Paul McCarthy's Poop Balloon Popped, Maya Lin Makes Sandy Memorial, and More

Paul McCarthy's Poop Balloon Popped, Maya Lin Makes Sandy Memorial, and More
(FaceMePLS via Flickr)

Extreme Weather Pops McCarthy's Inflatable Poop: Paul McCarthy's 50-foot-tall inflatable sculpture portraying a pile of excrement, "Complex Pile," has caused a bit of a mess. The scatalogical work was on view as part of an exhibition of inflatable art organized by M+ in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District, but things went wrong when a spate of extreme weather caused it to burst. "A small hole was discovered on the surface of the piece. We are doing our best to fix it and hopefully we can inflate the artwork as soon as possible," a spokesperson for the cultural district said. Other works in the show by Jeremy Deller, Tomas Saraceno, Tam Wai-ping, and Cao Fei emerged unscathed, though a piece by Korean artist Choi Jeong-hwa sustained major damage. [South China Morning Post]

Maya Lin's Hurricane Sandy Memorial: For the largest piece in her new show at Pace Gallery's locations on Manhattan's 57th Street and in London, artist and architect Maya Lin took inspiration from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, creating a sculpture that traces the outline of the storm's flood plain. "A flood doesn’t exist except in our memory banks," Lin said. "It’s a temporal event. It’s not the river and it’s not the land. It’s neither here nor there." [NYT]

Tennis Pro Serves Alphonse Mucha Exhibition: The former Czech tennis star Ivan Lendl owns the world's richest collection of Art Nouveau posters by the painter Alphonse Mucha, and he is showing 150 of them in an exhibition at the Prague Municipal House. "Ivan gave me a very straightforward task: to track down every single Mucha poster on the market," said New York poster dealer Jack Rennert, who has been in charge of growing Lendl's collection for many years. "I was more a detective than a curator." [Bloomberg]

No Maos in Shanghai's Warhol Show: The new exhibition "Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal," opened to the public at Shanghai's Power Station of Art and includes over 300 pieces on loan from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, though the Pop artist's portraits of Mao Zedong, which were included in the show's presentation in Singapore and Hong Kong, have not been hung. "We worked with curators at both institutions in Shanghai and Beijing and there was a little bit of concern about bringing them right now," said Eric Shiner, the Warhol Museum's director. "We wanted to introduce Andy Warhol's work to China. If those paintings could be a problem in any way, we didn't want them." [AFP]

Carol Bove Preps Secret Public Artwork: For her new High Line commission, sculptor Carol Bove has installed a series of six works on the still-undeveloped section of the elevated park above 30th Street, which will only be accessible to intrepid art lovers who buy tickets for small group tours of the park's under-construction northern reaches. "I think of public art as sort of fraudulent — something supposedly for everyone that uses a really elitist language that makes it seem as if it’s only for people already familiar with that language," Bove said. "You never look right at them. You’re going to work and you pass them, and they repeatedly punctuate your consciousness. It’s like you have a relationship with them that you’re not even aware of." [NYT]

Iranian Cartoonists Face Strict Censors: Though the pages of Iran's newspapers have long been filled with cartoons critical of the country's dominant regime, the country's cartoonists are increasingly subjected to imprisonment, death threats, and forced into exile. Omid Memarian, a journalist who was jailed and tortured in 2004 before fleeing to the U.S., has written a new book on the plight of his country's cartoon artists. "Many cartoonists in Iran have been arrested for the cartoons that they have drawn for newspapers, and the reason is because the Iranian government knows the power and influence of political cartoons," Memarian said. "And for that, many political cartoonists have tried to become ambiguous and communicate a message in a way that it makes it hard for the government to come after them." [NPR]

Collectors Flee Sandy-Damaged Christie's Storage: The massive Christie's Fine Art Storage Services warehouse in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood was hit by Hurricane Sandy's storm surge last October, causing damage to art on the six-story complex's ground floor and prompting some collectors to move their valuables out. "Other companies were also there collecting works for other clients," said Simon Hornby of Crozier Fine Arts, who visited the site shortly after the flood to remove a client's collection. "They were not obstructive. They were still dealing with the aftermath of the flood." [TAN]

Von Rydingsvard Joins Arena's Art Offerings: Brooklyn's Barclays Center continues to expand its ambitious contemporary art program, and its latest commission will be a 20-foot-tall, 10,000-pound sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard, "Ona" — the Polish word for "she" or "her" — that the longtime Brooklynite is having cast in bronze from one of her trademark cedar assemblages. "There's going to be, I hope, a kind of humanity in it," she said. [WSJ]

Parisian Auctions Mired by Provenance Disputes: The Hopi tribes of Arizona — and their celebrity champion Robert Redford — are not the only ones trying to stop controversial sales in Paris. Last month Sotheby's sale of the Barbier-Mueller collection in the French capital drew the opposition of the governments of Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala on the grounds that works being auctioned had been exported illegally, contributing to the sale's disappointing total. [FT]

Soviet Bunker Becomes Art Gallery: A vast, U-shaped, Soviet-era nuclear fallout bunker some 40 kilometers south of Sarajevo has been turned into a contemporary art space, with artists from 19 countries creating performances and site-specific installations in the complex's nearly 100 rooms buried some 920 feet below ground. The Turkish artist Basak Senova, who also serves as one of the space's curators, described it as a "crazily incredible project." [AP]




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