Friday, December 31, 2010

Newport, RI: Part 3;Washington Square's new Horse Trough Fountain

FINISHING of the new bronze Horse Trough Fountain by Newmans, Ltd., of Newport:, and, based on Newport Historical Society images of Washington Square's 19th century horse trough, for the Washington Square Restoration Commission.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

His Most Famous Sculpture (The Fountain of Kneeling Youths) - George Minne

Renowned artist, George Minne (1866 - 1941) was a Belgian sculptor, who carved a niche in the non-traditional portrayal of 'man.' Most of his works focused on the depiction of the disharmony and the inner struggles in a man's life. Until this era, the male depiction focused mainly on mythological or amorous subjects. Year 1900 through 1914 was the time, when sculptors were trying to break away from the old and embracing the new. Like his contemporaries, Minne's works were the representations of modernity and captured the essence of adolescence. George's signature works include a series of kneeling male youths, of which, "The Fountain of Kneeling Youths" is the most acclaimed sculpture.

It was first featured in the year 1900, at the Eighth Succession exhibition. First designed in 1898, this work was produced in plaster, bronze, and marble versions. "The Fountain of Kneeling Youths" features five nude young men gathered in a circle and looking at the fountain in the centre. This positing of the figures earned it the reputation of 'Narcissus Fountain.' The sculpture by Minne is remarkable for its lean and angular figures that kneel with a perfect balance on their respective raised platforms. These sleek and tall structures bend towards right at the waistline. The shoulders and head are also bending in the same direction. The straight positioning of the knees and the mid-section of the upper torso counterbalance the centre of gravity of the statues. Additional balance is provided by the lower part of the legs that lie flat on their bases. It is not just the equilibrium, but also the simplistic linear make up of the bodies of the boys that indicate the geometrical efficiency of Minne's work. The original piece was cast in plaster and the statues were set on the rim of the fountain. George displayed a masterstroke in placing such bending, asymmetrical figures on the rim, with such completeness.

George Minne's kneeling youths have their arms folded up to their shoulder joints, as if craving for support and trying to withdraw from the world. Their bent heads present the youths in conflicting thoughts, adding a poignant emotional appeal to the work. What sets Minne's working style apart is the subtle, yet powerful expression of the deepest human sentiments. Leaving behind the artistically ideal portrayal of youth and vitality, the kneeling youths became the protagonists of challenges of the contemporary youngsters. The force of innovation and refreshing quality of "The Fountain of Kneeling Youths" is so strong, that veteran art critic, Julius Meier-Graefe termed it as, 'the first sculpture of our new age.'

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It is Always Exciting to Find Out About the New Trends in Home Decorating

Every year there are new trends in home decor and with today's uncertain economy, this year's trends are a little more subtle. Unlike previous years, accessories are less showy, opulent and more organic and down to earth with beautiful handiwork, natural textures and colors. A simple but inexpensive trend is throw pillows with natural elements such as raffia, shells and wooden beads sewn on or pillows and throws with a repeated botanical theme or large leaf patterns. After being out of style for well over ten years, wallpaper is gradually coming back into style this year but not with stripes or garish patterns. Instead, wallpapers new look is very big patterns, bold scenes or abstract wall murals such as a country scene that are not overpowering but make a statement. This year, gold touches are trendy with accessories such as a rim of gold leaf on a vase or glass bowl in style and silver out.

People are more environmentally aware than ever before and are choosing design elements such as bamboo because it grows approximately two feet daily so is a renewable resource. Instead of wood flooring, many homeowners are selecting beautiful, highly durable bamboo flooring. Bamboo furniture such as chairs, tables, sofas and accessories including bamboo picture frames, vases, bowls and kitchenware continue to be a popular new trend. Materials that mimic the natural elements of nature, such as bamboo and wood are very fashionable and continue to increase in popularity. You can find these designs on everything from lampshades to rugs, window shades and other accessories.

Cozy comfort is another new home-decorating trend this year with more colorful, vibrant rooms featuring over-stuffed, upholstered furniture such as second hand sofas, chairs and antiques found at estate sales, flea markets, secondhand furniture stores and even garage sales. Homeowners can create comfortable, relaxing rooms without giving up beauty or elegance. Room divider screens that are functional, beautiful and decorative are coming back into style. Part of their new popularity is that they make lovely home accent pieces of furniture, are often used in studio apartments or one-room workspaces to give people the sense of a divided or separate room and define living spaces. Anything handcrafted or homemade is in style and many creative, arty people have come up with other uses for room dividers such as headboards.

When it comes to color and new trends in home decorating and choosing colors for patio furniture cushions or patio umbrellas, there are several color trends emerging such as warm colors including oranges and browns. After quite a few years of not being popular when it came to home decorating, these colors are now resurfacing along with green, navy and deep teal hues. Other popular new trend colors that are becoming more common for patio umbrellas are mineral-like tones such as blacks and light and dark grays. The days of boring eggshell and white walls are gone for now and replaced with beautiful, bold colors including light green, mocha, and brick red walls.

Monday, December 27, 2010

SS Globe Fountain

This is a 48" stationary stainless steel sphere Globe project for a church with bronze inlay. We can provide these spheres from 36" to 96" in diameter, and other sizes available upon request. Additionally, these spheres can be made as rotating sphere globes with the use of a special turntable for non water application or a granite floating turntable for water feature application. Contact us for further information. 760-946-0525

Sunday, December 26, 2010

All You Wanted to Know About Wall Mounted Fountains

Wall mounted fountains are increasingly being used to add to the aesthetic appeal of homes, offices and other commercial establishments. They are not only visually pleasing but are excellent stress busters as people automatically relax while listening to its soothing murmurs. Interior decorators with an eye for beauty use wall fountains, both indoors and outdoors, which brings any drab corner of a room or a building to a new life.

Wide Variety Makes Selection A Tough Process

People who wish to purchase wall mounted fountains find that there are many manufacturers and dealers offering them a huge selection of fountains made from a variety of materials. They come in many different styles too, ranging from contemporary to more traditional and unique artistic pieces. The best place for looking up information and locating such fountains is online as there are many shops that sell right from the very basic designs to the more exotic pieces. Some firms even offer to customize these fountains, offering to inscribe a corporate logo or name on them.

You can get wall mounted fountains that are designed with care to reflect Asian, European, Celtic and Native American cultures. They are the ideal options for those who lack the required space to install a traditional fountain as these can be mounted on walls and posts. You can come across some of the most beautifully hand crafted pieces if you look hard enough.

Wall mounted fountains can be made from copper, bronze, stainless steel, fibreglass, sandstone, slate, marble, clay, glass and wood. You can incorporate indirect lighting or accent lighting to highlight the fountain to make it more prominent, adding to the beauty of the place. They come in various sizes and the price ranges from $100-10,000 and more, suiting the needs of people from diverse backgrounds. The water flow can be adjusted and you can select one that sounds just right, not too loud or too quiet. They are beneficial as they humidify the room that they are placed in. They also act as ionic air purifiers and keep you healthy.

