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‘We planted a seed’: the Afghan artists who painted for freedom

The Taliban has whitewashed Kabul’s political murals – and those who created them have fled into exileNegina Azimi felt shock and fear like never before when she heard that Taliban fighters had entered Kabul on 15 August. As an outspoken female artist in Afghanistan, she knew they would come for her.“We heard reports that the Taliban might raid houses. I was scared because I live in a very central neighbourhood and every room in my house is adorned with the kind of art the Taliban won’t approve...
Tags: Art, Human Rights, Women, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Culture, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Art and design, Refugees, Kabul, Albania, Street Art, Azimi, Negina Azimi

‘You can sense Selim the Grim’s anger’: portraits of Ottoman sultans go on show

Set of six copies of portraits first produced in 1579 in Venice are going up for auction in London next weekThey were powerful rulers of perhaps the mightiest empire the world has ever seen, and their portraits oiled the wheels of diplomacy. Six sultans of the Ottoman empire, which spanned more than six centuries and dominated a great swathe of the world, gaze out beneath magnificent, bulbous turbans, a symbol of their wealth and status.An original set of 14 portraits was produced in Venice in 1...
Tags: Art, London, UK News, World news, Culture, Munich, Asia Pacific, Art and design, Venice, Christie

‘Secret piety’: new show reveals Andy Warhol’s Catholic roots

Known for his wild parties and proud queerness, he went to church, met the pope and prayed daily with his motherHe is celebrated for his Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soup prints, legendary parties, proud queerness and worship of celebrity.But Andy Warhol was raised by a devout Catholic mother with whom he prayed daily throughout the two decades in which they shared a New York home. The wild prince of pop art went to church, met the pope and financed his nephew’s studies to become a priest. Cont...
Tags: Art, New York, US news, Culture, Brooklyn, Art and design, Catholicism, Christianity, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Catholic, Campbell 's Soup

‘Never sold a painting in his life – but died worth $100m’: the incredible story of Boris Lurie

The difficult, devastating work of the Holocaust survivor turned painter is being celebrated at a new exhibition at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage“He never sold a painting in his life, lived in hovels, yet died worth about $100m,” says Anthony Williams, chairman of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, at a press preview for Boris Lurie: Nothing to Do but Try. “He was,” he later says with a sigh, “a complicated man.”The paradox of Boris Lurie’s living conditions is just one contour in the tragic...
Tags: Art, New York, Painting, Culture, Art and design, Anthony Williams, Manhattan Continue, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Boris Lurie, Boris Lurie Art Foundation

‘Clay feels perverse’ – Theaster Gates on working on Obama’s library and going back to pottery

The superstar ‘social artist’ has revived derelict buildings and rescued a legendary record collection – but in lockdown, as two new UK exhibitions show, it was singing and throwing pots that made him happy Theaster Gates likes to get his hands dirty. His two new London exhibitions are dedicated to clay, and in one there’s a film of him singing with great gusto as he throws a pot. So it feels a shame not to be meeting one to one, but via laptop. The artist decided at the last minute to stay at h...
Tags: Art, UK, London, Obama, Chicago, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Ceramics, Theaster Gates, Serpentine pavilion, Magdalene Odundo

Egypt detains artist robot Ai-Da before historic pyramid show

Sculpture and its futuristic creator held for 10 days, possibly in fear she is part of spying plotShe’s been described as “a vision of the future” who is every bit as good as other abstract artists today, but Ai-Da – the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist – has hit a snag: Egyptian security forces have detained her before an exhibition at the Great Pyramid of Giza.Ai-Da is due to open and present her work at the exhibition on Thursday, the first time contemporary art has been allowed nex...
Tags: Art, Africa, World news, Culture, Middle East and North Africa, Egypt, Art and design, Ai Da, Giza Ai Da

‘People felt threatened even by a puppet refugee’: Little Amal’s epic walk through love and fear

