TIME Iraq

Know Right Now: ISIS Destroys Artifacts at Iraqi Museum

The video was apparently recorded at a museum in Mosul

ISIS released a new video purportedly showing the destruction of several ancient artifacts in a Mosul museum. Watch Know Right Now to find out more.

TIME Art

Watch a Video of British Artist Banksy in Gaza

Several of Banksy's latest graffiti pieces are highlighted

British graffiti artist Banksy, known for his subversive street art, released a two-minute video from war-torn Gaza on his website Wednesday.

“Make this the year you discover a new destination,” it wryly says, in the style of a tourism video. But instead of sandy beaches, it offers viewers a glimpse of what a Gazan sees “well away from the tourist track”: tunnels, rubble and children gazing at some of the 18,000 homes destroyed last July in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

The video also spotlights several of Banksy’s latest graffiti pieces, including images of children swinging from a surveillance tower, a parent grieving over a child in a bombed-out setting, and a kitten donning a pink bow.

“A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens,” Banksy writes.

“The cat found something to play with,” a Palestinian man says during the video. “What about our children?”

TIME Art

NY Antiquities Collection Donated to Israel Museum

Israel Museum
Izzet Keribar—Lonely Planet Images via Getty Images Israel Museum

This is "one of the most important private holdings of antiquities anywhere," says Israel Museum director

(NEW YORK) — Two New York philanthropists are donating a major collection of more than 300 ancient Greco-Roman and Near-Eastern glass vessels to The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The gift from Robert and Renee Belfer was announced by the museum Wednesday. It comes as the institution celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. An exhibition titled “A Roman Villa — The Belfer Collection” showcasing approximately 100 of the objects will be on view at The Israel Museum from June 5 through Nov. 21.

The collection is “one of the most important private holdings of antiquities anywhere,” museum Director James Snyder said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem.

He called it a “transformative gift” of “pristine” and “superlative” examples that will strengthen and enhance the museum’s current collection of Greco-Roman artifacts.

“For us it’s like the exquisite icing on the cake,” he said.

They include cast vessels and blown and mosaic glass pieces, ranging from the 14th century B.C., the Late Bronze Age, through the 14th century, the Islamic period.

The collection also includes about 50 important works of Greco-Roman sculpture and relief work, including bronze and marble sculptures, mosaics, frescoes and pottery.

“A gift from New York of material with such a special meaning here resonates with the museum’s narrative about local and global connections,” the director said.

Among the highlights is a first-century Roman marble head of a youth, an Egyptian 18th Dynasty glass jar and a Roman mosaic from the second century of an amphitheater, featuring the gods Poseidon and Amphitrite and two ships with sailors.

Snyder said the Belfer gift was significant to Jerusalem in two ways. First, because glass-making was an important development in the region and the technique of glass-blowing in the first century B.C. appears to have emerged first in Jerusalem, he said.

“Secondly, the aesthetics of Greco-Roman culture had a hugely important influence on the local iconography of ancient Israel from Second Temple times through the fall of the Roman Empire,” Snyder said.

He noted that the Belfers began amassing their antiquities collection nearly 50 years ago, around the same time that the museum was founded. Today, The Israel Museum houses encyclopedic collections, ranging from prehistory through contemporary art, and is recognized for its extensive Biblical and Holy Land archaeology, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

“When deciding on an ideal home for our collection, we could not think of a more fitting venue than The Israel Museum, especially for its emphasis on the foundational narrative of humankind that is so relevant to us all today,” Renee Belfer said in a statement.

“Our collection represents an important chapter in the history of civilization,” a story the museum will help preserve and share “in perpetuity from Jerusalem, one of the central sites of that long history,” added Belfer, who serves as chair of the executive committee of the American Friends of The Israel Museum.

The Belfers are prominent patrons of the arts whose financial support established The Robert and Renee Belfer Court for early Greek art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1990s.

TIME Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Banned Selfie Sticks

SKOREA-LIFESTYLE-TECHNOLOGY-CRIME-SELFIE
Ed Jones—AFP/Getty Images A couple use a 'selfie stick' to take a photo overlooking the city skyline of central Seoul on Nov. 26, 2014.

Museums worry they could hurt other visitors or damage the art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is banning selfie sticks. So, if you’re hoping to Instagram yourself standing in the Temple of Dendur, you may be out of luck.

The Met is one of many museums discouraging use of the selfie stick on the grounds that it could be dangerous to other visitors and to the artwork itself, although signs explicitly banning them have not yet been posted, the New York Times reports.

MOMA has also banned the selfie stick, along with the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Museum officials told the Times they were concerned that waving selfie sticks around could hit other visitors or damage delicate artwork.

Selfie sticks are still permitted at the Louvre in Paris as well as the Tate Modern and National Gallery in London — for now.

[NYT]

TIME On Our Radar

It Takes Two to Tango: Instagram Account Brings Photographers Together

Ben Lowy and David Scott Holloway—Echosight

On the Echosight Instagram account, photographers are invited to collaborate to create double-exposure works of art

Photography is rarely a team sport. However, Daniella Zalcman and Danny Ghitis have managed to turn it into one.

