Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Village Sparky Owns 271 Picassos?

Picasso "study of a hand" oil

Click above to see some of the art on Liberation newspaper's website use BACK arrow button to return to blog
The South of France - Electrician Pierre Le Guennec, 71, and his wife, Danielle, have kept between $50 and $80 million worth of Picasso's artwork in their cupboard for forty years. Le Guennec installed an alarm system in Picasso's home in Cannes, when the artist was 90 years old. Artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso died at the age of 91 in 1973. This past September, the electrician called on Claude Ruiz Picasso, Picasso's son and administrator of his father's estate, to verify the artworks as being original Picassos. There is no question about their authenticity, but some oddities were noticed with the art and the man's story about how he received the art had two versions. Claude quickly filed a suit for illegal possession of art and called the police to have all 271 pieces confiscated from the couple's home as possible stolen property.

One version of the story is that Picasso personally gave Le Guennec the box, the other that Picasso's wife at the time, Jacqueline Roque, gave the electrician the box (actually a trunk). “Madame gave them to me. And if she gave them to me, he had to be aware of it.” Jacqueline Roque died in 1986. Other oddities: Picasso mostly gave away doodles on napkins or on scraps of paper to friends. He also was meticulous about cataloging, dating, numbering and signing every piece of art. Many of these works are undated, unsigned and don't have the final inventory that Picasso demanded of his oeuvre. Picasso's heirs say: the artist always wrote a dedication on his gifted artworks to friends and with the quantity and quality of these newly discovered pieces, why would Picasso give these away without doing any of the above?  The artworks were not reported as stolen at the time and have never been reported as stolen!

Yesterday the French newspaper, Liberation, broke this story in Paris and it spread like wildfire. Now "tout le monde" is buzzing about never-before-seen Picassos stashed in a box. This collection of artworks spans three decades, including works in the Blue, Rose and Cubist periods, his most treasured styles. There are 271 works: 30 lithographs, several portraits of Picasso's first wife, Olga Khokhlova, watercolors, oil paintings, collage art and 200 drawings, all created between 1900 and 1932, and all unknown to the art world until yesterday, (Monday, November 29, 2010). This will be reviewed and sorted out in court but Claude Picasso says the works will be inventoried, studied and protected during the legal process, he simply wants to make certain these works were not stolen from his aging father. The electrician, Pierre Le Guennec, is not charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing. He says he was just getting his estate in order. 

Picasso's art is the most stolen in the world, with 500 pieces currently being tracked down.  He is said to have created more than 20,000 works of art.

Next Road Trip,
Find McClard's!

Where is the best Bar B Q in America? Well, that's like asking what is the best piece of music every created! The answer is a matter of personal opinion and individual taste. "Greg Johnson and Vince Stanton, authors of Real BBQ, published by Harper & Row, logged almost 40,000 miles and visited more than 700 barbecue restaurants in search of the ultimate barbecue. An excerpt from their books states, 'McClard's, the top barbecue restaurant in Arkansas, boasts a sauce hot enough to make your lips feel like Mick Jagger's. It's a masterfully balanced amalgam of flavor and fire!' Johnson and Stanton further exclaimed, 'McClard's is one of the best in the nation.'"

Based on my personal opinion and individual taste: McClard's Bar B Q, established 1928 in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, IS the best purveyor of smoked pork ribs and a classic chopped pork sandwich on this planet. The sides have not changed in 80 years, cold slaw, BBQ beans, fries and white bread. Their secret sauce can be called spicy and they also offer chopped beef and a crazy hot tamale spread. All meats are cooked and smoked in an old fashioned BBQ pit and everything is made from scratch, using original family recipes and prepared by hand.

This place is a classic, with neon signs and housed in an angular early to mid-century building. The local, state and regional media all say McClard's offers the best pork Bar B Q and The Food Network, The Travel Channel, Playboy, Southern Living Magazine, Willard Scott, President Bill Clinton and actor F. Murray Abraham among many, many other people and magazines all say eat at McClard's and you be the judge, it's the best! Put a little South in your mouth and order a Pork Rib Sandwich with extra sauce. (p.s. It comes open faced, you don't actually eat it like a sandwich.)

