Each year we mention Naples, Florida for its annual luxury wine festival but the tony warm weather enclave will have a new annual event to draw the rich, the first Naples Premier Art and Antique Fair, which takes place from Feb. 24 to March 1 at the Naples International Pavilion. The event is being put on by David and Lee Ann Lester, founders of International Fine Art Expositions which also organizes the Miami International Art Fair, Art Palm Beach, American International Fine Art Fair, The London International Fine Art Fair and SeaFair – the floating art fair.
The new fair brings over 60 art, antique, and jewelry dealers to Southwest Florida in a newly renovated 55,000 square foot facility. The fair features old master paintings, impressionist paintings, modern and contemporary art and sculpture, furniture, decorative arts, silver, ancient arts, haute couture and period jewelry, and rare books. Luxury jeweler Graff will be showcasing some of its fine diamond and colored gemstone jewelry. A painting by Renoir will also be on display and a historically significant portrait of President Abraham Lincoln will be presented by the 19th Century Shop.
Love Love from julien berthier on Vimeo.
Artist Julien Berthier has created a yacht that attracts attention no matter where it goes. The French artist's "Love Love" sculpture is a work of art that is also a functioning boat, albeit one that appears to be sinking beneath the water. Berthier created the sculpture by cutting a boat in half and adding a motor and keel that allow it to stay above water and travel around. He created the sculpture in 2007 and since then has taken it on European waterways including the English Channel.
Sylvester Stallone isn't an actor who took up painting on a lark. His commitment to art spans decades and will get its due in a new retrospective exhibit at Galerie Gmurzynska in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The exhibition, Sylvester Stallone. 35 Years of Painting, shows around 30 pieces that Stallone has painted, some of them self portraits. Stallone likes to paint on a grand scale, the pictures are large, colorful and bold and he cites Pablo Picasso and Gerhard Richter among his influences. In his acting, Stallone combines broad gestures and big action with moments of surprising delicacy and vulnerability and that's true in his artwork as well.
The exhibit runs from February 18 to March 15 and is accompanied by a catalogue written by art critics Anthony Haden-Guest and Donald Kuspit. Over the past couple of years, Stallone has been able to command some pretty impressive prices for his art. In 2009 he sold a piece to casino mogul Steve Wynn for $40,000.
Gallery: Celebrity Artists
Before the Russian Revolution in 1917, Faberge's jewelry company in St. Petersburg manufactured some of the world's most beautiful jewels and objects for the Russia's imperial family. The most famous of his works are the intricate Easter eggs which have become some of the world's most collectible bejeweled items.
Vekselberg worked for over a year to arrange the exhibit which begins on April 14. There will be a total of 180 exhibit pieces which show the history of Russia and tsar's family. The House of Faberge created a total of 54 Imperial eggs for Alexander III and Nicholas II as gifts for their wives and family and 42 of these eggs remain today. Vekselberg purchased Faberge works from the Forbes family in 2004. Malcolm Forbes was a famous collector of Faberge eggs. That collection included nine Imperial Easter eggs and another 190 items, including brooches, inkwells and smoking accessories. Vekselberg said he paid over $90 million for the collection.
An important rediscovered Andy Warhol self-portrait crowned a big art week in London, selling for £10.8 million pounds ($17.4 million) at Christie's. The piece which dates from 1967 is a red square six-foot acrylic and silkscreen piece showing Warhol staring thoughtfully at the viewer, two fingers covering his mouth. Christies had estimated the work to sell for £3 to £5 million as part of its 64-lot auction of contemporary works. Legendary art dealer Larry Gagosian snapped it up, bidding in the room and wresting it away from another client on the telephone.
This week's Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening sale in London started off with a bang when the first lot, Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds, came up for sale. The Chinese artist generated headlines around the world when he installed 100 million ceramic sunflowers seeds in the Tate Modern in London and art watchers were curious to see how the art would sell. The first 100-kilogram pile of seeds was estimated to bring in £80,000 to £120,000 but sold for sold for £349,250 ($559,394) or around £3.50 per seed.
Each porcelain sunflower seed was individually hand made and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. The Sotheby's listing suggests that the piece can be installed either in a mound as shown above or smoothed out into a carpet-like experience. There will be a total of ten lots sold from this work.
The works of painter Vincent van Gogh are some of the world's most prized pieces of art, partly for their vibrant tones, but some of those colors have been fading in recent years. Art researchers and scientists have been using X-ray microscopes to examine van Gogh paintings that have been losing their color and determine why once brilliant yellows have been turning brown in several key works of van Gogh and other artists of the late 19th century.
