Return of the retweet
The Art Newspaper returns to sun-drenched Miami this week (we know, it’s such a hard life) to publish its daily editions at Art Basel Miami Beach. And since our earlier live-tweeting experiments turned out to be such a success, we'll be once again sending out behind-the-scenes updates from the fair and this week’s plethora of parties, starting Tuesday. You can follow the breaking news and gossip on our twitter feed, as well as on our website. We'll also be sharing some of your tweets during the day, so if you see anything interesting let us know on twitter or tag your post with "#abmb". Surf’s up!
Eyes in the back of his head
A New York professor plans to implant a camera in the back of his head so that he can take pictures at one-minute intervals which will be streamed to the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar (opening next month), reports the Wall Street Journal. Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi assistant professor in the photography and imaging department of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, will undertake the project for a year (though there are apparently student privacy issues on the NY campus). The work, entitled The 3rd I, is intended as "a comment on the inaccessibility of time, and the inability to capture memory and experience", according to a museum press blurb.
The Simon Cowell of stuffed animals
The prize for the most original press release (of the day) goes to the Museum of Everything in north London which states that: "In just over a week [28 November], the Simon Cowell of taxidermy—Pat Morris—will alight at The Museum of Everything with stories aplenty about the man whose tableaux of squirrels and rats adorn our upper floors—none other than Walter Potter...Not to be missed, unless of course, you hate the very idea of stuffed animals, in which case it's not for you." The largest work of art ever created by Brit pop artist Sir Peter Blake is also on show at the museum.
Jay-Z: "It's all about art"
Rapper Jay-Z's love of contemporary and modern art is no secret but which artists is the hip hop king keen on? A report on allhiphop.com reveals all. "I got into art about 5 years ago or so. I got a couple [of Warhols]. I have one of the Rorschach [a 1984 Warhol image] over my fireplace in my living room," notes the musician. "It's all about art. I try to buy things that resonate with me. I have everything from Andy Warhol to Tim Noble to Sue Simmons, who are new. I have an Ed Ruscha, David Hammons, whether it makes a ton of money for me or not." Warhol's Rorschach even graces the cover of his new book Decoded. "We called the Andy Warhol estate, they cleared it one day which was amazing," observes a grateful Jay-Z. The rapper discussed his new publication and art tastes in an interview with broadcaster Charlie Rose held at the Brooklyn Museum Thursday night.
Art will keep us together
Warm congratulations are in order for Prince William and Kate Middleton, who announced their engagement this week. Perhaps showing that art museums really are a great place to pick up a date, the happy couple met in 2001 at St Andrews University in Scotland, where both started studying art history—though Will soon switched to geography. But he’s clearly kept up an interest in the arts—maybe thanks to Kate’s continued influence—and joked during the opening of the Whitechapel’s new expansion last year that he had a secret to admit. “I am actually…Banksy,” the Prince said and added after a pause: “Any autographs I will do later.”
Miami gets Metric
No, Florida is not switching to kilometres instead of miles. But the news did come out today that Canadian indie rock band Metric will be headlining the annual Art Loves Music concert on the beach. And as part of the Oceanfront programme highlighting four artistically experimental cities, each night will feature another mini concert by local musicians and DJs. These include Detroit’s Danjee Flesh Nation, Mexico's El Resplandor and Pellejos, Berlin’s Broken Hearts Club and Glasgow conceptual artist Martin Creed performing with his band.
New Museum's coming up roses
The weekend the New Museum said goodbye to Ugo Rondinone’s Hell, Yes!, the giant rainbow hued work that has adorned its façade since December 2007, and pinned Isa Genzken’s Rose II to its aluminium mesh breast. Rondinone’s multi-coloured sign became such a recognisable part of the museum’s new home on the Bowery that trustees bought the work for the collection, and the museum says it plans to reinstall the work “in another location soon”, but details have not be revealed. Since Rose II is on extended loan from the David Zwirner Gallery, it could also conceivably join the collection. A similar work was on sale at Art Basel in 2008 for €750,000, and was bought by a private collector.
Zaha's Chanel handbag finally hits Paris
Whatever happened to the handbag-inspired pavilion designed by London-based architect Zaha Hadid for Chanel? The travelling exhibition container, which mimics a Chanel quilted handbag,was launched to much fanfare at the 2007 Venice Biennale and toured to New York and Tokyo, but further stints in London, Moscow and Paris were scrapped. The ultimate fashionista life-sized art accessory will finally end up in the French capital with news that Hadid’s creation will be housed at l’Institut du Monde Arabe for three years from January 2011 (a show of Arabic contemporary art will open in the handbag in March).
Did they look at the end of the rainbow?