McClard's Understated Excellence
Go online to see more.

Until later,

A Picasso art sampler, click on each to view.
use BACK arrow button to return to blog
Self-Portrait - 1972

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved, Text © Copyright J

ack A. Atkinson 

2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Candide and Margherita Pizza

For Thanksgiving I give you two jewels until next week.

Candide by Voltaire
French Literature's No 1 greatest Hit,"Candide", recently celebrated its 250th anniversary. The New York Public Library had an exhibition, now ended, but the web site is still up and very enjoyable. Voltaire, through allegory, tells all - reading his book he wanted the readers to be "world-wise" and "cautious" of: theologians & things done in the name of religion; politicians & governments; armies & generals who are not on the front lines; philosophies & philosophers - but mostly, he reminds us of the dangers of being overly optimistic or overly pessimistic about any situation.

A synopsis of Candide:
A young man, Candide, is living a sheltered life and being indoctrinated by his mentor, Pangloss, an incurable optimist. Young Candide leaves home and travels the world, with the abrupt loss of this sheltered lifestyle. Candide begins a slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences the great hardships of our world and he tries to come to grips with mankind's oldest dilemma, contending with evil and deceit. Voltaire concludes with Candide advocating the precept, "we must cultivate our own garden" (remove the weeds before they take over, water, nurture and protect what we have planted, then reap what we have sowed) in lieu of Candide's original view of the world: to simply expect "the best of all possible worlds".
 In the video below you will hear that the first book Random House published was Candide and the beautiful line illustrations were by one of my favorite illustrators, Rockwell Kent. On the last page of the R.H. book is a drawing of a house. This small illustration then became the famous Random House logo.

Enjoy the NYPL website and video on Candide:

The New York area's most famous food is its PIZZA. The classic Margherita Pizza carries the banner as the classic N Y Slice. Some do not know that the Margherita pizza was invented over 100 years ago and usually has a thin crust, but always has RED tomato sauce, WHITE Mozzarella cheese and GREEN torn up fresh basil leaves which combine to represent the red, white and green Italian flag. This pizza was created for Italy's Queen Margherita and presented to her in honor of her visit to Naples in 1889 by a baker named Esposito. Naples is still the Italian city most associated with pizza. More on Napoli style pizza another day. 

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved, Text © Copyright  Jack A. Atkinson 2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hopping Around West 26th Gallery Openings & Late Night Chance of Meatballs

ART- Art Openings
There were many art openings in the Chelsea Arts District of NYC this past Thursday, but 26th Street shined for me and was a good use of my two hours, the 6-8 pm openings.

Lee Krasner, student of Hans Hoffman and wife of Mega-AbEx-Artist Jackson Pollock has her beautiful burnt umber Abstract Expressionist paintings displayed  at The Robert Miller Gallery, 524 W. 26th. The show runs in tandem with MoMA's AbExNY. Krasner painted mostly at night and the yellow light threw off her sense of color, so she went with browns and cream which are not negatively effected by incandescent light. You will see curving strokes and the long dashes of her brush. Some pieces were painted while she had a broken right wrist. Then she drug her unwieldy left hand and brush around with the exposed fingers sticking out from the plaster cast on her right arm. These works are not pure non-objective art, you find hidden eyes, faces or birds wings. Overshadowed by Jackson Pollock's fame, Lee did not gain recognition until late in her life. Her legacy also includes the famous Pollock-Krasner Foundation, one of the most prominent, "art specific" foundations in America. This exhibition runs until January 29th, 2011.

