enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Steve Wynn's Collection: An Online Review and Preview

Right now, there is no official "Steve Wynn's List of Art Only Steve Wynn Could Afford" website. So with that in mind, the following is an attempt to see what Mr. Wynn has owned in the past, and what may be on display when Wynn Las Vegas is planned to open in April 2005.

Sometimes Google searches are intensive, like panning for gold. Occasionally that effort is rewarded with a chunk of gold or two. Such is this nice nugget. The Art Rental and Licensing Agreement - Stephen A. Wynn and Wynn Resorts LLC comes courtesy of legal website FindLaw. This 2001 document offers a listing of artworks that were lent from Steve Wynn to Wynn Resorts. Isn't that like loaning to yourself? Stop questioning the needs of the super-rich and eat your ramen noodles.

The Wynn Collection as it was: (note the work by Andrew Warhol)

Paul Cezanne
Curtain, Jug and Fruit Bowl
(Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier)
c. 1893-94
Oil on canvas
23 1/2 * 28 3/4 inches

Paul Gauguin
The Bathers
(Promenade au bord de la mer)
(Famille Tahitlenne)
Oil on canvas
36 1/4 * 28 3/4 in. (92 cm. * 73 cm.)

Edouard Manet
Portrait of Mademoiselle Suzette Lemaire, In Profile (Portrait de Mademoiselle Suzette Lemaire, de profil)
Pastel on paper
21 3/8 * 17 3/4 in. (54.3 * 45.1 cm.)

Henri Matisse
La Robe Persane
Oil on canvas
32 * 25 5/8 in. (81 * 65 cm.)

Henri Matisse
Pineapple and Anemones
Oil on canvas
28 3/4 * 361/4 in. (73 * 92 cm.)

Amedeo Modigliani
Nu Couche (sur le cote gauche)
Oil on canvas
35 * 57 in. (88.9 * 144.8 cm)

Pablo Picasso
La Reve
Oil on canvas
51 1/8 * 38 1/8 in. (129.8 * 97.2 cm)

Vincent van Gogh
Peasant Woman against a Background of Wheat
Portrait of a Peasant Girl in a Straw Hat
June 1890
Oil on canvas
36 1/4 * 28 3/4 in. (92 * 73 cm.)

Andrew Warhol
Steve Wynn (three consisting of gold, white, red)
Synthetic polymer paint, silkscreen ink
and diamond dust on canvas

Claude Monet
Camille a l'Ombrelle Verte
Oil on Canvas
31 7/8 * 23 5/8 in.

Strangely enough, another list appeared in an August 6, 2004 SEC filing, which included an "Amended and Restated Art Rental and Licensing Agreement". This third version of this arrangement, according to Yahoo! Finance, was entered into on November 7, 2002. But Amedeo Modigliani's "Nu Couche (Sur la Cote Gauche)" was sold by Wynn at Christie's on November 4, 2003 for $26,887,500. Why is it still on the list? Ask the lawyers.

Most of these works were on display at the Wynn Collection gallery, in the old Desert Inn. The Art Gallery was mentioned in March of 2004, when Wynn Resort filed a Form 10-K (definition). This document (downloadable PDF or online version) talks of the financial benefits of displaying very expensive pieces of artwork.

"Offsetting the decrease in aircraft revenues are increases in revenues from the art gallery and the retail shop of approximately $38,000 and $75,000, respectively, due to increased patronage."

This Annual Report 2003 (filed in 2004) details the yearly income of the gallery.


Art gallery

2001 - $35,000
2002 - $279,000
2003 - $317,000

Period from April 21, 2000 (Inception) to Year Ended December 31, 2003 - $631,000."

After the closing of the gallery and the demolition of the remaining D.I. buildings, the collection had no home, which is why it is up at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. The exhibition of the Wynn Collection, which was originally slated to run until March 30th, has been extended until April 10th. The Reno Gazette's Masterpiece Milestone reports on this exhibition and offers this list of works as ones on display.

* Pablo Picasso's "La Reve," 1932.

* Vincent van Gogh's "Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat," 1890.

* Pierre-Auguste Renoir's " Among the Roses” (Madame Leon Clapisson)," 1882.

* Claude Monet's "Camille a l'Ombrelle Verte," 1876.

* Henri Matisse"s "La Robe Persane "The Persian Robe," 1940.

* Paul Gauguin's "The Bathers," 1902.

* Rembrandt van Rijn's "Self Portrait with Shaded Eyes," 1634.

* John Singer Sargent's "Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife," 1885.

* Pablo Picasso's "Nature morte aux tulips,," 1932.

* Pablo Picasso's "Hommeau chapeau," 1965.

* Andy Warhol's portrait of Steve Wynn in red, white and gold, 1983.

* Jan Brueghel the Elder's "untitled landscape," 1594.

* Camille Pissarro's "Hermitage Garden, Maison Rouge," 1877.

* Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Napoleonic Stereotype circa '44," 1983.

