Saturday, 30 March 2013

Amy Winehouse Statue

Plans for a life-sized bronze memorial statue of singer Amy Winehouse, to be erected on the first floor terrace of the Roundhouse, have been submitted to Camden Council. Designer Scott Eaton has produced this Amy Winehouse digital maquette (2013). He calls it a "work-in-progress". A wax version will be made next. Camden Council will consider the proposal before 16 May. It is hoped the erection of the statue will coincide with a disc to be laid in a new Music Walk of Fame in Camden Town (CLICK).

Venus and Mars 2

Back in 2010 I reported on Spaghetti PM Silvio "Papi" Berlusconi's restoration of Venus and Mars at a cost of 70,000 Euro thingies, while it was on loan to the Palazzo Chigi (CLICK). Mars was given a replacement penis, shield, hand and the point of his sword, while Venus was given two new hands. Restoration or cultural vandalism? Since then, the statue has been returned to the Museo nazionale delle Terme (Baths Museum). The good news for purists and prudes alike is that Mars has been emasculated yet again! Is this a symbolic emasculation of ex-PM stud "Papi" or merely a return to the status quo of 1918, when the ancient statue was unearthed? All of the 2010 restorations have now been successfully removed (CLICK).

Friday, 29 March 2013

Kim's Wobbler

The Onion's sexiest man alive for 2012, Kim Jong-un, seems to be working himself into a wobbler over US stealth bomber flights over the Korean peninsula. Is he completely off his chump, threatening to unleash a nuclear holocaust on Uncle Sam, or is he a puppet whose strings are being pulled by a gang of insane generals who overestimate their military might? If Kim is sane, he should be piddling his pants by now. CLICK for BBC News. CLICK for The Onion spoof.

007 in Shanghai

I thought you might like to know that a major James Bond exhibition has opened in Shanghai, complete with a waxwork of Sean Connery leaning against a replica scale model of Bond's Aston Martin DB5. Shown is a Poster of Michelle Yeoh as Chinese spy Wai Lin in the movie Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Some, if not all of these exhibits, are from the Barbican's exhibition Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style, shown last year (CLICK). The Shanghai exhibition comes hot on the heels of the release of the latest Bond movie Skyfall in China. Chinese censors cut a scene showing prostitution in Macau and deleted a line which mentions torture by Chinese security agents. Tut, tut, Meester Bond; no Brit lies; this ees zee people's Communist Party! Below is a Replica of Golden Girl Jill Masterson watched by Gert Fröbe as Goldfinger (1964).

Replica of Golden Girl Jill Masterson.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter

Here's hoping you're not snowed in or without power.

Katie Price Horse

Strewth! Some people will do anything for publicity. Here's Katie Price dressed as the front of a horse (2013). Is it an advert for My Little Pony? With a bust like that, hardly. My Buxom Pony, maybe. Candidate for the Turner Prize? It would raise the tone. Actually she's turned her back garden into a "Barbie Village" to promote her girlie KP Equestrian brand. KP Nuts, is that? I wonder who's suffering as the rear end of the horse and will he or she do pink fluffy droppings? The Sun is all agog (CLICK).

Naval Officers Appeal

The National Portrait Gallery in London has launched a £20,000 appeal to restore Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope's Naval Officers of World War I (1921). This massive canvas - 8ft x 16ft 10” -, depicts 22 of the Royal Navy's top officers in the Admiralty Board Room in Whitehall. It is badly in need of restoration and hasn't been on show for decades. The Gallery hopes to have it restored to go on display for the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War in 2014 (CLICK).

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sand Sculptures

With half the country under deep snow, roads impassable and farmers trying to dig their sheep out of snow tombs, it hardly seems the appropriate time for a trip to the seaside, but Weston-super-Mare opens its annual Sand Sculpture Festival on Good Friday (CLICK). This year the theme is Hollywood. Award-winning sand sculptors have been beavering away to get it all ready on time. Shown is E.T. Phone Home. The Telegraph has posted a slide show of some of these impressive sculptures: CLICK.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Palace Fair

It appears to be the season for advertising arts & crafts fairs. The historic Tudor/Georgian Fulham Palace, in bygone times the country home of the Bishops of London, near Putney Bridge, is the venue for the Palace Art and Craft Fair from 17 to 19 May (CLICK). Paintings, prints and home-made jewellery seem to be the main goodies on offer. Shown is Super Penguin.

