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
From 13 September through 17 September from 11:00 to 17:00, Amsterdam artist Pavèl van Houten will have a shop open that is actually an art project on the Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West selling worthless junk. You’ll be able to browse through and purchase stuff like bottle caps and plastic bits for ‘flutten’, fake money that derives its name from ‘flut’ meaning ‘trash’. The shop will be housed in a wooden structure not far from 24oranges HQ, so we’ll pay it a visit and report back to you.
The more useless the item, the more ‘flutten’ you’ll get for it. The fun stuff collected by the shop will be exhibited by Van Houten in the Waardeloos Museum, which will open at the public library on the Mercatorplein and two shops nearby. The shop of useless junk has already done the rounds in Breda, Leeuwarden and Vlieland. Items such as coloured plastic, expired public transport tickets, crooked nails, flattened beer caps and broken water balloons are very popular.
Challenge accepted: we’ll going to try and top that.
Tags: Amsterdam, junk, Mercatorplein
Amsterdam artist Femke Schaap, known internationally for her “life-size, spatial film-installations”, is being jerked around by Amsterdam’s Zuid district who has suddenly dropped a commissioned project of hers that’s been seven years in the making. Schaap has 200,000 euro hanging in the balance owned to her once the work is placed, and is taking the city to court to make sure it gets placed according to their binding agreement.
The video-installation WEstLAndWElls, has white blocks with video projections of fountains, which would only be turned on after sunset – that’s it, nothing vulgar or controversial. Built to be placed on the Theophile de Bockstrook, a local green patch, the artwork had already angered residents a few years back who took to writing letters. Everything they complained about was verified and deemed unfounded, like claiming children could hurt themselves, attracting graffiti and even causing epileptic seizures. It sounds like the neighbourhood was already upset about all the construction around them (houses, schools and parking) and WEstLAndWElls became the drop that made the bucket spill over.
According to the artist, the fountain projection is in slow motion and ‘romantic’, there’s a budget for an anti-graffiti crew for ten years and no one is going to hurt themselves on the artwork. Problem is, the city district legally dismissed all the letters against placing the artwork, but all of a sudden has decided not to place the artwork after all, to everyone’s surprise. But they can’t just do that. Schaap’s lawyer claims the whole situation has been “stressful and damaging” for the artist and her excellent international reputation.
This isn’t over yet, or as a friend of mine would say, it went from a ‘situation’ and it’s turning into a ‘-gate’.
(Link: www.parool.nl, Screenshot of artwork from this video)
Tags: Amsterdam, controversy, Femke Schaap, installation