Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Forgery, Art and Perhaps the "Greatest" Painter of the Modern Age - "Master Forger" Wolfgang Beltracchi : Thereafter... The Beltracchi Project and Manfred Esser

"Art" thou familiar with the Beltracchi Project? or Manfred Esser?


"Red Picture with Horses", faked as a Heinrich Campendonk painting,
but actually painted in Campendonk's style by Wolfgang Beltracchi
linked from Spiegel Online International

Wolfgang Beltracchi (born Wolfgang Fischer)
linked from Spiegel Online International

Confessions of a Genius Art Forger is really a great read at Spiegel Online International, because it is so exemplary of the follies of our modern age, an era in which greed and envy in overheated markets rules the world, whether this be Facebook membership, financial credit derivatives, housing bubble investors, misled judges or patent monopolists.

It is a world in which expertise is often a cloak for ignorance. Indeed, it is a world in which a master forger can believably claim to better understand the works of master artists than the art experts who he easily duped for decades. It is a world in which the master forger understood that he was essentially selling "envy", as he explained for his amazing success, and not art per se.

In our view, admitted master "forger" Wolfgang Beltracchi (born Wolfgang Fischer), in spite his forgery of many paintings over the past decades, may be the "greatest" painter as such of our era, an art era in which many imposters of no talent have laid claim to be artists and are sometimes even rewarded by investors equally lacking in art talent for their follies.

No one, on the other hand, can doubt the artistic talents of Wolfgang Beltracchi. The painting talent of Wolfgang Beltracchi is so phenomenal that he was able to paint numerous paintings in the greatly varying styles of many acknowledged masters of previous eras, then attribute those paintings to those masters, and then sell those paintings at enormous sums to a professional and lay public who paid top prices for the "envy" of owning a masterpiece. And they were masterpieces indeed, but painted by Beltracchi.

The amazing thing is that Beltracchi had no originals to copy. Rather, he "forged" paintings "lost" over the centuries, as attributed to various masters in the literature and sometimes described, but for which no original images existed. The paintings that he created were so good in imitating the masters' styles that expert and layman alike accepted them as genuine originals -- for decades.

Now THAT is artistic talent. It is one thing perhaps to copy or fake or forge the style of ONE painter. But to be able to imitate the style of so many painters -- that is art genius of a different kind. Indeed, an argument could even be made that Beltracchi's artworks -- in painting talent -- perhaps even surpass the masters in the very styles that he is imitating.

Hence, it is now the Beltracchi Project with Manfred Esser.
From photo to painting.
"Art" thou ready to take a look?


Winklevoss Twins SumZero Investment: A Community Network for BUY-Side Professional Investors (Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds, Private Equity): SELLERS Excluded from Membership

Investment professionals on the buying side (hedge funds, mutual funds, private-equity firms) sharing trading ideas and research in an exclusive high-end social network?

That is the basic idea of SumZero, a professional social network founded by Divya Narendra and Aalap Mahadevia and now including as investors the famed Winklevii, the Winklevoss Twins of ConnectU viz. Facebook fame.

John Jannarone has the story at the Wall Street Journal technology page in Winklevoss Twins of Facebook Fame Return to Invest in SumZero.

The interesting side of SumZero is that SELLING investors such as banks are currently denied membership, but may in the future be able to "buy" access.

The essential question for "making" money is always
"where is the money going to come from?"

At the SumZero website, they write:
"SumZero is the world's largest community of hedge fund, mutual fund, and private equity professionals."
SumZero is already four years old and has 7500 hand-picked members,
as SumZero follows the same basic "elitist" philosophy
that started and led to the success of ConnectU and Facebook.
The social network was first open only to Harvard students,
and then only to persons/students with .edu email addresses
at top colleges in universities in America.

Everyone else was excluded.

So then everyone wanted to be in on the deal, and it was this mass hysteria of the greed of "envy" in an overheated social networking market that led to the success of Facebook among the masses, not necessarily anything great in particular about the Facebook website or program as such.



Samsung Request To Lift GalaxyTablet 10.1 Ban in the USA in Light of Cupertino Jury Verdict Denied by Judge

It seems that the Cupertino jury verdict only carries weight on one side of the ledger....

