Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dream on

Another great Dali moment from YouTube. This time it’s the dream sequence Dali designed for Hitchcock’s movie Spellbound in 1942. Hitchcock outsourced the job to a B Grade movie company Monogram. The initial version was not up to it as far as über producer David O. Selznick was concerned. "It is not Dali's fault, for his work is much finer and much better for the purpose than I ever thought it would be. It is the photography, set-ups, lighting, et cetera, all of which is about what you would expect from Monogram." The final version was created by the great silent film director William Cameron Menzies. Never one for subtlety, Dali makes a blatant reference to Un Chien Andalou with a large pair of scissors cutting an eye shape painted on a curtain. For a full on Dali film festival, YouTube style, go here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Now don’t feel sad

As the Loaf sang it, “Two out of three ain’t bad,” and so it was with our prediction on CNZ funding for next year's Melbourne Art Fair. The just released CNZ grants lists the Tinakori Gallery and Vavasour Godkin Gallery as both granted $10,000 each “towards participating in the Melbourne Art Fair". Weirdly, three readers have emailed us to say they are surprised to hear that Tinakori has been invited to exhibit. Anyone?

As you know, this funding is part of CNZ’s commitment to “invest in the distinct expressions of New Zealand’s arts and culture at key international events and markets.” The six galleries exhibiting at the last Melbourne Art Fair were: Gow Langsford Gallery, Hamish McKay Gallery, Ivan Anthony Gallery, Jensen Gallery, Michaell Lett Gallery and the Tinakori Gallery

Image: A rare opportunity to picture meatloaf on overthenet

More to the point

Wellington, home of the tall pointy sculpture, has added another to its public collection. This one, at 7 metres high, is by Ra Vincent and is called Te Waka Pou.

Inside story

Overthenet is always keen to offer the news inside the news. This looks like it might be just that for Jeff Koons’s Balloon dog. Click on image to enlarge. Go here for more information on the dog and multi links for Jeff Koons.

For the record

2008 will be a good year for Eddie Clemens, who has been given the Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Award, and also for Sriwhana Spong who has been selected for a four-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Image nation 1

This is the first in an intended series of incredible images from museums and art galleries.

Last week a protester managed to put masks on exhibits from the Chinese Terracotta Army on show at the British Museum. The Daily Mail reported that, “The man jumped barriers to place the masks bearing the slogan ‘CO2 emission polluter’ on two of the life-sized figures to highlight China's poor pollution record.”

Any contributions to Image nation are welcome.


Good news from Webb’s 16 October Contemporary Art auction report.

hunger for the new
never get old
full house
air of anticipation
excellent results
significant recent pieces
more established artists
budding masters-to-be
new auction records.
Outstanding results
close in the stakes
cards alight
hitting upper estimate
swept through the bidding
nudging constraints aside
come out ahead
iconic cut out
epic shaped work
top results of the night
leapt over their higher estimates
fared well
positively dwarfing expectation
flew gracefully
healthy bid
Never before have there been over 40 new artists offered on the secondary market in one auction
the successful results
a proven demand
fresh and exciting art
pushed over her expected upper limit
make their mark
irrefutably peculiar
mesmerising paint-skin masterpiece

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The rest

Unless there is amazing fast breaking news about the arts (and what's the chances of that) we will not be posting on Sundays from now on. To soften the blow, here's a pic we took last week in Christchurch.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cool art 2

Who would have thought it possible? The second in our series of large-scale murals on the sides of nuclear plant cooling towers. Still, as someone once said, "Just because you collect them, doesn't make them collectables."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Caught in the act

Someone recently estimated that there are about 53 hours of footage of the Venice Biennale available on YouTube. Keep this in mind when you consider that our research team had to go through every last minute of it to see if they could find any shots that included John McCormack. The video clip below is evidence of their remarkable success. You can see the director of Starkwhite around 2 minutes in and again at 2.07. Sadly McCormack is only visible for about 8 seconds, but the clip has been viewed 4,011 times and, as archival footage of someone who was initially included in the CNZ Trip Of A Life time experiencing the Italian pavilion? Priceless.

