Saturday, 28 February 2015

Art Nouveau

I've already reviewed one exhibition at The Fine Art Society this week: The New Sculpture (CLICK). Here's another exhibition that makes the Society doubly worth visiting: Art Nouveau, Continental Design & Sculpture from The John Scott Collection (CLICK). Shown are Two Bronze Zodiac Signs by Walter Gilbert and his assistant Louis Weingartner, Birmingham Guild Ltd, created for lifts at Selfridges department store. Those were the days when you got art with your technology. Both exhibitions run until 19 March.

Strawberry Hill

The Strawberry Hill Trust has completed the second stage of its restoration of Horace Walpole’s Gothic villa Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, west London. Tomorrow it reopens with Horace Walpole’s private rooms on display for the first time since the 18th century. Shown is Johann Heinrich Müntz's painting of Strawberry Hill in its heyday (post 1792). Tickets cost £10.80. CLICK for more information.

Banksy In Gaza

Banksy has released an ironically entitled video: Make this the year YOU discover a new destination. He has been painting murals among the ruins of the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun, destroyed by Israel during last year's war against Hamas. The silly buggers are already building new tunnels through which to attack Israel! Shown is a boy beside Banksy's mural Children using an Israeli army watch tower as a swing ride. You need to expand the Banksy film to full screen to read its subtitles, ESC to return (CLICK).

Friday, 27 February 2015

Leonard Nimoy RIP

Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in Gene Roddenberry's science fiction series Star Trek, has died at the age of 83 in Los Angeles. His son Adam said Leonard died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Friday morning. It seems to me as though an entire era has passed away. I was hooked on the adventures of the Starship Enterprise right from the start. Leonard as half-human, half-Vulcan unflappable science officer Mr Spock was the perfect foil for William Shatner's Captain Kirk (CLICK).

IS Destruction

Here's the latest video from so-called Islamic State. Don't worry. There's no blood. It shows IS thugs destroying ancient artifacts and "idols" in Mosul Museum, Iraq. UNESCO is calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Bit late for that.

Jihadi Brides

A week ago we had all the kerfuffle over three London schoolgirls doing a well-planned runner to become jihadi brides: Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum. British police were sent after them, but could do no more than confirm that the three fugitives had crossed the border into Syria. Distraught families pleaded for their babies to return home (CLICK). Babies? They're not even little girls. They are nubile young women who could be in their early twenties. They want a jihadi brute between the thighs. They lied to their parents and wasted police time. If they try to return to the UK, they should be blocked, like men.

Jihadi John

British newspapers are full of the "unmasking" of brutal Muslim murderer "Jihadi John", who has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi from west London. At least two papers have posted a photo of him as an "angelic" schoolboy (CLICK). In Bangladesh, as though to prove that London doesn't have a monopoly on mad Muslim murderers, US-Bangladeshi atheist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death by a mob in Dhaka. Two of the mob used meat cleavers to attack Roy and his wife. She was injured in the attack (CLICK).

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Samba School

This Dancer of the Salgueiro Samba School doesn't leave much to the imagination. The Salgueiro Samba School float, took part in last Saturday's Champions' Parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Despite her attire - or lack of it - the school only attained 2nd place.

Shadow Dancers

I'm always on the lookout for a powerful artistic image. Here's one I spotted today. At first glance it looks like a giant spider, but then you see it has hands instead of feet. It is in fact a photo of Sri Lankan shadow dancers performing in Colombo on 24 February.

The New Sculpture

To coincide with yesterday's opening of Tate Britain's Sculpture Victorious (CLICK) The Fine Art Society in London opened Frederic Leighton, Alfred Gilbert & The New Sculpture. This is a selling exhibition of iconic pieces, including a full-size cast of George Frampton's Peter Pan as well as an eight-foot aluminium cast of Alfred Gilbert's Eros. Shown is the bronze statuette Comedy and Tragedy (1891-2) by Sir Alfred Gilbert MVO RA. The exhibition runs until 19 March and is well worth a visit (CLICK).

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

RCA Secret 2015

The annual Stewarts Law RCA Secret exhibition of postcards runs from 12 to 20 March at the Dyson Building, Royal College of Art, Battersea, admission free. The sale of postcards takes place on Saturday 21 March. People queue for hours for this popular event. There is a £1 raffle for the first 50 places in the queue. Once a postcard is bought, you turn it over to see if it was signed by a Big Name (CLICK).

The Red Arrows

The Red Arrows celebrated their 50th year in 2014 with a Union Jack on the tail fins of their jets, instead of the traditional three stripes. From this year on they are using a refined version of the Union Jack design. The new design was unveiled today (CLICK).

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Sony Shortlist

Sony has released its shortlist for the Sony World Photography Awards 2015 (CLICK for the BBC's selection). I can't say I'm impressed. The IGPOTY Awards were far more spectacular (CLICK). Shown is one of the more interesting Sony photos: Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong's Synchronised Swimming in the Professional Sports Category. But why black and white? Colour would have enhanced this photo. The exhibition will be on display at Somerset House in London from 24 April to 10 May (CLICK for more information).

Monday, 23 February 2015

Horse and St Paul's

If you thought you saw a Horse standing outside St Paul's Cathedral in central London three days ago, your eyes weren't deceiving you. The occasion was a memorial service for Louise Wilson, the former director of the fashion course at London's Central Saint Martins college. The model wears an elegant riding costume complete with black veil, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.