NFT Home Sells for More Than $500,000. Post by Francisco Lacerda, 14th April 2021
Krista Kim Studio

NFT mania is showing no signs of slowing down.

The latest proof? The world’s first NFT house just sold for more than $500,000, according to CNN. And while artist Krista Kim’s Mars House is certainly a sight to behold, it’s also a property that doesn’t actually exist in the real world. The futuristic structure is a 3-D digital model that can only be experienced in virtual reality.

The one-of-a-kind Mars House is a non-fungible token (or NFT), which is a unique digital asset “minted” by the blockchain technology. The encryption provides proof of the asset’s authenticity as well as records showing who created it and who owns it.

The neon-lit, glass dwelling was listed for sale on SuperRare last week and sold to the Art on the Internet foundation for 288 Ethereum coins, which were worth $514,557.79 at the time of the sale. Kim announced that the “majority” of proceeds will go to the Continuum Foundation and used for a world tour of sound and light installation designed to promote mental health. Last week, the artist told Architectural Digest that the Mars House’s design is meant to promote meditative well-being, one of her creative focuses since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Mars House represents the next generation of NFTs,” the artist told CNN. “It is a sign of things to come, as we enter an [augmented reality] interfaced future, with the launch of Apple AR glasses and AR contact lenses. Art, NFTs, cryptocurrencies. . .these sweeping changes and ideas of how we will live with digital assets is becoming a reality and will create a global paradigm shift.”

The Mars House NFT includes a 3-D file of the residence which can be uploaded to the foundation’s “metaverse.” It also comes with tech support and an ambient soundtrack composed by the Smashing Pumpkins’s Jeff Schroeder. Should the new owner ever decide to sell the home, they must delete the files from their metaverse and provide proof to Kim that they have done so.

The transaction is one of just several jaw-dropping sales of NFTs this month. Two weeks ago, Everydays—The First 5000 Days, a JPEG by the digital artist Beeple sold for sold for $69.3 million at auction. Earlier this week, an NFT of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first published tweet sold for $2.9 million.

Polish region loses €1.65m European heritage grant after declaring itself 'LGBT-free zone'. Post by Francisco Lacerda, 10th February 2021
The grant was meant to fund a "Carpathian Route" through the Polish side of the mountain range © Marek Piwnicki

The magazine The Art Newspaper published an article where states that after Podkarpackie declaring itself one of more than 100 “LGBT-free zones” in Poland, the region has apparently lost €1.65m in European heritage funding. Podkarpackie, at the foot of the Subcarpathian Mountains, is a popular winter holiday destination.

According to the Polish LGBTQ activist Bart Staszewski, the grant, which was earmarked for the development of a "Carpathian Route" that helps to "explore, promote and protect the richness of the cultural and natural heritage of the Carpathian region", was withdrawn in September last year. But details of its cancellation only came to light this month after Staszewski questioned Polish officials over their refusal to publicly acknowledge the matter.

The curious saga of a Russian cosmetics entrepreneur and his €107m Cellini painting. Post by Francisco Lacerda, 10th March 2021
The painting found in a French village that its owner claims is a self-portrait of Benvenuto Cellini © Tamoikin Art Fund.
Bizarre story of a painting discovered in a French village, said by its owner to be a self-portrait by Cellini, is told in a new BBC radio series. The story is the subject of a compelling ten-part BBC Radio 3 series Blood and Bronze (to be broadcast between 22 March and 2 April and available on BBC Sounds afterwards) researched, written and narrated by Jerry Brotton, a professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary University in London. Nasobin is described as a collector, actor, blogger and publicist on the Russian website Rucompromat. He had a part in the British TV series McMafia in 2017, but for years also ran a cosmetics business, Green Mama, in France. He recounts his story in a thriller, Benvenuto: the Mystery of one Picture, and he claims all the events in it are absolutely true. The Russian press has reported on the difficulties of the company, and even some disagreements with Russian banks, leading to a lawsuit.

