Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bacon's Popes

Francis Bacon was indeed obsessed with Popes and it appears to have paid off for some lucky fellow, at least:

A 50-year-old painting by Dublin-born artist Francis Bacon set an auction record for his work on Thursday when it was sold at Christie's for 14.02 million pounds ($27.56 million).

"Study For Portrait II," an oil on canvas work Bacon painted in late 1956, is one of Bacon's famed papal portraits.

It smashed the previous record of $15 million set in November at Sotheby's in New York for the work "Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe."

According to Christie's, Bacon painted more than 50 paintings of popes, beginning in 1946, and was obsessed by Diego Velazquez's 1650 "Portrait of Pope Innocent X."

I wonder who owned it: good time to sell I guess, with hte high oil price and all those Russian running around.


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Friday, February 02, 2007


Something of a disappointing review for the latest Diane Keaton movie, "Because":

Like the architectural-wonder cakes Diane Keaton's character constructs in "Because I Said So," the film is a stylishly gooey piece of work that demands to be oohed and aahed over.

With its magazine-spread interiors and pretty dresses, this romantic comedy about a meddling mom and her unlucky-in-love youngest daughter might get what it wants. Using a recipe overloaded with adorable, too reliant on slapstick and spiced up with "modern" ideas about sex, the movie is as predictable as a crowd-pleaser can get. But crowds are likely to be pleased nonetheless, especially women who connect with its pat observations about the mother-daughter bond.

It's dispiriting to see a great actress like Keaton buying into this nonsense with such gusto. Still, as Daphne, the control-freak cake entrepreneur nearing her 60th birthday, she's the closest thing to a three-dimensional person in the film. Mandy Moore is an appealing performer, but ultimately she can't turn Milly, the object of Daphne's pathological concern, into more than a collection of comely pouts and tantrums.

To be honest I haven't liked any of her movies since Annie Hall and even that was because of the Woody Allen script, not her acting.