abd what your work signifies. If you won’t take the effort to establish yourself and explain your art, it will be difficult to get anyone else to appreciate it. Not every artist has or can afford a commercial agent to sell their ‘abstract’ work which really is a bunch of zig zag lines. Explain what they mean to you and what they should signifty to the viewer and the buyer. It’s your point of view, so your gallery should have your reference or name in the URL.
  • If you’re an art gallery:
    • You would probably want the URL to promote the name and brand of your gallery, along with the type / genre of art that you deal in.
    • Even as an art gallery, I think you need to distinguish yourself in the online arena. The Vesica platform is built to allow you to add objects and pieces to your gallery and display them in a comprehensive fashion unlike any other online gallery – the trick is to use this in conjunction with your main website (if you have one) or use this primarily as a tool to archive, document, manage, market and sell your gallery and the works of art you exhibit.
  • If you’re an art collector:
    • The URL you choose for your online showcase or gallery depends very much on what your goals are. If you want the world to know who you are, you could consider using your name. If you don’t, perhaps you could use a name that appropriately reflects the medium and type of works you have in your collection. So, for instance, if you had a collection of Mughal jewels, you could use http://mughaljewels.vesica.ws.
  • If you’re a museum:
    • Perhaps you would want to use your name. For instance, the Guggenheim would use http://guggenheim.vesica.ws.
    • Whilst the primary use of a Museum for Vesica would be to use the comprehensive documentation and archiving platform and drive visitors to the physical location, a Vesica gallery can prove to be a comprehensive showcase of the Museum’s Collections and deliver visibility which a museum’s website can, in many cases, not.

Okay, so those were some brief thoughts on why you should choose a particular subdomain name or URL. The question that comes up quite often is what will the SEO effects of the gallery URL be. The correct answer here is: not much. Whilst the domain name is quite important, at the end of the day, it is content that matters. So, as advised above, whilst you should use the URL of your Vesica gallery to identify yourself and make it easier for others to identify and find you, the trick to getting SEO right is to using the Vesica documentation platform and fill in as much information as you can about your piece or work of art. Our team has invested hundreds of hours into delivering content that is search engine friendly and will get ranked once we start promoting galleries at Vesica. Therefore, if you want to utilise search engines to increase the visibility of your gallery and your works, that is where the focus should be as opposed to the URL.

Note, however, that the URL is vital to how your audience will perceive you. You should, therefore, choose it carefully.

August 8, 2010

Art that’s Not Worth Documenting

Filed under: For Art's Sake — Tags: , , , — Asif N @ 1:27 pm

It’s not often that I feel the need to pick on artists, or describe how bad someone’s work is – I don’t think these artists or their work deserves any PR. I’m not an artist myself – certainly not a professional or talented one – but I do know when someone tries to pass of absurdity as art.

Very recently, I was barely able to control myself from writing about the somewhat disappointing exhibition at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA)  in London. Whilst I genuinely think PSTA used to aim for the right things and have great respect for the Prince and what he does – the quality of work has been declining. After all, the school is taking on a more commercial approach and as with all things that become about business, quality gets substituted for quantity. I hope Prince Charles is noticing that, even though it may not be high up on his list of things to fix.

There is some art, though, in London, which reflects on the poor taste and corruption of those who promote art in this city. I recently noticed, by mistake, the horrible piece of what I can only call a wall by Knut Henrikson at King’s Cross Station between the northbound and southbound Northern line platforms. How on God’s good earth is this thing a piece of art? Is it just me, or have the staff at Transport for London (TFL) and some of the seriously distasteful, modern ‘know it all’ art loving bloggers seriously gone blind. Here is a small preview of what TFL and some of our tasteless modern art ‘want to be’ cool collectors have been admiring:

bad_modern_art

Simply bad modern art

Now, where in the world does that strike you as a piece of art. Here is a definition of the word art from Merriam Webster:

“the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.”