Fair go

Gather round. You may have to read this twice – it’s complicated. You will remember back in early October that CNZ published its new Strategic Plan. One of its platforms was the intention to “invest in the distinct expressions of New Zealand’s arts and culture at key international events and markets.” The Melbourne Art Fair would seem to be just that sort of key international event – and nearby too – so it’s a surprise to hear that CNZ has pulled out of supporting this Art Fair in the way it has done over the last few years. Did all the Tripofalifetime reports find against art fairs? We don’t know, of course, but if any of you TOALTers want to share what you recommended, feel free. Instead of supporting the Fair, and here’s where it gets complicated, CNZ told Dealer Galleries they could apply separately for funding. Four of them apparently did just that although only three got funding of between $8,000 and 10,000 each. Why has CNZ changed its approach before the report on International events is put before Council? Has it been put before Council? What difference does it make? Which TOALT member came out against any CNZ involvement in Art Fairs? Based on past experience with CNZ, expect few answers - speculate at will.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are you sitting down Peter?

“You’re not only an artist, you’re also a photographer.”
Lynn Freeman interviewing an 'artist' on The Arts on Sunday, Radio New Zealand

On the scent

As Andy Warhol fans we’re not going to let this one pass. The Andy Warhol Foundation and Bond No. 9 have joined forces to create a set of perfumes that will “capture Warhol's vision of New York.” They will be “...inspired by Warhol's original working studio in the Sixties, known for its aluminum-foil walls. Created by Aurelien Guichard from Givaudan, Silver Factory is categorized as an oriental perfume concentrate.” Good luck to the Foundation and Bond No. 9 but as you can see from the images of fragrances past, this is not the first attempt, and probably won’t be the last.

Andy Warhol Silver Factory will be available from December in Bond No.9 New York stores and Saks priced at $230 for 100ml. As Warhol famously said, “Business art is the step that comes after Art. I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist.”

Images: Top left, Andy Warhol Silver Factory from Bond No. 9. Others variously are Marilyn Red Eau de Toilette Natural Spray for Women, Marilyn Pink Eau de Toilette Natural Spray for Women both by Design house - Andy Warhol eau de toiletteAndy Warhol Perfume and Andy Warhol Cologne by Andy Warhol. Oh, and by the way, this is overthenet's 500th post.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sign of the times?

More sign news. We’ve just heard that the sign for Roger Williams Contemporary in Auckland has been taken down. Let’s hope this does not mean it’s closing. Judging from recent additions to the artist list and the growing website, the gallery was just getting into its stride.

Image: Roger Williams Contemporary gallery without sign (simulation)

Shake on it

In New Zealand we have come to expect that everyone’s a handshake away from everyone else. In specialist fields conflicts of interest aren’t worth the paper they aren’t written on. Too few people to do too many jobs. ( a reader has since noted that this should be "too many people to do too few jobs" - weirdly, thinking about it, both are probably true. Thanks rdn) A good example is the Christchurch Art Gallery’s scramble to put together a show to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts. Why something that has been inching along for 125 years is done at the last minute is a puzzle, but it’s not the first time and won’t be the last. If it can happen to Katherine Mansfield (and it did) it can happen to anyone.

The celebration exhibition comes at a tough time for the Art School. Budgets are being cut, the organization seems in disarray. Who’s surprised that current students (better known to the university as funding units) are considering a boycott of the exhibition? In a key position in the funding chain is Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Kenneth T Strongman, who heads the College of Arts. Strongman …. sound familiar? It should do. Ironically, he’s the father of contract curator Lara Strongman who’s assembling the celebration show. Still, given her record, there’s a chance she will come up with something more interesting than a work from everyone who went to Ilam who has been published in an art magazine.

