Francis Bacon Work Could Fetch $80M

Three Studies For A Portrait Of John Edwards by Francis Bacon, which is expected to fetch around 80 million US dollars. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Three Studies For A Portrait Of John Edwards by Francis Bacon, which is expected to fetch around 80 million US dollars. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA

NEW YORK (AP) — A triptych by Francis Bacon of his longtime companion is poised to sell for about $80 million at Christie’s as the spring art auction season revs up with sales of postwar and contemporary works.

A provocative image by Andy Warhol of the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, race riots and a seminal painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat of a regal warrior figure are among other big-ticket items coming up for sale Tuesday evening.

Andy Warhol's 1964 "Race Riot," in four parts painted with acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. (AP Photo/Christie's)

Andy Warhol’s 1964 Race Riot, in four parts painted with acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen.                   (AP Photo/Christie’s)

Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards” was executed in 1984 and comes on the market a year after Christie’s sold his 1969 “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” for $142.4 million, setting a world record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Read the rest of this entry »

Monet, Other Art from Big Collectors Lead Auctions

Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" from the Huguette Clark collection.  (AP Photo/Christie's)

Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” from the Huguette Clark collection. (AP Photo/Christie’s)

NEW YORK (AP) — Works from the estates of heiress Huguette Clark, Edgar Bronfman and other major collectors are among the highlights leading the spring art auctions in New York City, including a Monet painting that’s been out of the public eye for decades.

The anticipated auction season begins Tuesday evening with the sale of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s, which expects to raise a total of more than $245 million.

Among the top lots is Claude Monet’s shimmering “Water Lilies.” The 1907 work of Monet’s beloved garden in Giverny, France, has not been publicly exhibited since 1926 and is estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s “Young Women Playing Badminton” is another highlight expected to sell for between $10 million and $15 million. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hammer: ‘So What if Christie Knew about Lane Closures? Everyone in New Jersey knew…’

David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closures, wrote in a letter today that Governor Chris Christie knew about the closures when they were happening.

“So what if he knew?” Charles Krauthammer asked on tonight’s Special Report.


“…Everyone in New Jersey knew. It was on the news.”

What matters is not whether Christie knew about the closures, but whether he ordered the closures, Krauthammer said. “There’s nothing in the letter that says that Christie had knowledge of how and why, or that he gave the order, or that he knew that the order had come out of his office,” Krauthammer said.

“Here we are, two days before the Super Bowl, in New Jersey, first time…the lawyer releases the letter precisely on the eve of the big day to ruin him.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Memo to Chris Christie: They hate you


Rich Lowry writes:  If you don’t know who “they” are, you haven’t been watching the news or reading the papers.

Usually, it takes winning the GOP presidential nomination for a Republican media darling to experience such an onslaught of gleefully negative press coverage. John McCain was the straight-talking maverick right up until the moment he effectively clinched the nomination in 2008 — immediately triggering a thinly sourced New York Times report insinuating an affair with a lobbyist.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has gotten his disillusioning out of the way early, if he needed it. An occupational hazard of a certain kind of Republican is wanting to be loved by the wrong people. If the past week hasn’t cured Christie of that tendency, nothing will.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Media’s Cuckoo Bananas Chris Christie Hysteria


How to explain the national frenzy over a New Jersey scandal? 

What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren’t there or didn’t get it.

I’m not referring to the scandal itself; that’s easy enough to understand. What Christie’s team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.

What’s harder to grok is the hysteria at the national level.

Read the rest of this entry »

Francis Bacon Painting Sells For Record $142 Million At Christie’s Auction

A member of Christie’s staff walks towards Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucien Freud” on Oct. 14, 2013 in London, England. (credit: Getty Images)

A member of Christie’s staff walks towards Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucien Freud” on Oct. 14, 2013 in London. (credit: Getty Images)

Bidder Not Revealed

CBS NewYork/AP There’s a new record-setting piece of art. A 1969 painting by Francis Bacon set a world record for most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

“Three Studies of Lucian Freud” was purchased for $142.4 million at Christie’s postwar and contemporary art sale on Tuesday night. The triptych depicts Bacon’s artist friend.

