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Art News From Around the Web

Robin Williams-Like Mural Painted in the East Village

Robin Williams-Like Mural Painted in the East Village

Days after Robin Williams took his own life, aerosol tributes to the funnyman started popping all over the world, from Belgrade to Dublin to Los Angles to Brooklyn and now, Manhattan.

The latest RIP wall was done by LES throwback and mural king Antonio Garcia, better known as “Chico.” The portrait style piece which sort of resembles Robin Williams if Robin Williams was a hobbit, is located on the corner of 13th Street and Avenue B in the East Village. As strange as this depiction looks, it’s still way better than that grisly dedication to Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)

The post Robin Williams-Like Mural Painted in the East Village appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Bucky Turco

The Onion’s Art Department Is Awesome

The Onion's Art Department Is Awesome

There’s a profile of the Onion’s three-person art department on FastCo Design and it just sounds like the best editorial art job in the world, really.

An Onion article titled “New Law Enforcement Robot Can Wield Excessive Force Of 5 Human Officers” includes a remarkable bit of artwork, which you can see above: a muscled, armored tank-like robot armed with guns and probes and sprays and hammers, using all its weaponry to attack the business-casual-clad attendees of a beige-carpet trade show. To create it, The Onion’s art department built a digital robot, staged the scene with real people, then combined original photography and digital art with pre-existing stock photography to achieve a perfectly surreal, violent scene. All to illustrate a joke that can be told in a 12-word headline. 

The Onion’s art department is comprised of Eric Ervine, Jimmy Hasse, and Heidi Unkefer (and Nicole Antonuccio at Clickhole). They chug out 50 original pieces of art per week, all combinations of banal and subtle things (both staged and stock), masterfully Photoshopped together to illustrate the joke headline. Not only must the image match the story in tone — aesthetically and contextually, every satirical manifestation represents “Onionworld,” or what the Onion’s managing editor Ben Berkley describes as a “fully realized and very real” alternative universe. The art department often enlists the rest of the staff in collaboration, down to posing for photos. “Personally I’ve been two superheroes, two teens, and a body double for Vice President Biden,” Berkley recalls.

The image that accompanies the article “Fossilized Evidence Reveals Spazosaurus Was Largest Doofus To Ever Roam Earth” took a different kind of effort. It’s a truly ridiculous, watercolor-like illustration of an idiot clumsy chunky dinosaur, bearing no relation to any dinosaur I’ve ever seen, tripping over its own tail while drooling. “I just love this one,” says senior editor Eric Ervine. “It’s so rare we get to do a full-blown illustration, especially with this level of irreverent zaniness.”

Though the satirical publication is consumed as a form of political and social commentary and entertainment, pieces like this point to its true nature. Currently, the Onion seems much like an imagery-driven digital art project, from its conception to production to execution to distribution. The current art department is particularly in step with the trends of contemporary digital art. (Images The Onion via FastCo Design)

The post The Onion’s Art Department Is Awesome appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Marina Galperina

Study: Social Media Makes People Less Likely To Voice Dissenting Opinions To Friends Offline

Study: Social Media Makes People Less Likely To Voice Dissenting Opinions To Friends Offline

A new survey from Pew Research Center and Rutger’s University shows that social media use makes people less likely to voice opinions they think are different than those held by their friends. This uneasiness even extends to the offline world, where participants who used social media consistently were less likely to voice dissenting views, if they believed their opinion was in the minority. As many have claimed, it appears the internet is homogenizing rather than diversifying our circle of peers. “People who use social media are finding new ways to engage politically, but there’s a big difference between political participation and deliberation,” Keith N. Hampton, one of the authors of the study, told the New York Times. “People are less likely to express opinions and to be exposed to the other side, and that’s exposure we’d like to see in a democracy.”

The researchers came to these conclusions by asking subjects about their views on Edward Snowden and his revelations on the NSA’s activities.

Most people surveyed said they would be willing to discuss government surveillance at dinner with family or friends, at a community meeting or at work. The only two settings where most people said they would not discuss it were Facebook and Twitter. And people who use Facebook a few times a day were half as likely as others to say they would voice an opinion about it in a real-world conversation with friends.

Yet if Facebook users thought their Facebook friends agreed with their position on the issue, they were 1.9 times more likely to join a discussion there. And people with fervent views, either in favor of or against government spying, were 2.4 times more likely to say they would join a conversation about it on Facebook. Interestingly, those with less education were more likely to speak up on Facebook, while those with more education were more likely to be silent on Facebook yet express their opinion in a group of family or friends.

So it’s true that people who know less talk more online. That explains a lot.

The post Study: Social Media Makes People Less Likely To Voice Dissenting Opinions To Friends Offline appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Sophie Weiner

Zara “Exterminates” Their Line Of Nazi Death Camp Uniforms For Kids

Zara "Exterminates" Their Line Of Nazi Death Camp Uniforms For Kids

For awhile there, Spanish clothing company Zara was selling this “sheriff t-shirt” with white and blue stripes and a yellow six-point star on it… which looks like the uniforms worn by Holocaust victims in death camps.

Made in Turkey, the shirt was being sold at Zara’s Israeli, French, Albanian and Swedish online stores, until Israeli journalist Dimi Reider from the Isreali and Palestinian independent anti-occupation website +972 Magazine reported the obvious similarities.

Hours ago, Zara pulled the product and responded, quite stupidly:

The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created.

The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated.

Aside from the fact that, classically speaking, it’s prisoners and not sherifs that wear striped shirts — yes, they actually said “exterminated.” Reider explains further:

The exact Hebrew word is “ויושמדו.” While it can also be translated as “will be destroyed,” hashmada is the exact word used to describe the Nazi genocidal practices – for example, Mahanot haHashmada, extermination camps. And since this is the precise issue on which the apology is being offered, few Israeli readers would miss the connotation. You’d think Zara would take the time to thumb through a thesaurus, or something.

