Music & Arts

Egyptian artist creates portraits out of burnt tobacco

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) – In a small studio littered with empty cigarette packets in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, Abdelrahman al-Habrouk sits hunched over a sheet of paper making portraits with tobacco. The cigarettes fuel his art; he breaks them in half, painstakingly traces out monochrome images of celebrities or animals with the fine flakes of tobacco, then sprinkles his creations with gunpowder and sets them on fire. Slideshow (8 Images) The resulting scorch-marks on the white paper form the portrait. Habrouk, now 23, started using unusual materials to make images ...

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Art, or just a bunch of, er, balloons?

LONDON (Reuters) – Art is well known for its power to move people, but a new installation in London can move itself – it comprises a series of autonomous floating spheres, that interact with visitors and the space on their own. The installation — “+/- Human” in London’s Roundhouse — is a collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor and art group Random International. Several drones — floating balloons with small propeller motors attached — are fitted with a motion tracking system to allows them to identify and interact with visitors. “We ...

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'Beyond the Wall': Tales of persecuted lives at the Berlin Wall

BERLIN (Reuters) – An open-air installation is to open along an old section of the Berlin Wall at the weekend, featuring photos of soldiers patrolling the former deadly border, and stories of those persecuted behind it. “Beyond the Wall” — 229-metres (250 yards) long and facing the West — is designed to keep alive the memory of the dividing wall put up by Communist East German authorities nearly 56 years ago on Aug. 13, 1961. It fell in November 1989 due to mass popular pressure and the decline of Soviet ...

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Bruce Springsteen Broadway-bound for solo 'words and music' show

(Reuters) – Bruce Springsteen is headed to Broadway for an eight-week solo theater run that he says will feature “just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music.” “Springsteen on Broadway” will start Oct. 3 in a 960-seat theater, in stark contrast to the vast stadiums the singer-songwriter plays on his world tours, promoters said on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO – Bruce Springsteen performs during The River Tour at the LA Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on March 17, 2016.Mario Anzuoni/File Photo Springsteen, 67, is expected ...

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Artist targets Twitter with offline hate tweets

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German-Israeli artist who accuses Twitter of failing to delete hate speech tweets has taken matters into his own hands – by stencilling the offending messages on the road in front of the company’s Hamburg headquarters. A post on video-sharing site YouTube showed Shahak Shapira and fellow activists stencilling tweets saying “Germany needs a final solution to Islam” and “Let’s gas the Jews” – clear references to the Nazi regime’s World War Two genocide of Europe’s Jews. [youtu.be/jzMTBINlLFU] Shapira said he had reported some 300 incidents of ...

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'Concrete Jungle Book' musical swaps bare necessities for harsh realities

LONDON (Reuters) – Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s famous fables, “The Concrete Jungle Book” offers a gritty outlook on life where tigers and forests have been replaced by homeless people and refugees struggling to survive in an urban jungle filled with drugs and knife crime. The brainchild of British writer-director Dominic Garfield, who also plays the central character Mowgli in the musical, opens on Friday at Edinburgh’s famous Fringe Festival. “The story of Mowgli, the feral boy trying to make his way in the jungle, we straight away saw a real ...

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Bubbles in Hong Kong harbor are Japanese artist's thought-stirrer

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Millions of bubbles floated across Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour on Wednesday, the latest public art exhibition by Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki. Slideshow (6 Images) His project, titled “Memorial Rebirth”, uses a three-meter (10-foot) tall, six-tiered machine with 50 bubble-producing units to spew out 10,000 bubbles every minute, using up about 35 liters of bubble mix every 15 or 20 minutes. “I wanted to create a space made with bubbles and light for people to ponder, ‘What would happen if the world disappeared instantly like a bubble?'” ...

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Michelangelo's unrealized marble dream comes true in Italian quarry

QUERCETA DI SERAVEZZA, Italy (Reuters) – In 1517, Michelangelo climbed Mount Altissimo in Tuscany and found the marble of his dreams. It was, the Renaissance master wrote, “of compact grain, homogeneous, crystalline, reminiscent of sugar”. He deemed it perhaps even more precious than that from nearby Carrara, where he had obtained marble for some of his most famous statues. With the blessing of Pope Leo X, Michelangelo designed a path that could get blocks of the white marble down from the mountain to be transported to Florence to be used ...

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Playing with fire: Czech artist creates steel portraits with flame

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Reuters) – Czech artist Ladislav Vlna has swapped his brush for a blowtorch as he ‘paints’ with fire to create artworks that change according to lighting. Vlna’s self-titled metallurgic painting technique results in surprisingly delicate and detailed pieces, mostly portraits or figures, with oxyacetylene torches. The 40-year-old artist begins by painting a draft upon a steel surface and then carves, sharpens and polishes the basic image into it before putting a flame to the engraving which alters its color, depending on the temperature. This process gives the ...

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Polish street artists out to revive sleepy Bulgarian village

STARO ZHELEZARE, Bulgaria (Reuters) – A group of young Polish artists are bringing a splash of colorful street art to a sleepy village in southern Bulgaria with large outdoor murals, featuring locals alongside some of the world’s famous politicians and celebrities. Eye-catching works, including portraits of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher and Barack Obama, have been produced as part of an event called “Open village/ village avant-garde”. Slideshow (16 Images) “The idea is to show that every individual has their own style and ...

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