Friday, 31 August 2007

Vettriano's Fetch £1m

Jack Vettriano - Bluebird at Bonneville © Sotheby's ImagesHaving just reported the sale of Moneybags Hirst's bejewelled hokum for £50m, I must say it's an anticlimax to report that eight genuine works of art painted by Jack Vettriano reached a total of only £1m. Bluebird at Bonneville (shown) fetched £468,000, a little under its estimated value of £500,000 (CLICK). Dance Me to the End of Love sold for a bargain basement bid of £192,000 (CLICK). Five of the early Bluebird paintings weren't sold. Despite receiving an OBE for services to the visual arts in 2003, Jack is still shunned by all the major British art galleries! "He's self-taught, Curruthers." "God!"

Blogger Under Attack!

Blogger LogoGoogle-owned Blogger hits the headlines. A viral attack has infected "many hundreds" of blogs with booby-trapped links designed to turn a user's PC into a slave for sending spam. "Security researcher Alex Eckelberry from Sunbelt Software first noticed the booby-trapped links ... on Blogger on 27 August" (BBC News).The initial attack began in January with spam news items about severe storms, hence the nickname "Storm Trojan". The latest attack may exploit Blogger's feature that allows users to e-mail posts to their blogs. Now the good news. My spam filter caught all the fake storm-news spams. I don't send posts to Coxsoft Art News by e-mail. Comments come to me first for moderation. And I haven't spotted any fake links on my blog, just the usual Blogger bugs. So, you appear to be safe here, but I'll remain vigilant.

Hirst Gets His £50m

Damien Hirst - For The Love of God (2007)Damien Hirst has received his asking price for a diamond encrusted human skull: £50m ($100m). This makes it the most expensive piece of contemporary "art" ever sold. It cost him £14m to make (CLICK). You've got to admit it, the guy knows his market. For The Love of God was bought by an investment group. As Coxsoft Art has often pointed out, tasteless jerks buy so-called "art" as a safe investment, and these investors inflate market prices to an insane degree. To add insult to injury, Moneybags retains an interest in his skull; he gets a percentage when it is resold! For God's sake! How's that for greed?

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Keira Knightley 'Art'

Keira Knightley and Artist's 'Enhancements'On the left you have Keira Knightley posing for a publicity photo for King Arthur; on the right, a digital artist's "enhanced" version. A dramatic sky with scarlet flag and fire arrows has been added to the studio shot, and the black rubber arrowhead has become shiny steel. So far, so good. But what the artist has done to Keira is ghastly: bust enhancement, tummy tuck and, worst of all, a fuller face that is unrecognizable. Her distinctive beauty has been turned into the bland look of a doll. Back to the drawing board, please.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

My Penguin Art Show

My Penguin Logo plus 39 (2007)On 3 August I commented on the My Penguin art stunt (CLICK). Tomorrow, an exhibition of 130 amateur covers for Penguin classics opens at the poorly named 39 Gallery in London (there are "39" galleries all over the place) and continues until 23 September. If you want to send your artwork to Penguin, here's the email address:, subject = My Penguin Cover, attached graphics format: jpg, tif or gif, maximum size 1000 x 1500 pixels. Let me know how you get on.

Eugène von Guérard

Eugène von Guérard - The Great Lake, Tasmania (1875) © Sotheby's ImagesThis alien landscape caught my eye today, and I thought I'd share it with you: Lot 21 in a recent Sotheby's auction in Melbourne, Australia. It's by an artist I'd never heard of before - Eugène von Guérard - and it shows The Great Lake, Tasmania, in 1875. Sold for $1,860,000.

Nelson Mandela Unveiled

Ian Walters - Statue of Nelson Mandela (left BBC, right I.C. enhanced)An hour or so ago, Ian Walters' 9ft tall bronze statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled in Parliament Square. The BBC's photo (a video still, left) is so incompetent that I've been forced to enhance it to give you some idea of what the top part of the statue looks like. Sadly, the sculptor didn't live to see his work unveiled. (CLICK to see a photo of Ian Walters working on the clay version.)

Famous Five Grumpies!

