Art Now

ART NOW: $1.4 Million Banksy Painting Self-Destructs

In the exciting wake of Summerfuel’s first ever Art Now program in partnership with Christie’s in New York City, it is only fitting that we talk about the incredible Banksy stunt that occurred just a few days ago. Whether you attended the inaugural year of the Art Now program and learned about the artist, Banksy, firsthand there, or you already know who he is, this stunt was one for the ages.

The British street artist created the renowned spray paint on canvas work, entitled “Girl With Balloon”, which sold for $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction last week. As soon as the hammer went down, the painting seemed to self-destruct, falling through the frame in shredded pieces! Soon after, Banksy took to social media admitting to his prank and showing a video of a shredder being built into the back of the frame. This was quite an unprecedented happening, leaving onlookers in a state of shock and awe – they were having a true Banksy experience.

This stunt raises so many questions – did Sotheby’s know that this was going to happen? Has the value of the work gone down? Or, perhaps, the value has gone UP? What will be the next steps for the buyer of the work that just spent $1.4 million? Maybe the fact that we have so many questions and are buzzing about the prank, is exactly the point that Banksy was trying to make in the first place.

What do you think? Art Now alumni, art buffs around the world, and those who are just hearing about Banksy for the first time – tell us your thoughts on this piece of auction history!

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Final day!

And so we’ve arrived–it’s the final day of Art Now! We finished the program today with one of the most exciting forms of contemporary art: street art. Students began the day with a presentation about the history of street art and what the differences are between street art and graffiti. Then, students heard from a panel of actual street artists about their experiences! One panelist, Al Diaz, is a well-known, first-generation NYC subway graffiti artist that worked with Jean Michel Basquiat. The other panelist, Lizzy Schoettle, is the woman behind the iconic Phoebe image that can be found as stickers or prints throughout the city. It was a truly illuminating experience.


But it’s not enough to just hear about street art; you really have to go out and see it for yourself…and so we did just that! After lunch we took to the streets of the East Village and one of the first pieces we saw was a Phoebe sticker! It’s safe to say that many minds were blown today by these images hidden in plain sight.

Next, we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge for a stroll across the river. It was a little warm, but the cool breeze off the water made it enjoyable. After a lot of walking, the students were ready for a break in the park!

We ended our evening with a trip to Luzzo’s BK in Brooklyn for our final dinner. After pizza and pasta, laughter and sadness about leaving, we traveled back to campus and said goodbye to the day students. Tomorrow we go our separate ways, but the experiences we shared and the art we witnessed will keep us together even when we’re apart.


Final projects, Museums, Socrates Sculture Park, Escape Room

Wow! If you can’t tell by the headline, today was a jam-packed day of awesome activities. In class, students presented their final group project in which they shared 10 pieces of art that they would use to form a collection. Veronique, the academic director at Christie’s Education, asked that they choose pieces around a theme of their choice and that some pieces fit the theme literally and some metaphorically. The themes they chose were Ethnicity, Reflection, and Light It was fascinating to hear their reasoning behind each piece they selected.

Next up was the Museum of the Moving Image. This museum paid homage to film, cartoons, actors, etc. It was a very hands-on museum. The students especially enjoyed being able to create their own Muppet and their own puppet show in the Jim Henson exhibition. It was also captivating to see some of the outfits, wigs, and makeup that actors have worn in their various roles.

Then, we visited a second museum today: the Noguchi Museum. The Noguchi Museum is housed in the former workspace of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. After that, we walked just across the street to the Socrates Sculpture park. We were able to take in the amazing views of the Manhattan skyline while lounging in the park.

After dinner, we rounded out the evening with a trip to Clue Chase–an escape room in Midtown. Although students did not successfully escape, they earned a ton of points and had a good time. That’s what’s most important, right?

Tomorrow is our last full day, and we’re closing the program in a big way: a panel of street artists, a tour of New York City street art, and a final group dinner in Brooklyn!

FLAG Art Foundation, Chelsea Gallery Crawl

In class at Christie’s Education today, students learned about art and the law. This was at least a somewhat new topic for most of the students so there was definitely lots of learning happening!

