Distorted sculptures by Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford

Garden Gipsoteca: Hercules

Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford is a visual artist and Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Indiana University Northwest. His series of glitched classical sculptures reimagine works of art as a representation of modernism vs. classicism.

Throughout the underpinning of modernist design, aspirations of efficiency and comfort have galvanized visions of what might be possible in the future. Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford revisits these foundations, seeking fractures, little failures on the surface that reveal the invisible workflow and the breakdown of functionalism. Inspired by the history of the 1927 architectural competition in Geneva, which asked architects to submit plans for the creation of the Palace of Nations, Hulsebos-Spofford points to the unsettled quandaries and contradictions between classical design, and modernist functionalism.

via City of Chicago

Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford’s ‘League of Nations’ exhibit is on display at the Chicago Cultural Center until 29th August.

(via Colossal)

Black Archives: a multimedia showcase of the Black experience

Archiving is so important in an information era that favours the new and quickly discards the old when it’s deemed surplus to requirements (read: it’s not making profit). This is especially true for Black cultures and Black Archives works to change that.

[…] Through an evolving visual exploration, Black Archives provides a dynamic accessibility to a Black past, present, and future.

Going beyond the norm, its lens examines the nuance of Black life: alive and ever-vibrant to both the everyday and iconic — providing insight and inspiration to those seeking to understand the legacies that preceded their own.

Besides archiving, Black Archives also offers:

  • Content creation and visual curation
  • Archival research and licensing
  • Social strategy and creative direction

For more, check out the Black Archives website.

The celebratory art of Aurélia Durand

Aurélia Durand is a French illustrator with a penchant for vibrant designs depicting Black people in joyful, proud, and empowered poses.

Her client list is a who’s who of major brands, including:

With so much bleakness in the world at the moment and heightened Black trauma, vivid celebratory images like Aurélia’s are a welcome relief and a reminder that Blackness is multifaceted and joyous.

ICYMI: The Louvre put its entire collection online

Over 482,000 works are now available for people to view as the pandemic continues to change how we engage with the arts.

The database for the Louvre’s collections consists of entries for more than 480,000 works of art that are part of the national collections and registered in the inventories of the museum’s eight curatorial departments (Near Eastern Antiquities; Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Paintings; Medieval, Renaissance and Modern Sculpture; Prints and Drawings; Medieval, Renaissance and Modern Decorative Arts), those of the History of the Louvre department, or the inventories of the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, administratively attached to the Louvre since 2004.

The Collections database also includes so-called ‘MNR’ works (Musées Nationaux Récupération, or National Museums Recovery), recovered after WWII, retrieved by the Office des Biens et Intérêts Privés and pending return to the legitimate owners. A list of all MNR works conserved at the Musée du Louvre is available in a dedicated album and may also be consulted in the French Ministry of Culture’s Rose Valland database.

8 LGBTQ+ artists discuss self-portraits and 'Expressions of Pride'

Shikeith Vessel of Possibility (Self-Portrait) III, 2018

For Pride Month this year, Rachel Weisman curated a collection of contemporary LGBTQ+ artwork for Artsy called “Expressions of Pride: Self-Portraits and Reflections by LGBTQIA+ Artists”. Artsy spoke with artists from the LGBTQ+ community about their own self-portraits how they displayed their queer identities.

Within the LGBTQIA+ community, visibility is often a double-edged sword: It can be a tool of self-empowerment, as well as a threat to one’s safety. The radical act of expressing one’s identity, despite rejection, political pushback, and the risk of violence, is a triumph of self-actualization in the face of public scrutiny.

Maro Itoje presented an exhibition on Black histories missing from the UK curriculum

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition earlier this month, Itoje, who was educated at the private boarding school Harrow, says one of the constants in his schooling was “the lack of Black and African history that I was taught”. Moreover, when African history was on the syllabus, it was “a single story or narrative that was told”. He adds: “That story was often depressing, and quite often a saviour/survivor narrative. I want to try and show a fuller picture.”

Good on you, Maro!

(via The Art Newspaper)

A book of Haring-isms

Keith Haring remains one of the most important and celebrated artists of his generation and beyond. Through his signature bold graphic line drawings of figures and forms dancing and grooving, Haring’s paintings, large-scale public murals, chalk drawings, and singular graffiti style defined an era and brought awareness to social issues ranging from gay rights and AIDS to drug abuse prevention and a woman’s right to choose. Haring-isms is a collection of essential quotations from this creative thinker and legendary artist.

Buy it on Bookshop (affiliate link)

Black Art: In the Absence of Light on HBO

Black Art: In the Absence of Light (2021) | Official Trailer | HBO

Inspired by the late David Driskell’s landmark 1976 exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” the documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light offers an illuminating introduction to the work of some of the foremost Black visual artists working today.

Featured artists include Kara Walker, Jordan Casteel, and Kerry James Marshall.

The Green Experience

Green is the colour of Kermit the Frog, Mike Wazowski, and two-thirds of Nigeria’s national flag. It’s associated with nature, fertility, tranquillity, money, good luck, health, movement, and ecology. It can also signify illness and envy. Grass is green, the Chicago River is green once a year for St. Patrick’s Day, many political parties are green. Great gardeners have green fingers, inexperienced ones might be greenhorns, and jealous ones might be green-eyed monsters.

