Most Expensive Vase

The wealthy Las Vegas casino man, Steve Wynn has shocked his critics by showing that he has a caring/giving side to him. Firstly he paid a record amount for a vase (5.5 million pounds), only to give it away.
Wynn is better known for his casinos and great excesses than he is for being generous. After buying the copper and white porcelain Ming vase from a Hong Kong auction room, he gave it to a Macau museum in China.
Coincidently, Macau is also famous for casinos and gambling. I wonder what benefits could come from such a generous gift?Continue Reading

Elton John Libel Payout

The Daily Mail newspaper in the United Kingdom was recently ordered to pay Sir Elton John 100,000 pounds. The publication criticized his rude behavior at his annual AIDS charity ball.
The Daily Mail claimed that Elton “had issued a bizarre and absurd edict to guests.. ordering them not to approach him.. thereby acting like old fashioned royalty or some tinpot dictator and exhibiting self-important, arrogant and rude behavior bordering on paranoia.”

There have been accounts of bloggers being sued too, so I guess ArtNewsBlog better be nice to rich people and never offend anyone.

>> Controversies

Mona Lisa – Technology Smiling

In an exhibition in Beijing there’s a version of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa done with computer panels and part from computers, titled “Technology Smiling”. Obviously it doesn’t hurt for publicity that the Da Vinci Code movie is creating a lot of interest for all things Leonardo, but I wonder how many times the Mona Lisa painting has been reproduced and/or appropriated by artists?Continue Reading

Monsters in Famous Paintings

Over at the Worth1000 website there was a Photoshop competition where artists were asked to imagine that the renaissance period in art also had monsters and aliens around.
There’s some pretty scary works submitted, and a lot of them are very convincing! One of my favorites was this scary looking Mona Lisa below (Scary Lisa). There’s also Mona Satan and another scary Mona Lisa here.Continue Reading

Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull

The contemporary British artist Damien Hirst is working on creating one of the most expensive works to be created. The work will be a life sized skull cast in platinum and then covered in diamonds.

For the Love of God” will cost up to $18 million to create and will have as many as 8500 diamonds stuck to it.
“The biggest expense will be the fifty-caret beauty that will sit on the forehead. That one alone will cost in the region of three to five million pounds. It is certainly the biggest single undertaking by a jeweler since the Crown jewels.” Damien HirstContinue Reading

Contemporary Art Auctions

Sotheby’s mention in a recent article that contemporary art sales are reaching the heights previously only reserved for impressionist and modern paintings. Recently departed and living artists are now frequently reaching prices above $10 million at auction.
In the recent May sales by the big three auction houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips) there was a total of $432,080,560 worth of contemporary art sold. That’s $432 million! I wouldn’t know how to count that high!Continue Reading

Mao Portrait by Zhang Zhenshi

chairman mao portraitThe original portrait that was used for the Mao image in Tiananmen Square will soon go up for auction. Zhang Zhenshi painted the portrait in 1950 to celebrate the first anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
The painting is expected to fetch up to $120,000.
The selling of the portrait has created a bit of a stir in Chinese chatrooms and message boards online. Many believe it should go straight to a museum because of the historical importance of the painting.
Web fury over Mao portrait sale
“The painting, owned by a Chinese-American, is due to go under the hammer on 3 June.
The Beijing Huachen Auction Company says the sale will be open to both Chinese and foreign bidders.
But the auction comes at a sensitive time – a day before the anniversary of the 1989 military crackdown on pro-democracy students in Tiananmen Square.” BBC
>> Controversies, Art Auctions

Artist Anthony White Interview

The Australian artist Anthony White was recently working as a stockbroker for Credit Suisse First Boston. Early this year he quit his day job as a stockbroker to take up painting full time. He hasn’t completely left the money industry behind though, as he is now painting it.

I asked him a few questions about his money series that he is currently working on..Continue Reading

Dan Bodner Paintings from Photographs

dan bodner painting
After the discussion on painting from photographs, Karl Zipser has gone out and almost been converted into a photograph using artist ;-)
Karl visited the studio of Dan Bodner recently and had a talk to him about how he uses photography with painting..
Photographs are not only Bodner’s subjects, but a way to study his own work. He has found that by making a photograph of a painting, he can see it as though looking for the first time. As Bodner explains, “By making the photographs daily, I can get a distance from the work as I’m painting it.”
Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview over at Karl’s blog.
More Dan Bodner paintings can be seen on his website too.
>> Contemporary Artist News, Art Blogs

Spencer Tunick Flesh Architecture

Not everyone knows his name, but I’m sure most people know the work of Spencer Tunick. He’s the guy that gets thousands of people all around the world to take their clothes off in public places and pose for him, while he attempts to create his “flesh architecture”.Continue Reading