Friday, 31 January 2014

Art14 London

Art14 London opens on 28 February and runs until 2 March (CLICK). The Galleries section will display a wide range of works by artists represented by modern and contemporary galleries from around the world. An adult ticket costs £12 in advance, £18 on the door. A silver surfer ticket costs £8 in advance, £12 on the door. It's all too rich for my blood. And no samples shown.

Sergei Chepik

The Mall Galleries in London is currently showing Chepik Retrospective, in association with the Catto Gallery and Marie-Aude Chepik. This is the first major retrospective of Russian artist Sergei Chepik, who died in 2011. His later years were spent in Paris. Shown is his Scheherazade (1995). The exhibition runs until 13 February. Admission is free. CLICK for more information.


Amidst all the dire tripe on TV this evening, BBC Two's Natural World at 9pm looks intriguing. In Vultures: Beauty in the Beast naturalist Charlie Hamilton James, shown with a chum, visits east Africa to try to rehabilitate vultures, which have a bad press and are in sharp decline due to dodgy farming practises and intentional poisoning (CLICK).

Happy New Year

For my Chinese readers.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Creed Gimmicks

Yesterday the Haywood Gallery in London's Southbank Centre opened a major retrospective of the playful tripe of Turner prize winner Martin Creed (CLICK). It's entitled What’s the point of it? and I absolutely agree. It has virtually nothing to do with art and everything to do with daft gimmicks. Shown is his Mothers. Anyone who is prepared to lash out £11 or £10 plus £1.75 booking fee on this stuff needs his or her bumps felt. CLICK for a BBC video to see what I mean. The show comes with a Haywood Gallery health warning: "This exhibition includes work containing nudity, bodily functions and some adult content." Adult? Where?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Rembrandt Loan

One of Rembrandt's finest portraits has been loaned to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford for three years and is now on display. Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet (1657) is in the Ashmolean’s European Art Gallery (Gallery 44). Admission is free. CLICK for details.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Frost Fairs

By a strange coincidence, only yesterday I posted a painting by Hendrick Avercamp showing golfers playing on a frozen river (scroll down or CLICK). Today I found out that the Museum of London Docklands is opening Frozen Thames: Frost Fair 1684 tomorrow. This is a free display of paintings, engravings, souvenirs and items from the great freezing of the River Thames in London in the winter of 1683/84 (CLICK). Shown is Abraham Hondius' A Frost Fair on the Thames at Temple Stairs (1684).

Pretentious Title

Two Days ago I carped about pretentious titles that bamboozle the punters (scroll down or CLICK). Here's the master of the pretentious title aggrandizing nine of his "spin paintings": Moneybags Hirst. The title? Beautiful Intergalactic Fantasmagoria in a Rainbow Big Bang Explosion, Let's Have More Intercourse 2012. How's that for a work that could have been done by a five-year-old child with a suitable spinner? It comes up for grabs in Bonhams A Contemporary Edge sale in London on 4 March with an estimate of £60,000 to £80,000 (CLICK). Buyers of brand Hirst will piddle themselves with excitement.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Doctor Who Look

The BBC has released details of the new Doctor Who look for Peter Capaldi. His outfit includes a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, white shirt and black Dr Marten shoes (CLICK). This BBC photo shows him on the set of Doctor Who with co-star Jenna Coleman. Anyone who saw Jenna's performance in the BBC's Death Comes to Pemberley knows she's not just a pretty face.

Hendrick Avercamp

I thought golf was a relatively modern pastime, but here is a painting from nearly 400 years ago showing golfers playing on a frozen river during the last little ice age when frost fairs abounded in Europe. The artist was Danish-born Hendrick Avercamp, who was a mute and known as "de Stomme van Kampen" (the mute of Kampen). CLICK to visit Washington's National Gallery of Art to view a slide show of Hendrick Avercamp's art, including Colf [sic] Players on the Ice (c.1625).

