Friday, August 31, 2007


unvarnished facts, reckless guesswork, insinuations and possible inventions that have arrived at gow langsford are opening a new space in lorne street, john gilberthorpe, ceo of the Wellington museums trust, is leaving the job with tim walker as his favoured replacement (how many jobs can this guy have?), one of the ‘target levels of performance' for te papa in its 2008-09 statement of intent is that ‘no more than four instances of irreparable damage to collection items occur as a result of public access each year, a couple of days ago the recently formed council for the humanities spent over 30 hours presenting papers and discussing national identity at their two day congress, the adam gallery in wellington was temporarily closed ‘due to unforseen circumstances’, when one of their large floor grates fell after being lifted by a cleaner – no one was hurt. any missed details, indignant denials or additions gratefully received, and the one with the most vowels - rewarded.

Big ears

What art collectors have to say:

“These days you have to ask yourself whether you want to spend that money on a ranch or a painting.”
Stephen Carlson, Montana

"Art is a terrible investment,''
Don Rubell, Miami

“I’m not collecting guns anymore. I’m really focused on finding better paintings.”
Seth Eastman, Texas

“There are no rules about investment. Sharks can be good. Artist’s dung can be good. Oil on canvas can be good.”
Charles Saatchi, London

"When I see something I like, I buy it, but I do not look for it madly."
David Rockefeller, New York

"Oh shit. Look what I’ve done."
Steve Wynn, Las Vegas (after punching a whole through a Picasso)


You can’t keep a good idea down. When Damien Hirst convinced Charles Saatchi to let him tank a shark in 1991 and call it The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, he might have figured it would capture other imaginations. Here’s two. Saddam Hussein Shark was made by Czech artist David Cerny and the kit set version Section 23 is by Clinton Phillips an artist who shows at Auckland’s City Art Rooms. And let’s not forget the Little Artists who we introduced to you in our Lego phase.
Images from the top: Damien Hirst The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. David Cerny Saddam Hussein Shark. Clinton Phillips Section 23

Thursday, August 30, 2007


For all of you who have been on tenterhooks waiting to know how many PhDs-who-make-art the Elam Art School intend graduating a year, here is the answer we received from Auckland University yesterday.
“The University of Auckland’s goal of achieving 800 masters and 500 PhD completions per annum as of 2012 is an aspirational target that reflects the University’s shift towards research and its commitment to retaining its strong international ranking as a research-led tertiary institution. Currently, the University achieves around 200 doctoral completions per annum.
On average in each of the past three years, approximately 46 postgraduate diplomas, masters and Doctor of Fine Arts have been awarded by Elam.
Next year the Elam School of Fine Arts is aiming to enrol around 30 masters students and up to three new doctoral candidates. At any one time the doctoral programme of Elam or Doctor of Fine Arts degree (DocFA) will have around 15 candidates enrolled.”
Image: Art School Confidential

Window of opportunity

This extraordinary stained glass window for Cologne Cathedral by German painter Gerhard Richter. Inspired by the idea of pixels, the window fills the 20-meter-high space with 11,500 squares of glass in 72 colours and got us thinking about painters who have responded to similar commissions in New Zealand. Three or four projects immediately came to mind. The most well-known is probably Colin McCahon’s painted glass work at the Convent Chapel in Upland Road for the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions. He was famously helped by the art student Richard Killeen who, “protected me on the narrow planks, always passing on the outside…” The windows have since been removed and, as far as we know, are now in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery. Milan Mrkusich created a number of stained glass windows including the windows for St Joseph's Catholic Church in Grey Lynn (at 456 Great North Road). According to the Auckland City Council Heritage site, the windows including that of the Resurrected Christ above the entrance, were described "as the largest abstract works in New Zealand at the time." Then there’s Robert Ellis’s stained glass in the Nave of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity also in Auckland as well as Shane Cotton’s more recently completed windows for St Joseph’s Church in Wellington. Click on image for enlarged view - definitely worth it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Copy cat 23

Images: Top, advertisement New Zealand Herald. Bottom, Magritte Decalcomania

Give us a break sport

Overthenet has always had a keen eye for ugly sculpture and now there is a chance for New Zealanders to see a good range at first hand. The opportunity is thanks to 111 sculptures from the 2008 Biejing Olympic Landscape Sculpture exhibition travelling to Gisborne and Wellington. In fact it is more like a competition, with the most popular 29 being supersized to around 20 metres high for permanent display after the Olympics. Talking about the exhibition to the Dominion Evening Post, Gisborne’s Mayor Meng Foon said, “Even Paris couldn’t get it.” Same.
Images: Work from the 2008 Biejing Olympic Landscape Sculpture exhibition

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Welcome waggon

Don’t miss the chance to dive into the depths of p mule’s archives in this just published blog.
Image: donkey stunt double.

