Murakami Debuts Monster Flick at LACMA, MoMA Makes it Rain in Midtown, and More

Murakami Debuts Monster Flick at LACMA, MoMA Makes it Rain in Midtown, and More
Film still from Takashi Murakami's "Jellyfish Eyes"
(Courtesy of Blum&Poe)

– Murakami Premieres Monster Flick at LACMA: Ahead of his new solo show at Blum & Poe, which opens tomorrow, Takashi Murakami was in Los Angeles for the premiere of his first feature-length film, the mixed cartoon-live action quasi-monster movie "Jellyfish Eyes," which is being screened as part of the "Film Independent" series at LACMA. "Movies are a kind of collaboration, and many people were against this idea," Murakami said after the screening, citing "E.T.," "The Goonies," and the kids' TV show "Power Rangers" as major sources of inspiration. [LAT]

– MoMA Makes it Rain: As it ended its run at London's Barbican Center last month, the line to get into artist trio Random International's interactive environmental installation "Rain Room" was about 12 hours long, which bodes well for the Museum of Modern Art, which will unveil the work in the vacant lot alongside the museum next month as part of MoMA PS1's sprawling exhibition of art with an environmentalist bent, "EXPO 1." The 5,000-square-foot enclosed rain field uses motion sensors to clear a path through the raindrops for visitors as they move around the space. "The 'Rain Room' makes you feel the forces of nature," said MoMA PS1 director and MoMA chief curator-at-large Klaus Biesenbach. [NYT]

– Judge OKs Hopi Sale Despite Redford's Remonstrance: A judge in Paris has allowed the sale of 70 artifacts from Arizona's Hopi tribe at the French auction house Neret-Minet following protests, and a call to stop the sale from actor-director Robert Redford, a longtime friend of the tribe. "To auction these would be, in my opinion, a sacrilege — a criminal gesture that contains grave moral repercussions," Redford said. "I would hope that these sacred items can be returned to the Hopi tribe where they belong. They are not for auction." The sale of the colorful Hopi masks is expected to bring in $1 million. [BBC]


– 2013 Guggenheim Fellows Revealed: The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has named its 175 American and Canadian fellows for 2013, marking the fellowship's 89th edition. This year's honorees include 24 visual artists in the Fine Arts category — including Carry Moyer and Amer Kobaslija — along with several more sprinkled across other categories like Film and Video (Laura Parnes) and Photography (Alec Soth). "These artists and writers, scholars  and scientists, represent the best of the best," Guggenheim Foundation president Edward Hirsch said. "It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do." [Press Release]

– Stedelijk Gets Gift From Paul Andriesse: The Amsterdam-based collector and art dealer Paul Andriesse has donated 60 works from his collection to the Stedelijk Museum including paintings, drawings, photographs, and design objects by the likes of Marlene DumasThomas StruthCharles and Ray Eames, and Jean Prouvé. Works in the donation will be featured in an exhibition opening at the Amsterdam museum on May 3. "His thoughtful gift is a testament to his longstanding and passionate engagement with art and artists, and to his profound and personal relationship with this institution," said Stedelijk director Ann Goldstein. "His magnificent gesture underscores how private collectors can make a significant and lasting contribution to museums." [ArtDaily]

– Dealer's Buried Treasure Stirs Interest: Santa Fe-based art and antiques dealer Forrest Fenn claims he has buried a treasure chest in the mountains outside the city, packed with gold coins and some his favorite artifacts including pre-Columbian animal figurines, a Tairona and Sinu Indian necklace, and ancient Chinese jade sculptures, and encoded details of its location in a poem published as part of "The Thrill of the Chase," his new self-published memoir. Though his friends and acquaintances are divided on the authenticity of the treasure hunt, it has proved to be a major boost for local tourism. "I am 100 percent sure that he really did go out and hide this thing," said friend and novelist Doug Preston. "I am actually surprised that anyone who knows him would think he was blowing hot air. It is just not his personality. He is not a tricky, conspiratorial, slick or dishonest person at all." [AP]

– Napoleon's Seats Slated for Auction: A set of six chairs designed by Pierre-Antoine Bellangé for Napoleon I's Château de Fontainebleau around 1810 will be sold at Christie's in South Kensington as part of an auction of objects and artworks from the collection of Brian Juhos. The six white-painted, parcel-gilt seats are expected to fetch between £6,000-£9,000 at the May 1 sale. Meanwhile, curious prospective buyers can catch a glimpse of one of them in Paul Delaroche's portrait of Napoleon at Fontainebleau, which currently hangs in Paris's Musée de l'Armée. [Press Release]

– U.K. Artists Get Their Own Political Party: Under the guidance of outspoken artist Bob and Roberta Smith, the artists of the British Isles will have a political party of their own, at least for the duration of a conference, all-night rager, and morning-after breakfast this fall at the tail end of party conference season, when the leaders of the U.K.'s major political parties gather to talk shop and strategy. The November 23 Art Party conference, to be held at the Scarborough Spa, will begin with artists discussing cuts to culture budgets and controversial changes in the country's education curriculum. Each attendee — among them Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller — is invited to bring a portrait of education secretary Michael Gove for an exhibition and painting competition. "Visual artists have been a bit useless at politics," Smith says. "We are basically a herd of Kate Mosses, and we don't want to disrupt the image of our work by opening our mouths, with some exceptions such as Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry. Actually I think that's all a load of rubbish." [Guardian]

– Denver Museum Nets Textile Donation: The Denver Art Museum's (DAM) department of textile art has received a $1.75 million donation from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, $1.5 million of which is part of a fundraising challenge and will be matched within the next three years as part of an effort to raise $3 million for the establishment of a full-time textile conservator position. The remaining $250,000 will help establish a textile conservation fellowship. "Textiles are triggers of cultural exchange and creative expression around the world," said DAM director Christoph Heinrich. "The DAM is devoted to exploring, preserving and presenting this underrepresented art form." [Denver Business Journal]

– Accused Killer Selling Art From JailJodi Arias, who is on trial for killing her ex-boyfriend in suburban Phoenix in 2008, is selling the drawings she has been making while in jail to help provide for her family while she is locked up. The sketches, some of which are priced as high as $2,000, are being sold through a gallery, with the artist's thumbprint  being used as a marker of authenticity. "She could draw those pictures, but I can't tell you whether they are truly hers or whether this is someone trying to make money off her," said Sergeant Brandon Jones from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. [AP]


Trailer for Takashi Murakami's "Jellyfish Eyes"


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