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The latest news on Art from Business Insider

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    molly9

    Artist Molly Crabapple describes 2011 as the year "everyone sat down in the main squares of their cities and said the old machine is broken."

    Occupy Wall Street began outside her window, and she began drawing the people that gathered in Zuccotti Park. She then traveled to Greece, London, and Spain to research how people were reacting to the prolonged financial crisis gripping the world.

    Her year of work is presented in “Shell Game,” an exhibit that will be open to the public April 17 to 21 from 12 to 6 p.m. at the Smart Clothes Gallery in Manhattan.

    Crabapple sat down with Wired to explain how Occupy shaped the works and conversed withwith Paul Mason to describe how she pulled it off.

    Crabapple told BI that the paintings "are sort of elegies for something gone" as the romanticism of the protests came back to earth in 2012.

    We've gathered Crabapple's pictures and commentary along with some of BI's pictures and observations from the opening.

    Called "Dégagé," this painting shows the Tunisian Revolution. "The main figure's face is divided in a reference to Nadia Jelassi. The police dog destroys a fruit stand, like that of Mohammad Bouazizi."

    Commentary courtesy of Molly Crabapple (via Wired).



    Crabapple told BI that this painting "was a bit sad to me. Of all the rebellions I portrayed, the Tunisian revolution was the only successful one. The only one that had a chance to get dirty."



    "Our Lady of Liberty Park" represents "Occupy Wall Street. An anatomy of Zuccotti park, from the free cigarette table to the obnoxious drum circle to the people's library. All signage is authentic, especially 'Shit is Fucked up and bullshit.'"

    Commentary courtesy of Molly Crabapple (via Wired).



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    selfless portraits main image

    While Facebook may connect people across the globe its novelty is starting to wear off. 

    Ivan Cash, a freelance interactive artist and Jeff Greenspan, BuzzFeed's chief creative officer, have dreamed up an amazing concept that builds on Facebook's ability to bring people together.

    What if you could have a complete stranger draw your profile picture based on how they interpreted you?

    The duo started a project called Selfless Portraits, a collaborative art initiative that takes advantage of Facebook's 1 billion user audience to bring together random people in a raw, almost vulnerable way.

    Cash explained to Business Insider his inspiration for Selfless Portraits: 

    Facebook is such a prominent part of our culture these days and we use it because we want to be more connected with our friends, our acquaintances, and our family. And yet, the reality is that sometimes it’s difficult to really make a meaningful connection with someone through the Facebook platform. It has its limitations. It encourages breath over depth.

    Click here to head straight to some of Selfless Portraits most interesting photos >

    Selfless Portraits has been live for just two months and its goal is to bridge the gap between technology and humanity.

    After signing up, users upload their Facebook profile to be hand drawn by another Facebook user somewhere else in the world. 

    selfless portraits facebook merge

    But don't worry if you don't have the skills of Picasso. The community includes both amateurs and professionals. In order to receive a finished product both parties must complete and upload the drawing of their randomly-assigned subject. The assigned drawings aren't one on one, meaning you won't necessarily be paired with the same person who draws your photo.

    You may be wondering why Selfless Portraits doesn't allow you to chose who you get to draw or why you can't draw your friends, Cash explains:

    There’s something really exciting about the concept of a stranger that represents the unknown, the mysterious, but also the possibility of a connection, whereas a Facebook friend is already a known connection. While this project admittedly might have been more popular if it was people drawing their friends, there’s something much more powerful and hopefully inspiring about having strangers come together and collaborating remotely.

    The response so far has been really positive, after two months they site has amassed over 20,000 drawings from over 115 countries around the world.

    "We've been floored by the level of creativity," Cash said. "We thought we had a good handle on how the site was going to be used but the community has found ways of using the platform we never imagined."

    For example, users have drawn a leg where an arm was supposed to be or an animals head on a human and vice versa.

    selfless portraits

    The two don't see the project expanding to platforms like Instagram or Twitter for now.

    "What we really like about Facebook is the profile picture aspect," Greenspan said. "It's very different from the type of images that are on Twitter or Instagram like say for instance, one's breakfast. I'm not saying there isn't something to be done with those types of images too but for now Facebook fits perfectly with what we're trying to do." 

    Cash and Greenspan stressed that they could not have done this project without the help of their producer, Luis Peña, and development company Rally Interactive.

    This portrait of a gentleman from California was beautifully executed by someone from Brazil. " Facebook is such a prominent part of our culture these days and we use it because we want to be more connected with our friends, our acquaintances, and our family. And yet, the reality is that sometimes it’s difficult to really make a meaningful connection with someone through the Facebook platform. It has its limitations. It encourages breath over depth," creator Jeff Greenspan said.



    "The process of drawing a portrait and staring at someone’s face is magical. It’s not just about the final outcome. There’s also something really beautiful about the interaction that takes place in the making of: The artist studying another person’s face and creatively interpreting it," Cash says.



