David Hockney pool painting soars to $90 mln, record for living artist

An iconic 1972 painting by British artist David Hockney soared to $ 90.3 million at Christie’s on Thursday, smashing the record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by a living artist.


Reuters: Arts

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The Big Picture: How Two Muralists Make a Living With Their Art

Bekky Beukes had a plan for completing her mural in a week.

As one of 17 local and visiting artists invited to St. Petersburg, Florida’s annual SHINE Mural Festival, she had carefully plotted how she would spend each day — and how she would make up for the time she would miss at her day job.

Beukes works three 10-hour days each week designing marketing materials for a nearby community college. She gets up early, tacking a list of the day’s priorities (no more than three) above her desk at home, which overlooks a thicket of palm trees.

A woman paints
Beukes paints her mural during the SHINE Festival in St. Petersburg, Fla., on October 6, 2018. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

She lives just a few blocks from a rented garage that serves as her studio. It has electricity, but no running water or bathroom. There, she paints, using oils on large canvases to represent the opposing pulls of light and dark.

Her dual creative roles are just one example of what it takes to make it as a working artist. We spent the SHINE Mural Festival with Beukes and another artist to find out how they fight the stigma of being a starving artist. In the process, we learned what it takes to create a mural from scratch on a tight deadline.

Beukes, 34, started painting when she moved to the Tampa Bay area from South Africa in 2014. The former fashion designer didn’t have a work permit yet, so she returned to painting, an art form she had loved as a child, to keep busy in the meantime.

She quickly realized painting could be more than a hobby — it could also be the cornerstone of her professional life in her new home. But doing so takes a balance that requires early mornings and late nights. And sometimes, as was the case during during SHINE, it means working overnight in the rain, on a scissor lift perched 15 feet off the ground.

She knew it would rain. She planned for rain. She didn’t plan for the possibility of a hurricane.

Taking the Leap as a Full-Time Artist

An artist poses in front of his portrait
Gibbs Rounsavall poses for a portrait at his mural on October 13, 2018. Rounsavall and his family live in Louisville, Ky., where he taught high school art for 12 years. He made the career leap to being a full-time artist in May. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Just six blocks away from Beukes’ mural site on the side of a brewery, Gibbs Rounsavall of Louisville, Kentucky, got up before the sun each day to spend hours working quietly on his wall before spectators started to drift by.

There was no shade on the side of this warehouse that sat within sight of three other mural projects. Rounsavall, 43, had only about 8 feet of clearance between his work surface and a busy intersection.

He has only been a full-time artist since May; he worked as a high school art teacher for 12 years while painting geometric abstract art on the side.

“I kind of fell into teaching because it allowed me to continue developing my craft,” he said while painting a long carnation-pink stripe one day, sweat dripping at his temples. “I knew that whenever the day came when this became a more demanding schedule that I would take that leap.”

He misses teaching sometimes, but diversifying his artwork allowed him to develop his business over the course of those years. He said he was making a salary in the high $ 50s as a teacher but increasingly painted commissions along with gallery art. A lot of his work is corporate art, perhaps for a new restaurant. He recently sold a piece to be displayed at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

“I think a lot of artists have to do that if they want to make a living at it, to diversify,” Rounsavall said. For a few years, he’s been selling fine-art prints of select pieces that have already sold. The prints cost around $ 225 and provide access to his art for those who might not have the budget — or space — for one of his original oil paintings, which can cost anywhere between $ 450 and $ 8,000.

Crunch Time, All the Time

 

Beukes has been exhausted for months.

She delivered two big projects at her design job this year. She also had two solo art shows, which she planned herself down to the last detail. One of those work projects overlapped with preparations for one of the art shows, adding to the stress.

“I just feel like I’m under pressure all the time,” she said. “Obviously, because I’m delivering. I have obligations. I get it done.”

Beukes’ twin career paths allow her to be creative in different ways, but the schedule is starting to wear on her. “I don’t have space for normal human things, you know?” she said plainly. “Like, my relationships are affected. I don’t have social… I have everything allocated.”