Two years ago they were living over three thousand miles apart and wanted to find a way to collaborate. The pair formed the Instagram account Echosight and began combining their photos into double exposures by superimposing the images onto each other. For Zalcman, this process allowed them to achieve something they could not have done on their own: There’s much more depth to the collaborative aspect. And I think there’s much more dialogue visually in what we produced.”

After six months they realized they did not have the bandwidth to continue posting daily and decided to do something that is rare in photography. They handed off their concept and platform, asking other photographers to pair up and take over the feed.

Each week-long collaboration yielded astoundingly different results, starting with Ed Kashi and Laura El Tantway.

We spoke with some of the photographers about working in pairs, and we also asked them to name the artists they would like to see collaborate on Echosight in the future.

Barbara Davidson & Chip Litherland

Years ago Davidson and Litherland worked together at the Dallas Morning News. For them, Echosight was a perfect excuse to work in a pair again. Litherland posted from Florida while Davidson, a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times, was visiting family at home in Ireland. For her, Echosight was a welcomed change of pace. “I think it’s a freeing experience in many ways because there are so many guidelines that I have to follow when I am photographing as a photojournalist,” she says. “Whereas when we’re creating for the sake of creating and it’s much more of a conceptual artful image, we’re free to produce it anyway we see fit. That’s very liberating, very freeing and the images can be more poetic.” The two had a difficult time managing the nine-hour time difference though, and in the end Chip had to stitch together the images rather than engaging in a back and forth.

Davidson’s Dream Collaboration: Paolo Pellegrin & his wife Kathryn Cook

Matt Borowick & Nancy Borowick

The brother and sister team are close in age and live only a few miles apart, but their visual approaches to the world around them are surprisingly different. Their process began with Matt sending his favorite 35mm images to Nancy, including the image of the Empire State Building above. Nancy then shot images she felt would pair well with them. “I wanted the Echosight images to make sense and tell a little bit of a story,” says Nancy. “I wanted them to be very purposeful so the end result would be a more cohesive group of images.” She felt their images got stronger as the project progressed and she developed a better understanding of how Matt shoots. Nancy had always known her brother’s work but as a sibling, and after collaborating with him, she felt she understood it from a professional perspective as well.

Nancy’s Dream Collaboration: Ben Lowy & Marvi Lacar

Richard Koci Hernandez & Dan Cristea

Hernandez and Cristea teamed up after a chance encounter on Instagram. A mutual appreciation for one another’s work led to Skype conversations and eventually in-person meetings. For Echosight they took a purist approach, using an app that picked images at random from each photographer and combined them. For Hernandez, that element of chance was “frightening, freeing, and invigorating all at the same time,” he says. “Something new is born, something you can’t predict.” They felt Echosight should be more an act of happenstance than intentional creation.

Hernandez’s Dream Collaboration: Travis Jensen & Daniel Arnold

Ramsay de Give & Dylan Isbell

De Give and Isbell became friends at the Brooks Institute’s School of Photography when they discovered their shared a similar interest for botany. For their collaboration, they photographed plants together, and combined them with de Give’s portraits, creating a series of solid and consistent multiple exposures. Minimizing the element of chance that is standard for Echosight, they “wanted it to be structured and a full thought rather than just hoping it would work,” Isbell tells TIME. Despite having a set direction, they welcomed the elements of chance inherent in combining the images. “Collaboration is two people working together, two minds working towards the same idea,” says de Give. “But at the same time, both have to let go to let the vision speak for itself. It’s hard to do that but it really pays off in the end.”

Isbell’s Dream Collaboration: Michael Goldberg & Daniel Arnold

Ben Lowy & David Scott Holloway

This best friend duo have been working side by side for years. Rather than combining their best images, they went out searching for images that would combine well together. “Sometimes people fall too in love with their images,” says Lowy. “We created the images knowing that we were going to mold them together. We had ideas in our minds about how we were going to approach it, like who was doing background that day and who was doing foreground. Who was working more with negative space.” The foreground images had to have plenty of negative space to allow for the busier background images to show through. Lowy and Holloway became one of the most successful Echosight teams by cross-posting the images on their own Instagram accounts, which have a combined 170,000 followers.

Lowy’s Dream Collaboration: Sally Mann & Terry Richardson

Given the feed’s recent success, Ghitis and Zalcman plan to keep Echosight as a takeover account for the foreseeable future. In addition to the commonly artful mashups, Zalcman would like to see it take a newsier approach. She is “trying to move more in that direction because 95% of the photographers who have taken over Echosight are pure photojournalists and not fine art photographers, so that really is their wheel house. and I would love to see that happen more. But I do also like that it’s a space for news photographers to do something that is completely different and completely creative.”

Echosight is run by photographers Daniella Zalcman and Danny Ghitis. They can be contacted on Echosight’s Facebook page.

