Sunday, 31 May 2009

Mail shows Worth1000

Anonymous Artist - Portrait Of A Pussy in imitation of Van Der Weyden's Portrait Of A LadyThe Mail Online has discovered, but doesn't tell you that its gallery of animals in the style of old-master portraits was created by amateur digital artists using Photoshop. (This is one of the reasons I complain about overpaid Big Names selling rubbish as "art"!) Portrait Of A Pussy is based on Van Der Weyden's Portrait Of A Lady. Click the title link for more graphics and a plethora of puns. Visit and enter one of its competitions (CLICK). You might win $1000.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Madonna & Guy Update

Vanity Fair Madonna Cover May 2008Peter Howson's insultingly crude oil painting Madonna & Guy (2005) failed to reach its reserve price of £15,000 at McTear's auction in Glasgow today. Oh, hard cheese, Mr Private Collector. I'm not posting Howson's tripe again. So here's the real thing, give or take some retouching: detail from Vanity Fair's Madonna Cover of May 2008 (CLICK). How to look good at knocking on 50! Now scroll down or CLICK to compare it with Howson's painting.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Art News Trivia

Anish Kapoor's Yellow; Marmite Jesus; Tracey Emin's Trauma Time, embroidered blanket (2009)Those darlings of the Brit. Anti-art Establishment, Anish Kapoor and Tracey Emin, are in the news again. On the left is Kapoor's Yellow. Yes, we can't argue with that title. Tin of boot polish? You can see it in the Royal Academy of Arts from 26 September until 11 December (CLICK). Why bother? The crude junk on the far right is Tracey Emin's embroidered blanket Trauma Time (2009). "Emin bares all in new exhibition" yaps BBC News. Panting in excitement it points out that the highlight of the show, which opened today, is a film animation of a woman masturbating. Voyeurs will find this tripe at the White Cube Gallery, Mason's Yard, London, until 4 July. It's called Tracey Emin: Those who suffer Love (CLICK). And the one in the middle? A family of religious nutters claims this is a portrait of Jesus they found inside a Marmite cap (CLICK). Looks like Che Guevara to me.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Madonna For Sale

Peter Howson - Madonna & Guy (2005)Flogging pictures of Madonna in the buff is in vogue this year. The latest to go under the hammer is Peter Howson's crude Madonna & Guy (2005). That's ex-hubby Guy Ritchie. As portraits go, it's tripe; but Madonna's fame makes it worth an estimated £22,000. It's up for grabs this Saturday in McTear's Scottish Contemporary Art Auction in Glasgow. Don't think I'll bother, thanks.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Eno Lights Sails

Brian Eno - 77 Million Paintings (2009)Yesterday evening the Luminous festival of sound and light in Sydney was launched by Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings lighting up the "sails" of Sydney Opera House. Software manipulates 300 of Eno's drawings to create a constantly changing layer of abstract images dissolving into one another. The work was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2006. Judging by this photo, the effect is gross; but Eno is curating Luminous, so it's his show.

Johnny Morant - Solo

Johnny Morant - Two Paintings: Dijon and Padstow HarbourHere are two oil paintings by Johnny Morant - Dijon and Padstow Harbour - which give you a good idea how he captures natural light whatever the setting. There are only two days left of his first solo exhibition Out And About, at the Tryon Gallery in Bury Street, St James's, London. (I received this news late last night.) There are 54 of his oil paintings on display. Click the title link to see more of his work online.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Model wearing Swans Bra, Bunka, Japan (2009)Some people seem to think that adding an embellishment to a piece of craftsmanship (or craftspersonship, to be politically correct) transmogrifies it into an art form. Not so. Here's a perfect example from a fashion show in Bunka, Japan. The model is swanning around in underwear designed by a contestant for the Triumph Inspiration Awards 2009 (title link). Nice knickers. Shame about the bra. Maybe just a teeny bit OTT? What a load of Bunka!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Obama Body Painting

Body-painted Portrait of US President Barack Obama (2009)Here's the latest portrait of US President Barack Obama. It's the first time I've seen body painting on four models to make one picture. Cheeky, but not entirely successful. This reminds me, the World Bodypainting Festival™ takes place in Seeboden, Austria, from 13 – 19 July 2009. Click the title link for details and prices (in euro thingies). Isn't it time we organised a similar festival in Britain? What about the London Borough of Redbridge? Valentines Park would be perfect. A body-painted model pretending to be a statue at the Redbridge Green Fair yesterday attracted crowds of curious youngsters and caused no complaints. Go for it, Redbridge. It could be a nice little earner.

