Contemporary British artist Marcus Coates from London is asking single men to go to Utrecht Central Station at 4 pm on 14 February, which is next to city hall, to perform a mating dance. On a Tuesday when everyone works and goes to school.
Coates is planning to organise a makeshift dating show with the men doing the mating dance of the Eurasian woodcock, which involves running a certain route around the Netherlands’ biggest train station.
In the mean time, single women will be waiting at city hall to pick out a man by calling out to them, just in time to correspond with the mating season of the Eurasian woodcock.
Let’s unpack this, shall we? The first thing that came to mind is also the first comment I read: it’s heterosexist. Yeah, it’s about the birds and all, but still. And who’s paying for this? Won’t it be really busy at rush hour? And is this being done in the Netherlands so Coates gets a free trip over? Too many questions and not many answers in sight.
(Link: rtvutrecht, Photo of train by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)
Tags: birds, Utrecht, Valentine's Day
The foundation Walk-for-298 wants to commemorate flight MH17 by having a bronze artwork called ‘Verbinding’ (‘Connection’) placed near Eindhoven Airport, which was made by artist Toon Heijmans of Nijmegen. MH17 was an international flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members, hence the 298 in the name of the foundation.
Ronald Rutten from Beuningen who runs Walk-for-298 is also the regional manager of the funeral company that greeted the many victims at Eindhoven Airport in the summer of 2014. He thought that having something commemorative made for them could help make the circle a bit more round.
The artwork costs 10,000 euro and the foundation only needs another 2,500 for the supporting base. The idea is that family and friends, rescuers and victims can gather there to remember their loved ones. The work symbolises a world event, with an emptiness inside it like the vacuum all those deaths created.
The commemorative artwork will probably be unveiled around 21 March 2017.
Tags: Eindhoven, Eindhoven Airport, MH17
Composer and pianist Jeroen van Veen of Culemborg, Gelderland built a life-size working piano using almost 30,000 pieces of Lego. As a huge Lego fan and composer, he wrote the ‘Minimal Prelude 18’ with the nickname ‘Lego music’, which features minimalistic sounds with many repetitions.
Building the instrument started as a bit of fun, something Van Veen did with his two adult sons. The piano is easy to put together and take apart, although they are careful when transporting it. Not only is it mechanically functional, but it is also a hybrid piano, with digital and analogue elements, possibly a world first.
People in the United States and in other countries want to have the piano over their way, so the Lego piano will probably be going on tour. The ‘brand name’ is Van Veen & Sons, a nod not only to how it was built, but also to the grand piano brand Steinway & Sons.
(Link: waarmaarraar, Photo by Sunny Ripert, some rights reserved)
Tags: Culemborg, Gelderland, Lego, piano
HW10 artists’ workshop in Nieuw-West, Amsterdam has had one of their walls painted without having been consulted by an American artist who lives abroad in what looks like a guerrilla action.
The 30-odd artists of HW10 want the rogue art removed, but the neighbours, who you think would complain about something they were also not consulted on, want the art to stay because they like it. It features a contemplative woman who appeared a month ago painted overnight by well-known artist Nils Westergard, a stunt set up by one of the neighbours. Westergard does a lot of spontaneous things in a lot of different places, many of which seem to feature pensive people.
The neighbour claimed that even though it was a bold move, he arranged it because there’s nothing in his area, no coffee places, no art and only the workshop that they never see the inside of, and that the art spruced up the place. It feels as if the artists should have done something with the wall first, but then again I wonder if either side of the story had the right to paint on it.
The majority of the 30 artists of the workshop have voted to have the wall scrubbed, but the neighbour wants the artwork to stay, and the city council of Nieuw-West is busy listening to both sides to resolve the situation.
(Link: www.parool.nl, Screenshot from Nils Westergard’s Facebook page)
Tags: Amsterdam, Nieuw-West, street art
The city of Boxmeer, Noord-Brabant is willing to offer a nice breakfast in bed for anyone who can lead them to or tell them about the yellow bed that Vincent van Gogh painted in his painting ‘The Bedroom’ from 1888.
English art historian Martin Bailey wrote in his new book ‘Studio of the South: Van Gogh in Provence’ that the yellow bed had been traced to a descendant who donated it to a community near Arnhem after the city’s liberation in 1945.
The mayor of Boxmeer is asking his citizens to see if they can find the bed in question. And if they do find it in Boxmeer, he’ll serve the breakfast himself.
Van Gogh originally purchased the bed in September 1888, along with a guest bed for 150 francs each, preceding the arrival of fellow artist Paul Gauguin for a stay with him at the Yellow House in Arles, France. He produced ‘The Bedroom’ as a kind of proud document of his first home. After his suicide in 1890, the bed eventually passed to his brother’s widow Jo, who brought the bed back to Holland to utilise in a small guest house she established.
In February the Art Institute of Chicago had recreated Van Gogh’s The Bedroom for an exhibition.