The work sold after “six minutes of fierce bidding in the room and on the phone,” Christie’s said in a statement. The price includes the buyer’s premium. Christie’s did not say who bought the painting.

Read the rest of this entry »

It Begins: Freaked-Out Democrats Launch Mission to Define and Smear Chris Christie in Advance of 2016 Campaign

Video: Gov. Chris Christie may be eyeing a 2016 presidential run, but he may have move to the right if he wants to appeal to the Republican base. Sabrina Schaeffer and Richard Fowler discuss.

 Gov. Chris Christie may be eyeing a 2016 presidential run, but he may have move to the right if he wants to appeal to the Republican base. Sabrina Schaeffer and Richard Fowler discuss.

 reports: Top Democratic officials launched a concerted offensive Wednesday to define New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a negative light, believing that he has emerged from his reelection landslide as the Republican Party’s strongest potential presidential contender for 2016.

Some Democratic strategists said the party made a mistake by not spending more money to attack Christie during the gubernatorial campaign, which might have suppressed his margin of victory and denied the Republican a sweeping mandate in a blue state. In the months to come, Democrats say, they plan to chip away at Christie’s moderate image and present him nationally as a hard-edged conservative.

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Chris Christie: I Never Hugged Obama

President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie upon his arrival at Atlantic City International Airport in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 31, 2012 Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie upon his arrival at Atlantic City International Airport – Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his greeting of President Barack Obama when the president arrived in Atlantic City to tour the devastation from Hurricane Sandy was not, as many have said, a “hug.”

The potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate made a point to clear up the misconception in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer published Sunday, discussing the approaching one-year anniversary of the storm.

“It was a handshake like you would shake hands with anyone,” he said. “It was a perfectly natural, casual, normal type of greeting between two people. And you know, it’s become legend.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Women Who Write Dinosaur Erotica


Maureen O’Connor writes: Alara Branwen and Christie Sims met in the dorms at Texas A&M. Alara worked at a supermarket and Christie worked as a tutor — until they discovered how lucrative erotic fiction about women having sex with dinosaurs could be. After e-book titles like Taken By the T-Rex and Ravished by the Triceratops drew attention from JezebelE!, and the Daily Mail, we e-mailed the duo to ask how they’re holding up, and how two Texan girls in their early twenties got into dinosaur porn.

With Alara at the keyboard (“Christie made me do it because she is too lazy”), the college students explained.

Why dinosaurs?

To truly answer this question, I’ll have to go all the way back to when I first started writing erotica, a little more than a year ago. I was complaining to a co-worker one day about how I was having trouble making ends meet with my crappy job and my bills from college. (I had a day job at a supermarket alongside going to school. Christie worked as a tutor and went to school.) My friend told me about an article that detailed the self-publishing boom that was going on and about how E.L. James had made a fortune self-publishing her erotica. Thinking that I could write my own erotica, I went home that night and learned about all the self-publishing platforms that were available at that time.

Once I started making more money writing erotica than I did at my job (that only took one month), I quit to start writing full-time and going to school part-time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Christie Is Wrong

Peggy Noonan

I can’t shake my dismay at Gov. Chris Christie’s comments, 12 days ago, on those who question and challenge what we know or think we do of the American national security state.

Speaking at an Aspen Institute gathering attended by major Republican Party donors, a venue at which you really don’t want to make news, Christie jumped at the chance to speak on the tension between civil liberties and government surveillance. He apparently doesn’t see any tension.

Christie doesn’t like seeing the nature and extent of government surveillance being questioned or doubted. He doesn’t like “this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now.” In fact, it reflects “a very dangerous thought.” He said: “These esoteric, intellectual debates—I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation.” Those who challenge surveillance programs may come to regret it: “The next attack that comes, that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate and wondering whether they put—” Here, according to Jonathan Martin’s report in the New York Times, Christie cut himself off.

The audience—again, including GOP moneymen, at the tony Aspen Institute—was, according to Martin, enthralled. They loved it.

