Thursday, January 26, 2006

Judging Kieth Haring in 2006

"Uplifting and Joyful" Haring Called Obscene

Keith_haringA commissioner in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where Keith Haring is from, is calling the artist's work "obscene" and refusing a museum's request to hang a Statue of Liberty mural.

The 30'x90' mural, which once hung from a building in New York City, was nixed after the commissioner, Mark C. Scott, looked at Haring's work on the internet and determined that it depicted "graphic sadomasochistic and homosexual activities."

Supporters of Haring contend that Scott's decision was politically motivated.

Said Jill Katz of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philly: "His drawings look very simplistic, almost primal in a way. But they all told a story. He was very much about depicting the world around him. He became one of the greatest artists of his time. He has a large body of work that is not categorized as obscene. The sexuality that comes through in his work is just one facet of his personality. It’s not all of him. It’s what some people dwell on because they find it offensive in some way. He didn’t do this for the shock value. He was drawing from his experiences."

Haring grew up in nearby Kutztown, PA. He raised thousands for children's charities in his lifetime. He died of AIDS in 1990, at age 31.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Gilbert and George's Sonofagod Pictures:

Artists arouse MP's fury

Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent for The Guardian reports on the
new work by artist Gilbert and George.

To the left is part of Gilbert and George's Sonofagod Pictures: Was Jesus Heterosexual? series of works at the White Cube Gallery.

Gilbert and George are the finest dressed, and quite possibly most courteous, artists in London. But their new series of works is anything but polite.

Even before going on display today at London's White Cube gallery, the 21 new artworks - collectively titled Sonofagod Pictures: Was Jesus Heterosexual? - have aroused the fury of the Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, who has called them "blasphemous in the extreme, as [Gilbert and George] will find out when finally they stand before the Son of God". But the Bishop of Stepney, according to George, has been "very polite and very nice, and requested a studio visit".

For Sonofagod Pictures the artists have used the symbols and signs of belief systems; from lucky horseshoes and charms to crosses and stars of David.

Despite the confrontational images and the accompanying texts (such as "Jesus says forgive yourself/God loves fucking! Enjoy"), the artists say that the works are not offensive. Gilbert: "Christians are abusive to humans - to women, to queers. They threaten us with hell." George: "That's offensive, not us."

Read an interview from a few years back with dynamic team of the British art scene - HERE

Koons- copying another artist work -again

Koons Wins Fair Use Trial

01.20.06 - ARTNET reports that Jeff Koons has won a legal dispute over the usage of a fashion photo in his piece Niagara, 2000.

The neo-Pop artist, who famously appealed his 1988 String of Puppies copyright-infringement case all the way to the Supreme Court (See below for summery of this landmark case)—and lost—has been dragged into court once again for copying another artist's work.

For a seven-painting commission for the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, Koons drew on part of a photograph taken by Andrea Blanch titled Silk Sandals by Gucci and published in Allure magazine.

In his decision, judge Louis L. Stanton of US District Court found that Niagara was indeed a "transformative use" of Blanch's photograph. Blanch, a twenty-year veteran of the photo world, has filed to appeal the ruling.

Jeff Koons Vitals:

Jeff Koons AKA Jeffrey Koons

Born: 21-Jan-1955
Birthplace: York, PA

Gender: Male
Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Sculptor, Painter

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Artistic hack, Cicciolina's ex-husband

Father: Henry (interior decorator)
Mother: (homemaker)
Wife: Cicciolina (m. 1991, div. 1992)
Son: Ludwig Maximilian Koons (b. 1992)

University: Maryland Institute College of Art
University: Art Institute of Chicago

French Legion of Honor


Art Rogers
Photograph (1980)

Jeff Koons
String of Puppies (1988)
Wood painted sculpture

The String of Puppies Case

Rogers v. Koons, 960 F.2d 301 (2d Cir. 1992), is a leading U.S. court case on copyright, dealing with the fair use defense for parody. The Court found that an artist copying a photo could not be protected when there was no clear need to imitate the photo for parody.


Art Rogers is a professional photographer who took a black and white photo of a man and a woman with their arms full of puppies. The photograph was simply entitled "Puppies" and was used on greeting cards and other generic merchandise.

Jeff Koons, a famous artist, found the picture on a postcard and wanted to make a sculpture based on the picture for an art show on the theme of banality of everyday items. After removing the copyright label from the post card, he gave the picture to his assistants with instructions on how to model the sculpture. He asked that as much detail be copied as possible, though the puppies were to be made blue, their noses exaggerated, and flowers to be added to the hair of the man and woman.