My artist friends Shin Fujiwara and Kagii unvieled their solo shows on Thursday at Caelum Gallery. Kagii creates his installations, digital images of music and dancing on acetate, to form hangings. These grab your eye, your imagination and your sense of fun. Fujiwara plays with non-objective spacial illusions in two dimensions. His images are created within a computer and are made up of small swirling, black, mechanical lines. Fujiwara's mounted digital outputs on paper are very soothing and hypnotic. As you are leaving the gallery, look to the left of the door to see my painting, "Guilin Landscape" hanging in its white frame. I think it is beautiful, but that's just me! We three artists work exclusivily in digital output. View the show at 508 or 526 W. 26th. St., elevator to the third floor, Caelum is #315.

At Claire Oliver Gallery, 513 W 26th, Bronx born artist Michael Anderson has moved from collages using art stickers to 8' x 8' "Hip Hop Collage" on paper. He dissects images from print media which he collects. He creates a new statement using his x-acto knife, paste pot and paper. The gallery opening was full of young hipsters and the artist was there explaining the meaning of each detail of his images and why one image was juxtaposed to another.

Also open on 26th Street last Thursday was "VIVID, Female Currents in Painting" and "Pavers" both group shows at the newly opened, reorganized and relocated Schroeder, Romero and Shredder Gallery (531 W. 26th St.) Lots of wall space, lots of fresh art. This was one of those openings where the energy was intense and the atmosphere palpable! It was a classic "Chelsea Art Opening" full of artists, art lovers, wine drinkers and collectors. 

Chelsea Arts District has over 200 galleries. Think of it as a shopping mall for Contemporary Art (I know, it is not really a mall).  The world of art is predicted, revisited and invented here. As the gallery owners say, on Thursday nights they host the best museum level shows for FREE and serve anyone walking in wine or beer!

Friedrich "Fritz" 
Christian Anton Lang 
(1890 – 1976) Austrian-American filmmaker, with at least one film banned by Hitler was born to a Jewish mother, but raised Christian in Germany. Under the Nazi eugenics laws he was classified as Jewish, so following his good instincts, he quickly immigrated to the United States.  His 1927 silent film noir classic Metropolis, a flop when first released in Berlin, was cut and reedited many times before finally being put on the shelf only to be admired years later at film festivals. Last year, an original uncut copy of the film was discovered in perfect condition and made available to the art theaters around the world. If you missed it in theaters, this two and one half hour film is now out on DVD - no scratches or noise but in the crystal clear form Fritz Lang first showed it. People who live and breathe movies say: with the previously unknown scenes being back in and the high quality print, it is a completely new experience to watch. ("The Complete Metropolis" by Kino International, in Blue Ray and standard DVD.)

A Late Night in NYC,
With a Chance of Meatballs
Daniel Holzman, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and Michael Chernow was trained at the French Culinary Institute. They are well educated, classically trained chefs. Earlier this year they opened their "DREAM" restaurant, "The Meatball Shop", a restaurant completely devoted to guess what? Awww, you guessed it. Meatballs! The favorite meat of Italian grandmothers and Swedes everywhere. Dan and Mike realized that meatballs actually are a delicious comfort food, loved by anyone who has ever eaten a really great one. Here, everything is made from scratch, with farm-fresh ingredients and the featured orbs are created from chicken, vegetable, spicy pork, beef, and leave room for creative originals. The meatballs are presented as sliders, heros, "smashes on brioche", or over a side with your choice of sauce, served in a bowl.  The choice of sides is spectacular, including: white beans, risotto, polenta, rigatoni, fresh greens, sauteed broccoli, and roasted veggies. The meat is paired with homemade sauces: tomato, spicy meat, mushroom, parmigiano cream, pesto and secret special sauce.  (I guess, they did learn something in culinary school.) The two chefs are old friends who went to public school together. Jokingly they offer the "FAMILY JEWELS SPECIAL" where a fried egg is added to your selection. The Meatball Shop is a part of "the city that never sleeps", they are open until 4 a.m. Thurs. through Sat. and until 2 a.m. Sun. through Wed. It is located at 84 Stanton St., one block south of Houston on Stanton between Allen and Orchard in Manhattan. Phone (212) 982-8895.  Everything except the sliders are available for take out.    http://www.themeatballshop.com/menu.html

"Let's see, I'll have a spicy pork meatball Smash! on brioche with parmigiano cream sauce and a side of fresh greens and another of polenta."   :>)

Until later,
Jack A. Atkinson  2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Detail of a Jackson Pollock drip painting.


