Monday, 31 October 2011


EROTICA 2011 takes place in London's Olympia from 18 to 19 November. The organisers expect 60,000 folks to attend, of whom 40% will be graduates. So expect highbrow sales pitches on naughty items (CLICK). I wouldn't mention this show but for the attendance of life model Rosemarie Orwin, whom I've featured on my blog twice before (CLICK). Here she is wearing a sample of "Living Lingerie", especially designed for her by Ken Clarke - NOT the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice - in association with The Spa Collection. Rosemarie will be circulating in Olympia modelling outfits like this (title link). Her website includes an interesting page on body casting (CLICK).

Sunday, 30 October 2011

China Ponders

Video Game Arts Prize

The inaugural GameCity video game arts prize, announced at the finale of the GameCity video game culture festival in Nottingham, has been awarded to Minecraft, created by Swedish firm Mojang (title link). The game involves placing blocks to build anything you fancy. Monsters creep out at night, so you need to build shelters. Although still in beta mode, the game has sold nearly four million downloads (CLICK). It will be released next month. I'm not sure its chunky graphics deserve an art prize, but art without gameplay isn't much use to gamers. The prize also encompasses music.

Hergé & Da Vinci

Make sure your clocks are set correctly, because today the BBC is showing two art programmes!
At 8pm BBC Two will screen Tintin's Adventure with Frank Gardner. In homage to Hergé, whose Tintin adventures inspired him to travel and report from danger zones for the BBC, Frank visits Moscow to research the very first Tintin story: Tintin in The Land of The Soviets. Hergé thought the drawings crude and refused to allow this story to be published in English for many years (CLICK).
At 9pm BBC One will screen Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure, in which Fiona Bruce previews Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, which opens at The National Gallery in London on 9 November. She also reports her findings on Da Vinci's life and gains an exclusive filmed preview of his rediscovered Salvator Mundi (above). As the exhibition is overpriced, this is the best way to view it (title link).

Clocks Back Fiasco

When will the UK ever get rid of this insane notion of putting the clocks forward or backward twice a year? For weeks the BBC fat cats in charge of social engineering have been trying to persuade us to use the "extra" hour we allegedly gain at the end of British Summer Time to teach some old duffer how to surf the Web. Extra hour? It's going to take most of us longer than that to adjust all our clocks, watches, TVs, video recorders, ovens, microwave cookers and central heating systems. It takes a team of men 5 hours to adjust the four faces of Big Ben! I haven't started on my work yet. The computer I'm currently using is the only device that adjusts itself automatically. I assume the BBC fat cats have servants to do all this work for them. As for our clueless politicians, they're toying with the idea of moving the clocks forward by an hour to link up with Central European Time (CET)! The Scots will screw that idea. Why can't we just settle for a time in the middle of British Summer Time and Greenwich Mean Time? That will stop messing up our biological clocks and improve our general health as well as saving us all huge amounts of wasted time.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Dazed & Confused

There are two free exhibitions coming soon to Somerset House. Amazon runs from 2 November to 4 December in the East Wing Galleries. This is in aid of Sky Rainforest Rescue, featuring photos by Sebastião Salgado and Per Anders Pettersson (CLICK). From 4 November to 29 January in the Terrace Rooms there's a celebration of 20 Years of Dazed & Confused Magazine: Making It Up As We Go Along (title link). Shown: Kate Moss photographed by Rankin (June 1998).

Wallace on Flickr

The Wallace Collection’s photographer has begun displaying images of the collection on Flickr, example this Oriental Sword Hilt (CLICK). There are also photos of room refurbishments and before-and-after shots of conserved objects. Some of the items haven't been on view to the public before (title link). The labelling could be improved with the addition of dates; but for those of you who can't get to London to visit The Wallace Collection, the Flickr images could be useful.

Weiwei's Latest

Fans of Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd may be wondering what the many artists employed by Lu Qing have been up to recently. Here's your answer. Today the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan opened Ai Weiwei is Absent, an exhibition which crushes home the point that the jet-setting millionaire has been confined to Beijing by the Chinese government. In his pamphlet for the exhibition, Weiwei writes that his absence "is a part of my art, my portfolio and my cultural state". The fact that his absent show is staged in Taiwan is guaranteed to get right up the noses of the Chinese authorities, because China still claims Taiwan as part of its territory. Above is Forever Bicycles made of 1,000 bicycles (title link).

