Missing a Picasso ?

When WIlliam M.V. Kingsland died in 2006, he left behind over 300 works of art squeezed into his one bedroom apartment in New York. So what is so wacky about this story is that many of the pieces have subsequently been found to be stolen. Good god, the man was an art thief, hobnobbing with Manhattan’s upper crust. Hmm and guess what? Yep, Kingsland wasn’t his real name either, he once went by the name Melvyn Kohn. All came to light when New York Public Administrator, Ethel Griffin, hired two auction houses to sell the art. Imagine their surprise when they discovered many pieces were reported stolen in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Included in the collection are sketches by Picasso (which a mover tried to steal during in the discovery).  Now it is the FBI handling the case and they have posted a page of goodies believed to be stolen. They are hoping the public will be able to assist in identifying the paintings. Click here if you want to have a sticky beak… FBI art theft… By the way no pieces of Public Art were found in the apartment!


Damn That Carbon Dating!

The famous Roman statue of the twins, Romulus and Remus, sucking from the she-wolf (Lupa Capitolina) has been carbon dated and guess what? It ain’t that old. Well, it is old, but just not as old as everyone was led to believe. It seems the experts just assumed that the bronze was made by the Etruscan’s in the 5th century BC. Gee, they even had proof,Cicero, a Roman statesman of that period described the statue as having a damaged paw after being struck by lightning. It would take until 2006 before someone called Cicero’s bluff. Anna Maria Carruba, an Italian art expert, was adamant that is was a ruse. She argued that the statue had been cast using a wax mould, something those Etruscan’s knew nothing about. To make matters worse she suggested that the paw was actually a casting mistake (ouch!).  Well, thanks to carbon dating they now believe Lupa Capitolina was manufactured in the 13th century, about 800 years ago, in the Romanesque Period. So what does this mean , will it retain its importance in Roman art? I am thinking not. Whew, lucky Dan Brown didn’t use Lupa Capitolina in the Da Vinci Code (that would have been embarrassing!).

Dear God, What Next ?

I’ve heard it all now, an art gallery at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead is being taken to court because one of their exhibitions displayed a statue of Jesus with an erection. Holy indecency. The main argument in the prosecution is “had the statue been of Mohammad rather than Christ, there would have been a far greater outcry”. I am thinking Yes ( ain’t that right Salman ?). The culprit is controversial artist, Terence Koh, who also included Mickey Mouse and ET with erections in the exhibition (but they escaped the wrath). Hmm the maximum fine for outraging public decency is six months prison and a £5,000 fine. Gee, if that is the case imagine how many sculptors we could get off the streets!

Dish Washing Liquid? I Think You Are Soaking in it!

The Diver in dish washing gloves ?

The Diver in dish washing gloves ?

The Diver and Guard Dogs sculpture can be found in a small street in East Perth’s Claisebrook Cove. Two things which struck me like a sledgehammer were firstly, the plaque and secondly the dish washing gloves. I am sorry, but had I not been informed, via the plaque, that The Diver and the Guard Dogs was a spoof on Nelson’s Column, I would have been left soaking in my own ignorance. Why hadn’t I figured that one out, it seems so obvious now I know ! Dear god I sometimes wonder. Secondly are they dish washing gloves on the diver ? Please, I pray this isn’t phallic symbolism. For more of an in depth low down click here The Diver and the Guard Dogs.

Legacy Continues to Beg

Legacy Statue, Melbourne.

Legacy Statue, Melbourne.

Sometimes things just don’t make any sense. In April I wrote a post about the Kings Park boards refusal to allow a legacy statue to be erected in the War Memorial precinct of King Park. After public outcry on several talk back radio programs I just assumed the situation would be resolved, especially as Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has a similar statue taking pride of place next to the Shrine and much loved The Man and the Donkey statue. They even went so far as to place the statue in a beautiful rose garden. So imagine my surprise today when I listen to the radio and found that the problem had not been resolved. In fact the Kings Park Board have given them three locations in which they can erect the statue, which frankly I find unacceptable (and are no where near the precinct). I can not imagine any Digger having an issue with having a statue erected on behalf of Legacy. It is such a shame. I think the board should consult the RSL or at least the Diggers about anything concerning the War Memorial Precinct. Which, lets face it , is for the people who gave of themselves to protect this country. LEST WE FORGET!

Bon Scott – Would You Like Fries With That ?

Having a Barramundi with Bon !

Having a Barramundi with Bon !

