When people steal art I realize that there must be a lot of twisted people out there

stThe problem with street art is the fact that, no surprise there, it is found on the street. No protection, nothing. Just good old faith and the belief that people would let something, that is ment to belong to everyone, alone. Big surprise – apparently that is not enough. Living in 2013 and the century where nothing is ever left alone, the art world was not too surprised when a famous piece of Banksy mural all of a sudden appeared for sale on an auction in the US this week. The artwork, which is  of a barefoot boy using a sewing machine to stitch union flag bunting, apparently in a sweatshop, was put up by the anonymous artist, who goes under the pseudonym Banksy, in May and has become a pride and joy for locals in the area around Wood Green. Or at least, all until it happened to be on an auction in the States with a price tag of $500,000 to $700,000 (£323,000 to £452,000).

The artwork, which was originally seen to be condemning child labour and mocking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the ridiculous amount of money spent on it, was, it seems like, wanted in America and was therefore taken in the midst of the night and shipped over the canal. I find it shameful that people steal something as public as street art to make a profit out of it. You might as well steal a London phone box, paint it with flowers and sell it for a fortune in China? What is the point of city landmarks and street art if people can’t leave it alone?

Banksy, being an artist, who in the style of Swift, liked to have a say in the matters of state, have always tried to provoke and show some of the less moral sides of society. After the riots last year, still fresh in mind of the people in this area, the picture has brought a feeling of affiliation to the locals – just the feeling that they needed. Not only was the artwork loved by the community, it did also bring quite a few turists to the sight. Haringey councillor Alan Strickland said to the Guardian that people were angry after the removal and he explained that a resident had noticed that the mural had been covered by scaffolding last weekend, and thinking that something funny was going one, she removed the scaffolding and noticed that – hey, no piece of art there.

I don’t think you need to be a scientist to say that obviously there has been some funky business going on here.. Banksy had earlier been offered a nice sum for this artwork, but refused to sell it as he believed that street work ‘should remain in its original location’. Apparently someone did not agree with him…

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Thoughts while ‘Looking at the View’ and looking at a new way of presenting art


The London art scene is waiting impatiently for the, so-called, ‘new’ Tate Britain. As you may have noticed if you have been to the gallery lately, it is refurbishing and getting ready for the opening of the exhibition ‘A Walk Through British Art’ in May, an exhibition where all their brilliant art will be presented in a new chronological re-arrange.  First step in the process was revealed this week when the gallery opened its landscape display ‘Looking at the View’. Tate’s new approach on classic art seems to be getting new and old art together to show how – in this sense – landscape painting and photography have changed over time by presenting Turner’s abstract seaside’s next too modern photography.  The key word of the exhibition title seems to be ‘looking’, as there is no organized route to walk or labels to read, it is, funnily enough, all about looking. Like Mark Brown in The Guardian put it ‘It is something of a first: Tracey Emin paired with the 18th-century artist Joseph Wright of Derby’.

Penelope Curtis, Tate Britain’s director, said that she wanted the collection to look like one, and not two, collections and that she thought the re-hang would give people a new experience with already familiar art pieces. I think she has a point, but at the same time, I am myself very, let’s say non-radical, when it comes to my art and I am a little scared of what seeing Gainsborough and Tillman on the same wall might do to me. When that is said, I am up for an experience, but the question is if this is something that is going to last or if people will find it annoyingly unorganized after the third walk around the gallery.

I am not going to lie; I am intrigued by the idea and especially by the fact that William Turner, William Blake and Henry Moore – no doubt three outstanding artists – have their own focus rooms. Turner has already been the pride and joy of Tate Britain for years, and I think its audience will appreciate the keeping of a room where you can have a ‘clean’ escape into Turner’s world without any interrupting elements.

So, Tate Britain, bring it on. I am excited to see more.

 The rest of the exhibition opens 14.May.2013

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Love, art and all that

Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville, 1950, by Robert Doisneau

Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville (1950) by Robert Doisneau


The Lady of Shalott (1888) by John William Waterhouse

The Jewish Bride, 1665 by Rembrandt van Rijn

Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville (1950) by Robert Doisneau

The Three Ages of Man, about 1512-14, by Titian

The Three Ages of Man (c1512-14) by Titian

I don’t know if you are like me and don’t kick up a big fuzz over Valentine’s Day. Either way, hate it or love it, love has been one of the central and most used themes in art for centuries, and you will be sure to find paintings of devoted lover and heartbroken maids in any of London’s many art galleries. Above is three of my favorites – especially Doisneau’s  photo is beautiful. Jonathan Jones from the Guardian wrote about art and love in his daily column today and I think you should have a look if you are interested in ‘art with a heart’.

Question for you: What is your favorite piece of ‘art with a heart’ this Valentine’s? 

Happy Valentines day for now and look up for a less cheesy post tomorrow!

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Lucian Freud’s donation to the NG and a newly added delight to room 41

Artsy Journalist

Being a National Gallery geek and all I have my favorite rooms and pictures, like any other artsy NG fans out there, and one of my favorite rooms just got a new family memeber. Lucian Freud, who died in 2011, donated ‘The Italian Woman’ or ‘Woman With the Yellow Sleeve’ pained by the French painter and impressionist Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, to the National Gallery in his will, and on Monday it was finally unveild in room 41. The room already hosts many of Corot’s many paintings, but being an artist famous for his landscape paintings, the Italian woman with the bright sleeves breathes new life into the room. Sharing a wall with painters such as William Etty (and his beautiful painting ‘Mlle Rachel’) and Jean-Francois Millet, Corot’s Italian woman have an impressive effect on the atmosphere as a whole.

Freud’s reason for giving away this portrait (formerly found on his livingroom wall) was to thank Britain as a nation for welcoming his family in 1933 when they escaped a Nazi Germany just before the start of the war. Freud is the grandson of Sigmund Freud and in my opinion, ironically enough, Britain should thank them both for emigrating to England. Lucian Freud, with his massive collection of impressive paintings (mostly modernist portraits of naked people in laid back, natural possitions), left Britain not only with a piece of his will on the wall of the National Gallery, but also with some of his own influential paintings hanging on the walls of so many London art galleries.

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The Argument: What role does a museum of design play in the 21st century?


London’s Design Museum and its exhibition ‘Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things’ can be seen as an attempt to prove that off course a modern nation in the 21s century needs a design museum. When the plastic furniture’s so much enjoyed in the previous century are placed in every McDonald’s store around London, and the world of designers moved on long ago, the exhibition still want us to look at (not to be rude) these outdated designs and the material used to create them.

It is not to put under the carpet that the Design Museum is struggling. One year before its £80m move to the Commonwealth Institute, the museum are trying to answer a question they themselves don’t have an answer to – why should we come and sit in red plastic chairs and look at iconic objects when they surround us all the time in our daily life?

To prove this point – one of the objects in the exhibitions is a red phone box. Not a new type of phone box (still the same rectangular one) and definitely not a new type of red colour (I almost expected it to glow in the dark), but the same type of phone box that Londoners run past on their way to work every day. I then asked myself – why would I want to see that very same object in the museum when I can’t even use the phone?

My advice to you is that if you are dying to go to a design museum is to go to the new furniture gallery, which opened right before Christmas, at the Victoria and Albert museum. Here you can see furniture’s believed to have belonged to famous people such as Swift, the 18th century satirist. The new gallery breaths life into the old museum and shows that the V&A is more than just antique jewelry locked behind glass cases.

By all means, it was interesting enough to learn about the history of the phone box – but after spending a day looking at McDonald’s-like furniture I had had my fair share of design for one day and were not left with a urge to go back.

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