Salvador Dalí’s Body Exhumed, Iconic Mustache and All

Salvador Dalí is making a guest appearance in this week’s literal telenovela. Last month, a Spanish judge ordered Dalí’s body to be exhumed for a paternity suit filed by television psychic Pilar Abel, who claims to be Dalí’s daughter and has been fighting for a paternity test since 2007.

However, the scientist who exhumed the artist’s body was more interested in how his iconic mustache faired. Dalí’s undertaker Narcís Bardalet called it “a miracle,” according to The Guardian. “His mustache is still intact, [like clock hands at] 10 past 10, just as he liked it. I was quite moved. You could also see his hair.” Bardalet confirmed the rest of Dalí’s body, which has been underground since 1989, resembled that of a mummy.

In a fittingly surreal end to 10 years of fighting between Abel and the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation that controls the artist’s estate, the artist’s body was as hard as wood and required an electric saw rather than a scalpel to collect bone samples. Abel claims her physical resemblance to the painter is so strong, “The only thing I’m missing is the moustache.” Perhaps she can borrow that in addition to the quarter of his estate Abel will be heir to, if proven related.

The results of the testing are expected to be shared in the next month of two.

Famous Paintings Are Being Reborn as Latte Art

Latte art has taken the world by storm in recent years, but what South Korean barista Lee Kang-bin is brewing up is undoubtedly next level. Kang-bin in turn makes use iconic works of art, ranging from Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” thus transforming them into drinkable masterpieces.

Lee also showcases more light-hearted designs such as the Instagram logo and various cartoon characters, as all in all, his creations are said to take roughly 15 minutes to make. Kang-bin begins with white steamed milk, then applying pops of color with a small brush.

Follow over to Lee Kang-bin’s Instagram for more of his eye-catching latte art.

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The Health Benefits of Art

Creating and interpreting art can be intimidating to the average person, but science proves you don’t to have possess artistic talent to reap the numerous health benefits art has to offer. Whether your masterpiece is worthy of hanging in a museum or on the fridge, art gives you the freedom to release your inhibitions and try something new without the fear of falling short.

Viewing and producing art can have significant positive impacts on the mind and body. From reducing stress to improving quality of life, art is a powerful health tool that is helping people of all ages worldwide.

Art Reduces Stress

Making and viewing art can reduce cortisone levels that contribute to stress. A 2016 study analyzed saliva samples of 39 healthy adults to test cortisol levels before and after 45 minutes of art making. The results indicated that creating art led to a significant lowering of cortisol levels. Participants also stated that they felt more relaxed and free of constraints after the art-making session and were more eager to continue producing art in the future.

If you don’t feel comfortable making art on your own, or prefer guidelines to help with creation, break out your colored pencils and try an “anti-stress” adult coloring book. Adult coloring books have become a popular trend in recent years and are proven to be therapeutic and relaxing to the mind. Similar to meditation, coloring allows you to focus on one thing at a time; this helps to alleviate anxiety.

Art is Good for the Mind

Because art is not an exact science like math, people can learn to develop creative problem-solving skills when creating art. Even medical professionals rely on art to sharpen their minds. “Enhancing Observational Skills” is a museum-based program that is now required class for first year Yale medical students. The idea is to teach students how to observe and see clearly in order to later care for their patients in the best way possible.

Creating art can also improve self-esteem. When you finish a project, you experience a sense of accomplishment and happiness. This applies in the art arena as well. When completing a work of art, these same feelings occur and can lead to heightened dopamine levels.

Art Can Improve Quality of Life

Art has been proven to be a powerful therapeutic tool. Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are most commonly subjected to art therapy as a way to improve focus and communication skills that are affected by the diseases. Creating art stimulates the senses and can even assist in the recollection of seemingly dormant memories.

Art is also a popular therapy for cancer patients. In a study, children who were going through painful cancer procedures and were exposed to art therapy ultimately expressed more positive and collaborative behavior. Adults and children alike who go through traumatic experiences often internalize the pain they feel as a result. Art and art therapy allows people to express and release the experiences that are too agonizing to verbalize.

Travel: The Walled Off Hotel

Banksy is famous for his social commentary. His latest statement arrives not through a piece of street art, but instead an actual business. The Walled Off Hotel sits just feet away from the wall that separates it — and the rest of Bethlehem — from the West Bank of Palestine. It currently has ten rooms, customized with artworks by Banksy, Sami Musa, and Dominique Petrin, and ranging from the barracks-like “Budget” to an ornate “Presidential” suite. The hotel bar is decorated with security cameras and slingshots, and should you need reminding of the point of the whole thing every room offers “views” of the wall just steps from the front door.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art To Release Thousands of Classic Works Online

In a move sure to have art aficionados rejoicing with excitement, New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art is gearing up to bombard the web with classic works from its vast archives. While these historic pieces remain under tight guard, the Met has decidedly agreed to lift any licensing restrictions on its own photography of these artworks — allowing them to be freely viewed and used online.