People place them in a place where they entertain guests, ensuring that there are no other objects placed on the walls that would take the attention away from the fountain. You can select fountains that suit your interior decor, available space and if you are worried about the weight, you will be pleased to learn that there are many lightweight, durable and easy to maintain pieces that are freely available.

Make sure that you read the manufacturer's instructions regarding installation, maintenance and care. You will have a most attractive centre piece that you will be proud of. They come with auto fill and drain facility making maintenance much easier. Check out the warranty (most come with one year warranty) period offered. It is extremely soothing and calming to come home to watch and hear the sounds of the gurgling fountain after a stressful day at the office. There are so many options available that it is very hard for us to resist this beauty. You can also use Feng Shui wall mounted fountains that bring good fortune, luck, happiness and prosperity to your home if placed in the right position.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Installation in Pelotas, southern Brazil. Digital dislocation of town's french bronze fountain to a pedestrian area of the town. Two videos of details of the figures are presented inside of a modified food stall, very common in Brazilian cities.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Elephant Fountain

Elephant fountain made of cast bronze. As a symbol of freedom and strength, including the burden that it entails. Width: 38 cm (15") Height: 30 cm (12") Weight: 10 kg (22 lbs)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1574 Montefalco Corner Fountain for Spout

#1574 Montefalco Corner Fountain for Spout. Shown with GI-14 Bronze Water Spout. Shown in vintage (VT) Finish.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The world's better bubbler - bubbler of Wealth

Supported by four 13.8 metres high bronze legs and spreading over an area of 1683.07 metres, the Fountain of Wealth has been accorded the status of "World's Largest Fountain" in the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. It is symbolically the ring in the palm of the hand, guaranteeing the retention of wealth

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Granite basin and brownish alfresco baptize bubbler operates nicely

Here is a bronze mermaid with shell basin fountain shown with optional carved granite pool surround and spray ring. To see more huge fountains such as this, go directly to:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fountains and Your Office

Perhaps the most famous water feature in the world is the Trevi Fountain at Rome in Italy. But other than this too there are many other well recognized fountains in different parts of the world. One thing in common to them all is that, they are all outdoor fountains. However the fact is indoor fountains can be as beautiful in style and design, and as innovative as the outdoor variety. It is just that not so many people see them, and thus their low visibility.

Indoor fountains are to be found in all kinds of places - at homes, in shopping malls, and at restaurants. Water Features in offices are also not rare these days. All of us have gone to many offices, and most people have at least come across one office that had a fountain.

Water Features in offices look lovely because they come in exciting styles and materials such as marble, copper, stainless steel, ceramic, slate and more. Contemporary in design, they can fit almost any office because they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and designs. But fountains in offices or for the home can be broadly divided into the following 3 categories - wall fountains, floor fountains and table top fountains.

As the name suggests, floor fountains are kept on the floor of a room. They are ideal when you need flexibility and perhaps want to move them from one room to another. Almost no installation and assembling are needed, making the moving process smooth.

But if you have limited space in the floor, you can perhaps go for wall fountains. They can cover up the wall and make your office space breathtaking. Perhaps you want one for the reception or the lobby.

Table top fountains can be kept almost anywhere. This is the final alternative if you do not have enough space in the room or in the wall, but still want to decorate the room and have a rippling effect. These fountains in offices look lovely too and are sure to enhance the décor. And why only the office, you can also carry these table top fountains to your home after the office hours are over. Enjoy the effect of flowing water wherever you want.

One option is to have your company logo placed on your wall fountain to add a unique touch. Custom logos allow a company to brand themselves in a unique way. Most logos are sandblasted onto the surface, others are placed on via a vinyl sticker.

So go ahead and get the fountain you want for your office. There is sure to be one that will meet your taste, preference and budget.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

july favorites

eyes: -clinique colour surge eye shadow duo in strawberry fudge -ELF brightening eye color in neutrals - LASplash in copper glow -NYX eyeshadow in dark brown -voluminous eyeliner in black face: -clinique youth surge age decelerating moisturizer -skincare cosmetics retinol night cream -ELF healthy glow bronzing powder in sun kissed -sally hansen airbrush spray makeup in medium -ELF all over color stick in pink lemonade lips: -ulta lipcolor in sheer mocha -ELF moisture-care lip color in maple sugar :) thanks for watching!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Design Tips For Your Master Bathroom

When you redecorate your master bedroom, don't leave the master bath out in the cold! You can add some zing to your bathroom too and create a cohesive theme between the two rooms that will give you a real sweet master suite.

One thing you need to do when redecorating your master bath is to be sure to tie in some of the elements from your bedroom. You don't have to make it an identical match, but using a common color or theme will really unite the two rooms. If your bedroom has a cottage theme, carry this over into the bathroom by putting out some shells in dishes on the vanity. If your bedroom is more shabby chic with big floral wallpaper, then think about carrying the color of the flowers into the master bath.

One of the big design elements in the bathroom is the hardware. Faucets and spigots, in addition to tubs and toilets are made in a variety of shapes and materials which can be the centerpiece of your design. Open showers are currently popular with the younger upwardly-
mobile crowd, and claw-foot bathtubs are almost always considered to be classic and
attractive. When selecting hardware and figuring out a floor plan, think about privacy issues and don't put the toilet and tub too close together.

Another big element in the bathroom is the tiling. The more expensive tiles
should have durability, aesthetic value, and a non-porous surface. Make sure your tiles can be easily cleaned and sanitized, and that it is easy to install and does not require special adhesives which can become costly. When choosing tile, think out of the box. You don't have to use only porcelain tile, consider marble, clay and anything else you see in the store that catches your eye.

Once you have the design down and selected the major elements, focus on decoration accessories to bring out personality and individualism. The bathroom doesn't have to just be functional and putting interesting items on the walls or shelves is a great way to give the room some character. Don't be afraid to use your own ideas and put what you want into the room when redecorating your master bathroom.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Y Percy Jackson & the Olympians The Lightning Thief HD Movie Trailer

Perseus "Percy" Jackson is introduced as a troubled 12-year-old boy who has been kicked out of every single school he has attended. His most recent school is Yancy Academy, New York, where his usual trouble seems to be worse than usual. He has few friends at the school, one of which being the satyr-in-hiding, Grover Underwood. During a field trip to a museum, Grover is annoyed by a bully called Nancy Bobofit and, in a fit of rage, Percy summons water in a nearby fountain to pull Nancy in during lunch. He is called inside the museum to the Ancient Greece exhibit by his pre-algebra teacher, Mrs. Dodds; she turns into a Fury and attacks him. A moment later, Mr. Brunner, Percy's favorite teacher, throws his pen at Percy who receives instead a bronze sword. Percy manages to destroy the Fury and returns outside with the sword, which is once again a pen. As Percy questions him about what just happened, Mr. Brunner says he saw nothing in particular and comments on how Percy should bring his own writing utensils in the future. As Percy questions his classmates about the same matter, they act as though there was never any "Mrs. Dodds", but Percy realizes that Grover is lying when he notices that he hesitates whenever Percy mentions "Mrs. Dodds". As the school year winds down, Percy overhears Grover and Mr. Brunner talking about him. As he is going home on a bus with Grover, he sees three old ladies knitting a giant sock, which Grover seems intensely worried about. Percy ditches ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

National War Memorial Music.