Image: More irony. From the Art School’s home page, this shipwreck imagery by Nathan Pohio called Spectre Echo Landfall. It is on exhibition at the SOFA Gallery from 10 October to 4 November 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Unfortunate Internet address of the year

Watch this space

In Christchurch last week we stumbled on this construction site at the junction of Colombo, High and Hereford Streets. As you can see from the architect’s impression, it looks as though part of the refurbishment includes a sculpture, and that they have something thin and tall in mind. We’ve arrowed what looks like it might be the stand in. The site was originally home to the Stewart Fountain created by fiery Ilam sculpture lecturer Laurence Karasek in 1967-68. The commission had been awarded to Ria Bancroft but the Christchurch Civic Trust changed its choice to Karasek. The Stewart Fountain was never a great success and a replacement was commissioned in 1996. This mad Edwardian colour extravaganza with curved terrazzo panels, organised by then-Mayor Vicki Buck, lasted for an even shorter period. It was ordered to be removed in July last year as part of a clean-up by the City Council. Amazingly 14 people were arrested in August this year attempting to stop the destruction. You can watch a video of the action here. As to Laurence Karasek, he’s back in the USA. Now he’s a painter, he is also founder of the John Laurence Art School in Fredericksburg, Texas where he teaches.

While we were in Christchurch, we asked around about who had been selected to put in a proposal for this troubled site but drew a blank. Anyone with some thoughts, drop us an email and we’ll spread the word. Experience suggests that small busy sites like this one tend to get something tall and pointy, something small, or something up in the air and out of the way. We’ll keep you posted.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Spam (ish)

As disgusting as it is, we thought you should see this map of the world called SPAM/MAPS:WORLD. It is made entirely of Spam, and is by artist Michael Arcega who figured that S-P-A-M is M-A-P-S in reverse.

Look alike

Images: left, Italian artist Chris Gilmour's cardboard sculptures. Right, Ricky Swallow BMX

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Better late...

....than never. Tonight at 10.55 pm, TV One are showing the doco made by Phil Clairmont's son Orlando. You can read more about it here.

This from the TVNZ site: "Twenty-three years after the death of his father, Orlando Clairmont resolves to find out who his father really was. Sorting the man from the myth, uncovering the elusive art, reconstructing his father from an archive, having a conversation across time - with a dead man. Attempting a resurrection of flesh and blood.

Clairmont On Clairmont is unique in that we get to hear Philip Clairmont discuss his own work in his own words, as reconstructed from audio interviews conducted before his death. "


…. city of oils.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Full page ad for Foxy Production’s exhibition of Hany Armonious’s exhibition Year of the pig sty in the latest Art Forum is in fact a detail photographed at his Auckland exhibition at Michael Lett Gallery.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Girl's best friend

Australian artist, Kathy Temin will have a special art moment seeing her idol Kylie here with a diamond encrusted microphone ala Damien Hirst. Well, how else can we slip Kylie on board on overthenet?

Look alike

Look alike advertising for the Wairarapa in Wellington’s Dominion Post. Check out Robert Rauschenberg's, Monogram here.

Wise cracks

Often when you see work in other countries or on tour here, it’s hard not to notice how worn, marked and even cracked some of the paintings can be. This came to mind when we saw this image of a beautiful 1950s John McLaughlin painting. Even though it comes from the hard-edge abstract school, the surface is covered with fine cracks. In a survey exhibition of Mondrian toured in the US a few years ago, many of the works were grubby around the edges and some even sported finger prints. All these effects of wear - the cracks, the smudges - are signs that these paintings have been out there, living in the real world. And none of this rough and tumble diminished the experience of them at all. That laissez-faire attitude seems very different from the pristine condition we expect of work when it is made by our own artists. A small scuff can send a painting by Gordon Walters to the conservator, a surface abrasion or the slightest warping will banish a work by Milan MrKusich from the wall. Someone once suggested that this might be all about the New in New Zealand. After all, you would like to think it would take more than a scuff mark or finger print to visually destroy a Walters koru painting. So why are we so obsesses about insisting our art remain frozen in time, forever young from the day it leaves the studio? Of course this is not to suggest museums should start kicking their works around the store room, but is it such a bad thing for traces of the real world bump up against them every now and then and allow them to grow old gracefully?

