The miniature lego realism of Bruce Lowell (via

This week, Christian Marclay’s unoriginal(?) “The Clock,” art in post-revolution Egypt, power of Renaissance portraiture, GIF trends, Gagosian troubles, Adolph Gottlieb’s words in 1966 and more.

 Vice Magazine, yes Vice!, writes a take down of Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” (2010). The writer takes aim at many issues in the work, including its monetization:

Having not paid a dime for any of the clips he used, Marclay claims, and rightly so, “fair use,” while the museums that now own and show the video will certainly charge their increasingly steep admission fees. What for Marclay was free for the taking, the public will have to pay for.

And most shockingly, did Marclay swipe young artist Etienne Chambaud’s idea?

 Grant Snider’s recent architectural comic targets people who live in modernist homes.

 Is this possibly the most hilarious line ever written about Ellsworth Kelly? “It’s not the most exciting exhibition, but Kelly is nothing if not consistent.”

 In “How Art Is Healing Post-Revolution Egypt,” Sally Zohney writes about some exciting developments in that North African country’s culture scene:

Rather than being confined to art galleries or movie screens, this new wave of artistic expression is spilling over into all areas of life and causing previous boundaries to crumble.

 Over at Big Think, Bob Duggan offers his theory as to “Why the Renaissance Model of Portraiture Endures.” He writes:

Portraits of power go back to the beginning of recorded history, but, as The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini, which runs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 18, 2012, shows, it was the artists of the Renaissance who resurrected Greek and Roman models and modernized them for their day and our own.

 Mashable has its finger on the pulse of GIF trends. Seems like cats — surprise, surprise — are still super hot on the interwebz.

 Two Coats has posted part of an interview with painter Adoph Gottlieb from 1966. Lots of good insight but I found this passage particularly interesting:

I think that one of the problems is that today what we are witnessing is the development of art in a democracy, and this never existed before. The idea of a democratic art which can reach many people ultimately must be a notion of some kind of mass culture. And this is the dismal aspect.

 And today on, Art Troubles For the 1%, some legal drama at Gagosian, as a client claims that the tony art gallery used the wrong conditions report to sell a work for a lower price and hike up their commission.

 Why do British artists refuse Royal commissions? Jonathan Jones suggests history has something to do with it:

In 1950s to 1980s Britain, when philistinism was an overt part of British upper-middle class life, it would have been particularly unattractive for artists to join that club.

 A few weeks ago we linked to the London Review of Books‘ piece about the Leonardo show at the National Gallery, and now it’s the New York Review of Booksturn to opine about the rare splendor of seeing both versions of “Virgin of the Rocks” in the same room.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning-ish, 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.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.