Duncan Graham reduced famous works of art to their essentials - code-wise - crafting a series of awesome interactives now live on The Washington Post. Go play!
In the pursuit of finding the real owners of Gurlitt’s estimated €1bn trove of Holocaust art, it is maybe time to check your family tree.
The latest news is that Germany has been put under pressure by the US and Israeli authorities to speed up the return of 1,400 Nazi-looted artworks by the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Chagall found a few months ago in the Munich flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, an 80-year- old recluse.
So if you wish to shed light on this perplexing case and understand the battle of laws, please follow the plot carefully.
After speaking to a few art lawyers, in order to solve the mystery, most of them explained that recovering stolen art can be a complex and difficult process.
Karl Lagerfeld on revenge.
The quote: “I know revenge is mean and horrible, but I see no reason why I shouldn’t do something back if somebody has done something mean to me. When people think it’s all forgotten I pull the chair away—maybe ten years later.”
(The Daily Beast has this pretty cool Karl Lagerfeld quote interactive you should go play with.)
This painting of Bea Arthur’s boobs got us booted from Facebook for 24-hours. They said it was a mistake—nude art is allowed, it turns out.
DAILY PIC: Two images care of the punk couture show that previewed today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – and that I just panned on TheDailyBeast.com. In that cranky review, however, I didn’t have room to mention that, among the talentless couturier copycats of punk who dominate the show, there are also a few designers, such as Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela, who are genuine artistic geniuses. The thing is, I think that by including them the curators are guilty of that heinous sin that art historians call pseudomorphism: Imagining that because two artworks look the same, they also mean the same thing and play the same role in our culture. When Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook wore a Union Jack t-shirt in the late 1970s (left) his brash punk gesture meant something utterly different than when Rei Kawakubo, a Japanese intellectual, reworked the British flag (right) into runway fashion in 2006. Ditto for punk’s rebellious repurposing of junk and the Maison Martin Margiela’s thoughtful recycling of consumer goods in the fabulous Artisanal line it launched a few years ago. (Left, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Dennis Morris; right, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Catwalking)
DAILY PIC: I think Richard Serra’s “One Ton Prop (House of Cards)”, from 1969, is the summation of his art, and one of the great works of the last 50 years. The piece – four quarter-ton sheets of lead, four-foot square and held in place by their weight – is now on view in David Zwirner’s beautifully Brutalist new gallery in New York. This “Prop” is all about risk: Physical, artistic and aesthetic. And then the product of that risk turns out to be wonder and pleasure, even beauty. The risk is real, so it produces genuine sublimity. In Serra’s more recent, crowd-pleasing works, the risk is all simulation – no one will die and pleasure’s guaranteed – so the effect is that much less potent.
DAILY PIC: I seem to suffer from a new syndrome called “fair blindness”. I find it almost impossible to take anything in at art fairs, or distinguish meaningfully between all the merchandise on view. One exception, at this past weekend’s NADA art fair in Miami, were these giant “paintings” by the English Glaswegian Laura Aldridge, at the booth of Kendall Coppe gallery of Glasgow. Aldridge’s pieces represent, I guess, a new kind of superrealism, since they are hand-made, hand-painted enlargements of real pockets that Aldridge has sourced from secondhand clothes. I like the way they relate to the scale and shape of traditional heroic paintings, and how they re-root a painter’s “canvas” in the textiles of everyday life.
DAILY PIC: This is one of many gorgeous images in a fascinating show of female nudes by Egon Schiele at Galerie St. Etienne in New York – but their gorgeousness may be a problem. The show’s official position is that Schiele has been unfairly caricatured as a misogynist letch, and that in fact in his pictures of naked women (mostly prostitutes or their like, portrayed in the years to either side of World War I) the artist “negates the illusion of passivity that traditionally held in check the nude’s erotic potency” and “visually affirms female sexual autonomy”. His women are said to “own their sexuality; they take pride in their seductive bodies and are empowered by their allure.” Which is awfully close to the argument that Playboy and Penthouse have always made about the “girls” in their magazines. Schiele is such a master of the seductive surface – and I’m talking here about his compositions, not his models – that any social ugliness behind the picture-making moment disappears from sight. Schiele is, if nothing else, an ancestor of the best in long-legged fashion illustration. The elegance of his touch and line “sells” us the women on view, and makes it easy to consume them. I prefer Toulouse Lautrec, whose ugly, awkward whorehouse views make it clear that something’s out of whack in their sexual politics. (Private collection, courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York)