kottke.org posts about art

Old masters, new mediaApr 07 2014

In a five part series called "emoji-nation", Ukrainian Nastya Ptichek mixes the work of well-known painters with graphical elements of new media. In the second part of the series, the works of Edward Hopper are augmented with social media interface icons:

Nastya Ptichek

The first part finds emoji doppelgangers for works of fine art while the third part uses paintings as movie poster imagery for the likes of Kill Bill and Home Alone (paired with Munch's The Scream). For part four, Ptichek places modal dialogs over art works:

Nastya Ptichek

And part five plays around with several Google interface elements:

Nastya Ptichek

Love this kind of thing. Feels like I've seen something like it before though. Anyone recall?

Hand-drawn cityscapesApr 01 2014

Ben Sack makes these amazingly detailed maps of cities, all drawn by hand.

Ben Sack Map

And just so you can get a sense of how large these drawings are:

Ben Sack Map Progress

Here's a peek at his process:

Reminiscent of Stephen Wiltshire's work. And every time I see something like this, I think about when I went to the Met a few years ago and noticed the sketchbook of this guy working the membership desk. It was filled with beautifully intricate drawings of NYC-style city streets. I chatted with him about them briefly, but I wish I'd asked if he had put any of it online. Would have been neat to share his drawings with you. (via waxy)

The art of street typographyMar 31 2014

I don't know exactly what my expectations were of how lettering is painted on city streets, but this was not it. The level of precision and artistry is surprising.

Reminds me of this video of a hand-lettering master at work.

The Uncomfortable ProjectMar 27 2014

For her Uncomfortable Project, Katerina Kamprani redesigned useful objects; they're still technically functional but are a pain in the ass to use. Like this key:

Uncomfortable key

Or this awkward broom:

Uncomfortable broom

One man's art is another person's trashMar 17 2014

The very first of Marcel Duchamp's readymades -- ordinary manufactured objects that became art through a minimal artistic process -- was called Bottle Rack. This is a replica housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

Duchamp Bottle Rack

The original piece was purchased by Duchamp at BHV, a historic Parisian department store in the 4th arrondissement. It was sold as a rack for drying bottles. Duchamp intended to finish the piece by signing his name on it, but his sister had already thrown it out.

Legend has it that Duchamp's second readymade didn't fare so well either. "En prévision du bras cassé" ("In advance of the broken arm") was a snow shovel on which its title was painted. A replica of the piece was allegedly mistaken for an actual shovel at a show in Chicago and used to clear sidewalks. But perhaps Duchamp wasn't very much put out by the mistake because the snow-clearing artist inadvertently turned the shovel into what Duchamp called a "readymade réciproque" or "reciprocal readymade".

He said that this would be a work of art used as an everyday, readymade object, such as "using a Rembrandt as an ironing board." The readymade took an everyday mass-produced object and treated it as art. The assisted readymade took a mass-produced reproduction of a work of art and made it into a unique commentary on that work. The reciprocal readymade took a unique work of art and treated it like a mass-produced utilitarian object.

Ah, the circle of life.

Food mapsMar 14 2014

Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin favor food as a medium for creating art. Their country maps made from native foods were cute at first glance, but in many cases the maps also reveal a link between a country's food and its culture that I'd never really thought about before. For instance, the maps of India and British Isles feel very representative of their respective cultures to me:

Food Map India

Food Map British Isles

Star Wars HighMar 06 2014

Denis Medri illustrates scenes from Star Wars as if Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest of the gang were teenagers in an 80s movie like Back to the Future, Karate Kid, or Breakfast Club.

Luke and Leia in high school

Great Scott, the Force is strong in these two.

Voxel animalsFeb 28 2014

Love these voxelated animal sculptures by New Zealand artist Ben Foster.

Ben Foster sculpture

Very aesthetically (but perhaps not conceptually) New Aesthetic. (via colossal)

The opening lines of famous novels, diagrammedFeb 28 2014

Pop Chart Lab has produced a print of grammatical diagrams of the opening lines of notable novels. Here's Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea:

Hemingway Sentence Diagram

There are also sentences from DFW, Plath, and Austen. Prints start at $29.

Classic Movies in Miniature StyleFeb 11 2014

For his Classic Movies in Miniature Style series, Murat Palta illustrated scenes from movies using traditional Ottoman motifs. Here's A Clockwork Orange and Kill Bill:

Murat Palta Clockwork

Murat Palta Kill Bill

Great stuff. (via @pieratt)

The motorbike girl gangs of MoroccoFeb 10 2014

Hassan Hajjaj's photos of female motorbike enthusiasts from Morocco are fun.

Hassan Hajjaj Bike

On display at the Taymour Grahne Gallery in NYC through March 7.

Bird contrailsJan 21 2014

Artist Dennis Hlynsky films birds in flight and then uses After Effects to make their flight paths visible, like the contrails of high-flying jets.

That's only one of several videos...there are more at The Colossal and on Vimeo. Nice example of time merge media. (via colossal)

Classic paintings brought to life by subtle motionJan 16 2014

Rino Stefano Tagliafierro took more than 100 paintings (from the likes of Reubens, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer) and set them in motion to music to form a slow motion oil painted dreamland.

Lots of boobs, butts, penises, and even the occasional hint of sexual gesture in this one -- the motion sometimes fills in the blanks on all of those frolicking nymph-type paintings, making them seem to modern eyes even more sexist and outdated than the static paintings. There are some definite porny moments, is what I'm saying. So yeah, probably NSFW.

And for those looking to supplement their GIF collections, this page contains links to an animated GIF for each painting represented in the video. (via digg)

Portraits of Rikers Island inmatesJan 14 2014

Pencil portraits of young men and women incarcerated on Rikers Island by Ricardo Cortés.

Ricardo Cortes

Cortés wrote an essay about the portraits and his experience at Rikers.

The grossest irony is that increasing levels of imprisonment may exacerbate the very problems it is intended to solve. Imagine a drug-dealer, a check forger, a prostitute or a burglar who comes to Rikers. They're often leaving family behind, possibly as the primary breadwinner, breaking up a critical support network and causing measurable damage to spouses, siblings, parents and especially children. They're losing a job during their incarceration, thus falling further behind in bills, rent, and ultimately housing. They're being released after their stay with little treatment or prospects for a new job; their completed sentence may stain their record such that it's even harder to find employment. And they're back on the street with the same personal struggles of addiction, domestic abuse, health issues and difficulty in finding sustainable housing and legal employment. It's not hard to guess what happens next.

(via @jessicalustig)

Cartoonist homagesDec 20 2013

Cartoonist Mike Holmes occasionally draws himself and his cat in the style of other cartoonists. He calls them Mikenesses. Here's Holmes in the styles of Chris Ware, Aardman, and Berke Breathed:

Mike Holmes Ware

Mike Holmes Aardman

Mike Holmes Breathed

(via @H_FJ)

The Moon's tiny art galleryDec 17 2013

There's art on the Moon, a small sculpture called Fallen Astronaut. Artist Paul van Hoeydonck made it. Commander David Scott of Apollo 15 placed it on the Moon in 1971. Instead of a triumph, the whole thing fell into scandal and was forgotten.

In reality, van Hoeydonck's lunar sculpture, called Fallen Astronaut, inspired not celebration but scandal. Within three years, Waddell's gallery had gone bankrupt. Scott was hounded by a congressional investigation and left NASA on shaky terms. Van Hoeydonck, accused of profiteering from the public space program, retreated to a modest career in his native Belgium. Now both in their 80s, Scott and van Hoeydonck still see themselves unfairly maligned in blogs and Wikipedia pages-to the extent that Fallen Astronaut is remembered at all.