Friday, 28 October 2011

Campari Apocalypse

Campari has released its 2012 calendar featuring Milla Jovovich photographed by Dimitri Daniloff, title: It’s the end of the world, baby! The apocalyptic scenes were supposedly inspired by the Mayan myth that the world as we know it will end on 21st December 2012. Oh, come off it, Campari. Who wants to know about that Mayan guff. This is clearly a political message to those daft 17 eurozone leaders who twisted Silvio Berlusconi's arm to inflict austerity measures on Italy. Fat chance. Chuckle, chuckle. Click the title link for more photos.

Lugo Pleads Guilty

Mark Lugo has pleaded guilty to grand theft of Picasso's Tête de femme (1965) from the Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco last July. CCTV caught him walking away with the sketch tucked under his arm (CLICK). The taxi driver Lugo hired helped the police make a swift arrest. Other stolen artworks were found in Lugo's New Jersey apartment. Following a plea deal, he will will be released from prison under supervision on 21 November, then extradited to New York to face more art theft charges. His lawyer believes Lugo suffered a "psychiatric episode" (title link).

Thursday, 27 October 2011

'New' Velazquez

A painting brought to auction house Bonhams in Oxford last year has been confirmed as a Velazquez. Its tentative title is Portrait of a Gentleman. The subject might be Juan Mateos, Master of the Hunt to King Philip IV of Spain. Confirmed as a Velazquez, the painting's value shoots up to about £3m. It will be auctioned in London on 7 December (title link). Note: the painting is filthy, so I've tweaked the gamma and contrast settings on this graphic to show it more clearly. CLICK for Bonhams.

Daiwa Art Prize

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation has announced its shortlist for the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize 2012. The prize is open to British artists resident in the UK who have not previously had an exhibition in Japan. The winner gets a solo show at a gallery in Tokyo plus a period of support, introductions to key persons and organisations in the Japanese contemporary art world and a "participation fee" of £5000. Over 700 artists submitted work this year (title link). And who do you think was among the judges selecting tosh for Japan? Grayson Perry (CLICK)! Dunno what the photo shows or who made it. Art? No way. A gardener's cloche?

Picassos Found

Serbian fuzz have recovered two Picasso paintings stolen from a temporary exhibition in the town of Pfaeffikon, Switzerland, in 2008 (CLICK for my news item). The horrible daubs are Tete de Cheval (Head of Horse) and Verre et Pichet (Glass and Pitcher) worth about £2.7m ($4.3m). They were found in Belgrade. The Interior Ministry is wondering how they got there. No arrests have been made (title link).

Euro Agreement

Leaders of the European Union have finally agreed a three-pronged package to resolve the eurozone debt crisis:
1. Keep smiling (to give investors confidence)
2. Sell Greece to China. Who needs the cradle of European civilization?
3. Stop spaghetti PM Silvio Berlusconi from holding such lavish orgies ... er ... parties.
If these measures don't do the trick, they'll nationalize the Spanish monarchy, if they can borrow enough money from the Russian Mafia.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Perry Hits Out

Oo-er. It's Turner prize-winner and cross-dresser Grayson Perry, who is currently displaying a load of old tat at The British Museum (CLICK). He's hit out at the art establishment, describing it as disengaged "with the real world" and lacking a "popular wing". He says "Banksy, Jack Vettriano, Beryl Cook. You won't find them hanging in the Tate. Almost because of the fact they are pop stars" (title link). Well spotted, Grayson. I've been moaning about the Brit. Anti-art Establishment for years. It uses inverted snobbery to decide what is art. If the peasants love something, it must be tripe. If they can be expected to hate something, it must be art. To keep this myth alive requires bull. This is why curators need university degrees, so they can spout the bull. Being young helps too, because then they don't realise how asinine they sound when spouting the bull.