The sculpture, entitled "String of Puppies," became a success, and Koon sold three of them for $367,000.

Upon discovering that his picture had been copied, Rogers sued Koons and the Sonnabend Gallery for copyright infringement. Koons admitted to having intentionally copied the image but attempted to claim fair use by parody.

Opinion of the Court

The Court found both "substantial similarity" and that there was access to the picture. The similarity was so close that the average lay person would recognize the copying. Thus the sculpture was found to infringe Rogers' copyright.

On the issue of fair use, the court rejected the parody argument, as Koons could have expressed the parody of the puppies without directly copying Rogers' "Puppies" photo. Koons' work was not commenting directly on the work itself, but rather on a general idea, so there was no need to copy.

keywords: Jeff Koons Niagara, 2000. neo-Pop artist, 1988 String of Puppies, copyright-infringement Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, Andrea Blanch, Silk Sandals by Gucci,

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Follow Up : on Nazi Stolen Klimt paintings

Maria Altman, who was recently awarded ownership of five Gustav Klimt paintings that had been stolen from her family by the Nazis, has offered to sell some of them back to the Austrian government.

This is a followup to an earlier post found at:

Keywords: Klimt, Nazi, Altman, stolen art

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Artist who have commited suicide:

Artist who killed themselves

A morbid topic, yet some how facinating.

Here is an alphabetical listing of those dearly departed artists (plus one art historian and one famous patron) who chose to leave this world by their own hands. Attempted suicides and gradual suicides by substance abuse have not been included. Neither will you see here the multitudes of artists who - unknowingly - killed themselves, over time, by licking lead and arsenic off their brushes, or inhaling acid while etching in unventilated rooms.

Whenever possible, methods, motivations and mitigating factors have been included.

An example of work by Henry Alexander.

Alexander, Henry (ca. 1860-1894)
American painter

Drank carbolic acid.

Arbus, Diane (1923-1971)
American photographer

Took a lethal dose of barbiturates and
slashed her wrists.

Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian (1868-1926)
English architectural historian

Overdosed on sleeping pills in Baghdad.
Bonvin, Léon (1834-1866)
French watercolorist

Hung himself from a tree in the forest of
Meudon, after a Parisian dealer rejected
his paintings.

Borromini, Francesco (1599-1667)
Italian architect

Threw himself on a ceremonial sword,
then lingered for another 24 hours.
Bugatti, Rembrandt (1884-1916)
Italian sculptor and draftsman

Put on one of his finest suits and gassed himself.

Bupalos and Athenis
(active ca. 540-ca. 537 BC)
Greek sculptors

Rumored to have been driven to suicide by
the nasty, albeit poetic, written attacks
of Hipponax (who apparently didn't like
their sculpture of him).

Carrington, Dora
English painter and decorative artist

Shot herself a few weeks after the death of
her companion, Lytton Strachey.

Cassandre, Adolphe Mouron (1901-1968)
French painter, designer and typographer

Crevel, René (1900-1935)
French Dada and Surrealist poet

Gassed himself the day before the Congress of
Writers for the Defense of Culture met in Paris.

Czigány, Dezsö (1883-1937)
Hungarian painter

Committed suicide in a psychotic fit, but
not before killing his family.

Daswanth (active ca. 1560; d 1584)
Indian miniature painter

Stabbed himself with a dagger.

Dayes, Edward (1763-1804)
English painter, draftsman and printmaker

Domínguez, Oscar (1906-1957)
Spanish painter and sculptor
Doort, Abraham van der (1575/80-1640)
Dutch wax-modeler, drawing-master and

Left this world despondent over the thought
that he might have misplaced one of
Charles I's favorite miniatures.

Erhard, Johann Chirstoph
German painter and printmaker

Fagan, Robert (1761-1816)
English painter, archaeologist and dealer

Jumped out of a window in Rome.

Frank, Jean-Michel (1895-1941)
French designer

Leapt to his death in New York City after having
been there for one week. Purely coincidental.

Fries, Ernst (1801-1833)
German draftsman, painter and lithographer

Slit his wrist.

Gagneraux, Bénigne (1756-1795)
French painter and engraver

"Fell" out of a window in Florence.

Gerstl, Richard (1883-1908)
Austrian painter and draftsman

Disemboweled himself with a butcher knife
after a brief romantic fling with the wife
of the composer, Arnold Schoenberg.

Gertler, Mark (1891-1939)
English painter

Tightly sealed up a room and turned on
the gas ring.

Gorky, Arshile (1904-1948)
American painter

His studio had burned, his wife had left him,
his health was bad and he had no money -
so he hung himself.

