Category Archives: Art

New statue of Margaret Thatcher to have wider appeal, by being pre-vandalised

This may be more lifelike than the original

With proposals for a Mrs Thatcher statue in Parliament Square rejected for fear of vandals, a Harold sculptor has submitted plans for a ready-vandalised version.

Sculptor Digby Burns is perhaps best known locally for his acting, having appeared in an early episode of Midsomer Murders [uncredited, man walking dog by lake] and of course, his career-defining series of TV ads for Dairylea Continue reading

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Morrissey expecting “major ker-ching” when Queen dies

Former Smiths front-man Steven “Morrissey” Morrissey spends his days quietly scanning the Times obituary columns for news of Queen Elizabeth II, knowing that when she finally does pass away, his 1986 Album ‘The Queen is Dead’ will most likely be swept to number 1 by a sombre, patriotic nation.

Morrissey practising his mournful look

Morrissey practising his mournful look

“We [The Smiths] toyed with the idea of a perennial Christmas song, like Mariah Carey and Wham did, but the market was a bit crowded, so ‘How Soon is Christmas?’ eventually became the track we all know as ‘How Soon is Now?’, and ‘Santa in a Coma’ just got binned,” chirped the happy-go-lucky crooner.

“Then Johnny [Marr] said we should put down a track that played the long game – a little retirement bonus for us if you will – and we bounced around some ideas for blue ocean strategies, where we would be guaranteed to be the go-to track when some inevitable future event happened.”

That track was ‘The Queen is Dead’, and the album of the same name became one of the defining albums of the eighties, but Morrissey expects a revival of its success when the Queen finally does die.

Morrissey points to the boost Prince got when 1999 eventually happened, and the windfall enjoyed by The Primitives following the death of Princess Diana, and chuckles, “This is one set of royalties I’m really looking forward to.”

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Wayne Rooney sues over £750,000 potato photo

waynepotato

Can’t see the resemblance, myself

Legal representatives of football ace Wayne Rooney have contacted the photographer who recently sold a picture of a potato, demanding that he immediately cease from “ridiculing his client”.

The photograph, which shows a roughly head-shaped potato lightly caked in soil, sold for £750,000 when it was spotted in a London gallery by a rich idiot.

“This is clearly an attempt to ridicule my client,” insisted a spokesman for Rooney.

“It is well-known that certain unpleasant, misguided people have in the past compared Wayne to a potato, and this is just the latest example of this cruel trend.”

“The juxtaposition of vast over-valuation with the muddy root vegetable is hardly subtle, and we think the photographer should be ashamed of himself.”

Photographer Kevin Abosch seemed bemused speaking to journalists this morning.

“It’s a potato,” he muttered, shaking his head. “I have no idea what they are talking about.”

Reporters then showed him a picture of Wayne Rooney.

“Oh my God,” he explained.

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Banksy to relaunch a Dismaland the size of Wales, in Wales

wales2_small

It’s not always this good…

Inspired by the closing of the Port Talbot steel plant and the 81 consecutive days of rain in Pembrokeshire, Bristol spray can dauber Banksy has announced the relaunch of Dismaland, this time on a national scale.

“You have had to pay the entry fee at the Severn Bridge for the prototype that has been running for a few decades now anyway, so people are ready for the step up” said the celebrated vandal.

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Pile of garbage ignored by cleaners who thought it was modern art

art-installation

But is it rubbish?

Cleaners at a museum in Italy were left red-faced today after mistakenly leaving a huge pile of mess from a party, after mistaking it for a modern art installation.

The empty champagne bottles, confetti and pieces of paper did look like a confronting modern exhibit meant to represent the decadence of 1980s Italy, characterised by hedonism and consumerism, but were in fact merely a pile of old crap. Continue reading

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No trust left after BBC’s ‘Fake or Fortune’ revealed as a fake

Fake or Fortune.

