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Vale Cultura and the “Food for the Soul” Experiment in Brazil

A little over a decade ago, President Lula de Silva announced his vision that every Brazilian would eat three meals a day. He worked to achieve that dream through the Bolsa Familia program, which economists say has lifted 22 million people out of extreme poverty. Last month, Lula’s successor President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated another innovative program called Vale Cultura.

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Paris Censorship Brings Attention to Street Artist’s Cause

Over the past few years, a tiny corner in eastern Paris known as the 13th Arrondissement has become a graffiti mecca, thanks in part to the district’s town hall, which has generally supported artists. Last fall, it sponsored Tour Paris 13, a temporary temple to the spray-can that formed the largest-ever collection of street art. The neighborhood is also home to Les Frigos, a street artist’s squat. Now, it seems the winds may have changed.

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Real or Not? New York Hotel Flaunts Contested Keith Haring Painting

High up among the stars, red and green dancers wriggle. They squiggle across the upturned belly of a writhing, orange snake, itself carried aloft by two bold stick figures. It’s obviously a Keith Haring work. Or at least it looks like one. But in case you had questions, a golden plaque beside it announces, “Called Fake By The Haring Foundation Without Even Examining the Painting.”

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Guatemala’s Indigenous Community Expresses Concern Over New Maya Museum

While the initial news of the new Maya museum in Guatemala was greeted with blind optimism by the media, a preliminary investigation by Hyperallergic into the realities of the proposed museum raises some serious questions about the exclusion of indigenous voices from the museum, the proposed museum site, and whether the institution would further weaken the public national museum that already exists.

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Trying to Make Galleries Relevant, One JPEG at a Time

Send Me the JPEG at Winkleman Gallery is not a show about art, but about the art world. Its title derives from a new phenomenon wherein collectors forgo viewing art firsthand and instead buy works based on digital photographs alone. Those who still love encountering new art in person worry to what extent the online market will eat up art sales and, consequently, whether brick-and-mortar galleries can survive. In March, critic Jerry Saltz movingly voiced his concern about their demise: “The beloved linchpin of my viewing life is playing a diminished role in the life of art.”

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Critical Play: Picturing Playgrounds in Central Park

The name Robert Moses has become synonymous with the type of city planning most sentient New Yorkers hate. If he’d had his way, the legendary architect of mid-20th-century New York would have replaced Greenwich Village with a 10-lane highway, much like he razed neighborhoods in the South Bronx to build the Cross Bronx Expressway — an act many believe contributed to its decay. But to his credit, when Moses became Long Island State Park Commissioner in 1934, there were only 119 city playgrounds. When he retired in 1960, there were 777, which he hoped would deter juvenile delinquency by offering “clean, wholesome play” to children.

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What Are We Still Mapping For?

When I was a kid, my father kept a dog-eared street map of the Dallas metroplex in his truck’s glove compartment. As a contractor who spent hours driving each day, this atlas was his North Star — a point of reference for navigating the city’s chaotic, concrete sprawl. Today, the cartographic tradition that his homely map belonged to — spanning millenniums from the early Phoenicians to Amerigo Vespucci and Lewis and Clark — is rapidly changing. I now find my way through New York by following a tiny, triangular point on an iPhone screen. In an age of new technology, information, and globalization, maps are no longer mere objects, and they increasingly represent immaterial worlds. This shifting understanding of time and space is reflected in Contemporary Cartographies, a group show at CUNY’s Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx.

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Rekindling the Legacy of a Puerto Rican Painter

When the little-known artist Richard Pagán died in 1989, he was at the precipice of a promising artistic career. Pagán had just recently become the first Puerto Rican to win the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Jackson Pollock Award for his large expressionist canvases, and his circle of friends included the likes of Willem de Kooning. A new body of work was slated for exhibition at the Institute for Puerto Rican Culture, but the show was derailed when the 35-year-old tragically died after inhaling gas leaked by his apartment’s defective heating system. Over time, his work was forgotten.

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Staging Childhood Through a Nostalgic Lens

No holiday season is complete without a viewing of Home Alone, the classic film in which a young Macaulay Culkin is left to watch mob flicks by himself while his family heads to Paris for Christmas. Though few of us can boast of having fended off a couple of crooks from the family mansion, we all cherish our own childhood memories of times when distracted parents or inattentive babysitters allowed us to act on our imaginative impulses. Day Tripping, photographer Julie Blackmon’s stunning new show at the Robert Mann Gallery, captures the mischief and magic that brew when adult backs are momentarily turned.