National War Memorial Music. State National War Memorial. In 1919 the State Government decided that South Australia needed a memorial to commemorate the Victory of the Great War 1914-1918, and the supreme and personal sacrifice of those who participated in that war and the national effort involved in such activities. On 25 April 1931, before a crowd of almost 75000, the memorial was unveiled. His Excellency, the Governor Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven gave the following inspiring address: It is not only for ourselves that we have erected this visible remembrance of great deeds, but rather that those who come after us and have not experienced the horrors of war, or realised the wanton destruction and utter futility of it all, may be inspired to devise some better means to settle international disputes other than by international slaughter. This memorial is the seal of South Australia's homage to her sons, who in the ranks of brave company from all parts of the Empire, gave their lives during the Great War. The winning design, Spirit of Sacrifice, features a crypt inside the memorial with bronze honour rolls to line the walls. These contain the names of the 5511 men who fell. The National War Memorial has immense statuary significance. On the front, the figure within the arch represents the spirit of Duty, bearing in its hands a sword shaped as a cross, the symbol of battle and sacrifice. This figure is the vision seen by the group standing on the stage in front. This group ...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Find Garden Fountains to Beautify Any Yard Or Garden

Garden fountains make wonderful additions to any outdoor space and with the options that are available these days, anyone can have one up and running in their own yard in no time at all. There are no specialized tools required for installation and plumbing skills are not necessary. Simply choose a location, fill it up and you will have the sound of falling water to calm and relax you anytime you want.

In addition to being beautiful to look at, the natural white noise provided by the trickling water has a calming effect that can help you relax at the end of a stressful day.

A fountain can actually be good for the health of your garden and help it to grow. The water will attract songbirds which can help pollinate the flowers in your yard.

There is very little maintenance associated with most garden fountains. All you need to do is clear away any organic matter that may find its way into the water and periodically make sure the water pump is clear of any debris. It is a good idea to occasionally remove the pump and flush it thoroughly with a garden hose.

These fountains can be found in a number of difference sizes, styles and finishes. So whether your outdoor decor is rustic, elegant or whimsical, you will be able to find a fountain that is perfect for your patio or yard. If you want something that can sit in the middle of an open space, you can opt for a solar powered unit that does not require any electricity.

Many prefabricated fountains are made out of polyresin or fiberglass. Polyresin is a durable material that possesses properties that allow it to be intricately molded. Pieces made from this substance are typically highly detailed and have a very consistent texture. These materials can be processed to look like stone, marble, granite or even bronze but they weigh and cost far less than the real thing.

You can choose from sculpted figures to enhance an elegant garden or abstract shapes for a more contemporary look. Whimsical figures like unicorns, fairies and angels are popular with homeowners who are looking to decorate their yard.

Classic fountains often feature cherubs and bowls with elegant scalloped edges. Contemporary styles usually have pedestal bases and are more geometrical.

A garden fountain can make a lovely centerpiece for any garden. In addition to a more beautiful outdoor space to relax in, you get the soothing sound of moving water to help melt away the tension.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Manneken Pis video, Brussels - &

Info: The Manneken Pis, or "little man urinating", is another symbol of Brussels. Looking for a cheap hotel, hostel, apartment, or bed and breakfast near to the Manneken Pis is a great idea, since the famous statue-fountain (which represents an infant urinating) is right in the historical centre of Brussels. With our range of cheap accommodation, you can sleep near to this bronze child which, according to legend, honours a boy who is said to have urinated on explosives of the invading army that tried to conquer Brussels, thus saving the city.If you're looking for a cheap hotel, or another type of cheap accommodation at the best price in the Belgian capital, don't hesitate to consult our offer of cheap hotels, hostels, apartments, and B&Bs near to the Mannekin Pis. El Manneken Pis, o “niño que orina” es otro símbolo de Bruselas. Buscar hoteles baratos, hostales, apartamentos o bed and breakfast cerca del Manneken Pis es buena idea, pues la famosa estatua-fuente (que, efectivamente, representa a un infante orinando) está en pleno centro histórico de Bruselas. Con nuestra oferta de alojamientos baratos podrás dormir cerca de este niño de piedra que, según la leyenda, honra al niño que orinó sobre los explosivos del ejército invasor que pretendía conquistar Bruselas, salvando la ciudad. Si buscas hoteles u otras modalidades de alojamientos baratos al ...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

History of Garden Design - Fountains & Water Features From the Middle Ages to the Early Renaissance

The Middle Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire, monasteries kept alive utilitarian gardening until the beginning of the Renaissance in the late fourteenth century. They led the way in the management of land and control of water, using wells, local rivers and streams for domestic use and for fishponds. Simple cisterns could be found in cloister gardens and in many monasteries a wall fountain was placed within the cloister or, later on, at the meeting point of traversing paths, perhaps as part of the religious symbolism of the cross or the Garden of Eden. One of the influences on fountain design came from early church decoration on fonts and holy water basins. The design of receiving basins, which took the overflow from a fountain, was inspired by the iconography and numerical significance of the number of sides of a font. Six was important in the writings of St Augustine, as it was associated with the sixth day of the Passion, the day of Crucifixion, which St Augustine took as a symbol of the destruction of the body of sin. Octagonal basins also had their origins in Christian doctrine, where eight sides represented the eighth day, signifying the resurrection of Christ, which became the first day or the beginning of another world for the newly baptized. In the Middle Ages the public display of notable religious water features such as carved fonts and water stoops was to be found only in major church buildings. Decoration on church fonts often adopted Bible stories associated with water such as the baptisms of Christ and John the Baptist, and stories of Moses. Fonts were one of the most highly decorated pieces of church furniture. In the Middle Ages fonts where adorned with powerful religious symbolism such as scenes showing Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden. Garden fountains where often used for bathing and represented an earthly paradise and a source for spiritual rejuvenation. There are few civic fountains remaining of this period yet there are several located in Viterbo and the Fontana Maggiore in Perugia Italy. The Viterbo Fountain of Santa Faustina has minimal decoration with Four Lion fountains. The Lion has symbolized nobility bravery and strength for many different cultures over thousands of years throughout Europe.

