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October 17, 2013 | By Heller McAlpin
"Breakfast with Lucian," Geordie Greig's juicy, eye-popping book about Lucian Freud, the notoriously priapic painter best known for raw portraits that stripped his sitters bare in every sense, doesn't pretend to be objective or comprehensive. Greig offers a fond but by no means whitewashed account of how Freud's spectacularly messy life relates to his extraordinary body of work as "the greatest realist figurative painter of the twentieth century. " A grandson of Sigmund Freud, the budding artist escaped from Nazi Germany to England with his family when he was 10, in 1933.
October 16, 2013 | By David Ng
The Rembrandt self-portrait that the Getty Museum recently purchased for an estimated $25.1 million has been cleared by British authorities for export and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles within one to two weeks, according to Timothy Potts, director of the museum. In May, the Getty announced its purchase of "Rembrandt Laughing" from a dealer. The small-scale oil painting, which depicts the artist with a mirthful expression, is believed to have been created around 1628. Soon after the announcement, British authorities put a freeze on the export license for the work.
October 12, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
Two presidential campaigns and 40 years of marriage and child-rearing behind her, Ann Romney finds herself in a surprising place: atop the bestseller lists with her own agenda in first position. Romney's new cookbook, "The Romney Family Table," started as an effort to stitch together family recipes. But at a time when her husband Mitt's loss in the 2012 campaign was still raw, she began writing and "it just flowed out. " Critics have mocked the book as a study in domestic perfection served on Oscar de la Renta tableware, but Romney said she wanted to show that their life "wasn't always perfect" and that raising five boys could be more than a little frustrating.
October 10, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
Returning to the country her family fled years earlier because of persecution by the Khmer Rouge, Kalyanee Mam has crafted a deeply felt portrait of Cambodia. Her documentary "A River Changes Course" is a profile of three families in different parts of the Southeast Asian nation - a remote northern jungle, a floating hamlet on the Tonle Sap River and a village outside Phnomh Penh - that captures the country at a crucial juncture on the industrialization spectrum. However emblematic their struggles are, the people Mam follows over several years are vivid individuals, whether they're facing a poor rice harvest, dwindling fish supplies or deforestation in the name of progress.
September 12, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
Chances are good that Harry Dean Stanton, the prolific character actor with the face of a backwoods prophet, will be the subject of a straightforward career-retrospective documentary someday. For now we have something that's more in tune with the man: Sophie Huber's lyrical and enigmatic portrait, "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. " At the film's heart is a fitful conversation that unfolds like a string of koans, epigrams, jokes and silences. And songs. A reluctant interviewee with no interest in biographical facts, Stanton would rather sing than yak. The unrepentant loner says he's "not psychologically wired for institutions"; nonetheless, within the moviemaking system he's amassed 200-plus film credits and counting.
September 9, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
A new Van Gogh painting! "Sunset at Montmajour" was unwrapped Monday at a museum that is tooting its own horn, loudly.  It's a rarity, said the director of the Van Gogh Museum. Historic. Once in a lifetime. "A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred" at the Amsterdam museum, said Alex Reuger.  So, what's it worth? Paintings by Vincent Van Gogh are among the most valuable in the world. And this one was ambitious by Van Gogh's standards, Reuger said, given the canvas size, about 3 feet by 2 1/2 feet.
September 8, 2013 | By Jason La
During a trip to the village of Tam Coc, about 50 miles south of Hanoi, Times reader Réhahn Croquevielle photographed Chu Van Thuc. Croquevielle had seen a photo of the 82-year-old man online and asked villagers where he lived. When they met, Chu invited Croquevielle in for tea. It's a dream for photographers to encounter a face like his, Croquevielle said. At Tam Coc, Croquevielle also met Chu's brother, Chu Van Tim (slide two), a greeter at a pagoda in the village. Croquevielle, once a resident of Caen, France, moved to Hoi An in central Vietnam two years ago. He now runs a guesthouse and an ice cream bar there.
September 7, 2013 | By Richard Simon
The capital is full of portraits of government officials, sometimes more than one of the same person. Elliot Richardson has four - one for each department he headed in the 1970s, including the Defense Department, where he was secretary for just four months. Donald H. Rumsfeld has two on display at the Pentagon, one for each of his stints as Defense secretary. Scores of others - Cabinet members, congressional leaders, heads of agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation and military leaders - are immortalized in oil paintings, an enduring tradition that has become part of the nation's historical record.
August 27, 2013 | By Dianne de Guzman
While this isn't the typical self-portrait of a photographer, the story behind it is irresistible: Photographer Jason Moskowitz was walking through downtown around dawn when he spotted this "sleeping rat" painted onto the side of a building. After taking a few photos of the wall, on a whim he switched on the self-timer, placed the camera on the ground and "jumped into the frame for a final shot," Moskowitz wrote in an email. Moskowitz shot this photo with his Canon EOS D5 Mark II. Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers.
August 21, 2013 | By Susan Denley
The fuchsia knot-front Seraphine Maternity dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in a  royal family portrait released Monday has already sold out and is on back order. [Us Weekly] David Beckham debuted his latest H&M underwear ad. [Los Angeles Times] Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton wore a Lazaro gown for her wedding to Adam Dirks on Sunday in Kauai. [People] Cher and costumer Bob Mackie have teamed up again, for what may or may not be the singer's "farewell tour.
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