Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Josef Koudelka’s work in the Vatican pavilion

Vatican to spend millions on new churches... and on artists to furnish them

Cardinal says Holy See must reclaim role as patron of the arts

Art review: Subodh Gupta, What does the vessel contain, that the river does not, Hauser & Wirth, London

I recently returned from the Keralan coast, South India, where the storms and power-cuts at night made the sea and sky appear as black as each other, and the lights of the fishing boats floated on the horizon like a distant city. The monsoon months are coming.

Visitors view Gerhard Richter's 'Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan)'

Gerhard Richter painting sells for $37m setting new record for a work by a living artist

A 1968 oil painting by German artist Gerhard Richter sold for $37 million (£24 million) at Sotheby's contemporary art auction - a new record for a work by a living artist.

Ahmed Mater, Golden Hour, Desert of Pharan series. Still courtesy of the artist

Art review: Sharjah Biennial, Re:emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography

In an age of confusing, sprawling art exhibitions, the current Sharjah Biennial stands out as an intelligent, tightly curated show featuring some hard-edged works that ever so slightly unsettle the delicate political and cultural ecosystems in the Gulf.

Tube map pioneer Harry Beck to get Blue Plaque

Tube map pioneer Harry Beck will today have his iconic creation officially commemorated on the 80th anniversary of its first public appearance.

An auctioneer receives bids for Gerhard Richter's work 'Abstraktes Bild' during the Sotheby's London Evening Sale of Contemporary Art held at Sotheby's, New Bond Street, London.

Sotheby's raises a 'healthy' £74 million at contemporary art auction

It was a "healthy" night of sales at Sotheby's yesterday evening as a contemporary art auction brought in more than £74 million - the auction house's second-highest total for a February sale of contemporary art in London.

The theft of Two Forms (Divided Circle) by Barbara Hepworth has been described as 'devastating'

Four artists vie to replace stolen Barbara Hepworth sculpture (but no metal allowed)

Two Forms (Divided Circle) was cut from its plinth by suspected scrap metal thieves last year

Reach for the skies

This winter's solstice on Friday marks the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. But then, less you run for the bunkers, the end of one time, according to the Mayan and many ancient civilizations, merely presages the beginning of another in the endless recycle or birth and rebirth.

Mariko Mori: Reach for the skies

Mariko Mori draws on the spiritual traditions of her native Japan and the mass-produced materials of the West to give her work an ethereal quality. Her new show at the Royal Academy leaves Adrian Hamilton entranced

Influential modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer dies aged 104

He was a towering patriarch of modern architecture who shaped the look of contemporary Brazil

Anish Kapoor goes Gangnam Style for freedom - and Ai Weiwei

Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has made a tribute Psy "Gangnam Style" video in support of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

“Head of an Old Man”

Picture of the Day: The great wall from China

Its simple name – "Head of an Old Man" – offers no hint of the scale or the mood of doom that so define this painting by Zeng Fanzhi, seen here standing in front of his epic work as his first solo British exhibition opens at the Gagosian Gallery in London, running until 19 January.

Christie's tops Sotheby's post-war contemporary sales total with $412 million

If the economic outlook for the art world is to be judged on the past 48 hours in New York then it is very healthy indeed.

The actor stars as Frank Gallagher in Shameless

Shameless was once a groundbreaking show but now seems to have lost its relevance

You could also argue that the riots of 2011 and the welfare cuts of 2012, make Shameless more necessary than ever. Creator Paul Abbott evidently disagrees

Culture clash: visitors at previous Frieze Art Fairs

If a Hirst breaks your budget, don't despair

London's Frieze week caters for the poorer collector, too, says Anny Shaw

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty