Sunday, February 26, 2006

Villagers claim church fresco is lost Michelangelo

Parishioner's confession leads to discovery of monogram behind altar

John Hooper in Rome
Thursday February 23, 2006

No one else knows what the pensioner told the priest about what he got up to when he was a naughty altar boy. But his confession holds out the tantalising possibility that there could be a lost Michelangelo on the wall of a village church in Chianti.

For centuries the inhabitants of Marcialla have handed down the legend that a fresco above the altar was painted by the great Florentine artist in his youth. And the claim has sometimes been referred to in scholarly texts.

But it has recently been learned that, at the end of last year, a stone slab forming part of the altar was heaved aside to reveal the first visible evidence for the claim: a monogram with the letters M, B and F intertwined. MBF is thought to stand for Michelangelo Buonarroti (his name) and fecit (did (it) in Latin), a common way of asserting authorship, or fiorentino (the Florentine).

Elsa Masi, a retired chemist and the head of a local cultural association who is leading a campaign to have the fresco examined by experts, told the Guardian yesterday that the M and B were "exactly the same" as in the lettering above a crucifix attributed to Michelangelo in the church of Santo Spirito in Florence.

She said the decision to find out what lay behind the altar had been taken by the parish priest, Father Rosario Palumbo, after hearing the confession of an elderly parishioner who said that, during a prank as an altar boy, he had glimpsed the initials. Father Palumbo was not available for comment.

Asked about the identity of the parishioner, Ms Masi said: "The priest didn't want to tell me."

Stylistic verification of the claim will be difficult because the central part of the fresco was damaged by damp and painted over. But at least one scholar has said there is something of Michelangelo in the muscularity of the thief who stands on the right of the painting

Mr Masi said it was plausible that the artist had stayed in or around Marcialla in the tumultuous period after the fall of the Medicis in January 1494. It is known that Michelangelo, a Medici protege, went into hiding at one point and that he had enjoyed the hospitality of the Augustinian order.

The church of Santa Maria in Marcialla belonged to the Augustinians until 1570, coming under the authority of the prior of Santo Spirito, who had helped Michelangelo to study anatomy.

A succession of diocesan surveys between the late 17th and late 18th centuries stated that the fresco was by Michelangelo, and a scholar of the time, Marco Lastri, noted that it was "said to be by the celebrated Michelangelo".

But no one seems to have bothered with the painting again until the 1940s, when two more Italians mentioned the claims. One of them, Roberto Weiss, even ventured an attribution.

In a book published in 1942 Weiss quoted an elderly sacristan who said he had been present when a frame around the picture was removed in the previous century. He said the operation had uncovered the letters MBF. A notice was put up in the church recording Weiss's attribution.

"Yet no one ever again took an interest in this fresco," said Ms Masi.

In part, this may have been because no living person had seen the initials - until last year.

Ms Masi said: "If this is attributed to Michelangelo, then all the books that describe his early life are going to have to be rewritten."

Contest for Book Cover: Life of Pi

Karen Schneider, selected by The Age, Australia

Drawn to the power of Pi

Many people have recomended the novel Life of Pi. I have it on a stack of books to be read.
(I added Amazon Links at the bottom - you can get this book now under $3.00)

I did not know about this cover contest, but found the short list results impressive. You can view these submissions at The Time on Line Web Site at,,923-2044284,00.html

"In October, The Times and Canongate Books launched a competition to find an illustrator for a new edition of Yann Martel’s Man Booker-prizewinning novel Life of Pi. Today we feature the five shortlisted images, chosen by our judging panel out of some 600 entries. Five more artists have been selected from those who entered via The Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada, and another five from those who submitted their illustrations to The Age in Australia. All 15 shortlisted artists will submit three more illustrations each before an overall winner is chosen in April."

The artical also had several interviews with some of the shortlisted artist. This one was my favorite artist repsonse:


(Manila, Philippines)

I never bought the book. When the competition came to my knowledge, I didn’t have any cents in my pocket but I wanted to enter so I went to the bookstore four days in a row to read it. I’m happy to be shortlisted. I put a lot of work in: it’s a long walk to the bookstore! My illustration is entitled The Greatest Show on Earth — it shows the scene where Pi is taming Richard Parker. It is full of emotion, conflict and excitement. Pi could die at that moment. I wanted to emphasise the space between them; to capture the intensity of the tiger and the mix of coolness and terror in Pi.