Ladies, before you get too excited about pole dancing as a sport (next post down or CLICK) take a look at the young men practising the ancient Indian art of Mallakhamb, which translates to Pole Gymnastics. The YouTube video is The Topmost Mallakhamb Players vol.2, posted by the Sangam Institute of Indian Martial Arts (title link). The pole is greased, by the way, to avoid friction. Guys, to see a video of girls doing the Indian rope trick CLICK. The Olympic Games look really boring by comparison.

Fire Belle

At a recent Heritage Auctions sale in the USA, this amusing oil painting on canvas by Gil Elvgren - Fire Belle (Always Ready) - fetched $191,200, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $50,000 - $75,000. It makes him the undisputed king of American cheesecake. The year of the painting is 1956. According to Wikipedia, the fad for pole dancing in clubs and bars began in the 1950s (CLICK). This raises the interesting question: Did Elvgren respond to this new fad with his painting or did he popularize it? Click the title link for a graphic of Howard Chandler Christy's classical Nymphs in Summer (1946).

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sylvia Plath Art

A minor miracle is soon to occur: the Mayor Gallery in London will show some genuine art, instead of its usual tripe! A selection of 44 pen and ink drawings by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) will be exhibited to the public for the first time from 2 November to 16 December, courtesy of her daughter Frieda Hughes. At the age of 20 Sylvia chose to become a writer, but she continued to draw for her own pleasure. Her Kiosque near Louvre, a pen and ink drawing on paper, is an example of her work (title link). CLICK for The Telegraph slide show of 30 of her drawings.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Spielberg's Tintin

Steven Spielberg's first fully computer-generated 3D animation, Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, received its UK premiere in London today. British actor Jamie Bell portrays the intrepid cub reporter on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship with Captain Haddock. That means he had to wear a special suit which recorded all his movements for transformation into computer-generated 3D images. Dunno who played Tintin's dog, but he's the best animated character of the lot from what I've seen (title link). CLICK for extracts and an interview with Steven Spielberg for the BBC.

V&A Photos Gallery

Today the V&A Museum in London opened its new Photographs Gallery with an exhibition of photos by Victorian portraitist Julia Margaret Cameron (title link). Her photo of 1865 is entitled Whisper of the Muse. It shows her friend and advisor the artist George Frederick Watts posed as a musician with young Kate Keown as the muse whispering inspiration into his ear. It's an image from a more innocent age than ours. CLICK to see more of her photos in The Telegraph slide show.

Art of the Hobbit

On Thursday 27 October, Harper Collins publishes a 75th anniversary slipcased edition of The Art of the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. The RRP is £25, but Amazon UK has it on offer for £15.99 with free UK delivery (CLICK). Better still, order it from your local library. Many of Tolkien's illustrations not used in The Hobbit have since been published in previous books and in calendars (CLICK), but the new book includes previously unseen paintings and drawings unearthed in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. More than 100 unseen Tolkien artworks are in the new book, including drawings, maps and plans (title link).

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Wildlife Artists

The next exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London is The Natural Eye: Society of Wildlife Artists, which opens on 27 October and runs till 6 November. This is the 48th annual show of the Society of Wildlife Artists. Paintings, drawings, sculpture and printmaking will be displayed. Don't let Matt Underwood's overly impressionistic Bullfinches put you off. You'll find some good art at the show. Admission is £2.50 adults, £1.50 silver surfers (title link).

Frozen Planet

The BBC is generally clueless about trailers, showing clips that deter me from viewing. The exception is its trailers for wildlife documentaries. I can hardly wait for its latest landmark series Frozen Planet, which begins next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One (title link). It took 4 years to make and saw narrator Sir David Attenborough travel to both polar regions to describe the animals and to make sure those who deny planet warming get the message. The camerawork looks superb. The photo above shows a cameraman lying on Antarctic sea ice, holding an underwater camera on a pole to film a female killer whale and her calf rising to a spy hole. Wow!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

St Paul's Occupied

If you're thinking of visiting St Paul's Cathedral, forget it. The Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) protesters have been camped in the churchyard for a week and have refused to leave. Their banner reads "CAPITALISM IS CRISIS". Originally the Canon of St Paul's, Reverend Giles Fraser, welcomed them (CLICK); but Dean Knowles closed the cathedral on Friday for the first time since WWII, due to concerns about health and safety. One wedding was allowed to take place today, but the bride had to enter by a side door. The protesters are now occupying Finsbury Square as well as St Paul's churchyard (title link). I don't suppose the fat cats in The City are bothered by all this, but it's costing St Paul's £16,000 a day in lost tourism revenue and that doesn't cover the £20,000 daily cost of running the place.

