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Thank God I Stocked Up On The Willy Spread Before This Went Down

from the UK Guardian

Ann Summers pulls chocolate sex toy spread

 

Ann Summers, the sex shop chain, has pulled thousands of novelty chocolate products from its shelves and website after tests revealed they were contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.

The Food Standards Agency issued an alert over chocolate willy spread, a related nipple spread and a novelty pen set, which contains a chocolate-flavoured body pen, all of which were imported from a Chinese manufacturer called Le Bang.

Food safety experts detected levels of melamine were up to 100 times greater than limits set by the European commission.

Milk products contaminated with melamine have been at the centre of a health scare in China, after a number of children died from baby formula laced with the chemical. European food safety officials have imposed strict checks on food products arriving from China that contain milk products. Any found to have more than 2.5 milligrams a kilo must be destroyed. Tests on the Ann Summers products found levels up to 259 milligrams a kilo.

The FSA said the withdrawal was precautionary and the risk was low. “This is a first. We’ve never had to put out an alert before on willy spread, chocolate-flavoured or otherwise,” it added.

Ann Summers said: “As a responsible retailer we have tested all of our chocolates and even before the FSA alert was issued had taken all relevant steps to remove the chocolate willy spread product that could be affected by this issue.”

[ click to read full article at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 20, 2008 by Editor

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Woman With Sickle Wins

from the NY Daily News

Indian woman beheads alleged attacker; parades severed head in market

Friday, October 17th 2008, 10:39 AM

LUCKNOWIndia – A woman chopped the head off a man who allegedly tried to attack her and then paraded the head through a market in northern India, police said Friday.

Police arrested the woman late Thursday after receiving calls from frightened witnesses who reported a blood-soaked woman holding a severed head was walking through the village, said police officer Ram Bharose.

The woman, 35, told police she had gone to a nearby forest to cut grass for fodder for her cattle when a man attacked her from behind.

“In a bid to save her dignity she beheaded him with a sickle,” Bharose said, adding that the woman had bite marks on her neck and cheek.

[ click to continue reading at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on October 20, 2008 by Editor

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Zonis On Madison

from the New York Times

Artist of Rich Shoppers Has Madison Ave. as a Storefront

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Peter Zonis with potential customers outside Barneys New York on Madison near 61st Street, where Mr. Zonis sells his oil pastels.

Along a stretch of Madison Avenue filled with stores specializing in items with hefty price tags, Peter Zonis is a familiar face. For the last seven years, Mr. Zonis, an artist who works in oil pastel, has sold whimsical, vibrantly colored New York City street scenes outside Barneys. His subjects are familiar to his Chanel- and Prada-clad clientele: scenes of Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Harry Winston, Hermès and Tiffany.

Inspired by certain Manhattan precincts where money and shopping are paramount, Mr. Zonis depicts men in tailored Italian suits cradling cellphones, and curvaceous women teetering on high heels and toting shopping bags while walking their lap dogs. He renders restaurants where people go not only to eat but also to be seen, like Nello, La Goulue and Balthazar.

In one canvas, a lone blond woman clutching a designer handbag stares forlornly into a Christmas window display at Barneys. In another, the spires of the Plaza Hotel appear as if in a fairy tale.

Though Mr. Zonis sees his work as high art, likening his style to the Fauvist movement, he is not represented by a gallery. Instead, Madison Avenue is his storefront, where art, fashion and commerce collide as they do in his artwork. The boldface names that he says have bought his work are printed on a postcard he hands out: Robert De NiroJoe Namath and Harvey Weinstein, among others.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on October 20, 2008 by Editor

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Dude Ranch Nurse #2

from Art Market Monitor

Christie’s Home Safe Too

October 19th, 2008

Christie’s Contemporary Art Evening sale brings in £31,978,500 ($55,642,590) with 26 of the 42 lots sold or 62% sell-through. Many works sold below the low estimates as Christie’s and their consignors adapted to the new price structure. Richard Prince’s Dude Ranch Nurse #2 went for $5.5 million. Not bad considering it changed hands for $2.5 million last May. The Freud portrait of Bacon sold; the Bacon portrait of Henrietta Moraes did not. The Fontana sold for $9 million but it was announced that a bidder with a financial interest in the picture would be participating. There was only one bid.

