Beethoven's bad influence - Alex Ross ponders if veneration of him stifled his successors.
Five year old Iris Grace has taken up painting. Iris is autistic, and her parents introduced her to painting as a means to help with her speech therapy. She has attracted attention worldwide and her paintings have sold quite well. Iris in action. Originals, prints, and calendars can be purchased here. Iris has a constant companion, her name is Thula. The homepage of irisgracepainting.com.
“I want to install it in my house,” Ségalot recalls Bryant saying, “but my wife hates it. She can’t live with a work that says ‘SELL THE HOUSE SELL THE CAR SELL THE KIDS.’ So do you know anyone who might want to buy it?” What the 350,000% rise in value of a single painting by Christopher Wool says about the contemporary art world.
Paul Klee: The Silence of the Angel (2005; 51:14) is a documentary about the painter whose lectures/notebooks, The Thinking Eye and The Nature of Nature, have been called "the most complete presentation of the principles of design ever made by a modern artist ... it constitutes the Principia Aesthetica of a new era of art, in which Klee occupies a position comparable to Newton's in the realm of physics."
Cave paintings change ideas about the origin of art. Recently discovered Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia is some of the earliest cave paintings produced by humans. 'Early artists made them by carefully blowing paint around hands that were pressed tightly against the cave walls and ceilings. The oldest is at least 40,000 years old.' 'The dating of the art in Sulawesi will mean that ideas about when and where this pivotal moment in our evolution occurred will now have to be revised.' ' [more inside]
Russiatrek.org's blog has a nice collection of Soviet propaganda posters. Soviet space program 1958-1963 Part 1. Part 2. International Workers' Day. Soviet Patriotism. Soviet propaganda - the beginning 1917-1923. Stalin's Soviet Union tourism posters. Socialism vs. Capitalism. WWII Part 1. Part 2. Soviet posters of the 1970's. The blog's art category.
Dazed by the recent Blondie retrospective at the (former) Chelsea Hotel? Celebrate Blondie at 40 with some music videos : = Dreaming Union City Blues Hanging on the Telephone Rip Her to Shreds Heart Of Glass (modern retake) Denis X Offender Atomic Rapture The Tide Is High One Way Or Another
"Not since the days of Mike Brown’s conviction of obscenity over 50 years ago have Australian police successfully prosecuted an artist over such charges. These repeated failures have not, however, stopped the police from trying." [more inside]
Tucker Cullinan is a concept artist whose styles span vivid organic/sci-fi scenes in water colors and lost worlds from the imaginary past, to colder, sharp-edged futuristic worlds, and computer illustrations of imaginary prototypes. More on his blog and his portfolio site, plus two interviews.
A Visual History of Typewriter Art from 1893 to Today (previously: 1 2)
Circle of an Abstract Ritual is the latest stop motion timelapse from artist Jeff Frost (previously)who creates short films that defy description. This latest work gathers hundreds of thousands of photographs taken over the last two years during wildfires, riots, and inside abandoned houses where he created a series of optical illusion paintings. Frost says the film “began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing,” and that it is in part “a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.” [via]
Thru You Too has been released. Kutiman's followup to his landmark video album Thru You, Thru You Too is made up entirely of sampled musicians from YouTube, none of whom with any prior knowledge of the project. Previously and previously.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
Diana Beltran Herrera sculpts beautiful birds out of paper. She's currently working on a series based on postage stamps; you can see some of the new birds on her Facebook page. [via]
The exhaustively researched Hollywood history podcast You Must Remember This (Previously) presents a two part episode focusing on Madonna's use of classic Hollywood imagery and references as a form of conceptual art and her early attempts to trade pop idol success for movie stardom within the context of two high-profile relationships with Sean Penn and Warren Beatty. Episode One. Episode Two. Meanwhile, Todd In The Shadows creates video reviews for every movie Madonna was ever in. So far he's done Desperately Seeking Susan, Shanghai Surprise, A Certain Sacrifice, and Who's That Girl.
Exhibit B is a performance art piece by white South African Brett Bailey. The piece features black actors in still images depicting scenes of slavery and as asylum seekers in living installations that recall the human zoos (previously) of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The piece has been highly controversial, it has attracted significant critical acclaim, being described by art critics as unbearable and essential and "hugely powerful, deeply unsettling, but vital viewing". [more inside]
Bargeloads of art and exhibit materials have been going out to the former prison island of Alcatraz recently, all for an imprisonment- and human rights- and freedom of expression-themed exhibit by Chinese activist dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who designed and directed the installation while remaining under detention in Beijing. The barged materials include over a million Lego blocks, assembled in San Francisco.
"What a bizarre day. I'm sitting here watching my email fill up with message after message from people from so many different times and places of my life, all congratulating me for the astonishing good fortune of receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. Not to mention a flurry of texts and tweets, and I haven't had the energy to even look at Facebook." Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist Alison Bechdel (previously on MetaFilter: 1, 2, 3, 4) has won the prestigious MacArthur Genuis grant, giving her the opportunity to dig into her archives for a previous comic she drew in 2004 to conclude her reaction blog post. [more inside]
When the painting of an Old Master starts cracking and flaking off, what is the best way to make it good? Should we reverently pick up the flakes of paint and surreptitiously glue them back on again? Is it honest to display a Raphael held together with PVA glue? When Renaissance paint fades or discolours, should we touch it up to retain at least a semblance of what the artist intended, or surrender to wabi-sabi?
