Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Work, Rest & Play at NG

The National Gallery, London, opened two new exhibitions this month, both free. Scratch The Surface features some nonsense by Yinka Shonibare MBE. This is another slave-trade exhibition, and I'm sure we're all bored with them by now, especially as they keep whitewashing Queen Elizabeth I. The second looks far more interesting: Work, Rest & Play, a touring exhibition which has already been seen at Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne. Laura Knight's Ruby Loftus screwing a Breeching-ring (1943) is a gem. Find it in the Sunley Room until 14 October 2007.

Bibi Freeman, Winner

Bibi Freeman's award-winning entry and Bibi holding the Facepainting Trophy (photo Cat Finlayson) July 2007Following yesterday's post on the results of the World Bodypainting Festival® 2007, here's Bibi Freeman's award-winning entry plus a photo of Bibi receiving her trophy. No thanks to those Austrians (not Germans, I'm told) who run the festival and who credit the photographers, not the artists. These photos were kindly sent to me by Bibi. Stunning entry with a roulette wheel showing currency symbols and real dice blending into painted 3D dice, making a dollar shape that leads to painted 3D money "tucked" into the model's bra. Great illusion. Bibi teaches face painting in London as well as demonstrating her art. To contact her at Facepaint-UK, click the title link. Thanks, Bibi. Well done.

Willard Wigan MBE

Willard Wigan MBE flanked by Father Christmas and Snow White And The Seven DwarfsLast Tuesday morning I previewed the auction of a Willard Wigan microsculpture Lloyd’s of London on a Pin Head at Lloyd's of London (CLICK). How much did it make? No BBC update! Yesterday I tracked down the answer: £94,000. The Lloyd's replica was commissioned and sold by the David Lloyd Gallery at Lloyd's (where the money is) to a former Lloyd's underwriter. Smart move. Previously the David Lloyd Gallery cornered the market for Wigan's work by buying his 70-piece collection (promptly insured for £11.2m). Normally a Wigan piece would be expected to fetch £15,000. So, from £15,000 to £94,000 with one cleverly targeted sale. Very smart move! The proceeds go to the Prince’s Trust and the Dyslexia Association (Wigan is dyslexic and cannot read or write). The gallery (CLICK) can afford to be generous. It's owned by former England Davis Cup captain David Lloyd, who recently sold another of his businesses for £300m. The next Charles Saatchi?

Monday, 30 July 2007

World Bodypainting Fest

World Bodypainting Festival® LogoI've been sitting on this news for nearly a week, waiting for the organisers of the World Bodypainting Festival® 2007 to reply to my email requesting graphics of the winners (or at least to point me in the right direction on its shambles of a website). I give up. Rude Germans! The 10th World Bodypainting Festival® 2007 was held at Seeboden, near Lake Millstätter, Austria, in July. Artists were set the themes "Chaos vs Control" and "In the year 2525". Two of the five awards this year were won by English artists. Here are the winners:
Brush/Sponge: Carly Utting & Carolyn Roper (England)
Airbrush: Patrick McCann (USA) & Hudo Schurr (Germany)
Special Effect: Patrick Leis (Denmark)
World Fluoro Award 2007: Agnieska Glinska (Poland)
Facepainting Award: Bibi Freeman (England).

Monument Restoration

The Monument Viewing Platform, LondonFrom today, one of London's most famous landmarks will be closed for restoration: The Monument, which commemorates the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the rebuilding of the City of London. This massive Doric column was designed by Sir Christopher Wren - Surveyor General to King Charles II - and his friend Dr Robert Hooke. It stands 202 feet tall (61 of those foreign metre thingies), the exact distance between it and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began. Restoration will take 18 months and cost £4.5m.

Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race over the River Thames, London (2007)This weekend was a complete washout so far as visual arts news is concerned. Just to prove that Coxsoft Art hasn't given up the ghost, here's a question with a link to more photos (title). Why should the ordinary Londoner bother to go Green when London bosses are welcoming eco-unfriendly circuses like the Red Bull Air Race to come here and make money polluting our environment?