I use all sorts of media, but this was done by layering acrylic paint on paper. I wanted to make it look old and blurred, to fit the magical, mysterious effect of Pi’s story. I plan a completely different style to illustrate the alternative story that Pi tells at the end.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Goya, Unflinching, Defied Old Age - New York Times

Goya, Unflinching, Defied Old Age

IN 1824, Ferdinand VII, lately freed from prison with French help and returned to the Spanish throne, was a vengeful despot. The Inquisition was restored, liberals were rounded up.

When a temporary amnesty was announced, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, court painter, friend to too many free thinkers, applied to take the waters at Plombières, in France.

He headed for Bordeaux, not even bothering to stop at Plombières, then went on to Paris, where he spent the summer. He was stone deaf and didn't speak a word of French. If he saw Delacroix and Constable in the great Salon of 1824, he never mentioned it. Delacroix belonged to another generation. In September, Goya returned to Bordeaux and settled into the expatriate community.

And there he died, at 82, in 1828, attended by his companion, Locadia, a distant relative, with whom he reportedly fought all the time, and by her two children. The younger one, Rosario, is sometimes thought to have been Goya's daughter because he said nice things about her art. Goya didn't say many nice things about other artists.

There have been many Goya shows lately. He's a man for our day, the great, unflinching satirist of everything irrational and violent and absurd in life and politics. "Goya's Last Works," at the Frick, differs from the large, rather loveless survey that veteran aficionados may remember that the Metropolitan Museum did some years ago. That exhibition tried to pigeonhole the artist as a symbol of Enlightenment values, draining the guts out of Goya. Look at the late work and you'll see, as Robert Hughes once nicely put it, that there's no less of the Marquis de Sade in him than there is of Rousseau.

The compact Frick show is sublime. An early French biographer, Laurent Matheron, writing about Goya during his twilight in exile, blew off the late work as "feeble and slack." Matheron must have been blind, or saw pictures now lost. They're certainly not here. I can't recall too many exhibitions on this scale more revelatory.

The inspiration for it was one of the Frick's own Goyas, a deceptively fine portrait of a young woman, from 1824, the sort of painting you might miss if you weren't looking closely. The curators, Jonathan Brown and Susan Grace Galassi, decided to spotlight it, and the show naturally grew, but not too much, to include other late works.

It has sometimes been said that the sitter for the Frick portrait is Rosario, which isn't too likely since she was 36, and the young woman, flushed, expectant, childishly calm, doesn't look a day over 26. Prim in white gloves and a black dress trimmed in lace, she is swiftly painted in dashing, creamy strokes that pay homage to Goya's hero, Velázquez, at the same time that they bring to mind Manet. He's the automatic association today, Manet having passed on to posterity the look of "modern" painting inherited straight from Goya.

For comparison's sake, the curators borrowed other late portraits. Goya could be a perfunctory artist, and two clunky portraits of Spaniards in Paris, Joaquín María de Ferrer and his wife, seem lifeless: diffident commissions. But then Goya also painted Don Tiburcio Pérez y Cuervo, an architect, shirt sleeves rolled up, arms folded, smiling slightly, resembling Goya as a young man. The best portraits have an intimate bond with the sitters.

The strongest bond comes across in the one of his old pal Leandro Fernández de Moratín. A poet and playwright, Moratín sat for Goya in the 1790's, when he was lean and suave. Now he's puffy and middle aged, his face built up with thick, puttylike slabs of pigment. He has the tense expression of someone who knows his portraitist will be brutally honest but who is himself a believer in truth and in the artist, and whose forbearance therefore makes him look heroic and humane. Only the savviest, most mature painter could manage to convey all that.

But then, more than 30 years earlier, Goya had already sketched a portrait of himself after a bout with death that cost him his hearing; in it he's Beethoven with Medusa's hair, all wary introspection and defiance. That drawing is in the show, as a kind of prelude for the self-portrait from 1820, painted after another illness during which Goya was attended by a friend, a doctor named Eugenio García Arrieta. In gratitude Goya portrayed them both, as an ex-voto, inscribed with elaborate thanks. Arrieta supports his ailing patient and holds up a glass of medicine. Eyes glazed, head lolling, Goya clutches his bedsheets (the gesture speaks volumes) while behind him, as if straight from his fevered brain, a noisome coven of figures, like the Fates, lurks in the shadows.

