Nigerian artist, age 11, creates incredible hyperreal portraits

Kareem Waris Olamilekan is a Nigerian artist who paints astounding hyperreal portraits. He's 11. From his Instagram @waspa_art:

I am waspa the bitty artist Art is my calling It's in me I draw, paint and design.

All Africa interview: "My Legs Shook As I Drew the Portrait of French President"

(Thanks Bob Pescovitz!)

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New smartphone app lets museum visitors point at art, then see artists discuss the work

The Hirshhorn Eye (nicknamed "hi") is a new smartphone application that lets visitors to Smithsonian's Hishhorn Museum of Art point their phones at art and hear messages from the artists themselves. Read the rest

Watch a great interview with Björk and collaborator Jesse Kanda

This promising new series explores artistic collaboration, and the first episode features Björk and collaborator Jesse Kanda. Read the rest

Watch how kids and pro artists draw differently based on eye tracking

While wearing eye tracking glasses, seven young people and three professional artists each donned eye tracking glasses and drew the same scene, and some interesting patterns emerged. Read the rest

How to make hikaru dorodango, shiny mud balls

Over the years, Bruce Gardner has mastered the Japanese craft of hikaru dorodango, polished mud balls that literally mean "shiny dumplings." Read the rest

How badly do streaming services rip off musicians? A chart, updated

Information is Beautiful has updated their comparison of artist payments on streaming services, estimating that 2.4 million plays on YouTube will net a whopping $1,472 for an unsigned artist. That's $0.0006 per play! Read the rest

Video: Jeff Koons, steel balloon animals, the Pink Panther, and Scarlett Johansson

This year, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles gala honored sculptor Jeff Koons who for decades has created incredibly monuments to popular culture, from steel balloon animals to a bronze "Hulk Elvis" to Michael Jackson and Bubbles the chimp in porcelain.

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Biopic of "little old lady" folk artist a hit in theaters

Canadian artist Maud Lewis lived in a tiny house covered in her paintings, which she sold door to door in Nova Scotia. A biopic of her life, Maudie, is a surprise hit in theaters, reports the BBC.

The film's success has also been spurred by a rather serendipitous find: an unknown Maud Lewis painting found in a thrift shop is being auctioned off for charity, with bids topping C$125,000 ($91,500, £70,685). The work was authenticated by Mr Deacon, a retired school teacher who is now somewhat of a Maud Lewis sleuth. ...

Typically characterised as a "folk artist", Lewis was self-taught and lived her whole life in poverty. Unable to afford things like canvas, she'd paint on anything from scraps of wood and plywood to thick card stock. Her subjects were the things she saw in her everyday life - fishermen, wildlife, flowers and trees. "Maud was not a person who travelled to other galleries or saw other art, so there's a kind of naivete to it," Noble told the BBC.

Here's the trailer:

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Watch MC Escher make art in this short documentary

M.C. Escher: Adventures in Perception (1971) is a 20-minute Dutch documentary about the artist and includes scenes of him working in his studio. From Open Culture:

Obsessed with perspective, geometry, and pattern (Escher described tessellation as “a real mania to which I have become addicted”), his images have, by the count of mathematician and Escher scholar Doris Schattschneider, led so far to eleven separate strands of mathematical and scientific research.

The twenty-minute Adventures in Perception, originally commissioned by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offers in its first half a meditation on the mesmerizing, often impossible world Escher had created with his art to date. Its second half captures Escher in the last years of his life, still at work in his Laren, North Holland studio. It even shows him printing one of the three titular serpents, threaded through a set of elaborately interlocking circles, of his very last print Snakes. He never actually finished Snakes, whose patterns would have continued on to the effect of infinity, and even says here of his officially complete works that none succeed, “because it’s the dream I tried for that can’t be realized.”

(via Neatorama)

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RIP J.S.G. Boggs (1955-2017) - an artist who drew his own money

Artist J.S.G. Boggs died on January 22. He drew money and convinced people to accept it in exchange for products. He sold the receipts as his works of art. He didn't sell the bills themselves.

James Stephen George Boggs (born 1955) is an American artist, best known for his hand-drawn, one-sided depictions of U.S. banknotes (known as "Boggs notes") and his various "Boggs bills" he draws for use in his performances.

He spends his "Boggs notes" only for their face value. If he draws a $100 bill, he exchanges it for $100 worth of goods. He then sells any change he gets, the receipt, and sometimes the goods he purchased as his "artwork". If an art collector wants a Boggs note, he must track it down himself. Boggs will tell a collector where he spent the note, but he does not sell them directly.

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Oakland Ghost Ship benefit concert 12/14 with Primus, Rogue Wave, Dan Deacon, Tycho, more

Our friends at Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment are co-hosting a benefit concert headlined by Primus on December 14 to support the Oakland Fire Relief Fund raising money for victims of the devastating Ghost Ship warehouse fire. The artist community tragically burned during an electronic music party earlier this month, killing 36 people and destroying the lives of so many more in the Bay Area creative community.

The concert, taking place at Oakland's Fox Theater and will also feature Dan Deacon, Geographer, Hieroglyphics, Jay Som, Rogue Wave, Sidecar Tommy, Thao Nguyen, The Coup, tUnE-yArDs, and Tycho.

Buy tickets here.

More info in this Billboard article. Read the rest

Search of Oakland's burned Ghost Ship warehouse ends: 36 people died

Firefighters and police have announced that they completed their search of Oakland's smoldering Ghost Ship warehouse, the artist community that burned during an electronic music party Friday night. A total of 36 people died. Our deepest sympathy goes out to those who lost friends and family in this heartbreaking tragedy for the Bay Area's creative community and beyond. What a loss.

The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts organized a Fire Relief Fund for victims.

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Slumps: adorable art of your favorite characters all slumped over

Matt Ritchie makes "slumps" — whimsical artwork of popular characters slumped over as if falling asleep or theatrically dejected by their latest mishap.

Up top are the heroes of Star Wars, who have perhaps just learned that Disney has no plans to remaster the original theatrical release. Here's the Justice League, reading reviews of the movies they appear in. Read the rest

Graphic biographies about famous Western artists

This past spring, the This is… series of graphic biographies about famous Western artists kicked off with a trio of handsome, modestly scaled books on Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock, thereby covering its pop, surrealism, and abstract-expressionism bases in one swift stroke. This fall, This is… ventured into somewhat less predictable terrain with a pair of titles devoted to Paul Gauguin and Francis Bacon. Read the rest

Documentary about Pee-Wee's Playhouse artist Wayne White

[Video Link] Wayne White is an artist whose work is probably familiar to many of you, even if you don't know him by name: Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Smashing Pumpkins videos, sculpture, painting. This upcoming documentary about him looks good! Read the rest