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The Guardian

Jan 16 2019
Artist Bridget Riley unveils huge Messengers wall painting

Riley says she wants National Gallery artwork to spark feelings of joy

Bridget Riley hopes her huge new work, painted directly on to to a spare white wall at the National Gallery, will help people appreciate the joy of being alive.

The 87-year-old artist, one of Britain’s most important living painters, on Wednesday unveiled a permanent wall painting which will be the first work of art many visitors see after they enter the gallery off Trafalgar Square.

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The Guardian

Jan 16 2019
Crowds, vandals, chaos: what happens when Banksy sprays your wall?

One person struggled to sell their home, another had to remove wall. We meet the people whose lives changed after Banksy left his mark

After a Banksy mural appeared on his Port Talbot garage last month, Ian Lewis found himself facing a “very, very stressful” battle to protect the artwork from thieves and vandals. Here, four people share their own, very different experiences of being “Banskied”.

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The Guardian

Jan 16 2019
How a grieving artist 'gathered strength' from painting groundbreaking women

In her set of paintings, titled Groundbreaking Girls, artist Allison Adams found inspiration from influential women throughout history after the death of her husband

Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel prize for physics. Frida Kahlo was a pioneering Mexican artist. And the ballet dancer Janet Collins was one of the first African Americans to take the stage in the 1950s. Together, these women broke barriers and to celebrate their legacies, an artist in California has painted roughly 200 portraits of them and other groundbreaking heroines – from suffragists to civil rights activists and gospel singers – as part of an upcoming exhibit at the Women’s Museum of California, entitled Groundbreaking Girls.

Related: Beyond borders: the artists using their work to take on division

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The Guardian

Jan 15 2019
Smile, dad! Alternative family portraits

From artfully photobombed beach holiday snaps to the soulful portraits of a birdwatching brother with schizophrenia – this year’s Photo50 at London art fair exhibition goes inside the family photo

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The Guardian

Jan 15 2019
Haiti's isolated and forgotten village – in pictures

Near the bottom of the island of Hispaniola in south-east Haiti is a forgotten village, cut off from its own country, and slowly emptying as its residents leave. As well as health services or electricity, Boucan Ferdinand also lost its only road to the nearest town, Bois Negresse, in devastating floods in 2004. Some of its residents have left for the capital, Port-au-Prince, while others cling onto a precarious life. Many have crossed illegally into the more prosperous neighbouring Dominican Republic

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The Guardian

Jan 15 2019
How The Scream became the ultimate image for our political age

Edvard Munch’s painting is a masterpiece for these troubled times. Ahead of an exhibition at the British Museum, Jonathan Jones charts its rise, from the 1893 original to today’s inflatables and emojis

The face is a greenish sock of sickly flesh stretched tight over the skull. Its features have been burned away by pain. All that remain in the elongated mask are two wide round eyes with dots for pupils, a pair of black nostrils and a mouth open in an oval scream. We’ve all been there.

The Scream was created by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1893 but it has become a masterpiece – the masterpiece – for our time. There are comparably “iconic” works of art – the Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers – but they exist in a world of art and beauty. The Scream is ugly and brutal and belongs in the here and now. It is a symbol we reach for as we might for a strong word, to express what we’re feeling this minute.

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The New York Times

Jan 15 2019
Senegal’s Museum of Black Civilizations Welcomes Some Treasures Home
Senegal’s Museum of Black Civilizations Welcomes Some Treasures Home
With its focus on black cultural contributions across the world, a museum opens amid a heated debate about reclaiming plundered art.
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The New York Times

Jan 15 2019
The Shed, a Rare New Arts Center on the Hudson, Is Set to Open
The Shed, a Rare New Arts Center on the Hudson, Is Set to Open
For its first season, beginning in April, the Shed has commissioned more than a dozen exhibitions, performances and lectures across disciplines.
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The Guardian

Jan 15 2019
Can we trust the government to judge what's beautiful?

