Visual arts

March 29, 2015

Key works you need to know by the hand of Michelangelo: that massive sculpture in Florence of David, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the dome of St Peter’s basilica in Rome. Michelangelo is a Renaissance superstar because his works were all massive in size (think statues and buildings), because he was influenced by Greek/Roman sculpture [...]

March 23, 2015

Whenever something that is taboo becomes temporarily un-tabooed, there is a special sort of gratification that comes from it. Staying up late as a child on New Year’s Eve, accidental shoplifting (maybe), or—as seen last week in Wellington—napping in public. If like me you have napped in public, whether it be in a library, hotel [...]

March 15, 2015

You know when you were at school and it was cool to scratch your name into the desk, doodle in the margins of your 1B5 and draw all over your hands? Some cool kids bring this habit with them to university lecture theatres; Banksy’s innocent doodles at his Bristol high school were his gateway into [...]

March 8, 2015

Art has the power to influence entire generations and entire cultures. This usually happens subtly and is only picked up when a future generation looks back in haughty comparison. But the easiest way to observe art’s influence is incredibly simple – reflect upon your own life and ask yourself what pieces of art have arrested, [...]

March 1, 2015

Hailed as the cornerstone of Wellington’s art scene, the City Gallery this week debuted another critically acclaimed exhibit. We sent our team of art experts down to check it out. Immediately upon entry, an artist approached us and requested that we surrender our backpacks and coats—we were shocked! Although we were prepared for controversial avant-garde [...]

February 22, 2015

Another year lies before us, offering, but not promising, the moments and things we want and need. The calendar gives us a fresh sense of time, and all feels slightly new. With a careful tread you might make this last, but it is easy to fall victim to routine, to become disenchanted. If you do [...]

October 5, 2014

Art is robust. We’ve spent at least the last century declaring it dead and yet here it is, making a lot of money, alienating the masses, wearing black and scowling. Perhaps, then, it is a matter of strategy. Art can’t be killed by a manifesto, or the undermining of the fetishised object: its death may, just maybe, be brought about by small gestures.

September 28, 2014

The story goes like this. During exile on Saint Helena, Napoleon lived in a lodge lined with a particular kind of green wallpaper. The dye used in the wallpaper contained arsenic which reacted to the humid conditions of the island and contributed to the illness which eventually killed him.

September 21, 2014

It is good and okay to be very sincere. In her essay on awkwardness, Elif Batuman charts the latter half of the 20th century as a collapse into irony; from capitalism as Christian morality in the ’50s, to countercultural resistance in the ’60s, moral bankruptcy in the ’70s, to capitalism as faith unto itself in the ’80s, to the vague disingenuousness of the ’90s.