Friday, 27 July 2007

Stirling Contenders 2007

Architect David Chipperfield - America's Cup Pavilion, ValenciaThe six contenders for this year's £20,000 Stirling Prize for architecture have been announced by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). They are:
America's Cup Building, Spain
Casa da Musica, Portugal
Dresden Station, Germany
Museum of Modern Literature, Germany
Savill Building, Windsor Great Park
Young Vic Theatre, London.
Click the title link to view the contenders. The winner will be announced on 6 October, live on Channel 4 TV.

El Jueves Bounces Back

Fans of Spanish satirical magazine El Jueves will be pleased to know that its website is alive and kicking. I can't read Spanish, but I gather it received 5 million hits when the news story broke (CLICK) and its server couldn't cope. This proves yet again that the most effective form of publicity is provided by censorship. The website has also been changed at least twice in the last few days. The official notice has gone, replaced by this "Rectificamos", a cartoon so inoffensively bland that it lampoons both the rude original (CLICK) and Spanish censorship. Crown Prince Felipe as a busy bee! Mock grovel. (You need to have read my original post to appreciate this new joke.)

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Bronze Sculpture Found

Helaine Blumenfeld: Transformation - Tree of LifeA 7ft, one-tonne bronze sculpture, Transformation - Tree of Life by Brit. sculptress Helaine Blumenfeld, stolen two years ago, has been found chained to a fire escape in the garden of a London flat. A police officer once told me "If it's not screwed down they'll nick it, and if is screwed down they'll nick the screws as well". He wasn't kidding. I mean, 7 feet and one tonne! Was it worth the effort?

Warlugulong Update

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri - Warlugulong (1977) © Sotheby's ImagesArtDaily has belatedly published news of the record-breaking sale of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri's Warlugulong, which Coxsoft Art brought you yesterday (CLICK), and it shows a different painting! If you enter "Warlugulong" into Google Images Search you'll see the graphic I posted on my blog as Warlugulong. The ArtDaily picture is from Sotheby's Images, and Sotheby's must know which one it had up for auction! So I double checked my references and found there are two versions. The one I posted is 1976 and the one recently sold is 1977 and inferior to the 1976 original. I reckon old Possum sold the bank a pup.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Clueless PM Blames TV

I.C. adapted - The Premium Rate Numbers Swag (2007)Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in the House of Commons today that he wants the scandal over misleading TV competitions to be sorted out "quickly". The answer is simple, Gordon: all you need to do is ban premium rate telephone numbers. Back in March, Coxsoft Art called on the then Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell to make these damned things illegal (CLICK). I made the same point in April, just prior to the broadcasting of the BBC Panorama exposé TV's Dirty Secrets (CLICK). Wake up, Gordon! Why blame TV bosses for allowing themselves to be seduced by the lucrative scams offered by premium rate numbers?

Warlugulong Sold

I wouldn't want this as a rug, let alone as a picture to hang on my wall, but the Australian National Gallery in Canberra recently lashed out £970,000 (US$2m) for Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri's Warlugulong. This "masterpiece" depicts the Aboriginal view of Creation and is "one of the most profound examples of indigenous art ever produced," reads the BBC blurb. Oh yeah? I've seen better Aboriginal sand paintings. Trouble is, they tend to vanish as soon as the first roo jumps in.
Update: yes, I know this is the wrong picture.

