Apr 04

Mountains of Books Become Mountains

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I thought I’d seen every type of book carving imaginable, until I ran across these jaw dropping creations by Guy Laramee. His works are so sculptural, so movingly natural in their form, they’ve really touched me. His works are inspired by a fascination with so-called progress in society: a thinking which says the book is dead, libraries are obsolete and technology is the only way of the future. His thoughts:

“One might say: so what? Do we really believe that “new technologies” will change anything concerning our existential dilemma, our human condition? And even if we could change the content of all the books on earth, would this change anything in relation to the domination of analytical knowledge over intuitive knowledge? What is it in ourselves that insists on grabbing, on casting the flow of experience into concepts?”

Carving into the discarded stacks of books, he has created fantastic, romantic landscapes which remind us that though our fascinations and the value we put on different ideas have changed, we as a species have not evolved that much.

“Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are.”

See more of his beautifully meditative works at

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May 09

Bruno Catalano – In Search of Missing Pieces

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‘In Search of Missing Pieces’ is a series of original sculptures by French artist Bruno Catalono.

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Nov 01

Artist, drag queen, former nudist and born again Christian James Kuhn has turned his hand to face painiting. Banana anyone?

Kuhn describes his creations as self-portraits because he uses his own face as the canvas for his work.

In his blog Kuhn says: “I really have become totally obsessed with face painting and i think about what i can do next all the time.”

Kuhn does his own take on Mickey Mouse but on the theme of oranges.

Here Kuhn uses real popcorn to add more realism to his popcorn box creation.

Kuhn turns his face into a cheeseburger complete with gherkin. He started face painting his face after he was snowed in by 12ins of snow and had to miss work.

Corn on the gob … sweet

A rockin’ role … as Kiss

A-peeling … monkey mug

Use your melon … go green

Basket case … food for thought

Work-of-art … bodybuilder

Kebab … what are skew looking at?

Fruity … strawberry look

Happy … painted smile

Kuhn’s unique take on a halloween Dracula mask showing two screaming faces joined together.Two-faced … don’t look, he’s behind you!

Sweet tooth … pineapple

Snack attack … feeding the face

Operation … board game

What’s the point? … prickly

Phis-hog … pig

Baby face … embryo

Tut tut … Pharaoh-face

Air head … James’s face as the Goodyear blimp

Bird-brain … Tweety Pie

Kuhn turns his face into a cheeseburger complete with gherkin. He started face painting his face after he was snowed in by 12ins of snow and had to miss work.

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Apr 12

Update 14/May/2008

Naked painting hits record sales

A PAINTING of a naked jobcentre supervisor has sold for a record £17.2million.

It is the largest ever amount paid for a piece of work by an artist who is still alive.

The life-size painting called Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, by German artist Lucian Freud hit the world auction record when it sold at Christie’s today.

The masterpiece was sold by a private European collector in a sale at New York’s Rockefeller Centre.

The previous world auction record for a work by a living artist was by Jeff Koons’ Hanging Heart, which fetched $23.5m (£11.3m) last year.

The 1995 Freud painting is of London benefits supervisor Sue Tilley, now 51, sleeping on a dilapidated sofa.




Ms Tilley, now a Jobcentre manager, said: “I’m thrilled. I still can’t believe such a bizarre thing has happened to me. It hasn’t sunk in properly.”

It was the first time Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, which was the highlight of Christie’s New York Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, had appeared at auction.

The 85-year-old British artist first painted “Big Sue” in Evening In The Studio (1993), for which Ms Tilley had to lie in an uncomfortable pose on a bare floor.

Freud then bought the ragged sofa depicted in the 1995 painting for Ms Tilley – who was introduced to Freud by Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery – to lie on.

Ms Tilley, who posed for Freud for four years in the early 1990s, has said in the past of being his muse: “I think he probably picked me because he got value for money. He got a lot of flesh.”

A Christie’s spokesman said: “This picture is a simple and seemingly uncomposed depiction of one of the key features of Freud’s art – the forceful and undeniable physical presence of people and things.”

Before last night’s sale in New York, the auction record for a Freud painting was $19.3m (£9.3m) set in November 2007 for IB And Her Husband (1992).


Big Sue


THIS lifesize painting of a fat Jobcentre supervisor slumbering naked on a dilapidated old sofa is expected to smash auction records next month.

Lucian Freud


The masterpiece, titled Big Sue, by British artist Lucian Freud, 85, is tipped to fetch £18million at the sale in New York.

London benefits supervisor Sue Tilley, now 51, who posed for the picture in 1995, said: “I think he picked me because he got value for money. He got a lot of flesh!”

While Sue might not be a typical oil painting, the picture will be the most expensive piece of work by a living artist.

It is on view at Christie’s in London from today.


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