05.18.06

Wright Stamps

Posted in General, Art & Drama, Architecture at 9:59 pm by Administrator

Frank LLoyd Wright stamps

I got my 1966 Frank Lloyd Wright stamps today. They came in a sheet of 100 and only cost me 1000% of face value! Not quite as colorful as the Ayn Rand stamps, but I think they’ll work. Notice the Guggenheim Museum in the background.

I still wish the post office would come out with a Frank Lloyd Wright Houses set.

Detail of Frank Lloyd Wright stamp 

Click for detail image.

05.12.06

Mozart was a Red

Posted in Art & Drama, Humor, Philosophy at 7:02 pm by Administrator

This hilarious one act play was written by Murray Rothbard and performed at his birthday party in 1986. I stumbled across it while searching for Ludwig von Mises Institute documentaries. (It takes a little while to load.)

Mozart was a Red

I think it is readily apparent to whom the play is referring. If you need an explanation, the full script and a commentary are available here. Sorry L.P., sometimes the truth hurts. (It can also be funny.)

I think Bismarck’s quote about laws and sausages also applies to books. You may not want to meet the author.

05.08.06

Window in the Grass

Posted in Art & Drama, Humor, NIU at 2:32 pm by Administrator

Here’s a typical example of NIU’s silly outdoor sculpture:

Window in Rock at Northern

I suspect it’s some sort of portal to another universe. So far, however, I haven’t been able to turn it on. 

The sad part is: Compared with some of the other sculpture here, this piece is actually not that bad. It doesn’t say anything particularly meaningful; but it’s well done for a (chopped up) rock with a hole in it. Note the Picasso imitation in the background.

Maybe it really is a portal. I wonder if they have lots of Zeppelins on the other side.

05.06.06

Skyscrapers and Such

Posted in Art & Drama, Architecture at 1:50 pm by Administrator

Freedom Tower 

After almost five years, they’ve finally begun pouring the foundation for Freedom Tower. The final design doesn’t look half as bad as it did, but I still wish they would have gone with the Twin Towers 2 concept. [Insert Donald Trump quote here.]

The symbolic power of the original WTC towers was obvious. Why do you think the terrorists attacked them twice? By replacing two big towers with a single smaller tower, we’ve essentially said: “We give up! If we rebuild them they’ll just knock them down again.”

Much more troubling to me than the Freedom Tower, is the design and content of the proposed World Trade Center Memorial. Some of the planned exhibits could even be interpreted as justifying the attacks. Back to skyscrapers though.

The recent burst of activity on the Chicago skyscraper front is encouraging. The current emphasis is on hotels and residential units rather than business structures.

Trump Tower Chicago

The construction of Trump International Tower in Chicago is proceeding nicely. I tend to prefer square corners in skyscrapers designed for offices, but I think the rounded corners of Trump’s building are somehow more appropriate for its residential nature. Don’t ask me why. (How much do you think the condos on the top floor will cost?)

Waterview Tower Chicago

Also under construction in Chicago is the Waterview Tower, a Shangri-La luxury hotel. It won’t be quite as tall as the Trump International Tower, but it’s website promises traditional Asian hospitality. Sounds good to me. The building isn’t unattractive either.

Fordham Spire model

On the other hand, Fordham Spire, a proposed residential skyscraper for Chicago looks like it’s been heated by a blowtorch and twisted with a pair of pliers. I don’t think it’s ugly per se; I just don’t like it. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the deal will fall through.

Whatever the case, this trend of residential skyscrapers will make some Bryan Larsen paintings a little more realistic. (How cool it would be to live in a place like that!)

Just the Beginning

More on this later. I’m looking for submissions for a “World’s Ugliest Skyscrapers” list. Let me know what you think. (I’m pretty sure the top prize will go to the Taipei 101. )

 

05.04.06

Stamps as Art

Posted in General, Art & Drama, Philosophy at 1:51 pm by Administrator

Closeup of Ayn Rand Stamps 

The Post Office may be an inefficient, monopolistic, government run bureaucracy; but they sure do sponsor some nice stamps. Nick Gaetano’s art deco style is perfect for a postage stamp featuring Ayn Rand.

