Banksy’s works on show in Madrid without his approval
Banksy has been Banksied. The guerilla artist who puts up his work in public spaces without asking authorization is the subject of a new show in Madrid featuring his works-without his authorization. “Genius or Vandal?” opened Thursday at the Ifema centre in the Spanish capital and will run until March 10. It has already pulled in half a million visitors at its previous venues Moscow and Saint Petersburg, according to a statement from the organizers.
The show’s curator Alexander Nachkebiya, who assembled the works from private collectors, describes Banksy as “a phenomenon and one of the most brilliant and important artist of our epoch”. The street artist himself remains something of an enigma. All he has revealed about himself is that he is British and that his home town is Bristol in southeast England. But the dark wit of his art and a certain talent for self-promotion has helped him build up an international reputation, to the point that his works have fetched more than a million pounds.
In August, Banksy
his Instagram account — 5.1 million followers-to make his position clear on the original Moscow show. He posted an exchange of messages between him and a follower who tipped him off to the unauthorized exhibition. Told they were charging a £20 ($25, 22 euro) entrance free, Bansky replied: “I wish I could find it funny. What’s the opposite of LOL?”
But at the suggestion that he put out a statement denouncing the fact that it was made to look like an official show, he replied: “...not sure I’m the best person to complain about people putting up pictures without getting permission.” Nevertheless, his website does carry a message warning visitors about this and other shows. “They’ve been organized entirely without the artist’s knowledge or involvement. Please treat them accordingly.”
In the meantime, his subversive style continues to attract admirers. His most recent stunt was at the October auction of one of his works, “Girl with Balloon”, at Sotheby’s in London. Moments after it sold for £1,042,000 — a joint record for the maverick artist-it unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame. Only partially destroyed, the buyer went through with the purchase and some art experts said it was probably now worth more than it had been before the stunt.—AFP
It was definitely “All” rather than “Nothing at All” at a Frank Sinatra auction in New York, where items owned by the late icon and his fourth wife fetched $9.2 million, Sotheby’s said Friday. And 99 percent of the lots, spread out this week in the US financial and entertainment capital, and online, were snapped up, attracting 300 bidders from more than 30 countries, the auction house announced.
Up for grabs was furniture, art and personal effects dating back to the couple’s 22-year marriage-art and furniture from their homes in Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Malibu-as well as scripts and screenplays. The top lot was Barbara Sinatra’s 20-carat diamond engagement ring, given to her in the bottom of a champagne glass, which went for $1.7 million. Many of the items fetched substantially more than their pre-sale estimates.
They included a Norman Rockwell portrait of Sinatra, which the singer commissioned, sold for $687,000 and a script for “From Here to Eternity,” the movie for which he won an Oscar, went for $35,000. The USA Drinking Team jacket marked “Coach” that Sinatra wore for nights on the town with his friends sold for $35,000 — 70 times its $500 estimate.
A police badge given to Sinatra by Essex County New Jersey and inscribed “chairman of the board, Frank Sinatra” went for a whopping $18,750 and a hand-crocheted yarmulke emblazoned with Frank’s name fetched $9,375. Of the memorabilia tracing Sinatra’s friendship with every US president from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton, a color photograph inscribed by Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan sold for $68,750.
The son of Italian immigrants and born in New Jersey in 1915, Sinatra was one of the best loved entertainers of the 20th century with hits such as “Strangers in the Night,” “My Way” and “All or Nothing at All.” He first married teenage sweetheart Nancy Barbato (1939-1949), with whom he had three children, then Hollywood stars Ava Gardner (1951-57) and Mia Farrow (1966-68). He married Barbara in 1976. She died last year.—AFP
In this file photo a Norman Rockwell Portrait of Frank Sinatra is displayed at Sotheby’s in New York. — AFP