How art fraud is convicted

Art forgery and fraud--things which have probably been around as long as art has had monetary value--have been in the news a lot. There was another episode in the bust of a forgery ring in New York, and there has been the trial of a Florida pastor convicted for selling fake Damien Hirsts.

Hyperallergic has a short interview with one of the jurors in the Hirst trial, and it's a pretty good read. Especially this sentence: "After this case I get the idea that there is a lot of fake art out there and the value of art has more to do with provenance and how it is proved rather than the piece itself."

Hey artists: your brains are different

The BBC reports on a study that shows that artists have "increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery."

I suspect that this really means that science has confirmed that talented artists have talent, but that feels more objective and less mystical when brain scans confirm it.

Jewish manuscripts

When we look at illuminated manuscripts from Medieval Europe, they're almost always within a Christian context, even when they're books shared by Christians and Jews.

This post has some photos of a Hebrew manuscript from late medieval/early Renaissance on view at the Met in New York. It's good to have visual reminders of what ought to be obvious: there were also large Jewish communities in Europe, and they also produced
beautiful manuscripts.


I'm a fan of portraiture, self-portraiture, and discussions of identity. And I still can't figure out why we're so obsessed with talking about Selfies.

But if you're a fan, here is a place where you can literally see them all in real time. Have fun!

More about money than art

It's just about impossible to feel rich.

The 200th richest person in China just spent $36 million on a small Ming dynasty cup. The cup is undoubtedly rare and beautiful and valuable. And I won't disparage anyone for buying valuable and beautiful things, no matter what the cost.

But when $36 million porcelains becomes the context  for what rich, or even kinda rich, means, then the rest of us have nothing to aim for. The American Dream can't keep up with this kind of wealth. So there's nothing for you and me to do. Except being grateful for what we have, and enjoying the bounty of free and inexpensive art around us in Texas. And contemplating the meaning of Marfa Prada. We'll always have Marfa Prada.

In case you missed it

A lot of people may have skipped yesterday's Sunday Streets HTX because of rain (I missed it, but because of baseball. I went to a pre-party--that counts, right?), organizer Raj Mankad put out a preview last week to prepare for the event. It's a cool guide.

The next Sunday Street is May 4th, along Westheimer. There's plenty if publicity about the event, and they have a Facebook page to keep you up-to-date.