A new book, City Parks, features essays from contemporary writers and luminaries—from Zadie Smith to Bill Clinton—on their favorite parks. Isabel Wilkinson talks to its editor, Catie Marron.
Everybody knows it, that feeling of entering a park: peeling off the city streets and into that nourishing sense of calm. And then, after the kids on bikes, the joggers, and the dogs playing fetch have faded, the thrill of being perfectly alone sets in.
That feeling of calm greets you upon opening City Parks: Public Spaces, Private Thoughts, a glossy new collection of essays and photographs highlighting some of the most luscious and mysterious parks in the world. Edited by Catie Marron, Vogue contributor and former board chair of the New York Public Library, the book pairs great writers – Zadie Smith, Andre Aciman, and Pico Ayer among them – with celebrated urban parks. There’s Jonathan Alter on Lincoln and Grant Park in Chicago, Candice Bergen on Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and President Bill Clinton on Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.
“I really wanted to capture parks in their inherent mood, and not just in the summertime, when loads of people are there,” said Marron. And indeed, many of the photographs, taken by Oberto Gili, reflect the mood of each park as if it were a character with its own story.
A Bigger Exhibition, which opens at the de Young Museum in San Francisco this weekend, showcases an enormous amount of David Hockney’s new work, including several drawings made on the iPad.
For David Hockney, arguably Britain’s best-known living artist, thinking big has never been a problem.
In A Bigger Exhibition, opening Saturday at San Francisco’s de Young Museum and on view through January 20, 2014, the artist used a variety of media to create his work: an iPad, iPhone, video camera, as well as watercolors and charcoal on paper. One work, Bigger Yosemite, consists of five iPad drawings of the mountains, trees, and waterfalls of Northern California’s national park. Blown up into 12-foot high prints that direct the eye upward, the piece shares gallery space with Hockney’s 30-canvas reworking of Claude Lorrain’s Sermon on the Mount, which he says fascinated him because of the unusual perspective of the mountain in the middle and the landscape off to the side.
Known for his brightly-colored Los Angeles swimming pools and palm trees in the 1960s and Seventies, Hockney has recently explored the landscapes of Yorkshire in England, near where he grew up and now spends much of the year. In a series of 25 charcoal drawings, The Arrival of Spring in 2013 (twenty thirteen), Hockney, who only started working with charcoal on paper last year, said in an e-mail to the exhibition’s organizer, Richard Benefield, that he wanted to capture “the bleakness of winter and its exciting transformation to the summer.”
Has Banksy, the elusive graffiti artist, finally been captured on camera? This photograph, taken today in New York City, allegedly shows Banksy at work. *UPDATE: Now there's a video.
Has Banksy, the mysterious graffiti artist, finally been caught in the act?
For the month of October, the Bristol, England, native has been trekking all over New York City for his latest project, Better Out Than In, unveiling one graffiti art piece a day. He’s been labeled a vandal by Mayor Bloomberg, and is alleged to have bailed on his NYC project due to “police activity.”
But a Banksy fanatic allegedly captured the artist in the act earlier today on the streets of New York City. The artist is allegedly pictured spraying a wall with black paint to create a "drip effect," according to the photographer. The photograph was taken on the corner of Elizabeth and Houston streets in lower Manhattan.
The Daily Pic: Martin Honert turns a vintage photo into full 3D.
This is Martin Honert's "Group of Teachers", on view through Saturday in his solo show at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York. Honert took an old black and white photo of the teachers at the boarding school he was sent to, then realized it life-size in resin, using sand and glass to capture the grain and tonal artifacts of the vintage shot. The sculpture only has its full effect when viewed alongside its living audience, at which point this high realist work comes to share something with Minimalist abstraction: Both are less about their own qualities as objects than how they share a space with us. They are about a social context they create for their viewing.
The Daily Pic: At the Hirshhorn Museum, Ed Ruscha and others take a refined view of havoc.
Ed Ruscha’s “The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire” (1965–68), went on view today in the thematic show called “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950”, at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, which I previewed in today’s New York Times. What I particularly like about Ruscha’s piece is that it is utterly Apollonian in its ultra-refined technique, and yet treats a Dionysian moment of disaster. That is, in its essence it pushes back against the sheer love of havoc that some other destructive art tends to channel. Even as some of this show’s artists claim to decry chaos and violence, there’s a risk that they are helping us revel in both. (Christian Marclay’s brilliant “Guitar Drag” plays on just that tension.)
The rowers at Great Britain's University of Warwick are battling homophobia -- by getting naked.
Winter is almost here -- but that’s not stopping the men on the University of Warwick Rowing Club from stripping down.
For their fifth consecutive year, the British rowing team has unveiled another nude calendar -- featuring the young men in all of their, well, glory. The nude calendars, which began in 2009, were conceived as a way of fundraising to spread awareness against homophobia. Since then, sales have spread internationally, with last year’s calendar selling out within a couple of days to customers in over forty countries.
A portion of the sale's proceeds will go to a new program, Sports Allies, which was recently formed with Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH). This program allows the team to give back to their fans in the gay community by continuing their fight against homophobia in the form of an “It Gets Better”-like campaign and crisis hotline. Below is a teaser-trailer of the team in action.
The photographer of the calendar and director of the film was London-based Angus Malcolm, and according to his website, he specializes in photographing men. His Tumblr also has some very fun behind the scene shots from shooting the calendar.
The Museum of Arts and Design presents an in-depth exhibition that explores digital fabrication.
Be it a sculpture, an elegant chair, an architectural masterpiece, or a Lady Gaga costume, new technology has given rise to an emergent realm of digitally fabricated art and design. For the first in-depth exhibition exploring these ideas, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York is examining how these advancements have developed over the past decade and how they are transforming the future of design as we know it.
Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital is what curator Ronald Labaco describes as a representation of “the digitally fabricated world as it exists today.” Looking at works from 2005 to the present, this survey of tech-age art shows us how the practices of designers, architects, and artists are beginning to merge through the use of computer programing and machinery.
Labaco presents the exhibition in such a way that the tech-savvy crowd will not find it over-simplified -- and those less familiar will actually understand it. After all, not everyone is expected to know what Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC), machining and digital knitting are … just yet.
Tamae Hirokawa's "SOMARTA Skin" series is based on the concept of a "second skin." 3D scanning allows the garments to be seamless and perfectly form fitting. (Courtesy MAD Museum)
The Daily Pic: With his giant police uniforms, Chris Burden builds a liberal's nightmare, or conservative's dream.
These oversized police uniforms are a 1993 work by Chris Burden, from his solo show at the New Museum in New York. They are perfect facsimiles of what was worn by the LAPD, although blown up to just about fit the largest humans ever born. They capture the inner image that we have of every police officer we have an encounter with – whether as savior or threat.
A week after Mayor Bloomberg encouraged the NYPD to stop the artist, Banksy claimed that he canceled his daily work on Wednesday "due to police activity" -- which could, of course, be the art itself.
Is Banksy being forced out of New York City?
On Wednesday morning, a week after the Mayor Bloomberg called him out, the mysterious street artist Banksy posted on his website to let everyone know that “Today’s art has been canceled due to police activity.”
Banksy began his month-long “residency” on October 1, and said he planned to produce a work-a-day for the entire month. So far, he has painted walls in every borough, sent out two traveling installations, organized performances, anonymously sold his art, and more.
On October 16, photos surfaced with the tag-line “I found Banksy.” The photos, taken at his Red Hook warehouse, revealed a man who looked strikingly similar to a 2008 photo that speculated about the artist's identity. Since then, the NYPD has made it a priority to capture the artist by milling over surveillance footage in areas Banksy’s work has appeared. Mayor Bloomberg agreed that the “vandal” must be caught and charged with vandalism.
A new exhibition in London showcases the connection between Pop Art and design. From a ‘fetish chair’ to a creation made out of mud, Chloë Ashby picks the wildest pieces.
Pop Art Design at London’s Barbican Art Gallery offers a sunny respite to London’s gloomy weather this week: the show introduces a bright panorama of the Pop era, with over 200 works by more than 70 artists and designers from the late 1950s to the early ’70s.
Pop Art exploded onto the scene as an unexpected post-war party—a daring distraction from the anxieties of an age of austerity. Fun and inventive, Pop challenged established traditions and hierarchies with an aesthetic that was both fresh and familiar; it shone the spotlight on the cult of celebrity, mass production, and popular culture.
The Pop party comes with a pinch of pragmatism in Pop Art Design, the first major show to explore the long-neglected love affair between art and design in that period. Pop Art, after all, satirized products of consumerism. Pop artists found quirky aesthetic value in the objects of daily life, and designers used new and unusual technologies and materials to make those objects appealing.
From a “fetish chair” to a chair made of mud, The Daily Beast picks the 15 wildest items from the show. (Pop Art Design will run at the Barbican Centre in London, from 22 October 2013 until 9 February 2014. It is an expansion of the exhibition of Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, in cooperation with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.)