Top Welsh Artist

Corrie Chiswell - DisillusionThe Welsh Artist of the Year 2009 is digital artist Tim Freeman, who uses Photoshop to create multi-layered images. Yesterday he received a cheque for £2000 at the award ceremony in St David's Hall, Cardiff. As I've seen much better Photoshop images, here's Disillusion by Corrie Chiswell, who won the painting award. The exhibition continues until 25 July. Click the title link to view Tim Freeman's winning Hidden System and other winners (there are nine categories, including drawing).

UFO Over Rio

Peter Coffin - UFO in Gdansk, Poland (2009)If you happened to be sunbathing in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, you could hardly have missed Peter Coffin's U.F.O. flying over the beach as part of a weekend of cultural activities. Unfortunately it needs to be transported by helicopter, which rather spoils the illusion of an alien flying saucer. The aluminum artwork boasts 15,000 lights and screens. Flashy, if nothing else. Smarter than your average hovercraft, Boo Boo.

Sunday, 24 May 2009


Raqib Shaw - UntitledThis strange piece by Raqib Shaw is one of the exhibits in Paperview, which opens at the John Jones Project Space in London on Friday 29 May. As you might guess from the title, this show celebrates paper. It brings together works by 75 artists from around the world. Click the title link to learn more.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Art Snippets

Tony Curtis - Painting of a TableYesterday in London, ageing movie star Tony Curtis visited Harrods to launch a collection of his artworks, which are fetching up to £23,000, example shown (CLICK). BBC News has posted a video of silly people doing silly things with Robert Morris's silly Bodyspacemotionthings (1971 & 2009) in Tate Passé (CLICK). And congratulations to Brit. architect Lord Norman Foster - famous for his Gherkin -, who has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Arts, one of Spain's highest honours, worth £44,000. He will receive the award from Crown Prince Felipe in October (CLICK).

Friday, 22 May 2009

Lowry Fetches £541,250

LS Lowry - A Market Place, Berwick-upon-Tweed (1935)Christie's London auction of L.S. Lowry's A Market Place, Berwick-upon-Tweed (1935), which I mentioned last month (CLICK), did better than its top estimate of £500,000 and made £541,250, despite the recession. That's a nice little profit for Cambridgeshire County Council, which bought the painting for 30 guineas in 1945. The money will go toward its "cultural programme". Something gross?

Threadneedle Prize

The Threadneedle Prize Dummy (2008)Fancy your chance of winning the Threadneedle Prize, worth £25,000? This is the competition which lets the public vote for one of a handful of third rate entries selected by the judges. We don't get to vote for the good stuff, because the judges don't appreciate it. I guess that's why they chose a dummy to represent the competition. (Look at the portrait that won the Archibald People’s Choice Prize 2009: CLICK). The deadline for registration is 1 June. Click the title link to register up to three works online.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Savoy Artist

Peter Brown NEAC - Autumn Morning Mist, Richmond Bridge (Sold)In 2006 UK artist Peter Brown NEAC was invited to became the first artist in residence at the Monet Suite in London's famous Savoy Hotel (CLICK). He's a member of The New English Art Club (NEAC), The Pastel Society, The Royal institute of Oil Painters and Bath Society of Artists. His paintings of London are on display at Messums, 8 Cork Street, W1S 3LJ, until 30 May. Click the title link for an online gallery of exhibits. Above is Autumn Morning Mist, Richmond Bridge, which is already sold.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Free The Lady

