Friday, January 29, 2010

Betting the F***ART

I ususally think of museum big-wigs as being humorless, pretentious, and tightly-wound (sorry, ya'll, that's just been my experience.) However, the directors at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art are upending my stereotyping by making wagers on the superbowl--winner gets a work from the other museum on loan for three months! There's been one-upping, trash-talking, and a deal has finally been reached. Guess the Art Capital Group isn't the only organization making bets with artwork these days...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Fear the Reaper, Fear Adult Education Classes

So people are all worked into a frenzy about this old lady who ripped a Picasso at the Met. There are two burning issues in my mind right now on this topic:

1. What was this woman doing/wearing to literally rip a huge hole in a painting? I'm imagining her wearing some goth outfit covered in spikes (see above) or having some crazy big Flo-Jo nails. Maybe granny's got a little shiv in her pocket to keep herself safe on the mean streets of the Upper East Side?

2. Knowing that this painting will be painstakingly repaired by the best restorers in the world, it's interesting that people are still so worried about this. Anyone who's seen a patched hole in a canvas knows that when done well, no one can tell. I anticipate that the painting will look exactly the same as it did two days ago (just as casino magnate Stephen Wynn's Picasso does post-patch). Certainly it's worth noting that the work is on a delicate old piece of fabric that must be handled with care and that could suffer further damage from being moved and handled during restoration. What I'm trying to say is this: since the painting is going to be visually the same, are people afraid of the monetary loss or does thinking about the fact that even timeless objects decay and get damaged make us fear death? I've always kind of wondered if the whole idea of restoration is largely about our fear of death; if stopping the decay on an object lets us feel like we're evading the reaper.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Deaccessioning Debate Rages on

As more and more museum personnel see themselves getting laid off, the AAMD (Association of Art Museum Directors) continues to view deaccessioning (selling off artwork to pay the bills) as the cardinal sin of museum management. They argue that selling off works to pay the bills encourages poor management and bad use of funds, but in this economy does that argument still hold water?

My new FAVORITE blog, The Art Law Blog, talks about this controversy:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Support the Arts for Children in Haiti

A Hatian art dealer I used to work for turned me onto this fabulous organization helping children in Haiti. They teach the children how to make art, giving them a marketable skill, and also provide school, food, and medical care to kids who would otherwise go without. Located in Jacmel, just about 20 miles south of Port-au-Prince, they are in need of immediate assistance.

Donate and purchase art here:

See their full website here:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sol LeWitt or Moderately Priced Furniture?

This category of comparison is proving to be one of endless possibilities.