From being pelted with stones in Greece to receiving a papal welcome in Rome, the giant girl’s migrant trek from Syria to Manchester provoked powerful responsesIn Greece, far-right protesters threw things at her as she walked through the streets, local councillors voted to ban her from visiting a village of Orthodox monasteries, and protests in Athens meant her route had to be diverted. In France, the mayor of Calais raised objections to her presence.At times, the 8,000km journey across Europe o...
Tags: Art, Europe, UK, Greece, France, Theatre, UK News, World news, Syria, Immigration and asylum, Rome, Culture, Art and design, Stage, Manchester, Refugees

‘Existing is an act of resistance’: the Syrian refugees creating design from displacement

An installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale shows how camp residents have transformed the raw materials of aid to preserve their heritage and cultureWhen the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp started to overflow in 2013 it was so big it had become Jordan’s fourth-largest city. The camp, Za’atari, housed a staggering 150,000 people, and the influx of new arrivals meant that another camp had to be built a few kilometres away.Za’atari had been plagued by design flaws that were linked to v...
Tags: Design, Syria, Culture, Architecture, Art and design, Heritage, Refugees, Jordan, Venice Biennale, Venice Architecture Biennale, Za'atari, Azraq

Madrid exhibition reimagines Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights for digital age

Triptych’s 21st-century variations comment on technology, consumerism, sex and the planetAdam is a busy robot poring over the codes of creation. The climate disaster has imprisoned the devil in a block of ice. And a social media sinner is lashed to a hashtag for all eternity while a Terminator stalks through a charnel house hell.The Garden of Earthly Delights is once again in full, admonitory bloom. More than five centuries after it was completed, Hieronymus Bosch’s masterpiece is being reimagin...
Tags: Art, Europe, Spain, World news, Culture, Art and design, Exhibitions, Madrid, Bosch, Hieronymus Bosch

Little Amal in Britain: giant puppet of Syrian girl reaches her journey’s end

Three-metre tall figure will land on Folkestone beach after walking thousands of miles across EuropeThe transcontinental odyssey of Little Amal will begin its final stage this week when the giant puppet of a nine-year-old Syrian girl reaches the shores of the UK after walking thousands of miles across Europe.Bells will chime and choirs will sing as Little Amal appears on the beach on Tuesday in Folkestone, Kent, after making the same cross-Channel journey that has been taken so far this year by ...
Tags: UK, London, Theatre, UK News, World news, Immigration and asylum, Culture, Britain, Stage, Oxford, Refugees, Yorkshire, Birmingham, Kent, Puppetry, Folkestone

Gandhi in heels? Maria Callas statue hits the wrong note

Critics compare figure of famous soprano erected in Greek capital to an Oscar statuette Drama in life, drama in posterity. For Maria Callas, Greece’s greatest diva, there is, even 44 years after her death, no let up from the artistic wrangling that was her lot.But this time the uproar is focused on a statue erected at the foot of the ancient Acropolis, opposite the Roman theatre where the world-renowned opera singer made her debut. Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, Greece, World news, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Acropolis, Roman, Gandhi, Maria Callas

Vienna museums open adult-only OnlyFans account to display nudes

Tourist board in Austrian capital rails against censorship of art on social media platformsMore than a century after the artists of the Vienna Secession declared “to every age its art; to art its freedom”, the Austrian capital has found a new site for artistic expression free from censorship: the adults-only platform OnlyFans.Vienna’s tourism board has started an account on OnlyFans – the only social network that permits depictions of nudity – in protest against platforms’ ongoing censorship of ...
Tags: Art, Social Media, World news, Culture, Austria, Vienna, Digital Media, Museums