While all the legal papers are great fun, let's get to the most bizarre nugget of gold. Way back when, a lot of this art was on display at Wynn's crown jewel, The Bellagio Hotel & Casino. They were part of the prestige of the Bellagio and had a specialized gallery for their exhibition. The Bellagio's website at the time had a page dedicated to the gallery and listed the works available for viewing. So you would think that since it's been years since that was the arrangement, the site would be taken offline, never to be seen again. Well, you are wrong and you should give thanks to the "ANTI-CAPITALIST OPERATING SYSTEM (ACOS) v2.0." For whatever reason, online anarchists have preserved a satirical version of the Bellagio Art Gallery in the Bellagio Casino website. . .

"By clicking on the link below to enter the Bellagio Art Gallery, I signify my understanding that what I am about to see is a satire of the web site of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in the Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas. I also signify my understanding that this satire of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art contains sexual content that may be offensive to some viewers.



So, there you go! When it opens, the hotel will be awe-inspiring, the gallery glorious, and the art will look great.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Artist Installs Art, Museums Not Amused

London-based artist Banksy has struck again. Surreptitiously installing pictures in the Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History, he literally wore a beard, mustache and long coat to hide the smuggled artwork.

The Wooster Collective has pictures of the works put on display and their installations, a virtual how-to on placing artwork in museums that wouldn't otherwise show your work.

This isn't the first time he's snuck a piece on display.

"It is a monument dedicated to thugs, to thieves, to bullies, to liars, to the corrupt, the arrogant and the stupid."
Image from Art of the State (Banksy Sculpture, London)

An even more ambitious and expensive stunt (BBC article) was placed in the courtyard of Clerkenwell Green, England. Jon Stewart on the Daily Show once called the Statue of Liberty a SILF (Statue I'd Like to Fuck). But Banksy has done one better, with Justice looking hot in garters and stockings. Local attorney and poet Dayvid Figler should own this, and The Las Vegas Community Artists Group should be seeing about getting Banksy and his friends to come to our fair town.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bored, Chain-Smoking Lezzie Hookers! Emotionally Unavailable, Amazonian Love-Objects! and More at the Artisan

From Figler Media and Consulting (figlermedia@earthlink.net) comes news of a literate lesbian invasion at The Artisan Hotel!!!

"Two book tours converge into one in Las Vegas on
Monday, March 21st, 2005, at 7 PM at the fabulous
Artisan Hotel.   The Contemporary Arts Collective, in
conjunction with Dayvid Figler, present Michelle Tea &
Laurenn McCubbin supporting their new collaboration, Rent Girl, and Ali Liebegott and her newest work, The Beautifully Worthless.  (Michelle Tea will be instantly recognizable to those who saw the old Sister Spit shows at the Double Down as the host of that raucous event). Opening the program with an acoustic set will be Paige (lead singer of The Clydesdale). The Artisan Hotel is located near the intersection of I-15 and Sahara Avenue on the east side.

MICHELLE TEA & LAURENN MCCUBBIN do show 'n' tell from their collaborative publishing project, RENT GIRL (Last Gasp). Hear Michelle read true tales of one broke-ass baby dyke down the rabbit-hole of the sex industry! See slides of Laurenn's illustrations--bored, chain-smoking lezzie hookers! emotionally unavailable, Amazonian love-objects! drug-dealing teenaged bulldaggers! weird, germaphobic tricks! You will guffaw heartily, and also indulge in a voyeuristic pleasure you may later be ashamed of. It's okay.


ALI LIEBEGOTT reads from her epic road poem, THE
BEAUTIFULLY WORTHLESS (Suspect Thoughts Press)
, wherein a melancholy queer girl throws her dalmatian in the pickup and hits the road, in search of a mythical American town that has banished sadness. The odometer clicks, the poetry
spins, the letters get sent home to an abandoned girlfriend, beers are drunk in seedy roadside hotels, terrified naps are stolen at rest stops, bat-infested caves are explored and the fifteen-year-old boy running the cave gets stalked by our hero. Some will crack a rib from laughter; others will weep from the pure elegance of Ali's verse. Those with a wide emotional range may do both.

Excerpts of The Beautifully Worthless - Ali Liebegott - Lodestar Quarterly

Please come and see our show. Books will be for sale, and a swell time had by all."

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Happy Birthday Josh Ellis, Get Over It!

When Zenarchery.com got "Best Vegas Website" by Las Vegas Life, I was a little bummed. But based on the rest of the magazine's other "best" selections, the word "research" deserves to be put in quotes, and being neglected lost its sting.

Josh Ellis's site is full of news of Josh Ellis and little about Vegas. Based on the one time talking to Mr. Ellis, it reflects poorly on him, and didn't resemble the guy I had a drink with at the Golden Palm so very long ago. The conversation revolved around many things, but his Texan grandfather's dealings with the Bin Laden family during the oil boom was fascinating. It also makes me 5 degrees removed from Osama. Small world.

Some of the latest missives from his site have him lamenting about his birthday, his unrecognized genius, and living in "Retard City." When he signs off on a post with, "Somebody, please, drop the bomb. Quit wasting my time," I sigh and think, "Stop wasting your time, smart guy."

