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Ai Weiwei Opens Major Project in New York

October 16th, 2017

Ai Weiwei, via NYTAi Weiwei’s landmark public art project Good Fences Make Good Neighbors has opened in New York, with massive fence sculptures erected across New York. “New York is a city I spent 10 years in,” Ai says of his history with the city. “I was quite hesitant [to do a project here] because I love [New York] so much, it’s not easy for me to just put a simple sculpture in the city … I had to do something to pay back my respect, my love.”
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Alex Katz Does Cover for New York Magazine

October 16th, 2017

Alex Katz, via NYMAlex Katz has provided the illustration for the 50th anniversary issue of New York Magazine, drawing a series of subway riders in a stripped down approach. “Alex Katz made drawings of people on the subway in the 1940s when he was a student on his way to Cooper Union,” says Magazine photography director Jody Quon. “We wanted to see if he would revisit the experience of doing the subway drawings.” 
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United States Withdrawing from Unesco

October 15th, 2017

UNESCO, via NYTCiting an “anti-Israel bias,” the United States will withdraw from Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, the New York Times reports. “Universality is critical to Unesco’s mission to strengthen international peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity,” says Unesco director Irina Bokova.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Balthus

Balthus via Wikipedia

born February 29, 1908 in Paris
died February 18, 2001 in Rossiniere, Switzerland

Balthasar Kłossowski de Rola, known as Balthus, was a prominent artist of the 20th century, most recognized for his paintings of young girls in voyeuristic or erotic contexts. His work is said to have influenced contemporary artists like John Currin.

Nude With Cat, Balthus,1949 via NationalgalleryofVictoria

His parents were part of the Paris cultural elite which led to his being influenced by such figures as poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Henri Matisse from an early age. In 1921, at the age of thirteen, Balthus published a book of drawings called “Mitsou”, with a preface by Rilke. It was a story of a boy and his cat – Balthus would remain obsessed with the animal for the rest of his life. In the 1930s, Balthus was a well-regarded painter belonging to a circle of influential artists, novelists, and intellectual figures – including Man Ray, Alberto Giacometti, Albert Camus, Joan Miro, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

The Mountain, Balthus, 1937 via Junkforcode

Balthus preferred to work with realistically rendered nude figures – he rejected the imaginary world, at a time when it was not fashionable to do so. He worked on paintings for immensely long periods of time, with great precision.

Balthus via Mirrorsandwindows

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, he gained international fame, while also remaining an enigma. His work was displayed in the Pierre Matisse gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, and he was the first living artist to be shown in the Louvre, who had acquired his piece from Pablo Picasso’s collection. Picasso had been a fan of Balthus since his early work.

Balthus exhibition, 2001, via Donatawenders

Upon his death, many more fans would attend his funeral, including U2, the president of France, supermodel Elle McPherson, and others.

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