    This portrait of a UK native was drawn by another user in Brazil. The interpretation is spot on.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tom cruise oblivion storyboardJack Harper (Tom Cruise) heads down to planet Earth — or what’s left of it anyway — to find a downed surveillance drone that has landed in the charred remnants of the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room. It’s only when Harper hits the ground of this cavernous space that he realizes he’s entered a trap. Someone — or something — wants to capture this drone repairman alive.

    See the storyboard art for the film here >

    Whether he’s rappelling into a forgotten old library, flying through a lightning storm in his space age Bubble Ship or driving a motorcycle across the hulk of a George Washington Bridge long ago destroyed by alien invasion, each of Harper’s movements (not to mention the camera’s) was choreographed thanks to a sequence of storyboards.

    Based on a graphic novel that he wrote in 2010, Oblivion is just the second feature film for director Joseph Kosinski. A trained architect and visual effects designer, Kosinski has always understood the importance of storyboarding to visualize each frame of a movie before the cameras start rolling. And while putting pencil to paper (or stylus to tablet) may seem positively old-fashioned in the world of nine-figure blockbusters, a talented team of storyboard artists remains the first step in making any film unforgettable.

    “You can draw it really quickly, put it on the wall and you kind of have a movie,” says one of Oblivion’s storyboard artists, Phillip Norwood, who counts The Abyss and Terminator 2 among his credits. “It doesn’t move, it has no sound, but if you know what you’re looking at, you see it.”

    Each of Oblivion’s storyboard artists wore many hats — director, cinematographer, set designer, editor — in taking a first crack at bringing Kosinski’s screenplay to life. “Everyone sees something in their head when they read a script, but they don’t see the same thing,” adds Norwood. “You’re taking the words and visualizing them in a way so that everyone knows what the director wants to see.”

    Sometimes Kosinski will have a crystal clear idea in mind, relaying his vision shot-by-shot to the artist tasked to draw that particular section of the film. Other times he’ll have only part of a sequence in his head, encouraging the storyboard artist to fill in the blanks. In either case, the process is one of trial and error, with the artists chipping away at the film one tiny chunk at a time until a finished product emerges.

    For a director as visual as Kosinski (see his debut, Tron: Legacy, for proof) the process is vital. “Joe really values the importance of having everything on paper or the computer screen before shooting,” says Richard Bennett, an Oblivion artist who has plied his trade on smash hits like 300 and The Avengers. “If it doesn’t work on paper, it most likely won’t work for the real thing.”

    Oblivion storyboard art

    Whether they’re using old-fashioned pencil and paper or Cintiq, a combination monitor and tablet that lets an artist draw directly onscreen, the team knows not to get too attached to anything they create. “The idea is not to fall in love with the drawing,” Norwood explains. “You’ve got to feel free to say, ‘OK, these 25 aren’t working,’ rip them off the wall, throw them in the trash and start over.”

    “I always say we don’t get paid to do nice drawings; we get paid to come up with interesting ideas,” adds Bennett, who learned from his 10-year career in comics that not even the best art can make up for a weak story. And as much as Oblivion’s art department pre-designed the film’s signature elements — like Harper’s iconic Bubble Ship, which was made into a 3D model the artists could play with for reference — Bennett and Norwood were free to add to the film’s concept design.

    In a film that features firefights with rogue drones, pulse-quickening space chases, chillingly beautiful vistas of a post-nuclear Earth and even a sexy skinny-dip (hey, you’ve got to find a way to blow off steam after an alien invasion), it was the emotional range of Oblivion that was the highlight for artists like Bennett.

    “To see it translated into real, live action is very fulfilling. I’m always blown away. Hopefully whatever you’ve done is reflected in the final cut."– Richard Bennett, "Oblivion" artist 

    “I’ve always liked the idea of being able to handle anything that comes to my table,” he explains. “Joe gave me stuff that tended to be a little more moving, and that’s fine by me. I like action, but I like emotional scenes that let me work with shadows and reflections.”

    For Norwood, it was the challenge of creating a post-apocalyptic Earth in 2073 that stood out. “I was a big fan of Planet of the Apes,” he explains, “and Oblivion really felt like the first part of that film where Charlton Heston is wandering around by himself.” (Director Kosinski would no doubt agree. If you look closely, what’s left of the Statue of Liberty’s torch zooms by in one chase scene — clearly a wink to Apes fans.)

    Norwood and Bennett have moved on to new projects, but each will head to the theater to experience their handiwork firsthand. “To see it translated into real, live action is very fulfilling,” Bennett explains. “I’m always blown away. Hopefully whatever you’ve done is reflected in the final cut, but you learn by seeing how much of what you did is retained and how much is changed.”

    True, it can be hard not to notice when the director opted to go in another direction — and just as jarring when Tom Cruise strikes the exact pose you dreamed up on your drawing table. But either way, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the action. “When a movie’s working you don’t care,” laughs Norwood. “You’re just along for the ride.”

