Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dobson at 400

The National Portrait Gallery in London is displaying four oil paintings by William Dobson in Room 6 to mark the 400th anniversary of his birth. Dobson was appointed King Charles I’s Principal Painter following the death of Sir Anthony van Dyck in 1641. At the outbreak of civil war he joined the king at Oxford and painted many leading Royalists. John Aubrey described him as ‘the most excellent painter that England hath yet bred’. This portrait shows Richard Neville (c.1643). Prints from the Archive by William Faithorne are also on show. The display runs until 18 March 2012, entry free (title link).

Draw Your Weapons

Tomorrow the National Army Museum in London opens Draw Your Weapons: the Art of Commando Comics, which runs until 30 April 2012, entry free (title link). DC Thomson created the Commando comic series in 1961 and this year the comic is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One of its recent issues Space Watch has British space cruiser Ark Royal attacked by rocket ships, presumably manned by David Cameron and his cohorts. CLICK for a Telegraph slide show of covers.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Expensive Letter

If I offered you this pathetic painting of a Man Posting a Letter (1967) for £160,000 to £200,000, you would probably tell me to get on my bike. But if I waved the name LS Lowry at you and you had the readies you might feel tempted. It's one of four Lowry's coming up for grabs at Morphets, Harrogate, on 8 September (title link for BBC News). CLICK for Morphets.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Graffiti Castle

The Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Boyle, wants to keep the graffiti mural which a team of Brazilian artists painted on Kelburn Castle in 2007 at a cost of £20,000. North Ayrshire Council granted permission for the graffiti, providing it remained for no more than three years. Author and designer Tristan Manco has named it as one of the Top Ten examples of street art. It looks like a tawdry Disneyland show to me. Historic Scotland will have a say.


The next exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London is ZANN: A collection of paintings and drawings by Azerbaijani artist Kabira Alieva. It runs from 5 to 10 September. I'm not sure what this painting At Rest depicts. An antelope with droopy horns? Haven't we enough bad artists in the UK without importing them from Azerbaijan? The Sabina Rakcheyeva Ensemble will add music to the show, which is sponsored by The European Azerbaijan Society. Admission is free.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Rhino Thieves

A week ago I posted Rhino News (CLICK). On Friday night thieves broke into the Tring branch of London's Natural History Museum and stole replica rhino horns with no resale value. The real horns were put into secure storage a few months ago (title link). INTERPOL reckons these rhino-horn thieves are an Irish gang. It's good they got away with nothing, but this is the second time Tring has lost exhibits. There is a need to improve security.

Hunger Strike Ends

Frail 74-year-old Anna Hazare has ended his 12-day hunger strike against corruption in India on the promise that the Jan Lokpal (Citizens' Ombudsman) bill will be strengthened to include the prime minister. Above are two cuties giving him his first drink of fruit juice. Graft seems endemic in India (title link).

Animation Festival

LIAF Trailer 2011 (Daniela Ochoa Negrin) by LIAFanimation

Here's a trailer for the London International Animation Festival 2011 (LIAF) which has moved this year to the Barbican. Nearly 300 films from around the world will be screened, the majority for adults (title link for details). CLICK for a soppy BBC News video by Anna Holligan.

Golden Fist Update

With dire shortages of food, water, petrol and medical supplies in Tripoli, you would think the rebels had more pressing concerns than using a crane to remove Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's funky Golden Fist clutching a US jet from his Bab al-Aziziya compound. I reckon the CIA must have bribed them to remove this embarrassment to Uncle Sam. The latest from the psychopath is that he's now ready to begin talks to transfer power (title link). Maybe he hasn't noticed in his underground bunker that power has already been removed from his grasp.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Wallace Collection

The latest What's On at The Wallace Collection emagazine is available online (title link). There are various family activities, adult art classes, a seminar on collecting art and antiques and on Saturday 10 September, 11am - 4pm, a free drop-in workshop: Swords and Shields: The World of Sikh Warriors. Celebrate Anglo-Sikh Heritage Month and examine such objects as the sword of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. You can take home things made.

Carnival in London

Mayor Bouncy Boris hopes this weekend's Notting Hill Carnival in London will "help heal wounds" left by the recent riots (CLICK). The police have been rounding up thugs in preparation for Carnival, which begins today with the National Panorama Competition to find the top UK steel band. It begins at 4pm in Horniman’s Pleasance Park, Kensal Road, London W10. Sunday sees the Children’s and Family-day Carnival Parade, which is usually trouble free. Monday is the main Carnival Parade. All the events are free (title link).

