Porpora Painting Punched

A 12 year old Taiwanese boy has inadvertently caused serious damage to a 17th century Paolo Porpora painting.  While visiting the exhibition ‘The Face of Leonardo; Images of a Genius’ at Huashan Creative Park, the boy, brandishing a bubble tea, slipped and fell backwards into the US$1.5 million painting, making a fist sized hole in the canvas.  Whooooops. No photographs of the damage have been released. For reference, the unscathed painting looked like this:

Porpora, Still Life with Flowers (detail)
Paolo Porpora, Still Life with Flowers (detail)
Porpora Painting Punched

Congratulations, Jukuja Dolly Snell

Jukuja Dolly Snell in front of her prize winning painting 'Kurtal'
Jukuja Dolly Snell in front of her prize winning painting ‘Kurtal’

Jukuja Dolly Snell has been announced as the overall winner of the 2015 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA). Born in 1933 at Kurtal in the Great Sandy Desert, Snell began painting in the mid-1980s.  She’s been exhibiting since 1991 but only held her first solo show in Darwin last year. Her prize winning work depicts the spirits and stories of Snell’s country, Kurtal.  Describing the work she said: “That’s my Kurtal, now! As long as I’ve been born there. That one, Kurtal. Not from another jila, no! One jila.”  For the full list of prize winners click here.

Congratulations, Jukuja Dolly Snell

Baselitz does it again

Georg Baselitz
Baselitz, idiot

Back in 2013 painter Georg Baselitz proclaimed that “women don’t paint very well”.  Now the old timer’s at it again, claiming; “if women are ambitious enough to succeed, they can do so, thank you very much. But up until now, they have failed to prove that they want to. Normally, women sell themselves well, but not as painters”.  Guess he hasn’t heard of a little thing called the glass ceiling.  More here.

Baselitz does it again

Punch a Monet

Gif from
Gif from a new online game by Eiji Muroichi, Dries Depoorter and Tom Galle

Suffering from a lil pre-Christmas stress?  Need to let off some steam?  Why not punch a Monet?  While LOL doesn’t condone violence against artworks, this interactive online game by Dries Depoorter, Eiji Muroichi, and Tom Galle (above) is rather amusing – and topical of course, following the five year jail sentence recently issued to Andrew Shannon after he did just that to Monet’s Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat (1874) at the National Gallery of Ireland in 2012.  If you fancy creating your own virtual damage you can do so here.

Punch a Monet

Neil Young – Artist, Car Lover

Watercolour by Neil Young
Watercolour by Neil Young

Neil Young loves cars.  He loves them so much in fact that he devoted a whole album (2009’s Fork in the Road) to his retooled Lincoln Continental.  Now he’s taking things to the next level with a debut exhibition Special Deluxe at Robert Berman Gallery in LA featuring a series of watercolours of vintage automobiles.  One of these paintings has ended up as the cover of his new album Storytone too. LOL’s favourite Young-related automobile imagery though is the cover of his super weird and not particularly popular 1982 album Trans (below). So misunderstood and actually good!

Neil Young – Artist, Car Lover

Looking Forward – Rohan Wealleans


23rd October – 29th November 2014
Opening Night: Thursday 23rd October 6-8pm

Rohan Wealleans, 'Palaver of Peril', 2012, colour photograph, 143 x 117 cm
Rohan Wealleans, Palaver of Peril, 2012, colour photograph, 143 x 117 cm

New Zealand artist Rohan Wealleans creates paintings and sculptures comprised of multitudinous layers of house paint that are then incised to reveal the multi-coloured excavations beneath.  The resulting paint chips generated by this process often become art objects in their own right.  For Mailbox, they are presented as specimen-like curiosities, and as body adornments in photographs featuring Wealleans-styled naked alien babes.  Part ‘geologist’, part voyeur, Wealleans always inhabits multiple guises.

Curated by Serena Bentley.

