Bits: 06.02.11

Banksy's Balloon Girl image -- which has appeared on the Israel-Palestine partition wall, in Lego ads and in umpteen tattoos -- has been appearing around New York, rendered in yarn by the artist Olek. Photo by Pace Ebbesen.

• Minneapolis' Art of This may not exist as a gallery anymore, sadly, but it's still running as an online platform for artists. To that end, David Peterson et al have launched a new website which has a nice new Open Studio feature that lets artists create their own pages to showcase audio, video or image-based work. It's kind of our own version of PS1's Studio Visit artists' hub.

• The City of Toronto pays artist $2,000 to create a mural then paints over it. The work -- ironically, a “commentary on the mathematics of modern finance" -- was whitewashed after a citizen complained that it was too political and city officials concluded that it might've referenced PM Stephen Harper (the artist, Joel Richardson, says it doesn't). The erasure, which one city councillor calls "$2,000 wasted," brings into focus the city's new graffiti abatement program, which will be up for public debate at a June 29 meeting of the licensing and standards committee.

• This weekend in Minneapolis: Northern Spark, a festival "modeled on a nuit blanche or 'white night' festival—a dusk to dawn participatory art event along the Mississippi and surrounding areas." Created by former Walker Art Center and 01SJ Biennial curator Steve Dietz, it'lll include "multi-story projections, audio environments with vistas, floating works on barges, houseboats and paddleboats, headphone concerts, and the use of everything from bioluminescent algae and sewer pipes for organs to more traditional media such as banjos and puppets."

• In her Artnews review of LAMOCA's Art in the Streets, Carolina (C-Monster) Miranda writes that while the show has some gems, it includes "puzzling juxtapositions" of works, with little in the way of wall didactics explaining the relationships between them, and gives short shrift to certain significant styles and artists. She notes, for instance, that while Banksy gets beaucoup coverage, his French stencil art precursor, Blek Le Rat, gets no mention at all.

What 71-year-old conceptual artist Hans-Peter Feldman did with his $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize winnings: Wallpapered the Guggenheim with 100,000 one-dollar bills.

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