Lots of judges out there in the USA.... and some abroad too....
Discovering the joy of power and running things....

engaged in their main (?) duties....
like....

busy running the economy....
deciding what the consumer can purchase and not purchase....
and hence determining what is manufactured and not....
deciding who gets patent monopolies and makes billions....
blocking product sales here, not blocking product sales there....
issuing injunctions here, there and everywhere....

... and yet the judges usually do not have an MBA,
or know much about business or technology,
and often even demonstrate a poor grasp of the law....

Where will it all lead?

Armageddon?

Another story at InformationWeek....
Judge Denies Samsung Request To Lift Tablet Ban


Ubuntu Unity: Is This the Time-Saving Desktop Microsoft Should Have Been Developing?

At TechRepublic, Jack Wallen has the story at Ubuntu Unity: A beginner's walk-through.

As someone who has long been critical about the hopelessly inefficient Microsoft "ribbon" menu(s), where virtually nothing can be found unless one knows where it is, Ubuntu Unity looks like a breath of fresh air.

We are definitely going to be running it through some testing as a possible time-saving alternative to Microsoft Windows, which seems to be stuck in space.


The Unteachables on the Federal Circuit: If Citizens Are Obligated to Obey Laws They Do Not Agree With, Are Lower Courts Also Not Obligated to Follow the Precedents of the United States Supreme Court Even if The Judges Disagree?

The recalcitrant Federal Circuit appears not to understand that just as all the citizens of the USA are obligated to obey laws they may not agree with, the Federal Circuit judges are similarly obligated to follow the precedents of the holdings of the U.S. Supreme Court in cases before it.

See James J. Mullen, III, and Mary Prendergast of Morrison Foerster in Judges Don't Budge in Myriad: Federal Circuit Again Finds Isolated Gene Sequences are Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, a case in which the Federal Circuit essentially disregards a recent landmark Supreme Court decision:
"The Federal Circuit today issued its opinion in Assoc. for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. ("Myriad"), in which it re-affirmed its prior ruling, despite the Supreme Court's instruction to revisit that ruling in light of its decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., ___U.S.___ (March 20, 2012) ("Prometheus")."
As reported inter alia by Jonathan Stempel of Reuters:
"In a brief arguing against patenting genes, Dr. James Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, said he feared the court failed to appreciate the fundamentally unique nature of the human gene, which stores information necessary to create and propagate life.

"It is a chemical entity, but DNA's importance flows from its ability to encode and transmit the instructions for creating humans. Life's instructions ought not be controlled by legal monopolies created at the whim of Congress or the courts." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
Dr. Watson may as well have been talking to a wall -- and that wall is made up of many of the judges of the Federal Circuit whose backward patent decisions in recent years have led in part to a patent system which many view as "broken" today.

This judicial recalcitrance is well known to the U.S. Supreme Court Justices, as we wrote previously at LawPundit, pointing to a strong rebuke of the Federal Circuit by the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, for not following Supreme Court precedents.

It would seem to this observer, that when this last Federal Circuit decision on Myriad is appealed and surely reversed, that the U.S. Supreme Court should address some stern words to the Federal Circuit to the degree that they are contributing to a lack of respect for the courts and also for law and order in general by not abiding by the laws and authorities to which they, as all the other normal citizens of the country, are bound. It sets a bad example for any court to think it is "above the law".

Indeed, we think that Congress should consider disbanding or substantially reforming the Federal Circuit -- which was created under the novel and by hindsight clearly unsuccessful idea of staffing such a court with people of technological experience, rather than choosing people best suited as judges per se. The nation-wide power of the Federal Circuit in patent appeals and holdings (second only to the U.S. Supreme Court's precedents) has also proven to be an increasingly vexing problem.

It would be better in the future to have patent cases decided in normal circuit courts, NOT having nation-wide jurisdiction, where there is likely to be more understanding for deciding cases as a matter of law and pursuant to Supreme Court precedents, and not as a matter of the unbridled personal technology preference of Federal Circuit judges.

The fact that Federal Circuit decisions carry nation-wide force has certainly led to the judges on this court to overstep their authority in their decisions, not having enough respect for the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court, and that should clearly be changed. There can only be ONE court having nation-wide influence. Anything else leads -- as it has -- to trouble in the Judiciary.

Technology is one thing, but the rule of law is quite another.


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