Greek Sale

Here's an idea for helping to relieve national debt. On 24 April Bonhams at New Bond Street, London, is holding a Greek Sale. No, it's not the Acropolis. That's a crumbling financial liabilty. It's mainly paintings. Yiannis Tsarouchis' Autumn (1976) leads the sale, Lot 53, estimated value £150,000 to £200,000 (CLICK). Lots 109 to 140 have been donated by artists in aid of Greek Debt Free, which aims to buy Greek Government Bonds and cancel them to reduce national debt. Moneybags, any sharks to spare?

Houghton Revisited

Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain‘s first Prime Minister, built Houghton Hall in Norfolk and filled it with a rich collection of Old Master paintings (CLICK). After he snuffed it, the collection was sold to Catherine the Great of Russia in 1779. Following the Russian Revolution, the collection went to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. For some reason best known to itself, Russia has decided to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Catherine the Great’s accession to the throne by loaning its magnificent Walpole collection of 70 paintings to Houghton Hall. BP is the lead sponsor. The example shown is Charles Lebrun's Daedalus and Icarus (ca 1645/46). Houghton Revisited is truly a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. It opens on 17 May and, as you might expect, costs an arm and a leg: adults £18 (CLICK).

Monday, 25 March 2013

Peng Liyuan

China's first lady, President Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan, has emerged upon the world stage during hubby's visit to Russia. A popular singer of patriotic Chinese ditties, big on Chinese TV, she charmed ex-KGB narcissist President Putin, not a bad trick (CLICK). It is rare for Chinese leaders' wives to grab the limelight. This early video shows Peng Liyuan singing The Sea Wind Makes You Sad. Click the bottom right corner to expand the video, ESC to return.

Museum Fire

Breaking news: the Old Walworth Town Hall in Wansey Street, Southwark, is ablaze. It houses Newington Library, Cuming Museum and a one stop shop. More than 100 firefighters are tackling the blaze, which has engulfed the roof of the building (CLICK). Update: the fire has been extinguished, but firefighters will remain overnight to dampen down the smouldering ruins.

Chelsea Art Fair

The New Chelsea Art Fair is offering complimentary e-tickets to anyone who submits an email address to its website (CLICK). The fair takes place at Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, London, SW3 5EE, from 11 to 14 April. At least 35 galleries from home and abroad will display new work by artists they represent. Prices start at £500. Above is an eye-catching exhibit.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

RI Landscapes

The next exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London is the annual show of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI), which runs from 5 to 18 April (CLICK). This year the RI highlights the plight of Britain’s woodlands with a special show-within-a-show Trees & Landscape. Over 400 works will be on display; both by members and by artists replying to the open call for entries. Shown is Ronald Maddox's watercolour Digwell. Admission costs £3 for adults, £2.50 for silver surfers, free for under 18s.

Dinos or Foetus?

The Natural History Museum in London is expecting long queues over the Easter school holidays for its Dinosaur Gallery, from 29 March to 14 April, and is offering free advance tickets online (CLICK). If you can persuade your cherubs that Tyrannosaurus rex - even a giant, roaring animatronic model - isn't all it's cracked up to be, you could steer them into the Human Biology section. Here you will find a gigantic womb, which is a true work of modern art. I visited this exhibit many moons ago. You enter the womb with the sound of a human heartbeat thumping in your ears and gaze up at the awe-inspiring Giant Model of a Human Foetus (above). It seems like an alien god from a science fiction film. They're taking over the World!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

RCA Sale Day

The Royal College of Art's annual secret postcard sale has proved a resounding success yet again. Believe it or not, punters have been camping outside the RCA in Battersea since Tuesday to lash out £45 on an anonymous work of art on a postcard, anonymous until after purchase when the buyer finds who signed the back (CLICK). It looks as though I was wrong about that turtle or snail being by Nick Park (CLICK). Here is his secret postcard: Life Without Pie: A Horror Story. Tesco beefburger! Yuk!