Comics Unmasked

Here's a show to please fans of comic book art. On 2 May the British Library in London will open Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK, the biggest ever exhibition of British comics, from newly discovered Victorian comics to iconic titles such as V for Vendetta and Batman. The show explores British comics as vehicles of subversion and dissent over the last century. Social issues such as violence, drugs, politics, class and sexuality are all here. Shown is Dave Gibbons' cover art for The Trials of Nasty Tales (1973), a short-lived and largely forgotten early work from the artist of Watchmen. The Nasty Tales series stood trial on obscenity charges in the 1970s for its graphic content. CLICK for a British Library preview.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Fake or Fortune? III

Thank Goodness for Fake or Fortune? It brings a whiff of sanity to the art lark. This Week Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce - not forgetting Dr Bendor Grosvenor - investigate two paintings by John Constable, one of Britain's most widely faked artists! The first is Yarmouth Jetty, the second A Sea Beach, Brighton. The latter used to hang in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts until they gave it the bum's rush, thinking it a fake. What will the team find? Tune in today at 6pm on BBC One (CLICK).

Sensing Spaces

Yesterday the Royal Academy of Arts in London opened Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined, which runs in the Main Galleries until 6 April (CLICK). The exhibition is a collection of large scale installation thingies, seven architectural practises from six countries and four continents. The show looks very impressive, but admission prices are OTT: adults £14 each, silver surfers £13 each. Shown are Chilean architects Sofia van Ellrichshausen and her partner Mauricio Pezo standing proudly in front of their massive installation thingy. You've got to admit it's impressive, but what does it do, apart from hulking there making you feel small?

New Order II

The Saatchi Gallery's latest load of codswallop is enough to make you weep. New Order: British Art Today II claims to showcase a baker's dozen of up-and-coming talent. CLICK to see if you can spot any talent. Shown is French-born artist Virgile Ittah confronting one of her pathetic wax figures: Dreams are Guilty, Absolute and Silent by Fire. I hate pretentious titles. They attempt to bamboozle the proletariat into believing something intellectual is going on when it's merely bad art.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Artwork Stolen!

Artist Jon Astrop lost his "life's work" when thieves stole his white Ford Transit van, which held more than 70 of his large canvases. He displayed the paintings in pop-up shows around London. His van was stolen from Schoolway, near Woodhouse College, in North Finchley. He appeals for the return of his art. Shown is a detail from a painting that escaped the thieves (CLICK).

English Magic

The William Morris Gallery in Lloyd Park, Walthamstow, London - winner of the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013 - is the first venue for Jeremy Deller: English Magic, a touring exhibition which will also visit the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and Turner Contemporary, Margate, in 2014. English Magic was commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2013. The tour is the first of its kind. Shown is Stuart Sam Hughes' painting We sit starving amidst our gold (2013) which depicts a giant William Morris hurling a cruise liner into the sea (CLICK).

Auction Update

Ten days ago I pointed to a few highlights in Bonhams London auction of 19th Century Paintings (CLICK). Sir Alfred James Munnings' dramatic The Fair topped the sale at £182,500. It was bought direct from the artist for £35 and kept in the family for a century. Sir John Everett Millais' A Dream at Dawn made £55,000. I have no idea what price John Atkinson Grimshaw's At The Park Gate (1878) fetched, because Bonhams has been offline this morning and Art Daily ignored it (CLICK).

Friday, 24 January 2014

Grayson Perry CBE

Today Turner-prize-winning potter Grayson Perry received his CBE for services to contemporary art from Prince Charles at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace (CLICK). Grayson wore a dark blue mother-of-the-bride dress and hat for the occasion. He said "I'm not going to compromise my identity as Britain's pre-eminent transvestite". He likes being in drag, but has been married for over two decades. His wife Philippa and their attractive 21-year-old daughter Flo were at the Palace with him.


This must be the art non-event of 2014. The National Gallery in London has borrowed Van Gogh's Sunflowers (1989, right) from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to hang it alongside its own copy of Sunflowers (1988). The Sunflowers opens tomorrow and the Gallery expects huge crowds (CLICK). Van Gogh made at least five attempts at Sunflowers and still couldn't get it right. To call these daubs "masterpieces" is an insult to every botanical artist who ever lived. CLICK for a BBC video.