Read the full article at The Art Newspaper

Francis Bacon: Man and Beast Post by Francisco Lacerda, 24th November 2020

In January 2021, the Royal Academy of Arts will present Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, the first exhibition to chart the development of the artist’s work through the lens of his fascination with animals and its impact on his treatment of the human figure. Francis Bacon (1909–1992) is recognised as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Since his death, the world has changed in ways that make his unnerving work ever more prescient. This important exhibition will include 45 remarkable paintings spanning his career; from his earliest works of the 1930s and 40s through to the final painting he ever made in 1991, which will be exhibited publicly here for the first time in the UK. Among the works, a trio of paintings of bullfights will also be displayed together for the first time, all painted in 1969.

© The Royal Academy of Arts
In Bacon’s paintings, man is never far from beast. That humankind is fundamentally an animal was a truth that lay at the heart of his imagery. From the biomorphic creatures of his earliest work, to the distorted nudes that define the latter part of his career, Bacon remained convinced that, beneath the veneer of civilisation, humans are animals like any other. Throughout his life, the artist was captivated by the movement of animals, tracking them on trips to South Africa and amassing a vast collection of wildlife books. By observing their uninhibited behaviour, he believed he could get closer to the core of humanity.
© The Royal Academy of Arts

The exhibition will conclude with the last painting Bacon ever made, Study of a Bull, 1991 (Private Collection), which was not discovered until 2016. The bull emerges from the picture as if about to charge, but the black void behind has opened to claim it forever. From 30 January – 18 April 2021

© 2020 TEFAF
"TEFAF Online has proven an outstanding experience for the more than 30 thousand art lovers and collectors who visited the Fair from around the world, resulting in prominent sales and connections,” said Charlotte van Leerdam, Managing Director, TEFAF. 

Robert Simon Fine Art, New York. Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop (Kronach 1472-1553 Weimar) ‘The Judgment of Paris’. Oil on panel. 61.5 x 39.6 cm (24.2 x 15.6 in.). Circa 1518-1522

“Translating our signature environment of quality and splendor to a digital platform, this inaugural Fair brought collectors along on an exciting TEFAF journey of discovery. We are enormously gratified that so many people have been able to engage with TEFAF in a meaningful way, during this time when in-person fairs are not possible.” “We feel it was a very smart (and brave) decision on the fair’s part to limit the offering from each gallery to one piece. As a dealer it forced us to distill our vision for the fair and the way in which we wished to represent the gallery,” said Juliet Burrows of Holster Burrows. “[...] the unique place that TEFAF holds in the art world brought focus to this artist in a way that might not have occurred had we been offering a full stand of material.”

Goya's graphic imagination Post by Francisco Lacerda, 24th November 2020

© Goya, (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, 1746–1828). Seated Giant,by 1818. Burnished aquatint with scraping and strokes of 'lavis' added along the top of the landscape and within the landscape, 11 3/16 x 8 3/16 in. (28.4 x 20.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1935 (35.42)

Regarded as one of the most remarkable artists from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Francisco Goya (1746–1828) is renowned for his prolific activity as a draftsman and printmaker, producing about nine hundred drawings and three hundred prints during his long career. Through his drawings and prints, he expressed his political liberalism, criticism of superstition, and distaste for intellectual oppression in unique and compelling ways.

This exhibition will explore Goya's graphic imagination and how his drawings and prints allowed him to share his complex ideas and respond to the turbulent social and political changes occurring in the world around him. The broadly chronological presentation will follow Goya's evolution and different phases as a graphic artist as well as his approaches to his subjects. Around one hundred works on display will come mainly from The Met collection—one of the most outstanding collections of Goya's drawings and prints outside Spain—with other works coming from New York, Boston, and Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado and the Biblioteca Nacional.

Body and Soul - Italian Renaissance Sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo Post by Francisco Lacerda, 19th October 2020

© Musée du Louvre

Following on from the "Springtime of the Renaissance" exhibition (September 26, 2013–January 6, 2014), the "Body and Soul" exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Castello Sforzesco Museum in Milan, seeks to bring to light the main themes and ideas developed in Italy during the second half of the Quattrocento.

