Saturday, July 25, 2009

Film Update on "The Hobbit" from Comic-Con

photo credit to Ross Setford from the Associated Press

Several people have been asking me about the status of the planned film version of "The Hobbit" by Peter Jackson. Comic-Con started this Thursday, and Peter Jackson attended (as I stated in an earlier post) and dropped a few tantalizing tidbits of information. According to Friday's New York Times (article: "Lord of 'Rings' and Anime's Avatar Hit Comic-Con" by Michael Ceply):

1) Jackson intends to write and produce an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and have Guillermo del Toro direct it.
2) He expects to deliver a script in three or four weeks to Warner Brothers.
3) He is hoping to start offering roles to actors in about two months.

So let's hope that script is ready, that Warner Brothers will swiftly approve it, and that they make the project a go for Mr. Jackson and fans ravaged by expectation.

The New York Times article can be accessed at:

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Art Crime in Academia

Photo from: "Much Ado About Munch: Art Thieves Target Icons of Existential Angst," by Michelle Avis (

ARCA or Association for Research into Crimes Against Art is sponsoring a non-accredited master's in international art crime studies. Considering the large amount of international art theft, arguments surrounding repatriation, and the resurgence of art theft in popular culture ( such as recent novels and films like The Art Thief and The Thomas Crown Affair) this seems like an interesting idea. Academic study in this area could spurn forth some intelligent interdisciplinary discussions and include many different subjects, such as: criminology, law, museum studies, art history, international business, art conservation, and private investigation, just to name a few.

The program is currently only three months long and offered in Amelia, Italy ( a small town in Umbria). I think this could have serious potential if the program is lengthened and the degree is formally recognized by an accredited university. Perhaps this program will help debunk some of the Hollywood myths about art theft and result in tighter security in galleries and museums worldwide.
For more information you can check out ARCA's website,

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Art Goes Reality T.V., Head for the Hills...

Photo by Todd Heisler, from the New York Times (full article here:

Over the last year or two I have read in the news several times about proposed reality t.v. shows about art. About a year ago I heard about a reality show that was being proposed to Bravo for just such a thing. It was to be produced by Sarah Jessica Parker and be in the vein of "Top Chef" or "Project Runway." I even talked about it at the end of my Art Appreciation courses and History of Modern Art courses to see what my students thought of such a debacle. Their reactions were often mixed, some saying it was an insult to the "real" art world, that nobody would watch it, and how on earth would they have challenges and such that are typical of reality show formats.

Well, imagine my shock, surprise, horror(?), when I popped open today's New York Times to see one of these proposed shows has been given a go and has begun there casting calls! The one proposed for Bravo and produced by Sarah Jessica Parker is apparently in process. They have been conducting their cast interviews in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago (how did I not hear about that??), and New York. They are going to pick thrteen finalists who will compete for: a gallery show, cash prize, and a national museum tour. I am very curious to see several things, namely: who are the judges for this show, who is sponsoring this show, and which galleries and museums are going to show the winner's works?

I am a huge supporter of the dissemination of information, the accessibility of art to people from every type of background, but, I do respect art as an institution with a deep and rich history. What scares me is whether or not this will be some crazy dumbed down version of garage sale kitty statues and velvet clown art, or will this be a return of art to the public, for those viewers both educated and average? In the end I do hope it is successful, but I hope it is more reminiscent of Keith Haring than it is of Survivor.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Ode To Silliness & Drawing: SpongeBob SquarePants!

One can hardly believe it, but, SpongeBob SquarePants has been around for over a decade. Compared to other animated programming that is aimed mostly at adults and teens, SpongeBob has remained unique, not only because it is created for children, or its simple innocence and pledge to silliness, but also in the method of its creation: SpongeBob's animation is still hand-drawn. In an age where everything is made with computer animation it is refreshing to see a cartoon that still employs the wonderful art of drawing. Each episode requires more than 20,000 drawings, just as older cartoons did like Bugs Bunny, for example.

With so many animated cartoons appealing to adults or teenagers, such as The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy, it is wonderful to see a cartoon living up to what they used to be: hand-drawn, light-hearted, and happy nonsense. While these other cartoons do have their places for adult viewers and come with tongue-in-cheek references for the older crowd, it is nice that we still have one animated show that is aimed at and created for children, and one which still uses the original artistic tool: the hand.

To honor the anniversary of this porous purveyor of all things silly, starting Friday Nickelodeon is running a fifty episode marathon, which includes ten new episodes, and on Tuesday VH1 is showing the documentary "Square Roots: The Story of 'SpongeBob SquarePants'."

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial Today

Photo: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Today is the memorial service for Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see what kind of photography and street art will result from these events. I will see what I can hunt down over the next few days.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Blog Awards

Some awards this blog has received thanks to some nice folks!

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award
given on 07/24/2009 by Nanny Dee (