By that point, decades of violence and political calamity along with his own physical suffering had reinforced in Goya a hermetic, almost hallucinatory despair — an outlook on the world that, the portraits of his friends aside, pervaded the late work. Mankind was not inherently good, rational and free, manacled and corrupted only by tyranny and circumstance. Society was a surging mob of lost souls, hysterics and murderers. The most shocking picture in the show may be a little keepsake that Goya dashed off before quitting Madrid. It's of his son, Javier, a wastrel, whom Goya loved anyway. He is drawn as fat and dissolute, a lost soul staring vacantly. With Goya, truth trumped love. But life was still worth living to the very last minute, if only for the reason that Goya scrawled across a sketch of a hunchbacked Methuselah: "I Am Still Learning."

He was. Nearly 80, he took up lithography in Bordeaux, making prints of bullfights in the workshop of Cyprien Gaulon — Goya's portrait of whom, all velvety touch and measured nobility, turns him, like Moratín, into a romantic hero.

Bullfight scenes didn't appeal to the French, but lithography inspired Goya to draw with black crayon, another new medium for him. His Bordeaux drawings bring to mind diary entries. He spotted a roller skater, head tossed, on the verge of toppling backward, alongside a bicyclist. He saw a woman crammed into a shoulder carriage, like a giant backpack with a little window, being lugged by a stooped porter. And he noticed an amputated beggar, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, in a huge contraption of a wheelchair that, like a chariot, enclosed him between its two great front wheels, making a triangle of the composition.

He also visited a madhouse in Bordeaux and drew a lunatic, a monstrous figure, wearing a loose sack, twisting like a Michelangelo slave, his arms behind him, his legs buckling, his head a gnarled mass of thatched hair and knotty bone. A single, haunted eye swivels into the man's skull. As Mr. Hughes put it in his Goya biography, the eye was a stroke of genius by "an old man who had suffered immensely and known every last terror of black melancholy."

And then there is the imploring penitent on his knees, maybe another of the madhouse inmates, although his pose, arms raised, is like the famous patriot's before the firing squad in "The Third of May."

It's hard not to see him and all the other old men in these late works as implicit self-portraits. They're fools, donning bat wings, moving herky-jerky before women invariably more graceful and powerful than they are. A dwarfish constable clutching a set of keys beseeches a young beauty wearing a giant padlock. He's a thwarted Romeo. A groaning, half-naked old man, pinioned by a woman, has the devil on his back. Even a flying beast, part Icarus, part Cerberus, with webbed feet, crashing to earth — one of Goya's classic nightmare inventions — seems to symbolize man's hubris and impotence.

I don't mean artistic impotence, of course, not with Goya, who tried his hand at yet one more new medium in Bordeaux. He painted on palm-size slivers of ivory — "original miniatures, which I have never seen the like of before," he boasted, rightly. On a dark, wet ground, he let fall a drop or two of water, whose blots and granulates suggested shapes, like the ones that Leonardo imagined in stains on old walls.

Goya conjured up a screaming monk and a goggle-eyed woman. A man picking fleas. Judith hacking off the head of Holofernes. A nude reclining, paint wiped from the ivory to connote flesh. And Susannah ogled by the elders, the standard fable of chaste youth and pathetic, dirty old men.

Broad fields of light and dark make these ivories like flashbulb snapshots. Immediate and exquisite, they're nearly monumental. Like the late works of Titian or Rembrandt, Goya's late works achieve a whole new level of freedom and depth, haunted by death but exalted. The Frick has picked for the show's poster the perfect image: one of the creepier Bordeaux drawings of a thick and stumpy old man on a swing, leering as he vaults skyward.

You can almost hear Goya cackle.

"Goya's Last Works" continues through May 14 at the Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan; (212) 288-0700, or

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Forget a thousand words. This picture's worth $2.9 million -

Forget a thousand words. This picture's worth $2.9 million

NEW YORK (AP) -- A photograph of a pond taken by Edward Steichen sold for more than $2.9 million, easily setting a world record for the highest-priced photograph ever auctioned, Sotheby's said.

