When I was 9, I spent a lot of time at a public library just down the street; I was already a theater nerd, and it had a well-stocked theater section. Not just books, but original cast albums for Broadway shows old and new. One day, an addition: The Music Man, about a salesman who was crazy about a girl named, as one song put it, "Marrrrrrrion, madam librarian."
Warning: The following story may be upsetting to some people.
That's because it's about clowns.
Yes, clowns. Painted white faces, red lips, receding hairlines with tufts of wild hair, and â€” of course â€” the red foam nose. Fun for all ages, yet plenty of people are downright scared of them. There's even a word for it: coulrophobia, though that's not an official diagnosis.
Today is Andy Warhol's birthday, marking 85 years since the artist was born. To honor the icon of pop art, the Andy Warhol Museum, located in his hometown of Pittsburgh, is streaming video from his gravesite.
The museum calls the project Figment â€” a reference, it explains, to this quote from the late artist:
Every two years for over a century, lovers of contemporary art convene in Venice for the oldest and largest noncommercial art exhibition in the world.
The Venice Biennale has none of the glitz and conspicuous consumption of art auctions in London and New York. Instead, it's a dizzying and eclectic array of sights by both celebrity artists and total unknowns.
This year's works are not just paintings, sculptures and installations, but also performances, videos and music.