Nov 25, 2012

New auction records at Southeby’s

It looks like financial the financial crisis doesn’t concern contemporary art. On 13th of November Sotheby’s (NY) had the best selling records in their history. “Contemporary Art Evening Auction” achieved result of $ 375,149,000. 71 pieces including  8 paintings from Sidney and Dorothy Kohl collection were auctioned. Mainly examples of American Abstract Expressionist movement and Pop Art. This is outstanding, because 84 % of all art pieces have been sold, but the true winner were 10 pieces that together generated 2/3 of the total sum. (Most of them were from the mentioned earlier Kohl collection).

Organizers started the auction from selling Rothko and Pollock’s painting and it went well from the beginning, there were good vibes, buyers and collectors were willing to buy. This auction shows that people are not afraid of investing in art and art business is not affected by crisis. People know that there is always market for good quality art, which they can sell with a profit and it’s always a good prestigious and joyful investment.

Auction’s winner was definitely “No.1 (Royal Red and Blue)” by Mark Rothko from 1954. Sold for: $ 75,122,500 (est. $ 35-50 million). It is a large painting with dimension of 88.9 x 171.5 cm., it’s an example of artistic expression and for 30 years was in the same collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. This is the second most expensive painting of Rothko that has been sold on the auction, first one was “Orange, Red, Yellow” from 1961, which was sold at Christie’s for $86,882,500 on 8th May, 2012.

 Mark Rothko, “No.1 (Royal Red and Blue)”, 1954

Second best bid belonged to Jackson Pollock’s “Number 4” from 1951. This masterpiece was sold for $40,402,500 when estimated price was $ 25-35 million. This painting was unseen in public for forty years and had 3 owners before.

 Jackson Pollock, “Number 4”,1951

Third best seller at this auction was Francis Bacon’s “Untitled (Pope)” from circa 1954. This oil on canvas was 152 x 94 cm big and was sold for $ 29,762,500. This time pre-sell price was much closer to the real one, but still higher that than expected, $ 18-25 million. 

 Francis Bacon, “Untitled (Pope)”, circa 1954

Other painting belonged to Kohl collection was Willem De Kooning’s “Abstraction” which was executed in 1943. The estimated price was more accurate, paining was sold for $ 19,682,500 (est. $ 15-20 million). This masterpiece was sold to the unknown telephone bidder after long and determined bidding. 

Willem De Kooning, “Abstraction”, 1943

Andy Warhol’s pieces including series of Disaster were very successful and accounted $ 54 million in total. Some other his work sold on auction: “Suicide” from 1964 was sold for $ 16,322,500 (est. 6-8 million), “Green Disaster (Green Disaster Twice)” from 1963 achieved bid of $ 15,202,500 and “The kiss (Bella Lugosi)” from 1963 price of $ 9,266,500, way upon estimated sum. It shows that there is a big demand on Andy Warhol’s work, it’s also definitely a trophy piece in every collection as Warhol without any doubts was one of the biggest American artist of 20th century.

 Andy Warhol, “Suicide”, 1964

 Andy Warhol, “The kiss (Bella Lugosi)”, 1963.

Other artists that were auctioned on 13th of November- Gerhard Richter, Arshile Gorky, Yves Klein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein.


Nov 18, 2012

Andy Warhol- “The Pope of Pop”

"My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person.”
-Andy Warhol

I think that I don’t have to introduce Andy Warhol to anyone. He was definitely mysterious, original, and eccentric person. Well known as founder and "Pope of Pop", but also a successful businessman, visionary who created the brand even out of his personal life, icon who inspired and still inspires…

I could write a lot about his life and work, but I would like to focus on specific part of his career…portraits of famous people. It is very interesting why they became one of his biggest interests? Where they only commercial product for Warhol? Where they only a plain art work without a meaning? Or there was a meaning and philosophy behind the scene? 

It all started when Andy was 8 years old, he was seriously ill and he had to spend 6 weeks in bed. His mother was looking after him and she was the one who gave him very first magazine about Hollywood and movie stars. This is where his fascination began. Then he started to write letters to different actresses, his first choice was Shirley Temple, she even replied to him and enclosed the picture. All his life he was very proud of this situation and he kept this picture until his death in 1987. When he recovered from his illness, he knew that he wants to become an artist. 

Many years later after when Andy was already well known in New York from his work in advertisement he decided to start working on his old passion- painting. He was constantly asking his friends about theme of his painting, he didn’t really had vision at the beginning. Everything has changed when his friend and art gallery owner Mariel Latow asked: "Well, what do you love most?" and Andy replied- "money". She encouraged him to paint what he loved the most- money, Campbell soup’s cans, Coca-cola’s cans and celebrities. He was fascinated by money, success, beauty, originality and all this actually brought him fame and money, what he desired. In 1962 he opened the 'Factory', his studio where he wanted to “produce” art in big amounts. This unique place was always full of artists, Warhol’s assistants, actors and friends. He was also famous for parties where his influence friends were very often guests. Warhol participated in NY social life and attended famous Studio 54 where he celebrated with other artists and celebrities.
Andy Warhol & Jerry Hall at Studio 54, New York

Portrait of Marilyn Monroe was one of first from the series of celebrities. He created it shortly after her death in 1962. It shows 50 images based on the same photograph from the movie "Niagara", 1953. Left side of silkscreen printing diptych contains pictures in bright colors while right side is black and white. The distension in creation on the canvas suggests the relation between life and death. He introduced her to the world as a pop-culture icon not a real person. This iconographic portrait is also a symbol of beauty, fame and youth it was suppose to be plain and enjoyable. Later in 1967 he produced 10 more silkscreen prints based on the same photography. Almost every person in the world knows this representation of Marilyn and it’s still being copy and distributed all over the world as a nice accent in interior design. Andy has definitely achieved what was the most important for him, fame and even more than "15 second" of it, as he said.

