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Trump Gets ‘Art Of The Deal’ Masterclass From Vietnam – Forbes



If Donald Trump’s ghostwriter Tony Schwartz is mulling a sequel to “Art of the Deal,” he may find inspiration in Hanoi.

There, Schwartz will encounter a group of leaders running circles around his earlier muse, dating back to that 1987 bestseller. And, in the process, reminding investors everywhere why Vietnam’s Covid-19 economic bounce back is no fluke.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s government was doing its best to keep a low profile. All that changed earlier this month when President Trump’s Treasury Department formally labeled Vietnam a “currency manipulator.” Though Team Trump gave China a pass, it brought the hammer down on a nation with gross domestic product comparable to Louisiana, about $262 billion.

The reason: Trump is irked that Vietnam won a trade war he thought would prompt CEOs to move millions of factory jobs from China to America. Instead, much of that labor migration favored Vietnam.

Between July and August alone, Washington’s trade deficit with Hanoi jumped 11% to $7.6 billion, a roughly 39% increase from a year earlier. By October, it had risen to $8.74 billion. Trump already had lots of explaining to do over the tens of billions of dollars of bailouts he’s had to extend to U.S. farmers ruined by his China tariffs.

That’s billions borrowed from China to aid agricultural interests slammed by Trump’s trade war. Seeing tiny Vietnam reap the benefits adds insult to injury. And it has Trump lashing out, targeting Vietnam’s exchange rate.

The good news for Phuc’s government is that Trump will soon leave the scene. Joe Biden’s White House is more likely to prioritize Vietnam’s friendship, diplomatically speaking, over petty score-settling. What, after all, does America’s ginormous economy get from antagonizing a small one destined to be a significant power in Southeast Asia?

Vietnam is often seen as a “mini-China” of sorts. A gross oversimplification, of course. Comparisons stem from Vietnam’s locale, 97 million-plus population and its reasonably similar governing system. Amid the trade war fallout, Hanoi wisely positioned itself as an ideal hedge against Trump and China’s Xi Jinping going toe-to-toe.

This dynamic is partly why Vietnam is likely to grow at least 6.5% in 2021, while Biden inherits a pandemic-decimated economy. Nor is Vietnam’s moment in the spotlight likely to be fleeting. It has a relative wage advantage in sectors from garments to furniture to the manufacture of consumer goods. Though South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, is making a run at factories fleeing China, Vietnam boasts better infrastructure and geographical placement within regional supply chains.

Vietnam’s boom is Phuc’s to lose. There’s much his government needs to do to raise its economic game and sustain the gains of recent years.

It matters that Hanoi appears to have handled the coronavirus well so far. Officially, the nation has reported only about 35 deaths. Even so, Hanoi must intensify efforts to root out corruption. It must strengthen the banking system, internationalize corporate governance and raise its stock market game.

Vietnam must shrink the size of the state sector to create more space for private enterprise. It must diversify growth engines away from exports toward services, innovation and tech startups. It must up investments in education and training to increase productivity.

Vietnam’s leadership also must embrace a freer media and internet. Clamping down on social media outlets is counterproductive in the long run. It’s hard to argue, decades on, that China’s “Great Firewall” has helped Beijing achieve any of its economic objectives. President Xi’s tenure is making China more opaque.

For now, though, Vietnam is teaching a masterclass in the art of the deal at which Trump was supposed to excel. And in ways ghostwriter Schwartz, in a series of recent interviews, now says must drive the president crazy as tiny Vietnam outmaneuvers the mighty Trump Nation.

One of Schwartz’s most interesting Vietnam-related Trump observations came out of a February 2019 interview with Politico. “Weakness is Trump’s greatest fear,” Schwartz said. As such, he said, Trump’s takeaway of the war in Vietnam was viscerally unsettling, “his worst fear writ large—that the enemy, with far less money and resources, would figure out a way to outwit the Goliath.”

