Miami Art Collection Crumbles

September 11, 2007 · Print This Article

Miami Art Collection Lost, Stolen or DestroyedMiami-Dade has spent three decades — and more than $33 million — building one of the largest and richest art collections in Florida, destined to enhance courthouses, libraries, transit stations, the airport and the seaport. Now many are missing, dying, destroyed or just in general disarry. Romare Bearden’s etching The Train [missing], George Tice’s photograph Petit’s Mobil Station [missing], Robert Rauschenberg’s lithograph Unit (Buffalo) [missing] and the same goes for dozens of other artworks that have gone missing from Miami-Dade’s Art in Public Places program.

• A county audit of the program is under way to determine, among other things, why dozens of artworks have been lost or stolen.

• Signature works by seminal artists have deteriorated, with no money and no plans to restore them, while others sit in storage, belying the notion of art in public places.

• At least 20 works that together cost more than $800,000 have been dropped from the collection inventory because they are either damaged or missing.

• Program administrators still rely on an inconsistent, incomplete inventory to track and manage the collection. Read more




Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich down right unfriendly to artists.

September 6, 2007 · Print This Article

Blagojevich against art Illustration by Christopher HudgensWe have received this a couple of times this week and the more we think about it the more evil it seems. What is up Rod? That seven million is not going to save your sinking popularity and taking funding from artists and arts organizations is just going to alienate another (mostly Chicago) constituency. (As if this crap with th El wasn’t enough Read here) We know who were voting against. And hey why not we are getting our pens out and letting our government know what we think. So should you.

Dear Friend in the Arts,
Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to cut over $7 million (30%) from the 2008 Illinois Art Council (IAC) budget. A chorus of voices is needed to restore state’s investment in the arts and arts education! We must act now to send a powerful message to Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senate President Emil Jones, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and other state lawmakers that the arts are not pork!

The Governor’s FY08 spending plan will significantly reduce the funds available for IAC grant programs, with a devastating impact on the arts statewide. Furthermore, the Governor completely eliminated the Arts and Foreign Language grant program through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Please tell Governor Blagojevich, senate and house leadership, and your state lawmakers TODAY how essential the arts are to you and your community. The Illinois Arts Alliance has made it extremely easy for you to effectively advocate for the arts. Here is what you can do: Read more




Hirst reported as major investor in the purchase of his own diamond skull

September 5, 2007 · Print This Article

MoneyAs reported on Artnet and referred by Tony Fitzpatrick

HIRST BUYS HIS OWN SKULL. . .
“He only recognizes art with his wallet,” Damien Hirst once said of collector Charles Saatchi, “he believes he can affect art values with buying power, and he still believes he can do it.” The quote reverberated ironically as it was announced that Hirst himself was part of the investment group that is purchasing For the Love of God, his $100-million platinum-and-diamond skull, recently on view at the White Cube gallery in London.

Hirst’s involvement in the purchase (as well as the sale) raised immediate questions about the deal, with Bloomberg reporter Linda Sandler suggesting that perhaps “Hirst hasn’t yet found a final buyer for his most expensive artwork, at a time when hedge fund managers and other art collectors have lost money in the credit markets.” Several years ago, when Saatchi sold off his collection of Hirst works, the artist teamed up with his gallery, with much fanfare, to repurchase his own works — a move that no doubt boosted his market value, not unlike when corporations buy back their own stock to raise their share price. Read more




Woman views her own heart on display

September 5, 2007 · Print This Article

Heart on Gallery Display
by Alistair Strachan of The Fortean Times

Transplant patient Jennifer Sutton paid a visit to an exhibition in London called The Heart today, mainly to check out a particular item on display – her own heart.

Jennifer, 23, from the New Forest, UK, had a heart transplant at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, on 4 June 2007. She lent her heart to the Wellcome Collection for the exhibition to increase public awareness of donation and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, the disease that would have killed her.

As you might imagine, she found the experience very odd and moving. “Seeing my heart for the first time is an emotional and surreal experience. It caused me so much pain and turmoil when it was inside me. Seeing it sitting here is extremely bizarre and very strange. Finally I can see this odd looking lump of muscle that has given me so much upset. It’s tremendous it has become an object of fascination and will get people thinking about the disease, heart transplants and organ donation.”
Read more




Hirst diamond skull finally sells after 2+ months for $100 million.

August 30, 2007 · Print This Article

Hirst Skull
An unnamed investment group has agreed to pay $100 million in cash for the final piece of Daimen Hirst’s June 3rd show at London’s White Cube Gallery. The platinum skull, studded with 8,601 diamonds was the final piece and brings the 2 gallery exhibition to a total of 180 million pounds ($362.4 million),

“The sale is expected to close in three to four weeks, when all the paperwork is finished, Frank Dunphy, Hirst’s business manager said. The group of buyers would be required to show the skull for two or three years in museums around the world.”

Usually, buyers operating at the $100 million level would get a discount, private dealer Richard Polsky said.

The buyers probably wouldn’t be “diamond people,” because the skull’s price was so much higher than the value of the diamond content, said London jeweler and art collector Laurence Graff, who looked at the skull when it was on show and didn’t buy it.

“I’m in the diamond business and I would only be interested in diamonds at diamond prices,” Graff said in a telephone interview today.”

The skull’s sale would enrich Hirst, 42, whose fortune has been valued at 130 million pounds by the London-based Sunday Times and who may get 75 percent or more of the proceeds of a sale, according to art professionals.
Read more