    Jack (Tom Cruise) repairs a drone.



    The drone takes off.



    Jack descends into the Rose Reading Room at the NY Public Library.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    rockettes audition

    Radio City's annual Christmas Spectacular is months away, but auditions for the Rockettes  those leggy dancers who are known for their uniform high-kick line  are in full swing.

    Hundreds of aspiring dancers lined up outside Radio City Music Hall today to try out for the chance to become a Rockette.

    Only a dozen or so will be selected to join the corps, according to the AP.

    Click through to see some photos of the audition process.

    Open auditions took place Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall. Hundreds showed up for the chance to perform with the Rockettes.



    Dancers waited in a room before their turn to audition for the Rockettes. Some stretched and warmed up.



    One lucky dancer even nabbed an empty room for a practice run.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Olivia Wilde, Lake Bell, Lo Bosworth and countless fashionistas attended the Whitney Museum's annual Art Party Wednesday night at Moynihan Station in New York City. 

    Sponsored by Max Mara, Belvedere and in partnership with Art.sya pre-sale preview of the art works alone generated close to $70,000 in funds.

    See who made it out for the museum's big night.

    Newly engaged actress Olivia Wilde attended solo:

    Olivia Wilde Whitney Party

    Tattoo artist Scott Campbell accompanied his girlfriend, actress Lake Bell:

    Lake Bell Scott Campbell WHitney Party

     Reality star-turned-entrepreneur Lauren Bosworth kept it sleek and simple:

    Lauren Conrad Lo Whitney Art Party

    "Girls" actor Adam Driver made a rare appearance:

    Adam Driver Whitney party

    Yasmin Dolatabadi of Google Ideas wore her Google glass:

    yasmin dolatadadi google glass

    Model Jourdan Dunn struck a pose:

    Model Jourdan Dunn WHitney party

    Manrepeller blogger Leandra Medine made a funny face: 

    Leandra Medine Manrepeller Whitney

    Nur Khan, Chloe Norgaard, Harif Guzman showed off matching looks:

    Nur Khan, Chloe Norgaard, Harif Guzman Whitney Party

    Honorary Co-Chair Hannah Bronfman got some fresh air:

    Hannah Bronfman Whitney party

    While her boyfriend Brendan Fallis played DJ:

    Brendan Fallis DJ whitney party

    SEE ALSO: Inside last night's glamorous "Gatsby" premiere in NYC >

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    Rapid Realty tattoo

    A Brooklyn real estate company has offered employees one of the nuttiest pay incentives we've ever heard of –– get a tattoo of the company logo and get a 15% raise.

    Anthony Lolli, founder of Rapid Realty, came up with the idea after doing business with a tattoo artist last year, ABC News reports.

    Lolli got a tattoo of the company logo afterward and decided to give employees an incentive to do the same. 

    So far, at least 40 employees have taken him up on the offer. One brave employee, Robert Trezza, had only been working at the company for a month.

    "My wife was a little concerned, but I said you know what, it was the best commitment that I could think of,"he told ABC2 News.

    Honestly, we can't blame these guys for taking the bait in order to put more cash in their pocket. The latest job market report wasn't that great and employee compensation has hardly kept up with the rising prices of fixed costs like health care and housing. 

    On the positive side, Lolli also offers 15% raises to employees who do a certain amount of charity work, reach certain work-related goals or mentor other workers. 

    Although this all might sound a little ridiculous, at least the logo isn't all that awful. It's fairly discreet — two connected Rs in gray and green with the Rapid Realty name. Workers have gotten the tattoos in various places, from their arms to ankles to backs.

    Hopefully they plan on working for Rapid for some time. It costs upwards of $500 a session for laser tattoo removal, and it usually takes several sessions to complete the job.

    Lolli's not the first to float the idea of getting tattoos as a form of company bonding. Jane Pratt, the editor of xojane.com, suggested last year that her staff all get matching XO ink to celebrate the company's success.

    SEE ALSO: 13 reasons you should start biking to work >

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    To celebrate the 50th birthday of planemaker Learjet, private jet service Flexjet commissioned some very unusual abstract art.

    Working from the tarmac of the airport in West Palm Beach, artist Princess Tarinan von Anhalt threw paint at a canvas while a Learjet engine ran behind her, spreading the paint to create a Jackson Pollack-style work.

    This idea of "Jet Art" was pioneered by Prince Jürgen von Anhalt, the late husband of von Anhalt.

    Flexjet is the only carrier with access to the luxurious Learjet 85, the biggest Learjet aircraft ever.

    Here's the result:

    Flexjet art tarinan von anhalt

    Flexjet art tarinan von anhalt

    Flexjet art tarinan von anhalt

    SEE ALSO: Tour The Learjet 85, The Company's Most Luxurious Private Jet Yet

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    Hungarian photographer Flóra Borsi is no stranger to manipulating photographs for her art, and now she's taking on master painters in her latest project The Real Life Models.

