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Most of us are familiar with the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois. But we are perhaps less aware of her drawings and paintings. This article emphasizes their feminist viewpoint, but I prefer to see them as exquisite art, without the limiting adjective. More about her life can be found in another article from 2013, and some of her lesser-known sculptures are shown in this piece from 2010.

For those of you interested, as I am, in the stately creatures known as giraffes, there has recently been a discovery of a rare white giraffe in Kenya. The condition is known as leucism, which restrains pigmentation, and has been seen in a number of animals includng peacocks, penguins, hippos and snakes. Girafffes generally can live up to 25 years in the wild, although their population had fallen by 40% over the past 30 years. Additionally, the young ones frequently die before they reach the age of 6 months because they are killed by wild dogs, hyenas and lions.

Jasper Johns has announced that he will designate his 170-acre property in Connecticut to be an artist's retreat after his death. Johns, now 87, plans to set up an endowment to operate and maintain the estate, which will be open visual artists, musicians, poets and dancers. Located in the small town of Sharon, the estate now includes a pond, 6 houses, apple orchards, and trails. A maximum of two dozen artists will be welcome, for up to 3 months at a time.

"The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg" is the title of a mid-career retrospective of artist Takashi Murakami at the Museum of Contemorary Art in Chicago. The phrase, known in Japanese folklore, tells the story of an unhappy octopus that eats off its hurt leg and finds that a new one grows in its place. Other aspects of Japanese culture are reflected in the works on view as well. Of note is the figure DOB, who first appeared as a character in paintings like ZuZaZaZaZaZa and eventually showed in up sculpture. DOB became a plush toy, sticker, and line of handbags. The exhibition catalog includes some pop-out paintings.

Art World warns of 7 materials used by artists that are unsafe and even deadly. Included are such items as cadmium, lead, fiberglass, and polyester resin. Eva Hesse's brain tumor, which caused her death at age 34, is speculated to have arisen from her use of polyester resin as well as fiberglass.

As suggested in an earlier post here, Yayoi Kusama has opened her Museum in Tokyo, complete with an infinity room and a large pumpkin sculpture. There are also large polka dots and mirrors in the elevators. You may also want to read an interview with her.

Watch a fascinating video of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" painted on water by Turkish painter Garip Ay. His technique, called Ebru, is an ancient one and has been called Turkish Paper. Here the process is applied to a contemporary work.

A recently discovered essay written by an early 19th century slave, was found at the New York Public Library. The author, George Moses Horton, taught himself to read and composed poetry, eventually becoming the first African American man to publish a book in the South. His collection of poetry, "The Hope of Liberty", came out in 1829. Horton was also one of the first to publicly renounce his slavery in verse.

A site called the Internet Archive maintains duplicate copies of 10 billion books catalogued and stored. The non-profit resource is located in San Francisco. Its Wayback Machine is available for free to anyone, who can search its 302 billion web pages that have been preserved and maintained. A search for giraffe.com went back to 1996, but omitted the first two years before that (we began in February, 1994), I have written to them to try and correct the omission. They replied that they have nothing prior to 1996. I know what "too old" feels like, but "too old for the history books"? That's a new one.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017