Image: A John McLaughlin painting of 1957

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gone South for a while

We are in Christchurch. But can we work the computer down here? We will see.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Knocked down

So what happened to the Dashper drum head we hear you all ask. You’ll remember it was lot number 25, and fetched $14,000 four-and-a-half months ago at Art+Auction. Last night at Webb’s? $13,000. Ouch.

Image: Gavel of terror by Vesa Kuula

Café society

Another brand Apple experience in Auckland, this time at the Gala café, 23 Edwin Street Mt Eden. Along with other art on show in the café is a wall work sporting the Apple logo seen before on overthenet. If it has the appearance of branding for an actual apple this is probably because an edible Billy apple is in the wings. Word is that the fruit has been selected (it is crisp and sweet) and only awaits sponsorship to put it to market.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cannon fodder

For everyone thinking that the Fine Arts faculty at the University of Canterbury has anything to do with education, this from today’s Press in Christchurch.

Head of the School of Fine Arts Desmond Rochfort said he was facing the reality of "horrendous" budget and staff cuts next year. The school had been told to find $85,000 in savings from its general operating budget or take on 10 more equivalent full-time students (EFTS) a year to make up costs", he said.

Image: Cannon ball

Pattern recognition

You can take the art out of the agency, but you can’t take the agency out of the art. We have already pointed to schlock uses of Maori moko, and advertisers who use great art like scraps for a family album. Here is another version capturing both from the foyer of Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington.

Head count

News on the street is that staff numbers at the School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury are in turmoil. Will changes improve the current 80/20 split? Every cloud.

Image: Staff of the School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, left hand panel men. Right hand, not.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Warning to collectors

“That’s the bizarre thing — first you never saw the prices, and now you never see the names. We’re all too frightened to ask.”
Collector at the Frieze Art Fair

Copy cats

A stereo Warhol moment thanks to Plunket on the left and some cow-print-person on the right.

Separated at birth

The battle of the auction houses has certainly stepped up the number of contemporary art auctions in Auckland. It’s hard to imagine there are enough people on earth to buy all the stuff that is put on the block month by month. Works fly from one auction to another with barely time to breathe between sales, let alone research and check catalogue details. An example is lot number 25, a Julian Dashper multiple, in the catalogue of Webb’s 16 October sale. It was last sold in Art+Object’s 3 May auction as lot number 8 and fetched $14,000 and just four-and-a-half months later it is back on the block. The price estimate by Webb’s is between $12,000 and $16,000 and the work is described by Jonathan Organ in Webb’s online video as being “…originally shown in an exhibition with six other pieces, so there were seven drumskins in the show. So it is a one off piece, a unique piece.” Well, not really. This work was in fact from an edition of three and to the best of our knowledge has only ever been shown as an individual item, representing the edition. Webb’s and Art+Auction have always been quick to rectify cataloguing mistakes when they are alerted to them, so most often no harm is done. Is precise cataloguing expected in this sort of sale? Probably not, but Webb’s in particular do claim their staff as “fine art experts” and promote, via their lecture series and catalogue entries, a close association with “leading art historians, curators and architects”, which certainly implies a rigorous standard.
Images: Catalogues from Art+Object, top and Webb's, bottom.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


"I was a beagle," he says, firmly. "Tail goes up. I'm off."
"How," I say, "do you know you were a beagle?"
"How do you know anything?" he says.

Max Gimblett talking to the New Zealand Herald about a former incarnation

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wind up

You can never have too many wind sculptures, says the Wellington Sculpture Trust. Is Wellington alone in this obsession? Not at all. Here, for a taste of wind sculptures from around the world.

Images: Top left to right Mike Westra Wind Dancer (Saugatuck Michigan), Susumu Shingu Gift of the Wind (Cambridge Massachusetts), Paul Margetts (Worcester UK), Jim Sullivan Birds in flight (Sedona , Connecticut). Middle left to right Jim Bond, Unknown (Israel), Stephen Powell (Bloomington, Illinois), Ed Meets Wind-A-Ma-Jig (Santa Barbara). Bottom left to right Duncan Stemlar Blowhole (Melbourne), Robert Mullins (Westerville Ohio), James Barnsley Wave Sculpture I (Cornwell)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Attention span corner

Ralph Rugoff, director of London’s Hayward Gallery has been mentioned on overthenet before. This time he’s got interesting things to say about art and money, money and art. You can read the rest of the interview here.