Greco, Alberto (1915-1965)
Argentine painter, sculptor and performance artist

Overdosed on barbiturates, and left notes
about how it felt (for as long as he could,

Gros, Baron Jean-Antoine
French painter

Drowned himself in the Seine

Haydon, Benjamin Robert
English painter, teacher and writer

Shot himself, then cut his throat.

Hébuterne, Jeanne (1898-1920)
French painter

Pregnant with their second child, she leapt from
a third-story window two days after her partner,
Amedeo Modigliani, died of tuberculosis.

Johnson, Ray (1927-1995)
American painter, collagist, "mail" and
performance artist

Committed "Rayocide" one Friday the 13th
by jumping off a Sag Harbor bridge and
backstroking away.

Kahlo, Frida (1907-1954)
Mexican painter

We're fairly certain she overdosed on painkillers,
though the coroner's report read, "pulmonary

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig (1880-1838)
German painter, printmaker and sculptor

Shot himself after the combination of illness
and the termination of his career by the National
Socialist Party proved too much.

Kricke, Norbert (1922-1984)
German sculptor

Kruyder, Herman (1881-1935)
Dutch painter and draftsman

Committed suicide in a psychiatric hospital.

Kurzweil, Max (1867-1916)
Austrian painter and printmaker

On leave from being a war artist in Istria, he
did it in Vienna.

Lefèvre, Robert-Jacques-François (1755-1830)
French painter

Lehmbruck, Wilhelm (1881-1919)
German sculptor, painter and printmaker

Lemoyne, François (1688-1737)
French painter and draftsman

Lo Savio, Francesco (1935-1963)
Italian painter and sculptor
Lombardi, Mark (1951-2000)
American draftsman

Hung himself in his Williamsburg, New York

Malaval, Robert (1937-1980)
French painter and sculptor

Shot himself in the head.

Maurer, Alfred (1868-1932)
American painter

Hung himself in the doorway of his father's

Mayakovsky, Vladimir (1893-1930)
Russian poet, playwright and artist

Shot himself.

Mayer, Constance (1775-1821)
French painter

Cut her throat with the razor of painter
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, who'd been her teacher
and then her lover but was not, apparently,
going to be her husband.

Min Yŏng-hwan (1861-1905)
Korean calligrapher and painter

Was so strongly opposed to living under the
1905 Protection Treaty being enforced
by Japan, that he decided not to.

Minton, John (1917-1957)
English painter and illustrator

Took an overdose of Tuinal.

Nero (AD 37-68)
Roman art patron and, yes, emperor

Decided stabbing himself in the neck was
preferable to being flogged to death.

Pascin, Jules (1885-1930)
American painter, draftsman and printmaker

Pascin succeeded financially but was mentally unstable.
Amidst growing appreciation for his "elegant little obscenities" (George Grosz), on the eve of a one-man show in a prestigious Paris gallery in 1930, Pascin, distraught over his stormy affair with Lucy Krohg, he committed suicide by slashing his wrists and then hanging himself.

Pellizza da Volpedo, Giuseppe (1868-1907)
Italian painter

Hung himself after the deaths of his
wife and son.

Réquichot, Bernard (1929-1961)
French painter, collagist and writer

Robert, Louis-Léopold (1794-1835)
Swiss painter

Killed himself in Venice, in front of his easel, on
the 10th anniversary of his brother's suicide.

Rothko, Mark (1903-1970)
American painter

Slit his wrists in his New York studio.

National Gallery of Art in Washington
has a wonderful on-line slide presentation on
Rothko's work.

Loacted here at:

Sage, Kay (1898-1963)
American painter and poet

"I have built an ivory tower of despair...
I scream, I scream...
In my ivory tower."

-- Kay Sage, 1957

Seymour, Robert (1800-1836)
English printmaker and painter

Shot himself in the garden at his home in
Soares dos Reis, António (1847-1889)
Portuguese sculptor, engraver and teacher

Soroka, Grigory (1823-1864)
Russian painter and draftsman

Staël, Nicolas de (1914-1955)
French painter

Jumped out of his studio window in Antibes.

Stauffer-Bern, Karl (1857-1891)
Swiss printmaker, painter, sculptor and poet

Tilson, Henry (?1659-1695)
English painter and draftsman

Shot himself through the heart with a pistol over
the unrequited love of a wealthy patroness.

van Gogh, Vincent (1853-1890)
Dutch painter

Died, two days afterwards, of a self-inflicted
gunshot wound to the chest.

