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Mexican art critic shatters contemporary piece at art fair – Times Colonist

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MEXICO CITY — An art critic has destroyed a contemporary piece at Mexico’s premiere art fair, setting off a spirited debate about what constitutes art.

Critic Avelina Lésper said she accidentally shattered the installation Saturday at the Zona Maco art fair in Mexico City when she placed an empty soda can near it to express her disdain for the piece: a sheet of glass with a stone, soccer ball and other random objects suspended inside.

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The display was by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico, who contrasts objects made by humans, such as tennis balls, with objects found in nature, such as feathers and rocks.

“It was like the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it,” Lésper said in a video statement for Milenio, a Mexican media group that publishes her columns. “The work shattered into pieces and collapsed and fell on the floor.”

Lésper said she was then told the piece was valued at $20,000.

Accident or not, the gallery displaying the work criticized Lésper’s behaviour as unprofessional.

“Lésper coming too close to the work to place a soda can on it and take a picture as criticism without a doubt caused the destruction,” OMR gallery said in a statement via Instagram.

The gallery said the critic’s behaviour showed an “enormous lack of professionalism and respect.”

OMR said Rico’s work is highly sought by collectors and art institutions at the moment.

Alfonso Miranda, director of the Soumaya art museum in Mexico, described the incident via Twitter as a “tragedy.”

Others took to social media to applaud the destruction as a performance piece, and to pan the sale of art that consists of used and found objects.

Lésper said she suggested the gallery leave the piece shattered, to show its evolution. When they rejected that idea, she said she offered to repair it.

The gallery said it would get in touch with the artist before announcing next steps.

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Water themes will be on display at art event in Lund – Powell River Peak

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Self-described amphibiographer Terry L. Brown will be sharing his passion for the water through an aquatic video and photo presentation, and through a workshop, where interested parties can learn about photography and videography around the water.

As part of Ebb and Flow, a water-themed art show at Tidal Art Centre on Finn Bay Road in Lund, Brown will be showing photographs and videos he has taken around and under the water, with the showing on Thursday, August 18, at 7 pm.

“You don’t even have to get wet to enjoy viewing some of my wondrous videos and photos,” said Brown.

For the adventurous who want to learn some aquatic photography techniques, Brown is offering an in-water workshop on August 20, with a venue to be determined, depending on wind and wave conditions on the ocean.

“I’ve had some fascinating experiences in this amazing aquatic world and I love to share it with people,” said Brown.

Regarding the Ebb and Flow art show, Brown said he has four aquatic-themed photos as part of the display. He said his presentation at the art centre will showcase what he calls amphibiography.

“The images are at the interface of water, air and land,” said Brown. “There are still photos that are half above water and half under. There are video images that transition from underwater to above water. I will be showing videos and photos that evening and explaining how I get the images, for people who are interested in photography and underwater photography.

“Then, on Saturday, August 20, I’m offering a workshop for those people who want to participate in and practice some aquatic videos. It will be shallow water, either in the shallow ocean water if it’s not too windy and wavy, or, it will be in a lake if ocean conditions aren’t good.”

Breathe deep and dive shallow

This will be a snorkel event, not a scuba diving event.

Brown said most of his photography and videography is actually at or near the water’s surface.

“Most people think you have to go deep to get good stuff,” said Brown. “I do scuba dive but most of my work is close to the surface. It’s basically about as deep as the local pool. My motto is: breathe deep and dive shallow.

“Most of my work is with available light. I seldom use video lights or electronic flash. It’s very different when you see the critters underwater in available light in the way the light plays over them.”

Brown said the water itself is a prime photographic subject for him because it is constantly changing. He said one of the photos he has in the Ebb and Flow show is called River Vortex, which depicts whitewater rapids, but underwater.

“The water is swirling around and is creating a vortex,” said Brown. “It’s what it looks like from a fish’s eye view underwater.

“I do videos of rapids, also, where the water is pouring over rocks and curving around. It’s just the motion of the water and the shapes that water takes that is just spectacular.”

Brown said he had read in a book about the dancing curvaceousness of nature, and to him, that’s water.

“It’s constantly curving and moving and dancing and flowing,” said Brown. “I can shoot 10 minutes in one place and every second is different.”

He said his work is his prime passion in life.

