It turns out that Whitey Bulger, the 81-year-old Boston mobster who was arrested last June after 16 years on the lam from a slew of murder and racketeering charges, may have written two memoirs that he left behind at hidey holes along the way. Could one of them be titled “How I Planned the Gardner Heist”? Ever since the storied master criminal—the inspiration, it’s said, for Jack Nicholson‘s character in The Departed—was caught, art sleuths have been hoping that the Feds could finally find out what role, if any, Bulger had in the unsolved 1990 theft of $500 million in Manets, Vermeers, and other masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, including Rembrandt‘s one-of-a-kind 1633 seascape The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. The biggest art heist in American history—and considered by some the priciest property theft ever, though Hitler might beg to differ—the crime remains the subject of an open investigation.
– QUOTE OF THE DAY –
“The creative industry is very nascent in China and while it’s growing quickly, it still lacks a lot of the infrastructure you see in other countries. Working as a freelance creative is pretty much a brand new concept in China and as a result, young creative people don’t know how to make money off their talent and conversely, most brands don’t know how to work with talented creatives. On top of this, mainstream media doesn’t pay much attention to creative culture, which limits the avenues for creatives to get their work seen, so the internet becomes the main channel for promotion.” – Sean Leow, founder of Shanghai-based online magazine and commercial artist liaison NeochaEDGE, on the challenges young artists face in his country.
– MUST READ –
The High Line‘s Barn-Burning Finale – From newly released plans of Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s last stretch for West Chelsea’s elevated park it seems they’ve pulled out all the stops, with everything from a dance stage to something called “children’s play beams.” (Artinfo)
Beastie Boy to Curate MOCA Show – Art impresario Jeffrey Deitch has tapped Mike Diamond to organize a show called Transmission L.A.: AV Club, which will feature artists including Klara Liden and Still House. (Art in America)
Bruegel to Hit the Big Screen – The actor Rutger Hauer, best known for his role as the aryan robot in Blade Runner, will star as the great Northern Renaissance artist (the elder one, notch) in director Lech Majewski‘s film The Mill and the Cross, which sounds essentially like a fictionalized tableau vivant of the painters 1564 The Way to Calvary. (TAN)
Naked as a Panda – Jerry Saltz was tickled pink to find the artist Rob Pruitt conducting a book signing over the weekend completely in the nude, save for a discreetly placed stuffed panda covering his bamboo shoot. (NYM)
Raining on a Renaissance Parade – Of the new evidence that one of Leonardo‘s most famous lost masterpieces might on the cusp of being rediscovered, Mark Hudson writes that “even if a substantial chunk of the Battle of Anghiari is unearthed I suspect the experience will be disappointing.” (Independent)
Color Us Surprised – A new exhibition of photos by Harry Warnecke at the National Portrait Gallery shows some of the greatest icons of the black-and-white era—from Lucille Ball to General Patton to Ted Williams—in unaccustomed full color, making them seem grippingly alive and contemporary. (NYT)
Is Michael Heizer‘s Rock “Like a WPA Project”? – That’s what LACMA director Michael Govan says of the multimillion-dollar project of moving the fabled land artist’s Levitated Mass to the museum, arguing, “an artist and concrete workers and steel workers and truckers and engineers and architects — we’re putting all these people to work.” (Artinfo)
– ART MARKET –
Christie’s to Sell Art Recluse’s Jewelry – While the auction house has won the right to sell as much as $10 million in Huguette Clark‘s gems and such, Christie’s probably wishes it really had a whack at the late and mysterious multi-multi-millionaire’s art collection, which she had willed to be publicly displayed at her Santa Barbara estate. (Reuters)
– IN & OUT –
San Francisco artist Eric William Carroll has won the 2012 Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer, which comes with a $10,000 grant and a solo show at San Francisco Camerawork. (Arforum)
Happy Birthday Diane Arbus! – The controversial paragon of irresistibly unsettling, borderline exploitative photographs of social outcasts and assorted oddballs would have turned 89 today. (HuffPo)
– VIDEO –
Watch the latest promo video for Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni‘s satirical-ish Chelsea pop-up gallery Family Business.