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On the 18th of February 1885, Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in the United States. Twains picaresque novel set in the 1840s, is about a young boy called Huck who runs away from home and floats down the Mississippi River. On his way he meets a runaway slave Jim and the two undertake a series of adventures, which slowly change Hucks views of bigotry. He begins to distinguish right from wrong, and is ult...
The Force theme, also known as Ben Kenobis theme, Obi-Wans theme, or May the Force Be With You, is one of the most beloved of John Williams music for the Star Wars saga. It appears in all of the films, but perhaps most memorably in the Episode IV: A New Hope, when Luke contemplates his future while watching a pair of suns set on the horizon. [source]
One Minute Art History is an animated short film by artist and educator (hes a teacher at the China Academy of Art) Cao Shu. First released in 2015, the video takes viewers on a dizzying journey through various paintings and styles throughout history.
There are many choices you can make when you begin to learn how to paint. The most basic is the kind of paint you're going to use; three of biggest types are watercolor, acrylics, and oils. While it's easy to distinguish the differences between watercolor paint versus acrylics and oils, it's trickier to understand what separates the other two. They are often packaged in similar-looking paint tubes, but they have many differences. If you're unsure of which paint you'd like to try, we'll break down those differences, look at acrylic vs oil paint, as well as ways to hone your skills.
Though they look similar when squeezed out of a paint tube, there are fundamental differences in how the two paints are constructed.
Oils, in the art history sense, are classic. They were first developed in the 12th century and were used to create some of the most iconic paintings in history like the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh's Starry Night. The chemical composition features pigments that are suspended in oil (typically linseed). While timeless, they require a little more work to clean and maintain; they are not compatible with water, and so to thin or clean them, you'll have to use turpentine or white spirit.
Acrylics, on the other hand, are much younger. They were first made commercially available in the 1950s and feature pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Unlike oils, you don't need any special chemicals to thin acrylicsjust water will do. This aspect makes them great for beginners.
Kate Kretz, Cri de Cur (Heart Cry) (2018, after a detail of Scne du Dluge, 1827, by Joseph-Dsir Court), graphite on paper, 14 x 11 inches (courtesy of the artist)
the bitter dusty old men
of the battle they shoulda won at Gettysburg
showing Daddy they could be a man
(in the street at High Noon)
the young ones (who cant get laid)
Duke Nukem from Bulletstorm Full Clip
(in overkill mode, for extra points)
finds a people-killing machine
fast and hard
to finally feel something
Make their mark.
must forever wade in the nightmares that
might be the next collateral damage
yet another lost mans
Judith Bernstein, President (2017), acrylic and oil on canvas, 90 x 89 1/2 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery)
People pay to watch a real fuck. In the heyday of Times Square porn the money shot was developed to prove that the sex-on-film was real and not simulated. The proof? Cum. The (male) ejaculation onto the body of his co-star.
In her debut solo show at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Judith Bernstein unveils Money Shot, a series of large-scale paintings starring the Trump administration, its horrific present and terrifying potential future.
The gallery is outfitted with blacklight, which alters the paintings even during daytime hours. The works glow orange, green, violet, and acid yellow against pitch black. The unstable colors signal that nothing will ever look or be the same as it was before.
But, this isnt the dark of night. This place is tinged with psychedelia. The distortions border on nauseating. The room spins as we stand still. We oscillate between terror and gut-busting laughter, as we witness what we once deemed unimaginable.Judith Bernstein, Money Shot Blue Balls (2017), acrylic and oil on canvas, 104 x 90 1/2 inches
Our eyes adjust at different speeds to the dark. There are those who are paralyzed and shocked, who expect a glowing exit sign to magically turn on. There are others who shut their eyes and...
All images installation view of The Canyon: 1999-2017, courtesy Contemporary Arts Center, copyright Tod Seelie
CINCINNATI, Ohio The Canyon: 1999-2017 at Cincinnatis Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) marks the first career survey for street artist Caledonia Curry, better known as Swoon. The exhibition, which strings together elements of her practice from 1999, when she began wheatpasting in public spaces while still an undergrad at the Pratt Institute, to her most recent bodies of work, creates a sumptuous and immersive visual experience.
Typical of Swoons museum projects, The Canyon features a site-specific, multi-gallery installation (of the same name) that dominates its first half. Upon entering, you pass into a constructed space made from found doors, panels of construction walls, and aluminum siding, all of which are completely covered with the artists rich drawings and papercuts, derived from her observations of the living cityscape that was New York between 1999 and 2005.
The installation provides a sense of Swoon progression, as she moved beyond the views of New York and integrated more global images in her work. For instance, the far corner of the first gallery is littered with images from her 2005 exhibition at Deitch Projects that focus on the squalor of the Hong Kong slum Kowloon Walled City, which was demolished in 1994. Yet while the 2005 show focused on poverty in one particular part of the world, here, drawings of Chinese street children literally run into New Yorkers wandering around their own home, suggesting that the squalor of both locations is shared.
Globalism remains a constant of Swoons practice through the rest of the installation The Canyon, which includes images from her exhibitions over the last decade or so, taking her all over the world. Her style of images that comprise her installations is remarkably consistent; many of her works portray highly individuated people a young Asian woman resting her head in her hand; another young woman adjusting her hijab; two of her close friends and collaborators, Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman, in an embrace. Their bodies are transformed into other images, be they cityscapes, nature-scapes, or supernatural entities. For The Canyon, several such images many of which were conceptualized for other individual street art or sit...
In response to the plastic waste issue in the Colombian Amazon, Spanish designer Alvaro Cataln de Ocn began the PET Lamp Project in 2011a design venture with the aim to reuse PET plastic bottles. Over the last five years, the eco-conscious designer has worked with traditional craft communities from all over the worldincluding Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopiato turn plastic waste into a growing collection of beautiful, handmade PET Lamps. Inspired by Aboriginal art, Cataln de Ocn recently traveled to Arnhem Land in Australias Northern Territory, to work with eight indigenous Yolngu weavers.
