Monday, May 30, 2011

Is the Pope’s Statue a Sin Against Public Art?

Everybody’s a critic, especially when it comes to public art. Mix in religion, a beloved figure, and modern art and you’ve got yourself all the ingredients for controversy. The recently unveiled statue of Pope John Paul II by Oliviero Rainaldi may be the most hated piece of art on earth at the moment. The Vatican beatified the beloved Polish pontiff earlier this month. Rainaldi’s statue was to be a tribute in honor of that step toward sainthood from the Fondazione Silvana Paolini Angelucci, a charitable organization that donated the statue to Rome. Now, Romans want to give it back, calling it a public eyesore and a black mark against the memory of the holy man they feel it fails to resemble. In that holiest of cities for Catholics, is the statue of John Paul II a sin against public art? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is the Pope’s Statue a Sin Against Public Art?"

[Image: Oliviero Rainaldi. Statue of Pope John Paul II. Rome, Italy.]

Friday, May 27, 2011

Leonora Carrington: Last of the Surrealists

Surrealism never served its women well. Lee Miller basically seduced Man Ray to gain entry into what was predominantly a men’s club. Leonora Carrington met Max Ernst at a party. Ernst left his wife for the striking art student 25 years his junior and introduced her to Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Yves Tanguy. Joan Miró once asked Carrington to go out and pick her up some cigarettes. Carrington refused, unable to accept second-class status as a Surrealist. This past week Carrington passed away at the age of 94, the last of the legendary Surrealists and a reminder of how difficult it once was (and in many ways still is) for women to break into the ranks of art. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Leonora Carrington: Last of the Surrealists."

[Leonora Carrington (Mexican, born England, 1917). The Inn of the Dawn Horse (Self-Portrait), ca. 1937–1938. Oil on canvas; 25 5/8 x 32 in. (65 x 81.3 cm.). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, 2002 (2002.456.1). © 2004 Leonora Carrington/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.]