Jeremy Lin Becomes Street Art Hero, The Dark Side of Qatar's Culture Push, and More Must-Read Art News

Jeremy Lin Becomes Street Art Hero, The Dark Side of Qatar's Culture Push, and More Must-Read Art News
Jeremy Lin mural by Tats Cru, commission by ANIMAL NY
(Courtesy ANIMAL)

Jeremy Lin Inspires Linsane Street Art: After being honored with his own (admittedly pretty offensive) Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor, perhaps it was only a matter of time until the basketball phenom became the subject of a (happily less offensive) New York City mural. The piece, which depicts Lin holding up the globe in his Knicks uniform, Atlas-style, was specifically commissioned by the blog ANIMAL and created by Bronx street art legends TATS Cru. Locals can see it on 2nd Street and Avenue A. [ANIMAL

– Who Benefits From Qatar's Cultural Investment?: The Gulf nation has invested likely well over $1 billion in art, mounting world-class exhibitions of Takashi Murakami and Louise Bourgeois as well as reportedly acquiring the most expensive painting ever sold, making it one of the most powerful forces in the cultural world. But a member of the local press corps has now spoken out, saying that one thing is being overlooked amid all the hype: the people of Qatar themeselves. According to the angry pundit, the royal family does not "care about locals seeing the shows.... All they care about is being seen overseas." [NYT

The "Other" Mona Lisa Probably Painted by Leonardo's Lover: Experts believe that Leonardo da Vinci's assistant and reputed lover Salaì is likely the artist behind the Mona Lisa copy unveiled at the Prado last month. Salaì, or "Little Satan," joined Leonardo's studio at age 10 and worked with the master until his death. [TAN]

– Embargo on Turkish Artifacts: It appears that a culture war is brewing between the emerging economic dynamo of Turkey and American and British museums. The Turkish ministry wants the British Museum and the V&A to return a pair of artifacts it claims as its own patromony, and also lays claim to a dozen items held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum. It is opposing loans of art until the disputes are settled. Meanwhile, the Met is opening the exhibition "Byzantium and Islam" next month without a single item from a Turkish museum. [TAN

– Hennessy Youngman Gets the Times Treatment: In a short profile of the man Art in America once described as "Ali G with an M.F.A.," the New York Times reveals that the cult YouTube phenomenon (known out of character as Jayson Musson) also makes other art. Like his satirical videos, his paintings and cartoonlike drawings employ humor to navigate serious issues like politics, race, and sex. [NYT]

Stolen Picasso Recovered in Colombia: An etching by Pablo Picasso has been recovered after being stolen from a museum in Colombia last year. Police recovered the etching of the Greek god Dionysus, valued at $65,000, when a man tried to sell it. [Colombia Reports]

– Titians Reunited: London's National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland have secured ownership of a second of a pair of Titian paintings, "Diana and Callisto," after its seller, the Duke of Sutherland, dropped his asking price by £5 million ($8 million). It joins "Diana and Actaeon," also acquired from the Duke, who first offered the two masterpieces in 2008 for a modest £100 million ($160 million). The paintings will alternate, spending three years in England and two in Scotland, reflecting the proportionate expenditures of the two institutions. [Guardian]

– Army Museum Gets Go Ahead: The U.S. Army has released preliminary designs by world-renowned architects Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) for the National Museum of the U.S. Army, which will open in 2015 at Virginia's Fort Belvoir. [WaPo]

– Cindy Sherman's Influence: On the occasion of her MoMA retrospective, Vogue asked five artists — Marilyn Minter, John Waters, Shirin Neshat, Laurie Simmons, and Eric Bogosian — to reflect on Sherman's contribution to contemporary art. Guess which of these estimable figures observed, "She's in drag like 50 times a day!"? [Vogue

– Gateshead's Baltic Gallery Opens Franchise in Newcastle: Named Baltic 39, the new £10 million ($15.9 million) art center will open in April at 39 High Bridge with an exhibition of 12 UK-based artists curated by sculptor Phyllida Barlow. [BBC]

Is There Oil in Midtown?: That's what artist Josephine Meckseper wants you to ask when you see her latest public sculpture, a pair of functioning pump jacks towering over a vacant lot in Midtown Manhattan. By installing "a kind equine-pterodactly metal monstrosity that usually extracts oil from a well," Meckseper wants passerby to think about both the cost both of paying heating bills and of culture. [NYT]

Precious Treasure Found in Shark's Stomach: A Malaysian woman has found an ancient medal in the belly of the shark she was about to cook for lunch. It bears the profile of Elizabeth, a Spanish princess who was Queen of Portugal from 1282 to 1325. The medal is thought to have been brought to Malaysia by a Portuguese missionary during the country's colonization from 1511 to 1651. [Journal des Arts]

– Beatles' Childhood Homes Become Historic Sites: The childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney in Liverpool, where the band rehearsed and wrote some of its early songs, have been placed on a national list of protected historic sites. No word on the fate of Ringo's home, poor guy. [NYT

Tony Ellwood Appointed Director of the National Gallery of Victoria: Currently director of the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Ellwood served as deputy director of the National Gallery of Victoria from 2000 to 2007. [Art Daily]

 RIP Eleanor Callahan, Photographic Muse: The wife and model for photographer Harry Callahan served as a haunting and humanizing presence in his photographs throughout the 1940s and '50s. Callahan's work is on display at a National Gallery retrospective in Washington, D.C. through March 4. [WaPo]


See TATS Cru create their street art homage to Jeremy Lin in New York:


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