Abstract Expressionist New York
currently showing at MoMA.
October 3, 2010–April 25, 2011

When I say MoMA owns this genre of Art History, I mean literally that, THEY OWN ALL OF THE ARTWORK in this show, which is the largest amount of space MoMa has ever dedicated to a single show. Abstract Expressionism is the art that gave America credibility in the Art World and ultimately led to NYC becoming the center of the Universe for the World of Art and for Paris becoming a thing of the past. In 1946 critic Robert Coates, writing for the New Yorker invented the term “Abstract Expressionism” while describing the work of Hans Hofmann. In this exhibition you will see the early and classic works of Jackson Pollock (Jack the Dripper). Hofmann and Helen Frankenthaler show us their exploration of magical color and we see how Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhardt helped train our eyes to appreciate minimalism. Willem de Kooning shows us a war between the emotions of love and hate with "Woman 1" and we see a timeline of Mark Rothko's paintings which finally arrives at his sublime soft edged, color rectangle paintings. David Smith's bold lines shine, suspended in air next to the black and white shapes of Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and the boxes of Louise Nevelson. This exhibition is more than an interesting museum show about a particular style of painting, it sums up the most important part of 20th century American Art History - specifically the chapters on Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting. The remainder of that  20th century American Art History book is available for your consumption on the other floors of MoMA. If you are interested in 20th century art, I say skip the art history class and go to this show - pick up an acoustiguide and get the best first hand overview of the "American Century", as reflected through its art, you could ever invest your time in. I WILL be going back to soak up more of this exhibition, if you get the chance, GO and start your day at MoMA with the Abstract Expressionist on the 4th floor.


Guess who is playing at Yankee Stadium this Saturday? Army and Notre Dame are playing FOOTBALL! A first for the NEW stadium and the first Yankee Stadium football game since 1969. This game at the old Yankee Stadium used to be the national championship game, resurrecting memories of Army's perfect season and Knute Rockne, Notre Dame's "win one for the Gipper", coach. His teams went 105-12-5 the best record of wins as a percentage of games played in history. 


Don't want to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, order a smoked turkey and have it shipped to you. Then you simply carve it and serve it.  We checked out many options, but ONE gets the most admiration. GREENBERG'S SMOKED TURKEYS are considered the absolute best, from Tyler, Texas. The turkey is shipped frozen and thaws on the way to your house.Sam Greenberg smokes turkeys the way his grandfather did 57 years ago, seasoned with a family spice recipe and slow-cooked/smoked over a hickory fire.  200,000 customers eat Greenberg turkeys during the holiday season each year. It is better to order 10 lbs and up, because these turkeys are not casually smoked, they are "really and truly smoked" until they turn dark brown in color. Some people say the smaller ones are actually too smoky in flavor. Order all you want for the year (they freeze well) because all of the smoking is being done right now, and then there is a long off season. You can warm the turkey up for Thanksgiving by setting the oven at 300F, placing the turkey in a roasting pan and covering it with a foil tent, and cooking for 10 minutes per pound. BUT DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Everything points to how juicy these turkeys are at room temperature, right out of the box. I have noticed turkey meat is annoying when it s still slightly frozen or if it is too cold, but it never seems to be warmer than room temperature when I consume a slice. Sooooo, think hard before you reheat your fully cooked turkey -  A TURKEY THAT'S TOO DRY, NOW THAT YOU NOTICE!

