Category Archives: Arts

London now and then

Great pictures of London now and then find them all here BBC

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Featured Artworks – Composition VII – Kandinsky

Kandinsky a Russian painter and art theorist is credited with painting the first modern abstract works. Composition VII was painted when Kandinsky lived in Munich, Germany. It is the seventh of his ten Compositions, the first three survive only in black-and-white photographs. In his own words, Composition VII was the most complex piece he has ever painted.

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A Life-Size Model of a Fast-Food Joint, Made Entirely of Wood

Artists have tried all sorts of strategies to get us to think more critically about the systems and spaces that govern the modern world. Roxy Paine’s approach was to carve them out of wood. For Apparatus, a recent exhibition at the Kavi Gupta gallery in Chicago, the New York-based artist created two striking dioramas–one of a space race-era control room, the other of a fast food restaurant–both made entirely of birch and maple. Set into the gallery’s walls, the pieces … Continue reading

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TWENTIETH CENTURY WRITING – THE SIXTH DECADE 1951 – 1960

Here is the latest in Alan Mason‘s personal appreciation of twentieth century writing. THE FIFTIES This decade was a period of transition in Europe from the bleak austerity of the post-war forties, to the expanding horizons of the sixties. The re-building of Europe’s shattered cities, like Coventry in the English Midlands, provided greater opportunities for architects, and artists than there had ever been before. Coventry Cathedral had been destroyed in a war-time bombing raid and Graham Sutherland was commissioned to produce a tapestry … Continue reading

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X-rays uncover hidden faces in Rembrandt painting

Even the best artists hem and haw over their work, including Rembrandt. An intense X-ray beam has revealed that the artist painted the same face (the character without a hat) in four locations on one canvas before settling on one spot and covering up the rest. The oil painting, Rembrandt’s 1662 “Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild,” depicts five drapers — cloth experts — working while a servant behind them looks out at the viewer. Chemist Joris Dik of the Delft University of … Continue reading

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Featured Artworks – Death in the Sickroom – Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. Although he is mostly known for his 1893 painting  The Scream, our favourite is this, more down to earth, depiction of a family’s loss, called Death in the Sickroom. – Deskarati

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The Making of Gravity

Go behind the scenes of the wonderful movie Gravity in this making of Featurette !

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Photographer Creates Stunning Optical Illusions With Makeup

A new project from photographer Alexander Khokhlov is prompting doubletakes and pushing portraiture in a new direction. The Moscow-based artist’s latest series, dubbed “2D or not 2D,” uses heavy makeup and post-production techniques to transform human faces into seemingly two-dimensional images. “We tried to make ‘alive posters,’” Alexander Khokhlov tells Yahoo Shine. “It’s challenging to make people look like a poster while at the same time not very digitized.” Working with makeup artist Valeriya Kutsan, and his wife, Veronica (whom he also describes … Continue reading

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Featured Artworks – Nighthawks – Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper, (1882-1967), was an American painter who earned his living as a commercial artist for most of his adult life. He was a representational artist who produced his own work during his free time. Nighthawks (1942) was painted in his heyday. Edward Hopper, himself, has commented on his own work, “Nighthawks seems to be the way I think of a night street. I didn’t see it as particularly lonely. I simplified the scene a great deal and made the … Continue reading

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The McGurk effect

The McGurk effect is a compelling demonstration of how we all use visual speech information. The effect shows that we can’t help but integrate visual speech into what we ‘hear’.

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Is truth stranger than fiction? Yes, especially for science fiction

From warp drives to hyperspace, science fiction has continuously borrowed from, and sometimes anticipated, the state of the art in scientific progress. This has resulted in the perception that science and science fiction have a causal relationship, one finding direction from and fulfilling the science fantasy laid out before it. But that is rarely the case, according to Lawrence Krauss, a Foundation professor in the School of Space and Earth Exploration and the Department of Physics at Arizona State University. … Continue reading

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Physical Comedy

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Featured Artworks – Pietà – Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh made the Pietà paintings from a lithograph of Delacroix’s painting. The subject and composition from the original remain, but Van Gogh brings his own style to the artwork. Of the Pietà, Van Gogh writes: “The Delacroix is a “Pietà” that is to say the dead Christ with the Mater Dolorosa. The exhausted corpse lies on the ground in the entrance of a cave, the hands held before it on the left side, and the woman is behind it. It is … Continue reading

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Alfred Wainwright

Alfred Wainwright (“A.W.”) MBE (17 January 1907 – 20 January 1991) was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the English Lake District. Among his 40-odd other books is the first guide to the Coast to Coast Walk, a 192-mile long-distance footpath devised by Wainwright which remains … Continue reading

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National Gallery acquires first US artwork

The National Gallery has made its first ever acquisition of a painting by an American artist. The museum paid £15.6m ($25.5m) for the Men of the Docks by George Bellows. It was painted in 1912 and depicts a group of workers standing by the waterfront in Brooklyn. This purchase marks a major shift in the National’s collecting policy which has previously limited it’s collection to paintings by European artists from the Renaissance to around 1900. Although this might start covering material which is … Continue reading

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11-year-old Kieron Williamson’s paintings compared with Monet, can you tell them apart?

He is the art prodigy who sold out his first exhibition aged six. Kieron Williamson, from Norfolk, has become known as the ‘Mini-Monet’ and his landscapes are sought-after around the world, selling for up to £35,000 each. Last year his total sales broke the £1.5 million mark, with one exhibition earning £250,000 in 20 minutes. Kieron’s talent was discovered on a trip to Cornwall when he painted a coastal scene. Within a year, word of his gift had spread across the globe. … Continue reading

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Featured Artwork – Danaid – Auguste Rodin

According to Greek legend the Danaids were the fifty daughters of King Danaus, who was in conflict with his brother Aegyptos, father of fifty sons. The sons demanded to marry the daughters and in revenge Danaus ordered his daughters to kill their bridegrooms on their wedding night. As a result of their crimes, the Danaids were sentenced to the underworld where their punishment was the futile task of perpetually trying to fill leaky jugs with water. In his sculpture Auguste … Continue reading

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All Academy Award Winners for Best Visual Effects Since 1977

Take a trip down special effects-laden memory lane with this collection of clips from every single winner of the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, since Star Wars nabbed the first one back in 1977 — and check out who the contenders are for this year’s Oscar.

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R.I.P. Pete Seeger

Folk Singer Pete Seeger has died at the age of 94, following six days in the hospital. Seeger was known for singing iconic songs such as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn Turn Turn” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”

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This beautifully bound book is actually six different texts in one

Dos-à-dos binding refers to a technique whereby two books are bound at their backs, allowing you to read one book, flip the conjoined pair over, and continue reading the other book. The dos-à-dos book you see here is even more special. Not only is it a rather old one (it was bound in the late 16th century), but it contains not two but six books, all neatly hidden inside a single binding (see this motionless pic to admire it). They … Continue reading

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