Photo of the Day

Freedom of Speech. Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), ?Freedom of Speech,? 1943, Story illustration for ?The Saturday Evening Post,? February 20, 1943.

Norman Rockwell?s American Dream

Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed

?Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell (1894 ? 1978) is celebrated as “the Dickens of the paintbrush”. His warm and often humorous images captured a unique vision of Americana. In addition to story illustrations, advertising campaigns, posters, calendars and books, Rockwell’s paintings were showcased on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post for more than forty years. In 1957 the United States Chamber of Commerce cited Rockwell as a Great Living American, saying: “Through the magic of your talent, the folks next door ? their gentle sorrows, their modest joys ? have enriched our own lives and given us new insight into our countrymen.”

Rockwell was viewed as a cornball and a square, a convenient symbol of the bourgeois values Modernism sought to topple. His long career overlapped with the key art movements of the 20th century, from Cubism to Minimalism, but while most avant-garde were heading down a one-way street toward formal reduction, Rockwell was driving in the opposite direction?he was putting stuff into art.

What would Norman Rockwell be painting now, if he were with us and in his sad-eyed, penetrative prime? Gay weddings and hockey fights; piquant scenes at the Dunkin? Donuts drive-through window; the signing into law of the Affordable Care Act, with particular attention to the round-faced child at the president?s elbow. Rockwell was as American as the Grateful Dead. He painted America, and nothing but, and the fascination of his story lies in the genius by which this rather strange, marginal-feeling man contrived to represent the inner life of a mass audience.

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Photo of the Day

A Ukranian man named Oleg Mitasov lived here, a man who suffers from a hyper-obsessive personality disorder which causes him to compulsively cover every surface in his house with layers of inscriptions.

A Ukranian man named Oleg Mitasov lived here, a man who suffers from a hyper-obsessive personality disorder which causes him to compulsively cover every surface in his house with layers of inscriptions. Inside Mitasov?s apartment. It has since been cleaned, remodelled, and turned into an office. Photo: Pavel Makov

Oleg Mitasov Texts

A Ukrainian man named Oleg Mitasov lived here, a man who suffered from a disorder. He was university educated in economics and managed a store, but he also had something called horror vacui?? ?fear of blank or empty spaces? ? a hyper-obsessive personality disorder strain causing him to scrawl his walls, his fridge, his piano. He also did street art. He had to.

He could not help himself but etch his bizarre graffiti into everything-the fridge, walls, piano, doors, even the ceilings are covered by Mitasov’s strange inscriptions.
However, some of his inscriptions are not so strange, like his sadly inspiring street art that can still be seen in Ukraine-“Happiness! I’m waiting for you here!”

Mitasov was an educated man, a Master of economics. The rumour is that his illness developed after he had left the manuscript of his PhD thesis behind in a streetcar, thus never becoming a PhD. Mitasov covered all his flat and furniture in creepy inscriptions. Some of them are legible, some are just a set of letters. “Mitasov” and “VAK” (???, the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles, where he was supposed to bring his manuscript) are common words he wrote.

Here?s a glimpse at his body of work. One man?s torturous compulsion, another man?s art.

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Face of the day


Image copyrightMAARTEN SCHETS

Lita Cabellut is one of Spain’s most successful artists, but she’s barely known in her home country. What’s more, the woman whose paintings now sell for six figure sums spent her early years living on the street.

“My childhood was like that of thousands of street kids around the world,” says Lita Cabellut. She used to roam the streets of Barcelona with other homeless children and slept in the open air.

“We looked after one another – we did whatever we liked. We took coins out of the fountains, begged Zippo lighters from sailors and stole tourists’ wallets. We used to go into restaurants and say our father was in the toilet when they served us, before wolfing down the food and running off.”

Cabellut was born in a village in Aragon, north-east Spain, in 1961. While she was a baby, she and her mother moved to Barcelona. Her mother ran a brothel in the city and Cabellut was left with her grandmother – but in reality she spent most of her time out on the streets.

“I ran errands for the prostitutes. They gave me money to buy packs of cigarettes, sandwiches, condoms or jewellery, and I kept the change.”

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Photo Of The Day

Photograph: James Nader

Photograph: James Nader

?Loins? of Longleat?

Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath, has a wife, two children, more than 70 girlfriends, immense personal wealth and his own lions.

He is nostalgic, sentimental and romantic, and he likes talking about sex. This is fortunate since, in many ways, it is his sex life that defines him.

The aristocrat is, of course, the famously polygamous and very beardy, 7th Marquess of Bath, aka the ?Loins? of Longleat’.