    The 19-year-old emerging artist imagined what the exaggerated bodies in abstract and surrealist paintings would actually look like if they were real people.

    She explains her project in her own words:

    Nowadays almost every photographer use graphics software to complete the picture, like many painters used 'original version' in the past.

    Some artists use pure imagination to paint their artwork, others may prefer to create art by using a real life model as reference for the anatomy.

    What if these abstract models were real people?

    Check out four of Borsi's imagined models from paintings by Picasso and Austrian painter Rudolf Hausner.

    Flora Borsi abstract models

     

    Flora Borsi abstract models

     

    Flora Borsi abstract models

     

    Flora Borsi abstract models

    SEE ALSO: See What Happened When A Photographer Wrapped His Models' Faces In Scotch Tape

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    Madonna art sothebys

    Madonna made a $3.8 million profit after she sold an art work titled “Three Women at the Red Table” by French artist Fernand Léger during a Sotheby's auction in New York on Tuesday.

    The singer had originally purchased the 1921 painting for $3.4 million in 1990 and sold it for $7.2 million Tuesday to a South American bidder, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    And she's donating 100% of the profits to her Ray of Light Foundation  supporting girls' education projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries.

    Before the auction, Madonna posed with the piece — which hung in her New York City apartment's living room for decades — and instagrammed a photo with the caption: "At Sotheby's next to my painting. Saying a Prayer for a generous collector Who loves Leger and the idea of empowering GIRLS! Thank you Sotheby's. Thank you Pierre!"

    "Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!" Madonna wrote on her Facebook page after the auction.

    SEE ALSO: What Madonna And Others Wore To The Met's Punk Gala >

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    Hong Kong Duck

    Since May 2, Hong Kong residents have had a special guest.

    A giant, 54-feet high inflatable duck that took pride of place in the city's Victoria Harbor.

    Hong Kong Duck

    The duck — named "Rubber Duck"— is a project from Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, and Hong Kong is just one of many stops its making around the world — just recently it was in London.

    It's scheduled to remain in Hong Kong until June 9, when it will head to a still-undisclosed U.S. city.

    Hong Kong Duck

    However, on Tuesday night there was a problem. The duck began to look under the weather, and began laying on its side.

    Before long, the duck became the subject of conspiracy theories. On Weibo, 'Big yellow duck loses air and collapses" became the top trending topic as users began to wonder why it had deflated.

    The Guardian reports that some web users said the bird must not have been used to China's water quality, or that it could be sick with Avian Flu.

    "Pity the duck,"wrote the popular Beijing Cream blog. "Pity us all."

    Duck Hong Kong

    By Wednesday morning, the duck was completely deflated and flat.

    Hong Kong Duck

    The official Harbour City Twitter account later tweeted: "The Rubber Duck needs to freshen up. Stay tuned for its return."

    Eventually, according to CNN, the organizers explained it was a planned deflation.

    Hong Kong Duck

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    Michael Novogratz

    Michael Novogratz, the head of Fortress Investment Group, appeared on CNBC yesterday.

    Among other things, he talked about what he considered to be an ongoing bubble in art.

    "Art is 100 percent a bubble—I mean it has all the markings for a bubble," said Novogratz. "Prices have gone parabolic. You go to any of the art shows and you know even the cheap stuff that was $10,000 two years ago is now $80,000."

    Novogratz and the CNBC crew were responding to a story on the recent Sotheby's auction where Barnett Newman's "Onement VI" sold for a stagger $43.8 million.

    "These $90 million paintings, you know, they might be worth eight one day," added Novogratz. "They won't go from 90 to 70, it will go from 90 to eight."

    Investors skeptical of traditional financial assets have flocked to alternative assets like art and gems in their efforts to store their wealth.

    SEE ALSO: FORGET GOLD: Here's Where Die-Hard Skeptics Are Storing Their Wealth >

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    Slave Labour banksy

    Art created by renowned British graffiti artist Banksy that was withdrawn from a controversial US auction is being put up for sale again in London, auctioneers said on Saturday.

    The mural called Slave Labour mysteriously vanished from its original site on a wall in north London in February before appearing on an auction list in Miami later that month.

    The work, which shows a boy making a Union Jack bunting on a sewing machine (an apparent comment on sweat-shop labour) was pulled from sale at the last minute, apparently after pressure by campaigners who wanted it returned to its original home.

    The piece had been expected to fetch up to £450,000 (RM2 mil) The work had first appeared last May on the wall of an outlet of thrift store Poundland in the Wood Green district of Haringey shortly before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

    The piece is now set to go on sale at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden on June 2, auctioneers The Sincura Group said in a statement.

    Sincura said that the mural has “been sensitively restored under a cloak of secrecy”, and will be “the centrepiece” of the group’s latest private art exhibition alongside pieces by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Mario Testino and Russell Young.