Bad Public Art has announced its Top 10 Places With Bad Public Art (title link). The selection team obviously doesn't travel much outside the USA. It includes only two from Europe and none from the UK.

1) Forever Marilyn by Seward Johnson; Chicago, Illinois
2) Cow Parade (no permanent location)
3) Mary Tyler Moore Statue; Minneapolis
4) Lifesaver by Niki de Saint Phalle; Duisburg, Germany
5) The Calling by Mark di Suvero; Milwaukee
6) Winkler Prins Monument by Anthony Winkler Prins; Amsterdam, The Netherlands
7) Magic Carpet Ride (Cardiff Kook) by Matthew Antichevich; Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
8) Caliope by Joe Slusky; Berkeley, California
9) Monument with Standing Beast by Jean Dubuffet; Chicago, Illinois
10) Bewitched Statue; Salem, Massachusetts.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Van Gogh Found

This painting of Vincent Van Gogh - the only full-length portrait of the artist known to exist - has been exciting folks at the Abbey Walk Gallery in Grimsby. A couple from Louth bought the pastel painting at auction in France for 1,700 euro thingies 18 months ago. Since then, they've been getting experts to evaluate it. Favourable responses with some bet hedging. What does it for me is that the back of the painting bears the words 'L'Incompris' (The Misunderstood) and the signature of French female artist Jeanne Donnadieu, who lived only four doors away from Van Gogh. The title captures him as well as does the brushwork.

The Lady

US street artist Shepard Fairey, who created the famous Hope poster of Barack Obama (CLICK), has made this poster for Luc Besson's new film The Lady about Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. If it seems a poor likeness of Ms Suu Kyi, that's because Shepard made it fit actress Michelle Yeoh, who plays Ms Suu Kyi in the movie. I must admit I can't imagine this as a Luc Besson vehicle. The Lady premieres at the Toronto Film Festival next month (title link).

Libyan Treasures

Director-General Irina Bokova of UNESCO announced yesterday that she has contacted "authorities" in Libya and neighboring countries to urge them "to protect Libya's invaluable cultural heritage" (title link). I hope she isn't referring to Colonel Gaddafi as one of those authorities. That delusional psychopath doesn't care about anything but himself. There are five World Heritage sites in Libya. The photo shows the Libyan Goddess Medusa (the Gorgon) guarding the Severan Forum in Leptis Magna, one of those UNESCO sites (CLICK). Let's hope Irini also put in a good word for Gaddafi's golden fist (CLICK).

Broken Hands

Award-winning Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat was forced from his car by masked gunmen in Damascus early yesterday morning, beaten up and had his hands broken. The thugs, presumably acting on behalf of Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad, told Ali "This is just a warning" as they beat him. "We will break your hands so that you'll stop drawing." Having broken his hands, they put a bag over his head and dumped him on the side of the road. He is now recovering in hospital (title link). His own prophetic cartoon depicted the situation in Syria 4 months ago: Smile. His website is reportedly shut down, but a cached version is still online (CLICK). Some of his cartoons were featured in the 2008 Telegraph exhibition in London Lighting lamps: cartoons from the Middle East. CLICK for a slide show of top cartoonists from the region.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Jurassic Mother

Here's another of those artist's impressions of a long-dead creature which I'm finding far more interesting than most contemporary art. This little fellow is Juramaia sinensis, which means "Jurassic mother from China”. Judging by its teeth, this small, tree-dwelling, shrew-like animal is the earliest fossil mammal ever found, and it takes our ancestors back another 35 million years. Zhe-Xi Luo wrote the paper for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, USA, posted today by Nature magazine and by BBC News (title link).

Amy Winehouse Portrait

With London commuters facing an 8% rise in fares, they probably won't feel too happy about Transport for London's wasting money on its projects for Art on the Underground, even if this painting by Johan Andersson of Amy Winehouse is rather good. The portrait will be exhibited at Camden Town Underground Station, near where Amy used to live. Since her death, Amy's Back to Black album has become the biggest-selling album in the UK in the 21st Century with sales of 3.26 million, according to the Official Charts Company (CLICK). What a wasted talent! Very sad.