Aung San Suu KyiAs I'm sure you all know, Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been rearrested on the orders of those cowardly Burmese generals who are terrified of what she represents: their downfall. The pretext? Some Yankee Mormon fruitcake swam across a nearby lake to say "Howdy"! Is he in the pay of the generals? the CIA? or merely wanting her to join the Church of Latter Day Saints? Whatever his motivation, he gave the generals the excuse they so desperately needed. Avaaz has organised a petition to be sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon calling on him to make the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma a top priority. The petition will be presented on 26 May. Click the title link to sign it. Latest news: CLICK.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Paradise in Plasticine

James May et al - Plasticine Plant (RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009)The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which opened to the public today, invariably produces some interesting art. In fact one can safely write that there is more art in Chelsea this week than there has ever been in Tate Modern. BBC Top Gear presenter James May has stirred up controversy this year with Paradise in Plasticine, designed by James May, Chris Collins, sculptress Jane McAdam Freud and Julian Fullalove with additional advice from 3D Studios' modeller Paul Baker, who creates "foodscapes" with Carl Warner (CLICK), and with help from schoolchildren and Chelsea pensioners. All the plants and insects in this garden are made of Plasticine. A prize is doubtful - about a third of points awarded is for the plants -, but surely the designers must receive an honourable mention for sheer cheek. (Click the title link for more photos.)
Update: James and his team were awarded the first ever NHS Plasticine Gold Medal.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Arte Povera

Robert Morris - Bodyspacemotionthings (1971)It's silly time at Tate Modern again. Robert Morris's girlie log-rolling thingy with sandbags, so the little darlings don't spin out of control, is part of Bodyspacemotionthings (1971) derived from Arte Povera (don't ask). This interactive twaddle is recreated in the Turbine Hall as part of UBS Openings: The Long Weekend 2009 from Friday 22 May to Monday 25 May (title link). A playground for childish grown-ups who know nothing about art; perfect for Tate Modern.

Sex Theme Park Gone!

Writtorn Narapaipimol, Sorrawee Nattee and Napatsawan Cholakorn, Miss Tiffany's Universe 2009Barely had we time to get excited about the erotic artwork in Love Land, China's first sex theme park, and book our holidays in Chongqing, when China Daily breaks the news that the place has been demolished! The local authorities got their knickers in a twist and sent in the bulldozers over the weekend. So it's goodbye legs (yesterday's blog: CLICK). As a substitute, here's a pic from one of the five top news stories in today's China Daily, showing Sorrawee Nattee, flanked by Writtorn Narapaipimol (left) and Napatsawan Cholakorn (right), winner of Miss Tiffany's Universe 2009, held in Pattaya, Thailand. It's a beauty pageant for transsexuals! These three lovelies were all born boys (CLICK). There's got to be an art form somewhere in there. Or a theme park.

Jade Ewen Videos

Jade Ewen: cover photo for It's My Time (2009)The Eurovision Song Contest is like swine flu: tacky, unpleasant and best avoided. However, while in my post-dinner stupor I did watch Eurovision 2009: Jade's Story, which followed the news on BBC One. I must add that Lord Webber was absolutely right to ditch the first video for Jade's single. The director filmed her as though she were the ghost of Dickens' Miss Havisham lost in a country house. Ghastly. The hurriedly reshot video, although old-fashioned, is an improvement. Regardless of Jade's placing in the tawdry Euro show (fifth) a star was born. It's My Time is released today. Click the title link for Jade's website.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Chinese Sex Theme Park

Revolving Legs Sculpture, Love Land, Chongqing, China (2009)This giant revolving sculpture of a woman's lower half is one of the attractions in Love Land, the first sex theme park in China. It's being built in Chongqing and will open to the public in October, but already this sculpture is prompting complaints from the locals, who think it's in bad taste. Wait till they see the naked bodies and giant genitalia promised by Lu Xiaoqing, the park's creator! And there will be sex-technique workshops and safe-sex methods too. Aw, strewth, Chang. What's the world coming to? Free condoms in your cornflakes next.


