Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm sorry.... what?

"A canvas by beloved U.S. painter Norman Rockwell, discovered hidden behind a false wall earlier this year, has sold at auction for a record $15.4 million"
There are some many juicy things about this story that I don't know where to start...

But... for starters...

1. Rockwell himself apparently sold the work in question - the really famous painting titled "Breaking Home Ties" - himself to his friend, an illustrator and cartoonist named Don Trachte, for $900 bucks!

Norman Rockwell's Breaking Hom Ties

Original Rockwell "Breaking Home Ties"

2. For some reason Trachte then copied this painting and other works of art (including a Hopper) in his collection and then hid the originals behind a false wall in his studio while displaying the replicas as the originals!

copy by Don Trachte of Rockwell's Breaking Home Times

Don Trachte's Copy of Rockwell's "Breaking Home Ties"

3. So then Trachte's sons sent their father's Rockwell copy (and what they believed to be the real painting) to the Norman Rockwell Museum. And "despite inconsistencies between the canvas and the Saturday Evening Post cover, it went on display in 2003."

"Trachte died in 2005, never having revealed his secret, but his sons had nagging suspicions about the authenticity of the canvas. This spring, after a renewed search of their father's studio, they discovered the false wall and the original canvases.

In addition to Breaking Home Ties and other Rockwell works, the Sotheby's event also saw the sale of Edward Hopper's Hotel Window for $26.8 million US.

The large-scale canvas, painted in 1955 and displayed at the Whitney Museum of American Art this summer, also set a new record high price for the artist's work."
Check out the fake wall (including a video clip of the whole discovery) and comparisons between the paintings here.

Here we go again

While driving to the DMV area in the wee hours of the morning, I heard this story on the radio.

Stephen Murmer is a Virginia teacher who also happens to be an artist who uses his ass to create artwork.
"Outside of class and under an alter ego, the self-proclaimed "butt-printing artist" creates floral and abstract art by plastering his posterior and genitals with paint and pressing them against canvas. His cheeky creations sell for hundreds of dollars."
Murmer's tuggish artwork has not been well-received by the Chesterfield County school officials, who have placed Murmer on administrative leave from his job at Monacan High School, even though Murmer has apparently tried to keep his teaching duties and artwork life separate from each other.

Read the story here.

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: January 21, 2007

DCist Exposed is a super cool photography exhibition organized by the fair Heather Goss over at DCist and it is going to be held at the Warehouse Gallery in DC next March.

Details and entry forms here - and it's free to enter!