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Art, Value & Banksy’s Rats in Melbourne

It seems that Melbourne City Council just can’t get it right when it comes to street art, and especially when it comes to the work of Banksy: two weeks ago, they “accidentally” ordered a cleaning crew to remove one of Banksy’s iconic rats from a wall in Hosier Lane, in the centre of the city. The news of this rodent’s demise was greeted by a storm of media criticism.

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William Powhida’s “Surviving the Art World Using the Art of Sorcery” Lecture, May 14

Join us Friday, May 14 at 8pm for a special talk by Brooklyn artist William Powhida on “Surviving the Art World Using the Art of Sorcery.”

Described as a “gadfly in the art establishment” by the New York Times, his talk at Hyperallergic HQ promises to reveal some of the inner-workings of his mind and we’re all excited (and scared) to see what he has in store for us. Space is very limited.

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#ObscureMuseum: New York City’s Ukrainian Museum

Even friends of this nerd who are self-proclaimed Modern art fanatics in New York City have often never heard of one East Village museum that has been exhibiting Modern art for years. The Ukrainian Museum on East 6th Street always brings a smile to my face as I explore the galleries with that feeling of discovery that comes with being in a great New York City space that few know about and that most of my non-Ukrainian friends have never been to.

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Pterodactyls Take Flight: David Altmejd & Stephen Holding

Daniel Larkin goes looking for pterodactyls in some recent art exhibitions. He writes: “Some artists have discovered that this flying reptile have some real cross-over potential. At first, this sounds like an awfully kitschy idea, but when this airborne creature is refracted, distilled, and boiled down into a raw winged shape, it really sings rather than squawks.”

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Swoon’s Konbit Shelter: Every Disaster Holds the Promise of Creation

Two Konbit Shelter project team members, Thaddeus Pawlowski and Sarah Walko, reflect on the nature of disasters and what they can teach us about how we become who we are. As they explain, “They reveal deep patterns in our nature. Artists are vital to the rebuilding process because they can help us recognize these patterns and the lessons embedded within them. By fostering a common vision and purpose, they can glue a city back together even more than housing and infrastructure, as they provide a psychic infrastructure.”

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Hype to Death, Death to Hype: Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

Street art enthusiasts seem to have a thing for destructive fanaticism, but I’m not sure they realize how destructive it can be. They exuberantly consume the latest street artworks like hungry piranhas, hyping the artist and his products until there’s nothing left but an embarrassing skeleton. They get inexplicably ramped up about artists who have produced one provocative wheatpaste or had a single clever idea.

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Evolving Rules: When Bloggers Battle (Paddy Johnson vs. Marc Schiller)

At times, the blogosphere can feel like a miniaturized version of academia. With so many voices competing over authority and pulling readers this way and that, fights are bound to break out. Just like any serious punditry, bloggers have healthy disagreements over what they cover as well as how they cover it — the etiquette of the developing world of online media. The recent spat between online art world figures Marc Schiller and Paddy Johnson is a perfect case study.

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Gender Identity: Videos by Michelle Handelman & Kalup Linzy

I made a recent realization: discussing complex gender issues leaves me speechless. I realized that after about the 14th time I tried and failed to begin this article. This new manifestation of my ignorance comes courtesy of the MIT List Visual Arts Center’s exhibition entitled Virtuoso Illusion: Cross-Dressing and the New Media Avant-Garde. The exhibit covered themes of alternative identity, gender roles, and sexuality. I was strongly drawn to two pieces in particular, one of which was Michelle Handelman’s video “Dorian” (2009), the other was Kalup Linzy’s “Conversations wit de Churen III: Da Young & Da Mess” (2005).