Vietnam, let’s face it, did a far better job putting out the welcome mat for multinational companies, negotiating deals to create new jobs and raise wages and coming out on top from the soft-power marketing standpoint. As this dawned on Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fired a shot across Hanoi’s bow. 

Trump’s 11th-hour Vietnam broadside seems at once Freudian and a bit Shakespearean, too. As Schwartz and many a Trump biographer point out, Trump has always been sensitive to the perception of him as a Vietnam draft-dodger. Now Vietnam is piecing the myth of Trump’s art-of-the-deal reputation, too.

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Art for art's sake – Strand



(Content warning: some videos [especially Understanding Contemporary Art 8.1] show artworks with unsettling themes or images of blood.)

With our winter break coming to a close and lockdown forging on, we could all use some lighthearted entertainment. As the winter term starts and students gain excitement for a new beginning (and new year), there is an opportunity to learn and expand our art education. Abbozzo Gallery is helping make art education easier and more accessible with a new educational project. This unique, video-based project is broken down into eight chapters: chapter 1: introduction to modern and contemporary art, chapter 2: understanding an artwork, chapter 3: starting an art collection, chapter 4: the art market, chapter 5: investing in art, chapter 6: the role of commercial art galleries, chapter 7: conceptual art, and chapter 8: photography.

This organizational method allows for easier access and absorption. The videos are collected through YouTube, which provides captions for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and the descriptive nature of the videos allows for the visually impaired to participate. There is a concern regarding some of the videos that rely heavily on images, however, meaning that visually impaired individuals cannot utilize them in their learning. Each section provides a series of videos presented as lessons, interviews, documentaries, and panel discussions to help us consume the material while teaching us about art.

Although the videos differ in length and in publication date, this does not dictate the amount of information given. Some shorter videos focus on one subject and look at it in depth, while longer ones provide overviews of modern and contemporary art and vice versa. The amount learned from each video simply depends on how much time or interest you have to give; one can still gain a good basis of understanding by picking and choosing videos with the presentation format that best works for them. I will not be discussing each video in length but will highlight some key points or ideas.

chapter 1 starts with a video about abstract art. It discusses the lack of understanding that existed when abstract art first emerged. As with anything that is new and that challenges traditional ways of thinking, people initially lacked mechanisms for understanding abstract art. Artists like J.M.W. Turner, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Victor Hugo demonstrated that abstract style is not necessarily abrupt through their depictions of real things, like landscapes, to show that such subjects can look abstract, too. In other words, abstraction does not entail a total disregard for realism, a style that was highly regarded at the time. Abstraction was not widely accepted, as many were not used to taking on the perspective that this art form provides. This style shifted the lens by which people considered and looked at art. The change in art that abstraction demanded occurred in parallel with the changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century and the development of photography, which contributed to the emergence of abstract art.

The development of photography allowed artists to pursue their interests in depicting natural things in non-naturalistic ways, as seen in the works of Matisse and Andre Derain at the turn of the twentieth century. Before photography, people wanted to depict and have things depicted as accurately as possible, which allowed art to act as a form of record. With the development of photography, a medium that takes a snapshot of the scene or subject in front of the lens at a given moment, artists were allowed to begin experimenting with the abstract and non-realistic. As a result, new art movements occurred such as Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, etc.

Art was used to portray new thoughts, feelings, levels of consciousness, and processes while calling on works from many different cultures. This widespread art movement allowed for subjectivity, and it has a timeless quality of critically analyzing art and our world. Although many saw abstract art as a drastic change, abstract forms had already existed in the traditional world (e.g. religion, currency).

Some of these educational videos use sophisticated terminology (which is usually defined or explained), while others use pop-culture references relevant to the time of publication to help viewers gain an understanding of the material. For example, the second video gives basic information—like the fact that modern art embodied an era of experimentation spanning approximately from the 1860s to the 1970s—to the analysis of such information, as is seen with the statement that art mirrors society, thus allowing viewers to analyze themselves and the world. Given that the video was produced in 2014 and was intended for junior/senior high students, it provides a good starting point for those new to art history while solidifying the knowledge of those previously acquainted with it. The second video, like many others, provides a general overview of art history leading up to the birth of modern art and modernism itself. Since these videos were produced earlier in time, some of the beliefs or theories purported about art reflect the scholarship at that time. It is important to note that art continues to grow and change.