Tom Hunter - Michael Hoffman as a City Merchant c.1750 and Model Y Ford 8 motor car 1932-7 (2009)The Museum of London recently opened a photographic display by Tom Hunter in its foyer: Flashback, a series of photo portraits which throw together costumes and artifacts from different eras. Here is Michael Hoffman, chair of the Museum of London Development Board, dressed as an 18th Century merchant banker juxtaposed with a Model Y Ford 8 motor car from 1932-7. It looks the type of thing that advertising agencies concoct to grab our attention: slick, gimmicky and shallow, but the image sticks in memory. How annoying!

People’s Choice

Vincent Fantauzzo - Brandon Walters (2009)Can the people be trusted to choose art? wonders The Art Fund in the UK. They certainly can in Australia. English-born Melbourne artist Vincent Fantauzzo has won the Archibald People’s Choice Prize with this gobsmacking portrait of child actor Brandon Walters, who played the young boy Nullah in Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia. It's the second year running Vincent has won this prize, and with a portrait of an actor. In 2008 he won it with his triple portrait of Heath Ledger (CLICK). I remarked on the cleverness of that portrait (CLICK). This one is even more impressive. The panoramic frame, the boy's hard stare and the shaft of sunlight cutting across his face, putting one eye in deep shadow, all reflect a dramatic movie image befitting an actor as well as creating a deeply psychological portrait. This aboriginal boy is a real person staring back at you.
And the winner of the $50,000 Archibald Prize 2009? Sir Les Patterson and his panel of Philistines strike again (CLICK). The Art Fund should be asking the question: Can the Art Establishment be trusted to choose art?

Friday, 15 May 2009

Coxsoft Retouching

Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez' Sculptures with and without Tracey Emin (2008)Re. retouching (next post down). Here's one I did earlier. Left: the original photo with Tracey Emin, right: I.C. retouched to remove her. I must admit I went OTT, because I wanted to show Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez' bed-post sculptures without the intrusive Miss Emin. I left her boots in as a joke. A serious US art website took my graphic off the Internet without reading my blog and posted it with a daft caption about Emin's boots (CLICK)!

Need Retouching?

John French - Fashion Photograph, London (1960s)Ever wondered how fashion models manage to appear on the covers of glossy magazines without a hair out of place or a pimple in sight? Now's your chance to find out. London's V&A Museum is offering a one-day Digital Retouching Course: Cover Me Beautiful on Sunday 31 May or Friday 5 June. Professional digital retouching artist Joan Torrelles will reveal the tricks of the trade in the Sackler Centre's Digital Studio, from 10.30 to 17.00 ... er ... 5pm. The cost is £60 - no concessions - and you need basic computer skills. You must book: call +44 (0)20 7942 2211 or click the title link to order online.

Manic Art Oo-er

Jenny Saville - Cover painting for Manic Street Preachers' album Journal For Plague Lovers (2009)This painting by Jenny Saville, used as the cover for the new Manic Street Preachers' album Journal For Plague Lovers has caused a rumpus among the big supermarkets. Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have all demanded the publishers supply the album in a sleeve to hide the "inappropriate" artwork. I guess they don't want to give boys the idea of head-butting their raspberries. If the idea caught on, it could cost them a bomb in fruit.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Fertility or Nuture?

Photo: H. Jensen, Tübingen University - The Venus of Hohle FelsThis 6cm-tall figurine with disproportionally large breasts, buttocks and vulva, carved in mammoth ivory, is thought to be at least 35,000 years old. She's The Venus of Hohle Fels Cave, Germany, found in six fragments last September. Her "head" is a ring, which allows the figurine to be worn. Primitive Man obviously didn't need a woman with a head, so long as all the rude bits were there! Fertility symbol? With mammary glands that would make a Friesian cow blush, more a symbol of nurturing. We tend to forget how dependant infants are on mother's milk and how nursing mothers need a consistent supply of good food. Not much point in being fertile if all the babies starve to death. Those breasts would feed an entire village.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Books & CDs Sale

Book SaleLocal news: Central Library in Clements Road, Ilford, is having a major sale of books and CDs this coming Saturday 16 May, from 10am to 3pm. There'll be more than 1,200 CDs on offer catering for every musical taste from classical to Bollywood, priced £1 or sets £2. Not to be missed.

