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BRIGHT SHINY MORNING for Harry and Meghan

from The Financial Times

Letter: A book on the City of Angels fit for a prince

From Lyndon Heal, Madrid, Spain

While I wouldn’t challenge Janan Ganesh’s assertion (FT Weekend, April 25) that ‘the seminal book about 20th century LA by a London professor (Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, by Reyner Banham), might I suggest Prince Harry read James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning as another perfect introduction to the diversity of life in LA.

Lyndon Heal 
Madrid, Spain

[ click to read at FT ]

Posted on May 18, 2020 by Editor

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Banksy’s Superhero Nurse

from artnet

Banksy Just Made a Surprisingly Earnest Painting of a Superhero Nurse and Donated It to a British Hospital as a Morale Booster

The work will remain on view at the Southampton General Hospital until this fall, when it will go to auction.

by Caroline Goldstein

Banksy's painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).
Banksy’s painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).

Banksy has donated a painting to England’s Southampton General Hospital in an effort to raise the spirits of medical professionals working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The painting, an uncharacteristic medium for the elusive street artist, shows a young boy playing with a superhero doll dressed as a nurse, complete with a mask and apron bearing the Red Cross symbol, and a cape fluttering behind her. Next to the child, a wastebasket holds castoffs, including Spider–Man and Batman figurines—outdated versions of superheroes in our new pandemic-stricken world.

The artist left a note with the special delivery, titled game changer, that read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”

The hospital, which is the largest in the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust system, hosts coronavirus researchers, including those who are starting vaccine trials.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 17, 2020 by Editor

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Corona Quads

from CBS Dallas

Born Into A Pandemic: Mother, Father Bring Identical Quadruplets Home

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County. (credit: Texas Health Resources)

A North Texas mother and father are celebrating a rare blessing, growing their family by four during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County.

“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” said Lauren Murray, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Dallas ]

Posted on May 16, 2020 by Editor

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The Green Comet Coming

from The Daily Mail

Green-tinged Comet Swan with an 11 million-mile-long tail flies past Earth on its way to the Sun – and you don’t need a telescope to see it

By RYAN MORRISON

The space rock, discovered in April by astronomer Michael Mattiazzo from Australia, has already passed the Earth but is getting brighter as it approaches the Sun

The green-tinged ball of ice and dust visits the inner part of the solar system once every 11,597 years and has a long blue tail stretching 10 million miles behind it.

Currently moving from the southern to the northern skies, it is just faintly visible to the naked eye, but current estimates suggest that, by the end of May, it could be significantly brighter – if it survives that long. 

The more material ejected from the comet as it warms up on its way towards the sun, the more sunlight it reflects and the more visible it becomes. 

Comets are fragile and often break apart as they approach the Sun – this happened to Comet ATLAS last month after it was also predicted to become very bright.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on May 15, 2020 by Editor

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VALLEY GIRL Fer Shur

from The New York Times

When ‘Valley Girl’ (and Nicolas Cage) Shook Up Hollywood

With no money or clout, what started as a cheap exploitation film managed to, like, totally click with a generation — and produce an unconventional superstar.

By Ashley Spencer

Four shots of nude breasts. That’s what the producers of “Valley Girl” demanded of their potential director, Martha Coolidge. If she wanted the gig — overseeing what was set to be a low-budget, exploitative high-school romp that could lure teen boys like “Porky’s” did — she’d need to make sure the requisite skin appeared onscreen.

Coolidge agreed and quickly found a loophole: “They didn’t say how long the shots had to be. Not smart of them.”

The nudity appears in the 1983 film for mere seconds, presented frankly and lacking any titillation. In fact, Coolidge transformed “Valley Girl” from its superficial beginnings into a teen classic full of heart and a trippin’-dicular new wave soundtrack. The movie is making a comeback of sorts — it was recently made available for digital download for the first time, and on May 8, a musical remake arrives on-demand starring Jessica Rothe, Josh Whitehouse and the controversial YouTube star Logan Paul.

The films’ roots go back to Southern California’s valley girl culture, which became a national phenomenon in the early 1980s thanks to the recurring “Saturday Night Live” character Sherry and the hit song “Valley Girl,” by Frank Zappa and his daughter, Moon Unit. The tune scorned the ditzy middle-class teens who spoke in uptalk and spent their free time at the mall.