Diarmuid Kelley

Today, Offer Waterman & Co in London - specialist dealers in 20th Century British art - opened Diarmuid Kelley: All Cats Are Grey, which runs until 28 February (CLICK). The exhibition is a mixture of the latest still life and portraiture by this award-winning artist and looks well worth a visit. Shown is Indian Red (2013). The "grey" in the exhibition title puzzles me, because Diarmuid Kelley has been strongly influenced by Vermeer’s window-light directed interiors and by exponents of dramatic chiaroscuro, such as Caravaggio and Joseph Wright of Derby. More light and dark, rather than grey.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hidden Kingdoms 2

I'm looking forward to viewing more groundbreaking cinematography from the BBC's Natural History Unit in this evening's episode of Hidden Kingdoms: Secret Forests on BBC One at 8pm (CLICK). The use of blue screen backgrounds allows the creation of dramatic composite images, such as this Eastern Chipmunk under attack by a Great Horned Owl (2014). But blue screen isn't the only trick up the sleeves of these film-makers. The techniques they use have got to be seen to be believed. A TV must.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Guardi for Oxford

This apparently pristine oil painting by Francesco Guardi, Venice: the Fondamenta Nuove with the Lagoon and the Island of San Michele (c. 1758), previously unpublished, has been acquired by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (CLICK). It was painted for a British Grand Tourist and kept in the family. The acquisition was made possible by Arts Council England under the Acceptance in Lieu of Inheritance scheme plus a generous grant from the Art Fund and from other donors. I'm puzzled by the donations, because I thought the whole idea of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme was to take artworks instead of inheritance tax, not to pay for them. Still, who am I to quibble? CLICK for a larger image of this beautiful painting.

Wellcome Library

As part of its policy of open access to all, the Wellcome Library in London is making freely available more than 100,000 images, from ancient medical manuscripts to paintings or etchings by artists such as Goya and Van Gogh. They are released under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. All you need to do is search the database, download your chosen image and credit Wellcome Library, London (CLICK). I plumped for this Francisco Goya etching, which has two titles: 1) The sleep of reason produces monsters (No. 43) from Los Caprichos and 2) A man asleep dreaming of monsters (1796-98). Fergus Walsh, the BBC's medical correspondent, also took a dip and came up with humorous medical cartoons (CLICK).

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Joseph Wright

The Holburne Museum in Bath has acquired this Portrait of Elizabeth Balguy (c. 1783) by Joseph Wright of Derby, thanks to the government's Cultural Gifts Scheme. It has been donated by David Posnett OBE, who was Chairman of the Holburne Museum from 2000 to 2013 (CLICK). The gift coincides with the Museum's exhibition Joseph Wright of Derby: Bath and Beyond, which opens in the Roper Gallery on 25 January. Loans for the exhibition come from the Derby Museum, the National Gallery, Musée du Louvre, Tate, the British Museum, the Walker Art Gallery and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Admission is £6.95 (CLICK).

Monday, 20 January 2014

Another Constable

When V&A conservators were preparing artworks for the Museum's autumn 2014 exhibition Constable: The Making of a Master, they discovered this previously unrecorded oil sketch by Constable concealed beneath a lining canvas on the reverse of Branch Hill Pond: Hampstead (c.1821-22). The V&A has a huge collection of Constable's works thanks to his last surviving child, Isabel, who donated the remaining contents of her father’s studio to the Museum in 1888. The donation included three easel paintings; 92 oil sketches; 297 drawings and watercolours and three sketchbooks. This sketch goes on display in the Paintings Galleries. I'll post details of the autumn show closer to the date. It will include mezzotints of his paintings made by engraver David Lucas and a selection from Constable's own collection of 5,000 old-master etchings (CLICK).

Sunday, 19 January 2014

RA Summer Show

Artists, you have until midnight on 14 February to submit your digital artwork for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2014. Entries will be capped at 12,000. Last year over 5,000 works were sold and £70,000 worth of prizes awarded. Entry costs £25. CLICK for details.

Russian Kino/Film

The breadth of art in London is astonishing. Did you know that 2014 is the UK/Russia year of culture? Neither did I until today. GRAD, the Gallery for Russian Arts and Design in London, is showing Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen (CLICK). It claims the twenties were the "golden age" of Soviet film posters and shows some fine examples. This one is the Stenberg Brothers' poster for Sergei Eisenstein's silent masterpiece Battleship Potemkin (1925). The blurb skips the sometimes fractious relationship between Eisenstein and Stalin. One of Eisenstein's producers was denounced as a traitor by Stalin and executed (CLICK). Film buffs must see Eisenstein's classic epics Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1958). Prokofiev's score for Alexander Nevsky is still in record shops.

