Man attacks the Wall Street bull with a banjo, leaving big gashes

Photo of the "Charging Bull" statue in NYC

A random dude did about $15,000 worth of damage to the famous bronze "Charging Bull" sculpture, by attacking it with a banjo. He managed to cut a deep gash in the thick bronze.

As Artnet reports:

Onlookers watched with cell phones aloft as the man repeatedly bashed the sculpture. They were unsure whether the act was a work of performance art or simply violent vandalism. In the end, the bull was left with a six-inch gash and several scratches, according to reports.

Shortly after the incident, authorities arrested Tevon Varlack, a 42-year-old truck driver from Dallas, charging him with criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and criminal possession of a weapon (which, it seems, is the banjo, which was metal and had sharp edges). After spending the night in jail, Varlack appeared for arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Sunday.

Varlack, wearing a white t-shirt with the words “Let Us Not Forget The Ten Commandments,” gave no motive for his actions. (The shirt may be a reference to Moses’s anger at the Israelites for worshipping a golden calf.) Varlack was released without bail and is due back in court on October 16. Judge Althea Drysdale ordered him to stay away from city landmarks in the meantime and warned him, “Do not go back and visit the bull.”

Wait a minute, you might ask: One can actually cut into thick bronze by hitting it with a banjo?

By all means. I've got a Goodtime banjo with a resonator back, and man those things are a) heavy as an anvil and b) possessed of a thick metal rim. Read the rest

Funny collection of combined gifs

Combined gifs - the art of taking clips from two or more different videos and mixing them together to create a funny little story - are hitting a new high water mark. Here's a collection of some good ones. Please share your favorites in the comments.

Combined gifs for the win! 

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After Ways of Seeing, watch Robert Hughes' Shock of the New

In the Ways of Seeing post, commenter Frederick_Hagemeiste suggested the 1980 series Shock of the New. The first episode makes a compelling case that engineering had a vast influence on 20th century art. Read the rest

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing still resonates

Of all the nice tributes since art critics John Berger's death on January 2, this Dazed piece is a short and sweet summation of how far ahead of his time he was. The second episode of Ways of Seeing is a brisk jog through the ways in which the male gaze manifests, even in women:

A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another.... One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.

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