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The latest news on Art from Business Insider
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    mofart_photomontages mountains

    • Monica Carvalho gives her travel photos a "second life" with Photoshop.  
    • Her art often combines the human body and landscapes, thus creating incredible "bodyscape" illusions.
    • Through her pieces, she primarily illustrates the endless possibilities of the imagination.

    Monica Carvalho's photos aren't always what they seem.

    The 25-year-old artist combines photos of the human body with landscapes to create stunning optical illusions that will make you look twice. 

    Her Instagram account, @mofart_photomontages, features original travel photography combined with self-portraits that are designed to illustrate the endless possibilities of the imagination to create new worlds

    Here are some of her most spectacular pieces. 

    Carvalho's passion for photography and the arts goes way back.

    In an interview with INSIDER, Carvalho said she made photo montages as a hobby until around 2015, when she realized her art could become something more.



    She started experimenting with photo manipulation when she got her first DSLR camera in college.

    "I liked giving a 'second life' to my ordinary travel photos," she said.



    She said she "decided to challenge the common perception on digital photographs" through her art.

    Carvalho now uses Adobe Photoshop, which she has taught herself to use over the past few years.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Screen Shot 2018 07 12 at 2.09.44 PM

    • The Meural smart frame displays images with stunning clarity be they high-definition photos or reproductions of paintings, even creating the verisimilitude of texture and brush strokes.
    • You can control the images displayed on the frame with physical hand gestures, by using the Meural app on a smartphone or tablet, or by using your voice with an Amazon Echo.
    • Meural offers a vast catalog of images including classic works of art accompanied by information about the works and the artists that created them.
    • It's quite expensive at $600 for a black or white frame, and $700 for a beautiful walnut wood frame, but for folks who are very interested in art and/or looking to deck out their smart home, it could be worth the splurge. 

    The first words out of my mouth when I switched on my Meural Canvas weren't all that profound, but they were telling. And in fact, it was just one word: "Whoa."

    I knew exactly what to expect, of course, having researched the technology heavily before getting a Meural and having gone through a simple enough but slightly time-consuming set up process. Yet still when a perfect reproduction of a Van Gogh self portrait suddenly appeared there in my living room, I was nonetheless impressed. And when a quick swipe of my hand near the bottom of the frame swapped out the Dutchman's work for a painting by Vermeer, I was sold. 

    Screen Shot 2018 07 12 at 2.08.48 PM

    In essence, the Meural Canvas is nothing more than a big digital picture frame, but beyond its sheer size, a few innovative features distinguish this piece of digital hardware from other ostensibly similar products you've surely seen before.

    The first thing to highlight is the gesture control capacity of the Meural. When you swipe your hand horizontally near the bottom of the frame, the image switches to the next picture in a pre-programmed catalog. Swiping your hand upward reveals a few lines of information about the painting, drawing, or photo you're enjoying and about the person who created it — it's the plaque on the museum wall, no plaque required.

    The next thing worth noting is the ease of control the Meural affords you when you use its app. From a phone or tablet, you can cycle through images, upload your own pictures, and program what the frame will display. You can curate the art displayed to suit the space, the mood, and the moment, whether you're hosting a bright and bustling holiday party or you're all alone and feeling gloomy.

    Whereas a traditional piece of artwork is placed on the wall and then remains there indefinitely, the Meural allows you to refresh your space as often as you'd like.

    Also, it's pretty funny to upload a picture of someone whose coming over to visit without telling them beforehand, and without explaining that they're looking at a digital frame. For, indeed, until inspected closely, an image displayed on the Meural Canvas doesn't look like a digital image. That is, unless you choose an image with moving elements.

    Another thing that sets the Meural apart from other digital picture frames is the fact that it can display dynamic, moving images, such as a black and white image with a hot air balloon spinning round and round before a boxer or a woman whose fingers idly dip into a swirling galaxy of stars.

    Screen Shot 2018 07 12 at 2.08.13 PM

    The Meural can be hung in landscape or portrait orientation, and you can choose from three different frame colors (black, white, and wood), so you'll surely be able to match the frame to your home, office, or other location. As for the art displayed matching? Well that's easy.