The UK government has resolved to put beauty first to create better homes. Shame no one can agree on what that means

The UK government thinks it has got to the heart of the housing crisis: the problem is, new homes just aren’t beautiful enough. “Build beautifully and get permission,” says the housing minister, Kit Malthouse. “Build beautifully and communities will actually welcome developers, rather than drive them out of town at the tip of a pitchfork.”

If only housebuilders would make their product more visually appealing, the thinking goes, then opposition to them would fade away, more homes would be built, prices would drop and we would all live happily ever after. The simple solution, Malthouse says, is “putting beauty at the heart of our housing and communities policy”.

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The Guardian

Jan 15 2019
Beyond borders: the artists using their work to take on division

In a new show, the role of protest art is explored in relation to issues of nationalism and exclusion, including a large brick wall erected by Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake

As Donald Trump pushes for a Mexican border wall and his shutdown drags on, artists are having their say in a group exhibit of border art at a New York art gallery. Borders features more than 20 artists who look at how, with the rise of nationalism, barriers exclude, divide and separate.

Related: How the government shutdown affects museums

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The New York Times

Jan 14 2019
Trilobites: In an Ancient Nun’s Teeth, Blue Paint — and Clues to Medieval Life
Trilobites: In an Ancient Nun’s Teeth, Blue Paint — and Clues to Medieval Life
A rare blue pigment, discovered in the fossilized plaque of a German nun, hints at a broader role for women in the production of religious texts.
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The New York Times

Jan 14 2019
Jessica Tcherepnine, Exacting Botanical Artist, Is Dead at 80
Jessica Tcherepnine, Exacting Botanical Artist, Is Dead at 80
Ms. Tcherepnine painted blossoms from her family garden in England and became a world-renowned botanical artist after moving to the United States.
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The New York Times

Jan 14 2019
Russian Artist, Sentenced Over Bank Fire, Dedicates Trial to the Marquis de Sade
Russian Artist, Sentenced Over Bank Fire, Dedicates Trial to the Marquis de Sade
Pyotr Pavlensky was given a three-year sentence for lighting a fire as part of a work of performance art. He will not serve any time in prison.
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The Guardian

Jan 14 2019
Own a limited edition Andy Murray print from photographer Tom Jenkins

The multiple grand-slam winner is retiring from tennis and we are giving readers a chance to own an exclusive print by our award-winning photographer, who has been documenting the player’s career since 2005

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The Guardian

Jan 13 2019
Welsh farmstead is rare medieval hall house, experts confirm

New dating technique used to prove Llwyn Celyn farmhouse is medieval marvel

A Welsh farmhouse that was once in such poor condition that rainwater ran through its rooms is in fact an exceptionally rare 600-year-old medieval hall house, it has been confirmed, after conservation experts used a groundbreaking new dating technique originally developed by climate change scientists.

Llwyn Celyn, which lies in the Black Mountains on the border of England and Wales, was completed in 1420, an analysis of its timbers found, making it one of only a tiny number of domestic buildings to survive from one of the most destructive periods in Welsh history, immediately following the failed revolt of the Welsh prince Owain Glyndŵr.

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The Guardian

Jan 13 2019
Nevill Holt Opera review – a quiet kind of drama

Subtle and intimate, this opera house within a stable block is perfectly attuned to performers, audience and the elements alike

Think of an opera house and you might think of something grand and lush – red velvet, gilded stucco, the great chandelier and theatrical staircases of the Paris Opéra – or, in a 20th-century iteration, the nation-defining, sail-shaped roofs of Sydney. You probably don’t think of a structure hidden within a partly 17th-century stable block, whose architects have considered with great care its multiple shades of brown.

