Thursday, May 31, 2007

Paris Hilton Dead

Paris Hilton dead?
When I read the headline I immediately assumed Ms. Hilton had overdosed due to the stress of her upcoming prison sentence, another victim of the live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse philosophy.

But no, it was a work of art by by artist Daniel Edwards, recently exhibited in New York. Famous for his Britney Spears on all fours giving birth (story here) and his bust of Hillary Clinton showing her breast (story here)

Paris Hilton Autopsy
May 11 - 30 2007
Collectors Catalog Available

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Apr. 26 - Paris Hilton's naked "corpse" could provide an invaluable service to students preparing for prom this season. An interactive Public Service Announcement featuring the graphic display of a tiara-wearing, autopsied Paris Hilton with removable innards is designed to warn teenagers of the hazards of underage drinking. The display also features Tinkerbell, Hilton's forlorn pet Chihuahua with matching tiara, and debuts in the trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood where prom-goers frequently dine, courtesy of Capla Kesting Fine Art.

"Paris herself would probably take one look at the installation and draw, "Dude, I look great. DUI death is hot."" - New York Magazine - The Fug Girls

"There's something about disemboweling a homunculus of Hilton that screams fine art," - - Wired Magazine

"a bizarre art campaign to warn against the dangers of drunk driving." - The New Zealand Herald

"Through an extraordinary alchemic transform- ation, Paris Hilton's life has been given meaning." - Dallas News

"Daniel Edwards seems to be tapping into as many symbolic veins as he can: birth, life and death– and commerce" - C. Antonio Romero - Culture Kiosque

"Hot!" - Fox News

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Robert Klein Engler




NOTE: It is quite possible, and highly probable that much of the information about this person- is self generated. 

Robert Klein Engler lives in Chicago and New Orleans. He is a writer and artist whose work is sometimes characterized as politically incorrect. Born on the southwest side of Chicago, Robert taught many years at Richard J. Daley College, until he was banned by the chancellor. Robert holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has received 2 Illinois Arts Council awards for his poetry. Just google his name to find his writing on the Internet.

Michael Morgan writing in the Comstock Review says that Robert Klein Engler " a poet of the first rank." Another reviewer on disagrees. This reviewer says that Engler's book, A Winter of Words, is trash and that "Engler is a conflicted, sad man who likes to sulk in his book." He then adds, "Mr. Engler you are a Eurocentric nutcase and need to go to a mental hospital."

Larry Winfield of Los Angeles, CA writes that "...I must admit my grievous lack of artistic judgment (sic) in publishing Engler's poetry in past issues of Liquid Glyph"...Engler is "the poetry scene's version of Dinesh D'Souza."
" These comments are echoed by Andrew Huff's assessment in Gaper's Block where Huff refers to Engler's writings as a "sublime banquet of bullshit."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

An Ebay artist makes $25,000 in one month

Self-Represented, The Raw Artist™ Wraps Up First $25,000 Month on eBay

RENSSELAER, Ind., March 28, 2005 - Michel Leah Keck is nothing if not unconventional. Known as The Raw Artist™ (, Keck is self-taught, working in a variety of media. Her art is sought after by collectors from around the world. Works by The Raw Artist fetch from hundreds to a couple of thousand via her eBay art auctions. But, unlike many artists who enjoy similar success through gallery representation alone, Keck has a strong focus on self-representation - and her auction house of choice is eBay, where she has just completed her first qualifying month as an eBay Platinum PowerSeller, thanks to sales at that site of over $25,000 in the last month.

Impressive for one who has been described as an outsider artist. But then, Keck is used to doing things a little differently. She has eschewed the traditional starve-until-you-get-big-gallery-representation route, instead concentrating on Web sales since 2003. In less than two years, Keck has become one of the most popular self-represented artists on eBay, with recent average monthly sales of $20,000. It is not uncommon for The Raw Artist's works to be snapped up through the site's "Buy It Now" feature before ever going to auction. In fact, three spiritual paintings from her Prayer Series sold through the "Buy It Now" feature within 48 hours of being listed in her store.

For Keck, "The Raw Artist" holds two meanings: First, in reference to her raw food lifestyle, which Keck credits with saving her life after years of debilitating chronic pain. But The Raw Artist also refers to the very nature of Keck's work. Her earthy abstracts, peculiar collages, recycled junk art, spiritual paintings and intricate circle drawings are edgy, at once organic and raw.

Asked about her style, Keck's reply is characteristically frank. "I don't like to be labeled or asked to categorize my work," she explains. "It is ever-changing. My work has been classified as outsider art, folk art, abstract art, expressionistic and even pop art. It is what it is and changes from day to day. If I'm forced to put myself in to an 'ism,' then my ism of choice is raw-ism." Perhaps the label that best describes Keck is artrepreneur: Equal parts artist and entrepreneur, driven to constantly push the boundaries of art and business. But whatever you call her, The Raw Artist is undeniably original.

Friday, May 18, 2007

An auction official displays Vincent van Gogh's 'View of the Asylum and Chapel at Saint-Remy,' now owned by Elizabeth Taylor (CP photo).

Court says Liz Taylor can keep van Gogh painting
Fri May 18, 2007 7:42PM EDT

By Adam Tanner

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Actress Elizabeth Taylor can keep a Van Gogh painting that may have been illegally seized by Nazis, after a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday the family who once owned it waited too long to ask for it back.

