Here’s something you probably didn’t know. Since at least the Reagan era, still cameras have not been allowed to photograph the US President giving televised speeches at the White House. Now, the White House says things wil change, but what the future arrangement will be for still photographers is not yet clear.
Think Beijing’s historic Forbidden City is pretty well guarded? Well, you’d be right, the place is infested with security. Yet that didn’t stop a thief from grabbing $1.5 million worth of artifacts from the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City.
This week has been pretty huge for New York City’s museum community. Newly announced shake-ups mean that the Metropolitan Museum will be taking over the Whitney’s uptown Breuer building as the younger institution heads downtown to a new Renzo Piano-designed space. The Museum of Modern Art is buying the embattled American Folk Art Museum’s 10 year-old building down the block, a sale that has become necessary with the Folk Art Museum’s low admission sales and mounting debt, caused in part by the construction of the building. With all this property-buying and hotel museum-building, New York City has become a giant Monopoly board for art institutions. The question remains — who gets the railroads?
Cave paintings are so in right now! From Werner Herzog’s documentary to the recent discovery of new cave paintings in Spain, primitive art is totally in fashion. These newly uncovered 25,000 year-old paintings are thin line drawings of horses and human hands, rendered in a deep red.
Despite a very public unveiling of his sculpture in NYC, Ai Weiwei remains missing. A commercial solo show of the artist’s work will go on display at Lisson Gallery in London while protesting graffiti artists were arrested in Hong Kong. Ai’s case still doesn’t look good, says Peter Foster.
The National Endowment for the Arts now funds a hotly-debated form of art: video games. With the newly designated “Arts in Media” program, $10,000 to $200,000 grants from the organization can now be used to fund the production of digital games, multimedia art work and interactive applications.
Today’s rain may have put a damper on the unveiling of Ai Weiwei’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” (2009) at the Pulitzer Fountain, located at Central Park South and Fifth Avenue, but what certainly cast a pall over the event was the artist’s own absence. After over a month since his arrest by the Chinese government, we still haven’t heard from the dissident artist. The opening of “Zodiac Heads” was met with widespread support for Ai’s plight and for his politically contentious work, both from Mayor Bloomberg and the city’s influential arts community.
Every wondered what the story was behind those bronze sculptures populating the 8th Ave/14th St ACE subway station? In this video, their creator, Tom Otterness, explains that he took the imagery for the sculptures from Gilded Age political cartoons. Too bad the artist is currently in some political hot water himself.
UK arts funding is still under the gun as protesters and artists alike continue to speak out publicly against the budget reductions. While debate rages, Facebook has recently deleted over 50 profiles belonging to UK organizations protesting for the arts. Though these accounts were against Facebook’s TOS, the magnitude is surprising.
Finishing off this week with some Ai Weiwei news, the story continues to develop. China says Ai’s arrest has nothing to do with freedom of expression, Ai’s rocker friend is returned following a disappearance, academy Chinese artist Xu Bing disavows a relationship with politics.