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2.2.06

Tom Hunter at the National Gallery, London

This sounds like a fun exhibit, Tom Hunter: Living in Hell and Other Stories, at the National Gallery in London through March 12. An article by Farah Nayeri (London's National Gallery Shakes Off Staid Image, January 23) for Bloomberg News is what caught my attention:

A topless stripper in stilettos and a G-string reclines on the carpet of a tacky bar, peering at her mirror image beneath a bald man's gaze. Welcome to London's 168-year-old National Gallery and its first-ever photography show. "Tom Hunter: Living in Hell and Other Stories" (through March 12) is a series of color blow-ups depicting life in London's rougher parts, all inspired by old master paintings -- in this case, Velazquez's "The Toilet of Venus," which hangs in the next room. The exhibition is part of the National Gallery's campaign to move with the times and avoid being viewed as a fusty vault for old art. Besides hiring slick architects and trendy restaurateurs for its public spaces, the museum will host bad-boy U.K. painter Chris Ofili as its artist-in-residence in 2009, and seeks to collect and display early 20th-century works.
The Guardian has the best Web feature, Tom Hunter flash gallery, with a lot of images.

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