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Gerhard Richter, "Party", 1962, seen at the Albertina, Vienna

What you don't expect when going through the list of top SSRN papers:

Nature: Fractal analysis has been used to assess the authenticity of paintings purporting to be the work of Jackson Pollock. Click here to read the whole story.

related items:
On the consistency of backward-looking expectations, Mahalanobis

Guess how much items went for at auction. To take part in the Name Your Price Quiz, you will be required to answer questions about prices of various antiques and collectibles. Every time you answer a question correctly you will be awarded 1 point. Each time you answer a question incorrectly you will lose a life.

Welcome to the alternative universe.

via zeitgenossen

Click here to continue reading. Click here (Nature) or here (New Scientist) or here (Wired) for an executive summary.

Armed men stormed into a lightly guarded Oslo museum Sunday , threatened staff at gunpoint and stole Edvard Munch's famous paintings "The Scream" and "Madonna" before stunned museum-goers. "Art experts speculated the thieves might want a ransom as the works are too well known to be sold except to a reclusive collector." (reuters). The Munch Museum had two of the "Scream" pictures; a private collector owns a third version; and the fourth is on display at Oslo's National Gallery. That version was stolen in February 1994 but recovered three months later. Police recovered the fragile work undamaged in a hotel in Asgardstrand, about 40 miles south of Oslo. Three Norwegians were arrested. At the time, investigators said the trio tried to ransom the painting, demanding $1 million from the government. It was never paid. Click here to read more.

Wikipedia: Some theorists liken the look of the screamer to that of a grey alien, claiming Munch was painting a close encounter he had experienced, while others use this theory to state simply that Munch was mentally unstable and therefore others who report encounters with similar beings were as well. A possibly more likely explanation for the image is that Munch was reproducing the face of a Peruvian mummy he had recently seen at an exhibition in Paris. The mummy had its hands alongside its face, similar to the position of the screamer in the painting.

related links:
The economics of Mexican kidnapping, Tyler Cowen

Are you talking to me?

frieddayThis evening I was dragged to a little art gallery* near the place in Ottawa where I'm staying at the moment. Drinking wine in the midst of stylishly dressed women and looking at wonderful paintings... Elysian! Here is the painting ("Santa Puta", Francois Baril Pelletier) one of my companions, "the nice Greek lady from the embassy", has bought... Now we are talking! ;-D.

*Pukka Gallery (site under construction)

monalisaFor centuries, artists, historians and tourists have been fascinated by Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile. Now it seems that the power of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece comes in part from an unlikely source: random noise in our visual systems.

Click here to read the story.


via artnudes