As with his previous projects alongside traditional crafts people, Cataln de Ocn arrived to BulaBula Arts Centre in Ramingining without a predetermined plan for how the lamps would look. Instead, he gave freedom to the talented weavers who began to produce large structures inspired by traditional Yolngu mats. Made from naturally dyed pandanus fibers, the resulting suspension lamps with characteristic fringes incorporate the PET plastic bottles as the center points of their circular woven designs.
The vibrant, sunshine hues were made from boiling natural ingredients and pigmentssuch as ash and eucalyptus barkand then leaving the dyed leaves to dry in the sun. Each individual mat was then woven together into two larger lampshades, mirroring the bond between people of the same clan. Cataln de Ocn explains, The two masterpieces turn into a complex, harmonious merge between Aboriginal kinships, weaving technique, topographic elements, and design.
If youre in Australia, you can see the the latest PET Lamps for yourself at the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, on display until April 15, 2018. You can also find out more about the project via the PET Lamp website.
Luisa Rabbia, Birth (2017), colored pencil, acrylic, and fingerprints on canvas, 108 x 202 inches, photo by Dario Lasagni (courtesy of the artist and Peter Blum Gallery)
In these times of stridency and shrillness, how are works of art that speak with the softness of rustling chiffon in an overheated parlor ever to be heard amid a din of protest, propaganda, real news, fake news, politics-as-spectacle, or the staged, self-serving confessionals-as-entertainment that have become a mainstay of the medias mind-numbing echo chamber?
At its best, some art can or should provide both a potent response and a soothing antidote to the noise, offering the refuge and sanity of its inherent truths while reaffirming what is most abiding, essential, soulful, or noble about the members of our big, bungling, forever searching human family (or one might just settle for something nurturing or common-sensical).
Now, with Love-Birth-Death, a distinctive and, for any contemporary art-maker, unusually magisterial series of large-scale paintings, the Italian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Luisa Rabbia has addressed some of this or any eras biggest themes, humanitys most enduring, universal mysteries. To take on the task of representing our sense of wonder in the face of them is to try to give tangible form to the ineffable.Luisa Rabbia, Death (2017), colored pencil, acrylic, an...
On the 17th of February 1903, the Iranian modern writer Sadeq Hedayat was born in Tehran, Iran. A child of Iranian aristocratic parents, Hedayat went to a French catholic school, and in 1925, was selected together with a few other students to travel to Europe to continue his studies. There, he pursued various unsuccessful enterprises among others engineering, architecture, and dentistry which probably pushed him towards his first attempt of suicide. After four years in Europe (most of which he spent in Paris), he decided to return to Iran, where he devoted his time to studying Western literature, predominantly the works of Rainer Maria Rilke, Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka, Anton Chekhov and Guy de Maupassant, and exploring the themes of Iranian history and folklore. The combination of European and Iranian influences constituted his later style, bringing Persian language and literature into the mainstream of international contemporary writing. In fact, Hedayats oeuvre is considered one of the most significant advancements in modern Persian literature.
Hedayat was born around the time of the Persian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1907), which opened the gate to the modern era in Persian (Iranian) social, political and cultural life. The Revolution led to the establishment of the first Persian parliament, the first Persian Const...
William Greaves, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One (image courtesy Criterion and Janus Films)
In 1968, filmmaker William Greaves took a small crew and his camera equipment to Central Park and made a nonfiction film about making a nonfiction film about the making of a fiction film. If this sounds confusing, its because it is. To break it down: first, a crew shot a short film; then, a documentary captured the crew making the short film; finally, the overall film, titled Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, captured the making of the documentary of the short film. By using the documentary format as a means to test the boundaries of the documentary genre, Greaves turned cinma verit on itself, never making it clear whether the film was in fact fiction, nonfiction, improvisation, or some combination of the above.
Harlem-born Greaves, who died in 2014 at the age of 87, started his career as a dancer and stage actor in New York City with both the American Negro Theater and the Actors Studio. He honed his filmmaking skills when he moved to Ottawa to work with the National Film Board of Canada. When he returned to the States as a filmmaker for the United Nations, the United States Information Agency, and National Educational Television (the predecessor of PBS), he became a nonfiction trailblazer. Over the course of his career, he produced, wrote, directed, and/or edited over 200 documentaries. He was also deeply involved with Civil Rights activism, using his filmmaking to shed light on the lives of such important figures as Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, and others. It was for producing and co-hosting Black Journal, the pioneering public-access show created primarily for and by African Americans, that won Greaves an Emmy....
2018 Year of the Dog Lunar New Year stamp, designed by Kam Mak and issued by the United States Postal Service (all images courtesy United States Postal Service)
Happy Year of the Dog! For the next few weeks, millions around the world will be celebrating Lunar New Year in all sorts of festive ways, from tossing lo hei to watching dragon dances to receiving highly anticipated red ang pao packets. For many years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has marked the occasion with a gesture only it can deliver: the issue of a special stamp, designed to capture the spirit of the major holiday.
2018 marks the tenth year that USPS has produced stamps for its series Celebrating Lunar New Year, whose imagery focuses on symbolic objects that feature in festivities. To reflect the Chinese zodiac, which moves in a 12-year cycle, the agencys art director, Ethel Kessler, worked with the Hong Kong-born, Brooklyn-based illustrator Kam Mak to design 12 stamps to roll out one year at a time.
This years dog-themed one is a gorgeous picture that centers on three elegant, twisting lucky bamboo. A red paper decorated with the Chinese character, (f) indicates good fortune, while a dog, rendered as a traditional paper cutout, waves from the upper-left corner. The subtle canine was designed by the late artist Clarence Lee, who created the very first Lunar New Year-themed stamp series the USPS issued. That series of 12, which illustrated each of the 12 zodiac animals, was introduced in 1992.
