Robert Landau, owner of Landau Fine Art in Montreal, says he was offered the stolen painting at the Art Basel Miami contemporary art fair last December. Landau told the specious dealer (whose name hasn’t been released to the public) that he had to investigate the picture before he could buy it — Landau then had it sent to his gallery. When a little digging turned up info confirming that it was hot, Landau called the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Art Loss Register, who now owns the painting, will auction it at Christie’s. The investigation into the theft is ongoing. With the number of world-class works of art that are stolen and never heard from again, it’s awfully satisfying to hear about one turning up again. Mr. Landau, I salute you!
Listen to our story about a heist that didn’t end so happily … yet.
“There were cheers in all the control rooms,” Caltech physicist Harvey Newman told the LA Times, shortly after witnessing the achievement at 3:58 PDT. “As soon as we get the data, we’re analyzing it — it’s been a long time coming.”
And data from the collision is already streaming. Scientists hope that the experiments will test long-unsolved physics theories about dark matter, a unifying force, and the origins of the universe.
At 17 miles long and costing $10 billion, the L.H.C. is the biggest machine on the planet. And because its magnets are cooled by 120 tons of liquid helium, it’s also the coldest place on the planet — perhaps in the universe. Yet when Kurt visited the behemoth earlier this year, he found it has a particularly steam-punk look, like something dreamed up by Jules Verne.
First there was the Knife, the Swedish Electronic duo of brother and sister Karin and Anders Dreijer. Now there’s Fever Ray. Last year sister Karin went her own way (as she’s been known to do) and formed a new band. Fever Ray’s self-titled album is full of dark Scandinavian incantations and it is spectacular. Karin’s haunting voice on “Keep the Streets Empty for Me” is best enjoyed driving through Copenhagen suburbs on a summer night, whereas “I’m Not Done” sounds really good in a crowded New York subway. In concert, she wears enormous feathered bird costumes in one strangest and most original stage shows around.
The prize for best booty-shakin’ performance of SXSW in Austin last week goes to Chicago rapper Kid Sister. Her first single, “Pro Nails” (featuring Kanye West), is just the tip of iceberg. Ultraviolet takes the best of high-energy 80s dance hip-hop and shoots it through a 21st century indie-electro filter: tight, fast beats, crazy synths, rapid-fire lyrics and irresistible hooks. If the opener, “Right Hand Hi,” doesn’t get you off your ass and dancing, I don’t know what will.
The actor who plays Sheldon, Jim Parsons, says he’s not sure either. In an AV Club interview, Parsons postulates that Sheldon’s social- and emotional-disconnect may be part of his genius or part of a disorder. But he also notes that the writers disagree. The show’s co-creator Bill Prady tells TV Squad that he’s hesitant to label Sheldon with Asperger’s. The character he and his team have in their minds as they write the show each week does not have the disorder.
Perhaps unintentionally, this TV show about geeky scientists has illuminated the very difficulties and stigma associated with Asperger’s. But at least they’re not alone – they’ve got each other, and over ten million faithful viewers.
We all know that the Internet has its drawbacks. (Why do I know that Sandra Bullock’s husband cheated on her? Why does a certain relatives think I enjoy videos of kittens?) But its power to aggregate—pulling material from across time and around the world—can still knock your socks off. I stumbled across an example this week: the UK Guardian’s list of 50 greatest arts videos on YouTube.
The list is a couple of years old, but the clips are classics. Madonna’s very un-polished first show at Danceteria in 1982. Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discussing Lolita. Stravinsky conducting Firebird. Pollock dripping paint, Nirvana practicing in a garage before they hit. All these things existed before, somewhere; but you’d have spent years of your life hunting them down. In the mountainous slag heap of YouTube, there are plenty of loose diamonds, if you know where to look.
And if you do want to see some kittens, click here.
In her new collection of short stories, now out in paperback, Mary Gaitskill plumbs the depths of her characters’ hearts and minds. As always, her insight into their behavior is spot-on. When Gaitskill induces cringing, it’s only because her characters’ actions ring so true.