Josh Raab is a contributor to TIME Lightbox. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

TIME apps

This Is the First-Ever #ThrowbackThursday Posted on Instagram

It's the four-year anniversary of the hashtag

Since Instagram’s launch in October 2010, users have posted a combined 357,442,820 #tbt and #ThrowbackThursday hashtags.

And while the popular hashtag is a staple in the Kardashian family’s social media diet, the trend has humble beginnings. Almost exactly four years ago, on the second Thursday in February 2011, a then 21-year-old Bobby Sanders posted the very first #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram, according to the company. And it looked like this:

#Hotwheels #ThrowbackThursday

A photo posted by Bobby Sanders (@bobbysanders22) on

“I honestly don’t recall even taking it or it being a good photo,” Sanders, now 25, said to TIME. “There was no real inspiration.”

Although viral encyclopedia Know Your Meme traces the first “Throwback Thursday,” often now shortened to tbt, sighting to 2003, the site says that the phrase didn’t gain popularity in the blogosphere until 2011.

Sanders, who currently works as a sales representative in Georgia, says he hadn’t seen the phrase prior to using it on his Instagram.

“I had never seen it done or said prior to that, but I didn’t think anything of it, or that it was that original honestly,” he says. “My favorite sunglasses company (Knockaround) had a sunglasses line called Throwbacks, so I had that name in my head… I guess with the filter, older cars as the subject, and it being Thursday it was just something I thought would be a funny hashtag, not something that would eventually catch on to the phenomenon it’s become.”

Sanders didn’t gain Internet fame and rarely Instagrams throwback posts.

“But if I do, I’m that snob who will post #ThrowbackThursday and not #tbt,” he says.

You’ve got to love consistency.

Read Next: This Was Instagram’s Most Liked #tbt of 2014

TIME weird

New Zealand City Shocked By Unintentionally Priapic Sculpture

Artist says he didn't mean sculpture to resemble a large phallus

Residents of Auckland, NZ aren’t so sure this sculpture of clouds reminds them of the sky. Instead, it reminds of them of something else:

“What the hell is that? It’s certainly not a cloud. It looks like a penis,” Mt Roskill resident Joy Dale told the New Zealand Herald.

Gregor Kregar, the sculptor who created the piece with his wife Sara Hughes and architect Davor Popadich, said he doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. He thinks the sculpture is about clouds, vapors, and raindrops, with an emphasis on the modernity of the area, and is surprised by the public response.

“Art is out there to stir reaction,” Kregar told the Herald.

Kregar also says the sculpture will look different once the neon lighting is installed.

[NZH]

TIME movies

Watch Helen Mirren Plot Her Revenge in This Clip From Woman in Gold

The movie tells the story of how one woman reclaimed an iconic painting taken from her family by Nazis

When Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer fled Austria to escape the Nazis in 1938, he left behind a painting of his late wife, Adele. Sixty years later, Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I found itself at the center of a legal battle to restore ownership to Bloch-Bauer’s niece, who argued the painting had been seized by the Nazis and rightfully belonged to the family, not the Austrian government.

Helen Mirren stars in Woman in Gold as Maria Altmann, who not only gained ownership of the painting, but later sold it for a then-record $135 million. The portrait is now the centerpiece of New York’s Neue Galerie.

Woman in Gold debuts on April 3. (May it be a more compelling take on the restoration of Nazi-seized art than The Monuments Men.)

TIME Art

This Banana Art Is The Visual Movement We’ve Been Waiting For

Banana peels like you've never seen them before

The fine-art scene is hungry for something new. Something fresh. Something bananas.

The creation of Adam #fruitdoodle #biblebanana #michelangelo

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

Netherlands-based artist Stephan Brusche started small. “I was at work and I just wanted to post something. I then noticed my banana and I figured it would make a nice post if I just drew a little happy face on it,” he told Bored Panda. “I took a ballpoint pen and just started drawing. I was pretty amazed how pleasant a banana peel is to draw on.”

Flying Fruit @indemarkthal #fruitdoodle #markthal @gemeenterotterdam

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

Brusche, who posts his art to his Instagram account, soon started experimenting with the banana’s shape — peeling and carving the fruit into surprising sculptures.

Giraffe #fruitdoodle

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

Elephant #fruitdoodle With a shoutout to @worldofartists for featuring me yesterday! :D

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

'Come at the king, you best not miss.' #omarlittle #fruitdoodle @bkbmg #thewire #omarcomin

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

Nick Offerman as a Banana Viking #vikingfriday #fruitdoodle #nickofferman #ronswanson

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

And even political statements:

#jesuischarlie

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

Brusche has dabbled in other fruit:

Mr Kiwi is smiling because kiwi's don't have Mondays #fruitdoodle #kiwi #smile

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

But really it’s all about that banana:

Bananafishbones #fruitdoodle #banana #fishbones

A photo posted by Stephan Brusche (@isteef) on

You can buy the artwork on his site — although you’re on your own when it comes to preservation.

(h/t: Bored Panda)

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