Results tagged “Hot Topic” from ARTicles

While some of us are basking in an all-William-Kentridge-all-the-time moment, the matter of who and/or what killed Caravaggio demands our contemplation as well. Granted, this is a 400-year-old mystery, yet it made a strong bid for renewed attention this week, notably with Stacy Meichtry's terrific Wall Street Journal piece on Silvano Vinceti, the Italian TV host who's leading the charge to dig up as many graves as necessary in order to find the artist's ancient bones. (Footnote: "Mr. Vinceti recently announced plans to unearth Leonardo da Vinci. His goal: debunk claims that the Mona Lisa is a self-portrait of the painter and, if possible, prove he was a vegetarian--a hunch Mr. Vinceti has had for years." So: Get your shovels ready for that.)

As Michael Day reports in The Independent, "researchers from the universities of Ravenna and Bologna have prepared DNA tests on the corpses in a Tuscan crypt that many believe contains [Caravaggio's] remains. They have already narrowed their investigation down to nine corpses, which have been sent to Ravenna for carbon-dating."

Reuters' Marie-Louise Gumuchian duly visits the Italian town of Caravaggio, where "a team of Italian anthropologists" went this week to conduct DNA "tests with possible descendents -- some of them carrying derivations of the family name. As Caravaggio died childless the team looked for the painter's closest blood descendents in search of a match."

Meanwhile, in The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman largely ignores the quest for the artist's remains in favor of discussing his work -- including the argument that "Caravaggio has gradually, if unevenly, overtaken Michelangelo."

March 12, 2010 2:24 PM |

It would be priggish to ignore the run-up to the Oscars as the week's big arts story -- though it's safe to say none of us needs to read another piece comparing "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker." It is, after all, a packed field this year.

So packed, what with the 10 nominees for best picture, that the Kodak Theatre is getting uncomfortably crowded, at least in terms of the number of people jostling for orchestra seats. In a story about Oscar-ceremony ticket demand, Variety raises the specter of nominated producers being seated in the parterre. Horrors: the back of the house!

The Wall Street Journal does the math and concludes that a best-picture statue for "The Hurt Locker" would smash a record held by Woody Allen since 1978: lowest-grossing winner "in modern history -- and maybe ever." Women & Hollywood, meanwhile, contemplates what it means if Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win best director, and what it means if she doesn't.

The New York Times poses the question, "Do the Oscars Undermine Artistry?," while the Associated Press notes the corn industry's very different concern: that a best-documentary win for "Food, Inc." could damage its reputation.

Also, a bit of fun: The Los Angeles Times suggests chocolate dresses as a good look for the red carpet, and TheWrap offers a story and slideshow on a pair of human-size, "mysterious 'skeleton-Oscar' statues" that appeared Thursday morning in Los Angeles, one near the Hollywood sign.

March 5, 2010 10:55 AM |


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