“Is the secretive street artist Banksy actually a fedora-sporting middle-aged white guy who dresses ‘inconspicuous’ when he goes out stenciling? That certainly seems to be the case if the photo snapped by 24-year-old British tourist Jason Stellios and published by the Daily Mail is to be believed.”
“[He was] revered in Chicago – and around the world – not only as a colossal piano virtuoso but as a symbol of Chicago jazz. … [He] summoned immense masses of sound at the piano without succumbing to a percussive clatter. Add to this the extraordinary velocity he could achieve, as well as the melodic and harmonic ingenuity of his improvisations, and you had a pianist held in awe by colleagues and students alike.”
By profession an attorney and real estate developer, he was a co-founder of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and led the effort to move the Goodman Theatre into a building of its own, anchoring a “theatre row” in the North Loop.
“The ‘lingering influence’ of fake news ‘is dependent on an individual’s level of cognitive ability,’ psychologists Jonas De Keersmaecker and Arne Roets of Ghent University write in the journal Intelligence. They report people with greater cognitive skills can and do make corrections when new, better information supersedes a mistaken early report. Those whose reasoning, understanding, and problem-solving abilities are less advanced have trouble making that switch.”
The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.” When he was finally convinced that I was not going to earn the movie the way he had expected, he told me he had offered my role and my script with my years of research to another actress. In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body.
John G. Briggs Jr. was a respected classical music critic and cultural reporter for the Times. But he had a second professional life that he hid from his bosses in New York. Writing under a pseudonym for a prominent South Carolina newspaper, the Times journalist delivered fire-breathing, race-baiting and occasionally anti-Semitic screeds attacking the “liberal” press and its alleged communist ties.
“Hailed as ‘the Bergman of the boards’ and ‘the Fellini of the foam,’ Mr. Brown brought next to no professional training but an abundance of passion to his art form, which he used to popularize surfing far beyond the coastlines of California.”
“[He] participated in the swirl of movements and self-proclaimed groups, some armed with manifestoes, that flourished on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1950s and ’60s. … Many of these artists emphasized everyday materials and processes; most rejected the expression of subjectivity and emotion that prevailed in the gestural abstract painting and figurative sculpture that immediately followed World War II.”
Mr. Martins has long been known to have intimate relationships with dancers, as well as a quick, volcanic temper. That he was able to act so freely, his critics say, points to dysfunctional power relationships between Mr. Martins and his employees, and between him and City Ballet’s management, which at times seems to have looked the other way.
“When he was young, Lear was employed as an ornithological illustrator, and he spent years learning to draw birds, favoring live models in an era when most worked from taxidermy. Before he turned 20, he’d published Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots, a critical success, and the first monograph produced in England to focus on a single family of birds.”
Seidemann was taking photos of his friends, and that led, and his skill, led to his fame. “The graphics of the era were framed by the photos Bob took. … He gave a regal purity to hippies like the Grateful Dead. He made it look natural. They weren’t posing.”
“In scenes resonant of the mass mourning in Britain following the death of Princess Diana, police said a million fans had lined the route of the funeral procession, which was accompanied by Hallyday’s band playing live, as it made its way from the Arc de Triomphe along the Champs-Élysées to Place de la Concorde and on to the church of La Madeleine.”
“It’s a formidable challenge, and one winners have to undergo twice (usually, as with Ishiguro, delivering a lecture and a “banquet speech” three days later). But most attempts include at least three of the following elements: profuse thanks to the Swedish Academy; equally lavish expressions of humility and unworthiness (but don’t overdo this passive-aggressively, like Luigi Pirandello); confessing a personal debt to Scandinavian literature (WB Yeats’s entire speech, for example, consisted of tributes to Swedenborg and Ibsen); a potent childhood memory and a recent anecdote showing how grounded in mundane reality you are.”
“Mr. Gass wrote just three novels, none of them bestsellers, but he was often described as one of America’s finest literary stylists – ‘a magician of the word, the writer of a prose so rich that it makes Vladi¬mir Nabokov’s seem impoverished,’ Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda wrote in 2013.”
“‘As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded,’ he said in a written statement. ‘As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.'” In response, all four men who spoke to the Times stood by their stories. Said one of Levine, “He is lying. … I will take a lie-detector test. Will he?”
“‘Today I filed defamation proceedings in the federal court of Australia against the Daily Telegraph,’ he said at a brief press conference in Melbourne. ‘This is to address the hyperbole, lies and the spurious claims about me in entertainment community. They have splashed spurious claims with bombastic titles on their front pages.'”
