From Collaboration to Theft: What Happens When Art and Advertising Collide

Last week, the Texas Department of Transportation ordered the removal of a new large-scale sculpture designed by contemporary artist Richard Phillips for Playboy Enterprises, on the grounds that Playboy had not solicited a permit for a public advertisement. Titled Playboy Marfa, the work sits along a stretch of US Highway 90 outside of Marfa, Texas, and is comprised of a 1972 Dodge Charger sitting on a plinth next to a giant neon rendering of the Playboy logo. … Read More

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From Poznan Spring to Tahrir Square: 19 of the Most Memorable Protest Photos Since World War II

“Five marines Raising the Flag, Mount Suribachi, V for Victory,” a White House spin doctor explained to his partners in the 1997 film Wag the Dog. “You remember the picture. Fifty years from now, they’ll have forgotten the war.”

This is true for moments in military history, but it’s also true of the anti-war movement. Very often, images emerge that come to embody the entirety of the events they capture in our collective memory. As the unseating of the Morsi government unfolds in Cairo, the images of gesturing hands, signs raised, flags waved, and fires lit will become enduring symbols to the uninvolved public of the moments those pictures represent. Here are some of the most memorable images from protest movements since the end of World War II.
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The Best and Worst Art Shows of 2013 So Far

It’s hard to say if the art world has done an adequate job of responding to world events lately. 2013 has been marked by a crisis in Mali, a new pope, a marathon bombing, and a giant meteor landing in western Russia, and unless you count this series of dashboard photographs taken by drivers in Chelyabinsk, very few painters, video makers, sculptors, or performance artists have tried to reckon with any of this. It’s enough to make you wonder if the world’s most powerful artists and art institutions aren’t also the most solipsistic. For better or for worse, a lot of the year’s most anticipated exhibitions have been disconnected not only from current events but from history. … Read More

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11 Lovely Vintage Photos of Famous Artist Couples

Following the wedding season-fueled momentum of seeing famous authors and famous musicians in love, it’s time to tap into the equally rich vein of young, occasionally happy artist couples. In some cases, the photos below are as memorable and picturesque as the art these duos made. Art nerd couples, in particular, should take note; your search for the perfect Halloween costume may be over. … Read More

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America’s Most Controversial Works of Patriotic Art

A year ago, for Memorial Day, Fox News aired a story about Steve Penley, an artist whose accomplishments were on view on the sidewalk outside their studio’s building on Sixth Avenue in New York. Consisting mostly of brushy paintings of Mount Rushmore and the Lincoln Memorial, the paintings were perfect for a minute-and-a-half news segment that would never be rebroadcast. It was exactly what you would expect a right-of-center news network to seize as a great example of “patriotic art.” … Read More

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Is It Hypocritical to Take Down Convicted Child Molester Graham Ovenden’s Paintings and Not Caravaggio’s?

There’s something not quite satisfying in Sean Thomas’s comment, in the Telegraph, on how the public has treated the painter Graham Ovenden. The living artist has one thing in common with the Baroque Italian painter Caravaggio: a month ago, Ovenden was found guilty of engaging his underage models in sexual acts; Caravaggio, by many reliable accounts, also recruited his young models as sexual mentees. Whereas the Tate, following the conviction, announced that they would be removing Ovenden’s paintings from public view, Caravaggio’s inescapably erotic portrait of a prepubescent youth, Victorious Cupid, is still hanging at a museum in Berlin. … Read More

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The 10 Most Memorable Artist Collaborations

For her contribution to the Manchester International Festival, Tracey Emin has announced plans for a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois, who she describes as her “hero” in a recent Guardian op-ed. To get past the hurdle of Bourgeois no longer being alive, Emin will employ a close reading of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 2004 tome Do It, in which 165 venerated artists provided instructions on how to reproduce their work. Even though the results will fit the definition of collaboration narrowly — a far cry from the genuine two-woman jobs that Hauser & Wirth exhibited in 2011 —  the idea of seeing both minds at work is intriguing, and, given the tone of Emin’s op-ed, pretty damn poignant. … Read More

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Should France Censor Ahlam Shibli’s Photos of Suicide Bomber “Martyrs” in Occupied Palestine?

The photography world is embroiled in debate about Ahlam Shibli, a Palestinian artist whose exhibition, Phantom Home [Foyer Fantôme] is now on view at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. Along with a picture from a veterans’ remembrance ceremony in the French town of Tulle and an unremarkable shot of an Israeli soldier in central Israel, one series in the show, titled Death, includes images of domestic shrines to Palestinian suicide bombers. Inflamed by Shibli’s choice to refer to the bombers as “martyrs” in her wall labels, Jewish groups have condemned the show on the grounds that it justifies and glorifies terrorism, and have called the French Ministry of Culture and Communication to forcibly shut it down. … Read More

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July’s 10 Must-See Art Shows

At least one of the deer-hunting shots from I Am Legend, where Will Smith runs through deserted New York streets, takes place in the Chelsea gallery district, mostly likely during the summer. Even on a busy opening night, blocks full of art galleries almost always seem expansive and empty from the outside, and this gets more intense during the summer, when enough major players close up for the season to convince art lovers that there’s nothing to see. It’s worth reminding ourselves that I Am Legend isn’t real, and actually, there are a loads of galleries that are worth visiting during July, for reasons besides their offerings of air conditioning and shade. Here are ten of the best shows opening across the country this month. … Read More

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Killing Mickey Mouse: The Sorrowful, Introverted Paintings and Reliefs of Llyn Foulkes

For at least as long as he’s been making art, Yakima-born Llyn Foulkes has been interested in music. As a boy, he played pantomime concerts along with recordings that reminded him of the wacky cartoon scores of Spike Jones. Though his skills were sparing at first, when he moved to Los Angeles, he expanded his skill set beyond the drums, and to this day performs a one-man band called The Machine, with a set of horns he plays all at once while he sings. … Read More

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