Bremner, Bird and Fortune

The nation’s sense of trust in the BBC has reached an all-time low, following the revelation that its flagship art valuation program Fake or Fortune is itself a complete fake.

The program features a gullible member of the public who has bought a work of art by a famous artist at a massive discount because the work has not yet been authenticated. It’s Fiona Bruce’s job to trace the work’s history across Europe and establish the all-important provenance. The gullible owner is excited by the prospect of a genuine work worth millions, but ends the program in tears, when an expert points out that Chagall never signed his name with an S.

An investigation by the Broadcasting Standards Authority, however, found that the program was made up and none of the characters were real. The findings were that the program was filmed entirely in a studio in Manchester and shots of Fiona Bruce outside the Louvre in Paris were created by back projection, using a look-alike actress, with her voice dubbed on afterwards by Russell Crowe. And the works of art were all stage props, made in the BBC’s workshops.

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Obsessive-compulsive buys Tracey Emin’s bed

‘I had to tidy it at all costs’ claims buyer

bed

Mattress ‘should be turnered over weekly’

‘My Bed’, a stinking pit vacated by Tracey Emin, has been sold to someone who can finally give it a good home.

Harold resident Elsie Duggan remortgaged her and several of her friends’ houses to finance the deal. She told us that she ‘couldn’t wait to sort (the installation) out’, and that it would be ‘nice to have somewhere for (her son) to stay over.’

‘I may not know much about art, but I know what I like’, said Mrs Duggan. ‘And that’s hospital corners, an ironed divan sheet and the pillow case openings facing away from the door.’

Mrs Duggan first saw Emin’s work in 1999, and has had a strong urge to tackle it with a bottle of Fabreze and a bin bag ever since.
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Festivals to ban ‘legal lows’ starting with Coldplay

20140504-121318.jpg

In a bid to cut down on the recent trend of public misery, a group of 20 festivals have banned the use of ‘legal depressants’ such as Coldplay and Radiohead.

“Although not widely used in public some festival goers have been known to sit in their tents getting low using headphones to inject legal lows such as ‘Yellow’ or ‘Creep’ directly into their ears,” one organiser told us.

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Embarrassed National Gallery admits Van Dyck portrait mix-up

dickvandyke

Chim Chim my arse!

The National Portrait Gallery has admitted that the £10 million campaign to keep Van Dyck’s final self-portrait in the country might not have been good value.

“We were under the impression that this was a 17th century Flemish masterpiece,” explained gallery director Paul Nunney, “But it appears possible that it might actually be a more recent work.”

Dick Van Dyke was perhaps the foremost of the Baroque artists, who became the leading court painter in England after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders, and was particularly known for his snazzy dance routines and convincing cockney accent.

BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz agreed that there was some uncertainty about the provenance of the painting (pictured above), but pointed out that Van Dyke is credited with having had a revolutionary affect on British portraiture, turning away from the formal Tudor approach, towards a more fluid, modern style, adding: “Me ol’ bam-boo, me ol’ bamboo, You’d better never bother with me ol’ bamboo.”

A gallery spokesman admitted this morning: “On closer examination of the work, there would seem to be the possibility that this has been a Supercalifragilisticexpialifuckup.”

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Critic slams Kurt Cobain suicide note as ‘derivative’

Nirvana

Cobain fans: ‘tragic, too young’

A music critic has poured scorn on a recently revealed suicide letter, found on the body of Kurt Cobain.

The Nirvana frontman left the ‘derivative’ and ‘pedestrian’ note in his wallet, before shamelessly copying Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and other stars by dying while aged 27.

