Tag Archive for ‘culture’

The secret powers of Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is a classic example of how some celebrities can really divide people. She can push all the right and wrong buttons seemingly at the same time. Take the extraordinary circus that surrounded the birth of her child Shiloh. To the outside world it seemed like some mad three-way wrestling match between three different […]

Is the art market as dead as a pickled shark?

Remember the art market’s summer of love last year? Despite the credit crunch snapping at the heels of the world’s economies nobody in the art world spoke of bear markets, the only commodities anyone was interested in was artist Damien Hirst’s pickled shark market. Most of us couldn’t believe the hype, but it was really […]

Audrey Hepburn: the making of a 20th century icon

Audrey Hepburn seemed to have it all. She was the face of Givenchy, an Oscar-winning actress and an ambassador for UNICEF. By the time of her death in 1993, her status as a 20th century icon was assured. Now 20 years later, it is worth re-evaluating the famous quote about Hepburn made by her mother […]

Action film stars: the art of the movie poster

Long, long before downloadable trailers, Internet viral campaigns and DVD/HD/Blu-Ray extras, the poster was the only way to lure people into the cinema. Offering much more than publicity, these wonderful pieces of art promised worlds populated by chisel-jawed heroes, swooning beauties, villages where Frankenstein could lumber with iron-footed determination and 50-foot women could bestride the […]

The easy-to-learn art of stealing priceless paintings

It only took three minutes, three masked men, and a couple of automatic weapons to steal four paintings worth a total of US$170 million in one of Europe’s biggest art robberies. Just before closing time, the thieves burst into the Impressionist room of Zurich’s Emil Bührle Foundation and forced security guards and visitors to the […]

Novel idea for Belgium’s book-loving expatriates

Once a month they come, the clusters of expatriates weighed down with their bulging bags of crack-spined Ian Rankins and page-tortured Ian McEwans, traversing the rain-polished streets of Belgium in search of the Brussels BookSwappers Club. It’s not Oprah, it’s not Richard and Judy (only in their dreams could these hosts aspire to such a […]

Funny business of providing comedy for expats

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery over the past 20 years that in my next life I’m going to come back as a washing-up bowl,” Gail Clough laughs. And laughs. That’s what Clough likes to do. Laugh. A lot. For the past 12 years with her business partner Duncan Jones and their company the Laughter […]

Probably the biggest collection of porn in the world

As you enter the softly lit L’Enfer chamber in the basement of the most famous library in France you’ll immediately notice a cabinet containing a couple of well-thumbed, illustrated books. They were published in 1750 and one features a picture of a handbag-sized dog giving oral sex to a Paris-Hilton lookalike and the other reveals […]

Comic investments – would you pay US$1.5m for a Superman book?

“Some of today’s successful entrepreneurs were yesterday’s comic geeks. They don’t want a Van Gogh or a Picasso. They want collectibles that mean something to them. Superman, Spider-Man and Batman are pop culture icons now. The fact that Superman was the first superhero means this is the Holy Grail of comics.”

The biggest porn stash in France

As you enter the softly lit L’Enfer chamber in the basement of the most famous library in France, you’ll immediately notice a cabinet containing a couple of well-thumbed illustrated books. They were published in 1750; one features a picture of a handbag-sized dog giving oral sex to a Paris Hilton lookalike and the other reveals […]