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An Interview with Javier Santamaria

posted by Avia Wiseman | filed under Cool Art Finds |

JAVIER

After selling many of his paintings last week, and receiving very enthusiastic feedback from customers, Artsumo decided to interview Colombian artist Javier Santamaria. We asked him to share with us some of his inspirations, and his thoughts about being an artist.

Javier Santamaria is a visual artist based in Bogotá, Colombia. He works mainly with painting and digital media. Through his academic studies he obtained a knowledge of classical and contemporary painting, mixed media, airbrush, graphic art, and photography. Santamaria has exhibited his works in various group shows in Colombia, as well as in many solo shows, beginning in 2007, at Kether Worldwide in Bogotá.

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An Interview with Katia Dutra Kimieck

posted by Avia Wiseman | filed under Cool Art Finds |

Katia and three paintings

Katia Kimieck was recently featured on Art Sumo - with all three of her paintings selling within moments of posting to the site. Katia is an extraordinary artist from Brazil who wakes up every morning eager to reveal what a blank canvas can hold.

Katia graduated from the Faculty of Arts at Paraná with a degree in Fine Arts and a specialization in Graphic Expression. She is a member of the Professional Association of Visual Artists of Paraná, and is also a private art teacher. Katia’s style of painting is very distinctive, and during her interview with Art Sumo, she shared how this style came to be, and even sent us some photos of her latest work!

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15 Things I Learned in Turkey

posted by Naysawn Naderi | filed under Personal |

istanbul at night

Istanbul at night

I spent the last month living in Istanbul, working as much as possible on Art Sumo while enjoying Turkish culture. While my first three days were spent getting scammed by a belly-dancing scheme, receiving food poisoning from a considerate 'wet burger', and below-freezing tempratures, gladly, the rest of the trip was one heck of a lot better. The Turks are incredibly hospitable and eager to show you their country. Although I'm now in sunny and wonderful Granada, Spain - I still miss the craziness of Istanbul and have added it to the list of places to live someday. I would highly recommend a trip, but before you do here are some tips for you.

Istanbul, working as much as possible on Art Sumo while enjoying Turkish culture. While my first 3 days were spent, getting scammed, food poisoning and frostbite, gladly, the rest were one heck of a lot better. The Turks are incredibly hospitable and eager to show you their country. Although, I'm in sunny and wonderful Granada, Spain right now - I still miss the craziness of Istanbul and have added it to the list of places to live someday. I would highly recommend a trip, but before you do here are some tips for you.

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15 Things I Learned in Lebanon

posted by Naysawn Naderi | filed under Personal |

Me in Beirut

In early February, while CNN was filled with images of a Lebanese day of rage, claims that Hezbollah had overthrown the government and a fresh travel advisory from the US Department of State urging Americans not to travel to Lebanon, I was in possession of a one-way ticket to Beirut. Should I cancel the trip? Fly somewhere else? Or, suck it up and hope for the best? After a lot of deliberation, research and angry conversations with family, my buddy Devin and I decided to throw caution into the wind and jump on a plane to Beirut.

In stepping off the plane, I had no idea what to expect: would I have the time of my life or end up in a van with a hood on my head? Happily, the former occurred - we both had an amazing time and I would like to share with you some reasons why I think you should plan to visit Lebanon as well. These are some of the things I learned.

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The best art is free: A look inside a few mosques I recently visited

posted by Naysawn Naderi | filed under The Best Art is Free |

I have been on the road for the past 2 months, traveling through Lebanon, Israel and Turkey, while working on bringing ArtSumo online. It's been quite an amazing experience getting to know the Muslim world a little better. While I half expected a welcome of "Death to America," I've found just the opposite - incredibly hospitable and welcoming people, eager to show you their culture. Further, I have found the places I was most nervous about visiting to be the most welcoming. Although I almost called off my visit to Lebanon after seeing footage of a "day of rage," I found the streets of Beirut to be super safe and the Lebanese to be the most hospitable. Across the board, I found that the Lebanese love to ask you where you're from, then give big smiles and repeat "welcome, welcome."

