Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tempting fate !

Vesna Tenodi
 More dramas after our story of Arab/French dancer Alizee Sari's strip at the sacred Aboriginal site Uluru in the Outback.( see below).
A Croatian born artist living in the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney,  Vesna Tenodi is getting flak for her Aboriginal style paintings and sculptures. Vesna was on the ABC's Radio National this week defending herself saying  "prehistoric imagery belongs to the world. Any group claiming ownership is a ludicrous proposition. We have to make this clear, otherwise we will all be held hostage by this Aboriginal nonsense.'' Ouch.

Tenodi owns the very Indigenous looking
ModroGorje Gallery and Wellness Centre in Katoomba and has just unveiled the Wanjina Watchers in the Whispering Stone, an 8.5-tonne sculpture in the heart of town with heavy overtones of Aboriginal symbolism.She says she has received death threats.

The Shuttle attended the last exhibition of  one of the great Indigenous artists Clifford Possum in ritzy Woollahra a few years ago. Possum's sold his first painting for $100 and just after he died in 2002 one of his  works brought over $400,000 at auction. 

Possum was late for the exhibition and the gallery was closed by the time he arrived. tSS was driving past and noticed the great man peering through the gallery windows with tears streaming down his cheeks. Asked what was the matter, Possum replied "they're all fakes!" .

Clifford Possum
When Possum passed away there was much wrangling about his remaining works. It was soon discovered that several family members also did paintings under his name.
But as an expert explained, the concept of 'self' is a difficult one in Aboriginal culture and a tribe perceives itself as a whole. Thus aunties and uncles, nephews and so on (who are not necessarily blood relations) join in to complete  artworks and they are regarded as being executed by the artist himself. Similarly when a tribe or members come into wealth the lot is shared around equally. The original Socialists !.
 As for the gallery where the Possum fakes (non-Aboriginal copies) were-it went bust within the year.

As we said before, say a little prayer for Ms Sari and another for Vesna !

With the announcement that Michael Jackson Cd's have sold 35 million copies since he died, some of his personal items drew bug bucks at Juliens Summer auction. One of his fedoras fetched $56,250 while one of those famous sequined gloves brought $192,000.
Anna Nicole Smith's variety of Marilyn Monroe decorated handbags went from $90 to $200 but the big winner was the great legend herself. 

 3 of Marilyn Monroe's chest x-rays sold for a combined $45,000. Pill popping Elvis Presley's personal copy of the Physician's Desk Reference sold for $11,875 but there was a bargain-an Elvis potholder for $224 !. Elvis in the kitchen?.