Cambridge college to be first in UK to return looted Benin bronze

Jesus College will give sculpture of a cockerel back to Nigeria, which could spark a wave of repatriationsA Cambridge college is to become the first British institution to return one of the Benin bronzes to Nigeria later this month in what has been described as “a historic moment”.Jesus College, University of Cambridge, will return the bronze cockerel to Nigerian delegates on 27 October, in a handover ceremony that Nigerian officials say offers “hope for amicable resolutions” to the ongoing disp...
Tags: Art, UK, Nigeria, Africa, World news, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Cambridge, Colonialism, University of Cambridge, Benin, Jesus College, Jesus College University of Cambridge

The life less ordinary of artist Laura Knight

From painting nudes at a time when it was forbidden to sleeping among the troops in both world wars, the vitality of her work makes her still strikingly relevant“It is my opinion that fine realism is indeed true abstractionism,” the British painter Laura Knight wrote in 1954. Her critics complained that she was just copying life, but Knight believed that she transformed the world more than abstract painters, who seemed to her, to ignore its sensuality and specificity.We can decide for ourselves ...
Tags: Art, Painting, Culture, Art and design, Exhibitions, Milton Keynes, Knight, Laura Knight, MK Gallery, Auxiliary Air Force

From concealed penises to Barbra Streisand: how Frieze got its mojo back – review

Regent’s Park, LondonAfter decades of fun, noise, fame and money, the London art fair has found its soul. But there’s still plenty of outrage and sleaze at the grown-up FriezeI was relieved when I finally found the hidden willies. At times, the first post-pandemic Frieze art fair is so relaxing you could fall asleep in one of its classy lounges. So it was good to see Lindsey Mendick flying the flag for subtle outrage. At the Carl Freedman Gallery booth I come across her lustrous, decadent cerami...
Tags: Art, London, Painting, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Exhibitions, Tate, Freedman, Frieze, Frieze art fair, Lindsey Mendick

‘Museums overlooked these artists’: celebrating the forgotten women of abstract art

In a new exhibition, the female abstract artists between 1930 and 1950 whose work was sidelined at the time finally get their space in the spotlightIn 1934, the abstract painter Alice Trumbull Mason wrote her sister, Margaret Jennings, a letter, noting that she was eager to resume painting, which she had temporarily stopped in order to raise her children.“I am chafing to get back to painting and of course it’s at least a couple of years away,” Mason wrote. “The babies are adorable and terribly i...
Tags: Art, Painting, Culture, Art and design, Mason, Alice Trumbull Mason, Margaret Jennings

A moment that changed me: Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent – and saved him

I skipped the 11-plus and was failing at school. Then I met Cecil Dormand, the extraordinary English teacher who transformed my life for everI never sat my 11-plus. On the day of the test, I wandered around the hills near the golf club above my home town of Mirfield in West Yorkshire. I ate my lunch sitting against a dry stone wall, looking down on the town, where I could see my school pals in the playground during a break in the exams. I doubt if I would have passed, anyway. And, frankly, I jus...
Tags: Family, Education, Children, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Society, Teaching, Culture, Stage, Schools, Parents and parenting, West Yorkshire, William Shakespeare, Venice, Shakespeare

K-boom! How the unstoppable stars of K-pop went gunning for the art world

First came K-cinema, then K-pop and K-TV. Now South Korea’s young stars are conquering the world with K-art. But what do their dark visions say about their nation’s psyche – and ours?Ohnim is having a blue period, just like Picasso. Over Zoom from a gallery in Seoul, the Korean rapper Song Min-ho, better known as Mino to K-pop fans but Ohnim in the art world, shows me a painting he finished the previous evening in collaboration with artist Choi Na-ri. It depicts a blue crouched figure, like a de...
Tags: Art, South Korea, Music, London, Culture, Asia Pacific, Art and design, Pop and rock, Sculpture, Korea, Installation, Exhibitions, Seoul, Rodin, Saatchi Gallery, Saatchi