Entartete Kunst

Entartete Kunst means "Degenerate Art". It is also the name of an inventory of art confiscated by the Nazi regime from public institutions in Germany, mostly during 1937 and '38, compiled by the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) in 1941-2. The Victoria and Albert Museum holds the only known 2-volume copy of the Entartete Kunst to have survived, thanks to a donation from the widow of art dealer Heinrich Robert (Harry) Fischer, who fled Austria to escape the Nazis and came to England. Since the donation in 1996 it has become an invaluable tool for international research into the provenance and whereabouts of the listed artworks. An "X" indicates the work was destroyed. From the end of January, a PDF file of the Entartete Kunst goes online at the V&A (CLICK). As photos of text are rather boring, I've illustrated this post with a photo of Giorgio de Chirico's patinated bronze statue of Hector and Andromache (1968) which strikes me as the sort of artwork that would have received the Nazi raspberry. You can view this sculpture in the recently opened exhibition Giorgio de Chirico: Myth and Mystery at The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, until 19 April (CLICK).

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Hockney, Printmaker

On 5 February the Dulwich Picture Gallery opens Hockney, Printmaker to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the artist’s first print. Over 100 works reveal Hockney's two main print techniques: etching and lithography. Shown is his Self-Portrait (1954), a lithograph in five colours, edition 5. Admission costs £11.00 for adults and £10.00 for silver surfers (CLICK).

Fake or Fortune? 1/4

Fake or Fortune? makes a welcome return to BBC One this Sunday at 6pm. For some daft reason best known to itself, the BBC website gives the time as 16:30 hours, but this is for Scotland (CLICK)! Down south it is 6pm. This week Bendor Grosvenor, Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce hope to justify a man's gambling his entire life savings on a painting allegedly by French post-impressionist painter Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940). Is it the real deal or has he been conned? The painting isn't an officially listed work. The search for provenance takes the team to France, Switzerland and Holland.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Behind the Mask

Recognize her? It's that bouncy young starlet Keira Knightley before she hit the big time, photographed by Andy Gotts MBE. His two-year project Behind the Mask is a BAFTA Future Archive collaboration to create a photographic census of over one hundred international actors and actresses to have won or been nominated for a BAFTA since 1954. The exhibition opens in the West Wing Galleries of Somerset House in London on 21 January and runs until 7 February. Admission is free (CLICK).

Hannah Höch

The Whitechapel Gallery in London's East End has opened the first major UK retrospective of German artist Hannah Höch, who was a member of the Dada movement in Berlin in the 1920s and a pioneer of collage. The show brings together more than 100 of her collages, woodcuts, watercolours and photomontages from international collections. Shown is her Für ein Fest gemacht (1936). Her saving grace was her sense of humour. The Nazis were not amused; they gave her work the raspberry. Admission costs £8.95 for adults or £6.95 for silver surfers (CLICK).

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Hidden Kingdoms

One of the strengths of the BBC is its nature programmes. Yesterday I posted a brilliant photo from Wild Brazil (CLICK). The final part of that trilogy airs this evening on BBC Two at 9pm. On BBC One at 8pm, another nature trilogy begins: Hidden Kingdoms (CLICK). This photo shows the size of an Elephant Shrew, called Sengi, compared to a Swallowtail butterfly. Purists might object to the use of blue screen backgrounds to create combined images as trick photography, but the result was cinematography of the highest order. Brilliant! And exciting.

