"I got more publicity from this little joke... than from all the serious work I ever did over many decades."
A hoax that embarrassed the art world: Pavel Jerdanowitch and the Disumbrationist School of Painting . This "joke on the art critics" was perpetrated by Paul Jordan-Smith, a former pastor who had left his calling after being charged with heresy. He went on to become a writer, editor and journalist, and in 1924 he decided to commit blasphemy against "the strange gods of modern art." The Pavel Jerdanowitch Painting Contest was inspired by the hoax. "The challenge is to produce the worst painting every painted." It's not too late to submit your own entry for 2007. You can check out last year's entries, including the "loser" (winner), for inspiration.
Beware the Ides of March. Almost everyone knows that the phrase comes from the story of the assassination of Julius Caesar, most familiarly in the Shakespeare version, although "The Life of Augustus," written by Nicolauas of Damascus, contains what is thought to be the earliest narrative of the plot to murder Julius Caesar, based in part on eyewitness accounts. But, not everyone knows that The Ides Of March is also a band [flash intro] (best known for the song "Vehicle") [YouTube], an epistolatory novel by Thornton Wilder (with forward by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.), an instrumental song by Iron Maiden [YouTube], and two paintings, one by Edward Poynter and one by Andrew Wyeth.