Early Renaissance

During the late 1400s there was a cultural shift towards an appreciation of the finer aspects of art and literature. Now art was to be appreciated purely for its own sake. In Italy the evolution in philosophical thinking begun by Marsilio Ficino made efforts to reconcile paganism with religion and this together with the growing interest in antique remains allowed pagan images to be considered acceptable for contemporary designs. Small bronze pagan figures were particularly popular and were much prized as collectors' items. They could be admired, discussed and handled with appreciation as much for their craftsmanship as for their subject matter. Similar designs were ideal for fountain figures. Until now most fountains, even those with figures, were set against a wall where a reservoir was concealed. The small bronze wall fountain figure thought to be by Donatello called Winged Boy with a Fantastic Fish, dating from about 1435-40, may be the link between wall-mounted and freestanding bronze fountains. The winged boy or putto is modeled almost in the round. He stands with his weight on his right leg to balance the large fish that he holds across his shoulders as he glances down to the left. He steadies the fish with his left hand and holds his other out in a clenched fist facing downwards. A neat hollow between the fingers of his right hand suggests that this cavity once held an object, possibly a small water wheel fixed on to a rod that whirled round under the force of water sprayed upwards by the little boy. As water filled the figure it also ran from the mouth of the fish. It is a fountain of mirth following the traditional belief that little urinating boys brought good luck. Donatello had carved many such small figures during his career, borrowing examples from antique putti on sarcophagi in the vicinity of Florence. One, on a sarcophagus in the Campo Santo in Pisa, shows a fruit and wine harvest gathered by putti with one infant lifting his shirt to urinate. So important were antique objects that Brunelleschi, the friend of Donatello, was reported to have thought nothing of walking 80 km/50 miles to see an antique vessel in Cortona when told about it.

One of the problems facing Renaissance artists who were interested in free-standing bronze sculpture for fountain design was how to resolve the all round viewpoints that such a figure required. Donatello produced probably the first sculpture in this style around 1430, the bronze statue of David, now in the Bargello in Florence, using the lost wax method. Because there was so little water for fountain display, artists had to consider the impact of the fountain when it was not working. The architectural lines of Renaissance gardens could be maintained in all seasons by using shaped evergreen planting and architectural features; fountains needed to be equally interesting at all times. Other problems in fountain production at this time included the need for a mechanism to vary the speed of water flow and the difficulty of putting designs into practice.

Because pagan subjects such as the Boy with a Dolphin were now acceptable in art, humanist patrons who wished to keep up appearances of Christian belief could do so even while decorating their gardens with pagan images. The book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by a Venetian monk, Francesco Colonna, was published in 1499. It follows the steps of the hero, Poliphilo, in a dream sequence that begins by a stream and continues through the magnificent gardens of an imaginary world. Twelve fountains are described in detail, each acting as a stage setting for the unfolding story. Giochi d'acqua (Water Games) and table fountains are described but there is little technological detail. The timely rediscovery of grotesque decoration (so called because it was found in grottoes) in the Domus Aurea (Golden House of Nero) in Rome in the 1480s offered artists the opportunity to reflect this style in their work. This can be seen in the woodcut illustrations in Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.

Fountains and water features in private residences were a celebration of a person or family's wealth and prosperity. In urban areas they combined religious and civic themes, which summarized the town's revival and were seen as a crowing achievement for all to enjoy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicago's Lakefront | Grant Park

The heart of Grant Park is Buckingham Fountain on the site of Montgomery Ward's last stand. Architects Bennett, Parsons and Frost, modeled it on one of the fountains at Versailles. But it's twice as large. In fact, it was the largest decorative fountain in the world when it was completed in 1927. The central jet shoots water 13 stories into the sky. The fountain symbolizes Lake Michigan. The four bronze sea creatures represent the four bordering states. See our interactive lakefront map at

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wall Fountains

Dramatically enhance the ambience of any room by installing wall fountains. Elegant and yet contemporary, there are few better ways to decorate the rooms than with wall fountains. Just select a corner, a wall in your home or office and add the rippling effect of water to make it come to life. And why only the rooms, these fountains look good outside in the garden too.

Businesses, hotels, homes, restaurants, convention centers... wall fountains are today to be found everywhere. They are available in a wide variety of materials, finishes, shapes, sizes, styles and prices. So you are sure to find one that is just right for your particular wall. Many also prefer to custom make their wall fountains - the ones for offices can sport the name of the company. And the fountains for homes can have your or your family's name on it.

Where can you wall fountains in the office? The reception or the lounge is a good place. Many bog companies that have a lot of visitors do this and it impresses people immediately. Other good places include the pantry and the conference room. The Chairman's room or that of the Director's too has such fountains, and they sure look great there. There are fountains that are both decorative and functional and let people relax beside them and enjoy the calming effects of rippling water.

But increasingly, more and more people are getting wall fountains for their homes too. Modern homes have less space and so, they are opting for wall fountains instead of floor fountains. Just imagine you sitting in the couch in the living room, and there is a fountain on the opposite wall. It is sure to look thrilling, and add another dimension to the décor. There are few better ways to build up the ambience of any room. Some even prefer to install them in the bedroom.

Installing wall fountains is easy and hassle free too. And most manufactures will also provide you with detailed instructions on how to do it yourself - no professional help is needed. But be sure that you know enough about maintenance and how to take care of your wall fountains because you want them to look perfect and work smoothly.

So go ahead and pick a place where you want to mount your wall fountains. Will a narrow panel look good, or should you go for a larger one to cover up the space on the wall?

There are some wall fountains that are hand crafted while others are illuminated, adding a magical effect to the surroundings. The built in lighting enhances the natural glow of the material that can be slate, marble, bronze, copper, glass, granite and others too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ponce finds his fountain

Sculpture by Lindsay Daen and Ward Elicker erected in Puerto Rico, by Alex Polumbo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Art Paintings From Your Photo

The market for Chinese contemporary art has developed at a feverish pace, becoming the single fastest-growing segment of the international art market. Since 2004, prices for works by Chinese contemporary artists have increased by 2,000 percent or more, with paintings that once sold for under $50,000 now bringing sums above $1 million. Nowhere has this boom been felt more appreciably than in China, where it has spawned massive gallery districts, 1,600 auction houses, and the first generation of Chinese contemporary-art collectors.

This craze for Chinese contemporary art has also given rise to a wave of criticism. There are charges that Chinese collectors are using mainland auction houses to boost prices and engage in widespread speculation, just as if they were trading in stocks or real estate. Western collectors are also being accused of speculation, by artists who say they buy works cheap and then sell them for ten times the original prices-and sometimes more.

Those who entered this market in the past three years found Chinese contemporary art to be a surefire bet as prices doubled with each sale. Sotheby's first New York sale of Asian contemporary art, dominated by Chinese artists, brought a total of $13 million in March 2006; the same sale this past March garnered $23 million, and Sotheby's Hong Kong sale of Chinese contemporary art in April totaled nearly $34 million. Christie's Hong Kong has had sales of Asian contemporary art since 2004. Its 2005 sales total of $11 million was dwarfed by the $40.7 million total from a single evening sale in May of this year.

These figures, impressive as they are, do not begin to convey the astounding success at auction of a handful of Chinese artists: Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Cai Guo-Qiang, Liu Xiaodong, and Liu Ye. The leader this year was Zeng Fanzhi, whose Mask Series No. 6 (1996) sold for $9.6 million, a record for Chinese contemporary art, at Christie's Hong Kong in May.

Zhang Xiaogang, who paints large, morose faces reminiscent of family photographs taken during the Cultural Revolution, has seen his record rise from $76,000 in 2003, when his oil paintings first appeared at Christie's Hong Kong, to $2.3 million in November 2006, to $6.1 million in April of this year.