Libertarians and many others did not. I did not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a real Republican – or in name only?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a lot more conservative than people think

Take a look at Christie’s record and you’ll see he is hardly a ‘Republican in name only’. He also could beat Hillary Clinton

Obama and Chris Christie

President Barack Obama shakes hands with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie before speaking about rebuilding efforts following last year’s Hurricane Sandy. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In large swaths of conservative America, the thinking is that the Republican who may be best positioned to win the White House is not really a Republican.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is branded with a four-letter word, RINO (Republican In Name Only). Pundit Ann Coulter declares that Christie is “dead” to her. Talk radio poobah Rush Limbaugh says Christie will be the 2016 presidential nominee – for the Democrats.

Meanwhile, liberals and moderates see him as a Republican they could learn to like, if not love. Bill Clinton invited him for a friendly chit-chat on stage to culminate his Clinton Global Initiative conference in June. Barack Obama played a football toss boardwalk game with him at the Jersey Shore in May. And liberal network MSNBC consistently portrays him as a post-partisan hero.

But there should be no confusion here. What those in both corners of the political spectrum should understand is that Christie has governed New Jersey as a straight-down-the-line, if not pragmatic, conservative. And there is no indication that a President Christie wouldn’t govern in the same conservative way.

Read the rest of this entry »

There Is a Responsible National-Security Libertarianism

By  David French

Three cheers for Ramesh’s piece in Bloomberg critiquing Chris Christie’s attack on Republican libertarians. Governor Christie’s attack was terrible politics, but — more important – it traffics more in caricature than substantive debate. To be sure, many of us who write about the war against jihadists — and in particular supported the war in Iraq — are familiar with the sneering name-calling of a small libertarian fringe, but I don’t know any serious foreign-policy-minded libertarian who endorses the pre 9/11 national-security infrastructure, and I’ve certainly never met any in the military (which, as I’ve discussed before, contains a strong libertarian element).

In reality, a more libertarian, less interventionist foreign policy may be in the cards whether Governor Christie likes it or not. Multiple constraints are driving America towards less intervention:

First, our military infrastructure is shrinking, rapidly. With the drawdown from Afghanistan, the end of the Iraq war, the sequester, and continued budgetary pressures, we may well see an Army of less than 400,000 active-duty troops. Large-scale interventions require large-scale forces, and the smaller size of all the major branches of the military will create its own limitations.

Second, there is little military or civilian appetite for nation-building. Nothing short of a direct attack on our country or a close ally (like South Korea) would currently motivate Americans to put substantial numbers of troops on the ground in harm’s way. There’s a reason why millions of Americans grew tired of our engagement in Afghanistan (and, before that, Iraq) that had nothing to do with pacifism or even ideology: quite simply, while they wanted to defeat our enemies, they were weary of attempting to transform near-medieval cultures. By late 2006 the Surge may have presented the best chance to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, but let’s not forget that the Surge was made necessary by many of our own military and diplomatic mistakes.

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Zhang Daqian’s ‘Lotus’ Sells for $10.4 Million

By Jason Chow

A set of four hanging scrolls by 20th-century Chinese ink painter Zhang Daqian sold for $10.4 million, more than five times its pre-sale estimate, at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong on Tuesday afternoon.

Titled “Lotus,” the four large paper scrolls – each more than five feet high and 2.5 feet wide – depict lotus flowers in various state of bloom. Completed in 1947, the work was estimated to achieve $1.9 million, but brisk bidding in the room pushed the price far above that figure before going to an Asian private buyer.

In 2011, Mr. Zhang was the top-selling artist in the world at auction, but sales of his works fell to $241.6 million in 2012 from $782.4 million the year before. As a result, the artist’s sales ranking dropped to No. 4 after Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Gerhard Richter, according to figures compiled by Artnet.

Sales of Mr. Zhang’s works are once again going strong. On Monday night, Sotheby’s sold 25 works by the artist for $42 million at a sale in Hong Kong. The most expensive work sold was “Daoist Goddess Playing Panpipe,” a 1955 painting that fetched $9.5 million.

via Scene Asia – WSJ.