Eager to capitalize on the fad, the indie production company Atlantic Entertainment Group greenlit the original movie, batting away Zappa’s trademark-infringement suit. The budget was just $350,000. To compare, fellow 1983 coming-of-age comedy “Risky Business” cost $6.2 million. Coolidge took a mere $5,000 directing fee and many of the crew members were volunteers.

“I borrowed money from my mother to eat,” Coolidge said. “But I was making a real movie and that was what was important.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 14, 2020 by Editor

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Zoom ZOOM Yeah!

from The New Yorker

Come On and Zoom-Zoom

By David Kamp

The transition from in-office meetings to at-home video conferencing has occasioned lots of memes and social-media posts about “my idea of a Zoom meeting,” usually accompanied by a grainy video or photo of haphazardly barbered nineteen-seventies children romping around in striped rugby shirts. Among older members of Generation X, it’s hard to hear the word “zoom” without associating it with “Zoom,” one of the most memorable and radically experimental television programs of its era. Like the teleconferencing service, the original “Zoom” was screen-based and interactive, and it quickly evolved into a national obsession. But, unlike Zoom the online platform, “Zoom” was mostly the province of kids, primarily those in the tween cohort.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 13, 2020 by Editor

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Four Horsemen Afoot

from The Express

‘Four Horsemen are ACTIVE’ Bible scholars claim Book of Revelation seals broken

BIBLE scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the return of Jesus Christ in the holy book, have all been released.

By CALLUM HOARE

The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world
The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world (Image: GETTY)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear in the Book of Revelation, where they are named as a punishment of God, but some believe they are an analogy of real-life events to come in the future. Revelation 6 tells of a scroll in God’s right hand that is secured with seven seals, which, when opened, summons four beings that ride out on white, black, red and pale horses to bring about death, war, famine and plague. It states: “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

In 2005, Bible scholar Fred Dattolo published an article in ‘The Trumpet’ where he claimed “the galloping hoofbeats of the four horses are getting ever louder and closer,” stating that a future pandemic was all that was needed to set free the final Horseman, who would spread a disease to a quarter of the world.

He said: “The four horsemen are depicted in the Book of Revelation Chapter 6 as the first four of seven seals.

“These seals are benchmarks of end-time events leading up to and including the return of Jesus Christ.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on May 12, 2020 by Editor

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COVID Devastating Navajo Nation

from AP

‘The grief is so unbearable’: Virus takes toll on Navajo

By FELICIA FONSECA and TIM SULLIVAN

Eugene Dinehdeal shields his face from the setting sun on the Dinehdeal family compound in Tuba City, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation on April 20, 2020. The Navajo reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

TUBA CITY, Arizona (AP) — The virus arrived on the reservation in early March, when late winter winds were still blowing off the mesas and temperatures at dawn were often barely above freezing. 

It was carried in from Tucson, doctors say, by a man who had been to a basketball tournament and then made the long drive back to a small town in the Navajo highlands. There, believers were preparing to gather in a small, metal-walled church with a battered white bell and crucifixes on the window.

On a dirt road at the edge of the town, a hand-painted sign with red letters points the way: “Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene.” 

From that church, COVID-19 took hold on the Navajo Nation, hopscotching across families and clans and churches and towns, and leaving the reservation with some of the highest infection rates in the U.S. 

Crowding, tradition, and medical disparities have tangled together on the tribe’s land — an area nearly three times the size of Massachusetts — creating a virological catastrophe. 

And the most basic measures to fight the virus’ spread — handwashing and isolation — can be difficult. 

One-third of the homes across the vast, dry reservation don’t have running water, forcing families to haul it in. Many in close-knit Navajo communities live in crowded houses where self-quarantine is impossible, and many must drive hours to the nearest grocery store. To most Navajo, isolating an infected person from their family is deeply alien.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 11, 2020 by Editor

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Lord Of The Real

from The Guardian

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman

by Rutger Bregman

A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite. 