And yet, the spirit of Fallen Astronaut is more relevant today than ever. Google is promoting a $30 million prize for private adventurers to send robots to the moon in the next few years; companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic are creating a new for-profit infrastructure of human spaceflight; and David Scott is grooming Brown University undergrads to become the next generation of cosmic adventurers.

Governments come and go, public sentiment waxes and wanes, but the dream of reaching to the stars lives on. Fallen Astronaut does, too, hanging eternally 238,000 miles above our heads. Here, for the first time, we tell the full, tangled tale behind one of the smallest yet most extraordinary achievements of the Space Age.

What goes on inside people's heads?Dec 13 2013

Milos Rajkovic, aka Sholim, creates Terry Gilliam-esque cutout animations of people's heads.

The animated GIF versions are available on Tumblr.

Splatter paintings of superheroesDec 12 2013

From Kacper Kiec, digital splatter images of superheroes.

Kiec Hulk

Kiec Capt America

Lego Mona LisaDec 05 2013

This Lego Mona Lisa is amazing:

Lego Mona Lisa

Crazy recognizable even with only ~400 pixels. The Girl With the Pearl Earring is pretty good too. Of course, nothing beats Lego Stephen Hawking. (via mlkshk)

Painting Morgan FreemanDec 03 2013

Morgan Freeman Painting

Using an iPad app called Procreate, artist Kyle Lambert made this painting of Morgan Freeman. It took him 200 hours. The video of him doing it is mesmerizing:

(via gizmodo)

Listening to the White Album 100 times, all at the same timeNov 22 2013

I have previously reported on Rutherford Chang and his large collection of first-pressings of The Beatles' White Album.

Q: Are you a vinyl collector?

A: Yes, I collect White Albums.

Q: Do you collect anything other than that?

A: I own some vinyl and occasionally buy other albums, but nothing in multiples like the White Album.

Chang has taken 100 of those records, recorded the audio, and overlaid the resulting 100 tracks into one glorious track. Here's Side 1 x 100 (Side 2 is available on vinyl only):

The albums, as it turns out, have also aged with some variety. Some played cleanly, others had scratches, noise from embedded dirt, or vinyl wear. And though the recordings are identical, variations in the pressings, and natural fluctuations in the speed of Mr. Chang's analogue turntable, meant that the 100 recordings slowly moved out of sync, in the manner of an early Steve Reich piece: the opening of "Back in the U.S.S.R." is entirely unified, but at the start of "Dear Prudence," you hear the first line echoing several times, and by "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" the track is a nearly unrecognizeable roar.

Did the Nazis steal the Mona Lisa?Nov 19 2013

Per Betteridge's law of headlines, the answer to this is "no", but it's still an interesting yarn.

Among the many enduring mysteries of this period is the fate of the world's most famous painting. It seems that Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa was among the paintings found in the Altaussee salt mine in the Austrian alps, which was converted by the Nazis into their secret stolen-art warehouse.

The painting only "seems" to have been found there because contradictory information has come down through history, and the Mona Lisa is not mentioned in any wartime document, Nazi or allied, as having been in the mine. Whether it may have been at Altaussee was a question only raised when scholars examined the postwar Special Operations Executive report on the activities of Austrian double agents working for the allies to secure the mine. This report states that the team "saved such priceless objects as the Louvre's Mona Lisa". A second document, from an Austrian museum near Altaussee dated 12 December 1945, states that "the Mona Lisa from Paris" was among "80 wagons of art and cultural objects from across Europe" taken into the mine.

The Mona Lisa was actually stolen in 1911, in one of the cleverest art heists ever pulled.

The art of currency Nov 13 2013

Mark Wagner constructs intricate works of collage out of pieces of US $1 bills.

Abe Money

George Stroll Money

Bee George Money

I love that last one. No Photoshop...he cuts and assembles the pieces by hand:

Shadows and the monsters who make themNov 07 2013

An exhibition from Philip Worthington at MoMA last year turned people's shadows into monsters. Joe Holmes turned his lens away from the shadows and instead captured the silhouettes of museums goers in their attempts to make shadows.

Joe Holmes Monsters 01

Joe Holmes Monsters 02

Thomas Kinkade + Star Wars = YES!Nov 01 2013

Roland Deschane took a few paintings by cheeseball artist Thomas Kinkade and incorporated Star Wars characters into them.

Kinkade Star Wars

(via @Coudal)

Photographing my catcallersOct 21 2013

Hannah Price

In her series City of Brother Love, Hannah Price photographs the men who catcall her on the street. A selection of her images and a short interview is available on The Morning News.

Once a guy catcalls me, depending on the situation, I would either candidly take their photograph or walk up to them and ask if I can take their photograph. They usually agree and we talk about our lives as I make their portrait.

An interesting approach to sexist heckling. Here's another by jogger Anna Hart:

But sometimes, a heckler still makes himself heard, like the wheezing smoker on a park bench who called out to me: "I could give you a better workout, love," as I ran past him earlier this week.

I suddenly thought of that 16-year-old stuck indoors on the treadmill, and turned around. "You know what I want?" I said, as he shrank back in alarm. "I want you to never, ever speak to another woman or girl like that, you pathetic old fool." I was very sweaty, very pink and very angry, and he was plainly terrified.

"True" 3D televisionSep 30 2013

For his Full Turn project, Benjamin Muzzin mounted two screens back-to-back on a rotating platform and spun them fast, creating the illusion of a holographish 3D image.

The Simpsons, deconstructedSep 17 2013

Artist JK Keller took an episode of the Simpsons, ran the entire thing through some audio and video filters, and somehow it retains the full character of the show while also seeming like, as Keller puts it, "a frenetic mess of sight and sound".

After ripping all the frames, I used software to turn the ripped images into vectors. Then I processed the files through Illustrator using the default Alignment & Distribution tools (23 different combinations). With the audio, I used a similar process, making a spectrogram image of the audio from each cut in the episode. Then I applied a variety of processes to the image to mimic the alignment/distribution used.

Lovely world maps made with a SpirographAug 12 2013

Rachel Evans Spirograph Map

Rachel Evans makes colorful world maps out of Spirograph-produced patterns. Prints are available.

24-hour webcam of Andy Warhol's graveAug 12 2013

The Andy Warhol museum has recently set up a webcam pointed 24/7 at Andy Warhol's grave in a Pennsylvania cemetary. His gravestone is currently adorned with flowers, mylar balloons, and cans of Campbell's Soup. Peter Schjeldahl wrote about the project for the New Yorker.

I have angled for reasons to snoot the webcam stunt. I can't think of any. Along with more or less everybody else, I find it Warholian to the, well, life: watching the present habitation of a man who liked to watch. Warhol pioneered motion pictures of motionless subjects; and we have him to thank, or not, for prophesying reality television. His strictly beholding bent became, as it remains, a default setting of artistic and popular culture absolutely everywhere.

The live video feed includes sound, so I imagine it won't be too long before some enterprising performance artists show up and do something entertaining.

Picasso Baby art video thingieAug 03 2013

In July, Jay Z rapped Picasso Baby at Pace Gallery in NYC for six hours. The fruits of that labor have been condensed by director Mark Romanek into a 10-minute music video that premiered on HBO last night. Here's the film:

The idea of performance art came to mind. I was aware of Marina Abramovic's Artist is Present, even though I was in London shooting 'Never Let Me Go' and didn't get to go. And the idea that Jay-Z regularly performs to 60,000 people at a time, I thought, 'What about performing at one person at a time?' He absolutely loved it. He interrupted me and said, 'Hold on! I've got chills. That idea is perfect.' He thinks, like me, that the music video has had its era. I also wanted to make sure we had Marina's blessing. So she attended the event and took part in the event. She couldn't have been more happy or enthusiastic about us using her concept and pushing it forward.