Each of Maks designs incorporates Lees visions, from the rat to the boar. The Year of the Dog stamp is the penultimate one to be released, and is, Id argue, the most exquisite yet. Just like its predecessors, it is...
Three Billboards Outside Grenfell Tower, London (courtesy Jeff Moore and Justice 4 Grenfell)
This week, activism imitated art when Justice 4 Grenfell protesters drove three provocative signs through the streets of London. In a clever nod to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the Oscar-nominated film directed by Martin McDonagh, the billboards were bright red, with black letters that read:
AND STILL NO ARRESTS?
The signs were designed to revitalize public outcry about the deadly fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower, the London public housing project that has come to symbolize bureaucratic neglect of the poor. Hundreds of former Grenfell residents remain displaced, and although police considered prosecuting negligent officials for manslaughter, an eight-month investigation has offered few developments.Film still, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (via Fox Searchlight)
In the film, a mother played by Frances McDormand responds to the rape and murder of her daughter by questioning police inaction on three billboards. (McDonaugh based the story on actual bil...
Video still from Kendrick Lamars All The Stars video (screenshot via Vevo)
Earlier this month, in the lead-up to the highly anticipated release of Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar released a single from the films soundtrack. But when Lamars All The Stars music video was posted, British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor noticed that one of the backdrops looked a lot like her artwork specifically, works for which the makers of Black Panther had requested permission months before, according to the New York Times Robin Pogrebin.
Pogrebin writes that the artists lawyer sent a letter to Anthony Tiffith, Lamars mentor and the head of Top Dawg Entertainment, alleging a copyright violation of her Constellations series. The paintings, featuring geometric shapes of gold and black, bear an uncanny resemblance to a backdrop used in Lamars new video. According to the letter, the movies creators twice contacted Viktor about using her work, but after a series of negotiations, she ultimately backed out.Lina Iris Viktor, Constellations...
The Washington Post/Twitter
Toyin Ojih Odutola, Representatives of State (201617), pastel, charcoal and graphite on paper, 75 1/2 50 in. (collection of the artist; courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York )
Looking at Toyin Ojih Odutolas exhibition To Wander Determined at the Whitney Museum I think of George Steiners encapsulation of Ariel, the last collection of poems by Sylvia Plath. He said: They are proof of the capacity of poetry to give to reality the greater permanence of the imagined. It feels right to apply this description to Ojih Odutolas visually enthralling drawings. Both artists construct entirely invented worlds that are meant to live and have resonance for the reader or viewer in ways that our own documented histories often fail to.
Ojih Odutolas drawings, made of charcoal, pastel, pencil, and (in some cases) graphite are mostly portraits that aspire to give our social, economic, and cultural interrelated realities something that is yes of potential greater durability. She has developed an origin story: a prelapsarian tale that re-presents a world in which people of wine-dark skin have (in Ojih Odutolas own testimony available via the Whitneys website) wealth and travel. In her conception of this world its inhabitants never fell not from divine grace, not from political autonomy, and certainly not from self-regard....
Platzmangel in der Stadt macht erfinderisch. In Havanna auf Kuba gibt es eine Rooftop Pizzeria. Die Pizzen werden in der Kche oben auf dem Dach gebacken. Bestellt wird unten auf der Strae und die Pizza dann mit einem Korb abgeseilt. Video und Bild: Great Big Story / Video Screenshot
a book about YOU, the corporate lackey, the indentured, the subordinate. Stuck in a job you cannot stomach, under a manager you want to annihilate, in a corporation that wants to grind you into nothing more than human grease to lubricate its inhuman profit-making machine.
Planet of the Owls:
Marcus (who works part-time at the falafel kiosk in town) awakens to find a giant black and white bird at his window. He's sure that's what he sees: a giant bird with feathers that throb with sinister portent.
Gustav Klimt, Zwei Liegende (ca 1916/17) (photo by Reinhard Haider, courtesy Lentos Museum, Linz)
Back in the 1960s, a secretary at Austrias Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz noticed some irregularities in the documentation of three Egon Schiele artworks that had been loaned to the museum. When the secretary brought it up to her boss, then-director Walter Kasten, he gave her a Gustav Klimt drawing to her keep her quiet.
The world learned the story this week when the Klimt drawing, Zwei Liegende(Two Reclining Figures) (ca 1916/17) which was also only on loan to the museum was discovered in the recently deceased, former museum secretarys closet; she told the whole story in her will.
The former secretary, whose identity hasnt been released due to legal reasons, worked at the museum until 1977, writes Kimberly Bradley in the New York Times. According to the Austrian newspaper Obersterreichische Nachrichten, in 1951, artist and collector Olga Jger lent four works to the Neue Galerie, including the Klimt drawing and the three works by Schiele: a watercolor (Junger Mann), an oil painting (Tote Stadt), and a drawing (Paar). Jger died in 1965. In 1990, her heirs started asking for the four works back from the museum, but not only had the Klimt drawing disappeared, but the three works by Schiele as well. According to the Obersterreichische Nachrichten, when the museum staff was questioned, the secretary said she knew nothing.
A new generation of Jgers brought the case to court in 2006, suing the city for losing their familys artwork. In 2011, the city of Linz was ordered to pay the Jger family 100,ooo (~$125,000) for the loss of Paar. In 2017, a further 8.21 million (~$10.26 million) was assessed for the remaining three works.
In 2012, there was a glimmer of hope in finding the missing Klimt and Schieles when a trove of almost 1,500 Nazi-looted works was found in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, a relative of Neue Galerie founder Wolfgang Gurlitt. Because of the family connection, authorities hoped to find the four missing Jger family works...
Political cartoon by Sam Delonas in the February 7 issue of the Albuquerque Journal (courtesy of the author)
ALBUQUERQUE Last week, leaders, activists, and intellectuals across New Mexico condemned and protested the Albuquerque Journal for an editorial cartoon that conflates international gangs with the children of immigrants. New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall called the cartoon racist, as did Albuquerques newly-elected mayor Tim Keller, and State Senator Linda Lopez, among others. The cartoonist, Sean Delonas, faced similar accusations of racism in February 2009 for a New York Post cartoon, in which NYPD officers shoot a monkey dead and compare it to President Obama.