Gunpowder drawings by Cai Guo-Qiang, who was recently given a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, sold for well below $500,000 in 2006; a suite of 14 works brought $9.5 million last November.

According to the Art Price Index, Chinese artists took 35 of the top 100 prices for living contemporary artists at auction last year, rivaling Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and a host of Western artists.

"Everybody is looking to the East and to China, and the art market isn't any different," says Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby's Asia. "Notwithstanding the subprime crisis in the U.S. or the fact that some of the other financial markets seem jittery, the overall business community still has great faith in China, bolstered by the Olympics and the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010."

There are indications, however, that the international market for Chinese art is beginning to slow. At Sotheby's Asian contemporary-art sale in March, 20 percent of the lots offered found no buyers, and even works by top record-setters such as Zhang Xiaogang barely made their low estimates. "The market is getting mature, so we can't sell everything anymore," says Xiaoming Zhang, Chinese contemporary-art specialist at Sotheby's New York. "The collectors have become really smart and only concentrate on certain artists, certain periods, certain material."

For their part, Western galleries are eagerly pursuing Chinese artists, many of whom were unknown just a few years ago. Zeng Fanzhi, for example, has been signed by Acquavella Galleries in New York, in a two-year deal that exceeds $20 million, according to a Beijing gallerist close to the negotiations; William Acquavella declined to comment. Zhang Xiaogang and Zhang Huan have joined PaceWildenstein, and Ai Weiwei and Liu Xiaodong showed with Mary Boone last spring. Almost every major New York gallery has recently signed on a Chinese artist: Yan Pei Ming at David Zwirner, Xu Zhen at James Cohan, Huang Yong Ping at Gladstone, Yang Fudong at Marian Goodman, Liu Ye at Sperone Westwater. Their works are entering private and public collections that until now have not shown any particular interest in Asian contemporary art.

"The market hasn't behaved as I anticipated," says New York dealer Max Protetch, who has been representing artists from China since 1996. "We all anticipated that the Chinese artists would go through the same critical process that happens with art anywhere else in the world. I assumed that some artists would fall by the wayside, which has not been true. They all have become elevated. It seems like an uncritical market."

One of the key artists buoyed by this success is Zeng Fanzhi, who is best known for his "Mask" series. Five years ago his works sold for under $50,000. Today he commands prices on the primary market closer to $1 million, with major collectors Charles Saatchi and Jose Mugrabi among his fans. Now preparing for his first solo show at Acquavella in December, he is considered one of the more serious artists on the Beijing scene because he works alone, without the horde of assistants found in most other artists' studios in China. Still, his lifestyle is typical of that of his equally successful peers. When asked if he owns a mammoth black Hummer parked outside his studio, he answers, "No, that's an ugly car. I have a G5 Benz."

This success has blossomed under the watchful eye of the Chinese government. Movies, television, and news organizations are strictly censored, but on the whole, the visual arts are not. Despite sporadic incidents of exhibitions being closed or customs officials seizing artworks, by and large the government has supported the growth of an art market and has not interfered with private activity. In the 798 gallery district in Beijing, a Bauhaus-style former munitions complex that has been transformed into the capital's hottest art center, with more than 150 galleries, one finds works addressing poverty and other social problems, official corruption, and new sexual mores. The icons of the former China-happy workers and peasants and heroic soldiers raising the red banner-are treated with irony, if at all, by the artists whose works are on view in these galleries, which are private venues generally not under the strict control of the Ministry of Culture.

On the eve of the Olympics, however, the government asked one gallery to postpone an exhibition until after the games. Considered unsuitable was "Touch," a show by Ma Baozhong at the Xin Beijing Gallery of 15 paintings depicting important moments in Chinese history, including one based on a photograph showing Mao Zedong with the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama in 1954.

The Beijing municipality spent enormous funds to renovate the 798 district before the Olympics, putting in new cobblestone streets and lining its main thoroughfare with cafés. Shanghai, which has benefited less from government support, now boasts at least 100 galleries. Local governments throughout the country are establishing SoHo-style gallery districts to boost tourism.

One person who seems confident about the future of the Chinese market is Arne Glimcher, founder and president of PaceWildenstein, who opened a branch of his gallery in Beijing in August. Located in a 22,000-square-foot cement space with soaring ceilings, redesigned at a cost of $20 million by architect Richard Gluckman, the gallery is in the center of the 798 district. "We are committed to the art, and we wanted to open a gallery where our artists are," says Glimcher. Adding that he normally eschews the "McGallery" trend of setting up satellite spaces around the world, Glimcher insists that it was necessary to establish a branch in Beijing because there is "no local gallery of our caliber" with which Pace could partner. He has, however, recruited Leng Lin, founder of Beijing Commune, another gallery operating in 798, to be his director.

Another Western dealer who has taken the China plunge is Arthur Solway, who recently opened a branch of James Cohan in Shanghai. "I started coming to China five years ago, and I was fascinated by the energy," says Solway, who wanted to introduce gallery artists like Bill Viola, Wim Wenders, and Roxy Paine to Asia but, like Glimcher, could not find a public museum or private gallery that he considered professionally qualified to handle such exhibitions. James Cohan Gallery Shanghai is located on the ground floor of a 1936 Art Deco structure in the French Concession, a particularly picturesque section of the city. The building was once occupied by the military, and red Chinese characters over the front door still exhort, "Let the spirit of Mao Zedong flourish for 10,000 years."

"From 1966 to 1976, during the Cultural Revolution, people had nothing, but now there are spas in Shanghai and people drinking cappuccinos and buying Rolex watches-it's an amazing phenomenon," says Solway, who believes it is only a matter of time before these same newly affluent consumers begin to collect contemporary art.

Chinese collectors-or the hope that there will be Chinese collectors-are the key draw luring these galleries to Beijing. As recently as two years ago, few could name even a single Chinese collector of contemporary art. It was a truism that the Chinese preferred to spend their money acquiring antiquities and classical works. Since then several well-known mainland collectors have emerged on the scene.

Most visible is Guan Yi, the suave, well-dressed heir to a chemical-engineering fortune, who has assembled a museum-quality collection of more than 500 works. A major lender to the Huang Yong Ping retrospective organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2005, he regularly entertains museum trustees from all over the world, who make the pilgrimage to his warehouse on the outskirts of Beijing. Now he is building his own museum.

Another noted figure is Zhang Lan, head of the South Beauty chain of Szechuan-style restaurants throughout China; she also has assembled an enviable collection and displays pieces from it in her chic establishments. The film actress Zhang Ziyi is representative of a new class of collectors from the entertainment industry, while Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, chairman and CEO of the mammoth SOHO China real estate empire, have commissioned projects for their upscale residential properties.

Two collectors who are cheerleaders for the Beijing art scene are Yang Bin, an automobile-franchise mogul, and Zhang Rui, a telecommunications executive who is also the backer of Beijing Art Now Gallery, which took part in Art Basel in June, one of the first Beijing galleries to appear at the fair. These two do more than collect art. They have hosted dinners for potential collectors, organized tours to Art Basel Miami Beach, and brought friends with them to sales in London and New York. Zhang Rui, who owns more than 500 works, has lent art to international exhibitions, most notably the installation Tomorrow, which features four "dead Beatles" mannequins floating facedown, created by artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu for the 2006 Liverpool Biennial, which rejected it.