Gaddafi Wanted

American cowboy movies continue to influence wanted posters. This one was recently issued by Libyan media group Al-Manara. With a little help from the CIA? The rebel coalition is offering a $1,700,000 reward for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi alias Billy The Kid. This looks more like a joke than a real poster. They missed out the "Dead or Alive" bit. Maybe it says that in Arabic. If the ex-tyrant is anywhere above ground, he's probably wearing a niqāb. If you see a pair of eyes like this, rip off the niqāb and risk getting your face slapped. If you want to know what a niqāb is, CLICK for a video by the Niqabitches (French version; the English version has a crap rap ghetto soundtrack).

Golden Fist

Oh, get off it, you daft clot. Haven't you anything better to do? That sculpture deserves to be in a museum.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Modern Slavery

Hardly a day goes by without its being an International Day for something or other: deserts, water, children. Did you know that yesterday was the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition? Well it was, and the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands opened a new exhibition to highlight modern-day trafficking and forced labour in London: Freedom from: Modern slavery in the capital. This is the Museum’s first cross-site exhibition. It runs until 20 November, entry free. The photo shows Sarah, a "survivor". Fashionable word. Click the title link.

Virtual Harvestmen

Compare this sublime artist's impression of Harvestmen (Ameticos scolos and Macrogyion cronos) with the "art" tosh in the next post down or CLICK. You might spot a descendant of one of these in your garden or perhaps even your house. They have been wandering around for 300 million years! Dr Russell Garwood, currently based at London's Natural History Museum, put harvestmen fossils from the Carboniferous Period into a computed tomography (CT) scanner, which generates 3D models of objects from a series of 2D X-ray images. More than 3,000 images of these two specimens were generated. Click the title link to view these "virtual harvestmen" which were extracted from fossils.

Vibrator Doodles

If you have ever wondered what today's students are taught in art colleges, here's your answer. Two students of the Royal Academy of Visual Art in The Hague, The Netherlands, are enjoying a workshop for graphic design in which a vibrator does its artistic thing. Yes, folks, its a black vibrator with an improvised drawing tool attached to it. Switch it on, stand it on its base and watch it doodle pictures for you. No wonder so many untalented drones spouting claptrap are churned out of art colleges nowadays. It's headbanging stuff ... er ....

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Gaddafi's Compound

After fierce fighting today, Libyan freedom fighters captured Colonel Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, his main base. And what do they do? Instead of locating Gaddafi and his family, they start kicking the artwork! This giant golden fist crushing a US fighter jet is Gaddafi's monument to the failed attack by the US in 1986. NATO bombing attacks this year have studiously avoided damaging the monument. Now the yobs are kicking it (title link). I can appreciate the need to topple self-aggrandizing statues of a hated tyrant, but destroying historic artworks is a poor way to start a new regime.

Frank Frazetta

Here's an artwork of sci-fi/fantasy I haven't come across before: Tomorrow Midnight (1966) by that great artist Frank Frazetta, who passed away last year. It's up for grabs on 12 September when The Jerry Weist Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy Art and Books comes up for sale at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills, estimated value upwards of $40,000 (title link). CLICK for an online gallery of his art. CLICK for Wikipedia's biography.

Komodo Dragon

This is only the second time I've shown a magnetic resonance image (MRI) on London Art News. Taken by Dr Bryan Fry of the University of Melbourne, it shows the venom glands (highlighted in red) inside the jaws of a Komodo dragon. Until two years ago it was thought that bacteria in the saliva of Komodo dragons infected and weakened their bitten prey. Then analysis of the dragon's venom found that it stops blood from clotting, causing a bitten victim to bleed to death or succumb to infection. The dragon will stalk its victim for days until it gets its meal. Dr Fry's researches were filmed for Natural World: Komodo - Secrets of the Dragon, which is on BBC Two tomorrow 24 August at 8pm (CLICK). For a slide show of this fearsome lizard, click the title link.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tower of Pisa

The BBC headline "Leaning Tower of Pisa straightened out" is all over the Internet and was daft, because the list has been corrected by just under 18 inches (45 Euro thingies). So Auntie changed its headline to "Leaning Tower of Pisa: a work in progress", which is also wrong, because the tower has been stabilized for the next 200 years. It has been completely restored and you can now climb its staircase to the top of the tower. Rajan Datar went for a gawk for BBC's Fast:track and got most of it wrong too (title link for video). The Leaning Tower is the popular name for the campanile (bell tower) of Pisa Cathedral, which stands in the Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) renamed the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). The tower has its own official website: CLICK.


