ARTS IN THE NEWS

Visual Art 

The planned removal of a painting by Picasso from a New York restaurant was stopped this week by a New York State Supreme Court judge. The painting has hung in the hallway for over 50 years. The owners of the building had intended to take it down to remove the wall it hangs on, but, according to the New York Landmarks Conservancy, who own the work, removing the piece could destroy it.

In the spirit of controversial public art, a skeletal, riderless horse by Hans Haacke and a giant thumb by David Shrigley were announced this week as the winning submissions for an installation in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2015 and 2016. The giant thumb, called “Really Good,” is meant to be, according to Shrigley, “a slightly satirical” comment on art’s power to impact society.

Music

Asphalt Orchestra, a 12-piece brass, wind and percussion ensemble, has announced plans to record a recreation of The Pixies’ 1988 album “Surfer Rosa.” The group, which bills itself as a post-modernist marching band, has previously opened for The Pixies on tour. The group has started a Kickstarter fund to finance their efforts. Session costs are expected to run around $15,000.

Film

“The Lego Movie” raked in $69.1 million in ticket sales this past weekend. The movie, based on the colorful children’s blocks, was the top offering at this weekend box offices. “The Monuments Men,” which stars George Clooney, was second, with ticket sales of $22.7 million. After spending three consecutive weeks in the top spot, “Ride Along,” a comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, was third, with sales of $9.4 million.

Television

“Shallow News in Depth,” a satirical news show produced by two Thai-Americans, is tackling the current political crisis in Thailand with wit and aplomb. The show has drawn comparisons to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” despite the fact that it’s a low budget weekly, only posted on YouTube. The show is intended to capitalize on the ironies present in current Thai politics: a billionare being hailed as the representative of the poor, and a politician with a scandal-ridden history leading the charge against government corruption.

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