Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘art’

01 OCTOBER, 2010

Literary Action Figures

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As far as odd bedfellows go, it hardly gets any odder than literature and action figures. Which is why we’re all over these literary action figures. Roam the wide spectrum of genres and time periods with Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and, of course, William Shakespeare.

Then of course, things can get ugly. Brönte Sisters power dolls, we’re looking at you:

Also of note, though not action-capable, is this delightful and beautifully crafted series of Little Giants vinyl toys by Jailbreak Collective, available in a few collections: Writers (Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Willam Shakespeare and James Joyce), Scientists (Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton and Nikola Tesla), and Artists (Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Vincent VanGogh and Pablo Picasso).

If anyone gets wind of a Susan Sontag action figure, let us know — we’ll trade a kidney for it.

hat tip Booktryst

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30 SEPTEMBER, 2010

Modern Women: MoMA Celebrates Women in Art

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A few months ago, we raved about Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art — MoMA’s ambitious retrospective on women’s legacy in the art world, covering both the museum’s own history and the work of over 300 pioneering female artists. Here, Museum Archivist Michelle Elligott — who contributed to the anthology an eloquent essay titled ‘Modern Women: A Partial History’ — talks about the project and the impact some of these women had both on MoMA itself and on the art world in general.

From the very beginning, MoMA really was the idea of three remarkable women — Lillie Bliss, Abby Aldrich Rockerfeller and Mary Quinn Sullivan.” ~ Michelle Elligott

Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art features essays by nearly 50 of today’s most compelling art and gender writers, including MoMA curators as well as outside scholars, and covers an ambitious spectrum of artists, from iconic avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren to pioneering modernist designer and architect Ray Eames to the great performance artist Marina Abramovic.

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Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:





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Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

30 SEPTEMBER, 2010

PICKED: TurningArt, Netflix for Art

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We’ve previously featured a few great places to buy affordable art. But now there may be an even better way to get quality art into your home and your life. Enter TurningArt — a revolutionary new platform for discovering and falling in love with art by first “sampling” prints of it for a period of time.

The subscription service works like this: You browse the meticulously curated library of original artwork and add items to your queue, Netflix-style, choose a frame for each work (frames are included in your subscription), and you’ll soon get a framed print of the first piece in your queue. Depending on the type of subscription, you can exchange that print for the next in your queue every two or three months, or anytime you like.

But here’s the best part: Each print rental gets you credits towards purchasing original artwork from the site. As nice an aesthetic touch as prints are, there’s nothing quite like owning a piece of art that someone belabored with all their heart and soul.

TurningArt is the brainchild of entrepreneur Jason Gracilieri who, inspried by his painter and ex-gallerist wife Julie’s passion for art, set out to create a model that connects talented emerging artists with people who previously found art inaccessible.

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30 SEPTEMBER, 2010

83,7 Kilo Ohm: Hug, Kiss and Play in Public

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What kissing in public has to do with sensor data and Norwegian art.

In May, we highlighted several experimental sound and music projects challenging the definition of art creation. A recent discovery spotted at The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in Oslo should be added to the list. 83,7 Kilo Ohm is a sound installation by German artist Erwin Stache. The project is meant to inspire people to play in public spaces, while interactively conducting a series of musical pieces produced and recorded by Erwin himself.

The installation includes a series of wooden platforms with a varying number of metal tubes that spring up from the base. When you touch two or more tubes at the same time, sensors trigger an array of music from attached speakers. If two people touching separate tubes make contact, they can create music together by holding hands, hugging or kissing — encouraging public interaction in the process of art-making.

Depending on the pressure, speed and location of the contact, the music will change tempo, tone, pitch and volume, making each musical creation completely unique.

See it in action below:

Brian W. Jones is a designer, etc. who moves often to embrace the inspiration found in new places. Last year Brian helped open PieLab, a pie shop and community space in rural Alabama, and now lives in coastal Maine helping organize Project M sessions, riding his bike, and writing about his love of coffee.

We’ve got a weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays, offers the week’s articles, and features five more tasty bites of web-wide interestingness. Here’s an example. Like? Sign up.