In addition to the hospitable people, one perk of visiting the muslim world has been getting to explore the numerous mosques on display everywhere. While some might call Istanbul the land of "one thousand staircases," its more common title, "the land of 1 thousand minarets," as a credit to the mosques on display throughout town, is probably more fitting.

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15 Things I learned in Israel

posted by Naysawn Naderi | filed under Personal |

For the last month I have been traveling around the middle east. My journey has gone from Lebanon -> Israel -> Turkey. Each place has been really unique and wonderful in its own particular way. As I have gone along, I've found various things interesting, shocking and curious. Below are 15 things that I learned in Israel.

1. Anything that can be put in a pita, should be put in a pita.

2. The right way to eat a pomegranate is through a straw

Making pomegranate juice on the streets of Acca

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They Paid What?! Top 10 Absurd Paintings that Sold for Millions

posted by Naysawn Naderi | filed under The Art World is Ridiculous |

Let's go ahead and conduct a test. I'll buy a handful of paintings from the cheapest spots in town - either a run-of-the-mill flea market, someone's garage sale, or even my 3 year old nephew's preschool classroom - give them a bravado title and extraordinary story, and then sell them in one of the famous auction houses of the world. My guess? With the right mis-attribution, these works could sell for at least $100,000.

Don't just take my word for it! The following are 10 examples of paintings that would be considered junk if they were sold at an ordinary garage sale, but because of their extravagant history, descriptions and estimated value, were sold for millions to the highest bidder:

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The best art is free: A look at the art of the Taj Mahal

posted by Naysawn Naderi | filed under The Best Art is Free |

About a year ago, while I was still working for Microsoft, I had the opportunity to go to India. It happened a little something like this: I was sitting in my office when my supervisor walked in and asked, "Naysawn - we really need somebody to head to India to speak with a few developers and get them up to speed on how we do development on our team. We know this would imply taking you away from your family and your work for a couple of weeks, so if you can't go, we completely understand."

While he was saying this, bells and whistles were going off in my head. My version of what I heard sounded a little different: "Would you like an all-expense paid trip to one of the most culturally diverse areas of the world where hospitality is molded into the culture? By the way, Indian food is absolutely delicious and comes in all different flavors." Since I love me some delicious Indian food, needless to say, I was on a plane a few weeks later bound for a three week trip to India (two for work, one for running amuck).

While at Microsoft, I was fortunate to receive extensive lessons from other foreign workers who successfully go on business trips and tack on some time for tourism afterwards. Microsoft pays the lion's share of the trip (the airfare) and you get to see another side of the world. Not wanting to let my teachers down, while I was burying my head in work at the Microsoft office in Hyderabad, I also made arrangements to meet up with my buddy Abhay in Delhi afterwards for week long vacation.

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10 of Our Favorite Social Enterprises

posted by Tiana Reid | filed under Personal |

Hello everyone - there has been a lot of buzz going on about social businesses as of late. What are they? How are they different from regular businesses and why is everyone jumping on the social business bandwagon? To fill us in, I asked Tiana Reid, community manager at socialbusiness.org, to explain their ins and outs and point our her favorite ones for us below.

Social Enterprises seem to be all the range in the circles in which I operate. That said if you ask 5 social entrepreneurs on what constitutes a social enterprise you often get five different responses. I personally would define a social enterprise as a business that actively decides not to maximize profits at the expense of social or environmental costs. Rather a social enterprise will seek to maximize profit, while producing as much social impact as possible.

Although the label of social enterprises is new, organizations producing both social betterment which are cash flow positive have existed for decades. I believe that the greed demonstrated in recent financial crash energized the world to create the term social enterprise to provide all with an impetus to create something new and socially productive.

To demonstrate some of the best examples of those businesses which are both producing financial and social output, I've listed in no particular order, 10 of my favorite social enterprises. As we're posting this on the Art Sumo blog, I thought it would be best to focus on companies that don't focus on International Art or World Paintings.

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About us

Hello. I'm Naysawn, founder of Art Sumo. Art Sumo makes it easier to learn about other cultures and get art in far to reach places. These are some of our thoughts on the art world.