The studio can be lonely, with only the paint and maybe some music for company. But at the mural site, it became obvious how full Beukes’ life is. Friends and fellow artists gathered on lawn chairs set up at the base of her mural, sometimes late into the night, when she worked by way of a portable work lamp and one flickering street light.

She already knows that 2019 needs to be a different kind of year: one with more studio time and fewer shows; one with streamlined work projects and resisting the urge to always say yes.

“There’s no space for panic,” she said a few weeks prior to the festival.  

But a few days in, it was a matter of getting the colors right on the wall. This wasn’t her first large mural, but it was her first using acrylic and spray paints, mostly unfamiliar territory. Her forearm started to cramp after about a half-hour of pressing the trigger on a can of gold spray paint to add dimension to an angel’s wings on one side of the mural.

In a moment of frustration, she decided she didn’t like the gold armor on the other figure’s shoulder, and painted it over with black. When it dried, she started that part over again.

When asked how the deluge of rain from the passing outer bands of Hurricane Michael affected her mural progress midweek, she barely blinked. “It’s crunch time,” she said. “I did 12 hours yesterday.”

Riding the Self-Employment Wave

Gibbs (left) and his wife, Sara, work on his mural.Gibbs left his job as a teacher last May to work on his art full-time. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

This was Rounsavall’s first mural project with time constraints. “It forces you to change the process,” he said.

His mural, “A New Day,” started to come together once his wife, Sara, joined him midweek. Their two children were back home with their grandparents, and Sara, a food stylist, jumped at the chance to join her husband on the road.

She’s been a freelance artist for five years. The stability of Gibbs’ teaching job made it feasible for her to build up her business, Sara said. Now it’s his turn to take a career leap.

Resting in a sliver of shade one steamy October afternoon, Sara explained that health insurance was the biggest question they considered before Gibbs stopped teaching. The two sole proprietors considered forming an LLC, then tried COBRA insurance when Gibbs left his job. But the first COBRA bill made Sara scream. They’re on an Affordable Care Act insurance plan now, although she admits that even with a tax credit, it’s expensive.

Under the large brim of her hat, Sara smiled, admitting that while she’s not a numbers person, she’s the family’s chief financial officer by default. She described their family as “aggressive savers.” As a self-employed person, she was used to receiving irregular payments instead of predictable paychecks. She and Gibbs spent a lot of time going over the numbers before he decided to focus on his art.

“We talked about, ‘How much [does Gibbs] need to contribute?’ in a 12-month breakdown,” she said. “Then what? Well, maybe one painting could float his contribution for three months. Or you sell X paintings per year. Or you do X murals per year.”

Going over different scenarios helped the couple identify the realities of their cash flow as two full-time, independent artists.

“You learn to ride the wave of this work style,” she said. “The phone’s going to ring or it’s not going to ring. And if it’s not ringing, I know how to hustle.”

When the rain came, as it did almost daily, the Rounsavalls took cover under a neighboring business’s back-alley carport. When the clouds cleared and they heard another artist’s lift starting up again, they knew the raindrops had started to dry.

The Instagram Effect

Beukkes paints her mural during the SHINE Festival into the night on October 6, 2018. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Beukes’ first painting measured 5 feet square and sold for $ 5,000.

“I didn’t feel anything about putting big prices on the work after that,” she said. “I did not mind selling the work for what I believed it was worth considering the amount of time I put into the work.” Starting with high price tags has allowed her to maintain those rates, she explained.

“It’s very difficult to sell art,” she said. “But there’s a way to do it, and you have to believe in the work.” Putting a $ 100 price on a painting that took hours, she explained, makes it difficult to sell a painting later for $ 1,000. She hasn’t sold an original piece for less than $ 750.

Beukes, Rounsavall, and the rest of the SHINE artists each earned $ 1,000 for their murals, a fraction of what they might make for a private commission. But the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance also covered travel, lodging, supplies and most meals for each artist during the festival. The invited artists know that having a new mural in a busy downtown area can provide a major visibility boost.

(Left) Beukes paints; (right) her hand is covered in gold paint.