In a statement released by Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the museum, “Increasing access to the Museum’s collection and scholarship serves the interests and needs of our 21st-century audiences by offering new resources for creativity, knowledge, and ideas. We thank Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being a partner in this effort.”

How Tattoo Artists Could Help Reduce Skin Cancer

Tattoo artists may have a role to play in reducing cases of advanced skin cancer, researchers say.

That’s because tattoos can sometimes hide skin cancers, and make it harder for doctors to diagnose these cancers early, according to a new study.

The researchers found that tattoo artists typically don’t have a standard way of dealing with the moles that they may see on their clients, and contrary to what doctors would recommend, many will tattoo right over a mole if a client requests it.

Meanwhile, less than a third of the tattoo artists (29 percent) said they had recommended that a client see a dermatologist for a suspicious skin lesion.

“Our study highlights an opportunity for dermatologists to educate tattoo artists about skin cancer, particularly melanoma, to help reduce the incidence of skin cancers hidden in tattoos,” the researchers, from the University of Pittsburgh, wrote in the Jan. 18 issue of the journal JAMA Dermatology. Tattoo artists could also be taught how to recognize a suspicious skin lesion, and encourage their clients to see a dermatologist if they have such a lesion, the researchers said.

There have been several cases of people who had tattoos that concealed skin cancers, the researchers said.

In the new study, the researchers surveyed 42 tattoo artists during the summer of 2016, and asked them about their approach to dealing with moles and other skin lesions or conditions on their clients.

More than half (55 percent) of these tattoo artists said they had declined to tattoo skin with a rash, lesion or spot. When asked why they declined to tattoo skin in these cases, 50 percent said it was because they were concerned about the final appearance of the tattoo, while 29 percent said they were concerned about skin cancer. Another 19 percent said they were concerned about bleeding in their client’s mole.

When asked how they dealt with moles, about 40 percent said they tattooed around moles, but 43 percent said that they either tattooed over moles, or did what their clients asked them to do regarding the moles. About 70 percent said that their clients had never asked them to avoid tattooing over a mole or skin lesion.

“There has been a significant rise in melanoma incidence among young adults, some of the most frequent tattoo customers, making surveillance by tattoo artists especially important,” the researchers said.

Future studies could follow tattoo artists over time, and examine the effect of skin cancer education in this group, they said.

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, and the first sign of the disease is often a change to an existing mole, such as in its size, shape or color, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Art Basel Electrifies Miami Beach

Miami Beach boasts sunny beaches, iconic Art Deco architecture and glitzy nightlife, and all that becomes the backdrop for art from around the world when Art Basel comes to town.

Founded in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland, Art Basel is now an international affair with additional art shows staged in Miami Beach and Hong Kong.

At the Miami Beach show Dec. 1-4, top dealers from galleries around the world showcase their works, up-and-coming artists display their creations and outdoor installations add an additional thrill for revelers, who come to the festival for the people-watching and the parties as much as the art on display.

More than 200 well-known galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa showcase work from masters of modern and contemporary art. Pieces by emerging artists are also on display.

Paintings, sculptures, photographs, films and installations set the foundation, while large-scale artworks, film and performance art “become part of the landscape” at area beaches and parks.

Works by more than 4,000 artists are on display, ranging from the creations of emerging artists to more well-known artists.

More than 70,000 people attend the Miami Beach fair each year. Museums and galleries across the city also hold special exhibits and events in conjunction with the art show.

Street art is part of the event, too. You can check out more of the artists’ work below and online at the Art Basel twitter feed.

All-new Epcot International Festival of the Arts coming in January

Walt Disney World announced today that another festival is coming to Epcot, called the International Festival of the Arts.

The event will run six weekends at the park and will feature a variety of art, including visual, culinary and performing arts.

The festival will also bring Disney Theatrical bringing a variety of musical and Broadway performances to the America Gardens Theatre stage.  Guests will even experience segments from Disney Broadway hits like The Lion King?, Newsies, and Aladdin.

And what would a festival at Epcot be without food?  During the International Festival of the Arts, guests will have a variety of food to choose from.

The event will run Friday – Monday in January at Epcot.