If you want to put an end to it, all the info needed to assemble a bomb has been publicly available for years. Announce the means and location of your going-away party to the press so it can be recorded for posterity. Get a 1959 Caddy convertible, "two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine," drive your ass to the middle of the desert and turn yourself into a sun. Your atomic suicide would be eternally replayed on the news, Hunter would be proud, and the name of Joshua Ellis (Dr, RIP) would be on everyone's lips.

Until then, this would be my unsolicited advice on making your life a better one...

Stop bitching about the "general populace." Cumulatively, the "general populace" sucks. The founding fathers knew that when they created the electoral college and it's the same reason that some people feel the need for gated communities. (I'm talking to you Summerlin and Henderson! You're not that special.) Most people don't care about you, so stop looking at them for affirmation. Want a solution, I'll get to it.

Stop with the drugs (for the most part). Mild, recreational drug use is good for the occasional epiphany; anything else is just accumulating damage that can't be afforded. It's a small town and people talk, and that's how they talk about you.

Pissed about missing SXSW? What about a Vegas-based Mperia fest? Every good music fest was once small, so don't let that stop you. And don't whine about no venues. Famous John's, Dino's, and the Icehouse Lounge. That's just three in Downtown.

Want to address those who should be listening? Get a list of your best ideas/concepts (not complaints, know the difference). Host a salon, invite artists, articulate individuals, local color. As the host, spend ten minutes being smart, funny, and informative about your topic and the rest of the night getting the machine of discourse running on social lubrication. Don't tell me you can't attempt that kind of party.

Why an article dedicated to one man in Vegas?. Public whining gets a public response. That's all.

The next article is going to be so full of info on art, a casino, and its wealthy owner that your head will hurt. Promise.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The New Downtown Post Office Museum to Have New Show

The City's Department of Leisure Services has announced the first show for the "Post Modern", the reclaimed historic post office near city hall.
So, here it goes. . .

Department of Leisure Services
The Cultural Division cordially invites you to attend several First Friday events on May, 6, 2005.

Starting off the evening will be the Post Modern reception for the VEGAS VIP (Vegas Viewed in Post Cards) exhibit from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the former downtown Post Office on 301 Stewart. Self guided tours will begin at 5:30 through 9:00 pm. Gallery Volunteers will be on-site to help with questions.

The second event occurring at the Post Modern will be performances by award winning Collage Dance Theatre ensemble, a site-specific performance dance company that serves up visions of the past with more than a pinch of surrealism. Performances are at 7:00 pm, 7:45 pm, 8:30 pm, and at 9:15 pm. For more information regarding the Collage Dance Theatre please go to their web site at: Collage Dance Theatre.

Two special Post Modern Express buses will be transporting guests to and from the Post Modern Exhibit and Collage performances and the First Friday Arts District activities every 15 minutes. Paid parking is also available at the Stewart Parking structure on 4th and Stewart entrance (north bound traffic) and on Las Vegas Boulevard South and Stewart (south bound traffic).

In addition to the Post Modern VEGAS VIP and the Collage Dance Theatre, the May First Friday activities will be celebrating a Centennial First Friday: "100 Years 100 Artists. First Friday will host participating fine artists on First Friday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm and on Saturday, May 7 from 10 am to 5:00 pm. Artists will be demonstrating and selling their work on Antique Row near the Funkhouse on Colorado and Casino Center and on Boulder in front of the Arts Factory. Entertainment stages will be at both locations along with food and drink vendors. For information regarding artists please go to the City's Cultural web site at: artslasvegas.org | City of Las Vegas Cultural Events or call: 229-2496.

Off-site parking will be available at the Government Center on 500 Grand Central Parkway. Trolley service will be available to transport to the festival and back on Friday and Saturday. For more information regarding First Friday please go to the official First Friday web site at: First Friday.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

First Friday Report

"It was wet, cold, and fucking miserable."

Well, then. That pretty much guarantees Third Thursday won't be worse.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

We Like Museums, Museums That Go Boom!

The coolest museum in Las Vegas is not about Liberace, or Elvis, or even the city itself. It is about the splitting of atomic nuclei for military and scientific purposes. Sounds dry? Atomic Testing Museum's 8,000 square foot gallery is a visual explosion, full of pop culture paraphernalia, left-over testing equipment, and innovative computer kiosks. Some of the video presentations include parts of Duck and Cover and A is for Atom (which are amongst the many atomic movies available for free download at the Internet Archive). When you have defense contractors as your benefactors, you can throw lots of money at a museum, and this museum looks like a million bucks. The Las Vegas City Life has a moderately informative review of the museum by yours truly.

The article doesn't do the museum justice in describing the visual impact of the place, so fortunately for you, here is the Atomic Testing Museum's Photos Page.

Bonus Related Links!;
Atomic Heritage Foundation Home Page
National Atomic Museum (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
CONELRAD: All Things Atomic | The Golden Age of Homeland Security

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