    But Alan Strickland, a councillor for Wood Green who has spearheaded the ‘Bring Back Banksy’ campaign since the piece was removed from its original site, said he would fight to prevent the sale going ahead.

    “We feel very strongly that this piece was given freely by Banksy to our area. It belongs to the community and it should be returned to Wood Green,” Strickland said.

    “The sale shows complete disregard for the strength of public feeling. “We were delighted to stop the sale in Miami and we are determined to campaign hard to stop this sale.

    “News that the piece is being sold at an exclusive VIP reception is particularly galling for residents who previously enjoyed the artwork for free on a daily basis.”

    Strickland said the successful sale of the work would set a dangerous precedent for other pieces of street art in public view.

    “People from around the world have got in touch with us about this,” Strickland told us. “They are watching this because they know the possible consequences for street art where they live if this sale takes place. “If it goes ahead, every piece of street art will have its price.”

    Keith Flett, secretary of the Haringey Trades Union Congress, said: “The Slave Labour Banksy belongs to the people of Haringey, not to a wealthy private client. “We want the sale stopped and the Banksy back where it belongs in London N22.”

    Sincura director Tony Baxter said his group “does not condone any acts of wanton vandalism or other illegal activity” and said that they were “entirely satisfied that the mural was legally salvaged”.

    He said the current owners of the work preferred to remain anonymous “due to unnecessary and disproportionate criticism,” adding that the piece was now being represented by a group called Bankrobber.

    There was suspicion that the mural had been stolen when it first disappeared in February but London’s Metropolitan Police said there were “no reports of any theft”.

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    art auction christie's

    A blockbuster auction of Contemporary art in New York, including a record $58.4 million for a Jackson Pollock drip painting, fetched nearly half a billion dollars -- the biggest haul ever at an art auction.

    Christie's said Wednesday's sale raised a "staggering" total of $495,021,500, with 94 percent of lots finding buyers. Nine of the works sold went for more than $10 million and 23 for more than $5 million.

    It wasn't just the most successful auction of Contemporary art at Christie's, but the biggest haul from an art auction anywhere at all, the auction house said.

    It was "the highest total in auction history," Brett Gorvy, head of post-war and Contemporary art, said. "The remarkable bidding and record prices set reflect a new era in the art market, wherein seasoned collectors and new bidders compete at the highest level within a global market."

    Leading the frenzied charge were the Pollock and a work by one-time graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, which set another record at $48.8 million.

    Pollock's "Number 19, 1948", executed in his iconic drip-paint style with a shimmering mixture of silver, black, white, red and green, had been expected to sell for between $25 million and $35 million.

    But it shot up to set a new auction high for the artist. The previous top auction price for a Pollock had been $40.4 million last year, although his paintings are said to have sold for far more in unconfirmed private deals.

    Christie's called the painting the fruit of "a legendary three-year burst of creativity between 1947 and 1950 that completely revolutionized American painting and reshaped the history of twentieth century art."

    The exuberant sale at Christie's came a day after rival Sotheby's sold Barnett Newman's "Onement VI" for $43.84 million and a Gerhard Richter photo-style painting called "Domplatz, Mailand" for $37.1 million -- the highest auction price for any living artist.

    Christie's Manhattan sale also saw Basquiat's "Dustheads" sail past its $25 million to $35 million pre-sale estimate to the highest auction price ever for the artist, who died in 1988 of a heroin overdose in New York, aged just 27.

    The painting depicts two grimacing, brightly colored figures against a black background and "demonstrates Basquiat's unique ability to combine raw, unabashed expressive emotion whilst displaying a draughtmanship that was unrivalled in modern painting," Christie's said.

    The previous auction high for the street artist turned superstar had been $26.4 million last year.

    The other mega sale of the evening -- yet again setting an auction record for the artist -- was "Woman with flowered hat" by Pop Art master Roy Lichtenstein, going for $56.1 million.

    The work is unusual for Lichtenstein, who is best known for comic-strip style scenes, but this time used his meticulous style to parody the Cubism of Picasso. The previous auction record for a Lichtenstein was $44.9 million, also last year.

    Among the few losers in Wednesday's sale were Francis Bacon, whose "Study for portrait", estimated at $18 million to $25 million failed to find a buyer. Another work by Bacon, "Study for Portrait of P.L.", had been expected to sell for up to $40 million on Tuesday at Sotheby's, but also flopped.

    Mark Rothko's "Unititled (black on maroon)" fetched $27 million, surpassing the pre-sale high estimate of $20 million, and Richter's "Abstraktes bild, Dunkel", estimated at $18 million, fetched just under $22 million.

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    arne svensonRear Window? NYC residents livid over artist's photos taken through apartment windows

    NEW YORK (AP) — In one photo, a woman is on all fours, presumably picking something up, her posterior pressed against a glass window.

    Another photo shows a couple in bathrobes, their feet touching beneath a table. And there is one of a man, in jeans and a T-shirt, lying on his side as he takes a nap.

