By Ellen Gamerman and Kelly Crow at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Are collectors ready to buy million-dollar artworks online? Some of the biggest names in art and technology are betting on it. Surfing for Pollock, de Kooning and Basquiat
Next weekend, art collectors sitting at computers in London, Toronto and Miami will find themselves face to face with the same work of art, a montage by American artist Robert Rauschenberg. The price for interested online shoppers: more than $1 million.
The place to be to ring in 2011? For many of Hollywood’s elite, it was The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the city’s newest and most glamorous resort, which kicked off a grand opening celebration with concert performances from JAY-Z and Coldplay, plus guest surprises by Kanye West, Beyonce and John Mayer.
Coldplay kicked off the evening with a 12 song set, which included Yellow, In My Place and Clocks. To ring in the New Year, JAY-Z joined Coldplay on stage for a rendition of Lost, followed by a countdown to midnight. JAY-Z took the stage for the first hours of 2011 and was joined by Kanye West for an impromptu freestyle performance of Run This Town, Can’t Tell Me Nothing and Runaway. As Kanye left the stage, John Mayer joined pal JAY-Z with his guitar for several songs, including Public Service Announcement and 99 Problems. The ultimate collaboration of the evening came when Beyonce joined her husband on stage for Young Forever. She continued to wow the crowd, bringing Coldplay frontman Chris Martin back out for an acoustic duet of her hit, Halo.
JAY-Z summed it up best, saying You will never get to see this again.”
The hotel was buzzing all weekend with a who’s who of the entertainment world, including: Gwyneth Paltrow, Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Rihanna, Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Piven, Kirsten Dunst, Kellan Lutz, Blake Lively, Florence + the Machine, Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery, Rashida Jones, Justin Bartha and Ashley Olsen, Charlotte and Samantha Ronson, Whitney Port, Marc Salling, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, Kristin Davis, Lance Bass, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Taraji Henson, Brandy, Sugar Ray Leonard, Armie Hammer, Jessica Szohr, Mel B, BJ Novak, Dr. Dre, Emmy Rossum, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Busta Rhymes, Forest and Keisha Whitaker, Haylie Duff, Nick Zano, James Marsden, Olivia Munn, Ben Folds, Selita Ebanks, Bonnie Somerville, Cheryl Hines, Rachael Harris, Christina Milian, Holly Robinson Peete, Teri Polo, Giada de Laurentiis, Gail Simmons, Shiri Appleby, Gayle King, Aziz Ansari, Abigail Spencer, Rachael Taylor, Chris Matthews, Aaron Paul, Timothy Olyphant, Lisa Ling, Ben Lyons, Wilmer Valderrama, Jackie Warner and Colin Cowie.
The 2,995-room resort includes oversized rooms (most are over 700 square feet) including many with private terraces, plus a . 100,000 square foot casino, shopping, Sahra Spa & Hammam, three pools and restaurants by some of the country’s finest chefs.
bonus video : Inside the Cosmopolitan. Get an inside look at the last resort to open on the Strip for the next few years. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas seeks to appeal to “the curious class,” from a “restaurant neighborhood” with a secret pizza joint to its unprecedented number of rooms with outdoor terraces
How much costs a private plane and which iPhone case makes ultra rich holders to distinguish them from ordinary people who bought in installments? Is there a safe that except to provide the utmost security is a status symbol, too? How do you find a table at the best restaurant in the world, when all others must close the table six months ago? At the end, how the rich people of this world live?
We have chosen eight status symbols, from a private plane to a beautiful timepiesce, reflecting the luxurious life of the majority of bon viveurs.
Transportation mode: IconA5 Personal Aircraft Price: around € 110.000
Before some months, the DJ – super star David Guetta said that postponing his appearance, due to the failure of a private jet. Apparently, there was no question to travel by any other aircraft. The beautiful two-seater airplane of the photo would be worthy of the requirements of any rich or super star who respects himself. Features include possibility of landing on land and water, Rotax 912 ULS engine that delivers 100 horsepower and reaches a top speed of 193 kilometers per hour, folding wings that allow easy transport by trailer and built a huge parachute, among other security features
Transportation mode for shorter distances: Venturi Fetish Sports Electric Vehicle Price: around € 520.000
Who said the rich do not have environmental concerns? With the trend of the planet sustainability and saving energy, the first electric two-seater sports car is here to stay. With power of nearly 250 horses, top speed 160 km per hour and acceleration from 0 to 100 km in less than five seconds, Venturi Fetish is not much to envy from the traditional behemoths that aspires to compete. With a full charge, which lasts just one hour, can travel up to 250 km.
The detail that makes the difference: Spare Tire Case Damien Hirst Price: around € 1.100
Let’s say you turned your back on the top eco-car in the world and continues to surf with your shiny Jeep. The case of the spare wheel that makes the difference is a detail that can not be neglected. Of course, we have the best-and expensive-the world: the colorful case signed by the renowned artist Damien Hirst, is made of stainless steel and plastic, while the striking colors protected by special filters from the UV rays of the sun.
