I'm thrilled today to unveil and launch the ImageBlog, a communal platform for artists from all over the world to share and engage. Featured artists submit images of their work -- in whole, in detail, or in progress -- with a caption of any length, but unlike a blog, the image is paramount.
It will include known artists we revere and admire and also those emerging on the scene, all of whom are contributing to the larger conversation of art in their respective media. Like other HuffPost bloggers, artists are invited. Invitees in turn recommend other artists, so our reach expands outward into a fractal -- self curating and always growing.
David LaChapelle, ImageBlog Contributor
When I started the arts section on The Huffington Post almost three years ago, I always envisioned that it would evolve into a space where people would blog about and share their work. What became apparent over time, however, is that bloggers are more often "Word People" rather than "Image People" and the arts page was collecting more writers writing about art than artists writing about their work. In truth, artists prefer to let the work speak for itself and leave interpretation to others. I wanted to create a new form of blogging from the Image People and of the caliber our audience has come to expect from The Huffington Post. Instead of presidents and movie stars, we'll have extraordinary painters, photographers, filmmakers, sculptors and more.
A Screenshot of the ImageBlog featuring works by David LaChappelle, Hadley Holliday and Shepard Fairey.
As an artist, it has been fascinating to watch the permutation of online sharing over the last decade. While Twitter can light up the left brain with a pithy thought or link, it was really Instagram that stole my heart. I delight in the foam leaf on a friend's cappuccino or the red rage of a sunset on the opposite side of the world. But even though I follow and search for other artists, I had found their efforts to upload works en masse too embryonic and diffuse to satisfy me. I longed for a place where I could see a river of works by artists in one place.
"What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, hear more, to feel more." - Susan Sontag, "Against Interpretation"
I once read about a study done at a university where a group of freshmen were asked to pick a poster of a work by a famous artist and hang it in their dorm rooms. Half of the freshman were asked to write a short essay on why they chose the poster they chose. The other half did not. At the end of the semester, the researchers conducting the study asked the students if they wanted to keep the posters hanging in their room for free or if they wanted them give them back. The students that did not have to write an essay about the poster were much more inclined to keep it hanging in their room but the ones that had to write an essay about the poster were more likely to return them.
Annie Lapin, Oil on Panel. ImageBlog Contributor
When I make a painting, I often meander on the canvas in the beginning, discovering and experimenting until everything points in one direction. My work in art and technology, and having the opportunity to create on a platform as far reaching as this one, has similarly coalesced in one direction, towards the creation of the ImageBlog -- a forum for artists to express and engage with their work, becoming the ultimate public art project.
"The alphabet was Western Civilization's first abstract art form."
-Leonard Shlain, "The Alphabet vs The Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image" (and my late father)
I could not have created this without the dogged backing of Arianna Huffington, who immediately saw the value in this vision and was steadfast in helping me turn it into a reality. I want to thank the artists who devote their lives to creating something for us to look at and who then entrusted us with sharing their work. Last, but certainly not least, none of this could have happened without the support of the entire team at The Huffington Post who helped bring it to life, most particularly, Adam Rose, Michael Hogan, Kathleen Massara, Willy Volk, John Pavley, Menachem Dickman, Michael Hernandez, Chris Miller, Anna Dickson, Priscilla Frank, Katherine Brooks and Wendy George. A special thanks to Nico Pitney, who swooped in just a few short weeks ago but deployed a laser beam-like focus for the launch.
I look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the coming weeks as the ImageBlog enters it's first stage of life. www.huffingtonpost.com/imageblog