NEWS///MARC NEWSON’S LOCKHEED LOUNGE CHAIR BUMPS FINE ART SALES DECLINE, SETTING $1.6 MILLION AUCTION RECORD

May 4, 2009  |  art, Art & Commerce, Design, London, News  |  Comments Off

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Madonna relaxes on Newson's "Lockheed" on-camera in 1993. Amazingly, this fact hasn't hurt the chair's value...

Supertouch buddy and upcoming "Stages" art show participant MARC NEWSON created his iconic "Lockheed Lounge" chair in 1988 and in recent years it has become the most famous piece of designer furniture to ever change hands at auction. Last week saw an artist proof of the silver aluminum chaise lounge that previously belonged to the artist's mother (and once made an appearance in Madonna's 1993 "Rain" music video) close out the design auction at PHILLIPS DE PURY & CO in London for a record $1.6 million USD, a new record for a piece of design furniture. The chair broke its own sales record previously established at a 2007 Sotheby's auction when the chair brought in $968,000 USD. Amazingly, the design world has managed to buck the massive sales slump currently facing the art world with resale values remaining virtually undiminished and demand for stellar pieces consistently high. Maybe the fact that it's art you can actually helps justify the splurge in a downturn...

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LONDON///WTF?!? FILES///UNDAUNTED BY ECONOMIC REALITY, ANDIPA GALLERY SEEKING $1.5 MILLION USD FOR SECONDARY MARKET BANKSY PAINTING

April 29, 2009  |  art, Banksy, Graffiti, London, News, Street Art, WTF???  |  Comments Off

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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

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LONDON///STREET LIFE///FRESH BANSKY IN THE EAST END

March 3, 2009  |  art, Banksy, Graffiti, London, News, Street Art, Street Life  |  Comments Off

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BAKSY's back in 2009 with a couple fresh hits in Fogtown. Unsurprisingly, his sense of humor remains undaunted by these dark days...

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LONDON///FIRST LOOK///TAKASHI MURAKAMI & CY TWOMBLY AT GAGOSIAN GALLERY

February 19, 2009  |  art, London, News  |  Comments Off

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Representing two diametrically opposed visual dialectics, the twin solo shows by eighty-one-year-old American painter CY TWOMBLY ("The Rose") and forty-six-year-old Japanese pop artist TAKASHI MURAKAMI ("New Paintings") currently on display at mega gallerist LARRY GAGOSIAN's twin London outposts (Brittania Street and Davies street respectively) create an incredibly exciting dynamic when considered in tandem. A progenitor of graffiti-style writing as fine art, Twombly earned his art world stripes in the late 1960s with challenging paintings depicting loose text-based scrawlings reminiscent of early bathroom stall graffiti. Murakami, currently the high priest of Pacific Rim postmodern Pop, is literally a product of his consumer-centric environment who both seeks to achieve the impossibly clean aesthetic of product in his artwork while simultaneously commodifying his art as product in and of itself. While the two bodies of work share little in common from a technical standpoint, the disparate shows are united in their visceral use of pulsating color. While Twombly's five monumental rose paintings are loose and primal in their execution with color employed as a prime and raw edged emotional force, Murakami's works are so tightly rendered as to appear silk-screened with colors employed as pure eye candy and reminiscent of the hues found in a toy store. Located within walking distance of one another, the disparate exhibitions make for a hell of an uplifting walking tour of the Old Country for those lucky enough to be able to still afford plane tickets these days, let alone the ever-elusive price of ownership. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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NEWS///DAMIEN HIRST DEFYS ECONOMIC SLUMP BY OPENING SECOND RETAIL SHOP IN LONDON

February 11, 2009  |  art, Damien Hirst, London, News  |  Comments Off

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Hirst's message to the haters...

Not only did DAMIEN HIRST, the most controversial and highest paid living figure in the art world redefine how business is done late last year with his groundbreaking Sotheby's auction, he's managed to thumb his nose at the world of retail this week by opening a second London shop in the middle of the 21st Century Great Depression:

"Damien Hirst has defied the slump in U.K. consumer spending by opening a second shop in London. Other Criteria, the U.K. artist’s publishing and merchandising company, started the store this week at 14 Hinde Street in the Marylebone district. It sells works including some by Hirst himself ranging from his keyrings at 3.50 pounds ($5) to prints showing pills on mirror glass shelves, from an edition of 125, at 4,000 pounds ($5,800) each.

The first branch of Other Criteria opened in October in Bond Street next to Sotheby’s. The previous month, the auction house staged Hirst’s 111.5 million-pound sale, “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever.” Since then, U.K retailers have suffered in the economic slump. Woolworths Group Plc, MFI Group Ltd. and Zavvi Group were chains that collapsed and closed stores.

