Annals of layering and nullity

Featured image An observant friend draws my attention to the classic New York Times article by Philip Lutz: “Art meets environmental activism in ‘The Crossroads Project.'” Lutz reports on a performance piece that is to have its New York debut next month, and he’s pretty excited about it: This month’s blast of arctic air may have roused climate-change skeptics. But the composer Laura Kaminsky and the painter Rebecca Allan were unfazed. Holed »

And Now For Something Completely Different

Featured image Okay, this is a pretty cool car ad, showing Honda can get its M.C. Escher on (just one minute long): »

Do Norwegians Have Lousy Taste In Art?

Featured image As a proud Norwegian-American, I deny it. But it is a little hard, otherwise, to explain the story of Van Gogh’s “Sunset at Montmajour.” Van Gogh painted it in 1888, during his most productive period, but wasn’t very happy with the painting and didn’t sign it. Upon his death, it was inventoried by his brother Theo, and it was bought early in the 20th century by a Norwegian industrialist, Christian »

Cole on the case: Thanks to McConnell

Featured image How could I have missed this? An aide to Senator McConnell writes to correct me ever so gently: Just noticed your post on Bruce Cole and wanted to let you know, if you didn’t already, that under the statute, Obama appoints whomever McConnell picks for the Republican slots on these bipartisan boards and commissions. So we have McConnell to thank for this, not Obama. Here is Daniel Foster’s National Review »

Cole on the case [updated]

Featured image We have tried to keep up with news regarding Frank Gehry’s planned Eisehnower Memorial design; we have opposed it. The latest news is good and, to my surprise, we have President Obama to thank for it. The AP reports: President Barack Obama is appointing a known critic of the planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design to serve on the federal commission that oversees the project. The White House announced Obama’s »

A Day at the Fair

Featured image Today was the final day of the Minnesota State Fair. With today’s temperature in the 60s, following a heat wave that depressed attendance during the Fair’s first week, Minnesotans were out in force: This was the least political State Fair I can remember. Last year, orange “Vote No” signs and stickers were everywhere, foreshadowing the victory for gay marriage that followed in November. Even for an off year, 2013 was »

Russia Cracks Down on Satirical Art

Featured image Never accuse Russia’s leaders of having a sense of humor: St. Petersburg police have raided an art gallery and seized four paintings that ridicule Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders. The principal offender was this painting, which shows Putin in a negligee combing (or something) Dmitry Medvedev’s hair; click to enlarge: Apparently the St. Petersburg raid wasn’t a completely lawless act, like when an American policeman confiscates a citizen’s camera: »

Reporting from Amsterdam: Nazi chess

Featured image We flew overnight from Minneapolis to Amsterdam and arrived happily on time this morning. We hit the ground running, touring the Rijksmuseum this afternoon. The museum is of course the home of many magnificent works including, perhaps most famously, Rembrandt’s Night Watch. The museum just reopened this year after a 10-year reconstruction project. The reconstructed museum is magnificent. We are taking in what Amsterdam has to offer for a few »

Take This, Sheperd Fairey

Featured image Jon McNaughton, the artist who produced the classical-style painting depicting Obama torching the Constitution, is out with a new painting that he’s auctioning off.   Don’t miss the video below where he explains clearly how he’s the anti-Shepherd Fairey: »

Lousy Poetry, Lousy Politics

Featured image The left has dominated the arts–pretty much all of them, are there any exceptions other than country music?–throughout the modern era. And yet, how much good left-wing art has been created? Surprisingly little, it seems to me. But the latest from Gunter Grass is an especially lame instance of the genre. Grass, if you don’t recall him, is an 84-year-old German novelist whose best-known work is his first book, The »

Behind the Eisen curtain

Featured image We recently highlighted former NEH Chairman Bruce Cole’s devastating critique of the proposed Eisenhower Memorial. Now the National Civic Art Society invites you to examine shocking photos of mockups of the giant industrial steel “tapestries” planned for the Eisenhower Memorial. The NCAS points out that the main “tapestry” — a veritable “Eisen Curtain” — is so large it will dwarf the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. The photos are posted »

Abandon Hope all ye who enter here

Featured image In another story that I doubt will get much coverage in the mainstream media, the creator of the famous messianic “Hope” artwork used by the Obama campaign now admits that he has been lying about the origin of the image. He adapted it from an AP photo and has lied about it repeatedly in the interest of pride and money. Robert Gearty reports in his New York Daily News story: »

They spike Ike

Featured image Dwight Eisenhower was one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century. As Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, he led the United States to victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. As president of the United States, he presided over a period of normalcy and peace with many accomplishments that benefited the country. A memorial is to be erected on the mall in Washington, DC, in his honor. »

How Exactly Is This a Good Idea?

Featured image How would you respond if a homebuilder proposed a gated community called “Dachau Gardens,” or a jewelry designer offered a gold and diamond broach in the shape of a Swastika? You’d probably think it was in poor taste, at the very least.  So what do you suppose the architects who thought of this were (not) thinking when they came up with it: »

Swept Away

Featured image This is something that happens surprisingly often: a museum closes for the evening, the cleaning crew comes through at night, and member of the crew mistakes an art work for junk and cleans it up. I recall an incident a few years ago in which an installation included trash that a janitor mistook for trash, swept up and threw away. Something of the sort happened recently at the Ostwall Museum »