    Get a Black or White Framed Meural Canvas from Amazon for $595

    Get a Walnut Wood Framed Meural Canvas from Amazon for $695

    SEE ALSO: The 12 best smart home devices you need to live like the Jetsons

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    James Trevino doesn't just read a lot of books, he also collects them and turns them into works of art. Who said print was dead? He's is a bookstagrammer, who shares his love of books with his fans through conversation and colorful self portraits that takes hours to put together. We chatted with Trevino to find out how he does it. Following is a transcript of the video.

    James Trevino: My name is James. I'm from Romania. I'm 24 years old, and I do this thing called Bookstagram.

    It's this community on Instagram for people who obviously love to read.

    The first thing I did were these videos: book dominoes.

    And I started this angel series, where I had wings made of books, because I have this weird obsession with angels and supernatural.

    I finished law school last year and decided to take a year off. I felt like I needed a break. It was a bit restrictive with my creativity.

    I get about 80% of my books online. I never pick them because of their color. I don't have enough money to spend on something like that, and I'm actually blessed enough to have already enough books so that they are pretty much enough for any project I have in mind. I have about 1,150, something like that.

    Part of them belong to my father and are classics, and I don't particularly enjoy classics.

    I actually never bother organizing them unless I have to take a pic. Otherwise, no. First of all, I have to come up with an idea, and that is usually easier said than done.

    I have this friend, Elizabeth, who helps me with most of my pics. We brainstorm together. I take my pics in bulk, about once or twice a month.

    Some of them are fandom based, because fandom-based pics do way better.

    We usually bring out the books, we put them on the floor, and we do at first a few pics without me in them to see if they fit all right and all that stuff, and then finally we take about 100 shots and we hope one of them is good. And the whole process takes about, I don't know, two to three hours per pic.

    Sometimes you need to add details that are impossible to create with books.

    I had this idea a while back to do the Deathly Hallows symbol from Harry Potter, and basically it is a big, big triangle, and in the middle of it, there is basically a vertical line. And I was supposed to be that vertical line, and I was just too big to fit. That was taken in two parts, like one was me alone, and the other one was the triangle, and with the editing and everything it took about six hours total.

    My favorite book series is "Harry Potter." It was love at first sight. I discovered it when I was about 13 or so, and before then, I actually hated, I hated reading with a burning passion. It was just so bad. Like, when my parents tried to force me to read books, I would actually end up throwing them away.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    timothee chalamet

    • After "Call Me By Your Name" was released in late 2017, it seemed like the collective internet became enamored with Timothée Chalamet.
    • One Chalamet obsessive is Anna, a 23-year-old student from Warsaw, Poland, who told INSIDER she couldn't help but think that Chalamet looked like a work of art.
    • Thus, the Instagram account chalametinart was born.
    • The account has gone viral and it's clear to see why.

     

    After "Call Me By Your Name" was released in late 2017, it seemed like the collective internet became enamored with Timothée Chalamet, the 22-year-old actor who played the film's main character Elio Perlman.

    Among them was Anna, a 23-year-old student from Warsaw, Poland, who told INSIDER that she was not only captivated by the actor, but also his character in the movie.

    Anna said that she could envision him in Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio's "Boy with a Basket of Fruit" painting. 

    "It wasn't just Elio's curls that fitted the tone of the painting perfectly," Anna explained. "The effortless switch back and forth between English, French and Italian, impressing piano and guitar skills and his timeless charm made Timothée seem to be almost a Renaissance man. In addition to this fact, the presence of the iconic peach in the painting could not be missed, and the dried leaves worked as a type of a parallel for Elio's feelings of first love and first heartbreak."

    It was this comparison that led Anna to launch her now-viral Instagram account chalametinart in July. And while "Boy with a Basket of Fruit" wasn't her first post, it has been her most popular.

