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Banksy – Bronze Rat

January 29, 2012 Art, Contemporary No Comments

For sale at Sotheby’s (Sale 12021; Lot 138), another sculpture that I really like. Pre-estimate at 70-90K GBP.

It was cast and unveiled (in my opinion) at the peak of the Banksy hype in 2006.

It’s an edition of 12 and measures 25 by 30 by 21cm.; 9 7/8  by 11 3/4  by 8in.

Catalog quotes Banksy:

They exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.


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Marc Quinn – Sphinx Caryatid

January 29, 2012 Art, Contemporary No Comments

At Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction on 2/16/12; Sale L12021, Lot 132. Pre-estimate is 150-200K GBP.

It’s painted bronze measuring 91 by 54 by 57cm.; 35 7/8 by 21 1/4 by 22 1/2 in. Executed in 2006.

Marc Quinn:

I was looking for the current incarnation of the Venus/Aphrodite archetype, and I looked at the various film stars and models. It was Kate’s ubiquity and her muteness that made her seem to me more like a classical divinity than any of the others I considered; she is someone who never really speaks but who is continually spoken about; that makes her a very effective mirror of ourselves – our desires, our obsessions, our dreams. What’s still more intriguing is the way that her and her image have parted company – she has one life and the image has a different one.

If I had the funds, I’d buy it.

Federico Solmi – The Evil Empire

January 24, 2012 Contemporary No Comments

At Art Los Angeles Contemporary, I was introduced to the amazingly humorous work of NY-based artist Federico Solmi, who is also a Guggenheim Fellow.

On view, at Jerome Zodo‘s booth, was one of Solmi’s most controversial works, The Evil Empire, a 4-minute video that chronicles the exploits of a porn-addicted Pope in the fictional town Vatic-Anal-City (A trailer of it is at the end of this post). I watched it a few times, back to back, and with each viewing, I chuckled and marveled at the genius of it. The subject matter definitely inspired conversation; it hit every scandal that the Catholic church should be ashamed of, and then some. But the beauty of it all was how it was presented – a series of crude, bright drawings strung together stop-motion style. This was probably the first time I ever gave consideration to owning video art. Well, this was before I came to know the price – $20,000! And being around since 2008, all 10 copies of this video are now accounted for. I was able to at least leave with a copy of the catalog.

In addition, there were a bunch of these panels from the film mounted on wood that appealed to me.

…and if things go my way, I may be able to acquire a few of them.

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3rd annual Art Los Angeles Contemporary at Barker Hanger

January 21, 2012 Contemporary No Comments

My absolute favorite item at Art Los Angeles Contemporary was Adam Belt’s Down The Rabbit Hole. It was at Quint Gallery’s booth. Though it’s only 3.5″ deep, the use of two-way mirror and LED lights made it look like it penetrated into infinity! Amazing stuff. Shortly after I took this picture, this thing attracted a pretty big-size crowd.

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Glenn Ligon: Coloring Series at BCAM (LACMA)

January 15, 2012 Contemporary No Comments

Part of Glenn Ligon’s AMERICA, his mid-career retrospective at LACMA. I was particularly drawn to these paintings.

Notes from LACMA:

During a residency at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2000, Ligon held workshops in which children were invited to fill in images taken from coloring books from the 1960s and 1970s that were intended to foster cultural knowledge and pride among black children. The books included historical and contemporary African Americans, including Harriet Tubman, Malcom X, and Isaac Hayes.

The participating children hailed from diverse ethnic backgrounds and were mostly unaware of the figures they colored or the ideological agenda they were meant to promote. Sometimes they painted them a deep brown, but in other instances afros became bright orange, Frederick Douglass’ eyes blue, and Hayes’ beard blond.

These images became the basis for the paintings… “Icons are made and remade,” he has remarked. “The project is about getting at that mutability through these kids’ drawings and my reiterations of them… The slipperiness of the images…and the anxiety around that slipperiness was interesting to me.”

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Topher Chin Studio Visit

November 19, 2011 Art, Contemporary No Comments

Checked out Topher Chin’s studio in Los Angeles, and was able to hear about some of his awesome works in progress.

Really great stuff.

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2011 LAXART Benefit Auction and Party

November 19, 2011 Art, Contemporary No Comments

Checked out the LAXArt Benefit Auction….

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Gagosian Gallery: Opening Party for Adam McEwan’s 11.11.11 Exhibition

November 12, 2011 Art, Contemporary No Comments

Sooj reading the press release….

The art was kind of crap.

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Chuck Close at Blum and Poe Gallery

November 5, 2011 Art, Contemporary No Comments

I had the great fortune to meet artist Chuck Close and his friend and biographer Christopher Finch. I’ve been a fan of Close’s work for quite some time, so it was a real treat to have him sign my books, Chuck Close: Life and Chuck Close: Work! Even without the signatures, they’re worth their weight in gold.

 And of course, while there, I checked out his latest show, which is simply, amazing………..

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