The Serene, Creepy Beauty of Hyperrealist Sculptures
Perhaps, it’s the wax, a material that serves so well to depict the human body in such a lifelike manner as to scare the children out of the room.
Or it may be the scale accuracy of these sculptures, that could fool the untrained eye of a passerby into thinking that this person is only immerse in deep thought, to be so still in the middle of the crowd.
Maybe is the fact that they are all shown either sleeping or in a serene, contemplative mood, leading one to expect their eyes to pop open at any instant and stare back at you.
There’s something so elusive and so scary about the Sleeping Continue reading →
Some art forms are just like Rodney Dangerfield: they get no respect. Collage is one of them. And since your kid came home from school with some magazine cutouts glued to paper in the shape of, say, a rising sun, you too joined the dismissive crowd.
Not that, at the same time, you didn’t recognize his artistic genius, a proof, no doubt, of his superior genetic pool, and melted down when you read the words, “To the World’s Best Person.” Secretly you knew, however, this is being done since, Continue reading →
The picture above depicts A) a still of the creature’s tail for the sequel to the movie franchise “Aliens”; B) a new species of marine worm, photographed for the first time at the bottom of the Hudson River; C) a New York artist’s show about the Continue reading →
It was a fine afternoon in Dromore West, Co. Sligo, Ireland. There were plenty of locals, lots of tourists, and a giant puppet dancing with a pint of something in his hand.
People call him Arthur and that’s pretty much all we know about the whole scene. But watching the video sure beats the weather outside. Sláinte!
JUST IN: Hopper’s estranged fifth wife, Victoria Duffy Hopper, has succeeded in halting the sale of a significant portion of the actor’s art collection after lodging court papers in California. But the temporary decision affects only part of the auction lot: Warhol’s Mao has already been sold for $302,500, more than 10 times its estimated sale price.
When Dennis Hopper died last May, his best film acting and directing work were far behind him. But his developed taste for photography and painting, if it never matched the success he had on screen, helped him to become a gifted collector.
By the mid 1970s, he’d already acquired several seminal works of contemporary artists, such as the 1972 silk-screen “Mao Zedong”, by one the hottest artists of the time, Andy Warhol. At the same time, Hopper had also acquired a sizable appetite for drugs and alcohol.
The combination of the painting and of his binges proved explosive. And somewhat historical. In one of his rages, Hopper Continue reading →
So it turned out that, while we were being captivated by her smile, the real enigma of the Mona Lisa was hidden in her eyes. It’s just the latest mystery surrounding one of the most famous paintings of all time, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, of which we know close to nothing.
In fact, our five-century old fascination with La Gioconda, as it’s known in Italy where it was painted in 1503, bears pure obsession. Throughout the years, scientists have engaged in heated contests as to why she didn’t have eyebrows, whether her smile had something to do with high cholesterol, and who on earth was she. Was this the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife Continue reading →
It’s not uncommon for a member of a traditional family to find a forgotten work of art behind some cupboard or at the attic of a farm house. What’s very unusual is when the finder claims that the author himself, one of the greatest of the 20th century, gave him not one or two but a trove of 271 drawings and sketches.
That’s exactly what happened, according to retired Frenchman Pierre Le Guennec, who swears Spanish great Pablo Picasso (or Continue reading →
Italian billionaire Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is not the only politician, or rich person, who believes the world is his playground. But you’ve got to give it to him: he’s astonishingly oblivious to the horror that usually greets his decisions, mostly guided by the pursuit of fun, candy and more power. As for us, we just happen to be camping around, mostly annoying the hell out of him.
So when the 1800-year old classical Roman statue of Venus and Mars was loaned to his office, Berlusconi immediately made plans to fix it.
As it turned out, the likeness of the ruler of war had his penis chipped off circa 175 C.E., and the goddess of love was missing a hand too. Never mind that it’s been exhibited that way at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome for years.
The other day, the work was completed and delivered to his door, and Berlusconi was beside himself. After all, a man known Continue reading →
Paris has the old Catacombs. Capadocia, in Turkey, exists atop dozens of underground villages. And New York City has its subway tunnels, where abandoned stations are connected by miles of uncompleted tracks.
Recent news about a graffiti show that opened somewhere under Williamsburg renewed interest in the dark recesses of this city, Continue reading →
The Mexican government’s catastrophically misguided efforts to curb drug trafficking has won no battle or shown little progress so far. On the contrary, the indiscriminate body count keeps multiplying, entire cities are being ravaged by impunity and corruption, and a once promising youth is trapped in the middle of its lethal crossfire.