Rohan Wealleans is represented by Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland; Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

MAILBOX is an Artist Run Initiative 141-143 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000 AUSTRALIA

Looking Forward – Rohan Wealleans

Three Great Things in NYC

In New York it goes without saying that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to all things art related. Here are three of my top art experiences from my time away.

1. Ragnar Kjartansson Me, My Mother, My Father and I at the New Museum

Ragnar Kjartansson, 'Take me here by the dishwasher'
Ragnar Kjartansson, ‘Take me here by the dishwasher’ 2011/2014, installation view

Ten handsome young male troubadours milled about a dimly lit exhibition space, sitting on squabs, leaning against the wall, pulling beers out of a fridge.  They were singing the same song, in a heartstring pulling minor key, over and over again.  Initially it was all too schmaltzy, too earnest, but it didn’t take long to be sucked in.  This same group of singers occupied the exhibition space 6 days a week, eight hours a day, for FOUR MONTHS.  So there was a significant feat of endurance at play that cut through the frat boy prettiness.  On one of the gallery walls was a large video projection on a loop.  Shot in soft 70s hues, it featured a housewife and plumber arguing in a kitchen, before falling into an awkward embrace.  This was in fact the artist’s actor parents, starring in Iceland’s first feature film, Morðsaga (1977) and family legend has it that Kjartansson was conceived the night after the shoot.  Deciphering the lyrics to the troubadours’ song, which included the title of the work; Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage (2011/2014), added an element of humour that initially made me feel embarrassed about my indulgence in the sheer beauty of the thing.  And this is what makes Kjartansson’s work so great – he attempts to convey genuine emotion through melodrama, seeking sincerity within stereotypes.  This was one of the best works I have ever experienced.

2. Stephen Lichty at Foxy Production

Stephen Lichty, 'Untitled', 2014
Stephen Lichty, ‘Untitled’, 2014

LOL was surprised to discover that the commercial galleries in Chelsea were largely filled with big, bad paintings.  Lichty’s show, his first commercial solo, was a welcome antidote.  Containing only four works, each sculpture and installation was a refined study in the interplay of two corresponding materials –  a small square of basalt sat upon an identically sized block of steel, two strands of black Japanese silk knotted in the middle stretched floor to ceiling, Fred Sandback style.  In the back room, two bronze troughs filled to the brim with water bubbled ever so slightly as the water was pumped gently from one end to the other, emulating the basic functions of the human body, and oxidising the base of each object in the process.  These three works were foils to the show’s centrepiece, a single piece of naturally shaped basalt topped by a taxidermied cat.  Lichty worked closely with the taxidermist to ensure that the resting shape of the creature closely followed the form of the rock, the top of which he had polished by hand.  Speaking with the artist, Lichty mentioned that his hands were all over this show, an interesting observation given the slick and minimal result. Despite this, the work has real warmth – it’s distinctly human.  Lichty is one to watch.

3. Maria Lassnig Retrospective at MOMA PS1

Maria Lassnig, 'Lady with a Brain', 200
Maria Lassnig, ‘Lady with a Brain’, 1990

Lassnig was wild.  The Austrian painter’s tightly curated retrospective was presented chronologically, charting the artist’s progression from graphic abstraction to figural representation, when she began painting according to ‘body awareness’ – aiming to represent the way her body felt from the inside, rather than superficially.  Reveling in abjection and the monstrous feminine, her portraiture battled conventions of female beauty head on.  We’re presented with images of the artist naked, hairless, with her brains spilling out of the back of her head, or, iconically, toting two guns – one pointed at us, the other at herself.  This gritty, confrontational subject matter is matched by the most exquisite, fresh palette (helpfully amplified by the blonded wooden gallery floors). Lassnig was a brilliant colourist   Many works in the show that she made in the 70s look as if they could have been painted today, her singular aesthetic is resoundingly contemporary.  The Austrian painter began showing in New York in 2002 so the exhibition was timely.  Sadly Lassnig died in May this year aged 94.

(You can watch a video walk through of the show here).


Three Great Things in NYC