In response to the blowback, Journal managing editor Karen Moses apologized sort of. She said in a statement that the cartoon is satirical, that readers just dont get it, and that, anyway, the paper isnt responsible for the opinions expressed by its contributors.
Readers werent convinced. Not good enough, wrote the Albuquerque poet, educator, and activist Jessica Hellen Lopez, expressing the view of many readers in a February 8 Facebook post. A canned wanna-be-apology. The cartoon does nothing for Dreamers still fighting for rights, she wrote, and has earned Delonas accolades from the far-right.
The February 7 cartoon takes a perspective of surveillance, the point of view of a camera mounted on an alley wall or a passive bystander looking down from a window. It depicts a white man and woman, apparently a couple, backed into an alley and held at gunpoint by faceless masculine figures. They seem racially identified by p...
French paper designer and illustrator Mlle Hipolyte creates colorful sculptures out of intricately cut paper shapes. Previously mentioned for her three-dimensional animal masks, the artists latest piece of paper art is a magnificent, three-dimensional representation of a vibrant coral reef. Titled Coralium, the entirely hand-made creation is approximately 6.5 feet long by 3 feet tall, and was formed using various paper craft techniques, including quilling, scoring, and 3D modeling.
Not only inspired by the stunning vibrancy of a coral reef, Hipolytes piece represents the fragility of the under-the-sea ecosystem, which is sadly in danger due to global warming and rising ocean temperatures. Set into a wooden frame, Hipolytes paper coral reef brims with a multitude of lush textures that mimic the corals diverse range of organic forms. From fringing reefs, to stoney barnacles, every angle allows the viewer to appreciate the details of each of the paper-cut coral species in all their beauty.
You can see more of Hipolytes paper art creations via her website.
Brooklyn-based artist Phoebe Sonder creates captivating seascape paintings that present the power and vulnerability of the water's movement. Ranging in both scale and stylistic approach, her striking series of ocean art showcases the beauty and buoyancy of splashing waves.
In each energetic piece, Sonder skillfully captures the moment that splashing waves break. Even as the translucent waves crash against the coastline or slosh against each other, the paintings manage to convey a sense of calm amid the chaos. This striking duality is due to Sonder's ability to visualize the undulating rhythm of the tide, which she compares to the inhale and exhale of breath.
While a number of her paintings are impressively lifelike, the artist notes that her aesthetic language of drawing and line is to experience water's essence, not to represent or reproduce. This painterly perspective is particularly evident in her smaller studies, which capture the fleeting nature of the waves with loose brushwork inspired by Impressionism.
Whether rendered in minute detail or painterly strokes, however, each of Sonder's paintings seeks to celebrate the sea, the artist's main muse and the truest monument to the depth of time in its delicate absolute.
The era before smartphones represented a very different time for subway patrons. If you didnt bring a newspaper or ride with someone you knew, youd be forced to quietly contemplate your own thoughts rather than stare at an entrancing screen. Photographer Helen Levitt discreetly chronicled these simpler, technology-free times in her candid images from the late 1970s.
The black and white photos are a quiet look at the everyday folks who rode the graffiti-decorated subway. Everyone has a different attitude towards riding; single passengers, for instance, appear lost in thought and stare blankly into space as the train barrels down the tracks. Others are cozier as they sit arms linked with loved ones and canoodle as if no one can see them. And then there are some whose presence commands the attention of the entire train with their raucous conversation. Collectively, they are characters in a play and every stop is a new scene. With Levitts masterful eye, we can practically hear the dialogue.
Levitt produced work over the course of sixty years that was centered around the streets of New York. Her photographs have appeared in renowned institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The images pictured here are part of Manhattan Transit: The Subway Photographs of Helen Levitt that was recently published by Walther Knig. It features a comprehensive look at Levitts subway photography, including many that were published for the first time. Get your copy on Amazon.
Do you consider yourself a puzzle person? If so, take a shot at this math puzzle and see what you come up with. This deceptively simple puzzle went viral, with over 3 million people commenting on the IQ stumper. In fact, the original post declares that only one in a thousand people will actually figure it out.
At this point, you may be thinking, This puzzle doesn't seem very difficult, but you'd be wrong. Still don't get it? Most people will default to using a running tally of numbers, where a + b = 5 and 5 + c +d = 12. This brings you to a final total of 40 when in reality, there's another way to answer this brainbuster.
Confused? It may be the first line that is throwing you off, as if we use the a + ab equation, 1 x 4 equals 4. However, in the following lines the equation becomes clearer. For instance, 2 + 2(5) equals 12. So when used in the last line, 8 + 8(11), the final answer is 96.
And if that weren't complicated enough, Presh Talwakar of MindYourDecisions also points out another pattern that some people see in the puzzle. Though rare, he states that about 10 people saw this pattern out of 5+ million views this video has gotten, it's certainly another, complex way of solving things.
The idea is to evaluate the sums in base 10, and then convert the answer into descending number bases 6, 5, 4, etc. line by line. So the pattern is:
1 + 4 = 5 (base 10) = 5 (base 6)
2 + 5 = 7 (base 10) = 5*1 + 2 = 12 (base 5)
3 + 6 = 9 (base 10) = 4*2 + 1 = 21 (base 4)
So if we do the same for the last line, we would need to use base 3 to get:
8 + 11 = 19 (base 10)...
