Art in The Week That Was

A selection of creative current affairs and events which have hit the headlines…


Following the much-publicised automatic shredding of Banksy’s ‘Girl With A Balloon’ last week (upon the piece achieving its final bid of more than £1million at Sotheby’s), the artwork has since been judged to have doubled in price due to the shocking stunt.  Expert site tweeted:-

‘In its shredded state … we’d estimate #Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to it’s value, possibly as high as being worth £2m…’.

Unfortunately, owners of some other Banksy pieces have decided to copycat the event in order to attempt a higher value for their artworks.  Although hotly discouraged by art experts, an owner of another of the limited number of ‘Girl With A Balloon’ prints decided to cut into it with a Stanley knife.  My Art Broker responded:-

What this person today seems to have done is needlessly ruin a print worth around £40,000 and reduce its value to almost nothing.  We strongly recommend nobody else takes valuable art and tries to cash in on what history will judge a simply brilliant stunt…  There are limited numbers of Girl With Balloon prints in the world, today, we lost one and it’s a crying shame’.

The resulting damage has caused the £40,000 print to drop in value to just £1.


Rapper Kanye West – married to social media celebrity Kim Kardashian –  is known for being a staunch Trump supporter, along with his desire to run for the 2020 American Presidency.

Rapper Kanye West made an impromptu visit to lecture learners at the ‘best art design school in the world’ recently, when he dropped in on students at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies (CCS).  The performer oddly demanded the students be nicer to Tesla founder Elon Musk whilst standing on top of a desk, during an unplanned address in a ‘transportation design’ classroom.  West recently took over the Saturday Night Live (SNL) studio in order to give an impassioned speech in support of American President, Donald Trump.  CCS students calmly filmed the speech for social media, before West continued his tour around campus with ardent Trump supporter Dan Gilbert (CEO of Quicken Loans).

Detroit’s CCS is renowned for producing good-quality artists and creatives with its Fine Arts undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.


Metal sheeting thought to be from naval warship HMS Severn, was discovered by amateur metal detectorist Jonathan Bull on a Jersey beach this week.

A treasure hunter has uncovered remnants of an 18th-century, British naval warship on a Channel Island beach this week.  Metal detectorist Jonathan Bull discovered 21 pieces of metal sheeting at the Royal Bay of Grouville, stamped with the inscription ‘1794’.  They are believed to have formed part of the HMS Severn which completed a refit at Plymouth Dockyard that year.  Maritime reports have revealed that HMS Severn ran aground during a storm in December 1804, close to the Channel Islands.

Mr Bull has since turned over the find to Jersey Heritage.

The ‘Vampire of Lugnano’ was unearthed at a children’s grave site near Rome this week.

In Italy, meanwhile, an apparent ‘vampire burial’ was unearthed in an ancient Roman burial ground.  Named ‘The Vampire of Lugnano’, the skeleton of a 10-year-old child was discovered with a large stone in its mouth.  The relic was found in the Cemetary of Children, a burial site of 5th-century AD Malaria victims.  The disease swept across Italy and was little understood, causing victims’ relatives to believe the deceased would come back from the dead.  This gave rise to some extreme burial practices, including weighting down corpses with large boulders to prevent them rising again and continuing to spread the disease around the city.

Professor David Soren (University of Arizona), Lead Archaeologist at the site for over 3 decades, commented:-

‘We know that the Romans were very much concerned with this and would even go to the extent of employing witchcraft to keep the evil – whatever is contaminating the body – from coming out.’.


Upon the release of his last album entitled ‘Love’, Michael Buble commented:- ‘I’m retiring from the business… I’ve made the perfect record and now I can leave at the very top.’.

Singer Michael Buble has announced his retirement following his son’s battle with Cancer.  The celebrity performer has detailed his current distaste for ‘celebrity narcissism’ and his lack of motivation for the limelight.  Buble’s son Noah was diagnosed with Liver Cancer 2 years ago, and the singer instantly put his career on the backburner.  The now-5-year-old is in remission, but father Michael revealed he has realised the negative impact on his character of becoming fixated on fame.

The Canadian-born, quadruple-Grammy-winner stated:-

‘My whole being’s changed. My perception of life.’.


