Category Archives: Art

Danny Fields' best photograph: the Ramones prowl round the US supreme court

‘Hey, it’s Washington! Let’s run around!’

I became the Ramones’ manager after seeing them at CBGB in New York. From the opening downstroke of the guitar, I loved them. When I met them afterwards, they asked if I would write about them. I said: “More than that, I want to manage you.” I started taking photos of them when they were making their first album. If the manager has done a good job there’s nothing to do once the band gets to the studio except let her bang, so I took a camera along, thinking I could record moments that might be considered candid. They realised that even if I took pictures of them drooling, I wasn’t going to use them – as their manager, I wasn’t going to do anything to damage their career.

What made them good to photograph was the same thing that made them good on stage: presentation. They were intuitive. The first time I saw them live, the presentation was perfect – the clothes, the hair, the architecture of the set. They knew how to do it and they’d figured it out themselves. They weren’t puppets. When rock’n’roll wants to come out, it comes out of every pore, and they had that.

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The last town in Sovietland – in pictures

Up above the Arctic Circle, 40 hours by train from Moscow, sits the Russian city of Vorkuta. It was built by gulag inmates but was given purpose by the coal industry that used to be the region’s lifeblood. Now mining has disappeared, leaving many of its outposts abandoned. Tomeu Coll’s 2009 photo essay Nevermind Sovietland hauntingly records the lives of those who still live there

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Fourth plinth: how a winged bull made of date syrup cans is defying Isis

Michael Rakowitz used 6,000 tin cans to rescue a treasure destroyed by Isis. The Iraqi-American, who once made a work out of Saddam Hussein’s dinner plates, explains why he likes causing trouble

In February 2015, Isis militants videoed themselves drilling the face off one of the commanding stone statues that had guarded the gates of the ancient city of Nineveh for more than a thousand years. The lamassu – winged bulls with serene human faces – were among the most monumental casualties of a spree of destruction that over just a few days reduced many of Iraq’s most precious artefacts to pebbles.

On 28 March, the life-sized “ghost” of one of these fabulous creatures will be unveiled atop the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, where it will stand with its back to the National Gallery, gazing south-east past the Foreign Office and the Houses of Parliament towards its spiritual home in the Middle East.

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Bust a groove: the best – and worst – rock star statues

The world’s first David Bowie sculpture is being unveiled in Aylesbury – but well-meaning effigies to the stars of modern music have often been hit and miss with fans

The world’s first David Bowie statue is to be unveiled on Sunday in the unlikely location of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where the singer debuted Hunky Dory. Only time will tell whether sculptor Andrew Sinclair’s Earthly Messenger statue will prove a Ziggy smash or Tin Machine dud, although historically, such well-meaning effigies have been rather hit and miss with fans. With this in mind, we look at some of the best – and worst – rock star memorials of all time.

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Henry Moore rubbished Barbara Hepworth sculpture, diaries say

Revered artist said to have slated rival sculptor’s work when Tate board was considering buying it

He is revered as one of the masters of 20th-century British sculpture, but Henry Moore belittled rival artists while promoting himself within the Tate gallery, according to previously unpublished diaries.

In 1945, the Tate’s board was considering whether to purchase a wooden sculpture by Barbara Hepworth. Moore, then a gallery trustee, interjected with the damning words: “If sculpture [was] nothing more than that, it would be a poor affair.” The ploy worked. The Hepworth was rejected by the board, while every one of seven sculptures the Tate bought that year was by none other than Henry Moore. The incident is recorded in the diaries of John Rothenstein, who headed the Tate for 26 years from 1938.

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'Tech CEOs are like cult leaders' – the artists taking on Facebook and big data

Langlands and Bell are celebrating their 40th year together – by taking an uncompromising look at Silicon Valley’s utopian promises

By a remarkable coincidence, on Wednesday, right as Mark Zuckerberg finally addressed the unfolding Facebook data-breach scandal, British artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell opened their new exhibition about the unchecked power Facebook and the other big tech companies wield.

Internet Giants: Masters of the Universe, at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery until 10 June, marks the 40th year of collaboration between Langlands and Bell. It is an arresting ensemble of installations and animations, prints and architectural models.

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Source: gadt

Russian avant-garde forgery case ends in convictions and disappointments

There had been hopes trial in Germany would help crack down on market many fear is awash with fakes

A trial in Germany many hoped would help crack down on a flourishing trade in Russian avant-garde forgeries on the international art market has fallen short of its target after a dispute between two divorced art historians left judges unable to decide whether many disputed works were genuine or fake.

On Thursday afternoon, Wiesbaden regional court sentenced art dealer Itzhak Zarug, 72, and his business partner Moez Ben Hazaz, 45, to 32 months and three years in prison respectively for having knowingly sold forged pictures and invented the provenance of paintings by El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich as well as constructivists such Alexander Rodchenko.

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Artist Tracey Emin sends in the bronze birds to slow Sydney down

The artwork – 70 birds on lamp-posts and window sills – stretches down CBD streets and ends at a big stone bird bath

The acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin has perched almost 70 life-size bronze birds on lamp-posts, awnings and window sills along a busy pedestrian thoroughfare in Sydney’s business district.

She hopes the permanent public artwork, commissioned by the City of Sydney, will slow life down for just a moment for those who notice the small sculptures.

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Ai Weiwei in Sydney: 'The refugee condition is a human condition' – video

Ai Weiwei and the Biennale of Sydney’s artistic director, Mami Kataoka, at Cockatoo Island in Sydney, speak about the Chinese artist’s exhibition inspired by the global refugee crisis. ‘We are living in a very peaceful world, almost like a fairytale, in Australia, but still we cannot disconnect our connections to other human beings, the suffering and the tragic life of our global human community, he says. The activist has spent the last few years working on art that draws attention to the global refugee crisis, including a 60-metre long lifeboat featuring more than 300 refugee figures, called Law of the Journey, that is displayed on Cockatoo Island, and film Human Flow which also opens in Sydney this week.

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Jeff Koons: 'I think I’ll always keep feeling somewhat like an outsider'

The controversial artist returns to New York City this week to re-exhibit seven 20-year-old collage paintings and he talks about his heroes, his detractors and his love of Lil Uzi Vert

Listening to Jeff Koons talk about his art, one first notices his usage and re-usage of certain carefully selected stock phrases. Part art theoretical, part shamanistic, Koonspeak is the language of “expanding” your “parameters”, of “coming into being”, of “transcendence” and “transformation” and a kind of well-rehearsed humility. Sure, a Koons Balloon Dog fetches over $50m at auction, but most of all he just wants to “participate”. His art, he explains, aims to reveal to the viewer the “essence of their potential”. Koons feels connected to the avant garde, to an artistic lineage that includes Manet and Picabia and Duchamp and Courbet and Warhol, and to the idea that “you can transform your life, transform your being, and transform the community around you”.

Related: Jeff Koons: master of parody or great American conman?

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Source: gad