    Boy with a Basket of Fruit, c.1593, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio #timotheechalamet #chalametinart

    A post shared by badly photoshopped timmy (@chalametinart) on Jul 8, 2018 at 11:01am PDT on

    Before creating the account, Anna had no experience with graphic design, which is why she jokingly describes her posts as "badly Photoshopped Timmy."

    "To my surprise, just after a week of posting the account really blew up," Anna said. "I find it pretty surreal to see how much attention it's continuously getting, as it was never a plan to create it to be something this big. But I'm so happy to see that @chalamet is a place on the Internet where the Chalamaniacs community is able to share its love and ideas."

    The Scream, 1893 by Edvard Munch #chalametinart

    A post shared by badly photoshopped timmy (@chalametinart) on Jul 1, 2018 at 3:49am PDT on

    As her account is less than a month old, Anna is still learning the ropes. 

    "I tend to scroll through Instagram accounts of museums and art galleries quite a lot and that's where I find most of my inspiration — when I see a painting I can immediately imagine the ending result," Anna said.

    But it looks like all her research is paying off — just take a look at some of Anna's most popular posts.

    A Young Man with a Basket of Fruit (Personification of 'Summer'), 1640 by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo #chalametinart #timotheechalamet

    A post shared by badly photoshopped timmy (@chalametinart) on Jul 15, 2018 at 9:20am PDT on

    A Coign Of Vantage, 1895 by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema #chalametinart #timotheechalamet

    A post shared by badly photoshopped timmy (@chalametinart) on Jul 14, 2018 at 11:35am PDT on

    George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, 1813 by Richard Westall #chalametinart #timotheechalamet

    A post shared by badly photoshopped timmy (@chalametinart) on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:07am PDT on

    David, 1501-1504 by Michelangelo #timotheechalamet #chalametinart

    A post shared by badly photoshopped timmy (@chalametinart) on Jul 9, 2018 at 11:15am PDT on

    I guess this makes us all card-carrying Chalamaniacs now, huh.

    For more great stories, head to INSIDER's homepage.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An artist from New Jersey makes fluid art with a sink strainer


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    bernese mountain dog illustration

    Whether or not you're a dog lover, you've probably noticed that each breed has its own personality and quirks.

    Through her playful illustrations, Grace Gogarty, who goes by the name Little Tunny on Instagram and Tumblr, explores the distinct characters that comprise the canine kingdom — from socially anxious Bernese mountain dogs to attention-grabbing golden retrievers.

    Keep reading to see examples of Gogarty's hilarious cartoons and learn more about her creative process. 

    A self-taught artist, Gogarty began drawing seriously when she was 9 years old.

    As with many budding artists, her first foray into illustration was through Microsoft Paint. 

     



    "My illustration style arose organically, taking art I loved apart and rebuilding it," Gogarty told INSIDER.

    "I really spent a lot of time trying to draw realistically and studying life before I realized I'd rather just break the rules on purpose," said Gogarty, who has been drawing for 16 years.

     



    Gogarty describes her style as intentionally unpolished.

    "I think things that are 'wrong' and unpolished are a bit more interesting, personable, and fun," she said.  "I’m a messy person and I try to reflect that in my cartoons."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Torus_Cutaway_AC75 1086 1_5725

    This Sunday, July 29, 2018, marks the 60th anniversary of NASA's establishment as a US government agency, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act, its founding legislation.

    Nearly two decades later, NASA was already envisioning what post-Earth communities in space could look like.

    In the 1970s, physicists from Princeton University, the NASA Ames Research Center, and Stanford University created fantastical illustrations of massive orbiting cities for life after Earth. The scientists imagined a worse-case scenario in which our planet would be destroyed, and humankind would move to space.

    Take a look at these designs, unearthed by The Public Domain Review.

    SEE ALSO: There's a compelling reason scientists think we've never found aliens, and it suggests humans are already going extinct

    In the '70s, the scientists expected that people could travel to the first space colony by 2060. They designed three types that would orbit the sun.



    The first design is this donut-shaped spaceship that would house about 10,000 people.



