Art and Design Hub




Tom Of Finland Stamps Break Postal Sales Records - VIDEO

Finland

Stamps designed as a tribute to Finnish homoerotic artist Touko Laaksonen - better known as Tom of Finland -  have become the country’s biggest seller ever, reports YLE UUTISET.

The stamps, which had received pre-orders from 178 different countries, went on sale on Monday and coincided with an exhibition of Tom of Finland’s drawings and letters from the 1940s to his death in 1991.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6dd3742970b-800wiPreorders have proved most popular in Finland, Sweden, the U.K., the United States and France.

Markku Penttinen, the head of development at Finland’s postal service Posti, said:

"We haven't seen this kind of interest before in Posti's history and we probably won't again soon. Our starting point was to get Touko Laaksonen's artwork in our stamps.

"We know that he was very well-known globally. Of course the subject matter is also topical and much discussed. This equation has worked better than we anticipated.”

Despite Finland being the only Nordic country in which same-sex marriage is not legal, Penttinen also suggested that the homoerotic nature of the Tom of Finland stamps would prove too much for many other countries to swallow.

The stamps’ designer Timo Berry said:

"Tom of Finland's greatest significance is that these gay figures were given their masculinity. Previously they had been portrayed as ‘girlish.’

"It's great that these sketches that had to be sold in secret can now be publicly viewed on envelopes and postcards.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp.

Watch a report on the Tom of Finland stamps, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Performance Artist Mischa Badasyan Plans To Have Sex With A Different Guy Every Day for A Year

BadasyanMischa Badasyan plans to have sex with a different man every day for a year in the name of art. The Berlin-based human rights activist turned performance artist is using his body to shed light the intersection of loneliness and desire created by modern hookup culture. Using gay social apps like Grindr and a variety of websites built to connect guys looking for quick flings, Badasyan’s project, “Save The Date,”  wants to explore French philosopher Marc Augé’s concept of “non-places.”

"He was writing about non-places in the big cities; places like supermarkets, shopping malls, airports, motorways,” Badasyan explained to PolicyMic. “[H]e says that people lose their identity, there's no communication, people don't feel a belonging to somewhere and that causes the loneliness of people."

By having anonymous sex in public settings like cruising areas, Badasyan says, he himself will become like a non-place, and reconnect with an aspect of gay male culture that is unique to them:

“Straight people don't have these kind of applications, so many gay chats, in terms of cruising, sex clubs, sex bars, they don't have as many opportunities as gay people."

Sex positive support for Save the Date has been widespread, as Badasyan is using the project as an opportunity to spread the word about safe sex and proper condom use. Save the Date is slated to begin in September.

Watch a performance of Mischa Badasyan’s live action painting The Hole of Glory AFTER THE JUMP...

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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

Art_troll

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

Tweets_daley

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" »


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