Nayeri: In your talk, you said artworks today were recognized for their price and as commodities. Is the art market something that disturbs you?

Rugoff: I wouldn't say it disturbs me. It certainly has an effect on what I do.

There's a Warhol in this show that probably doubled its value due to the auction activity from the time we first contacted the lender to the time we had to cover it with insurance. There is another Warhol that the collector finally decided he didn't want to lend, because the market for Warhol suddenly seemed to have doubled.

All the attention of it -- how much money is paid for a Peter Doig or a Damien Hirst -- distracts us from thinking about what the work is about. It's amazing that these contemporary artworks are selling for as much money as they do, but I don't think it necessarily helps anybody appreciate what's interesting about contemporary art.

Source: Soaring Prices Turn Art Into a Commodity, Hayward's Boss Warns. By Farah Nayeri on
Image: a gnat

Rabbiting on

We were wondering how that giant rabbit was going – the one stretched out on the Italian mountain. It turns out the sculpture is so big it can be picked up from space and located via Google Earth. So there you go. It's also kind of creepy the way that road makes a rabbit-like head if you ask us. If you want to catch up on recent projects by the big bunny’s creators, Austrian artists Gelitin, you can go here. You can click on the image to get a bigger version.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Warning to collectors

“The [art world] system is making people offers they can’t refuse when it should be making them offers they can’t understand.”
David Hammons – artist

“You just make things and you sell them, you make things and you sell them.”
Damien Hirst – artist

“After you have a fourth home and a G5 jet, what else is there?”
Amy Cappallazzo – Christie’s on rich people buying art

“Will young artists having 30-month careers be able to also have 30-year careers, or are we simply eating our young?”
Jerry Saltz – New York magazine

These comments and more in Jerry Saltz article Has money ruined art? in New York Magazine. You can read the article here.

Image: David Hammons Too obvious (shells and porcelain) 1996

A billboard too far

This billboard promoting “Absolutely Creatively Wellington” is located on the main route in from the airport to the city. Weta and WOW are included – although without the third leg of that stool, Te Papa. All the images are relatively straightforward apart from Neil Dawson’s Ferns. Presenting as a pseudo sixties representation of an atom, is the equivalent of using the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel Tower as funny hats. Sadly, "Creative" Wellington can't bring itself to respect someone of Dawson's stature, and call their ad agency off from continually trivialising the city’s most powerful icon.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On the road

Artist roadsigns. Number 1 in a continuing series. Contributions welcome.
Image: Otaki

In response…

… to Elizabeth Thompson’s wall sculpture, The Fearless Five Hundred, being covered over by new building owners Fonterra

The artist
“It shouldn't be sealed into a wall. It is obscene and disrespectful."
Elizabeth Thompson

The Curator
"It really pissed me off. They have put a wall over it and covered it in perspex. This is atrocious. It is a very important work; they wouldn't be able to do it to a Colin McCahon."
Greg O’Brien

The Dealer

"This very major work is incarcerated, entombed."
Mark Hutchins

The Government Department
"it is always disappointing when artworks designed for public spaces are not available to be enjoyed".
Stephen Wainwright, CE Creative New Zealand


Monday, October 08, 2007

Warning, warning, Will Robinson

“I go to shows and galleries and I don't think I am a lazy sod. But I hear what John is saying and working in a public institution (despite my half a brain) I can also hear what Chris is saying. I find that it is one of the most frustrating and difficult positions to be in, not because I have half a brain, because I have a whole one. In my position, I am fully aware of the structures in place that contain and control both acquisitions and curatorship that I am actually interested in. At the end of the day, budgets and the local council have the ultimate say.
I at the end of the day, am fully aware of my predicament and my inability for get blood out of stone, but my kids are eating.
I like people... fuck that is such wrong quality for a curator to have!”
Anonymous curator posting as Hedwig on artbash