    The city would be full of homes, shrubbery, and sidewalks. A river would flow through the center of the half-mile-wide ship.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Artist John McNaughton's painting title,

    • Jon McNaughton is a Utah-based artist who depicts American politics from a conservative and Christian perspective.
    • McNaughton's paintings often go viral on the internet because of their overly flattering or demeaning depictions of political figures, like President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama.
    • McNaughton, while a highly skilled painter, feels he is "at odds" with the rest of the global art community.

    Painter Jon McNaughton's works have drawn considerable attention online — from pro-Trump conservatives, and yes, even the art world.

    McNaughton is known for fawning depictions of  President Donald Trump, other Republicans, and religious figures. He is also known for his outlandish paintings of former President Barack Obama and Democrats, who are often depicted conducting heinous acts like burning the US Constitution or excoriating Jesus Christ on the floor of the House of Representatives.

    He has received high praise for his work from many Republican elected officials. His painting of the biblical figure Moses hangs inside the Louisiana Department of Justice Building. An edition of the same painting was the subject of an auction by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, a conservative Republican.

    McNaughton's most recent painting, titled "Crossing the Swamp," went viral for its recasting of Emanuel Leutze's  "Washington Crossing the Delaware" with members of the Trump administration. The painting depicts Trump as Washington, while paddling through a swamp outside the US Capitol building surrounded by national security adviser Jon Bolton holding a hunting rifle à la Elmer Fudd, Vice President Mike Pence holding the American flag, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson apparently paddling in the wrong direction.

    In an interview with Business Insider, McNaughton said the painting of Trump crossing the swamp took quite a while. He conceptualized it a year ago, but took months to fine tune the painting to its final product.

    "You hear a lot of talk about draining the swamp — Trump talked about that — and I thought, 'It's going to take a lot longer than maybe two terms of the president to drain that swamp.' I mean, that's got to take a generation," he said. "So for me I thought it made more sense to try to cross the swamp, which is what I believe Trump is doing. So I thought, 'How can I present this idea?' And the iconic painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, I thought how fun it would be to be Trump holding up his lantern and in a swamp and it just kinda evolved from there."

    "I'll get an initial idea and then I'll start thinking of ways that I can put a few more layers on the onion, so to speak, and I have a lot of fun with that," he added, noting that he will conceptualize and finish some paintings in less than a week.

    Regardless of your views on the subject matter, it is clear that McNaughton is a well-trained and skilled painter. He has been painting since childhood and feels removed from an otherwise liberal, global community of artists.

    "The art world is at odds with Jon McNaughton," he said. "Because I break just about every rule that they say you should never do. I remember somebody came into my art gallery once and said, 'This is not art. Any times you mix politics and religion, definitely not art.' And I said to him, 'That's exactly what art is.' Because what's going to bring out more emotion in the viewer than when you mix politics and art and that's the purpose."

    Traditionally left-leaning critics do not like McNaughton's work

    To most artists and art critics, his work is kitschy, sycophantic, and a parody of itself.

    Peter Schjeldahl, an art critic for The New Yorker, called McNaughton's 2010 painting "The Forgotten Man" a "dismal-looking picture" but also wrote that it "points to the rise and possible consolidation of a new nationalist, anti-cosmopolitan, anti-élitist élite, one that co-opts modern art's cynosures of energy and novelty to express and inspire a militantly rightist agenda."

    Christopher Knight, an art critic for The Los Angeles Times, called McNaughton's work "junk" that missed the mark on every level.

    "The painting is junk (yes, junk) not because its style is realist or anti-modern or the image is pandering or inflammatory (you should pardon the expression)," Knight wrote in a 2012 critique of McNaughton's "One National Under Socialism," which depicts Obama burning the US Constitution. "The primary reason McNaughton's painting is a flop is simply that conflicting interpretations can be credibly applied to an image whose only function is to illustrate one idea."

    Possibility of representing the US in Venice

    But the feelings of contempt for McNaughton's work are not universal. He says half of America will hate his work, while the other half will love it.

