Saturday, December 10, 2016

Movie Review: God is alive and crabby, according to ‘The Brand New Testament’

By Stephen Holden
This is a poster for The Brand New Testament. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.
In the Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael’s wickedly amusing religious satire, “The Brand New Testament,” God (Benoît Poelvoorde) is a snarling, meanspirited bully who rules the universe from an apartment in Brussels. Inside his locked office, surrounded by walls of card files, the tyrannical, perpetually bored deity sits behind a computer and plays nasty practical jokes on humans. A favorite pastime is contriving Laws of Annoyance, like making sure that when a piece of toast falls, it always lands with the jelly side down. God’s wife (Yolande Moreau) is a silent, slavishly dutiful housekeeper; his son, JC, has been reduced to a statue. It remains for his rebellious young daughter, Ea (Pili Groyne), to flout his authority. [link]

Friday, December 9, 2016

Reviving a vanishing folk art form in Bengal

By Indrani Dutta
Fascinating sight: In alpana, finger is the brush and rice powder the paint.
INDIA---The traditional Bengal art of alpana, invoking Gods with finger-painted motifs, is now all but lost. Handed down through generations of women, this Bengal folk art, where the finger is the brush and a paste comprising mainly rice powder is the paint, once adorned the walls and floors of houses. The motifs are ritualistic images from mythology and scriptures. Alpana is intrinsically linked with religious austerity (called brotos or vrat) practised by women of mostly rural West Bengal for the well-being of the family. Urban women until recently also observed such pujas, whose ‘closure’ would always be marked by a special puja and alpana drawing with special motifs. [link]

LA Masonic temple to house Maurice Marciano's 1,500-piece art collection

By Kelly Crow
Maurice Marciano with Dan Colen’s 2014 flower-filled piece, "Killed by Death."
LOS ANGELES, CA---Maurice Marciano, the ebullient, snowy-haired co-founder of denim juggernaut Guess, has the keys now, after buying this 110,000-square-foot building three years ago for $8 million with his brother Paul. The Marcianos plan to open it in the spring as the Marciano Art Foundation to display their 1,500-piece collection of contemporary art. A closer look reveals they admire artists who rose to fame in the ’90s and beyond, such as the puckish German painter Albert Oehlen, who at one point was using his fingers to paint riotously colorful abstracts. Lately Maurice has also gravitated to L.A.-based artists like Alex Israel and mixed-media artists Paul Sietsema and Kaari Upson. [link]

Two Christian extremists face jail time for refusing to make invitations for gay weddings

By Suzette Guitierrex-Cathila

ARIZONA---Two Christian artists who create hand-painted invitations and cards could be facing jail time and heavy penalties for refusing to make invitations for same-sex weddings. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of art design studio Brush & Nib, challenged an ordinance in Phoenix, Arizona that prohibits them from refusing clients for same-sex weddings. Under the same ordinance, they are also not allowed to discuss their convictions or the reason for not accepting clients for same-sex weddings. If they should violate these laws, they would be imprisoned for six months for every day they fail to comply. [link]