“My motto is immersing you in wonder, and my passion is immersing people in this amazing world, so they fall in love with it,” he added. “Then, then can act out of that love to protect.”

Riches in ditches

Brown said he and his partner have chosen to live in the qathet region because of the opportunities afforded in both the incredible freshwater and saltwater here. He said people can even photograph in ditches and get great images.

“There’s riches in them ditches,” said Brown.

With photography or videography, there is always an expense involved, but Brown said it can be reasonable. He said if people have action cameras, like GoPros, videographers can get some “amazing stuff” with them. However, even smartphones can take great images if they are in waterproof housings.

“I’ll show people how they can get some fabulous stuff just dunking it,” said Brown. “You don’t even have to get really wet. You can just wade along the shore somewhere and dunk that underwater. I’ll show them how to make images that make people go ‘wow, what is that?’ It’s right at your feet.”

Brown said the in-water event will be a hands-on session. He said he will have an underwater video camera that people can do some video with but it’s great if they have their own equipment so they can use it and get the most out of it.

People don’t need to make reservations for the show at the Tidal Art Centre. They can just show up to the free presentation.

If people are interested in the workshop, they can contact Brown directly to let him know they will be in attendance. They can ask about equipment, or Brown can answer any questions that they have. There is no specific charge for the workshop, but after it is over, people can voluntarily leave an honorarium for him if they so choose.

“I don’t want to keep people away who might not be able to afford coming,” said Brown. “The theme is: get out and get wet. Explore your local liquid.

“I like helping people to be aware. So much of life we go through and we’re not aware of who or what is around us and what is right in front of us. Part of my mission is to help people become aware, and then to make that connection.”

For workshop participants, a mask and snorkel is essential and having a wetsuit or drysuit will allow more comfort and longer immersion time. Children with adult supervision are welcome.

People can contact Brown at 604.414.7883, or by email at amphibiographer@hotmail.com. For examples of Brown’s video work, go to amphibiographer.tv, and for still photos, they can go to terrylbrown.com.

“Water is a magical mystery place,” said Brown.

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Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades – CityNews Toronto

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Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades  CityNews Toronto



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Fake psychics helped woman steal $180M in art from elderly mom, police say – Global News

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A Brazilian woman was arrested Wednesday after police found that she orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud her elderly mother out of precious works of art.

Sabine Coll Boghici, 48, is accused of using a ring of fraudulent psychics to swindle her mother, Genevieve Boghici, 82, out of around 724 million reais, or $180 million, in art, jewelry and money, according to a statement by police in Rio de Janeiro.

Police say the racket began in January 2020, when Genevieve, the widow of renowned Brazilian art collector Jean Boghici, was contacted by someone claiming to be a psychic who had seen a vision of her daughter Sabine’s death.

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The phoney psychic then introduced her to other seers, who used personal information provided by Sabine to convince the elderly woman that their claims were real. The ring of psychics used their leverage to get money out of Genevieve for “spiritual treatment,” in order to save her daughter from her prophesied death, according to NBC News and the BBC.

The suspects were later alleged to have physically threatened the elderly woman and Sabine eventually kept her mother confined to the house after she became suspicious of the scheme.

Sabine and a psychic then began to take artwork from Genevieve’s house and told her that the paintings were cursed with negative energy that needed to be “prayed over,” said police officer Gilberto Ribeiro, according to Reuters.

Eventually, Genevieve sought help from the police, who uncovered the scheme.

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At least 16 paintings were stolen from the elderly woman, police said, including works from celebrated Brazilian artists Cicero Dias, Rubens Gerchman and Alberto Guignard.

Three of the stolen paintings were works by famed modernist Tarsila do Amaral. Those three paintings alone were worth a reported 700 million reais, or just under $175 million.

Police say they have recovered 14 of the stolen paintings, having found 11 during a raid of the home of one of the accused psychics and three that were sold to an art gallery in Sao Paulo. At least two paintings have yet to be recovered, though, including pieces that were sold to a museum in Buenos Aires.

A video posted on Twitter by a local media outlet shows the moment one of Amaral’s paintings, Sol Poente (which means setting sun), was found inside a bed frame hidden under a mattress.

At least seven people were involved in the years-long plot, Reuters reported. Police said four were arrested, including Sabine, on Wednesday but the others remain at large.

The accused are facing charges of embezzlement, robbery, extortion, false imprisonment and criminal association.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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