TIME Crime

9 Paintings in Big L.A. Art Heist Are Recovered

Authorities were tipped off about a man in Europe soliciting buyers

Court documents show local and federal authorities have recovered nine works of art that were stolen during a 2008 California heist, one of the largest in Los Angeles history.

Los Angeles police and the FBI launched an undercover operation after being tipped off in September about a man in Europe who was said to be soliciting buyers for the art, which was valued at $10 million but going for $700,000, the Los Angeles Times reports. The works recovered include Diego Rivera’s “Peasants” and a piece by Marc Chagall. They were among a dozen stolen from the home of a wealthy real estate investor in August 2008; three were still missing as of Dec. 1.

Raul Espinoza, 45, was charged with one count of receiving stolen property following the October bust and being held on $5 million bail. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Oct. 27.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME photography

This Is Officially the Most Expensive Photo Ever

Peter Lik's Phantom photo was sold for an unprecedented $6.5 million and is the most expensive photograph in history.
Peter Lik's Phantom photo was sold for an unprecedented $6.5 million and is the most expensive photograph in history. Peter Lik—PRNewsFoto

Photographer Peter Lik has sold a print for a cool $6.5 million

Australian landscaper photographer Peter Lik has set a new world record after a private unnamed collector purchased one of his photos for an unprecedented $6.5 million.

The black-and-white image, called “Phantom,” was taken in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, the Guardian reports. The record for most expensive photo ever sold was previously held by Andreas Gursky’s “Rhein II.” In 2011, it sold for $4.3 million.

Read next: TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2014

TIME celebrities

Shia LaBeouf Says He Was Raped During a Performance Art Project

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf poses for photographers at a film premiere in London, Oct. 19, 2014. Joel Ryan—Invision/AP

The actor and performance artist opened up in an email interview about a traumatic experience during his exhibit #IAmSorry

Back in February, Shia LaBeouf staged his #IAmSorry performance art exhibit in a Los Angeles gallery where people were able to enter a room alone with the actor and do and say whatever they wished as he sat silently wearing a paper bag over his head that read: “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.”

The project resulted in a traumatic experience for the actor which he has revealed in an email interview with Dazed Digital. When asked if anything “unsettling” had taken place during the performance, LaBeouf answered:

One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me… There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well. On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event – we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it travelled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.

It’s unclear if LaBeouf has reported the assault to authorities.

[Dazed]

TIME Holidays

See How Picasso, van Gogh and Other Famous Artists Would Serve a Thanksgiving Meal

Hannah Rothstein

Turkey, graving and stuffing get a complete makeover in this series by a California-based artist

When it comes to serving a successful meal, everybody knows that it’s all about presentation.

With that in mind, San Francisco-based artist Hannah Rothstein decided to create 10 versions of a similar meal, all in the styles of famous artists. But Rothstein, who makes everything from paintings and illustrations to jewelry and murals, had never worked with food before, so this idea was totally new for her.

“It was kind of one of those out of the blue moments, like a lot of moments of inspiration and creativity,” Rothstein tells TIME. She initially planned to do a series of illustrations imitating different artists’ brushstrokes, but realized that was “incredibly boring” and not particularly creative. But soon, a better idea came to her. “Thanksgiving had been on my mind, so that popped into my head, and I thought, ‘Oh! Thanksgiving food!'”

Rothstein settled on 10 artists who all had distinct and recognizable styles – like Piet Mondrian, pictured above. Some artists’ styles were fairly straightforward to recreate, but others, like Georges Seurat, who’s best known for his use of pointillism, required incredibly fastidious work, Rothstein said.

Want to hang one of these on your dining room wall? Rothstein is selling 25 signed prints of each photo and donating 10 percent of the proceeds to the SF-Marin Food Bank.

“I really love making art and I think bringing beauty into the world is important, but in many ways I find art to be a selfish act,” Rothstein says. “So for this, it made sense to donate to the food bank to help people who couldn’t afford their own Thanksgiving meals to have one.”

Check out all the plates – including an especially surprising one at the end.

Piet Mondrian:

Hannah Rothstein

René Magritte:

Hannah Rothstein

Mark Rothko:

Hannah Rothstein

Vincent van Gogh:

Hannah Rothstein

Pablo Picasso:

Hannah Rothstein

Jackson Pollock:

Hannah Rothstein

Julian Schnabel:

Hannah Rothstein

Georges Seurat:

Hannah Rothstein

Andy Warhol:

Hannah Rothstein

Cindy Sherman:

Cindy+Sherman+Thanksgiving

Read next: These Carpets Map Out Different Countries’ Aerial Landscapes

TIME Fine Art

Georgia O’Keeffe Sets New Auction Record for Women Artists

Georgia O'Keeffe
American artist Georgia O'Keeffe looks off into the distance with her hands on a piece of pottery, Abiquiu, New Mexico, 1974. Joe Munroe—Getty Images

"Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1" quadrupled the previous record

The woman best known for her flower paintings set a new auction record for the most expensive work of art by a woman. “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s on Thursday, almost triple the auction house’s high estimate.