I’m not picking on Knut Henrikson; I am simply suggesting that people, whether in London, Paris or New York, seriously need to get their eyesight checked and need not think of art as cool simply because TFL promotes it to be or because collecting rubbish has become a ‘cool’ thing. Credit should be given where it is due. I can assure you that TFL is probably paying some intern to select junk that goes up across London as ‘art’. Do you really want to follow an intern or a bureaucrat who works at TFL? Seriously, if you are someone who appreciates art, surely you have more taste and better places to look for guidance than that.

Kudos to Henrikson’s dealer or PR consultant, though. You’ve all made the world a worse place and art a more degrading profession – only for ‘financial’ and ‘marketing’ reasons – just the kind of values fine art and its champions stand for.

July 3, 2010

Sneak Peek at Vesica Galleries

Filed under: Upcoming Features — Tags: , , — Asif N @ 7:54 pm

The gallery feature for each individual Vesica user has been a long awaited feature. Ever since we went into general beta, we’ve received queries from artists and galleries alike about when this would go online, how hard it will be to use and what kind of marketing and transactional capability it will allow them to have.

I am glad to tell you that the Vesica Gallery feature is complete and is currently being tested. Since we’re not ready to go live with it yet, I figured it will be a good time to show you what the galleries look like and what you as a Vesica user can do with them. So, without further adue, here is a screenshot of the gallery homepage that each Vesica account holder, free or paid, can get.

Vesica Account Galleries

Vesica Account Galleries - Homepage Screenshot

The above screenshot should give you an idea of the scalability and functionality of all Vesica galleries. Each account comes with a dedicated URL which you can choose when you create a Vesica account. So, if you chose the word londonart, you can then have your gallery on http://londonart.vesica.ws. In additon, all pieces can be browsed by type and you can add a variety of other pages to your gallery – so you can do business on your terms. Each gallery also comes powered with a dedicated shopping bag.

You also get statistics for your gallery. You can see how many hits you get on a monthly basis in addition to seeing hits by piece – a useful statistic if you want to see how your copy is performing in terms of SEO, setting up which at the keyword and description level is also built into the gallery configurator.

There’s a whole lot more I could put down about the galleries – after all, I’ve built the architecture for them. But instead of writing a novel on it, I’ll simply leave you with a couple more screenshots and ask that you be just  a little more patient. When we launch the gallery feature, it will be worth it. Hundreds of small galleries and artists will be able to gain an online presence and sell their artwork online. You don’t want to miss this!

Vesica Gallery Statistics Screenshot

Gallery Statistics Screenshot

Art Gallery - Piece Detail Page

Vesica Gallery - Piece Details Screenshot

June 13, 2010

Modern Art: The good, the bad and the ugly

Filed under: For Art's Sake — Tags: , , , , — Asif N @ 11:30 pm

Before I became involved with Vesica, I must admit that my interest in art was, well, quite limited. I must confess that I have heard one too many times about the modern geniuses of art – in the western world, they only have European art as we can’t trace the history back to much further than 700 years – we hit a brick wall called the dark ages. Nonetheless, for many years I wondered whether it was I who did not understand the genius of new upcoming artists, whether I was just too old at heart to only appreciate some of the traditional and classical stuff, or whether I was just not competent enough to understand what modern art was all about.

What I’ve never understood is that with everything else in life, we generally believe that simple is better. With contemporary or modern art, though, if you cannot understand it, it’s genius! I’m not sure who came up with that, but it may very well be just another scam. That’s not to say all contemporary art is bad; most of it is riddled with abstraction and squibbles of lines and paint that make no sense; many contemporary artists have to explain the piece of work they have created by retracing and explaining, in many cases, the monstrosities they have created.

Now because many of my dealings in working for Vesica have involved contact with art collectors and consultants who help such collectors put together their collections, I am sometimes baffled by the lack of foresight that goes into collecting this art. Most modern art today is painted on acryllic with synthetic paints – most of these won’t last half a century. What I’m not too sure about is why the new breed of collectors is obsessed with collecting this art. It may make for a good decorative piece or it may be a good gesture to support an emerging artist, but if you are going to overpay for a bunch of zig zag (and in many cases, nonsensical) lines to help an artist build his/her name, at least buy something that will last so that if the artist does indeed become successful, you and your heirs can benefit from the investment you made.

