May 2022: News roundup


Picasso Portrait Brings Sotheby’s Hong Kong Evening Sales to $164.2 M.

Picasso Portrait Sells for $21.6 Million at Sotheby’s Evening Sales in Hong Kong.

The piece of current notoriety is a 1939 abstraction of the artist’s muse and common collaborator, Dora Maar, a Surrealist photographer. This grand purchase, made by a Japanese collector, brought the total sales of the event to US$164.2 million–well between the presale projected range of $118 million to $178 million.

Kyiv Officials Dismantled a Soviet-Era Monument of Friendship Amid Plans to Rename Russia-linked Streets

No Nicety: Kyiv Monument Gifted by the U.S.S.R. in 1982 Has Been Dismantled
Originally a symbol of reunification, the statue of two workers holding a medal was demolished and removed from the center of Kyiv as Russia continues its militant advances on Ukraine and its people. In addition to the statue’s removal, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced that a nearby titanium arch of the same origin will be painted blue and yellow–the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Kyiv City Council will also be changing the names of streets with relations to Belarus and Russia.

Collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo to Turn Venetian Island into Arts Space

A Remote Venetian Island Will Be Restored Into An Environmental Art Space
Collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo will oversee the transformation happening on the island of Isola di San Giacomo. Plans include converting three powder magazines–built by Napoleon–into art exhibition and event spaces, the planting of trees, and overall island restoration. “I like to think that through the centuries, the different lives and functions of this small island have been preserved in the soil and can now come back to the surface as a source of inspiration,” she says.

Artist Precious Okoyomon Brings Lush Flora and Live Butterflies to Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale Welcomes Mother Nature and her Associate, Precious Okoyomon
The artist adorned their installation, To See the Earth Before the End of the World (2022), with elements of nature and its inhabitants. Kudzu–an invasive vine species native to China and Japan–sugar cane, soil, water streams, and live butterflies coexisted as visitors were encouraged to carefully explore. Although beautiful, kudzu is perceived as a weed to some because of its rapid growth rate and almost untamable nature. Okoyomon sees their utilization of kudzu as a form of anti-colonial protest: while its presence at the event is manageable, a moment when it is not, can also be contextualized.

New AI Technology Generates Astounding Images with Just a Few Words of Text

OpenAI’s Newest Software Technology Can Generate Your Words Into Images
The San Francisco artificial intelligence company is finishing up the remaining touches on DALL-E 2, the hyper-realistic and mind-bending image generator. This second edition software’s functionality originates from its former, DALL-E, but can now edit users’ photos and provide more accurate visuals based on sentences of text rather than two-word commands.

Some of the World’s Biggest Galleries and Museums Rallied to Preserve 200,000 Acres of Rainforest in Peru

Art Galleries and Non-Profit Unite to Conserve 200,000 Acres of Peruvian Rainforest
A relieving amount of funds donated by art-lovers and institutions was received by Galleries Commit, a sustainability collective, and the artist-maintained Art to Acres. The now permanently protected area, the Chuyapi-Urusayhua Regional Conservation, has one of the last remaining cloud forests in the world and is especially vital to the environment and locals because of its supply of drinking water.

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