Lifestyle report

Artists shoes
Images: From the top, Basquiats, Warhols, Lichtensteins, McCahons

Monday, August 27, 2007

Minute man

Somewhere we read the average time museum visitors look at a work of art: roughly two seconds. If you’d like to reduce your personal best time, spend a few minutes with this video of portraits of women by EggMan. Definitely worth a look.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

copy cat 22

Image: Night club sign, Wellington

Saturday, August 25, 2007

When museums make art 1

National Galleries of Scotland

Friday, August 24, 2007

Low rent

Freaky Friday

The end of the week being so frazzled we thought you might all like a little calm in your lives. So, here's a Fluxus Film from YouTube, Nam June Paik’s Zen for Film.

Shoe in

Taking photographs at openings can be a thankless task. A lot of people, us included, don’t like having a camera clicking at them when they are out enjoying themselves. The photograph above skilfully avoids all the usual pitfalls. No heads shown, and the three art celebrities didn’t even know it was taken. Table tennis ball for the first person who wasn’t there, to put names to the shoes. NOTE: a speedy response by one readers of "Birkenstock, Puma and Prada" was a bit of a shock. We actually want the names of the shoe wearers. Our written English obviously wasn't up to the challenge. But thanks anyway C.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baby steps

Going into a gallery at an opening. A social choreography map for artists by Pablo Helguera in his book Manual of Con.tem.po.ra.ry art style.

When good art turns bad 1

It was a small earthquake in 1906 that sent the marble statue of Swiss naturalist and geologist Louis Agassiz in a two storey headfirst pitch off a ledge on the Zoology building and into the grounds of Stanford University. As Dr. Angell remarked at the time in overthenet fashion, ‘Agassiz was great in the abstract but not in the concrete.’

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


A quick update to our post on multiples available at New Zealand dealer galleries. One of our readers tells us that they have already "snapped up" the Eve Armstrong edition from Artspace. In fact they snapped it up a couple of months ago. Sorry to raise hopes, we assumed they were still available.

The craft

If you visit this site, you will see that it has studied the art works displayed on the set of Bewitched over its eight year run. The works featured on the walls of 1164 Morning Glory Circle between 1964 and 1972 have all been identified and annotated, with notes on set changes and locations within the Bewitched set. As the site so thoughtfully describes the research parameters and issues faced tracking works. “The show's set decorators frequently added new pieces to Samantha and Darrin's collection, usually after a set was "freshened up" and given a new look. However, a few paintings seemed to move around at will, leading the show's viewers on a merry chase as they appeared, disappeared and then reappeared in certain rooms without explanation.”

And we’re telling you this because? Well, while we are having no luck getting a number on the PhDs expected to graduate annually from Elam (see side bar on right) we are keen to help. In the 15 years that Shortland Street has aired on TVNZ a wide range of art has been displayed on set. How about a list (BFA), an annotation of locations, provenance and artist biographies (MFA) or a speculation on contemporary art as a metaphor in medical soap operas (PhD)?

Images: Rembrandt’s Girl at Half-Open Door as seen hanging in Samantha and Darrin's home in the late 1960's.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Move, move, move

There’s lots of art on TradeMe, much of it bad, but this month there has also been Emil McAvoy’s Police Baton Sculpture. This is the same penis tipped batons that got Morning Report so excited a couple of weeks ago when they were selected as finalists for the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award.

This is not the first time police batons have been up for sale, as Emil McAvoy obviously knows. Early May 2005, Ross Meurant, formerly second in command of the Red Squad during the Springbok tour of 1981, put his own baton up for sale with a starting bid of $10,000. He later claimed to have received $20,000 for it. You can read his TradeMe entry here. At the time Meurant claimed the baton was one he had specially imported into the country, so Police Baton Sculpture may well be the first NZ-made baton to be sold in this way.

McAvoy has thoughtfully posted some other, cheaper batons that are for sale on Trade Me for people who can’t stump up for his art versions. Nice. But if you want to bid, be warned, the auction closes today.

