We Love to Watch: Beautiful, Intimate Art Explores Voyeurism

We are all voyeurs, but it may be artists who are best at being voyeurs, because they’re able to take their desire to spy and to watch, and make it into a study of humanity. In the group exhibit Voyeur, which is in its last week at New York’s Lyons Wier Gallery, artists peek into the lives of others, creating startlingly personal works that walk the line between curiosity and violation. Lyons Wier gave us an exclusive sample of the work; click through to preview Voyeur, and if you’re in the city, make plans to visit the gallery before the exhibit closes on the 19th. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Pablo Picasso Never Got Called an Asshole, But Norman Mailer Sure Did

Novelist, essayist, journalist, filmmaker, Pulitzer Prize winner, mayoral candidate, wife stabber: Norman Mailer crammed a lot into his lifetime. With all of those titles, it’s a little understandable that Mailer’s hobby of drawing Picasso-influenced illustrations might not be as well-known as some of the other things he did in life. Now, thanks to POBA, the first-ever “virtual cultural arts center,” a handful of Mailer’s illustrations are up on the web, courtesy of Mailer’s family, and available to view along with the work of many other artists. … Read More

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Terry Richardson and ‘Playboy’ Can Have Each Other

Who the hell reads Playboy these days? The answer, perhaps inevitably, appears to be: Terry Richardson. As reported widely over the weekend, Uncle Terry has shot a 100-page special edition of the antediluvian porn mag, which comes out on Valentine’s Day next year. Richardson has posted some of the pictures on his blog (yes, of course they’re NSFW). Clearly, the idea of letting Richardson loose on a bunch of girls will have people asking what Playboy was thinking, and rightly so. But the abiding impression is that it’s all so… so lame. … Read More

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Bold, Beautiful Photos of Gender Non-conforming People

“Gender bender” is an offensive and generally awful term for transgender people, but it’s one that’s being reclaimed by activist Jacob Rostovsky and photographer Dusti Cunningham for a new project called Genderbent, a series of portraits and videos of people who don’t conform to conventional gender roles. The project is being crowd-funded at Indiegogo, and as per the description there, it aims to “showcase the beauty of those who have custommade and bent gender to make it their own.” Cunningham’s portraits certainly do an excellent job in this respect — they’re striking, bold images that portray beautifully the spirit and identity of their subjects. … Read More

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A Brief Survey of Art History’s Most Macabre Paintings

It was today in 1793 that Girondist sympathizer Charlotte Corday assassinated French revolutionary leader and radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat while he was taking a bath. The stabbing was memorialized in Jacques-Louis David’s 1793 painting, The Death of Marat, depicting Marat as a martyr on par with the Pietàs of classical painting, but artists like Edvard Munch created a much bloodier version of the events (featured, below). Art history is full of beautifully rendered paintings depicting gruesome acts and macabre scenarios. Here are ten you won’t soon forget. … Read More

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Comical Photos of People Falling In Disastrous Everyday Situations

Italian photographer Sandro Giordano, who we learned about on Photojojo, composes scenes that imagine the disastrous implications of everyday situations. The artist photographs his models in the awkward, nail-biting, and often hilarious moments after a fall. The angles are unflattering, bodies look comically broken, and there isn’t much room for modesty. “My photos tell the stories of people who live life at an exhausting pace, experiencing sudden blackouts. When the demands of the modern world become too much to cope with, our body rebels against our brain wreaking havoc in our day-to-day life,” the artist told iGNANT. See more from Giordano’s clever In Extremis series, below. … Read More

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Hilarious GIFs Bring Holy Renaissance Art Down to Dirty, Dirty Earth

Are you one of those people who skips the Renaissance art section at museums? Perhaps you find it hard to relate to Catholicism or beautiful naked men or baskets of fruit – or simply the distant past. As many GIF-makers are wont to do, collage artist James Kerr (AKA Scorpion Dagger) implodes time, superimposing trash culture-obsessed contemporaneity onto these exemplars of antique elegance – collaged mostly from “early and Northern Renaissance paintings” – and thereby rendering them hideously relatable and hilariously sacrilegious. … Read More

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Adorable Photos of Children Fighting the Monsters Hiding in Their Bedrooms

You know what kids are like: they think their rooms are infested with monsters, evil creatures hiding under their beds and lurking in their closets. In her series of digitally enhanced photos, Terreur (spotted via Fubiz), Laure Fauvel brings these nightmares to life — but instead of cowering under the covers, the real-life kids who are her subjects become heroes, fighting off their demons with plastic swords and fairy wands. … Read More

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Gregory Crewdson’s ‘Fireflies’ Photos Are a Bit of Summer Magic

In Gregory Crewdson‘s gorgeous black-and-white series Fireflies, the acclaimed photographer, best known for his large-scale portraits of suburban and rural spookiness in the essential Beneath the Roses and Twilight, turns his camera towards the daily flutter of fireflies during one summer in 1996. It’s a departure for Crewdson, looking in minute detail at the moment when hazy summer days give way to the magic of nights illuminated by the sparkle of fireflies. All 61 Fireflies photographs are currently on display at Wave Hill in the Bronx, in an exhibition that’s appropriately running all summer long with special events galore, until August 24th. … Read More

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