In a contrarian take on the legacy of John Coltrane on the 50th anniversary of his death last year, Zack Graham at GQ did not recommend Giant Steps nor A Love Supreme nor Blue Train nor My Favorite Things as the most important album in the artists career, but a record most casual jazz fans may never encounter, and which even the hardest-core Coltrane fans never heard in his lifetime. Recorded in the year of his death, Interstellar Spacea frenetic suite of free jazz duets with drummer Rashied Alididnt appear until 1974. The album has since received widespread critical acclaim, and stands, Graham argues, as Coltranes most influential record, its echoes still heard today in everything from electronic music to some of the worlds biggest hip hop acts.
Graham makes a compelling case. Hardly an accessible album, discerning listeners will nonetheless hear the sound of now in Alis stuttering, rapid fire beats and Coltranes modal bleats. Looking back, it can almost seem like he knew he was running out of time, and rushed to leave behind a blueprint for the music of the future.
In his last months, writes Stephen Davis at Rolling Stone, Coltrane had changed everything about his music, and, perhaps, everything about music in general, jazz and otherwise. His evolution as a musician and explorer of the mystical potentialities of artistic expression was so radical that from a certain point of view we are forced to work backward when approaching his catalog, as we might do with biographies of saints.
A native of The Netherlands and now based in Australia, Amok Island depicts flora and fauna that can be found in the locations of his colorful murals. The artists distinctive minimal style is reminiscent of recent trends in digital design. However, his analog use of flat fields of color and geometric shapes to interpret the nuanced forms of animals and plants is a fresh take in the current mural scene.
Amok writes on his website that if werent an artist, he would be a biologist. He takes many of his own reference photos (including underwater), and titles each mural with the name of the plant or animal. The artist describes his passion for the natural world:
The theme of natural exploration and conservation is a strong and constant undercurrent of Amok Islands artistic practice. His lifelong fascination with nature and her relationships and history with mankind drive the artists obvious appreciation and obsession with his subjects and his urge to direct the attention of his audience to them.
Amok has finished murals in twenty five countries and counting, and also creates smaller paintings, which he sometimes editions as prints. You can see more work on his website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
Agns (soprano Lauren Snouffer) confronts the Boy (countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo), in a scene from Written on Skin at Opera Philadelphia. (all photos by Kelly & Massa for Opera Philadelphia)
ne of the most extraordinary operas of the 21st century is playing at Opera Philadelphia. Our journey from New York to see George Benjamin and Martin Crimps Written on Skin the title refers to the parchment on which medieval manuscripts were illuminated was worth every yard.
The plot, based on the 13th-century vida of troubadour Guillem de Cabestany, begins with a chorus of angels here costumed in black and pacing with stage-manager airs, futuristic electronic tablets in hand who turn time back to the medieval period. We meet a wealthy, violent landowner, the Protector, and his wife, Agns. The Protector, who calls Agns his property (already the operas critical stance on traditional gender roles is clear), commissions an artist known simply as the Boy to prepare an illuminated manuscript based on the life of the Protectors family. But the commission requires an almost hagiographical slant: he asks the Boy to depic...
Mondrian building in Austin, Texas, 2007 (photo by Kent Wang, via Flickr)
More than 100 years after Piet Mondrian co-founded the De Stijl movement, the artist continues to be as popular as ever. As Nancy J. Troy argues in her 2014 book, The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian, collectors, curators, scholars, dealers, and the artists heirs helped to construct Mondrians legacy well after his death, oftentimes leading to the commodification of his works. In the long line of the Mondrian- and De Stijl-themed, theres the iconic 1965 Yves Saint Laurent dress (and the many imitations to come after), as well as numerous handbags, sneakers, socks, cakes, furniture, manicures, album covers, and everything in between....
Art saves lives, and so does author Judy Blume. While some of her novels are intended for adult readers, and others for the elementary school set, her best known books are the ones that speak to the experience of being a teenage girl.
For many of us coming of age in the 70s and 80s, Blume was our bestsometimes onlysource when it came to sex, menstruation, masturbation, and other topics too taboo to discuss. She answered the questions we were too shy to ask. Her characters interior monologues mirrored our own.
The honesty of her writing earned her millions of grateful young fans, and plenty of attention from those who still seek to keep her titles out of libraries and schools.
While her stories are not autobiographical, her compassion is born of experience.
When I was in sixth grade, I longed to develop physically like my classmates. I tried doing exercises, resorted to stuffing my bra, and lied about getting my period. And like Margaret, I had a very personal relationship with God that had little to do with organized religion. God was my friend and confidant. But Margaret's family is very different from mine, and her story grew from my imagination.
in the early seventies I lived in suburban New Jersey with my husband and two children, who were both in elementary school. I could see their concern and fear each time a family in our neighborhood divorced. What do you say to your friends when you find out their parents are splitting up? If it could happen to them, could it happen to us?
At the time, my own ma...
Ive never been a huge fan of comedic horror, but there are three movies (all from the 80s) that I think got the formula unquestionably right: Street Trash (1987), Brain Damage (1988) and the best one of all, 1985s Re-Animator.
Re-Animator, based on H.P. Lovecrafts short story, Herbert West -...
Mesmerizing, mysterious, and teeming with wildlife, many creatives look to the ocean as a source of inspiration. While this enduring trend has resulted in a sea of similarly-themed products, we've waded through them to bring you a selection of our favorite gifts for ocean lovers.
In this collection, we present a wide range of products with an under-the-sea spin. If you like do-it-yourself decor, you'll love the luminous origami octopus lamp. Looking for a good book? Try Ernst Haeckel's Art Forms from the Ocean. And, if fashion is more your style, Don Fisher's quirky shoulder bag is guaranteed to give you a whale of a good timeespecially when paired with some snorkel-themed socks!
Whether crafted, read, or worn, these products are perfect for anyone who dreams of the deep blue sea.
Chandra Oppenheim was just twelve years old when her debut album, Transportation, was released. Until recently, I wasnt familiar with Chandra, but when I did hear Transportation for the first time, I was immediately taken with it....