    "People have different views of what they consider art, and to those who hate my art, they see it as cheap propaganda. And those that like my art see it as an expression of an artist doing what he believes," McNaughton said. "And some of the most famous artists in history painted political subjects, and nobody called them propagandists. I mean, if I was to paint for the government and they paid me, yeah ,it would be propaganda. It's just kind of how different views, even in the art world, will try to define what's art and what's not."

    And it's not just him. Justin Lieberman, an American-born, Germany-based conceptual artist, thinks highly of McNaughton and has gone as far as to start a petition to convince the State Department to nominate him to represent the US at the 2019 Venice Biennale, a prestigious art exhibit in Italy.

    Lieberman sees the opportunity of sending McNaughton to the Venice Biennale as a means to counteract the elitist grip on the process.

    "I saw it as an opportunity to put the selection process in the hands of the people, rather than a cadre of curatorial elites, whose abuse of the system has created a situation in which most regular people feel that contemporary art is a big scam perpetrated on the public," he told ArtNet News in an interview. "Unlike the flood of readymades, techno-fetishist video environments, and fabricated objects churned out by studios employing innumerable assistants, McNaughton's paintings embody the American ideals of self-reliance, craftsmanship, and entrepreneurial spirit."

    McNaughton told Business Insider that he thinks the push for him to represent the US among the world's elite artists in Venice is nothing more than a troll.

    But he did not rule anything out. If he were to be nominated, McNaughton would "of course" accept, calling it a high honor. "But I don't expect [to be selected]," he added.

    A spokesperson for the State Department told Business Insider that the selection for the Venice Biennale is still in process.

    The 58th edition of the Venice Biennale has a unique theme too. Venice Biennale President Paolo Baratta, and its 2019 curator Ralph Rugoff, announced in July that the theme will be "May You Live in Interesting Times," in a nod to the global scourge of "fake news."

    "At a moment when the digital dissemination of fake news and 'alternative facts' is corroding political discourse and the trust on which it depends, it is worth pausing whenever possible to reassess our terms of reference," Rugoff said. "The fifty-eighth international art exhibition will not have a theme per se, but will highlight a general approach to making art and a view of art's social function as embracing both pleasure and critical thinking."

    SEE ALSO: How 'owning the libs' became the ethos of the right

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: North Korean defector: Kim Jong Un 'is a terrorist'


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    art supplies 4x3

    The Insider Pick:

    • The best art supplies can cost a pretty penny, but you don't have to spend all your savings to get great materials.

    • We've rounded up the best art supplies you can buy online, including graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, acrylic, oil paints, sketchbooks, canvas, and more.

    If you're going off to art school or you just love to create, you need quality art supplies. While artists who've made it past the "starving artist" stage may use incredibly expensive supplies to create their masterpieces, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg on top-tier materials. Often, more affordable options will serve you just as well, provided you have the talent. We've rounded up many of the basic art supplies you need in your studio in one handy guide. 

    As someone who's been drawing since I could hold a crayon, I've been through my fair share of graphite pencils, charcoal, sketchbooks, erasers, and paint sets. I've tried dozens of different brands over the years, and some are still my favorites.

    Here are the best art supplies you can buy:

    Updated on 08/07/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Updated prices and formatting.

    Read on in the slides below to see all our top picks.

    The best sketchbook

    Why you'll love it: Strathmore makes excellent sketchbooks with all kinds of paper, including drawing, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, and more.

    I've used Strathmore sketchbooks for years. I typically buy the ones with recycled paper, but I've also used the pastel, charcoal, and watercolor pads for when I need a different texture of paper. No matter what media you choose, these sketchbooks can handle it. 

    Of course, the standard paper will warp if you do watercolors on it, but for any kind of pen, pencil, marker, or other drawing implement, it will do the job. The paper is a good thickness and weight. 

    When it comes to the watercolor paper, it's sturdy and strong enough to stand up to lots of water. The charcoal and pastel paper have a wonderful texture to them that really works for the softer media and good blending. Starthmore's prices are fairly reasonable, too, so you can sketch away.

