Lita Cabellut is one of Spain’s most successful artists, but she’s barely known in her home country. What’s more, the woman whose paintings now sell for six figure sums spent her early years living on the street.
“My childhood was like that of thousands of street kids around the world,” says Lita Cabellut. She used to roam the streets of Barcelona with other homeless children and slept in the open air.
“We looked after one another – we did whatever we liked. We took coins out of the fountains, begged Zippo lighters from sailors and stole tourists’ wallets. We used to go into restaurants and say our father was in the toilet when they served us, before wolfing down the food and running off.”
Cabellut was born in a village in Aragon, north-east Spain, in 1961. While she was a baby, she and her mother moved to Barcelona. Her mother ran a brothel in the city and Cabellut was left with her grandmother – but in reality she spent most of her time out on the streets.
“I ran errands for the prostitutes. They gave me money to buy packs of cigarettes, sandwiches, condoms or jewellery, and I kept the change.”
The outrage started yesterday on Twitter and naturally it is now news, that some Maori are mortally offended by…shower curtains.
An American online store selling shower curtains depicting historic Māori is being called deplorable for the culturally inappropriate items.
Images of about 15 of Gottfried Lindauer portraits, including those of Māori leaders, are being sold as shower curtains for just under $100 by the Fine Art America website. Lindauer painted the detailed portraits of Māori in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Art historian Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, also a descendent of some of the Lindauer subjects, said Māori culture was being exploited, and it was appalling.
She said Māori images on teatowels and crockery were bad enough – but this was much worse.
“To actually see Wiremu Kingi as a shower person is absolutely extraordinary and profoundly hurtful. The arrogance of art producers in Western creators’ commerce never fails to amaze me.
“In traditional cultural terms, in the context of tikanga Māori of Māori values around the sanctity of the body and the intimacy of the bathroom, to have an ancestor as a shower curtain is profoundly insulting.”
The images include iwi leader Rewi Manga Maniapoto, and the Taranaki leader and chief of the Te Ati Awa Tribe, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake.
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.
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.
It’s only taxpayers’ money anyway, right?
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 »
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.
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 »