Also, somehow, I have never heard Jay Z talk before. That's his voice?

Dre by BeetsJul 10 2013

Jason Polan draws Dr. Dre using beet juice.

Dre By Beets

Polan is a favorite...his other art is very much worth checking out.

Mozart had weird earsJul 08 2013

Here's a watercolor drawing by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of his ear compared to an ordinary ear1:

Mozart's Ear

"Mozart Ear" has become a medical catch-all term for deformed ears (for instance). Deformed or not2, the ear clearly didn't have any negative effect on his musical ear. (via @DavidGrann)

[1] The note accompanying the drawing at Harvard's Houghton Library reads:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Mein Ohr [und] ein gewöhnliches Ohr [My ear and an ordinary ear] : drawing, [n.p., n.d.] Water-color drawing; [n.p, n.d] 1 drawing : watercolor on paper

The "mein" is crossed out and "Mozart" is written in its place in another hand. With this is Fr. Jelinck's A.D.s., Salzburg, 1879 Sept. 19, certifying that this is by Mozart.

[2] It's stated elsewhere that the ear is actually that of Mozart's son, which would be slightly more plausible than Mozart drawing his own ear.

A menagerie of mechanical animalsJul 05 2013

Mechanical Dragon

From Diego Mazzeo, illustrations of a bunch of different mechanical animals, including a whale, horses, elephants, flamingos, giraffes, a griffin, and a dragon.

Exploding actressesJun 25 2013

This made me Laugh Out Loud for reals...Simone Rovellini doctors clips from movies to make actresses' heads explode. The first clip features Dirty Dancing, When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman, and Ghost:

And this one features a bunch of Disney princesses:

More videos and animated GIFs on the Exploding Actresses Tumblr. (via @scottlamb)

Video art you can watch onlineJun 25 2013

Flavorwire has collected 50 notable works of video art that are available to watch online for free, mostly on YouTube and Vimeo. Here's a piece from Chris Burden where he has a friend shoot him in the arm with a .22 rifle.

Other artists represented are Christian Marclay, Cory Arcangel, Marina Abramovic, and Andy Warhol.

The world's smallest museumJun 19 2013

Museum is the world's smallest museum, located in a small walk-in closet-sized space in Cortlandt Alley between Franklin St & White St in NYC. Collectors Weekly talked with one of the museum's founders.

In the current season, there's a collection of toothpaste tubes from around the world. There's a collection of mutilated U.S. currencies, money that's counterfeit or real money that's been scrawled on. There's a collection from Alvin Goldstein, who was the founder and editor of Screw magazine, who shared with us personal belongings that have stayed with him throughout the narrative of his life. There's a collection of Disney-themed children's bulletproof backpacks. They're things that touch upon something that's happening in society, things that comment on where we're at and how we're thinking and what we're doing.

Classical statues dressed up as hipstersJun 14 2013

Photographer Léo Caillard makes images of classical statues dressed up as hipsters.

Hipster Statuary 01

Hipster Statuary 02

(via ★thoughtbrain)

Send in the dronesJun 12 2013

Andrew Blum writes about James Bridle and the New Aesthetic movement for Vanity Fair.

Suddenly everyone who thinks it's a movement either wants to be part of it or wants to destroy it," Bridle reflected one recent afternoon, sitting behind a makeshift desk in his new, windowless studio in a converted factory in the Cambridge Heath neighborhood of London. "Bruce describing it as a movement locks it into an existing idea of historical processes, but there's no such thing as avant-gardes anymore. That's such a ridiculous idea. That's an art-historical construct that just doesn't apply anymore. But it leads to that idea of there being avant-garde figures that are ahead of everything else. But there's not. It's just me, looking at this stuff, and going, 'Have you seen this? Have you actually seen it? Have you really paid attention and thought this stuff through? Because I'm trying to, and it's amazing!'"

More on the New Aesthetic here.

About an hour of Christian Marclay's The ClockJun 10 2013

Here are a few clips from Christian Marclay's The Clock that have been surreptitiously filmed and uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo.

The clips are crappy bootlegs that cut off part of the screen, but I still totally get sucked in after 30 seconds of each clip.

All the news that's fit to sewJun 05 2013

For her Sewn News project, artist Lauren DiCioccio embroiders photographs from the New York Times.

Sewn news

(via beautiful decay)

The Excel spreadsheet artistJun 05 2013

Shortly before his retirement at 60, Tatsuo Horiuchi picked up a copy of Microsoft Excel and started making art with it. His art does not look anything like you'd expect Excel art to look:

Excel art

VW Beetle sphereMay 31 2013

Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor made this amazing thing, a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle formed into a sphere:

VW sphere

Small-batch, artisanal high-fructose corn syrupMay 31 2013

Maya Weinstein has created a DIY kit for making your own HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup). You may have already guessed that it's an art project and that the artist lives in Brooklyn.

The DIY High Fructose Corn Syrup Kit (DIY HFCS KIT) begin as a journey to uncover the mysteries of processed food. Often times at the grocery store while reading common food labels one cannot distinguish what certain ingredients are or where they came from. The DIY HFCS Kit is a way to visualize as well as interact with the food science behind industrialized ingredients, it is citizen food science for everyone, everywhere. The ingredient chosen for this particular kit is one that is seen a lot in processed and pre-made foods, it is pretty much everywhere, and it goes by the name high fructose corn syrup. The interesting thing about high fructose corn syrup is that the ingredient pops up in so many foods; from cereal to bread, yogurt to ice cream, frozen dinners to canned soups; but high fructose corn syrup is never actually seen on its own. One of the main reasons for this is because it is a highly processed industrialized ingredient created in large factories behind very closed doors. The method for making for high fructose corn syrup was not easy to uncover, nor were the ingredients, but with a little help from some friends and a whole lotta research and testing the Kit was finally created.

Weinstein was planning a Kickstarter campaign for kit sales but "they didn't really understand what I was doing, they said my business plan was unclear". (via @CharlesCMann)

Portraits made using found DNAMay 06 2013

Heather Dewey-Hagborg collects hair, chewed gum, and smoked cigarettes, pulls the DNA out of them, and uses the genetic information to produce models of what the people who used those items might have looked like.

Heather Dewey Hagborg

From this sequence, Dewey-Hagborg gathers information about the person's ancestry, gender, eye color, propensity to be overweight and other traits related to facial morphology, such as the space between one's eyes. "I have a list of about 40 or 50 different traits that I have either successfully analyzed or I am in the process of working on right now," she says.

Dewey-Hagborg then enters these parameters into a computer program to create a 3D model of the person's face." Ancestry gives you most of the generic picture of what someone is going to tend to look like. Then, the other traits point towards modifications on that kind of generic portrait," she explains. The artist ultimately sends a file of the 3D model to a 3D printer on the campus of her alma mater, New York University, so that it can be transformed into sculpture.

Art forgery is high art in its own rightApr 30 2013

We all know that art forgeries are just cheap rip-offs of real art. What Jonathan Keats' new book presupposes is, maybe they're not?

Forgers are the foremost artists of our age.

I'm not talking about the objects they make. Their real art is to con us into accepting the works as authentic. They do so, inevitably, by finding our blind spots, and by exploiting our common-sense assumptions. When they're caught (if they're caught), the scandal that ensues is their accidental masterpiece. Learning that we've been defrauded makes us anxious -- much more so than any painting ever could -- provoking us to examine our poor judgment. This effect is inescapable, since we certainly didn't ask to be duped. A forgery is more direct, more powerful, and more universal than any legitimate artwork.

See also Uncreative Writing, fake is the new real, even if it's fake it's real, and this paragraph from Joe Posnanski's piece on pitching phenoms:

You have to understand that to a boy of the 1970s, the line between comic books and real life people was hopelessly blurred. Was Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, real or fake? Fake? Well, then, how about Evel Knievel jumping over busses on his motorcycle? Oh, he was real. The Superman ads said, "You will believe a man can fly," and Fonzie started jukeboxes by simply hitting them, and Elvis Presley wore capes, and Nolan Ryan threw pitches 102 mph, and Roger Staubach (who they called Captain America) kept bringing the Cowboys back from certain defeat, and Muhammad Ali let George Foreman tire himself out by leaning against the ropes and taking every punch he could throw. What was real anyway?

The CIA and abstract expressionismApr 23 2013

From a 1995 article in The Independent, an account of how the CIA promoted and funded US and other Western artists during the Cold War, including abstract expressionists like Rothko and Pollock.

The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.

The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism.

(via @sippey)

Digital time travelApr 22 2013

Flóra Borsi inserts herself into historic photos, as though she were there photographing events with a contemporary camera. This is my favorite:

Flora Borsi

Borsi states she was inspired by "a Charlie Chaplin movie", which is likely this clip shot in 1928 at the premiere of a Chaplin film which shows a woman who looks like she's talking on a cellphone. See also Girl with a Pearl Earring and Point-and-Shoot Camera. (via @coudal)

Huge photos of small currenciesApr 15 2013

For a project called The Fundamental Units, Martin John Callanan used a very powerful 3D microscope to take 400-megapixel images of the lowest denomination coin from each of the world's 166 active currencies. This is the 1 stotinki coin from Bulgaria:

Fundamental Units

And this is a small part of that same coin at tremendous zoom:

Fundamental Units Close

More information is available here.

Drawing all the buildings in NYCApr 12 2013

James Gulliver Hancock is on a mission to draw all the buildings in New York City.

All Bldg NYC

Hancock's blog has spawned a book and prints are available as well. (via brain pickings)

Retouching the classicsApr 04 2013

For his Alpha Beauties project, artist Nazareno Crea retouches paintings and sculpture from throughout history, a process which normalizes each period's ideal of female beauty to that of the present day. That is, much skinnier, with smaller noses, higher cheekbones, and larger breasts.

Alpha Beauties Mona

Alpha Beauties Venus

Similar projects: Venus and Eye of the Beholder.

The anti-drone hoodieApr 04 2013

Designer Adam Harvey, who gave the world the anti-paparazzi purse and dazzle camouflage for the face, has developed a hoodie that makes the wearer invisible to the sort of thermal imaging utilized by surveillance drones.

Anti Drone Hoodie

This is the most New Aesthetic thing I have ever seen. The Guardian has more:

"These are primarily fashion items and art items," Harvey tells me. "I'm not trying to make products for survivalists. I would like to introduce this idea to people: that surveillance is not bulletproof. That there are ways to interact with it and there are ways to aestheticise it."

I imagine that at some point, anti-drone clothing will eject chaff as a countermeasure against incoming drone-launched missiles. (via @DavidGrann)

Sartorial zoo animalsApr 01 2013

Yago Partal pictures animals dressed up in their finest duds. Some of these are better than others...this is one of my favorites:

Yago Partal

Prints are available.

Intricate body calligraphyMar 27 2013

Israeli artist Ronit Bigal does intricate calligraphy on the human body and photographs the results.

Ronit Bigal

Update: I read the page wrong...the calligraphy is printed on the photographs to follow the contour of the skin, not on the skin itself. Still cool. (thx, @lorp)

Tilda Swinton is sleeping at MoMAMar 23 2013

At random and unannounced times throughout the year, actress (and apparently performance artist) Tilda Swinton will be sleeping in a glass box at MoMA.

Tilda Swinton MoMA

It's part of an unannounced, surprise performance piece called "The Maybe" that will be taking place on random days all year. A MoMA source told us, "Museum staff doesn't know she's coming until the day of, but she's here today. She'll be there the whole day. All that's in the box is cushions and a water jug."

Clearly some crowdsourced announcement system is needed...perhaps istildaswintonsleepingatmomaornot.tumblr.com? Also, in keeping with the theme of "my kid could do that" in contemporary art, both my kids slept at MoMA in chairs with wheels on them.

Big break in the Gardner Museum HeistMar 19 2013

Yesterday, the FBI announced major advances in solving the biggest art heist in history. The break in occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990 when a night watchman opened the door to men dressed as police. Works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas, and Manet valued at over $500M were taken and have not been seen since.

"The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence in the years after the theft the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft. With that confidence, we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England," Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the Boston office of the FBI, said.

The guard who opened the door, Richard Abath, was looked at pretty closely again last week, though he's not mentioned specifically this week.

Glitch art blankets and textilesMar 15 2013

Artist Phillip Stearns makes blankets and tapestries out of glitch art. Some of the source images are taken from intentionally short-circuited digital cameras.

Glitch Blanket

All items are woven in the US and cost $200 and up (plus shipping).

We Buy White AlbumsFeb 25 2013

Artist Rutherford Chang only collects first pressings of The Beatles' The White Album on vinyl. Dust & Grooves recently interviewed Chang about his collection.

Rutherford Chang

Q: Are you a vinyl collector?

A: Yes, I collect White Albums.

Q: Do you collect anything other than that?

A: I own some vinyl and occasionally buy other albums, but nothing in multiples like the White Album.

Q: Why just White Album? why not Abbey road? or Rubber Soul?

A: The White Album has the best cover. I have a few copies of Abbey Road and Rubber Soul, but I keep those in my "junk bin".

Q: Why do you find it so great? It's a white, blank cover. Are you a minimalist?

A: I'm most interested in the albums as objects and observing how they have aged. So for me, a Beatles album with an all white cover is perfect.

Q: Do you care about the album's condition?

A: I collect numbered copies of the White Album in any condition. In fact I often find the "poorer" condition albums more interesting.

Chang's collection is currently on view at Recess in Soho, NYC until March 7th. Gotta get down there and see this. (via mr)

Crouching photographer, hidden celebrityFeb 22 2013

Chris Buck takes pictures of celebrities after giving them 30 seconds to hide. Here's Cindy Sherman:

Chris Buck Presence

Buck's photos are on display in NYC for a couple more days at Foley but are also available in book form. (via digg)

The paper sculptures of Li HongboFeb 05 2013

This video of artist Li Hongbo demonstrating the complexity of his paper sculptures will blow your mind. More wild images at Dominik Mersch Gallery.

(via ★stellar)

Downton Abbey characters drawn as dogs and catsJan 05 2013

These are all so perfect but I'm having a hard time deciding which is the most perfect....the Mrs Patmore tabby or the Dowager Countess Sphynx?

Mrs Catmore

Dowager Catess

Prints are $22 a pop on Etsy and likely to go quickly. (via @mathowie)

Laser-cut wooden maps of underwater contoursJan 03 2013

There's not much to say about these gorgeous, wooden, laser-cut bathymetric charts of various bodies of water except that just look at them!

Below The Boat

(thx, mouser)

Great photorealistic paintingJan 01 2013

A Path Between Rice Fields is a gorgeous painting by Makoto Aida that caught my eye the other day.

path-between-rice-fields.jpg

(via ls)

Just screaming and paintingDec 13 2012

I have a lot more respect for painters now. Who knew it was such an intense sensory workout?

