Art Snapshot: The Top 10 Art Stories of the Week

A princess begins work at Christie’s, ancient apostle paintings discovered in Rome, and work by Stephen Vitiello and Yoko Ono

A princess begins work at Christie’s, ancient apostle paintings discovered in Rome, and work by Stephen Vitiello and Yoko Ono take root in New York. It can’t be a slow summer when there is this much action in the art world.

1. Princess Eugenie of York Interns at Christie’s
Princess Eugenie, the 20-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, began her internship at Sotheby's London this week with bodyguard in tow. No celeb internship story is complete without a bit of nepotism: Christie’s U.K. chairman Viscount David Linley is her second cousin.

Our take: As if getting a coveted art internship weren’t hard enough already.
[Daily Mail]

2. Damien Hirst–Designed Audi Raises $518,000
Jeff Koons isn’t the only artist pimping rides. An Audi painted by Damien Hirst raised over $500,000 for the AIDS Foundation of Sir Elton John at the singer’s White Tie and Tiara Ball this weekend.

Our take: Both artists were photographed posing next to their cars in ill-fitted suits, strongly resembling sleazy car salesmen. Coincidence? We think not.
[Daily Transom, Automobiles Review]

3. Seattle Art Museum to Close Temporarily
In addition to the traditional budget-balancing techniques of staff and pay cuts, the Seattle Art Museum announced that it will close for two weeks at the beginning of next year in an effort to save money.

Our take: SAM’s major debt is due in part to a botched deal for a new downtown building. We can think of another ambitious museum or two that would do well to take note.
[Seattle Times, Observer]

4. Ryan McGinley Directs Gross, Faux-Artsy Film
Rising-star artist Ryan McGinley directed a short film featuring Tom Ford model Carolyn Murphy being licked by a dog and pummeled in the head with a fishbowl and a glass bottle. The project was commissioned by the Luxury Web site Nowness (which is actually just an online division of handbag purveyor LVMH) that promises readers “dynamic ways of exploring the world of luxury.”  

Our take: Call us old school, but if Nowness sees “dynamism” as throwing things at a woman’s head and “luxury” as dog spit and flopping goldfish, we’d rather be boring and poor.

5. Jerry Saltz—and Other People in Glass Houses
In his weekly recap of Bravo’s art-reality conflagration Work of Art, Jerry Saltz became the latest of many to criticize the Brooklyn museum for taking part in it, remarking, “A museum giving a show to a winning artist of a TV competition doesn’t pass the smell test.”  

Our take: Why, exactly, is it any worse than a critic taking part in the same show? One Artnet critic doesn’t see much to applaud either way.
[New York Magazine, Artnet]

6. Oldest Extant Apostle Paintings Discovered in Rome
Archeologists uncovered what they believe to be the oldest images of Christ’s apostles in a branch of the catacombs near St Paul’s basilica. The surprisingly vivid images date from the late fourth century.

Our take: Exciting news, but also, do we really need more crowds at St Paul’s basilica?

7. John Lennon Lyrics Sell for $1.2 Million
At Sotheby’s books and manuscripts auction last week, John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” brought in more than half of the sale’s $2.35 million total.

Our take: It’s a great song, but what does it say for our times that Lennon’s lyrics sold for over three times more than an engraved copy of the Declaration of Independence?
[Daily Transom, Artinfo]

8. Stephen Vitiello Installation Opens on the High Line

Stephen Vitiello’s sound installation, A Bell for Every Minute, opened this weekend on the High Line. Inside a corridor along the park, a distinct bell sound—from the New York Stock Exchange bell to a simple ice cream truck jingle—will ring every 60 seconds.

Our take: We’ll check it out just to watch as hundreds of people reach for their cell phones.
[Art News Daily]

9. Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree Blooms at MoMA
One of Yoko Ono’s “Wish Trees,” those charming saplings to which visitors can tie wishes written on slips of paper, will be planted in MoMA’s sculpture garden as part of its upcoming Contemporary Art from the Collection exhibition.

Our take: Let’s just hope MoMA doesn’t take a cue from the Hirshhorn and suggest visitors just whisper their wishes to the tree during spring budding season.

10. A Highlight from the Tom Campbell Collection
Among the many highlights of Art Market Views’ thorough, picture-filled coverage of Art Basel was this snap Lindsay Pollock took of the Met director hugging his young daughter.

Our take: Too cute!
[Art Market Views]

Art Snapshot: The Top 10 Art Stories of the Week