Art conservator Emily Macdonald-Korth was evaluationg a client's Jean-Michel Basquiat untitled painting from 1981 when she looked at the work under ultraviolet light to reveal any repairs or varnishing. From artnet News
“I start looking at this thing and I see these arrows,” Macdonald-Korth told artnet News. She flipped the lights back on to make sure she wasn’t imagining things and the arrows disappeared. She flipped the lights off again and there they were: two arrows drawn in what looked like black-light crayon, virtually identical to other arrows drawn visibly on the canvas with red and black oil sticks. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “He basically did a totally secret part of this painting.”
In fact, this isn’t the first time Basquiat has been known to use fluorescent UV materials. In 2012, Sotheby’s London discovered that his painting Orange Sports Figure from 1982—done just months after the one Macdonald-Korth analyzed—contained an invisible-ink signature of the artist’s name in the bottom right corner. But he has never been known to include UV-specific imagery in his work.
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In the late 19th century, artist/astronomer Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1827-1895) painted thousands of stunning works illustrating the beauty and science of the known planets, comets, and celestial phenomena. The Huntington Library near Los Angeles holds 15 of Trouvelot's chromolithographs that were published in 1882 in two portfolios, the Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings:
Initially, the Astronomical Drawings portfolios were sold to astronomy libraries and observatories as reference tools, but as early 20th-century advances in photographic technology allowed for more accurate and detailed depictions of the stars, planets, and phenomena, Trouvelot’s prints were discarded or sold to collectors.
Radiant Beauty: E. L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings (The Huntington)
See more at Graphicine: "ETIENNE TROUVELOT – ASTRONOMICAL DRAWINGS" (Thanks Anotherone!)
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Dennis Wojtkeiwicz paints large-format works of thinly sliced fruit for his Rosettes series, revealing the elegant beauty and symmetry of nature. Read the rest
Robbie Barrat is generating warped, surreal paintings using artificial intelligence and the results are really something.
Usually the machine just paints people as blobs of flesh with tendrils and limbs randomly growing out - I think it's really surreal. I wonder if that's how machines see us...
Here's Bonnie Burton in CNET:
The results are surreal. Barrat posted many of the final pieces of artwork -- which can only be described as surreal, blobby, swirly naked women -- on Twitter. It's almost like a very intoxicated Salvador Dali and a dizzy Picasso joined forces to make art. ...Barrat's AI-assisted artwork isn't exactly sensual. In fact, most of the nudes look like they are melting on a very hot day.
"The way that it paints faces makes me uncomfortable. It always paints them as like, purple and yellow globs -- that isn't in the training set so I'm actually still not sure why it does that.
I don't like looking at those heads, I really don't.
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John William Waterhouse's painting, Hylas and the Nymphs (1869), was removed from display
at the Manchester Art Gallery in northern England. The museum said it banished the painting to “challenge a Victorian fantasy.”
From Art News:
On the night of January 26, the gallery team and invited collaborators took over the gallery and removed the pre-Raphaelite painting Hylas and the Nymphs (1869) from the wall, as well as postcards of the painting from the shop.
The offending image depicts a mythical scene of bare-chested nymphs tempting Hylas to his death, and is not the only one of its kind in a room devoted to 19th century art that is titled “In Pursuit of Beauty.”
The stunt was filmed as part of a new artwork by Sonia Boyce, who is exploring “gender trouble” in the paintings and wider culture of the 19th century. The full film of the action will be shown in her upcoming retrospective at the gallery, which runs March 23 through September 2.
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"For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven't dealt with it sooner," Clare Gannaway, the gallery's contemporary art curator, told The Guardian. "Our attention has been elsewhere...we've collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long."
Gannaway also described the painting—and others like it—as old-fashioned for depicting women "either as passive beautiful objects or femmes fatales." She said there were "tricky issues about gender, race and representation." It's a bit unclear what exactly the problem is here, but the curator seems to be suggesting the girls are too white, and too naked.
German Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin reimagined "Tomb Island" over and over, pursuing both the scene's dark mystery and its runaway commercial appeal: with the title improved by a canny agent, it became the first great fantasy art wall print. And soon you'll be able to explore each of the variations in virtual reality.
There's precious little to tease the project beyond the trailer embedded above, but I always thought Tomb Island would be the perfect setting for a retro Myst-style mystery adventure game and it looks like I'm going to get exactly what I want.
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Last Saturday on August 5th, the LA venue Rhabbitat held a special release party for the limited edition Adidas Skateboarding x Bonethrower footwear and apparel collection and gave people a chance to step into the trippy, sensational world of artist Bonethrower. Put together by Juxtapoz Magazine and Adidas Skateboarding, the event featured otherworldly sculptures, statues, and paintings by Bonethrower that seemed to come to life through changing, colorful lights and a funky DJ.
Bonethrower was at the event and gave away Adidas Skateboarding x Bonethrower shirts as well as signed posters and skate decks. I had a moment to speak with Bonethrower, who told me that he wants people to have fun when they see his art and to interpret his work in their own way. His art was super fun and psychedelic to be surrounded by for an entire night. One of my favorite pieces at the event was an alien-like throne that people could sit in and put on masks. It was so cool to see everyone interacting and hanging out on this art piece. Be sure to also check out the 200th issue of Juxtapoz magazine which features Bonethrowers’ art.
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I have not seen this painting before. It's called Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on 16 November 1581, and was completed in 1885 by Ilya Repin.
Warped Perspective has an article by Keri O'Shea on the painting:
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It took three centuries before this scene was committed to canvas with the gravitas and horror it deserved. The man who proved himself able is arguably Russia’s best-known painter, certainly its best-known Realist painter. That man was Ilya Yefimovich Repin, who returned to historical painting in 1885 to complete ‘Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan’. It is to my mind one of the most haunting pieces of art ever created.
