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Colombian artist Botero says 'not obsessed with fat women'
Colombia's Fernando Botero, whose paintings and sculptures of plump women have won him recognition as one of Latin America's most famous living artists, says he is "not obsessed" with fat women. The 81-year-old insisted in an interview published on Sunday that his bulky subjects are not fat, preferring instead to call them "volumetric."
Spandau Ballet makes return to US at SXSW
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — It's been nearly three decades since Spandau Ballet played in the United States. After a successful return to America at South By Southwest, members of the influential British pop group now wonder why they stayed away for so long.
Biggest-ever Matisse cut-out show to debut to London
The most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Henri Matisse's paper cut-outs is set to go on show at London's Tate Modern this spring. "Henri Matisse: the Cut-Outs" will feature around 120 of the artist's works made between 1943 and 1954, many of which will be seen together for the first time. One of the leading figures of modern art and one of the most significant colorists of all time, Matisse began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make maquettes when ill health prevented him from painting towards the end of his career.
Artist in profile: Sylvan Esso
North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso makes electronic folk-pop music that has garnered a growing fan base over the past year. Sylvan Esso is singer Amelia Meath of the trio Mountain Man and electronic producer Nick Sanborn of Megafaun. After an initially one-off collaboration on Meath's track "Play It Right," the two reconvened last year in Durham, North Carolina and began work on their debut LP -- along the way putting out a 12" single, of which there's a second on the way. The duo's music consists mostly of melodies from Meath and beats by Sanborn, making for a surprising mix of folk and synth.
Legendary voice-over artist Hal Douglas dies at 89
LOVETTSVILLE, Va. (AP) — The family of legendary voice-over artist Hal Douglas says he has died at his home in northern Virginia.
Animatronic Abe Lincoln up for auction at Gettysburg museum
By Jeffrey B. Roth GETTYSBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Life-size Civil War figures dressed in period garb, antique furniture and an animatronic U.S. President Abraham Lincoln will go on the auction block this weekend as a museum focused on the Battle of Gettysburg prepares to revamp itself. The American Civil War Wax Museum, which opened in 1962, one year before the 100th anniversary of the bloodiest battle of the U.S. Civil War, is retooling itself to focus on the history of the Pennsylvania town that became the site of so much carnage. "We want people to understand that Gettysburg was a thriving community before the battle - there were three weekly newspapers, they had gas street lights, two institutions of higher learning and a carriage-making industry, which became non-existent after the battle," said Tammy Myers, president of Gettysburg Heritage Center. To make way for new exhibits, the museum is clearing out about 95 life-size wax figures, two oil paintings - 7 feet high by 5 feet wide - of the first two U.S. presidents, George Washington and John Adams, as well as antique furniture, vintage flags and other artifacts from dismantled dioramas.
Hip-hop pioneers hoping to create NYC museum
NEW YORK (AP) — The pioneers of hip-hop are hoping to create a museum in the Bronx dedicated to the genre.
Descent into madness entwines Van Gogh, Artaud at Paris exhibition
By Alexandria Sage PARIS (Reuters) - The shrieks of mad women assault visitors entering the Musee d'Orsay's new exhibit on Vincent Van Gogh, an arresting look at the painter's work as seen through the eyes of the late avant-garde French theatre director and playwright Antonin Artaud. "The Man Driven to Suicide by Society", opening on Tuesday in Paris, is a fitting title for a display of 55 Van Gogh works using Artaud's own commentary to see them in a new light. Artaud - one of the great theorizers about the stage, renowned for his short but seminal 1938 tract "The Theatre of Cruelty" - was, like Van Gogh, tormented throughout his life by hallucinations and hospitalized in psychiatric asylums.
George Saunders wins Folio Prize for literature
What does art mean to you? MoMA launches global online social experiment
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has launched an online project and social experiment aiming to open up a global conversation about art. Designed in collaboration with creative agency Possible, ART140 is a website showcasing iconic pieces of art from MoMA's collection. Harnessing the power of Twitter, the project will invite the public to select specific works of art and express what they mean to them, in 140 characters or less, via the hashtag #art140. MoMA and Possible will analyze the tweets, and the findings will be unveiled later in the year.
First Indian film museum to open in home of Bollywood
Seven years in the making and costing nearly $20 million, the first Indian film museum is set to open in the home of Bollywood, more than 100 years after the country's celebrated movie industry was born.
Avant-garde Belgian opera director Gerard Mortier dies
Belgian Gerard Mortier, the avant-garde artistic director of Madrid's Teatro Real and other European opera houses over the last 30 years, has died aged 70 after battling cancer. Mortier, known for his risk-taking approach to scene work and keen interest in 20th-century opera, commissioned an adaptation of gay cowboy epic "Brokeback Mountain" for Teatro Real, which he headed until September last year. He died on Saturday at his home in Brussels, Teatro Real said in a statement, expressing its "deep sadness". Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo paid tribute to his countryman, tweeting: "Our country has lost a visionary and generous figure," while Culture Minister Fadila Laanan said Mortier's "often non-conformist choices, his audacious programming built his international renown".
Gettysburg wax museum selling historical figures
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A life-sized animatronic Abe Lincoln is among the historical figures and tableau scenes from a Gettysburg wax museum set to hit the auction block just months after the town celebrated the 150th anniversary of his "Gettysburg Address."