Fontana, Freud Pictures Sell in UK Art Market Test (Bloomberg)

[ click to read at ArtMarketMonitor.com ]

Posted on October 19, 2008 by Editor

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Brigid Berlin NEEDLEPOINT @ 64th Street Gallery

Brigid Berlin - Needlepoint

Brigid Berlin
Needlepoint

Featuring a selection of Berlin’s needlepoint
work of the last ten years

October 21st to November 22nd 2008
Please join us at a reception for the artist
Tuesday, October 21st from 6 to 8p.m.

It is not uncharacteristic that Berlin in later years has turned to the traditionally ladylike craft of needlepoint to create work that continues to challenge the social status quo, defy convention, and pose questions about taste and society. An avid consumer of tabloid newspapers, the “popular press” as it’s referred to in Britain, she translates front page headline broadsheets into genteel features of interior décor. Plush and tactile as the finished works might be they defy any but the hardiest to cozy up to them. Sweetheart cushions they are not.

Visit our website for more information.

----------

50 1/2 East 64th Street
New York, New York 10065
P: 212.754.5626
www.johnmcwhinnie.com

Gallery Hours
Tues thru Fri: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays

----------

Posted on October 18, 2008 by Editor

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What’s black and white and REM all over?

from New Scientist

It’s black and white: TV influences your dreams

  • 10:52 17 October 2008
  • NewScientist.com news service
  • David Robson

 

The moment when Dorothy passes out in monochrome Kansas and awakes in Technicolor Oz may have been more significant than you’d ever imagined. A new study reveals that children exposed to black-and-white film and TV are more likely to dream in greyscale throughout their life.

 

Opinions have been divided on the colour of dreams for almost a century. Studies from 1915 through to the 1950s suggested that the vast majority of dreams are in black and white. But the tides turned in the 60s, and later results suggested that up to 83% of dreams contain some colour.

Since this period also marked the transition between black-and-white film and TV and widespread Technicolor, an obvious explanation was that the media had been priming the subjects’ dreams, but differences between the studies prevented the researchers from drawing any firm conclusions.

[ click to continue reading at NewScientist.com ]

Posted on October 18, 2008 by Editor

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The Rigid Boundaries That Divide Science

from the UK Spectator

The Age Of Wonder

The romance of science

Richard Holmes
HarperPress, 380pp, £25,

BEN WILSON

WEDNESDAY, 15TH OCTOBER 2008

 

The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes

 

Just what some- one who studied science should be called was mooted at the 1833 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. ‘Formerly the “learned” embraced in their wide grasp all the branches of the tree of knowledge, mathematicians as well as philologers, physical as well as antiquarian speculators,’ reported the geologist William Whewell. ‘But these days are past.’

The meeting was chaired by Coleridge, who vetoed the use of ‘philosopher’; ‘savants’ was instantly rejected as too French. But ‘some ingenious gentlemen’ (including Whewell himself) proposed ‘that, by analogy with “artist”, they might form “scientist” ’. Natural philosophers did not, with their new designation, become in the mind of the public another kind of artist, but a breed apart, divorced from the wider culture. This, according to Richard Holmes, is a tragedy. We should repudiate the rigid boundaries that divide science from literature, art, ethics and religion.

We need a wider, more generous, more imaginative perspective. Above all … we need the three things that a scientific culture can sustain: the sense of individual wonder, the power of hope, and the vivid but questing belief in a future for the globe.

[ click to continue reading at The Spectator ]

Posted on October 17, 2008 by Editor

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Freud’s Bacon

from Bloomberg

Freud’s Bacon Portrait Recalls Bohemian Soho: Martin Gayford 

Preview by Martin Gayford

 

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) — Great British artists, it seems, are like buses. None comes along for ages, then two arrive together.

In the early 19th century there were Constable and Turner, then — with the arguable exception of Sickert — no painter of truly international stature until Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon appeared in the 1940s.

On Oct. 19, one of only two painted portraits of Bacon by Freud will go under the hammer at Christie’s International in London, with an estimate range of 5 million pounds ($8.6 million) to 7 million pounds. The other picture of Bacon by Freud was stolen from a Berlin show 20 years ago and has never been recovered. Bacon also painted Freud on numerous occasions, but for reasons that can only be guessed at never with such intensity.

In the past few years those two have come to bestride the contemporary art world like twin colossi. This year, Freud took the title of the world’s most expensive living artist at auction, with the sale of “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” (1995) for $33.6 million at Christie’s in New York on May 13.

A mere 24 hours later Bacon, who died in 1992, achieved the title of the most expensive contemporary artist when “Triptych” (1976) sold for $86.3 million at Sotheby’s in New York.

