Required Reading

Photographer Anthony Karen explores the Ku Klux Klan through a provocative photo essay. The caption for this photo reads, “Candidates wishing to become initiated into the Ku Klos Knights of the Ku Klux Klan take their oaths as part of a naturalization ritual. Candidates are blindfolded are led through the woods at a sometimes vigorous pace. They are questioned about Klan craft and history, and they swear certain oaths. They are then “knighted” through anointing with sacred waters, a sword touch on both shoulders, and a benediction. The new members are greeted and welcomed by the officiating officers.” (via Slate)

This week, an unexpected art forger, tintypes return to war, a phallus museum, frontline at an Egyptian protest rally, KKK in photos, the relationship of comics and poetry, and much more.

 The incredible tale of one Chinese art forger in Queens, NY:

Parts of the mystery became clearer on Friday as neighbors learned that Mr. Qian, a quiet 73-year-old immigrant from China in a paint-flecked smock, is suspected of having fooled the art world by creating dozens of works that were modeled after America’s Modernist masters and were later sold as their handiwork for more than $80 million.

A tintype photograph by Ed Drew (via newyorker.com)
A tintype photograph by Ed Drew (via newyorker.com)

 These photos from Afghanistan by Ed Drew just way be “the first tintypes made in a combat zone since the Civil War.”

 A chilling photo essay from a Muslim Brotherhood rally in Alexandria, Egypt, that includes this image of an Islamic extremist vandalizing a church in Egypt’s second city:


 A museum devoted to the phallus exists on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

 A curious case of a largely unknown artist gives us some insight into the evolving world of art on Amazon:

Soon after ARTINFO inquired about the works by Shanks on Amazon, however, the paintings vanished from the site. Brennen confirmed they were intentionally removed. Asked why they would appear and disappear so rapidly, Brennen explained that he had changed his mind about the potential for selling such high-value art online. “This is a brand new thing,” he told ARTINFO. “We were uncertain and joined the website dragging our feet. I think it’s extraordinarily premature to be selling high-quality fine art that way.”

 As the size of American homes have grown through the 20th century, British homes have shrunk, but now that trend may be being reversed. Architect Magazine writes, “While American homes metastasized during the late 20th century, Britain’s shrunk, and the country now has the smallest homes in Europe.”


 Four sisters took photos together for 36 years and the results are quite beautiful:

Despite the years changing, the four sisters Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie always remained in their same positions from that original photograph back in 1975. Whilst the fashion, haircuts and indeed their lives & personalities continue to evolve and change over the years, one thing that is incredibly evident is just how much of a loving bond there is between the four of them.

 Ever wonder about the connection between comics and poetry? Writing for the Poetry Foundation, Hillary Chute explains:

Speaking of rhythm: at the most basic level, it is this notion that provides a way to think about the shared preoccupation of poetry and comics. For comics is aboutnothing if not the rhythm established by its verbal and visual elements: the rhythms set up between successive panels, between words and images, between blank space and the plenitude of framed moments of time. Joe Sacco’s work provides a great example — he even floats his text boxes elliptically across the page over images to place pressure on conventional, regularized pacing. (Like written poetry, but unlike music and film, comics gestures at rhythms of attention, but leaves the final movement of engagement up to the reader.) And comics, like poetry, is often an art of distillation and condensation.

 This incredible tool helps you organize 10 million Creative Commons images on Flickr by color.

The writing systems of the world.
The writing systems of the world. (via Wikimedia Commons via WashPo)

 And 40 maps that explain the world.

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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