After class, we headed to the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea where we viewed a variety of pieces of contemporary art in their loft space. (We got there just in time, too, as a thunderstorm rolled in minutes after we arrived!) One of the more popular installations at the FLAG Art Foundation is called Pink Project by Portia Munson. The room is completely decorated in discarded, pink objects.

Next, we took advantage of our time in Chelsea to do some gallery-hopping. Because there are so many galleries in Chelsea in such a small area, we were able to dodge most of the raindrops. All the galleries students visited were showing contemporary art, and some pieces even started a debate among students!


To round out the evening, we made the short trip to SoHo for some dinner and free time. Mother Nature was on our side again as it was dry until just before we left!

We’re getting close to the end of the program! Tomorrow is the presentation of collections, Museum of the Moving Image, Noguchi Museum, and Socrates Sculpture Park. Stay tuned.



Met, Guggenheim, Central Park!

Today in class students learned about art and valuation from guest speaker and Christie’s Education alumna, Marisa. Then, students took some time to work on their collections. It will be exciting to see what they come up with for Thursday!

After lunch, students had a guided tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”)–one of NYC’s most famous museums! Then, they had some free time to explore on their own. It is easy to get lost in such a huge museum, but students were able to successfully nagivate their way through to their favorite pieces. Even though it was a very warm day, the roof of the Met was a popular place to hang out, soak in the skyline, and take a couple of selfies.


The Guggenheim museum was the next stop on our list. The architecture of the building is equally striking as the art inside it! Currently on display at the Guggenheim is the work of Alberto Giacometti. His work focuses on the human figure and how to represent it using various materials.


Our final stop was for some free time in Central Park! Between the castle, the lake, and the carousel, there is a little something for everyone! And the weather did its part to cooperate as well, making for an enjoyable evening in the park.


Next up: the FLAG Art Foundation and a gallery crawl through Chelsea!


Storm King Art Center

After having spent the week in New York City, and yesterday at the beach, it was time to see some art in nature! Storm King Art Center is an outdoor sculpture park spanning 500 acres in Mountainville, New York (about a one-hour drive north from Manhattan). As soon as we arrived, we realized that we’d have to walk a lot (and quickly) in order to see everything, so we rented bikes! Students spent the afternoon cruising from sculpture to sculpture throughout the park, all the while taking in the lush, green countryside. We would highly recommend Storm King Art Center to anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for some peaceful time with nature and art.



When we returned from Storm King we had a quick dinner, and then it was off to the movies. Ant-Man and the Wasp was the movie of choice and it was a big hit! There was lots of audible laughter throughout the movie. The students recommend this movie–just make sure you stay for all the credits!


Tomorrow it’s back to Christie’s Education and then a busy afternoon of multiple museum visits and Central Park!

Beach day!

After a busy and fun-filled week between Christie’s Education sessions, museums, scavenger hunts, tours, a Broadway show and other evening excursions, it was high time for a beach day! Students from both the Art Now and the Leadership and Innovation Summerfuel programs took a trip to the Jersey Shore. It was nice to spend time with our fellow Summerfuelers!  Pt. Pleasant was the beach of choice and it provided us with plenty of options–beach time, an arcade, shopping, and rides. There was a little something for everyone!

What’s on the agenda for tomorrow? A trip to Storm King Art Center and then movie time!

Livin’ the SoHo Dream!

Today students spent the day in SoHo, and this was one of the places they were most excited to visit! The morning began with a trip to the New Museum where students took a guided tour and then had some free time to further explore the museum and their favorite exhibits.        

Next, the students were on the hunt! (For art, that is.) Their final project consists of putting together a collection of 8-10 pieces centered around a certain theme. The staff at Christie’s Education came up with a list of galleries in SoHo for students to visit and find one piece from each. After lunch, they were off on their art hunt!

We ended the evening with a group dinner in SoHo at an Italian restaurant named Galli. Even our student from Italy, Martina, gave it two thumbs up!

Tomorrow, we’re off to the beach for some sweet R&R!