Goya, The Duke, and Free TV for Granny!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 7

Lucky Episode 7! Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (aka: Goya) is our focus this episode and boy do we have a lot to say about him. Mara and Baker are big fans! In our sharing is caring segment, we cover the recent “I just wanted to move the Warhol print for a laugh, I wasn’t going to steal it!” guy in Rochester, NY. Plus that dude who found Viking treasure last week, and then Baker explains why Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) is a low key genius who is mainstreaming NFT art sales with Christie’s. We briefly attempt to explain NFTs and what this Beeple auction at Christie’s might mean for the future of art. All of that and lots more Goya talk, including why his Los Caprichos series reminds Baker of an 80’s thrash metal band.

Episode References

The Duke of Wellington, by Francisco de Goya
Saturn devouring a Son, by Francisco de Goya
Saturn devouring a Son, by Peter Paul Rubens (Baker said Raphael in this episode by accident, sorry!)
Essential Worker 2320, by Beeple
Emoji Warfare , by Beeple

Local man charged in attempted robbery from Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery | The Art Newspaper
An Amateur Metal Detectorist Has Unearthed a Rare Stash of 1,000-Year-Old Viking Jewelry on the Isle of Man | Artnet News
Christie’s to accept cryptocurrency for first time | The Art Newspaper
‘Beeple Mania’: How Mike Winkelmann Makes Millions Selling Pixels, Esquire Magazine
Know your meme, Saturn Devouring his Son
NFTs are transforming the digital art world. | Foundation.app

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Twitter: @artcrimepod
Show Notes and Blog: ARTCRIME .blog
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

The Ed Ruscha print Steve Martin sold when he “angrily left L.A.”

Everyone knows Steve Martin is an avid collector and lifelong champion of the arts, but did you know his first purchase of art was a $125 print of Ed Ruscha’s Hollywood sign?

From LACMA’s curator notes: “Ed Ruscha first drew the Hollywood sign in 1967…Ruscha has joked that the sign was ‘a smog indicator: if I could read it, the weather was OK.'”

Ruscha’s series of Hollywood sign prints showcase the hallmarks we’ve come to associate with Ruscha; beautiful typography, sharp angles, and a word that speaks volumes.

“‘Hollywood’ is like a verb to me…It’s something you can do to any subject or any thing.”

Ed Ruscha
Schrafft’s Hollywood Study (Ed Ruscha, 1967), The Art Institute of Chicago

Above: This simple pen and pencil sketch on a placemat tells a wonderful origin story. It belongs to the prints and drawings collection at The Art Institute of Chicago.

We can see the origin of Ruscha’s Hollywood series on a placemat from the legendary Schrafft’s restaurants. There’s Ruscha’s signature diminishing perspective made famous by his Standard Station series and it appears he’s working out his preferred line of sight. In the upper-left of the placemat, the sketch includes the sign’s iconic position on a bluff in the Santa Monica Mountains, but he would later shift the perspective and sign’s position to the mountain ridge.

“The first thing I bought happened to be an Ed Ruscha print of Hollywood, the Hollywood sign. I bought it from Irving Blum’s gallery on La Cienega and I paid $125 for it, and I was very excited.”

Steve Martin

Surely the first piece of art Steve Martin ever purchased must still remain in his collection, especially from a titan like Ed Ruscha, someone Steve Martin would eventually call friend. Right? Sadly, the answer is no. According to a 2010 New York Times article, Martin explains, “It’s a long story…I sold it when I angrily left L.A.”

I would love to hear that long story, wouldn’t you?

Below: Here’s a wonderful primer on the art and life of Ed Ruscha

“Ed Ruscha: Buildings and Words” – YouTube

How Steve Martin Became an Art Collector, Art Gallery of Ontario
Ed Ruscha Hollywood screenprint in colors, Christies.com
Hat tip to this 2010 tweet by Abigail De Kosnik
Steve Martin’s ‘Object of Beauty’ Tackles New York Art World, The New York Times
Schrafft’s Hollywood Study, 1967, The Art Institute of Chicago