Says ringleader of Romanian thieves.
This story has just one too many twists. Radu Dogaru, the Romanian who admitted to stealing seven works from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, now says the works may be fakes. Even crazier, he says he was set up and that he was used by those who wanted the $24.6 million in insurance money. The stolen art included works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and Gauguin and was one of the most prominent thefts in decades.
The Daily Pic: Steve Mumford's genteel watercolors capture the hard truths of Gitmo.
This is one of a bunch of watercolors painted by Steve Mumford on a visit to the prison at Guantanamo Bay where alleged terrorists are being held by our government. Mumford’s solo show inaugurates the lovely new space that Postmasters gallery has reopened in, near Chinatown in New York. There’s something especially poignant about the plywood and concrete of Guantanamo being rendered in a medium usually linked to British fields and fens and harbors. Watercolor is also famous as a medium that cares as much about blank expanses of paper as about the pigment laid down on them – but in this case some of Mumford’s empty spaces are there because the authorities told him he wasn’t allowed to fill them in with visions of what he saw. Watercolor is also known for catching evanescent details in the passing scene, but at Guantanamo the problem is that everything seems to stay the same, year after year after year.
A new memoir exposes intimate details of the artist’s private life—from his burning temper, and excessive gambling to nude sittings with his 14-year-old daughter. By Erin Cunningham.
Lucian Freud led a guarded life.
The late, great British modernist painter—and grandson of Sigmund Freud—valued his privacy. He maintained close circles of friends (whom he ensured would rarely interact with each other), and entrusted only a certain few with his personal information. From 1940 until the early 2000s, Freud participated in no press interviews; he was known to physically attack photographers who attempted to take his picture, and he cancelled the publication of two authorized biographies about himself during his lifetime.
Yet despite the eccentricities in his personal life, Freud became internationally-known for his explicit figure paintings—most of which seemingly blurred the lines between art and eroticism. From Benefits Supervisor Sleeping to Bowery Back, Freud established a legacy of somewhat disturbing yet widely-recognizable pieces.
Geordie Greig, a journalist and close friend of Freud’s during the latter years of his life, provides an unobstructed view into the artist’s professional and private in his new memoir, Breakfast with Lucian: The Astounding Life and Outrageous Times of Britain’s Great Modern Painter.
The fashion photographer captures Kate Moss, Amber Valletta, and Guinevere van Seenus, three of the most famous ‘90s models, for a new book. He talks to Isabel Wilkinson.
You’ve seen Craig McDean’s photographs everywhere, on countless magazine covers and editorial spreads.
But now he zooms in on three iconic models he has photographed throughout his three decade long career: Amber Valletta, Guinevere van Seenus, and Kate Moss. The photographs, taken from 1993 to 2005, make up a glossy new coffee table book, Amber, Guinevere & Kate Photographed by Craig McDean, released with Rizzoli this week.
“During my early days, when I first started shooting fashion, these are the girls I photographed more than anyone else,” McDean told The Daily Beast in an email. “Their looks, beauty, and gracefulness inspired me more than anyone else from that period.”
The Daily Pic: Around 1758, Jean-Claude Duplessis designed pink vases that made the masses see red.
Jean-Claude Duplessis designed elephant-themed porcelain vases at the royal Sèvres works near Paris in around 1758, and the Metropolitan Museum acquired this pair of them exactly two centuries later. At Saturday’s TEDx session at the Met, the most interesting talk was by Luke Syson, the Met’s new head of European sculpture and decorative arts, who described his love-hate relationship with Rococo pieces like this. (Most of the other talks and performances were at a painfully lower level of sophistication and complexity than the great Met objects they drew inspiration from. Nobel winner Eric Kandel, who has had so many original thoughts about brains, proved once again how his views on art can’t escape cliché.) Syson talked about how the “traditional” view of vases like these, among right-thinking lefties like him, is that they need to be despised as symbols of everything that was wrong with the Ancien Regime. And then he described how over time he’s learned to love them as delightful expressions of “fancy” – of a fantasy life that modernism has conspired to deny us. That risks sounding an awful lot like a full-bore capitulation to the escapist, Ancien Régime values that Duplessis’s work represents, and that are more than ever in force in our own society. I’m convinced, however, that there must be a way for Syson to read these vases politically, sociologically, while also arguing in their favor. I’m not sure quite how to do it – maybe you could imagine that, by so brilliantly expressing the values of the aristocracy, these vases set the stage for its overthrow. Someone like Alexander Nemorov might say that they are really portraits of bewigged heads about to roll.
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