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Beards inspire new show on view in six cities by British art duo Gilbert & George

While British art duo Gilbert & George are clean-shaven in real life, their latest series of surreal self-portraits sees them don beards made of wire mesh, foliage, flowers and even rabbits. The set of 172 pictures are divided across six shows, in Paris, New York, London, Brussels, Naples and Athens from now till next March. A darker leitmotif of “The Beard Pictures” is barbed wire, which crosses behind or in front of the two men’s faces, evoking the pervasive pictures of war and refugees rather than the hipster fashion for facial hair. “Every time you switch on the television you started to see barbed wire all over the world,” said Gilbert, 74, in an interview with AFP in Paris. “And you started to see holes… in the barbed wire, and you started to see human beings with beards sticking out of it.” George, 75, chimed in: “When we were teenagers, it would be impossible to get a job in England if you had a beard. And barbed wire when we were the same age was all to do with farming. Now

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Israel uncovers Roman structure at foot of Jerusalem's Western Wall

Israeli archaeologists in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday unveiled a newly unearthed section of the Western Wall and the first Roman public structure ever discovered in the city, they said. Archaeologist Joe Uziel said he and his colleagues knew the wall section was there and had expected to find a Roman street at its base. “But as we excavated and excavated we realised we weren’t getting to the street. Instead we have this circular building,” he told reporters at the underground site. “Basically we realised that we were excavating a theatre-like (Roman) structure.” He said that carbon-14 and other dating methods indicated it came from the second or third centuries AD and appeared to be unfinished. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which conducted the two-year dig, said that historical sources mentioned such structures but in 150 years of modern archaeological research in the city none had been found.

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Exhibition pairs Tracey Emin's My Bed with a collection of works by JMW Turner

Tracey Emin returns to Turner Contemporary with an exhibition pairing her iconic and controversial installation My Bed with a collection of JMW Turner’s seascapes and stormy skies, chosen by the artist and loaned from Tate’s collection. My Bed famously features Emin’s own bed and gives a snapshot of her life after a traumatic relationship breakdown. It offers an unconventional and uncompromising self-portrait through objects, in which the artist herself is absent. The artist’s unmade bed —surrounded by used condoms, stained underwear, cigarette butts and empty vodka bottles — marked a moment of epiphany in Emin’s life. After spending over a week in bed drifting in and out of consciousness in an alcoholic haze, she reached a realisation. ‘I just suddenly thought, “This is horr ific.” And then it all turned around for me. It stopped being horrific and started being beautiful

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Randy Walker: Thread held in tension

Randy Walker originally studied Architecture at the University of Oregon and as an artist has completed temporary and permanent commissions all across the United States of America.

The recipient of many grants and awards Randy’s work straddles precariously on several boundaries: solidity and transparency; structural stability and collapse; visibility and invisibility.

He strives to create work that primarily engages our sense of sight by contemplating how light can define structure, surface, and colour.

In this interview, we discover what fires Randy’s imagination and how his background in architecture has shaped his artistic vocabulary. We learn about his commissioned work and how he puts together his subtle yet mind blowing installations.

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