A bottle of Coke for … $35 million!

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It’s still fall auction season in New York, and last night at Sotheby’s, an Andy Warhol painting of a Coke bottle (pictured below) sold for a whopping $35 million!

Sotheby’s had waiters serving Coca-Cola in old-fashioned green-glass bottles to the various collectors and dealers who were in the auction salesroom, an homage to this 1962 Warhol canvas depicting a Coke bottle with a partial logo across the top.

It is reported that there were seven bidders competing for it and finally sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for more than $10 million above its $25 million high estimate. The price was especially impressive considering that the collector who sold it had also bought it at auction in 1983 for $143,000!

Warhol Coke bottle painting sells for $35 million

Matisse Sculpture Sells for $48.8 million!

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At Christie’s International’s New York Impressionist and modern art sale last night, this sculpture by Henri Matisse, titled Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV), sold for $48.8 million dollars, which was a record price for any Matisse work ever sold at auction.

This sculpture was one of four life-sized reliefs which made up the longest-lived single project of Matisse’s career, as he began the first in 1908 and didn’t finish the last (the one at the far right) until 1931. Each of the sculptures were originally made of plaster, and then were cast in bronze editions of 12. Complete sets of the four sculptures are held by nine museums, but this particular sculpture was one of the few single pieces held by a private collector. As one can see by the picture below, this last sculpture was the most-simplified version of the four.

4 bronze women sculptures by Matisse

Henri Matisse sculpture of a woman's back, sells at auction for $48.8 million

What is that artifact? Minimalist sculpture? No, it’s a …

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Encased brick from Yankee Stadium

… BRICK. You can get this glass-encased, mounted on a wood pedestal “artifact” from the previous Yankee Stadium (“The House that Ruth Built”) for only $179.95!

Does a brick get elevated to sculpture status when encased in glass and on a pedestal? Can you imagine the look on the wife’s face when the husband tells her he bought a brick for $180 bucks?

The absurdity of it would have made Marcel Duchamp (he of the “readymade”) quite proud.


Bowl for your health!

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Art on matchbox cover
My grandfather had a collection of matchbox covers, which would have dated from the 1920’s and 1930’s. I was looking through the collection recently and came across this gem: “Bowl for your health.”

First of all, the idea of bowling as a form of exercise in order to live healthy seems a bit funny to me … sure, there’s some movement involved, some physical exertion, but it’s not like anyone leaves the bowling alley saying “wow, what a great workout.”

Secondly, while this matchbook cover is suggesting that bowling will keep you healthy, I find it amusing that the guy who is about to roll a strike is doing so while wearing dress pants and a white shirt and tie. He must have just come from the office, picked up his wife in her nice dress, and they’ve gone out to knock down some pins.

Lastly, this is a matchbox cover, available for customers who want to smoke cigarettes … and we’re bowling for our health here?


Happy Birthday, Dizzy!

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Today is the birth date of Dizzy Gillespie, an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer. He was born on October 21, 1917, and passed away on January 6, 1993. Along with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. Even Google is recognizing Dizzy with this “Google Doodle” today.Dizzy Gillespie Google Doodle

Bedbugs at the Opera

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Bedbugs were discovered at Lincoln Center in New York City, extending the range of locations throughout the city where these pests have been found lately. Staff at the Koch Theater, which is the home of the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera, found bedbugs in the dressing rooms.

The Opera’s season doesn’t start for a couple weeks, so they have plenty of time to clear the pests … but who’s to say they didn’t just want a chance to perform? Maybe it’s not over until the fat bedbug sings.

Bedbugs found at NY Opera house