November 9, 2017

Grasshopper clings to Van Gogh painting for 128 years

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 3:44 pm


A conservator has discovered that Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Olive Trees’ has more to it than meets the eye. Parts of the thorax and abdomen of a grasshopper were preserved in the painting for 128 years, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper, reporting on the painting exhibited at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri in the United States.

The grasshopper was spotted under magnification during research on French paintings at the museum and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Since Van Gogh worked outdoors a lot, it’s not unlikely for an insect to drop dead and end up on a canvas.

And it will not be removed.

(Link and photo:

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June 13, 2017

Obama’s unofficial official portrait is Dutch

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 10:03 am
Portrait of Barack Obama made of wood by Diederick Kraaijeveld

Portrait of Barack Obama made of wood by Diederick Kraaijeveld

Here’s some fake news for you, served up and spread generously by Americans on the Internet: that portrait artist Edwin van den Dikkenberg from Amsterdam painted Barack Obama’s official portrait (pic here).

According to Het Parool, Van den Dikkenberg painted an obviously very popular painting of the 44th POTUS, but it’s not going to be hanging in the White House any time soon.

The bunk was posted on Facebook and went viral. I don’t care who or what, but it is a good exercise in demonstrating that many people don’t check their facts and enjoy spreading fake news when it goes well with the walls of their echo chambers.

Van den Dikkenberg said he opened his email last Sunday and it was full of messages from the United States. He painted a portrait of Obama to show people what he could do, and didn’t expect it to be seen as an official portrait. “If Obama had personally asked me to paint him, I would have jumped two metres in the air. But that’s not the case”.

President Obama will have a portrait, the artist and image of which will be shared at a later date. And with all the commotion, probably not in a baggy, tan-coloured suit. Feel free to read about Scrapwood Obama that did make it to Washington, DC.


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September 7, 2014

Pink refuge islands will keep their colour, Wijchen says

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 2:05 pm


Last week bright pink refuge islands started popping up on Havenweg in the town of Wijchen near Nijmegen.

According to Volkskrant, the civil servant responsible for ordering the paint used the wrong colour code (it should have been a dark red) and the painters never questioned the result, so now Wijchen has its own ‘world famous’ refuge islands.

Realising their mistake, the municipality wanted to have the pink islands painted over but citizens liked the effect, so the striking colour stays. Deputy Mayor Paul Loermans said about the mistakes: “To err is human. Apart from getting the colour wrong, the painters actually did a neat job.”

Omroep Gelderland suspected a marketing stunt because a bike race for women will be passing through Wijchen next week, but everybody involved denies the allegations vehemently. “A lucky mistake”, both the organizers of the race and the municipality told the broadcaster.

This shade of pink is sometimes called ‘zuurstokroze’ in Dutch, ‘candy cane pink’.

(Photo: reconstruction via Google Street View)

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September 1, 2014

Landscape paintings of Schiermonnikoog by Stella van Acker

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 9:09 am


Schiermonnikoog is an island and the northernmost and least populated municipality of the Netherlands. Among its 942 inhabitants is watercolorist Stella van Acker who moved there decades ago from one of the southernmost places in the Netherlands, Valkenburg, and has remained there ever since.

Holly Moors calls her “an absolute master. Her watercolors and other paintings have by now reached the level of a William Turner”.

Check out her site.

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July 4, 2013

Harrowing paintings win national youth art contest

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 2:20 pm

Fifteen-year-old Emile Weisz from Margraten, Limburg won youth art contest Kunstbende, an annual art competition for teenagers in the Netherlands aged 13 to 18. It is subdivided into eight categories: dance, DJ, expo, fashion, film & animation, music, language and theatre & performance. Weisz is the winner of the expo category, the theme of which was ‘Heroes’.

His two paintings represent his brother and him. Weisz’ brother has some sort of serious disease (the family spent four years in the US for treatment), something that not even a superhero could save him from.

The jury of the expo category included last year’s winner Christopher Bol, Zippora Elders, comics artist Maaike Hartjes (who alerted us to the competition), Marieke Hoogendijk and Kim Keizer.

Older work by Weisz can be found at if you scroll down a bit.

(Source photo: Prezi / Kunstbende / Emile Weisz)

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June 5, 2013

Two Russians fighting over a painting make a Dutch woman rich

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 12:20 pm

Auction house Christie’s in London has sold ‘Still Life With Fruit’ by Russian avant-garde artist Ilya Mashkov for an unexpected € 5.5 million euro, a painting owned by an unnamed Dutch woman who bought it for a few thousand guilders back in 1976. In 1913 the painting was adorning Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum as part of an exhibition that also featured Kandinsky and Mondrian.

It is a world record price for the artist, the value of which appears to have been driven up by a bidding war between two Russians. The previous owner bought the work 35 years ago from a Dutch art dealer. She was persuaded to put it up for sale by a Christie’s expert who had valued it for insurance purposes a decade ago and believed the time was right to cash in.

(Link:, Image: Ilya Mashkov by Boris Grigoriev)

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January 13, 2013

The paint-over painting

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:42 pm

Daan de Houter writes:

Daan den Houter invites artists to produce their own paintings on the same single canvas. Each individual work is on display for one week only in De Aanschouw, the only opportunity to view the painting. Subsequently, the canvas moves on to a new artist, who will add a new layer. (50cm x 60cm, oils, started May 24, 2002)

Shown here are layers 27 and 28 by Martijn in ‘t Veld and Wouter Boot respectively. De Aanschouw is an art gallery in Rotterdam. Currently the 91st layer is on display there. Trendbeheer writes that each new layer makes painting the next one more difficult.

(Image: partial screenshot of

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October 15, 2012

2012 winners of the Royal Awards for Modern Painting

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:51 pm

Four young painters were presented with the Royal Award for Modern Painting last Friday by Queen Beatrix at the royal palace in Amsterdam: Frank Ammerlaan, Jasper Hagenaar, Keetje Mans and Evi Vingerling (illustration, left to right).

The annual award was instituted in 1871 by King Willem III. It consists of a 6,500 euro prize (after taxes). The exhibition of the nominated paintings will run until November 5.

Trendbeheer went and rubbed shoulders with the winners at the palace. Jeroen Bosch’s conclusion: “The lion’s share is traditional, thoroughbred art, i.e. big, using paint, and depicting something.”

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December 23, 2010

The reality of artist Karel Appel

Filed under: Art,Music by Orangemaster @ 1:02 pm

While 24oranges crew is slowly getting ready for the holidays (traditional food and poker with people of five nationalities and three continents), enjoy this 14-minute legendary documentary from 1962 about artist Karel Appel entitled ‘De werkelijkheid van Karel Appel’ ‘(The reality of Karel Appel’) by Dutch journalist and filmmaker Jan Vrijman.

It was filmed in France and has some French in it at the beginning, with Dutch commentary by Karel Appel himself and an English translation. It also features music by Appel himself and Dizzy Gillespie.


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October 21, 2008

Chris Berens about his painting technique

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 2:18 pm

Chris Berens talks to Kirsten Anderson of Hi Fructose magazine about his technique in this video.

Via BoingBoing.