The differences between the Realist style used here and the idealised, unrepresentative portraiture of the day is exaggerated hugely by the savagery of this piece. Repin chose to paint the exact moment of Grozny’s revelation; the awful moment of stillness after the manslaughter of his heir. The two men, one living, one dead, are presented alone in a room whose fire-lit warmth gives the lie to the scene and its circumstances. That warmth, and its crimson finery is ironically juxtaposed with the blood on young Ivan’s head, which is the brightest red here, and the rich, geometric-patterned drapery in the background forms another contrast with Ivan’s curved, inanimate body, fading into nothingness before the grisly focus of the scene. There is evidence of a struggle; furniture is upended, and Ivan’s leg has disarrayed the silk rug beneath their feet – but now all is still.
Irishman Colin Davidson painted the new official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
"With anybody I paint, it's a human being in their own right, but with this particular painting I was aware of the gravity and sheer importance and weight which comes with the person I was painting."
Davidson sees it as symbolic of a closer relationship between Britain and Ireland, reports Robbie Meredith. Elizabeth became the world's longest-reigning head of state in October after the death of Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej. Read the rest
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were beautiful, moody video games; games with a sense of place, of weird looming silences. Before gamers realized they didn't want games to be art after all, these were the games they thought were art. And now, more than a decade on, you can finally get the legendary box paintings as gorgeous "giclee" prints. They're expensive: $100 or so each. Read the rest
For Christianity Today, theologian Michael Horton explores the "theology" of Donald Trump and his followers. It reads as superficially civil, yet completely contemptuous and comically unprepared: a growing trend among conservative and Christian commentary on the future president.
Vague on doctrine, infiltrated by consumerism and a sentimental moralism intent on helping us all “become a better you,” and sort of interested in “family values” as long as they don’t interfere with our own family breakdowns, many cultural evangelicals are tired of losing the culture wars. They want a winner—“a strong leader.” I’m hardly the first to point out that it’s the stuff of which demagogues are made.
It is not that Trump has caused this transformation in portions of the so-called “evangelical electorate.” Rather, his candidacy has revealed the inner secularization of significant portions of the movement, which surveys have documented for some time now. Four theological words highlight the problem.
I made the digital paintover above in honor of the trash fire currently consuming evangelical political hearts.
In other Trumpery news, a Republican National Committee member today suggested that they're going to freeze Donald Trump out of the nomination irrespective of how many delegates he secures. Riots it will be, then. Read the rest
On a mountain of skulls, in the castle of pain, I sat on a throne of blood! And let me tell you it was really great. And I have a great relationship with the Moldavian people. They love me. Read the rest
One of the most indelible images in art is Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of his bedroom in the Yellow House in Arles, France. I’m sure you’ve seen it dozens of times. You can learn more about it in an article on the website of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
He painted three versions, the second of which in 1889, less than a year before he committed suicide at age 37. It hangs in The Art Institute of Chicago (worth a trip to the city, by the way, all on its own).
Amazingly, the Art Institute has recreated the bedroom in full size and is taking reservations for it on airbnb for only 10 bucks a night!
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To be able to walk into one of the most famous paintings in the world must be quite an experience. It’s part of an exhibition in which all three versions of “The Bedroom” are exhibited together for the first time:
van Gogh’s Bedrooms features approximately 36 works by the artist, including paintings, drawings, and illustrated letters, as well as a selection of books and other ephemera known to have been in van Gogh’s possession. Enhancing the exploration of the artist’s works and his longing for a place of his own are several engaging interactive presentations. A digitally enhanced reconstruction of his bedroom allows viewers the chance to experience his state of mind and the physical reality of the space that so inspired him, while other enriching digital components bring to light significant recent scientific research on the three Bedroom paintings.
Brooklyn-based artist Michael Kagan creates oil paintings of astronauts and other space-themed subjects. They are indeed out of this world. Read the rest
Danny Galieote's series of vivid paintings of feminine figures with fists and weapons clenched behind their backs is extremely satisfying. Something about the savage strength and defensive might lurking beneath the pinafores and bows. He's currently exhibiting a one-man show of recent works (including these) at the Arcadia Contemporary in NYC. Read the rest
One of Pablo Picasso's most famous works, The Blue Room, was painted over an earlier work now revealed by infrared imaging. The hidden image, of a large man in formal attire resting on his hand, would have been created early in the artist's career, reports The Associated Press.
Though the existence of an earlier work beneath The Blue Room was long-suspected, it took years to develop techniques to expose it in detail. Earlier X-rays showed an image so "fuzzy" it wasn't even clear that it was a portrait. Now there's a new mystery: The identity of the subject himself.
Picasso's The Blue Room
Scholars are researching who the man might be and why Picasso painted him. They have ruled out the possibility that it was a self-portrait. One candidate is Paris art dealer Ambrose Villard, who hosted Picasso’s first show in 1901. But there is no documentation and no clues left on the canvas, so the research continues.
Ms Favero has been collaborating with other experts to scan the painting with multi-spectral imaging technology and X-ray fluorescence intensity mapping to try to identify and map the colours of the hidden painting. They would like to recreate a digital image approximating the colours Picasso used.
Curators are planning the first exhibit focused on The Blue Room as a seminal work in Picasso’s career for 2017. It will examine the revelation of the man’s portrait beneath the painting, as well as other Picasso works and his engagement with other artists.
We covered multispectral imaging ourselves in a trip to the Library of Congress. Read the rest
Artist Nastya Nudnik's ‘Emoji-nation’ series adds elements of computer user interface to great, historic works of art. Read the rest