Bacon, born in 1909, was 13 years Freud’s senior, but was only just emerging as a major talent when Freud first encountered him. They met through a common friend, Graham Sutherland.

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg.com ]

Posted on October 17, 2008 by Editor

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Sorta Nuts

from the NY Daily News

Drowning in debt, Titanic survivor sells mementos to pay for nursing home care

Friday, October 17th 2008, 7:24 AM

Millvina DeanAP

Millvina Dean

LONDON – Millvina Dean was only 2 months old when she was wrapped in a sack and lowered into a lifeboat from the doomed Titanic. Now 96, the last survivor of the tragic sinking is selling mementos of the disaster to help pay her nursing home fees.

Rescued from the bitterly cold Atlantic on that April 1912 night, Dean, her 2-year-old brother and her mother were taken to New York with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Before returning home to England, they were given a small wicker suitcase of donated clothing, a gift from New Yorkers to help them rebuild their lives.

Now, Dean is selling the suitcase and other Titanic mementos to help pay her nursing home fees. They are expected to go for $5,200 at an auction of Titanic memorabilia Saturday in Devizes in western England.

Among the items are rare prints of the Titanic and letters from the Titanic Relief Fund offering her mother one pound, seven shillings and sixpence a week in compensation.

[ click to continue reading at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on October 17, 2008 by Editor

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TIME WARP on Discovery Channel

Hi All!

My friend from high school Matt Kearney is hosting a show on the Discovery Channel called Time Warp.  There are some youtube clips already posted.  He’s been doing slow-motion photography for a long time now and I’m trying to boost his ratings with this shameless plug.

Hope all are well!
Drew

Posted on October 16, 2008 by Editor

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Shindiggin’ With The Elders

shindig.jpg

Posted on October 15, 2008 by Editor

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Art Of The Game

from Art Market Monitor

The Frieze Fair Normally Provokes a Lot of Excitement;

But This Year It Takes Place in the Midst of a Panic 

Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, “Midnight In Bamako” (2008)
Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, “Midnight In Bamako” (2008)

 

The art world seems to be holding its breath to see what happens this weekend. As the VIPs make their way through the fair, we bring you a round up of all the Frieze-related press, including a look at what’s on offer from the ArtInfo slide show. And The Master, Judd Tully’s Overvalued/Undervalued list.

“I know very little about contemporary art but have £1,000 to invest. Any advice?” When Charles Saatchi was asked this in an interview in ‘The Independent’, he responded: “Premium bonds. Art is no investment unless you get very, very lucky, and can beat the professionals at their game. Buy something you really like that will give you a thousand pounds’ worth of pleasure over the years. And take your time looking for something special, because looking is half the fun.”

This is how Alice Jones answers How to Buy Art in the Independent. Among their other tidbits is How to Survive Frieze (as an Artist) and How to Survive Frieze (as a Gallerist)

[ click to continue reading ]

Posted on October 15, 2008 by Editor

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My 32nd Note Face

Posted on October 14, 2008 by Editor

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William Claxton Gone

from the Los Angeles Times and the NY Daily News

William Claxton dies at 80; photographer helped make Chet Baker famous

By Jon Thurber
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 13, 2008

William Claxton, the master photographer whose images of Chet Baker helped fuel the jazz trumpeter’s stardom in the 1950s and whose fashion photographs of his wife modeling a topless swim suit were groundbreaking years later, has died. He was 80.

 

Claxton died from complications of congestive heart failure Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife, actress and model Peggy Moffitt Claxton, told The Times.

In a career spanning more than a half century, Claxton also became well known for his work with celebrities including Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen, who became a close personal friend; but he gained his foremost public recognition for his photographs of jazz performers including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Stan Getz. But it was his photographs of Baker that helped teach him the true meaning of the word photogenic.

[ click to read full article in the LA Times and the NY Daily News ]

Posted on October 13, 2008 by Editor

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Gidget Gein Gone

from PLAY @ LA Weekly

 

RIP GIDGET GEIN- LOCAL ARTIST & FORMER MARILYN MANSON BASSIST FOUND DEAD

by Lina Lecaro
October 10, 2008 12:11 PM

 

The details are still sketchy, but close friends of musician and artist Gidget Gein (aka Brad Stewart) tell us he was found dead yesterday of an apparent OD in his home in Burbank. Considering his macabre sensibilities, we’d hoped this was some kind of goth stunt, but calls to the LA Coroner today confirmed the passing.

gein.jpg

Best known for his tumultuous time in Marilyn Manson (he was kicked out due to drug problems just as the band was breaking through, and replaced by Twiggy Ramirez, who many say copped his style and look), Gein went on to form art gothster faves The Dali Gaggers in New York in the late ’90’s. Taking a break from performing, he returned to his Florida hometown to work as a ” bag boy” for the Florida Coroner’s office in 2000. He moved to LA about 5 years ago to pursue his art, and his dark and beguiling works were often the most talked about at the city’s wildest openings and parties including BlueGirl Events and World of Wonder exhibits.

