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One of Van Gogh’s Last Paintings Unveiled

Van Gogh's Last Paintings Unveiled

A spectacularly vibrant Vincent van Gogh painting was unveiled today at the National Gallery of Art in Washington after going private nearly 50 years ago. The work, “Green Wheat Fields, Auvers,” is particularly exciting for art historians because the famous Dutch painter completed it just weeks before he died in France in 1890 at age 37. The oil painting had been in the private collection of late millionaire Paul Mellon, whose father, Andrew Mellon, founded the gallery in 1937. It had hanged, unframed, in Paul and his wife Rachel’s home in Virginia until Rachel, 103, donated it to the museum earlier this year after its last public showing in 1966. It now lives in a beautiful gold frame but with just a little sign and no protective glass, next to a self-portrait of the artist.

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1930’s Fleischer Studios Inspired Cuphead Video Game

Indie developer StudioMDHR’s introductory game Cuphead will launch in late 2014 on PC. The game’s graphics are turning a few cup-heads, as they are inspired by 1930’s-era cartoons from Fleischer Studios, “old Disney” and particularly artists like Mickey Mouse co-creator Ub Iwerks, Grim Natwick (Betty Boop) and Willard Bowsky (Popeye).

1930's Fleischer Studios Inspired Cuphead Video Game

Cuphead is a run-and-gun game with a world that includes branching pathways and bosses, as well as weapons and power-ups. StudioMDHR, which consists of brothers Jared and Chad Moldenhauer, said Cuphead is a “retro game” at its core, “meaning it leans heavier on gameplay and not as much on story.” The game’s basic premise surrounds our hero Cuphead gambling with the devil, losing, then having to find a way to pay the devil back.

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Andy Warhol Time Capsules

Andy Warhol Time Capsules

Marie Elia likes to describe her job this way: She is the secretary to a dead man. As one of two catalogers for Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules, it’s her job to go through the 610 boxes he left after his death in 1987. Over the past six years, catalogers at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh have indexed more than 300,000 items, from a Tyvek suit covered in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s scribblings to a box of Preparation H. “We work more with the intimate side of Warhol. His prescriptions, his shampoos, his acne medication, his letters from his family,” says Erin Byrne, the Time Capsules‘ other cataloger. “These are things that blow people away.”

Read more about the Andy Warhol Time Capsules HERE

Andreas Englund Paints The Life and Times of an Aging Superhero

Andreas Englund Paints The Life and Times of an Aging SuperheroIn his ongoing series of photorealistic oil paintings called the Aging Superhero, Swedish artist Andreas Englund takes us into the candidly humorous life of an anonymous superhero who has probably seen better days. Though he still puts up a tough fight, the wear and tear of battling crime has taken its toll on this elderly action figure.

Adorably Weird Art: Illustrator Mica Angela Hendricks

In one of the best collaborations this blog has seen in ages, professional illustrator Mica Angela Hendricks has been collaborating with her 4-year-old daughter on a series of wonderful drawings that pass back and forth between mother and daughter until reaching an always unexpected final form. Each drawing begins with Hendricks drawing a detailed retro-ish head, after which her daughter snatches away the sketchbook to create rudimentary body (or animal!) parts as well as other random details. Afterward Hendricks goes back in to polish things up a bit and behold: dinosaur women, slug ladies, and beaver astronauts are born.


Adorably Weird Art: Illustrator Mica Angela Hendricks

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Buy some of their prints HERE

Graffiti artist Banksy sells art in Central Park

Banksy Sells Art In Central Park

Graffiti artist Banksy, whose works sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, claims he sold original pieces at starving-artist prices over the weekend in Central Park. “Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each,” he wrote on his website Sunday. The elusive British artist also posted a video of the pop-up stall on the edge of the park on Fifth Ave. near Central Park South featuring about 25 canvases of his black-and-white spray art. Some of the artwork were riffs on famous Banksy graffiti works such as a rat riding a scooter and a bandana-masked protester hurling a bouquet of flowers.

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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries

The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories.

Miniature Scenes Shot with Model Cars

Model maker/collector and photographer Michael Paul Smith is a master at recreating incredibly accurate outdoor scenes using his extensive die-cast model car collection and forced perspective. Mixing up miniature cars, detail items and buildings into a scene whose backdrop is the real world, he shoots the gorgeous miniature vistas of the town he has created and named “Elgin Park” — and he does it all with a cheap point-and-shoot. Elgin Park is some 25 years in the making, as are Smith’s modeling and diorama photography skills. In an extensive interview with Fstoppers, he describes his tools, his process and the minute attention to detail that creating these scenes requires.

Miniature Scenes Shot with Model Cars Setup

Miniature Scenes Shot with Model Cars

Read more HERE

What Mozart and Kobe Bryant Can Teach Us About Deliberate Practice

What Mozart Can Teach Us About Deliberate Practice

He has studied the most talented creators in history—people like Mozart and Picasso—to determine how long it took them to become world class at their craft. Furthermore, he’s investigated the choices and experiences that have led to their success. Let’s talk about what Hayes has discovered about world class performers—and more importantly, let’s discuss how you can use these insights to achieve your goals. Hayes started his research by examining successful composers. He analyzed thousands of musical pieces produced between the years of 1685 and 1900. The central question that drove his work was, “How long after one becomes interested in music is it that one becomes world class?” Eventually, Hayes developed a list of 500 pieces that were played frequently by symphonies around the world and were considered to be the “masterworks” in the field. These 500 popular pieces were created by a total of 76 composers. Next, Hayes mapped out the timeline of each composer’s career and calculated how long they had been working before they created their popular works. What he discovered was that virtually every single “masterwork” was written after year ten of the composer’s career. (Out of 500 pieces there were only three exceptions, which were written in years eight and nine.) Not a single person produced incredible work without putting in a decade of practice first. Even a genius like Mozart had to work for at least ten years before he produced something that became popular. Professor Hayes began to refer to this period, which was filled with hard work and little recognition, as the “ten years of silence.”

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Leonardo da Vinci painting lost for centuries found in Swiss bank vault

Leonardo da Vinci painting lost for centuries found in Swiss bank vault

It was lost for so long that it had assumed mythical status for art historians. Some doubted whether it even existed. But a 500-year-old mystery was apparently solved today after a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was discovered in a Swiss bank vault. The painting, which depicts Isabella d’Este, a Renaissance noblewoman, was found in a private collection of 400 works kept in a Swiss bank by an Italian family who asked not to be identified. It appears to be a completed, painted version of a pencil sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in Mantua in the Lombardy region of northern Italy in 1499. The sketch, the apparent inspiration for the newly found work, hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Read full story HERE