Zhang is now building an art hotel, featuring specially commissioned works and artist-designed rooms, outside the Workers' Stadium in the center of Beijing. "I am trying to think of ways of changing my private collection into a public collection," Zhang explained to ARTnews through a translator. It isn't financially advantageous to do this in China, as no tax benefits accrue from donations to museums or other nonprofit institutions.

Zhang Rui represents the handful of Chinese collectors who are public about their activities and are building noteworthy collections. Far more typical of buying activity in China is the rampant speculation taking place in the mainland auction houses. There are 1,600 registered auctioneers, and their sales attract hundreds of bidders. Chinese buyers are more comfortable with auction houses, which have been in business since 1994, than with galleries, which weren't licensed to operate by the government until the late 1990s.

These auction houses run by their own rules, generating what sometimes seems like a "wild, wild East" atmosphere. It is, for example, fairly common for a house to get consignments directly from artists, who then use the sales to establish prices for their works on the primary market. More often, now that China has hundreds of galleries, dealers come to a sale with buyers in tow, publicly bidding up works to establish "record prices" and advertise their artists. This kind of bidding ring would be considered illegal in the United States, but in China it is viewed as a savvy business practice. There is little regulation of auction houses and few developed legal norms in the field, so that even when buyers have grievances-with fakes and forgeries, for example-they do not feel they can resort to the law. Bidding is a social as well as a business activity, and buyers are happy to flaunt their status by paying record prices or quickly flipping artworks, not only for profit but so they can boast of their short-term gains.

As the domestic market for contemporary art matures, however, many of these practices are coming into question. "Two years ago it was more necessary for me to bring my artists to auction," says Fang Fang, owner of Star Gallery in Beijing, which specializes in young emerging artists such as Chen Ke and Gao Yu. "Now that the gallery market has increased, I find it is better to keep my artists out of the auction rooms, and there is much less reason to sell there."

Two mainland firms, Beijing Poly International Auction Company, and China Guardian Auctions Company, dominate the field of contemporary Chinese art. Their combined 2007 total of more than $200 million in sales represented nearly two-thirds of all auction sales in this category in mainland China for the year. Last spring Guardian achieved $142 million in sales of classical artworks, furniture, ceramics, silver, and coins, and $40 million in sales of contemporary material. The latter figure included the $8.2 million fetched by Liu Xiaodong's Hotbed No. 1, a record for a painting sold on the mainland. In a similar range of sales last spring, Poly sold $130 million worth of works, including $27 million in a single evening contemporary-art sale. (These figures represent a slight decline for the year because both houses held benefit sales for Szechuan earthquake victims, raising more than $20 million to support relief efforts.)

Poly and Guardian reflect two vastly different perspectives on the domestic market in Chinese contemporary art. Guardian is the oldest and most respected auction house in China, founded in 1993 by Wang Yannan, daughter of Zhao Ziyang, the former Communist Party leader who was placed under house arrest after opposing the government's use of force against demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989. If Poly is known for its vast resources and willingness to make deals to nab consignments, Guardian is known for its respected specialists and long-term client relationships. For example, when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, decided to sell 20 pieces of Qing dynasty porcelain in mainland China, it consigned the collection to Guardian.

The atmosphere of a sale at Poly or Guardian is surprisingly similar to that in the salerooms of Christie's or Sotheby's. The catalogues are identical in design, and the bidding proceeds in an orderly, even sedate, fashion, despite the crowds of spectators in the room.

"From our beginning, we studied what the principles of an auction house should be, and we stick to these principles," says Guardian president Wang. She also serves on the board of the new nationwide auctioneers' association, which hopes to enforce regulations on the auction market.

Poly is an enterprise within the China Poly Group Corporation, a $30 billion conglomerate that is the privatized branch of the People's Liberation Army. Established initially to repatriate artworks and antiquities, Poly has spent $100 million buying objects such as the bronze animal heads from a water-clock fountain that were looted from Beijing's Summer Palace by British and French troops in 1860; the pieces later turned up in the West. The repatriated objects are showcased in the Poly Art Museum in the sparkling New Beijing Poly Plaza, a glass-enclosed tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The more freewheeling Poly is known for practices such as putting up for auction works from its own collection or having consignors guarantee that they will bring buyers to the sale to meet low estimates. Still, even here there are signs that the market is maturing and has become too expensive for casual speculators. "These collectors that you are talking about are actually quite small collectors," explains Zhao Xu, senior consultant at Poly. "They bought for several years at very affordable prices, but now that prices are skyrocketing, the only way they can afford to buy is to sell. The collectors that I know already come from a high social status, and they can afford to buy pieces worth $1 million or $2 million and are looking for the best works, the masterpieces, to add to their collections."

When asked if Poly follows the rules of the Western auction houses, Zhao sharply retorts, "Sometimes even Sotheby's doesn't follow the rules." Or as Gong Jisui, an art-market specialist who is a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, says, "The Chinese learned this game of speculation from the Westerners who played it first."

The incident to which both men are referring is the sale of the Estella Collection at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 9 of this year. The event reaped $18 million for 108 works. (An additional 80 works will be up for sale this month at Sotheby's New York.) The collection was put together from 2003 to 2006 by New York dealer Michael Goedhuis for a group of investors that included Sacha Lainovic, a director of Weight Watchers International, and Raymond Debbane, CEO of the Invus Group, a private equity firm.

Last year the collection of approximately 200 works was sold to William Acquavella, who consigned it to Sotheby's. Auction house officials will not discuss financial details, but Sotheby's had a stake in the collection. After the sale it was widely reported that many of the artists were angered by the auction because, they said, they had sold their works to Goedhuis at discount prices in exchange for promises that the collection would remain together for public display.

"The idea was to keep the collection intact and to see it safely into some institution," says Goedhuis, who denies that any promises were made. "The ideal situation was to see it with an institution in China, because there is no such collection." The collection was published in a book, China Onward, with an essay by leading China expert Britta Erickson, and it was exhibited at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem shortly before the sale. According to Goedhuis, because of the rapid rise in prices, the investors chose to sell the collection with hopes that it would not be broken up.

"Since the museums in China aren't mature enough nor are they rich enough to do an acquisition like this, my hope was that Steve Wynn would do so for his sophisticated casino complex in Macao," Goedhuis says. He turned to Acquavella because, he says, he believed the dealer would bring the collection to Wynn; Acquavella paid a reported $25 million. Acquavella director Michael Findlay laughs at the suggestion that there was any indication that the collection would go to Wynn. "I think this whole thing is surrounded by so much rumor and speculation," he says. "We bought a group of paintings, and we sold a group of paintings, and that's the whole story."