Installation view of Monarchs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, with Jeffrey Gibsons Like A Hammer (2016) in the foreground (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)
OMAHA Surveys of contemporary American art arent uncommon, but its rare to see one solely focused on people native to the Americas. Thats one of the starting points of Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly, an exhibition currently on view at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, along with a geographical conceit: the middle of the United States merits closer attention. Monarchs mines these arguably underexplored premises and turns up capacious, invigorating results. Although the show isnt didactic, its politics feel vitally relevant in a time of bald-faced white supremacy and discrimination.Margarita Cabrera, The Craft of Resistance (2008), hammered copper
The conceptual focus of the exhibition is the monarch, the only butterfly that migrates in two directions, as birds do. Monarchs (specifically eastern North American ones) travel between Canada or the northern U.S. and Mexico, where they spend the winter. A migration can cover up to 3,000 miles and takes three to four generations of butterflies to complete.
Monarchs traverse many parts of the US, but one of their primary pat...
Though excruciatingly low temps and unexpected flurries may have you convinced otherwise, spring is just around the corner. In anticipation for the impending season, were not only thinking hard about the fresh and trendy florals we want to display in our homes this spring, but also the vessels well use to house our in-season blooms and beloved greenery. Thats where British designer Tom Dixons PLANT rangea contemporary and clever collection of design-focused terrariumscomes into the picture.
Painstakingly crafted from mouth-blown glass, each statement-making piece is inherently unique and offers infinite arrangements. Thanks to their sculptural forms and savvy stem-like openings, the streamlined vessels (available in two sizes) aim to instantly elevate even the most ordinary of flowers or house plantsbe they snagged from the supermarket or Amazons new online garden shop.
While certainly fitting for a minimalist floral display, Dixons ultra-mod terrariums can also be used to support a thriving collection of smaller plants and succulents (think of it as a personal, mini ecosystem).
Considering swapping your tired display for something a bit more original? Below, we break down how to set up a flourishing terrarium to call your own....
If you've read much Joan Didion, you've almost surely come across an observation or phrase that has changed the way you look at California, the media, or the culture of the late 20th century or indeed, changed your life. But if life-changing writers have all had their own lives changed by the writers before them, which writers made Joan Didion the Joan Didion whose writing still exerts an influence today? Conveniently enough, the author of Play It as It Lays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and The White Album once drew up a list of the books that changed her life, and it surfaced on Instagram a few years ago:
Robert Indiana LOVE (1976) (courtesy City of Philadelphias Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy)
Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden postponed its re-staging of Krzysztof Wodiczkos three-story-tall projection Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, 1988 in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Wodiczko created the work in response to the political rhetoric surrounding issues such as the death penalty and abortion. George Bush on one hand is for the death penalty and on another is anti-abortion, Wodiczko told the Washington Post in 1988. On one hand he goes on about a thousand points of light and on another defends guns and a strong militaristic policy.
In a repeat of last years budget proposal, President Trump called again for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Robert Indianas LOVE (1976) sculpture was reinstalled at John F. Kennedy Plaza in Philadelphia in time for Valentines Day. The work was repainted following...
Ein Supermarkt im Bayrischen Bad Brckenau verschenkt Lebensmittel deren Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum abgelaufen ist, die aber noch gut und geniebar sind. Seit Januar diesen Jahres steht in dem Rewe-Markt der Familie Hauke ein Food Sharing Regal, an dem sich die Kunden kostenlos bedienen knnen. In das Regal wandern Lebensmittel, die abgelaufen aber noch vllig in Ordnung sind. Frher wanderten die Lebensmittel in dem Markt, wie in fast allen Supermrkten, im Mll. Laut Utopia Magazin haben die Supermarktbetreiber dabei keine Sorge Gewinneinbuen zu erleiden, was beim Thema Food Sharing immer wieder als Gegenargument von Lebensmittelgeschften angefhrt wird. Bilder Sebastian Hauke Der Bayrische Supermarkt ist ein gutes Beispiel, wie sich Lebensmittelverschwendung reduzieren lsst. Leider ist der Markt der Familie Hauke in Deutschland noch die absolute Ausnahme. Andere Stdte sind da bereits etwas weiter. In Kopenhagen gibt es einen Supermarkt, der ausschlielich Lebensmittel verkauft, deren aufgedrucktes Haltbarkeitsdatum abgelaufen ist, der Inhalt aber noch unverndert gut und geniebar ist. WeFood in der dnischen Hauptstadt ist damit der erste Supermarkt seiner Art. In Deutschland ist der Verkauf von abgelaufenen Lebensmitteln aufgrund der derzeitigen Gesetzeslage nicht ohne weiteres mglich. Allerdings gibt es auch hierzulande hnliche Anstze. In Berlin verkauft ein Geschft beispielsweise ausschlielich Lebensmittel die aufgrund ihrer Abweichung von der Norm nicht ...
Der Beitrag Ein Supermarkt verschenkt abgelaufene Lebensmittel die noch gut sind erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.
This gives new meaning to "skating on thin ice." In Sweden, a filmmaker named Henrik Trygg likes to take his chances skating on pristine sheets of black ice, measuring only five centimeters/two inches thick. It's a risk. A natural thrill. It's also quite a sensory experience. Just listen to the "high-pitched, laser-like sounds," of which sci-fi films could be made.
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One cant write directly about the soul,, Virginia Woolf wrote. Looked at, it vanishes. So with happiness as slippery as the soul, as certain to crumble upon deconstruction. Philosophers have contemplated its nature for millennia, psychologists have attempted to unearth its existential building blocks and delineate its stages. And yet at the heart of it remains a mystery wildly various across lives and within any one life, a fickle visitation unbeckonable by external lures, as anyone who has sorrowed on a sunny-skied day knows. Theres no accounting for happiness, Jane Kenyon wrote in her sublime poem about the ultimate elusion, or the way it turns up like a prodigal who comes back to the dust at your feet having squandered a fortune far away.
One of the simplest, fullest definitions of happiness Ive encountered comes from Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819March 26, 1892) in Specimen Days (public library) the splendid collection of his prose fragments, letters, and diary entries on subjects like the wisdom of trees, the singular power of music,...