He is celebrated (or notorious, depending on your viewpoint) as the eccentric muralist whose bedroom walls are covered with scenes from the Kama Sutra (“I painted them in ’69,” he says, cheerily, “a fortuitous year given the subject matter”) and as the campaigning peer who preaches and practises polygyny.

“It’s catching on, slowly,” he tells me, adding by way of explanation: “A polygamist has more than one wife; a polygynist has more than one mate.” Lord Bath acknowledges a current total of 73.

He used to call them “wifelets”. Now he calls them girlfriends. Over the years they have come in all shapes and shades: a black model, a Chinese artist, a 17-year-old from Sri Lanka, a Wessex housewife.

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Photo Of The Day

1941 - Dodge Center High School Graduation Photo

1941 – Dodge Center High School Graduation Photo


The life of Shirley Ardell Mason was chronicled by Arthur Flora Rheta Schreiber in the book ?Sybil?. It was published in 1973 and then made into a television movie in 1976, starring Sally Field. Mason?s real name was not used in order to protect her identity.

For those in the field of mental health, Sybil’s is the most well-known case of the extremely rare Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder)- the study of which made and continues to make medical history.

Sybil was, at least for a time a Sensation who’d achieved recognition of the first-name-only variety.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Rex Features via AP Images

Photo: Rex Features via AP Images

High Heels Were Originally Made For Soldiers

Germany-based artist Iris Schieferstein creates these unique and unusual shoes from dead animal parts combined with other materials, and has developed quite a rabid following doing so. Ladies and gentlemen! If you have to ask how much, it?s too much.

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Whatever you do don’t make them angry, you won’t like it when they’re angry

Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Thorning-Schmidt said they were not “in a fight between Islam and the West.”

“This is not a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is a battle between ideas based on freedom of the individual and a dark ideology,” she said.

Satire ( to me at least ):

The ‘ dark ideology ‘ that has nothing to do with Islam is currently attacking the values of Freedom of Speech for the individual in Denmark. At what cost is this individual freedom of speech? Is the right to discuss Free Speech and draw provocative cartoons really worth the consequences? The fact remains that if the Freedom of speech forum had not been held and the Artist who drew Muhammad as a dog had not been there, those people would still be alive today. I don’t know what the Jewish guy who got slaughtered later had to do with it but he was silly to be Jewish knowing that Islam? er, the ‘ dark ideology hates Jews.

Really we can avoid all of this unpleasantness quite easily if we simply avoid offending the ‘ dark ideology. ‘

We know that they do not like Freedom of Speech so we can simply stop talking about it. How hard would that be really? There are so many other topics that we can talk about these days like the news that the thinking woman’s crumpet Benedict Cumberbatch is getting married.We don’t want to make them angry after all, we don’t like it when they’re angry.

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Face of the day

Today’s face of the day has had his life changed forever because of a drawing. A drawing that frankly looks like a child drew it.


I am no art critic but even as a cartoon it doesn’t impress. The offence and push back in reaction to this drawing is obscene in its intensity and violence. Last Saturday an Islamic terrorist in Denmark almost succeeded in ending the artist’s life. Who is this man that now has to lives his life under constant threat of death because of a drawing?


Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks has faced death threats for many years

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Remember my challenge to Canterbury Museum?

The other day I challenged Canterbury Museum to hold an exhibition of historical and modern art and cartoons featuring Muhammad. They had sought and gained permission to show an obscene image of a Nun masturbating with a highly offensive statement about Jesus on a T-Shirt. I suggested that they would not be able to gain permission to hold the exhibit at all, let alone get permission for each individual image.

In Denmark on Saturday? a? cafe was used as a venue for an event titled ,“Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression ” organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced several threats after caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad. What happened next is the reason why Canterbury Museum will happily insult Christianity and every other religion under the sun bar one. The religion of peace.

Three people were wounded in a shooting near a Copenhagen synagogue tonight, just hours after a gunman killed one person and wounded three cops at a free-speech event at a caf? in the Danish city, police said.

Police said it was too early to say whether the two shootings were related.

The shooting at the synagogue tonight comes as police were looking for at least one gunman day in the attack earlier in the at the Krudttoenden cafe, which Danish officials described as terrorism and an assassination attempt.

“We feel certain now that it is a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thornin-Schmidt said of the cafe shooting…

The shooting happened about 4 p.m. at an event titled “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced several threats after caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad.

“I’m not sure how many shots but I’d say about 20 or 30 shots,” sais Dennis Myhoff-Brink, who witnessed the attack . “And, people panicked of course and ran to the doors. Other people were hiding behind tables they had turned over.”

Vilks, 68, who was not injured in the shooting, said he believed he was the intended target. ? Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: ? HR/bauverein AG Darmstadt

Photo: ? HR/bauverein AG Darmstadt

Friedensreich Hundertwasser?


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