Opinion

Required Reading

Banksy's Monopoly-inspired art work for Occupy London (via ukstreetart.co.uk)

This week, Occupy art, Picasso abodes, an artist on Iraq, UK art blogs, lo-fi pics and working as a culture industry serf.

 We’ve started to compile the art coming out of the Occupy movements around the world and here are some early notable works, including:

 Some of the homes of Pablo Picasso.

 Here is a worthwhile interview with artist Steve Mumford, who just returned from his fourth trip from Iraq, where he spent ten and a half months drawing. The dialogue is surprising in some places:

NP: The physical presence of a sketch artist is very different than a photographer and/or reporter. After making your first connection with the American military, how did the soldiers react to having you around, with sketchbook in hand?

SM: Actually I think they saw me as just another media type, with the exception of the commander at the first US Army base I stumbled upon. Lt Col Scott Rutter was perched upon a tracked vehicle, heading out on a patrol with a bunch of soldiers. I shouted up at him over the engines that I wanted to draw his battalion’s missions in Baghdad; he said, “Sure, hop on.” It turned out that he and his wife had a condo in Manhattan and he knew a bit about art.

Being embedded was a very casual thing in the early months. I would just show up in a taxi at the concertina wire with my sleeping bag, identify myself as ‘the artist’, and they’d let me in for a few hours or a few days. I didn’t encounter any censorship. Everyone was just tired and busy.

(h/t @black_von)

 We’ve been talking a lot about art handlers and the issue of labor in the art and culture industries, so this post on DIS Magazine from a former New York art handler is timely — not to mention insightful. The writer asks the million-dollar question, “Why is working in the realms of “culture” and academia so undervalued?”

 Ever wonder what art blogs in UK are all about? Well, here’s a primer at Culture 24. Some of the titles, as should be expected from an art blog, are hilarious, like Cathedral of Shit or A Kick Up the Arts. Very British.

 15 incredible vertical gardens around the world (h/t John P.)

 Over at Conscientious, Joerg Colberg is thinking about the power of lo-fi video and camera phone pictures and how they are often perceived to be more truthful than higher quality images. He writes:

With this kind of imagery, it’s almost as if it’s more believable than regular photography (or higher-end video). Of course, news agencies have to be careful when using it. But most people seem to be very willing to take it for granted that those kinds of images are real. I’m very tempted to think that part of the reason why so many photojournalists use iPhones (and those insufferable apps) to do their work is not because it’s easier or more cutting-edge: It’s because such images are more widely believed than the ones they might take with their high-end SLRs.

 Ever wonder about the British art blog scene and what is worth reading? Wonder no more, Mark Sheerin at Culture 24 breaks it down for you.

 A useful guide to LA street art for the uninitiated.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning-ish, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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