London Art Fair

I mentioned the London Art Fair 2014 a week ago (CLICK). It opened yesterday at the Business Design Centre and runs until Sunday 19 January (CLICK). Harry Adams' Flower and Buds 20/100 1933 (2014) is one of the artworks in the show. He's painting 100 oak tress, 100 poppies, dated from 1914 to 2014, presumably to mark the Great War. They cost £250 + VAT each. The first 20 are for sale on the Art Projects Stand run by Isis Gallery. For free tickets contact

Petworth House

The National Trust’s Petworth House in West Sussex is a magnificent 17th-century mansion set in a huge deer park landscaped by "Capability" Brown (CLICK). John Constable described Petworth as the "house of art", because it houses an important collection of paintings. Constable visited the house twice in 1834 and made watercolours and drawings of the area. Over 40 of these works on paper have been brought together for the first time in the current exhibition Constable at Petworth, with loans from The British Museum, the V&A and other institutions. Shown is Constable's watercolour Hove Beach (1834).

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wild Brazil

If you didn't view the second episode of Wild Brazil on BBC Two this evening, you'll be wondering what on earth this image shows. Christmas tree? No. It's a termite mound in Brazil’s cerrado, lit up by glow worms. These are carnivorous little beasts that light up to catch termites flying from their mounds to found new colonies. The termites are attracted by the luminosity and are grabbed by the glow worms as soon as they are near enough. If you haven't viewed this series, you still have time to catch Episode 1 on iPlayer. CLICK to read about the show and see more terrific images.

Lady Randolph

I was surprised to find John Singer Sargent's portrait of Lady Randolph Churchill - Sir Winston's mum - in a New Jersey auction house: Nye and Company (CLICK). But then she was American (shades of Downton Abbey). Born Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn in 1854, she was regarded as one of the great beauties of the age. She comes up for grabs from 21 January to 4 February (online auction on iGavel) with an estimated value of $150,000-$250,000 (CLICK).

Vikings Coming!

Last year The British Museum recorded its most successful year ever, with a record 6.7m visitors flocking to see Pompeii, Ice Age Art and Japanese pornography (CLICK). Its next major exhibition is Vikings: Life and Legend, which opens on 6 March and runs until 22 June (CLICK). The centrepiece of this exhibition is the surviving timbers of a 37-metre-thingy-long Viking warship, the longest ever found. Swords, axes, coins, jewellery, hoards, amulets and religious images show how Vikings created an international network of trade and pillage connecting cultures over four continents. Shown is the Museum header, which puts a late 8th–early 9th century sword from Denmark against a seascape. Admission costs £16.50 for adults.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Etruscan Art

The Etruscans certainly had a more relaxed attitude to sex than we do. This two-handled Etruscan Bowl (770-760 BC) features a man masturbating. I'm not sure I'd want to finish my meat and two veg. and find that lurking at the bottom of my bowl, but each to his own. This is one of the exhibits in The Etruscans and the Mediterranean: The City of Cerveteri, which is currently showing at the Louvre Lens in the metropolitan district of Lille in France. The exhibition runs until 10 March (CLICK).

Death In Paradise

The new series of Death in Paradise begins this evening on BBC One at 21:00 hours ... er ... 9pm. I must admit I didn't bother with the first series, because Ben Miller as Det. Insp. Richard Poole struck me as being far too uptight and neurotic to be a Scotland Yard detective. Then I got hooked on Series 2 and watched the repeats of the first series. What brought the whole show alive for me was the chalk-and-cheese relationship between Miller and Sara Martins as the delectable and feisty Det. Sgt. Camille Bordey, who lives life to the full. It's no secret that Miller gets the chop in Series 3, to be replaced by Kris Marshall as the new man from the Met. (CLICK). Can this replacement possibly work?

Grimshaw's Moonlight

How's this for atmosphere? John Atkinson Grimshaw's At The Park Gate (1878) comes up for grabs in Bonhams London sale of 19th Century Paintings at New Bond Street on 22 January with an estimated price tag of £150,000-£200,000 (CLICK). Other highlights include Sir Alfred James Munnings's dramatic The Fair, estimated at £150,000-£250,000, and Sir John Everett Millais' A dream at Dawn, showing a young girl in a white night dress standing on a balcony, estimated at £40,000-£60,000.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Judge rules on Renoir

In 2012 I reported on the discovery of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Paysage Bords De Seine (1879) in a Virginia flea market (CLICK). It was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. Auction house the Potomack Company withdrew it from sale and called in the FBI. On Friday Eastern District of Virginia Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that the painting be returned to the museum (CLICK).