"This affirms my great belief in the American judicial process; I am very grateful," Taylor said in a statement. "It's wonderful to have Monsieur Vincent Van Gogh in my living room."

Taylor, 75, bought the 1889 painting "View of the Asylum and Chapel at Saint-Remy" at a Sotheby's auction in London in 1963 for 92,000 British pounds -- about $257,000 at the time. She keeps it in her Los Angeles-area home.

The painting, made by van Gogh near the end of his life, is worth many times more, perhaps tens of millions, in today's red-hot art market.

The Orkin family, South African and Canadian descendants of Margarete Mauthner, a Jewish woman who fled Germany in 1939, sued Taylor in 2004, claiming that Nazis forced the sale of the painting under duress and thus it should be returned to them under the 1998 U.S. Holocaust Victims Redress Act.

Taylor said she was the rightful owner of the painting and asserted it had passed through two Jewish art dealers without any sign of Nazi coercion before she bought it.

"We have evidence the painting was sold in the late 1920s," Jonathan Bloom, a lawyer for Taylor, said after the decision.

In its ruling, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed a lower court and ruled the Orkin family waited too long in claiming the painting that was long known to be in Taylor's possession.

"It is apparent that Taylor's acquisition of the painting was certainly discoverable at least by 1990, when she held it out for sale in an international auction, and most probably as early as 1963, when she acquired the painting in a highly publicized international auction," Judge Sidney Thomas wrote.

Any claim to the painting, Thomas said, "expired in or before 1993, three years after the last public announcement of Taylor's ownership."

The judge also said the painting's tangled history may reflect van Gogh's.

"Vincent van Gogh is said to have reflected that 'paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul,'" Thomas wrote. "The confused and perhaps turbulent history of his painting 'Vue de l'Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy' may prove the truth of his observation."

Taylor, a two-time Oscar winner who starred in films such as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Cleopatra" and "Giant," started collecting art in the 1950s with the help of her father, an art dealer, and has owned works by Monet, Renoir, Degas and others.

Every few months you'll read a newspaper story of the discovery of some long-lost art treasure hidden away in a German basement or a Russian attic: a Cranach, a Holbein, even, not long ago, a da Vinci. Such treasures ended up far from the museums and churches in which they once hung, taken as war loot by Allied and Axis soldiers alike. Thousands of important pieces have never been recovered. Lynn Nicholas offers an astonishingly good account of the wholesale ravaging of European art during World War II, of how teams of international experts have worked to recover lost masterpieces in the war's aftermath and of how governments "are still negotiating the restitution of objects held by their respective nations." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The 1963 painting, Green Car Crash by Warhol sells for 71 Million

Warhol car crashes sales barrier

A new record was set for work by Andy Warhol when a painting of a car crash sold for $71.7m (£36.3m) in New York.

The 1963 painting, Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), depicts an overturned car on fire.

It easily beat the previous auction record for work by the pop art pioneer, set last November when a painting of Chairman Mao sold for $17.4m (£8.8m).

The sale, at Christie's, was part of the second most-lucrative art auction ever, earning a total of $385m (£195m).

Final figures beat Christie's most optimistic expectations by some $80m, while only four of 78 works on offer failed to sell.

The market wasn't just hungry, it was ravenous
Christie's chairman, Christopher Burge
Records were broken by more than half of the 50 artists represented, including British artist Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter and Donald Judd.

Another Warhol painting, Lemon Marilyn, fetched $28m (£14m).

Featuring the avant garde artist's seminal subject, actress Marilyn Monroe, it had remained in the same hands since the year of its creation.

"It was one of the most remarkable sales I've ever seen," said Christie's honorary chairman Christopher Burge, who also served as auctioneer.

"The market wasn't just hungry, it was ravenous."

However, none of the works on sale managed to match the $72.84 million fetched by a Mark Rothko at Sotheby's on Tuesday night, which shattered the record for post-war art at auction.

Prices have been pushed up by the expanding art market, with buyers from Asia, Russia and the Middle East mixing with traditional collectors.

According to Christie's, 18% of buyers at last night's sale were from Asia, nearly matching the 19% who hailed from Europe.

"This boom has been going on for three or four years and its getting stronger and stronger," says Daniel Morris of Corfield Morris - an independent company advising art and antique collectors.

"These things are now becoming status symbols for the uber-wealthy.

"They used to have other assets - race horses or Porsches - but now you have to have a Damien Hirst on the wall."

'Individual scenario'

Individual buyers make up a large part of the market, with hedge fund billionaire Steven A Cohen and Las Vegas magnate Steve Wynn - who accidentally put his elbow through a Picasso last year - among the leading clients.

With records continuing to be broken, collectors are feeling encouraged to put works up for sale, which in turn drives prices higher.

But, warned Christie's, not every piece is guaranteed to break records.

"The Lemon Marilyn, which sold for $28m, was from the first series of Marilyn Monroe pictures Andy Warhol did, " said a Christie's spokesperson. "That fact, plus the knowledge that it had a single owner and was bought directly from Warhol's first New York one-man show for $250 - all made it more desirable."

"There are individual scenarios for each individual piece of art."

Artist Title Price achieved Previous record

Mark Rothko White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) £36.8m £11.3m
Andy Warhol Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) £36.3m £8.8m
Francis Bacon Innocent X £26.5m £14m
Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled £7.4m £2.8m
Damien Hirst Lullaby Water £3.7m £1.7m
Willem de Kooning Untitled XXV £13.6m £10.5m

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