Gallery: Paris Between the Wars
Superbikes meet supermodels sans clothes in Ducati's new high-octane art project. The famed Italian motorcycle firm commissioned photographer Elizabeth Raab to create images of eye-popping nude female forms astride their meanest machines. Dubbed "Desmo" the collection presents 16 unique photographs in which "the artist has approached and juxtaposed the abstract qualities of the organic and mechanical forms, highlighting both the complexity in design and the emotion of iconic Ducati motorcycles", including the Desmosedici (above) and the Monster.
The sexy shots "explore the multiple relationships between the designed and the natural – the lines of the mechanical body reflecting the lines of the organic form it was designed after." Just in case you thought it was merely an excuse to ogle the world's finest flesh and metal, that is. Numbered, limited edition fine art prints are available to order exclusively from www.ducatiart.com in various sizes; the largest version of the one above will run you about $550. The project was produced under the auspices of the Ducati Official Art Collection, an artistic venture between Ducati and lifestyle art brand Cultwork.
Gallery: "Desmo" by Elizabeth Raab for Ducati
Filed under: Books
The legendary Rat Pack is celebrated in a new luxury book by Reel Art Press that brings you inside the inner circle of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. The limited-edition volume includes photographs from the Cal Neva Resort in North Lake Tahoe and parties at Peter Lawford's Santa Monica beach house. Hollywood and Las Vegas images also feature many of the glamorous women surrounding these gentlemen such as Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall.
The LA Times reports that editor and Reel Art Press co-founder Tony Nourmand worked with Andy Howick of the MPTV photo agency to trace shots from the entertainers' glory days unearthing unprinted negatives and rarely seen images. The book starts at $650 for the Masters Edition and $1,650 for the Deluxe Edition, which includes a wooden slip case and a bonus image of Sinatra and Martin signed by the photographer, Gerald Smith. The customizable, $4,000 Heritage edition, which is limited to 30 copies adds in a rare, vintage photograph of your choice and signatures from Nourmand, Levy and art director and designer Graham Marsh. Certain rare photographs are also being sold individually. The images are well worth a look: there's a great sequence of the Rat Pack goofing around in a hotel room taking a swing at each other. The book can be ordered off the Reel Art Press website.
This includes furniture, sculptures and etchings, graphics, textiles, glass, screens, trays, ceramics, and more. The second section covers the activity of the atelier up to the present day as well. The book also addresses Barnaba's commitment to keeping the Fornasetti legacy alive by showing how Piero's ideas and models are "transformed, reworked, and contextualized." Today the Fornasetti atelier not only reissues historical pieces, but also "offers reinterpretations of themes and objects drawing inspiration from the vast repertory of the atelier's archive of lithographic plates, designs, notes, documents, and objects." Finally, the beautiful and comprehensive book includes a list of exhibitions and a register of the atelier's complete works.
Gallery: Fornasetti: The Complete Universe
Ralph Lauren has relaunched his famed flagship in the historic Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue in New York, transforming it into the world's foremost mecca of men's style. Spanning nearly 16,000 square feet, the Mansion, originally converted into an opulent retail palace by Lauren in 1986, now exclusively houses the designer's various men's collections with the company's first Women's and Home flagships due to open across the avenue later this fall. Originally designed in the 1890s by Kimball & Thompson, the the large French Renaissance Revival Mansion is an architectural treasure as well with a classic Beaux Arts façade exemplary of the the Upper East Side's grand architecture.
The new space showcases the Purple Label, Black Label, Polo, RRL and RLX Ralph Lauren collections of men's apparel and accessories, with an emphasis on the most luxurious elements. Service has been stepped up as well, with butlers to serve snacks and drinks on silver trays and a fleet of Mercedes-Benzes to chauffer important clients on shopping trips. The store features a full range of impeccably crafted made-to-measure suits, dress shirts, trousers, topcoats, sport coats and formalwear customized to exacting measurements, and made-to-order accessories and leather goods. Every room in the Mansion has been updated with cinematic decor in keeping with the neoclassical style of the original grand residence, from antiques and fixtures to furniture and art, including 18th- and 19th-century oil portraits and noteworthy photographs from Ralph Lauren's personal collection.
Gallery: The New Rhinelander Mansion
A collection of the photographs of legendary master Richard Avedon will head to auction November 20 at Christie's in Paris. The Avedon Foundation is selling photographs from its archive to raise money to create an endowment to promote the work and legacy of the photographer. The image shown above, "Dovima with Elephants," an over seven-foot-tall image that graced Avedon's New York City Studio, is estimated to sell for $500,000 to $700,000. The total of over 60 photographs is hoped to bring in between $3.7 million and $6 million.
Avedon, who died in 2004 was famous for both his glamorous fashion work starring models like Jean Shrimpton, Veruschka and Twiggy in the 1960s and 1970s as well as for later images of stark portraiture. He was on assignment for the New Yorker when he died at the age of 81. This auction will be the largest auction of Avedon's images. His personal belongings were auctioned off in 2005 around the time his house was sold.
Filed under: Art
Ten artists found a way to make vacant commercial space incredibly exciting. I wandered by 25 Central Park West on a walk in my neighborhood a few days ago and saw artists inside. They were hard at work cleaning, preparing and hanging their pieces. Tapping on the window was one of my smartest moves this week. By doing so, I learned of a new exhibition, which opened Wednesday night. The show, 10 from 25: Emerging Artists using Photography, is set to run through December 13, 2009. It includes flat art and video, bringing to life an empty space in a part of Manhattan generally forgotten by the art community.