Such is the 400-seat venue in the grounds of Nevill Holt Hall near Market Harborough in Leicestershire, a great, rambling additive work of seven centuries now owned by the Carphone Warehouse magnate David Ross. In a way typical of a certain sort of English rural composition, a church and hamlet (population: 28, according to the 2011 census) look like annexes of the house. The building is designed to serve the annual Nevill Holt Opera festival, which is backed by the David Ross Foundation, and to hold occasional performances and education events through the year. It replaces a temporary structure deemed by the local planners to be too damaging to the historic building.

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
Photographer Kathy Shorr on driving a limo in 80s Brooklyn

Shorr’s side job as a stretch limousine driver in the late 80s provided rich material for her series on working-class New Yorkers in high celebration mode

• See more of Kathy Shorr’s limousine photos here

Driving limousines in New York taught Kathy Shorr a lot about human nature. “Working-class guys were the best tippers,” she recalls. “They understood that the tip was going to make the driver’s day or evening. The worst were the people who had money: the more money it seemed that somebody had, the cheaper they were.” One particular man hired the limousine for the afternoon to propose to his girlfriend: Shorr bought flowers and drinks for the couple, and it took military precision, timing and coordination to get them from their upmarket brownstone building to Times Square for the exact moment a sign would appear on the billboard with her name on it, asking her to marry him. It all went off without a hitch: they got there at the right time, saw the message, she said yes. But at the end of the trip, nothing. The next day the man complained, saying the limousine was too cold.

Even more galling, because of all the strategising involved, she didn’t even get a picture of them. In 1989, as a recent graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, Shorr had decided to take a job as a limousine driver in her native Brooklyn to photograph the people she drove around. At first she had considered driving taxis, but the customers would have been in and out too quickly, constantly in a hurry, while driving a limo gave her several hours with her passengers. So, for nine months in 1989 and 1990, she worked weekends for a downtown limo company. “I would describe them as being on the low end of the limousine hierarchy,” she says. “Drivers had to provide liquor and mixers for their clients, and everything was a bit shabby and cheap.”

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
Back-seat hijinks: Brooklyn limousine portraits – in pictures

For nine months in 1989, the American photographer Kathy Shorr drove a stretch limousine and found rich material for a series capturing working-class Brooklyn in high celebration mode.

See more of her work at kathyshorr.com

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
The big picture: behind the scenes of an Indian wedding

There’s a note of melancholy in Mahesh Shantaram’s photograph of a young bride in north-eastern India

Mahesh Shantaram, a 41-year-old from Bangalore, has no qualms saying that he is best known as a wedding photographer. But it wasn’t exactly what he had in mind when he left his homeland to study photography in Paris. “In the 00s, if you were a wedding photographer, you would not reveal it,” he laughs. “When I got back to India, people were a bit shocked, saying, ‘You spent all that money, you should do advertising or something.’ But weddings gave me excellent access to society across India. And I was one of the first photographers to use a, let’s say, western approach to photojournalism and apply it to weddings.”

Shantaram’s new book, Matrimania, is “an alternative wedding album”, one that features not only the bride and groom, but also guests and workers. Some of the “mania” in the title is obvious, such as an Alice in Wonderland-themed set on which the bride’s parents spent £50,000 on lighting. A typical wedding that Shantaram photographs might have 1,000 guests, but some have as many as 400,000. “You did hear that right!” he says.

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
Urban Scrawl: street art around the world – in pictures

Photographer and street art lover Lou Chamberlin has travelled across the globe in search of the world’s most intriguing street art. Urban Scrawl documents some of the world’s most interesting street art words and typography

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
The golden hour: fantasy sunsets and sunrises – in pictures

South Korean artist and photographer KangHee Kim lives in New York, and because of visa restrictions has been confined to the US for the past 10 years. Unable to leave physically, she has created her own form of “surreal escapism”. In her series Golden Hour, she takes shots an hour after sunrise and before sunset, then uses Photoshop to layer them together to create fantastical images. “I’ve been feeling stuck from the visa complication, and I found myself waiting to see exceptional scenes to capture,” she says. “But instead of waiting for a magical moment that may never occur, I wanted to create it myself.” Inspired by a visit to California, the series also mixes urban landscapes with nature. “I want to see familiar settings in a new space, as if I am travelling,” she says. “It feels as if I could make the impossible possible – like my visa status.”

