Arts & Culture » Arts News

Wynn Some, Lose Some • Arts Grants Announced


Wynn Some, Lose Some

It was just last June that famously wealthy Las Vegas real estate developer Steve Wynn was in Sun Valley for the Sun Valley Gallery Association's Sun Valley Visual Arts Forum, with other big-time mucky-muck special guests like art dealer Barbara Guggenheim and Francoise Gilot, an artist best know for having been one of Picasso's mistresses.

Gilot was probably then either horrified to hear that Wynn recently rubbed elbows with another one of Picasso's ladies--or rather his elbow met La Reve, a portrait Picasso painted of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter in 1932. Instead of being known as the billionaire mogul with the snazzy art collection, Wynn is now going to be known as "that guy who poked his elbow through a very expensive painting."

And while it's all well and good to say it was only another crappy Picasso--reproduced above--but in a twist lifted from an I Love Lucy plot line, not long before succumbing to his one-armed St. Vitus spaz attack, Wynn had made a deal to sell the painting to Steven Cohen, a fellow collector and hedge fund mogul, for $139 million.

The painting was hanging in Wynn's office at his Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino, awaiting the transfer of money from Cohen to Wynn so possession of La Reve could go from Wynn to Cohen. Wynn's guests that last weekend in September--including Nora Ephron and Barbara Walters-- were curious to see the painting. Apparently waxing enthusiastic about the painting's history, Wynn over-gestured and punctured La Reve with his elbow. Other paintings in the vicinity--including a Matisse and Renoir--were not damaged in the attack.

About 10 days after the incident occurred, someone leaked it to The New York Post.

Wynn is having La Reve repaired by an art restorer and--perhaps as punishment for his carelessness--he'll be keeping the painting.

(Speculation that the painting will be renamed J'ai été la blessure! can't be substantiated, possibly because BW started the rumor.)

Arts Grants Announced

The recipients of the 2007 City Arts Fund grants have been decided and in a reception on Tuesday morning, Boise Mayor David Bieter announced the winners. Funding for the Boise City Arts Commission program nearly doubled this year from last, to $42,500, at the approval of the City Council and the Mayor's Office.

The BCAC awards money through this city-funded arts support program to artists and arts organizations for the purpose of promoting and increasing public awareness of the arts in Boise. A panel consisting of BCAC and Boise City Council members, as well as local artists, reviews applications and makes recommendations for the City Council's final approval.

This year's Anchor Funds (general operating support for established arts organizations) recipients are: Ballet Idaho ($6,429.70), Boise Contemporary Theater ($4,477.26), Boise Philharmonic ($6,740.52), Idaho Shakespeare Festival ($9,598.60) and Opera Idaho ($4,003.92). Recipients of the Cultural Initiatives Grants (those reserved for individuals, projects and smaller arts organizations) are: Balance Dance Group ($500), Darkwood Consort ($1,489), Drop Dance Collective ($750), the Gene Harris Jazz Festival ($1,350), the Idaho Black History Museum ($1,350), Idaho Dance Theatre ($1,443), Idaho Parents Unlimited/VSA Arts of Idaho ($1,350), Poetry Slam Incorporated ($1,420) and Spontaneous Productions Inc. and the Idaho Legal History Society ($1,350).