Basquiat for kids: Caldecott winner Javaka Steptoe on ‘Radiant Child’

Twelve years ago, New York illustrator and author Javaka Steptoe went to the Brooklyn Museum to see an exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art. As Steptoe marveled at the colorful, abstract and wonderfully childlike paintings, the seed of an idea started to sprout. I should make a children’s book about Basquiat, Steptoe thought. On the surface, Basquiat’s…

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A Glimpse At How Creative People See The World

Many of us will admit to being dumbfounded when standing in front of a painting. We see shapes, patterns, and squiggly lines on a canvas, with little to no understanding of what it conveys. Others are able to easily create a narrative behind the artwork because they physically see the world differently than the rest of…

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Abstracting the savaged body of Emmett Till

In August 1955, a 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago, Emmett Till, was visiting relatives in small town Mississippi. He went to buy bubblegum at Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market. While he was there, a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, a cashier, accused Emmett of whistling at her and making untoward physical and verbal advances. Three nights…

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Ryan Gander twists modernism with ‘softness’

Modernism was the most progressive movement in the society back in the late 19th century. However, decades have passed and the newness of modernism has faded. British conceptual artist Ryan Gander challenges the outdated idea of modernism and breathes new life into the movement with “softness” at “Soft Modernism” exhibit at Gallery Hyundai in Seoul. This…

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Huh’s retrospective showcases restless spirit

Huh Dong-hwa, director of the Museum of Korean Embroidery, believes Korean “bojagi” (traditional wrapping cloth) will someday be recognized as abstract art, just like Korean modern art pioneer Kim Whan-ki’s paintings. It is no coincidence that the 91-year-old collector and artist Huh is holding a solo exhibition at the Whanki Museum, which is dedicated to the…

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She’s back: ‘Whistler’s Mother,’ a more exciting painting than you might think, returns to Chicago’s Art Institute

CHICAGO — The first time “Whistler’s Mother” came to Chicago, it was a sensation. It was the “Most Talked of Canvas” in the exhibition of celebrated works the Art Institute showed in conjunction with the 1933 World’s Fair here, according to a Tribune headline of the time. Now James McNeill Whistler’s iconic but little traveled 1871…

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