Dogs in Art: A 2,000 Year HistoryMan's best friend is often also his muse. And why not? They are part of our everyday lives, they sit still when trained to, and they come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. But aside from all that, dogs are emotive, loyal, and pure in spirit. A mosaic in Pompeii, shown above, warned visitors of the presence of a dog in the home. Tile lasts longer than a dog, so we assume the residents would always have a dog. The tiles have lasted two millennia so far. And artists have been documenting those wonderful dogs ever since. They are included in royal portraits, street scenes, and highlighted as the main subject in many paintings and sculptures.
Thomas Dambo is Trolling YouDanish recycling artist Thomas Dambo builds trolls. Not the kind that want to start an internet argument, but the classic forest trolls from folklore, in very large sizes. And he makes them out of recycled trash! Dambo has used tons of discarded material, the things we toss out without thinking of the environmental impact, to install projects in 20 countries. He also holds classes and workshops to teach others how to make art out of the things the modern world disposes of. The result is a friend in the forest to lure you out into nature. Check out Dambo's projects in Austin, Chicago, and several locations in Washington State, like Vashon Island, Issaquah, and Bainbridge Island. You'll find more on his trollmapand at Instagram.  -via Metafilter ​
Decoding the Colors of a Vermeer MasterpieceEvery picture tells a story, but great works of art that are hundreds of years old may have lost a few details that are worth finding. Paint colors degrade over time, especially the natural pigments used by Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters. How do we know the original intent of the artist when their paintings don't look the same as when they were new? Frederik Vanmeert works at the nexus of art and science. As a chemist at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, he gets up close and personal with the nation's greatest works of art to analyze their composition at the molecular level. Vermeer in particular left us with little insight into his intentions when creating his paintings, since he didn't write about them, and gave few clues to his goals. Deciphering the original look of a pigment that used 300 years ago is a puzzle to Vanmeert, but it comes with controversy. Does the appearance of a painting in the past matter? Does the intentions of the artist matter? One thing Vanmeert has found is that pigments were very important to Vermeeer. The various types of white paint made all the difference in his portrayal of shadows in his works. Read about Vanmeert's work and what we've learned about Vermeer's paintings at The Walrus. -via Damn Interesting​
Justin Timberlake's Mug Shot is Now an Art PrintOn June 18, Justin Timberlake was arrested for drunk driving, and the celebrity's mug shot understandably went viral. But it's more than a meme now. Robert M Lohman said "When I first saw this image of Timberlake, I said, ‘this is iconic.’ I felt a calling to develop it.” And he did, in collaboration with photographer Mary Godfrey. They created a limited-edition series of prints of the mugshot using inkjet on canvas in the style of Andy Warhol. The artwork is called Tuesday Night Out. Lohman says the prints have been selling like crazy. They are going for $520 through the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor, New York while they last. Lohman is sure that Warhol would have approved of the project. (Image credit: Romany Kramoris Gallery)
Highlights from the MauritshuisThe Mauritshuis is an art museum in The Hague, Netherlands, known as a repository of Dutch Golden Age paintings. Its priceless collection includes works by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Hans Holbein the Younger, among others. The building was erected between 1636 and 1641 as a private home. The first art was displayed there in 1774, and in 1820, it was bought by the Dutch government to house the royal art collection. Since 1995, it has been operated by a private foundation. If you have dreamed of seeing the works of the Dutch Masters as they are today, but you can't get away to the Hague, take a short tour in this video from travel videographer Jason Jose. -via Nag on the Lake​
Creative Jeans Designs by BokunouYour fly is open! Except that it's actually closed.Bokunou, a Japanese conceptual artist, makes inventive jeans designs that provoke surprised reactions. For example, the fly looks open revealing the underpants, but that's just an illusion.