$5 Jackson Pollock Painting for $50 Million
These art lottery stories always make me think about the stupidity of the art market. If money motivated me I would find a lost masterpiece at a flea market every few years. A $5 painting worth $50 million is a wonderful story, but it's a story that should be in the fiction section. Just because a Jackson Pollock sells for $140 million doesn't mean that paintings which look like Jackson Pollock also increase in value.
My art lottery rant is purely based on common sense though, so maybe the painting is worth $50 million.
The Gallery Delisle in Toronoto, Canada has the "Jackson Pollock" painting up for sale with a price tag of $50 million. The retired truck driver Teri Horton bought the painting for $5 back in 1992 and has been nicknamed "Teri's Find." It was rejected by the "elite U.S. art community" but received "forensic authentication."
Sotheby's Contemporary Art Preview
Sotheby's has a video preview of their upcoming Sotheby's Contemporary Art auction in New York on the 11th of November online here. There's a few important works in it that must have billionaire art collectors licking their lips. Click on "Browse the Catalogue" on the video preview page above to see all the works up for auction.
My favorite painting in the auction is easily Philip Guston's "Beggar's Joys" work from 1954/55. There's no estimate for the work on the Sotheby's website, but I'm guessing that it's out of my price range by quite a few million.
PHILIP GUSTON 1913-1980 BEGGAR'S JOYS 1954-55 71 1/8 x 68 1/8 in. or 180.7 x 173.1 cm oil on canvas
In the Sotheby's video preview I almost giggled at the explanation of the Jeff Koons painting called "Cheeky" as I just didn't believe that the guy liked it. It's not a criticism of the guy talking about it, it's the ugly painting that the poor guy had to get excited about.
Major Picasso Harlequin Withdrawn from Auction
An important Pablo Picasso painting has been withdrawn from a Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern art auction in New York. The 1909 work titled "Arlequin" was expected to make more than $30 million.
Recent art auctions in London, Sydney and Hong Kong have shown that the world financial crisis is knocking on the door of the art market. Sotheby's says that the owners withdrew the painting for personal reasons.
The harlequin painting was owned by the late Italian born American surrealist painter Enrico Donati. Donati paid $12,000 for the work back in the 1940s.
Australian Surrealist Painter James Gleeson Dies
Last week the Australian surrealist painter James Gleeson passed away at the age of 92. Gleeson has been exhibiting in Australia for more than 70 years.
Whilst surrealism was never my favorite ism, I liked how James Gleeson didn't feel it necessary to change like fashion. He found a certain way of painting that suited him and explored it all his life.
James Gleeson Born 21st of November, 1915 Died 20th of October, 2008
"I've never accepted the external appearance of things as the whole truth.. The world is much more elaborate than the nerves of our eye can tell us." James Gleeson Quote
Between the Folds - Origami ArtGreenfuse films has released a film called "Between the Folds" which looks at a group of paper folders or origami artists.
Here's their introduction to the film.. "Between The Folds" uncovers the stories of 10 fine artists, intrepid mathematicians and theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees - all to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paperfolders. As these eccentric and provocative characters converge on the unlikely medium of origami, they reinvent an ancient art, and demonstrate the innumerable ways that creativity and ingenuity come to bear as they struggle to understand and honor the world around them. The film paints an arresting portrait of the mysterious artistic and scientific threads that bind these exceptional minds, bringing forth a rare mix of sensibilities towards art, expressiveness, interpretation, and meaning.
A preview of Between the Folds can be seen here, with more details on where the full film can be seen.
There's some origami art below by two of the artists from the film. I have always loved good quality paper, especially hand made papers, but I didn't realize just how much could be done with a single piece of paper.
Giang Dinh does some fascinating faces, people, and animals with paper.
Monks by Giang Dinh
Bear by Giang Dinh
Michael LaFosse does mostly origami animals and has some books and guides on his website for those that want to do their own origami.
Iku For You - Art Print
Hazel Dooney has released a free art print for download to celebrate her 400th blog post. It's available for 30 days and she'll sign and inscribe it for you if you send your print to her studio.
It's not quite as sexy as her last print, so you could probably even use the printer at work if its better than your home printer.
The work is a drawing called "Iku, For You" which means I'm coming for you.
That Ain't Shock Art, This is Shock Art! - Alexander Brener
Arts editor Tom from Spoonfed in the UK recently went to a lecture at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London to hear a talk called "Violence to Endurance: Extreme Curating."
