Banksy auction prank leaves art world in shreds.

Banksy has released a video showing how he secretly built a shredder into one of his paintings that self-destructed after it was sold for more than £1m.

The framed Girl With Balloon, one of the artist's best known works, was the final item in an auction at Sotheby’s in London on Friday night and its sale price equalled the artist’s previous auction record of £1.04m.

Moments after the piece was sold, the canvas of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped balloon shredded itself.

Quoting Picasso on his Instagram, Banksy wrote: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge - Picasso."

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.

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American Fine Art
Yayoi Kusama Global Appeal

In the past five years, more than 5 million museum visitors have lined up for a brief glimpse of the work of Yayoi Kusama. The 89-year-old Japanese artist, who for the past 41 years has lived voluntarily in a psychiatric hospital, has had large-scale solo shows of her work in Mexico City, Rio, Seoul, Taiwan and Chile, as well as major touring exhibitions in the US and Europe. Last year, she opened her own five-story gallery in Tokyo. The Broad museum in Los Angeles recently sold 90,000 $25 tickets in an afternoon to its Kusama exhibition, causing the LA Times to ask if the artist was now “Hotter than Hamilton?”

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American Fine Art
Kusama Room Re-Opens at Phoenix Art Museum

Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies is one of the artist's more whimsical works. Inspired by a Japanese folktale about a person in a field with 10,000 fireflies, Kusama's work brings the fairy tale to life. Beginning with drawings and paintings, Yayoi Kusama’s work transformed from 2-D pieces to large-scale installations, symbolic of the obsessive and massive nature of her ideas. Subsequently, Kusama’s art began to take large forms and often covers and utilizes entire rooms and spaces.

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American Fine Art
Rockefeller Collection Reaches $830 Million

Billionaires from around the world fought for a chance to own Peggy and David Rockefeller’s art trophies, sending paintings by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet to record prices at Christie’s in New York on Tuesday.

Among them was the evening’s most expensive work-- a 1905 Pablo Picasso painting of a teenage nude, “Fillette à la corbeille fleurie” -- that fetched $115 million, the highest price for the Spanish master after his $179.4 million record set three years ago. It had been estimated at $100 million.

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American Fine Art
Banksy Welcomed to NYC

Banksy is back in New York. The UK street artist has peppered the US city with several politically outspoken works since last Thursday (15 March) and keen-eyed New Yorkers have been tracking his work through social media.

The first to be noticed, and certainly the largest thus far, is a 70-foot mural at the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery that protests the imprisonment of the ethnic Kurdish artist and journalist, Zehra Dogan.

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Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms

The New York Historical Society will be hosting the exhibit Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms from May 25, 2018 - September 02, 2018.  This is the first internationally touring exhibition devoted to Rockwell’s iconic depictions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms launches at the New-York Historical Society.

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American Fine Art
New Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso to Open 2021

Picasso’s stepdaughter is planning to open a museum dedicated to the artist and his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, in a former convent in the southern French town of Aix-en-Provence. The project is driven by Catherine Hutin-Blay, Jacqueline's daughter. Hutin-Blay inherited her mother’s collection of Picasso works and owns the Château de Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence, where the couple are buried. The Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso will house around 1,000 paintings—more than the respective collections of the Picasso museums in Paris, Antibes, Barcelona and Malaga.

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American Fine Art
Major Warhol Exhibition To Show at The Vatican

Thirty-nine years after he traveled to Rome to meet Pope John Paul II, Andy Warhol will be honored with an exhibition at the heart of the Vatican. The Vatican Museums are in final talks with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to stage a show of the Pop artist’s religious works in 2019. It will be seen in Rome and Pittsburgh and will mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the US museum.

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American Fine Art
Underscoring the Strength of the Art Market

The Van Gogh led Christie’s $479.3 million sale that surpassed the auction house’s high presale target and posted a 95 percent increase from a similar event a year ago. Asian collectors were active.

Fernand Leger previous record of $39.2 million smashed with the sale of "Contraste de formes" for $70.1 million. 

 

Additional artist records set for René Magritte, Jean Crotti, Suzanne Duchamp, Emil Nolde, Man Ray and Edouard Vuillard evince both a broader offering and deeper bidding compared with last year’s equivalent auction. That the sale’s top ten lots were all over $10m “really underscores the strength of the market”, said Jessie Fertig, head of sale. Pablo Picasso’s portrait of his second wife Jacqueline Roque also inspired a bidding war from collectors based in Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Dubai, Christie’s said.  

 

 

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Andrew Wyeth Forever Stamp Released by United States Postal Service

Andrew Wyeth, one of the most prominent artists of the 20th-century — whose realistic style defied artistic trends — was commemorated today on his birth centennial with the issuance of 12 Forever stamps highlighting his paintings.  

 

The Andrew Wyeth Forever stamps were dedicated in his home town of Chadds Ford, PA. Mastering a realistic style, Wyeth (July 12, 1917 – Jan. 16, 2009) created haunting and enigmatic paintings based largely on people and places in his life, a body of work that continues to resist easy or comfortable interpretation.

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