The next exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London is BITE: Artists Making Prints, a new contemporary printmaking show. If the above detail from Bruce McLean's Pampas Grass doesn't put you off, note that Moneybags Hirst and two RA's will be exhibiting. Groan! The show opens next Wednesday 24 August and runs until Saturday 3 September, entry £2.50, silver surfers £1.50.

Goodbye Gaddafi

What began as peaceful anti-Gaddafi protests with patriotic face paintings (this one in Benghazi a few months ago) has become a popular revolution on the brink of success. Despite Western pundits proclaiming that Ramadan was a lousy time to forge ahead, the freedom fighters have entered Tripoli and latest reports suggest they have surrounded Colonel Gaddafi's compound, a fierce battle ensuing. Many of the citizens Gaddafi armed to defend Tripoli have turned out to be secret rebel supporters. Gaddafi's mercenaries have been shedding their uniforms, as mercenaries do when the paymaster looks unlikely to pay them. Two of Gaddafi's sons have been captured. Green Square has been taken and renamed Martyrs' Square. And, despite dire warnings from the Gaddafi regime about streets of blood, so far the conquest of Tripoli looks more civilized than the rioting and looting we saw in London two weeks ago.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Up Yours, No 10

I see Tracey Whatshername - you know, the clot BBC News is besotted with - has finished installing her latest load of neon tripe at No 10 Downing Street. And she promised to be good! It serves the Cameron's right for choosing such a plonker. No taste at No 10. They're letting the country down. And the art world.

Hippo Art

While I'm on the subject of what used to be called "big game", here's an Untitled hippopotamus by Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel, displayed at the 4th Yokohama Triennale of Contemporary Art, Japan, which runs until 6 November (title link). It's good to see representational works amid the tripe termed contemporary art, although this hippo isn't as realistic as those sculpted by Tessa Campbell Fraser for the owners of Myres Castle (CLICK).

Rhino News

Chinese folk medicine credits powdered rhino horn with the ability to cure everything from impotence to cancer. This insane belief has brought the animal to the brink of extinction. Rhino horn is now worth an incredible £50,000 a kilo. That's more than diamonds, gold or cocaine. Running out of rhinos to kill, the criminals have begun targeting natural history museums across Europe. Thieves broke into the Ipswich Museum in Essex recently and stole a rhino horn and a black rhino skull (CLICK). They are also buying up artifacts made from rhino horn to export to China. At the recent Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva, the UK has belatedly secured an agreement to curb the illegal trade in rhino horn. Britain will also spearhead a global campaign to disabuse Chinese dupes of the curative powers of rhino horn. Good luck with that! You might as well try to persuade religious fruitcakes that God doesn't exist. Belief is more powerful than logic. Click the title link for the BBC News item. The illustration above is Albrecht Dürer's innacurate woodcut Rhinoceros from 1515 (CLICK).

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Harper's Bazaar

The Telegraph has posted a slide show of photos from Harper's Bazaar Greatest Hits, published on 1 September by Abrams for the stiff price of £39.99 (title link). Good fashion photos, as you would expect; but Jean-Paul Goude's shot of Naomi Campbell running with a cheetah (September 2009) is outstanding. It won a Folio Ozzie Award for best use of photography. Wow!

See No Evil

Banksy's home city of Bristol is hosting the biggest, brashest, most ambitious permanent street art project ever to take place in the UK and Europe. The facades of ten multi-storey buildings along Nelson Street have been tarted up with high-rise graffiti for the See No Evil project. The Telegraph has posted a slide show of the new exhibits (title link). Today the organisers will be holding a free "big block party", whatever that is, from midday to midnight (CLICK). I found this amusing graphic on the Pigeon Project website (CLICK). It's better than any of the images in the slide show. Love the mutt.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Tomorrow Project

Chip-make INTEL has produced a book of short stories about future technology and its possible impact on our lives: The Tomorrow Project Anthology (2011). The authors are Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Hammond, Scarlett Thomas and Markus Heitz. I can't say I've come across them before, and I'm a sci-fi buff. As far as I'm concerned today's most apposite futuristic novel is Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange (1962). The novel's violent anti-hero Alex is typical of today's ghetto psychopaths. CLICK to download the Anthology pdf or individual stories.

