“pop culture”

Memorabilia, the great revival?

For several years now, auction sales related to pop culture have flourished. From French music to video games via the Star Wars saga, auction houses have been exploring new segments. A panorama of these wide-appeal niches. Mylène Farmer’s military jacket, Maurice Chevalier’s boater, a childhood videogame or the robot R2-D2, the pipe smoked by singer Georges Brassens… The list of fetish objects from what is known as “pop culture” is long… and sells well! Once reserved to an obscure minority of underground collectors, for several years in France now, the purchase of memorabilia from childhood, the stars of music, film or television, has been transposed to auctions. So is this an auction-house strategy to reconquer market shares? Or is there a genuine demand for these objects? In any case, this new category of memorabilia is gaining more and more fans. Of course, it’s not new for these astonishing relics to exercise a power of fascination. In the 1970s, MGM studios would auction off objects from every category in their possession, including over 350,000 costumes. “Marilyn Monroe dresses and Elvis clothing articles were sold for around $1,000,” explained, in 2011, Darren Julien, founder of the auction house Julien’s Auctions, to Alex Ritman from the website theNational.ae. Around a decade later, in about 1980, Drouot in France began holding auction sales of the personal belongings of Claude François or Édith Piaf. But what is surprising these days is the sudden recurrence, ever since the start of the 2010s, of sales focusing on popular culture: French music, videogames, Star Wars… Is this the emergence of a new market? Culture geek icons In Paris, the auction house Millon & Associés has set up a specific department for pop culture, directed by Alexis Jacquemard. “It was a matter of opening up to a new...

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Online Pop Culture sale at Christie’s

London, 2 December 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Christie’s is currently holding an online-only sale, celebrating the past 100 years of Pop Culture with 100 lots of memorabilia for auction, until 5 December 2013. Chronicling the history of cinema, art, pop and rock & roll, estimates for individual items range from £800 to £30,000. Highlights of the auction include: a signed sketch of a tin of soup by Andy Warhol, estimated between £2,000 and £3,000; a dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Paris When It Sizzles, estimated between £8,000 and £12,000; a signed programme for the Beatles’ U.S. tour in 1965, estimated between £8,000 and £12,000; Tom Ford cufflinks and a Tom Ford check suit worn by Daniel Craig in the James Bond film Skyfall, estimated between £3,000 and £5,000, and £8,000 and £12,000 respectively; and a brown wool desert poncho worn by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope, estimated to fetch between £20,000 and...

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Modern Art & Pop Culture under the spotlight at the Halle Saint-Pierre

Paris, 13 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 25 January to 23 August 2013, the Halle Saint-Pierre is presenting an exhibition devoted to modern and Pop art. The Musée de la Halle Saint-Pierre and HEY! magazine came together to present the exhibition “HEY!” This event is an opportunity to bring together various movements of pop culture, popular forms of modern and contemporary art, outsider art and singular art. The first edition had gathered over 64 international artists. “HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture Part II” renews the experience with numerous figures emblematic of these artistic movements, such as Joe Coleman, Louis Pons, Mati Klarwein and Masami Teraoka. About sixty artists on display throughout the exhibition have in common to have crossed the hierarchic boundaries that separate popular culture from art. Their cultural heritage makes this exhibition look like a 21st-century cabinet of...

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Jeff Koons comes to Brighton

Brighton, 21 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). American artist, Jeff Koons – one of the world’s most important living artists – will be exhibiting his work at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, opening on 11 May 2013. This exhibition will indeed be the first show in England, outside the Tate, of Koon’s work in ARTIST ROOMS, which is an important and inspired collection of international contemporary art, acquired through the generosity of Anthony d’Offay by the Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. The provocative, extravagant and pop-culture works of Koons will perfectly match the ambiance and surroundings of the city of Brighton, with its reputation of transgression and media-saturation, according to Geoffrey Bowden, Brighton & Hove City Councillor. The exhibition will display the famous vitrines of the 1980s, the Banality series and will conclude with two dimensional glass animals of the 1990s. There will also be self-marketing campaigns, leading the viewer to question the notions of mass culture, high art, as well as pornography and classical...

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Roger Shimomura is “An American Knockoff”

Santa Fe, 20 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 10 August to 22 September 2012, the gallery Eight Modern in Santa Fe will be presenting “An American Knockoff” from Roger Shimomura. The artist will relate personal experiences on being Asian-American in the United States. The fourteen self-portraits featured are a clever mix of anger and absurdity; the artist is known to insert himself into iconic images from American and Asian pop-culture. His protagonists are mice, pigs, and crime-fighters – in short, recognisable faces from cartoons. Born in Seattle in 1939, Shimomura produced paintings, prints and performances often inspired by his grandmother’s diary. As a third-generation immigrant living in the United States, his work takes on socio-political and racial issues. His style blends American Pop Art and the Japanese Ukiyo-e movement. The artist will be talking about his work on 9 August at the contemporary art space SITE Santa...

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