This is taken from a longer video piece with less screaming that will be on display at the Walker Art Center in 2013.

Inspired by Bob Ross-style instructional television programs, the Seoul-based artist says "the theme of this video is the existential nature of contemporary art (and culture) as well as of artists." Characteristic of Beom's deadpan humor, the narrator's demonstration shows how to apply paint while engaged in "a long scream that sounds like when you're hurt"; "a scream induced by psychological pain"; and "a more pained, wronged, and regretful scream."

(via ★spavis)

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before PhotoshopNov 30 2012

He lost his head

NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art has an exhibit running until January 27, 2013 featuring over 200 photos employing old timey trickery.

For early art photographers, the ultimate creativity lay not in the act of taking a photograph but in the subsequent transformation of the camera image into a hand-crafted picture.

Hold me closer, blurry dancerNov 27 2012

A new series of photographs from Shinichi Maruyama shows the nude human form in motion. (Totally SFW.)

Shinichi Maruyama Nude

According to Petapixel, these are not long exposure shots (like these).

Although the photographs look like long-exposure shots, they're actually composite images created by combining ten thousand individual photographs of each dancer. The result is a look in which each model's body is (mostly) lost within the blur of its movement.

You may remember Maruyama from his hand-thrown water sculptures.

Hairy peopleNov 15 2012

Sicilian artist Valerio Carrubba takes portraits and modifies them with MOAR HAIR!

Valerio Carrubba

(thx, david)

Cuts of woodOct 23 2012

Billion, by artist Vincent Kohler, shows the different pieces of wood derived from a log. It reminds me of the iconic butchery map showing the different cuts of meat. The sculpture, interestingly, is made out of polystyrene.

vincent-kohler-billon.jpg

(via dens)

Girl with a Pearl Earring and Point-and-Shoot CameraOct 18 2012

This forgotten Vermeer has been floating around for a few months but I just saw it. Love it:

Girl Pearl Earring Camera

Anyone know who did this? I spent a few minutes trying to find out but got dead-ended in a Tumblr/Imgur attribution black hole. (via ★ryanvlower)

Update: The creator of the image is supposedly Mitchell Grafton, although I couldn't find any airtight attribution. (thx, all)

Barbican's Rain RoomOct 10 2012

Artists in the UK have created a 'Rain Room' inside the Barbican that gives the impression from the outside that it is pouring rain. 3D cameras make it so the rain stops when you walk through it. That is, the rain is everywhere you aren't, and you don't get wet at all.

(via ★adamkuban)

Update: Neglected to mention the Rain Room is an installation by rAndom International artists Stuart Wood and Hannes Koch.

Rothko defaced at Tate ModernOct 08 2012

A 1958 Mark Rothko painting worth millions of dollars, Black On Maroon, was defaced by graffiti at the Tate Modern on Sunday. The vandalism was some sort of 'artistic statement' by a guy with a neck tattoo.

Questions will be asked about security at the gallery, where the Rothkos are not protected by glass and are separated from visitors only be a low-level barrier that can easily be stepped over.

Typically, each room is monitored by a single gallery attendant.

It was Rothko himself who stipulated how his work should be displayed at the Tate.

The defaced painting was one of a series commissioned from Rothko in 1958 for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York's Seagram Building, but never installed.

In 1969, the artist donated nine of the paintings to the Tate on the proviso that they be displayed "as an immersive environment". He died the following year.

Self-portrait of a tree as a young saplingOct 04 2012

This is Cedro di Versailles, a sculpture by Giuseppe Penone, carved out of a five-ton cedar log from Versailles.

Giuseppe Penone

To create the piece, Penone removed the outer rings of the tree to reveal the younger tree within. (via ★spavis)

Zidane head-butting statue unveiled in ParisSep 28 2012

A 15-foot-tall statue of Zinedine Zidane head-butting Marco Materazzi by sculptor Adel Abdessemed has been placed in the courtyard of the Pompidou Center in Paris.

Zidane Statue

The statue, entitled "Headbutt," is by the Algerian sculptor Adel Abdessemed, and coincides with an exhibition of his work in the museum. "This statue goes against the tradition of making statues to honor victories," said Phillipe Alain Michaud, who directed the exhibition. "It is an ode to defeat... Zidane's downward glance recalls that of Adam, chased from paradise."

But as Michaud knows, and surely as Abdessemed intends, it is both not so simple and much simpler. It is an ode to more than defeat; but it's also a representation of very basic feelings complicated by literary analogy. The Headbutt was full of anger, stupidity, and recklessness, but beneath them lay a damaged sense of honor. This makes it hard for even the calmest football fan to wholly begrudge Zidane his actions.

Younger version of Leonardo's Mona Lisa to go on displaySep 28 2012

The Swiss-based Mona Lisa Foundation is presenting an earlier version of the famed Leonardo da Vinci painting. According to one foundation member, "We have investigated this painting from every relevant angle and the accumulated information all points to it being an earlier version of the Giaconda in the Louvre." Seems like a good excuse to listen to The Rolling Stones sing Mona (I Need You Baby).

Edvard Munch's The Scream at MoMASep 18 2012

Beginning in October, a copy of Edvard Munch's iconic The Scream of Nature will be on display at MoMA for a six-month stint.

Of the four versions of The Scream made by Munch between 1893 and 1910, this pastel-on-board from 1895 is the only one remaining in private hands. The three other versions are in the collections of museums in Norway. The Scream is being lent by a private collector, and will be on view at MoMA through April 29, 2013.

Cave paintings were Stone Age animationsSep 18 2012

Archaeologist Marc Azéma thinks that Stone Age artists may have fashioned their cave paintings in such a way as to suggest movement, crude movies that came to life as the flickering light from a fire danced on the walls.

Not only that, Paleolithic artists may have also have invented the thaumatrope thousands of years before the Victorians in the 1800s.

Consisting of a card or disk with different designs on either side, the device demonstrates the persistence of vision: When the card or disk is twirled, the designs appear to blend into one.

Rivère discovered that Paleolithic artists used similar optical toys well in advance of their 19th-century descendants.

The artist examined Magdalenian bone discs -- objects found in the Pyrenees, the north of Spain and the Dordogne, which measure about 1.5 inches in diameter.

Often pierced in their center, the discs have been generally interpreted as buttons or pendants.

"Given that some are decorated on both sides with animals shown in different positions, we realized that another type of use, relating to sequential animation, was possible," the researchers said.

They mentioned one of the most convincing cases, a bone disc found in 1868 in the Dordogne. On one side, the disc features a standing doe or a chamois. On the other side, the animal is lying down.

Azéma and Rivère discovered if a string was threaded through the central hole and then stretched tight to make the disc rotate about its lateral axis, the result was a superimposition of the two pictures on the retina.

Incredible that moviemaking is tens of thousands of years old instead of just a couple hundred.

Penny oil paintingsSep 13 2012

Jacqueline Lou Skaggs does tiny oil painting on pennies.

Penny Oil Paintings

(via @colossal)

Christian Marclay's The Clock coming to MoMA in DecemberSep 08 2012

I can't find any other information about this online or anywhere else, but tucked away in a fall arts preview in today's NY Times is the juicy news that MoMA has picked a date for their screening of Christian Marclay's 24-hour movie, The Clock. The show will open on Dec 21 and run through Jan 21. It sounds like the screening will happen in the contemporary galleries and won't show continuously except on weekends and New Year's Eve. Which is lame. Just keep the damn thing running the whole month...get Bloomberg to write a check or something.