According to Maarten ten Holder, Sotheby's managing director for North and South America, the firm received inquiries before the sale from several artists in the collection, wondering why the works were to be auctioned. There is disagreement about whether Goedhuis made firm promises to keep the collection together or merely made a sales pitch to artists that inclusion in the collection would enhance their reputations. Yue Minjun, who had two works in the sale, says no promises were made. And Goedhuis bought Zeng Fanzhi's Chairman Mao with Us from Hanart T Z Gallery in 2005 for the asking price, $30,000, no discount given. It sold for $1.18 million.

"You have to understand that there was no market for this work when I was buying," says Howard Farber, whose collection brought $20 million at Phillips de Pury & Company in London last October. Farber assembled 100 choice works by assiduously visiting artists' studios in Beijing in the late 1980s, accompanied by the Beijing-based critic Karen Smith, a leading author and curator in this field. A work for which he paid $25,000 in 1996, Wang Guangyi's Great Criticism: Coca-Cola, was sold at Phillips de Pury for $1.6 million. The buyer was Farber's son-in-law, Larry Warsh, who bid on several works at the sale, according to newspaper accounts. "I really didn't actually know I was going to buy the Wang Guangyi until that moment," says Warsh. "Howard has his collection, and it's not my collection, and there were many pieces I wanted from that collection that I would have wanted to buy but couldn't afford."

Many Beijing artists had agreements with Warsh to produce work for his collection and his art advisory business, which began in 2004, inspired by Farber's example in the field. "I was enamored by China, and then I was enamored by the art of China as I learned about important artists," says Warsh. "But what really hit me first was how the pricing did not make sense to me at all-everything was out of whack."

Warsh, who amassed a collection of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf in the late 1980s, was the publisher of the now-defunct Museums Magazine, which he sold to LTB Media in 2004. He stated at one point that his collection totaled more than 1,200 works; now, he says, he owns approximately 400 paintings and photographs. Part of his collection is managed by his new business venture, AW Asia, which has a gallery in Chelsea and intends to assemble collections of Chinese contemporary art for museums and major private collectors. The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently acquired 23 photographs from AW Asia.

With Farber and Warsh circulating in Beijing for a variety of purposes, it was easy for Chinese artists to become confused about who was buying for whom and for what purpose. In recent interviews, several artists-most notably Zhang Xiaogang, who had an agreement with Warsh-pointed to him as an example of a speculator.

Warsh replies, "While some artists are not so pleased with their decision to have sold quantities of artwork at what was then their current values not so long ago, there are many artists who are not resentful and actually pleased that someone has taken an interest in their work."

New York dealer Jack Tilton, who has worked with Chinese artists since 1999, says, "All of these artists are hoping that their work finds good homes rather than getting churned in the commercial market. But they have also played a part in this market, embracing capitalism more than we have, in funny ways. They are not naive about any of this stuff."

When asked about the artists' reactions to the sale of his collection, Farber was flabbergasted: "So what? Now I am the bad guy. That pisses me off!"

A number of major collectors of Chinese contemporary art who have been in the field for some time are holding on to their collections. Uli Sigg, Swiss ambassador to China, Mongolia, and North Korea from 1995 to 1998, has built a collection of key works that he has toured in the exhibition "Mahjong" to museums throughout Europe and, most recently, the University of California's Berkeley Art Museum (September 10-January 4). Belgian collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens have used their resources to establish the first nonprofit contemporary-art center in Beijing, where they are currently exhibiting their historic collection. So far, collector Charles Saatchi has been hanging on to his purchases in preparation for opening his new gallery in London on the 9th of next month with a show of Chinese contemporary art; he has also launched a Chinese-language Web site on which mainland artists can post their works.

In comparison with Western buying, mainland Chinese participation pales. Though there are many rumors about the power of the new Chinese buyers, their presence has not been felt in the major auction houses, where most of the records are being set. "Hong Kong right now covers the global buyers, especially those from across Asia," says Eric Chang, Christie's international director of Asian contemporary art. "I am not really seeing mainland Chinese buyers-less than 10 percent-a drop from around 12 percent." Dealers in China also have seen few mainland collectors among their regular clients. "I don't know yet about collectors," says New York dealer Christophe Mao of Chambers Fine Art, which recently opened a branch in Beijing.

Despite the current shortage of mainland art collectors, China is emerging as a major art center, having become a hub for buyers from South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, and for overseas Chinese from all over the world. Reflecting this diversity is the wide range of foreign dealers among the 300 galleries in Beijing, including Continua from Italy, Urs Meile from Switzerland, Arario and PKM from South Korea, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects from Japan, and Tang from Indonesia.

"In Beijing it's getting increasingly difficult to talk about the Chinese market as a separate entity from the broader Asian art market or the international art market," says Meg Maggio, an American who came to China in 1988 and ran one of the first galleries in the country, CourtYard, in Beijing, from 1998 to 2006. Now she has her own gallery, Pékin Fine Arts, where she represents an international stable of artists. "How do you describe the market for a Korean artist showing in China or a Chinese artist living in New York?" she asks, noting that her business can come from South Korean collectors visiting Beijing or European companies doing business in China.

One factor in China's development as a center for contemporary art is the proliferation of art fairs. Beijing has two, the China International Gallery Exposition and Art Beijing; Shanghai has the newly created ShContemporary, now in its second year; and Hong Kong just launched ART HK. CIGE director Wang Yihan says her fair attracted 40,000 visitors this year, while the more high-toned ShContemporary brought in 25,000 and ART HK 08 had 19,000. These numbers may seem small in comparison with the 60,000 who crowd Art Basel, but dealers believe that the fairs in Asia are worthwhile because they attract new buyers and make Asian collectors feel more comfortable about acquiring art from galleries.

"Anywhere else, a fair is just a fair," says Lorenz Helbling of ShanghART, one of the oldest galleries in China and a participant in Art Basel. "But in Shanghai a fair feels like so much more because only there can it make an impact on several million people." He is referring not only to attendance but to the intensive publicity and official recognition given to ShContemporary in its inaugural year.

Just a few years ago it would have been impossible to try to sell contemporary art to Asian buyers, let alone mainland Chinese collectors, in the public forum of an art fair. Now, with the astounding success of Chinese contemporary art, collectors from across the region-and more than a few from the United States and Europe-are targeting China as a destination. According to Nick Simunovic, who has opened an office and showroom for Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong, it is only a matter of time before these regional buyers turn their attention to Western contemporary art.

"My sense is that wherever you have tremendous wealth creation, the collecting cycle goes through three phases," he says. "First, people collect their cultural patrimony, and then they collect their own contemporary art. I think the final stage is when they gain a more globalized contemporary-art approach."

Gagosian first considered opening an office in Shanghai but encountered obstacles to doing business on the mainland. The most formidable of these is a 34 percent luxury tax on art, which foreign galleries that participated in ShContemporary found difficult to avoid. Hong Kong, by comparison, is a duty-free zone. And Simunovic found that even Jeff Koons was a tough sell in Shanghai, whereas Hong Kong offers more possibilities for Western contemporary art. Just a year ago Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau paid $72 million for Andy Warhol's Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I). In May Christie's brought a Warhol portrait of Mao, valued at $120 million and for sale privately, for viewing in Hong Kong. (At press time it had not yet been sold.)