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flieswould sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Editor

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Little Richard Gone

from Rolling Stone

‘I Majored in Mouth’: How Little Richard Invented the Rock Star

With his “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop, a-lop bam boom” battle cry, the late singer-pianist embodied an irrepressible rebel spirit that inspired everyone from John Lennon to Jimi Hendrix

ByROB SHEFFIELD

American musician and singer Little Richard pictured, with Screaming Lord Sutch behind,  speaking at a press conference to promote his appearance at the London Rock and Roll Show at Wembley Stadium in London, 4th August 1972. (Photo by Jack Kay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Rob Sheffield looks back on how Little Richard’s big mouth and chaotic ego paved the way for every rock star who would follow. Getty Images

Rebellion, outrage, scandal, hypersexual egomania, ripping it up, rocking it up, gigantic hair, and mascara — all these things are in rock & roll because Little Richard put them there. He was the loudest and wildest and rudest of the Fifties pioneers, the most flamboyantly and untamably free. He invented the rock star. That’s why the world is mourning today for Little Richard, who died this morning at 87. “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Heebie Jeebies” — these songs have been an inspiration to rebel hearts ever since. When John Lennon was asked in 1970 by Rolling Stone’s Jann S. Wenner about his taste in music, Lennon simply replied, “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop.”

That battle cry — the opening holler of “Tutti Frutti” — kicked off Little Richard’s career in 1955. It was the sound of a poor gay black kid in Macon, Georgia, announcing to the world that his time had come, exploding with falsetto screams and piano-stomping flash and a six-inch pompadour. As Little Richard told Rolling Stone in his legendary 1970 cover story, “I came from a family where my people didn’t like rhythm & blues. Bing Crosby, ‘Pennies From Heaven,’ Ella Fitzgerald, was all I heard. And I knew there was something that could be louder than that, but didn’t know where to find it. And I found it was me.” 

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on May 9, 2020 by Editor

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MILFology

from Inside Hook

The Long and Decorated Literary History of the MILF

From Chaucer to Mrs. Robinson, one of literature’s most subversive archetypes is also a surprisingly old one

BY ELIOTT GROVER

history definition milf
KRISTEN LIU-WONG

“How many of you,” I ask a roomful of half-awake 18-year-old students, “are familiar with the term MILF?” There’s a frenzied exchange of knowing smirks. 

Determined to maintain an academic tone, I ask the next question. “And how many of you know the etymology of this acronym?”

“Mom I’d like to fuck!” one particularly enthusiastic scholar blurts out. 

“Thank you,” I say over the tsunami of snickers. “That’s what it stands for. But where does it come from?”

Roughly half the students in my film elective correctly identify Stifler’s mom, the sultry divorcée from the 1999 comedy American Pie, as MILF Zero, the woman to whom those four letters owe their provenance. “Here’s the thing,” I press on, “Stifler’s mom may be Hollywood’s most explicitly sexualized and predatory mother. But she wouldn’t exist without Mrs. Robinson.”

“Who’s Mrs. Robinson?” a student inevitably asks. And that’s where our unit on The Graduate begins. 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on May 8, 2020 by Editor

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And The Poor Woman Isn’t Even A Fan

from NBC News

Stormtrooper trying to get customers’ attention taken down by officers in Canada

Callers reported seeing a weapon being carried by an employee who had been trying to drum up business for a restaurant hit hard by the coronavirus.

by Tim Stelloh

Image: Stromtrooper arrest
A woman dressed as a stormtrooper speaks to Lethbridge police Monday when they believed the gun she had could be real. The actions of those officers are now being investigated internally after video of the incident was posted to social media. Brad Whalen

A restaurant employee in a “Star Wars” costume was detained in Canada on Sunday after 911 callers reported seeing someone in a Stormtrooper costume with a gun, police said.

The employee, who was carrying a plastic blaster, had been trying to drum up business for the struggling restaurant, which opened two months before Canadian authorities shuttered eat-in dining because of the coronavirus, the woman’s boss, Brad Whalen, told NBC News.

“When she was told to drop the blaster, she did,” he said. Whalen said it was also difficult to move in the $1,200 costume, which he decided to use for the promotion when showing “Star Wars” films to customers wasn’t an option for May 4.

