Fifty years ago, the Ford Motor Company debuted its iconic Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Take a look back at the history of the all-American sports car.Everett Collection
Many artists wind down in their twilight years, but not Matisse. He was not only prolific, but also created an entirely new art form with his vivid, cut-out paper works.Leon Neal/Getty
Finland Postal Service introduces new stamps.
Finland’s postal service is celebrating homoerotic art. Their most recent commemorative stamp design will present a bevy of barely dressed and leather-clad muscle men based on 33 different works by the Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, commonly known as Tom of Finland. “The sheet (of stamps) portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself,” graphic designer Tim Berry, who helped select the images, said. Laaksonen’s portrayal of gay sex and relationships has been unabashedly celebrated in the gay community and art world. The stamp’s debut will coincide with a solo exhibition of Laaksonen’s work, Sealed with a Secret: Correspondence of Tom of Finland, at Finland’s Postal Museum.
Rembrandt and Kim Kardashian have something in common: Both showed off in images they created of themselves. A new book reveals the self-portrait’s fascinating and revealing history.
As history would have it, we all have a little Kim Kardashian in us—even masters like Velasquez. While the famed Spanish artist behind Las Meninas may not have been posting pictures of his rotund derriere on Instagram, he, along with many other well-known artists, were driven to create and disseminate portraits of themselves.
While we may never know why Kardashian does it, knowing why artists like Rembrandt and Courbet did so is at the heart of art historian James Hall’s book, The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History.
Self-portraits today are consumed by general audiences often with the cult of the artist in mind—that they are a window into a true genius or tormented soul, à la Munch or Van Gogh, as well as promotional.
When a rail line opened connecting Paris to Istanbul, the world was changed forever, allowing people from faraway places to embark on a romantic adventure to see how the others lived.
Since its early days, train travel has been shrouded in an aura of romanticism. It has become emblematic of a bygone era of epic voyages, adventures, and discovery—the excitement and possibility of accessing vast new territories. Today, our fascination with train travel continues, as evidenced in the heavy buzz surrounding the Amtrak writer’s residency, or that episode in Sex and the City where the gals take a long locomotive trip from East to West coast (“Think about it as an adventure. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” Carrie says overconfidently, squealing at the conductor’s “All aboard!”). There’s something that continues to enthrall us about this storied form of transportation.
In Paris, an exhibition at the Arab World Institute makes the most of this allure. "Il était une fois l’Orient Express” (“Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express”), on display through August 31, is a collaboration between the SNCF (France’s national railway company) and the Arab World Institute that marks the 130th anniversary of the fabled Orient Express route. This pan-European crossing bridged Paris and Istanbul (a trip lasting three days and two nights), eventually connecting to other far-flung destinations like Cairo and Baghdad.
Cinemas in Afghanistan were shuttered under the Taliban. But now audiences, all-male, flock to them to watch the latest Bollywood movies. Photographer Jonathan Saruk captured the buildings and their patrons.
When the Taliban took over Kabul in 1996, all forms of movies, television, and videos were outlawed, along with many other things, for everyone. Theaters were quickly abandoned, left to decay and sometimes destroyed. When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, they did more than just liberate the country from the Taliban’s rule. The country's cinemas also reopened.
In 2009, while photographing the Mr. Afghanistan body building competition at the Old Cinema Park in Kabul, 34-year old photographer Jonathan Saruk took note of the building hosting it. “It was really dark and really gritty and had a lot of character,” Saruk told The Daily Beast. “I became curious to see what it was like as a functioning movie theater.”
Using a type of film popular during WWII, Richard Mosse photographs the brutality of the drawn-out conflict in the DRC in vibrant color, hoping to catch the world's attention.
Armed and incredibly dangerous, soldiers from the deadly Congolese M23 militia stare into the camera lens surrounded by lush sub-Saharan jungle that is glowing bright pink. The extraordinary, unedited images were created using some of the last surviving rolls of Second World War era infrared surveillance film.
(c) Richard Mosse; Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery
They were taken in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Richard Mosse, an Irish photographer who bought up Kodak’s last supplies of the film so that he could capture the invisible.
The film, which shows infrared light, was produced in conjunction with the U.S. military to help spot camouflaged enemy combatants from spy planes that have flown above battlefields all over the world since the 1940s. Mosse’s stunning use of the now-obsolete technology has landed him on an international four-person shortlist for the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
The Guggenheim Bilbao has ordered a mural that caricatures the museum to be taken down, but the artists are arguing the artwork's removal would violate their freedom of speech.
Could a respected museum be violating artists’ freedom of speech in Spain? The Guggenheim Bilbao ordered a mural created by artists Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy that depicts the museum with hand-drawn sketches reinterpreting it as a battleship to be taken down. The mural coincides with an exhibition by the artists, titled “Powered A-Hole Spanish Donkey Sport Dick Drink Donkey Dong Dongs Sunscreen Model,” at the contemporary art space Portikus in Frankfurt that criticizes art institutions as, according to a press release, “self-serving mechanisms for their board members.”
“What’s the purpose of these museums?” pondered Bouchet in a recent phone conversation. “The purpose of museums like this probably have more to do with city tourism than with art.”
Bouchet and McCarthy worked with a Spanish media company that sells billboard space throughout Bilbao in order to place the large-scale piece, which has hung since April 2, on 31 Gran Via, also home to a Massimo Dutti retail shop.