KangHee Kim’s book Golden Hour is published by Same Paper

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
Whistler and Nature review – nature as perfect decor

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
For the American artist James McNeill Whistler, nature was merely a pretext for painting, which makes Whistler and Nature an uneasy affair

It would be hard to think of a more perverse subject for a show than Whistler and Nature. The American painter (1834-1903) famously despised nature’s rampant chaos. He hated the way nature kept cropping up all over the place without any thought of harmony, structure or aesthetic restraint, all of which had to be imposed upon it by artists such as himself. “Nature is very rarely right,” runs one of Whistler’s typical barbs, “to such an extent even, that it might almost be said that Nature is usually wrong.”

Of course the natural world is present in his art, if deeply veiled in mist or moonlight. Every one of Whistler’s Nocturnes is an outdoor scene, after all, showing the Thames and other great rivers dissolving in atmospheric fog. A gathering of Nocturnes would have been magnificent to behold (there is only one here); likewise an exhibition of his black and white visions of Venice, adrift on its mystic lagoon. Whistler and Water: that would have been a spectacular show. But instead, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has 90 works that wander so far from the theme of nature, on the whole, as to make a mockery of the show’s title.

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
The 20 photographs of the week

Protests in Gaza, migrants at the border fence in Tijuana, the election in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Elvis fans in Sydney – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The Guardian

Jan 12 2019
Buy your own Guardian classic photograph: Early morning frost, North Downs, Kent, 2010

This week in our regular series, an atmospheric image of early morning frost on the North Downs, Kent, 2010, by Martin Godwin

This atmospheric picture was taken near photographer Martin Godwin’s home on the North Downs, near Biggin Hill, in early January 2010. He has lived there for the past 25 years, and watched the trees along this avenue grow from saplings. It’s all about the light, he says. “As a photographer, light is one of the biggest things that interest you. Here, the sun is just breaking through the clouds, creating a band of light.” This radiance, along with the line of skeletal trees, slice the photograph neatly in two. “Cutting a picture in half like this lends a stillness and a stability to the composition,” says Godwin. Hannah Booth

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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
Warhol Foundation Overturns 8-Year Smithsonian Funding Ban
Warhol Foundation Overturns 8-Year Smithsonian Funding Ban
The foundation decided to ban grants to the Smithsonian when a video by David Wojnarowicz was removed from an exhibition in 2010.
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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
Prosecutors: Art Dealer Mary Boone Should Go to Prison
Prosecutors: Art Dealer Mary Boone Should Go to Prison
In a court filing, prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence Ms. Boone to as much as three years in prison for filing false tax returns.
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The Guardian

Jan 11 2019
Wales in bid to save Banksy mural in Port Talbot

Artwork prompts influx of visitors as Welsh government hopes to secure its future

Ian Lewis was scrolling through Facebook when he saw an image of a new Banksy artwork on a plain garage wall. He thought it looked a bit like his garage – and was shocked when it transpired that it actually was.

The arrival of the work has since transformed the Welsh town into a cultural destination, prompting an influx of visitors from as far as Australia and creating a cottage industry in souvenirs devoted to the piece.

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The Guardian

Jan 11 2019
Performance art piece spends four days trying to 'reverse Brexit'

Simulation uses fake news and adverts to explore how public was manipulated in 2016 vote

An artist who has set up an installation in a central London gallery with the aim of “reversing Brexit” hopes the performance art piece will help people understand and navigate the murky world of online manipulation.

Swedish multimedia artist Jonas Lund has set up Operation Earnest Voice, a “fully functioning propaganda office”, at the Photographers Gallery with a singular but playful aim: to use the technology and devices that were utilised during the Brexit referendum debate to stop it from happening.