“This note, with its tired references to his wife, drugs and money, is the sort of thing that’s been done hundreds of times before”, said Q Magazine’s Gregory Mallard. “But normally with more nuance, or at least an occasional change in tempo.”
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Surgeon who branded initials into a patient’s liver hailed as ‘new Banksy’

A surgeon who secretly branded his initials into patients’ livers during operations has been hailed by the art establishment as ‘an exciting new talent to rival Banksy’.

liver-banksy

Vital artwork now showing at an in-patient ward near you

Simon Bramhall, who works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, was suspended before Christmas following the allegation that he had marked a patient, but defended himself saying his work was ‘an ironic commentary on the state of Coalition Britain and its place in a changing world.”
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Audiences forced to not watch BBC3 online, instead of not watching on Freeview

bbc3

Apparently, it’s a TV channel.

The BBC has announced plans to make viewers not watch BBC 3 online, instead of not watching it on Freeview. The move, which could save around £3 million a year, still leaves the channel costing an infinite amount per engaged licence fee-payer.

Some people are campaigning against the change, insisting that they should still be able to ignore the channel’s terrestrial output.

“It’s very inconvenient, I don’t watch the channel every night. And sometimes I record it, so I can not watch it later”, complained Pippa Delaney. “But I know the youths these days prefer to not watch something on their iPhones or tablets. So I suppose with 4G, they can now not watch it on the bus.”
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Meet the new Heiry Cornflake: Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw replaced by Prince Charles

Prince Charles passed the Duchy on the left-hand side.

Radio 1 experienced a surprise boost to its audience figures yesterday during a live audition by Prince Charles and Camilla.

Listeners in the key 15 to 29 year-old demographic turned on in their droves to listen to someone marginally less celebrity-obsessed than Grimshaw.

Initially the broadcast was delayed for a few minutes, but eventually a technician found a set of headphones that could be forced over the Prince’s ears.
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Face chip means buskers can accept ‘contactless payments’

busk credit

Check your busker is NFC-enabled before rubbing a phone on their face.

A technology firm in Dunstable is bringing street musicians into the 21st century, allowing the public to pay them by simply swiping a mobile phone against their face.

The firm Vizcorps has pioneered an operation to emplant a ‘near field chip’ under the skin of a busker. It’s relatively painless if the performer ticks the ‘anaesthetic’ option and the procedure can be paid for using Google Wallet, Zapp or PayPal.

‘I used to find all the loose change awfully inconvenient’, said ‘living statue’ Brian Grisham. ‘And besides, so few people carry actual cash these days. In the past, it was traditional to collect tips in an upturned tweed cap. But that’s outdated, fewer and fewer of us these days are accepting payment by checks.’
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‘Mock the Week’ scoring fixed say Abu Hamza, Prescott, Bieber

Fingers pointed at Mock The Week

Fingers pointed at Mock The Week

As embittered former Home Secretary David Blunkett calls for satirical television programmes such as Mock The Week to face tougher scrutiny from libel lawyers, other sourpuss victims of the BBC show’s lazy humour are urging government media watchdogs to go further and investigate the ‘suspicious’ scoring system used by the BBC on the show.

An unlikely ‘Coalition of the Mocked’, including pop-star Justin Bieber, former deputy PM John Prescott and Muslim cleric Abu Hamza have called the show’s integrity into question and say that point scoring is arbitrary at best, and at worst could be fixed, which would ‘seriously undermine viewer trust in the Corporation’.

Media insiders say that the BBC, already reeling from the controversy over executive pay-offs and the Jimmy Savile scandals, will do anything to avoid another parliamentary enquiry and are doing their best to block this, but they could be powerless in the face of a damning dossier prepared by the group.

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Damien Hirst planning application tipped for Turner prize

hirstville

“A fool and his money divided”

Artist Damien Hirst’s plan to build hundreds of houses in the north Devon countryside has been described as his most ‘breathtakingly bold’ and ‘shocking’ artistic statement since 1991’s famous ‘Rotten Shark in Brine’ piece.

In a work entitled “The Physical Impossibility of an Overdraft in the Bank Account of Hirst”, the artist has submitted a planning application to North Devon council for 750 homes, a school, shops, health centre, cycle path and a giant erect penis the size of a jumbo jet on the edge of the seaside town of Ilfracombe.

