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JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) ATTR. via The Romantic Agony

Does This Photo Feature the Notoriously Camera-Shy Vincent van Gogh?

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JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) ATTR. via The Romantic Agony

He may have painted dozens of self-portraits, but Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh was not a fan of being photographed. Few photographic images of the artist exist, especially as an adult. A Brussels-based auction house claims to have gotten ahold of a new one, discovered in the papers of a bookseller who was active in the Paris literary scene in the 1920s.

The photograph in question shows van Gogh (if it is, in fact, him) drinking with fellow artists Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, and Arnold Koning, with painter/politician Félix Jobbé-Duval. The French actor André Antoine stands in the middle.

It’s well known that van Gogh was friends with Gauguin and Bernard, both of whom he met in Paris and later exchanged letters with. He and Gauguin lived and worked together for two months at an artists’ colony in Arles, France in 1888. The two had a falling out shortly before van Gogh lost his ear—which, according to one theory posited by two German art historians, occurred during a fight with Gauguin. (The traditional story is that van Gogh cut it off himself.)

The man reported to be van Gogh. Image Credit: Shaunacy Ferro, Jules Antoine (1863-1948) attr. via The Romantic Agony

The auction house puts the estimated value of the image at €120,000 ($134,277). However, not all experts agree that the photograph is of van Gogh, and it did not sell at an auction over the weekend. The photo expert at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam maintains that it doesn’t even look like the artist. Furthermore, van Gogh flatly hated photography, and typically refused to be photographed, making it unlikely that he would have sat still for this one. Nor did he mention the gathering of artists in any of his letters.

This is not the only controversial image of a van Gogh lookalike. In 2004, a forensic scientist authenticated a photograph found by artist Tom Stanford of a man who bears a striking resemblance to van Gogh, but the Van Gogh Museum rejected the conclusion.

[h/t: Colossal]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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