"The Pond-Moonlight," taken in 1904 at Mamaroneck, New York, sold Tuesday for $2,928,000, including the buyer's premium, Sotheby's spokesman Matthew Weigman said. The buyer's identity was not immediately disclosed.

The photograph shows a pond in a wooded area with light coming through the trees and reflected in the water. Pre-sale estimates priced the photo, which is slightly bigger than 16 inches by 19 inches, at up to $1 million. The only other two prints are in museum collections.

The previous record for highest price for a photograph at auction, $1,248,000, was set in November by Richard Prince's "Untitled (Cowboy)." (ABOVE)

Also surpassing that record on Tuesday were two photographs of the artist Georgia O'Keeffe taken by Alfred Stieglitz, her husband. A photograph of her hands sold for $1,472,000, and a portrait of her nude sold for $1,360,000, Weigman said.

All three photographs were among a group of close to 140 scheduled to be auctioned by Sotheby's on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The photographs have been put up for sale by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from its

acquisition last year of the more than 8,500 photographs in the renowned Gilman Paper Co. collection.

Some of the Gilman works duplicated material already in the museum's holdings so they were put up for auction, as were some photographs in the Met's collection that were in better condition in the Gilman collection.

Stephen Perloff, the editor of The Photograph Collector, a newsletter about the photography art market, said before the Steichen auction that it would be a "moment of history."

The entire sale is estimated to bring in between $4 million and $6 million, said Denise Bethel, director of the Sotheby's photography department. The proceeds will go toward defraying the costs of acquiring the collection.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Find this article at:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

There's More to Life Than Screaming - New York Times

There's More to Life Than Screaming - New York Times: "February 17, 2006
Art Review | Edvard Munch
There's More to Life Than Screaming

EDVARD MUNCH'S vision of modern angst, 'The Scream,' has been much in the news lately. The trial of six suspects in the theft of one version from an Oslo museum began this week; the painting has not been recovered. The image of 'The Scream' has been so widely embraced and reproduced that if you hear the name Munch 'The Scream' comes instantly to mind, and vice versa. Yet Munch (1863-1944) regarded 'The Scream' as an aberration, one that cast the shadow of insanity on a body of art that he intended to address more universal aspects of human experience.

'Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul,' an affecting full-scale retrospective that opens Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art, presents this broader view. The first survey of the Norwegian painter in an American museum in almost 30 years, it was organized by Kynaston McShine, chief curator at large of the Modern. Its more than 130 oils and works on paper cover Munch's entire career, from 1880 to 1944. It also includes a large selection of the prints — many of them ingeniously adapted from his oils — that played an important role in his art."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

New Orlean benefit photographic exhibition.

New Orleans Our Hometown, Inc. (NOOHT) a non-profit corporation, will host an international benefit photographic exhibition. Donated entries will be accepted now through March 3, 2006.

All entries to "New Orleans Our Hometown: Photographs from a World of Admirers" will be reproduced and made available for purchase with 100% of net profits donated to A Studio in the Woods, New Orleans, Louisiana to fund artist in residency programs for artists displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

All submitted entries will be displayed at LeMieux Galleries, New Orleans, Louisiana throughout 2006.

"New Orleans Our Hometown: Photographs from a World of Admirers," has been created as the exhibition theme in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to serve as a memorial and a testimonial to what has been lost and forever altered. The exhibition seeks to create a dialogue focusing on the city of New Orleans, a city of unique qualities and character that holds a place of honor in the hearts and minds of the world

For information on how to submitt work- please go to thier website at:

Monday, February 13, 2006


Justice For All?

The death penalty has come under intense criticism of late. Innocent people have been released from death row after years of wrongful incarceration. Other innocents, such as Ruben Cantu in Texas, may have been wrongfully executed. Calls have been made to stop all executions and investigate the system or to abolish it once and for all.

We are organizing this international, all-media, juried art show to foster the creation of new artwork on the death penalty, to celebrate artwork that may already have been created and to encourage and enhance civic engagement and dialogue about the death penalty.

