Corruption in the Chinese art market

Good afternoon!

I am intrigued by all of the recent articles in the news about art forgeries. I decided to write a short post to share today’s piece in the New York Times titled, “Forging an Art Market in China.”

Even as the art world marvels at China’s booming market, a six-month review by The New York Times found that many of the sales — transactions reported to have produced as much as a third of the country’s auction revenue in recent years — did not actually take place.

Just as problematic, the market is flooded with forgeries, often mass-produced, and has become a breeding ground for corruption, as business executives curry favor with officials by bribing them with art.”

Consider the impact of China’s culture on the nature of the forgeries. In contrast to the demand for contemporary art in the West, Chinese buyers tend to seek traditional art. Given that Chinese artists are trained to imitate the work of old Chinese masters, they are well-equipped to create forgeries.




Keep a Breast: Breast Cancer Prevention through Art

Hi Art Xplorers,

Have you heard of The Keep A Breast Foundation? KAP is the leading youth-focused, global, nonprofit breast cancer organization. The foundation fosters breast cancer prevention through, art, education, awareness and action.

More than ten years ago, the founders of KAB, were eager to support a friend with breast cancer in a non-traditional way. They developed a technique for creating a cast of the female bust using plaster. Once the cast was created, it was used as a canvas by artists. Today, there are multiple lines of KAB Casts. Check out a few casts below. They are truly unbelievable! The breast casts are “conversation starters, awareness builders and fundraising tools.” (Even better, the KAB project led to the formation of the foundation itself.)




Emma Keeling
by Kazuki Takamatsu



Gerlinde Jaenicke
by Mimi S.

View even more casts here

Sassy and Sophisticated

Hi Art Xplorers,

It is Sunday! I love Sundays.  I usually keep the afternoons free to do some cooking. I have been trying a lot of different recipes and I am really enjoying it. I like experimenting with new ingredients and techniques. It is relaxing and I like that I get to create a tangible product. This morning, I was thinking about how creative cooking can be. Once you get the basics down, you can start playing with exciting flavor combinations and then focus on the color and presentation. I mean after all, we eat with our eyes. Picture those chocolate truffles with an inviting salted caramel swirl, fluffy blueberry muffins sprinkled with brown sugar, or an entirely green salad with vibrant spinach topped with edamame, cucumbers and broccoli. Gorgeous!

While my mind is clearly focused on food, I am actually writing to share some interior design photos. This morning, Home Adore, shared some eclectic interior design. “Eclectic design is a mixture of different decorating styles. It can also be a blend of different cultures and time periods.” Just like a well made dish, these rooms take the best of everything and fuse them into one cohesive look. They are both sassy and sophisticated. A great philosophy to take with you while cooking dinner or redecorating your bedroom. Check out a few of the images below and go to Home Adore to view the others.

037-eclectic-interiors 031-eclectic-interiors 029-eclectic-interiors 022-eclectic-interiors 018-eclectic-interiors 015-eclectic-interiors 009-eclectic-interiors 001-eclectic-interiors

AvroKO: Imagination at its finest

Good afternoon Xplorers,

Today’s post features images of the Lily & Bloom restaurant in Hong Kong. The interior is absolutely magical. Ornate light fixtures, textured walls, and eclectic seating foment the intriguing atmosphere. Lily & Bloom is more than a restaurant, it is a story…an experience. Take a look!

Avroko is the design and concept firm behind this restaurant’s mind-blowing space. AvroKO focuses on architecture and interior design in order to create concept-driven spaces. They have designed retails stores, residential spaces, bars, cupcake shops, and steakhouses. While no two spaces are alike, they are all similar in the imagination behind the space’s concept and the unique details hidden in every corner. I would love to work for AvroKO someday. The firm seems to bring dreams to life.



Trip to Paris

Hi ArtXplorers,

I want to show you a few clips of my recent trip to Paris. I feel so lucky to have gone on this trip. Paris is such a fantastic city and spending a week exploring its wonders was an absolute blast. There were so many photos. I could not go through them all so I just grabbed a handful for you.

Also, I am going to tell you something that I hope will change the way you travel. If you have been checking the blog, you know that during the weeks before my trip I was reading “Sacre Bleu” by Christopher Moore. The novel is a fictional comedy about the Impressionist painters living in Paris. (I was an “impressionist junkie” when I was a kid so this novel was a lot of fun to read.)  I finished the book on my plane ride over and watched the movie, “Midnight in Paris” while my boyfriend snoozed away next to me. Between the novel and the film, I was immersed in a world of characters that had roamed the streets of Paris.

