Viewfinder” is a charming animation about exploring the outdoors from the Seoul-based studio VCRWORKS. The second episode in the recently launched Rhythmens series, the peaceful short follows a central character on a hike in a springtime forest and frames their whimsically rendered finds through the lens of a camera.

If you haven’t been able to visit our David Hockney exhibition in person, here’s your chance to experience it from home. Make a calming cup of tea, press play, and enjoy the arrival of spring through Hockney’s eyes. David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 is on show at the Royal Academy of Arts 23 May — 26 September 2021.

David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century and at the age of eighty-three years old. He is exhibiting his most recent work – one hundred and sixteen iPad ‘paintings’ depicting The Arrival of Spring – at The Royal Academy, Main Galleries, until the 26 September this year.

Opening exactly a year after the works were made during the global pandemic when he settled in Northern France, his latest exhibition reveals a new muse: Normandy. Hockney purchased a quaint house circled by four acres of blossom trees and natural beauty, and with Ruby, his dog, by his side, we see how Hockney is propelled ever forward by his sense of wonder. The unfolding of spring captured on his iPad so distinctly; Hockney demonstrates this evolvement with clean, bright colours, full of optimism and in praise of the natural world. 

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Fantastically tall figures with elongated limbs and torsos inhabit the distorted, mysterious realities painted by artist Stamatis Laskos (previously). The highly stylized artworks, which extend upwards of six feet, imagine a universe marred by unknown destruction: an elderly man wades through waist-high water while fire burns in the background, a woman retrieves a human skeleton from a flood, and a self-portrait shows the artist shielding his eyes with detached hands. Working with Earth tones and an implied dim light, Laskos shrouds each scene with shadow, which obscures the figures’ faces and casts an eerie tension over the degraded environments.

At once distant and deeply personal, each painting draws on ideas of collective unconscious and Jungian archetypes, whether portrayed through wise figures, an apocalypse, or the unification of opposing forces. “Giving them the necessary deformation, my archaic protagonists carve out incompatible and irreconcilable trajectories,” Laskos says. “The unconscious and the hidden memories are framed by colors, shapes, and situations that complement my compositions in such a way that each work is a page from my diary, always reminding me how and why it was created.”

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Corrie Francis Parks’s absorbing stop-motion short “Foreign Exchange” is all about perspective. Through a continuously evolving landscape of minuscule stones and banknotes, mini-universes emerge that meld the two materials into culturally significant tableaus. “Between the dazzling layers of currency and sand lie connections that can be mined in infinite ways. Each person who views this film will unearth different associations filtered through their worldly experience and national background,” Parks says.

Although the sand shown is small in quantity—Parks can hold all of it in her two hands—it’s sourced from more than 50 countries just like the paper currency, and both materials converge in a perpetual juxtaposition of culture, economics, and nature. The rocks flow across the screen like water and animals, while the colorful collages of ripped money contrast distinct national figures and heritage against a universal economic backdrop. “Canada’s interstellar pride meshes with the gothic arches of Prague’s St. Salvator’s Church. Portugal’s colonial conquests intertwine with a Singapore’s nostalgic market economy. India’s signature animals wallow beneath a Chinese waterfall,” the Baltimore-based animator says in a statement.

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Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90) and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), eleven years his junior, both contracted syphilis and both died at the age of thirty-seven. Despite their completely different backgrounds, character and way of life, these freakish outsiders formed a strange friendship during the last four years of Vincent’s life.  They were drawn together by their passion for art, which relieved the agony of their lives.  They respected each other’s work, exhibited together, exchanged paintings and corresponded, though none of their letters have survived.

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Lively, expressive, and deeply empathetic, the resulting illustrations draw on Sentrock’s background as a graffiti artist and his connection to those around him. They tell a story about the neighborhood that’s historically been rich with Latinx culture and portray the sights and experiences shared by the community through a distinctly personal lens. The artist explains:

I started allowing myself to reflect on the past, present, the current situations I found myself in. I allowed myself to reflect on my everyday life, whether boring, exciting, or just my imagination of the moment. I started to capture the people outside my studio, whether friends or strangers. My purpose for this was to initiate a connection with the people around me, the community.

Sentrock began with reference photos of friends, family, and community members before reinterpreting them in bright, vivid renditions of his signature bird character. Usually depicted as a beaked mask, the recurring image is Sentrock’s analogy “to humanity: a person who is able to find or escape to their freedom by placing them in a different reality.” In the new works, the character travels from person to person, sometimes worn by kids skateboarding down 18th Street and others by the artist himself, like in the moving portrait of him and his mother.

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May 29

Looters have plundered Italy’s cultural sites for years, but a crackdown by the carabinieri’s art squad means recent trade has not been as fruitful…

Lenka Clayton takes viewers on a short road trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art in a tiny and unusual vehicle. A 1957 Smith Corona Skyriter chugs along sparsely illustrated streets constructed with angled letters and punctuation previously typed on a single sheet of paper in her 2018 work “Cross A Bridge.” Commissioned by the Pittsburgh institution, the video project follows Clayton’s type guide as it steadily inches along the city’s roadways and passes by landmarks like the Fort Pitt Tunnel, Fort Pitt Bridge, and Monongahela River before coming to a stop at the museum’s entrance.