The artists first conceptualized the piece in the early 2000s, when they likened the Guggenheim Bilbao’s Frank Gehry-designed building to a battleship. “We were amazed that we hadn’t seen it come up before in popular media,” Bouchet said. “I think the fact that they reacted so strongly, that they were not interested in any sort of artistic interpretation of their museum… It’s hard for me to say what their motivation is, other than that image of the museum as a battleship, there must be some sensitivity to that particular image because it happens to look like it so much.” Bouchet went on to explain that the Guggenheim Bilbao said that they own all the rights to any reproduction of the museum.
A retired Italian autoworker unwittingly bought two stolen art masterpieces worth millions for $32 and kept them on his kitchen wall for nearly 40 years.
It was just after sunrise on a June morning in 1975, when “Nicolo,” whose real name cannot be revealed because of Italy’s privacy laws, finished working the night shift on the assembly line at the FIAT auto factory in Turin. As he often did, he stopped by the “after work auction” run by the Italian state police where items found on the trains were sold to the highest bidder. There, among the watches, radios and lost coats, Nicolo spotted two paintings he thought would look nice above his dining room table. The auctioneer told him they were just “garbage” found on a midnight train from Paris to Turin, and started the bidding at 50,000 lire ($35). Nicolo loved art, but he only made 200,000 lire or $143 a month and he couldn’t justify spending a quarter of his monthly salary, so he bid 30,000 lire ($20) for the two. He and another bidder battled until Nicolo finally won the paintings for 45,000 lire—around $32. He took them home and hung them on his wall. “I have a photo album of my most fond memories: the kids’ birthdays, anniversaries, parties, Christmas lunches,” he told La Repubblica newspaper. “In the background there were always the two paintings.”
When Nicolo retired and moved home to Siracusa, Sicily, he brought the paintings with him. This time, he hung them in his kitchen above the same table he had moved from Turin. His son, age 15, who had taken an art appreciation class, thought there was something peculiar about the one with a young girl sitting on a garden chair. It was signed “Bonnato” or so he thought, but when he researched it, he only found “Bonnard,” a French painter he had never heard of. He bought a book and was surprised to find a picture of the artist Pierre Bonnard sitting on the same chairs in the same garden as the painting that hung on his father’s wall.
“That’s the garden in our picture,” Nicolo said his son told him. They eventually learned that the painting they owned was called “The Girl With Two Chairs.” They studied the other painting, which was unsigned, and learned that it was actually Paul Gauguin’s “Still Life of Fruit on A Table With A Small Dog.” The family called a special art theft squad with the Italian Culture ministry, which deals with counterfeit and stolen art; the official verified that the canvases were originals and worth as much as $50 million.
Greenwich Village holds a mythical place in the history of NYC. Three legends in their own right remember the neighborhood that helped shape them into the artists they have become.
I opened Pó at 31 Cornelia Street on May 27, 1993, and my first and fondest memories emanate from that most excellent corner of Cornelia and Bleecker. On Sundays, intoxicated by both the bells of Our Lady of Pompeii and the fragrance of Zito’s Bakery, I would wander out the front door of Pó at 9 a.m., having done all the prep for lunch and dinner, and head over to Faicco’s to buy fixings for our Sunday staff supper. I’d chitchat with the boys behind the counter, sometimes trade recipes with the sweet Village ladies on the way to or from confession, but mostly guarantee a delicious meal for the crew and me after night service. One of my faves was a sugo with braciole, sausages, and spareribs that I would cook slowly on the back burner and serve around 11 p.m. with gnocchi or rigatoni. After Faicco’s I’d pick up some nice ripe taleggio at Murray’s Cheese directly across the street. Right next door I’d grab a couple of still hot loaves of Zito’s poetic, sesame-coated “Italian bread” and then maybe peek into the Aphrodisia herb store to smile at my favorite cats. If I still had time, I’d grab a box of sfogliatelle for the crew for breakfast and snag an espresso with a little anisette at Rocco’s, just because it was Sunday. A constitutional around Father Demo Square, a look into the kids’ park at Winston Churchill Square to make sure there were no sleepers bothering the kids, and a morning salutation to Joe at Joe’s Pizza, still the best slice in the Village if you get the fresh mozzarella for a seventy-five-cent upgrade. Up Bleecker past the steps of the church and back into my kitchen for a great day making lunch or dinner for my local family and theirs.
In 1985 I scored a job working for Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute. I was hired as “display designer” on a show titled Costumes of Royal India.
Seen from the street, this two-story home seems to be yet another suburban house. But on the inside, it's a wonderland of lush gardens, quirky design elements, and bright, airy spaces.
The authorities are charging the men who parachuted from One World Trade Center. But we should be celebrating them.
Michelin-starred Spanish chef Rodrigo de la Calle is having a whole lot of fun playing with his food…and he’ll leave no plant untried in the process
On a whim, François Brunelle began taking photos of complete strangers who look eerily similar. Over 200 images later, he is going strong all over the world.
India has become known for the congested traffic and crowds of the cities. To escape the madness, Indians head to Coorg, a land of lush beauty, traditional food, and—sigh—tranquility.
Bill Cunningham is known for his photographs of New York’s striking and fashionable residents. A 1968 project placed architecture squarely in the center of the frame too.
A scattered group of absinthe lovers are beginning to come together in the Paris of South America to make and drink the green fairy. There’s only one problem—it’s largely illegal.
Artist Laurie Simmons explores the freedom that comes with dressing up like someone entirely different—a doll—in a new exhibit based on the Japanese practice of Kigurumi.
The devout have been making pilgrimages to one historic chapel for over a century, bringing strange offerings like organ replicas, glass eyes, and prosthetics as a prayer for recovery.