On the 16th of February 1992, Angela Carter, one of Englands most valuable female writers of picaresque fiction, magical realism and cultural thought, died in London of lung cancer at the age of 51. In her obituary in The Telegraph, she was remembered for the exuberant fantastic invention, the interest in archetypal fairytale patterns, and her taste for sceptical, musical, politicised comedy. Markedly, Lorna Sage of The Guardian noted that Carter was one of the first female writers to realise that we were living with constructs of ourselves, neither false nor true but mythical and alterable hence, her poignant views, which shattered pre-established myths of women and reinterpreted t...
Deborah Roberts, Tug of War (2017, left), private collection; and Deborah Roberts, Rope a Dope (2017, right), private collection (both images courtesy of the artist)
In recent months, two museum directors have stepped down from their jobs at major US art institutions. Both resigned amid social justice crises and after championing programming with a political edge. Both are women.
After three years as the director of the Queens Museum, and after (among several incidents) proposing to the board that the museum could connect immigrants with social services, Laura Raicovich resigned, stating: my vision and that of the board werent in enough alignment. The former director of the Walker Art Center, Olga Viso, resigned shortly after a controversy over Sam Durants depiction of historical gallows garnered was resolved with members of the Dakota Nation.
Now lets consider some other recent art world controversies.
In the spring of 2017, the Whitney faced a firestorm when artist Dana Schutzs painting of the corpse of Emmett Till was included in the Whitney Biennial. And in the fall of 2017, the Whitney garnered m...
Xiaoze Xie, Objects of Evidence (Modern Books) (2017), mixed-media installation, (photo by Jeff Wells, courtesy of the Denver Art Museum, Chambers Fine Art and the artist)Xiaoze Xie, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto No.2 (2016), oil paint on linen, 36 x 52 inches, (courtesy of Chambers Fine Art and the artist)
Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie is accomplished in three parts: a display of modern books, ancient books, and the screening of a documentary. Starting in 201...
Johanna Breiding, Liberty Enlightening the World (July 4, 1776) (2017), gelatin silver print (all images by the author for Hyperallergic)
LOS ANGELES In 1782 Anna Gldi became the last European woman to be executed for witchcraft. The Swiss woman and domestic servant had previously run afoul of authorities and lived as a fugitive before her death. At a younger age, she was held responsible for her firstborn childs death and sentenced to house arrest. She skipped town and managed to settle in the nearby town of Glarus where she found work as a maid. At 47, she was accused by her employer of trying to magically poison one of his daughters with needles, although the true intent of the accusation might have been to prevent her from revealing an affair. More than 200 years later, the Swiss government exonerated Gldi of her crime, acknowledging her death as a violation of human rights and erecting a memorial to her in the town in which she was executed.Johanna Breiding, Documentation of plaque outside of courthouse (2016), digital C-print
Anna Gldis story is the through-line of Johanna Breidings exhibition at the Angels Gate Cultural Center, which begins with a video installation depicting the small, mountainous town of Glarus where Gldi was killed and buried. The short film (a collaboration with curator Shoghig Halajian and scored by artist Dorian Wood) features still shots of the Swiss towns verdant hills and present-day calm, contrasting the brutal persecution of centuries past. An interview...
Four days before Christmas in 2017, a clay thumb vanished from the Franklin Institute, a science and technology museum in Philadelphia. It originally belonged to a sculpture of a cavalryman on loan from Xian, China one of thousands of clay soldiers created in the third century BCE for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Immediately, the museum launched a search for the disappeared digit.
Now, with help from the FBI, the thumb and hand have been reunited. The bizarre heist took place during a festive evening at the Franklin Institute its Ugly Sweater Party on December 21, which was designed to attract new visitors to the museum over the holidays. (Ironically, the museum also offers interactive entertainment in the form of an escape room.) During the party, the door to the Terracotta Warriors exhibition was closed to the public, the lights were turned off, and a rope was placed outside the entrance.
But according to an FBI affidavit recently filed in federal court, those measures werent sufficient to keep out even the most harebrained of intruders. At 9:11 pm, according to FBI Special Agent Jacob B. Archer (who previously investigated violent crimes and drug trafficking), a twentysomething in a green sweater and Phillies hat sneaked into the closed exhibition with two friends. According to surveillance footage described in the affidavit, the intruder gazed up at the statues, using his cell phone as a flashlight....
If you're a person looking to live off-the-grid or someone who dreams of traveling with a self-sustaining mobile home, chances are you've heard of Ecocapsule. We've been following the innovative micro home's development since a prototype was released and put up for pre-sale in 2015. In the interim, exciting developments have allowed the Ecocapsule to begin delivery of its first models, and the company recently helicoptered the first finished pod onto the top of a building in Bratislava.
It's an exciting time for the Ecocapsule, which was originally conceived by a Slovakian architectural studio. The eco-friendly portable home sleeps one to two people and is completely self-sufficient. Power is provided by integrated solar panels and an extendable wind turbine, with a battery capacity of 9kWh. Water is supplied by external sources (like a lake or from collected rainwater), all of which is then cleaned with built-in filters. And, if you are worried about getting too hot or too cold, HVAC is installed to make sure the temperature always stays perfect in the smart home.
In just 88 square feet (8.2 square meters) of gross floor space, the interior houses a foldable double bed, kitchenette, composting toilet, and plenty of built-in storage. After the initial run of 50 first generation models, Ecocapsule aims to scale up with mass production. In fact, they are already taking pre-orders for a cheaper, second-generation model, which they hope to release after the first year.
As an incredible example of how a conceptual product can transform into a reality, Ecocapsule is a fascinating look at how innovators must take their time and adapt to the market in order to succeed. We had a chance to ask co-founder and CEO Tom ek about Ecocapsule's past, present, and future. Read on for our exclusive interview about this innovative self-sustaining portable micro-home....
