Music & Arts

Los Angeles exhibit explores rise of Tiki culture in America

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The rise of Tiki culture in 1950s America in the aftermath of World War Two is explored in a new exhibit that opened Friday in Los Angeles. “The Art of Tiki” exhibition, at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz, is showcasing everything from Tiki-style furniture and totems to modern art, based on cultural artifacts from Polynesia and Melanesia. “Some of the pieces have elements of sci-fi. Some pieces have elements of other mid-century that aren’t really Tiki but ...

Read More »

Drained of cash and riven by rivalries, UNESCO seeks leader to revive fortunes

PARIS (Reuters) – When Israel’s envoy told UNESCO delegates last July that fixing the plumbing in his toilet was more important than their latest ruling, it highlighted how fractious geopolitics are paralyzing the workings of the agency. Whoever wins the race to replace Irina Bokova as head of the U.N.’s cultural and education body next week will have to try to restore the relevance of an agency born from the ashes of World War Two but increasingly hobbled by regional rivalries and a lack of money. Its triumphs include designating ...

Read More »

Let's paint about sex: racy feminist artists enjoy mainstream success

LONDON (Reuters) – A three-foot phallus in a child’s dress seems like an unlikely symbol of female empowerment, but for artist Renate Bertlmann its presence at a major art show is a sign she has gained an acceptance denied her for decades. Bertlmann, 74, is one an all-female group of artists featured in a new section of this year’s London’s Frieze art fair that focuses on feminist artists whose overt sexual themes saw them censored and excluded from mainstream shows in the past. “My work was really rejected in the ...

Read More »

Highlighting Vietnam War's relevance, exhibit opens in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When the idea for a Vietnam War exhibit came up at the New-York Historical Society a few years ago, Trustee James Grant recalls that even after more than four decades, passions about it were strong. “I got into a lively discussion with another member of the executive committee about America’s motive and about the nature of the struggle and whether it was all for naught or not,” said Grant, a Navy veteran who served off Vietnam in 1965 and 1966. The war, which divided the United ...

Read More »

White tiger, dark horse: North Korean art market heats up

DANDONG, China (Reuters) – Seated beneath tall windows and dressed simply in singlets and trousers, North Korean painters are hard at work. The artists staple canvases to frames or copy idyllic landscapes from laptop computers. One wears headphones as he brushes a group of running horses onto his canvas. The nine men have come to the Chinese border town of Dandong from Mansudae Art Studio, North Korea’s largest producer of art. There are many outlets like this along the border; they house some of the thousands of North Korean artists ...

Read More »

Song dynasty bowl shatters world record for Chinese ceramics, fetches $37.7 million in HK sale

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A nearly 900-year-old porcelain Song dynasty bowl smashed the world auction record for Chinese ceramics on Tuesday, selling for HK$ 294.3 million ($ 37.68 million) at a Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong. The small, blue-green item broke the previous record, also set in a sale in Hong Kong, when a 500-year-old imperial “chicken” cup from the Ming dynasty Chenghua period sold for HK$ 281.2 million ($ 36.0 million) in 2014, Sotheby’s said. The 13-cm (5-inch) bowl, used to wash brushes, was fired in the famed Northern ...

Read More »

Is 16th-century charcoal sketch a naked Mona Lisa?

PARIS (Reuters) – A French art expert believes a charcoal drawing kept in a collection for more than 150 years may be a preparatory sketch made by Leonardo da Vinci of the Mona Lisa. The black-and-white drawing of a woman, nude from the waist up, known as the Monna Vanna, was previously attributed to Leonardo’s studio, suggesting it was done in his style by a pupil or follower, not by the master himself. But after preliminary tests at the Louvre Museum, experts believe the sketch may well have been drawn ...

Read More »

Yves Saint Laurent designs get new airing at Paris museum

PARIS (Reuters) – A new museum showcasing the creations of late French couturier Yves Saint Laurent opens in Paris next week, offering visitors an intimate glimpse into his studio and how he pulled together his collections. Housed in the elegant Parisian building that was the seat of Saint Laurent’s eponymous label for 28 years, the museum includes displays of some of his most striking bejeweled dresses and the designs that defined his style. It recreates the workspace where Saint Laurent labored at his collections, an atelier filled with his sketches, ...

Read More »

'Loving Vincent' brings Van Gogh's art alive

(Reuters) – You have seen his “Sunflowers” in a museum, sung along with Don McLean to “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” and gawped at the tens of million of dollars his works have fetched at auction. But you have never seen Vincent Van Gogh’s art quite like it is shown in the film “Loving Vincent.” Seven years in the making and billed as the world’s first fully-painted feature film, “Loving Vincent” uses more than 130 of the Dutch artist’s own paintings to tell his own story. Each of the 65,000 frames ...

Read More »

Newly found Rubens portrait of King James I lover unveiled in Glasgow

GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) – A lost portrait by Rubens of the charming but unpopular Duke of Buckingham, a lover of King James I of England, has been found after an art historian spotted telltale signs of the Flemish master’s hand under centuries of grime and overpainting. Previously thought to be an inferior copy of a lost work by Peter Paul Rubens, the painting of the handsome bearded duke in a ruff lace collar and blue sash was identified at Pollok House, a mansion in the Scottish city of Glasgow. The ...

Read More »