News, buzz and assorted cultural chatter that caught our eye recently:
• The strange tale of Peter Doig is surely one of the most bizarre art stories of late. Imagine having to prove you did NOT paint a painting. Doig, a prominent Scottish painter whose canvases have fetched $25 million at auction, faced a lawsuit after he refused to authenticate a 40-year-old painting that a former Canadian corrections officer claimed the now-famous Doig had painted. The sorted case had Doig and his legal team faced with having to prove the painter did not paint the painting. Bizarre, fascinating and laughable if it hadn’t made it all the way to federal court. Thankfully, Doig won. (via The New York Times)
• Thomas Kiefer spent 11 years as a janitor at a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility. Unsettled by the personal items left behind by or taken from apprehended immigrants, Kiefer began taking pictures. His carefully sorted and photographed the items in compelling pictures of the once-private stuff: belts, shoelaces, toothbrushes, socks, underwear, watches, bibles, rosaries, cell phones, keys, jewellery, calling-cards, soap, deodorant, birth control pills. Kiefer’s series “El sueno Americano” (The American Dream) is potent, heartfelt, timely.
• I feel you. A new study found that reading literary fiction — writers like Salman Rushdie, Harper Lee and Toni Morrison — helps improve readers’ understanding of other people’s emotions. Genre fiction readers? Not so much. (via The Guardian)
• Coming to the Mall soon. Architecture News offers a good first look at the just-completed National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. designed by David Adjaye.
• Bagpipe lung: Doctors were stumped by the cause of lung disease in an English man who died in 2014. Until they took a closer look at his bagpipe-playing passion. “It sounds like a Monty Python skit or an Agatha Christie story gone wrong,” said one doctor. (via The Washington Post)
• ICYMI: Some of our recent arts coverage, in case you didn’t catch it.