    Pros: Sturdy sketchbooks, great paper quality, paper types for different media, affordable

    Cons: Larger sizes cost more, specialty papers have less pages

    Buy two Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads, 9 x 12, Wire Bound, 100 Sheets on Amazon for $20.75

    Buy the Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Pad, 9 x 12, Wire Bound, 12 Sheets on Amazon for $9.71 (originally $16.99)

    Buy the Strathmore 300 Series Charcoal Pad, White, 11 x 17, Wire Bound, 32 Sheets on Amazon for $9.29 (originally $16.99)

    Buy the Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Pad, Assorted Colors, 18 x 24 Glue Bound, 24 Sheets on Amazon for $14.17 (originally $24.29)



    The best graphite pencils

    Why you'll love it: The Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph 12-Piece Set comes with all the graphite pencils you need to draw like a pro.

    If you draw with graphite pencils, you know that not all graphite is the same. This Staedtler set comes with 12 pencils in different hardnesses from 8B to 6H. For the uninitiated, the higher the number in front of the B, the softer the lead. Conversely, the higher the number in front of the H, the harder the lead.

    Most people will use 2B, HB, and B the most, but if you need deep dark blacks that blend well, you'll need 4B and up. For hard, light lines, H pencils are perfect. 

    The pencils come in a tin for safe keeping, they're easy to sharpen, and they're comfortable to hold — even when you draw for hours on end. I've used dozens of graphite pencils, but Staedtler's are the best for the price.

    Pros: Bold graphite pencils, 8B to 6H range, affordable, long lasting

    Cons: None

    Buy the Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph, 12 Pieces Set on Amazon for $11.32 (originally $20.28)



    The best charcoal drawing set

    Why you'll love it: General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set has every kind of charcoal you need to create beautiful work.

    If you're just getting started with charcoal or you want to try a new medium, this General charcoal set has everything you need, including 18 pencils, 12 sticks, a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad.

    Each pencil is labeled with its hardness level, and the set has white charcoal pencils for highlights, too. The kneaded eraser is a great blending tool, but it can also erase any mistakes fairly well. The charcoal sticks come in various thicknesses, so you can work big or small.

    The only charcoal types that are missing are powder and vine charcoal, but those are specific tools that most people won't need right away. I've used General charcoal pencils for years, and they can produce some great sketches, even though they're relatively affordable.

    Pros: Big set with many pieces, includes white and black charcoal, comes with eraser, charcoal sticks and pencils, affordable

    Cons: None

    Buy the General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set on Amazon for $28.39 (originally $29.99)



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    painting

    • A painting found in the bedroom of Jerry and Rita Alter after their deaths turned out to be a famous work by Willem de Kooning that was stolen from a museum in Arizona decades before.
    • The de Kooning painting, "Woman-Ochre," has an estimated value of $160 million.
    • The Alters, who were described as quiet, nice, and unassuming, worked in public schools and would seem unlikely art thieves. But many signs — including a photo that recently resurfaced — potentially point to them. 

    No one would have suspected Jerry and Rita Alter, a pleasant couple who lived in the tiny town of Cliff, New Mexico, of being daring art thieves. But the two, who have died, remain at the center of an FBI investigation into the unsolved theft of a hugely valuable painting. Now, a new photograph may help officials get to the bottom of the theft.

    A painting disappears from a museum and turns up on the bedroom wall of an unassuming couple 31 years later

    More than three decades ago, a man and a woman walked into the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, Arizona. While the woman struck up a conversation with the guard, the man went upstairs, then quickly returned, and the couple left, the museum's curator told NPR in 2015.

    Uneasy, the guard investigated and found the Willem de Kooning painting "Woman-Ochre" cut out of its frame. There were no surveillance cameras at the museum at that time, and no fingerprints left behind, the curator said.

    The missing painting — and the identity of the thieves — remained a mystery for 31 years.

