Jordan As Hindley In Controversial Image
LONDON -- Model Katie Price's face has been imposed on to a picture of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley for an exhibition which opens this week. Entitled Public Enemy Number One, the controversial image sees the model fused on to the distinctive black and white police mugshot of Hindley taken in the 1960s.
Irish artist Kevin Sharkey was inspired to create the image after Price, also known as Jordan, was voted the most hated woman in Britain. "When I think of 'hated' women, the first person who comes to mind is Myra Hindley," the artist says. "I think the macabre black and white police photograph of her from the 1960s is the epitome of evil. So I set about merging that iconic image with Katie's face, and I hope when people look at it they will immediately realise the two women are poles apart." Mr Sharkey says he is not looking to defend Jordan, but he hopes he can make people think more seriously about the way they react to celebrities.
Relatives of the Moors Murderers' victims have condemned the picture. John Kilbride was abducted and murdered by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady in 1963, when he was 12 years old. His brother Danny told Sky News: "It is about time these people grew up. An artist with real talent doesn't need to resort to tactics like this." -- Sky News
Artist Gregor Schneider plans to put dying person on show
MUNICH -- German artist Gregor Schneider plans to exhibit a dying person as the focus of an upcoming show. The artist, whose previous works have included a disturbing recreation of family life in two identical houses in the East End of London and a 20-year project to transform his parents’ former house, said his aim was "to show the beauty of death".
Schneider claims to have found a doctor in Dusseldorf who will help him find a volunteer willing to die in public in the name of art, according to the Art Newspaper. "Unfortunately today, death and the road to death are about suffering. Coming to terms with death as I plan it can take away the pain of dying for us," the artist told the online edition of Die Welt.
Politicians and curators are in a state of uproar about Mr Schneider’s plans. “The dying person would determine everything in advance, he would be the absolute centre of attention,” said Mr Schneider. “Everything will be done in consultation with the relatives, and the public will watch the death in an appropriately private atmosphere."
In 2000, Schneider himself feigned death as part of a show in Haus Esters Museum in Krefeld. He was awarded the Golden Lion for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale the following year for ‘Dead House ur’, a reconstruction of his parents’ home. He is currently showing an installation in Paris consisting of a series of rooms of decreasing size. Visitors make their way through the installation alone, and are filmed as they do so. -- Telegraph.co.uk
Weatherston portrait might be art but we don't have to like it
WELLINGTON -- It was a face behind a crime that appalled the nation. Now it is a work of art. A portrait of Clayton Weatherston is one of 93 works competing in the Adam Portraiture Award, opening in Wellington tomorrow. Stretching 2.5 metres high, Liam Gerrard's charcoal and acrylic work captures a man who dominated the national news last year, as Weatherston stood trial for the 2008 murder of his former girlfriend, Sophie Elliott, 22, whom he stabbed 216 times. Miss Elliott's father, Gil, said he had not known the portrait was being painted and suggested the title "The Epitome of Evil" might be a suitable one. "It would have been better to have done a nice one of Sophie."
Gerrard, 25, whose first solo exhibition late last year included a portrait of David Bain, who was acquitted on charges of murdering his family, said he chose Weatherston because "I was interested in doing a villain. The guidelines for the award were just to do an actual New Zealander. I just thought I'd try a bad guy. I went for the most hated man in the country, or he was at that time." Gerrard said he did not expect anyone to buy the work. "As far as anyone having it on their wall, I highly doubt it. Except maybe a collector." National Portrait Gallery director Avenal McKinnon said the portrait was probably the most contentious subject to appear in the biennial competition. "You could, in some countries, say artists are not allowed to paint bad people or murderers. But in New Zealand we have this wonderful freedom, it's what democracy is all about." -- The Dominion Post
The Murderer as Snow White
STOCKHOLM -- On Saturday night, the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel, damaged an "art exhibit" glorifying a Palestinian terrorist at the Stockholm's Historical Museum. The ambassador dismantled the electrical cables connecting the spotlights and threw one of them into some water.