War Horse

Today, just in time for the school half-term holidays, the National Army Museum opened War Horse: Fact & Fiction, inspired by Michael Morpurgo's novel, which has been turned into a hit play at the National Theatre and has been filmed by Steven Spielberg (UK release date 13 January 2012). The museum combines its collection with exclusive material from Michael Morpurgo, the National Theatre and the film to tell the history of war horses through the ages. The exhibition gallops along until August 2012, admission free (title link). CLICK for video.

Golden Joystick

Occasionally readers complain that I'm too critical of people who claim to be artists. Take a look at Chell from Portal 2 and you'll see my reason. There are some great artists working in the field of video games, and they get scant recognition outside the industry. The artist who created this amber-eyed beauty for EA Games remains anonymous. You don't get to see much of her, because you view the game through her eyes as you create portals to try to escape. Portal 2 - a first-person puzzle game with a sense of humour - has won the ultimate game of the year 2011 at the Golden Joystick video game awards. CLICK for an interview with the winners. Click the title link for the full list of winners in 14 categories. CLICK for the official website of Portal 2.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Victoria and Brown

Charles Burton Barber's oil painting of Queen Victoria and her servant and "friend" John Brown comes up for grabs at Lyon and Turnbull's Edinburgh auction of The Forbes Collection at Old Battersea House on 1 November (CLICK). The painting is expected to fetch up to £30,000 (title link). It wouldn't surprise me if makes more than that. It's a fine work by the Queen's favourite artist and the movie Mrs Brown (1997), starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, must stir additional interest. This is a most desirable item for collectors of Victoriana.

Chris Levine

Chris Levine - Lightness of Being (2008)Remember Chris Levine's Lightness of Being, a holographic stereogram portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, first shown in the Stolenspace Gallery a few years ago (CLICK)? His latest exhibition Chris Levine: Selected Works opens at The Little Black Gallery in London on 26 October and runs till 26 November. He is billed as "The number one light artist in the world". I won't argue with that. Click the title link for details.

Turner Prize at BALTIC

Tate Passé's national joke the Turner Prize, nicknamed "The Prize for the Emperor's New Clothes", has moved to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead this year. Whether this is due to Tate's funding promise to spread its tripe around or because it's fed up with Stuckists handing out "The Turner Prize is DEAD" badges outside its premises is anyone's guess. Even the BBC is asking "Turner Prize 2011: Great art or rubbish?" (title link). Above is Martin Boyce's Do Words Have Voices, which isn't even good DIY, let alone art. The only artist worthy of the name is George Shaw, who uses Humbrol enamels to paint bleak landscapes of the council estate where he grew up (CLICK). If you can bear watching a video, CLICK for David Sillito's BBC report.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gaddafi's Golden Gun

I didn't Know that Colonel Gaddafi was a James Bond fan. He obviously fancied himself as The Man With The Golden Gun. The young man in the baseball cap on the right claims to have taken it off Gaddafi (title link).

Painting Canada

Yesterday the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London opened Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, which runs until 8 January 2012 (title link). This exhibition reintroduces their impressions of the Canadian landscape to the British public for the first time since the 1920s. The example shown is Tom Thomson's The Jack Pine (1916-17). It looks too expressionistic for my taste. And expensive: tickets £9.00 adults, £8.00 silver surfers.

Gaddafi Captured

I.C. - Newsflash (2007)Officials of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) claim to have captured Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte, where there has been so much fighting recently. He was wounded in both legs and has been taken to hospital.
Latest news: Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril tells a news conference in Tripoli that Gaddafi is dead (CLICK).