Search and rescue

We saw this reproduction of Gauguin’s Te Matete in the Statue Bargain Barn at Paraparaumu. On the back were labels showing it had been part of the Auckland Library’s lending collection and was officially on loan from April 1969 to December 1970. The reproduction was framed, we assume in the month before the first loan, at Mollers Gallery in Karagahape Road. If that were the case, it might have been in good company for a week or so as the exhibition McCahon’s McCahons was on show there that March. The practice of borrowing prints from public libraries must have been nearing an end in the seventies. The Gauguin was only lent eight times, each time for about three months at 45 cents a month. The original version of Te Matete was painted by Paul Gauguin in 1892, three years before his brief visit in August 1895 to New Zealand. It was an encounter that didn’t impress Gauguin at all: “it is cold, and I am bored, and I am spending money stupidly to no purpose.” If you want to see the original painting you will need to go to the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland. If on the other hand you hanker after a copy for your own living room, you can get a “hand painted reproduction with 100% satisfaction guarantee” by going here and ordering a GAP018.

Images: Top left, the Auckland Library reproduction at the Statue Bargain Barn and right showing the library labels on the reverse. Bottom left, Paul Gauguin Ta Matete (We Shall Not Go to Market Today). 1892. Oil on canvas. Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland and right, what clams to be a GAP018 but is more likely to be a bad photographic reproduction of the original - caveat emptor.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Da Vinci crowd

Ad agencies and art

Saturday, October 06, 2007

How odd of Todd

Some respect and a bit of hush as you enter this site. You’re about to meet a Master (copycat wise that is). You'll need to scroll down a ways to get to the images.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Word count

Received yesterday: Toi Te Papa Art: Issue 007, October 2007

  • Description of evening event focused on William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement – 600
  • Description of Rembrandt’s print Joseph’s coat brought to Jacob - 365
  • Description of a bequest relating to the UK-based Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic in the early 20th century - 333
  • Repeat of the William Morris programme – 278
  • Conservation of Te Papa’s wallpaper collection - 274
  • Profile of the Collection Manager Art - 265
  • Announcing Friends talks on Arts and Crafts movement, conservation and Colin McCahon - 186
  • Description of Spring in the foothills, Rata Lovell-Smith, 1935 - 122

Things past

The Archbishop of Cologne hates the new Gerhard Richter window. “It belongs in a mosque or another house of prayer, not this one,” he quipped to The Times. The 2007 Auckland University Hood Fellow, Stephen Farthing RA, is off the hook. A Federal Judge dismissed charges of racketeering, fraud and breach of contract against staff of the New York Academy. Steve Cohen has loaned Damien Hirst’s shark to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where you will be able to see it on exhibition for the next three years.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Copy cat

I seen the little lamp

The incredibly strange photograph of a Pufferfish lamp on Peter Peryer’s blog on Monday, had us get our lifestyle team out and about finding more recent designer fish lamps. Above are the best of the best by American Frank Gehry, Dominic Bromley from England and Icelandic designer, Guomundsdóttir Dögg.

Images: From the top, Pufferfish lamp, collection Southland Museum, Frank Gehry, Fish Lamp. Bottom left, Shoal by Dominic Bromley of Scabetti and bottom right pendant lamp Cod Fish by Guomundsdóttir Dögg

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Look alike

Top: Art+Auction staff. Bottom: Webb's staff.


To save you all time, and we promise you no more on CNZ’s Strategic document, here is Creative New Zealand’s list of what they value in order.

  1. Partnering with Maori, in acknowledgement of their unique position as tangata whenua.
  2. Developing Pacific arts and their contribution to New Zealand identity.
  3. Working collaboratively and developing partnerships for mutual benefit.
  4. Articulating our strategic position and priorities with clarity.
  5. Demonstrating integrity, transparency and professionalism in all our dealings.
  6. Supporting artistic expression and the contribution of the arts to society.
  7. Aspiring to excellence.