“That’s what she was trying to yell,” he said. “You can’t kneel. You can’t sit when you wear it.”

He’d begun promoting auctions and other events online to generate business. When he settled on using the Stormtrooper armor, the employee, who’s been working with him since January, happily agreed to wear it.

“The ironic thing is, she’s not even a ‘Star Wars’ fan,’” he said. “Now I don’t think we’ll ever convince her to be one.”

[ click to continue reading at NBC ]

Posted on May 7, 2020 by Editor

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Coronadance 2020

from The Hollywood Reporter

Was Sundance a “First Petri Dish” of Coronavirus in the States?

by Tatiana Siegel

Getty Images; Courtesy of SubjectAshley Jackson at a Sundance premiere and, later, in a mask while sick.

A swath of attendees suffered harsh flu-like symptoms, leading a microbiologist to question whether the January festival was “the perfect formula to contaminate everybody.”

On Jan. 27, actress Ashley Jackson felt the first symptoms of a nasty bug — fever, clammy skin, fatigue and shortness of breath. Given her current locale — Park City — she chalked it up to altitude sickness and toughed out her final day at the Sundance Film Festival, where she had attended the world premiere of Blast Beat, a family drama in which she co-stars, as well as a dizzying array of parties and lounges. The next day, the 20-year-old college student flew home to Atlanta, just as more intense symptoms began to emerge, including sore throat, aches and pains and a cough so violent, her neck swelled. Within 24 hours, she made her first of multiple visits to an urgent care facility or emergency room and was diagnosed with the flu based on her condition (though no flu test was given at the time).

Like many who make the annual trek to the indie film mecca, Jackson left Sundance far worse off than when she entered. After all, the quaint mountain oasis transforms into a petri dish as some 120,000 festivalgoers from around the world huddle in crowded movie theaters during cold and flu season. In recent years, the festival’s organizers have placed an emphasis on attracting international filmmakers, and this year was no exception, with a lineup of 118 feature-length films representing 27 countries.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on May 6, 2020 by Editor

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Man Myth Warhol

from The Observer

New Biography ‘Warhol’ Separates the Man From the Myth

By David D’Arcy

Andy in Studio, New York, Union Square, 1976. Michael Childers

Warhol, by Blake Gopnik, begins moments after the militant feminist and Factory hanger-on Valerie Solanas shot the artist in June 1968. Warhol, then 39, lost his heartbeat and a lot of blood, and had gone into cardiac arrest. A bullet that passed through his body punctured a lung. It was thanks to an Italian surgeon who happened to be visiting another patient that the presumed DOA was saved.   

Gopnik’s staggering description of opening up the Warhol’s chest reads more like a slaughterhouse dismemberment than anything medical.    

For Andy Warhol (1928-87), who attended church every week, coming out alive was a miracle. By that fall, despite painful permanent damage to his stomach and esophagus, he turned the slashes on his body into a fashion joke—“I’m so scarred I look like a Dior dress,” he said upon returning to work. Richard Avedon photographed his lacerated midriff as if Warhol were St. Sebastian—a martyr who survived.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on May 5, 2020 by Editor

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Viral Parenting

from The Atlantic

Being a Parent Has Made My Pandemic Life Simpler, If You Can Believe It

Hear me out.

by Tom McTague

A mother and her child hold hands in a park.

Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum

Perhaps it’s the strange effect of being forced to slow down, to spend all of one’s time outside work pootling and pottering rather than actually doing things and seeing people. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere, the eerie streets, the cordoned-off playgrounds and lines of masked shoppers. Perhaps it’s just being a dad with a garden, a shelf full of Dr. Seuss stories, and sudden access to Disney’s entire back catalog. Whatever it is, something in the air is making a time that should be anxious, monotonous, and frustrating somehow pleasant, and even meaningful.

