Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. Note: 2017 has brought some really fine sites to our attention, which we are delighted to share with you.

Let's begin with a fine public art installation called "Art of the Second Avenue Subway". The city of New York commissioned four artists to create works that would be seen by subway riders and the results are exciting.

Independent Collectors is showing the private holdings of Giuseppe Iannaccone. Scrolling through this list you will find a diverse collection of contemporary pieces, with some pretty bold selections. Well worth your time.

Plug in your sense of humor and listen to a Christmas carol as composed by artificial intelligence. It's certainly no threat to Bing Crosby's White Christmas but quite an amazing feat.

I have long admired the watercolors and paintings of Francesco Clemente. Here at Bloomberg you can see and hear an interview with the artist as he talks about his practice. Called here the Inventor of Multicultural Art, he takes us through his travels, particularly in India, and the colors and sounds that inspired his pieces.

Another giant of contemporary art is the painter and more recently sculptor David Salle. Salle goes into detail about his personal concepts as he creates each piece, and his use of gestures in the process. We stroll through his studio with him and see various paintings in the process of development as we listen to his thought behind each one. Salle states: "Good painting has immediate impact but rewards a longer viewing time".

As a former collector of African tribal art, I was fascinated to find this YouTube presentation on African and Oceanic Art from the collection of John and Marcia Friede at the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco. The curator, Susan Kloman, focuses on one particular piece of sculpture, a ceremonial rooftop figure in wood and pigment from the lower Sepik river, taking us through its history and probable meaning.

The work of Kerry James Marshall is receiving increased recognition as he prepares for his retrospective at the MCA Chicago in April which will then open at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and MOCA in Los Angeles. Marshall talks of his studio, which he calls his playhouse, and his desire to get more art with black figures in it into museums around the world. ( Be sure to see our 3D printed "Adam" sculpture,, also called "Gander", with a similar goal. The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh has just acquired a new Marshall painting, while Untitled Policeman painted in 2015, is showing at MoMA in New York.

Flowers Gallery in London is showing the mobile sculptures of Tim Lewis in a show called Beneath Above. Lewis frequently uses disembodied limbs in his work, combining them with other materials. One critic finds both humor and pathos in these pieces. At another site called Beautiful Decay you can see Lewis' striking mechanical ostrich as well as other animal-related forms.

You might give a second thought to the humble balloon, as photographer Charles Petillon aggregates them and then shows them as evocative forms in various landscapes.

The prestigious 2016 Turner Prize has been awarded to Helen Marten for her project called Lunar Nibs. The installation consists of three figures originally created for the Venice Bienniale, and in this YouTube interview Marten talks about ignoring hierarchy in her works and describes her studio as chaotic but with an inner logic to the chaos.

I have looked at many robots over the years, but by far the most eerily life-like is Erica, a product of Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro at Osaka University. Erica has life-like skin and uses artificial intelligence to respond to human questions. Sitting at a table, she is almost indistinguishable from her human companions. Her creator tells us that he wants to develop "intention and desire" for Erica, since android robots cannot understand these emotions in other people.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017