(Image: Zara via +972 Magazine)

The post Zara “Exterminates” Their Line Of Nazi Death Camp Uniforms For Kids appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Marina Galperina

Meet The Cabbie Who’s Least Likely To Kill You

Meet The Cabbie Who's Least Likely To Kill You

Whether you’re clinging to the back seat of a cab or narrowly avoiding being hit by one as a pedestrian, it’s a fact of life in New York City that some taxis have dangerous drivers. But not all cab drivers are reckless. In fact, Frederick Amoafo, a 46-year-old cabbie from Queens, was just awarded by the city for having zero violations on his record.

He’s not alone. The Taxi and Limousine Commission selected 295 drivers who “had not had a conviction for a traffic violation, an accident with injuries or a conviction for breaking one of the TLC’s rules of the road” for their honor roll. Of those drivers, Amoafo drove the most miles while remaining safe. “His 190,000-mile New York odyssey saw him safely serve 50,000 passengers over a distance equivalent to making 34 round-trips between Manhattan and Los Angeles,” the Post wrote. 

Amoafo received a ticket several months ago for an illegal turn, but he says a double parked car made the turn necessary, and is disputing it with the city. The Ghanian immigrant bought his own medallion in 2007 for $450,000 by taking out a loan on his house, and reports that he often works six days a week, up to twelve hours a day.

As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities, he is issuing placards to drivers placed on the honor roll, in an effort to showcase workers who value safety. Amoafo believes he deserves his award, and recommends other drivers learn to practice his values:

“Relax,” he said. “Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You only get the money if you get the passengers there safely. Think of money last, safety first. If you feel really stressed out, take some time off. Park the car, walk for some time and come back again. It will refresh the mind.”

(Photo: Pete Bellis)

The post Meet The Cabbie Who’s Least Likely To Kill You appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Sophie Weiner

NYC Water Tank Project Finally Gets Underway

NYC Water Tank Project Finally Gets Underway

After what seemed like forever, the environmental nonprofit Word Above The Street has begun covering NYC water tanks with art. The Water Tank Project is intended to display public artwork and raise awareness of sustainable environmental practices and water conservation.

The artworks, which include pieces already on display by Laurie Simmons and Lorenzo Petrantoni, will not be painted directly onto the water tanks, but hung on a canvas wrapped around the tanks. Five tanks in Manhattan have already undergone the transformation and by October, when the project is complete, that number will grow to approximately one hundred tanks.

The upcoming works include originals by artists such as Jeff Koons and photographer Jean-Paul Goude, and pieces from local high school students who participated in a competition for the project earlier this year.

Previous Water Tank Project artists included Ed Ruscha and Jay Z. (Photo: Water Tank Project)

The post NYC Water Tank Project Finally Gets Underway appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Sophie Weiner

Today’s Pigeon

Today's Pigeon

Alec, Times Square. (Photo: Bucky Turco/ANIMALNewYork)

The post Today’s Pigeon appeared first on ANIMAL.


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Author:Bucky Turco

NEWS: Trevor Paglen Among Winners of Electronic Frontier Foundation Award


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NEWS: Mass MoCA Receives $25.4 Million Grant from Massachusetts


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NEWS: Tortoises Removed from Aspen Art Museum


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FILM: Boys Will Be Boys


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NEWS: Jodi Throckmorton Appointed Curator of Contemporary Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts


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PICKS: Gunilla Klingberg


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NEWS: Cleveland Museum of Art Names Director of Performing Arts


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Tuesday Links: Gay = Gift From God

Saul Armendariz, the world-famous Mexican-American luchador (wrestler) known as "Cassandro El Exotico" at home in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Katie Orlinsky

Saul Armendariz, the world-famous Mexican-American luchador (wrestler) known as “Cassandro El Exotico” at home in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Katie Orlinsky

  • “Being gay is a gift from god.” No, that doesn’t come from an evangelist, it comes from Cassandro, one of the most famous lucha libre wrestlers to wrestle as an exótico, the sissy, drag complement to wrestling’s macho elite. [The New Yorker]
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem has chosen three young artists (all 30 or younger) for slots in this year’s Artist-in-Residence program, a year-long residency that grants each artist $20,000 in fellowship money. Those artists are…drumroll, please! Sadie Barnette, Lauren Halsey, and Eric Mack. Lauren and Eric both received their MFAs from Yale. [Art Daily]
  • More news from the Studio Museum: Amanda Hunt, a CCA alum and curator at LAXART, has been hired as the museum’s Assistant Curator. Making waves. [Art Daily]
  • Miss the Emmys last night? Us too. Gawker has the highlights. [Gawker]
  • Within the span of 30 years, someone has had a baby that has grown up—maybe he received a PhD and got married along the way. 30 years also happens to be the length of time it took the Indianapolis Museum of Art to commission a Roy Lichtenstein sculpture. The project had been abandoned in the late 1980s due to cost issues. [NUVO]
  • Hrag Vartanian discusses the damage the wars in the Middle East are causing on archeological sites. [Hyperallergic]
  • Fakes plague the Chinese antiques market. In an effort to combat this problem, private reference libraries are being built to better establish provenance and scholarship. [The Art Newspaper]
  • 57 percent of internships at nonprofits are unpaid, compared with 34 percent at for-profit businesses.[Al Jazeera America]
  • We knew it! The G Train isn’t the worst! It’s the 2, but we think the L easily outsucks the G, too. Readers? [Animal New York]
  • Amazon has bought Twitch. As for what this means for feeds of fish playing street fighter, we hope, nothing. [Vox]

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Author:Paddy Johnson and Corinna Kirsch

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