I'll let him explain what happened during the lecture.. "Periodically they are interrupted by a 50-year old man with a thick Russian accent saying 'Bullshit, this is not shocking.' Then, this man stands up and walks to the front of the room (it's not far – he's sitting on the front row). He undoes his belt, drops his trousers and takes a shit into his own hand. He does his trousers and belt up, walks up to the man in the centre of the panel and deposits the shit in his glass. He then sits back down, a slight look of triumph on his face." Continue reading his report over at Spoonfed here.
Artists are a funny breed! It reminds me of a story that an art teacher told me years ago, where an artist cut off his own penis on stage and died. I'm not sure if it was true or not, but I thought it was funny at the time.
Anyway, the artist that took a shit on stage and dumped it in the speaker's glass was the Russian performance artist Alexander Brener. Brener is famous for shitting in front of a Vincent van Gogh painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and for painting a dollar sign on a Kazimir Malevich painting (which he spent time in prison for).
He's not some one I would take to an exhibition. If he's not shitting in front of paintings, he's yelling at them naked. I don't know what he's saying to them in the video below, but it would be a little distracting if you was actually interested in looking at the art on the walls ;-)
Sarah Palin Pictures
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has inspired a lot of artists to get political in the studio. I think politics has no place in the studio, but it's interesting to see what the good little propagandists come up with.
Bonhams Urban Art Auction
Bonhams is holding another Urban Art Auction at their salerooms in New Bond Street, London on Thursday 23 October 2008 at 7pm. After the success of their first auction dedicated solely to urban art earlier in the year, it now looks like they have created a new auction category.
A list of names in the urban art auction include Adam Neate, Aiko, Anthony Lister, Antony Micallef, Banksy, Blek le Rat, Dan Baldwin, D*Face, Eelus, Faile, Jef Aerosol, Jose Parla, Keith Haring, Matt Small, Paul Insect, Seen, and Shepard Fairey.
Gareth Williams of Bonhams says "Urban Art is an international phenomena and we have created a sale which reflects this with artists representing five continents. This auction is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase some of the most established names in the field alongside a host of exciting and emerging artists who have not yet gained the recognition that they deserve."
01. Science (Damien Hirst) 02. Larry Gagosian 03. Kathy Halbreich 04. Sir Nicholas Serota 05. Iwan Wirth 06. Jay Jopling 07. David Zwirner 08. François Pinault 09. Jasper Johns 10. Eli Broad 11. Jeff Koons 12. Steven A. Cohen 13. Daniel Birnbaum 14. Charles Saatchi 15. Brett Gorvy & Amy Cappellazzo 16. Tobias Meyer & Cheyenne Westphal 17. Marian Goodman 18. Gerhard Richter 19. Richard Prince 20. Dominique Lévy & Robert Mnuchin
Pricasso Paints Sarah Palin Naked
I know it looks politically biased and almost sexist to be posting two pictures of Sarah Palin nude, but nobody seems to have painted Joe Biden nude, so I haven't posted his pictures.
The first painter to depict the oil loving, polar bear hating VP nominee naked was the Chicago painter Bruce Elliott. The nude Sarah Palin painting below is done by the penis wielding Australian based artist Tim Patch, better known as Pricasso because of the tool he uses to paint with. It shows the American vice president hopeful completely naked, squatting on the head of a moose, with a gun between her legs.
Pricasso (Tim Patch) also did this painting below of Barack Obama and John McCain with his Penis.
For an idea of how Pricasso uses his tool of trade, see him painting the Obama/McCain painting in the video below..
Claude Monet and the Impressionists in Sydney
On Sunday I spent the day in Sydney and visited the Claude Monet and the Impressionists exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW. Impressionism was never my favorite art movement, but when a whale of an artist like Claude Monet comes to town it's hard to find an excuse to not see it. Australian museums aren't exactly overflowing with masterpieces from around the world, so any decent traveling exhibition is a must see.
"Paint what you really see, not what you think you ought to see; not the object isolated as in a test tube, but the object enveloped in sunlight and atmosphere, with the blue dome of Heaven reflected in the shadows" Claude Monet Quote
Claude Monet Water Lilies 1905 oil on canvas, 89.5 x 100.3 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Claude Monet Charing Cross Bridge (overcast day) 1900 oil on canvas, 60.6 x 91.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Here's a slideshow and talk about Monet and the exhibition on the SMH website.
New Type of Scam from NigeriaHere's a new type of scam that I came across yesterday. I received an email from what looked like an artist that I listed in an art directory that I look after. I was suspicious immediately, but they did a lot of things right, which could have fooled those that are new to the internet (or much more trusting of people than I am).
The artist (Linda Blondheim) was using a Hotmail email address, which was hacked and stolen by scammers in Nigeria. The scammers then set out to scam her friends and contacts using her Hotmail email address, asking for money as she was stranded in Africa and needed $2300 to get back home.
