Reactor

Required Reading

by Hrag Vartanian on August 26, 2012

In honor of the death of Neil Armstrong, the first recorded human to walk on the moon, the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh tweeted this work by Andy Warhol, “Moonwalk” (1987) (via warhol.org)

This week, the unexpected beauty of crime photography, CNN asks artists about their take on power, Jackson Pollock’s last painting, kids talk Rothko, Facebook’s photo obsession and more.

 Friday’s shooting at the Empire State Building produced a number of gory crime scene photos we aren’t accustomed to seeing in New York. The New York Times, traditionally one of the most conservative newspapers in terms of its visuals, selected a rather bloody image for its site and their selection raised some fascinating questions. Bernie Bernstein wrote about the image on the On the Media blog:

The photo left an impression on a few of us at OTM. It is iconic and horrific — reminiscent of the work of Weegee, who was arguably the most acclaimed crime photographer of all time.

But was the photo too gory? Or somehow too beautiful? Some readers of the media website Romenesko and people on Twitter thought so.

h/t @heartasarena

 CNN has commissioned a number of contemporary artists, including Liz Magic Laser, William Powhida, Jen Dalton, Joe Hollier, Brad Downey, Cristina Córdova, Molly Crabapple and others, to create works about the theme of power ahead of the 2012 US elections. Some work better than others in the online format but it’s great to see news networks turning to artists for insights and perspectives.

 Artspace offers a cheat sheet on how to pronounce contemporary artists’ names. As someone whose name is tough to pronounce for many people, I love lists like this. My favorite:

Apichatpong Weerasethakul – a-PEE-shaat-pong We’re-ASS-it-a-cool (he also goes by “Joe”)

 The controversial story of what may be Jackson Pollock’s last painting is covered by Vanity Fair:

Jackson Pollock’s mistress Ruth Kligman said she watched him paint it, as a love token, just before his fatal 1956 car crash. But the Pollock-Krasner Authentication Board, whose members were close with Pollock’s wife, Lee Krasner, have questioned its authenticity.

 A fascinating photo series by Kiana Hayeri, titled Your Veil Is Your Battleground, explores the notion of veiling in Iran with a particular emphasis on women. The photographer suggests that the work explores “the daily lives of those who challenge and take risks” and offers a “window into this disobedience both behind closed doors and on the streets of Teheran.”

 Here is possibly the cutest story ever told about childrens’ perceptions of a painting by Mark Rothko. h/t @tylergreendc

 What were some of the best rap lyrics in 2012? GQ/Rapgenius.com offers their picks.

 A Japanese American internment camp museum is breaking ground in Utah. It will tell the tragic story of the 100,000 Japanese American who were carted away from their everyday lives after the US government cited a “military necessity” to relocate them after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

 Did you know how many photos are posted on Facebook every day? Answer: 300 million, which means 2.1 billion per week, 9 billion per month, 109.5 billion per year.

 And finally, you know how the internet is busy turning Cecilia Jiminez’s botched restoration into a meme? Well, now you can easily plug your face into Christo de Borja (aka “Beast Jesus” or “Eskimo Jesus”)! h/t @petitemaoiste

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.
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