As Art Today reported previously this year, Rihanna’s crucifix-bearing Met Ball ’18 outfit met with mixed reviews due to its  similarity to a Bishop’s cassock.

The theme for next year’s Met Gala Ball was announced this week.  In a contrast to this year’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination – which saw some guests criticised for insouciant usage of the crucifix symbol – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has chosen Camp: Notes on Fashion.

Said to be a reference to Susan Sontag‘s essay, ‘Notes On ‘Camp’ – concerning the collaboration between high-art and pop culture (such as Andy Warhol, Banksy, Jeff Koons et al) – 2019 Met Ball occasion wear will enjoy the exploration of how to lampoon genre conformity.


Princess Eugenie’s choice of wedding tiara was not the hotly-touted York Tiara that was gifted her mother by The Queen upon her marriage to Prince Andrew.  It was instead the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which was given to The Queen in 1942 by its previous owner, Mrs Greville.  It was custom made in the Russian imperial ‘Kokoshnik’ style in 1919, and features large, cabochon emeralds, which matched Princess Eugenie’s green eyes.

In other news, Princess Eugenie‘s wedding to Jack Brooksbank proved a fashion triumph when the couple wed at St George’s Chapel, Windsor (a la Duke and Duchess of Sussex) on Friday morning.  Despite speculation that the bride would choose British fashion house Ralph and Russo or London-based Erdem, it was revealed that infact Peter Pilotto (and Christopher de Vos) were the chosen champions.  The dress itself was a masterclass in elegance, and fitted the princess’s physique perfectly.  A paired-back, v-shaped neckline displayed Eugenie’s Scoliosis scar down her spine, which was reportedly a deliberate move to highlight the condition and her own battles with it.  For evening attire, the princess changed into a second dress designed by Zac Posen, and moved away from the usual ivory or white palette by choosing blush, pin-tucked plissé to symbolise her being the quintessential English Rose.

Princess Eugenie’s mother and sister chose perfectly-tailored ensembles with strong palettes for the Royal Wedding last Friday.

Other notable fashion choices included Princess Beatrice‘s violet Ralph and Russo ensemble, complete with discreet headband, and her mother – The Duchess of York‘s – emerald green tailoring.  Supermodel Cara Delavigne opted for a black tuxedo accessorised with tilted top hat and white toothpick, while Naomi Campbell opted for a tall, architectural headpiece.


Brandon Truaxe – Founder of Deciem.

It was announced this week by The Cut that Deciem Founder and CEO Brandon Truaxe has been ousted from the company, following a lawsuit against him being issued by investor Estee Lauder.  The businessman reportedly demonstrated erratic behaviour on the company’s Twitter account, giving rise to Estee Lauder’s lawyer Mark Gelowitz commencing injunction proceedings at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.  Estee Lauder – who own 28% of Deciem – have sought to bar Truaxe from corporate social media accounts, remove him as CEO, and appoint his brand partner Nicola Kilner in his stead.  Lauder claim that Truaxe has caused Deciem ‘irreparable harm’ with his Instagram posts – including asking for 911 assistance, and a video announcement of immediate company closure.

Donatella Versace pictured on her arrival to speak to Versace employees about the sale of the business to Michael Kors, this week.

Family-owned, luxury fashion house Versace has been acquired by designer brand Michael Kors in a $2.1billion buyout.  Gianni Versace began his accessories and textiles house in 1978, but it was taken over by his remaining family members upon his shocking murder in 1997, outside his house in Miami beach.  Donatella Versace – Gianni’s sister – will remain a creative force within the brand, as will the current senior management team.  The acquisition follows Michael Kors’ purchase of another luxury accessories brand – Jimmy Choo – for $1.35billion, earlier this year.  The group will reportedly change its name to Capri Holdings once the current deal is finalised.  Donatella commented:-

‘Santo, Allegra and I recognise that this next step will allow Versace to reach its full potential.’.




[Credits:  Feature image – Banksy’s ‘Girl With A Balloon’ print shredding at Sotheby’s (ibitimes); Royal Wedding photography by Art Today Magazine (Shio); Independent; Refinery29; Standard;; The Cut; Sky News;; Indy100; YouTube; Inside Edition;; ibitimes]


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