Photo Of The Day

Avantgarde artist Pierre Brassau in his Studio/Cage.

Avantgarde artist Pierre Brassau in his Studio/Cage.

A New Artist On The Scene

“Only an Ape could have done this”

If you’ve ever looked at a piece of art and thought, “a Monkey could have made this,” You might actually be onto something.

By its very nature, avant-garde art is experimental and forces people to rethink their ideas about culture and politics. However, sometimes really abstract pieces can leave you scratching your head and as they say art, like magnificence, is in the vision of the beholder. A few could even believe that a chimpanzee’s paintings are of the calibre of, say, French artist Pierre Brassau. Never discovered him? That’s because he’s not necessarily true!

One of the greatest acts of trolling in the history of art happened in 1964, when journalist Ake Axelsson and a few of his colleagues fooled local critics into praising paintings done by a chimpanzee. The men wanted to know if the critics were expert enough to distinguish between real and fake art, so they provided Peter the chimp with art equipment, collected his best works, and exhibited them in an art gallery under the name of fictitious French artist Pierre Brassau. Only one of the critics found the paintings lacking, while the rest praised them effusively. One critic named Rolf Anderberg even described the artist as someone who “paints with powerful strokes [and] performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.” He later tried to save face after the journalists exposed the hoax, saying that he still considered the chimp’s artwork to be the best in the exhibit.

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Faces of the day Esther Deans by David O. Jones

I love art and I enjoy looking at original art works. At the moment there is a people’s choice competition on and you can vote for your favourite face/portrait if you are able to visit the gallery in Wellington. It will be hard to pick your favourite as there are some very talented artists to choose from. The two I have selected caught my eye for a number of reasons. Good Art for me is not just technical brilliance. Because of my Aspergers tendencies I used to prefer photographic accuracy in art but now I prefer Art that evokes an emotion.

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Warned historic painting was forgery, but bought it anyway? What the…

It’s only taxpayers’ money anyway, right?


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An update on the “$1.5M state house” that nobody will live in

The controversial $1.5 million “lighthouse” sculpture on Queens Wharf is being made more in keeping with its state house roots.

After two years of artistic problems and delays, Auckland Council has finally released the first public images of the sculpture, based on a modest Mt Eden state house.

Artist Michael Parekowhai has abandoned plans for a Venetian crystal chandelier weighing 4.5 tonnes and depicting a glowing garden of native flowers, birds and insects at a cost of $705,000. It will be replaced with 10 small chandeliers in a Matariki constellation, or Pleiades star cluster, referencing the Maori New Year, most of which will be made in New Zealand.

Last night, council chief operation officer Dean Kimpton said the budget remained $1.5 million, but there was no longer any cost to ratepayers.

The project will be funded from a $1 million gift from Barfoot & Thompson, interest of about $100,000, a $100,000 donation believed to come from arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs and an anonymous donation.

Previously, the council agreed to underwrite the $500,000 shortfall after Barfoot & Thompson made a $1 million donation in March 2013 marking its 90 years in business.

It’s good to know that the Auckland Council are no longer pouring $500,000 of rate payers money into this project, but what nobody seems to realise is that there is still a huge operational cost that has already been incurred, and will continue to be incurred that the rate payer is still paying for.  Read more »

Do you ever notice that your world is changing

Some times huge things happen by increments. Bit by bit in a slow but sure manner things change, until you look around you and everything is different. I live in a multi cultural city and I am used to seeing people of all shapes and sizes and races. They are all part of the rich tapestry that is Auckland and they are as Kiwi as I am.

I have attended the Easter show for many many years and always enjoy looking at the local Art exhibition. The Art at the Easter show is as varied as its people but for the first time I noticed something I had never seen before. I didn’t like it. It felt like a wrong note hit during a concert.

Two pieces of Art told me that Auckland is already changing and is already being influenced by the Political Ideology that is Islam.

But then again, maybe one of the artists has a sense of humour.

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Talking about councils wasting your money


Councils seems to be getting away with a lot of spending in the name of Art.    I’ve never understood art to be a core council activity.  In Auckland, the council even denied money to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust so it would spend more money on the Arts.  It does your head in.

As does this   Read more »


Please pick your answer for the poll before you read on.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor The Silent Evolution. MUSA Collection, 2010. Depth, 8 m. Manchones Reef, Mexico.

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor
The Silent Evolution. MUSA Collection, 2010. Depth, 8 m. Manchones Reef, Mexico.

The Silent Evolution

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Wastewatch: Te Papa blows taxpayer cash on rubbish “art”

Te Papa has dumped a whole truck load of cash on rubbish, literally, masquerading as art.

The luvvies are no doubt in total thrall at such wonders…they call it an investment in our future.

Te Papa has splashed taxpayers’ cash on two new artworks, one of which even its creator jokingly describes as a load of rubbish.

The purchase of the works by Bill Culbert means taxpayers have now effectively funded them twice – once when Creative New Zealand paid $650,000 for their creation and showing at last year’s Venice Biennale, and now as Te Papa adds them to the national collection.

The museum could not say how much it spent on the works, Daylight Flotsam Venice and Drop, citing confidentiality. However, the Auckland gallery that brokered the deal said it was “less than $500,000”.

Acting chief executive Arapata Hakiwai said the purchases were “an investment worth making to ensure New Zealanders have access to these two remarkable installations”. Culbert was a internationally recognised “significant” artist, he said. “It is appropriate for Te Papa to house works of this stature and significance.”    Read more »

The (stupid) face of naked greed


That man looked at the MH17 crash and thought… “now, that’s a great source of inspiration for art”.

Yes, art.

Or maybe, he was just after a quick buck?  Cherie Howie will help you decide:

A man who bought a personalised plate bearing the flight number of downed Malaysia Airlines’ jetliner MH17 says his purchase is a “priceless piece of art”.

Massey delivery driver Russell Montaperto spent $650 for the plate a few days after the plane was shot down while flying over a region of Ukraine under the control of Russian separatists.

Australia-based Kiwi Mary Menke and British-born Otaki man Robert Ayley were among 298 killed in the atrocity.

Montaperto hasn’t had the plate made yet, and was not sure when that would happen, but he had no doubt it was something he wanted.

“It’s like a priceless piece of art. When people see that, it means something to them … because it’s part of history that has affected the whole world.”

I guess I left another option out.  He could also me a complete moron.   Read more »