    In all the photos, taken by New York City artist Arne Svenson from his second-floor apartment, the faces are obscured or not shown. The people are unidentifiable.

    But the residents of a glass-walled luxury residential building across the street had no idea they were being photographed and they never consented to being subjects for the works of art that are now on display — and for sale — in a Manhattan gallery.

    "I don't feel it's a violation in a legal sense but in a New York, personal sense there was a line crossed," said Michelle Sylvester, who lives in the residential building called the Zinc Building, which stands out with its floor-to-ceiling windows in a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and old, brick warehouse buildings.

    Svenson's apartment is directly across the street, just to the south, giving him a clear view of his neighbors by simply looking out his window.

    "I think there's an understanding that when you live here with glass windows, there will be straying eyes but it feels different with someone who has a camera," Sylvester said.

    Svenson's show, "The Neighbors," opened last Saturday at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea, where about a dozen large prints are on sale for up to $7,500. His exhibit is drawing a lot of attention, not for the quality of the work, but for the manner in which it was made.

    Svenson did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press, but says in material accompanying the exhibit that the idea for it came when he inherited a telephoto lens from a friend, a birdwatcher who recently died.

    "For my subjects there is no question of privacy; they are performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation with the curtain raised high," Svenson says in the gallery notes. "The Neighbors don't know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs."

    That explanation has done little to satisfy some residents of the Zinc Building, where a penthouse was once listed at nearly $6 million. In an email circulating among the building's owners and renters this week, a resident whose apartment was depicted in Svenson's photographs suggested legal recourse against the artist.

    "I am not an expert in this area of the law, but I do think we may have some rights and the ability to stop this," the email reads. "I love art, but find this to be an outrageous invasion of privacy."

    Civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel said that according to New York civil rights law, there may be a way for Svenson's subjects to challenge him in court but the case will depend entirely on context.

    "The question for the person who's suing is, if you're not identifiable, then where's the loss of privacy?" he said. "These issues are a sign of the times. How do you balance the right of privacy vis-à-vis the right of artistic expression?"

    Linda Darcia, an exchange student from Colombia living with a family on the sixth floor facing Svenson's studio, said she had no idea whether or not she was depicted in any of the pieces but she was anxious to go to the gallery and find out.

    "I'm not really upset about it because that's his job," she said. "But maybe he should have asked before the gallery opens. Everybody's talking about it."

    SEE ALSO: The Best New Works Of Art This Year

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    Ben Bernanke

    For all the talk of how it's a waste to study American Literature or other majors with limited job prospects, even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve acknowledges a value to cultural pursuits.

    Ben Bernanke ended his commencement speech at Bard College at Simon's Rock with the following remark:

    [W]hile I have emphasized technological and scientific advances today, it is important to remember that the arts and humanities facilitate new and creative thinking as well, while helping us to draw meaning that goes beyond the purely material aspects of our lives.

    From his perspective, America needs more than just engineers, scientists, and doctors. It also needs actors, writers, teachers, and others who inspire creativity.

    This role may be more important than ever.

    Bernanke explains in the same speech that America could be entering a period of slower growth. The industrial revolution is ending, while the information technology revolution may not generate as much growth as we have seen in the past.

    Success in this new economy will require "constant adaptation and creativity." Arts and humanities "facilitate new and creative thinking" and therefore play a fundamental economic role.

    The role of "helping us to draw meaning that goes beyond the purely material aspects of our lives" may be of growing importance too.

    After all in a period of slower economic growth, Americans will need to find meaning in more than just work. Call it learning to cope with underemployment or learning to enjoy the wonderful modern world, English Majors can help fill this need.

    SEE ALSO: 17 Wildly Successful People Who Majored In English

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    Pablo Picasso created some of the most iconic art in the world.

    Now we can get a glimpse of how the artist worked, thanks to an old video unearthed by Open Culture.

    The two-minute timelapse video is actually the trailer to Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1956 movie The Mystery of Picasso. It shows the artist's work coming to life in mere moments, and has been declared a national treasure by the French government.

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    5Pointz

    LONG ISLAND CITY — A plan to replace Queens graffiti mecca 5Pointz with a pair of high-rise luxury apartment towers was blasted by critics at a contentious public hearing Wednesday night, as opponents accused the developers of ripping the iconic art center from the hands of the local creative community.

    "5Pointz is an incubator of fresh ideas. It is a creative mecca for unique expression, an irreplaceable New York icon," said Jerry Rotondi, a Queens resident and 5Pointz board member, who accused the developers of trying the replace the street art center with a "cornball glitzy box."

    The Wolkoff family, which owns the set of warehouses at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, is applying for a special permit to demolish 5Pointz by the end of the year to make way for two luxury apartment towers with amenities like a steam room and a rock climbing wall.