Arabella Dorman

Graphic for Frontlines Images from Iraq at Frost & Reed 12th - 30th May 2009A month ago I previewed Arabella Dorman's forthcoming exhibition at Frost & Reed in London: Frontlines - Images from Iraq (CLICK). It opened yesterday and BBC News has posted an excellent slide show by Stuart Hughes and Paul Kerley (title link). We've all seen those ghastly TV art programmes in which some potty prof. pontificates about his prejudices while intrusive music thumps our ears and the camera jumps all over the place because the producer doesn't want to bore his audience with static art. Well, Hughes and Kerley show TV how it should be done. After a few photos of artist Arabella Dorman with the troops, the show glides from one key exhibit to the next while Arabella provides the voiceover, unpretentiously explaining her aims in a pleasant, articulate voice. Highly recommended. All producers of art programmes on TV should be forced to watch it. Potty profs too. And artists!

Pop Life

David Hockney - Andy Warhol (1974)If you need seven good reasons for avoiding Tate Modern's autumn show Pop Life: Art in a Material World, click the title link. The images make you wonder whether Pop Art ever existed or was merely a figment of media hype. Still, we have David Hockney's Mickey-taking portrait of the Prince of Pop Art Andy Warhol (1974) to prove that something silly happened in the era of mods and rockers, bum-freezer jackets and winkle-picker shoes. Like all outmoded fashions, Pop Art is something rather embarrassing that's best forgotten.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Pillars of Creation

NASA - The Pillars of CreationThe Hubble Space Telescope is in the news at the moment, so the BBC has posted some of the best images taken by Hubble (title link). This awesome picture shows The Pillars of Creation, vast columns of cool interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula. This is the stuff that incubates new stars. Yet again, science has beaten art at its own game. And what price Humanity's feeble little gods when compared with that unimaginable power which creates stars, planets and us? (Note: I've taken the hard edges off the original composite image.)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Damien Hirst Painting!

Damien Hirst with and without SpectaclesOn the left you see Moneybags Hirst, shark stuffer with trademark spectacles, doing his thing to entertain a bank of press photographers. On the right is the new Moneybags without spectacles (contact lenses?) trying to look like a serious artist. Stung by Coxsoft Art News' constant sniping at his conceptual tosh, he's started painting again and will be showing off his new oil paintings at the Wallace Collection in October, only the second living artist to have a solo show there. I'm breathless with anticipation! Or is it hiccups?

Art Daily's 13th

Art Daily Front Page Friday 1 April 2009The award-winning website Art Daily, "The First Art Newspaper on the Net", is celebrating its 13th anniversary by opening its archives and exhibiting its past front pages. This thumbnail shows its front page for Friday 1 April 2009. Click the title link to view all the front pages for April; then click on your selected thumbnail to read the front page news for that day. The plan is to add more of these monthly archives "bit by bit". I receive Art Daily e-news every day and find many interesting stories in it for my blog. Happy anniversary, Art Daily. Keep up the good work.

John Busby Honoured

John BusbyCongratulations to Scottish wildlife artist John Busby (shown), who has been selected by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, USA, as Master Wildlife Artist 2009. This annual award honours an artist whose work is considered to be an outstanding achievement in the use of bird imagery in art. More than a dozen of John's watercolors and drawings will be included in the museum's 34th annual Birds in Art® exhibition in the autumn (CLICK). John will receive his award on 11 September and talk about his art the following day during the Birds in Art® opening day Meet the Artists event. He has illustrated more than 35 books about birds and animals and is the author of Drawing Birds (CLICK ).

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Photo Portrait Prize

Photo by Elizabeth Zeschin - Ellie (2008) © Elizabeth ZeschinDust off your Brownie box camera (CLICK); you are invited to submit your portrait photos to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2009. It's worth £12,000 to the winner. Entrants must be "over 18". Whether that means one day over or 19 years is anybody's guess. The online closing date is 6 July. Beware the gobbledygook: "photography concerned with portraying people with emphasis on their identity as individuals". In plain English, you must try to capture the subject's personality, psychology or vocation. Click the title link to find out how to enter the competition.

