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May 11, 2011 10:14 AM

Media

Art Rocks! Embraces Digital

For its 4th annual gala, Art Rocks! is doing something a little unexpected. In hopes of breaking the barrier between art and media, the fundraiser, which will take place at the Bowery Hotel on Thursday May 12th, will feature...

For its 4th annual gala, Art Rocks! is doing something a little unexpected. In hopes of breaking the barrier between art and media, the fundraiser, which will take place at the Bowery Hotel on Thursday May 12th, will feature a strictly digital art show. STOCK.jpg The event, founded by Nicole Berrie, raises funds for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center. She founded Art Rocks! to honor the memory of her father, who passed away in 2002 due to complications from diabetes and founded the medical center, and continue his work, all while supporting one of her passions -- art. The idea, according to Berrie, was to create an art show highlighting young artists while supporting the Berrie Center's pediatric program for uninsured diabetic children with the education and medical support they need.

For this year's event, Berrie followed the growing digital trend -- joining art and technology. All the art will be displayed via screens, digital installations and projections; there will be nothing tangible at the showcase.

"Last year we featured artists all under the age of 35 based in New York City because we believed it was an important platform to push local emerging artists who did not necessarily have gallery representation," said Berrie. "This year, our artists are equally emerging but work in the medium of digital, video or Internet art. We felt that there is a trend in contemporary art that is moving towards digital media and the internet and we wanted to capture that in our show by featuring young, up and coming artists who we feel are at the forefront of that movement."

To gather those artists, Berrie enlisted the help of Emmett Shine and James Cruickshank of LOLA New York as curators. The duo has collaborated with Art Rocks! for three years, and it's a growing partnership that has acclimated itself to changes not only in the art world but in the economy. As such, moving into digital was a natural result of where the rest of the world has headed, Shine said.

"Digital or Internet Art is creative, autodidactic, collaborative and innovative. This year's crop of artists embody this spirit and creativity," Shine told WWD. "They have a deep understanding and knowledge of modern and traditional art history in addition to referencing, incorporating or re-interpolating popular culture and up-to-the-minute memes."

Contributors include Austin Peters, Rene Abythe, Gordon Stevenson, Ryder Ripps, Sterling Crispin, Rafael Rozendaal and Brendan Lynch.

To host the event, Berrie brought in fashion (and reality TV) darlings Chris Benz and Brad Goreski. "I felt that both Brad and Chris, who epitomize the next generation in the fashion industry, truly represent the Art Rocks! mission, which is to support young, up and coming talent in all creative fields," Berrie told WWD.

Tickets for the one-night showcase are available at artrocks2011.com



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