Tag: Art

Photo You Must See: 32 Meters of Mao

Photo You Must See: 32 Meters of Mao REUTERS/China Daily
REUTERS/China Daily

A 32-meter (or 105-foot) statue of a youthful Chairman Mao is under construction in Hunan province, China.

Drawing the New York City Skyline, From Memory

That’s what autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire is doing in this live webcam feed. The Huffington Post has some background on Wiltshire and his “uncanny ability to draw and paint detailed landscapes and cityscapes entirely from memory.”

‘But if You’re Worried About Bombs, Why are You Letting me Keep my Laptop Batteries?’

Webcomic XKCD tackles the absurdity of the airport security rigmarole. It’s funny because it’s true. (Via Boing Boing)

Manhandling Monet’s Water Lilies

At the Onion’s version of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the paintings are fair game for touching. From its story about how the struggling museum now allows patrons get “up close and personal”:

“You can’t grasp the brilliance of a great painting just by looking at it,” said Phil Brehm, 32, who acknowledged that he hadn’t set foot inside a museum since a mandatory field trip in high school. “To truly appreciate fine art, you need to be able to run your fingers over its surface and explore its range of textures.”

“Or just rub your face all over it, like I do,” Brehm added.

The art for this one is fantastic.

National Parks Travel Posters, Resurrected

National Parks Travel Posters, Resurrected By Doug Leen

Doug Leen helped rescue some WPA travel posters from oblivion. Here's a look at 11 of his stunning originals and re-creations.

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Interview With Doug Leen: The Lost National Parks Travel Posters

Eli Ellison learns how the former National Park ranger resurrected a long-forgotten series of Depression-era prints

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Brit Lit and Venice: A Love Affair

Brit Lit and Venice: A Love Affair Photo by Alaskan Dude via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Alaskan Dude via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the Independent, Peter Popham has a thoughtful essay about the world’s—and, in particular, the British writing community’s—ongoing fascination with Venice. He writes: “Venice is the great seducer, the feminine city incarnate, risen like Venus from the waves and always threatening to sink into them again; demanding to be rescued, to be immortalised yet again by pen or brush, even though already, 250 years ago, one jaded visitor complained it was a city ‘about which so much has been said and written—that it seems to me there is nothing left to say.’”

He wraps up the essay with a list of artistic Brits who’ve gotten caught up in the city’s charms, from Lord Byron to Elton John. I’d add Jan Morris’ “Venice” to the list of worthy titles Popham mentions.

Museums and the Lost Art of ‘Slow Looking’

Museums and the Lost Art of ‘Slow Looking’ Photo by sergeymk via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by sergeymk via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the New York Times this week, Michael Kimmelman watched tourists power-walking through the Louvre, and lamented the lost days of “slow looking” at museums and galleries. I enjoyed the article, and I can certainly relate—my first visit to Notre Dame, in Paris, was largely spoiled by a businessman who dashed up and down the aisles holding a camcorder over his head while shouting into a cellphone—but at the same time, if the faster-moving visitors aren’t actively disrupting the slowpokes, I don’t have much energy to condemn them.

After all, as Kimmelman himself says, there is “no single, correct way to look at any work of art, save for with an open mind and patience.” I think he had it right without the qualifiers.

Famous Underwear Displayed as Fine Art in Belgium

Belgian artist Jan Bucquoy has just opened the “Musee du Slip,” or underpants museum, a destination sure to appeal to those visitors already flocking to the nearby Brussels landmark Manneken-Pis. Bucquoy told Reuters that the framed underwear, donated mostly by Belgian artists, singers and politicians, represents a utopian longing for an equal society:  “If you are scared of someone, just imagine them in their underpants. The hierarchy will fall and you will see that this is a guy like any other. We are all equal, all brothers.” 

If you can’t make it to Belgium to see the aforementioned unmentionables, Bucquoy is planning a fall exhibition in Paris where he hopes to showcase underwear from Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni, and perhaps long shots like the Pope or Iranian President Ahmadinejad, articles he’s sure tourists would line up to see.

