Art inspires everything – right from fashion and food to technology. And 2018 has been a fine and memorable year in the year of art. However, it has not been without some really interesting and bizarre happenings – right from Banksy’s painting that self-destructed just moments after it was sold at an auction for more than a whopping £1 million to a 60-year-old art enthusiast falling into a hole that was meant to be an installation painted black by British artist Anish Kapoor.
Looking back at 2018, here are some interesting stories from the world of art.
Kochi Muziris Biennale redefined itself
From a library of rare books to highlighting Jewish culture, the Kochi Muziris Biennale has expanded the definitions of art. Making space for marginalised voices, this year’s Biennale did not shy away from important issues right from #MeToo to casteism. The festival, which is in its fourth edition, also featured an off-beat project called ‘Edible Archives’, that is serving art on a plate, literally.
A man fell into an 8-foot artwork
An art patron from Italy in the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal got drawn to a piece of art he thought was a two-dimensional painting, which in reality was an art installation with an 8-foot hole, and actually fell into it.
The man was looking at “Descent into Limbo,” which is an installation painted black by British artist Anish Kapoor, so that it appears bottomless. Created in 1992, it is painted with the world’s blackest pigment in the world, Surrey Nanosystems’ nanocarbon-based Vantablack, to which he has exclusive rights.
Oldest drawing in human history found
A new study published in the journal Nature carries information about the earliest known drawing in human history – a red, cross-hatched pattern that looks somewhat like a series of hashtags stitched together.
This drawing is almost 73,000 years old and predates previously discovered abstract and figurative drawings by at least 30,000 years, according to the study. The cross-hatched pattern drawn in ochre had been buried till now in Blombos Cave, near the southern tip of South Africa, east of Cape Town. It’s a site that contains some of the earliest known evidence of modern human cultural activity.
Banksy’s painting self-destructed after being auctioned
A famous painting of the elusive street-artist Banksy shredded itself only moments after it was sold at an auction for more than a whopping £1 million – a move many are describing as the ‘most audacious pranks in art history’.
The surprising incident took place at London’s noted auction houses, Sotheby’s, where a stencil spray painting of Banksy’s most iconic images ‘Girl With Red Balloon’ was up for sale. But moments after the final hammer went down, a shredder installed within the frame cut the print into narrow strips. The move left everyone in the room in a frenzy — some were shocked, others couldn’t stop applauding the artist for his brilliance.
The 2006 artwork, which shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon sold for £1.042 million.
— Vanessa N. Hernandez (@VanessaVonZed) October 6, 2018
Vermeer’s work on an app
The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, which owns what is perhaps Vermeer’s best-known masterpiece, “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” collaborated with Google Arts & Culture in Paris to build an augmented-reality app that creates a virtual museum featuring all of the artist’s works.
As reported by the New York Times, for the app that is free for its users, “the Metropolitan Museum of Art contributed images of all five of its Vermeer masterpieces, while the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, each with four, also gave photographs of theirs. Two more came from the Louvre, and three from the Frick Collection. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has shared an image of “The Concert,” the Vermeer that disappeared after being stolen from the museum’s collection in 1990.”
Has it not been an interesting year?