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Largest graffiti tag in the world »

They should have mentioned Saber MSK/TSL for his title of largest graffiti piece.

(via yahoo new blog)

Here’s a big idea: Writing your name in the sand so large that it can be seen from space. Of course, you’re much better position to carry off this sort of vanity project if you’re Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Ahyan, a super-rich Arab sheikh who is the president of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. He also happens to own an island–an ideal canvas for what is essentially the world’s largest self-referential graffiti tag.

The letters were crafted by a crew who worked for weeks to create them. The inscription measures half a mile high and two miles long–and the letters are dug so deep that they form waterways. The writing won’t be immediately washed away, but even Hamad–whose fortune is only surpassed by his monarchial rival in the region, Saudi King Abdullah–can only defy the elements for so long.

Did we mention his name can be seen from outer space?

Hamad, according to Forbes, is a guy who lives large. A member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, the man known as the Rainbow Sheikh owns 200 cars that are stored in a giant pyramid. (What, you use a garage?) Forbes also noted that Hamad also hand-built a motor home in the shape of a giant globe”one-millionth the size of the Earth.”

It should also be noted that the 63-year-old sheikh also has deep pockets when it comes to philanthropy. But don’t worry about thanking him — it seems he’s come up with a perfectly good way to give himself a shout-out.

Posted by: slopez on July 22, 2011 @ 10:26 am
Filed under: News

Brooklyn Museum nixes ‘Art in the Streets’ exhibition from MOCA »

Art in the Streets,” the popular and controversial exhibition of graffiti and street art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, was expected to travel to the Brooklyn Museum in 2012 following its run here in L.A., where it has been drawing big crowds.But on Tuesday, the Brooklyn Museum announced that it is canceling plans to host the exhibition, blaming the economic downturn. The show was expected to open in New York on March 30 and to run through July 8, 2012.

Arnold L. Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum, said in a statement that the cancellation “became necessary due to the current financial climate. As with most arts organizations throughout the country, we have  had to make several difficult choices since the beginning of the economic downturn three years ago.”

continue reading via Culture Monster…

Posted by: slopez on June 23, 2011 @ 12:23 pm
Filed under: News

Kennedy Center’s boss says the arts are in trouble »

Via LA Times/Culture Monster -Mike Boehm

One of the last things one expects to hear from an arts impresario is disparagement of his product.

But that’s what Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., did this week, at least in general terms.

“What Is Wrong With the Arts?” was the headline of his column in the Huffington Post.

“It is no surprise to most of us that the arts are in a parlous state….The arts are in trouble because there is simply not enough excellent art being created,” Kaiser wrote.

The names he dropped as having too few worthy heirs were Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins in dance; Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Richard Rodgers and Igor Stravinsky in music; and Tennessee Williams in theater.

Raw talent still abounds, Kaiser acknowledged, but “far more inventiveness can be found in popular entertainment than can be found in the classic arts.” He pinned the blame on arts administrators: “Boards, managers and producing consortia are overly-involved…overly conservative,” and too glued to the bottom line.

Continue reading>>>

Posted by: slopez on February 20, 2011 @ 11:33 am
Filed under: News

House Republicans unveil plan to end federal arts and humanities agencies and aid to public broadcasting »

Federal support for arts and culture is now officially in the cross hairs of congressional Republicans, if that’s a metaphor we’re still allowed to use.

Any way you want to describe it, theRepublican Study Committee, made up of about 165 GOP members of the House of Representatives, on Thursday announced a budget-cutting plan aimed at slashing federal spending, and it calls for the elimination of the nation’s two leading makers of government arts grants: the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Also on the chopping block is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The arts and humanities endowments each get $167.5 million a year; the broadcasting agency, which supports public radio and television, gets $445 million.

The NEA last had to fight for its survival in 1995, when Republicans gained control of the House and Senate and sought to get rid of the endowment. It had outraged some conservatives with grants that in certain highly publicized cases had supported performances or exhibitions they deemed offensive. While the NEA survived, It took a 39% budget cut and saw the elimination of nearly all grants to individual artists. Despite increases over the past 10 years, the NEA’s inflation-adjusted buying power remains $58 million a year less than it was before those mid-’90s “culture wars.”

This time, the ax would fall on the agencies as part of a bid to reduce the federal deficit. The bill, called the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, aims to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion over 10 years. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Republican Senate Steering Committee, also backs the plan.

Federal arts and culture spending is currently about $1.6 billion a year, not counting construction budgets. The legislation does not call for cuts to the annual budgets for the Smithsonian Institution ($761.4 million), the Institute of Museum and Library Services ($282.3 million), the National Gallery of Art ($167 million) or the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (about $20 million).

All those organizations except the IMLS offer performances and exhibitions — free, in the case of the Smithsonian’s museums and the National Gallery — that might be seen as a perk of living in Washington, D.C.; grants from the NEA and NEH are national in scope.

Culture Monster is momentarily incapable of doing the math to figure out what percentage $7.8 billion (10 years’ savings from NEA, NEH and Corporation for Public Broadcasting) is of $2.5 trillion, but our sense is that it’s fairly small.

The NEA provides $1 million a year for California’s state arts agency, the California Arts Council, about 20% of its $5.3 million budget.

In an interview Wednesday, before the GOP plan had come out, Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, a leading advocacy group for government funding of the arts, had said arts supporters “are cognizant of the attitudes out there among some leaders, and we have to do a good job of education.”

A key argument, Lynch said, is that the government’s existing arts-funding model follows conservative budgetary principles: A small federal investment that’s important to the health of the nonprofit arts sector helps sustain its 5.7 million jobs and the $30 billion in annual returns to federal, state and local coffers that those workers pay in taxes.

– Mike Boehm LA TIMES

Posted by: slopez on January 21, 2011 @ 9:49 am
Filed under: News

Slavery paintings anger Georgia agriculture chief »

By Associated Press. Excerpts via Washington Times

ATLANTA | Murals of slaves harvesting sugar cane on a Georgia plantation and picking and ginning cotton are coming off the walls of a state building by order of a new agriculture commissioner.

The murals are part of a collection of eight works painted by George Beattie in 1956 depicting an idealized version of Georgia farming, from the corn grown by prehistoric American Indians to a 20th-century veterinary lab. In the Deep South, the history in between includes the use of slave labor.

“I don’t like those pictures,” said Republican Gary Black, the newly elected agriculture commissioner. “There are a lot of other people who don’t like them.”

There are no signs of the whippings, beatings, shackles or brutality used to subjugate the slaves, who appear healthy, muscular, even robust. Mr. Black said less-controversial murals, a scene at a state farmers market, for example, may find a new home in a conference room or elsewhere in the building.

In 1995, two years before he died, Beattie defended his murals in a department-sponsored article that mentioned the art had spurred debate and concern among visitors and employees.

“As a human being, I am vehemently opposed to slavery, as anyone should be,” Beattie said, “but it was a significant epoch in our history; it would have been inaccurate not to include this period.”

Keep it classy Gary Black.

Posted by: slopez on December 30, 2010 @ 2:42 am
Filed under: Artists,News