Aeroflot: a history of the Soviet airline – in pictures

The story of one of the world’s oldest carriers is told through photographs, posters and ephemera in Bruno Vandermueren’s book Aeroflot – Fly Soviet, published by FUEL Continue reading...
Tags: Europe, Photography, Design, Russia, Culture, Illustration, Art and design, Air transport, Airline Industry, Aeroflot, Bruno Vandermueren

‘There is a reason why famous people are often screwed up’: Tim Minchin on quitting comedy

The Australian composer has returned to performing after a 10-year break. He writes about fame, failure and his surprise comebackIn 2003, I booked a tiny venue for Melbourne fringe festival, to perform a show I had tortuously titled Navel: Cerebral Melodies With Umbilical Chords. It was a sort of dark, ridiculous cabaret, and a desperate attempt to shake off the pain of all the rejections I had been getting (agents/record companies/the dude who approves small loans at the bank), by showcasing my...
Tags: Comedy, Musicals, Theatre, Culture, Stage, Melbourne, Tim Minchin, Navel

Unseen Van Gogh sketches that rework scorned masterpiece to go on display

Preparatory work for ‘redoing’ of The Potato Eaters – savaged in his lifetime – to feature in exhibitionA collection of Vincent van Gogh’s preparatory drawings sketched ahead of a planned “redoing” of The Potato Eaters, a masterpiece brutally slated by buyers, friends and family at the time of its painting, are being exhibited for what is believed to be first time.The Dutch artist considered his depiction of a peasant family from the village of Nuenen in Brabant eating a meal of potatoes as one ...
Tags: Art, Europe, France, Painting, World news, Culture, Art and design, Drawing, Museums, Netherlands, Exhibitions, Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh, Nuenen, Brabant, Bedroom Sunflowers

‘I sculpt the air’ – does scent artist Anicka Yi plan to make Tate’s Turbine Hall smell like vaginas?

She has made art out of smells, ants, bacteria, spit and vaginal swabs. So what is the US artist about to unveil for her Turbine Hall commission? Yi, who was once a vagabond in London, takes us on an olfactory odysseyAnicka Yi offers me some beetroot crisps. These, along with carrot crisps, are her breakfast, both free of oil and salt. “I can’t eat greens, dairy, sugar, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, nightshades, spice, alcohol – nothing,” the Korean American conceptual artist explains. “I can onl...
Tags: Art, New York, London, US, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Installation, Tate Modern, Turbine Hall, Tate, Yi, Tate Modern 's Turbine Hall, Anicka Yi

Netflix’s Diana: The Musical is the year’s most hysterically awful hate-watch | Stuart Heritage

The filmed Broadway show has crash-landed early on the streamer with hilariously awful songs, a musical mess to rival CatsLogically, it makes perfect sense that Diana: The Musical should exist. After all, Diana, Princess of Wales lends herself extraordinarily well to musical theatre. Hers was a story of wealth and betrayal, of high camp and tragedy, plus she also happened to be an enormous fan of the medium. If you built a time machine and used it to tell Diana that she would one day get her own...
Tags: Musicals, Wales, Theatre, Netflix, Culture, Stage, Broadway, Diana, Princess of Wales, Stuart Heritage, Diana Princess

‘Soul of the town’: Mostar’s beloved bridge inspires tale of romance and war

Igor Memic’s award-winning drama Old Bridge, staged at the Bush theatre in London, charts teenage romance at a time ‘when the world stopped spinning’The bridge in the middle of Mostar is the spiritual and social heart of the city. It’s where people meet and gossip, snatch a first kiss or dive into the waters of the river below. The Bosnian city takes its name from the arched Ottoman-era bridge and it became a terrible symbol for the shattering of Yugoslavia when it was destroyed by Croat paramil...
Tags: Europe, UK, London, Theatre, World news, Culture, Stage, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar, Bush, Yugoslavia, Igor Memic, London Memic

Jason Donovan on Kylie, coolness and cocaine: ‘I’m a survivor and I’ve made mistakes’