Anyway, probably best to check this out on the early side during the holiday season because it'll turn into a shitshow later on.

Feynman diagram sculptures by Edward TufteAug 22 2012

Opening on September 15 at Edward Tufte's gallery in Chelsea is All Possible Photons, an exhibit of sculptures by Tufte of Richard Feynman's subatomic particle diagrams.

Feynman Tufte

Made from stainless steel and air, the artworks grow out of Richard Feynman's famous diagrams describing Nature's subatomic behavior. Feynman diagrams depict the space-time patterns of particles and waves of quantum electrodynamics. These mathematically derived and empirically verified visualizations represent the space-time paths taken by all subatomic particles in the universe.

The resulting conceptual and cognitive art is both beautiful and true. Along with their art, the stainless steel elements of All Possible Photons actually represent something: the precise activities of Nature at her highest resolution.

This is your self-portrait on drugsAug 20 2012

Artist Bryan Lewis Saunders has been making self-portraits of himself every day since 1995. For one particularly interesting sub-series, Saunders drew himself under the influence of all kinds of different drugs (adderall, coke, meth, huffing lighter fluid, etc.). Here he is on absinthe and mushrooms respectively:

Bryan Lewis Saunders

Lights controlled by eye blinksAug 08 2012

Neat project from Michal Kohút: glasses that turn the lights off whenever the person wearing them blinks.

The lights in the room are temporarily turned off whenever the person wearing the glasses blinks. It all happens so fast that the person wearing the glasses does not even notice the change.

(via @essl)

MoCAT: the Musuem of Contemporary Art TrashJul 24 2012

NYC Sanitation Department employee Nelson Molina has curated a makeshift museum of trash gathered by Molina and other sanitation workers over the past 20 years.

Mr. Molina, 58, a lifelong New Yorker and a sanitation worker since 1981, began collecting pictures and trinkets along his route about 20 years ago, he said, to brighten up his corner of the garage locker room. Gradually, his colleagues on East 99th Street began to contribute, gathering up discarded gems they thought he might enjoy. As the collection grew, word spread, and workers from other boroughs started to drop off contributions from time to time. Next, building superintendents along Mr. Molina's route started putting things aside they thought he could use.

Today, he estimates he has close to 1,000 pieces in his collection, arranged with great thoughtfulness, and even humor, in an enormous open room against cream-colored brick. (He painted the walls, mixing together beige, ivory, white and every other light-colored paint he and his colleagues could find, he explained, so that the pictures would pop.)

Christian Marclay's The Clock on display now in NYCJul 17 2012

For the next two weeks, Christian Marclay's 24-hour supercut of clocks from movies will be on display at Lincoln Center. The Clock shows Tue-Thu from 8am to 10pm and continuously over the weekend.

The Clock is a spectacular and hypnotic 24-hour work of video art by renowned artist Christian Marclay. Marclay has brought together thousands of clips from the entire history of cinema, from silent films to the present, each featuring an exact time on a clock, on a watch, or in dialogue. The resulting collage tells the accurate time at any given moment, making it both a work of art and literally a working timepiece: a cinematic memento mori.

Admission is free, the space air-conditioned, and the couches only slightly uncomfortable. Seating capacity is 96, so the venue is posting updates on Twitter about how long the line is. I popped in earlier today expecting to wait 20 minutes or more and walked right in...quicker than the Shake Shack. I think the MoMA is supposed to be showing it in the next year or two and that is sure to be a complete mob scene so this is your chance to check it out with relative ease.

Earlier this year, Daniel Zalewski profiled Marclay for the New Yorker about how the artist created the film.

Marclay had a dangerous thought: "Wow, wouldn't it be great to find clips with clocks for every minute of all twenty-four hours?" Marclay has an algorithmic mind, and, as with Sol LeWitt's work, many of his best pieces have originated with a conceit as straightfoward as a recipe. The resulting collage, he realized, would be weirdly functional; the fragments, properly synched, would tell the time as well as a Rolex. And, because he'd be poaching from a vast number of films, the result would offer an unorthodox anthology of cinema.

There were darker resonances, too. People went to the movies to lose track of time; this video would pound viewers with an awareness of how long they'd been languishing in the dark. It would evoke the laziest of modern pleasures-channel surfing-except that the time wasted would be painfully underlined.

Andy Warhol eating a hamburgerJul 10 2012

This is a five-minute video of Andy Warhol eating a Burger King hamburger accompanied by Heinz ketchup.

The scene is part of a film done by Jorgen Leth called 66 scenes from america.

Leth had his assistant buy some burgers and directly advised him to buy some in halfway neutral packaging as Leth was afraid that Warhol might reject some brands (Warhol always had an obsession with some of his favorite brands).

So Andy Warhol finally did arrive at the studio, of course along with his bodyguards, and when he saw the selection of burgers the assistant had brought he asked "Where is the McDonald's?" and Leth -- slightly in panic -- was immediately like "I thought you would maybe not like to identify..." and Warhol answered "no that is the most beautiful". Leth offered to let his assistant quickly run to McDonald's but Warhol refused like "No, never mind, I will take the Burger King."

(via bon appetit)

Rocketless launchesJul 09 2012

I love McLean Fahnestock's series of modified photos of rocket launches without the rockets:

Rocketless Launch

Fahnestock also did the video of all 135 Space Shuttle launches at once.

Pantone colors of human fleshJul 09 2012

Artist Angelica Dass pairs photographs of people with the Pantone colors of their skin colors.

Humanae

More of the project can be found on her Tumblr. (via designboom)

Edward Burtynsky has a droneJul 02 2012

In an interview with Nicola Twilley and Geoff Manaugh, photographer Edward Burtynsky talks about his use of film and drones, his current big project photographing water, and the challenges of finding ways to photograph the ubiquitous.

I'd say, actually, that I've been careful not to frame the work in an activist or political kind of way. That would be too restrictive in terms of how the work can be used in society and how it can be interpreted. I see the work as being a bit like a Rorschach test. If you see an oil field and you see industrial heroism, then perhaps you're some kind of entrepreneur in the oil business and you're thinking, "That's great! That's money being made there!" But, if you're somebody from Greenpeace or whatever, you're going to see it very differently. Humans can really reveal themselves through what they choose to see as the most important or meaningful detail in an image.

Burtynsky is a favorite around these parts.

Pineapple under OCJun 28 2012

This story involve: ninjas, Orange County, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Depending on who you ask, artist Todd White, lead character designer of SpongeBob SquarePants, either hired a gang of ninjas to hold hostage a gallery owner for several hours while they stole all his work from the gallery or sent his manager, his lawyer, and an off duty LAPD officer to take his art back from a gallery owner who fraudulently reproduced and signed his work.

Claiming that she had been assaulted and imprisoned, Howell told the cops that she only agreed to be recorded by the men because she was scared. "She was extremely afraid for her life," the officer noted. Terrified for her safety, according to the report she gave the police, she told Eddy and the others what they wanted to hear and signed the settlement only because she had been coerced. She suspected that the caper was designed to eliminate her from White's life and allow him -- and Lavoie, who now worked as White's office manager -- to take over her lucrative gallery themselves. Later that month, she filed a lawsuit against White seeking $7.5 million for physical and emotional trauma. The settlement she had signed that night had no merit as far as she was concerned, and she would continue her business at the Hyatt as normal.

And to round out the art theft beat, a Salvador Dali drawing was stolen out of a NYC gallery in broad daylight last week.