Wildlife at The Mall

Montage for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2009 & Three Generations ExhibitionThe Mall Galleries website has been completely redesigned. The good news is that it looks more modern and attractive. Also, each page now has its own Web address. The bad news is that it loads very slowly, even on broadband, and is confusing to navigate. Give us a clear menu for Goodness' sake! The above montage reveals The Mall's next major event: Wildlife Artist of the Year 2009 & Three Generations Exhibition (title link). David Shepherd CBE is marking the 25th anniversary of his Wildlife Foundation with his first ever London retrospective. Original artwork by his daughter, Mandy Shepherd, and grand-daughter, Emily Lamb, will also be on display (hence the title) plus wildlife paintings from other international artists. The show runs for only five days, from 2 to 6 June, admission free. Don't miss it. All profit from sales will help save wildlife.

Big Art on 4

Channel 4 LogoChannel 4's Big Art series, which I mentioned nearly a fortnight ago (CLICK) starts this evening at 7pm. Yes, I know it's a bit late to remind you, but I've been pruning shrubs in my back garden for most of the day and only just wondered what was on TV to keep me from blogging. Not a lot. Back later.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Pompeii Frescoes

Unknown Artist - Fresco from Pompeii (pre 79 AD)While I'm on the subject of art from Pompeii (next post down), here's one of 400 frescoes recently returned to display at the Naples National Archaeological Museum after a decade of restoration. Viewers of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and similar shows might wonder why a female corpse from the autopsy room is being held in an upright posture, but that's her necklace, not post-autopsy stitches! I find it rather scary that without the intervention of tons of volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, all these examples of the art of Imperial Rome would have vanished forever.

Ephebe at Getty Villa

Unknown Artist - Statue of an Ephebe (Youth) as Lampbearer (c. 20-10 B.C.)How many of today's British art school graduates would be capable of producing a sculpture approaching the quality of this 2000-year-old statue? An unknown artist created Statue of an Ephebe (Youth) as Lampbearer around 20-10 BC. The bronze is inlaid with copper and glass. The statue was excavated from the ashes of Pompeii in 1925. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples has lent it to the J. Paul Getty Museum, which is now displaying it at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California. Entrance is free, but you must book (CLICK). Note: I've enhanced an edited version of the original graphic (title link) by increasing GAMMA and CONTRAST with XnView.

Suspect Image

Anonymous Artist - Sketch of Suspect in Madeleine CaseThis is the latest image to be released by Kate and Gerry McCann in their continuing quest to find their daughter Madeleine. It's an artist's impression of a man seen watching the McCanns' holiday apartment at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz prior to Madeleine's abduction. The artwork may not be brilliant, but it puts a suspect into the public arena, a thin man of indeterminate age with a rocker hairstyle, a big nose and pimples. If the Portuguese fuzz had done their job properly, this image would have been produced two years ago. All they did was obscure the case with false allegations against the McCanns. Such incredible police incompetence made it seem as though detectives were more interested in protecting Portuguese paedophiles than in finding Madeleine. Maybe they were. Maybe they still are! Two retired British detectives are now working on the case for the McCanns, following up recent leads.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Madonna in Brighton

Photo: Martin Schreiber - Madonna (1979)Remember that nude photo of Madonna, taken by Lee Friedlander in 1979 when she was still a shy and retiring unknown, auctioned in February (CLICK)? Well, 1979 must have been a good year for catching Madonna in the buff, because another US photographer - Martin Schreiber - snapped her too, for the princely sum of $30. The Madonna Nudes 30th Anniversary Exhibition is exclusively at the Impure Art Gallery in Brighton until 28 June. It looks more interesting than that monstrous garish tosh which Anish Kapoor erected for this year's Brighton Festival. (He's the Guest Artistic Director CLICK.)

