LONDON///STREET LIFE///THE NOT-SO-PORTABLE CIVIL UNREST MANUAL

September 23, 2008  |  Art Crimes, Graffiti, London, Street Art  |  Comments Off

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LONDON///DAMIEN HIRST TAKES ALL AS HIS TWO DAY AUCTION NETS RECORD $200 MILLION

September 16, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Art Crimes, Damien Hirst, London, News  |  Comments Off

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The word on the street and the day's auction carnage...

ST REPORTING FROM LONDON FOR DAY II OF DAMIEN HIRST'S SOTHEBY'S AUCTION:
Despite the dark pall cast over day two of DAMIEN HIRST's massive "Beautiful Inside My head Forever" auction at SOTHEBY'S by the weekend's Lehman financial crisis and tomorrow's impending AIG disaster, anxious collectors bid big on the remaining 177 art lots like their social reputations depended on it to bring the sale's two-day total to a whopping £111.4 million, or $200.8 million USD. Personal preference seemed to reign supreme throughout today's two uneven sales sessions with lots like Hirst's preserved unicorn piece, "The Dream," selling for $7,284,408 USD, way over its $533,005 USD high estimate, while his pickled zebra piece, "The Incredible Journey," sold for only $3,375,701 USD, finishing just below its low-end $3,553,369 USD million sales estimate. The biggest sellers of the day, however, were the artist's massive array of various butterfly and spin art paintings, perennial favorites in Hirst's aesthetic arsenal that he's vowed to discontinue following this auction. To emphasize that point, the auctioneer even chided the crowd with the motivational come-on, "They're running out, ladies and gentlemen." The highlight of the day's incredibly long, monotonous proceedings came not when Damien Hirst's image appeared magically on the face of the auction pedestal, but when a delirious attendee began bidding "six pounds!, six pounds!" on a £100,000+ auction lot before being dragged away by earpiece-wearing security guards, babbling incoherently. Already a billionaire and the “biggest dollar earner in the history of art,” according to his manager Frank Dunphy, Hirst's most important work of conceptual art seems to be within a hair's breadth of reaching completion. The piece in question, you ask? His bank account. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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LONDON///KUSTOM KULTURE///SPOTTED: THE INCREDIBLY RARE FERRARI 456 VENICE STATION WAGON

September 16, 2008  |  Kustom Kulture, London, News  |  Comments Off

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The Ferrari you can pick the kids up in...

As if the mass of ridiculously expensive DAMIEN HIRST art baubles inside SOTHEBY'S auction house in London weren't enough to satiate our optic nerves, this not-for-sale little piece of eye candy just happened to be parked on the street outside to blow our little mind. The automobile in question is the incredibly rare FERRARI 456 VENICE STATION WAGON, a painfully limited-edition vehicle designed and built by Ferrari styling house PININFARINA for the royal family of the SULTANATE OF BRUNEI. Featuring four doors, a proper backseat, a hatchback, and a 20 cm longer wheelbase, this vehicle is similar in size to a BMW 5 series wagon with all the styling and cylindrical ferocity of a dancing horse. This is art on wheels. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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LONDON///UNDER THE HAMMER: DAMIEN HIRST’S “BEAUTIFUL INSIDE MY HEAD FOREVER” AUCTION EXCEEDS ESTIMATE

September 16, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Damien Hirst, London, News  |  Comments Off

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The auctioneer sweats bullets while Damien ponders his next Aston Martin (with spin art paint job, of course)...

It's been a long nite of watching mostly new money trophy hunters battle for big ticket modern art baubles at the first session of DAMIEN HIRST's much-hyped "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" auction at SOTHEBY'S in London. Although the sale exceeded its overall $112,000,000 USD estimate to bring in a whopping $126,623,656 USD through the sale of 56 lots, the pieces that drew the biggest prices proved surprising. While the show's centerpiece, the massive 10 ton pickled bull installation, "The Golden Calf," was expected to easily exceed its auction estimate of $14,000,000 USD—$21,000,000 USD, and maybe even set a new sales record, the gavel banged at “only” the $17,960,802 USD mark. Meanwhile, the pickled shark known as "The Kingdom," which was only predicted to pull in between $7,000,000—$11,000,000 USD, wound up selling for a massive $17,242,370 USD. Other "stained glass" butterfly and skull spin art pieces also easily exceeded their not-so-conservative estimates proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that even with the recent banking industry collapse the modern art market is still wearing its recession-proof Kevlar vest with pride ("Can you believe this Lehman shit" was the banter of the eve). If that weren’t enough, 167 more Hirst lots will go on the block tomorrow in two additional day sales for a grand total of 223 pieces in all. If Mr Hirst’s master plan was to indeed prove that the gallery system is to established artists what the record industry is to music, he’s succeeded wildly (his longtime gallerist Larry Gagosian was notably absent from the proceedings, while other starmakers like Tony Shafrazi sat front and center). Whether today’s success can be replicated in the future by both Hirst and other artists with smaller PR staffs and less brightly lit halos remains to be seen. In the meantime, it’s a fun ride till the cart goes off the track. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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LONDON CALLING///DAMIEN HIRST ON THE AUCTION BLOCK

September 15, 2008  |  Damien Hirst, London, News, Next Big Thing  |  Comments Off

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Just rolled into London to catch the upcoming DAMIEN HIRST auctions on Monday and Tuesday, September 15th & 16th at SOTHEBY'S. Titled "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" sale is revolutionary in both size and precedent, as no other artist has ever offered this much original directly to the buying public via auction before. If all 223 pieces of art ranging from spin art skull paintings to new pickled tank animal pieces sell as briskly as critics are predicting, the British Bad Boy stands to net over £120 million from the sale. Not a bad take for a couple days of gavel banging. Stay tuned to Supertouch in the coming days for the full update...