“Other Criteria makes objects and books created by artists to an exceptional standard,” said Hirst in an e-mailed statement. “I don’t think art has ever been as popular as it is today and Other Criteria aims to sell affordable art of the highest quality to everyone who wants it.” Click HERE to continue reading...

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NEWS///ART & COMMERCE///SUCCESSFUL EUROPEAN AUCTION SALES CALM JITTERY ART MARKET

February 10, 2009  |  art, Art & Commerce, London, News  |  Comments Off

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Jeff Koons' "Stacked" was the prize pig at Sotheby's evening sale selling for $4,136,939...

Last year saw the art market operating at unprecedented highs with works by blue chip artists being snapped up as commodities in an array of auctions that made the heads of even seasoned dealers spin. Of course, by year's end Damien Hirst had claimed the title of "ultimate master of the game" with his masterfully timed, record setting "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" Sotheby's auction at the precise moment the entire worldwide financial market threw a rod and seized. Since then auction houses have been in the kind of despair heretofore known only to the American auto industry while the art market in general has slowed considerably in keeping with the beleaguered economy. The International Asian Art Fair scheduled to take place during this year's NYC-based Armory show in NYC was even cancelled due to financial concerns and was quickly followed suit by the Moscow World Fine Art Fair (May) and the Salzburg Fine Art Fair (August) which were killed off entirely for 2009. Needless to say, the February auctions by Sotheby's, Christies, and Phillips de Pury that began in London on February 5th and run through the 13th are off to a promising start with a smaller, more carefully curated collection bringing in nice returns (the Sotheby's evening sale brought in $25,785,250 alone) and brightening expectations for this year's art market considerably in the process:

"Predictions of an art market meltdown were confounded in London this week as six sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary art at Christie's and Sotheby's turned in solid results.

The auction houses managed to restore confidence to a jittery market with successful sales by radically shrinking the size of the catalogue and lowering estimates compared with last year. Some distress selling is, however, beginning to filter through.

Among the week's highlights were a classic impressionist painting by Monet that fetched £11.2m, a Degas sculpture that sold for £13.3m and a carved stack of cartoon-like animals by Jeff Koons that made £2.8m. The day sales, which offer more moderately priced works, also proved successful.

"We feel a lot better than we did a week ago," said James Roundell, a London dealer. "At best, people thought the sales would be patchy. These results send a positive message to the market." Click HERE to continue reading...

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LONDON///NEWS///NEW BANKSY TESCO PRINT GOES ON SALE DECEMBER 6th

December 4, 2008  |  Art & Commerce, Banksy, London, News  |  Comments Off

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Just in time for Christmas shopping, London's PICTURES ON WALLS has announced a new BANKSY print commemorating his Tesco mural in Shoreditch (now covered in protective plastic) is set to go on sale on December 6th. The signed and numbered silkscreen will be available—alongside a number of other prints we could care less about—via a lottery system whereby would-be buyers can purchase a lottery ticket for £1 GBP (up to 20 per person), with all proceeds going to Sight Savers, an international anti-blindness charity, that will ensure them a CHANCE to snag the actual print when it's released. Unfortunately for international Banksy fans, tickets can only be purchased in person at POW. Winning consumers will be chosen randomly, and the first four names drawn get the print for free. Not a bad deal considering this thing might end up putting your kid through college someday (when people start buying art again)...

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LONDON///ON EXHIBIT: FRESH WORK FROM BANKSY

December 4, 2008  |  art, Banksy, London, News  |  Comments Off

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BANKSY's "Crude Oils" series continues...

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LONDON///FAILE INTERVIEWED ON BBC “BLAST”

December 2, 2008  |  Graffiti, London, News, Street Art  |  Comments Off

PATRICK McNEIL and PATRICK MILLER, the formerly anonymous street art duo known as FAILE blew the doors off their "Lost in Glimmering Shadows" solo show of new work at LAZARIDES GALLERY last month and the BBC's new street art show "Blast" took notice, interviewing the pair for the first time on camera...

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LONDON///DESIGN///ZAHA HADID’S SPACE BAR

December 2, 2008  |  art, Design, London, News  |  Comments Off

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"Kanye West is on the phone, he'll take two..."

The most retro-futuristic place to have a pint in old London is unfortunately the prohibitively members-only HOME HOUSE where the British-Iraqui architect ZAHA HADID recently installed her eye-popping, Jetsons-esque SPACE BAR. Sculpted in metal and finished in matching silver leather all wrapped in a deep coat of glossy automotive metalflake enamel, this to-die-for watering outpost when contrasted by the club's vintage 250-year-old interior could easily double as the set of the finale of Kubrick's 2001...

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