Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Peter Pan

This bronze figure of Peter Pan by Sir George Frampton, a leading light in the New Sculpture movement, comes up for grabs in Bonhams Fine English Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art sale on 11 March at Bonhams New Bond Street salerooms, London, estimated at £25,000 to £30,000 (CLICK).

Serpentine Galleries

Today the Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens, London, opened Leon Golub: Bite Your Tongue. The exhibition highlights key aspects of this US figurative painter who died in 2004. Shown is his White Squad IV (El Salvador) 1983. What a mess! CLICK.

Cinderella II

Recognize her? Clue: she plays the scullery maid Daisy in Downton Abbey. Her real name is Sophie McShera. She was also at the US premiere of Disney's Cinderella. She stars as Cinderella's stepsister Drizella. From mousy to stunning in that green dress (CLICK).


In case you missed it, the US premiere of Disney's remake of Cinderella took place in Los Angeles on Sunday. Lily James, who plays the title role as well as Lady Rose MacClare in Downton Abbey, sparkled fit to bust (CLICK). According to the Disney machine, this is supposed to be a non-sexist version of Cinderella, but nobody seems to have told the celebrities who brought their female brats dressed as little fairy princesses. Yuk! If you have your own little princess, Cinderella debuts in the UK on 27 March.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Weasel Attack!

This has got to be the photo of the week, let alone of the day. Amateur photographer Martin Le-May was walking with his wife in Hornchurch Country Park, Havering, yesterday afternoon when this Weasel attacked a Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) possibly a female. The woodpecker took flight with the weasel on its back. Weasels are ferocious little predators. The woodpecker escaped (CLICK).

Monday, 2 March 2015

New Queen's Head

The Royal Mint unveiled its latest relief of the Queen's Head at the National Portrait Gallery today, the 5th design to have been created during the Queen's 63-year reign, the first since 1998. The image for the new coins was created by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark. His design is better than its implementation on the new coins. They should be widely in circulation by the autumn (CLICK).

British Life

The inaugural British Life Photography Awards have picked out David Yeo's Vroom with a View as the overall winner, taken in Tewkesbury. Not only is it a striking image of an old caravan parked by a horse chestnut in full bloom with a flock of sheep in the background, but also it encapsulates the Britishness this new award is trying to capture (CLICK). There are some excellent photos in 10 categories, taken by both professional and amateur photographers. The exhibition opened today in the Threadneedle Space at the Mall Galleries, London, with around 100 winning and commended entries on display, admission free (CLICK).

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Richard Diebenkorn

On 14 March the Royal Academy of Arts opens Richard Diebenkorn in The Sackler Wing, Burlington House, London. Who? Rickard Diebenkorn was a US artist widely considered to be one of America’s great post-war masters. He lived and worked in California and flitted between abstraction and figuration with "a rare fluidity". Shown is his Girl On a Terrace (1956). With tickets at £10, forget it (CLICK).

Milo Moiré

Regular readers will know what I think of so-called "performance art". Egotistical showing off doesn't qualify as art in my book. Here's a perfect example, a badly filmed video of "performance artist" Milo Moiré naked with a borrowed baby in her arms - no stretch marks - clip-clopping in high-heeled shoes through the LWL Museum of Art and Culture in Münster, Germany. The video asks the question “How little abstraction can art tolerate?” The baby has the answer. The other museum visitors take it all in their stride.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Art Nouveau

I've already reviewed one exhibition at The Fine Art Society this week: The New Sculpture (CLICK). Here's another exhibition that makes the Society doubly worth visiting: Art Nouveau, Continental Design & Sculpture from The John Scott Collection (CLICK). Shown are Two Bronze Zodiac Signs by Walter Gilbert and his assistant Louis Weingartner, Birmingham Guild Ltd, created for lifts at Selfridges department store. Those were the days when you got art with your technology. Both exhibitions run until 19 March.

Strawberry Hill

The Strawberry Hill Trust has completed the second stage of its restoration of Horace Walpole’s Gothic villa Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, west London. Tomorrow it reopens with Horace Walpole’s private rooms on display for the first time since the 18th century. Shown is Johann Heinrich Müntz's painting of Strawberry Hill in its heyday (post 1792). Tickets cost £10.80. CLICK for more information.

Banksy In Gaza

Banksy has released an ironically entitled video: Make this the year YOU discover a new destination. He has been painting murals among the ruins of the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun, destroyed by Israel during last year's war against Hamas. The silly buggers are already building new tunnels through which to attack Israel! Shown is a boy beside Banksy's mural Children using an Israeli army watch tower as a swing ride. You need to expand the Banksy film to full screen to read its subtitles, ESC to return (CLICK).

Friday, 27 February 2015

Leonard Nimoy RIP

Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in Gene Roddenberry's science fiction series Star Trek, has died at the age of 83 in Los Angeles. His son Adam said Leonard died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Friday morning. It seems to me as though an entire era has passed away. I was hooked on the adventures of the Starship Enterprise right from the start. Leonard as half-human, half-Vulcan unflappable science officer Mr Spock was the perfect foil for William Shatner's Captain Kirk (CLICK).

IS Destruction

Here's the latest video from so-called Islamic State. Don't worry. There's no blood. It shows IS thugs destroying ancient artifacts and "idols" in Mosul Museum, Iraq. UNESCO is calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Bit late for that.

Jihadi Brides

A week ago we had all the kerfuffle over three London schoolgirls doing a well-planned runner to become jihadi brides: Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum. British police were sent after them, but could do no more than confirm that the three fugitives had crossed the border into Syria. Distraught families pleaded for their babies to return home (CLICK). Babies? They're not even little girls. They are nubile young women who could be in their early twenties. They want a jihadi brute between the thighs. They lied to their parents and wasted police time. If they try to return to the UK, they should be blocked, like men.

Jihadi John

British newspapers are full of the "unmasking" of brutal Muslim murderer "Jihadi John", who has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi from west London. At least two papers have posted a photo of him as an "angelic" schoolboy (CLICK). In Bangladesh, as though to prove that London doesn't have a monopoly on mad Muslim murderers, US-Bangladeshi atheist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death by a mob in Dhaka. Two of the mob used meat cleavers to attack Roy and his wife. She was injured in the attack (CLICK).