    The plans call for two buildings — one 47-stories high, the other 41 stories — containing about 1,000 rental apartments, with 50,000 square feet of retail on their first floors and 30,000 square feet of outdoor public landscaped space around them.

    David Wolkoff, who's heading up the development, said his family allowed 5Pointz artists to use their property as a canvas for years, free of charge, because they appreciated the work. But he said they always planned to redevelop the site at some point.

    "We allowed the art to be programmed in this particular site not because it was a right of the artists, but because we, as the owners, really enjoyed the work that was being done," he said.

    "But things do progress…and we are looking toward the future."

    Wolkoff said they’re trying to include the art community in their future plans bysetting aside space for art walls, plus seven artists’ working lofts in the base of the building and a gallery to display local artists’ work.

    "The building will be an homage to its art and artists past, while creating a new and wonderfully exciting place to live and to play," he said.

    But several critics of the plan said they weren't buying his pitch.

    "Mr. Wolkoff, you're in real estate. You own a building, you purchased it in 1976, and it's time for you to make money. You want to cash in. We all get that," said Marie Cecile Flageul, an event planner and 5Pointz volunteer.

    "So let's call a cat a cat. Stop talking about art studios and the community and accommodating people, because we know it's not going to happen."

    Gabriel Roldos, of the arts nonprofit Local Project — one of the Wolkoff's other tenants that will have to vacate before demolition — said he's worried artists are being priced out of Long Island City.

    "When the development happens, the neighborhood is going to change, and I'm not sure the local artists are going to be here anymore," he said.

    Artists have been using the warehouse on Davis Street for almost two decades, Wolkoff said. 5Pointz took shape more than 10 years ago, when local street artists were looking for space to work where they wouldn't get busted by cops for graffiti.

    Kim Luttrell, an artist based in Long Island City for the last 15 years, was one of the few who spoke publicly in the Wolkoff's favor at Wednesday night's hearing, held in the packed lobby of MoMA PS1.

    "He’s given you a building that you can paint on freely every single day," Luttrell told the crowd. "We all have known for years that the building was going to come down. At least David is trying to give us something, a little something. Most developers won't even do that."

    But others in attendance were less forgiving. A group of protesters rallied outside the building for the duration of the hearing, occasionally holding signs up against the windows that said things like, "For the Good of LIC, or the wealth of the Wolkoffs?"

    "It's our building. They can't take our building without our permission," said one speaker, Angel Del Villar, to a round of rousing applause and cheers from the audience.

    "I'll be the first one there, and I hope we all make a chain around that building," he said.

    But Long Island City resident Kris Schrey, who attended the meeting, said he was "appalled by the sense of entitlement" of the artists who spoke in opposition to the Wolkoffs.

    "No sane developer, after this hearing, will ever let artists into a building again," he said.

    Community Board 2, which hosted the hearing, will vote on the Wolkoffs' application at their monthly meeting on June 6, the first step in the city's uniform land use review procedure, which requires the approval of several government bodies.

    If that happens, Wolkoff said they plan to demolish 5Pointz by the end of the year, and estimates the first of the two planned towers would go up by 2015.

    Jonathan Cohen, 5Pointz's founder and curator known widely by his tag name "Meres One," spoke briefly at Wednesday's hearing.

    He thanked the Wolkoff family for allowing him to use the site for the last 11 years, which he described as "some of the most memorable moments of my life."

    "I will continue to run this program until the end," he said. "My only regret is that the same people who allowed me to, unknowingly, create such a cultural gem don’t see it as I do."

    SEE ALSO: We Were Stunned At New York City's Incredible Art Mecca

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    jawsThis is really cool.

    Michael Krasnopolski, an art director and graphic designer from Poland, has allowed us to republish the "minimalist" movie posters he's created for basically every epic adventure/thriller movie you've ever loved (and some other genres too).

    Using only the template at the right and swapping in various color schemes, he's created some stunning pieces.

    Here's his own description of the process:

    The basic concept was to create a very modernist, minimalist poster series for movie enthusiasts. The idea is based on a very simple grid: a circle and two diagonals inscribed in a square. It surprised me how many posters I could create based on this very simple approach; the possibilities aretheoretically unlimited.

    See more works at www.michalkrasnopolski.com and http://www.behance.net/krasnopolski.

    'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope'



    'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back'



    'Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi'



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ai WeiWei Art Work Ai Weiwei Disposition

    For 81 days in 2011, Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist known for his critiques of the modern Chinese state, was detained by security forces. His crime was allegedly "tax evasion," and during his imprisonment, two guards watched over him as ate, slept and used the bathroom in a tiny cell.

    That detention caused protests around the world, and it is now the subject of Ai Weiwei's latest art work — entitled 'S.A.C.R.E.D." and due to go on display during the Venice Biennale this week.

    Ai WeiWei Art Work Ai Weiwei Disposition

    The six pieces that make up S.A.C.R.E.D will be on display from the Zuecca Project Space at the Church of Sant’Antonin, running in parallel with the Biennale but not officially a part of it.