The man who stole a drawing by the Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí on Tuesday wore only the most basic of disguises: that of an everyday gallery visitor, walking past the Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst works on display. And he brought only the most basic of tools for his heist: a black shopping bag.

What a wascally wabbit.

Update:
The drawing mentioned above has been returned.

Cool anatomical sculptures of Lego peopleJun 20 2012

Artist Jason Freeny is making these neat anatomical sculptures of Lego people.

Lego Anatomy

You can see more of his work in progress on his Facebook page. Reminds me of Michael Paulus' work. (via colossal)

The watercolor version of Blade RunnerJun 19 2012

Swedish artist Anders Ramsell has recreated about twelve minutes of Blade Runner using 3285 different watercolor paintings. Wow.

See also Stamen's watercolor maps. (via ★thefoxisblack)

Extreme wind videosJun 15 2012

Turns out that video of people in front of really powerful fans is better than just photos.

(via laughing squid)

Amazing book sculpturesJun 12 2012

I've seen a lot of art and sculpture made out of books but the detail and texture of these sculptures by Guy Laramee really sets them apart.

Guy Laramee

(via colossal)

More living still lifes from Alexa MeadeJun 01 2012

Just got a note from Alexa Meade, whose work I featured on kottke.org two years ago. Since then, she's been around the world working on her art; she'll soon be in DC for an event at the National Portrait Gallery. I thought it would be fun to circle back and look at some of her work from the past two years.

Alexa Meade 01

Alexa Meade 02

Keep in mind that these are photographs of real people painted to look like paintings. In some ways, it's more like sculpture than painting. This is Meade standing next to one of her subjects/objects:

Alexa Meade 03

You can see more of her work on her site or at Flickr.

Drawings of the LHC in the style of Leonardo da VinciMay 23 2012

Dr. Sergio Cittolin has worked at CERN for the past 30 years as a research physicist. He has also made several drawings of the Large Hadron Collider in the style of Leonardo da Vinci.

LHC da Vinci

LHC da Vinci

Symmetry magazine profiled Cittolin a few years ago.

As a naturalist, da Vinci probed, prodded, and tested his way to a deeper understanding of how organisms work and why, often dissecting his object of study with this aim. "I thought, why not present the idea of data analysis to the world within the naturalist world of Leonardo?" Cittolin says. In the drawing below, the CMS detector is the organism to be opened; the particles passing through it and the tracks they leave behind are organs exposed for further investigation.

Cittolin brings a sense of humor to his work. For example, after betting CMS colleague Ariella Cattai that he could produce a quality drawing for the cover of the CMS tracker technical proposal by a given deadline, he included in the drawing a secret message in mirror-image writing-which was also a favorite of da Vinci's. The message jokingly demanded a particular reward for his hard work. The completed picture was delivered on time and within a few hours Cattai cleverly spotted and deciphered the message. She promptly presented him with the requested bottle of wine.

(via ★johnpavlus)

Face flapping photographyMay 17 2012

Tadao Cern sets people up in front of powerful fans and takes their pictures. Instant fun house:

Tadao Cern

Many more of Cern's photos are available on Facebook. (via colossal)

When life gives you graffiti, make moneyMay 14 2012

Last week, graffiti "artist" Kidult painted the word ART in pink paint all over the Marc Jacobs store in Soho. The store's staff cleaned it up, but not before snapping a photo of it and dubbing it Art by Art Jacobs. And then, in an awesome twist, Marc Jacobs put the photo on a tshirt and offered it for sale: $689 or $9 less if you want it signed by the "artist". The Observer's Foster Kamer has the story.

Jacobs, in this situation, has made one hell of a commentary about the absurd commoditization that some street art has yielded, and how easily ostensibly subversive art can actually be subverted, facile as it so often is, and it may be the best take on the matter since Exit Through The Gift Shop.

I'm going to pay for those quotation marks with lots of email and tweets, aren't I?

Update: Kidult has answered back with a tshirt of his own that pictures the "artist" tagging the store. $10.

Puffin CloudsMay 10 2012

Not sure if these are straight photos or digital composites or whatever, but I like the images from Paul Octavious' Puffin Clouds series.

Cloud Bikers

(via @itscolossal)

Matthew Cusick's map collagesApr 24 2012

I love love love these collages made up of mappy bits from Matthew Cusick.

Matthew Cusick 01

Matthew Cusick 02

Matthew Cusick 03

(thx, mouser)

Monet's ultraviolet visionApr 17 2012

In a review of the Color Uncovered iPad app, Carl Zimmer highlights something I hadn't heard before: Claude Monet could see in ultraviolet.

Late in his life, Claude Monet developed cataracts. As his lenses degraded, they blocked parts of the visible spectrum, and the colors he perceived grew muddy. Monet's cataracts left him struggling to paint; he complained to friends that he felt as if he saw everything in a fog. After years of failed treatments, he agreed at age 82 to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Light could now stream through the opening unimpeded. Monet could now see familiar colors again. And he could also see colors he had never seen before. Monet began to see -- and to paint -- in ultraviolet.

The condition is called aphakia.

American girls pose with their American Girl dollsApr 02 2012

Ilona Szwarc made a series of portraits of American girls with their American Girl dolls.

American Girls

Possible art for the High Line: a hanging trainMar 27 2012

The group in charge of the High Line in NYC is considering a permanent installation for the park by Jeff Koons. It is called Train.

Koons Train

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Love it, make it happen. The NY Times has more.

"We've had a crush on the 'Train' for a while now," Mr. Hammond said in a phone interview on Monday. "To me, it looks very industrial and sculptural. The craftsmanship that went into these industrial engines is quite beautiful."

The sculpture, to be constructed of steel and carbon fiber, would weigh several tons. It would also occasionally spin its wheels, blow a horn and emit steam.

In a statement, Mr. Koons said, "The power and the dynamic of the 'Train' represents the ephemeral energy that runs through the city every day."

(via @sippey)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's nipplesMar 26 2012

Nipples at the Met is a photographic collection of all the nipples on display in the permanent collection at the Met Museum in NYC.

Met Nipple

(via @claytoncubitt)

Alternate reality: a same-sex DepressionMar 22 2012

For her project My Pie Town, Debbie Grossman modified Depression-era photos to depict all-female families.

Pie Town

Joan Myers' biography of Doris Caudill (Doris is in many of the pictures), Pie Town Woman, describes her husband, Faro, as less than helpful on the homestead. I had downloaded a portrait of Doris and Faro from the Library of Congress website, and because it was so high-resolution, it occurred to me that I had enough pixels to work with that I could alter the image. I removed Faro, and I loved the opportunity to look at Doris on her own and imagine a different life for her. I thought it would be fun to remake the whole town in a way that reflected my own family, and I imagined a Pie Town filled with women.

The main reason for doing so was to give us the unusual experience of getting to see a contemporary idea of family (female married couples as parents, for example) as if it were historical. But I am also very interested in using Photoshop to create imaginary or impossible images-this is something I have done in other work as well.

(via @riondotnu)

Van Gogh to Rothko in 30 secondsMar 19 2012

Perhaps inspired by 500 Years of Female Portraits in Art or this hat throbber, art.com made a video in support of their new iPad app.

Super Mario Bros as surrealist artMar 16 2012

Eating a flower gives you the power to spit fireballs. Bullets have faces. Stars make you invincible. In addtion to being video game, maybe Super Mario Bros is a surrealist masterpiece.