The artists, including Bess Greenberg, who gave me a tour of the space as she and the other artists prepared for opening night, have created an integrated show that doesn't sacrifice the message of each of the participants. So, in addition to a group exhibition, visitors are treated to 10 individual efforts, in which one can appreciate a specific style without having to cope with the intrusion of other pieces on his experience.
What's the sexiest photo ever to appear on Luxist? There are a few contenders for that title, but Michel Comte's nearly-nude shot of Gisele Bundchen featured in a Christie's auction last year is hard to top. That image is just one among many eye-poppers in the Swiss photographer's massive new monograph from teNeues, Thirty Years and Five Minutes. A trained art restorer and self-taught photographer, Comte came to prominence in 1979 with his first advertising commission for Karl Lagerfeld's fashion label Chloé. One of the top names in fashion and magazine photography, his work fetches tens of thousands of dollars at auction and has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue and many others. Included in the book are portraits of Sharon Stone, Jeremy Irons, Mike Tyson, Cindy Crawford (above) and a number of nudes including one of Carla Bruni. The volume spans Comte's entire three-decade career and includes his most iconic images.
Today and Friday Christie's is holding its Interiors sale in New York, featuring property from the estates of prominent collectors. Some 900 items, including fine art, furniture, silver, ceramics and decorative items will go on the block, including this set of beautiful vintage Louis Vuitton luggage. Two of the suitcases feature the classic LV monogram and the third is plain leather bearing the initials ESS; offered without reserve the lot is estimated at $2,000 - $3,000. Also on offer is a classic Eames rosewood, aluminum and black leather lounge chair and ottoman designed for Herman Miller in 1956, estimated at $2,000 - $3,000, as well as photographs by John Jonas Gruen of artists like Jackson Pollack, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns taken in the Hamptons in the '50s.
On October 9th in New York, Sotheby's will stage a stunning sale of photographs including several nude portraits of supermodels, with work from the likes of Chuck Close, Peter Beard, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton and more. One of the top lots is a series of six full frontal nudes of Kate Moss by Chuck Close taken in 2003, estimated at $100,000 - $150,000. Another high-priced draw is a portfolio of 12 semi-nude images of Marilyn Monroe taken in 1962 by Lawrence Schiller, estimated at $50,000 - $70,000. Two Peter Lindbergh portraits of Mick Jagger taken in 1995 are estimated at $30,000 - $50,000. And a nude of Stephanie Seymour by Richard Avedon taken in 1992 is estimated at $20,000 - $30,000, while this relatively tame image of Nadja Auermann by Irving Penn from 1994 is also a relative bargain at $6,000 - $9,000.
The renovations have taken years, resulting in legal action from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and a $15 million lawsuit against Leibovitz by her next-door neighbor. The suit was settled in 2003, when the photographer bought the litigant's building for $1.87 million. So, she wound up paying for three properties (12,000 sq. ft. in all), which contributed to a tenuous financial situation and the loan from Art Capital Group, according to Bloomberg News.
These transactions were only part of a mountain of debt amassed by the photographer. From 1999 to 2008, Leibovitz borrowed extensively to purchase property and refinance the debt she was carrying. In total, her activity stretched to more than a dozen loans, Bloomberg News reports, all on the back of her real estate holdings. Two 2006 loans – for $4.7 million in November and $2.5 million in December – were extended by Rhinebeck Properties LLC, which happens to have the same address as Conde Nast Publications Inc.
Masterful works by Helmut Newton and Peter Beard star in Sotheby's Photographs sale in London on Tuesday. Prices have come down from their pre-crash levels so no doubt many of the lots will seem like relative bargains when the market recovers. The sale's highlight is Newton's sexy Mannequins Quai D'Orsay, Paris, 1977 (above), estimated at about $18,000 - $27,000. Also on offer is his Winnie at the Negresco, Nice, 1975, est. at about $9,000 - $12,000. Among the Beard works in the sale are Cheetah Cub Orphans in Mweiga, 1968, est. at about $22,000 - $30,000, and From 'The End of the Game', 1964, est. at about $15,000 - $23,000.
Last week we wrote about Christie's Nov. 19 photo auction starring a slew of naked supermodels including Albert Watson's 1993 nude of Kate Moss in Marrakech, which was estimated at $23,000 - $31,000. On Nov. 26 in London the auction house is staging another photo sale, with another equally appealing (in our opinion) photo of Kate in her birthday suit. The photo (above), taken by one-named lensman Tesh in 2005, may not have the pedigree of Watson's pic, but at only $1,500 - $2,000, it's a real steal. There are some other good deals to be had in the London sale, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Coco Chanel, James Dean, Andy Warhol and more.
On Nov. 19, Christie's in London will auction off a stunning collection of photographs including some provocative shots of the world's most beautiful women. From a purely aesthetic standpoint the highlight of these is this 2000 portrait of Brazilian bombshell Gisele Bundchen by Mark Seliger, estimated at $9,000 to $12,000 - a relative bargain compared to Martin Schoeller's 2003 Angelina Jolie with Blood, est. at $23,000 - $39,000.
Also included in the sale: Albert Watson's 1993 nude Kate Moss, Marrakech, est. at $23,000 - $31,000; David LaChapelle's 1999 Britney Spears, Baby, est. $23,000 - $31,000; Michel Comte's 1996 James King, New York City, est. $6,000 - $9,000; and Gavin Bond's 2007 snap of Victoria's Secret stunner Adriana Lima, est. $5,000 - $8,000.
Gallery: Christie's Photos Nov. 19