‘Silver Liz’ Pop Art Print goes for £6m

Silver LizThe painting by Andy Warhol call ‘Silver Liz’ was recently sold for £6,762,150. The painting hasn’t been in the public eye for over 20 years and caused quite a stir at its recent auction at Christie’s in London. It probably won’t be seen for another 20 years as it was sold to an anonymous bidder.

Painted in 1963, it shows one of Warhol’s favourite female icons of that time, Elizabeth Taylor after she had suffered from a major illness. He was fascinated not only by the glamour of Taylor, Marylin Monroe and Jacky Kennedy but how that was juxtaposed with loss and death. He painted Monroe after her death and Kennedy after her husband’s assassination. There were only two paintings in the series where Warhol added violet to her eyes, a personal touch, which has no doubt added to the interest in this particular piece. She did have violet coloured eyes, something that would not have been seen in her earlier black and white films, but with colour and her recently starring in Cleopatra, this would have added to her allure and appeal.

This painting celebrates this film icon using silk screen over sprayed silver background – the shallowness of the painted image completely changed the genre of portraiture. And this series encapsulates all of Warhol’s ideas about fame and celebrity and the symbol of feminine beauty.

Female Pop Art Artists

Ampersand IV by Chryssa 1965Seductive Subversion –  the name of the exhibition at the University of the Arts earlier on this year, shows a different, less commercial side to Pop Art – mainly because it’s all produced by women. These pieces are observant, pithy and quirky, and were  overlooked at the time because of their glamorous male peacock counterparts. This exhibition wishes to redress this imbalance and celebrate a wider definition of the Pop Art Movement.

It was the first exhibition of female Pop Art and is now to be seen, I believe, at Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, although I can’t see it on their web site as yet.

This Times Square inspired ‘Ampersand IV’, is a stylized neon ampersand in a Plexiglas cube by Chryssa, one of the first artists to utilize neon in her work in 1965. Continue reading Female Pop Art Artists

Banksy Prints Stolen

Banksy Museum pieceIf you’ve seen Banksy’s book, Wall and Piece, you will have witnessed several examples of Banksy’s art being surreptitiously placed on the walls of famous galleries and museums.

This example, ‘Early Man Goes To Market’  appeared in The British Museum in 2005 and was completely overlooked until Banksy pointed it out on his website. All credit to the Museum staff for recognising man’s need for making marks and it being seen by the largest possible audience. It is now in their permanent collection.

I’m sure this drew a wry smile from the artist himself.

I wonder if the recent reversal of fortunes of Banksy’s work from Art Republic did the same. Probably did. Two Banksy prints were stolen by a man and woman from the shop in central London. And this is not the first time this has happened with Art Republic. Apparently, 10 prints were stolen from  the same company, only in Brighton. Tut, tut, Art Republic – very clumsy. Continue reading Banksy Prints Stolen

Encaustic Painting

Fayum Lady 100ADPeter Sinai-600ADHad never heard of this! A very old and intermittently re-found technique which uses bees wax and pigments to paint or model paint with. The bees wax has to be heated so it can be manipulated. It seems it was first used for Egyptian mummies – but looking at the style of these paintings – with a more Romanesque style.

People near

Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts

will be able to see demonstrations of this strange technique at their Arts Festival this weekend.

Intrinsic motivation v Carrot and Stick

Well, do bonuses really make us work harder? Surely all these highly paid bankers must be really focused, work relentlessly and solve problems quicker and faster then other mere mortals. Well, you will certainly argue that they didn’t think out of the box when it came to banking systems and the recent collapse of the banking world.  In fact Dan Pink’s argument would confirm that systems now in place will reinforce complacent, limited cognitive thinking, and will actually encourage a diminutive, inwardly spiralling system which will inevitably, fail us again.

Continue reading Intrinsic motivation v Carrot and Stick

Blood Brothers – New Blood…

Melanie C
Melanie C

Sporty Spice, Melanie C has joined the cast of Blood Brothers as Mrs Johnstone. It will be interesting to see how well she copes. I’m sure she will be great for the show. There’s bound to be a lot of interest in a scouse spice Girl in such a scouse role. There are already reports that  Baby Spice, Emma Buntun, will be supporting Melanie on Monday. And both Posh and Becks are believed to be doing the same.

I’m looking forward to seeing the show on Wednesday. Every other time I’ve seen this production in London, it’s had me in tears, I’m hoping Mel will do the same!

Illyria and the Three Musketeers – Huzzah!

The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers

This is a somewhat belated recommendation, as the season has ended, but should this  speedy romp ever energetically throw itself near your doorstep, then make sure you clasp your overflowing goblet close to your chest, ensure your preferred means of defence – sword, dagger, pistol – is well oiled and grab the nearest lusty knave or wench (why not both) to accompany you on this breathless journey. They don’t stop. There’s fight scene after acrobatic fight scene. Everyone on stage has a magical ability to transform themselves utterly. There was literally a cast of thousands, well hundreds, as the three Musketeers and D ‘Artagnan fought the Cardinal’s men. Amazing what can be done with a a couple of beards and a moustache. Continue reading Illyria and the Three Musketeers – Huzzah!

Illyria’s Dream

I was convinced it would not rain. We’ve had the hottest The Dream-Illyriaweather in years and the cloud cover was moving relatively quickly so rain should not have been an issue. And it wasn’t in the first half. We had the odd smattering and so were told we had one minute to get our brollies up as we wouldn’t want to miss this next bit! Bottom demonstrating the power of his roar. And let’s face it, Bottom’s roar is always a highlight.

Continue reading Illyria’s Dream

Found Eric yet?

Looking For Eric
Looking For Eric

Looking for Eric – what a gem. I loved this film. It’s beautifully crafted. I don’t know how they catch people reacting to each other so naturally. The central character is the most unlikely hero. He’s certainly not your Alfa Male, but he’s just lovely and he has your sympathy right from the start. I was so frustrated for him with his break down, thoughtless step lads and that shabby, and my god it was shabby, house.

Continue reading Found Eric yet?