Sunday, May 20, 2012

Laura Nyro Inducted in 2012 R&R Hall of Fame

'My New York Mood' by Sandy Frazier (charcoal and pencil)

Laura Nyro's music is still amazingly fresh and alive today!  It's terrific that she was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Watch Sara Bareilles's tribute - singing Laura's 'Stoney End.'  I remember how entranced I was when I first heard 'New York Tendaberry'... and did this sketch of Laura when I was a teenager.  My favorite song of Laura's is 'Eli's Coming'... also love the cover by Three Dog Night.

Laura's son accepted the award and Bette Midler emceed.  More on Laura at her site...

"Laura" By Sandy Frazier (pastels)

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Barnes Collection - The Final Steal

The Barnes Foundation is no longer the greatest art collection you'll never see. Art aficionados and academics might never stop debating whether Dr. Albert C. Barnes' priceless cache of masterpieces should have been uprooted from its original home in suburban Merion and transplanted to a modernist box on the museum-studded Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

But like it or not, the Barnes' long, strange trip has reached its final destination. It officially opens to the public Saturday.

"We are beginning a chapter of history at the Barnes where the 'plain people' that Dr. Barnes so often talked about will at long last feel these masterpieces are as readily available for their enjoyment and study as anyone in this room," said Judge Jacqueline Allen, the foundation's secretary, at a preview of the collection this week.
The Barnes expects 250,000 visitors to see the collection during its first year in Philadelphia, roughly four times more than in its hallowed former home that required months-in-advance reservations. Visitors also will see it better, with discreet lighting to reduce the glare that was a perennial problem in Merion. [more...]

See the documentary, "The Art of the Steal," on the great Barnes collection - known as "the greatest theft of art since the Second World War."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Warhol 'Elvis' Sold for $37M at NYC Auction

Andy Warhol's "Double Elvis" sold for $37 million and works by Roy Lichtenstein and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei broke their own records at Sotheby's contemporary art sale on Wednesday.

The sale came on the heels of art auction history. Last week, the auction house sold Edvard Munch's "The Scream" for $119.9 million, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

"The reason for these record-breaking sales is, quite simply, the quality of material on show," said Michael Frahm, a contemporary art adviser at the London-based Frahm Ltd. "The key is quality."

Warhol's "Double Elvis (Ferus Type)," a silver silkscreen image of Elvis Presley depicted as a cowboy, fetched $37,042,500. It had been expected to sell for $30 million to $50 million. The auction house said it was the first "Double Elvis" to appear on the market since 1995. Warhol produced a series of 22 images of Elvis. Nine are in museum collections.

The rock and roll heartthrob is shown armed and shooting from the hip, a shadowy Elvis figure faintly visible in the background. It was offered for sale by a private American collector, who acquired it in 1977. [more...]

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beastie Boys Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch

Punk Rocker, Rapper, Filmmaker, Activist, Family Man Beastie Boys Adam Yauch has passed on - all too soon - to the great beyond.  These guys represented a chapter of music that was a lot of fun even if you hate rap - one of the most successful and longest lived hip-hop rap groups ever! 

Founding Beastie Boys member Adam "MCA" Yauch died Friday, May 4, 2012 according to published reports. The cause of death has not yet been revealed, but the musician and activist announced in 2009 that he was battling cancer. He was 47. Yauch was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 5, 1964, and was an only child. As a teenager, Yauch taught himself how to play the bass guitar. By 1978, at the age of 14, Yauch started a hard-core punk band called the Young Aborigines with three friends, including Michael "Mike D" Diamond. They played their first show on August 5, 1981, Yauch's 17th birthday. Go here for more...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Munch's 'The Scream' Going for $80M at NYC Auction

Talk about being famous for being famous!  One of the art world's most recognizable images - Edvard Munch's "The Scream" - could sell for $80 million or more when it is auctioned at Sotheby's on Wednesday. The 1895 painting of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky has become a modern symbol for human anxiety, popularized in movies and plastered on everything from mugs to Halloween masks to T-shirts. It is one of four versions created by the Norwegian expressionist painter. Three are in Norwegian museums; the one at Sotheby's is the only one left in private hands. It is being sold by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist. [more...]

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Paul Cézanne's Joueur de cartes Found

A rare watercolor study by the modern master Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) last seen in public in 1953 has re-emerged from a private collection in Texas after nearly 60 years and will be featured as the lead highlight of Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 1 in New York. The full-size work on paper is one of the artist's preparatory studies for Les joueurs de cartes (Card Players), the seminal five-painting series that Cézanne completed between 1890 and 1896. Previously known only from a black and white photograph, the study was rediscovered earlier this year in the collection of the late Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald, a prominent collector and internationally renowned medical expert who spent his career in Dallas, Texas, after emigrating to the United States in the mid-1930s. Meticulously preserved, with fresh and unfaded hues of blue and ochre, this tantalizing view into the painting process of one of modern art's great masters is estimated to achieve US$15-20 million. [more...]