Abbey Mills At Risk

Old and New: Abbey Mills Pumping StationBBC News reports that English Heritage's newly published Buildings At Risk Register 2007 now includes the Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Newham, east London. The BBC means the old Abbey Mills Pumping Station (left). The new Abbey Mills Pumping Station is on the right. Allah and Newham Council permitting, both buildings will be dwarfed by a "mega" mosque in time for the London Olympic Games 2012. To view more buildings at risk around the UK, click the title link.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Willard Wigan Sale

Willard Wigan - Replica of Lloyd's BuildingUK artist Willard Wigan is famous for his miniature sculptures which fit on the head of a pin or in the eye of a needle. Here's one up for sale today: a replica of the Lloyd's Building in London. And that's where it will be auctioned. It took him four months to create the pin-head sized scale replica from white gold and platinum. "This has been the most difficult piece I have ever made," he said.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Deckchair Dreams

Giancarlo Neri - Deckchair Dreams Design (2007)Imagine the Deluge hasn't fallen on Britain, half the Midlands isn't underwater, thousands of homes aren't flooded, journalists and cameramen aren't hogging every spare helicopter to record the disaster, and a surge of runoff isn't pouring down the Thames to threaten the outskirts of London. Share the Royal Parks' fantasy of a Brit. summer: Deckchair Dreams. Click the title link to vote for your favourite deckchair design by a famous person and hope the clever-dick website doesn't mess up, which it did for me when I tried to vote. Here's my favourite: Giancarlo Neri's witty and imaginative image of two globes of light resting in deckchairs in Space, obviously an alien couple. God and the Missus?

Aviation Artists Show

Graham Cooke - Best Be Getting Home ThenIf you're into paintings of aircraft, here is the show for you. Taking off tomorrow at the Mall Galleries, London, and flying for six days, it's the Guild of Aviation Artists 37th Annual Exhibition. This is the World’s biggest aviation art exhibition, and admission is free! If Graham Cooke's beautifully atmospheric Best Be Getting Home Then is anything to go by, this is an exhibition no aviation buff can afford to miss. School's out. Take the kids.

Planet Earth Awards

Great White Shark Attacking Seal (still from Planet Earth)On 13 March 2006 Coxsoft Art sang the praises of the first episode of BBC's magnificent wildlife series Planet Earth (CLICK). At last Saturday's award ceremony, the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles announced that Planet Earth (Discovery) had won two Outstanding Achievement awards: (1) News & Information and (2) Movies, Mini-series and Specials. (This news is for the occasional ignorant twit who complains that Coxsoft Art doesn't know what it's talking about.)

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Aga Khan Masterpieces

Incense Burner (Aga Khan Trust For Culture)The Aga Khan is still trying to persuade the West that Islam and Islamic art are wonderful. "Medieval" is the term I would use, in both thinking and artistic expression. Spirit & Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection at London's Ismaili Centre proves my point with its primitive, pre-Renaissance "treasures". Yesterday's news is far more pertinent to this Londoner than the Aga Khan's propaganda. Italian police raided a mosque in Perugia and uncovered a bomb school for Islamic militants. Sheik Abdul Adid Palazzi, director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community, told BBC News that 90% of mosques in Western Europe - including Britain - are controlled by extremist pro-terror organisations (CLICK). Wonderful!

El Jueves Shut Down

El Jueves BannerThe El Jueves website has been closed. So the link on yesterday's blog no longer works. Try this title link.

French Kiss Arrest

Schlurp! (2007)French fuzz have arrested Sam Rindy (a woman) for kissing a white canvas by US "artist" Cy Twombly valued at more than £970,000 ($2m). Sam left a smear of red lipstick on the canvas and has been charged with criminal damage. She claims to have been overcome with passion by the sight of the painting. This daft publicity stunt took place in the Collection Lambert museum in Avignon. I think the person who should have been arrested is the one who put the insane price tag of £290,000 on a white canvas.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

African Custom Art

Isaac Adjetey Sowah - Giant UterusFor those of you who still think of African art in terms of beads, badly carved masks and models of crocodiles, here's a sculpture dating from 2005 by Isaac Adjetey Sowah, who lives and works in Accra, Ghana. What on earth is it? It's a giant uterus designed for a gynaecologist. It's also a coffin. Folks in Ghana like to be buried in a coffin that shows their trade or profession. Isaac makes custom coffins to fit the bill: shoes, cars, hammers, whatever. Click the title link to see ten of them.

