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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ai Wei Wei’s Sunflower Seeds

There is more to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s installation than meets the eye. Bend and pick up one of the “pebbles” and you can see that it resembles a sunflower seed encased in its striped husk. In fact, each one – and there are 100 million of them, covering an area of 1,000 square metres [...]

Henri Cartier-Bresson

A Cartier-Bresson picture taken in Shanghai, 1948, shows people storming a bank for gold in the days before the Communist forces arrived. A 1972 photo of a Georgian family picnicking near a medieval monastery A Photographer Whose Beat Was the World, New York Times Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century MoMA April 11—June 28, 2010

Ruins of Detroit

United Artists Theater Fort Shelby Hotel Ballroom, Fort Wayne Hotel Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre Photography

Klein’s Rome

In 1956, the photographer William Klein arrived in Rome to assist Federico Fellini on his film Nights of Cabiria (1957). When the start of filming was delayed, Klein spent his time strolling about the city with Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia, and other avant-garde Italian writers and artists serving as his guides. It was [...]

Wiltshire’s New York

Stephen Wiltshire of London is drawing a panorama of New York City from memory. Wiltshire, who has autism, took a 20-minute ride over the city in a helicopter last Friday. Wiltshire has drawn panoramas of eight cities: Tokyo, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem, and London. The New York panorama will be his ninth [...]

Camouflage

The 36-year-old Liu Bolin paints on himself to blend into his surroundings. Liu poses and works for up to 10 hours at a time on a single photo. Sometimes passerbys don’t even realize he is there until he moves. Liu sees his work as a silent protest against the Government’s persecution of artists. The Chinese [...]

The Americans

Funeral—St. Helena, South Carolina, 1955 Charleston, South Carolina, 1955 Trolley—New Orleans, 1955 “It is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.” —Robert Frank Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans The Metropolitan Museum of Art September 22, 2009—January 3, 2010

Lost Lhasa

Cheeks ballooning, monks force sirenlike blasts from silver trumpets as they clear the way for their king. Top Tibetan officials marvel at a souvenir from America. A finance secretary peers through a slide viewer, memento of a Tibetan trade delegation’s mission to the United States in 1948. Mother and child pray on Chagpori’s crest, a [...]

Afghanistan’s Hidden Treasures

Limestone fountain spout. Gold necklace set with turquoise, garnet, and pyrite. Folding gold crown. Could be laid flat and packed in a saddlebag when the tribe moved from place to place. Omara Khan Massoudi knows how to keep a secret. Massoudi is director of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. Like the French citizens [...]

Waste Not

Purely to survive, Song Dong’s parents adhered to the Cultural Revolutionary dictum of frugality in daily life, with his mother carrying conservation to extravagant lengths. The Collected Ingredients of a Beijing Life, New York Times Waste Not MoMA June 24—September 7, 2009

65 Years Ago, Paris

French photographer André Zucca was hired by the Nazi propaganda magazine Signal to capture scenes of Paris flourishing under German occupation. Joseph Goebbels decreed that the French capital should be “animated and gay” to show off the “new Europe.” Zucca was provided with rare Agfacolor film. His are the only known color photographs of occupied [...]

Flags

Flag, 1954-1955 White Flag, 1955 Three Flags, 1958 “I make what it pleases me to make… I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don’t think that’s a painter’s business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason. I intuitively paint flags.” —Jasper Johns

RIP MJ

30 Years Ago, Tehran

Magnum Photos: Pre-Khomeini Iran

East German Design

East German By Design: The ABCs of Communist Consumer Culture, Spiegel Online

1 Year Ago, Coney Island

Photos by Piotr Redlinski

Wenceslas Square or Tiananmen?

There can be no question that the June 12, 2009, Iranian presidential election was stolen. Dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying as much. Government polls (one conducted [...]

Harlem, 1970

The neighborhood was like a rundown version of Paris in which life was lived outside, on the streets, amid the fading glory of its grand boulevards. The Harlem That Was by Camilo José Vergara, Slate Harlem, 1970-2009: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara New York Historical Society April 30—July 12, 2009

20 Years Ago, Beijing

Scelere velandum est scelus. One crime must be concealed by another. —Seneca On June 4, 1989, seven weeks of peaceful protest were ended with tanks and guns. The world watched as soldiers fired on students, workers, and ordinary citizens demonstrating for democracy and human rights. Many were shot in the back as they fled. The [...]

Opinel Knife

The Opinel knife was invented by Joseph Opinel in about 1895. In 1565 King Charles IX of France had ordered every master knife-maker to place an emblem on his products to guarantee their origin and quality. Respecting this tradition, Joseph Opinel chose as his emblem “The Crowned Hand”. In 1985 Opinel was recognised as one [...]