Can the Cull

The Labour Party has launched a campaign against Government's cull of badgers in England. Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh wants a science-led approach (not a moron-led approach, which is what we've had from the Tory Party and from the Welsh Labour Party until this year). To win votes at the last election, David Cameron promised farmers he would instigate a badger cull. He made this promise without scientific advice! So he's stuck with the insane notion that killing badgers will solve the problem of bovine TB. It won't. Farmers spread bovine TB by unwittingly sending infected cattle around the country. Click the title link to sign the Can the Cull petition. It's easy to spread word about the petition on Facebook and Twitter too.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Royal Wedding Dolls

I suppose it had to happen. And it's bound to be a winner. Today, Hamleys toy store in London unveiled its new Prince William and "Princess Catherine" dolls dressed for the royal wedding. The faces of the dolls are quite good representations of the royal couple. Hamleys didn't unveil the price. I love Auntie's tail end joke "The BBC News website could not get to the bottom of rumours of a planned Pippa Middleton doll" (title link). For those of you not in the know, there is a Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society on Facebook: CLICK. Sacrilege!

Nigeria Into Space

I enjoy artists' impressions of hi-tech novelties. They prove that not all contemporary art is junk. It's a shame these artists rarely get credited. This graphic by an unknown artist shows one of two Nigerian observation satellites, made in the UK and successfully launched in Russia yesterday (title link). The excuse for this extravagance is to monitor weather in a region seasonally ravaged by disasters, but it looks like an ego trip to me. I can still recall all those phishing scams I received from the Nigerian Mafia. "Dear Friend, I am a widow and need your help to get my husband's loot out of Africa. All I need is your bank details. God bless." They don't send that stuff to me any more. I wonder why. From phishing scams to satellites. Didn't they do well?

Pills For Amy

I've been saving this for a rainy day. Jason Mecier's tribute portrait of the late Amy Winehouse, made of 5,000 pills, was a timely piece of self-publicity following the singer's death. He specializes in celebrity portraits made of pills, sweets or junk. Click the title link for his cute website. The Telegraph posted a slide show of his work; try Google to find it.

Ki-moon Phones Basher

Noisy neighbours can be a pain, can't they? UN chief Ban Ki-moon phoned chinless wonder Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - known to his chums as "Basher" - to complain about the shelling and was told military operations against protesters have stopped (title link). We'll take that with a pinch of salt. Still, Basher has killed only 2,000 of his people so far. "El Diego", the recently captured enforcer of a Mexican drug cartel admits to ordering the executions of 1,500 people in a three-year reign of terror (CLICK). And he's just one cartel enforcer! So, Syria is safer than Mexico for your holidays.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Olympic Logo V2

It seems I'm not the only one who is fed up with BBC London News' daily updates on the preparations for the London Olympic Games 2012. This graphic arrived in my inbox yesterday, artist unknown. You'll see that the horrible logo has been slightly redesigned. The BBC has failed to answer pertinent questions, such as What is the carbon footprint of these games? and Can the planet afford them? Click the title link to view my take on all this back in 2007. For more Olympic logos CLICK.

Moscow Conceptualism

I must admit I'd never heard of Moscow Conceptualism until I came across today's BBC video on the subject (title link). This Russian school of art - anti-authority and avant-garde - sprang up in the wake of Glasnost two decades ago. Sounds pretentious, but some of it had a sense of humour as you can see from this spoof advert with Lenin promoting Coca-Cola. You'll find the exhibition in the Calvert 22 Gallery in Shoreditch, east London: Field of Action: The Moscow Conceptual School in Context, A special adaptation for Calvert 22 (CLICK). The exhibition runs until 28 August, entry free.

Rembrandt In Frame

Here's Rembrandt's stolen sketch The Judgment in its frame, displayed by the Los Angeles Sheriffs department at a press conference yesterday (title link). The frame is larger than one might expect, but standing it on an easel in a public lobby was still asking for trouble. This might well have been an opportunistic theft, not the carefully planned heist the sheriff's department originally thought. The thief tore open the brown paper which covered the back of the frame, but did no further damage. It was dumped at St Nicholas' Episcopal Church, about 20 miles from where it was stolen. Correction to my brief post yesterday: the tip-off to the police wasn't anonymous.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Rembrandt Update

US Police have recovered the Rembrandt sketch The Judgement I reported stolen yesterday (scroll down or CLICK). They received an anonymous tip-off that it was at a San Fernando Valley church, but have released no further details (title link).