(Links: www.telegraaf.nl, www.independent.co.uk)
Tags: bed, boxmeer, Vincent van Gogh
In 2018 Arjen Boerstra from Den Horn, Groningen is planning to open a mobile fries shop in Antarctica, AD reports.
The artist started his first fries stand in 2004 as part of an art project sponsored by a local starch manufacturer. He took his stand to the potato fields of the north-east where he sold french fries to the only people there: potato farmers.
In 2007 he moved his wooden shack to the tip of the island of Terschelling where he entertained seals and seagulls and irritated hikers who felt he was disrupting the experience. One day a freight ship stopped 100 metres off the coast and sent a dinghy ashore to fetch fries for the crew of eight.
The next stop, Antarctica, started as a joke, but plans are now beginning to take shape. His stand will have to be outfitted with skis, the fries need to be pre-cut and he needs to think about how to heat the frying pan, “because butane gas freezes at 30 below zero. I think I will have to use a diesel jet burner.”
Boerstra does not yet know how long he will be running his stand there.
Tags: Antarctica, fries
A man from Wanneperveen, Overijssel has been sentenced to nine months in jail with three months suspended sentence for trying to sell a painting by Vincent van Gogh using a collection of fake documents. He was trying to sell a preparatory sketch of the painting ‘The Harvest’ (close up shown here) for 15 million euro.
Someone who found out about the sale had the idea something was off and called the police. The man apparently had many dubious small companies in his name and already a bit of a bad reputation.
(Link: www.crimesite.nl, Image: extreme close-up of The Harvest via Van Gogh Museum)
Tags: Overijssel, Vincent van Gogh
Daan Roosegaarde, who showed us the Netherlands as a network of light, has now installed a Smog-Free Tower in Beijing’s well-known 798 arts district, in a city that has become synonymous with smog.
Roosegaarde’s partial contribution towards a solution to the smog is a seven-meter metal structure that takes in smog and expels cleaner air, made up of 45 silver plates that look like window blinds, the tower contains an air-purifying machine that runs continuously. He says he came up with the idea for the tower after a visit to Beijing three years ago. His team of designers raised more than $120,000 online to help pay for the tower by selling metal rings with a clear cube that includes a bit of black carbon from smog.
However, it has been difficult to tell if the air was actually cleaner. An unscientific test using a handheld monitoring device throughout the day showed the air next to the tower was slightly cleaner than further away. Let’s be fair: it’s about the idea of showing that it is possible, as well as inspiring people to come up with solutions instead of doing nothing and hoping the government will magically care enough to do something about it.
(Link: phys.org, Photo of a particulate polluted Shanghai sky by Wikimedia Commons user Saperaud, some rights reserved)
Tags: Beijing, China, Daan Roosegaarde, invetion, smog
First the the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, North Holland gets five paintings back from Ukraine and now the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden is getting back a portrait of etcher Leopold Löwenstam by Dutch-born British painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (aka Lourens Alma-Tadema), shown here.
The lost painting showed up on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, as the owner explained that their great-great grandfather and the artist were close family friends and their great-great grandmother was the governess of Tadema’s children. According to the show, Alma-Tadema holds the record for a Victorian painting at US$36 mln (about EUR 32 mln) for an enormous picture sold in New York a few years ago, but this painting is smaller and would be worth less, with no estimation suggested.
The painting has been restored and will be part of the upcoming touring exhibition of Alma-Tadema’s work at the Fries Museum as of 1st October. The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1884, and went on display again in Liverpool in 1913, after which it hadn’t been seen until now.
UPDATE: the BBC showed aired, and the painting was valued at 230.000-346.000 euro.
(Links: www.telegraph.co.uk, omropfryslan, Photo of Lourens Alma-Tadema by John Boers, some rights reserved)
Tags: Alma-Tadema, BBC, Fries Museum, Friesland
On 7 October, Ukraine is giving back five masterpieces stolen from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, North Holland 11 years ago. Twenty-four Dutch Golden Age masterpieces and 70 pieces of silverware were stolen from the museum on January 9, 2005, which back then had an estimated total value of 10 million euro.
In Ukraine earlier this year four Dutch Golden Age masterpieces were recovered in dubious circumstances while a fifth painting was handed back to Ukrainian authorities by an Ukrainian art buyer, also under dubious circumstances. The five paintings were ‘A Peasant Wedding’ by Hendrick Boogaert, ‘Kitchen Scene’ by Floris van Schooten, ‘Return of Jephta’ and ‘Lady World’ by Jacob Waben, and ‘Nieuwstraat in Hoorn’ by Isaak Ouwater.
To celebrate the return of the paintings, the museum will let people in for free as of 8 October for a week. The bad news is, ‘A Peasant Wedding’ and ‘Kitchen Scene’ are in very bad condition and will need crowdfunding to pay for their costly restoration estimated at 100,000 euro.
(Links: au.news.yahoo.com, wfm.nl, Photo of Westfries Museum, Hoorn by Fnorp, some rights reserved)
Tags: Hoorn, North Holland, paintings