The next few video chapters are a series of contemporary and modern art classes from Open Online Academy, New York. The instructor uses his own literature to teach and provides a more thorough account of art compared to the previous video. By using and explaining relevant terminology, the instructor allows viewers to become familiar with such terms and learn how to apply them to art. He importantly points out a helpful tool for understanding new art forms: by juxtaposing them with the prior style(s). The instructor pinpoints Manet’s Music in the Tuileries, 1862 as the hallmark of the turn to modernist art, regarding the lack of both a vanishing point and the traditional use of depth. This series has specific videos on particular artists to better contextualize one’s understanding of modern art, and concludes with contemporary art. The use of well-known artists grabs the attention of newcomers while adding some lesser-known paintings for comparison. Artists such as Duchamp, Kiefer, Pollock, and Rothko are discussed in terms of their contributions to modern art and the beginnings of contemporary art, which started around 1960.

An analysis of these art movements allows one to identify the questions that such movements raised about art, like with ready-made art. The focus on meaning and challenging the definitive was new to people who were used to looking at realistic artistic compositions. Many people disliked and continue to dislike modern and contemporary art but fail to recognize its meaning and significance. Understanding contemporary art first requires learning more about it, which, in a way, makes this art less intellectually accessible. Like abstract art, ready-made works use the familiar (i.e., recognizable forms) and change or challenge their meaning in an engaging, philosophical discourse.

Ready-made art or paintings like Whistler’s challenge the definition of art (is art really even definitive?). A video from The Guardian also questions art, in an honest way, by asking and suggesting answers to the question, “What is art for?” Important ideas are called into question regarding who gets to define art. In Whistler’s case, he was central to debates and underwent lawsuits that called these exact ideas into question.Although these videos focus on the most popular or important pieces of these artistic movements, one should note that there were many contributions to these movements from all over the globe. Europe, especially Italy and France, was seen as the birthplace of or leading contributor to many art styles, but one should still consider art coming from all areas during these times.

The TEDx Cornell Tech chapter addresses common issues and challenges faced when considering modern and contemporary art in order to help viewers understand the role and social impact of these movements. The video argues for an increasing inaccessibility to art, which is ironic if you think about it. In the age of technology, art is more physically available, yet to many is considered more intellectually out-of-reach. Overall, this video suggests some reasons for this and how we can ameliorate them.

Although technology is quite impressive, it is not seamless, as exemplified in the next video’s play-back issue (which may be dependent on the specifics of location or network connection—another downfall of technology that I am sure many of us are familiar with).

I hope that the discussion of Abbozzo Gallery’s educational project has sparked your interest. As aforementioned, this is not a comprehensive summary of the entire chapter but highlights some important and interesting ideas that are cohesive throughout the chapter. with art, it is best to be your own critic and go and judge for yourself. I hope you enjoy the project and take this opportunity to learn more about art!

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Fantasy just one spot on young local artist's exploration of art – Yorkton This Week



The great thing about art is its diversity.

There are different styles and mediums to satisfy the tastes of varied artists and of those viewing the results.

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For artist Jewel Reynolds, the variety is one of the things which has inspired her creativity.

Obviously fantasy is a preferred theme for you. Why? What is about fantasy you like?

“Iactually started out with realism and a passion for wild cats, like Iwas obsessed,”said Reynolds. “Ididn’t like house cats I only liked wild cats, me and my dad actually painted one of my rooms with all the wild cats you could think of on one wall. It was amazing and Iloved it.

“Meand my siblings would bike ride all the way to the Guzoo which was five miles out of town (she grew up at Three Hills, AB.), and feed the animals, this way we would get a free pass in.

“I would bring my sketch book and just have a day of drawing the animals until it was two then we would bike back.”

But as an artist Reynolds’ focus evolved.

