Art and Design Hub




Robert De Niro Cries in Emotional Interview About His Gay Father: VIDEO

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We previously reported on the new HBO documentary, Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr., a passion project for his son, actor Robert De Niro. The documentary not only discusses the artistic merit of the late painter, but also his homosexuality. A new clip from the film, which premiered last night, highlights some of De Niro, Sr.'s diary entries regarding his sexuality.

Here is just one excerpt:

If God doesn't want me to be a homosexual, about which I have so much guilt, he will find a woman whom I will love and who will love me, or at least create an interest in women [as] sexual partners.

De Niro reveals that he discussed the issue with his mother on several occasions, but never with his father. "I was his son. I was the last to know," he says. He also mentions the dissolution of his family and his father's new life in New York City.

De Niro says he kept his father's studio intact to help his kids know what their grandfather did.

"I realized how important it is for children to appreciate the things that your parents did if they want to share them with you," he says, choking up. "Cause I regret certain things with my parents...that I didn't follow through on."

Watch the emotional clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Small Michigan Town Outraged By Statue: VIDEO

Blue Human Condition sculpture

Mark Chatterley's "Blue Human Condition" features seven genderless humanoids leaning against each other in various poses to represent interconnectedness and reliance. The citizens of Adrian, Michigan saw a gay sex orgy and demanded the sculpture's removal a week after it was installed. One person, apparently utterly unaware of how children's minds actually work, commented on the city website:

I believe it is very unfair and unkind to infer that those of us that [view the sculpture as sexual] have “dirty minds” and are “sexually repressed prudes”. If so, my children are “dirty minded, sexually repressed prudes” at the ripe age of 10, 11, and 13.

StrawcutterAnd of course no moral outrage is complete without the input of religious leaders. Local pastor Rick Strawcutter views the combination of the sculpture and the recent passing of an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance as a conspiracy by city officials to turn Adrian into Sodom.

The sculpture has since been moved to a less public part of the city, and Chatterly has received support from members of the community for creating his work. For his own part, Chatterly says that he makes his works for himself first, and that all of the accusations of lewdness show "what people are really thinking about."

For entertainment value, you can watch Pastor Strawcutter's personal video of the sculpture, complete with righteous indignation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Artist James Hannaham Trolls Art World With Wry 'Card Tricks' Exhibition

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To celebrate their 100th issue, the weekly online fiction magazine Recommended Reading held an art exhibition entitled Card Tricks featuring nonexistent artworks and wry commentary by gay artist and writer James Hannaham.

The aforementioned “trick” was that visitors who entered the James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea only saw bare walls with small placards next to each of Hannaham’s nonexistent pieces.” One such piece had two just scraps of notebook paper taped to the wall. Another claimed the entire world as a piece of “found art.” One placard for a piece called "Squinting Person" was posted above eye-level and printed in tiny, hard-to-read type. Another placard just featured the artist's name printed over and over and over again. Yet another called "Weather" was just a window.

On the placards themselves were Hannaham’s wry observations about the pretentious, fleeting self-importance of modern art. On an aforementioned piece called “Some Crazy Bullshit,” Hannaham's placard read:

Galleries and auction houses must regularly explain to collectors the significance and importance of many modern works of art in order to legitimize the massive amounts of capital necessary to acquire them them, and to reassure investors that these artworks will appreciate in value.

There seems no more threatening idea to the power structures and financial concerns of the art world than the danger that an artist might pass off an impromptu piece of crap as masterpiece. With 2012’s “Some Crazy Bulls--t,” Hannaham gives form to the art world’s worst bugaboo by Scotch taping two pieces of torn notebooks paper to the gallery wall, a process that took maybe two seconds.

He claims to have no rationale, inspiration, hidden motivation, or ideological justification for this act whatsoever. Even so, in this work Hannaham throws aside all codified notions of artistic merit and craft, including the conceptual requirement inherent in the phrase “conceptual art.”