“The respect flows two ways,” Beukes said. “It’s an honor to be a part of something like this.”

For more than a week, she was an ambassador at her mural site, readily jumping off her lift to answer questions and chat with local children.

And then there’s Instagram. During the festival, art fans posed in front of mural sites and visitors asked for selfies with paint-smeared artists at all hours of the day.

“The whole world can come into my studio,” Rounsavall said of the power of social media. “They can see what I’m doing… it’s definitely made it easier to reach people, make connections and have that turn into work.”

Social media, he said, “Has changed my whole career.”

Just One Human

A businesswoman poses for a portrait with her laptop.
Beukes poses for a portrait at Hillsborough Community College in Ybor City on October 25, 2018. Beukes is a professional artist who works three 10-hour days for the college designing marketing materials. This frees days to produce art. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Beukes wonders if she’ll have to choose one side of her career over another at some point.

Her day job gives her stability; her art rounds out her creative fulfillment.

“It’d be great to be able to find something where I’m able to combine the two, and maybe that’s my solution,” she said. “Yes, I want to do a million things. But… you have to remember that you’re just one human, and I think that’s something that’s very difficult for me to do.”

Toward the end of the week, she seemed to be as well versed in driving heavy machinery as wielding a paintbrush or spray can. Her oversized sunglasses with mirrored, rose-colored lenses hid how tired she was. She admitted that about two hours of sleep in the early morning hours was all she was getting. But it was easy to see her mural site was where she wanted to be.

When it’s over, she’ll go back to work for a few days, then back to her studio in the heat. But first, “I just have to be able to say, at the end of every single day, ‘are you completely spent?’ Because that’s how I measure whether or not I’ve done my best,” she said. “We’re covered in paint, we’re done. Great day. Good day. And that’s it.”

Always the Hustle

A woman paints a mural
Sara Rounsavall helps her husband, Gibbs, work on his mural. Both Sara and Gibbs are self-employed; he as an artist and she as a food stylist. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Rounsavall is the broker, the negotiator, the shipping specialist. “You have to be everything,” he said. “A lot of people don’t understand all that goes into [creating art].” But there’s more to it than sitting down in front of a canvas and waiting for a muse.

He hopes that one day grants will fund more of his work, but he acknowledges that the process of applying for opportunities takes time and energy alongside his day-to-day tasks.

“Am I making what I put into it?” Rounsavall asked the wall as he paused before painting another stroke. “Absolutely not. I would love to get to that point, but I don’t know. If there’s a lucky artist out there that is compensated for all the work they put into it, I hope they’re aware of how lucky they are. All that behind-the-scenes stuff, it just adds up.”

Without a salary to rely on, he has to be able to count on his craft. “There’s still pressure. There’s always going to be the hustle,” he said. “But when it’s something like this that I’ve been working on my whole life, you like the hustle. You’re all in for it.”

On the last day of the festival, he woke up at 4:15 a.m. to make sure he’d have time to complete his mural. He was greeted by two emails: a grant acceptance and an invitation to a juried art show in Louisville.

“It’s a ton of good news,” he beamed. “I’m going to take that momentum home with me.”

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.


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Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living

R&B artist and now tech startup founder, Kehlani has been a very busy woman. Not only did she just announce her pregnancy, but today she is officially announcing the launch of her new app, Flora, an app that inspires young people to make positive changes in their lives.

Through a gamification model, the app provides users with challenges and every time a specific challenge is completed they are allowed to collect coins. Once you amass a certain amount of coins, you are allowed to exchange them for prizes. “It’s pretty awesome to me because not only does it let you get a cool prize,” said Kehlani as she explained the platform in a recent YouTube Live, “but you get to do a really fun challenge that actually actively changes something in your life, not just for yourself but, for the world, and for others.”

