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Unless you were a fan of of throat-clogging humidity or giant flying cockroaches (sorry, palmetto bugs), until relatively recently there was no particular reason to visit New Orleans during the dog days of summer. With the influx of creative capital that’s flooded the city since … well, that other flood you might have heard about, however, a lot of that has changed: there’s more compelling art being produced in the Crescent City these days than at any point in its history, and summer is as good a time as any to see it. And there may be no better place to start looking than the Great Hall of the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park.
Just a few years ago, the idea of an internationally regarded New York-based street artist installing a large scale commissioned piece in the hallowed precincts of NOMA was as unlikely as hearing the words “Last Call” in a bar on Bourbon Street. But as you may have read about here a few weeks ago, that’s just what happened: Brooklyn-based Swoon’s monumental “Thalassa,” named for the elemental Greek goddess of the sea, is currently soaring (or swimming) above the century-old columns of NOMA’s Great Hall.
A video that NOMA uploaded to YouTube last week shows “Thalassa” taking shape in all its glorious complexity thanks to some slick time-lapse photography, along with the artist and her collaborators explaining how it came to be. Take a look:
Once “Thalassa” comes down in September, Swoon hopes to maintain a high profile in New Orleans with her Dithyrambalina project: described as a piece of “musical architecture” to be constructed in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, it’s being funded via a Kickstarter campaign which has currently raised nearly 2/3 of its anticipated $12,000 cost. We’ll be posting more about it in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime you can read more about it (and contribute!) here.
(Full Disclaimer: I’ve been on NOMA’s payroll in various capacities for the last two years, but even if I weren’t I’d still be telling you that “Thalassa” is pretty freaking awesome. In fact, it’s practically worth a trip to New Orleans alone. And did I mention the bars down here never close?)
Poussin and the Dance is a valiant attempt to break into Poussin’s staunchly academic oeuvre and provide a relatable point of entry, highlighting the exciting elements of revelry and movement despite impenetrable and unemotional rendering.
Anarchist illustrator N.O. Bonzo produces decentralized media in a highly bureaucratic cultural landscape. Their illustrations, murals, and literature emerge in unexpected places, from the streets of Portland, Oregon, to the far ends of Reddit and Twitter, addressing relations of labor and identity in the workplace and on the streets. Growth and care are central themes…
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
With scavenged materials, Amanda Maciel Antunes constructs a motherland.
Where are the directors taking the stage to acknowledge workers’ demands today?
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
There is a debate whether the memory of Little Syria should be seized upon to tell truthful and positive stories about Arabs in the US, or whether any conflation between its history and contemporary politics is inappropriate.
The profile includes works by Egon Schiele, Amedeo Modigliani, Peter Paul Rubens, and a prehistoric Venus of Willendorf figurine.
These horrifying dolls definitely won’t murder you in your sleep.