Auction notice

These incredibly priced portraits of royal family members are going to be auctioned. A thousand bucks for a portrait commissioned by King Edward VII? You should consider this. The above painting is not one of the ones on offer. They're a different sort of portrait.

"an industrial cross between a cavern and a cathedral"

Here are photos and a story about "The Cistern," a large and beautiful underground tank downtown. Any ideas what to do with it?

Everything you need to know about my home town

in one news brief.

Movie Night

The MFAH is showing War: Women Art Revolution at 5pm on Sunday, February 5 and Sunday, February 12. I'm going to try to make one of the showings, and maybe you will too.

Can you loan me some money?

There's a beautiful Rothko painting going up for auction in London, the first major piece for sale in a decade. They only provide estimates on request, but I would be shocked to see this go for less than $50 million, and I would not be surprised to see it go for $100 million.

Any of you out there want to help me live the dream?

Barbie. Art. Repeat.

Thanks, Jenny, for sending this my way.

Houston Permitting Center

Cool art? In a public administration building? In Houston?

Yes. According to this review in the Houston Press, the Permitting Center included large and vibrant art in its budget. Yay bureaucrats!

What do I do with this thing?

So Friday I got my iPad from Mr. Moss. It's for educational and classroom purposes. I'm not really sure how to use a single iPad for the classroom, but if you know of any good art, art history, literature or philosophy apps (is there even such thing as a philosophy app?), please let me know about them in the comments.

Picasso, Warhol, and Zhang?

What artist's work has brought in the most money at auction? It's no longer Picasso; it's Zhang Daqian.

China has a lot of wealth and a lot of art collectors (39% of the money spent on fine art last year was spent by Chinese). And it seems they like...Chinese art.

Forget the towels

An Australian hotel group invited people to steal some of their art.

Two Banksy pieces were available to steal. Any guest who could steal the painting--and one did--got to keep it. The unstolen piece was donated to Crime Stoppers to auction off.

Now you can attack art, too!!

Actually, you could since 1996, but I just learned about Museum Meltdown.

According to the description I read, Museum Meltdown is a modified Duke Nukem video game that's set in a recreation of an actual art museum. You can shoot aliens. You can shoot the art. You can shoot aliens and have their blood splatter the art.

I don't think you can pee on the art, though.

The Full Banksy

I have an ambivalent relationship to "Street Art." I hope to decide what I think about street art before I die, but I can't make any promises.

One artist I know I like and admire and enjoy thinking about it Banksy. We'll talk about him in class this spring when we watch Exit Through the Gift Shop.

But this quick little note from Nicholas Barber reminds us of the problem with dealing with street art second-hand. It also hints at a broader question of art appreciation and criticism: how do we respond to art, even "great" art, before we have confirmation that it is generally accepted as art?

Apples and Bananas

Apple, as in the computer company, fought with Apple, as in the Beatles' record label, for decades over the name Apple, and just recently settled (that's why all of a sudden you can get The Beatles on iTunes).

And now the Velvet Underground is feuding with the Warhol foundation over their Banana logo, and whether it can be displayed on iPad covers.

I think there are two lessons here:

1. Don't get into a contract or contract dispute with Andy. Even a quarter century after his death, he'll still probably win. That guy was a business genius, and don't forget it.

2. Simple fruit as an identity may not be as simple as it seems. Sorry, Apple Martin.

It's impossible not to love George Clooney, isn't it?

His next project is a movie about art historians. And Hitler. And I hear it's a love story? No, but really. It's about the team of art experts who went to Europe--sometimes in battle conditions--to find and save art.

Sistine Chapel

Here is the 360 Sistine Chapel. Two warnings: it will make you dizzy, and it's got music. Enjoy!

Almost everything you ever wanted to know about Damien Hirst, and more

The news essay itself is brief, but make sure you click through the timeline at the bottom. While we're at it, we should probably go back and read everything Jerry Saltz has written. He's the critic of our times, &etc.

Got millions to invest?

You might think about investing in art instead of stocks.

If you've got 150 bucks, neither will do you much good.

Another art attack!

A woman attacked a Clyfford Still painting by "punching and scratching it, then removing her pants and sliding down the artwork."

Any of you out there documentary filmmakers? Journalists? Who's with me to go on a quest to figure out why people do this to art? Any philanthropists out there who want to fund the project? I think I'm on the brink of an obsession. I want to write crime stories about violence toward art. Fictional or not.

More on Leonardo

Here is the New York Times article about the bitter fight over the restoration of a painting.

More can be found here and here.

Cindy Sherman at MoMA

Depressed that you can't make it Fort Worth for the amazing Caravaggio exhibit? Erase those blues by going to New York to see a Cindy Sherman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. It runs from February 26 to June 11. Over 180 photos, almost all of them of the same person!