In addition to the app having a gamification component, it boasts an awesome community where players can support one another’s endeavors. “You can create your account and leave comments on other people’s challenges,” continued Kehlani. “Maybe I have a suggestion on how you can do the challenge better. Maybe I have a suggestion on how we can possibly compete and do our challenge at the same time. Prior to the announcement, the app amassed 22k in a pre-launch that took place over a 48-hour period.

kehlani

(Image: Flora)

Kehlani is joined by her co-founders, Reid Williams, COO, and Alaxic Smith, CTO and designer. They got the idea after the two started off with their own streaming service, where Kehlani conducted her first virtual release party. “We decided to come together and said hey, as a developer, a marketing strategist, communications guy and me, how could we do something that really benefits our generation,” stated Kehlani. That started the birth of Flora. 

Kehlani

Co-founders of Flora: Reid Williams, Kehlani Ashley Parrish, Alaxic Smith (Image: Flora)

To learn more about the app and to download it, click here.

The post Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Augmented reality porn stars are coming to a living room near you

It was only a matter of time: Adult entertainment studio Naughty America released one of the industry’s very first XXX-rated augmented reality (AR) apps for Android phones this week, which promises to put life-sized 3D versions of adult entertainers in your living room. Or bedroom, for that matter, with Naughty America CEO Andreas Hronopoulos touting…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living

R&B artist and now tech startup founder, Kehlani has been a very busy woman. Not only did she just announce her pregnancy, but today she is officially announcing the launch of her new app, Flora, an app that inspires young people to make positive changes in their lives.

Through a gamification model, the app provides users with challenges and every time a specific challenge is completed they are allowed to collect coins. Once you amass a certain amount of coins, you are allowed to exchange them for prizes. “It’s pretty awesome to me because not only does it let you get a cool prize,” said Kehlani as she explained the platform in a recent YouTube Live, “but you get to do a really fun challenge that actually actively changes something in your life, not just for yourself but, for the world, and for others.”

In addition to the app having a gamification component, it boasts an awesome community where players can support one another’s endeavors. “You can create your account and leave comments on other people’s challenges,” continued Kehlani. “Maybe I have a suggestion on how you can do the challenge better. Maybe I have a suggestion on how we can possibly compete and do our challenge at the same time. Prior to the announcement, the app amassed 22k in a pre-launch that took place over a 48-hour period.

kehlani

(Image: Flora)

Kehlani is joined by her co-founders, Reid Williams, COO, and Alaxic Smith, CTO and designer. They got the idea after the two started off with their own streaming service, where Kehlani conducted her first virtual release party. “We decided to come together and said hey, as a developer, a marketing strategist, communications guy and me, how could we do something that really benefits our generation,” stated Kehlani. That started the birth of Flora. 

Kehlani

Co-founders of Flora: Reid Williams, Kehlani Ashley Parrish, Alaxic Smith (Image: Flora)

To learn more about the app and to download it, click here.

The post Kehlani Launches Flora, the App for Better Living appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Spongy aliens could be living beneath the surface of Mars

Sponge-like creatures could be lurking beneath the surface of Mars, according to new research. Salty subterranean lakes on the red planet are capable of providing enough oxygen to support even simple animals, scientists believe. It has long been believed there is not enough air on Mars to support life. But a computer model developed by…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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Mo’Nique Is Living Her Best Weight Loss Life [WATCH]

BET Hip Hop Awards 2010 - Show

Source: Taylor Hill / Getty

Mo’Nique is done with ranting about those who have done her wrong and the craziness of people in Hollywood – for now.

She’s focusing lately on showing off the results of her estimated 100 pound plus weight loss. 

The Oscar-winner recently shared on a video showing off her super-snatched waist..and it was everything.

She let her fans get a little peek of her at a recent photo shoot rocking a pair of curve-hugging jeans and a cinched waist poppin’ to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow. ” The 50-year-old also showed some love to her fitness trainer Dwight Holt, Jr., for helping her dance off the pounds.

“CARDI B, baby you will get a photo shoot going. DANCING MY POUNDS OFF. WHAT A TEAM,” she wrote.

 

Earlier this year, Mo celebrated weighing under 200 pounds for the first time since high school.

“I said that I would share this new journey with y’all on the weight loss and getting healthy,” the comedian said in a video she posted on Instagram.