Warlord of Mars

Snowed in? Bored kiddies running amok? Why not get them to colour in this drawing by Alé Garza for issue #13 of Warlord of Mars (2011) and send their efforts to Diane Abbott MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA? This will really give her something "demeaning" to complain about! As Shadow Minister for Public Health, she seems more interested in feminism and sexism than about the destruction of the NHS. Why hasn't she campaigned for the sacking of clueless NHS boss Sir David Nicholson? CLICK to find a larger graphic to print for kiddies' colouring in. The Warlord of Mars comic books, based on the science fantasy novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, are published in the USA by Dynamite Entertainment® (CLICK).

Art & Antiques Fair

If you have £1,000,000 going spare, you might like to lash out on Giambologna's gilt bronze statue of Prometheus bringing Fire to Mankind; but if you're a feminist MP, like Diane Abbott or Tracey Crouch, you'll probably throw a wobbler about the sexism of this title (CLICK). Mammary glands aside, the 41st Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair will open at London's Olympia Exhibition Centre on 6 June for 11 days (CLICK). You can book tickets now. Don't ask how much they cost. Doing so will just prove you're a pleb who can't afford to decorate your shack in the appropriate manner.

Friday, 22 March 2013


With the UK facing the prospect of being snowed in for Easter, I thought I'd take a peek ahead at Good Friday's viewing. Amidst all the usual dross, I found Pixar Animation Studios' Ratatouille (2007) on BBC One at 4.55pm, the saga of an ambitious Parisian rat determined to become a top chef. It garnered many awards the following year, including 9 Annies (CLICK). My graphics show Remy the Rat with his Oscar® and Remy struggling to lift his BAFTA, both for best animated feature film. If you haven't seen it, CLICK for the official trailer. Hitchcock fans can look forward to Suspicion (1941) on BBC Two at 9.55am, staring Cary Grant and the delectable Joan Fontaine worried about hubby's deadly intent.

BMC Ecology

Here is a photo I really appreciate. It's the overall winner of the inaugural BMC Ecology Image Competition 2012: Moritz Muschick's Stick Insect (Timema poppensis) on host Redwood Tree (Sequoia sempervirens). The aim of the competition is to show ecological interactions, and the evolution of this insect to mimic its host is stunning. The winner receives a cash prize of only £250 (CLICK)! Sponsors of OTT awards take note. The Guardian has posted a slide show of top photos: CLICK.

Bacon Scraps Sale

A month ago I reported that the family of late amateur artist Lewis Todd had found that some of his daubs had been painted on scraps of canvas discarded by Francis Bacon (CLICK). Shown are the Six Scraps of Discarded Work from Bacon's 1950s Screaming Pope. Guilford auction house Ewbank’s estimated their value at about £100,000. Yesterday, on the second day of Ewbank’s sale, these Bacon scraps went under the hammer for a total of nearly £46,000 ($70,000) (CLICK). What a farce!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Sony Open Photos

I must admit I'm rather disappointed with the category winners in the Sony Open Photographer of the Year Awards, taken by amateurs. An Explosion of Milk captured by Matías Gálvez from Chile is the most eye-catching. The title Open Photographer of the Year will be awarded at a gala ceremony in London on 25 April. The following day the exhibition opens in the West Wing of Somerset House and runs until 12 May. It will also include the work of professional photographers. Admission is £7.50. CLICK for more information. CLICK for a BBC slide show.

Malala Update

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by an Islamic thug for "promoting secularism" (girls' education), began school in Birmingham on Monday. She is very proud of her new school uniform and school badge, because they show she is a student. What determination and courage! I'm not at all sure it was wise for the BBC to release the name of Malala's school (CLICK). There are many Muslims in Birmingham, and Malala is a soft target for any Islamic nutter who sympathises with the Taliban's aim of enforcing strict Sharia Law. The world may have been outraged by a cowardly attack on a 14-year-old girl, but the Taliban still want to kill her. Even in England, she isn't safe.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Chinese Girl Sold

Vladimir Tretchikoff's original painting Chinese Girl (1952) fetched £982,050 at Bonhams London auction, nearly twice its pre-sale estimate. It was bought by British businessman and jeweller Laurence Graff, who will put it on display at the Delaire Graff Estate, near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape (CLICK). To visit the Tretchikoff Foundation, founded by the artists' granddaughter in 2010, CLICK.

