Precision by Ken Smith
Star of India sails
A new selection of Urban Trees is spread out along San Diego’s waterfront and the Star of India’s Halloween sails have been replaced by its regular, untattered sails.
However, the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes’ sails are still underwater off the coast of Gibraltar. And Odyssey Marine Exploration is still trying to get salvage rights to her treasure of Spanish coins minted in Peru. The Mercedes was a Spanish Royal Navy Frigate which sunk in a sea battle during Spain’s war with England in 1804. The Eleventh Circuit Court of appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, is hearing Odyssey’s appeal to the dismissal of its claim to the treasure. Kimberly Alderman on her blog at www.culturalpropertylaw.wordpress.com is following the case, known as the Black Swan case, for us.
Still out there, and might as well be under water, are the five masterpieces stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art in May 2010 (www.dailymail.co.uk), and the dozen masterpieces, including three Rembrandts, stolen from the Gardner Museum in 1990 and recounted for us by Ulrich Boser in The Gardner Heist. And a lot of other stolen art. Check out Art Theft Central.
Caravaggio's Fanciullo con canestro di frutta
Digital painting by David Hockney
But the good news is that this is the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio’s death and he has an Apple App with English text and Italian narration. How great is that! An iPad app for a 16th century painter who probably used a camera obscura set-up to create some of his work.
At least, David Hockney thinks he did, as he explains in detail in his book Secret Knowledge (2001).
And David Hockney himself has iPads and iPhones bolted to the walls in Paris’ Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation with his digital drawings glowing away (www.bbc.co.uk; http://bigthink.com). He created them on Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
I wonder what counts as the “original work.” Something embedded in electronics–you’d have to display it over your mantel on an iPhone or iPad. Anything else would be just a copy, once removed from the original. Maybe the only original is on Hockney’s own iPhone or iPad. In which case, anything on anybody else’s iPhone or iPad is a heck of a lot more than “once removed.” And if you print it out as I did here, it’s a facsimile.
And if Hockney’s iPhone and iPad are carried to the bottom of the sea in a ship wreck, the art probably won’t be salvageable.
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