It's easily one of the cleverest scams I have received from the idiots. I was familiar with the name of the artist and they were using her real email address, but the mention of "Nigeria" and "Money" in the same email gave the scammers away. Legitimate businesses in Nigeria (if there is such a thing) must have a lot of problems dealing with international clients/customers as these scammers have given the whole country such a bad name worldwide. I know it's wrong to generalise, but I wouldn't deal with anyone from Nigeria as I don't trust them.. and for good reason.
Here's the email that I received..
Subject: Reply Soon...From Linda
How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn't inform you about my traveling to Africa for a program called "Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana , South Africa and Nigeria . It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain.
I am really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am owing an hotel bill of $1050 and they want me to pay the bill before checking out,Else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management.
I need this help from you urgently to help me get back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1250 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $2300 to sort out my problems here? I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don't even have money to feed myself for a day which means i have been starving so please understand how urgent i need your help.
I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and I only have 30 min, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home so please let me know on time so that i can forward you the details you need to transfer the money through Money Gram or Western Union.Hope to hear from you.love,Linda
Advantages to Visiting Linda Blondheim's Studio
Patron Club members receive excellent pricing on in studio and web site purchases. Gift wrapping and gift cards are complimentary to patrons. Delivery of larger paintings to Lake City, Gainesville, and Ocala areas free of charge. Studio gift certificates for new patron referrals. Commissions welcomed. Enjoy a cup of coffee and visit with a professional established painter just minutes from Gainesville.
Note: The email above was Linda Blondheim's real email address used for this scam, but she has since changed it. See her website or blog above for her new contact information. >> Art Scams, List of Thieves
¶ 10:17 PM14 comments
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Since installing Google Analytics a couple of months ago I have been spending a lot of time looking at where people are coming from and how they're getting to Art News Blog. Apart from learning that sex and nudity is more popular than art, I have also learned that people ask search engines some strange questions.
As Banksy was in the news recently, I thought I would see what people are searching for. Here's some Banksy search terms (it looks like students no longer answer questions themselves, they just do a search for it)..
The first question on the list makes me think of doing a search on Google to ask "Who am I?" Has Google become our answer to everything? Google should release Google God or Zen Google to answer all our difficult questions. >> News on Banksy
Banksy Pet Store.. and Charcoal Grill in New York
I generally don't like art that preaches to me or tells me that I'm doing something wrong. There's enough people in the world trying to force others to live or be like themselves, so I like my art to be art.
Banksy is one of the few artists that I don't mind preaching to me as he's such a clever artist. I wouldn't hang (most of) his work on my walls at home as they're too preachie (and too expensive), but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate his art/messages.
His latest work is a pet shop of freaky animatronic animal/food hybrids in New York. He questions our use and abuse of animals as pets and food.
The chicken nuggets pecking at a container of McDonalds sauce is just weird. The realistic chicken looking over them like a concerned parent just makes the scene even weirder.
Here's a quote from Banksy on the Wooster Collective website.. "New Yorkers don’t care about art, they care about pets. So I’m exhibiting them instead. I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming, but it ended up as chicken nuggets singing. I took all the money I made exploiting an animal in my last show and used it to fund a new show about the exploitation of animals. If its art and you can see it from the street, I guess it could still be considered street art"
Wooster Collective has a few more photos and video of the Banksy pet shop posted here.
Watch this video below of a leopard from Banksy's "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" exhibition..
There's more videos on YouTube for those that are interested in the Banksy freakshow. I wish I was close enough to go and see it.
Banksy has a website for the Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill exhibition online here. The pet store is located at 89 Seventh Avenue South, Greenwich Village, New York, USA. The pet shop is open from 10am till 12am daily until the 31st of October, 08.
Subject: wines for my birthday............................... Hello, My name is Maxwells Brown, an American .I live and work here in Tokyo, Japan. Actually when I was around last year for Christmas holiday, I got a bottle of one of your wines from a friend as a gift and I love the taste Since then , I have been planning on getting your wines for my birthday party ...coming up 3RD week of july, here in Tokyo, Japan.I got your contact through your website and I want to know if you will be able to supply me some cases of wines for my upcoming birthday .I will be making my payment via my American based credit card .I am registered with a shipping agency in U.K, which has representatives in USA .So you are not get the wines shipped but the wines will be picked up at your location by this licensed shipping agency .The shipping agency have all the appropriate exportation documents and permits Therefore concerning the shipping of the wines , I will refer you to this shipping company that will come for the pick up of the wines in your location once I have made my payment .They have got like items shipped to me here twice without any delay .Kindly get back to me so that I can make my orders. Thanks.Maxwells
His English has actually improved from the scam email he sent me, so with all the money earned from scamming artists and wine merchants Maxwells Brown is probably employing a personal language tutor.
Life Size Lego Portrait Sculptures - Nathan Sawaya
New York Lego artist Nathan Sawaya has made the wish list catalogue of the upscale retailer Neiman Marcus this year. Gifts in the christmas catalogue range from $500 to $10 million and include things like an 18,400 record collection with every song from the Billboard Top 100 list from 1955 to 1990 for $275,000, designs for a 3 hole Jack Nicklaus golf course for $1 million, and a $250,000 home bar from Guinness with a one year supply of Guinness draught.
Nathan Sawaya's life size Lego sculptures will set you back $60,000 each. You just have to send him some detailed photos of yourself and he'll create your Lego likeness.
Robin Abrams told Forbes.. "The catalogue is based on 'fantasy gifts' that are extravagant in any times, and people have come to expect to be surprised and thrilled by the outrageousness of the items. I think even in this economy the public will enjoy reading the catalogue and be curious to see the featured items. Most people could not afford these 'fantasy items' in even the most lucrative of times. The catalogue is more promotional than anything else and is fun."
Marc Quinn's Gold Kate Moss and Blood Self
Neither of these stories are new, but I thought I would mention that Marc Quinn's solid gold Kate Moss sculpture has been unveiled and the National Portrait Gallery in the UK is hoping to buy his 2006 version of "Self."
We were given a sneak peek of the solid gold Kate Moss sculpture a few weeks ago, but the contorted Moss has now been fully unveiled and is on display at the British Museum's Statuephilia exhibition. Sculptors exhibiting in the show include Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Ron Mueck, and Marc Quinn.
There's more on the Kate Moss sculpture over at the Telegraph, which is also where I stole/borrowed the image above.
Every five years the sculptor Marc Quinn creates a new version of his "Self" sculpture, made with his own blood. He collects his own blood over a number of months and makes a self portrait cast.
The National Portrait Gallery is hoping to purchase Marc Quinn's 2006 version of "Self" but still needs to raise another £200,000 for the £350,000 price tag.
Bill Henson School Controversy
The controversial Australian photographer Bill Henson is making news again down under. Earlier in the year he had his Roslyn Oxley9 exhibition in Sydney raided by police with several nude photos being seized (and later returned). Henson was labelled everything from a pornographer to a paedophile and even prompted the Australian prime minister to call the photos revolting.
Henson now has the school teacher Sue Knight in trouble after she allowed the photographer to search for models at the St Kilda Park Primary School when she was the principal of the Melbourne school.
Here's some more from the Canberra Times.. "Parents of children at the primary school where photographer Bill Henson scouted the playground for models have supported the artist and the principal's decision to allow him into the school. St Kilda Park Primary School council president David Myer said the school backed former principal Sue Knight who escorted Mr Henson around the school last year."
I must confess that if I had an 11 year old daughter at school, I wouldn't like a middle aged man scouting the school for possible nude photos. The matter is still being investigated but it seems that the media is making the incident sound much scarier than it actually was.
Bill Henson remained silent during his controversial Sydney exhibition earlier in the year, but has spoken to the Age's David Marr about the latest media frenzy/witch hunt. Here's some Bill Henson quotes from the interview..
"Sometimes it's a friend, or the kids of a friend, or a friend of a friend. Sometimes it can be a friend of a relative. Sometimes you are walking down the street or you are in a restaurant and you see someone. There is this face. All you can do is give them a card and say: 'Look, just Google me, and I'd be very interested in photographing your daughter or son.' " Bill Henson
"I went in there (the Melbourne school) just wandered around while everyone was having their lunch. I saw this boy, and I saw a girl too actually, and I thought they would be great and the principal said, 'Fine, I will give the parents a ring and let you know.' So the ball is always in their court. The girl's parents went, 'Oh no, we don't think it's for us' and the boy's parents said, 'Yes, sure.' So … that is how I started working with him." Bill Henson
Midphase Review - Web HostingYou may have noticed that Art News Blog was offline quite a bit over the past week or so. Thanks to the lovely people over at Midphase.com for suspending my account three times and a big thank you to the tech support people at midphase hosting.. for your excellent impersonation of a brick wall. I seriously couldn't pick the difference (I have spoken to more responsive brick walls).
The official reason for Midphase suspending me was the "amount of CPU and/or memory resources used by your account" and they said they want to help me "track down the cause as quickly as possible." It's more than a week later and they still haven't found the "cause" of the problem.
Towards the end of the Midphase email was this sentence.. "We're not attempting to upsale you to a more expensive plan, however, we're simply providing you an upgrade path to ensure the future success of your site!" Usually when a sales rep is telling me he isn't trying to sell me something, he is trying to sell me something. So I was suspicious of their intentions from the beginning.
I took ArtNewsBlog off of the Mid phase hosting account after being suspended twice as it was the most popular website on the account I was using and I wanted to fix the problem quickly. I left a couple of small websites on the Midphase host as they received very little traffic and couldn't possibly cause a problem. But I was wrong as Midphase has suspended the account again and the websites have been down for more than twelve days now, even though tech support said they would have it back online immediately.
So after hours of chatting with Midphase tech support (it felt like they went out for a coffee everytime I asked a question), submitting several tech support tickets (and not getting one useful reply), and putting up with several days downtime over the past week, I thought I would share my happy experiences with a Midphase hosting review!
The Midphase web host used to be an excellent company, but tech support has gone dooooooown hill very fast after the host was bought out by another hosting company. In the 8 years that I have been online I have never dealt with such incompetence, which says a LOT as I have dealt with a few crappy web hosts in my time.
I'm also very sorry to any one that I recommended Midphase hosting to. I hope you never have to deal with their tech support. I'm never recommending another web host again! >> Website Reviews, Internet News
¶ 7:06 PM9 comments
Friday, October 03, 2008
Sarah Palin Nude
I know that many visitors to Art News Blog like nudes and politics, so here it is in one post: Sarah Palin nude!
Chicago painter Bruce Elliott has come up with a novel way to get customers into his Old Town Ale House bar in Chicago with his nude Sarah Palin picture. The American vice president hopeful for the republican party is shown in a full frontal nude pose, standing on a polar bear skin rug, clinging to an automatic weapon, with a lucky moose still alive outside the window. The moose looks like it's in a river, but I guess it could also be a pool of oil, so perhaps the moose is stuck and about to die?
Bruce Elliot told ArtDaily that the model for the nude Sarah Palin painting was his daughter. Elliot said that he finds Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "fascinating, even though I pretty much despise everything she stands for."
I don't live in the United States, so I probably shouldn't have an opinion, but aren't we sick of having a clown in the whitehouse yet? God help the world and the environment if Sarah Palin ever grabs hold of the whitehouse steering wheel. I know she would only be vice president, but that puts her a heart beat away from the number one job. That's a veeeeery scary thought.. and I don't scare easily!
10 Things I Love About Having an Art Blog
After having a vent yesterday with my "Ten Things I Hate About Having an Art Blog" list, I realized that I don't hate having an art blog at all. Actually I struggled to come up with ten things, but I couldn't stop at six or seven things as it would have looked like I wasn't trying hard enough.
So, as a counterweight, here's Ten things that I love about having an art blog..
Comments - Comments featured prominently on the list of things I hate too, but I was just talking about the comments of spammers and retards. All the intelligent things are said in the comments on Art News Blog, so if you just read my posts, you're missing all the interesting stuff in the comments. The comments that disagree with me may be wrong (as I'm always right), but they still interest me.
Keeping Up - I like to know what's happening in the world of art. It's a big world and there's lots happening. I wish some one would hurry up and make a teleporter so I could go to some of the exhibition invites I receive from around the world.
Appreciation - My favorite emails are from artists explaining that my little list of wicked scammers prevented them from being conned.
I can say what I want - Freedom to say almost anything I want. I don't have to report to Rupert Murdoch or an editor in chief to see if my opinions are valid, I just click "Publish Post" and I'm online.
Vanity or Ego Stroking - I shouldn't mention this publicly, but I like it when I'm talking to some one and learn that they read Art News Blog. It's a small world. People expect me to have really strong opinions on everything after they learn that the blog is mine, but my opinions change with the weather.
People - I have met some interesting people because of this blog. Some in person, some through email, some on the phone, and some through comments.
People Send me the News - Most days I don't even have to go looking for art news as it finds me. I must be on a few mailing lists as the inbox fills up with news each day. So don't be offended if I don't mention your exhibition opening or reply to your press release as I'm just one person.
Freebies and Bribes - Mostly small things like books and magazines. I don't receive much but I love getting surprise packages. If I start making weekly posts about how wonderful Ferarris are, you'll know that I have been bought by a Ferrari dealer.
Talking About Art - Most of my friends in real life wouldn't know a Francis Bacon from a Jackson Pollock. Which means that I talk about art online with people that like art as much as me, rather than forcing my art-ignorant friends to listen to my rants about the importance of art.
Learning - The blog forces me to learn new things and be open to new ideas. I can still be narrow minded at times, but I try widen my world view a little bit each day.