Despite his assertions, the gesture still represents a challenge to institutions and individuals who claim to champion artistic freedom despite the many types of control that these gatekeepers actually enforce on artists and artistic production, including notions of “talent,” “effort,” and “quality.”

The show was edited by Jennifer Egan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the 2011 book A Visit From The Goon Squad. To see the rest of Hannaham’s exhibition, go here.


Here's a Portrait of Tom Daley Composed Entirely of Hate Tweets Sent to Him After Coming Out: PHOTO

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Artist Conor Collins has been busy at work on a portrait of British diver Tom Daley made entirely of homophobic tweets sent to him after he came out.

Collins lives in Manchester, UK.

See the finished product, AFTER THE JUMP...

We like this trend of turning hate mail into art - ala - most recently - Honey Maid.

Continue reading "Here's a Portrait of Tom Daley Composed Entirely of Hate Tweets Sent to Him After Coming Out: PHOTO" »


NYC Club Kid Founder And Murderer Michael Alig Will Leave Prison In May: VIDEO

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According to Blackbook, on May 5th Michael Alig — the gay founder of the 1990s New York Club Kids scene — will get paroled from prison after serving 17 years for the murder and dismemberment of Andre “Angel” Melendez.

The now 47-year-old Alig began serving time on October 24, 1997 after pleading guilty to manslaughter. He and his accomplice Robert Riggs murdered Melendez during an argument over a drug debt. After Riggs hit Melendez with a hammer, the men forced Drano into Melendez’s body and put the corpse in a tub filled with ice to prevent its decomposition. A few days later, Alig dismembered the corpse and threw the remains in the garbage and the Hudson River. Alig claims to have been on so many drugs at the time that he does not clearly remember the ordeal.

In 2013, Blackbook said of Alig: “The mixing of his club kids with the ravers, the model crowd, the art crowd, and the hipsters at Tunnel and Palladium looked easy at the time, but is rarely duplicated today.”

ClubkidsIn another 2013 article, Alig’s friend Steve Lewis told Blackbook, “[Alig] believed that those who surrounded us were ready to break out into mainstream America. He saw them as the future fashion designers, photographers, artists, stylists, etc.” Lewis added that Alig brought current drag luminaries like RuPaul and Lady Bunny into the limelight and that Alig worked as if he were the creative descendant of Andy Warhol.

Lewis most recently told Blackbook about what Alig might do after leaving prison:

“[Alig] will be staying with a close friend, and has been recruited for creative jobs by many. His transition to the real world will be eased by a support group who, for the most part, have stuck by him for more than a decade and a half. Michael has never used a computer or cellphone but he has remained keenly aware of the world we live in. There is no chance that he will return to clubs as a way of life, but he will paint and write, and as always, try to impact the way we think.

… during my visits to him in prison I observed the Michael Alig that I loved—the Alig prior the downfall. I believe he is ready to enter the world, and that reentering will be a good thing. No one, no act, no time, no hatred will bring back Angel, but Michael has served a great deal of his adult life in a bad place. I believe he has been rehabilitated. I believe he is forever remorseful and I look forward to his redux. To those who say nay, I respect that, but hope chances are given, and that we can move on. It is a time to remember Angel and reflect on the meaning of life. For me, forgiveness is part of it.”

Alig’s rise and fall among the NYC club scene has been examined in the 1998 documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary, James St. James’ 1999 memoir Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous but True Tale of Murder in Clubland as well as the 2003 movie Party Monster in which Macaulay Culkin played Alig.

You can watch Alig’s 1993 interview with Joan Rivers and the trailer for Party Monster AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC Club Kid Founder And Murderer Michael Alig Will Leave Prison In May: VIDEO" »


Jon Stewart Visits George W. Bush's World Leader Portrait Gallery: VIDEO

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As you may know, George W. Bush recently revealed a collection of portraits of world leaders he has been painting since he left office, including Bladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair, and the Dalai Lama.

Jon Stewart takes a look, hears from the art critics, and warns you not to spring for the audio tour.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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