Friday, July 26, 2013

Egyptian Cats Big & Small

"Seated Wadjet," a bronze statue from the Late Period, 664-332 B.C., exemplifies the important role that cats played in ancient Egyptian imagery.

Review in the New York Times by Holland Cotter of the Brooklyn Museum Show "Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt." 

Its Reign Was Long, With Nine Lives to Start

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

40 Inspiring Workspaces of Artists and Writers

Marc Chagall from "40 Inspiring Workspaces of The Famously Creative"

May Inspiration and creativity be with you!

China's Dafen Oil Painting Village

Dafen village, which produces 60% of the global trade in oil paintings.  Their work is excellent, but the artists earn only about $307 a month.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Doctor Who and Van Gogh

I must buy this poster for myself one day...Doctor Who and Van Gogh...what is not to love?

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Art Quote: Gabrielle Roth

Art is not just ornamentation, an enhancement of life, but a path in itself, a way out of the predicatable and conventional, a map to self-discovery.

~ Gabrielle Roth (February 4, 1941 – October 22, 2012) was an American dancer and musician in the world music and trance dance genres, with a special interest in shamanism.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Robert Mapplethorpe

"I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today's existence." 
Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-portrait, 1975.

     It is difficult to write about such a profound and controversial artist like Robert Mapplethorpe.  He took immensely beautiful photographs and ones that disturbed many people.  He was even taken to court posthumously when curator Dennis Barrie and The Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center were put on trial for pandering obscenity for showing images from his Portfolio X series.  For more on the Mapplethorpe censorship controversy: 

Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1984.

To begin understanding and appreciating Mapplethorpe and his works, I would suggest doing 3 things:

1. Look at his works and decide what you think for yourself: 

2. There is a good documentary on Mapplethorpe and his work (adult viewers) directed by Nigel Finch for the BBC in 1998 (52 min.): 
Profile of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most controversial of American photographers, which accompanied an exhibition of his work at the National Portrait Gallery in the year before he died. Contains interview with Mapplethorpe himself, along with critic and author Edmund White, and with several of Mapplethorpe's subjects.

3. Read Patti Smith's book Just Kids (Nov. 2010, Ecco): 
    -video of her talking about Mapplethorpe around the time the book was published:   

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Women and Tattoos

Book review in the NY Times for “Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo" by Margot Mifflin: 

Above: Tattoo by Stephanie Tames
Below: Tattoo by Saira Hunjan

Excerpt from the review: 

“Bodies of Subversion” is delicious social history. Tattooing was an upper-class social fad in Europe in the late 19th century. Winston Churchill’s mother had a tattoo of a snake eating its tail (the symbol of eternity) on her wrist. The fad spread to America. In 1897, Ms. Mifflin writes, The New York World estimated that 75 percent of American society women were tattooed, usually in places easily covered by clothing.
By the 1920s, tattooed women were mostly to be seen in freak shows and in circus acts, where they could make more money than tattooed men. They offered, the author avers, “a peep show within a freak show.”
Tattoos lost their appeal for nearly everyone shortly after World War II. One reason was because “tattoos perpetrated in concentration camps had added a ghastly new chapter to tattoo history.”

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Humanities in Dubious Battle

Great article yesterday in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Anthony T. Grafton, professor of history at Princeton University, and James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association.

Title and excerpt below:

The Humanities in Dubious Battle:

What a new Harvard report doesn't tell us

Have you heard about the classics major who intends to be a military surgeon? Or the employers who think entry-level interviewees ought to show up having read the company history? No, of course you haven't.

Those people are not just unmentionable, they're unthinkable—at least in the vast, buzzing worlds of the news media, the blogosphere, and the many TED Talks. No one who studies the humanities could possibly have a practical career in view, anymore than someone who has a practical career in view would ever bother studying the humanities, right? And in the corporate world, only the CEOs, not the HR people, value a liberal education. Why would a company like Enterprise Rent-A-Car care if a prospective employee took the initiative to read the company history? What could the study of the past contribute to a career in, say, medicine?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art

George Grosz's heirs want MoMA to return Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse.

     Great article and short video posted to the Arts section of the New York Times today by Patricia Cohen (7/1/13).  I am currently researching something related to this and thought the article was on point.  Cohen's argument focuses primarily on the fact that these cases are not being heard on their merit, because museums are evading the cases through legal loopholes, such as time expiring, museums showing up and talking to the judge who declares that the art belongs to the museum before the family has a chance to appear in court, and so forth.  
     There is no independent committee for hearing these cases of Nazi-looted art and possible restitution to their surviving heirs in the U.S.  There are legal committees dedicated to this process in many European countries, since it is quite a challenge to sort through the documentation, whether or not art dealers were coerced or threatened by the Nazis, and how precisely the art was obtained by the museums (provenance).  One of the problems indicated is that many art institutions in Europe are owned by the state, so they can uniformly apply the order for the designated committee to hear the cases.  Since the majority of institutions in the U.S. are privately owned, such unilateral measures could not be so easily enforced here as they are in Europe.  

Video Link: 

Museums Faulted on Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art
Critics assert that museums have backtracked in recent years on returning art to the heirs of Jews whose property was seized by the Nazis.
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 (