Original Book Cover Art - Five On a Treasure Island (1942)Remember the Famous Five children's adventure stories by Enid Blyton? The series began in 1942 with Five On a Treasure Island (cover shown) and has never been out of print. Chorion - the firm that owns the copyright for Enid Blyton's work - has come up with the daft idea of resurrecting Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog as middle-aged grumpies and doggy descendant for an adult TV series! It sounds an absolute bummer. However, Chorion has a good track record as producer of ITV's successful Marple and Poirot series, both of which have excellent production values. It hopes the nostalgia trail will work again, but where is the nostalgia in a 21st Century setting? And should Chorion be encouraging gang culture and vigilantism in this day and age?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Manhunt 2 Release

Manhunt 2 Screen Shot (2007)Coxsoft Art reported on the UK ban of Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 back in June (CLICK) and commented further a day later (CLICK). The game also fell foul of the US Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which rated it as "Adults Only", a severe marketing restriction. Now a modified version has received an ESRB rating of "Mature". This version will be released in the US in October.

Women Impressionists

Mary Cassatt - Two Sisters (1896)A note for next year's diary, if you admire female impressionists: the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany, will be showing Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva González and Marie Bracquemon from 22 February to 1 June 2008. This is a biggie, with "some 160 works from international museums and private collections...". Mary Cassatt's Two Sisters (1896) is a fine example. If only it weren't so impressionistic! Click the title link for more information.

South Park's Millions

South Park's Little AngelsSouth Park is spreading its tarnished wings. Not content with grabbing three million viewers for new episodes of its cartoon show on Comedy Central, it's branching into mobile phones, the Internet and games consoles in a new digital venture worth £37m ($75m) to its creators: Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They're looking forward to offending new audiences, if not amusing them.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Da Vinci Theft Appeal

Leonardo da Vinci - Madonna With The Yarnwinder (1500-1510)It is exactly four years since Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful Madonna With The Yarnwinder was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland, and detectives of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary have used the anniversary to renew an appeal for information about the robbery. The painting, worth an estimated £30m, has been on the FBI's list of 10 most wanted pieces of stolen art since 2005. Unbelievably, it took the FBI two years to add this masterpiece to its Top Ten! The picture has been in Coxsoft Art's Stolen Art section ever since (CLICK and scroll down). A gang of four men targeted the painting. Clearly this was international robbery-to-order. So the chance of its still being in Scotland is remote. Dubai? New York? Nigeria? The Kremlin?

Watercolours at the Mall

Sue Rubira - Geoff' (2006)The next exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, is a bit of a mouthful: Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander / Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition. The painting shown is Geoff’ by Sue Rubira, who won 2nd prize last year with this powerful, in-your-face portrait. The exhibition celebrates art "in any water soluble medium". It runs from 12 to 22 September 2007, admission free.

Back to Nature

Simon Periton - Back to Nature (detail)I'm thinking of initiating a Worst Website of the Week award. Click the title link to view a potential winner: dull, grey, uninformative and pointlessly using Flash Player with an eye-screwing font. Why does a commercial art gallery offend its visitors so? I guess the answer is the old terrified-of-being-chocolate-boxy syndrome. Anyway, London gallery Sadie Coles HQ is showing Simon Periton - Back to Nature from 5 September until 4 October 2007. Judging by this example, his unusual technique - intricate paper cut-outs stencilled to glass - warrants a closer look (CLICK).

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Scapes From Africa

Scapes From Africa invitation graphic (2007)"You are cordially invited to an exhibition of recent paintings by Titus Agbara", who hails from Lagos and studied art at the Auchi Polytechnic, where he became "best graduating student" in 1999. Scapes From Africa features African landscapes and village life, created with oil paints applied with a palette knife. Find it in Central Library, Ilford, Essex, from 3 to 8 September 2007.


Ann Ansell - Sampler (1821)For those of you who don't know what a sampler is (next post down) or who think I'm kidding about the talents of young girls, here's an example from the National Conservation Centre: the Ansell Sampler, made by Ann Ansell at the age of ten in 1821. Samplers were an educational aid for girls, from the 17th century to Victorian times. They tested a girl's needlework - an important female skill in those days - and indoctrinated her with moral values. Ann's sampler shows a stately home. Down the sides are the letters of the alphabet. The message at the bottom reads:
"I Am But Young in Tender Years
With Good Parents I Am Blest"

It's A Stitch Up!