Green is my second favourite colour behind red (sorry, blue, you’re in 3rd place now!) thanks to Sporting CP. Green is also a traditional colour in Islam, associated with paradise in the Quran.

A passage from the Quran describes paradise as a place where people “will wear green garments of fine silk.” One hadith, or teaching, says, “When Allah’s Apostle died, he was covered with a Hibra Burd,” which is a green square garment. As a result, you’ll see green used to color the binding of Qurans, the domes of mosques, and, yes, campaign materials.

via Slate

J. Milton Hayes’s “Yellow God” had a green eye (likely an emerald), Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” said “No white nor red was ever seen / So am’rous as this lovely green.”, and D. H. Lawrence said the dawn was “apple-green”. Aliens are often green, little, and men for some reason.

The green room is where performers wait before they go on stage, there are at least 250 films in Letterboxd with “green” in the title including Green Book, Green Lantern, The Green Hornet, The Green Mile, and 17 films simply called Green.

Green and gold go together perfectly in a room and green Victorian tiles adorn many London Underground corridors (but not Green Park’s for some reason).

Judy Horacek and Mem Fox asked “Where Is The Green Sheep?“, Dr. Seuss wrote about Green Eggs and Ham, and Hemingway talked about the Green Hills of Africa (specifically East Africa). Kermit sang it ain’t easy being green, Tom Jones sang about the green green grass of home and Beyoncé gave us the green light (as did John Legend).

In art, you have Karel Appel’s The Green Cat, Lilian Thomas Burwell’s Greening, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Queen Green, and Jean Gabriel Domergue’s Green Park. There have been 3 green colours chosen as Pantone’s Colour of the Year between 2000 and 2021 (the most recent was emerald in 2014).

There’s a lot of love about green.

An immaterial sculpture sells for €15,000

The artist of the empty space is Salvatore Garau from Italy. This is what he said about the expensive void:

The successful outcome of the auction testifies to an irrefutable fact: The void is nothing but a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and nothing remains, according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle that nothingness has a weight. It, therefore, has an energy that condenses and transforms itself into particles, in short, in us! When I decide to “exhibit” an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain quantity and density of thoughts in a precise point, creating a sculpture that from my title alone will take the most varied forms. After all, don’t we give shape to a God we have never seen?

For more of Garau’s art, check out his Instagram.

Simon Doonan's 'Keith Haring' biography

In case you missed it, Simon Doonan wrote a biography on Keith Haring which came out in February. It’s part of a series of pocket-sized biographies about great artists called Lives of the Artists and examines Haring’s inspiring life and work during the 1980s:

Revolutionary and renegade, Keith Haring was an artist for the people, creating an instantly recognisable repertoire of symbols – barking dogs, space-ships, crawling babies, clambering faceless people – which became synonymous with the volatile culture of 1980s. Like a careening, preening pinball, Keith Haring playfully slammed into all aspects of this decade – hip-hop, new-wave, graffiti, funk, art, style, gay culture – and brought them together.

Grab a copy of the book on Bookshop and let me know what you think in the comments.

Solange turns Saint Heron into a multidisciplinary creative agency

Exciting news for Black and Brown creativity:

Originally launched in 2013 as a digital hub for cultural conversations, Saint Heron’s mission has been to preserve, collect, and uplift stories, works, and archives that amplify Black and brown voices. Now, in its next phase, it will release a dossier of literary and visual retrospectives of Black family and artist lineages through a series of temporary digital exhibitions, viewable on the Saint Heron website. Available for seven to 10 days, they will offer an in-depth look at emerging talent across art, sculpture, photography, design, and artisanship. 

The story behind Mondrian's iconic style

Deconstructing Mondrian: The Story Behind an Iconic Design

While many people imagine that De Stijl was cold and humourless, as if its art was made with a ruler on a drawing board, the exhibits in the special wing show that the opposite is true. Using vivid primary colours (red, yellow and blue), members of the movement produced vibrant works of art that are unconstrained and joyful, reflecting a vision of the future that was optimistic in the extreme.

via Kunstmuseum Den Haag

(via The Kid Should See This)

How to make concrete in a microwave

You might have heard about the tool who cemented his head into a microwave. The emergency services in Wolverhampton wasted an hour getting the man’s head out. As pranks go, it was an idiotic one and we won’t say anything more than that. But it got me to thinking – could you actually make cement in a microwave? After a YouTube search, I found a how-to guide for making concrete in a microwave but not the classic grey stuff.

The video below demonstrates how to make concrete in a microwave using sand cornstarch and water. Enjoy (and don’t be a fool when you do it)!

How to make concrete at home - CoRncrete TU Delft (TfCD)

A Tribute to Karl Hubenthal, One of the All-Time Great Sports Cartoonists #

Through pure coincidence, I’m posting this on what would have been Karl Hubenthal’s 104th birthday.

This from Bob Staake:

Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, there were two types of people — those who read the Los Angeles Times, and those who read the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner — and our family was of that latter persuasion — Dad not knowing that the “Herald” wasn’t the best of papers, Mom not really caring, and me delighted just to be able to see Hubenthal’s cartoons each day.

Hubenthal. I’d heard it said as “hoo-ben-thal” once or twice, yet Dad had always pronounced it (rightly) “hugh-ben-thal”, and while at the time I wasn’t sure which was correct, one thing was certain: this Hubenthal could draw.