Design Museum Show

Today the Design Museum in London opened its Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition, showcasing the most innovative and imaginative designs from around the world (CLICK). A total of 99 exhibits, some weird, some wonderful, in 7 categories will vie for the jurors' votes. The overall winner will be announced on 17 April. Will it be the Olympic Cauldron, the Raspberry Pi Computer or the Donky Bicycle for Chinese coolies living in Mayfair? I still regard the Child Vision Glasses, which the wearer can adjust for best vision, designed by The Centre for Vision in the Developing World and Goodwin Hartshorn, as potentially the most useful; but is "useful" on the jury's check list? CLICK for a slide show.

Matthew Alexander

Yesterday the Thompson Gallery at 15 New Cavendish Street, London, opened Matthew Alexander: An Exhibition of New Paintings, which runs until 7 April (CLICK). The Thompson website is one of the most accessible I've seen recently. Thumbnails of the paintings on display are shown and all you need do is click on a thumbnail to view a larger image. Congratulations to Hex Digital for this excellent, user-friendly design. Alexander's impressionistic landscapes have the plein air look, as though they were dashed off before an approaching storm. Shown is his Silver Light in Pin Mill.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

David Bowie at V&A

The V&A Museum in London has opened its doors for press previews of its David Bowie is retrospective, which displays items from the David Bowie Archive over five decades. CLICK for Telegraph photos. CLICK for a BBC video. There has been unprecedented demand for tickets. If you haven't booked already, you won't get a ticket before the middle of May! Aladdin Sane album cover (1973). CLICK for the V&A.

$5m Reward

Video posted by the FBI yesterday. Well worth watching.

Meet Zoe

Remember the talking computer Holly/Hilly in the BBC TV comedy sci-fi series Red Dwarf, played in its female incarnation by Hattie Hayridge (left)? In an imperfect example of life imitating art, the latest computerised talking head is a virtual Zoe Lister. Cambridge University's Engineering Department and the Toshiba Research Laboratory collaborated on this project, which allows you to chat with Zoe and explore her emotions. The BBC's Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones put the virtual Zoe through her paces (CLICK). Her speech is still a bit wooden, but she's prettier than Pinocchio. Will my next computer have this glamorous baldie popping up to warn me "Error: stack overflow in Line 0"? (I had one of those yesterday. I link this blog only to safe websites, but I find some dodgy ones while browsing the Web.)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Cristina meets Pope

Argentina's painted lady, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, wasted no time in flying to Vatican City to persuade the new Argentinian Pope to support her claim on the Falkland Islands. All we know is that he gave her a kiss and a diploma. Last year, as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he declared that Argentina under Cristina's rule suffered from demagoguery, totalitarianism and corruption. Not a ringing endorsement! Note her straight forefinger handshake with Pope Francis. An offer of sexual favours or a secret Mafia sign? She's in good company in Vatican City. Zimbabwe's murderous dictator Robert "should-have-gone-to-Specsavers" Mugabe is there, plus Taiwan's president Ma Ying-Jeou. Britain has sent the Duke of Gloucester, Ken Clarke and Lady Warsi, which amounts to a diplomatic brush-off (CLICK).

Rembrandt Re-attributed

This painting on display in Buckland Abbey in Devon, the former home of Sir Francis Drake, has been re-attributed to Rembrandt. Despite having been signed by Rembrandt and dated 1635, the painting Self-portrait aged 29 was dismissed by clever clogs Horst Gerson in 1968 as a work by one of the artist's pupils. In 2010 it was given to the National Trust. Now leading expert Ernst van de Wetering reckons it's the real deal, worth £20m. It will remain on show in Buckland Abbey for eight months and will then be sent for further examination - hopefully a good clean too - to evaluate its fresh re-attribution (CLICK).

Hockney Assistant Dies

Breaking news: one of artist David Hockney's studio assistants, named as Dominic Elliott, aged 23, has died. He was driven from Hockney's home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, to Scarborough General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 06:00 GMT this morning. Humberside Police are trying to establish what happened to this rugby-playing young man. There were no signs of violence. Post-mortem tomorrow (CLICK). Above is David Hockney's Portrait of Dominic Elliott (2008).