F. Marquespenteado - Indian Butterfly CatcherHere's a young man who likes to sew. Shame he doesn't have any talent (I've seen better samplers by little girls), but he's got a diploma. Of course he's a graduate of Goldsmiths, which seems to demand lack of artistic talent as an entry qualification. His name is F. Marquespenteado. He's from Brazil, where the nuts come from. His exhibition Promised Lands will be at London gallery V22 Ashwinstreet (title link) from 7 to 30 September 2007. One to miss.

Art and Personality

Two Beauties: Traditional Japanese Noren (silk door curtain)A visitor to Coxsoft Art recently thanked me for a link to the BBC's hopeless Art and Personality Experiment, the results of which had given her a laugh. The pseudo-scientists who designed this "experiment" hoped to establish some connection between art preferences and personality, but all it really does is figure out what culture you belong to. It determined that I'm European. I could have told it that! Click the title link to take the test and find out what it makes of your artistic taste.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Nelson Mandela Statue

Ian Walters working on his statue of Nelson MandelaThe argument over where to put Ian Walters' 9ft tall bronze statue of Nelson Mandela is resolved. Back in 2005 Red Ken wanted it in Trafalgar Square, but it will be officially unveiled in Parliament Square next Wednesday 29 August. Nelson Mandela will attend the ceremony. There are at least two other statues of him. The Ian Walters statue looks the best. Let's hope it doesn't get the green-Mohican-haircut treatment.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Constable Sketch Found

John Constable - Hyam Church, SuffolkHyam Church, Suffolk, a sketch by John Constable which scholars knew to be missing, has turned up in the British Library in London. It was sold by Constable's grandson Eustace at Christie's in 1896. Somehow it entered a 13-volume sketchbook compiled by John Platt JP, who died in 1902. The sketchbook was bequeathed to the British Museum in 1919 and in the 1970s was transferred to the British Library, where it languished until recently chanced upon by the Library's Curator of Topography, Felicity Myrone. It is now on display. How many more treasures await rediscovery in our vaults?

Lowry's Football Match

For those of you with £1m to burn, here's the other Lowry that Sotheby's will auction in London on 13 December: The Football Match. It looks as though Lowry foresaw the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Come to think of it, Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron knew what they were doing when they designed the Beijing Olympic Stadium as a giant bedpan (see below).

Bedpan Olympics 2008

I.C. - Bedpanarama (2007)Bedpanorama: on the left, a shiny new bedpan; on the right, Herzog and de Meuron's Beijing Olympic Stadium looming out of the smog. (If Marcel Duchamp can do it, why not Coxsoft?) Altogether now: Boycott the smog!

Froffy Coffee Art

Sammy Lin - Frothy LionHow would you fancy your cappuccino with a smirk on its face? Teddy bears, rabbits, snowmen, Nessie, little devils; New York barman Sammy Lin - "Mocha-angelo" or "Frothy-celli", suggests a wit at the Daily Mail - can do 'em all. Serious art critics may accuse Lin of being "lightweight", "insubstantial" or downright "one-sneeze-an'-it's-gone", but Coxsoft Art says "He's light years ahead of Tracy Whatshername or Damien Purse". Click the title link for more of Lin's froffy art.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Notting Hill Carnival

Weary Cherub (2006)The Notting Hill Carnival is with us again, and this cherub's face from last year says it all. "Mum, can't we go home? My feet are killing me." The Met. Police are preparing for Carnival by rounding up all the usual suspects. They broke about ten front doors today and made three arrests (CLICK). 650 officers will be on trains and at stations around the area. Mobile metal detectors and sniffer dogs will help them target drugs and weapons (CLICK). For everything you ever wanted to know about Carnival, click the title link.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Pavilion 2007 Unveiled

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007 was unveiled in Kensington Gardens today and will be open to the public in two day's time. Created by Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, it has already been nicknamed "The Spinning Top". A variety of talks, films, performances and scientific experiments will take place in the structure until 5 November 2007. Conspicuous consumption!

Lowry Rediscovered

L.S. Lowry - A Fairground (1938)An uncatalogued L.S. Lowry painting has been rediscovered after 57 years in a British family's private collection: A Fairground (1938) bought in 1950. It came to light when the family approached Sotheby's. It will be auctioned at Sotheby's in London on 13 December with another of Lowry's paintings: The Football Match. They're likely to fetch £1m each.