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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
How Paparazzi Dogs and Rabbitgirl Conquered New York City Streets
How Paparazzi Dogs and Rabbitgirl Conquered New York City Streets
Going around the traditional gatekeepers, Gillie and Marc Schattner of Australia have become the city’s most prolific creators of public art.
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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
Unearthing Photography’s Time Capsule
Unearthing Photography’s Time Capsule
Four trailblazing photographers — Robert Frank, Robert Heinecken, Dave Heath and John Wood — collaborated on a project that was hidden for 30 years.
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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
‘Harry Potter’ at Night: Historical Society Extends Exhibition Hours
‘Harry Potter’ at Night: Historical Society Extends Exhibition Hours
During the final week of a blockbuster exhibition, the museum will offer visitors a late-night Potter fix.
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The Guardian

Jan 11 2019
Riley splashes out at the National Gallery and Gateshead welcomes an apocalypse – the week in art

Bridget Riley unveils a site-specific work, Heather Phillipson’s fantastical images take over the Baltic and more – all in our weekly dispatch

Bridget Riley
The most brilliant abstract artist Britain has had unveils a wall painting called Messengers, whose constellation of colours evokes images in the National Gallery that range from angelic wings to Constable’s clouds.
National Gallery, London, from 17 January.

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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
This Week in Arts: a Menagerie, Fresh-Picked Plays and Cuban Dance
This Week in Arts: a Menagerie, Fresh-Picked Plays and Cuban Dance
Animals from the American Folk Art Museum share a habitat with paintings from Fountain House Gallery that embrace a similar theme.
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The Guardian

Jan 11 2019
Pierre Huyghe’s UUmwelt: seductive and absurd

The French artist, known for creating visual realities, evokes a sense of consciousness through interactive experiences

A world where flies, humans and machines are the chief protagonists sounds like a classic dystopian nightmare. Yet Pierre Huyghe’s UUmwelt manages to be not just chilling but seductive and, occasionally, absurd.

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The New York Times

Jan 11 2019
Public Art: Love It? Hate It? Tell Us How You Really Feel
Public Art: Love It? Hate It? Tell Us How You Really Feel
Is there a work of public art in your neighborhood or elsewhere that makes you smile, grimace or just scratch your head? We’d like to know.
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The Guardian

Jan 10 2019
Country diary: my zigzag catalogue of the changing seasons

Allendale, Northumberland: Finding things on a walk and taking them home to draw teaches observation about the natural world

A curled and desiccated bracken frond lies on the table in front of me. My pen describes it, swooping and twisting across the paper, inexact but feeling for the spirit of the plant. I am on the final page of a leporello in a year of nature drawings that has catalogued the changing seasons. A leporello is a concertina book; mine has stiff white cartridge paper and hard covers, and slots into a black carrying case. There’s a magic to the reveal as the pages are opened out, light and shadow falling across its zigzag surface.

Here is 2018, its slow start of shivering snowdrops and fragile hazel catkins, lungworts nectar-full in a late spring, grasses seeding and flowers going over fast in the summer drought. Seeds are blown from a dandelion clock to float their way across several folds of paper. An explosion of pollen beetles in July cluster in scabious and sweet peas. Wasps feast on fallen plums, cotoneaster berries ripen, sweet chestnuts tumble from their spiky cases.

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The New York Times

Jan 10 2019
22 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend
22 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend
Our guide to new art shows and some that will be closing soon.
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The New York Times

Jan 10 2019
After the Quake, Dana Schutz Gets Back to Work
After the Quake, Dana Schutz Gets Back to Work
Still reckoning with the fallout from her Emmett Till painting, the chastened artist reveals how the controversy has changed her — even as she moves forward with a new gallery show.
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The New York Times

Jan 10 2019
Critic’s pick: Stephen Varble: The Street Was His Stage, the Dress Was His Weapon
The 1970s performance artist known for his guerrilla-style spectacles in costumes made from trash and found objects gets an overdue retrospective.
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The New York Times