    6WPNVV7PQMYYJKVO366Y3MVTDQ

    The painting resurfaced last year, when it was discovered hanging in the Alters' bedroom after Rita's death. (Jerry had died five years earlier.) The work was hung so that it could be seen only when the door was closed, The Washington Post reported.

    It was purchased, along with other possessions, by antiques dealers for just $2,000 in a liquidation sale of the Alters' estate, the report said.

    De Kooning was a leading painter of the abstract expressionist movement, and his works regularly attract some of the highest market values in the world. The New York Times reported that in 2006, another painting in the "Woman-Ochre" series sold for $137.5 million. The one recovered from the Alters' house is valued at $160 million, The Post said.

    It didn't take long for the purchasers, the proprietors of Manzanita Ridge Furniture and Antiques, to realize they had something special on their hands. When the antique dealers Buck Burns, Rick Johnson, and David Van Auker researched the painting, they discovered its mysterious theft, the Silver City Daily Press reported. A delegation from the museum confirmed its authenticity, and the painting was returned, but officials couldn't pin the theft on the Alters.

    A newly discovered photograph could help investigators solve the long-running crime

    But there's new evidence that the Alters were in the vicinity of the museum the day before the painting was stolen, the Arizona Republic reported last week.

    A photo unearthed by Rita's nephew, Ron Roseman, shows the couple at a Thanksgiving gathering in Tucson the day before the theft, the report says.

    A witness described the museum thieves as driving away in a rust-colored car, the report says. Roseman told the paper that the Alters owned a red sports car.

    Roseman told the Republic of the painting: "We have no idea when they got it, how they got it, if they were involved, if they bought it from someone. Ultimately there's a lot of coincidence."

    At first glance, the couple would seem extremely unlikely art thieves. Jerry was a musician, teacher, and writer, and Rita worked as a speech pathologist. Neighbors and friends described them in news reports as nice, quiet, and unassuming.

    But the couple also seemed to have a lot of money and traveled to locations around the world over the years, visiting all seven continents and more than 140 countries, ostensibly on their public-school salaries, The Post said. They also left behind more than $1 million in their bank accounts, the Silver City Sun-News reported, citing records.

    "I can't believe Rita would be involved in anything like that," Mark Shay, one of Rita's former coworkers, told The Post. He suggested that perhaps the Alters had simply purchased the painting from someone else, unaware of its origin.

    Police sketches drawn at the time appear to resemble the couple though. The Times noted that the sketch of the woman more closely resembled Jerry and that the one of the man resembled the couple's son, Joseph.

    In 2011, Jerry self-published a collection of short stories titled "The Cup and the Lip." In one, the reports say, two people steal a valuable gemstone from an art museum after outsmarting and then killing a security guard.

    Screen Shot 2018 08 07 at 10.32.45 AM

    According to The Times, the FBI's investigation is ongoing, and it has declined to comment until it is closed.

    It's possible that the mystery could never be fully resolved — but many think there may have been more to Rita and Jerry Alter than met the eye.

    For more great stories, head to INSIDER's homepage.

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    Not all all street art is spray paint and wheatpaste. London Kaye crochets large colorful murals out of yarn and ties them up to walls and fences. We spoke with Kaye in Brooklyn to watch how she creates her pieces and what is involved in the process. Following is a transcript of the video.

    London Kaye: My name is London Kaye, and I'm a street artist here in Brooklyn. Everything I make is made out of yarn.

    Yarn bombing is when you take a piece of crochet or knit and you wrap it around something, usually outside.

    I think it's great, because it takes that craft of your grandma that holds so much nostalgia and is almost reinventing it in a whole new way.

    I started crocheting when I was 13, I sold scarves to my friends and girls at my dance studio when I was growing up. After I graduated college, I was working at Apple, 9-5 job, and knew there was more to life than selling computers.

    So, I took one of my scarves I made and wrapped it around a tree outside of my house in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn and left it there. It started catching on, I haven't stopped since.

    Coming up with a piece, it always starts with an idea, and I get inspiration from current events, things going on in pop culture, bright colors; anything that kind of interests me.