Agatha Christie Comics

Hercule Poirot (artist unknown)Did you know that Agatha Christie's tedious whodunits have sold to the tune of one billion copies in English alone? According to the Guinness Book of Records, only William Shakespeare has been more widely read. To cater for a new, illiterate generation, 83 of her books are being turned into comics. The first dozen, including Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express, will be launched during Agatha Christie Week: 9 to 15 September. Judging by this example - David Suchet as Hercule Poirot - the standard of artwork is quite high. Click the title link to view more.

Terracotta Army In Town

Terracotta StatueA scouting party of 12 warriors with some other life-sized figures, making about 20 in all, have arrived at the British Museum for its Autumn/Winter biggie: The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army, from 13 September 2007 to 6 April 2008. These terracotta statues are the crowd-pullers for a major exhibition on Emperor Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor. If you haven't booked tickets, you're at the back of a long queue: 60,000 advanced bookings have already been made at £10 or £12 a ticket! Plus booking fees! And timed entry! And no concession for silver surfers! This is a show for single parents with big families. Under 16s enter free. So, if you're a single parent (£12) with eleven kids, that's only £1 per head. But will they queue for hours?

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Open House London 07

Open House London Guide (2005 ed.)The Open House London Guide 2007 is in London libraries now. I picked up a copy in my local library this evening. It's free in libraries, but costs £4.00 including P&P if you buy a copy from the official website (title link). These guides go like hot cakes, so visit your local library fast. The guide lists 600 buildings that will be open to the public for the Open House London weekend: 15 to 16 September 2007.

Diamond Jubilee

One of the Wedding GiftsThis year Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will celebrate their diamond jubilee (60 years of marriage). Buckingham Palace is currently holding a special summer exhibition to commemorate their wedding day. A Royal Wedding: 20 November 1947 displays Her Majesty's wedding dress and many of the fabulous presents the couple received. If you're into royalty, jewellery or nostalgia, this is the one for you. The exhibition continues until 28 September.

Resizing Blogger Text

IE6 AA Font Size-change Icon (I.C. 2007)Just in case you're a new visitor, here's a tip. This style of Blogger allows visitors to change the size of its text. In Internet Explorer 6, look for the AA icon shown and click LARGER or LARGEST. Try it now. There's no point in squinting if you don't have to!

CAN Link Graphic

I.C. - Coxsoft Art News link graphic (2007)I've made some minor improvements to the Coxsoft Art News link graphic. The word "News" needed better spacing.

Frid's Stuff

Hreinn Fridfinnsson - Er...cardboard box lined with lurid pink stuffOo-er! What's this? It's a cardboard box lined with lurid pink ... er ... stuff. Look, never mind the quality, read the blurb: "Hreinn Fridfinnsson is one of Iceland’s leading conceptual artists. His work is celebrated for its lyricism and stark poetry that transcends the often-commonplace subjects and materials that the artist uses to create his pieces". Got that? Gullible enough to believe it? This rubbish is the current exhibition at London's Serpentine Gallery. I chanced upon it while trying to find out if the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007 had opened yet. No joy. If it is open, the website hasn't been updated. Frid's stuff ends on 2 September 2007.

Monday, 20 August 2007

The Week's Silly Story

CCTV Still of HoldupHere's a CCTV still of drug-addict Nicki Jex holding up a Leicester betting shop with a threatening plastic bag. Inside? His girlfriend's vibrator! The judge at Jex's trial wasn't amused. Today he sentenced Jex to five years imprisonment. The twerp will be out in three and back to his old tricks again, if his girlfriend's vibrator hasn't worn out by then.

New Neutron Star

Casey Reed's Impression of a Neutron StarA new and unusual neutron star has been found relatively close to Earth. It has been named Calvera after the Mexican villain in the classic western movie The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges' remake of Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai). What has this discovery to do with art? Look at Casey Reed's "artist's impression" of a neutron star. Beautiful.

Kapoor At It Again!