Art Madhouse

Does it often occur to you that the lunatics have taken over the asylum? I'm not talking religion or politics. I'm talking about what passes for art in today's version of the Dark Ages. ArtDaily has posted an article on the peculiar needs of modern art restoration (CLICK). Its prime example is Chris Ofili's Blossom (1997) made of elephant dung on canvas. When a lump of dung fell off Blossom, the restorer had to collect another lump of dung from London Zoo, where Nigerian-born Ofili obtains his dung. Only the right dung will do! It then had to be taken to Denmark, where lives the lunatic modern-furniture magnate who paid a fortune for this crap. Replacement dung having been inserted into Blossom at vast expense, the magnate perks up. His masterpiece of modern art is whole again and worth its weight in gold!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Lost Roman Art

The high quality of art in the doomed cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum is almost frightening. Ignore the pornographic subject of this sculpture Pan with a She-goat (pre-AD 79) and examine the quality of the sculpting. How many great works of art were destroyed forever when the Roman Empire fell? And how many of today's Big Names in art could create anything half as powerful? Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum opens at the British Museum in London on 28 March (CLICK).

HMS Belfast green!

Today HMS Belfast celebrated its 75th birthday by going green for St Patrick's Day. The ship was built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff and launched on St Patrick's day 1938. Following distinguished service in WWII, she was saved from the scrapyard and became a floating museum in the Pool of London. She is now run by the Imperial War Museum (CLICK for photos). Those pesky leprechauns get everywhere. They've even turned the Sphinx and Great Pyramid in Egypt green for St Patrick's Day (CLICK)!

More Bald Beauties

Here are another four beauties shorn of their hair to add to yesterday's posts (scroll down or CLICK, CLICK). Top: Sigourney Weaver and Robin Tunney; bottom: Persis Khambatta and Kylie Minogue OBE. Sigourney shaved her head for Alien 3 (1992). Persis shaved her head for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). Sadly, she died of a heart attack in 1998 (CLICK). If you don't recognise Robin Tunney, she plays Teresa Lisbon in the award-winning TV series The Mentalist. Kylie is the only one who didn't shave her head. Her hair fell out as a result of chemotherapy for breast cancer. I would have added a shaven-headed Halle Berry to make this a round dozen, but I can't find a photo I trust. Beware of imitations. Many pictures of bald celebrities on the Internet are Photoshop jobs. CLICK for a bald celebs Worth1000 contest from 2006.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Bald Beauty 7

How could I have omitted Megan Fox from my collection of shaven-headed beauties? (Scroll down or CLICK). Can you think of anyone else I've missed?

George Bellows opens

Today the Royal Academy of Arts in London opened George Bellows (1882-1925): Modern American Life, the first retrospective of works by this American realist painter (CLICK). Shown is Forty-two Kids (1907) depicting slum children bathing from a dilapidated dock in the filthy waters of New York's East River. The title became ironic, because bellows died at the age of 42. I've already previewed this worthwhile exhibition (CLICK). You'll find it in the Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House, admission £10 adults, £9 silver surfers. CLICK for a BBC slide show.

Glamorous Baldies

Why the BBC's tag line on last night's Comic Relief extravaganza was "Do something funny for money" is beyond me. It should be changed to "Do something unfunny for money". I mean, what is funny about Jessie J shaving her head for charity? She washed her face too, which is a vast improvement. I didn't realise how attractive she was when her face was plastered with makeup. So, who is the most beautiful baldy to date? The leading contenders are Jessie J (top), Sinead O'Conner, Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz and Britney Spears. I think Natalie Portman wins hands down, although I must admit I still have a soft spot for the Borg Queen, played by Alice Krige (CLICK). For a BBC video of bald Jessie J, CLICK.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Art Chess Sets

It may have escaped your notice, but eight of the world's top chess players have descended on London for The World Chess Candidates Tournament, which will decide who plays the current world champion Vishy Anand. The tournament runs from 14 March –to 2 April (CLICK). With an eye for the main chance, Christie’s Style & Spirit auction on 26 March will showcase historic chess sets and tables (CLICK and search for "chess"). Shown is a German chess set made from amber (18th century). Another set is by Man Ray.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Google Reader To Go