Titled "Snow White and the Madness of Truth," the exhibit consisted of a small ship carrying a picture of Islamic Jihad bomber Hanadi Jaradat (who was a lawyer and mother of two) sailing, "with the smile of an angel," in a rectangular pool filled with red-colored water. Jaradat killed herself and 22 others, including Israeli Arabs and a number of Israeli Jewish children, in a suicide bombing on October 4, 2003, at Maxim's jointly-owned Jewish-Arab restaurant in Haifa, Israel.
As background music to his exhibit, the "artist," Dror Feiler, mixed music from Bach's 199 Cantata "My Heart Swims in Blood." Tel Aviv-born Feiler is well-known as a self-hating Israeli active in radical circles in Sweden where he lives. His Swedish wife Gunilla Skoeld Feiler, helped create the instillation.
Dror Feiler told Israel Radio on Sunday that Mazel was "an intellectual midget, his actions were similar to those of a stall owner in a third world country."
When Mazel pulled the plugs on the installation on Saturday night, Feiler approached him angrily, shouting in Hebrew, "You're doing exactly what you do in Nablus. This is a free country and I can say what I want to say here, not like you in your apartheid country."
Zvi Mazel is unrepentant about his actions. "My wife and I stood there and began to tremble," he told the Israeli Ynet Internet site. "There was the terrorist, wearing perfect makeup and sailing placidly along the rivers of blood of my brothers and the families that were murdered. My whole body trembled when I saw a female terrorist like Snow White in the exhibition." -- Mideast Media Dispatch
Loyalist killer to seek lottery aid for artist colony
LONDON -- The convicted murderer Michael Stone, who killed three people in a gun and grenade attack in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery in 1988, is hoping to spend up to £1 million to convert a country house into workshops and studios for budding artists.
Although Stone, a former builder who learnt how to paint during 12 years inside the Maze prison, has made a fortune from his art and the proceeds of an autobiography, he disclosed yesterday that he intends to apply for public money to set up the art centre.
Among those who have bought or have been given his work are Mo Mowlam, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, and Charles Saachi, the advertising mogul. Stone’s work, which has become popular thanks to his notoriety, sells for between £500 and £25,000 per piece.
The former terrorist, who has exhibited his work in Belfast and is hoping to be nominated for next year’s Turner Prize with a sculpture made of up to 2,000 pigs’ ears, told The Times that he has put an offer on a large house in rural Co Down outside Belfast.
Stone has become such a cult figure that he has even been signed by a special agency offering former criminals as after-dinner speakers at up to £2,500 a time. He is currently writing a fictional thriller about a freelance assassin who travels to London to kill Islamist terrorists. He is also co-writing a book, designed to be a counter-terrrorist handbook, with a former member of the British Army. -- The Times
Protests Against Starving Dog Art Exhibition
COSTA DEL SOL -- The Costa Rican ‘artist’ Guillermo Vargas Habacuc is alleged to have paid some children to chase and catch an abandoned dog. He is said to have tied the animal by a very short rope to the wall of an art gallery in Managua and left it there for several days, without food or water, until it died. During this time, many people visited the art gallery, paying absolutely no attention to the torment of the dying dog. Photographs of the so-called exhibition can be found on the Internet.
The prestigious Central American Biennial exhibition incomprehensibly decided to consider this barbarous act as art, and Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action at the Biennial of 2008 in Honduras.
In his defence, the artist has claimed that what he was attempting to prove was that those who saw the suffering of the dog just walked on by and that if it had been left on the street to die, no-one would have even known of its existence. It has also been reported that the dog did not die but escaped, and that it had been fed by Vargas and was only tied up during the gallery opening times. It has not been possible to confirm this. -- Euro Weekly News
Swedish artist connected to Belgian child killer
LULEA -- Angelina Elander, a 40-year-old singer and artist from Luleå in northern Sweden, has featured in a series of reports in Flemish and French language media sources which describe her as the "lover" and "admirer" of De Gelder, the 21-year-old man who killed three and seriously injured six more in an attack on a nursery in the town of Dendermonde in January 2009.