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Art Fund Prize

Josiah Wedgwood - Portland VaseThe four galleries/museums shortlisted for The Art Fund Prize of £100,000 have been announced. They are The Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent (CLICK), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow (CLICK), Ruthin Craft Centre in Denbighshire, Wales (CLICK) and the Orleans House Gallery in west London (CLICK). The winner will be announced on 18 June at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Coxsoft Art Update

George Rennie - Cupid Rekindling the Torch of Hymen (1831) 3 viewsToday I finally got round to updating my neglected website, which has been on hold while I explored my new wonder PC and transferred files from my museum piece, such as WS_FTP_95. Yes, it still works after 14 years! I've added a freshly combined graphic to my What's New page: 3 views of Cupid Rekindling the Torch of Hymen (1831) by Scottish sculptor, later Member of Parliament, George Rennie. Despite appearances, which strongly suggest that Cupid would do anything for a lick of Hymen's ice cream, this statue symbolizes what politicians call "family values". Hymen was the Greek god of marriage, the protector and guardian of fidelity. When love needed rekindling, Cupid blew on Hymen's torch! That's the myth, anyway. Rennie's fine neoclassical marble statue is back on display in the V&A's Sculpture Court, well lit and you can see it in the round. Click the title link to view the full graphic.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Hockney on Photoshop

David Hockney - Rainy Night (2008)David Hockney has gone all hi-tech with Photoshop and a graphics tablet, and the results are hopeless! Look at these street lights in a downpour: Rainy Night (2008). I would have hit the DELETE button, but my name isn't David Hockney. This is one of 28 limited edition prints he's exhibiting for the first time at Annely Juda Fine Art in London, 1 May until 11 July (title link). The show includes 10 Yorkshire landscapes and 18 portraits of his brother, sister, friends and colleagues. I suggest he visits Worth1000 (CLICK) to see what talented amateur artists can do with Photoshop. The latest comp. is Say Cheese.

Dali & Tamara Stolen

Tamara de Lempicka - La Musicienne; Salvador Dali - Adolescence (1941)A gang of masked robbers stole two paintings at gunpoint from the Scheringa Museum for Realist Art in Spanbroek - a town north of Amsterdam - last Friday. The paintings stolen are La Musicienne by Tamara de Lempicka and Adolescence by Salvador Dali (1941). These paintings are so well known that I fail to see how the thieves can hope to make any money out of them.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Descent of Man

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz - Illusions of a King (2008) © the artistYesterday Wolfe von Lenkiewicz The Descent of Man opened at All Visual Arts in London and continues until 31 May (title link). Despite this colourful oil painting, Illusions of a King (2008), most of von Lenkiewicz's 80 plus works on display are pencil drawings and have the look of old sepia prints. Lighter paper, please, Wolfe, so we can see your detailed doodles.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Madeleine At Six

Computer generated 'age progression' image of Madeleine McCann aged 6 (2009)Tomorrow, 3 May, is the second anniversary of the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann while on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal. This is a computer generated "age progression" image of how Madeleine might look now, at the age of 6, issued by her parents in hope of finding her. What concerns me about this image is that the girl depicted looks American. Don't ask me why I think this. It's just how the image strikes me. So, how accurate is it? Let's hope Kate and Gerry McCann have the opportunity to find out.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Swine Flu Relief

Anonymous Artist - Oinksip Max (2009)Worried about Swine Flu? There's nothing like BBC News and Gordon Brown telling us not to worry to get everyone in a sweat. Don't panic! The answer is here, sent to me today: Oinksip Max, 10 sachets flavoured with lemon and apple sauce with a hint of stuffing. This is the maximum media paranoia formula, guaranteed to refresh your trotters and clear those snuffly snouts. Isn't it a pleasant change to see a talented artist having fun with his creativity, instead of being a pretentious prat?

Dancing Cockatoo

H. James - Sulphur-crested CockatooIf you haven't seen Snowball, the dancing sulphur-crested cockatoo, stomping to his favourite tune - Backstreet Boys' Everybody -, you must pay him a visit (title link for video). The tune is played at three different tempos and Snowball keeps time with all three. (Note: I've taken the liberty of adding a light blue background to H. James' excellent illustration of a sulphur-crested cockatoo, to make the bird show up better.)