The art world's food fetish is nothing new, triggering equal parts salivation and repulsion we gorge on so-called 'food porn' every day, saturating our screens with sugar. But beneath that candy-cane filter there's a darker side to our fetishisation of all-things sweet. With their Twix noses, salami decolletage and strawberry laces spewing from donut-shaped carverns, James Ostrer's saccharine-warped creations are delectably disturbing. Born out of a textbook childhood junk addiction, his new series Wotsit All About takes sugar worship to the extreme, sculpting mutated, larger-than-life candy characters from truck-loads of pick 'n' mix favourites. Pushing his sitters to the extreme he smothers them in cream cheese, frazzles and ice-cream cones, the food masks leaving a claustrophic, bitter-sweet taste on the tongue. Interview with the photographer. [NSFW]
Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
Mark Landis is an art forger who seems to be driven not by money, but by the desire to be a philanthropist. [more inside]
THE DIATOMIST is a short documentary about Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement. (via)
ComicsAlliance explores the work and legacy of Tom of Finland (mostly SFW), the legendary homoerotic artist whose work is now available in a limited edition stamp set
Women Who Conquered the Comics World
Robbins knows something about the glass ceiling for women cartoonists because she first hit it herself in the early 1970s, when she tried to join the male-dominated “underground comix” movement based in San Francisco. After the men cartoonists shut her out, Robbins joined forces with other women cartoonists to create their own women’s-lib comic books. She went on to become a well-respected mainstream comic artist and writer, as well as a feminist comics critic who’s written myriad nonfiction books on the subject of great women cartoonists and the powerful female characters they created. Naturally, Robbins has spent some time hunting down the original cartoons from the women who paved the way for her career, and as luck would have it, she found the very first comic strip ever drawn by a woman, “The Old Subscriber Calls” by Rose O’Neill, practically in her backyard.
Between the Lines: tracing the controversial history and recent revival of Inuit facial tattoos.
The Nuart Festival underway in Stavanger, Norway offers "a new breed of art exhibition that is neither institutionalised nor commercial, giving the artists free reign to express themselves to the full." And to back that talk up, they offer the entire town of Stavanger, Norway as the artists' canvas. Those of us who can't get to Norway can check out the growing gallery of works being populated through October 12th.
Model books, examples for medieval scribes to copy from and adapt in their work, are like illuminated manuscripts in concentrated form. A post from medieval historian Erik Kwakkel's excellent new blog, a longform complement to his excellent Tumblr (previously).
The Gram Parsons UFO film that never flew is the subject of a new exhibition in London. [more inside]
Speaker of the House: Ballpoint pen drawings of John Boehner. Daily and sublime. [via mefi projects]
Atwood has just been named as the first contributor to an astonishing new public artwork. The Future Library project, conceived by the award-winning young Scottish artist Katie Paterson, began, quietly, this summer, with the planting of a forest of 1,000 trees in Nordmarka, just outside Oslo. It will slowly unfold over the next century. Every year until 2114, one writer will be invited to contribute a new text to the collection, and in 2114, the trees will be cut down to provide the paper for the texts to be printed – and, finally, read.Margaret Atwood's next novel won't be published until 2114. (Katie Paterson, the Future Library, Katie Paterson previously))
Consider an arthouse, darker, noir version of Men in Black with secretive alien refugees trapped in Manhattan, tentacle sex and concept art by H. R. Giger. Clair Noto's The Tourist could have been transformed into a great movie in the right hands. Instead, it has languished in permanent development hell since the 1980's. Some call it "the greatest scifi screenplay never produced" (Article, part 1 and 2.) Decide for yourself and read Noto's original screenplay. [more inside]
Beautiful. NSFW imagery.
Somebody: A new app by Miranda July (previously) allows you to send somebody a message… sort of. When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. Watch the Somebody movie.
V Martineau Illustration: The Miracle of Trees, Sciencia Illustrations, Levels Of Complexity, Plants, The Paper Birch Tree, Why The Sky Is Far Away [more inside]
Bees & Bombs is a tumblr of hypnotic GIF animations programmed by Dublin-based physics student Dave Whyte
92 Gears is a lovely, hypnotic animated GIF. Ball Bearings in a Hypersphere is a mathematical discussion of its generalizations.
Angelica Paez is a Texas-based collage artist whose works are wonderfully surreal and weird. She is also a collaborator in the decades-long One Thousand Thousand project, which aims to produce one million hand-made, original artworks.
Don't do what you love. "We rarely hear the advice of the person who did what they loved and stayed poor or was horribly injured for it. Professional gamblers, stuntmen, washed up cartoonists like myself: we don’t give speeches at corporate events. We aren’t paid to go to the World Domination Summit and make people feel bad. We don’t land book deals or speak on Good Morning America." [more inside]