Democracy is animated when an informed public is engaged in the issues of the day. We hope this art show will reach new and diverse participants and audiences and will stimulate public dialogue about this contemporary social issue and inspire action to make change. Art is a wonderful medium for the transformation and awareness of the world.

We welcome submissions from artists who engage the issue from all sides.
Deadline for Submissions: March 20, 2006. Exhibition: May 6-22, 2006 in Austin, Texas

More info at:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Scott Covert - More than just rubbing grave stones

Scott Covert started exhibiting his artwork in 1979 at Club 57 in New York at a show curated by the now deceased famous New York artist Keith Haring. I find this element of Scotts Bibliography curiously apropos with the work he’s involved with now being his “Grave Rubbings”. Working on large canvas sheets Scott starts out doing single rubbings, but the work quickly evolved into what he thinks of as cocktail parties for the dead (more or less), in which he puts together the guest list. As with any good party, the original list often gets blurred, with names added and deleted on the spur of the moment. In Scott’s work, one person sometimes gets layered over another, reflecting not only the randomness of life and death, but of memory and history. Lives get covered over, perhaps forgotten.

They are portraits, in a sense, and they reveal the intensely personal connection Scott makes with his “subjects” while on his knees, on their graves, rubbing away and meditating on their lives. Certainly, there is a Dr. Frankenstein element here as well, almost a sense of re-animation through the hand of the artist, and in the combinations of different elements with the various personalities.

Scott Covert is being shown right now in Illinoios at at Plan B Gallery, 7453 W. Madison; Forest park Illinois.

His web site is at:

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Insights from St. Louis Artist Matt Stacey

What is the first thing you do when you begin your `create’ mode?

I am a Photographer based in St. Louis and when I
begin a new project I try to compile old works and
think about how I might try to go into a new
direction, or expand further on something that I have
already created. The thing about the created juices
is that sometimes they are not fully realized in the
first go around. Revisiting old works may allow an
artist to expand the idea in a new direction. I
sometimes think about my own arrogance in thinking
that Ive ever actually "completed" a piece.

Matt Stacey

Visit his blog at

Bloggers take a closer look at Borf's Judge

It Turns Out That Borf's Sentencing Judge Is Dating A Rich White Guy!
D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynne Leibovitch photographed in Aruba on vacation with her AOL Vice President boyfriend after Borf's sentencing.
Judge Lynne Leibovitch is only too happy to cut her vacation short to serve the interests of justice by placing teenage artists inside one of the most brutal and inhuman of jails in the United States of America.

Picture and comments found at the blog:
Black Cat Bone - Burning The Flesh Off Modern Art
James W. Bailey C.S.A. (Contemporary Southern Artist)Born and Raised in the Great State of Mississippi. Born-again in the City of New Orleans.

There is more interesting documentation on this judge at this site.

Borf Busted

Quickly making a buzz in the art world is the arrest and sentencing of an 18 year old Graffiti Artist in Washington DC.

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 10, 2006; Page B09

The teenage graffiti vandal known as Borf got tagged yesterday -- with 30 days in the D.C. jail and a dressing-down that no one in the courtroom will soon forget.

Borf, aka John Tsombikos, chose not to address the judge who was deciding his fate. But D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz had a lot to say to the young anarchist from Northern Virginia. She didn't paint a pretty picture.

"You profess to despise rich people," she said. "You profess to despise the faceless, nameless forms of government that oppress. That's what you've become. That's what you are. You're a rich kid who comes into Washington and defaces property because you feel like it. It's not fair. It's not right."

Prolific like few local taggers before him, the 18-year-old Tsombikos left the Borf mark at dozens of places all over the District, from daring, eye-catching expositions such as the tagging of a wall above a Cosi on Connecticut Avenue to cruder, less memorable efforts such as the spray-painting of a dumpster on a side street.

The moniker, prosecutors said, was the nickname of a friend who killed himself in October 2003 in Silver Spring, and references in court to a confidential pre-sentence report on Tsombikos suggested that he has been deeply troubled by his friend's death.

Whatever the inspiration, the tag seemed to be everywhere for a time, to the frustration of property owners, police and city workers responsible for cleaning up graffiti. The judge said there was no justification for it.

"That's not artistic expression," she said. "That is not political expression. That is not grief therapy. That is vandalism."