Image: Police Baton Sculpture by Emil McAvoy

Monday, August 20, 2007

Strictly one per customer

Buying contemporary art has never been so easy and, looking at a range of artist editions available on dealer gallery web sites, so well priced. Now there are a number of dealer galleries that offer multiples or editions created by their artists that are available to view and purchase online. The ones mentioned here are just a selection. There are more dealers with editions available and more artists multiples are available in the galleries and not online.

Sue Crockford has 24 editions ranging from Billy Apple’s framed print Billy Apple TM at just under $5000, John Reynolds’s multiple painting The words are clouds for what feels like a snip $950. John, like some other artists, seems happy to edition works that are in fact unique. This often makes them a bargain. Crockford’s lowest priced item, and our personal pick, is Daniel Malone’s Untitled (China Brick) 2003 at $300.

At Gow Langsford you can choose from 10 editions on their web site ranging in price from the John Leech set at $11,250.00 to a screen print by Sara Hughes, Love Letter 2006 at $950. Tucked among the Gow Langsford selection are three classic seventies Max Gimblett prints at $950. Bargain. Gow Langsford also offer some great international artists at edition prices. We have already mentioned Koons’s Yellow Flower and the print edition in their recent catalogue which includes a small Koons sculpture.

Michael Lett doesn’t have editions on his web site but has recently published an bath towel edition by Simon Denny. The new Michael Parekowhai book, published by Michael Lett Publishing, is also available in a special edition that includes an incredible Parekowhai photograph. Lett sometimes has available multiples by Martin Creed. And Starkwhite did a pretty funny multiple of Dane Mitchell’s that is probably still available. It’s a small picpac art crate that broadcast a self-help tape for art galleries.

The Artspace editions now number 19 with a few of them sold out. Prices range from Ann Veronica Janssens Untitled photograph at $3,800 to what must be the bargain of the year, an edition of 5 original works by Eve Armstrong at $350 each. (Try not to get trampled in the rush). And for everyone who says art is too expensive, there is a Rohan Wealleans edition of six original works Paint segments 2004 at $3 per gram. Our pick from Artspace is another set of unique works in an edition of four smartly titled Editions of one, 2006 by Fiona Connor at $500.

Images: Clockwise from top left. Martin Creed, Work No. 88: A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball, Fiona Connor Editions of one, 2006, Daniel Malone’s Untitled (China Brick) and Max Gimblett The New Zealand Suite: Fu, 1979

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's art Jim, but not as we know it 2

Not too dusty. Panel art.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Museum quality

Here's something to while away the weekend. Give your collection, or your pets for that matter, the attention it deserves by visiting here. Thanks C.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Advice to collectors 13

This from economist, Tyler Cowan

  • Landscapes can triple in value when there are horses or figures in the foreground. Evidence of industry usually lowers a picture’s value.
  • A still life with flowers is worth more than one with fruit. Roses stand at the top of the flower hierarchy. Chrysanthemums and lupines (seen as working class) stand at the bottom.
  • There is a price hierarchy for animals. Purebred dogs help a picture more than mongrels do. Spaniels are worth more than collies. Racehorses are worth more than carthorses. When it comes to game birds the following rule of thumb holds: the more expensive it is to shoot the bird, the more the bird adds to the value of the painting. A grouse is worth more than a mallard, and the painter should show the animal from the front, not the back.
  • Water adds value to a picture, but only if it is calm.
  • Round and oval works are extremely unpopular with buyers.
  • For any given artist, the bigger the painting, the higher the price tag in the gallery … This may seem a dumb selling strategy: why not charge more for the paintings which appear to be the best? (The gallery is supposed to be a judge of good and bad, after all.) The answer seems to be that if the gallery indicates by its pricing which paintings it believes to be “good”, interest in the “bad” ones will be so diminished, that the gallery is better off pretending that all paintings in a show are equally good.”

One man standing

This photo taken in the early nineties turned up the other day. Of the four people in it, three were pretty central to servicing what was going on in contemporary art at the time. Greg Flint exhibited Michael Parekowhai, Ronnie van Hout, Michael Stevenson, Julia Morison and many others. Barnard McIntyre was in a number of exhibitions including Robert Leonard’s Exhibits at the National Art Gallery, Cyril (Squirrel) Wright dominated the art packing and transport business including the tour of Te Maori to the United States, and George Hubbard, curator and art dealer, was curator of the contemporary Maori art exhibition Choice and Brownie Points. A decade later only one of them is still in the same business, and he’s changed his name! The photo was taken in The Strand in Parnell where Gregory Flint had his gallery.
Image: From left to right: Gregory Flint, Barnard McIntyre, Squirrel Wright and George Hubbard.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spam junior

an unvarnished fact, piece of reckless guesswork, insinuation or possible invention that arrived at today: the old four-storied Seafarers Union Building on Quay St (Britomart) has been leased and earmarked for a new contemporary art gallery.

