Happy New Year! In lieu of a written post, here are some shots from my Instagram account. You can see more @ instagram.com/demcdonough/
ABOVE: Pierre-Auguste Renior, Dance at Bougival, 1883, oil on canvas, 71.6 x 38.6 inches, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
The Chinese government gave Ai Weiwei his passport back after taking it away from him four years ago. His first trip was to Germany, where he visited his son.
Canada picks Geoffrey Farmer to represent them in Venice. Being chosen is a huge honor. Here’s hoping Farmer’s ready for the 2017 edition.
While former mafia boss Egidio “Brutus” Coppola sits behind bars, his former villa on the outskirts of Naples is set to play host to exhibitions from various galleries, among them, the Uffizi in Florence.
This summer, there was a show of appropriated Instagram shots “by” Richard Prince. Now, there’s a lawsuit against Jeff Koons for his appropriation of a 1986 gin ad. This isn’t the first time Koons and Prince have been accused of stealing.
ISIS continues to destroy heritage sites. Evil, pure and simple.
First, Anish Kapoor’s iconic sculpture ‘Cloud Gate’ was duplicated and unveiled in the Chinese city of Karapay. Then, a sculpture (on display at Versailles) was vandalized three times. To make matters worse, a French court ordered Kapoor to clean it all up.
This fall, an anti-Renoir group protested outside the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Their goal? The removal of all Renoir’s paintings from the museum collection. This is pretty silly, especially when you consider what passes for art these days.
Courts upheld a ban that would prevent a man from entering the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The accused had threatened to urinate on paintings by Marlene Dumas and Luc Tuymans. His goal? To “improve them with a well-aimed stream.”
In May, Saltz and David Wallace-Wells wrote an article titled How and Why We Started Taking Kim Kardashian Seriously (and What She Teaches Us About the State of Criticism). I’m a big fan of Saltz, but man! That’s too much.
ABOVE: Poster for Artprize 2012 (the year I participated).
ABOUT: An international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are no restrictions on nationality or age. Artists apply to show at various venues around the city and are judged by the public and arts professionals.
WHEN: Held annually from September to October. The winner is announced in early October.
PRIZE AMOUNT: $200,000 publics’ choice. $200,000 critics’ choice.
ABOUT: Awarded for outstanding achievements in contemporary art. There are no restrictions on nationality or age. Shortlisted artists and winner are chosen by jury.
WHEN: Held annually. A shortlist of 6 or 7 artists is announced in late October. The winner is announced a few months later.
PRIZE: $100,000 and a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
ABOUT: A prize presented to a Canadian visual artist under the age of 40 whose work has been exhibited in a public or commercial gallery within the last 18 months. Shortlisted artists are chosen by nomination and the winner is chosen by jury.
WHEN: Held annually. A shortlist is announced in June and a show of the nominees’ is held from September to January at the National Gallery of Canada (formerly held at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia). The winner is announced at the end of October.
PRIZE AMOUNT: $50,000
ABOUT: A prize presented to a French visual artist whom the jury believes is worthy of foreign recognition. Shortlisted artists are chosen by nomination and the winner is chosen by jury.
WHEN: Held annually. A shortlist of 4 artists is announced in February. The winner is announced in October.
PRIZE: The winning artist receives €35,000 personally and up to €30,000 in order to produce an exhibition of their work at the Centre Georges Pompidou.
ABOUT: An international prize awarded to an artist under the age of 35. Artists apply online and a selection committee chooses the shortlist. The winner is chosen by jury.
WHEN: Held bi-annually. Artists apply from January to April. A shortlist of 20 artists is announced in June and a show of the nominees’ is held from October to April at the PinchukArtCenre. The winner is announced in December.
ABOUT: A prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50. It is the U.K.’s most publicized art award. Shortlisted artists are chosen by nomination and the winner is chosen by jury.
WHEN: Held annually. A shortlist of 4 artists is announced in July and a show of the nominees’ is held at Tate Britain in late October. The winner is announced in early December.
PRIZE AMOUNT: £40,000
A few things to keep in mind when looking to buy art for the first time:
Artists have many costs beyond the making of their art. Juries charge a small fee whether they’re accepted to a show or not, then another one once in. Outdoor shows require tent and grid rentals in addition to an exhibition fee. Galleries often charge for space, or take a percentage (up to 50%) of the sale. An artist must pay for the opportunity to show you their work, and that factors into their prices.
Most artists produce work in a wide range of price points. This is done specifically for first time buyers. If a piece is less than $100, then chances are, they aren’t really making much off the sale. They’re doing it to be accessible.
Original, one-of-a-kind art can often be bought for the same price as an IKEA print, or dinner for two.
Being an artist is EXTREMELY tough. Even when buying their cheapest piece, you are making a HUGE difference in their lives.
If a price point is beyond your immediate means, an artist will almost always allow you pay in installments. All you have to do is ask.
While you can always ask about paying in installments, NEVER ask for a discount. Artists put a lot of thought into their prices, and (as discussed above) they have a ton of costs beyond labor and materials – which are also expensive.
Art is valuable even if there’s no financial return on your investment. Buy it because you love it. Buy it because you support small businesses.