Anish Kapoor - Svayambh model of installation for Haus der Kunst (2007)Remember that daft block of red wax that Anish Kapoor RA installed at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes in France (CLICK)? He called it Svayambh. Now the Germans want one! Anything to oblige. He's installing another Svayambh at Haus der Kunst. "Roll up! Roll up! See another giant lump of wax on its flatcar chunder across the floor." Royal Academicians, I hope you're embarrassed by all this fairground twaddle your mate Anish keeps perpetrating in the name of "art".

Satyajit Ray

Here is something India should celebrate: the genius of Satyajit Ray, writer, artist, composer and one of the world's greatest movie directors. He burst upon the international movie scene in 1955 with Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), produced by the Government of West Bengal, music by Pandit Ravi Shankar and using mostly amateur actors, such as the little boy who played Apu. Masterpiece followed masterpiece. Ray died in 1992. Click the title link for his official website. Or visit Wikipedia (CLICK).

V&A Friday Late: India

V&A Friday Late India Now image (2007)The V&A's free Friday Late on 31 August, 18.30-22.00 (6.30pm to 10pm), is part of the India Now celebrations. For details click the title link. Personally, I can't see that child labour, girl infanticide, increased pollution, fat cats getting richer and the bloodbath of Partition are worth celebrating. I'm not sure there is an official figure for the death toll of Partition, but it could be as high as two million people! It was one of the worst bouts of religious cleansing since the Nazi death camps. Don't let anyone kid you that either event was "ethnic cleansing". The endless capacity of religious bigots to butcher those of different faiths is one of the reasons I'm an atheist and why I believe that all state schools and state-supported schools should be entirely secular.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Ron's Cow Girl

Ron English - Cow Girl on Fence (2007)This evening Coxsoft Art visited the website of London gallery Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, which specialises in "counter-culture" art (Oo-er...) to view the work of Adam Neate, hailed as "the most exciting emerging artist in the UK at the moment" (CLICK). Don't bother. But my visit wasn't wasted, because I found an artist with good technique and a sense of humour: Ron English. The joke behind his Cow Girl on Fence (2007) was probably published in The Beano 50 years ago, but it still brought a smile to my lips. Love those morningstars! Click the title link for more of Ron's "counter-culture" art.

Children's Art Gallery

A Magical Building From IstanbulWhile searching for free or inexpensive things for kids to do in London (next post down) I found the London International Gallery of Children’s Art (LIGCA). Its current exhibition is Magical Buildings From Istanbul, which continues until 6 October 2007. Note the unusual opening times: 4-6pm Tue-Thurs, 12-6pm Fri-Sun, closed Mon. Admission is free.

London Free For Kids

Free Stuff For Kids, Cover (2001)Today a visiting friend told me that one of his work colleagues had baulked at paying £31 to take his daughter into Madame Tussauds (a special offer: last hour only!). The colleague is German, so he's unfamiliar with the old metropolis. In a spirit of rapprochement - it is at least 62 years since my dad last shot a Jerry - I searched the Internet for free and cheap things for kids to do in London. Having made him a list of websites, I thought: Why not share it?
London Free List, Kids (CLICK)
Visit London, Kids Go Free (CLICK)
Kids Week, Theatre, on now (CLICK)
Saatchi Gallery, Children's Activities (CLICK)
London Tourist, Kids (CLICK)
London Town, Fun For Kids (CLICK)
London Treasures, Children (CLICK)
Kids Love London (CLICK)
Art Gallery For Kids (CLICK)
Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (CLICK)

There is also a book called Free Stuff For Kids (title link). Find it in your local library.

Balthus and Lolita

Balthus - Thérèse rêvant © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2007, Photo Malcolm Varon 1988Here's a surprising coincidence. A few days ago I previewed the Barbican's forthcoming exhibition on censorship in art, including its screening of Lolita uncut (CLICK). Yesterday, Cologne's Museum Ludwig opened an exhibition of paintings by French artist Balthus, whose portrayals of young girls as seductive sirens offended the moral brigade. His most infamous painting The Guitar Lesson (1934), depicting a woman with bared breast arousing a semi-naked young girl, caused outrage. This is Germany's first ever solo exhibition of his work, with about 70 paintings and drawings from the period 1932 to 1960. Balthus - real name Balthasar Klossowski - died in 2001. Although his art may be gaining acceptance, he'd probably be on the Sex Offenders Register if he painted such pictures in Britain today. And young Thérèse, who features in a number of his paintings, would have been traumatized by social workers trying to make her confess to being a victim of abuse!

