Canyon (1959) by Robert Rauschenberg

Phaidon daily links 24.7.12

Our regular news round-up


Illegal Eagles  When the estate of the late art dealer Ileana Sonnabend came to put in its US tax return, it valued a Robert Rauschenberg collage, Canyon, as worthless, since the work includes a stuffed bald eagle, and so can't be legally be sold. However, the IRS has taken a different view and is now demanding $29 million in tax and an $11.7 million "gross valuation misstatement" penalty.

Has Mona Lisa's grave been found?  That's certainly the assertion of archeologists working at the abandoned Convent of St. Orsola, Florence. They claim to have uncovered the remains of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a Florentine silk merchant and the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting. Plans are a foot to compare the uncovered skull fragments with features in the portrait, and try to match any DNA traces to those found in the graves of Gherardini's sons. 

The Exquisite Forest flourishes in London  Google's collaboration with The Tate Modern has opened. Dubbed The Exquisite Forest, it allows users to create short animations online, which then branch off one another, to resemble trees. A physical installation of some of this work is located in the Tate's collection galleries on Level 3, and will remain on display for six months.


Philipe Starck by Carlo Van de Roer
Philipe Starck by Carlo Van de Roer

Is this Philippe Starck's aura? That's sort of the claim of art photographer Carlo Van de Roer, who has used the AuraCam 6000, a questionable piece of 1970s new-age technology, that captures an image of a subject's aura while also taking their photograph.

Hipstamatic photojournalism suite gets photojournalist's approval  How are news photographers coping with Hipstamatic's new photojournalist suite of digital 'lenses' and 'films'? Quite, well, if acclaimed iPhone photographer Ben Lowy's work in Libya is anything to go by.

Green and black Artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have managed to grow grass photographs. The pair project a black-and-white image onto grassy photographic plate, and the differences in light intensity cause the grass to grow at different rates. "There is a real sense of presence," says Ackroyd. "You really feel like that portrait is present and alive."


From Interiors
From Interiors

2001: the floorplans  Ever wondered about the square footage of the bedroom at the end of 2001: a Space Odyssey? Or the architecture in Godard's Le Mepris (1963)? Then wonder no more. The new film meets architecture journal, Interiors, answers these artsy, geeky questions and more.

Bank vaults  While, the Stirling-Prize judges shortlisted headquarters for Rothschild Bank, plenty have praised Goldman Sach's new canopied arcade, North End Way, in Lower Manhattan. Yet others are beginning to feel finance-style urban planning, and the super-gentrification it brings with it, may have its drawbacks. 

Join Gehry's GTeam Gehry Technologies, the tech firm founded by the world-famous architect, has just released cloud-based software that translates most common 3D modeling software into files that can be accessed and shared online. Gehry calls it "Google Docs for 3D models". Is this the beginning of crowd-sourced buildings? 


The new logo for Saint Laurent Paris
The new logo for Saint Laurent Paris

Y not? Yves Saint Laurent's new creative director Hedi Slimane reworks the fashion house's logo, to take in the label's new name, Saint Laurent Paris. The straighter, simpler font will go on all its products, bar the beauty range.

Google’s British-designed lab British graphics firm Biblioteque buddied up with London's BarberOsgerby to produce Google's new Web Lab, at the Science Museum. Getting away from browser for once, the lab allows users to control various machines using the internet. 

Eating irons Italian designer Gio Tirotto has taken tool-shed sensibilities and applied them to cutlery, in his No Pause designs for a knife, fork and spoon. With hacksaw blades and screwdriver handles, the designer thinks he's made a set of working tools that aren't sure if they belong on a dining table or beside a lathe.