Recently out of rehab for what was apparently not the first time, Gein -whose name is a mesh of serial killer Ed Gein and Sally Field’s 60’s TV character “Gidget”-had a lot to look forward to. He had just emailed us a couple of weeks ago about a new band he was playing with called People (supporting Semi Precious Weapons and Gram Rabbit at House of Blues last week). Good pal Lenora Claire tells us, “He had just got a book deal, was recording a record with the guy who produced the first Janes Addiction record and just landed a solo show at La Luz de Jesus that he had wanted for years.” She says she plans to make sure the show, set for February of next year, still happens no matter what.

[ click to read at LAWeekly’s PLAY Music Blog ]

Posted on October 13, 2008 by Editor

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Metal Health Will Drive You Mad

from Bloomberg News

Metallica Drummer Puts $12 Million `Boxer’ Basquiat Up for Sale 

By Lindsay Pollock

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) — Lars Ulrich, the drummer for the heavy-metal band Metallica, is selling a nearly 8-foot wide Jean- Michel Basquiat portrait of a boxer at Christie’s International in New York on Nov. 12.

Christie’s said the 1982 painting is estimated to sell at about $12 million.

“Untitled (Boxer)” was among the highlights of a 2005-2006 Basquiat retrospective that toured several museums, including the Brooklyn Museum.

Basquiat’s fighter, with a black skeletal face topped with a white crown, raises his gloves in victory.

“It’s a proxy self-portrait,” said Brett Gorvy, Christie’s international co-head of postwar and contemporary art. “The black artist as defiant hero.”

Raised fists are a reference to black empowerment, Gorvy said. The painting will adorn the cover of Christie’s contemporary art auction catalog.

The Danish-born, San Francisco-based Ulrich is a longtime collector, favoring colorful expressionist art inspired by primitivism. He sold a group of paintings at Christie’s in 2002, including Basquiat’s 1982 “Profit I” which fetched $5.5 million.

Metallica’s new album, “Death Magnetic,” released last month, features tunes like “Broken, Beat & Scarred,” and “Cyanide.”

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg.com ]

Posted on October 12, 2008 by Editor

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Roundup For The Ol’ Bitty

from The Guardian UK

 Sacked gardener poisoned plants after feud with retired judge’s wife, court told

Edward Hancock denies spraying weedkiller on the former high court judge Sir Richard Tucker’s garden

 

Sir Richard Tucker and his wife, Lady Jacqueline, arriving at Gloucester magistrates court

Sir Richard Tucker and his wife, Lady Jacqueline, arriving at Gloucester magistrates court this morning. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

An angry gardener poisoned a retired high court judge’s plants after being sacked due to a “clash of egos” with the judge’s wife, a court heard today.

Edward Hancock, 45, is accused of spraying weedkiller on Sir Richard Tucker’s garden in Stanton, Worcestershire, after a 20-year feud with Lady Jacqueline, a garden designer.

Their relationship reached breaking point in April and he was fired via a note left on his van after failing to turn up for work on the £1.5m property, Gloucester magistrates court heard. A month later, Tucker, 77, and his third wife returned from a holiday to find their lawn had turned orange.

The gardener, of Northway, Tewkesbury, denies a charge of causing damage worth £500 to flower borders and a grass verge.

Giving evidence, Tucker, who presided over high-profile cases such as the Polly Peck fraud trial, said Hancock was a “good country gardener” but was volatile. He accepted there had been a clash of egos between the gardener and Lady Tucker, and said: “There have been times when my wife had said ‘it’s either him or me’.”

The retired judge said of Hancock: “I got on with him perfectly well but he had to be held with velvet gloves because he was very temperamental and sometimes moody. He worked one day a week, always on Wednesdays. In the latter years he became very moody and his attitude to my wife became very aggressive.

“They found it difficult to communicate with each other. A lot of the time she was in London and they didn’t meet, but on April 16 there came a time when they had words.”

