Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Guillermo Habacuc Vargas Starves Dog as Art

This poor homeless dog (more photos here) was captured on a street in Costa Rica, tied to a wall in an art gallery as an exhibit and starved/dehydrated to death over a day as people walked around the gallery...I shit you not.

This completely ruined my week. 

Read the articles and blog coverage here:

Sign the petition to have this person sanctioned here:

Read a post here that sums up my feelings perfectly:

"this jerk is no artist he's a disturbed sadist who enjoys inflicting prolonged suffering upon innocent animal victims and those who bore witness to the suffering and did nothing are equally as guilty."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ronald Lauder and his $135M Klimt

People who pay exorbitant sums for art by dead artists are not patrons, nor collectors, nor appreciators of what art is about.

They are at best merely shrewd investors, and mostly egoists, taste-fascists, and living-dead-examples of what it means to be an anti-patron.

They buy art that should already be in museums for the benefit of all humanity and use it for their own aggrandizement, cloistering it away in private halls or displaying it in self-important mini-museums bearing their own names (The Lauder Collection).

And their insane bidding runs up the prices legitimate Art Institutions must pay for these works to the point where they become completely impossible to justify.

A great patron finds living artists and nurtures their careers through purchase or commission (see the amazing work done by San Francisco's Fisher or Anderson families). A great patron takes risks at the front end of the appreciation curve, not the tail end, where Christies or Sotheby's intermediate the sale and where quality and importance is self evident.

For $135M, Mr. Lauder, you could have patronized essentially *all* the significant living artists in America and Europe for several years. Who knows what magic would have come of it.

Instead, you pay 12 full-time people to research and catalog your enormous program of acquisition/hording of dead-artist-art, and you dump $135,000,000 on a single canvas.

Compare your actions to the healthy collecting and true patronage of the early Medici (Giovanni di Bicci, Cosimo & Lorenzo di Giovanni), or Francis I (Renaissance King of France). These patrons knew the artists, nurtured the artists, commissioned the artists. They did not spend wildly and disproportionately on art created in the past. The bought the present and reveled in the rich HUMAN relationships they enjoyed with the creators.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pharoah Sanders - Bliss

Originally uploaded by sbove
Saw Pharoah last night playing with a piano accompanist to a sold out Grace Cathedral audience up on Nob Hill here in San Francisco...Incense smoke cut by shafts of light coming down from the Gothic vaults and 2 hours of perfect music from the soul of a man of peace, deep spirituality, and humor. Thanks Pharoah!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Commando Salary Arbitrage

Pentagon Commando Costs
Originally uploaded by sbove
Our government is now bidding against itself for the services of talented commandos. Not that I think a whoop-ass commando shouldn't get paid well for putting life-on-line...It's just aggravating to see all the House and Senate members let Bush and Cheney get away with privatizing over half the total US-force deployed in Iraq, result: a top Navy Seal or Army Ranger threatens to punt career in US armed services for higher paying job with Commandos-R-us (Blackwater, Haliburton, etc.), and the govt. has to pay up to keep these guys...each of which, the American tax payer has trained at a cost of over $1M. Our loss, Blackwater's gain. Just one more reason Bush and Cheney (and all the members of Congress who didn't stand up and fight them) should be dragged through the mud and run out of Washington before their terms are up.

"The Pentagon has paid more than $100 million in bonuses to veteran Green Berets and Navy SEALs in an effort to keep top commandos from heading to the corporate world where security companies such as Blackwater USA are offering attractive salaries. The figures gathered by The Associated Press and other research done by the Defense Department indicate there has not been an extended exodus of commandos to private security companies and other businesses that value their talents. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)"