The hammer price is four times higher than the previous record holder: an untitled painting by Joan Mitchell that sold for $11.9 million.

As TIME first wrote of O’Keeffe in 1928, “When Georgia O’Keeffe paints flowers, she does not paint fifty flowers stuffed into a dish. On most of her canvases there appeared one gigantic bloom, its huge feathery petals furled into some astonishing pattern of color and shade and line…It is enough to say that Miss O’Keeffe’s paintings are as full of passion as the verses of Solomon’s Song.”

[Bloomberg]

 

TIME Art

Google Doodle Celebrates Corita Kent, Feminist Nun Turned Artist

Google

It would have been her 96th birthday

Google celebrated what would have been the 96th birthday of artist Corita Kent on Thursday — also known as Sister Corita Kent.

In 1936, Kent started her career as a Catholic nun. She began taking art classes, and received a masters in art history — chairing the art history department at Immaculate Heart College. In 1968, she left the order and decided to pursue a full-time career as an artist.

Kent was known for her silk screens, and she often juxtaposed spiritual writing alongside symbols of consumerist culture. She was a well-known activist, fighting for civil rights, anti-war causes, and women’s rights.

She died in 1986.

TIME Culture

Kara Walker Watched You Gape at Her The Subtlety Exhibit All Summer

Artist Kara Walker attends the Wall Street Journal Magazine 2014 Innovator Awards at the Museum of Modern Art on Nov. 5, 2014 in New York City.
Artist Kara Walker attends an event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Nov. 5, 2014 Mike Coppola—Getty Images

The contemporary artist was actually recording people as they, at times, took inappropriate pictures of the 75-ft. sphinx made of sugar

Over the summer, contemporary artist Kara Walker invited New Yorkers to view a 75-ft. sphinx the artist fashioned out of sugar and designed in the likeness of a woman with exaggerated, black features and a “mammy” scarf. But what happened during the months-long viewing of The Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby was shocking to some.

Writers at the Root were surprised and disappointed by what they considered the sexual objectification of Walker’s work by onlookers. “From the days of the slave trade to even having black butts on display in music videos, the black woman’s body seems to easily garner laughs and mockery, even if it’s made out of sugar,” wrote Yesha Callahan.

Yet there was one person who wasn’t surprised by the onlookers snapping pictures, sticking their tongues out at the giant vulva or pretending to hold the bulging, sugar-coated breasts: the artist. In fact, at one point Walker recorded you while you were doing it. According to Vulture, Walker had this to say during a Los Angeles talk in October:

I put a giant 10-foot vagina in the world and people respond to giant 10-foot vaginas in the way that they do. It’s not unexpected. Maybe I’m sick. Sometimes I get a sort of kick out of the hyper essay writing, that there’s gotta be this way to sort of control human behavior. [But] human behavior is so mucky and violent and messed-up and inappropriate. And I think my work draws on that. It comes from there. It comes from responding to situations like that, and it pulls it out of an audience …

A clip of visitors taking photos, gazing contemplatively and discussing the exhibit among friends and family on the last day of the exhibit is available at Vulture. A 28-minute video titled An Audience will debut at a New York City gallery on Friday and run through January. The video is a part of a new exhibit by the artist.

[Vulture]

TIME Innovation

Artist Uses Glass Instead of Yarn to Create Amazing Knitting Sculptures

Carol Milne manipulates glass to look like rows of intertwined yarn

lost-at-e-minor_logo

This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

It boggles the mind how artist Carol Milne was able to manipulate glass to look like row upon row of intertwined yarn. You see, the melting point of glass is between 1,400 – 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, so how was she able to knit the fragile – not to mention very hot – material into intricate artworks?

Milne invented the process herself in 2006. She first makes a wax model of the sculpture, which is then encased by a refractory mold material (that can withstand hot temperatures.) The second step involves melting out the wax with steam and replacing it with pieces of glass. She then heats the mold to 1,400 – 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, which melts the glass, allowing it to occupy the mold’s empty cavities. The piece is left to cool for several weeks before Milne starts chipping away at the shell to reveal the details of the sculpture.

The result is nothing short of amazing and worthy of this time-consuming process. You can see more of her works over on her Facebook page.

(via This Is Colossal)

TIME Fine Art

2 Warhol Portraits Sell for Over $150 Million

A couple talk in front of "Triple Elvis" by Andy Warhol during a media preview at Christie's auction house in New York, October 31, 2014.
A couple talk in front of "Triple Elvis" by Andy Warhol during a media preview at Christie's auction house in New York, October 31, 2014. Brendan McDermid—Reuters

The bidding only lasted 6 minutes

Two Andy Warhol images were sold in New York Wednesday for $151 million, breaking pre-sale estimates by millions of dollars.

“Triple Elvis,” a 1963 silkscreen image, sold for about $81 million, after projections that it would draw about $55 million. And the 1953 “Four Marlons” fetched $69.6 million.

These two sales were part of a record-breaking, $852.9 million night at Christie’s New York, setting the all-time high for postwar and contemporary art sales.

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