My sheet finally got back from the framer and she did a great job as usual:

Framed Ayn Rand Stamps

I decided to hang it in my office. My business involves a lot of mailing so this is a perfect addition to the room.

Despite a few good ones, most of the stamp themes the Post Office issues are rather boring. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of some new stamp themes for the Postmaster General to consider.

  • Robert A. Heinlein (The background has some interesting possibilities. Think “I Will Fear No Evil.”)
  • Recent Hubble Photos (Not that stupid “Constellations” set they issued last year.)
  • U.S. Small Arms of WWII
  • Pulp SciFi Paperback Covers from the Sixties
  • Frank Loyd Wright Buildings (I’m in the process of buying the stamps featuring his face.)
  • Shock and Awe
  • Famous Pills (Aspirin, Valium, Prozac, Viagra, etc.)
  • U.S. Wartime Propaganda Posters
  • B-Movies
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle

There are so many possibilities.

04.27.06

Restoring Modern “Art”

Posted in Art & Drama, Humor at 4:24 pm by Administrator

Restoring a Pollock

On RationalArtBlog, Sara wonders how the shoddy craftsmanship demonstrated in many “modern art” pieces will affect their long term monetary value. Expensive restoration may help but, with some pieces, it’s simply not an option. (The Pollock above showed signs of deterioration only ten years after it was completed. In terms of modern art, that’s longevity.)

Fortunately, there is a way to maintain the value of your investment. As a gesture of goodwill to my readers who like this stuff, I will share it. The solution is simple: Make another one! After all, it’s not like you’re copying the Mona Lisa. Just try it. With a little practice, you’ll be glueing dead birds and bubble gum wrappers to a canvas with the best of them. 

Even Pollock’s paintings can be easily reproduced. (I should know. My Pollock imitation was the best in the class.) Once cracks start to form on your 10 million dollar ”Number 2, 1949,” just whip out your paints and brushes (drippers?). In a few days you will have a new one and no one will know the difference (trust me, they won’t). If you’re lazy, just have your kids do the painting for you.

Don’t worry about trying to sell it. These people only buy art so they can act sophisticated at dinner parties. In fact, if you tell your buyer the piece isn’t original, he probably won’t care. It will only matter to him that everyone else think it is.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

Some pieces will be more difficult to duplicate than others.

04.21.06

Bryan Larsen and BB&T

Posted in Art & Drama, Money & Finance at 1:30 am by Administrator

Bryan Larsen painting for BB&T

Bryan Larsen, one of my favorite Romantic Realist artists, is aparently also admired by the folks at BB&T. Their 2005 Annual Review features his art including the painting above, which he did just for them.

BB&T, along with its objectivist CEO John A. Allison, gained attention earlier this year when they announced they “will not lend to commercial developers that build condominiums, shopping malls, and other private structures on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.” 

Clearly a company you can feel good about owning. I’ll have to buy a few shares…just to get their stockholder packets.

04.19.06

Linda Mann

Posted in Art & Drama at 11:01 pm by Administrator

Vase and Stones by Linda Mann   

The first time I saw this painting (yes, it is a painting), I was dumbfounded. Obvious technical skill aside, it’s amazing how well a view of life can be conveyed through the depiction of a few objects on a table.  

“The theme of my still life paintings is that the world is real, orderly and fascinating and that man is capable of understanding and enjoying it. I express this theme by choosing beautiful objects to paint, by creating compositions that are purposeful and intriguing, by carefully rendering the objects and by capturing the subtle and exact quality of light.”

I’ve e-mailed Linda about purchasing a print of this painting but so far I have not received a reply.

You can view Linda Mann’s paintings on her site: http://www.lindamann.com/