As if the holidays weren’t reason enough to fight with your neo-con relatives about politics, now you can have George W. Bush right on your tree. The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas is selling Christmas tree ornaments emblazoned with a painting of a red cardinal by Dubya himself. He is a semi-decent painter, you know! The ornament read “George W. Bush Presidential Center” across the top and “Christmas 2013″ across the bottom. The $29.98 cost is real score for the faithful in the war on Christmas. We’ll hold our breath for the Jay Leno-emblazoned yarmulke. [Talking Points Memo]
Detroit artist Tyree Guyton had seen his beloved McDougall-Hall neighborhood transform into a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden ghost town, full of abandoned houses, garbage, and broken windows. Looking to bring a dose of bright playfulness into this increasingly hopeless place, Guyton painted giant pastel polka dots all over his grandfather’s house on Heidelberg street. His grandfather loved the home makeover, and encouraged Guyton to keep going. With the help of some eager neighborhood kids, abandoned homes and overgrown yards were turned into bright, wacky art installations, and The Heidelberg Project was born. Now spanning two blocks, the artistic takeover includes a house covered in stuffed animals (shown above), abandoned cars decked out in paint and pennies, polka dot streets, and huge sculptures constructed of found objects and repurposed trash. Pretty cool, huh? Check out more photos over at Slate.
Former bumbling president/current amateur artist George W. Bush has expanded his painting repetoire since we last checked in with him. No longer is Dubya painting creepy portraits of himself in the shower (seriously, that’s actually something he painted) and in the bathtub. Last night he gifted Jay Leno with a portrait he painted of the “Tonight Show” host himself. Dare I say it’s actually good? Okay, good-ish. Please don’t send me hate mail, art students. I wonder where Leno is going to hang it. I feel like a portrait painted by a disgraced former president is a guest bathroom kind of thing.
What else has the most embarrassing president in recent history been up to? He adopted a stray cat named Bob. Also, he also declined to talk shit about President Obama, which was surprisingly classy of him. [ABC News, The Wire]
With the economy in such a dismal state, mocking people with art degrees has practically become a national pastime. After all, it gives everyone else a way to feel smug as they melt into financial ruin at the ripe age of 23. “Sure, things are shitty,” they muse. “It’s true that I have to move back in with my parents and I hate my job at Best Buy, but at least I majored in finance and didn’t waste $80,000 on art school tuition.” (Pats back.)
Think again, bro. Your superiority is a built on a lie. A new study is making that very clear with results that show art degree holders actually do have jobs, and good ones at that. That’s right, the very basis of all the validation you’ve ever had in doing what you’re “supposed” to do is kind of just wrong. Just as the cliches go, it turns out that doing what you love in life really does allow you to thrive. Keep reading »
Yoni Lefevre was tired of the way elderly people were viewed as frail, weak, and boring in society and the media, so The Netherlands-based designer came up with a way to portray senior citizens through the eyes of people who see them as dynamic characters: their grandkids. In a photo series called “Grey Power,” Lefevre turned children’s colorful drawings of their grandparents into colorful real-life scenes like the one shown above. “Children do not regard their grandparents as grey and withered, but as active human beings who add color to their lives,” she says. “Their fresh perspective can contribute towards a more nuanced and positive view on the composition of our society.” See more awesome photos from the project on Lefevre’s website. Between this and Dinovember, it’s been a great week for creative projects inspired by cute kids. [Laughing Squid]
“In The Doll House,” a new photo series by Dina Goldstein, gives us a peek inside Barbie’s Dreamhouse, where things are not always as they seem:
‘In the doll house’ examines the less than perfect life of B and K. B is a super doll, the most successful doll in the world. Her partner K is grappling with his sexuality and finds himself in a loveless marriage. He struggles with his position in the household and faces his lack of authenticity.
After the jump, check out a couple more snaps from the series, which is currently on display at the Kimoto Gallery in Vancouver, BC. [Laughing Squid] Keep reading »
As unforgettable yet controversial images go, it’s hard to top the one made by artist Cedric Chambers. His painting, “The Prophet,” shows Darth Vader carrying Jesus Christ with the smoldering images of the Twin Towers in the background. Looking at it, you might think the 23-year-old Denver artist had managed to offend three separate but equally passionate groups: Christians, New Yorkers and Star Wars fanatics. See the full painting and read Christian responses on Huffington Post…
When artist David Trumble saw the sexy makeover Disney had given “Brave” Princess Merida, he was as appalled as we were, and he decided to use his artistic skills to show his concern. “I wanted to analyze how unnecessary it is to collapse a heroine into one specific mold, to give them all the same sparkly fashion, the same tiny figures, and the same homogenized plastic smile,” he told Women You Should Know. “I decided to take 10 real-life female role models, from diverse experiences and backgrounds, and filter them through the Disney princess assembly line.” The results were perky princess versions of amazing women like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai, and Gloria Steinem. (You can see them all here.)
Trumble was surprised by the reaction to the satirical images, specifically that many people didn’t find the images appalling at all — in fact, they loved them.
Keep reading »
“Don’t be afraid of the white canvas.”
I’m sitting in the Nashville community art center for my first art class in almost a decade. My art teacher is standing at the front of the room repeating this phrase over and over in her sweet, calm voice. She brought homemade cupcakes to class and brewed a pot of coffee. Maroon 5 is inexplicably blaring from a paint-spattered boombox in the corner. I’m surrounded by easels and a small group of mostly middle-aged women who have signed up to spend their next eight Monday evenings learning abstract painting. I’m nervous.
“Experiment,” my teacher urges us. “Don’t be afraid.”
I dip a fat brush in water and coat it with acrylic paint. Deep breath. I drag an exuberant wash of magenta across the smooth canvas. It immediately starts dripping. I’m surprised to find that I don’t care at all. The color is so joyful. I want more of it. I stipple the edges of the canvas with the same lively pink, then rinse my brush and switch to yellow. I use quick, diagonal strokes. It overlaps with the magenta and creates a fiery orange. This is awesome, I think. I want to do this every day! Keep reading »
Just when you thought the streets of Brooklyn were safe again, cat people had to go do something ridiculous: on November 24th, there will be a Brooklyn Cat Painting Takedown held in a gallery space. What happens at a Cat Painting Takedown? Unlike past Takedowns where competitors try to make the best soup or bacon, artistes use their allotted time to paint the best cat picture possible. If this sounds too much like an elementary school class, guests can enjoy some (no doubt craft-brewed) beer and (vegan soy free range) chili while watching the Picassos do their art. Paintings will be auctioned off at the end of the event, with proceeds going to animal shelters. Awww! I renounce my snark, I like this cat painting thing after all. [Brokelyn]
[The above feline beast is my favorite Internet cat, Pudge, who I would paint if I participated in the Takedown.]