The results of the study were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry. The problem comes down to the chromium in a yellow pigment called yellow chrome which undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to ultraviolet lighting (including sunlight), turning the painting brown. The paint, which gave works including van Gogh's Sunflowers paintings, their sun-splashed beauty has been known to darken under sunlight since the early 19th century. What's new is that now scientists have uncovered why this happens and can work to gain potential clues as to how to prevent it.
A Table from the Sea's Edge from Neon Otter on Vimeo.
A large conference table and 12 chairs isn't usually considered art but A Table from the Sea's Edge by Silas Birtwistle isn't just any table. The British furniture maker and artist Silas Birtwistle created the table from driftwood gathered from Belize, Vancouver Island, Tanzania and Borneo. The exhibit, now on display at the World Museum in Liverpool, England, is meant to promote conservation of the world's seas, oceans and forests. Birtwistle gathered his wood with help from indigenous communities and the World Wildlife Fund as well as other organizations.
Now that the dust has settled a little in Cairo, a full inventory of the Egyptian Museum has been done to assess the damage. The AP reports that according to the Ministry of Antiquities 18 items were taken by looters. On January 28, during the turmoil and chaos around Tahrir Square, thieves climbed a fire escape to the museum's roof and lowered themselves on ropes from a glass-paneled ceiling to the museum's top floor. Around 70 objects were damaged but it wasn't known until an announcement on Sunday night that anything had gone missing. Among the casualties were two gilded wooden statues of King Tut.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is selling a painting that Doherty made for a fan last year. The Paul Fraser website says that a fan approached Doherty asking how he could make some money. Doherty said he would create a blood painting and send him £20. The painting was sent a week later (with a drawn £20 note). The canvas measures 32"x32" and the words "For Alistair, love Peter" are scrawled over half the canvas in blood. The self-portrait shows Doherty smoking, wearing his trademark hat, a quick smudge of pencil, pen and blood. It's listed for £25,000.
Gallery: Celebrity Artists
Was there ever a time when the art world was more exciting and more dynamic than the years leading up to World War I? The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's new show, "The Great Upheaval: Modern Art From the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918," illuminates a time when artists were in a state of revolt. Consider Kazimir Malevich's 1912 "Morning in the Village after a Snowstorm." His inspiration is folk art. His figures are stylized and compact, geometric and tubular. Even his palette is limited to red, black, blue, white with touches of brown. What this show demonstrates so clearly is that the old European prescription for painting, especially landscapes, was no longer relevant.
The dramatic art of Caravaggio is getting a new showcase in Rome. Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, a Catholic church with a distinctive corkscrew dome and a courtyard designed by Baroque artist Borromini will host the show until May 15. The AP reports that the exhibit includes a portrait of Pope Paul V. That pontiff spared Caravaggio's life, lifting a death sentence against the mercurial artist after he fled Rome in 1606 for killing a man in a duel. That painting was last shown in Florence 100 years ago.
Caravaggio's chiaroscuro stylings, the vivid contrast of dark and light, seemed to play out in his life as well as on the canvas. He was known for his temper and his quickness with weapons. He remains popular partly because of the obvious drama and energy in many of his works. The exhibit also includes paintings by artists mentioned by Caravaggio in his writings, some described as bad, others as good. The inclusion of these works adds a little background to what life was like for this always opinionated artist.
Last month when we wrote about an important Francis Bacon triptych being auctioned off at Sotheby's, we predicted it would blast past its $14 million high estimate. And indeed on Thursday Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud (above) sold for a whopping $37 million, or more than two and a half times the top quote, at the auction house's Looking Closely sale of 20th century artworks in London. In our original post we also put forward Bacon-loving oligarch Roman Abramovich as the likely buyer, since he's in the midst of decorating his new $230 million mega-mansion in London; while Thursday's purchaser was anonymous, we bet the Freud triptych will be hanging on Abramovich's wall before long. The Thursday sale, from works said to have belonged to the low-profile Geneva collector George Kostalitz who died last year, also saw a new auction record for any surrealist work of art – Salvador Dali's Portrait de Paul Eluard, which sold for $21.6 million.
Will Iowa's 2008 floods end up washing away on of the state's prized works of art? The Daily Iowan reports that legislators introduced a bill in the Iowa House Wednesday to compel the University of Iowa to sell its famous Jackson Pollock painting, Mural, and use the revenue for scholarship assistance. The painting hung in the UI Museum of Art but has been in Davenport and Chicago since the 2008 floods. Mural is considered to be one of the most important modern Ameircan paintings. In the 1940s the UI School of Art and Art History was one of the most innovative studio arts programs. Pollock patron and art dealer Peggy Guggenheim gave the Mural to the University in 1951. It is valued at $140 million.