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Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

The Key of D Minor? Vitamin D deficiency may have contributed to Mozart’s death

According to an article in Live Science, the lack of sunlight-induced Vitamin D may have contributed to Mozart’s young demise. The authors of the study surmise that the Vitamin D deficiency could have made the composer more susceptible to a plethora of infections during the winter. According to the authors of the study, “Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48 degrees N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about 6 months of the year. Mozart died on December 5, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.” The researchers include: D. William Grant, of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, and Stefan Pilz of the Medical University of Graz in Austria For the

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Art world crime: In the news: Joshua Bell impersonator robs hotel room of celebrity violinist

Throwback Tuesday to an Art Crime from 2012 Art World Crime: Joshua Bell Impersonator robs hotel room of world-famous Violinist by Leticia Marie Sanchez HELLO. MY NAME IS JOSHUA BELL. CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME A VIOLIN? OR A ROLEX? THANKS. So while Joshua Bell is performing the Brahms Concerto with the London Philharmonic in Zaragoza, Spain, a man goes to the front desk of his hotel claiming to be the world-famous violinist. The Hotel clerk does not bother checking the guy’s ID. (Ever try Google Image, buddy?) The hotel hands over the key to Joshua Bell’s room to a man off the street while poor Bell fiddles his heart out on stage. The thief no doubt could not wait to get his sticky fingers on Bell’s 1713 Stradivarius, worth about 4 million dollars. But, unlike the thief, Bell was actually working that

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The Banksy Self-Destructing Art Mystery

The Banksy Self-Destructing Art Mystery by Leticia Marie Sanchez Last week in London, after being sold for 1.4 million dollars at auction, a Banksy painting self-destructed. Banksy’s “Girl with a Balloon” had just sold at Sotheby’s when a hidden shredder inside the painting began to slice and dice the work, to gasps from the auction crowd. Photo Credit: Sotheby’s After the stunt, Banksy posted a quote from Picasso on his Instagram account. “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” Sotheby’s Senior Director of Contemporary Art stated in a news released, “”It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” But many questions remain. Was Sotheby’s in on the stunt? Was the shredder operated remotely? How was Banksy able to get the perfect video of the stunt which he later posted on his Instagram? Some speculate that a curly-haired man at the auction videotaping

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San Francisco art heist: “The Preppy Sockless Picasso Thief”

  Flashback to 2011 when a Picasso sketch was stolen by a man who preferred to go sockless.. Who: Preppy Sockless Picasso Thief What: Steals Picasso 1962 sketch ““Tête de femme,” valued at $275,000 before heading to party in Napa Where: San Francisco’s Weinstein Gallery at Geary and Powell Streets When: Tuesday the 5th of July, 2011 The man calmly removed the sketch from the wall of the gallery, wrapped it newspaper, and then walked out into the crowds at Union Square. The brazen Picasso pilferer then hopped into a taxi, carefree as a lark, to join friends at a party in Napa, before being caught by police, who had caught his image from a security camera at a restaurant near the gallery. For more on the story, please read: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/08/MNC41K7JHQ.DTL

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In the news: The missing Caravaggio and “the Pizza Connection”

 The missing Caravaggio and the “Pizza Connection” By Leticia Marie Sanchez A pilfered painting by Caravaggio has been in the news this month, thanks to an article from Smithsonian magazine that offers new clues to the art mystery. The missing 17th century work, the Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence is on the FBI’s list of Top Ten Art Crimes. The painting was stolen in 1969 from the Oratorio di San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily where it hung above the altar. One theory posits that the painting ended up in the hands of Gaetano Badalamenti, a mobster who spent his last seventeen years in prison as the leader of a “pizza connection” drug trafficking ring.  Other hypotheses include that the painting was gnawed by rats, damaged in a fire, or left in deserted farmhouse. According to Smithsonian, Gaetano Badalamenti, the mobster who ran

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In the news: Rembrandt found under ping pong table fetches millions

 Three brothers from New Jersey discovered a valuable Rembrandt under their Ping Pong Table. Better than finding toxic mold! Here is the news link: http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2018/01/how_an_old_painting_turned_out_to_be_a_11_million.html

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In the news: Classical Music to be played in north London to reduce crime

  by Leticia Marie Sanchez In Broadwater Farm, an area of North London, Adam Weber, a 23 year old constable in charge of law and order, will be playing Beethoven and Mozart in an effort to reduce crime. In the past the Broadwater Farm region was plagued by riots and violence, and Weber is hoping that classic music will have a similar effect to the use of music on the London Underground, where music was blared from speakers in 40 stations. In the subway experiment, Weber revealed that incidents of verbal and physical aggression were reduced during the time period when the music was played. As Bernard Berenson observed in 1952 at  Villa I Tatt in Florence, “Without art, visual, verbal and musical our world would have remained a jungle.” For more details, please read: http://www.classicfm.com/music-news/classical-music-broadwater-farm/

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In the news: Selfies and artistic collateral damage

Selfies: Artistic Collateral Damage? by  Leticia Marie Sanchez One cannot deny the preponderance of selfies in today’s art world. One cannot enter a gallery, museum, or even concert venue without encountering a selfie taker, some more subtle and considerate than others. Taking a selfie as a souvenir of an artistic experience is one thing. What is disconcerting is when I-phones become Weapons of Mass Destruction. Unfortunately, the latest artistic destruction caused by a selfie apparently occurred this summer at the 14th Factory, a pop-up gallery in Los Angeles, where a clumsy student taking a selfie caused more than $200,000 worth of damage to a series of crowned pedestals by Hong Kong based multimedia artist Simon Birch. Birch decided not to press charges against the individual because 1) she was a student and 2) it was an accident. In a statement released by Birch, the artist

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In the news: Jackson Pollock painting found in garage?!

A man apparently found a painting allegedly done by Jackson Pollock in his garage. When the Arizona man called an auctioneer to appraise a signed Laker poster valued at $300, the auctioneer stumbled upon a painting possibly worth 15 million. The tale and provenance involve a New York Socialite, a Scottsdale garage, and a tenacious art appraiser. It seems as though the Laker fan may have found himself a real slam dunk. For the news story, please read CNN’s coverage here: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/12/us/lost-jackson-pollock-painting-garage-trnd/index.html

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Strolling through a Sea of Picassos; “States of Mind”- A Must See Exhibit at the Norton Simon

Review: “States of Mind” at the Norton Simon October 14, 2016- February 13, 2017  By Leticia Marie Sanchez The act of artistic creation is often a mystifying process, in which a mysterious alchemy of genius, inspiration, and hours of labor combine to form the masterpieces that we see hanging on museum walls today. Although we may be connoisseurs and consumers of output, it is rare to have an opportunity to view the artistic process firsthand. Strolling through a sea of Picassos at the Norton Simon one is struck by the ability to have a window into an artist’s thoughts and vision. Unlike oil paint, which covers the artist’s work, the flexible medium of lithography allows one, as explained by Picasso himself, to “show the picture underneath the picture.” The insightfully curated exhibit of 86 prints juxtaposes various states of a

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