Other than the one person who said that smoked turkey made him hungry for those turkey legs at the state fair.  : >(  Here are some encouraging comments:  "The meat is fresh, moist, and succulent. They are not much to look at, but everyone thinks they are the best turkey meat they ever tasted." "Chop the meat and mix it with mayo and cream cheese to form it into something like a cheese ball." "The leftovers I freeze immediately after carving in small packages wrapped in Saran Wrap, then Foil, then in Freezer Baggies." "The bones make the best soup by boiling the them in 2 qts. water. I removed the bones, let them cool, removed the meat, returning it to the pot and then added a can of rinsed pinto bean, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of Ro-tel tomatoes, a can of whole kernel corn and a can of cream style corn to thicken it."

Price: from 6 lbs ($27.00 feeds 12 to 18 people) to 15 lbs. ($64.35 feeds 30 to 45 people). The large sizes run out first.  Oprah, The New York Times, and other publications all say this bird is the only choice for "fabulous" smoked turkey. Open 7 days a week from 8:30-5:00 central time  \\http://www.gobblegobble.com/    Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, Inc. • P.O. Box 4818, Tyler, TX 75712 • 221 McMurrey Dr., Tyler, TX 75702 • (903) 595-0725

If you really are craving that "State Fair Turkey Leg Experience" check out Smoked Turkey Legs, 20 pcs $49.50   http://www.farmpac.com/ 1-800-999-6997

Until later,

For picky eaters, other Smoked Turkey Sites:

*Translation net lingo: "Oh My (Gosh) MoMA, Great Abstract Expressionist New York (show)! Need I Say More?"

ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved, Text © Copyright Jack A. Atkinson 2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jersey City, NJ's MILLION $ VIEWS, A Perk for the Fourth Estate* on the Left Bank* of the Hudson

The View Out My Studio Window
(updated picture November 2014)

"ART is beauty experienced!"-Jack A. Atkinson
An Essay
By Jack A. Atkinson
The View Out My Studio Window
(Photo taken November 13, 2010)

It's 7ish on Saturday morning, November 13, 2010.

I have drawn the scene out of my studio window on the west bank of the Hudson several times and have taken many photos of it. It is beautiful, so this morning I want to describe in words my typical morning experience.

I am drinking strong, dark coffee with a splash of milk out of a bowl, in the French style. I have been up since 5:30 am watching the beauty of this clear morning. First the river turned an incredible indigo blue before the sunrise and the SKY? - it also was a deep indescribable shade of blue with a singular star, I think Venus. From an artist's point of view, I am interested in the contrasting orange of the sunrise blending into the deep blue of the sky. In black silhouette is Manhattan's skyline still dotted by thousands of window lights and classical radio fills my room in Jersey City, skillful hands are playing a Chopin piano masterpiece!

Morning unfolds: the NY Harbor, the Verrazano-Narrows Suspension Bridge and the Statue of Liberty all begin to glow orange. The horizontal sunlight creates an optimistic shine on Lady Liberty. Her torch of welcome is not casually held above her, but has a confident and defiant posture, thrust as high as possible! A huge, white cruise ship is cutting a sweeping arch through the harbor for the mandatory statue photo op before heading past the mountains and canyons of lower Manhattan then up the Hudson to the Chelsea Piers. The statue, sculpted in an elegant French romantic style, dominates the bay. Her presence and beacon originally intended to greet immigrants, now greets mostly tourists and international cargo crews waiting to unload in NJ before returning to sea. 

NY Harbor is actually a bay much like San Francisco, where fresh water rivers swirl into a bowl, mixing with the salt water of the Atlantic. I recently read that a landscape view quickly becomes bland unless there is some sort of movement. Back and forth, the Staten Island Ferry provides constant movement, but this water has many personalities. The giant scale of the military vessels and cruise ships are awe inspiring on the Hudson, especially beautiful is the majestic QM2 which docks across the Harbor in Red Hook - on weekends the sailboats are nostalgic as they tilt through the water - and the frenetic dance of water taxies add excitement on workday mornings. I enjoy seeing their grid of white wakes, it reminds me of a Brice Mardin painting. 