His fascination of cult of famous people and death reaches his early life, albums with Hollywood’s star, death of his father and his illness definitely had big impact on his creation. In my opinion all his work is full of emotion and meaning, even if it’s not that obvious."

No title, 1967

Marilyn Diptych, 1962

Other celebrities’ portrayed by Andy Warhol:
Andy Warhol’s Liz No.5 (Early Colored Liz), 1963

‘It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor’s finger.’
-Andy Warhol
Elvis I and II, 1964

‘I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.’
-Andy Warhol

Nov 11, 2012

Madame Hollywood

Hollywood Glamour Style

Everything started in 1930 when during the Golden Age of Hollywood the new style in interior design has been created –the Hollywood Regency Style. The interior style where everything is about glamour, luxe, glitz and over-the-top was matching to the lifestyle of elite. The most important were details like: decorated mirrors, oversized chandeliers with crystals, shiny fabrics and fringed lampshades. Dark and heavy curtains, lacquered furniture, silk and velvet drapes gave very attractive, eclectic and glamorous look. But the philosophy that came along was not only about furniture and accessories, the true purpose was to create cozy and comfortable space where people can socialize and entertain each other, it was the part of their lives. Almost every room had to look like from magazine cover. Very often movie stars were actually being photographed in their apartments. This style in modern version is back in interior design, so if you value glam, vintage and you host many parties this will be a perfect choice. If you just want to redecorate your apartment add some beautiful and luxurious details, because details make the difference.
One of my favorite actresses from the Golden Era is Marlene Dietrich, the true icon of that century. Although she never owned house in Hollywood her apartment at 993 Park Avenue in Manhattan was a perfect example of Regency style.

Marlene Dietrich in her dressing room, 1932

One of the most important rooms back then was the dressing room with a glam vanity set, large mirror and soft carpet. Many Hollywood actresses were photographed in this place, so did Marlene.

Modern version of the style with mirrored elements and zebra rug. By David Hicks, Melbourne.

Dita Von Teese’s Vanity set at her house, 2011.

Marlene Dietrich portrait from Manpower by Bert Longworth, 1941
 Modern version of glamour style. In this living room cocktail party definitely can last for a very long time!

 Consistency of colors and fabrics. Beautiful framed TV instead of a mirror…very nice touch.

Glamour is in a crystal chandelier, soft carpet, lacquered table, simple white sofas and heavy curtains.

This living room is also an example of Regency Hollywood Style but in a bit more vintage version. Green silk cushions break the consistency of beige and cream space and give it more life. Mirrored coffee table with crystal decanter, glasses and flowers shows that this is definitely a cozy home.

Creamy, lacquered desk, blue velvet chairs, shiny wallpaper and flowers create a fashionable lady’s office. Very modern but also in typical Hollywood style. By Cynthia Mason Interiors.

Bedroom in feminine, glam style. Vintage wallpaper, velvet and silk fabrics,
 mirrored bedside cabinets

Velvets, button-tufting cushions, mirrors, gorgeous lighting all these
elements gives this bedroom that old Hollywood glam. By Geometrix.

Nov 4, 2012

De luxe in a rough version

Coffee bar with Rough
Luxe Hotel logo
There is simply nothing else like Rough Luxe Boutique Hotel. A perfect combination of art and design. Luxurious and at the same time rough and simple interior. A place where old meets the modern, contemporary artworks are mixed with old elements. A beautiful dissonance of contradicting elements create beautiful frame for not only for very demanding connoisseurs, but also people who value comfort and hospitality. Not only for “consumers”, but for people who value time for reflection and intellectual activities. Individuals who like to experience life in a different way, find pleasure in art, nature, simple things, culture. 

This unique place was designed in 2008 by Rabih Hage, well known architect, interior designer and curator. Like most of boutique hotels it’s placed in an old Georgian building in London, which was renewed, but many elements have been preserved. Peeling paints, old floor and cracking staircase give a shabby-chic touch to the place.

I am absolutely adore this place. I like bare walls combined with colorful fabrics and art pieces, plain furniture and sophisticated look, half luxurious and half rough. I will definitely visit this unique place during my next trip to London.

“Cupola di San Lorenzo” in Torino by Massimo Listri,
Ceiling trompe l’oeil photography.- Dining room.

“Over Here” painting by Susan Shup.
Turkish copper bath. Original wallpaper from around 1831-1855

Left: Picture “Palazzo Altieri in Rome”by Massimo Listri- Room I. Headboard Louis XVI style
Right: “This is Shit” by Daniel Baker, 2008.- Dining Room