Dino Snores

Here's an early Christmas thought for parents of budding naturalists: Dino Snores. While browsing the Natural History Museum website for the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, I noticed a Dino Snores for 17 December 2011, beginning at 19.00 hours and ending at 9.50 the following day. This is a sleepover event suitable for children aged 8-11 years old. It costs £46 per child. A memorable Christmas pressie. You need to book early (title link).

Veolia Wildlife Photos

This year's Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is Daniel Beltra with his ironically entitled Still Life in Oil, which shows brown pelicans smothered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Above is the winning photo in the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award: Pester Power, taken by Polish teenager Mateusz Piesiak on the coastal sands of Long Island, New York. How's that for international? Mateusz had to lie prone on wet sand to capture this intimate photo of a young oyster catcher pestering a parent for food, and he was so engrossed in taking the shot that he very nearly got caught by the incoming tide. This year's competition attracted 40,000 entries with first-time submissions from Cambodia, Moldova, Brunei and Kyrgyzstan. The exhibition opens at the Natural History Museum in London tomorrow (title link) adults £9.00, silver surfers £4.50 half price! Wow! Congratulations, NHM. CLICK for a brief BBC slide show of some of the best entries.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Fox 'frenzy'

"Media frenzy" complained Liam Fox in his statement to the House of Commons today. "I believe there was from some quarters a personal vindictiveness, even hatred, that should worry all of us." Cobblers, Liam. You were warned and you were too arrogant and self-righteous to listen. We're all fed up with twits like you.

George Condo

Yesterday the Hayward Gallery in London's Southbank Centre opened George Condo: Mental States, a major retrospective which has been touring the USA. Condo is America's grotesque answer to the British saucy seaside post card, but at least he does have a sense of humour. With 80 works on show, it would be worth a visit but for the price of tickets: £9 adults, £8 silver surfers. Click the title link if you fancy lashing out.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Van Gogh: The Life

Co-authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith have gained loads of publicity for their biography Van Gogh: The Life (published today) with their claim that the troubled artist didn't commit suicide, but was accidentally shot by a 16-year-old youth playing cowboys (CLICK). It sounds far-fetched, but they have done an enormous amount of academic research and have found anomalies in the original story (title link). It seems very few intelligent inquiries were made into the shooting at the time. Van Gogh seemed determined to take the blame on himself before he died of his wound.

Frieze 'highlights'

Now that the Frieze Art Fair is over for another year, The Telegraph has posted a slide show of the fair's "highlights" (title link). Highlights! Elmgreen and Dragset's The Fruit of Knowledge (2011) is about as good as it gets, and that's eminently silly. As for the rest of it, congratulate yourself on saving £35 by not going to the show. What is the purpose of filling a tent with all this junk? The obvious answer is to fleece trendy punters who know nothing about art, including curators of galleries showing modern art. The Tate bought a couple of things. But there is another purpose. The fair has become a promenade for wannabee celebrities to strut their stuff. CLICK to see The Telegraph photos of fashions at the fair.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Guardi Ban

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has slapped a temporary export ban on Francesco Guardi's View of the Rialto Bridge, Looking North, from the Fondamenta del Carbon (1760s), which fetched a Guardi record of £26.7m at Sotheby's London auction last July. The ban holds until July 2012, which gives ample time to beg for the readies (title link). As it isn't one of his best paintings and as the UK is in hock, I'd be tempted to let it go.

Lieutenant Uhura

News of the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial (next post down or CLICK) reminded me of an anecdote in Star Trek Memories (1993) by William Shatner and Chris Kreski (title link). Nichelle Nichols, who played communications officer Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek, was disillusioned with her limited role and decided to leave the TV series for Broadway. A chance meeting with Dr King changed her mind. He told Nichelle she was an important role model for black women and that her part in Star Trek was doing more for the civil rights movement than he was. Such humility and sound advice doesn't suggest a man who would be pleased to see a monstrous $120-million effigy of himself in Washington.

