This N' That: Keep In The Know With Photography News

This N' That: Keep In The Know With Photography News

Photo by Martin Bureau

Photo by Martin Bureau

By Kala Herh

Notre Dame Restoration Delayed 

Due to fears of lead poisoning, the restoration of Paris's iconic building is moved to the end of the month. 

The clean-up was halted last month over fears that the workers could be exposed to lead poisoning. The testing revealed high levels of lead contamination at the building as well as the surrounding areas. This effort is a result of the realization from the government that hundreds of tonnes of lead in the root melted during the April 15th blaze. 

Authorities now state that anti-contamination measures were insufficient, implementing stricter safety measures of workers at the site. The procedure they plan to execute includes workers dressed head-to-toe in white hazmat suits spraying a blue-green gel onto the playground at two closed schools. The gel traps lead particles on the ground and gets removed by high-pressure hoses. 

According to city officials, the target date for August 19th will begin next week. And city officials vowed that no schools would reopen in September unless the lead risk has been completely eradicated. 

Photo by Martin Chan

Photo by Martin Chan

New Hub for Street Art

Hong Kong becomes a new place for upcoming street artists and sets the street art culture. 

HKwall's, Hong Kong's premier mural festival ended in March, but the legacy of its cutting-edge design lives on. The increasing use of street art and its growing in acceptance and popularity in the currently protest-ridden city illustrates how its inhabitants are, in the words of journalist Lauren James, "becoming comfortable expressing [their] values through visual public media."

Not only that, but Jason Dembkski, who founded the non-profit HKwalls, said that "[Street art] makes people more aware of the space they're in." The location of Wan Chai has a rich history, a history that has only been enriched with a mix of old and new, traditional and modern. The work that adorns the city's walls are reflective of a city that is becoming comfortable expressing its values through visual public media. The artists' work is transgressing the local stage and receiving funding to move onto the international stage. 

Walls sprayed with slogans and scenes don't just transform the landscape of the city; they also inspire and mirror cultural shifts. 

Photo by Tyler Mitchell

Photo by Tyler Mitchell

Going Apesh*t

National Portrait Gallery acquires a portrait of Beyoncé for their archives. 

The original portrait by Tyler Mitchell appeared on the cover of Vogue is now moving to Washington, DC. 24-year-old Mitchell became the first black photographer to shoot a cover for Vogue magazine's coveted September issue last year. 

The museum's associate curator of photography, Leslie Ureña, confirmed the news. "We are thrilled to acquire this magnificent portrait of Beyoncé," she said in a statement. "This acquisition will allow us to document a significant shift in the history of fashion photography through the depiction of a key figure in American culture." This photograph of Beyonce will join a 2003 poster promoting her album, Dangerously in Love which makes it the second portrait of the singer in a collection with 23,000 other figures who have altered the course of American history. 

The Gallery's curators have yet to decide where and when the work will go on view. But when that does happen, expect visitors to be crazy in love.

Courtesy of Musée d'Orsay

Courtesy of Musée d'Orsay

Origin of the World vs. Facebook

After an eight-year legal battle, Facebook ends its dispute with a French school teacher who posted Courbet's Origin of the World. 

In March 2018, the court ruled that Facebook had been in the wrong to shut down Durand's account, but since he was able to sign up for a new account he was not entitled to the $22,5550 in damages that he sued for. 

Durand had planned to appeal, but the parties agreed to a joint resolution in which they'll each make a donation to the French street art association, Le MUR. "This donation ends the legal battle between Mr. Durand and Facebook," Stephane Cottineau, Durand's lawyer, told Agence France Presse. 

A spate of recent legal action has forced Facebook to reconsider its strict no-nudity policy, which has been applied to artworks from the Stone Age statue of Venus of Willendorf to a Danish monument of a mermaid. 

Courtesy of the  New Yorker

Courtesy of the New Yorker

Artist Kara Walker Celebrates Death of Toni Morrison

The New Yorker commissioned Kara Walker to create "Quiet As It's Kept," a cover in tribute to author Toni Morrison.

A new portrait of Morrison, illustrated by Kara Walker appears on the cover of The New Yorker as the world remembers the late author. Morrison passed away last week at the age of 88. Morrison, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993—the first African American woman to do so—was the author of 11 novels including Beloved (1987), Song of Solomon (1977), and A Mercy(2008).

"We seldom do covers for writers, but Toni holds a special place in our culture. She's a beacon, and by her words and by her deeds was very much a force for good. It seemed right to memorialize her," New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly told Artnet News. The process was not easy, Walker was exhausted by the end of the day experimenting with watercolor, pastel, and clay, but later settling on her signature medium: black cut-paper. 

The artist's respect and admiration comes across clearly in the cut-paper portrait. "It's an ode," said Mouly, "to the spirit of two very strong women who are very inspiring each in their own way.

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This N' That: Keep In The Know With Photography News

Issue 22: Exclusive Interview with Dominique Wildermann

Issue 22: Exclusive Interview with Dominique Wildermann

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