Ai Weiwei

The Most Beautiful Olympic Stadiums Ever Built

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The 2012 London Summer Olympics kicks off today, and all eyes are on the capital of tea and toast for Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s three-hour opening ceremony extravaganza that includes, according to our friends at HuffPost, Paul McCartney, cricket, and sheep. After reading a fascinating article about the Architecture Olympics, explaining International Olympic Committee founder Baron de Coubertin’s vision for “a global event that incorporated not only athletics but also art competitions, giving equal importance to works of architecture, painting, music, sculpture and literature,” we felt compelled to take an in-depth look at the stunning design afforded by the biannual competition.

Starting with a look at the most stunning stadiums constructed for this year’s events, and then going back in time to the striking simplicity of the first stadium in Greece, click through to check out the most beautiful Olympic architecture ever built. Then, nominate your favorite stadium in the comments below!
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Mind-Blowing Text Portraits of Famous Musicians and Artists

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Thanks to My Modern Met, here’s a late addition to the roundup readable art that we posted over the weekend: the lovely text portraits of German photographer Ralph Ueltzhoeffer. Using biographical information about his subjects that’s readily available thanks to the Internet and sites like Wikipedia, he layers white typeface on a black background to recreate their likenesses — a visual nod at the old school DOS input mode. Click through to check out a selection of his surprisingly-detailed (and readable!) portraits of cultural icons like Patti Smith, Ai Weiwei, and David Bowie.
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Tate Modern Buys 8 Million of Ai Weiwei’s Seeds

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The New York Times reports that London’s Tate Modern has purchased eight million of the 100 million hand-painted, porcelain “sunflower seeds” that were on view as part of Ai Weiwei’s massive installation in the museum’s Turbine Hall last fall. To wit, “the mini-version was purchased directly from the artist, officials at the… Read More

Required Viewing: Essential Documentaries About Famous Artists

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We’re happy if our previous roundup of feature films about artists inspired or rejuvenated any of your artistic or bohemian impulses. That said, pull up a chair. Let’s get real. Here you will find some of our favorite documentaries about artists, many of them current and some even freshly made. Dig out the heart of Louise Bourgeois’ gigantic spiders. Go behind Pablo Picasso’s brushstrokes. Wonder eternally if Banksy’s fooling you. Rebels, superstars, activists, eccentrics, con artists — they’re all here and they’re ready to tell you their story.
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Flavorpill’s Most Fascinating People of 2011

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Another year, another uninspired list of “fascinating people,” courtesy of Barbara Walters. Babs’ 2011 list seems frightfully behind the times: Aren’t Simon Cowell, Katy Perry, Derek Jeter, and the Kardashians kind of old news? Why interview Donald Trump when you could have picked a real politician who actually plans to run for president in 2012, instead of just teasing about it to hype his past-its-prime reality show? Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family aren’t a bad pick, but do we really need to hear more from tabloid favorites Amanda Knox and Pippa Middleton? Here’s hoping the one name ABC is withholding until Walters’ special airs tomorrow night is more inspiring. Meanwhile, your friends at Flavorpill have our entire list of 2011’s most fascinating people ready right now. Our top 10, and the questions we’d ask them, are after the jump.
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'Legends of the Lower East Side' Get Their Own Coloring Book

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The Lower East Side (LES) neighborhood has been the subject of countless movies, songs, and stories — but now the downtown locale has its own coloring book. Legends of the Lower East Side is a collaboration between Outlaw Art Museum owner and photographer Clayton Patterson, and artists Troy Harris and Orlando Bonilla. The roughly $12 book (not on sale just yet) features 24 of the neighborhood’s most iconic and colorful characters — several no longer with us. In keeping with the spirit of the project, Patterson intends to sell them locally. Everyone from artist Dash Snow SACER and activist Ai Weiwei are included. Click through for a preview of the book, see who you recognize, and debate who should or shouldn’t be included below.
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