You know I wrote a blog entry months ago asking if anyone knew where the hell the Bon Scott statue was in Fremantle, after all the pomp and ceremony. Well, I patiently waited for an announcement of its long awaited unveiling, only to discover it has already been unveiled, at Cicerello’s . Yes, that’s right, but before you get too excited I must warn you it isn’t outside but inside (I couldn’t make this up). Hmm, I am sure Bon Scott would see the funny side of his memorial location. A “fish n chip” shop really doesn’t seem to be that fitting for a rock icon. I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Does this mean instead of having a beer with Bon I will have to have Barramundi ?

So, who is to blame for this injustice ? I have a sneaking suspicion local council weren’t exactly shaking all night long with the thought of Bon gracing the streets of their fair city. But in a Fish n Chips shop (no offense to Cicerellos) ! Surely one of the pubs could have plonked him near the bar ?

Blinking Billy Point

From the State that gave you Man Mountain now presents, Blinking Billy Point, a bigger and better controversial piece of public art. Yes, Tasmania or more precisely Hobart City Council have found themselves facing the wrath of angry locals, including the indigenous community after announcing a $300,000 sculpture will be erected on the Sandy Bay foreshore. The 10 m high stainless steel cylindrical creation is said to represent a lighthouse and an Aboriginal campfire at night. The Aboriginal community are up in arms because they were not consulted about it and the local residents are upset because it looks like, well, a 10m high stainless steel cylinder. So far 400 hundred names have been added to a petition circulating in the area. Stay tuned it is about to become a Blinking Sore Point.

Emerging in Atlanta

Emerging Sculpture

Next time you sight a neglected piece of public art spare a thought for the artist (it is their reputation on display too). Once a piece has been completed, the sculptor can only hope that his or her work of art will be cared for and nurtured by the forces that be. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Take the Emerging sculpture in Atlanta, Georgia, for example. Sculptor and artist Mark Smith is passionate about his work and is more than a little annoyed that his sculpture has been neglected to the point that it has lost its original meaning. Mark has gone to extraordinary lengths to get help in restoring the Emerging (which by the way is one of my favorite sculptures in Atlanta) only to be told it really isn’t their responsibility. Disillusioned by the whole thing he is now trying to raise money to restore it himself, shame. The park adjacent to his sculpture has been given a full makeover but it seems there just isn’t enough money in the coffers for a little TLC on his sculpture. I visited Atlanta in 2007 and grabbed some snaps of it for my website, unaware that it was in such a terrible state. Despite this I thought it was the most exciting and thought provoking of the public art I saw. I guess Mark was horrified when he discovered I had included the neglected piece on my website (Public Art Around The World) and contacted me. After watching a presentation of the before and after of Emerging it is no wonder Mark is fighting to have the sculpture restored. Placed in a prominent and busy intersection the people and motorists of Atlanta deserve more and should be treated to the real Emerging with all its reflective power. Check out Mark Smiths website and watch his presentation.

No Legacy in Kings Park!

It seems the bureaucrats are at it again, yes it has just been announcedNo Legacy Statue in Kings Park that the Kings Park Board have rejected an application for a statue to be erected in the War Memorial precinct of the park. Now, one would assume that the application was for some horrific eyesore. But alas no, the application was from the Perth Legacy group to have a statue, not unlike the one that so proudly stands next the Melbourne’s shrine of Remembrance, to be placed near the main War Memorial. A small statue of a widow women with her two small children doesn’t seem like too much to ask, considering the role Legacy plays in helping the widows, widowers and children of deceased members of our armed services. Presently the organisation is looking after 7,500 thousand widows/widowers and their children. Legacy provides financial & medical support and accommodation if needed and have been helping families in Western Australia since the 1920’s.
Now wait for it, the boards reasoning was that the statue wasn’t suitable for the designated area. I think the Government should take a long hard look at all these boards who are supposedly representing the people of Perth!

Bon Scott Statue: The Long Wait

Why are we waiting ? It took 28 years to finally have a monument erected to ACDC, frontman, Bon Scott. We had all the hulabuloo of the unveiling at a special Acca Dacca concert, the media have continually announced that the statue would be unveiled in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour after the event, now all I want to know is where the hell is it? Are we Back in Black? It is nearly a MONTH since the “concert” and a hush has descended. AND to make matters worse I have asked just about every restaurant and ice cream parlor at the harbor where it is or where it going to be and they look at me like I just stepped off an alien spacecraft. One poor soul shook his head and said, so many people have asked me that question and I have absolutely no idea, no one has told us ANYTHING!

Get your act together Freo or get some press releases out. How on earth can we ” have a beer with Bon”?

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