    From there, sometimes, I'll draw it out, water down the shapes to the most basic shapes; from the sketch I crochet it, I glue it all together, and then I hang it up on the fence. I'll go through and tie each string up on the fence, cut the strings, take a photo and I'm out.

    I usually put up my crocheted art on chain link fence. When I started out, I had no idea it would be such a perfect canvas, because it allows you to stretch and manipulate the yarn. I also love doing it out of a water pipe or unexpected objects that usually wouldn't see crocheted.

    I like to mix a lot of different colors and textures together to create a bit more depth. I print my own crochet hooks on 3D printers, I actually just got a patent approved a few weeks ago.

    My crochet art usually lasts about two weeks. It's not the weather that hurts the crochet. The yarn does very well in rain or snow, in the heat. It's usually people that take it, but I tell myself whoever takes it, loves it so much, they can't live without it, and that kind of keeps me going.

    Out of the, probably 400 yarn bombs I've hung up, I've been stopped four times. I never got officially in trouble by the police and hopefully I'm going strong with that record.

    Right from the start, people started reaching out, brands started reaching out to me, asking them to do marketing campaigns, advertising campaigns. A couple of my favorite brand collaborations I've done is: a capsule collection with Red Valentino, which is a fashion brand based out of Rome, and I got to do 14 different store windows around the world and open up two new stores and do a capsule collection of crochet clothes; dream.

    I got to do a 25-foot by 50-foot billboard in Times Square for Miller Lite beer, all crocheted. I've worked on a Gap commercial crocheting a school bus. I've crocheted high heels for Sarah Jessica Parker.

    My favorite piece is a crocheted dragon I put up, it was on 6th Avenue between 14th and 15th street and stretched for about 20 feet. It was shooting fire out of its mouth. When it got pulled down, the community came back with ribbons saying where's my dragon, who took my dragon and it was the first time I got to see, wow, this art really does affect the people that live here and see it every day.

    Everybody has that connection to yarn, so no matter who it is, young, old, where they're from, they've seen crochet.

    I just love bringing unexpected joy to people's day and I think that's what street art does.

    I am a really big "[The] Amazing Race" fan, so I was at a sushi restaurant one night and I met the host of "The Amazing Race." We got to talking and somehow, I ended up on a season of "The Amazing Race." I came in third place. The crochet did not help at all, I was really hoping for, like, a crochet challenge, or a crochet challenge, or a crochet challenge. No.

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    'Soak' by Philip Barlow.

    • Philip Barlow's striking oil paintings show the world from a short-sighted perspective.
    • Barlow is a master of "bokeh"— the aesthetic quality of blurry, out-of-focus photography.
    • "To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality,"he says.


    Have you ever wondered what the world might look like for short-sighted people, who see distant objects appear blurred?

    Philip Barlow's paintings might show you just that.

    Barlow is a South African artist that has mastered "bokeh"— the aesthetic quality of blurry, out-of-focus photography.

    The artist has, in the past, captured the movement of day to night in Tokyo and the beaches of his native South Africa in glorious haziness.

    Most recently, Barlow has trained his lens and brush on London for his series, "still motion II," which is running at the Everard Read Gallery in London until August 11.

    "I am fascinated and amazed by the way colour has its own world of communication within itself and at the same time outwardly to the viewer. These pieces display the 'random' occurrence of life yet there is always a present and very tangible sense of 'design,'" Barlow told INSIDER.

    Barlow first captures the moments on camera before transferring the images onto a canvas with oil paint.

    Capturing still motion, Barlow says, "is incredibly challenging."

    "But when it's found, it's utterly delightful."

    "The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them. Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality," Barlow says on his website.

    Barlow's obsession with out-of-focus imagery started 17 years ago, he explained in an interview with the Everard Read Gallery.

    The artist was taking focused photos of daisies to paint in Cape Town when he realised that the then-out-of-focus background became a fascinating array of colours and shapes.

    "The primary focus of mine is one of beauty and wanting to portray a beauty that is not necessarily understandable and succinct but is something that lifts the soul."

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