Sep 01

Holbein hand

Facebook banned Holbein’s hand – but it isn’t even art’s sauciest:

If the Renaissance master’s simple drawing breached community standards, you wonder what Facebook would make of these other delightfully erotic digits

Facebook’s habit of censoring great art has gone from the silly to the utterly surreal after it claimed that a drawing of a hand by Holbein breached its community standards.

H/t reader kevin a.

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Jul 20

Art Sales Tumble: Christie’s Reports 38% Plunge In First Half Sales:

There is yet another confirmation that the slowdown in luxury spending continues, nowhere more so than in the world of “luxury” art. As the WSJ reports, Christie said it sold $3 billion in art during the first half of the year, down a third from the same period last year. Contemporary art, long the engine of Christie’s market dominance, was hardest hit, its $788 million in auction sales down 45% from a year earlier. Sotheby’s didn’t fare better: the New York-based auction house said first half sales dropped a quarter from the year before

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Nov 10

Modigliani_0

Billionaire Chinese “Beverly Hillbilly” Pays $170 Million For Naked Woman At Christie’s

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May 16

CIA-1

Before You Buy That Rothko – How The CIA Covertly Nurtured Modern Art As A Cold War “Weapon” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 15, 2015):

For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art – including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince – except that it acted secretly – the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

Because Abstract Expressionism was expensive to move around and exhibit, millionaires and museums were called into play. Pre-eminent among these was Nelson Rockefeller, whose mother had co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As president of what he called “Mummy’s museum”, Rockefeller was one of the biggest backers of Abstract Expressionism (which he called “free enterprise painting”). His museum was contracted to the Congress for Cultural Freedom to organise and curate most of its important art shows.

The museum was also linked to the CIA by several other bridges. William Paley, the president of CBS broadcasting and a founding father of the CIA, sat on the members’ board of the museum’s International Program. John Hay Whitney, who had served in the agency’s wartime predecessor, the OSS, was its chairman. And Tom Braden, first chief of the CIA’s International Organisations Division, was executive secretary of the museum in 1949.

– From the excellent Independent article published in 1995: Modern Art Was CIA ‘Weapon’

Most of you will be aware of the oligarch bidding wars for high end art at recent auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. In fact, the feeding frenzy was so extreme, the top 10 lots accounted for almost $800 million alone. Some of these paintings are breathtakingly beautiful, such as Vincent Van Gogh’s, “L’Allée des Alyscamps.” Others, not so much. Such as this one by Mark Rothko, which sold for $46.5 million. Continue reading »

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May 12

Picasso Painting Sells For Record $180 Million In Christie’s Auction (ZeroHedge, May 11, 2015):

If the Fed’s bubble busting team led by Stanley Fischer was looking for runaway inflation, it could have easily found it earlier today without any particular effort, only not in the usual CPI place, but in the price of Women of Algiers (Version O), a “vibrant, multi-hued painting” from Pablo Picasso which moments ago became the world’s most expensive artwork, selling for $179,365,000, included the house’s premium in a Christie’s auction.

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Apr 01

Banksy-Mural-Gaza
Bomb damage, Gaza City

Palestinian ‘duped’ into selling priceless Banksy mural for £118 (RT, April 1, 2015):

A Palestinian man claims he was tricked into selling a Banksy mural worth thousands of pounds for a mere £118. The work had been painted on the door of his bombed-out house.

Banksy is believed to have infiltrated Gaza via Egypt earlier this year at considerable personal risk through an underground tunnel.

He painted four murals including one of the Greek goddess Niobe, who is pictured cowering amid the devastation left by Israeli bombing carried out last summer.

Her image was painted on a steel door, which was all that remained of the home of Rabie Darduna, 33, and his family who had been displaced during the war.

Banksy artworks are regularly valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds, but Darduna, who claims he was unaware of the door’s value and even of who Banksy was, sold it to a local artist for around £118. Continue reading »

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Jul 03

FLASHBACK.

I thought this deserves to be reposted.

A MUST-SEE!!!

(This should be shown to all those sheeple that still believe that there could not possibly be a conspiracy by a power elite.)



YouTube

Synopsis:

Secrets In Plain Sight is an awe inspiring exploration of great art, architecture, and urban design which skillfully unveils an unlikely intersection of geometry, politics, numerical philosophy, religious mysticism, new physics, music, astronomy, and world history.

Exploring key monuments and their positions in Egypt, Stonehenge, Jerusalem, Rome, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco brings to light a secret obsession shared by pharaohs, philosophers and kings; templars and freemasons; great artists and architects; popes and presidents, spanning the whole of recorded history up to the present time.

As the series of videos reveals how profound ancient knowledge inherited from Egypt has been encoded in units of measurement, in famous works of art, in the design of major buildings, in the layout of city streets and public spaces, and in the precise placement of obelisks and other important monuments upon the Earth, the viewer is led to perceive an elegant harmonic system linking the human body with the architectural, urban, planetary, solar, and galactic scales.

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Oct 10


Mercury released from the red pigment in Adoration of the Magi (Peter Paul Rubens, 1624) has formed black stains in some places.

Paintings turning black? Blame mercury (Nature, Oct 4, 2013):

The pigment vermilion has been a favourite of artists for centuries, but it is notorious for turning black as it degrades over time. But the source of the black colouring, found in works ranging from ancient Roman frescoes to the baroque paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, has been unclear. Now researchers have shown that the culprit is elemental mercury, which forms under exposure to light and chlorine ions in the air. The finding is the first step to devising a way for conservators to prevent further degradation of historic masterpieces.

Continue reading »

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May 03

A MUST-SEE!!!

(Especially for all those sheeple that still believe that there could not possibly be a conspiracy by a power elite.)



YouTube

Synopsis:

Secrets In Plain Sight is an awe inspiring exploration of great art, architecture, and urban design which skillfully unveils an unlikely intersection of geometry, politics, numerical philosophy, religious mysticism, new physics, music, astronomy, and world history.

Exploring key monuments and their positions in Egypt, Stonehenge, Jerusalem, Rome, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco brings to light a secret obsession shared by pharaohs, philosophers and kings; templars and freemasons; great artists and architects; popes and presidents, spanning the whole of recorded history up to the present time.

As the series of videos reveals how profound ancient knowledge inherited from Egypt has been encoded in units of measurement, in famous works of art, in the design of major buildings, in the layout of city streets and public spaces, and in the precise placement of obelisks and other important monuments upon the Earth, the viewer is led to perceive an elegant harmonic system linking the human body with the architectural, urban, planetary, solar, and galactic scales.

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Mar 16

The Libyan Job: Insiders Used War to Steal Priceless Artifacts (Wired, Mar 15, 2012):

BENGHAZI, Libya — The treasure was kept mostly in two wooden chests, and locked away in a bank vault: thousands of coins, jewelry and figurines, some around 2,600 years old. For decades it sat in the bank, unattended despite the historical and monetary value. Then, as a popular uprising erupted around the downtown bank last winter, someone entered the vault and made off with the trove.

Now, as Interpol searches for the collection on the illegal antiquities markets, questions are still being raised about the nature of the theft. One thing most seem to agree on: The heist was an inside job.

“I cannot say who did it,” said Ahmed Buzaian, an archaeology professor at Benghazi University, who was part of an outside group that investigated the crime scene. “But they knew exactly what was inside.”

Continue reading »

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Sep 08

Click on image to enlarge.

See also:

‘Inflammatory Art’ Meets Stupid Cops: Alex Schaefer’s Depiction Of A Chase Bank Branch Going Up In Flames Drew Attention Of L.A. Police, Who Asked If He Was A Terrorist (Pictures)

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Aug 29

Another Chase bank branch on fire by Alex Schaefer:

Instantly famous thanks to brilliant art, fearful & brainwashed Americans calling the police,  stupid cops and the Los Angeles Times.

From the article:

“The flames symbolize bringing the system down,” he said. “Some might say that the banks are the terrorists.”



Alex Schaefer’s depiction of a Chase branch going up in flames drew the attention of L.A. police, who asked if he was a terrorist. He said the work was a metaphor for the havoc banking practices have caused the economy.

An artist’s incendiary painting is his bank statement (Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2011)

Standing before an easel on a Van Nuys sidewalk, Alex Schaefer dabbed paint onto a canvas.

“There you have it,” he said. “Inflammatory art.”

The 22-by-28-inch en plein air oil painting is certainly hot enough to inflame Los Angeles police.

Twice they’ve come to investigate why the 41-year-old Eagle Rock artist is painting an image of a bank building going up in flames.

Schaefer had barely added the orange-and-yellow depiction of fire shooting from the roof of a Chase Bank branch when police rolled up to the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street on July 30.

“They told me that somebody had called and said they felt threatened by my painting,” Schaefer said.

“They said they had to find out my intention. They asked if I was a terrorist and was I going to follow through and do what I was painting.”

No, Schaefer said. He explained that the artwork was intended to be a visual metaphor for the havoc that banking practices have caused to the economy.

A terrorist certainly would not spend hours on a public sidewalk creating an oil painting of his intended target, he told the officers.

The police took down his name, address and telephone number on a form — Schaefer declined to provide his Social Security number — and departed.

“They were friendly. They weren’t intimidating,” he said. “I figured that when they left, they probably decided the episode was stupid and they’d just wad up the form and throw it away.”

Wrong. On Tuesday, two more officers showed up at Schaefer’s home. This time they were plainclothes detectives.

“One of them asked me, ‘Do you hate banks? Do you plan to do that to the bank?’ ” Schaefer again explained what his painting symbolizes.

Continue reading »

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Aug 19

Woman Pays $10,000 For ‘Non-Visible’ Work Of Art (First Things, July 22, 2011):

In his 1975 book The Painted Word, Tom Wolfe attempted to expose the ludicrous depths to which modern art theory had sunk:

The conceptualists liked to propound the following question: suppose the greatest artist in the history of the world, impoverished and unknown at the time, had been sitting at a table in the old automat at Union square, cadging some free water and hoping to cop a leftover crust of toasted corn muffin or a few abandoned translucent chartreuse waxed beans or some other item of that amazing range of Yellow Food the Automat went in for – and suddenly he got the inspiration for the greatest work of art in the history of the world. Possessing not even so much as a pencil or a burnt match, he dipped his forefinger into the glass of water and began recording the greatest of all inspirations, this high point in the history of man as a sentient being, on a paper napkin, with New York tap water as his paint. In a matter of seconds, of course, the water had diffused through the paper and the grand design vanished, whereupon the greatest artist in the history of the world slumped to the table and died of a broken heart, and the manager came over, and he thought that here was nothing more than a dead wino with a wet napkin. Now, the question is: would that have been the greatest work of art in the history of the world or not? The Conceptualists would answer: of course, it was. Of course it was. It’s not permanence and materials , all that Winsor & Newton paint and other crap, that are at the heart of art, but two things only: Genius and the process of creation! Later they decided that Genius might as well take a walk, too.

Behold Process after Genius has taken off for a stroll:

[L]ast month, the actor James Franco put his name behind a strange new project called the Museum of Non-Visible Art, which takes what it calls conceptual art to a whole new level. Their website is here and there’s an explainer video here, but in simple terms, the idea of the museum is that the works of art don’t exist physically, instead they are imagined by the artist. So when you purchase the “work of art” you get a “card” to hang on an empty wall and you “describe it to your audience.”

Amazingly, the museum just made one big sale. A woman paid $10,000 for a piece title “Fresh Air,” which Paste Magazine describes as:

A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.

That reminds me. Last week I imagined a beautiful and stunning abstract piece about ennui and corn chips. I won’t say its the best work anyone has ever imagined, but it is—I imagine—in the top ten pieces imagined in the 21st century.

If you’re interested in purchasing a limited reproduction (only 3,999 editions will be imagined), they can be had for the low, low price of $19.95. Check, Visa, and PayPal accepted. No imaginary money, please.

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