Caught early one morning last summer as he defaced a Howard University building, Tsombikos was charged with destruction of property. The arrest and subsequent media attention seemed to heighten his notoriety. Copycats emerged, eager to fill the breach.

In December, he pleaded guilty to the felony charge. Yesterday, the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wright, urged the judge to lock him up. It was an unusual request for a first-time offender in a property crime.

But the judge did not need much convincing. What mattered to Leibovitz -- and what Tsombikos seemed not to understand -- was that ordinary people had been affected by the mess he created.

"It's not about whether you want to express yourself," she said. "Washington, D.C., is not a playground that was built for your self-expression. It's a place where people, real people, live and care about their communities."

Nothing that took place in the months before he pleaded guilty in December and nothing that has happened since seems to have awakened him to that fact, she said.

He showed up for one hearing last fall wearing paint-splattered clothing. And while his case was still pending in the District, Tsombikos got in more trouble. He was arrested on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on suspicion of defacing a streetlight box, ruining his chances of probation.

"You should have been walking out of the front door of this courtroom today," Leibovitz told him. "Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that you require more than that to impress upon you the seriousness of what you've done. Not because it's a wall, not because it's a building, not because it's a fixture in some abstract sense. But because of people."

Standing next to his attorney, Michael Madden, Tsombikos stood in silence as the judge spoke. His father watched from among a courtroom full of spectators.

The 30-day jail term is just the start. If Tsombikos breaks the law again within the next three years, he could be jailed for the 17 suspended months of his sentence. Regardless, he has to complete 200 hours of community service, including 80 hours of cleaning up graffiti. And he must pay $12,000 in restitution, money that better not come out of his parents' bank accounts, the judge said.

"In other words," she said, "not the bogus jobs that your father gives you in New York . . . a real job, going to work like the people you demean, earning it with paychecks and the sweat of your own brow."

But it was the prospect of a month at the jail that most worried Madden, who had asked for probation and pleaded with the judge to at least send Tsombikos to a halfway house.

She wouldn't budge, and she made it clear why.

"I want him to see what the inside of the D.C. jail looks like," she said, "because unlike every other person you've seen in my courtroom this morning, who have a ninth-grade education, who are drug-addicted, who have had childhoods the likes of which you could not conceive, you come from privilege and opportunity and seem to think that the whole world is just like McLean and just like East 68th Street.

"Well," she said, "it's not."

Article found on Washington

Nineteen Penises

February 2006 Web Gallery:

Nineteen Penises
curated by David Humphrey

Every month, Visual AIDS invites guest curators, drawn from both the arts and AIDS communities, to select several works from the Frank Moore Archive Project. For February, David Humphrey curated the current on-line exhibition which features the artwork of Archive Members: David B. Abbott, Michael Berube, Raynes Birkbeck, Michael Harwood, Jerry Hooten, Gregory Maskwa, Tim McCarron, Michael Mitchell, John Morrison, Berni Ortiz, Alfred Santiago, Rene Santos, Tom Shooter, and Richard Treitner.

from the Curator's Statement:
The names spread across many cultures: Wang, Dong, Schlong, Dick, Peter, Willie, Johnson or Rod. Some names have punch, like Schmuck, Prick, Pecker and Cock. Others bust out with spicy associations, like Wiener Schnitzel, Pink Torpedo, Bald Monkey or Weeping Jesus. We will never finish the task of renaming the penis, because we can never finish the task of understanding it.

From the possessor's point of view the penis is a double agent, both one's own and separate, private and public, a tool and independent agent. It can be a source of embarrassment or pride, vulnerability or power. A penis is the little part that preoccupies; its incessant reproportioning attracts disproportionate attention. It is a shape-shifting troublemaker.

Artists and non-artists alike have been depicting the penis for much of recorded time, in spite of the confusing and sometimes ferocious prohibition against its representation. This selection of artworks from the Frank Moore archive charts a circuitous itinerary through the vast continent of penis. Some of the members included here have been fashioned by hand, others are documented photographically, and all were emphatically made to be looked at. Whether the artist’s purpose was to arouse, protest, explain or provoke, each work testifies to an irrepressible desire to look at what we've been told over and over should not be seen in public.

