Thursday, 31 December 2015

BBC Attack!

The BBC seems to have been subjected to a denial of service attack. Not the best way to end the old year. Whatever next?

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Lumiere London

From 13 - 17 January creative producers Artichoke will present London’s first Lumiere light festival, showing the work of more than 20 pioneering international artists all commissioned to transform buildings and streets in the capital over four winter evenings (CLICK).

Friday, 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Star Wars Daisy

from BBC's soap Casualty to international stardom in Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens in one mighty bound! And boy, can she run! British actress Daisy Ridley is already reading the script for Stat Wars VIII. So I guess she comes out all right in The Force Awakens.

This Wild Life

BBC TWO is rerunning This Wild Life over Christmas, perfect family viewing for the festive season. Wildlife expert Saba Douglas-Hamilton, together with her husband Frank and their three young children set up a safari camp in the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya (CLICK).

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Anti-pee Paint

Here's the most intriguing graphic I'v seen all week. It shows anti-pee paint (right) causing urine to splash back on the offender. It's being trialed on walls in Shoreditch and Dalston by Hackney Council, which spends £100,000 a year cleaning urine off walls and pavements (CLICK)

Friday, 18 December 2015

Melted For Scrap

Historic England has belatedly twigged that publc "art" is "diappearing before the public's eyes". A growing number of sculptures, architectural friezes and murals made between WWII and the mid-1980s have been destroyed, sold, lost or stolen. Lynn Chadwick's The Watchers (1960) was stolen from Roehampton University, South West London. A load of tripe, it was begging to be melted down (CLICK).

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

New Collecting

Here's a happy bunny. Jenny Lund is Curator of Fine Art at the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. The Art Fund had awarded her £80,000 to build a nationally significant and inspiring new collection of artists’ moving image works. Sounds a tall order to me. She is one of six winners of the Art Fund's New Collecting Awards. CLICK to learn about the other winners across the UK.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Ray Harryhausen

Yesterday I watched a fascinating hour-and-a-half documentary on the art of Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan. It follows his stop-motion techniques from earliest days to his retirement, with contributions from everyone in the business, from Nick Park to Steven Spielberg. For some reason best known to itself BBC TWO has it on iPlayer for 5 days only: CLICK.

Franz von Lenbach

Here's an artist I haven't come across before: Franz von Lenbach (1836 - 1904). He was born in Schrobenhausen in Bavaria and was destined to become a mason. Shown is his Young Shepherd (1860) who seems more interested in having a snooze than in looking after his sheep.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Joplin's Porsche

Art-on-cars buffs might like to know that Janis Joplin's 1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 SC Cabriolet fetched a record-breaking price of $1.76 million, including buyer's premium, at Sotheby's Driven by Disruption auction of sports cars in New York. CLICK for a larger graphic.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Lego at Excel

If you're into Lego, here's the exhibition for you: Brick 2015 at the ExCel in London (CLICK). Shown is an exhibitor with his model of the Titanic made from Lego. The exhibition runs from 11 - 13 December, just in time for Christmas. Admission costs £15.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Mona Lisa Secrets

Did you watch art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon's Secrets of the Mona Lisa, screened yesterday evening on BBC TWO? If you're in the UK, you can catch the programme on BBC iPlayer: CLICK. If not, you can read about it in ArtDaily: CLICK. I found it rather tedious and didn't get much out of it. The Russian Mona Lisa is a fake. Shown is Andrew Graham-Dixon with the Isleworth Mona Lisa.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

V&A Europe

Today the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opened its new Europe 1600-1815 suite of seven galleries, displaying the V&A's unrivalled collection of 17th- and 18th century European art and design. Shown is a V&A assistant posing in a Parisian Cabinet Room (CLICK).

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Assemble wins Turner

Assemble, a collective of artists who work in the fields of art, design and architecture, have won this year's Turner Prize for contemporary "art" worth £25,000. This is the first time the prize has been awarded to a collective. It's all up north this year (CLICK).

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Great Barrier Reef

Here's something to look forward to on BBC TV after all the seasonal tripe has gone the way of that nauseatingly cute sprout. On 20 December Sir David Attenborough's new three-part wildlife programme The Great Barrier Reef begins ar 9pm. He goes down in a state-of-the-art submersible capable of descending to 3,300 feet below the waves. Shown is Sir David on location (CLICK).

Friday, 4 December 2015

Blade Runner Guilty

A South African appeals court has overturned the manslaughter verdict against "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius and found him guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The original defence that Pistorius thought somebody had broken into his home to use his loo made no sense to me. You don't start blazing away at a burglar using your loo. Pistorius is currently on bail. He must return to court to be sentenced for murder (CLICK).

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Malala Portrait

Pakistani artist Nasser Azam spent almost a year painting his giant portrait of "brummie" Malala Yousafzai. Why he decided to paint her skin as white is beyond me. The painting will be added to the National Portrait Gallery in London (CLICK).

Constable's Lock

Sotheby's in London will bring to auction John Constable's The Lock for the first time in 160 years. It will lead Sotheby’s London Evening auction of Old Master & British Paintings on 9th December. The low estimate of £8-12 million surprises me (CLICK).