[ click to read full article at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 12, 2008 by Editor

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Simon Hantaï Gone

from The New York Times

Simon Hantaï, Painter of Silences, Dies at 85

Simon Hantaï, a highly regarded, famously reclusive French painter whose work explored ideas of absence and silence — and who took those ideas so seriously that he disappeared completely from view for 15 very productive years — died on Sept. 11 at his home in Paris. He was 85.

hantai.pngThe death was confirmed by a friend, Paul Rodgers, owner of the Paul Rodgers/9W Gallery in Manhattan. According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, Mr. Hantaï died in his sleep.

Born in Hungary, Mr. Hantaï was a major figure in European art from the 1950s onward. He was known in particular for abstract, often huge canvases that crackled with bold, saturated color punctuated by unfilled areas of pure white. Their singular appearance resulted from a method of folding and tying the canvas before applying paint, a process known as pliage, which Mr. Hantaï developed in the early 1960s.

He was also known for his long, self-imposed retreat from the public arena in the 1980s and ’90s. In 1999, the magazine Art in America described this absence as stemming from “a streak of ethical obstinacy virtually unparalleled in contemporary art.”

[ click to read full article at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on October 12, 2008 by Editor

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“Credit is a sacred trust, it’s what our free society is founded on. Do you think they give a damn about their bills in Russia?”

Posted on October 12, 2008 by Editor

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DYN-O-MITE! Horace Was Right

from the Financial Times

 

French novelist wins Nobel literature prize

By Natalie Whittle

Published: October 9 2008 12:16 | Last updated: October 9 2008 14:14

 

The novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio was yesterday awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He is the first French writer to win the title since Claude Simon in 1985.

JMG Le Clézio, as he is more commonly known, was born in Nice in 1940, and hails from a Breton family which emigrated to Mauritius in the 18th century. A peripatetic childhood took him from Nice to Nigeria and back again to his birthplace, where he finished his studies having begun an English literature degree at Bristol university in the late 1950s.

His first novel, Le Procès-Verbal (The Deposition), published in 1963, brought him immediate recognition, winning the Prix Renaudot. It is a nightmarish, experimental vision of insanity, as experienced by Adam Pollo, a student who loses his memory and subsequently his mind.

The Nobel laureate has since written more than 30 works of fiction, non-fiction and essays, including the novel Désert in 1980, which won the Grand Prix Paul-Morand, awarded by the Académie française.

Le Clézio, who has been writing since boyhood, was first seen as a literary wildcard, though his later work has been characterised by a softer approach to content and form. His latest novel, Ritournelle de la Faim (Gallimard), was published last week and is written in memory of his mother.

Le Clézio had been tipped to win the prize but was not the favourite. The more favourable odds had been given to the Italian writer Claudio Magris and the Syrian poet Adonis.

Perennial candidates from the US, including Philip Roth and Don DeLillo, had been all but discounted from the frontrunners, after the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Horace Engdahl, last week told the Associated Press that ’’Europe is still the centre of the literary world’’.

The US, he said, is “too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining.’’

Awarding the prize, the Academy praised Le Clézio as an “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization”.

At a speech Le Clézio gave in April in Seoul at the International Publishers Congress, he championed literature’s power to cross borders and enhance cultural understanding.

To prove this point, he imagined a world in which Gutenberg had not invented the printing press. The result, he said, would be “un monde fermé”, catastrophically unjust and unbalanced.

He also speculated that if the internet had existed in the Third Reich, Hitler might have been an easy target for ridicule, and so might not have come to power.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

[ click to read at FT.com ]

Posted on October 10, 2008 by Editor

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WALL STREET for $71.00 do I hear 72…

from the Financial Times

Gambling on price of art to become a reality

By Deborah Brewster in New York

Published: October 9 2008 03:49 | Last updated: October 9 2008 03:49

 

Investors will from Friday be able to bet on the price of art, when Intrade’s The Prediction Market begins trading futures contracts – which can be bought for as little as $30 – based on the art market.

Dublin-based Intrade, which already offers futures contracts based on political and economic events such as who will win the US election, will use the Mei Moses All Art Index as the basis for prices.

The contracts will start trading on Thursday. The move is part of a trend for art to be viewed as an asset class, with the development of art funds and art prices indices.

Chad Rigetti, vice-president of business development at Intrade, said: “The idea to create a price-transparent, liquid tradable art-based derivative occurred to me after reading about hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin’s purchase of Jasper Johns’ ‘False Start’ for $80m in the fall of 2006 … Creating a product that would bridge two circles – collectors and financiers – seemed obvious.”

