In 2017, the British auction house, Christie's set a world record for the most expensive original artwork sold at auction. It was Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" which sold for $450.3 million dollars. You wouldn't believe where it is hanging now!
"It amazes me that the art world has not lashed out at Christie's Auction House regarding selling an international treasure which should be considered priceless! What would Leonardo think about the human race in the 21st century placing monetary gain over cultural preservation? When I heard about this I was appalled that future generations will never have the privilege to have a visceral experience with "Salvator Mundi" (Latin for Savior of the World) which is over 500 years old.
Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salmon bought this masterpiece as a gift for Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed. It was originally designated as a featured attraction at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the Arab Emirates. It was on display for a short time and then it mysteriously disappeared for nearly 2 years. According to Kenny Shachter of Artnet, "Salvator Mundi" is now hanging on Zayed's yacht called Serene. Yah...Serene! Ignorance can be extremely serene! The sea air is damaging every molecule that remains left on this incredible work of art.
This is but one example of culture being sold by the pound!! None too pleased! Never mind what we are doing to the environment which our grandchildren will have to suffer with; selling out our cultural treasures to billionaires leaves society intellectually and spiritually destitute "
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From left- Dr. Michael Moloney, Kelson Rounds - MacPherson, Ted Irniq and Dr. Matthew Ayre.
Click on the Lanc for the CHEK6 News story.
Walker has been commissioned by philanthropist and aviator, Craig Roberts to paint a restored depiction of the recently acquired Lancaster Bomber, FM 104 which is now at The BC Aviation Museum near Victoria, BC. This Lanc was built in Malton, Ontario in 1944 during WW2. Once it was retired it was display mounted on Toronto's waterfront near the Canadian National Exhibition grounds from 1966 to 1999. It was then placed in a museum at Downsview Park but the museum closed and FM 104 was dismantled and placed in storage.
Many proactive heritage enthusiasts of the GTA tried desperately to find the funds to create another location or perhaps restore this Lancaster Bomber but to no avail. FM 104EVER was formed to spearhead a campaign to keep it in Toronto but the city's economic development committee could not come up with the funding.
FM-104 is now British Columbia's first and only Lancaster Bomber to be restored to airworthiness but FM-104 needs help from Canadian's to achieve this goal. Walker will be donating proceeds from the sales of the reproductions to the BC Aviation Museum to aid with funding and public awareness of this truly remarkable part of Canadian heritage.
"I lived and worked in Toronto while going to OCADU and remembered cycling past FM-104 on many occasions. Although I feel sad for Torontonians losing their Lanc; I think a better way of dealing with this loss is to show their continued support for FM-104. She is a Canadian institution and she belongs to ALL Canadians! I think FM-104EVER will be completely blown away when they hear the roar of her 4 Rolls Royce Merlin Engines flying overhead as she visits Pearson International Airport near her birthplace in Malton, Ontario, in the not so distant future."
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"The Air, the Forest and the Watch" by Robert Bateman
On Wednesday, August the 21st, 2019 I had the privilege and honor to be welcomed into the home of Robert and Birgit Bateman. I was escorted by my good friend, Colin Gill, to their home on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Thanks to Alex Fischer, Robert Bateman's assistant, Robert agreed to have me do a portrait of him after hearing my reasoning behind the project.
Since those early years when I spent hours drawing the human figure in Will Davies' drawing classes at OCADU; my Mother has been on a continuing campaign for me to do a portrait of Robert Bateman to enhance my portrait portfolio. "He would make a great portrait subject because you have so much in common with him and everyone knows what he looks like so people can see how well you painted him," she said. I felt awkward and hesitant with approaching him about the project. It became a running joke between us over the decades that would follow. "Have you painted Bob yet??" she would ask on the odd occasion. "No...ain't gonna do it" I would say back to her.
My Mother is now 78 years young and has serious health challeanges ahead of her and it is for her and the Bateman Family that I will paint a portrait of one of the most fascinating souls I have ever encountered in the artworld.
Click on Gray Whale to see the vision of Greta.