Sunday, November 15, 2009

Andy Warhol?

Andy Warhol

I second that, Andy is the bomb.
Andy Warhol is the best! I can't believe this sold!

The Art Market: Seeing dollar signs

By Georgina Adam

Published: November 13 2009 23:46 | Last updated: November 13 2009 23:46

This week’s auctions of contemporary art in New York saw the market take a distinct upswing, with energetic sales culminating in an astonishing $43.8m given at Sotheby’s for a rare silk-screen painting by Andy Warhol. “This was an unbelievably strong sale,” said New York dealer Christophe Van de Weghe on Wednesday night. “People just wanted to spend money tonight, they were tired of holding back.” The auction house had just raised $134.4m in its 54-lot sale, well ahead of its high estimate of $97.7m (presale estimates do not include commissions; results do). Only two lots failed to find buyers.

While the Warhol was widely expected to beat its $8m-$12m estimate, many were astonished at how strongly it performed. Dating from 1962, “200 One Dollar Bills” comes from Warhol’s second series of serial images, and had a highly desirable provenance, having belonged to Robert and Ethel Scull, early patrons of Pop Art. According to Bloomberg, it was being sold by the London-based collector Pauline Karpidas. There were gasps in the saleroom when a Christie’s staffer on the telephone jumped to $12m immediately after the opening $6m bid, and applause and cheers rang out when the hammer came down at $43.8m.

“When you bring great quality you get great prices,” said one of two unsuccessful underbidders, the trader Alberto Mugrabi, whose family already owns several hundred Warhols.

Another Warhol on offer was a red-and-green self-portrait given in 1967 to Cathy Naso, then aged 17, who worked as a receptionist at Warhol’s Factory. She had kept the work in a cupboard until this year. “Fresh as the day it was made,” said auctioneer Tobias Meyer as he hammered it down to the London jeweller Laurence Graff for $6.1m, well over its $1m-$1.5m estimate. “I am overwhelmed by the price – Warhol made me famous for 15 minutes,” Naso commented, while Graff said, “It’s a gem!”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Expanding Islands of Trash

ABOARD THE ALGUITA, 1,000 miles northeast of Hawaii — In this remote patch of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from any national boundary, the detritus of human life is collecting in a swirling current so large that it defies precise measurement.

Scientists say the garbage patch is just one of five that may be caught in giant gyres scattered around the world’s oceans. Abandoned fishing gear like buoys, fishing line and nets account for some of the waste, but other items come from land after washing into storm drains and out to sea.

Plastic is the most common refuse in the patch because it is lightweight, durable and an omnipresent, disposable product in both advanced and developing societies. It can float along for hundreds of miles before being caught in a gyre and then, over time, breaking down.

But once it does split into pieces, the fragments look like confetti in the water. Millions, billions, trillions and more of these particles are floating in the world’s trash-filled gyres.

- Lindsey Hoshaw for The New York Times

Andy Goldsworthy a British Sculptor

Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist living in Scotland who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. Goldsworthy works directly with nature and uses a variety of natural materials in his art including leaves, twigs, flower petals, pinecones, sand, snow and stone. Through the use of natural materials, Goldsworthy creates temporary and permanent sculptures which address issues of growth and decay. The idea behind much of Goldsworthy’s work is that artwork has a natural life that eventually must end.

Goldsworthy constructs his pieces using found instruments. These instruments are, for example, a stick with which he scrapes sand or thorns that he uses to stick leaves together. He also uses nature as a means to shape his works. For example, in some of his works he uses icicles, which go through a freezing and thawing cycle.

Following the theme growth and decay, he sometimes uses the negative processes of nature to illustrate to affects of nature in a life cycle. This best is illustrated when a sculpture made of sand is dismantled by the tide or when clay enveloping boulders burst during the process of drying.