I suppose one of the dangers of contemporary and modern art is that those who collect it are generally not seasoned collectors – many of these collectors are the young, hip crowd that’s trying too hard to ‘understand’ art that is promoted by the majority of galleries in large, metropolitan cities around the world. Coming back full circle to the danger, a group of people who have no understanding of the subject of art are helping promote another group that’s just become invovled with the subject to make money.

I believe, and I may very well be wrong (after all you too are entitled to your opinion), if  a piece of art doesn’t speak to you when you first look at it, visually or spiritually, it’s just not worth collecting. Traditional art has a sense of perfection or passion about it; modern art is plain boring and hurts my eyes rather than pleasing them. It negates the purpose of collecting art.

I’m sure you have read about the recent event of the dynamite and bomb ‘art’ setting off police alarms and at the Pimlico Gallery in London- nothing about that was cool or representative of the fears of the 21st century in which we live. It was more like a high school prank – something modern artists have come to call ‘installations’.

Just as soon as I find a piece of modern art in the galleries of London that speaks to me, I’ll be sure to write good things about it. For now, unfortunately, I’m not seeing much good in most modern art. The bad is that those who are promoting and buying this art don’t really get what they’re buying. The ugly, the artist is also generally clueless.

Some day I will write about why modern art sucks – for now, I really, really want to give it a chance. If you can’t wait to see what I’ll write, here’s an article that you will surely enjoy reading by Jeff of High Concept Media in British Columbia, Canada: “Modern art sucks, and I’ll tell you why.”

May 31, 2010

Traditional Art vs Contemporary Art

Filed under: For Art's Sake — Tags: , — Asif N @ 9:53 pm

Since I became involved with the subject of art a few years ago, I’ve read quite a few articles from a variety of sources on the topics of both traditional and contemporary art. Whilst it is obvious that most people who write on this topic have done little or no research on the ethos or philosophy behind the 2 divisions of art, ultimately, it may very well be that the classification, like the beauty of a work of art, lies in the eyes of the beholder.

London in particular is driven by an obession with contemporary art – much of which is, unfortunately, quite overrated. I’m not saying that there is no good contemporary art (and we’re not referring to graphic design when I say contemporary art), but the English taste of appreciating the craft and skill of an artist is, I think, quite bland (like the food, perhaps?). I won’t name any artists or any art dealers who buy or create this art. That said, read what I am writing here with a grain of salt and note that not all contemporary art makes you contemporary or cool. Contemporary, like much of the rest of a city like London, is simply a word that represents a certain notion of facade that we have come to associate a little too much importance with. It is best to judge a piece of art by what went into it, what it says and what it communicates. Although appearance may start one’s relationship with a piece of art, the relationship will only become lasting if there is more behind the superficial appearance of any piece of work.

Getting on with our discussion, then. I have seen writers trace the roots of traditional art to the 12th century. Some attribute the origins of traditional art to renaissance – yet, others think that traditional art refers to the traditional forms of art, i.e. painting, drawing, pottery, etc. Truth is, and truth from my point of view, that all of the above definitions are based on people promoting their own agendas. Pro European writers like the sound of the word tradition and give credit for it to their roots. Craftsmen try to take hostage the essence of the word traditional for their benefit, but nobody ever discusses what it is that really defines traditional art.

If we take a step back in time, the Greeks were responsible for some traditional art. The Romans were responsible for some traditional Art. But with what little knowledge I have and research I have undertaken, the formal creation of traditional art was probably undertaken by Muslims. It was this effort that primarily defined the traditional arts on a larger scale – I’m sure there was and has been a major Jewish and Christian application too, but my knowledge on the subject is even more restricted there, so I will use Islamic examples to define traditional art. You see, traditional art, as it was back in the day, is also today known as sacred art by some. Ultimately, the goal of traditional art was to create ultimate beauty and harmony, that could only be attributed to God, through the heart, mind, hands and materials of a human being. Don’t mistake this for religious art – if you apply this principle to a mosque, perhaps the application become religious, but if you apply the same to your palace or to your home or to your painting, it becomes traditional art.