The Borgia Pope

Pinturicchio - Pope Alexander VI with Giulia Farnese plus Jesus enlargedRoman Catholic paedophile priests have been in the news for so long that it's refreshing, rather than scandalous, to find a pope with normal tastes. This fresco by Pinturicchio shows Pope Alexander VI kneeling in front of the Virgin, whose face is that of his youthful mistress Giulia Farnese. After his death, the debauched Pope and his mistress were cut from the fresco, leaving the infant Jesus, now on display in Rome. I've combined both pictures. Click the title link to read more.

Gayle Chong Kwan

Gayle Chong Kwan beside To The Centre Of The Earth (2007)Never mind the art; view the artist. If you're young, female, beautiful and prepared to bare a shoulder for the press, do you need talent? Pop singers don't. Movie stars don't. Here's the artist Gayle Chong Kwan leaning beside her art. Make up your own mind which you prefer to look at. Her paintings (three) plaster the walls of Southwark and London Bridge tube stations as part of London Underground's Platform For Art nonsense. According to the blurb, To The Centre Of The Earth is about food. "To The Bowels" would have been a better title. By the way, if you trip over a pile of sand at Gloucester Road Station, sue Brian Griffiths. It's his art installation: Life is a Laugh.

Rude Spanish Cartoon

Those dastardly cartoonists are at it again. The latest cartoon to cause offence appears on the cover of satirical magazine El Jueves and depicts Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and his wife having sex, with Felipe saying this is the closest he'll come to working. (The Spanish government recently announced it will pay 2,500 of those Euro thingies to every couple that has a baby.) Spain's High Court ordered the seizure of all copies of the magazine and has demanded the name of the cartoonist, who faces two years imprisonment under Spanish law. At least nobody is threatening to behead him. To see the rude cover (blush) click the title link.

Friday, 20 July 2007

My First Joint

Now that Government is launching a review of the UK drugs strategy and cannabis looks set to be reclassified as a class B drug, I guess it's back to the drawing board for this little book. (No, it isn't a Ladybird book, but a naughty person poking fun at the familiar Ladybird format and artistic style. Not Coxsoft Art, I assure you. Found in my email inbox yesterday. Perfect timing.)

Thursday, 19 July 2007

A Titian Discovered?

Possible Titian painted 1510-1520?Is this a Titian? Auction house Gilding's of Market Harborough in Leicestershire considered it to be a painting of the "18th century continental school" and estimated its value at £300 to £500. Come auction day, it sold for £205,000! Somebody took a gamble or knows his onions. If it is a Titian, it's worth at least £5m. It needs restoring and authenticating. I've adjusted the contrast and gamma settings to "clean" the original image, and it is certainly a masterly portrait. The clothing is a lot earlier than 18th century. Titian or not, this was a snip at £205,000.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Sarah Harvey 2

Sarah Harvey - Sunset, Perth, Australia (2007)I couldn't resist showing you another of Sarah's brilliant paintings, of Lewis underwater. This one is sold. How she painted it without getting her brush soggy....

Sarah Harvey at Sesame

Sarah Harvey - Handstand 1 (2007)How's this for an unusual painting? Handstand 1 is by London-based artist Sarah Harvey, who is fascinated by the distortions of water on our view of the human body. Recently graduated from art college, she's created a whole new ball game of figurative painting. Click the title link to visit her website. If you're in London, Sesame is exhibiting "a small number" of Sarah's latest paintings, from 20 July to 10 August 2007, together with the "fantastical" works of a German artist: Sarah Harvey & Miriam Jarrs (CLICK for Sesame).