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Tunick In The Alps

Spencer Tunick's Nudes Posing near Swiss glacier Aletsch (2007)US photographer Spencer Tunick is at it again, this time in the Swiss Alps. He persuaded nearly 600 volunteers to strip to the buff and pose at the edge of the melting Aletsch glacier (a protected Unesco World Heritage site). Greenpeace commissioned Tunick's latest flesh extravaganza to raise awareness about global warming. I'm afraid these hardy folks must do more than just get their kit off to tackle global warming. Ditch the cars, luvs, and the foreign holidays.

Flashy Convenience

An Entertaining Modern LooIf you've been guzzling Coke, you'll need one of these. Whether you fancy being confronted by photos of women armed with cameras or measuring devices or merely silly expressions is another matter. As far as Coxoft Art is concerned, the vital question must be: Is this a work of art or merely a flashy loo?

Blake's Coca-Cola Ad

Coca-Cola BottlesIf you fancy watching Sir Peter Blake advertising Coca-Cola, he's doing it at the South Bank in London, starting today and continuing all week. His aim is to create a 20-ft-high work of art featuring the iconic 75-year-old Coke bottle. I wonder how much Coca-Cola is paying him to advertise their burp-making product. Scary thought: Coca-Cola is the top-selling grocery brand in the UK (CLICK). How embarrassing!

Alnwick Castle OK

Alnwick Castle, NorthumberlandSlightly more than 1,200 adults voted in a Virgin Travel Insurance poll to find the best and worst tourist traps at home and abroad. This is a tiny percentage of the millions of tourists who visit these places. The chance of producing what scientists call "a level of significance" from such a pathetic sample of rubber-neckers is zero, but BBC News, which is constantly proving its scientific ignorance, is excited by the results. No wonder people are confused by the contradictory findings the Beeb keeps throwing at them. Anyway, the poll's top tourist trap in the UK is Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, used as the exterior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. With or without the poll's dubious thumbs up, it looks well worth a visit (CLICK). For the rest of this list - "interesting but stupid" - click the title link.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Laurel & Hardy Statue

Graham Ibbeson - Eric Morecambe Statue (1999)Graham Ibbeson's sculpture of Eric Morecambe (1999) at Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, won him the commission to create a bronze sculpture of Laurel and Hardy for the town of Ulverston in Furness, Cumbria, where Stan Laurel was born. Ibbeson completed the work in 2005, but it has remained under wraps, awaiting improvements to County Square in Ulverston, where it will stand. South Lakeland District Council has recently agreed to spend £100,000 on improving the square. About time! So, in 18 months, Laurel and Hardy may finally be unveiled.

Steven Campbell R.I.P.

Steven Campbell - Devil and Boat (1993)Coxsoft Art concludes its quartet of posts which began with Censorship in Art by reporting the untimely death of Scottish artist Steven Campbell on Wednesday, aged 53 (title link). Here's a fine example of his work: Devil and Boat (1993). Lost the thread? Peter Howson (next post down) moved to Scotland as a boy and in the 1980's became one of that group of Scottish artists known as the New Glasgow Boys. Steven Campbell was another of the New Glasgow Boys.

Madonna Nude

Peter Howson - two portraits of Madonna imagined in the nudeStill bemused by censorship in art (next two posts down), Coxsoft Art wonders whether Brit. artists get round their embarrassment over seductive nudity by making it look as ugly as possible. Remember Lucien Freud's ghastly portrait of Kate Moss in the nuddy (CLICK)? Well, here are London-born Peter Howson's nude portraits of Madonna. Isn't it amazing how a sexy lady can be transmogrified into something that has absolutely no sex appeal whatsoever? It's a sort of castrated pornography that gives Mr and Mrs Censor nothing to complain about and the rest of us nothing to enjoy.

Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley - Bathyllus Taking The Pose (1896)For those of you who would prefer a rude Aubrey Beardsley to Sue Lyon as Lolita, here it is: Bathyllus Taking The Pose (1896), a cartoon lampooning the object of desire of a sexually disorientated Greek poet. See the next post down or click the title link.