Fresh from a run in Joseph, and about to go on tour, the actor and singer reflects on superstardom, drug addiction and the steadying joy of fatherhoodDespite insisting that he likes to look to the future, Jason Donovan is confronted with the past much of the time. He has just started a UK tour – one that has been postponed twice because of the pandemic – singing the songs that turned him into a huge star in the UK in the late 80s and early 90s, after his role in the Australian soap opera Neighbo...
Tags: Music, UK, Television, Drama, Theatre, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Soap opera, Neighbours, Kylie Minogue, Joseph, Kylie, Jason Donovan

My frame is true: new wave posters – in pictures

Andrew Krivine began collecting music industry flyers and posters in 1977 on his annual trip from the US to see family in London. “I’d go on expeditions to Camden Market, Rough Trade, Stiff Records and even brazenly walk into the headquarters of Virgin Records,” he recalls. By the time he’d finished college in the early 80s (spending a year in the UK as well as studying in Chicago), he’d amassed around 5,500 items of memorabilia for punk and new wave LPs, gigs and clubs. The finest of these have...
Tags: Books, Music, UK, Design, London, US, Chicago, Culture, Art and design, Graphic Design, Posters, Virgin Records, Andrew Krivine, Camden Market Rough Trade Stiff Records, Krivine

On my radar: Sam Fender’s cultural highlights

The Tyneside rocker on his favourite bath time podcast, a second world war memoir and where to get the best breakfast kippersSam Fender was born in 1994 and raised in North Shields. He began writing songs aged 14, building on an affinity with Bruce Springsteen, and started acting a few years later, appearing in the ITV series Vera. After releasing his first single, Play God, independently in 2017, Fender featured in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 poll. He won the critics’ choice award at the 2019 Brits...
Tags: Art, Music, UK, Bruce Springsteen, Television, Painting, Bbc, Culture, Sam Fender, History books

Bored of your wardrobe? Try wearing one colour at a time

Dress in ‘monoclo’, says artist Pascal Anson, and you’ll rethink your relationship with clothes for ever. Jess Cartner-Morley gives it a goIt started when Pascal Anson’s mum bought him a yellow jumper for his birthday. “I already had a pair of yellow trousers, yellow socks and a yellow belt. So I thought I’d wear them all together, as an experiment.” He enjoyed the experiment so much he gave it a name – “monoclo” – and turned it into an event at Kingston University, London, where he was a senior...
Tags: Fashion, Design, London, Life and style, Bbc, Culture, Art and design, Fashion industry, Men's Fashion, Royal College of Art, Kingston University, Anson, Jess Cartner Morley, Vintage Fashion, Pascal Anson, Monoclo

Embracing vitiligo: Ugandan artist dispels skin stigma with portraits

People with the condition can face being seen as ‘cursed’ in the east African country, says Martin Senkubuge, whose art aims to make them proud of their skinIt was a confrontation with a female Michael Jackson fan that first drew Martin Senkubuge’s attention to the skin condition vitiligo.Senkubuge, a Ugandan artist, was describing his tattoo of the musician to the woman at an art exhibition in Kampala in 2019, when he accused the pop star of bleaching his skin. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Art, Africa, Society, World news, Uganda, Culture, Art and design, Drawing, Beauty, Global development, Michael Jackson, Kampala, Martin Senkubuge

A new start after 60: ‘I started sketching at 72 – and graduated with a fine art degree at 96’

Archie White was a keen teenage artist, but gave it up for five decades as a solicitor. Now he is starting a new student charity and painting furiouslyArchie White says he would like to retire, but I’m not sure I believe him. This summer he made headlines when he graduated with a fine art degree from East Sussex College. He was 96 years and 56 days old – a few months short of setting a new world record for the oldest graduate.Graduation was only the beginning. “I’m pretty busy all the time,” he ...
Tags: Art, Life and style, Culture, Art and design, Archie White, East Sussex College, furiouslyArchie White, East Sussex College Tell

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