“Today was the first time in my adult life that I’ve been under 200 pounds, so I wanted to let you all know it’s possible and you can do it and we can get there.”

She added that she achieved this weight loss without having to go under the knife or falling for any diet fads.

“For me it was no surgery, no prepackaged foods, not listening to no spokespeople saying ‘it’s easy and you can do it.’”

“It was just putting in the work and not giving up on me … it’s called giving yourself a chance to live the best life you can live.”

Instagram Photo

Clearly, all this hard work has paid off:

Instagram Photo

What do you think of Mo’s weight loss and new body?


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Living the Gig Life? You Might Still Need Life Insurance. Here’s How to Get It

There’s a reason you chose this life. Being an independent contractor provides a certain level of freedom. You might set your own hours. Maybe you work from your back porch that overlooks the lake. Perhaps it drives you harder, because when you work more, you’ll earn more.

Whether you’re spending your time behind the wheel as a driver with Uber or Lyft, writing articles on parenting or selling your bookkeeping services, life as an independent contractor comes with some serious benefits… and pitfalls.

Without that steady paycheck, you might also be missing key benefits, such as employer-sponsored insurance. Perhaps you’ve already thought about your medical coverage and dealt with it. Kudos.

But what about term life insurance? You know, the insurance that takes care of your loved ones if something should happen to you? Do you need it? How do you get it? How much do you need?

Here’s the scoop.

Do You Need Life Insurance?

Woman painting
wundervisuals/Getty Images

Life insurance is something you buy to help protect your family. You don’t want to think about it, but what would happen if your were to die tomorrow? Could your family get by without your income? Would they have enough for the mortgage? Who would pay the funeral costs?

If you’re making a decent income and have family that depends on you to help pay the bills and put food on the table, you probably should have life insurance. Not sure if you need it? Here are some examples of people who do and do not need life insurance policies.

How Much Is Enough?

DJ playing music
charliemarcos/Getty Images

How much insurance you need depends on who is depending on you and how many bills and obligations you leave behind. Do you have kids? If so, you want to think about their future, including college. How about a house with a mortgage? Are you a business owner? There are a lot of questions to consider when taking out a policy.

Here’s the good news: Life insurance is probably cheaper than you think. A whopping 44% of millennials believe the cost of life insurance to be more than it is… five times more, according to a 2018 Insurance Barometer Survey by LIMRA.

Folks, protecting your family with life insurance simply isn’t as expensive as you think.

How to Find Affordable Life Insurance

Architect building model
jacoblund/Getty Images

But what if you don’t have employer-sponsored coverage? As an independent contractor, you won’t be able to have that benefit simply taken out of your paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you can’t easily find a good policy that fits your life.

A company like Policygenius offers you an easy way for anyone to compare and buy life insurance. The search engine allows you to compare policies and get instant quotes. Once you find the right fit, you can apply right online.

If you’re young and mostly healthy, consider purchasing term life insurance online from Ethos. It partners with a major A-rated life insurance carrier to provide policies for a low price. For example, $ 30 a month could get your family $ 1 million of coverage.

Anyone, including independent contractors, can secure term life insurance through Ethos without a medical exam or extensive paperwork; just fill out a digital application.

You don’t need employer-sponsored life insurance; you just need to take a few minutes to jump online and find a policy that will work for you and yours.

Love Your Freelance Life, But Protect It As Well

A band performing live
recep-bg/Getty Images

You don’t have to give up your independent contractor life to get 9-to-5 style benefits. It’s 2018, and there are more options than ever.

Go ahead; keep working from your back porch or your car. Just take a few moments to look into life insurance so, if the unthinkable should happen, your family will be protected. You won’t even need to put on shoes and pants to do it.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Jaden Smith Is Just A Fashion Icon Living And Saving The Planet With Latest G-Star Collab

I recently saw Jaden Smith in concert on J-Cole’s KOD Tour and I can reassure you he brings his eccentric, alien energy right to the stage. If you’re familiar with the “SYRE” artist you know he’s passionate about a lot …

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