Controversial public art is nothing new in Colorado, the state whose largest airport welcomes you with Blucifer, the red-eyed demon mustang who tragically killed his own sculptor. But for many citizens of Durango, CO, this summer's $28,000 installation of Tom Holmes' piece "Arc of History" wasn't unsettling so much as simply aesthetically insipid. Described as "a giant stone Batman signal," "a flying piece of excrement at the intersection of Highways 160 and 550," or more succinctly, "Turd Rock," Arc of History drew little praise until last week, when an anonymous local resident placed a handmade dinosaur head atop the sculpture on Halloween. But Arc of History's new Mesozoic look was not to be. On Monday afternoon, police received a call that a group of local youth had pilfered the head, sending Durango residents in an uproar. On Wednesday evening, the Durango Herald reported that the dinosaur head had been surrendered to police custody: [more inside]
"When a leather and tortoiseshell handbag (later found to be the rare 19th-century Italian work) was shown to Mrs Nevin, she said: "That's my shopping bag. I bought it in a shop."" The museum curator who stole thousands of artifacts to decorate his home.
"In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990 – as the city was preoccupied with Saint Patrick's Day celebrations – a pair of thieves disguised themselves as Boston police officers, gained entry to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and stole thirteen works of art."* "The stolen works have a total estimated worth of around $500 million, making the robbery the largest property theft ever"* and "considered the greatest art theft in history."* Today the FBI announced that they have identified the people who stole the masterworks. They also said they had determined where the artworks had traveled in the years after the robbery. The FBI said they did not know where they were now and were appealing to the public for their help in finding them. The Gardner Museum is offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the recovery of these works.
Lots of fun art links making the rounds this week, including Pollock and fluid dynamics and Giuseppe Arcimbaldo, proto-surrealist? Also popping back up, the classic Mr. Picassohead (quite some time previously) and still-stunning Tilt-shifted Van Gogh (previously). But art can be lucrative, and where there's money, there are thieves (Picasso sketch stolen in San Francisco) and cheaters (previously) ... and lawsuits. [more inside]
Artist Jess Fink has some crappy luck. She's found her Threadless designs co-opted by Forever 21 and by Newbreed girl for Hot Topic. And now? Thanks to Billion Dollar Babes, unrepentant rip-off artist Todd Goldman (previously) is joining in.