Japanese Craft Beauty

Japanese...er...ThingyUnlike Britain, Japan regards its traditional craftsmen so highly that the government awards the finest of them the title "Living National Treasure". Opening tomorrow, the British Museum in London presents Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, the work of the Nihon Kogeikai (the Japan Art Crafts Association). You need to click the title link to view the events programme and decide which craft you would like to see demonstrated. There are films and lectures too. Admission is £5, concessions available. This living exhibition of crafts continues until 21 October 2007.

Vettriano at Gleneagles

Jack Vettriano - Bluebird at Bonneville © Sotheby's ImagesThis is one of seven paintings of Sir Malcolm Campbell's famous Bluebird which Sir Terence Conran commissioned Jack Vettriano to paint for his Bluebird Club restaurant on the King’s Road in Chelsea in 1997. Vettriano's art perfectly captures the period of 1920s and 1930s when Sir Malcolm Campbell set his nine land speed records, as well as the dazzling Bonneville salt flats. All seven paintings are up for auction at Sotheby’s sale of Scottish Pictures at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, on Wednesday 29 August 2007. Estimated value of this one: £500,000. Click the title link to read more.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

More Automotive Art

Daniel Power - Sun Goddess Mk II airbrushed XR8 (2007)Whatever happened to the Yanks? They were the world leaders in custom automotive art years ago. Now all the top automotive artists seem to be Australians. This magnificent example of custom airbrushing on a car bonnet - Sun Goddess Mk II - is from Kreative Power, a leading airbrush studio in Melbourne, owned by award-winning artist Daniel Power. Click the title link to visit his online gallery of fantasy art: Terminator, Freddy Kruger, Lord of the Rings, Alien v. Predator, Hellboy....

India Now

I.C. - Montage: Indian Child Labourers and Model of Taj Mahal outside the Houses of Parliament (2007)If you thought you saw the Taj Mahal floating along the Thames today, don't panic! It was merely a stunt to signal the launch of India Now, Red Ken's latest propaganda exercise. It's one of those patronising hands-across-the-sea fantasies aimed at updating our perceptions of India, as though none of us reads world news. What about child labour (CLICK)? Or a quarter of India's MP's being investigated by the police for crimes such as rape and murder (CLICK)? Or vibrating condoms (CLICK)? Any bets reality won't be allowed to impinge on the 1,500 events organised for the three-months season of India Now?

Art4Heart ArtVoter

ArtVoter Logo 150x150 (2007)The latest Art4Heart newsletter is a special issue setting out its new online art community to try to raise the profile of art on the Web: ArtVoter. Once registered, you can post links to your favourite articles, blogs, news stories or art websites. Other members try your links and vote for them. The most popular will be listed. You can also download various ArtVoter logos to post on your website, such as the one shown, which I've changed from a 40Kb JPG file to a 3Kb GIF. Coxsoft Art News already has two votes (not me; honest) and needs a third. Go on. Homer Simpson's giant Y-fronts must be worth voting for. (I posted that story last night. It didn't get splashed on BBC News' front page until this morning.)

Monday, 16 July 2007

Homer Simpson & Giant

Homer Simpson meets the Rude Giant in Dorset (2007)This has got to be the art news story of the week, and it's only Monday. Today, the 180ft club-wielding Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset - England's best loved fertility symbol - found himself with a new companion: a doughnut-waving Homer Simpson in underpants. Prude! It's a shy publicity stunt to promote the Simpson's movie, due for release later this month. Pagans are furious. They've sworn to perform "rain magic" to wash Homer away. I doubt it will require much magic to get the heavens to open on Homer's Y-fronts.

Brits High in New York

Sir Winston Churchill - Chartwell Landscape with Sheep © Sotheby's ImagesSotheby’s New York flogged 20th century British art to the tune of £10,900,180 ($22,107,745) last weekend. Not only was this a new record for a Sotheby’s auction of 20th c. Brit. art, but also it established new records for 25 British artists, including Sir Winston Churchill, whose oil painting Chartwell Landscape with Sheep went under the hammer (Lot 21).