“I also went througha phaseof drawing people,” she said.

“Then Ifound it got borderline boring so I started experimenting.

“Iwould make crazy alien creatures and I found it more fun to come up with stories about places that creature would live, why they needed wings or pale blue eyes, why they looked they way they did.

“Or, just in general coming up with an environment that’s out of this world.

“They just became art pieces Icould explain and share.”

Today, fantastic permeates much of Reynolds’ work, although at only age 30 Reynolds, who has lived in Yorkton since 2016, may yet evolve her work.

Whether she does change her focus, it will just be another step on a path started when she was just a youngster.

“I was interested in art at a really young age because my father, (Robert Sieben), is an artist so I would always draw and colourwith him,” she said.

The passion grew from there.

“Art was always my favouritething to do in school,” said Reynolds.“I used to do lots of crafts and was even encouraged to enter colouring contest and events at a young age.”

Reynolds’ interest in varied mediums started at a young age too.

“My first wood burning was of a lynx drinking water at a watering hole,” she said. “My dad came into my room one day and said ‘Jewel I can trust you right?’, then proceeded to hand me a old school wood burning kit. He just wanted to ensure I didn’t tell my mother and that I didn’t burn the house down or hurt myself. That was in grade eight I do believe.

“I used the back of the original burning kit wood sheets provided, needless to say it snapped in half and I ended up just getting rid of it.”

But the journey had begun.

“My earliest art piece that was recognized in my school was in Grade 5,” said Reynolds. “We ended up painting it on a piece of paper to hang in the gymnasium for a performance, I actually still have a picture of the original art piece, My teacher Miss Wiebe laminated it for me and put a boarder around it.

“I just remember being proud and kinda upset since the paper that the art work was painted on had fallen the night before, and they hung it back up up-side-down.

“I was also recognized for art in Grade 6 and Grade 7 and received medals.”

Gaining some in-school recognition fired Reynolds’s interest farther.

“It wasn’t actually the piece that spurred me it was the people that encouraged me,” she said.“Myfamily was always saying ‘Jewel that’s cool you should sell it and make something of it’.

“Sometimes friends or classmates would say ‘wow that’sgreat. Can you draw me something?’

“I always had a great support from my family, my friends my teacher Miss Wiebe.”

And the encouragement continues to help.

“Finally I created my first painting collection due to my great partner Caleb Campbell,” said Reynolds. “So many times Ihave asked him his thoughts or advice about things.

“He also encourages me to finish projects and art pieces before Iwould just give up and walk away.”

But, where does Reynolds gain her inspiration, especially as her work takes on a fantastical focus?

“Sometimes Ihave dreams that are so wacky and random, but some of my art has come from those dreams,” she said.

“Some art Ihave painted is inspired by photos or just little cute things Irun across via social media.

“But most is just from my imagination.

“Some of my art work coming out now Ihave actually done while super young but held onto because Iwanted to make its day-view into the world as wondrous as Ienvisioned, and wanted to work out all the kinks and mishaps before Iput it out there.”

So does Reynolds have a favourite among her works?

“Honestly this is impossible to answer,” she said. “Ihave done art my entire life and Idon’t think I can pick a favourite.

“A lot of my older stuff was not as good as where I am today with my own style and likes, so more current work is more my favourite.

“Honestly, I cant tell you which one I like more because Ilike each one for their own reasons.

“And, Ifind them all beautiful in their own way.”

It’s much the same when it comes to what medium she likes best.

“I have tried tons of mediums,Isew, draw with markers, pencil crayons, carve, resin, paint with acrylic, oil or watercolour,” said Reynolds. “Ieven recently started trying upholstery and tattooing.

“Ijust like learning new things, and Idon’t think Iwill ever stop trying new things. All of the mediums I’veused so far Ilove. Ican’tpick one over the other.”

Now Reynolds is taking another step, putting her creations out there for the public to purchase. It was not an easy step to take.

