Thursday, 23 October 2014

Bambi Art Stolen

Islington police are appealing to the public for help tracking down five 6ft x 4ft wooden panels with sharks and flower shapes stencilled by the street artist Bambi. They were installed on an Islington building site prior to being auctioned for the charity Art Against Knives. Police say they were stolen between 18:30 on 8 October and 09:30 on 9 October. Why wait so long before making this appeal? Get the news out fast. Anyone who can help is asked to phone Islington police on 101 and quote reference CRIS 2723485/14 (CLICK).

Sir Nick No 1

Here's depressing news: Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota has been named the most powerful figure in the art world. For the first time he's topped ArtReview magazine's annual Power 100 list, the first leader of a public museum to do so. He's been in the Top 10 from the start of the Power 100 list in 2002. Tate Passé ... er ... Modern is the most visited contemporary art museum in the world. It "consistently deployed an international - rather than a national - perspective on art production" explained ArtReview. "Tate has come to epitomise almost all the elements of the current 'global' art world, where the distribution of art is arguably now more important than its production" (CLICK). So much for art and the modern art market! It's all about fooling the punters that tripe is art. Shown is Charles Thomson's Sir Nicholas Serota Makes an Acquisitions Decision (2000) (CLICK).

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WPY Award '14

The Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide are celebrating 50 years of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) Award. The winner this year is Michael "Nick" Nichols' shot of a pride of lions snoozing in the Serengeti. The photo goes from foreground to horizon without a break, which is technically clever; but why use black-and-white film in this century? For me, the magic of that shot is lost without colour. My favourite is the winner of the Birds category: Bence Máté's eerie Herons in time and space, Lake Csaj, Kiskunság National Park, Hungary, which is so technically advanced he had to create two timing devices for his camera to take the single exposure. The exhibition opens in London on 24 October, entry £12.60 for adults, £6.30 for silver surfers (CLICK). Half price!

Leighton House

Leighton House in London will be transformed by hanging 50 exceptional paintings from the largest Victorian private art collection outside Great Britain, many shown for the first time. A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón Collection opens on 14 November and runs until 29 March 2015. These paintings return to the house in which they were painted, There are also works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, John Everett Millais, John William Waterhouse and Lawrence Alma-Tadema. So this is Victorian art par excellence. Shown is a detail from Frederic Lord Leighton's Crenaia the nymph of the Dargle (c.1880). Entry costs £10 for adults, £6 for silver surfers (CLICK).

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Land Girls

Today sculptress Denise Dutton's £85,000 bronze statue to honour women who served in the Land Army and Women’s Timber Corps (Lumber Jills) during World War Two was unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. BBC News was there to video the unveiling and interview some of the windswept veteran Land Girls who attended the ceremony (CLICK). I couldn't find a good image of the finished sculpture, so here's a photo of the maquette held by artist Denise Dutton.

Banksy Vandalized

The latest Banksy Girl with a Pierced Eardrum appeared yesterday in Bristol and by today some jealous dickhead had sprayed it with dark paint (CLICK). Banksy's take on Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring incorporates an alarm box as the girl's earring. Noisy things.

Blade Runner 5 Years

South African Judge Thokozile Masipa has sentenced "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius to five years in prison for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp plus a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge. She considers her sentence "fair and just, both to society and to the accused", whom she praised for his charity work and for changing the public perception of disability (CLICK).

Monday, 20 October 2014

Giant Genitals Art

Here's an "art" concept even sillier than Paul McCarthy's anal-plug Tree in Paris. Claudio Ahlers has taken over a former public toilet in Bristol and installed 7ft tall male and female genitals covered in black velvet. Visitors are invited to interact with the jumbo genitals and have their photos taken. These photos are affixed to the walls to form his Portraits of Private Perception (2014). Participants must be aged over 18. This nonsense limps along from 20 – 25 October (CLICK). Don't all rush at once!

Snake Jug

Here's a warning applicable to today's drunken teenagers. It's a Very Important Anna Pottery 1876 Snake Jug crafted by Wallace and Cornwall Kilpatric for the temperance movement. The photo on the left shows the legs of someone entering the jug, inscribed beneath with the message "Nice Young Man Just Going In". The photo on the right shows his head emerging from the jug surrounded by snake heads. This rare piece of American folk sculpture is Lot 20 in a Crocker Farm auction on 25 October through LiveAuctioneers (CLICK).

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Battersea Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair Battersea runs from 23 – 26 October, promising 1,100 artists and 112 galleries with prices ranging from £100 to £5,000. Admission costs from £8 to £15 (CLICK). Shown is part of Maria Rivans' featured collage. Love that startled grey squirrel emerging from the pineapple ice bucket. His nuts must be frozen.


The Flowers Gallery at 82 Kingsland Road, London, is celebration the 75th birthday of Patrick Hughes with an exhibition of his New Reverspectives. If you enjoy the impossibly endless perspectives of M.C. Escher, you will be bowled over by the reverse perspectives of Hughes' meticulous panoramic paintings, which shift as the viewer changes position. Shown is a detail from one of his panoramas. The Flowers website is a clever-dick pain with light grey text on white "paper". So I can't give you details. The show boggles until 22 November (CLICK).

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Sidney Paget

Yesterday the Museum of London opened Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die, an evocation of Victorian London as the backdrop to the great fictional detective (CLICK). Originally published in the Strand Magazine, which reached a weekly audience of half a million people, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories benefited enormously from more than 300 illustrations by Sidney Paget. Shown is Paget's "Holmes gave me a sketch of the events." It was Paget who created Holmes' angular features and it was Paget who introduced the deerstalker hat (CLICK). Admission to the exhibition costs £10.90 for adults or £9 for silver surfers.

Anal Plug Deflated

It went up on Thursday and was deflated on Friday night. US artist Paul McCarthy's 80ft high inflatable Tree, which he admitted was partly inspired by a butt-plug sex toy, has infuriated Paris residents, who called it a "provocation". It was erected in the Place Vendome as part of the FIAC international art festival. When McCarthy viewed it on Thursday, he had his face slapped three times. Then on Friday night this insult to Paris was deflated. FIAC says the monster will be repaired and reflated (CLICK).

Ben Kustow

Mead Carney Fine Art at 45 Dover Street, London, has opened the first solo exhibition of new paintings and photography by Ben Kustow: Gentle On My Mind (CLICK). The exhibition runs until 25 October. so you haven't got long if you want to see it. Shown is Ben Kustow's How Do You Like Your Blueeyed Boy Mister Death (2014). it isn't all Calgary Stampede, but Ben certainly likes his cowboys and bucking broncos.