Revolutionary opera director Gerard Mortier dies
Belgian opera director Gerard Mortier dies aged 70
Art agenda: Gauguin, Yoko Ono, The Forbidden City
Among upcoming exhbition openings, Paul Gauguin's hand-drawn art is put on display in New York's MoMA, Yoko Ono's retrospective arrives at the Guggenheim Bilbao, and China's Forbidden City stars at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Van Gogh painting previously owned by 'Goldfinger' to go on sale
The Van Gogh painting owned by the millionaire who inspired Ian Fleming's villainous James Bond character Goldfinger is set to go on sale at the The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht, Holland, this month. "Moulin de la Galette" will be exhibited by Dickinson of London and New York. Van Gogh painted "Moulin de la Galette" in April 1887 at the height of this process of conversion. "This is a painting that has everything," says James Roundell of Dickinson.
Artist in profile: Kelela
Rising R&B singer-songwriter Kelela released a much-acclaimed mixtape last year and got a further boost when an extended version of her track "Go All Night," first heard on the mixtape, was featured on "Saint Heron," the debut release from Solange Knowles's record label. Kelela Mizanekristos was born and raised outside Washington DC and lives in Los Angeles. "Cut 4 Me" featured production from many of the heavy hitters associated with Fade to Mind and London label Night Slugs (Bok Bok, Kingdom, Girl Unit, Nguzunguzu, Jam City and Morri$), merging R&B with pop and featured a distinct synergy between beat-driven production and Kelela's voice -- which The Fader called "gut-wrenching in a pretty fundamental way." The mixtape earned widespread praise: Stereogum called it "a hard and pointed R&B record with icy-cool production from some of the sharpest minds in forward-thinking dance music," while AWMusic wrote of Kelela and the mixtape: "Smooth, in charge and a perfect example of artist-producer cohesion," also saying "The girl knows exactly what she's doing with her strong vocal harmonies and overall emotional connect."
Rihanna is most-streamed female artist of 2014: Spotify
In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, music streaming service Spotify has released a list of the most streamed female artists of 2014, with Rihanna in the lead for the second year running.
Ohio museum: Sculpture may be idol stolen in India
Vikings land at British Museum, but without the horns
By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - The Viking exhibition opening on Thursday at the British Museum has axes, swords, helmets, dragon figureheads and, as its centerpiece, a 37-metre-long (121-feet) Viking warship that is the longest ever excavated. "They didn't wear horns on their helmets," said project curator Thomas Williams, 33, explaining one of the messages the museum hopes visitors, especially schoolchildren, will take home from its first Viking exhibition in 30 years. This is partly what has irked the British press, some of whose reviewers have found the exhibition, given the Vikings' well-earned reputation for rape and pillage, to be a little colorless and bloodless.
British Museum shows Vikings' softer side
The Vikings are renowned as bloodthirsty warriors, but a new exhibition at the British Museum aims to show the cultural achievements and trading skills that spread their influence far and wide. "They are the filthiest of God's creatures," wrote Arab diplomat Ahmad ibn Fadlan in 921. But at the British Museum in London, some of the finery on show includes a splendid -- if well-used -- iron sword, alongside jewellery, amulets, religious images and exquisite objects. The exhibition -- the museum's first on the Vikings in more than 30 years, costing Â£16.50 ($27.50, 20 euros) to enter -- shows how the Nordic warriors created an international network of trade, plunder and power spreading across four continents.
Recovered Renoir to go on view at Baltimore museum
Picasso 'at home' in renovated Parisian museum
By Alexandria Sage PARIS (Reuters) - "Every act of creation is first an act of destruction," said Pablo Picasso, a fitting aphorism for the five-year renovation of the Picasso Museum in Paris now reaching its finale. Since 2009, art lovers in the city that Spanish-born Picasso adopted as his own have been turned away from the doors of the Hotel Sale on the Right Bank, the sight of cranes and scaffolding replacing that of Minotaurs and guitars. But the world's largest Picasso collection will reopen its doors in June, showcasing the works of the prolific artist who died in 1973 in exposition space that has tripled in size to 3,800 square meters (41,000 sq ft) over five floors. "We wanted to devote all the space to the collection - and we succeeded in that," museum director Anne Baldassari told journalists during a visit to the worksite on Tuesday.
Stolen Cuban art works in Miami, part of Havana museum heist?
By David Adams and David Quinones MIAMI (Reuters) - Almost 100 Cuban art works have apparently been stolen from the country's national art museum, and some are turning up in Miami, according to one of the city's leading gallery owners. Art dealer Ramon Cernuda, a prominent collector of Cuban art who in the past has identified stolen pieces, said he has uncovered 11 paintings in Miami that belong to Havana's National Museum of Fine Arts, believed to be part of a larger trove of purloined pieces. Cernuda said his calls to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana prompted an investigation there three weeks ago, when officials confirmed more works are missing.
Artist in profile: Shivum Sharma
It's been a steady rise for young musician Shivum Sharma since he released his bedroom demo "Flicker" in October. His debut EP is out this week. Shivum Sharma was born and raised in London to an Indian father and an Irish mother. He counts Aphex Twin, The Knife, Amy Winehouse and Erykah Badu among his influences, as well as the city of London itself.
Macedonian police arrest 8 for big museum theft
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Police in Macedonia have arrested the head of the country's biggest museum, a former senior heritage official and six others over the theft of 162 ancient pieces of jewelry from the museum's collections.
Belgian modern art director Jan Hoet dies at 77
Denver art museum making good on Super Bowl bet
'Downton Abbey' costumes on display at Del. museum
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Officials at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware say an upcoming exhibit of costumes from the hit British television drama "Downton Abbey" could turn out to be the most popular in history of the former du Pont family country estate.