Today the water is serene and tranquil, New York is an island of dense towers to the east and centered in my south facing window, the largest sculpture in the city, The Statue of Liberty. 

What I am seeing and enjoying is seldom seen by New Yorkers. It is as dramatic and beautiful as any priceless work of art in the museums. This view from New Jersey's often underrated environs, is truly one of the great views of the world and today, again, it's mine - just outside my studio window!

In the topmost headline *The Fourth Estate refers to writers and artist who are not: (1) from Wealthy Connected Families, (2) a member of the Respected Clergy nor (3) part of the Silent Majority, but are (4) creative and talented people who have gained influence by shaping the opinions of the world. In the past it was accomplished through the press and printed materials, now its through both traditional media and digital distribution or by becoming widely known for individual talent, thus receiving press coverage. * The Left Bank or "Rive Gauche" traditionally refers to the 1890's Paris of artists, writers and philosophers, members of the great artistic community at Montparnasse, here it refers to 21st century Jersey City, NJ. on the west (left) bank of the Hudson, River.

Manhattan at sunset taken from my window.

Statue of Liberty at sunrise taken from my window.

Manhattan at sunrise taken from my window.

Wall Street Eats

The Wall Street Burger Shoppe, a restaurant in lower Manhattan's financial district at 30 Water Street, receives mixed reviews for food and service, EXCEPT FOR THIS MENU ITEM:
The $175 Richard Nouveau Burger: prime kobe beef, grilled and topped with aged gruyere, shaved black truffles, foie gras and golden truffle mayonnaise.

A review about Wall Street Burger Shoppe found on the internet.
"I had the sanity to decide to pay $175 for the Richard Nouveau burger to the ridicule and banter from my co-workers but I regret not one nano-second of it..it is without doubt the best tasting anything to ever be ingested by me...I haven't tried any of there other items but this was an absolute gem..and I got it TO GO!... you have to call a day in advance to ensure they have all the ingredients."

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved, Text © Copyright Jack A. Atkinson 2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thoughts on Thoughts and the High End Art Market!

This is the first issue of ARTSnFOOD blog, which I think of more as a twice weekly newspaper column or a mini magazine. Enjoy and tell your friends about it. Now, let's have some fun!

Last night there was a very impressive contemporary art auction at Sotheby's NYC. Many works bought by collectors over the past 40 years from galleries or the artists themselves came up for auction for the first time. Warhol's Large Coca-Cola sold last night for $35.3 million coming on the heels of  NYC's Phillips de Pury's sale of an Elizabeth Taylor Warhol on Monday for $63.3 million. The collector who sold the Warhol Coca-Cola painting bought it for $143,000 in 1983 (probably had buyer's remorse at the time and felt they had overpaid). The high end secondary market for art has indeed come back and is robust, this is a good sign for everyone and for the economy. For the retail art market to come back, the high end must come back first. $224 million + commissions were transfered by the end of the evening at Sotheby's. This was an exciting auction because of the name artists on the block: Warhol, Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, Frances Bacon, DeKooning, Rothko, Gorky, Larry Rivers, Chamberlain, etc. etc. Good news for a change!

Yesterday I read in the New York Times that science may soon be able to see memories. Each experience we have creates a new "PKMzeta molecule" in our brain. Biologist will soon be able to track these molecules  in each individual brain. Block the molecule, the memory goes away. (I think there was a sci-fi movie about erasing memories, it could be a good thing for post traumatic stress victims or a very evil thing if used to manipulate people. Hummmm?) Anyway - it does prove that THOUGHTS ARE INDEED THINGS, as we have heard from so many motivational speakers!

Whole Foods Market
suggests an interesting
Thanksgiving Dinner:
(click on each item to see how to prepare them)
Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved, Text © Copyright Jack A. Atkinson  2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricato