Archive for April, 2009
Banksy's "Are You Using That Chair," oil on canvas, from 2005. A steal at $1.5 mil, or just a painting deserving to be stolen?...
Despite the ripple effect of the economic crisis on the art world and the rapid deflation of the vastly overhyped “Street Art” scene in general, London-based ANDIPA GALLERY is currently staging a secondary market “flipper” show of work by BANKSY, the centerpiece of which carries a sticker price of nearly $1.5 million USD. No need to stop and re-read that sentence, you read it correctly the first time. Flying in the face of all rational thought, the gallery’s namesake dealer Acoris Andipa remains undaunted by modern reality and is determined to see “Are You Using That Chair,” a 14-foot-wide canvas dating from 2005 that depicts a drunken hooligan inserted into a copy of the famous Edward Hopper painting from 1942 titled “Nighthawks,” fetch a price that would have been expensive even in the overheated 2008 market. The piece is one of 35 high-priced originals currently on offer by the 400-year-old art institution (Andipa was established in 1593) and the first significant—if unsanctioned—show of Banksy’s work in 2009. Obviously hesitant of wading into the currently chilly waters of the modern art market, Banksy himself has been a ghost since late last year, keeping an incredibly low profile with only a few minor street pieces to his name so far. Despite the fact that values of Banksy originals have dropped a minimum of 30% – 50% since late last year, Andipa’s attitude on the artist’s bankability remains unshakably optimistic: “We’re still doing good business for originals,” he said recently. “We feel the long-term picture for Banksy is still rosy. He’s the artist who perfectly sums up the early 21st century. We aren’t dropping our prices” To date, the record price paid for a Banksy original remains the $1.9 million tag attached to the artist’s collaborative painting “Keep It Spotless,” executed with Damien Hirst for Project RED’s charity auction at Sotheby’s in NYC in early 2008. Until Obama pulls a magic rabbit out of his hat, we’re willing to bet that’s a record that holds true for quite some time to come. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
In other DAMIEN HIRST news, the bad boy of British art grabbed additional headlines this month with the spin art HARLEY DAVIDSON he created to raise funds for LA-based charity event ANGEL ART while assaulting newsstands with his new cover design for nascent art magazine TAR. The 2008 Softail Cross Bones Harley in question was rendered by Hirst in his now signature spin art style as a donation to the Angel Art auction (that also featured works by Ed Ruscha, Catherine Opie, and Jeff Koons, among others) benefiting PROJECT ANGEL FOOD, a charity that provides meals to adults and children affected by HIV/AIDS. The bike went on the block late last week at a VIP gala event at Hollywood talent agency CAA and was quickly snapped up for an as-yet undisclosed amount after a round of frenzied bidding. For the second issue of Tar (that's "art" spelled backwards), a NYC-based upstart art magazine founded by Black Book magazine founder EVANLY SCHINDLER, Hirst "borrowed" a portrait of Kate Moss from the March 2005 cover of W magazine and gave it his trademark "visible man" treatment. Said Schindler of the image in conversation with the NY Times, “I think the cover really ties in both the conscious and subconscious levels of the beauty myth, tearing away the layers and looking at what’s below." Given the tumultuous state (to put it mildly) of the publishing industry, we can only hope the instant collector's edition helps ensure a forthcoming third issue for the very worthy bi-annual. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Last weekend saw the DAMIEN HIRST's first grand spectacle of 2009 when his daunting career retrospective "Requiem" opened at the PINCHUK ART CENTER in the unlikely city of Kiev, Ukraine. Not exactly known as an epicenter of fine art (unless you count the Ukrainian girls, that is), resident steel billionaire and obsessed Hirst collector VICTOR PINCHUK aims to change that by launching the epic visual spectacle that includes over 100 works (a vast amount of which came from Pinchuk's private collection) by the British artist from 1998 – 2008 in his own privately funded art palace that holds the title as the largest private museum in the former Soviet Union. The fact that this grandiose show of power comes at a time when...Read More
As part of the Supertouch-curated “STAGES” anti-cancer art show set to debut in Paris during this year’s TOUR DE FRANCE, LIVESTRONG founder LANCE ARMSTRONG has sent a call out to cancer survivors who want to be immortalized in one of the show’s artworks to submit their personal data by this Friday, April 1st, by clicking HERE. A world-class artist who shall remain nameless until the show’s debut on July 16th at the esteemed GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN will be creating an original work incorporating the names of hundreds of cancer survivors which will hang alongside new works by such participating artists as Cai Guo-Qiang, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Shepard Fairey, Richard Prince, Rosson Crow, Raymond Pettibon, KAWS, Eric White, Barry McGee, Christopher Wool, Marc Newson, Catherine Opie, and Os Gemeos, to name a few. Produced by NIKE as a benefit for the LIVESTRONG foundation, the show was conceived to engage the global creative community in a greater dialogue about the imminent threat posed by the cancer burden and the organization’s ultimate message of survivorship—the core reason behind Lance’s return to the sport in 2009. Keep an eye on ST for more “Stages” updates coming soon, and if you’re a cancer survivor, don’t forget to drop your name HERE by April 1st!
McFly on the wall: Survivors Michael J. Fox and Lance at Casa Armstrong in Austin, Tejás today...
Before the media has everyone believing that the current SWINE FLU scare is likely to lead to a "28 Days Later"-style end-of-the-world zombie bloodbath, remember that way back in 1976 we went through the same hype fest as eloquently documented in these amazing PSA spots from the period.
And you thought "Hannah Montana in 3D" was the shit: To celebrate the imminent arrival of the groundbreaking CINEMA 21:9 LCD TV, electronics company PHILIPS has launched a new website which will act as the dedicated online home of the world's first cinema proportioned television screen. Found on-line at www.philips.co.uk/cinema, the site is host to an exclusive fully interactive movie, entitled "Carousel," directed by ADAM BERG with music provided from MICHAEL FAKESCH. The 2 minute 19 second cinematic feature is filmed in one continuous tracking shot and offers an exploration into the world of movies being made for the cinema screen through the eyes of the director and the special effects and lighting experts. During playback of the movie, users have interactive touch points in which they can access additional content and feature demonstrations.
In a true sign of the times, the art world’s current downturn has been bucked by a dead artist unlike any other before or after him—namely, ADOLF HITLER. In a move straight from the WTF?!? Files, the murderous dead German dictator has made a significant posthumous move in the art world by managing to earn nearly $12,000 USD last week when 15 of his original watercolors—including the self-portrait from 1910 seen here—were put up for auction at MULLOCK’S:
LONDON, England—A painting by Adolf Hitler sold for almost $15,000 Thursday–more than six times as much as expected.
The watercolor was one of 15 items of Hitler art being sold at auction. Together, the artworks by the Nazi leader fetched almost $120,000.
They had expected to raise just under $50,000, auction house Mullock's of Shropshire estimated.
Many of the pictures were on the market because one of the sellers wanted money to install a new central heating system in his house, a spokesman for the auction house said.
"The watercolors came from a collector who is a regular vendor of ours," said Richard Westwood-Brookes, a historical documents expert at Mullock's. "He'd forgotten about them for years. He found them in his garage."
He refused to disclose the identity of the seller, as a matter of policy.
Thirteen watercolors were expected to fetch $580 to $2,200 apiece, while the lone small oil painting was estimated at up to $30,000, the auctioneer estimates.
All of the watercolors shattered expectations -- 12 of them selling for between $4,400 and $9,000.
The remaining watercolor -- a 1910 painting showing a figure sitting on a stone bridge -- fetched almost $15,000. There has been speculation that the figure was a depiction of Hitler himself.
The oil painting sold at only almost $20,000. A pencil sketch signed "A Hitler 1914" went for almost $4,700, beating the auctioneer's estimate of up to $3,700.
An easel thought to have belonged to Hitler sold for nearly $15,000, having been expected to bring $2,900 to $5,800. An anonymous bidder purchased it by phone.
Hitler dreamed of being an artist as a young man, and although he failed to get into the Vienna Academy of Arts, he supported himself by painting watercolors for several years before World War I, according the Holocaust Encyclopedia of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The auction also includes dozens of items related to Hitler's time as leader of Nazi Germany -- including documents from concentration camps where those deemed "undesirable" by the Nazis were imprisoned, sterilized and murdered. Approximately 6 million Jews were killed in Nazi death camps, alongside millions of political prisoners, homosexuals, Gypsies and others. Click HERE to continue reading…
Running obsessed British illustrator, artist, and toy junkie JAMES JARVIS brings his passion for "runner's high" and the moving line together in this amazing animation for NIKE. Now if only a network would grow a pair and sign him to a full-length series...
Every nascent artist knows that a glowing review in the NY TIMES can do wonders for "making" a career in the art world. Incredibly deserving Supertouch buddy TOMOO GOKITA got just such a boost this week when art writer KAREN ROSENBERG took notice of his excellent new show "Champion Carnival" at ATM GALLERY (previously covered HERE):
TOMOO GOKITA: ‘Champion Carnival’
ATM Gallery, 621 West 27th Street, Chelsea (through May 2)
"If you think that black-and-white painting is the province of Minimal and Conceptual artists, Tomoo Gokita’s strong second solo show in Chelsea will shatter your illusions. Mr. Gokita, a Japanese draftsman turned painter, invokes Surrealism, Op Art and post-painterly abstraction without ever dipping into color.
Mr. Gokita, who works in gouache and on a range of scales, specializes in controlled chaos: small areas of tonal modeling suggest a black-and-white photograph torn into tiny pieces and rearranged. Insectoid B-movie forms, as in “Solid State Survivor,” and occasionally puerile humor, as in “Hemorrhoids,” temper the palette’s austerity.
Female figures seem to inspire the most arresting compositions and varied brushwork. The limbs of the woman in “Night and Day” have the even, metallic sheen of forms in a Fernand Léger painting; her hair, meanwhile, is a frosted mass, like a thundercloud. And in “Kathryn,” a similar hairdo is a foil for a striped shirt and neat button earrings. The face is a featureless slab.
There’s something uncanny about Mr. Gokita’s art; it could almost be a black-and-white reproduction of a full-spectrum painting.” —Karen Rosenberg