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Fake or Fortune? III

The new series of Fake or Fortune? begins next Sunday on BBC One at 16.30 hours ... er ... 4.30pm (CLICK). Episode 1 investigates this oval painting Couple Eating Oysters possibly by Edouard Vuillard. It doesn't appear in the official French record of Vuillard's works. Around eight years ago it was sold on eBay for £3,000. If it is a genuine Vuillard it could be worth up to £250,000. In May of last year I posted the team's appeal for information about this painting (CLICK). So, is it a genuine Vuillard or not? (Update: 6pm in London.)

Sargent's Birthday

Today is the birthday of that great American artist John Singer Sargent (12 January 1856 – 14 April 1925). I'm surprised Google hasn't created a Doodle to mark the occasion. Art Daily reminded me. Sergent's output was massive. He created approximately 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolours, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oil painting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose in Tate Britain, London, is one of my favourites, demonstrating a masterly use of light. CLICK to visit the ambitiously entitled website John Singer Sargent The Complete Works.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Scooter President

Whatever you might think of froggy President Francois Hollande's hopping on the back of a scooter and zooming off for an alleged nocturnal tryst with actress Julie Gayet, you've got to admit he's chosen a beauty. But then the social elite have never been short of quality crumpet. It comes with the rank. Of course his official partner at the Elysee palace, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, is presumably spitting bullets. Oh what a tangled web! Hollande's throwing a wobbler over Closer magazine's "attack on the right to privacy" doesn't wipe the egg off his face (CLICK). French capitalists are moving out of France in droves to avoid paying his 75% tax hike. Can he survive for much longer?

Sandby Brothers

The next exhibition at Windsor Castle is Capturing the Castle: Watercolours of Windsor by Paul and Thomas Sandby. The brothers painted dozens of watercolours of Windsor Castle and its environs during the reign of George III. They range from landscapes to everyday life at the Castle: soldiers on duty, deliveries being made. Twenty of their finest works have been selected for the exhibition. Shown is Paul Sandby's The Henry VIII Gateway from Castle Hill (c. 1760). The show opens on 7 February (CLICK).

Friday, 10 January 2014

Jane Morris

Here's a portrait of Pre-Raphaelite muse Jane Morris as you've probably never seen her before, silver haired with her beauty fading. This portrait in pastels by Evelyn De Morgan is delicate. So it is rarely put on public display. Jane Morris died on 26 January 1914. To mark the centenary of her death the De Morgan Centre in London has put this portrait on display beside many of Evelyn's paintings (CLICK). The National Portrait Gallery is also marking the centenary of Janey's death (CLICK). Evelyn De Morgan's portrait of Jane was a preparatory study for The Hourglass (CLICK).

Thursday, 9 January 2014


Here's a despairing graffito in the Lebanese capital Beirut which mocks the medieval mindset of Muslim fanatics. It shows Man's progression from chimpanzee to suicide bomber and asks the question Where's The Evolution? (2014). I guess the answer is that chimpanzees aren't capable of blowing themselves up. They're also not advanced enough to be brainwashed with all that codswallop about 60 virgins waiting for them in Heaven if they do blow themselves up. I can't imagine any god - apart from Kali, who is a goddess - rewarding nutters for creating carnage. But then I'm not religious, thank Goodness.

NomadBrush FLeX

Amidst all the hi-tech fripperies at the International CES 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the latest thing in artists' paintbrushes. It's an improvement on the original Nomad Brush. In this photo, artist Rick Graham displays the NomadBrush FLeX paintbrush stylus he used to create the iPad "oil painting" shown. Each bristle of the paintbrush stylus is conductive. I'll stick with my mouse, thanks. I don't like touchscreens. How can you get pixel perfect by poking your finger at a screen?

Hirst paints Mickey

The Walt Disney Company invited Moneybags Hirst to create his own version of Mickey Mouse (2013). He chose his trademark spots. It's as minimalist as you can get, but it's still recognisably Mickey. It's the best thing he's done since he painted his landlady's pussy in 1982 (CLICK). This household-gloss-on-canvas Mickey will be sold in aid of the charity Kids Company as part of Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on Thursday 13 February at 7pm. Mickey will be on view to the public in the auction’s pre-sale exhibition from 8 until 13 February (CLICK).