Elander is reported by Belgian newspaper La Capitale to have penned a slew of letters expressing her affection for the convicted killer, going as far as to submit an application for employment at his Bruges prison. On her blog, Kosmonaut Planemo, Elander has published her letters and other material pertaining to the De Gelder case and she is also reported by La Capitale to have opened a petition to free the killer.
Passages cited by the commercial Flemish television channel VTM include: "Oh, my darling. Did you really do all this pour moi? You shouldn't have. *blushing* I feel harmony. I feel at peace with the universe. I think my boobs have grown." -- The Local
Marvin Francis's Paper Trail
LOUISVILLE - Marvin Francis's studio is cell A-10 in Kentucky’s maximum security prison, and his medium is dissolved toilet paper. He buys Charmin from “the outside,” he says, because “the stuff in here is a little rough.”Before Marvin Francis was sentenced in 1986 to life without parole for 25 years for murdering a Hopkinsville grocer during a robbery, he had never picked up a paintbrush or set foot inside a museum. “Art had never entered my life,” he said.
Now, his disturbing sculptures of life behind bars using only the limited materials of toilet paper, wood, glue, and acrylic paint fetch prices of as much as $3,000 each.
And competing with 55 other self-taught artists from around the world, Francis, 46, recently won first place in a juried competition for sculptors sponsored by Gallery 24 in Berlin, Europe’s leading gallery for undiscovered artists. Shows will follow in Paris and New York, where his work already is part of the American Folk Art Museum’s collection.
“You can’t help but be blown away by the world he creates with the contents of a wastepaper basket,” said sculptor Bob Morgan, owner of Lexington’s Gallery Soleil, which sponsored a one-man show by Francis in 2004. “That alone would make him worthy of note.” -- Louisville Courier Journal
Artist to Feed Murderer to Goldfish
COPEHNAGEN—Controversy-seeking Danish-based artist Marco Evaristti has convinced a convict on death row in Texas to allow Evaristti to grind up his body and feed it to goldfish for an artwork should he be executed as planned, reports the Art Newspaper.
"My aim is to first deep freeze Gene's body and then make fish food out of it. Visitors to my exhibition will be able to feed goldfish with it," said Evaristti, who has visited Gene Hathorn, 47, a convicted murderer, in prison several times. Hathorn has been awaiting execution since being found guilty of murdering his father, stepmother, and stepbrother in 1985.
Chilean-born Evaristti has courted controversy with his work before. In 2000, he addressed mortality and the dark side of human nature by showing live goldfish in 10 electric blenders and inviting visitors to the exhibition to switch them on. In 2004, he explored issues of territory and environmental protection by painting an iceberg in Greenland red. -- Artinfo
Armless artist's headbutt kills man
SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Police are investigating the death of a man who collapsed after he was head-butted by an armless man in a fight over a woman. Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said the two men, Charles Keith Teer and William Russell Redfern, scuffled Monday afternoon in the driveway of a suburban Atlanta home.
Police say Redfern, who was born with no right arm and only a short stump for his left arm, kicked Teer and Teer hit Redfern during the fight, which was due to long-standing bad blood over a woman who once dated Teer and now dates Redfern. After bystanders separated them, Redfern "came back and head-butted (Teer) one time," Whitehead said. Teer complained of feeling dizzy, collapsed and died, Whitehead said.
Known by the nickname "Rusty," Redfern made a name for himself in the late 1980s for pen and ink drawings he does using his foot. According to the Web site for VSA Arts — an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that promotes and showcases artists with disabilities — Redfern's drawings take one to six months to complete. -- msnbc
p.s. Hey. The blog's Halloween-inflected tonality in rerun form continues today. Enjoy. I'll check in, p.s.-wise, as soon as I am able.