Source: Lowell Herrero : St. Helena Star
You cannot escape the irony that the name of the labor lawyer who wants to lay his hands on the $2-Billion collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is Michael Artz. Mr. Artz represents the bankrupt Motor City’s largest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He can’t be pleased with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes’ ruling that “pension benefits are a contractual right and are not entitled to any heightened protection in a municipal bankruptcy.”
According the the Detroit News, Judge Rhodes stated that selling DIA masterpieces does not address long-term financial and structural problems, and therefore would make no sense. Further, the judge said, “When the expenses of an enterprise exceeds its revenue, a one-time infusion of cash, whether from an asset sale or borrowing, only delays inevitable financial failure unless the enterprise reduces expenses or enhances income,”
Residents of counties surrounding Detroit also pay taxes to support the museum. The judge’s opinion was welcome news to museum supporters. “Oakland County and the entire region have a vested interest in protecting our art,” said Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner. “Judge Rhodes’ statement is a clear indication that the sale of this world-class art collection has no long-term financial benefit for the city.”
Orr: Combined value of DIA’s most valuable art less than $2B, can’t fix shortfalls [Detroit News; Dec 3, 2013]
Detroit Ruling on Bankruptcy Lifts Pension Protections [New York Times; Dec 3, 2013]
George W. Bush, the man who told Jay Leno that he named his cat Bob, “So I can remember how to spell it when I get older,” has been very busy.
Between rounds of golf, organizing and riding in 100K mountain bike rides with America’s wounded warriors, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, and personally refurbishing health clinics in Africa, through the Bush Center’s partnership with Pink Ribbon/Red Ribbon, whose mission is to screen women, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, for cervical and breast cancer, the 43rd President of the United States has also become an accomplished portrait painter.
President Bush charged his painting instructor, Gail Norfleet, with a task. “There’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it.”
While a guest on the The Tonight Show on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, President Bush presented a portrait he had painted of Jay Leno to the late night television host.
President Bush has plans to paint portraits of 19 foreign presidents and prime ministers with whom he worked during his tenure at the White House. He has already provided the artwork for a Christmas ornament, which may be purchased through the Bush Center web site (which, incidentally, works).
As Bush Settles Into Dallas, Golf Tees and Family Time Now Trump Politics [New York Times; Nov 2, 2013]
George Bush Shows Off Painting Hobby, Shares Jay Leno Portrait [US Weekly; Nov 20, 2013]
Barney, the Scottish Terrier that lived in the White House with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, passed away on February 1, 2013. Born on September 30, 2000, Barney died at age 12 after battling lymphoma.
Since retiring and moving back to Texas, President Bush has been painting landscapes and dog portraits. This portrait of Barney is one of the President’s paintings. It is signed “43.”
President Bush issued the following statement:
Laura and I are sad to announce that our Scottish Terrier, Barney, has passed away. The little fellow had been suffering from lymphoma and after twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness.
Barney and I enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to accompany me when I fished for bass at the ranch. He was a fierce armadillo hunter. At Camp David, his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.
Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House. Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps.
Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.
The White House as Creative Director? A Call for Artists to serve and promote the Obama agenda? It’s not enough for the National Endowment of the Arts to fund bad art. It’s new role, coordinated by the White House, is to head up the Department of State Controlled Art. Let the lawyers hash out what laws have been broken and who is directing the cover-up. In the meantime, let’s defund the NEA and demand a refund.
We now know that the portrait of President Barack Obama painted as the Joker from the Batman film The Dark Night was the handiwork of a 20-year old Chicagoan, Firas Alkhateeb. Mr. Alkhateeb is an American of Palestinian descent, who is a senior at the University of Illinois.
With some free time, boredom and Adobe Photoshop, Mr. Alkhateeb created the Time Magazine cover featuring Obama-as-the-Joker and uploaded it to the photo-sharing website Flickr.
An as yet anonymous prankster in the Los Angeles AREA apparently downloaded the photo, removed the distinguishing characteristics of the Time Magazine cover and added the banner label “SOCIALISM” to the bottom of the portrait.
Dozens of the Obama-SOCIALISM posters were plastered around the city of Claremont in Southern California. Police are investigating.
As for Mr. Alkhateeb, apparently he finds President Obama to be too conservative. He told the Los Angeles Times that he did not vote in the 2008 election, but would have supported Dennis Kucinich.
And Mr. Alkhateeb is no fan of the president’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. On his Flickr page, Mr. Alkhateeb posted a photograph of Mr. Emanuel labled “EPIC FAIL,” and wrote, “Emanuel is a fervent anti-Islam voice in Washington. A Zionist, he takes a hard line stance against the Palestinian cause, and shows a clear anti-Muslim racism.”
The question itself is a cliché: Do we need another TV reality show?
Ready or not, there are casting calls in progress for a new one, tentatively titled The Untitled Art Project. The winner of this competition will get a gallery show, cash, and a sponsored museum tour, although the details have not been disclosed. The show is being produced for Bravo by Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Magical Elves, the production company that created Top Chef and Project Runway.
Auditions have been held in New York at alternative art space White Columns, in Los Angeles at alternative space LaxArt, Chicago at the School of the Art Institute, and Miami at Frederick Snitzer Gallery.
Thirteen finalists will be selected. Filming is scheduled to begin in September.