“Honestly yes I’mhorrible at advertising myself and not much confidence when meeting new people,” she said. “I just recently was encouraged by Caleb to try and he gives me the confidence to even just put it out their. I’m kinda a recluse when it comes to going out; it’sonly to replenish my stash of crafts or tools and Istruggle with talking about my art work.

“More or less I hoping my art speaks for itself.”

Anyone interested in her works can contact hervia Facebook or email at

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Will Online Art Auctions Be 2021's Hot New Trend in the Art World? – Yahoo Finance



Park West Gallery, the world’s largest art dealer, is thriving and breaking records with their new live-streaming online auctions.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Has the global pandemic changed how people are buying art? There is growing evidence to show that art collectors are enthusiastically embracing online auctions as an appealing and safe alternative to purchasing art in-person.

Park West Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter auctions off two paintings by artist Jon Rattenbury.
Park West Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter auctions off two paintings by artist Jon Rattenbury.

Park West Gallery was one of the first art dealers to pivot to online auctions during the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak. Founded in 1969, Park West is the largest art dealer in the world and they have been holding live-streaming online auctions for their collectors over the past nine months.

“We knew collectors would love our new online experience,” said Park West Gallery Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione. “But what we didn’t anticipate is how quickly that segment of our business would grow.”

Since the start of 2021, Park West has seen record sales and attendance at their online auctions. In fact, over the January 15-17 weekend, the gallery sold 1,559 works of art, the largest number of works that Park West has ever sold during an online auction weekend—breaking their previous record set only two weeks ago on New Year’s weekend when a special three-year-old guest auctioneer brought down the hammer on the record-breaking sale.

“There are many benefits of auctioning art online,” said Scaglione. “One of the biggest benefits is the selection you can offer. When we’re auctioning at an event or on a cruise ship, there is a finite amount of art we can fit into the space. But, when we’re online, the variety of art that we can offer to our clients is simply incredible. And we’re taking advantage of that every week.”

One of the highlights of this past weekend was record-breaking sales from two of Park West’s hottest new artists, Ashton Howard and Jon Rattenbury. Howard is a Florida native who has won critical acclaim for his works of “Fluid Realism”—a technique he invented that captures the light and movement of water in a truly unique fashion. Jon Rattenbury, a popular contemporary artist, is well-known for his “dimensional acrylic” paintings, which give his landscapes an otherworldly level of texture and depth.

The January 15-17 weekend also saw record sales for works by the late great Jean-Claude Picot, the renowned Post-Impressionist who passed away in August 2020.

“We’ve really seen a huge uptick in our online art auctions in 2021,” said Park West Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter. “I had a client last weekend who knew us from our cruise auctions who had never attended one of our online auctions before. She saw some of our recent press coverage and decided to attend her first one. She ended up spending over $100,000! Art collectors are really responding to this new format.”

This new surge in online art collecting aligns with 2020 research from Barron’s, the Dow Jones & Company magazine, which noted that the COVID-19 crisis could fundamentally boost online art sales and predicted that the shift to online platforms for art collecting could be “both permanent and transformative.”

About Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery is the world’s largest art dealer, bringing the experience of collecting fine art to more than 3 million customers since 1969. Whether it’s masterpieces from history’s greatest artists or the latest artwork from leading contemporary icons, Park West offers something for everyone through its accessible art exhibitions and auctions all over the world. You can learn more about Park West Gallery and its over 50-year history at

Park West also hosts live-streaming online art auctions every weekend. To learn more about Park West’s online collecting events, visit

CONTACT: Tom Burns

Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter tells viewers about an original work by Florida artist Ashton Howard.Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter tells viewers about an original work by Florida artist Ashton Howard.
Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter tells viewers about an original work by Florida artist Ashton Howard.
Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter and Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro hosted the gallery's record-breaking January 15-17 online auction weekend.Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter and Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro hosted the gallery's record-breaking January 15-17 online auction weekend.
Principal Auctioneer Jordan Sitter and Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro hosted the gallery’s record-breaking January 15-17 online auction weekend.

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SOURCE Park West Gallery

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