While the Calderon administration, with no small help of the U.S., dump obscene amounts of dollars and human resources into sheer repression, growing demand from Continue reading →
JUST IN: Police continue to arrest trespassers to this show. Although there’s no current plan to paint over the works, said to be likely located somewhere under Williamsburg, the NYPD is determined not to allow anyone to see them, citing safety and security concerns. Pictures on the Internet, though, show that some of the paintings have already been vandalized.
What you may experience walking the streets of New York at any given moment may follow you long after. That’s above the ground and no, it’s nothing to do with dogs. But what’s happening below your steps, you can only imagine.
Now here’s something you may be walking on too: a secret art show, hidden within the walls of an abandoned subway station that neither you, nor most of the 8 million people living in this city, will be invited to attend. Ever.
“The Underbelly Project,” the creation of street artists Workhorse and PAC, and 103 other guests from around the world, is just such a show. By the way, they all would rather be referred to only by pseudonymous. Because, first, graffiti art is deemed Continue reading →
JUST IN: After five years in coma at Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Center, the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to move him to his ranch in the Negev Desert. He’s not expected to regain consciousness.
It’s fair to say that the current state of Israel’s politics is less than optimal. Another round of talks with the Palestinians wound up like all previous ones, in the dustbin of well-intentioned but feeble efforts, and many in the international community point to Israel’s failure to stop construction in the West Bank settlements as one of its primary causes.
An attempt to require all new citizens to pledge allegiance to the Continue reading →
Brazilian Artist’s Shocking Work
Criticized as “Apology to Crime”
Brazilian artist Gil Vicente is in the hot seat in his country, just as a collection of his work is being readied for the Bienal that starts in Sao Paulo Tuesday. His charcoal drawing series “Inimigos” (“Enemies”) portrays him killing, in a very graphic, al-Qaeda style, Brazil’s President Lula, his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Pope Benedict XVI, even England’s Continue reading →
It’s not the first time Italian artist Max Papeschi takes an elaborated, albeit cheap, shot at the Disney iconography. What never ceases to surprise anyone paying attention is how he always prompts the same outraged reaction.
All it took, this time, was for him to slap Mickey Mouse’s head on a naked female body with a swastika next to it, for good measure, and voilà, another eruption of enraged comments popped up all over the European press.
The gigantic outdoor poster with the image is at the entrance of the artist’s new show in Poland, where predictably strong feelings about nazi horrors are still raw. But a quick Continue reading →
Today is the last day to see comedian Mike Birbiglia “living” inside a window of Macy’s department store. The extended advertising display for a cleaning product-cum-performance piece lasted seven days, snowstorms and all, and attracted the usual flow of the curious and the nosy.
As with similar events involving couples, models, groups Continue reading →
Nevada Desert Art Festival
Focus on Living in the City
Part communal art festival, part anarchic gathering of like-minded trippers, part celebratory ritual of free expression, the annual “Burning Man” event is under way on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
Since 1986, this weeklong party has been increasing its countercultural profile, attracting tens of thousands of people from all over the world, who spend the 100-plus degrees days and chilly desert nights creating sculptures, live Continue reading →
Italian Artist’s Newest Work
Points Out His Shock Values
This gigantic finger greeted surprised traders arriving for work at the Milan Stock Exchange Monday morning. “Crippled Hand,” the 36 foot tall Maurizio Cattelan sculpture is also known as, of all things, “L.O.V.E.”
It’s part of a retrospective of the artist with a knack for flirting with controversy and free publicity. “La Nona Hora” (The Ninth Hour), for example, depicting the pope being hit by a meteor, was panned by critics and church officials alike. But the public, of course, loved it.
Despite what its imagery obviously suggests to Americans, though, L.O.V.E. is actually a commentary on, again of all things, that infamous Heil Hitler salute. But with Cattelan one never knows. Another one of his sculptures, supposedly decrying the horrors of Holocaust, shows three kids hanging on a tree. It was cut down and defaced by angry protesters.
It was when computers finally conquered desktops at newsrooms of the world, in the early 1980s, that the takeover of the publishing business started. With the blueish glare of their screens, they sent typewriters packing to warehouses, and their users to retraining classes.
Legendary war correspondents, ace reporters, wizards of the print information, all resented the silencing of the roaring clack-clack of Remingtons, Underwoods and Olivettis. It’d been Continue reading →