Vaughan, Keith (1912-1977)
English painter

Chose to overdose, rather than live with bowel
cancer, kidney disease and depression.

Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841)
Japanese painter

Committed an honorable suicide after a run in
with the Tokugawa shogunate (over its
isolationist policies) led to his being under house

Witkiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy (1895-1939)
Polish writer, art theorist, painter and photographer

When the Second Army invaded Poland, he tied
himself to his lover, fed her poison and slit his
wrists. She regained consciousness. Him - no.
Witte, Emanuel de (1617-1693)
Dutch painter

Said to have drowned himself, after his body
was discovered in a frozen canal.

Wood, Christopher (1901-1930)
English painter

Stepped in front of a train.
Xue Ji (AD 649-713)
Chinese calligrapher and scholar-official

Forced to commit suicide after somehow
becoming embroiled in a plot to poison
the new emperor.

Keywords: artist suicide,

Edited byPaul Grant - web site

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Found ths unusual Site dedicated to Dying pictures and suicide letters:

what they are not...

First off, I should say what we are NOT about. We do not condone or support suicides of any kind and we are NOT a suicide hotline. There are NO certified councelors or psychiatrists associated with this site or any dying pictures site. This is a website for a suicide documentary. There are places on this site to anonymously submit suicide letters and thoughts and, if you wish, to let your feeling on the topic of death and suicide be heard publicly as well.


For most of us, myself included, the idea of taking your own life has crossed our minds at some point. Some people want to stop their pain. Others want to do it to create pain for someone else. There are as many reasons people do it as there are different kinds of people. The outcome is the purest entity in the universe - Death. And just like Death, we do not and will not discriminate anyone. Male, female, black, white, asian, 10 years old, or 110 years old; this site and all its pages are for anyone who wants to view, post, discuss or submit.

Death is the end of all of us. On this page is any kind of art inspired by death or despair or dying. You're only limited by your own imagination here. You can submit anything: painings, drawings, photos, sketches, macaroni art... whatever. You can send it in anonymously if you like to my P.O. Box or electronically. Remember, you won't be censored so don't restrict yourself. Check back soon for updates...

The site is at:

Photo Walls

Ernie Kovacs chopping off Milt's mother's head
From The Magic Castle in Los Angeles

National Public Radio has an interesting story today on Photo walls:

The father-daughter radio team of Mal and Jennifer Sharpe continue their exploration of what they call photo walls -- collections of snapshots of regular customers, both famous and not, often found at small businesses, restaurants and clubs.

I know in the restaurants where I have worked we always had these type of walls. In one restaurant, the bar was lined with the famous jazz artist who had played at the Restaurant-club twenty or more years in the past. When toured through these photo's you got a jazz history lesson, and also got a lot of gossip about the `regular' people who were posing with the stars.

You can listen to Mal and Jennifer on their latest foray the photo wall at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles, a venerable club for conjurers and slight-of-hand artists in the Hollywood Hills.

Other spots they have visited can be viewed on the second link below:

Keywords: Photo walls, Ernie Kovacs, The Magic Castle

Story edited for post by Paul Grant

Klimt paintings that Nazis stole

Adele Bloch-Bauer I

US woman wins fight for Austrian art

Klimt paintings that Nazis stole valued at $150m

By George Jahn, Associated Press | January 17, 2006

VIENNA -- It was a seven-year legal struggle with dazzling stakes -- five precious paintings by Austrian icon Gustav Klimt that a California woman says were stolen from her Jewish family by the Nazis.

Now, a court ruling made public yesterday will probably resolve the high-profile case against Austria's government in her favor.

The Austrian arbitration court determined the country is legally obligated to give the paintings to Maria Altmann, the heir of the family who owned them before the Nazis took over Austria in 1938, the Austria Press Agency reported.

Altmann said she was awakened by a telephone call from her attorney at 7:30 a.m. yesterday with the good news.

''I tell you, frankly, I had a very good feeling the last few days. I had a very positive feeling thinking things will go all right," said Altmann, reached by telephone at her home in Los Angeles. ''I'm thrilled that it came to this end."

Though the court's ruling is nonbinding, both parties have previously said they will abide by it, and Austria's government is expected to give up the works of art that have been displayed for decades in Vienna's ornate Belvedere castle.

That would represent the costliest concession since Austria began returning valuable art objects looted by the Nazis. The pictures have been estimated to be worth at least $150 million.

But for lovers of Klimt, at least one of the disputed paintings -- the oil and gold-encrusted portrait ''Adele Bloch-Bauer I" -- is priceless. Altmann, 89, is the niece of Bloch-Bauer, who died in 1925. The subject's family commissioned her famous portrait and owned it, along with the four other Klimt paintings disputed in the case.