He said investment strategies had become increasingly quantitative, and at the same time high-end art was being bought by people who had made money from such strategies. He thought these people would be natural candidates to buy art futures contracts.

“There has been an influx of financially savvy and technically savvy investors, which has led to the demand for this type of instrument,” he said.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

[ click to read at Financial Times ]

Posted on October 9, 2008 by Editor

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Full-on Show At The Half

from Guest Of A Guest

 Damon Johnson Gives His Dad Some REAL Gossip To Write About: Inspires Michael Ovitz, James Frey And Others To Emulate His Art

[James Frey imitating a painting by Damon Johnson]

JOHN NORWOOD
NYC: IT’S A BEAUTY – IT’S A BITCH!

Go HERE for the entire gallery from this event by John Norwood.

Night is my time for walking. I love to look for that glow of light that beckons from my intended destination; a movie premiere, a new restaurant, a new nightclub, an art gallery opening. As I approached the appropriately named Half Gallery, for painter Damon Johnson’s new show titled, “Thanks for Asking”, I noticed that only a slight glow could possibly escape from this tiny LES storefront. Also, apropos, their logo was done all in caps with the bottom halves of all the letters removed.

Never mind the size of the gallery, I had big expectations. Three clever people own the place; James Frey, the best selling author. Bill Powers, the former editor of Blackbook Magazine and Andy Spade, husband of handbag empress, Kate Spade. Plus, Damon is the son of the New York Post’s Page Six editor, Richard Johnson.

[ click to continue reading at Guest Of A Guest

Posted on October 9, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | 1 Comment »

Bad Ass Sambas Hit The Roof

Posted on October 9, 2008 by Editor

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Paint By Numbers

from Portfolio

Repro Man

by Michael Kaplan  October 2008 Issue

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The opening night of “©Murakami,” Takashi Murakami’s retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, outshone the standard high- culture shindig. Luxury-goods giant Louis Vuitton, whose Murakami-designed purses, wallets, and scarves have helped propel the brand, subsidized the $1,000-a-plate gala. Kanye West performed, and the guest list—from Tobey Maguire to Christina Ricci—read like that of an Oscar-night fete. Outside, fireworks exploded.At the exhibit, revelers shopped at a temporary Louis Vuitton boutique, the first of its kind, selling lv-monogrammed bags and wallets that had been Murakamied with squat-faced cartoon characters. That Vuitton had set up a retail shop in a museum was unusual enough, but equally notable were the artworks Vuitton was selling: 500 “limited- edition” prints priced at either $6,000 or $10,000.By any definition, sales were brisk. Hundreds of prints were snatched up by fans of the goateed artist. The trouble started when one of them, collector Clint Arthur, noticed that two of his Murakamis weren’t numbered, even though the accompanying certificates said they were. (Limited-edition works usually bear both the artist’s signature and a number to help establish authenticity and value.) The discrepancy was “a translation problem between Louis Vuitton and Takashi Murakami,” Arthur says a salesclerk told him.

But when Arthur wrote Murakami asking that the proper numbers be added, he received an answer from the legal department of Louis Vuitton North America. If Arthur was dissatisfied with his purchase, the letter said, he could return the artwork and be refunded his money plus interest. 

But Arthur wanted to keep the pieces and have them numbered. Surfing the internet, he discovered a California law stating that dealers who willfully provide certificates of authenticity that contain incorrect information are liable for damages that total three times the cost of the print. He filed a class-action lawsuit against Vuitton, arguing that the company intentionally tried to pass off faulty documentation. While he was at it, Arthur slapped MOCA with a suit charging that the museum breached the same statute by selling Murakami prints without certificates in its gift shop. 

[ click to continue reading at Portfolio.com ]

Posted on October 8, 2008 by Editor

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War Spreads Overseas

from The Times Online

 Hells Angel Gerry Tobin ‘killed by strangers in biker turf war’

Gerard Michael Tobin, who was shot dead on the M40 in Warwickshire on Sunday afternoon as he left the motorcycle festival, Bulldog Bash.

Gerry Tobin, 35, lived in South East London with his girlfriend

A mechanic who was murdered on the M40 as he rode home at 90mph from a biker festival last summer was shot for being in the “wrong” motorcycle gang, a court heard today.