Wedding Night Deal

Judeo-Christian mythology has produced some weird images, but Jan Steen's The Wedding Night of Tobia and Sarah takes the biscuit. On the left side of the picture putti frolic around the marriage bed while the bride and groom appear to be stoned out of their minds. On the right what looks like a winged Saint George is preparing to cook his vanquished dragon. If you don't know the story of Sarah's curse - seven dead husband's all slaughtered by a demon on their wedding night (CLICK) the two images are incongruous. So some bright spark decided to cut the painting in half and sell the halves separately. In the 1960s restoration work on the left part exposed Angel Raphael's wingtips and dagger sheath. In the 1990s the two halves were reunited and painstakingly restored. Then a holocaust survivor in the USA claimed the right half of the painting was Nazi loot stolen from art dealer Jacques Goudstikker! The good news is that a settlement has been reached (title link).

Monday, 15 August 2011

John's Dragon

Here's an inspirational art story. John Brown sells The Big Issue in Bath. (For my foreign readers, The Big Issue is a current affairs magazine sold on the streets by people who are homeless or "vulnerably housed". It helps them get back on their feet. Its slogan is "a hand up, not a hand out" CLICK.) John was selling The Big Issue outside Waterstones when a woman asked him to move aside so she could photograph a display of children's books in the shop window. He remarked that he would love to illustrate children's books. The woman turned out to be an author looking for an illustrator! One thing led to another (title link). The picture above is the dragon John painted for the Waterstones window display promoting Inheritance, a book by Christopher Paolini.

Asyraf Haziq

This is 20-year-old Malaysian student Asyraf Haziq, whose mugging in ghetto Barking shocked the country. He was punched in the face and knocked from his bicycle. Dazed, bleeding and suffering from a broken jaw, he was helped to his feet so that his attackers could rob his rucksack without bending down! It must count as one of the most cowardly and despicable attacks ever caught on mobile phone. He's a brave young man who's managed to give TV interviews despite having metal in his mouth to hold his jaw together. A fund to help him has raised more than £22,000. Today, Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz gave him and his family a guided tour of Parliament (title link). At the weekend one of his attackers appeared in court: Reece Donovan of Chadwell Heath, ghetto Romford. The thug ... er ... suspect has been remanded in custody and given the dubious distinction of having his profile painted by Julia Quenzler, the BBC court artist (CLICK). And CLICK for her painting of the Princess Royal in the dock in 2002, among other famous/infamous faces.

Rembrandt Stolen

Rembrandt's pen-and-ink drawing The Judgement was stolen from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, on Saturday evening (title link). It measures only 11 inches by 6 inches, so to exhibit this work in the lobby of an hotel was stupid beyond belief. It's worth about $250,000. All the thieves needed to do was make sure somebody distracted the curator for a few minutes!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Athena Art DVD

The face of Botticelli's Venus from The Birth of Venus (1485) seems to be our ideal of female beauty. Here she is again, this time on the cover of Athena's Art of the Western World (2011), a DVD set to be published on 27 September. Four years in the making and filmed at over 150 locations in 8 countries, this tour through 2,500 years of Western art takes you from The Classical Ideal to tripe In Our Own Time. Michael Wood, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in the UK, conducts this tour through Western art (title link).

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Operation Withern 3

Here are four happy hoodies who won't be smiling when the police catch up with them. From left to right they are: S84, S98, S101, S100. To the side is S84 making off with her loot. Click the title link to view many more suspects on the Met. Police website dedicated to identifying those criminals who took part in the recent rioting and looting in London. One thing struck me when browsing these photos: most of the suspects are better dressed than I am. They're wearing expensive brand goods. I buy my shirts and T-shirts off the 50p bargain rail in my local charity shop. The jeans I'm wearing cost £10. So don't let any bleeding heart tell you that poverty caused these disturbances.

Banksy Gifts

The title covers two Banksy news items. His documentary film Exit Through The Gift Shop, "the world's first street art disaster movie", is being given its TV premiere on Channel 4 at 9pm this evening. The second item is about the success of his generous subsidy to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, so that visitors could enter free on Mondays to see Art In The Streets (CLICK). The exhibition attracted 201,352 visitors by 8 August, a record for MOCA (CLICK). According to the BBC, on average more than 4000 visitors attended on the free day with an average of 2,486 people visiting on other days of the week (title link). Nice one, Banksy.