Multi-Million Dollar Willem de Kooning Paintings Discovered in a New Jersey Storage Locker

Carl Court, Getty Images
Carl Court, Getty Images

A storage locker in New Jersey has been hiding a stash of art potentially worth millions. As The New York Post reports, New York City art dealer David Killen discovered six paintings inside the unit believed to be authentic Willem de Koonings.

Killen runs the David Killen Gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. He purchased the contents of the locker, consisting of 200 paintings from a late art conservator's studio, for $15,000 in 2017. It wasn't until later when he was sifting through the haul that he came across large boxes labeled "De Kooning." He also found one piece by the early 20th-century modernist painter Paul Klee.

Willem de Kooning died in 1997, and today his abstract expressionist paintings are incredibly valuable. His 1955 piece "Interchange" sold for $300 million at auction in 2015, making it the second most expensive painting ever sold at auction, just behind Leonard da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi."

The six pieces Killen discovered aren't signed, and they haven't been authenticated by the Willem de Kooning Foundation. To find out if he was dealing with the real thing, Killen got in touch with Lawrence Castagna, an art restoration expert who worked for de Kooning. According to him, all six pieces were painted by de Kooning, and they likely date from the 1970s.

De Kooning paintings have a tendency to pop up in unlikely places. In 2015, a couple found a long-lost painting by the artist on a secondhand website and bought it for $500.

[h/t The New York Post]

Kids Can Join Children's Book Author Mo Willems for Daily "Lunch Doodles" on YouTube

Screenshot via YouTube
Screenshot via YouTube

For children interested in taking drawing lessons, there are few better teachers than Mo Willems. The bestselling author and illustrator has been charming young readers for years with his Pigeon picture book series. Now, from the Kennedy Center, where he's currently the artist-in-residence, Willems is hosting daily "Lunch Doodles" videos that viewers can take part in wherever they are. New lessons are posted to the Kennedy Center's YouTube channel each weekday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

With the novel coronavirus outbreak closing schools across the country, many kids are now expected to continue their education from home. For the next several weeks, Willems will be sharing his time and talents with bored kids (and their overworked parents) in the form of "Lunch Doodles" episodes that last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. In the videos, Willems demonstrates drawing techniques, shares insights into his process, and encourages kids to come up with stories to go along with their creations.

"With millions of learners attempting to grow and educate themselves in new circumstances, I have decided to invite everyone into my studio once a day for the next few weeks," Willems writes for the center's blog. "Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons. We are going to doodle together and explore ways of writing and making."

If kids don't want to doodle during lunch, the videos will remain on YouTube for them to tune in at any time. The Kennedy Center is also publishing downloadable activity pages to go with each episode on its website [PDF]. For more ways to entertain children in quarantine or isolation, check out these livestreams from zoos, cultural institutions, and celebrities.

Dreaming of Your Favorite City? This Website Will Create a Personalized Haiku Poem About It for You

OpenStreetMap Haiku will capture the colorful character of your hometown in a few (possibly silly) phrases.
OpenStreetMap Haiku will capture the colorful character of your hometown in a few (possibly silly) phrases.
vladystock/iStock via Getty Images

You no longer need to spend all your free time struggling to capture the vibe of your favorite city in a few carefully chosen syllables—OpenStreetMap Haiku will do it for you.

The site, developed by Satellite Studio, uses the information from crowdsourced global map OpenStreetMap to create a haiku that describes any location in the world. According to Travel + Leisure, the poems are based on data points like supermarkets, shops, local air quality, weather, time of day, and more.

“Looking at every aspect of the surroundings of a point, we can generate a poem about any place in the world,” the developers wrote in a blog post. “The result is sometimes fun, often weird, most of the time pretty terrible. Also probably horrifying for haiku purists (sorry).”

The results are also often waggishly accurate. For example, here’s a haiku describing Washington, D.C.:

“The same pot of coffee
Fresh coffee from Starbucks
The desk clerk.”

In other words, it seems like the city runs on compulsive coffee refills and paperwork. And if you thought life in Brooklyn, New York, was a combination of alcohol-fueled outings to basement bars and traffic-filled trips into the city, this poem probably confirms your suspicions:

“Getting drunk at The Nest
Today in New York
Green. Red. Green. Red.”

The website’s creators were inspired by Naho Matsuda’s Every Thing Every Time, a 2018 art installation outside Theatre Royal in Newcastle, England, that used data points to generate an ever-changing poem about the city.

Wondering what OpenStreetMap Haiku has to say about your hometown? Explore the map here.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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