Tchibo’s Picasso Stunt

May 14, 2007 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Art | 4 Comments
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I got an interesting comment today on one of my recent Picasso on sale at Tchibo’s posts. Auslaender writes:

Well, I was one from those ordering the lithograph!!
One week after, I got a very confusing e-mail from Tchibo explaining how they got to lithographs, and saying basically that those are not quite Picasso’s work, but made by Marcel Salinas on a behalf of Picasso’s granddaughter Marina, between 1979 and 1982 and MADE AFTER Picasso’s oils. Needless to say, I canceled the order. Of course, it was naive to believe that one can even get Picasso’s lithograph for that kind of money, even though I wouldn’t expect such a confidence trick from big player like Tchibo is. Further below you can find excerpts from Tchibo’s mail (in German).

“Die Galerie Burkhard Eikelmann in Düsseldorf, die Tchibo dieses Angebot vermittelt hatte, hat diese Lithographien entdeckt. Sie wurden in den ehemaligen Druckwerkstätten Picassos in Paris hergestellt, 25 Jahre unberührt in einem Lager eines Großhändlers in New York aufbewahrt, um schließlich ihren Weg zu Tchibo zu finden. Lithograph und Drucker war Marcel Salinas, der exklusiv für Pablo Picasso gearbeitet und diese Lithographien – posthum nach Picassos Tod – vom Stein gedruckt hat.”

“Die für die über Tchibo vertriebenen Lithographien benutzten Steindruckplatten wurden nach dem Druck von 1000 Exemplaren vernichtet, so dass ein Nachdruck der angebotenen Edition durch die eigens von Salinas hergestellten Druckplatten ausgeschlossen ist. Die Signatur Pablo Picassos wurde ebenfalls mit dem Stein gedruckt.”

Brief summary of the German blurb, provided by Tchibo in an email to Auslaender: A German gallery, Burkhard Eikelmann, acted as an agent to fix the deal with Tchibo. They had found the lithographs in Paris, where they were created in one of Picasso’s former print workshops, crafted by Marcel Salinas, one of the printers and lithographers with whom Picasso had worked. The stone which was used to print the lithographs – complete with the signature – were destroyed after a number of 1000 copies had been reached.

There is nothing to be found on Marcel Salinas in neither the German, French or English Wikipedia, and he’s not listed as one of Eikelmann’s artists (neither is Picasso – thank God!). So, judging by the name, I can only assume that our Marcel Salinas was the same one who created this poster. Up to scratch with Picasso? You decide.

I’m still having problems with my computer, but hopefully my new harddrive will arrive soon. This does, however, tremendously affect the amount of time I get to spent online – no internet at home. Which is why I won’t have the time today to complete the ‘Blog Traffic Series’ – coming up tomorrow. Also, I am beginning to lag behind in my blog reading – opening Google reader is one of my habitual morning rituals which I cannot iterate at the moment:-(

The Land of Meat and Honey 32/40

March 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Art, Food, Japanese, Lent | 1 Comment
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Yesterday I violated my self-imposed rules of Lent. But we were quick at coming up with an excuse, so I am not too worried about me ending up in hell:-)

But let me start at the beginning. Yesterday was another tough day – one tough day seems to be followed by another these days, because there are so many things happening or requiring attention at the moment. I needed to find film material for my character analysis tasks for my course Creative Writing for Film and that took longer than I thought. I needed films which establish the landmarks of the story in less than 10 minutes, and that wasn’t easily found. We have an excellent collection of DVDs in our library, but for inexplicable reasons, we still have movies that either don’t come in the original version or not with English subtitles. I needed English/English – that’s the best way of making sure my students understand, say, the ghetto slang of the kids in 8 mile. If you’re ever doing a similar exercise, start with First Blood a.k.a. Rambo, it’s excellent for that purpose.

I somehow managed to get everything done by 5pm, then hurried down to the station to catch the train to Br. My boyfriend had been pointed to a vernissage at the Kunsthaus (a good exhibition space, and a good example of what money can do in a culturally deprived region like this one). The vernissage was crap though. It was the official opening of the new billboards near the esplanade, and they truly featured word play such as “Teleer”, showing an empty plate (Teller= plate, leer = empty). And some really bad typography, e.g. the one with the gradient below. I can hardly believe how the artist could be so demented to have this line VANITAS tattooed across her cleavage, but she was. Is a badly designed billboard really worth it? Or a rotten croissant, reading Gipfel (a word for both croissants and summits). The only one I cared for a bit was the photograph of a disintegrating billboard, put to use as a new billboard.

Billboard Billboard Billboard Billboard

And two other more annoying ones that I am not even going to discuss. See for yourself, if you’re really interested.

We left the vernissage at the point where the curator wanted to instigate a dialog with the artists (a married couple), because none of us was too interested in learning what their thoughts might have been. Instead, we managed to sneak into the current exhibition for free, using the name of one of my students as a key who works there as a warden (warden is the word the dictionary advises, umm). Nice! We got to see Jeff Koons’ balloon dog and flowers made from chrome steel (and the asshole of his ex Ilona Staller), Damien Hirst’s latest pickled animal (the shark you’ll also see on Wikipedia), dust, hair and hemp seed on canvas by Gerhard Merz and the miniature versions of Marcel Duchamp’s most famous art works (here is a link to the exhibition, I don’t want another DMCA notice, and Koons and Hirst might be a bit anal about this). I had always wanted to see these miniatures, ever since I read the brief History of Portable Literature by Enrique Vila-Matas, which is actually a history of dada (and doesn’t seem to be available in English, I read it in German). It is not about paper backs, but about a portable existence which appears to be one of the objectives of dadaism. Making miniatures of your artworks was one of the ways to achieve that, at least according to Vila-Matas.

After the Kunsthaus, we were fairly hungry and considered customing a Running Sushi place, being only semi-convinced by the idea becaus it was quite pricey. But we (my boyfriend, his digs mate Daniel and I) then figured that, if we had already saved the money for the Kunsthaus (which would have been € 8 per head), we would have the right to afford it. Oh, and it was divine. I was completely no more in control of my Lent resolutions, and before I knew it my teeth sank into a special type of chicken nugget, made of chicken breast and a thin batter, with a crust of honey and sesame. A double no-no! When I realized my ‘mistake’, my boyfriend pointed out that I had also been fasting the past sundays, which wasn’t really required in the regular Lent timetable. In that sense, I had deserved this piece:-)

And from that point on, there was no holding back. I ate probably a dozen of those pieces, and for dessert, I picked three small plates of pudding (two chocolate, one vanilla) from the belt and something very similar to a Germknödel, a sweet dumpling, but with an unknown filling. What a feast! In a way, I still stuck to my guns though, as I didn’t have any other meat than the one I had almost accidentally eaten. I cannot wait for Easter to come now.

Btw, tomorrow is open day at my ‘educational company’, and I am going to offer a digital storytelling workshop and participate in a reading in a library. I am going to read Alfred Döblin, precisely from the very text I posted some days ago. I probably should translate the whole three pages for Cabbage, because the text is really brilliant!

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