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Arts Creativity Video

Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence

Francis Bacon painted ghostly, violent images. Some say he emptied his darkest thoughts on canvass, mostly as a manifestation of his relationship with his sadistic lover, Peter Lacey.

Bacon cultivated a sense of darkness that gave his paintings an “edgy atmosphere…gambling everything on the next brush stroke.” Says Bacon in the video:

“We do with our life what we can and then we die. If someone is aware of that, perhaps it comes out in their work.”

francis bacon

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.

Francis Bacon

Bacon was an untrained artist, an outlier in the painting world. He worked closely with his PR agent David Sylvester to ensure that he continued to stand out, securing an exhibition at the Tate Museum and book of interview transcripts collated by Sylvester himself.

Francis Bacon was a mystery man who tugged at the most morose moments in his life, leaving the characters in his paintings look as if they are literally gasping for air.

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Arts Politics & Society

Late 20th century North Korean graphic design

These late 20th century North Korean graphic designs from Pyongyang’s Industrial Art studio demonstrate the kitschy yet nationalistic advertising in North Korea advertising.

© Justin Piperger

A picture is worth a thousand words

The candy-like posters paint a fruitful view of communism. Their meaning required little interpretation, exactly Kim Jong-il’s intention. “If the people who see a picture cannot grasp its meaning,” he said, “no matter what a talented artist may have painted it, they cannot say it is a good picture.”

© Justin Piperger
© Phaidon

Read North Korean design: the golden age of candy-coloured communism

In London? Check out the Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK exhibition at the House of Illustration.

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Arts Creativity

Blasphemy? This artist sets works of art on fire 🔥

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What is new instantly becomes old, a permanent attrition.

At least that’s perspective of artist Maaren Baas, who took a blowtorch to Gerrit Rietveld’s iconic Red and Blue Chair and turned it into something completely new.

“I do not want to destroy, says Baas, “… burning is not something negative. Standstill is. If things remain as is, there is no progress. It’s about changing of what we already know. It’s very human to keep things as they are. While it is very natural to continuously adapt. In nature nothing ever stops changing. It is an ongoing process.”

If a museum is where pieces of art go to congregate in dust, then remixing a version of them at least gives them the potential of new form.

What is great should remain preserved. But it is the pattern of nature’s interest to evolve from past states on top of so-called originality, at least to keep the remix going.

Stagnancy is the work of the devil.

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Arts Creativity Culture Photography Uncategorized

Social media companies as old storefronts

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Designs by Andrei Lacatusu

If Facebook’s recent newsfeed changes are any sign, social media is in decay. It’s gone from connecting people to Buzzfeed’s linkbait to a nest of echo chambers where the likeminded and bots spread fake news.

The art done here by artist Andrei Lacatusu provides a metaphor for the chaotic and ruinous state of social media, which appears to be failing like today’s brick-and-mortar stores. While we can expect the social networks to stay in business, they need to spend 2018 rebuilding the public’s trust.