Suspense Stories

We received the Gow Langsford 2007 Catalogue yesterday. It is an impressive 84 pages plus six fold outs. One of these features a suite of prints and accompanying sculpture by overthenet favourite Jeff Koons, which allows us to segue into this remarkable lookalike. Here we see the tragic end of Mary the elephant and Koons’s marquette of Train, a working 1940s locomotive suspended from a crane for the Los Angeles County Museum. The sad fact of the image on the left is that Mary, unlike the proposed full sized locomotive on the right, is being executed, not displayed. The facts, in so far as they are known, are that Mary, a professional circus performer, killed Red Eldridge while being taken for a drink in Kingsport, Tennessee. Circus owner Charlie Sparks took the temperature of the angry crowd and agreed that Mary would be hanged in the Clinchfield Railyards. More than 2,500 people gathered to watch. The Koons sculpture, on the other hand, will be able to be seen by anyone driving the 10 Freeway or entering the museum, given that the sculpture will be 50 meters high.

Images: Left the execution of Mary. Right Train - Model by Jeff Koons Production / Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The 70-foot locomotive dangling from a 161-foot crane, is to be placed in front of the "BP Grand Entrance."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


unvarnished facts, reckless guesswork, insinuations and possible inventions that have arrived at justin paton has finally been appointed senior curator at the christchurch art gallery, a group of wealthy auckland business people are planning a kunsthalle style contemporary art space in auckland, the christchurch art gallery purchased the only ronnie van hout doll multiple with brown eyes, tim walker is tipped for the dunedin public art gallery directorship, the real art roadshow truck was spotted outside parliament early this week, gambia castle is set to close its present space and move late september. any missed details, indignant denials or additions gratefully received, and any in helvetica - rewarded.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


More news from the virtual world. The Old Masters Picture Gallery of Dresden’s museum has opened a virtual version of itself on Second Life. The whole building, its collections, fire extinguishers and furniture are all there, you can even stroll in the grounds. So slip into your cat suit, brush your tail, and walk the virtual halls, filled with over 750 paintings from the museum’s collection. For the full story check out this article in Wired magazine.
Images: Top, real life. Bottom, Second Life


All The Raft of the Medusa copies that poured in from readers reminded us of another painting in the Louvre that has strong connections with New Zealand. When curating the exhibition When Art Hits The Headlines, we came across a black and white photograph of a painting by Bill Sutton. He had made it in response to a controversy from 1948. A committee of the Christchurch City Council had refused to accept Pleasure Garden by Frances Hodgkins into the Robert McDougall Art Gallery collection after it had been purchased by public subscription. Sutton was at art school in London at the time of the controversy and probably saw the Denis painting on a visit to Paris. It would have been fresh in his mind then when he returned to New Zealand in 1950. The Denis painting shows the artists in the Vollard Gallery admiring Cezanne’s Fruit-dish, Glass and Apples.
Images: Top, Homage to Cezanne 1900 by Maurice Denis (from left to right: Redon, Vuillard, Mellerio, Vollard, Denis, Sérusier, Ranson, Roussel, Bonnard et Mme Denis. Bottom, Homage to Frances Hodgkins 1951 by W A Sutton (from left to right: W.A. Sutton, Doris Holland, Colin McCahon, Heathcote Helmore, Margaret Frankel, Beth Zanders, R.S. Lonsdale, Alan Brassington, John Oakley and Oliver Spencer Bower.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lifestyle report

Further to our report on Gallery breakfasts here's one, captured in the wild, at Julian Dashper's opening on Saturday at the Christchurch Art Gallery. Very good it was too.

A raft too far

Ok, ok. Enough already. No more Gercault rafts, thanks all the same. Where were you all when we were obsessed by Lego? Here are our pick of the many, many takes on Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa sent to us by raft, Géricault and naked-guy enthusiasts from around the world.
Images: From the top, Actrix, The Raft of G.W. Bush by Joel Peter Witkin, Medusa by Mark Devo (left), HU Jieming’s Raft of the Medusa (right) and bottom (sorry) Freeman Barnes. Click on one of the images for the full horror.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Passion play

We’ve been fairly quiet about celebrity art on overthenet. Well silent really. If you’ve ever wondered why, and who hasn’t, have a look at this video of Ricky Gervais sharing his secret passion (painting, unfortunately) with

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lookalike XVIII

Images: Left, Michael Parekowhai Acts II 1994. Right, Demelza Hill, Dinner set 2007 in dezeen magazine

All at sea

In Raft of Medusa Copy Cat terms, how could we have forgotten the cover of the record we must have played at least once every day of 1985? The Pogues fan site continues the theme and is called In the wake of the Medusa! According to legend the Pogues’ title came from Churchill: “Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash. “ Unfortunately, if you believe Wikipedia, this is a misattribution. Anyway, thanks for the reminder A.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Advice to collectors 12

In her book The Art of Buying Art: An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art, Paige West lists the following types of contemporary art collectors.

