Visitors of the KunstRAI art fair in Amsterdam are confronted with an art work by Bart Jansen even before they enter the building. The corpse of a giant blue bird, the famous brainchild of American puppeteer Jim Henson (and yellow in its native country), is slowly passing the last of its warmth to the cold, grey pavers.
The artist says on a nearby sign: “These days a national park only seems to amount to something in the public eye if it is being threatened. The next step is to make the reservation accessible for recreation. This requires a motorway. In this work, the only bird in the world that was deemed safe, has just fallen by the way of an unstoppable civilisation.”
Click the ‘read more’ link to end your childhood. (more…)
On Thursday 2 May the Rubber Duck is set to sail into Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, China.
“We tested it for several days at a shipyard and it already got a lot of attention and spin off. People started going there to get a glimpse of the project. This is the first time the Rubber Duck is floating in Victoria Harbour, which is directly connected to the South China Sea. Right now it’s also the biggest rubber duck floating around the world.”
Last year international ad agency JWT moved into a new office in Amsterdam, the famous Hirsch & Cie building on Leidseplein right above the Apple store. They asked interior designer RJW Elsinga and brand experience designer Alrik Koudenberg to come up with an interior design, and that they did.
The two came up with chairs shaped like faces, a trophy case shaped like a rabbit, a reception area with upside down photography (check the desktop background on the computer in the illustration below), robots that double as cupboards, the word ‘wow’ spelled backwards, workplace dividers looking like local gables and much more.
Google has published a bunch of statistics on its online art gallery Google Art, which is a collaboration between Google and 200 art collections worldwide.
Let’s start with some numbers. The most popular paintings in its collection are:
Van Gogh: The Starry Night
Botticelli: The Birth of Venus
Rembrandt: Self Portrait Drawing at a Window
Van Gogh: The Bedroom
Manet: In the Conservatory
Bruegel (the Elder): The Harvesters
Van Gogh: Sunflowers
Holbein (the Younger): The Ambassadors
Van Gogh: Field with Flowers near Arles
Böcklin: The Isle of the Dead
In fact, Dutch painters make up 50% of that list (60% if you include Pieter Bruegel the Elder who lived in the Habsburg Netherlands before circumstances split the country into Spanish Netherlands, later Belgium, and the Dutch Republic).
While nothing beats seeing a painting in real life, the ability to examine a work of art in this level of detail seems to be encouraging viewers to linger. One minute is the average time spent looking at any given painting on the Art Project website, compared to under 20 seconds (according to several studies) in a museum.
The Starry Night is also the most frequently included painting in user galleries, where individuals create and share their own virtual art collections.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam today.
The museum had been closed for a decade for renovations by Spanish architectural firm Cruz y Ortiz, Miami Herald writes. The Queen was wearing a simple brown outfit and one of her trademark hats in what must have been one of her last public performances. I thought she looked lively yet old.
The Queen symbolically opened the museum by twisting a giant key in a giant lock, after which fireworks were lit.
A lot more people than I had expected had shown up, thousands drawn perhaps by the promise of a free visit to the museum, which will be open to anyone until midnight, France 24 reports. It was so busy it almost seemed like young Canadian pop star Justin Bieber had arrived in the city… oh wait.
The opening was accompanied by the musical performances of 13 marching bands from all over the kingdom. The bands marched up and down a wide orange ramp that would later be used to let the general public enter the museum. After the opening, the bands spread out over Museum Plein. The Caribbean band was especially very popular and completely locked in by onlookers.
As The Independent writes, the Rijksmuseum was originally intended as the home of classic Dutch masters. “But what were they smoking when the management of the foremost Dutch museum and the Government Building Agency predicted the task would take just three years?” Part of the problem, the paper writes, was the way the government looked at requests for tenders, which was that everything should be done on the cheap. The underlying idea, not to be frivolous with public money, was good, but the result was decades of cost overruns and sometimes plain shoddy work. (The Rijksmuseum does look good though.)
In 2003 an art forger from Arnhem ran off to Thailand with the 3 million euro he illegally made forging modern art, and all he has to do is wait until the statute of limitations runs out in 2018. Of course, he’s probably under the threat of being caught if ever he came back to the Netherlands (or the EU, I suppose), but he couldn’t care less.
The forger made a fortune – imagine what kind of luxury 3 million euro gets you in Thailand – making Alberto Giacometti statues, which were sold by two German art dealers. They got caught in 2009 and have been sentenced to 7 and 9 years of prison, respectively.
The Dutchman is living the good life in Thailand, calling his predicament ‘being imprisoned in paradise’.
Grab a beverage of choice and take a few minutes to read more about famous Dutch forger Han van Meegeren who was an excellent artist in his own right, but turned to the more lucrative business of forging paintings for rich Dutchmen who wanted to fool Nazis by selling them forgeries. And yes, it does remind me and some of you of the British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo whose plot often revolves around forgeries of the paintings ‘The Cracked Vase with the Big Daisies’ by Van Gogh and ‘The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies’ by Van Klomp.
The Rijksmuseum (or Rijks Museum) in Amsterdam, home to many a Dutch master, has been partially closed to the public for renovations ever since 2003 and will be reopened on 13 April by Queen Beatrix in the last month of her reign.
Sponsor ING made this video in a shopping centre in Breda of a 17th century shop lifter being chased by the city watch. The tableau vivant at the end depicts Rembrandt van Rijn’s ‘Night Watch’, the most prominent work in the Rijksmuseum’s collection. (Rijksmusem means ‘state museum’—there are several Rijksmuseums in the Netherlands, but if there is no city name attached people assume it is the one in Amsterdam).
Everything is a perfume by Lernert & Sander consisting of all fragrances launched in 2012. Over the last year Lernert & Sander collected almost 1400 samples of newly launched fragrances. By mixing the content of all of these bottles, they created 1.5 litre of Everything. This unique perfume comes in a specially designed and hand blown bottle, an enlargement of a classic sample bottle.
It smelled, at first whiff, of strawberries mixed with salt, along with hints of baseball mitt and hair spray. And tuberose, yes. And licorice and fresh paint. And musk and rotten peaches and honeysuckle and basil and soap.
It was awful.
Apparently a bottle of 1400 free samplers goes for 30,000 euro these days.
“When Lernert tried it on in our studio yesterday and took the tram, the unbelievably handsome man that came to sit next to him instantly got up and found another seat after smelling Everything,” said Lernert and Sander via email. “But, hey, Everything is not for everyone.”
Students of the Willem de Kooning art academy in Rotterdam have managed to take a search string, ‘ultimate business car’, and have this produce five pictures in Google’s search engine for images that, once put next to each other, form an advertisement.
Search engines are in a continuous battle with Search Engine Optimizers, companies with the morals of an arsonist who try to replace relevant search results with links to the sites of their paymasters.
Students Pim van Bommel, Guus ter Beek and Alwin Lanting used the help of ‘hardcore SEO-ers’ to get the ad to show up in Google’s search results. The ad is no longer visible in its original form. When 24 Oranges searched for ‘ultimate business car’, the first panel had disappeared entirely and the text panels were in a different order. Van Bommel told Bright: “As soon as users start clicking on images Google’s algorithm changes the display order based on popularity. Unfortunately that is an aspect we do not yet control. Ads in which the order of the images is of less importance would be a good solution.”
Het Klokhuis is a daily educational programme for 8- to 12-year-olds which deals with a single theme each episode using both reporting, skits and songs. It was originally created in 1988 by the actors behind the Stratemakersopzeeshow, Aart Staartjes, Wieteke van Dort and Joost Prinsen.
(Photo: crop of the video. Video: YouTube / PESfilm)