2,300-Year-Old Apse Discovered in Istanbul’s ‘City of the Blind’

During an excavation in Istanbul’s historic Haydarpaşa train station, archaeologists discovered a semicircular apse—a structure commonly associated with ancient churches—dating to the 3rd century B.C.E. It is the latest find at the site of the ancient port city of Chalcedon by a team led by archaeologist Mehmet Ali Polat. According to the Turkish publication Hurriyet Daily News, which first reported the news, it may be the oldest building excavated at the site so far.

While archaeologists are still unsure of the newly discovered apse’s specific function, they believe the area would have been sacred. In ancient architecture, an apse was often located at the end of an aisle, where a recessed niche could hold the statue of a deity. The building where the apse was discovered could have functioned as a shrine or possibly even a mausoleum.

Chalcedon, also known as Khalkedon, was founded by Megarian Greek colonists on … Read the rest

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$33 M. Basquiat Leads Sotheby’s Jay Chou Curated Sale in Hong Kong

Sotheby’s will debut its celebrity-driven ‘Contemporary Curated’ series in Hong Kong on June 18th with Taiwanese singer Jay Chou acting as the influencer. The heart-throb won’t be the only star celebrated in the series. A work by Jean-Michel Basquiat that famously appeared in the background of the New York Times Magazine cover story from 1985 that anointed him as the artist of the “Downtown” generation will lead the evening sale in Hong Kong with a HKD 255 million ($32.8 million) low estimate.

The sale will also mark the last official act of Sotheby’s star specialist, Yuki Terase, who can legitimately claim a significant role in development of the Asia as a driving force in the Contemporary art market. Closing her career at Sotheby’s with Jay Chou, who appeared on ARTnews’s list of 50 collectors under 50 to watch, is a fitting bookend for the woman who brought Western artists … Read the rest

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A Trio of Visual Catalogs Celebrates the Innovative Figures Who Pioneered Modern Information Graphics

Emma Willard, Temple of Time. Courtesy of Information Graphic Visionaries and David Rumsey Map Collection

A new book set honors the lives and legacies of three figures who fundamentally altered the way we communicate and organize data still today. Information Graphic Visionaries is a catalog trio dedicated to educator and entrepreneur Emma Willard, statistician and founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale, and scientist Étienne-Jules Marey, who all brought insight and clarity to the modern world by conveying complex information in visually compelling and convincing manners. Edited by RJ Andrews of Info We Trust with art direction by Lorenzo Fanton, the series unveils these previously overlooked histories through newly discovered graphics and prominent works paired with contextual essays and annotations.

Through a combination of atlases, wall hangings, and textbook woodcut graphics, Emma Willard: Maps of History explores how Willard invented new conceptions of time and ultimately defined chronology in the United … Read the rest

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Submerged for Seventy Years, Lost Italian Village of Curon Emerges from Drained Lake

For over seventy years, a lone church tower rising from the middle of a lake seemed to be all that was left of the Italian village of Curon. This strange sight became popular among tourists seeking to create unusual Instagram posts, and even spawned the 2018 novel Resto Qui (I’m Staying Here) by Marco Balzano as well as the Netflix thriller Curon (2020).

The iconic 14th-century steeple was the only visible remnant of a village that once housed roughly 900 people. Curon had been part of Austria until 1919, so the residents, many of them unable to speak Italian, were ill-equipped to fight the plan to unite lakes Resia and Curon—two of three natural basins in the Resia Pass area of the southern Alps—thereby submerging their homes for the sake of producing hydroelectric energy. The construction of the dam was postponed by five years due to World War II; yet … Read the rest

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An Expansive Exhibition Pairs Two Indigenous Artists to Explore the Power of Socially Engaged Artmaking

“Each/Other,” (2021) about 700 bandannas, approximately 16 x 9 feet, a collaboration between Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger

A monumental patchwork wolf, warriors sparring with a fang-bearing snake, and an abstract woolen tapestry made of restored blankets comprise Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger, which opens this weekend at the Denver Art Museum. The expansive exhibition—featuring 26 mixed-media sculptures, installations, and wall hangings—joins two of the leading Indigenous artists working today in a manner that distinguishes both the connective threads and nuances within their bodies of work.