Insider Art

Sponge Bob's Diddle Shop (2007) detailThe Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London is displaying art selected from the Koestler Awards Scheme for its summer exhibition: Insider Art. Arthur Koestler founded the Koestler Trust in 1962 to promote the creation of art in prisons. So all the artists are doing porridge or are on probation. Now's your chance to see what Uncle Fred has been doing with himself for the last year. This is the first time Koestler entries have been exhibited in a major gallery, and newspaper art critics are all of a twitter over it. Hardly surprising. The example I've shown - detail of Sponge Bob's Diddle Shop (2007) - is a lot more sophisticated than the ICA's usual fare.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Queen Victoria's Fig Leaf

Historic Fig Leaf for hiding Private PartsTo complete a trio of royal blogs, here's something I've been saving for a rainy day: the actual fig leaf used by museum officials to hide the rude parts of naked male statues whenever Queen Victoria visited an exhibition in which said parts were on display. Why they bothered, I don't know. When I visited Osbourne House as a small boy, I was startled to see a bronze statuette of a naked man with an erection! The works of art in Osbourne House were collected by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. So the Queen wasn't the prude that Victorian society made her out to be.

Olympics 2012 Footprint

I.C. - London Olympics 2012 Carbon Footprint (2007)Thinking of the London Olympics 2012 (next post down), when are Red Ken, Lord Coe, Big Mac, Sword of Allah Osama Bin Laden, British Airways and Government going to come clean and tell us how much these insanely overpriced games will cost the environment? How massive will the Olympics 2012 carbon footprint be?

Stamp Design's 40th

Clay Impression of Queen's Head Design (1967)The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) is marking the 40th anniversary of Arnold Machin's head of Queen Elizabeth II for Brit. coins and stamps with an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, opening next Thursday 19 July. This design has featured on 200 billion stamps since 1967, beginning with a 4d stamp. By now, I think it's safe to regard this design as a success. What a shame Arnold Machin couldn't have designed the London Olympics 2012 logo!

Automotive Art

Advanced Airbrush - Fantasy Girl airbrushed on to Car BonnetSeeing Barbara Rush's logo on the back of her gas guzzler (CLICK) reminded me that Coxsoft Art hasn't featured either airbrush art or automotive art before. So here's a post to make up for this neglect. The muscular young lady perched on a skull, airbrushed on the bonnet of a car, is from an excellent online gallery of art by Advanced Airbrush, Australia's leading professional airbrush production shop. The principal artist and director is Wayne Harrison. Cars with seascapes, cars with girls, a car with an award-winning chained dragon; they're all here. Click the title link to view them.

Princess Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales, photo by Terence Daniel Donovan (1990)Yesterday, to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, the National Portrait Gallery in London opened an exhibition of photographs by Lord Snowdon, David Bailey, Patrick Lichfield, Mario Testino and other top photographers: Diana, Princess of Wales. This exhibition of formal and informal photos shows the Princess's life from 1981 to 1997. Find it in Room 33.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Artist Advertises on Car

Barbara Rush - Car AdvertisementHow's this for an artist promoting her own work? Barbara Rush had this example of her art painted on the spare wheel cover of her gas guzzler, together with her website URL (CLICK). Everywhere she drives, she's advertising her work. It's common practice for commercial firms to advertise on their vehicles, but artists? To see a larger photo, click the title link for Art News Blog, where I found this story.

Toxic PCs Clampdown

Lagos Island Waterfront, Nigeria - Buy an 'ard drive, guv?As regular readers will know, Coxsoft Art is opposed to donating our old computers to developing countries, the inhabitants of which are far more clued up on technology - especially Internet fraud - than the average Brit. The Nigerian Mafia are great at ripping us off (CLICK). So here's a welcome news item. The EU has tightened the rules governing shipments of toxic waste. Yes, folks; computers are toxic waste! It is hoped this new inspection regime will "enable officials to identify shipments of old computers - described by exporters as 'second-hand goods' - as illegal waste destined for recycling in China, India or Nigeria".