One might assume my life to be an unrelenting grind right now—I’m locked down in London, a global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, trying to juggle my day job with looking after a 3-year-old. Yet that hasn’t been my experience. Having children does add pressure to lockdown life, no doubt, and those without children are always very gracious to say how much harder it must be than what they’re experiencing. I am conscious that this pressure is doubled for single parents, parents without a steady income, or parents whose jobs require them to risk their health in the service of everyone else’s. But for the privileged professional middle classes, I am beginning to think that parents have it better than nonparents.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on May 4, 2020 by Editor

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Internet Archive Strikes Again

from BoingBoing

Watch a slew of vintage MTV from the 1980s

by DAVID PESCOVITZ

Archive.org contributor Windsinger is uploading their entire VHS collection of MTV recordings from the channel’s finest era, from its launch on August 1, 1981 until 1989 (with a few 1991 episodes of 120 Minutes thrown in for good measure). It’s remarkable how the channel has evolved (?) from its pioneering earliest days filled with new music, youth culture, and visual experimentalism to its current form.

“I’ve been collecting recordings of full, unedited, WITH commercials & especially the VJs for years,” Windsinger writes. “I’ve found these videos from old websites, torrent sites, sharing things, The Original MTV VJs facebook page, and of course the Archive.”

[ click to continue reading at BoingBoing ]

Posted on May 3, 2020 by Editor

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Kim Gordon Rocks

from The New Yorker

Kim Gordon Is Home Again

The artist on Instagram, ambition, and Los Angeles.

By Amanda Petrusich

“The planet is on its way out if we don’t get our act together,” Kim Gordon, the musician and avant-garde polymath, said. “And then you look around and see a Buddhist catchphrase engraved on the floor of a juice place: ‘Be Here Now.’ ” Photograph by Annabel Mehran for The New Yorker

Kim Gordon was born in upstate New York, in 1953, but was raised on the West Side of Los Angeles, where her father taught in the sociology department at U.C.L.A., and her mother worked as a seamstress. She moved to New York City in 1980, with designs on becoming an artist. In 1981, Gordon and the guitarists Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore started Sonic Youth, an experimental rock band that inadvertently helped usher in the alternative-boom of the early nineteen-nineties. Gordon was the kind of cool—vaguely aloof, impossibly chic, intimidatingly smart—that made young women like me feel equal parts terrified and enamored. During a time when it was still somewhat anomalous to see women playing in rock bands, and especially in bands as esoteric and adventurous as Sonic Youth, Gordon was a beacon.

She was also an avant-garde polymath. Gordon produced Hole’s début album, “Pretty on the Inside,” co-founded X-girl, a streetwear brand for women (the actress Chloë Sevigny was its official face), formed a series of musical side projects, and eventually began to show her drawings, paintings, and collages in galleries around the world. Around 2011, her marriage to Moore fell apart, and Sonic Youth went on an indefinite hiatus. Four years later, Gordon published “Girl in A Band,” a thoughtful, occasionally scathing memoir that recounts her formative years in Sonic Youth, her relationship with Moore, the birth of her daughter, and the origins of her art practice. She has spent the last several years performing as half of Body/Head, with the experimental musician Bill Nace, and, in 2019, at age sixty-six, she released her first solo album, “No Home Record.”

In April, Gordon and I began a correspondence, and she shared her thoughts on Instagram, Los Angeles, overpriced coffee, and canvassing for Bernie Sanders. This interview has been condensed and edited.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 2, 2020 by Editor

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Mothers & Children

from artnet

Ahead of Mother’s Day, See Some of the Most Tender Depictions of Mothers and Children Throughout Art History

From Gustav Klimt to Alice Neel, artists have long focused on the subject of mothers.

by Caroline Goldstein & Katie White

Alice Neel, <i>Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia)</i> (1967). Courtesy of Artnet.
Alice Neel, Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia) (1967). Courtesy of Artnet.

There’s an old saying that goes, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” Poking fun at the sometimes overbearing nature of mother figures, the maxim highlights a universal truth: that life-giving often means succumbing to a future fraught with complicated emotions and worry.

And while mothers bear this responsibility and burden with a great deal of courage, if they’re especially lucky, they may be paid back with love, affection, and gifts when their offspring grow up—or, better yet, be portrayed in a work of art for all the world to see. 

Indeed, mothers have always made wonderful subjects for artists, who have long explored the space between their roles as individuals and as caregivers. Just ahead of Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up eight famous artworks that beautifully depict the bond between mother and child.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 1, 2020 by Editor

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