Safe: Narcissus from Döttling Price: € 250.000
Designed by Karl Lagerfeld, the Narcissus is the world’s most expensive safe. This handmade work of art high security weighs 800 pounds, has a height of 1.80 meters and width of one meter. Identifies the owner with a simple gesture, relieving him from remembering passwords. The impressive interior, reminiscent of futuristic room, dominated cabinets, drawers and numerous loose parts designed in order to accommodate your valuables.
iPhone case: Softbank BB Samurai Price: around €800
The traditional Japanese art of polishing married to high technology in these such impressive cases for the iPhone, which are inspired by famous samurai-five from left to right: the conqueror Oda Nobunaga, the one-eyed chieftain Date Masamune, the Dragon of Echigo Uesagi Kenshin, the famous lover Naoe Kanetsugu and triumphant Yukimura Sanada.
Timepiece: Breitling Montbrilliant Legende Chronograph Price: € 7.800
Impressive at first glance, thanks to the size of the frame of nearly 47 mm. Made of stainless steel combined with detailed red gold 18 carat, it has a non-engraved sapphire crystal and operates with an automatic mechanism, certified of course, for its accuracy. On the back of the case is engraved … a very useful table of key measures of the navigation bar.
Corkscrew : “Most Expensive” by Frank Sveid Price: € 50.000
Belgian designer Frank Sveid created a unique tool for the rich who get their cellar very seriously. The corkscrew is hand-made of titanium and gold (every time there is someone to order). In fact, it is manufactured by 52 different pieces of titanium, a material used in aerospace, including a trimmer for lead cap. Available in an impressive box-shaped cigar.
For all these «cannot be done»: Lifestyle Management Companies Price: from €x.000 a year
Want to say, tickets for a sold out concert, special treatment in the best hotel in the world, access to prive party table at the best Restaurant for tonight. Or you want to have the shoes, Lady Gaga had in her latest video clip in order to make a gift to your niece. All done. If you’re not so rich that your name be enough to open doors, a lifestyle management company can arrange everything for you.Soon more news in theUltimateLuxuryCommunity!
Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert 2011 with Franz Welser-Möst
On January 1, 2011, Franz Welser-Möst takes up the baton for the annual Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert, which in terms of its international coverage represents the largest classical music event in the world.
This year’s concert will once again be broadcast on television and radio to over 70 countries worldwide. Franz Welser-Möst, following in the footsteps of Clemens Krauss, Josef Krips, Willi Boskovsky, Herbert von Karajan and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, becomes the sixth Austrian conductor to stand at the helm of the Vienna Philharmonic on the first day of the New Year.
Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert for the first time
In June 2010, Franz Welser-Möst also conducted the second major annual concert event of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn.
In addition to compositions from the rich repertoire of the Strauss Family and its contemporaries, this year’s program includes the Mephisto Waltz No. 1, by Franz Liszt. This composer is being honored on the occasion of his 200th birthday which occurs in 2011.
bonus video : Johann Strauss Sr. “Radetzky March”, the last piece at the New Year’s Concert Vienna 1987, with Herbert Von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic AND THE AUDIENCE, lol. Enjoy
Jumeirah Etihad Towers was developed under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan’s Project Department and is located on the shores of the Arabian Gulf in the exclusive Khalidiya area, along Abu Dhabi’s Corniche.
The iconic beachfront project will feature five towers, including a 280m luxury hotel (Jumeirah Etihad Towers), a prestigious office tower with 46,000m² of leasable office space and an observation deck with café lounge, and three towers housing 890 apartments. The connecting Podium will feature 43 high end boutiques and four contemporary restaurants. The Arcade connecting Podium Levels 2 and 3 with the hotel will be the home of a sophisticated lobby bar, the Grand Lobby, an all day dining restaurant and a chic Lebanese restaurant, all with panoramic sea views.
Jumeirah Etihad Towers is made up of 397 guest rooms and suites, 199 serviced residences and 13 restaurants, bars and lounges, all with stunning sea views. The hotel also offers a 130m private beach, a Talise spa, pool, gymnasium and extensive conference centre with 13 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom.
The dramatic sculptural forms of the towers compliment the sleek and contemporary interior design, with a cultural edge. Art works from His Highness’ private collection provide a local Arabian touch in public areas, conference pre-function areas and around the Royal Etihad Suite, located on Level 60.
Dubai based Jumeirah Group are set to make their hospitality debut in the UAE capital with a 596 keys property. Phil Blizzard spoke to Doris Greif, GM, Jumeirah Etihad Towers in this preview to talk about the key features, the positioning in the Abu Dhabi market and their concerns for the environment.
By JULIA CHAPLIN at Fashion & Style – TheNewYorkTimes
A garage on Lincoln Road houses Alchemist, a “concept boutique” that shows a few designers at a time. The Soho Beach House, right, is the “it” hotel.
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH, that bacchanal disguised as the Western Hemisphere’s most prestigious art fair, takes place Dec. 2 to 5. Once again, there will be a dizzying whirl of glamorous dinners, hush-hush viewings and after-hour soirees — a Herculean scavenger hunt crammed into four days. To help, here are 10 must-do spots to schmooze, party, dine and, oh, see art.