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NEWS///ART & COMMERCE///MAKING SENSE OF DAMIEN HIRST’S UPCOMING SOTHEBY’S AUCTION

September 9, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, London, News, UK  |  Comments Off

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Top: Mr Hirst adjusts his million dollar vision. Below: The bull that laid the golden egg...

We'll be reporting from the front row of DAMIEN HIRST's massive auction of new art, "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever," paddle in hand when the action starts at SOTHEBY'S next week. In the meantime, however, we realize that Hirst's bold move to bypass the normal gallery system by choosing to sell a staggering 223 new pieces of art to his collectors directly via auction—a move that could easily net the artist $120 million—remains a baffling event. This week, TIME magazine's RICHARD LACAYO penned a lengthy piece on the subject, demystifying the occasion that we present here to help strip away some of the impenetrable layers of the creepy, high-gloss blue chip art world. READ ON: Read More

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NEWS///ART + DEISGN///JOHN PASCHE’S ORIGINAL ROLLING STONES LOGO ART ACQUIRED BY V&A MUSEUM

September 4, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Design, London, News, Rock of Ages  |  Comments Off

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Pop/graphic artist JOHN PASCHE’s original artwork for THE ROLLING STONES' iconic lips & tongue logo—based on Mick Jagger's big mouth—has just been bought by the VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM in London for $92,500 USD. The acquisition funds were secured with the help of The Art Fund charity, which donated 50% of the cost. The 14-inch square color separated, handpainted artwork comes with a color print. Paid just paid £50 for creating the artwork in 1970 while still an art student at the Royal College of Art at Jagger’s request, Pasche’s enduring image has since become one of the most recognized pieces of graphic art in the world and an icon of an era. The logo’s first use was on the inner sleeve of the 1971 Album “Sticky Fingers” featuring cover art by Andy Warhol, a fact that led to the Pop artist being erroneously credited for the image since its inception. The newly acquired piece will be housed in the V&A’s permanent collection, which represents largest assemblage of decorative arts and design in the world. The fact that Pasche used to wander the halls of the museum as an art student is a particularly fitting bit of irony. To read the full story of the logo’s creation, READ ON: Read More

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LONDON///OPENINGS///TODD JAMES’ “BLOOD & TREASURE” AT LAZARIDES GALLERY

September 3, 2008  |  art, London, News, Openings, Street Art  |  Comments Off

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Art gangster Steve Lazarides builds street cred with LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool todd James)...

Opening to a packed house of London's hipster elite at the art star-making LAZARIDES GALLERY last Friday nite was TODD JAMES' (aka: REAS) first solo show in the Old Country, the aptly-titled "Blood & Treasure." Featuring over 20 large-scale new works addressing the current state of armed conflict around the world, the show represented some of James' most inspired and visually complex imagery to date, none of which had any difficulty in finding homes with well-heeled collectors before the gallery doors even opened to the public. For more on the show, check out our recent interview with Mr. James. In the meantime, HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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NEWS///MARC QUINN TO UNVEIL GOLD KATE MOSS “SPHINX” SCULPTURE

August 29, 2008  |  art, London, News, Next Big Thing  |  Comments Off

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Top: A close up of Quinn's new golden Kate Moss "Sphinx" sculpture. Below: Quinn's original "Sphinx" in white... 

British sculptor and scarily dedicated KATE MOSS fan MARC QUINN whose incredible sculptures of the aging supermodel in a variety of yoga poses made even the most art oblivious take note in 2006 has announced that a $2.8 million, 110-pound solid gold statue of his most prominent Moss sculpture will be unveiled at the BRITISH MUSEUM in October. Hailed as the largest gold sculpture built in the world since ancient Egypt, the new work will take center stage at a group show of new artwork by leading modern British Artists including Damien Hirst. Says Quinn of his inspiration for the work, "I thought the next thing to do would be to make a sculpture of the person who's the ideal beauty of the moment, but even Kate Moss doesn't live up to the image." Keep an eye on ST for a closer look at the sculpture as the exhibition opening approaches. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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LONDON///OPENINGS///WK INTERACT & ANTHONY LISTER AT ELMS LESTERS

August 29, 2008  |  art, Graffiti, London, News, Openings, Street Art  |  Comments Off

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Top to bottom: WK x Lister. Quien es mas macho?... 

The French & British finally made amends when Supertouch's own art frog WK INTERACT and limey street artist ANTHONY LISTER teamed up for an imaginatively titled joint art show, "WK - Lister," at the progressive ELMS LESTERS PAINTING ROOMS. Opening last week to a throng of rabid fan boys & girls, the sellout show—especially notable for including WK's first color works ever—proved once again, that the art world is now officially recession-proof. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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