Curious New Yorkers might have spotted these posters for a missing unicorn posted all around the city today. Ostensibly pasted up by the forlorn owner of the lost legendary pet, the posters claim the unicorn, described as “a large female with friendly disposition”, was last seen entering Central Park at West 72nd Street. The posters actually turn out to be part of an interactive art installationopening at El Taller Latino Americano gallery on 11 November by the artist Camomile Hixon, who is inviting the city’s residents to help her find the mythical beast. Anyone who might have spotted the unicorn can call the number listed on the posters and leave a message about the sighting, and the recording will become part of the installation. No word on what the rewards is, but our guess is magic beans.
Somewhat soggy ships ahoy!
What better way to pass an afternoon than a nice punt along the river? German artist Frank Bölter has been doing just that for the past few days as part of the Drift biennial that sees art installed on the River Thames until January 2011. But rather than take out the usual wooden row boat or even a slick fibreglass racer, Bölter chose to build his vessel out of a less obvious material—paper. The artist successfully launched the soggy little ship, named To The World's End, last week and has been making regular trips across the river since, even taking a Daily Mail journalist along for the ride this weekend. The paper-craft has been surprising everyone with its seaworthiness, but the bigger surprise is the artist’s reaction: “I had built it to sink,” he told the Daily Mail. “That’s part of the artistic experience”.
Kapoor gets personal
When Anish Kapoor was asked about the earliest object that he could recall from his childhood, his response was quick: “The first thing that comes to mind is my mother’s breast.” This begins an interview he gave for the catalogue of his first Indian exhibition, a British Council-supported show at New Delhi’s National Galley of Modern Art opening on 28 November. Could there a link between his Freudian memory and the curves of his mature work? Kapoor is unlikely to be thinking too much about that, since he is already busy on his next major exhibition: the high-profile Monumenta commission to be held at the Grand Palais in Paris in May 2011.
The price of privilege
With Art Basel Miami beach just around the corner (and the dreary winter chills setting in) the art world’s collective mind (or is it just ours?) turns to beachfront installations and exclusive parties, with sharp eyes keeping a look out for those VIP packages coming their way. But one enterprising insider is looking to make a profit from his or her all-access privileges and is offering a VIP card and schedule of events on Craigslist for a mere $500. And what does this price get you, according to the seller? Free admission to almost all of Miami during fair week it seems, including private collections, museum galas, the coveted Oceanfront Art Loves Music Concert, “and much more”.
Heatherwick’s pavilion reaps what it sows
Thomas Heatherwick’s Seed Cathedral for the British Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo was awarded a gold prize at the world fair’s closing. But life for this celebrated, £13.2m example of design and engineering, nicknamed “The Dandelion”, will go on. The 20-metre high structure was formed of precisely 60,588 optic fibres which bore in their tips a total of 217,300 seeds from the Kunming Institute of Botany in China. These space-age seed capsules are now being distributed to schools and research institutes in China and the UK, but 8,000 were offered on 28 October at a set price of 199RMB (£20) online through Chinese internet auction site Taobao.com. They sold out in two minutes. Prospective purchasers are now waiting for a second group of optic fibres to be put online. No date has been announced, but the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which commissioned the pavilion, indicates that it will be in “early November”.
London restaurant gets all arty
Art and food have always been cosy bedfellows, so news of a new annual residency for emerging artists at swanky London eaterie Pied à Terre should please aesthetic foodies everywhere. As part of the new "Artist in Restaurant" scheme (catchy name), one artist per year will be given a hefty sum of £10,000 to create at least one work to be shown in the Charlotte Street restaurant from next September (famished practitioners, please note: the winning artist will also be able to get free meals in-house). The residency’s Committee, chaired by David Moore, founding Director of Pied à Terre, will select the artist from a list of twelve put forward by a nomination panel comprised of six art world figures.
The porn empire and the Pissarro
A nude once owned by Penthouse boss Bob Guccione is going under the hammer on Wednesday in New York, at Christie's. Pissarro's Femme nue de dos dans un interieur is estimated at $400,000-$600,000 and is described by the auction house as a “lithe young woman viewed from behind”. Dating from 1895, the artist found it hard to find models, but probably persuaded an itinerant gypsy. Guccione bought the Pissarro in 1994 when his porn empire was at its height. His business later tumbled, and he had to sell the painting at Sotheby's in 2002, when it fetched $361,500. The unidentified buyer is now selling. Guccione, a noted art collector, died on 20 October 2010, aged 79.
G&G jolly in Brussels
Gilbert & George were in an ebullient mood at the private view of their “Jack Freak Pictures” in the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Bozar) in Brussels, which opened last Friday. “We love the building, it is the most wonderful place we have ever shown the works,” George told us. Designed by Victor Horta in an Art Deco style, the palais was opened in 1928. Gilbert immediately chipped in to say that the building had been beautifully restored. Although Bozar is not all that much older than G&G, the artists have worn better - and are in no need of a make-over. Their Brussels show runs until 23 January 2011.