Situated at the center of the space is the 16-foot creature the pair created together by fashioning about 700 patterned bandannas submitted by an international crew around a steel armature. The collaborative installation, titled “Each/Other,” physically tethers Watt’s and Luger’s individual artworks while drawing on the socially engaged aspects inherent to both of their practices.


Cannupa Hanska Luger, “Every One”

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Here Are the Best Pushpins for Your Studio and Workspace

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With a plastic or aluminum head and a sharp metal point, pushpins are essential to any studio, classroom, or office. The humble pushpin, precursor of the thumbtack, was invented and patented in 1900 by Edwin Moore of Newark, New Jersey. Moore’s original pins were made of glass and steel, and he referred to his creation as a “pin with a handle.” After making and selling his invention for several years, Moore founded the Moore Push-Pin company in 1904. Today’s pushpins are useful for affixing studies, bits of inspiration, or memos to a corkboard or wall. But they can be great assistants for specialized projects, too. You can use them to stretch canvases, elevate canvases for drip paintings, or use them as mini grips to hold while tilting a wet Read the rest

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A Satirical New Animation by Greenpeace Swamps Boris Johnson in a Gushing Sea of Plastic

Greenpeace’s new campaign opens with a single bottle bouncing off Boris Johnson’s head mid-press conference before a waterfall of plastic overwhelms the prime minister and carries him out to the street. The satirical and pressing animation pours the equivalent of the 1.8 million kilograms of waste the U.K. sends to other countries each day into Downing Street, which topples Johnson and Michael Gove as it literally engulfs the British political landscape.

“Wasteminster: A Downing Street Disaster” is the organization’s latest effort to put pressure on the government to enact new policies around recycling and the environment. “Much of (the plastic waste) ends up illegally dumped or burnt, poisoning local people and polluting oceans and rivers,” says Greenpeace U.K. political campaigner Sam Chetan-Welsh. “The government could put a stop to this but so far Boris Johnson is only offering half measures. We need a complete ban on all Read the rest

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The Best Markers for Young Artists Will Open Up Worlds of Creativity

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Water-based markers have bright colors and a smooth application. They are able both to fill in large spaces quickly and to draw fine lines. They also come with a unique problem: Unlike crayons or colored pencils, they can dry out overnight if a cap is left off. When choosing the right markers for your child, it often comes down to balancing quality with affordability. Ahead, we review some top-notch selections that would be excellent additions to any budding artist’s tool box.

Crayola Ultra Clean Washable Markers
Made by what is arguably the most famous manufacturer of children’s art supplies, these washable markers are ideal for parents and teachers. They are safe for kids ages three and up, and the nontoxic inks wash from a range of surfaces … Read the rest

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Coronavirus Satirically Tops Kitsch Figurines Sculpted with Porcelain

“Holland” (2021). All images © Chrystl Rijkeboer, shared with permission

Artist Chrystl Rijkeboer contemporizes sentimental porcelain figurines with a present-day twist: spiky COVID-19 molecules obscure the characters’ facial features, rendering the largely wealthy and ornately dressed figures both anonymous and commonplace in modern contexts.

Whether posing for a portrait or mid-curtesy, Rijkeboer’s pieces satirize the long-crafted Meissen figurines, which have been in production since the 18th Century and often romanticize an antiquated world “where women do not represent any relevance but being nice and glamourous,” she tells Colossal. “For me, it is mostly about the position as a woman and an artist. The pandemic made it quite clear that artists are the first to be labeled as unnecessary.”

Living and working in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Rijkeboer has crafted an extensive COVID-themed collection, which includes ubiquities like Zoom calls and masks, all of which you can see on her site. (via … Read the rest

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The Best Luminous Markers for Otherworldly Effects

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In the early 1900s, Dr. Sabin Arnold von Sochocky formulated a radium-based paint that glowed in the dark. For many years the radio-luminescent paint was used on things like watch faces so they could be read in the dark. Unfortunately, it was highly hazardous, and von Sochocky’s premature death was likely caused by exposure to the material over his lifetime. Now, glow-in-the-dark ink in items like markers and paint pens contains phosphors like zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate, which slowly radiate the light that they have absorbed (hence the need to “charge” such materials with light). Today’s glowy art tools are safe and nontoxic, freely used by kids and adults alike. Find five of our favorite glow-in-the-dark markers and pens below, for when the light bulb of inspiration switches Read the rest

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