  • The Decorators: buying to fill spaces at home
  • The Investors: Buying low, selling high
  • The Specialists: assembling themed collections
  • The Vacationers: only buying during trips away
  • The Thrill Seekers: moving in on the hot work by the latest hot artist
  • The Addicts: ruled by passion
Any others spring to mind? Table tennis balls await.

Image: This Veterinary Surgeon collects pictures of animals. As the artist, Craig Roberts, says, "I am lucky to have a wonderful ever increasing collector base for my work, ranging from celebrities, wildlife art collectors & now Veterinary Surgeons."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Opportunity knocks

As you can see from our side bar WAITING FOR GODOT, we are trying to find out how many artists-with-PhDs the Elam School of Fine Arts intends to produce each year. You might remember that the University of Auckland's goal is 500. So far we haven't been able to find out Elam's share, but fortunately we saw an ad for a National Institute of Creative Industries Post Graduate Study Information Evening to be held in Wellington on Tuesday the 14th. Of course we've signed up. With luck, we'll have the answer for you on Wednesday.
Image: the picture used to promote the Information Evening

Going pair shaped

As you will know if you are a regular reader of this blog, we like to pair images as illustrations for the posts. That’s probably why we were so taken with these pictures collected by William Boling for his WINDOW exhibition You Ain't Wrong. To make these strangely compelling twosomes, Boling used images he found on TradeMe or eBay. Find out more about the show and bid on the works via WINDOW, and see more examples of Boling’s pairings here .

The continuing adventures of Secret Squirrel

An invitation from the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane prompted us again to wonder why Creative New Zealand is declining to make the Trip of a Lifetime Reports public. In Brisbane, the IMA has scheduled three Australians to give public talks on their experiences at the Bienalle. Having travelled on our dime, it is hard to see why the New Zealand public shouldn’t know what our representatives saw and heard, and what they thought about it. We have now made three requests for the five individual reports by Natasha Conland, Gavin Hipkins, Gary Langsford, Lisa Reihana and Undine Marshfield (see WAITING FOR GODOT at the top right of the blog). The most recent response from CNZ claimed that, “The individual reports from delegates are submitted in confidence to us and so will not be publicly issued … this is common practice where free and frank advice is an imperative.” Kind of paradoxical that CNZ feels that getting ‘free and frank advice’ means you have to keep it secret.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Comments: Turn on, or a turn off?

Since it started overthenet has had its comments feature turned both on and off. At present we respond to emails and pass on most information we receive. When the comments were on there were some points of interest but also heavy-handed opining like this:

Dear Mary-Jim Barr,

Well - I must say, this current non-blog entry - as one can't actually
'blog' on your 'blogsite' - really does take the Lemington for
inanity. Not only do you not 'publish' i.e. post responses, you
threaten 'name and shame'. How damnably tabloid. Like being mauled by
a lamb.

Along with the petty gossip and unfounded innuendo - you also manage
to add to the art world bilge with outright misrepresentation and

You clearly have an enormous amount of time on your collective hands.
Hands ringing with misguided, misplaced and unrequited angst.
Perhaps might be a better moniker for your
neoconservative hogwash. I highly recommend crochet.

Shouldn't collectors be out collecting, leaving artists alone in a
garret to 'make art', without the chattering classes chattering?
Really – you should be ashamed!

Good luck with the future. Publish and be damned.

Kind Regards,

Edward Etherington Esq.

Still, if you’d like the comments section turned on, let us know.

Copy cats

Top, The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault. Middle, The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand by Louis J. Steele and Charles F. Goldie and bottom, Raft in Magazine: L’Officiel by Mark Squires

Monday, August 06, 2007

"But is it art?" - Volume 1

Age shall not weary them

The recent and upcoming shuffles of art gallery directors prompted us to chart how long these people stay in office. As you can see, it stretches from John Maynard’s lightning four years setting the tone for the Govett-Brewster to the unmatched reign of Bill Milbank at the Sarjeant in Wanganui. The average length of directorship in this sample is just under ten years.