Jan 10 2019
El Museo del Barrio Drops Plan to Honor German Socialite
El Museo del Barrio Drops Plan to Honor German Socialite
Questions were raised over why a museum of Latino art was feting Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, whose archconservative friends oppose Pope Francis.
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The New York Times

Jan 10 2019
Critic’s Notebook: The Museum Is Closed? These Paintings Have a Digital Life
Critic’s Notebook: The Museum Is Closed? These Paintings Have a Digital Life
The government shutdown means you can’t see Charline von Heyl’s first-class retrospective at the Hirshhorn. But consider this substitute: the double life her paintings live online.
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The Guardian

Jan 09 2019
Maud Veith's best photograph: a migrant dinghy fleeing Libya

‘The rubber boats are always overloaded and fragile. But at sea, if you don’t take photographs, there will be no evidence’

I’m employed by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières to document humanitarian rescue missions in the Mediterranean. But I’m also part of the team of sailor-rescuers – I received the same training, and learned the same drills and first aid techniques. As a photographer I’m a witness, but there’s always the possibility that I’ll need to put down the camera and be hands-on. It happens pretty often, in fact. For this particular moment on the rescue ship Aquarius in October 2017, I was able to just chronicle the rescue. In that one day, 588 survivors were brought aboard. The Aquarius can accommodate 600 people but we’ve had to bring 1,000 on before. The migrant boats often leave around the same time because they are all waiting for a window of good weather and a calm sea.

Related: Aquarius: onboard the migrant rescue ship – photographic diary

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The New York Times

Jan 09 2019
Show Us Your Wall: In Seattle, Creating Community by Collecting Art and Artists
Show Us Your Wall: In Seattle, Creating Community by Collecting Art and Artists
Shaun Kardinal has a budget and a home filled with original works. For him, reaching out to artists and keeping his ears open have led to deals.
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The New York Times

Jan 09 2019
Finding New Value in the Work of Anonymous Shutterbugs
Finding New Value in the Work of Anonymous Shutterbugs
Museums, colleges and the art market are beginning to see amateur photographs as both collectibles and cultural artifacts.
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The Guardian

Jan 09 2019
Concrete city: the beauty of Los Angeles' most popular material – in pictures

LA is a city of concrete. From Frank Lloyd Wright’s modernist mansions to Rudolph Schindler’s tilted houses, architects working there have embraced the material. A new map by Blue Crow Media shows some lesser-known structures are just as striking

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The New York Times

Jan 09 2019
In India, Building Bridges Between Life and Art
In India, Building Bridges Between Life and Art
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, South Asia’s biggest art show, uses interactive exhibits and live performances to help Indians connect with contemporary art.
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The Guardian

Jan 09 2019
Kehinde Wiley: 'When I first started painting black women, it was a return home'

The artist, who painted the official presidential portrait of Barack Obama, talks about his new project and his mission to bring diversity to museum walls

When the American artist Kehinde Wiley – known by many for his presidential portrait of Barack Obama – walked into a Little Caesars restaurant in St Louis, he didn’t know he’d walk out with models for his next painting.

He saw a group of African American women sitting at a table and was inspired to paint them for Three Girls in A Wood, a painting on view at the St Louis Art Museum. It’s part of Wiley’s exhibition Saint Louis, which runs until 10 February, where 11 paintings of St Louis locals are painted in the style of old masters, a comment on the absence of black portraits in museums.

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The Guardian

Jan 08 2019
Rockets, Cadillacs and Mar-a-Lago before Trump: 1980s Florida – in pictures

Nathan Benn’s vibrant photographs of his home state embody suburban Americana in all its peculiarity – from society galas to gator slides

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The New York Times

Jan 08 2019
What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
Eddie Martinez creates a whiteout; Sonya Blesofsky pays homage to a building’s past; and a group of artists is inspired by U.F.O.s.
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