In the first two decades of the 16th century, these elements would lead to a defining moment in the history of Renaissance sculpture, with the arrival on the art scene of one of the greatest creators of all time, Michelangelo. The exhibition will focus primarily on the art of sculpting, but will also explore a number of works from other fields (painting, printmaking, and drawing). Sculptors were drawn to the interpretation of human beings; both in outward appearance and inner state. The portrayal of human figures in their range of movements took highly innovative forms at the time. These explorations of the expression and emotions of the human figure were at the heart of the approaches of the leading sculptors of the time, from Donatello to Michelangelo. 

The exhibition discusses three major themes: “Fury and Grace” firstly reveals the interest for complex compositions and the intensification of bodily movements; next, “Affect and Persuasiveness” aims to highlight how emotional states were at the core of artistic practices, with the clear desire to have a powerful impact on viewers’ emotions; and lastly, “From Dionysos to Apollo” brings to light the inexhaustible contemplation of classical antiquity expressed in sculpture, developing the search for new harmony that transcended the naturalism of gestures and extreme emotions.

Louvre Abu Dhabi has a new exhibition. Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West Post by Francisco Lacerda, 10th October 2020
Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

Furusiyya in the East meets Chivalry in the West. Discover how these distinct practices of combat and knightly values led to a specific culture in the Islamic East and the largely Christian West.

Tales of knightly culture have been told throughout history – of brave heroes fighting for their sovereign, their religion and their honour; stories of war, loss, comradery and courtly love. But what was this culture of furusiyya and chivalry? How did they begin? And how did they face each other in important historical periods? 

This unique exhibition explores the ancient roots of chivalry as well as the role of a knight in combat and the different chivalric codes that developed around the world, from Iraq and Syria in the East, to France and Spain in the West. Through over 130 rare artworks from the 10th to the beginning of the 16th centuries, including spectacular arms, armour, and rare manuscripts, discover how some of these practices and the knightly spirit became a past time, and how some of them continue around the world to this day. 

Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge and Agence France Muséums. Curated by Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, Director, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge; Carine Juvin, Curator, Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre and Michel Huynh, Head Curator, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge.

Kremlin Museums present the exhibition "Karl Faberge and Fyodor Rückert" Post by Francisco Lacerda, 10th October 2020
‘Moscow Kremlin’ Easter Egg. Russia, St Petersburg, 1904-1906. The firm of C. Fabergé. Gold, silver, glass; casting, enamel, carving. Easter gift from Emperor Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, 1906.

Between 9 October 2020 and 10 January 2021, "Carl Fabergé and Feodor Rückert. Masterpieces of Russian Enamel" will be on show at the exhibition halls of the Assumption Belfry and Patriarch’s Palace in the Moscow Kremlin Museums. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see about four hundred enamelled pieces made of precious metals—all produced by Russian jewellery firms of the late 19th – early 20th century.

The project focuses on the works by the court jeweller to Russian Tsars, Carl Fabergé, and on the skill of the finest Russian "enamel painter" Feodor Ivanovich Rückert. For the first time, masterpieces of outstanding Russian jewellers and enamellists of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, now kept in more than twenty museums and private collections, will be united within a single exhibition space. Fabergé and Rückert enjoyed long and fruitful cooperation: Feodor Rückert created enamelled pieces, commissioned to him by the court jeweller, as well as worked for the legendary Russian firms of P. Ovchinnikov and I. Khlebnikov—suppliers to the Highest Imperial Court—and other famous Moscow companies. Along with the pieces by Fabergé and Rückert, visitors will be able to contemplate items produced by other firms, companies, workshops and artels founded by O. Kurlyukov, A. Postnikov, M. Semenova, G. Klingert, A. Kuzmichev.

LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2021 Post by Francisco Lacerda, 11th September 2020

The LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2021 exhibition will open at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in Spring 2021. In the months before, the finalists welcome us into their studio, so we might better understand their works before enjoying them.



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