The Diary: Jeff Koons' curious world; BBC is young at arts; Jean Charles de Menezes play; Ben Bradshaw's yoga regime; Will Woody Allen woo Carla?
Friday 26 June 2009
"...and that's me"
Jeff Koons gave British journalists a rare glimpse into his curious world a few days ago, after inviting them to his New York studio for a personal, guided tour. Referring to his 'Made In Heaven' series, the explicit set of works featuring himself with his former porn-star wife, Ilona, who went by the stage name of Cicciolina, he asked one of his many assistants sitting on computers to pull up a picture he wanted to show the group. "Could we see 'Ilona's asshole?' he said, matter-of-factly, as it emerged on a screen. "And that's me", he said, pointing to a healthy member behind her. He then went on to speak about the train that he is controversially erecting outside Los Angeles County Museum of Art, relating the movement of a train to the sexual act. He said the "woo-woo" noise represented a "plateau of orgasms", before sending the press on their way. I look forward to more of the same when he appears before the starchy British press at the Serpentine Gallery next week, to launch his latest show, Popeye.
Young at arts
The BBC has just signed off a promising three-year deal with Arts Council England for initiatives that aim to turn young, aspiring artists, musicians and actors into household names by providing co-commissions on television, radio and online services. They also aim to give young people a target of five hours of arts and culture a week, as part of the deal. Meanwhile, in another recess of the BBC, a crack panel of arts supremos are believed to have shortlisted applicants for their prized position of 'arts editor'.
Stockwell: the play
The London fringe theatre, The Landor, is to stage a new play about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes called 'Stockwell: The Inquest into the Death of Jean Charles de Menezes'. The theatre is just a few hundred yards from where the killing took place. It opens on 22 July, four years after the 27-year-old Brazilian was shot dead by police officers, and it will feature testimonies from the inquest from "surveillance and firearms officers, senior police coordinators, civilian witnesses to the relatives of de Menezes".
Culture and the secrets of youth
The secret of the new Culture Secretary, Ben Bradshaw's ever youthful (and lithe) appearance is out: he is a yoga enthusiast, and practises every lunchtime (as well as cycling to work). His "regime" has already drawn the admiration of DCMS insiders, never mind his policies. The MP also plans to choose his own artwork to hang in his new room, from the Government Art Collection, to replace the former Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham's love of Grayson Perry's work. Meanwhile, Culture minister, Barbara Follett has spoken out about women's toilets in old theatres: "Women take longer to go to the loo, and I am tired of spending most of the interval in the loo queue," she explained.
Will Woody woo Carla?
Woody Allen has expressed his interest in using France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, in one of his films. Speaking on a French radio show, Allen said: "I'm sure she would be wonderful. She's got charisma, she's already acted so she's not unknown to an audience. There are a lot of ways I could use her though I don't have a story for her at the moment. But I'll certainly ask her if she is interested." Well, it wouldn't be the first time Allen has cast a tall and supremely beautiful woman as the romantic lead against a short, neurotic man. Who knows if President Sarkozy will be called upon?
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke beats opponent 33 years his junior in exhibition boxing match
- 2 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 3 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 4 Today was a bad day for renters, landlords, and democracy
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer: What we know about JJ Abrams' film
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Christmas TV schedule 2014: The best shows to watch from Downton Abbey to Black Mirror
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police