    169588681

    The artwork is made up of six black iron boxes arranged like pews in the church.

    Each box has a small slit through which the viewer can look inside and see the diorama inside, each a different vision of his life during imprisonment.

    169588683

    The New York Times reports that 20 to 30 people were involved in the project, one of Ai Weiwei's most political works to date.

    The sculptures were made in China, but Ai Weiwei refuses to say how they were smuggled out of the country.

    Ai WeiWei Art Work Ai Weiwei Disposition

    The images show guards watching over Ai Weiwei at his most intimate moments. The artist told the New York Times that he wanted“give people a clear understanding of the conditions.”

    169588679

    The artwork was organized with the help of Nicholas Logsdail of London's Lisson Gallery, and will run until November 24.

    Ai WeiWei Art Work Ai Weiwei Disposition

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    Iraq Anniversary Bombing

    "You have no idea how difficult the biscuits were," said Tamara Chalabi, one of the commissioners of the Iraq pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as she described her idea of providing traditional cakes and tea for visitors along with the best of the nation's art. "We couldn't bring them from Baghdad, because of EU regulations. It was too expensive to import them from London.

    "So I put out a message on Facebook asking if anyone knew an Iraqi living in Italy who could bake them (kleytcha bil joz– sesame seed biscuits stuffed with walnuts, cardamom and rose water). I even contacted an Iraqi nun living in Rome. We found someone, but she couldn't get a visa. Finally an old family connection appeared out of nowhere, and she had a Swedish passport. She came to Venice and gave a three-day workshop to a Venetian bakery."

    The biscuit problem was only one of innumerable obstacles standing in the way of the creation of the Iraq pavilion – the second time the nation has fielded work at the world's most important international art event, but the first time it has showed artists living and working in the country, rather than those exiled overseas.

    The first challenge was finding artists in a country where making paintings or sculpture might seem at best a secondary concern compared with keeping body and soul together. But Chalabi, one of the figures behind the Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq, was determined to dent the mainstream western "Newsnight version" of the country: "Tanks, bombs, rockets, blood. It's not about whitewashing that – but rather about giving a voice to human beings that have been overlooked."

    Chalabi described an art world that is painstakingly emerging not only from the crippling effects of invasion and the struggle to exist in a postwar world of fragile security, but from years of the dead hand of the Saddam regime, when the only art training available was deeply conservative and tinged by a prevailing social-realist aesthetic. "Even self-respecting artists will have had to do portraits of the leader," she said.

    But she and British curator Jonathan Watkins, director of Birmingham's Ikon gallery, went on the road to find and meet artists from Kurdistan to Basra and Baghdad, ranging from the caustically witty political cartoonist Abdul Raheem Yassir to photographer Jamal Penjweny, whose series of photographs Saddam Is Here shows ordinary Iraqis in everyday situations holding an image of Saddam over their own faces like a mask. The latter work is a reminder, according to Watkins, that the "mentality of the regime lingers in the mind".

    Hashim Taeeh, from Basra, is one half of an artistic duo called WAMI. Together with Yassen Wami, he makes sculpture from discarded cardboard boxes. A whole room of the exhibition, titled Welcome to Iraq, in the exquisite Ca' Dandolo on the Grand Canal, is furnished with furniture made from old packaging: a cardboard bed with cardboard pillow and eiderdown; a cardboard lamp, clock and a whole bookshelf loaded with cardboard books.

    Taeeh, a self-taught artist and poet, who also works in Iraq's agriculture ministry, said: "I started using this material in 1991, the year Iraq was under economic punishment [sanctions]. Everything immediately became extremely expensive, including artists' materials, so I was not able to buy oils or acrylic paints or canvas, and I was obliged to use this cheap cardboard. It is also a fragile material, like our fragile life. Our democracy is very fragile."

    Watkins added: "A lot of the art is about making do and getting by: how to improvise in this difficult situation."

    Furat al Jamil, who lives in Baghdad where she works as a film-maker, has one piece in the show: a sculpture of a broken, 300-year-old Mesopotamian ceramic vessel hung over with honeycombs. The pot, she said, might be seen as "symbolic of a broken culture, or of a broken life". The idea of honey and the beehive, she says, "in mythology represents the soul"– there is, she says, a sense of healing or reparation, however tentative.

    Chalabi believes "it will take another generation to process what has happened over the past decade: there needs to be more time and distance to discuss the war artistically". For some artists, making work is a retreat, rather than a place for commentary on politics: "You'd be amazed by how many people are doing flower paintings," she said.

    "An artist lives in his or her own world," said al Jamil. "You create your own environment and keep the outside world at bay. I live in Baghdad in a house with a garden and big walls: I can somehow separate the outside world with what's happening inside. Of course when you leave and try and get around the city, you get upset: when you stop at a checkpoint you wonder if an IED is going to explode. But after a while you begin to ignore it. It becomes part of life."

    This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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