From trash to treasure: million-dollar painting lights up eye of beholder

From the one-in-a-million department:

A coffee run four years ago turned into good fortune for an art lover in New York, when she found a painting set out in the garbage and decided to lug it home. She said the painting ‘had a strange power,’ but, actually, what a long, strange trip it’s been for this Rufino Tamayo artwork. The painting disappeared in 1987 from the rightful owners, and was thought to be stolen. The hauntingly hued canvas was found in 2003, and the finder stashed the work at home until she learned on the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ website that it was in fact a missing masterpiece by Rufino Tamayo. The years-long art adventure ended this week when the painting was slapped on the auction block by the surviving former owner, and fetched a colorful $1 million plus change. The sharp-eyed fan who saved the treasure from the trash will receive a percentage from the sale, as well as a $15,000 reward. Crime doesn’t pay, but rescuing modern art definitely does. With the continuing writer’s strike, this may turn into a reality show: Curator 911.

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Artists truly living in hole in the wall

While someone’s couch is often the harbor of last resort for many artists, a few got together and created a secret apartment in a mall parking garage in Rhode Island. How cool is that? I admit I love the idea of unusual living spaces, and I give these guys a standing ovation for combining hidden performance art with a roof over one’s head.

They built a wall to hide the digs, which were furnished and even had a video game system.  After four years of the good life (some leases don’t even last that long!) they were busted; after a trespassing charge, the apartment will quietly fade away, but I’ll bet that their sectional sofa will show up again in a space you wouldn’t expect. Wal-Mart stockroom, anyone?