Stepping into the city’s streets with these characters in mind made everything so much more exciting. “This is where Gil was standing in the scene with Gertrude Stein,” I’d exclaim. Or “I bet this brasserie is just like the one that Henri frequented during chapter 12 and 13.” I highly recommend watching a film and reading a book that will add a fictional backdrop to your next trip.

And with that…here are a few photos of my week in Paris.





12-D45C3FBC-924760-1280       1090915_10100398300020435_978494452_o





Going Local and Lost Art forms

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for the inconsistent posts lately. I have been enjoying the flexibility that summer allows me therefore my schedule has not been very regulated. I plan to continue in this free spirited mindset until September 😉 I hope you are doing the same.

And with that, I would like to provide you with a random assortment of artistic topics that I have been pondering.

First, let’s go local! Right now, I am planning an event in which I have been able to hire a local vendor. I love being able to help local business. The vendor is an ice-cream sandwich distributor called, MilkCultDC. The owners deliver ice cream sandwiches in delectable flavors (like Salter Butter Caramel and Buttermilk Lemon Zest) from the sidecar of their motorcycle. So cool right!

ice cream

While reading about Milkcult, I found a new website that I will surely use over and over, Scoutmob. On Scoutmob, you can read articles on independent makers in your city, learn about their upcoming events and take advantage of special deals. Bookmark the page now! How can you afford not to?

Billy Collings

And moving on to my second order of business…the evolution of art. This morning, my uncle sent me a TED talk, Everyday moments, caught in time. During the talk, poet, Billy Collins, shows clips of his poetry accompanied by animated films. What a fantastic way to bring poetry into the next century. This got me thinking, how will other art forms evolve? Will they evolve or die out. For example, I have posted before about my love of handmade cards. I love cards and handwritten letters and beautiful pens…the list goes on. Will handmade cards and handwritten letters become a novelty, an artistic form of expression, or will the practice become obsolete? Check out the video and let me know what art form you fear will be lost? (I know that my friend Erik’s answer would be screen printing.)

Lastly, I would like to add some updates on the artist I met recently and mobile we are considering for my building but I have run out of time. More to come soon! Have a great week everyone. Keep it creative.

Qatari Riches are Buying Art World Influence

Good morning Art Xplorers,

I am writing a quick post to share a great article in the New York Times this morning titled, “Qatari Riches are Buying Art World Influence.” The article details Qatar’s efforts to expand its art collection and profiles Sheika al Mayassa bint Hamad bun Khalide al-Thani, chairwoman of the Qatar Museums Authority.

“We are revising ourselves through our cultural institutions and cultural development,” she said in a 2012 TED talk. “Art becomes a very important part of our national identity.”

Check out the article! I am interested to know how everyone feels about the departure of these masterpieces to Qatar.


Sacré Bleu!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you enjoyed the 4th of July holiday. My long weekend consisted of friends, pool-side lounging, cornhole, barbecue, and lots of sun. Although I did not go on any artistic adventures…unless exploring instagram apps counts as an artistic adventure. Have you ever used oldify or swap faces? Download these apps before your next party. They are hilarious…

ok, where was I? Yes, while I did not go on any artistic adventures, I was reading the novel, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, by the pool.

Sacré Bleu is a a novel by Christopher Moore, the bestselling author of Lamb, A Dirty Job, and You Suck. In Sacré, Moore tells the story of a young artist and his “side-kick” Henri-Toulouse Lautrec, and their efforts to unravel the mystery of Vincent Van Gogh’s “suicide.” I have read about 200 pages so far and I am enjoying every minute of it. Moore has a fantastic sense of humor and I cannot help but fall in love with each of his quirky characters.

Most of the characters are well-known impressionist painters. Moore’s pages are graced by Renoir, Monet, and Pissarro. During my middle school days, I was enchanted by the impressionist painters (Let’s be real. I still love the impressionists. If you are in DC, you must visit The Phillips Collection to view Renoir’s work, Luncheon of the Boating Party. You must!) so it was clear to me that this novel would be a new favorite of mine.

And a random side note. Whenever one of the artists paints a nude portrait of a woman, the men all ask, “Why is she so skinny?” I love it. I wish men would ask that question today.

“I like a girl with a substantial bottom,’ said Renoir, drawing in the air the size bottom he preferred.”

Another aspect of the book that I appreciate is that Moore sprinkled the pages with masterpieces that accompany the storyline. For visual people like myself, this detail is essential.

All in all, this is a fun read with an absurd storyline and strangely lovable characters. I cannot wait to read more. If you happen to pick it up, please send me a note so we can compare thoughts. (But, don’t spoil the ending!)