Gerry Tobin, a member of the Hells Angels, was killed by a single bullet to the head as he rode his Harley-Davidson home after the Bulldog Bash in Warwickshire. Birmingham Crown Court was told today that the men responsible for his murder had no personal animosity for Mr Tobin and had never met him.

Timothy Raggatt QC, prosecuting, said that the shooting was carried out because the rival Outlaws motorcycle gang felt Mr Tobin was riding through their territory.

“This wasn’t a case of a man being killed for any personal motive or any personal reason,” Mr Raggatt told the jury.

“This was a man who was targeted not because of who he was, but because of what he was. In one sense, Gerry Tobin was a random victim.

“It was almost a military-style operation and had at its heart the plain intention to kill.”

[ click to continue reading at TimesOnline ]

Posted on October 8, 2008 by Editor

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Brad Pitt Is No Bo Svenson!!

from Haaretz.com

The Holocaust, Tarantino-style: Jews scalping Nazis
By Assaf Uni
Tags: Israel NewsHolocaust 
BERLIN – For weeks, Germany’s tabloids and culture pages have been preoccupied with Quentin Tarantino’s film “Inglorious Bastards,” slated to start filming next week in Germany.  

While the tabloids are drooling over the movie’s star, Brad Pitt, who is moving with his wife Angelina Jolie and their children to a villa close to Berlin (“The most beautiful couple in Wannsee,” one headline declared), the serious media is focusing on another angle: Is Germany ready for a Tarantino-style treatment of World War II? 

An early draft of the script leaked onto the Internet three months ago suggested the film would contain scenes of bloody vengeance exacted by Jews against Nazis. One campaign would be carried out by Jews in the U.S. Army intent on scalping Nazi soldiers on occupied French soil; another would be a Jewish refugee’s revenge against the Nazi officer who murdered her parents. 

Pitt is to play Jewish-American Lt. Aldo Raine, the leader of a revenge squad known as “The Bastards,” who launch a killing spree in which they hang, torture, disembowel and scalp German soldiers and engrave Swastikas on their foreheads, according to the leaked draft. 

The film is raising controversy in Germany, where the subjects of World War II and the Holocaust are usually restricted to historical discourse. 

“This is pop culture meeting Nazi Germany and the Holocaust with unprecedented force,” said the film critic of SuedDeutche Zeitung, Tobias Kniebe. “The effects of this collision are utterly unpredictable.” 

click to continue reading at Haaretz.com ]

Posted on October 8, 2008 by Editor

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Up Yours, Keep the Sh*t, I Am F©cking Outta Here

Posted on October 7, 2008 by MJS

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Friday Night Art Crawl

from dVider blog

My final and favorite stop was the opening for Damon Johnson’s exhibit “Thanks for Asking,” which is showing for one month at the Half Gallery. This event came with a whole host of fun facts. #1: The exhibit is curated by James Frey, best-selling author of A Million Little Pieces.

#2: Although nearly impossible to gauge from Damon’s humble demeanor, the opening boasted a star-studded guest-list, with visitors (and new Damon Johnson collectors) spanning from Michael Ovitz and Cynthia Rowley to Carlo McCormick and Half Gallery owners, Bill Powers and James Frey – just to name a few.

Damon Johnson exibit at Half Gallery

[ click to read full crawl at dVider blog ]

Posted on October 7, 2008 by Editor

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“So give me a stage / Where this bull here can rage…”

from the Times South Africa 

Scorsese, De Niro reunite
Published:Oct 03, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Oscar-winners Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are to revisit the criminal underworld once more in a mob drama about a notorious contract killer, it has been reported.

The duo, who have teamed up on several hit crime movies before, including “Goodfellas”, “Casino” and “Mean Streets”, are to make a movie adaptation of “I Heard You Paint Houses”, Charles Brandt’s book of the same name, reports said.

The book is based on the life of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who is reputed to have carried out more than 25 killings for the mob, including the murder of Teamsters’ union boss Jimmy Hoffa.

De Niro is set to play Sheeran in the film, Daily Variety reported, while Scorsese is to direct.

The title of the film comes from underworld slang for contract killings and the resulting splatter of blood on walls and floors.

[ click to read full article at The Times SA

Posted on October 6, 2008 by Editor

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Leave My Monkey Alone

from the NY Daily News

A Kentucky man claims surgeon removed his penis without consent during circumcision

Thursday, September 25th 2008, 3:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – A man who claims his penis was removed without his consent during what was supposed to be a circumcision has sued the doctor who performed the surgery.

