Kyle Chayka

Post image for Actors Restage Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” in Mall

A thief in a garish feathered hat runs out of a shopping mall store with a leather bag clutched in his hand. He jumps down the stairs and tries desperately to escape as ropes descend down the mall’s atrium. Guards emerge to catch the criminal — but they’re on horseback, dressed in brimmed caps, and decked out with ruffled collars. A regiment of guards on foot marches toward the thief with halberds outstretched. After they catch the would-be escapee, a frame falls from the ceiling of the mall and brackets a view of proud policemen: This is Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.”

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Reactor

Which Artist Did It Better?

by Kyle Chayka on April 11, 2013

Post image for Which Artist Did It Better?

Sometimes it’s not so much about who did something first, but who did it best. In the technology start-up world, it doesn’t matter that dozens of other companies were creating video upload sites before YouTube; YouTube just hit the right combination of community, buzz, and content. Art history is the same. Enduring fame, of the centuries-long variety, doesn’t come to the artist who first followed through on an idea, but to the one who did it the most prominently.

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Post image for Turn Google Street View into Google Road Trip

Traversing the virtual mirror of the real world created by Google Earth and Google Street View has become something of a global pastime, putting everywhere (as long as there’s a road, at least) within the reach of armchair explorers. Yet walking through the landscape step by step and mouse click by mouse click is a chore. Good thing creative agency Teehan+Lax has created a way to turn Street View into a road trip.

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Post image for Will the UK’s New Design Copyright Law Kill Innovation?

Patrick Cariou’s lawsuit against artist Richard Prince for wrongfully appropriating his photographs of Rastafarians into new artworks provided a benchmark for the role of copyright in contemporary art, though the case is still being debated in appeals. But how do those same issues impact the world of design, where knockoffs of iconic designs are omnipresent and it’s even more difficult to tell when inspiration becomes appropriation, and appropriation becomes infringement? Later this year, the British government plans on extending the copyright term for design, stretching the protected period from 25 years from when the creation was first marketed to 70 years after the death of the object’s creator. Could that policy impact the creative dynamism of design in the U.K.?

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Post image for Following Child Indecency Convictions, Artist’s Work Removed from Tate

Art museums are known to show and uphold some artists whose work continually incites controversy, among them Robert Mapplethorpe and Chris Ofili. But when does art become too controversial for a museum to openly support or display it? The artist Graham Ovenden, who became famous in the U.K. in the 1970s for his prints and photographs, has had his work removed from the Tate’s website and print and drawing department following his conviction for six charges of indecency with a child and one of indecent assault.

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Post image for Frank Gehry’s Flourishes too Flashy for Facebook

A powerful company deserves a powerful building for its headquarters — Apple is getting a UFO-style office building from Foster + Partners in Cupertino, after all. So Facebook’s decision to ask none other than Frank Gehry to design their new space in Menlo Park, California.

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Post image for Artspace Acquires VIP, Continuing the Art E-Commerce Wars

One of the ongoing narratives of the art world as of late is the fight over art’s presence on the internet — which company will be the first to make systematized online art sales mainstream? The field of contenders, which has ranged from 20×200 to Paddle8, Artspace, Artsy, VIP Art, and even Fab.com, is narrowing.

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Post image for Are “Farmscrapers” the Future of Sustainable Architecture?

One of the advantages of living in a city is that the urban environment is in many ways more sustainable than suburbia — mass transit provides easy access to different areas without cars or highways, and dense planning efficiently fits more people into less space. But the quintessential architectural unit of the city, the skyscraper, isn’t always the greenest method of building. Enter “farmscrapers,” a new creation by the France and Belgium-based firm Vincent Callebaut Architects.

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Post image for Previously Unseen Photographs and Basquiat Ephemera Come to Light in a New York Apartment

Alexis Adler has one of the world’s greatest troves of 1980s art in her apartment — doubly true because the art is her apartment. She “had relations” with Jean Michel Basquiat, as she says in a short documentary by Animal New York, and though they weren’t quite boyfriend and girlfriend, Basquiat did decorate their shared apartment with murals and store years’ worth of his sketches and ephemera in the East Village space.

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Post image for Fleeting Youth, Captured in YouTube Videos and Modeling Photos

Over the past few years, 319 Scholes gallery in Brooklyn has played host to a slew of excellent group shows collecting emerging artists working with the internet and digital technology. The space doesn’t usually host single projects — but their next exhibition will change that. Curated by art critic Gene McHugh, If I Die Young is an installation by artists Bunny Rogers and Filip Olszewski that appropriates videos and photographs from the internet to investigate the fleetingness of youth as caught through online artifacts.

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