King Made In China

Yesterday US President Barack Obama officially dedicated a new memorial to civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr in Washington. It's a good likeness, though a bit pale. The 30 ft (9m) granite statue stands near the spot where Dr King delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech in 1963. It cost £75 million ($120 million), money which would have have been better spent on poor black American families, especially as it was made in China (CLICK). I also have a dream: that BBC News will name the artists who create such works (title link). I tried a number of news websites, most of which were rehashing the Reuters story, which also ignores the artist. Google found the memorial website (CLICK) which led me to the ROMA Design Group of San Francisco (CLICK). They designed the monument, but commissioned the work from Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin, who had carved two statues of Mao Tse-tung. Sculpting done, more than 150 granite blocks, weighing about 1,600 tons, were shipped from Xiamen to Baltimore and reassembled by a team of 100 workmen, including ten Chinese stone masons brought over for the project. No wonder the Chinese are carping about the US failure to deal with its budget deficit! Perfect example.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Edward VIII

Here's Edward VIII as you've never seen him before, in his coronation regalia. The Illustrated London News had portraits of the king painted in advance for its Coronation Edition. Then came Edward's abdication and his coronation never took place. So The Illustrated London News couldn't publish its Coronation Edition, but the original artwork wasn't discarded. It was buried in the newspaper's archives. During recent cataloguing of the archives in preparation for online access, these illustrations were unearthed.

BMW Tate Live

Jerry car giant BMW and Tate have announced a deal on a four-year programme to broadcast performance art on the Web. They claim it's a first. BMW Tate Live: Performance Room will include five commissions for 2012. The initial "live" performance will be concocted by French choreographer Jérôme Bel and shown on Tate Online in March 2012. The idea has its possibilities. Time will tell.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A Redbridge First

As a resident of the London Borough of Redbridge, I'm always pleased to see the ghetto gaining a first in something. Yesterday Munir Patel, who worked as a clerk for Redbridge Magistrates Court, became the first person in the UK to be convicted under the Bribery Act 2010, thanks to a sting by The Sun. He accepted £500 to "lose" a traffic summons and boasted he'd done so many times before (title link). If you hire someone who looks like a spiv.... Nice one, Redbridge.

Enoc Perez: Nudes

Yesterday the Faggionato Fine Art gallery in London opened Enoc Perez: Nudes, which pants along until 18 November. The Faggionato blurb throws in "the classical subject of the nude" and witters on about transcending "the grounding visual lexicon of pornography". Put this into plain English and you have Enoc browsing the Web for porn and turning his favourites into bad oil paintings, example above: Nude. If this is your bag, go for it.

Rivers of Ice

If you're one of those Doubting Thomas's who have been brainwashed into denying that we're slowly destroying Earth with global warming, here's the exhibition for you: Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya at the Royal Geographical Society in London until 11 November, admission free. Photographer and mountaineer David Breashears matched his modern photos with historical images to reveal dramatic glacial loss in the Greater Himalayan region (title link). The above photo shows the loss of the Lower Baltoro Glacier in Tibet (2009). CLICK to view an excellent Paul Kerley audio slide show made for BBC News.

Lavazza Calendar

The Lavazza Calendar is celebrating its 20th edition with a birthday cake and the cleavage of Dutch model Valerie van der Graaf, who is also 20 years old. This sleazy photo for the calendar cover was taken by Ellen von Unwerth, who should be ashamed of herself. Sexploitation; what a way to sell coffee! Still, there are some imaginative photos from the 12 photographers invited to illustrate the 2012 calendar with their self-portraits (title link).

Friday, 14 October 2011

Wilhelm Sasna

Today the Whitechapel Gallery in east London opened an interesting exhibition of paintings by Polish artist Wilhelm Sasna. You'll find it in Galleries 1, 8 and 9, until 1 January 2012 (title link). Admission is free. Above is his Bathers at Asnières (2010) after Georges Seurat (1884).

Art Forger Jailed

Here is one of the forged paintings sold by former art teacher Rizvan Rahman, who was jailed for 18 months at Leicester Crown Court today (title link). He made almost £180,000 from selling forgeries of work by artists such as Mary Fedden and Jack Pender. He will be living at the taxpayers' expense for 18 months - a lot less if he behaves himself - which gives him a clear profit of £10,000 a month. Where's the disincentive? I wish somebody would pay me £10,000 a month for reading books and watching TV. I guess the judge has scant sympathy for rich punters who buy forged art.