“This is an essay about what happens when knowledge is warped by a cult of interpretive genius. It is about having had my understanding of music fundamentally structured by James Levine’s craft when I was the same age as the children he allegedly liked to abuse, and in the process having decided not to know what I knew. It is about what it means to me that my love of music and my understanding of how it should sound were shaped by someone who abused children, and that the institutions in which and by which that love was fostered likely protected the abuser and enabled the abuse.”
A just-published study finds significant declines in several key areas of cognitive functioning among teenage boys who are doing time. Given that most prisoners eventually return to society, and ex-cons with poor reasoning ability and/or impulse control are unlikely to go straight, this could have widespread negative effects.
Fans of Russian lit will know Vladimir Mayakovsky as the great poet of the early Soviet era, but in 1925 – 100 years after the journey that led to Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America – he traveled to the United States (with stops first in Cuba and Mexico) and published his dispatches in Russian newspapers. (Mayakovsky did see the U.S. through Soviet eyes, but he loved New York City.)
“Although he was little known outside the French-speaking world, Mr. Hallyday sold more than 100 million records, acted in more than 30 films and appeared on the cover of Paris Match dozens of times. His career endured so long that when he released an album in 2008 called Ça Ne Finira Jamais (‘It Will Never End’), the title sounded like a simple statement of fact.”
“Our study reflects that artists, in the year following the death of a friend or relative, are on average less creative than at other times in their lives,” said economist Kathryn Graddy of Brandeis University. Her analysis, co-authored by Carl Lieberman, is published in the journal Management Science.
“In more than a dozen books and thousands of lectures that were an awe-inspiring form of performance art, Dr. Scully sought to impart several central ideas: that buildings help define a culture, that architecture should be a humanizing force and that a well-built community can foster a well-lived life.”
A second-generation member of one the Hindi cinema’s leading families, he was one of the busiest actors in the world in the 1970s and ’80s, starring in well over 100 Bollywood productions. His English-language career, begun alongside wife Jennifer Kendal for Merchant-Ivory, ranged from Shakespeare Wallah through Heat and Dust and Siddhartha to The Deceivers and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid.
His “cease and desist” and proceed “at your peril” letters to media outlets and accusers on behalf of clients are legendary. Recently, as The Times prepared stories in which more than 10 women accused Ratner of sexual misconduct, the lawyer sent the paper multiple letters filled with florid language and threats of litigation. The missives, which would not have seemed out of place in the Hollywood novels of Michael Tolkin and Elmore Leonard, were the pummeling prose of a legal pugilist looking for an early knock-out.
Mayer composed everything from the six-minute opera “Brief Candle” to other, longer operas and orchestral works, choral works, and many, many pieces for children, including the well-known “Hello, World!”
“I thought I could get in this racket. I thought I’d be turning down three and four speeches a year. Not one other school has asked me to do it! I was just amazed. I thought that I would have a whole other career here doing them and, come May, I would be working for two weeks straight. But not a one asked me, not even a prison school.”
“Gomer was a recognizable kind of American hero: a good-hearted, gentle, unsophisticated sort (not unlike Forrest Gump of a later era) who encounters a harder, more cynical modern world – in this case embodied by Southern California – and helps redeem it. … To fans who knew him only as Gomer, his full-throated, almost operatic baritone was surprisingly striking, if strangely incongruous.”
A study of teenagers who are “addicted” to their smartphones or the internet has found that people who struggle with so-called tech addiction seem to have more of a chemical that slows down brain signals, and less of a chemical that makes neurons more active.
“In the UK survey of 823 artists, 55.1% say they earn between £1,000 and £5,000 net per year while 17.7% earn between £5,000 and £10,000. At the raw end, 9.3% of UK artists state their income as zero. This combined figure of 82.1% is worse than the findings of a previous survey of 1,061 artists, conducted by a-n, an artist data company, which in 2013 found that 72% of artists earned under £10,000. Of the US respondents, 75.2% make less than $10,000, with the majority (48.7%) in the $1,000 to $5,000 bracket; 5.1% in the US stated their income as nothing.”
“On Nov. 9, 2016, I boarded the Lake Shore Limited, Amtrak’s overnight service from New York to Chicago. … Over the next 13 days, I would log 8,980 miles aboard six trains, traversing 31 states, subsisting mainly on Three Cheese Tortellini with Creamy Pesto Sauce and Vegetable Medley. During this time, I had conversations with upward of 80 strangers, almost all of whom I met over meals in the dining car.”