15+ Years
Bill Milbank, Sarjeant Gallery (1978-04) 26 years
Stewart McLennan, National Art Gallery (1948-68) 20 years
Austin Davies, Suter Art Gallery 1976-94 18 years
Paula Savage, City Gallery (1991-) 17 years

10-14 Years
John Coley, Robert McDougall Art Gallery (1981-95) 14 years
Chris Saines, Auckland Art Gallery (1996-) 12 years
Luit Bieringa, National Art Gallery (1979-90) 10 years
William Baverstock, Robert McDougall Art Gallery (1958-68) 10 years
Pat Day, National Art Gallery (1968-78) 10 years

6-9 Years
Peter Tomory, Auckland Art Gallery (1956-64) 9 years
Les Lloyd, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (1971-80) 9 years
Brian Muir, McDougall Art Gallery (1969-78) 9 years
Frank Dickinson, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (1980-89) 9 years
Priscilla Pitts, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (1998-07) 9 years
Christopher Johnstone, Auckland Art Gallery (1990-95) 6 years

1-5 Years
David Millar, Dowse Art Gallery (1971-75) 5 years
Jim Barr (Bless him), Dowse Art Gallery (1976-81) 5 years
Ron O’Reilly, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (1977-79) 4 years
Cheryll Sotheran, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (1989-93) 4 years
John McCormack, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (1994-97) 4 years
John Maynard, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (1967-1971) 4 years
Teller Hirsh, Auckland Art Gallery (1972-74) 3 years

Congratulations to all those who participated.
Click on chart to enlarge

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It’s art Jim, but not as we know it

Images: Clockwise from the left, Mondrian car with matching accessories, strange legs and panty sculpture, Van Gogh carved in watermelon, Hitler teapot. Click on image for the full glory.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Masketeers

The latest Art + Object catalogue arrived yesterday and has, amongst other things, a range of Disney memorabilia. What better reminder to post this incredible picture of the Mickey Mouse gasmask, made for American children during the Second World War.

The mask was first made available on January 7th, 1942 a month after Pearl Harbour. It was made by the Sun Rubber Company with approval from Walt Disney, and approximately 1,000 Mickey Mouse gas masks were produced. Unfortunately for Art + Auction few, if any have survived although, if you’re really keen, there is a hand made prototype in the US Chemical Museum in Houston.

Friday, August 03, 2007

When good collectors turn bad 1

“Ms. Austin devotes significant time to scouting fund-raisers like a recent 'Smash and Grab' event to benefit a Miami nonprofit art group. For an entry fee of $375, every attendee was guaranteed one art work -- if they could grab it before someone else. To claim the piece she wanted, a work made of glass mirrors by Karen Rifas, Ms. Austin literally sprinted past other collectors and dealers. 'Of course I made a mad dash for the piece,' says Ms. Austin, adding that Ms. Rifas's pieces typically go for thousands of dollars. 'I was getting something for nothing.' "
Wall Street Journal

The Do Ron Ron

Our love of artist action figures and our love of Ronnie van Hout makes this a slam dunk. This limited edition Ronnie action figure is a fund raiser for the Christchurch Physics Room's 10th anniversary.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


The overthenet Lifestyle Team has been out and about on your behalf, looking at trends and checking up on who has what and where they put it. (thanks T) We can tell you, as if you didn’t already know, chairs and lamps are key style items for curators and dealers. What might interest you is that our Lifestyle team has spotted, in choices made by the sample group, what might well be a trend within this trend . Preliminary results indicate that curator/dealers are most likely to have either a Tolemeo or Tizio lamps but rarely both. It looks like the same may be true for the Eames and the Barcelona chair. More style news as it comes to hand.
Images clockwise from top left: Tizio, Tolemo, Barcelona, Eames

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Time flies when you’re having fun

Seems like only yesterday that Wellington’s City Gallery announced its opening with a copycat McCahon painting. In fact it was 14 years ago today. At the time Paula Savage had been director for two and a half years and told reporters, “I have a very austere aesthetic and I think that is reflected in the building.” The gallery offered twice the space of the temporary gallery in Victoria Street and featured German artist Rosemarie Trockel in its opening exhibitions. Jacqueline Fraser also featured in the ustairs ”New Zealand Room Project Space.” This was described as being “designated as an artists’ installation gallery, giving guest artists control over exhibiting content.”