See the exhibit at :

Friday, February 10, 2006

Open call for Art piece that portrays the sensation of an orgasm

Open Call of Submissions for Orgasmos -- to create and submit a Net or Web Art piece that portrays the sensation of an orgasm. 10 works only will be selected by our international panel, to be showcased online on from April 10th 2006. is a website specializing in creating and showcasing online based public art projects, overseen by a panel of 25 established and emerging international professionals from a wide range of new media fields.
Submission Guidelines: Net.Art/Web.Art Submissions: please send the URL of your piece and any specific viewing requirements in terms of browsers and software.

In your email please include the name of the piece and a short statement of who you or your group/collaborative are (300 words max). Also include your main website if you have one and your email address (please state if you wish your website and email address to be visible on the site)

Email all work to

Important: When submitting work you will need to give your consent and confirm it is your own work in order for us to use it. If you are sending via email, you must copy and paste in your email the following paragraph, signed by yourself. If you are posting the material please copy paste this on you cover letter and sign it:

"The work I am submitting is my own, I have consent from all ollaborators involved (ifany), to use and submit this work. I allow to display my work within the tosoma website. I will not contact panel members discussing my submission."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Insights from Artist

"What is the first thing you do when you begin your `create' mode?"

Jeffrey Scott Holland from Louisville, KY answered:

For me the painting process usually consists of much pacing around naked and listening to the same CD on repeat, over and over and over (Psychedelic Furs, Hasil Adkins, Cat Power) for at least 1-2 hours before I even uncap a paint tube. I'm not actually thinking much about the painting during this time, I'm just getting myself into that trance-like "painting state". Once the moment arrives, I'm done pacing and work on the piece (usually standing) in a frenzy until it's completed, regardless of how long that takes. I rarely take more than 24 hours on any given piece, wall-size murals being the only exception.

I do a performance series called Dark Observatory where I turn a gallery or other venue into a temporary studio, and work on paintings in front of a live audience. (I keep my clothes on for those, but I do blast the Hasil Adkins CD at full volume.)

You can check out his cool website - read about his art projects and see some of his work here:

Sample of his work on his website.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What does volunteerism look like?

Poster Contest comming to an end- still a couple days to vote.

We need people to vote on an online poster contest
(of course it’s free to vote)

Link on bottom of page – thanks for voting –it’s a good cause.

The poster contest if part of the International Youth Volunteerism Summit
WHERE: Northwestern University
WHEN: February 24-26

The inaugural IYVSummit is a weekend designed to celebrate the impulses behind youth volunteerism around the world while at the same time creating a social and intellectual space for serious critical discussion of the limits and pitfalls of those impulses.

THE ONLY INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO ARTIST WAS : What does volunteerism look like? Put it on a poster. Any size, any medium, any form.

( When asked (by email) they said it was not to be a poster for the conference –I asked, but unfortunately others did not.)

My own submission to the contest doesn’t appear so well on their site, It wasn’t designed to be so compressed – and the text doesn’t come out clearly. The whimsical people images in each square explain how they volunteer – from babysitting, to work in a forest preserve, to helping NASA, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and other organizations. The goal was to show that Volunteering encompasses a large spectrum of activities (as well as emotions.).

You can double click on the images to get a larger view

Thanks - Paul Grant (follower of Basho)


Sorry isn't enough

Vase-Smasher Banned

- The Independent reports that a visitor to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge who accidentally smashed £100,000 ($174,820) worth of Chinese vases says that he has been banned from returning. "It was just a regrettable accident. I snagged my shoelace, missed the step and crash, bang, wallop there were a million pieces of high quality Chang ceramics lying around underneath me," he told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Put his memory on your feet

Reebok Basquiat Sneakers

I saw these on The Stylephile and decided they were a must-have for my favorite artist who has a birthday coming up. Reebok has made a new collection of sneakers that are designed based on the unique designs of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat, whose works were recently shown in a comprehensive retrospective at the MOCA here in Los Angeles, was famous for his graffiti-inspired art. The sneakers have Basquiat's name on back, his signature crown and a Basqiuat design on the sole. The sneakers come in just a few colors and are made in limited runs of 500. The Stylephile says you can get them at%uFFFD Sportie L.A. or Barneys for $140 but I found my pair for $120 at Karmaloop.
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