Much of the art world has praised the plans, with Tate Gallery Director Nicholas Serota insisting that the thousand buildings will blend into the countryside with all the subtlety you would expect from the man who put a 66 foot bronze statue of a pregnant woman holding a sword on the town’s seafront.

“It’s a powerful, breathtaking statement,” explained Serota, “Which makes you examine the very nature of town planning and countryside protection, and raises many questions, not least ‘Where the hell did all those fields go?'”

Not all critical opinion has been positive, however, with the whiff of plagiarism once again raising its ugly head. The Guardian’s art critic Adrian Searle has pointed out that Hirst’s plans bear more than a passing similarity to Tracy Emin’s recent work “Application for Kitchen Extension with Patio Doors”, which itself is said to heavily reference Andy Warhol’s famous “Milton Keynes” installation.

Reaction in the media has also been largely negative. The Evening Standard art critic, Brian Sewell, said simply, “I don’t think of it as art. There are countless young builders who do not get considered for the Turner prize; one thinks of Barratt Homes, one thinks of Bovis, and yet they are overlooked, purely because none of their houses are made from cows sliced in half. When will the art world learn?”

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Costa Concordia trance CD sold for €9.50

trance

Captain Schettino raised the alarm by posting this picture on Facebook

A late 20th Century trance CD recovered from the Costa Concordia has been sold at auction for a little over its reserve.

The album is rumoured to have belonged to Captain Francesco Schettino himself, it’s thought he played it to keep himself calm as he watched his ship slowly sink.

Auction house Sotheby’s were keen to emphasise the outstanding condition of the piece, which had no signs of water damage and all the little plastic teeth still in the middle.

Julie Carmichael explained that the remarkable state of preservation was one of the reasons it fetched nearly a tenner. She thinks that’s down to the Captain’s selfless bid to save the collection of house hits, before abandoning his ship almost before the alarms sounded.
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UK tells Australia to hop it over kangaroo painting: we’ll tie it down if we have to, sports

The Kongouro from New Holland by George Stubbs

The Kongouro from New Holland by George Stubbs: obviously painted before roos evolved pockets. Wonder where it kept its change?

Two galleries separated by half the planet have launched appeals to raise funds to become the permanent owners of a George Stubbs painting of a kangaroo. The National Gallery of Australia launched their appeal citing that the work is much cherished in Australia as the first painting of a kangaroo by a Western artist and has featured on coins and engravings as a well known and important work of art.

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich currently has the painting which is about as famous in the UK as a slightly popular teacher in a small village school and wants to keep it. An attitude summed up by Lemuel Auster an expert in wildlife paintings at the museum:

“This is Great Britain: we see, we take, we keep. Australia can jog on.” Continue reading

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Stars come out for village Wasp Festival

waspchild

A bait child practices being attractive to wasps

With just two days to go until the Annual Harold Wasp Festival, organizers are dusting off their tennis racquets and polishing their jam traps.

And thanks to a winter breeding programme in the loft of the local pub, their are hopes that this year could break the 1976 record.

“Back then, we took our seasonal wasp genocide for granted”, explained legendary ‘wasp whisperer’ John Horse. “We downed more than 1,200 of the little buggers  before Saturday lunchtime. Barely a bee was bruised but the jaspers were littering the streets. I’ve still got my commemorative rolled-up programme.”
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Booker Longlist includes shampoo bottle, Top Trumps card, recipe for mince

scissors

Judges currently favouring single-sided entries

Organisers of the Harold Booker Literary prize have been accused of ‘dumbing down’, after the longlist was revealed to contain nothing thicker than a pamphlet.

With the label from a shampoo bottle being amongst the selected few, some think the list is just a collection of things Ron Ronsson reads while he’s sat on the toilet.

“Not a bit of it”, said Ronsson, clutching a packet of tampons. “All of the entrants are here purely on merit. And with 13 of the buggers to read before August, did you really expect us to squeeze in a novel?”
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