Seaside Impressionists

Gustave Caillebott - Villers-sur-Mer (1880)Here's an exhibition perfectly timed for the Brit. summer holidays: Impressionists by the Sea at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The fact that July has been a complete washout adds to the lure of sunshine on the northern coastline of France as depicted by artists such as Gustave Caillebott. His painting Villers-sur-Mer (1880) is one of 60 on show. The exhibition continues in the Sackler Wing until 30 September 2007.

Lloyds TSB Phish

PadlockPhishing scams are becoming more sophisticated. Doesn't this graphic of a padlock make you feel secure? No? Good. It appears on a "security" email I received today, allegedly from the "Online Banking Security Team, Lloyds TSB Internet Banking". It wants me to "Please click on
to verify my details. The real web address is:
http://rio-bg.com/gallary/admin/online.lloydstsb (etc).
To find out if a hyperlink is genuine, right click on it and select Copy Shortcut, then do another right click to paste the copy into NotePad or whatever text editor you use. Then you see the real address. If it differs from the visible hyperlink, you can bet the sender is a criminal.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

More Potter Publicity

Emma Watson at 10 and 17 (I.C. combined images, 2007)The trio of young Brits who star in the Harry Potter movies have pressed their hand prints into cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in LA. Wand prints too! Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint join some of Hollywood's greats. It's all good publicity for the latest in the saga: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. One can't help noticing how Emma Watson has blossomed since she first took on the role of Hermione Granger, the cocky know-it-all swat who nags Harry and Ron. She says she's made enough money to retire - at 17 - and isn't impressed with acting as a career. Very sensible. Her agent must be going spare, with the most appealing young actress since Jodie Foster hit the screen in Bugsy Malone thinking of retiring! Still, she's booked for the next two Potter movies. So chin up, Agent.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Book Sale in Ilford

Book SaleLocal news: Central Library in Ilford is holding a sale of books (adult and junior, hardbacks, paperbacks, large print, fiction and non-fiction), videos, CD's and music scores, on Saturday 14 July, from 10am to 3pm, admission free.

Flatulent Cows in the UK

Bonnie Ouellette - Star Cow (West Hartford Cow Parade 2003)For those of you who didn't believe Coxsoft Art's claim that Brits are preoccupied with the impact of cow farts on global warming (see my post Global Cities at Tate: CLICK), here's the proof. Scientists in Wales reckon adding garlic to cow feed could reduce cow flatulence by 50%. This research - commissioned by the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) at a cost of £750,000 - uses plastic tents to gather the evidence. Allegedly, 3% of Britain's greenhouse gases are cow farts. But why point the finger of blame at cows? What about flatulence in the human population? DEFRA, come clean. Are you paying for dietary research on people-produced methane? A person may not produce 500 litres of gas a day, but we vastly outnumber cows. To view the tail end of this article, click the title link.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Out of Storage

Diego Rivera - Juchitán River (1953-56)How do you move a mural? With difficulty, I suppose; but when entire houses can be moved, it isn't a problem. Mexican painter Diego Rivera created this charming water-resistant Venetian mosaic of a peon helping his son across the Juchitán River to decorate a pool in a movie mogul's garden. When house and garden were sold four years later, the mural went to a hotel which later closed. After 20 years in storage, the mural has been put on public display at the Centro Cultural Muros of Cuernavaca. If you're passing....

London's Latest Museum

Household Cavalry Clydesdale Drumming HorseToday in London a new £5m military museum opened its doors to the public: The Household Cavalry Museum at Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall. Ceremonial uniforms, horse furniture and gallantry awards are on display, as well as a unique "behind the scenes" look at the continuing work of the Household Cavalry Regiments.