Friday, 28 August 2015

Clooney Launch

Have you noticed how glamour pusses feel the need to tart themselves up for going on the razzle, regardless of how scruffy their boyfriends or spouses appear? For example, take Amal Clooney and hubby George. Here they are at the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel launching Casamigos Tequila. Amal is dazzling in a sequined gold mini dress that shows off her knobbly knees. She's painted her fingernails. Hubby on the other hand wears wrinkled old jeans and dishevelled shirt. He hasn't even bothered to polish his shoes!

Botticelli Reimagined

In preparation for its major spring exhibition Botticelli Reimagined, the V&A has cleaned and restored Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli (c.1470-5). The work has dispelled a myth that the sitter's red hair had been enhanced by former owner Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who bought the painting from Christie’s in 1867 for £20. The Pre-Raphaelite movement brought Botticelli’s art out of obscurity and artists have responded to it ever since. Using infrared reflectography, V&A experts have also discovered how Botticelli designed and painted this portrait. CLICK for more information.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Shepherd's Crown

The final Terry Pratchett Discworld novel hit bookshops in the UK at midnight and fans queued to grab a copy (CLICK). Sir Terry wrote 90% of The Shepherd's Crown before he died. His assistant, Rob Wilkins, completed the novel. It will be published in the USA on 1 September. Shown is Paul Kidby's cover art for The Shepherd's Crown (2015) featuring young witch Tiffany Aching.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Open City Hubs

The free Open House London 2015 booklets are in London libraries now. I picked up my copy yesterday. Don't dither; they vanish like hot cakes. Instead of selecting a potential favourite and finding the queue is a mile long, why not try a hub, where you can walk out of one venue and straight into another? Shown is Temple Inns of Court and Temple Church. To mark the anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215, Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Temple Church will have a host of activities over the weekend of 19-20 September (CLICK). On Sunday a Children's Court will be held at the Royal Courts of Justice.

A Damaging Trip

The big art news story of the day is that a 12-year-old Taiwanese boy put his fist through Paolo Porpora's Flowers while visiting the Taipei gallery on Sunday. The lad wasn't looking where he was going and tripped over a low barrier. He put his fist through the painting, worth nearly £1 million, as he stopped himself from falling. CLICK for details. A security camera caught the action.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Geometric Art

The Cortesi Gallery in London is back from its summer hols and reopened with Marcello Morandini Sculptures. Shown is Morandini's Scultura 526 (2008) made from Plexiglass. If you like being dazzled, this is the show for you (CLICK). Not my cup of froffy coffee.

Forever Bicycles

This is the last "sculpture" the City of London Corporation will inflict on the Square Mile this year: Ai Weiwei's Forever (2014) a stack of stainless steel bicycles. It will be installed outside Norman Foster’s Gherkin between 4 and 13 September to advertise the RA's Ai Weiwei exhibition, which opens on 19 September. This is the fifth edition of Sculpture in the City (CLICK).

Mexican Art

On Sunday this monstrosity was unveiled in Trafalgar Square. It's You (2015) by Mexican artist José Rivelino, one of four new large-format sculptures inflicted on London to celebrate the Dual Year of UK and Mexico 2015. The two bronze fingers weigh 25 tons (CLICK).

Monday, 24 August 2015

Watermill NY

Two Days ago The Nicole Ripka Gallery, a Watermill pop-up gallery in New York, opened an exhibition featuring Carole A. Feuerman's hyperrealist sculptures and photographs by Bonnie Lautenberg. Shown is Carole A. Feuerman's painted bronze sculpture The Message (2013). In October she will have a solo show in London, but I don't know where (CLICK). I'll let you know when I find out.


Yesterday the jihadist Muslim fanatics of IS blew up the Temple of Baalshamin, built in Palmyra nearly 2,000 years ago . The photo of the temple shown here was taken in 2014. A week ago IS brutally murdered Khaled al-Asaad, a Syrian archaeologist born in Palmyra who dedicated his life to working at the site. He refused to leave when IS attacked the ancient city. They beheaded him, hung his body as an example, then mutilated his corpse. His two sons attended a ceremony in their father's memory at the National Museum in the Syrian capital Damascus. CLICK for the BBC's brief and somewhat censored account.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Free at Mall

London has a reputation for being a very expensive city; but, if you know what you're about, there are many free art exhibitions. On 7 September the Mall Galleries in central London opens Minding Too Much: A Charlotte Johnson Wahl Retrospective, admission free (CLICK).

A 'New' Monkey

Meet Callicebus urubambensis, a "new" monkey which languished in the American Natural History Museum in New York City for almost a century, wrongly labelled. In 2013 a Dutch primatologist conducting a jungle expedition through central Peru found this previously unknown species and named it after the river where he found it. Terrific portrait by an anonymous artist. CLICK for more information.

Body and Freedom

I suppose it had to happen. The inaugural Body and Freedom Festival in Biel, Switzerland, claims to be the world's first ever festival for naked performing in urban space. It opened on Friday (CLICK). Shown is Swiss Gisela Hochuli doing her thing in the nuddy.