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In 1955, photographer Charles Hewitt visited Salvador Dalí and his wife (and muse) Gala at their home to shoot photos for a British editorial magazine called Picture Post. The famous artist posed up showing his surreal personality and didn’t miss this opportunity to shock his audience. Hewitt ended up titling the photoshoot simply as “One day with Salvador Dalí”.

Coming from the words doro, meaning “mud” and dango, a type of Japanese flour cake, hikaru dorodango consists of forming a mud ball by hand.  Layers of increasingly fine dirt are added to the surface over the space of days to a point at which the dorodango can be polished to a high sheen (hikaru means “shining”).

No one seems to know precisely when or where this art form originated, but it is generally understood to have begun as a playground activity among Japanese schoolchildren.

It doesn’t appear to be a cheeky prank or a practical joke this time. The “Cancellation Division” of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) just issued a decision declaring a trademark owned by street artist Banksy invalid.

Further, an attorney says the mysterious street artist and his attorneys are themselves to blame. The “real nail in the coffin,” attorney Aaron Wood told the World Trademark Review in announcing the news on May 19, was the “public comments of Banksy and his lawyer.”

Wood represents a greeting card company known as Full Colour Black Limited, a specialty retailer of street art greeting cards, that went head to head with Banksy over its use of Banksy’s Laugh Now. One of the artist’s most famous images, the work shows a monkey wearing a sandwich board. Some versions of the image bear the inscription “laugh now but one day we’ll be in charge.”

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May 21

The paintings of Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn are displayed in prestigious art galleries in capital cities around the world.

One – a small oil painting on a wood panel depicting the profile of an old man in a hat and cloak – made its way to South Africa in the late 1950s. It was part of an extensive collection belonging to a Dutch businessman, JA van Tilburg, who emigrated to the country. In 1976 the work was donated to the University of Pretoria.

For decades, the work was attributed to Rembrandt, the world famous artist from the Dutch Golden Age of painting (1588-1672). After all, it had a good provenance. Provenance is the study of the history of an object after its creation. Typically in the case of a painting it would be the history of the ownership of the artwork.

The painting was documented as being part of the Warneck Collection, an important private art collection in Paris, as described in the book by Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. But provenance research carried out in the Netherlands in 2015-2016 showed that the painting’s provenance to the Warneck Collection was in fact incorrect.

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Studies show that people are inclined to adopt canine companions that resemble themselves or family members, a psychological impulse that Misato Sano (previously) flips on its head. Rather than carve a pack of doggy doubles, the artist creates textured wooden sculptures of curly-haired poodles and acrobatic pugs imbued with different aspects of her own personality. Encompassing multiple breeds, expressions, and physical traits, each work is a self-portrait. She explains to Colossal:

For me, using the form of dogs is the most appropriate, highest-resolution method to materialize what I think of my inner self. Materializing myself in various states is about having an honest, direct dialogue with myself. In facing myself, I would like to be passionate, free, and loving, like a dog. My works are also about myself looking at myself. In that sense, I might have been making an existence that is sometimes beside myself, a little distance in other times, watching over myself.

Sano is based in the Tohoku region of the Miyagi prefecture and spends her summers creating the lively creatures with fur chiseled in visible gouges. As the weather turns cold, she shifts her practice to embroidery and conveys the adorable faces in plush tufts of thread.

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One of the world’s most important collections of marble busts and statues from ancient Greece and Rome is on public view in the Italian capital for the first time since World War Two. The BBC’s David Willey is one of very few people who had seen them before.

The first time I saw the amazing Torlonia Marbles was more than 40 years ago. They were crammed higgledy-piggledy into a series of ill-lit strong rooms behind steel doors, and covered in dust, grime and rat droppings. It was a real shock to glimpse valuable and famous works of art in such a sorry, dirty, abandoned state.

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A forthcoming volume from Taschen is an homage to renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and his iconic woodblock print series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Compiling Hokusai’s original 36 artworks and the ten pieces he created following the success of the initial collection, the XXL edition celebrates the lauded artist and his fascination with Japan’s highest mountain.

Encased in a cloth box with wooden closures, the 224-page book is layered with Japanese history and tradition in both content and form and features uncut paper and customary binding. The vivid, art historical works are paired with 114 color variations and writing by Andreas Marks—the director of the Clark Center for Japanese Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is also behind Taschen’s volume chronicling more than two centuries of woodblock prints—who offers background on the exquisite body of work Hokusai produced throughout the Edo period when a local tourism boom positioned Mount Fuji as an enduring cultural landmark.

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Art Discussion

Forum for the Art community

Created on Aug 4, 2020
By @gurlic