Phillip Seaton, 61, and his wife are seeking unspecified compensation from Dr. John M. Patterson and the medical practice that performed the circumcision for “loss of service, love and affection.” 

A woman who answered the phone at Commonwealth Urology would not take a message for the doctor Thursday. But the Seaton’s attorney said the doctor’s post-surgical notes show the doctor thought he detected cancer and removed the penis. Attorney Kevin George said a later test did detect cancer.

“It was not an emergency,” George told The Associated Press on Thursday. “It didn’t have to happen that way.”

The lawsuit filed earlier this month in state court claims Patterson removed Seaton’s penis without consulting either Phillip or Deborah Seaton, or giving them an opportunity to seek a second opinion.

The Seatons’ suit is similar to one in which an Indianapolis man was awarded more than $2.3 million in damages after he claimed his penis and left testicle were removed without his consent during surgery for an infection in 1997.

[ click to read full article at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on October 6, 2008 by Editor

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Andy On ‘roids

from The Guardian UK

The Polaroid production line

Everyone who was anyone posed for a Warhol snapshot. Jonathan Jones on a compelling show of celebrities in the raw 

 

Polaroid pictures by Andy Warhol

Polaroid pictures taken by Andy Warhol. Clockwise from top left: Sean Lennon, Truman Capote, Evelyn Kuhn, William Burroughs, Martha Graham, Jimmy Carter. Photographs: Founding Collection, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh © 2008 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc

Mark Rothko was once at a party in New York when Andy Warhol walked in, with his entourage of superstars. Warhol heard Rothko complain bitterly to the host: “How could you let them in?” The two great American artists were not exactly drinking buddies – so it’s a strange twist that a Warhol exhibition should open in London this week, coinciding with a retrospective of his antithesis, Rothko.

Rothko thought Warhol represented the worst things about America: consumerism, celebrity, superficiality, you name it. But the two artists may have had more in common than you might think. In the early 1990s, New York’s MoMA put on a great display of abstract paintings from the 1940s and 50s. At the end, some curator put Warhol’s Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times (1963). It was totally right. Warhol’s tragic subject matter, held in a saturated field of colour, shared the pathos and power of the abstract expressionists, but with less introspection, and more interest in others.

This was abstract reportage, and its compassion, its determination to bear witness, was almost unbearable.

Other Voices, Other Rooms was a novel by Warhol’s favourite writer, Truman Capote. The Hayward’s Warhol retrospective has adopted this as its title, as if to underline the artist’s readiness to listen to, and look at, other people. It features Warhol’s films, screen-tests, videos – and his Polaroids, which it rightly hails as works of art in their own right, even though they were actually used by Warhol as aids for painting portraits. They are strangely compelling images: one of the great humanising threads running through his factory-like output is his fascination with portraiture. The Polaroids provide a fascinating insight into this man who wanted to capture the world like a camera.

 

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 6, 2008 by Editor

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At Least The Remains Didn’t End Up On eBay

from Wagner+Partner Gallery

Who will smoke the ashes of Kurt Cobain? 24/09/08
Natascha Stellmach will smoke the singer’s ashes as part of her five-part installation in Berlin.

Australian-born Natascha Stellmach claims to have acquired the ashes of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Now she’s transformed the grunge star’s remains into an installation titled Set Me Free, that   investigates suicide and the power of desecration.

The complete burning away ritual will take place with a small group of people in a private location.

For further details please contact the gallery.

Read more: http://artworldmagazine.com.au/   (22 September 2008,   Artist sets Kurt Cobain free) 

[ click to read at Wagner+Partner ]

Posted on October 6, 2008 by Editor

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N+1=T

from the New York Observer

N+1, Now in T-Shirt Form

The Sartorial Situation

via nplusonemag.com The Sartorial Situation

Just in time for fall semester, n+1, the Brooklyn-based journal of prose combat, has a new line of T-shirts. (Hey, The New York Review of Books sells Illuminated Pocket Magnifiers, okay?)

While we’re somewhat surprised they’re not referred to as “Cotton Monuments,” the shirts do come in two colors: socialist red and existentialist black. The Times A.O. Scott might say these unisex American Apparel shirts, “sometimes display a certain pained 21st-century ambivalence about the culture they inhabit.” They’re also limited edition and come in five sizes. (“Note: women may want to buy a size down.”)

In case you’re wondering, the shirts are modeled by writer Wesley Yang and managing editor Kate Perkins.

[ click to read at Observer.com ]

Posted on October 6, 2008 by Editor

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