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Plastic Surgery 17 Century Style

Posted on May 6, 2013 by admin

Before photography, before Photoshop, and before plastic surgery, there was Frans Hals. The 17th century artist portrayed his subjects with an energy that other portrait artists could not match…much like the advantages of modern photography. And unlike the instantaneous capture of a camera and the era of “post-production”, the slower methodical process of painting allowed Hals to remove those pesky facial flaws, and other perceived imperfections to his clients liking.

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Thinking of a Summer Road Trip?

Posted on May 1, 2013 by admin

Each year, throngs of Americans pile their brood into the family car or motor home to embark on a pilgrimage to the natural and man-made wonders of the our great nation. For 30 years Roger Minick captured these sightseers in all their glory, reflecting back our shared experience and the “sense of being dropped into one place rather than a journey through a succession of places”. Read more.

The sold out banner Woman with Scarf at Inspiration Point, Yosemite National Park, CA shows a humorous but poignant juxtaposition of the natural beauty of the waterfall with the kitschy tourist interpretation of the falls depicted on the woman’s headscarf.

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Art Makes Strange Bedfellows

Posted on April 5, 2013 by admin

Outspoken British married duo Gilbert and George, known for their “shocking” art imagery of nudity, excrement, and bodily fluids, are staunch conservatives who admire Margaret Thatcher.


The New York Times Magazine tapped Maira Kalman, known for her idiosyncratic sense of humor, to cover the high couture scene of the 2000 Paris fashion shows.

Apple’s sleek, minimalist industrial design can be traced back to Harry Beck, a Brit who invented the modern day subway map by limiting drawn lines to multiples of 45 degrees and removing the streets and communities that lay above them.

Branded “degenerative” by the Nazis for his realistic, exacting technique and jarring, acerbic satire, Otto Dix began his career by painting placid landscapes of mountains and lakes.

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Fool Me Once

Posted on April 1, 2013 by admin

While filmmakers may take liberties when depicting the character of a famous artist, the art itself is another story. Copyright issues have often plauged these films to the point where directors have had to omit the artists’ images all together. When Director Gilles Bourdos made his film “Renior” he sought the services of convicted french art forger Guy Ribes. The very thing that landed Mr. Ribes in jail for 3 years–at age 62–is now a source of some legitimate income. Read more.

Left: Guy Ribes looking at a genuine Renoir at Musee d’Orsay.
Right: Michel Bouquet plays the Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Living Legacy

Posted on March 28, 2013 by admin

As part of their “green” initiative The National Gallery in London literally brought Van Gogh’s Painting “A Wheatfield with Cypresses” to life. In 2011, visitors to Trafalger Square were treated to a living re-creation of the masterpiece using 8000 plants of 24 different varieties. Read more.

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A Fresh View

Posted on March 26, 2013 by admin

It can be difficult to look past the Motor City’s economic struggles, but the Detroit Institute of Arts beautifies the city’s streets and parks with large reproductions of their collection. In its forth year, the Inside | Out program offers the public an inspiring reason to explore their communities.

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Every Day can be a Banner Day

Posted on March 24, 2013 by admin

Spot a fab banner on the street. Snap a photo. Post it on BetterWall’s FB wall. Get mad props.

Our favorite photo will be featured in BetterWall’s 2013 Holiday Card with a shout out to the photog! Our 35 art museum partners and thousands of our customers and fans will admire your snapshot. You can also send photos to We look forward to seeing your images!


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Walk the Talk

Posted on March 21, 2013 by admin

Maira Kalman challenges her seminar students with a 10 day assignment to walk alone for one half hour each day with no phone or other distractions as a way to hone their observation skills. She clearly practices what she preaches, as illustrated by the playful “Canine Couture” featured on this month’s New Yorker Magazine–another example of her whimsical style that often adds a charming twist to everyday scenes. Her keen eye for the settings and characters populating her world has been showcased in many publications and on this banner from her exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in 2011. Read more.

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Hirai’s Feast

Posted on March 17, 2013 by admin

While not the first to use food as a chosen medium for art, Risa Hirai may be the least pretentious when it comes to her inspiration. Simply put, Hirai wants her audiences to enjoy her works “by using senses of smell and taste”; as in actually eating the art for food’s sake. It’s just that Hirai has an amazing talent for creating striking artworks made of cookies and icing. In many ways she adds a new twist to the tradition of plastic fake food used by Japanese restaurants to showcase their menu items. In Hirai’s case, the objects are also fake, but made of food real and meant to be eaten. Next stop for Hirai: confectionery school. Read more.

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Access Museum Rockstars

Posted on March 11, 2013 by admin

While there’s no substitute for viewing masterpieces in person, Google+ Art Talks (part of Google Art Project) are about as close as you can get to mingling with museum directors, curators, and historians from all over the world–all live through Google Hangouts. You can chat directly with the experts and have them answer your questions.

Last week, MoMA helped launch the discussion series which fittingly centered on creating engaging online courses in art. If you missed it, watch it on YouTube.

Next discussion: Depictions of the female nude in art.

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