By Deb A.
The dog in Rembrandt's masterpiece is slowly fading away as a white haze creeps over the 12 x 14-foot painting. It is time for The Night Watch to be restored.
Rembrandt reinvented the portrait with his The Night Watch in 1642. Commissioned to paint a group portrait of a civic guard, he moved beyond the tradition of depicting the subjects in a static pose and opted to instead tell a story by painting the men going into action.
The Night Watch is the jewel in the Rijksmuseum's crown and will remain on view to the public as it is analysed and restored in front of a live audience: It will stay in the Night Watch Hall throughout (albeit behind a glass chamber), and a live feed will be broadcast online for the world to watch. The museum's director, Taco Dibbits, explained that The Night Watch "is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It belongs to us all, and that is why we have decided to conduct the restoration within the museum itself--and everyone, wherever they are, will be able to follow the process online."
The restoration is due to begin in July 2019, after the museum has marked the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt's death with an exhibition of its collection of over 400 of the artist's works. The restoration is expected to take several years. Don't forget to tune in!
By Deb A.
Fall is here, and with it come fond memories of elementary school book fairs. Fortunately adults can have their fun too: No matter what continent you're on, there's a book fair for you this year.
South African Book Fair
September 7–9; Johannesburg, South Africa
The SABF takes place at the end of South African's National Book Week and will feature a storytelling festival, poetry and philosophy cafés, and even a magic tent alongside over 40 exhibitors.
Brooklyn Book Festival
September 10–17; New York City, U.S.A.
New York City's largest literary celebration will include over 50 events highlighting the city's literary diversity.
Indonesia International Book Fair
September 12–16; Jakarta, Indonesia
"It's a book affair" is the tag line of this event, which was established in 1980.
The 39th International Manila Book Fair
September 12–16; Manila, Philippines
Visitors can check out over 100 exhibitors, including an entire floor of children and young adult titles.
NY Art Book Fair
September 20–23; New York, U.S.A.
Printed Matter's 13th edition of the NY Art Book Fair is a free event with 365 exhibitors and a range of programme highlights.
21st Nairobi International Book Fair
September 26–30; Nairobi, Kenya
The theme for this year's event is "Books for Nurturing Skills."
Göteborg Book Fair
September 27–30; Gothenburg, Sweden
The Göteborg Book Fair bills itself not only as "the most important event in Scandinavia for people in the book business," but also "an arena for debate."
Baltimore Book Festival
September 28–30; Baltimore, U.S.A.
Hundreds of authors will converge in Baltimore for three days to take part in nonstop readings on multiple stages, panel discussions, and workshops.
Oak Knoll Fest XX
October 5–7; New Castle, U.S.A.
Over 40 printers are due to exhibit at this fine press book fair, whose theme for 2018 is "Bringing it on Home."
October 10–14; Frankfurt, Germany
Perhaps the world's best known book fair, this year the Frankfurter Buchmesse celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Vancouver Art Book Fair
18–21 October; Vancouver, Canada
Canada's very first international art book fair is a festival of artists' publishing that will include over 100 local, national, and international publishers this year.
Miami Book Fair
11–18 November; Miami, U.S.A.
The Miami Book Fair includes a week of readings and discussions with over 450 authors, a street fair, and a partnership with The Children's Trust that delivers around 3,500 free books to children every week.
By Deb A.
He was Canada's unofficial poet laureate, documenting the nation's past and present and guiding Canadians to a clearer understanding of their own cultural identity. Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, solo artist, and activist, died of brain cancer on October 17th. And while he held that his writing could only be completed through performance, his lyrics are still powerful in black and white.
Nautical Disaster (1994, Day for Night)
I had this dream where I relished the fray
And the screaming filled my head all day
It was as though I'd been spit here
Settled in, into the pocket
Of a lighthouse on some rocky socket
Off the coast of France, dear
One afternoon four thousand men died in the water here
And five hundred more were thrashing madly
As parasites might in your blood
Now I was in a lifeboat designed for ten and ten only
Anything that systematic would get you hated
It's not a deal nor a test nor a
Love of something faded
The selection was quick, the crew was picked in order
And those left in the water
Got kicked off our pant leg
And we headed for home
Then the dream ends when the phone rings
"You doing alright?"
He said, "It's out there most days and nights
But only a fool would complain"
Anyway, Susan, if you like
Our conversation is as faint a sound in my memory
As those fingernails scratching on my hull
By Deb A.
If you're in need of some inspiration to begin your week, look no further:
Art is good for us: On Wednesday the British Parliament will announce the results of its two-year inquiry into arts, health and wellbeing. In anticipation of the report, Nicci Gerrard offers an eloquent account of the role of arts in helping people with dementia. (The Guardian)
Beware the selfie: A single snapshot was to blame for the domino effect that knocked over a row of plinths holding $200,000 worth of art. Too perfectly awkward to be true? (The New York Times)
Sketching the unknown: How artists and researchers teamed up to find and introduce new species to the rest of the world. (The Atlantic)
Illustrator, cartoonist, trailblazer: Canadian artist Jillian Tamaki's new book of graphic short stories marks her emergence as a "consummate storyteller". (The Walrus)
Visual activist: Photographer Zanele Muholi highlights racism, homophobia, and hate with Somnyama Ngopnyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, a series of self-portraits she took every day for a year. The Guardian dedicates two spaces to her work, and rightly so: a striking photo gallery and a compelling article.
When is a Modigliani not a Modigliani? Twenty-one artworks have been confiscated from a major exhibition in Genoa after several were confirmed as fakes. (The Telegraph)
The Commuter Pig Keeper? You still have time to vote for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. (The Bookseller)
Agave alumna: Agave Magazine contributor Karla K. Morton's twelfth book, Wooden Lions, is now available.
By Deb A.
It's that time again: here's what may have slipped under your radar.
As classic dystopian fiction surges to the top of bestseller lists, Margaret Atwood wrote about The Handmaid's Tale and the significance of bearing witness in America's current political climate for the New York Times.
The Guardian looks at the numbers and concludes, happily, that hate doesn't sell.
Because you've already clicked 'agree': R. Sikoryak has turned iTunes's Terms and Conditions into a graphic novel.
Do you hear characters' voices even after you've put down your book? You're not alone.
The shortlist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is on display in London.
Co-edited by Agave Magazine favourite Mahvesh Murad, The Djinn Falls in Love is out now in the UK and will be available in North America from March 14th. The Washington Post loves it and you will too.
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