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  • Archive for June, 2010

    U WHO?

    Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

    A rare 1978 image of U2 at Limerick (click on image to enlarge)

    An historic set of photographs of U2 at the Stella Ballroom, Limerick, during the Limerick Civic Week Pop ’78 Competition, on March 17, 1978 is due to come under the hammer at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London on June 23, 2010.

    It was the first time the band appeared under the name of U2. There was a prize of £500 and the promise of a record deal. They had entered the competition under the name they were using at the time, The Hype. However, they felt that if they did well in the competition, they would be stuck with this name and so changed to U2 at the last minute, a choice they had been considering adopting for a while.

    On the evening of the event the band found themselves up against a number of other, seemingly more experienced entrants and felt there was little hope of success. Bono recalled in the book ‘U2 On U2’, ”There were bands there that could play in time and in tune and with great confidence, all of which we couldn’t pull off. But, you know, some bands have everything but ‘it’. We had nothing but ‘it’.” They played three tracks, ‘Sweet Missions’, ‘Life On A Distant Planet’ and ‘The TV Song’ and, much to everyone’s astonishment, they were awarded first place. It was a pivotal moment for the band and Larry has commented that ”…We had no real idea how winning in Limerick would change our lives.”

    One of the images has been used in the photographer’s own publicity material in the past but the remainder are unpublished. The photographs, comprising thirteen strip negatives and a corresponding set of prints, 20.5 x 30.5cm (8 x 12in), to be sold with copyright, are estimated at £10,000 – 15,000.

    UPDATE:  The images failed to sell.


    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

    A work by Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1984 entitled Joy was the top lot at the Sotheby’s summer evening sale of contemporary art in Paris on June 2. It was bought by a European private collector for €1,464,750, a figure well above the top estimate of 900,000. The sale achieved a successful total of €9,517,050, a figure well above the pre-sale expectations of €5.1-7.0 million. Sell through rates of 93% by lot and almost 100% by value rank among the highest ever seen at a contemporary sale at Sotheby’s Paris. A remarkable 74% of sold lots realised prices in excess of their high estimate.

    Sotheby’s Summer Sales of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art in Paris concluded on the evening of June 3 having brought an outstanding total of €31,332,325.  The Impressionist and Modern sale brought in 17.5 million and the evening and day contemporary art sales brought in a total of 13.8 million.  There were new auction records across the two days for Helena Viera da Silva, Jacques Villeglé and Louis Marcoussis. Four works sold for over one million euro and 14 for over 500,000.


    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

    Marilyn, JFK and Bobby in 1962 (pic: Cecil Stoughton, copyright Keya Morgan)

    A total of nine copies of The Secret Photo, the only known photograph of Marilyn Monroe with JFK and Bobby Kennedy, have been sold out on the first day of sale at 23,000 dollars.  The rare image was on offer at the Art and Artifacts Gallery in West Hollywood, California.

    The photo is on exhibition there until June 20. It was taken after Monroe sang Happy Birthday Mr. President at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, the last major public appearance before her mysterious death the following August. Had she lived she would now be 84.

    The black-and-white photo, taken by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton, showed Monroe still wearing the infamously tight-fighting, sheer rhinestone-studded dress she wore when singing earlier at Madison Square Garden. The dress sold at auction in 1999 for £860,000. President Kennedy appears to be turning away from the camera, something he rarely did, while his brother, the U.S. attorney general, looks toward them.

    They were photographed many times but the Secret Service and the FBI confiscated every picture.  The negative for this one was missed because it was in the dryer when the agents came searching.

    Stoughton, who died in 2008, was reluctant to allow the image to become public until after former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s death in 1994. He made and signed 10 prints and sold them to filmmaker Keya Morgan. Nine go on sale next Tuesday. The 10th print was given to singer Michael Jackson, a big Monroe fan, two years ago.



    Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

    The Turn of the Road by Paul Henry made 80,000 at Whyte's on Monday, May 31

    THE Whyte’s sale in Dublin on Monday, May 31 brought in over one million euro and achieved a 90 per cent sell through rate. The top lots were Paul Henry’s The Turn of the Road which made 80,000 and Tony O’Malley’s Spectral Garden, Bahamas, which made 38,000.

    It was a good sale for contemporary Irish artists with works by Tony O’Malley, Gerard Dillon,  John Shinnors, Hughie O’Donoghue, William Crozier, Charlie Tyrell and Patrick Scott all hotly contested.

    Tony O'Malley's Spectral Garden, Bahamas, 1987 made 38,000 at Whyte's on May 31, 2010


    Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

    Louise Bourgeois, the world renowned French born New York based sculptor, died on Monday, May 31, 2010. Though 98 she worked up to the end. She died of following a heart attack. Her influential sculptures explored the deepest feelings of women about birth, sexuality and death.

    Bourgeois was the first sculptor commissioned for The Unilever Series to celebrate the opening of Tate Modern in 2000. The monumental female spider, Maman, carrying her white marble eggs beneath her, was the work visitors first saw when they entered the vast space of the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern at Bankside in London. Hers was the first new work to be commissioned for the gallery.