The Rape of ProserpinaFeb 14 2012

Il Ratto di Proserpina (The Rape of Proserpina) is an amazing sculpture by Bernini. It depicts Pluto abducting Proserpina to take her to the underworld. The overall composition is great but the devil (ahem) is in the details. For example, check out how Pluto's hands grip into the marble flesh:

Rape Of Proserpina

Wonderful. Bernini completed this piece in 1622 when he was just 23 years old. (via stable transit)

Possible Neanderthal cave paintings discoveredFeb 13 2012

Charcoal remains found near six cave paintings in Spain have been carbon dated to between 43,500 and 42,300 years old. The paint has yet to be tested, but the drawings could be from the same period.

The next step is to date the paint pigments. If they are confirmed as being of similar age, this raises the real possibility that the paintings were the handiwork of Neanderthals -- an "academic bombshell", says Sanchidrian, because all other cave paintings are thought to have been produced by modern humans.

Neanderthals are in the frame for the paintings since they are thought to have remained in the south and west of the Iberian peninsula until approximately 37,000 years ago -- 5000 years after they had been replaced or assimilated by modern humans elsewhere in their European heartland.

Painting with sound: a 3-D take on Jackson PollockFeb 10 2012

You may remember Martin Klimas from his photos of shattering figurines (which I love).

Martin Klimas

His latest project involves arranging paint just above massive speakers, turning the sound up, and photographing the results. This is Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians":

Martin Klimas

I wonder what dubstep looks like? (via @pomeranian99)

Banksy + Tom Hanks = HanksyFeb 09 2012

The Awl has an interview with a street artist named Hanksy, who takes images from Banksy and incorporates Tom Hanks into the mix. WIIIILLLSONNNN!!

Hanksy

I've come across comments or stories written about Hanksy saying I'm directly ripping off Banksy's style. Like, "Where does this guy get off, stealing Banksy's work?" They are completely missing the point. It's a satire. My goal was never to make a profit. It came about and there was a genuine excitement around the people at the gallery and the community in general.

I'm pretty sure the interviewer, EA Hanks, is Tom's daughter and she got her dad on the record about Hanksy:

Regarding your work, Tom Hanks sends the message, "I don't know who Hanksy is, but I enjoy his (her?) comments via the semi-chaos of artistic expression."

But the T.HANKS trash can remains my favorite Tom Hanks street art:

t.hanks

The models for American GothicFeb 08 2012

In 1930, Iowa artist Grant Wood painted American Gothic. The models he used for the painting were his sister Nan Wood Graham and his dentist, Byron McKeeby. Here they are next to the painting:

American Gothic models

Wood made the painting after spotting a small house in Eldon, Iowa:

American Gothic house

Early copy of Mona Lisa foundFeb 02 2012

Mona Lisa

Restorers at the Prado Museum in Madrid, working on what they thought was a 16th or 17th century replica of the Mona Lisa, have discovered that the painting was actually done by a student of Leonardo's at the same time as the original.

Museum experts are in the process of stripping away a cover of black over-paint which, when fully removed, will reveal the youthfulness of the subject they say. The final area of over-paint will come off in the next few days.

The original "Mona Lisa" hangs in the Louvre but the sitter looks older than her years as the varnish is cracked. The painting is so fragile that restoration or cleaning is deemed too risky. The Prado version, however, will show the sitter as she was: a young woman in her early 20s.

Motion sculptures made with PVC pipeJan 27 2012

Korean artist Kang Duck-Bong makes PVC pipe sculptures that look like they're moving.

Kang Duck Bong

(via colossal)

Don't go changingJan 09 2012

In a piece for Vanity Fair, Kurt Andersen argues that for the first time in recent history, American pop culture (fashion, art, music, design, entertainment) hasn't changed dramatically in the past 20 years.

Since 1992, as the technological miracles and wonders have propagated and the political economy has transformed, the world has become radically and profoundly new. (And then there's the miraculous drop in violent crime in the United States, by half.) Here is what's odd: during these same 20 years, the appearance of the world (computers, TVs, telephones, and music players aside) has changed hardly at all, less than it did during any 20-year period for at least a century. The past is a foreign country, but the recent past -- the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s -- looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History.

Think about it. Picture it. Rewind any other 20-year chunk of 20th-century time. There's no chance you would mistake a photograph or movie of Americans or an American city from 1972-giant sideburns, collars, and bell-bottoms, leisure suits and cigarettes, AMC Javelins and Matadors and Gremlins alongside Dodge Demons, Swingers, Plymouth Dusters, and Scamps-with images from 1992. Time-travel back another 20 years, before rock 'n' roll and the Pill and Vietnam, when both sexes wore hats and cars were big and bulbous with late-moderne fenders and fins-again, unmistakably different, 1952 from 1972. You can keep doing it and see that the characteristic surfaces and sounds of each historical moment are absolutely distinct from those of 20 years earlier or later: the clothes, the hair, the cars, the advertising -- all of it. It's even true of the 19th century: practically no respectable American man wore a beard before the 1850s, for instance, but beards were almost obligatory in the 1870s, and then disappeared again by 1900. The modern sensibility has been defined by brief stylistic shelf lives, our minds trained to register the recent past as old-fashioned.

Smoking kidsJan 06 2012

Inspired by a video of a chain-smoking two-year-old from Indonesia, photographer Frieke Janssens took a series of portraits of kids smoking.

Smoking Kids

A video shows how Janssens made the photos...the cigarettes were made of cheese.

Kids going nuts with stickers...it's art!Jan 04 2012

For an installation at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, artist Yayoi Kusama made a totally white room and gave colored dot stickers to all the visiting children and let them stick them wherever they wanted.

Yayoi Kusama Stickers

Photo remakes of famous artJan 04 2012

I love everything about this...I scrolled through the entire list. This one was my favorite:

Van Gogh Self before

Van Gogh Self after

(via waxy)

Art competitions at the OlympicsDec 01 2011

The Olympic Games used to include competitions in painting, sculpture, literature, architecture, and music.

From 1912 to 1948 rules of the art competition varied, but the core of the rules remained the same. All of the entered works had to be inspired by sport, and had to be original (that is, not be published before the competition). Like in the athletic events at the Olympics, gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to the highest ranked artists, although not all medals were awarded in each competition. On a few occasions, in fact, no medals were presented at all.

(via @itscolossal)

Forging art like no one is buyingNov 18 2011

Since the late 1980s, Mark Landis has been donating forged paintings he's painted to a number of museums around the country. No one really knew why...until John Gapper from The Financial Times tracked him down.

For nearly three decades, Landis has visited museums across the US in various guises and tried to donate paintings he has forged. As well as Father Scott, he has posed as "Steven Gardiner" among other aliases. He never asks for money, although museums have often hosted meals for him and made small gifts. His only stipulation is that he is donating in his parents' names -- often his actual father, Lieutenant Commander Arthur Landis Jr, a former US Navy officer.

Landis has been prolific and amazingly persistent. A few weeks before he came to Lafayette, "Father Scott" arrived at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, with a forgery of Head of a Sioux by Alfred Jacob Miller that he said he was giving in memory of his mother, "Helen Mitchell Scott". Landis has so far offered copies of that work to five other museums. Yet in all this time, although curators speculate about his motives, no one has found out why he is doing it.

Skin writingOct 18 2011

Artist Ariana Page Russell has a skin condition called dermatographic urticaria that causes her skin to become inflamed when lightly scratched. Russell uses the condition to make art on her body.

Ariana Page Russell

(via collacubed)

Sheriff Woody AllenOct 18 2011

Sheriff Woody Allen

From artist Lim Heng Swee. Grab a print at Etsy while you can.

Fun fact: Tom Hanks does the voice for Woody in the movies but in most other media, he's voiced by Tom's younger brother Jim Hanks.

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