Yesterday evening I received a warning from Google that it will shut down Google Reader on 1 July. This is bad news. I've been using Google Reader for years to gather various news feeds on to one screen. I also use Google Reader to post items from my blog to my Facebook page (CLICK) and, ironically, to my Google+ page, neither of which I like because they thrust adverts at me. I guess Google doesn't make any money out of its Reader, because there are no adverts and the user controls the RSS feeds wanted. Today BBC News caught up with this story and posted some users' complaints (CLICK).

Cauldron Wins

Thomas Heatherwick's design for the spectacular London 2012 Olympic Cauldron won the visual arts prize at this year's South Bank Sky Arts Awards (CLICK). The photo shows the flaming copper petals rising to form the dazzling cauldron. A worthy winner.

Sharks in Appendix II

Despite a last-ditch attempt by China and Japan to block trade regulations on critically endangered sharks agreed by CITES in Bangkok last Monday (CLICK) the majority of delegates refused to retract their earlier agreement. From top to bottom in my combined graphic, the Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), the Porbeagle Shark (Lamna nasus) and three varieties of Hammerhead Shark have been added to Appendix II, which means the international trade in these sharks will be regulated (CLICK). It isn't an outright ban, but it is a huge step forward.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

RCA Secret

Today the Royal College of Art opened its annual fundraising RCA Secret exhibition at the College’s new campus in Battersea. Around 2,700 postcard-sized works of art donated by Big Names and students are on display until 22 March. They cost £45 each. The sale takes place on Saturday 23 March (CLICK). You won't know if you've bought a Big Name until you turn the postcard over and find who signed it on the back. If this Turtle isn't by Nick Park, I'll eat my ... er ... a Tesco beefburger.

Great Gardens

Yesterday the Redbridge Museum in Central Library, Ilford, opened Great Gardens, an exhibition of 500 years of Redbridge gardens, parks and open spaces (CLICK). The picture of Wanstead House shown here is a detail from A View of Wanstead in the County of Essex (c. 1781). If my researches are correct, this is a copperplate engraving by Wilson Lowry of a painting by George Robertson, published by John and Josiah Boydell. Wanstead House is long gone, but its influence in Redbridge lingers on. This exhibition is complimented by The History of Valentines Gardens currently showing at Valentines Mansion (CLICK). Admission to both exhibitions is free. Choose a warm, sunny day and enjoy Valentines Park too.

Classical Greece Search

If you want to avoid queues at The British Museum, use the Montague Place entrance and climb the stairs to the first floor. Showing in Room 90 is In search of Classical Greece: travel drawings of Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi 1805–1806 (CLICK). Seventy never-before-seen views conveying the beauty of the Greek landscape and picturesque ruins of Classical civilisation have been selected from the archive of The Packard Humanities Institute, with additions from The British Museum's own collection. Shown is Simone Pomardi's A Hill of the Filopappou, Athens (1804). This might not be in the exhibition, but it was too good to resist. The exhibition runs until 28 April, admission free.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

ALVA Top Five

For the sixth year running The British Museum has topped the list of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA). The Top 5 most visited attractions in 2012, all in London, were:
1. The British Museum - 5,575,946
2. Tate Modern - 5,318,688
3. The National Gallery - 5,163,902
4. Natural History Museum - 5,021,762
5. V&A - 3,231,700
For more information, CLICK.

Ovenden Court Case

Yesterday controversial English painter, photographer, writer and architect Graham Ovenden was accused in Truro Crown Court of being a paedophile who sexually abused young girls in London and Cornwall. Four woman claim he abused them when they were aged between six and 14. He faces nine charges of indecency with a child and indecent assault. He denies the charges (CLICK). Shown are two of his images of young girls: his beautiful photo Sam (1972) and his painting Maud (1984). The Tate gallery owns a collection of 37 of his photos and paintings, including sepia-toned images of naked young girls (CLICK). Life studies have been important to artists for centuries. There needs to be trust between artist and model, also between artist and the parents of child models. Let's hope this case doesn't shatter that trust.