What this means, then, is that traditional art is built with a different purpose. The goal of a traditional piece of art is not to promote the artist or his ego (although this has to be done in the 21st centiry because everyone has to make a living) but to set aside an ego and build something of excellence – this can be anything – it’s just the intention and goal with which it is built that determines the classification. However, because traditional artists generally have to isolate the human ego, traditional art generally ends up being abstract and communicates a deeper meaning or a story. You’ll see this same common theme, whether you see a piece with a geometric pattern, calligraphy or the depiction of a scene. The focus is never one a particular person, the focus is on great detail in depicting something from God’s perfect creation. This is one of the reasons you won’t see a whole lot of portraits as part of the truly traditional art. You may very well see people in a variety of Indian and Persian miniature paintings, but they depict a scene in great detail and depth – they never focus on one person.

Contemporary Art, on the other hand, has quite a different purpose. It’s all about the artist and what he feels, thinks and wants. Contemporary art is a depiction of the artist unlike traditional art. This is why as part of many contemporary paintings you will see portraits – portraits of people that the artist admires or the artist painting portraits of those who want to be admired. Contemporary art today also includes a wide array of abstract paintings, from monstrosities to some that actually depict the state of mind, feeling or thought of an artist quite well.

Now I’m not here to say a piece of art has to be either contemporary or traditional – you also see fusion pieces where artists try to incorporate both the essence of traditional and contemporary art. Truth is, different art speaks different things to different people. Therefore, I think it is perhaps better to classify it at source – hence the definition as I see it above. Of course, the topic is always open to discussion for some and while it’s certainly open here, this is for now the way I see it.

May 14, 2010

Creating Art Collections in Vesica

Filed under: Using Vesica — Tags: — admin @ 3:49 pm

Creating an art collection in Vesica is as easy as clicking the mouse a few times. Really, following the steps below is is all it takes:

1. Sign in to your Vesica account.

2. Click on Collections from the mail Menu across the top.

3. Once you’re on the collections page, simply click on the create a collection button, and the collection name form will appear (see screenshot). Enter a name from the collection and press the continue button.

Vesica - Create a Collection

Vesica Screenshot - Create a Collection (1)

4. You will now go to the next screen which will allow you to enter a description and upload a default photograph for this collection. This information is optional. On this screen you will also have 3 tabs. Click on the Pieces tab to choose which pieces you would like to associate with this collection. Once selected, simply click the Submit button.

Vesica - Add Pieces to Collection

Vesica Screenshot - Add Pieces to Collection (2)

5. That’s all. Collection created. If you want to display the collection in your Vesica Gallery or the master Vesica Gallery, you can update the settings appropriately in the Settings tab.

May 11, 2010

Vesica – Released into General Beta

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:29 pm

Vesica was today (May 11, 2010) released into general beta. Whilst the private beta release in January gave us some insight into how to make the interface effective, we also walked away with a huge list of feature requests from our first set of users. As we work towards all of those projects, we’ve packaged the basic functionality of the application and launched the software in general beta. This should give collectors, gallery owners and everyone involved in the art industry great insight into the potential that Vesica can and does offer. The Vesica blog, coming in the next couple of weeks, will contain regular updates and preview of the latest features that are currently being developed.

April 19, 2010

Vesica and Museum Technologies Sign Landmark Deal

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:25 pm

Vesica today signed a deal with Museum Technologies to become the official collection and item management software provider to museums who work with Museum Technologies. In addition to providing the software at an enterprise scale for larger Museums and Galleries, this deal opens up huge possibilities for Vesica customers to be able to market their products and opens up avenues and growth channels for Vesica

January 4, 2010

Vesica Goes into Private Beta

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — admin @ 1:01 pm

Vesica was today released into closed beta testing. Users who have previously shown interest in the software have been sent out login information and passwords to log in to Vesica and test out the functionality of the software. There’s some front end work that needs to be done, and as we receive feedback from this closed set of users, we will be taking the software into public beta next month.

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