Meet The Artist Selling Human Skulls Online

Zane Wylie has purchased dozens of human skulls. He carves the bones with intricate designs and sells them on his website, RealHumanSkulls, for thousands of dollars. But the art of bone carving is complex: It’s both technically difficult, and it’s increasingly tough to find legally obtained skulls for purchase, as major online retailer eBay prohibited the sale of human remains this year.

Wylie, who uses this pseudonym for his skull caving business, didn’t carve the first human skull he bought, which he nicknamed “Yorick.” Instead, he carefully studied it. “I was in a program that studied fine muscle movements in the human face,” he told Vocativ, and he purchased the specimen to help support his studies. Though he said he was glad to find an excuse to buy a human skull, which had long intrigued him.

Wylie was fascinated by skulls as a young boy — he had a particular interest in Marvel’s “Ghost Rider.” As an adult, he realized there was a thriving online marketplace for bones and bone carvings, and he decided to try his hand at the art. After experimenting on deer and goat skulls, he moved to the big time — carving on a real human skull.

“I wish I would have clocked how many hours it took me [to carve] the first one,” he said. “And it wasn’t just because the equipment that I had wasn’t the best. It was because I was just so paranoid about doing something wrong and disrespecting what I was carving.”

The hours of work paid off, and the intricately decorated skull sold quickly on eBay. After this initial success, Zane purchased more skulls and soon started a full-fledged business, complete with homemade over-the-top promotional videos.

Wylie operates out of his garage in suburban Virginia, and he said that he doesn’t mind neighbors checking out his work, though they aren’t always very enthused about it. “I’m probably not doing much for the property values around my neighborhood,” he said. “But the neighbor kids stay away, and that’s okay by me.”

With demand for his skulls growing, supply became an issue. In July, eBay changed their terms of service to prohibit the sales of human remains. This decision came on the heels of a Journal of Forensic Sciences investigation that found over 400 examples of skulls offered for sale on the site, 80 percent of which were classified by the researchers as medical or teaching tools.

Wylie said that while concerns over purchasing bones stolen from graves are valid, a close inspection can usually distinguish between legally and illegally obtained remains. “It takes a lot of work to get a skull to the condition to be a medical skull,” he said, referencing the professional cleaning and labeling process that medical specimens undergo. And their pristine condition makes them easy to identify as legitimate. He recalled one skull seller who contacted him over email, offering photos of his wares. Wylie said when he saw dirt visible inside the skulls, “it was obvious that it was grave robbing.”

But, thankfully for Wylie, the eBay ban didn’t end the skull trade. Instead, sellers shifted to platforms that do not prohibit their sale, like Instagram and Facebook, in addition to long-established retail outlets like The Bone Room and Skulls Unlimited.

For now, there are still reputable outlets from which to source these calcium canvases, and the skull carving featured here is currently available. Happy Halloween shopping.

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Salvador Dalí’s Eccentric Cookbook Is Being Reissued for the First Time in Over 40 Years

Legendary, eccentric artist Salvador Dalí declared at age 6 that he wished to become a chef. First published in 1973, Les Diners de Gala was a bizarre dream come true—a cookbook filled with surreal illustrations and recipes inspired by the lavish dinner parties that Dalí and his wife Gala organized. The parties were legendary for their wild opulence, with guests often required to dress in costume and wild animals left to roam free around the table.

Acclaimed publisher Taschen is reissuing the cookbook, available for pre-order, as only 400 of the original publications are known to exist. The book, which includes 136 recipes divided into 12 chapters, is arranged by courses—including aphrodisiacs. Aside from his illustrations, Dalí’s musings are scattered through the publication, giving insight into his philosophy on gustatory delights. If, as the artist proclaims, “the jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge,” he does well to display the bizarre and decadent aspects of cuisine. “Thousand Year Old Eggs,” “Veal Cutlets Stuffed With Snails,” “Frog Pasties,” and “Toffee with Pine Cones” are all on the menu, with sometimes unsettling imagery to match. Overtones of cannibalism also creep into the work—for instance, an armless woman with a skirt formed from lobster stands atop of pile of dead bodies, many with severed heads.

Those interested in taking on the challenge of cooking Dalí-style will also need to throw their diets out the window. Dalí writes from the outset, “We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, Les Diners de Gala, with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. Don’t look for dietetic formulas here. We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.”

Whether purchased for the cuisine or the art, Les Diners de Gala demonstrates how Dalí, as a multifaceted artist, never allowed himself to be bound by the limits of the canvas. His artistic mind knew no bounds, moving from the gallery to the kitchen with ease.

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