White walls are so Chelsea. Kick off your shoes, lather on the sun block and go native on “The Island,” an islet in Biscayne Bay that is being turned into an off-the-grid art spectacle. Fifteen artists including Terence Koh, Hanna Liden and Luis Gispert are doing site-specific projects in the foliage, sandbars and water.
A motorboat will whisk guests from the Mondrian hotel. “We wanted to create this feeling of being stranded on a deserted island that’s in unique contrast to the fanciness and luxuriousness of the fair,” said Shamim Momin, the curator at the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (or LAND), which organized the show with Ohwow, an arts collective.
Flagler Memorial Island; nomadicdivision.org. On view Dec. 3 from 4 to 8:30 p.m., followed by party on the Mondrian’s dock; invitation only.
2. FOOD ARTS
Who says art and food don’t mix? Certainly not Jennifer Rubell, a culinary conceptualist who treats food like an art history mash-up: a pinch of performance art here, a dash of Abstract Expressionism there. Consider her padded cell at the recent Performa gala, built from cotton-candy bricks.
For Art Basel, Ms. Rubell is hosting a breakfast at the Rubell Family Collection titled “Just Right,” engineered to wow finicky creatives. To score their meal, guests must squeeze through a jagged hole in the courtyard wall and wander through an overgrown field to an empty house. There, they will find a buffet installation: thousands of bowls and pedestals of porridge, brown sugar, raisins and milk. It’ll be the hottest brunch spot in town.
Rubell Family Collection, 95 Northwest 29th Street; rfc.museum. Dec. 1 to 5; 9 a.m. to noon.
A gorgeous 1939 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe that ferried Winston Churchill around the UK during his 1944 and 1949 election campaigns is heading to auction.
Only eight units were produced by Daimler in 1939 and of those eight four were destroyed in bombing raids while a fifth was sold for scrap. As of today the only known survivor is chassis number 49531 seen above.
Finished in silver over black coachwork with a contrasting three-position cabriolet hood, inside you’ll find green leather seats as well as beautiful, period Jaeger-LeCoultre instruments on the wooden dashboard.
The car will be sold by Historics at Brooklands on December 4 when it is expected to fetch £200,000 – £250,000.
Materialistic pleasures are so treasured in today’s world that very few people stop to think about other virtues in life. When it comes to living, some people live comfortably, others live extravagantly. Then there are these people who reside in the lap of luxury-literally!
The most expensive house in the world is in India, owned by Mukesh Ambani. It is worth a whopping 1 billion dollars and has 27 floors. The house has a plush health club and a garage that can hold over 150 cars. Why? Just because this business tycoon has a personal collection of 168 cars. The house is made entirely of glass and is 570 feet tall.
2. William Randolph Hearst’s Mansion
This house was initially owned by William Randolph Hearst and has three swimming pools, 29 bedrooms as well as a state of the art movie theater and discotheque. The mansion was put up for sale since 2007 and taken off a year later when nobody showed any interest in it. It is worth 165 million dollars and stretches across 6 acres of land.
3. Elena Franchuk’s Victorian Villa
This house is located in the Kensington district in London was bought recently for about 161 million dollars. This 5-storey house has a 10 bedroom villa, an indoor swimming pool, a panic room, move theater and a sauna plus gym.
Courtesy Christie's Images LTD. 2010. The exterior of Christie's London
The royal family of Qatar — the tiny Gulf kingdom that is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas — has set its acquisitive sights on Christie’s, with the nation’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, speaking openly to the press about his interest in the world’s leading auction house. Already storied for major art purchases, including the so-called “Rockefeller Rothko” that went for $72.8 million in May 2007, the emir told the Financial Times that “we are investing everywhere, even in Harrods” and that regarding Christie’s, “it depends on the opportunity, if a good one presents itself we will not hesitate.” Suddenly, art-watchers around the globe are asking: Who is the Emir of Qatar?
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has expressed interest in purchasing Christie's auction house. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
The 58-year-old ruler, who attended the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy in England and took the kingdom’s reins in 1995 after a coup that ousted his father, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, is known as a globetrotting diplomat who made international headlines in 2008 when he met with Israeli minister Tzipi Livni as significant gesture in pursuing a dialogue with Israel. Then there’s the glamorous side of the emir’s ultra-luxe lifestyle, epitomized by the widely circulated image in the London tabloids of his beautiful wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned, wearing a pair of $960 white Chanel faux–fur boots with three-and-a-half-inch icicle heels during the couple’s recent three-day stay in the Queen of England’s residence last month, a bid to increase trade between the kingdoms.
The Sheikha, one of three wives of the Emir, is also an international advocate for women’s rights, serving as a UNESCO special envoy for education and maintaining a Web site to help admirers keep track of her activities. (Unlike in some Gulf states, women of Qatar vote and are able to obtain driver’s licenses.)
video bonus : CNBC’s Guy Johnson explains why one of the world’s richest men, the Emir of Qatar, is one of the most welcome guests in countries affected by the recession.