The Top 10 Comic Book Cities

I’m not a comic book reader, but I found this list at the Architects’ Journal compelling—and the artwork amazing. Among the cityscapes included: Tintin’s Inca city and Chris Ware’s Chicago.

Travel Books and Graphic Novels: ‘A Natural Fit’

Whether in Burma, Naples or beyond, we’re fans of travel stories told in pictures—so it’s nice to see the travel book-as-graphic novel genre getting some love in this round-up from Perceptive Travel. Marie Javins writes: “Travel stories are charged with creating an atmosphere, their text inspiring imaginary visuals of foreign lands in the minds of the reader. Graphic novels are a natural fit.” Agreed.

Finding Frederic Remington (in Upstate New York)

Finding Frederic Remington (in Upstate New York) Author and her grandfather, Sidney Friedfertig (35-plus years ago)
Author and her grandfather, Sidney Friedfertig (35-plus years ago)

The statues always felt out of place. I never really understood why my grandfather, Sidney Friedfertig, loved Frederic Remington’s work so much. While my grandfather was fond of all things Western, Remington’s pieces just struck me as harsh and ugly. I didn’t like them. What were they doing in my grandparents’ Westchester, NY, apartment, alongside my artist grandmother’s brightly colored oil paintings?

Though my grandfather passed away nearly 15 years ago, until recently I still hadn’t taken a shine to Remington. It was odd because, really, I thought he would have grown on me for sentimental reasons.

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Moscow, Russia

Municipal workers carry a reproduction of the painting "Zaporozhtsi" by Ilya Repin under heavy rain.

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Samurais and Maharajas: It’s an Asian Art Summer

I’m fortunate to live in a city that’s home to one of the best Asian art museums in the world—the Smithsonian’s Freer-Sackler Gallery—but I’m not averse to traveling to see a really great museum or exhibit elsewhere. In fact, on a trip to Dublin last fall, I spent an entire afternoon immersed in the wonderful Chester Beatty Library, gazing at Persian paintings and Islamic manuscripts. I know, I know—I was supposed to be out drinking Guinness, but I couldn’t help myself.

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Kiev, Ukraine

An artist performs during an annual fire festival in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

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Osikovitsa, Bulgaria

The "Pasture on Water" installation piece by Bulgarian artist Pavel Koichev, is displayed on the surface of a small lake near the village of Osikovitsa, some 43 miles north-east of Sofia.

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Brother Bertram, Photojournalist

Brother Bertram, Photojournalist Image courtesy of Lyman Museum.
Image courtesy of Lyman Museum

I’m a sucker for Hawaii’s unreachable past, a somewhat imaginary time when there really was a little grass shack in Kaleakakua to go back to. So I’m pretty excited about the photography show that’s running at the Lyman Museum in Hilo.

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Interview with Kelly Westhoff and Jen Paulus: CheSpotting.com

Interview with Kelly Westhoff and Jen Paulus: CheSpotting.com REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

Eva Holland talks Che and the meaning of his ubiquitous image with the founders of a new travel photography site

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Havana, Cuba

havana cuba REUTERS/Claudia Daut

A vintage car drives past elephant sculptures made of metal displayed along Havana's seafront boulevard El Malecon.

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Manga Madness

For all you manga fans out there, here’s a round-up of breaking news from both coasts. A San Francisco-based publisher recently released seven translated volumes of the classic Oishinbo series, which follows the adventures of a young food journalist as he searches for the “ultimate menu.” (Tintin meets sashimi?) The New York-based Japan Society is running an exhibit called “Krazy! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games” through June 14. And in Washington, D.C., the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is showing “The Tale of Shuten Doji,” an exhibit of scrolls and screens depicting the popular Japanese folk tale as action thriller—an Edo period art form considered a forerunner to manga

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