The Best Photos From Art Basel Miami Beach 2014

The party ends at Art Basel Miami Beach tomorrow. The weeklong art fair celebrated its 44th year with the best in contemporary art from almost 300 galleries all over the world. This year’s celeb-filled slate included work from Miley Cyrus, a performance piece from New York City artist Ryan McNamara that “attempted to convey the experience of the Internet,” and several solemn nods to the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri. We scoured social media for the best snaps from Art Basel for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to link us to your personal favorites, below. … Read More

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Backseat Confessions: A Taxi Driver’s Photos of His Most Eccentric Passengers

Taxi drivers are the confessors of our time. They meet us at our most harried, ready to embark on some of life’s great journeys: job interviews, the birth of a child, a flight around the world. The friendliest cabbies are happy to strike up a conversation — and people often feel a certain freedom to share things they might not even tell their loved ones. … Read More

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The Year’s Most Controversial Magazine Covers: 2014

What did we learn from the controversial magazine covers this year? It was an complicated and tumultuous year politically, although this year that didn’t leave us with boundary-pushing, banned-in-Boston covers like Rolling Stone‘s notorious Boston bomber selfie. We had a lot of conversations about famous women on magazine covers and what it all meant. The themes that keep cropping up, repeatedly, is that controversy comes when issues of class, race, and size are in the picture. Here are some of the covers we couldn’t stop talking about this year. … Read More

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Shia LaBeouf’s Rape Claim: Where Is the Line Between Performance Art and Violation?

In 1974, Marina Abramovic lay down in a gallery in Naples surrounded by objects of pain and pleasure ranging from silk to a gun, and allowed the audience to use those tools on her body. She ended up literally naked, exposed and bloodied, feeling violated by “the heaviest piece I ever did.” She recently reflected on the piece, titled Rhythm 0: … Read More

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Looking For Art’s Response to “The Challenge of Our Times”? You’ll Find It in Mainstream Pop Culture

“We are in the midst of hard times now, and it feels as if art is failing us,” writes New York Times film and cultural critic A.O. Scott in a piece titled, “Is Our Art Equal to the Challenges of Our Times?” His essay, bemoaning a lack of contemporary Great Social Art, laments the absence of Dickenses and Steinbecks, the Zolas and Arthur Millers of yesteryear, even as it introduces a roundtable about art and current affairs featuring artists as diverse as J. Cole, Patricia Lockwood, David Simon, and Ken Burns. … Read More

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Striking Black-and-White Portraits of Sheep and Goats

When it comes to portraits of animals, photographers usually know better than to try to get a cat to sit still for the camera. Most felines don’t have the patience, or paycheck, of Grumpy Cat. Dogs are a favorite subject for shutterbugs — from pups underwater and adorable pit bulls showing off the beauty of their breed, to dog beauty pageants and wet dogs mid-bath. But what about the rest of the animal kingdom?

Washington-based photographer Kevin Horan, who we learned about on Inspiration Now, has devoted attention to the goats and sheep on and around Whidbey Island — home to several farms, beautiful parks, and a nature reserve. Goats get a bad rep due to their association with Satanism. And those horns and horizontal pupils can be a little unnerving. But Horan reveals the humorous and majestic side of the goat and sheep. They’re all goofy grins, adorable beards, dramatic poses, and gorgeous manes. … Read More

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Fascinating Photos That Capture Famous Artists’ Friendships

French photographer Lucien Clergue, who penned the autobiography Picasso My Friend, passed away this month. “I had a good fortune to meet Pablo Picasso at a bullring. I had stopped playing violin, and for the lack of funds I could not go to school in Paris. I started taking photographs with different cameras owned by a man close to my home,” Clergue wrote. “Picasso signed one of the print, not my best, but now it is the most expensive. When I reached the age of 20 I was still working in a factory, but I was taking photographs of five children dressed with clothes designed by me [inspired by Picasso’s circus paintings]. I was trying to make Picasso happy: he had said at the bullring, ‘I want to see more prints.’” Their relationship lasted until Picasso’s death in 1973, and that close friendship is revealed in photos of the artists together and Clergue’s portraits of the painter in his studio. Inspired by Clergue, we gathered other photos of famous artist… Read More

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The Complex Inner Workings of Vintage Calculators Revealed

We imagine that photographer Kevin Twomey cringes just a little when he sees crafters on Etsy selling typewriter parts as jewelry. The Bay Area artist prefers to keep the vintage machines he finds intact so he can examine their inner metal workings through the lens of his camera. His series Calculators, which we first discovered on Colossal, started when he was asked to photograph a mechanical engineer’s collection of old adding machines. “The stripping of the external shell of the calculators was not the original concept for shooting these machines,” Twomey explains. “But when Mark removed the covers to show the complex internal working of the calculators, I immediately knew that this was the heart of the project.” Take a closer look at the bones of these complex calculators in our gallery. … Read More

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Thanksgiving Dinners Reconstituted as Famous Works of Art

Thanksgiving! From what I can gather, it’s a time to eat yourself senseless and argue with your family. Huzzah! But hey, if the whole eating-yourself-stupid business isn’t especially appealing, there are other ways you can amuse yourself with apparently endless amounts of food: like making works of art out of them! This brings us to the work of artist Hannah Rothstein, which we spotted at Beautiful Decay. Rothstein has arranged the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, arranged in the style of various well-known artists. Is this an epochal work of art that’s going to change the world? No. Is it kinda awesome nonetheless? Why, yes. Yes, it is. (Especially the Magritte.) … Read More

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