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber (previously) collaboratively produce detailed dioramas caught in the throes of natural or manmade chaos. From 2005 to 2015 the pair created a series titled The City, which imagined the post-apocalyptic interiors of abandoned violin shops, malls, and natural history museums. Empire, a follow-up suite of miniature scenes, serves as a companion to this series by looking at the same imagined future from an exterior point of view.
Nix and Gerbers new scenes move away from a focus on water-damaged and rusty interiors to explore broad outdoor environments recently devoid of civilization. Scaffolding and bridges crumble as plants begin to poke back through cement cracks, subtle hints that nature has begun to reclaim its land.
Empire presents a world transformed by climate uncertainty and a shifting social order as it stumbles towards a new kind of frontier, the pair explain in a statement. These places are eerily beautiful but also unsettling in their stillness and silence. Long ago, man entered the landscape and forced nature to his will. Once grand and emblematic of strength and prosperity, these landscapes now appear abused and in decay, and it is uncertain how they will continue to (d)evolve.
Barcelona-based sculptor Jordi Dez Fernndez creates magnificent figurative sculptures out of steel. His growing collection of shiny metalwork includes various detailed depictions of the human form that brilliantly capture the essence of each subject. In 2016, the artist made a sculptural tribute to his wife Celia and his latest work continues to celebrate the people he admires, using cold metal to convey warm human emotions.
One piece, titled Sculptural Tribute to Carlos Martinez & Jos Galn, commemorates the two late Spanish architects. Pointing into the distance, the two figures appear to be excitedly discussing design plans. In another piece, Goddess Sedente, Fernndez sculpted the form of a pregnant woman sitting on a steel plinth. As the artist reveals, this piece represents the most profound secret of all, unattainable by reason: the fertile feminine principle and the maternity arising from its creative impulse.
A third piece, Profundity, expresses a couple in love. Fernndez explains, The woman plunges into the depths of mans nature and rescues him through an act of love, a kiss. Other sculptures depict the power and strength of the human body, such as the muscular frame of a torso, a female tennis player mid-serve, and a blindfolded bowman, with muscular steel arms, ready to fire off an arrow.
We've all come up with crazy ideas from time to time, but most of us never have the patience to see them through. Not Ben Ahles. The artist spent 10 months carefully gluing 42,000 matches into a giant sphere, only to let it burn in an oddly satisfying video. And all this magic happened with just $500, a lot of hot glue, and even more patience.
The idea came after he'd been playing with some matches and wondered if they would form a sphere if he kept gluing them together. So naturally, he had to find out. But he didn't just go into things blind; Ahles actually used modeling software to see how many matches he would need and what the final sphere would actually look like. The resulting model was so data-heavy that it crashed his computer while rendering it.
So, the gluing began. I think the best way to describe this process is to articulate my mental and emotional state while gluing matches together for hours upon hours, he shares. The sphere started to take shape, but at a much slower pace than he'd anticipated, so Ahles quickly figured out that by lining the matches up in the same direction, he could grab and glue even quicker.
There was a hiccup in the middle when the boxes of 300 matches he'd been buying weren't enough to complete even one layer of the sphereas it was at its widest point. But, he pushed through and persevered. I kept going! And it kept growing! And it started to look less like a sphere and more like a childs approximation of a sphere. I had to let go of the idea of perfection when I saw that I hadnt been able to maintain a perfect growth just by eyeballing the placing of the matches. I guess I could have templated the curvature and really tried to nail it but I was so far pa...
Since 1955, World Press Photo has celebrated the best of international photojournalism with its annual photography contest. Always gripping, sometimes heartwarming, and often difficult to see, the images of these top photojournalists tell the story of our collective history with unflinching realism. Last year's World Press Photo of the Year was a heart-wrenching image taken during the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.
The recently announced nominees of the 2018 World Press Photo Contest have produced equally powerful imagery that demonstrates just how vital photojournalists still are to our understanding of world news. The best visual journalism is not of something; it is about something. It should matter to the people to whom it speaks, states Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation.
For the 61st edition of the photo contest, not only were category nominees announced, but for the first time, the six nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year were revealed. Forty-four phot...
Months after his death in a plane crash while traveling to negotiate a ceasefire during the budding civil war in Congo, the Swedish diplomat, economist, and author Dag Hammarskjld (July 29, 1905September 18, 1961) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The second Secretary-General of the United Nations, Hammarskjld became one of only two people in history awarded the Nobel posthumously. John F. Kennedy considered him the greatest statesman of the twentieth century.
Hammarskjld left behind a most unusual manuscript, eventually published as Markings (public library) a compendium of reflections and poems constellating a luminous record of one persons struggle for a foothold of meaning, radiating universal human truth. Partway between young Tolstoys diaries, Walt Whitmans prose meditations, and artist Ann Truitts journals, these fragments of thought and feeling embody what it means for a person who has devoted their life to moral action to also have a rich inner life of contemplation the rare, bountiful marriage of via activa and via contemplativa, as W.H. Auden observes in his admiring foreword to the book. Hammarskjld contempla...
Between the time Albert Einstein composed his courtship letters and Richard Feynman wrote his extraordinary letter to his departed wife, another Nobel-winning physicist contributed to the small and singularly beautiful canon of scientists love letters.
Two years after he received the Nobel Prize for his uncertainty principle a supreme bow before the limits of knowledge, stating that the more precisely we know the position of a given particle, the less precise our measurement of its momentum, and vice versa Werner Heisenberg (December 5, 1901February 1, 1976) lurched into the ultimate unknown with absolute certainty: He fell in love.
Troubled by the tensions cusping on war, accused of being a white Jew by the Nazi media for teaching Einsteins theory of relativity in his university course, and feeling like dark political agendas were keeping him from his calling the undisturbed inquiry into nature Heisenberg found solace in his spiritual practice: playing music (which we now know benefits the brain more than any other activity)....
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