Jane Kallir, co-director of New York City's Galerie St. Etienne, which introduced Klimt to the United States in 1959, calls the 1907 portrait ''literally priceless." Stylistically similar to Klimt's world-renowned ''The Kiss," the painting is replicated on T-shirts, cups, and other souvenirs.

Austria considers the paintings part of its national heritage. Klimt was a founder of the Vienna Secession art movement that for many became synonymous with Jugendstil, the German and central European version of Art Nouveau.

Bloch-Bauer represented the cream of Viennese society -- a Jugendstil ''Mona Lisa" with her shock of black hair, full lips, strong hands, and expressive brown eyes set against Klimt's gold and gilt framework. As early as 1908, a Vienna art critic described it as the portrait of ''an idol in a golden shrine."

Lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg, who represents Altmann, said the court's decision fulfilled all her hopes and expectations."

''It will make Mrs. Altmann . . . very happy," he told the Austria Press Agency.

The case stemmed from a 1998 Austrian law that required federal museums to review their holdings for any works seized by the Nazis and determine whether they were obtained without remuneration.

A formal announcement of the court decision, and Austrian government reaction, were expected today.

Lawyers for the two sides have fought since 1998 over rights to the famed portrait and four other paintings -- a lesser-known Bloch-Bauer portrait as well as ''Apfelbaum" (''Apple Tree"), ''Buchenwald/Birkenwald (''Beech Forest/Birch Forest), and ''Haeuser in Unterach am Attersee" (Houses in Unterach on Attersee Lake").

The two sides began mediation in March, following a US Supreme Court decision that Altmann, a retired Beverly Hills clothing boutique operator, could sue the Austrian government.

After Bloch-Bauer died, the five pictures remained in her family's possession. Her husband fled to Switzerland after the Nazis took over Austria. The pictures were then taken by the Nazis and the Austrian Gallery was made the formal owner.

Attorneys for Austria have argued Altmann's aunt intended to give the works to the gallery.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Keywords: Gustav Klimt, Altman, Austria, Nazi stolen art, Bloch-Bauer, Jugendstil, E. Randol Schoenberg, Belvedere castle

Sunday, January 15, 2006

New Self Portrait of Paul Grant

Keywords: Paul Grant,,

Saturday, January 14, 2006

paul's poster:

Keywords: Artist Paul Grant, Volunteering

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What does volunteerism look like?

Put it on a poster. Any size, any medium, any form.

View the flyer here

The inaugural International Youth Volunteerism Summit is a weekend conference to celebrate the impulses behind youth volunteerism around the world. At the same time, it will create a social and intellectual space for serious critical discussion of the limits and pitfalls of those impulses as well as extending our understanding of what “volunteerism” really. Art shows and documentary screenings will push our understanding of what it means to be productively engaged abroad. Delegates and speakers from all parts of the world will participate in this 4-day summit, held on February 23-26, 2006 at Northwestern University.

Poster entries will be displayed on this site for voting.
The winning entry will be featured on publicity materials sent around the world. The best entries will be displayed as part of an exhibition at the Summit.

All Entries must be received by January 15th by…

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Artist binds feet in desert and looses key- Hops back to civilization with his art work

Note this is not his picture. Just added it to give a visual to the story,

Pauls thoughts- Good press, but no follow up- no where to see the art- no pics of him or his work able to be found on the web. the value of this little publicity may have staying power in his own town, but it had incredible potential on a larger scale.

An artist who chained his legs together to draw a picture of the image hopped 12 hours through the desert after realizing he lost the key and couldn't unlock the restraints, authorities said Wednesday.

Trevor Corneliusien, 26, tightly wrapped and locked a long, thick chain around his bare ankles Tuesday while camping in an abandoned mine shaft about five miles north of Baker, San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Ryan Ford said.

"It took him over 12 hours because he had to hop through boulders and sand," Ford said. "He did put on his shoes before hopping."

The artist, who is from the area, often sketched images inside mines in the Southwest. He had finished his drawing Tuesday when he realized he didn't have the key.

Corneliusien finally made it to a gas station and called the sheriff's department, which sent paramedics and deputies with bolt cutters. His legs were bruised but he was otherwise in good health, Ford said.

The artist did not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment.

And the drawing?

"He brought it down with him," Ford said. "It was a pretty good depiction of how a chain would look wrapped around your legs."

Trevor Corneliusien, San Bernardino County, Paul Grant on Art
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