"Sure, China is hot, but that's just the peak of the iceberg," says Lorenzo Rudolf, former director of Art Basel and cofounder of ShContemporary. "This is not just about a group of Chinese painters. It's about a growing market going on in this continent."

With the sheer abundance of galleries, auction houses, and art fairs in China, the larger art world is recognizing the power of the Asian market. Standing in an auction house in New York or London watching paintings by Chinese artists sell for millions, one can grouse about this boom and hint that it will turn out to be a bubble. But strolling in a bustling gallery district in Beijing, with students and tourists crowding the cafés and boutiques and filling the huge art showrooms, few would predict a downturn in the near future.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

bubbles @ the Bethesda bubbler II

The definitive crown jewel of Central Park, is one of the most famous & universally loved fountains in the world! Designed by Emma Stebbins, the centerpiece of the"Angel of the Waters" was the only sculpture commissioned as part of the original design of the Park naming her the first woman to receive a commission for a major work of art in New York City. The winged female figure symbolizes and celebrates the purifying of the city's water. She carries a lily, the symbol of purity in one hand while her other hand extends outward as she blesses the water below. The stimulus for the idea of the"Angel of the Waters" comes from the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 5, the story of an angel bestowing healing powers on the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. Beneath the eight-foot gilded bronze statue are four smaller four-foot figures symbolizing Temperance, Purity, Health, and Peace. The base of the fountain was designed by Calvert Vaux with detail work by Jacob Wrey Mould.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Covington Wall Mount Water Fountain

Product #: 50001WB Finishes: Weathered Bronze Finish A four-pointed star is the centerpiece of this delicately carved wall fountain, with a subtle Weathered Bronze finish and gentle water flow. Bulb Info: 1-10 Watt 12V (JC) Bulb, 2 Bulbs Included Glass/Shade: On/Off Line Switch, Cord Cover Included

Friday, December 3, 2010

Manneken Pis - Brussels, Belgium - Created at TripWow by TravelPod Attractions Manneken Pis Brussels Nicknamed "Brussel's Oldest Citizen," this bronze statue of a little boy and a fountain was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619, and has become a familiar (and irreverent) symbol of the city. Read more at: Travel blogs from Manneken Pis: - "Okay Brussels, seriously, you got me and I spent like 50 bucks on Manneken Pis crap Moving on now, Brussels is also known for other things like Brussels Lace, which is about as boring as other laces" - "When we went to see the Grand Place and the Manneken Pis, my headache turned into a migraine so we headed back home" - "I did manage to roll down the stairs of the Belgian Beer Café into a wheelbarrow to go see the Manneken Pis" - "The most famous sight here is the Manneken Pis fountain, a small statue of a little boy taking a leak odd yes" - "I will tell you about one of the things we saw it was a little bronze statue called Manneken Pis or in English 'little man piss'" Read these blogs and more at: Photos from: - Brussels, Belgium Photos in this video: - "Manneken Pis in South African Costume" by The_stamms from a blog titled "Oh Yeah...Did I Mention the Beer?!" - "Me in front of the famous Manneken Pis" by Jcharwell from a blog titled "Bruxelles - Brussels" - "Manneken Pis as Father Christmas" by Theskinners from a blog titled "Belgian Christmas" - "Manneken Pis - full scale" by Hsb from a blog titled "The ...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

God is the Rock of my Heart third presentation

The warm sun of an Indian summer in St. Peters Square The warm sun of Indian summer lights St Peters Square; it is the morning of November 11th 1996. It is my first workday at the Secretariat of State and mom wants to be by my side. That is why she has come to Rome. We wake up early in the morning and, after picking her and my uncle Father Luigi up at the Saverian Missionaries General House in Viale Vaticano, we go to St Peters Tomb, where we celebrate the Holy Mass together. After Mass we have breakfast at the Bar San Pietro in Via della Conciliazione. I am very tense and excited; the new environment makes me stand in awe, especially this first time. My dark clergyman suit is in perfect order; I am holding hold my dark brown briefcase in my hands. Mom notices how worried I am. We walk slowly as far as the fountain on the right of the large square. Then we stop and look at the offices of the Secretariat of State, near the Apostolic Palace. Mom asks me which window the Pope appears at for the Sunday Angelus prayer. I lift my arm and point it out. The water gurgling in the beautiful fountain forces us to speak louder. Together we admire the wonderful square: the colonnade, the façade, and the dome. Mom shows us the place where she had sat down to write her postcards on her first visit to Rome, during her honeymoon, right under St. Peters statue. We reach the colonnade, where the Bronze Door is. Mom invites me to go up the steps but before parting, she tells me: Father Gigi ...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Transform Wedding Favors Into Wedding Table Centerpieces

Guest Favors and Wedding Table Centerpieces are both beautiful additions to a wedding reception that the bride loves to arrange and the guests love to enjoy. However, both favors and centerpieces don't come cheap and very often these are the little details that have to be abandoned when organising a budget wedding. Now we have discovered the perfect solution, you can provide each of your guests with a favor to take home and treasure your special day, whilst doubling them up as your wedding table centerpieces - saving yourself a fortune on elaborate floral centerpieces; continue reading to find out how.

Wedding table centerpieces do not have to be elaborate and over-the-top, very often simple and elegant is even more effective. Cupcakes are now a very fashionable wedding favor, which are usually given to guests in little card boxes. To turn these favors into a centerpiece you could write the guest names on each of the boxes, then pile them up decoratively on a charger plate and place in the centre of the table as an alternative table decoration. To enhance the look of the centerpiece you could strategically place a few flowers in amongst the boxes or scatter some petals around the edge of the plate.

Fruits make a beautiful centerpiece and although not traditionally used as a favor, it promotes health and wellbeing and after a big meal many people delight in the taste of a piece of fresh organic fruit.

A very unique suggestion would be to buy your guests miniature photoframes and put a small photograph in each one, the photo could be of the guest, the bride and groom, or a lovely touch would be photographs of brides in your family throughout the generations, as far back as you can go. You can then arrange these photoframes as a table centerpiece, guaranteed to be a talking point if nothing else.

An Italian tradition which has spread throughout the world, is to give your guests a small bag of sugared almonds to take away with them. Nowadays dragees are a very classy alternative, which come in many pretty colours including gold, silver and bronze. These could be tied into pretty organza bags and piled with ribbons and feathers in a romantic table centerpiece or you could arrange them in bowls with diamonds and confetti scattered on the tablecloth and some pretty tealights casting a romantic light onto them.

Piling your favors up into a centerpiece can be really effective no matter what they are, as long as you include a few of the following elements to complete the transformation; fresh or fabric petals, confetti, scattered diamonds, shells, ribbons, feathers, fresh or silk flowers, dragees and/or candles.

Transforming your wedding favors into stunning wedding table centerpieces only takes a little creative thought and determination. It is a great money saver and can add a fun personal touch to the proceedings.