Function Magazine

Art, Fashion and Entertainment

Recent art sales making historic sales records

Posted by elegant On July - 30 - 2015

Art sales especially art auction house sales are booming lately. It was announced that within a three day auction at Christie’s, the world’s largest auction house, it sold more than $1 billion worth of art recently recording the world’s biggest art sale week. At its one day contemporary art auction it received $658.5 million and added another $705.9 million at the 20th century works auction day. This gives the auction house a clear lead over its rival, Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s also made its second highest gross sales within the same period.

What cause these record sales? Some say it is the result of “excess and speculations.” Sales have been climbing within last few years and a new class of buyers with excess cash is entering the art market. Larry Fink, the chairman of the biggest asset management company BlackRock represent the new class of buyers with ample cash to spend on art and others. He is one of more than 170,000 world’s ultra-high net worth individuals in the world having more than $30 million in cash. Notable pieces sold included Lucien Freud’s 1994 oil painting, “Benefits Supervisor Resting,” which was sold for $56.2 million and Andy Warhol’s 1963 silk screen on canvas, “Colored Mona Lisa,” which was sold for $ 56.2.

ESPYs recognize courage along with athleticism

Posted by elegant On July - 24 - 2015

ESPY or Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award has taken a sensational route this year. Caitlyn Jenner formally Olympian Bruce Jenner was awarded this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award which is presented to a sports related person regardless of the gender. Started in 1993, ESPYs are presented by the American cable television network ESPN and recognize individuals and team achievements in sports. The format of the award ceremony is similar to many award ceremonies including Emmy and Grammy. Since its inception in 1993, recipients of awards are selected by voting by fans and ESPN personalities. Since 2008, ESPYs are held at the LA Live, West Coast home of ESPN, located near the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Beside the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, other notable ESPY awards include Best Male and Female Athlete Awards, Best Coach/Manager ESPY Award and Best Male and Female College Athlete ESPY Awards. This year’s award to Caitlyn Jenner is important not for athleticism but for the courage to come out as a transgender woman. Jenner is currently appearing on many television productions including “The Kardashians.” Kardashian as well as Jenner family members attended the award ceremony and cheered Caitlyn Jenner as she appeared on the stage to accept the award.

Olympian Bruce Jenner as Caitlyn Jenner

Posted by elegant On July - 22 - 2015

The 1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Gold medalist Bruce Jenner is making headlines these days. At the summer games he was known as the “greatest athlete on earth.” The win was even more important for Americans because he dethrone Soviet decathlete Mykola Avilov who won the Gold at 1972 games during the height of the cold war. It is not for another Olympics run or his reality television show that he is in the news. He is becoming a publicly announced transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner, at the age of 65. She is scheduled to receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY at the middle of the month. Her transgender transient has been widely speculated for almost a year. Paparazzi have been publishing many faces of events that took place at doctor’s offices and plastic surgeons clinics. Speculation of hormone take to remove facial and other hair as well as nose jobs were headlined in entertainment and as well as gossip sites and publications.

Finally, Caitlyn Jenner appeared on a two hour exclusive ABC interview with Diane Sawyer which was telecast on “20/20.” She was also appeared on the cover of the July issue of the Vanity Fair magazine. On July 15, 2015, Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

B.B. King, a blues legend

Posted by admin On May - 15 - 2015

A remarkable and tireless entertainer until his death, Riley B. King otherwise known as B.B. King or the King of Blues died at age 89 on May 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was an iconic American blues singer, songwriter and a marvelous guitarist. Rolling Stone named him as the world’s number 6 of 100 greatest guitarists ever.

The Mississippi native’s music career extends more than six decades and he performed more than 200 concerts per year. Since 1971 he has been nominated for 30 Grammys and won half of them. Besides entering into the Blues Hall of Fame, B.B. King has been awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 2006. Lucille was his cherished guitar. Unlike other entertainers, B.B. King evolved with time and entertained millions late into his 80s. He was born in a cotton farm near Indianola, Mississippi and sang with church choirs while learning to play guitar. During his youth he played at street corners and later he moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he began his blues career. He used several models of Gibson guitars throughout his career but named each one of them Lucille. He will be missed not only as an entertainer but also as a marvelous blues music player.

2015 Billboard Music Awards are coming

Posted by elegant On April - 24 - 2015

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards will be held in next month on May 17th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Billboard, a publication and music chart is holding the event and honor musicians and the music industry leaders. Started in 1989 it has been held in December each year until 2007. After a brief hiatus, the show reappeared again in 2011 and has been held in May of each year.

2015 show will be hosted by Ludacris and first time co-host Chrissy Teigen and will be telecast on ABC. Fox telecasted the event until 2011 and dropped out due to various conflicts. Artists are selected based on year-end chart performance based on Nielson data including sales, number of downloads, and total airplay. Some of the award categories include Top Male and Female Artist, Top Album, Top Male Singer and Top Female Singer. Taylor Swift leads the list of finalists with 14 nominations and other nominees include Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor and many others. Finalists were announced on April 7, 2015. The show will feature many artists during the telecast.

Janet Jackson leads the pack with most winnings at 33 awards during the entire history of the show.

Published reports indicate that American Idol will be coming to a close after the next season. The final season is also expected to bring back former judges and winners as well as many non-winners. The singing talent show has been a rating success for the broadcaster Fox but seen viewership slipping away slowly.

American Idol was launched in summer of 2002. It has been the No. 1 broadcast television show for eight seasons. Rating for the show peaked in 2006 drawing more than 36 million viewers for the finale. This year’s viewership is estimated at 11.6 million, a series low. It is still dominating the viewership during broadcast nights. Besides the slipping ratings, rising cost to produce the show, competing and successful other shows are contributing to end the show after next season.

Producers expect to bring back current judges and the host for the final, American Idol Season XV, show. Current judges include Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. While judges changed hands over the years, the host of the show, Ryan Seacrest, has been with the show from the very beginning. Many are sure to miss the show.

Rumors about premium digital TV service from Apple

Posted by elegant On April - 20 - 2015

Apple TV has been the center of conversations for years and it appears that new signs coming from Cupertino, California may be good news for those who are waiting. Earlier this year, Apple introduced HBO Now to its customer offerings for $14.99 a month. In March 2015, Apple silently updated Apple TV to add CNNgo allowing it to provide live TV and on-demand video. Its third generation Apple TV was introduced in 2012 and incorporated 1080p high resolution video standard. Apple TV device can be connected to a traditional TV using a HDMI cable and port.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that Apple is getting ready to launch a premium digital streaming TV service soon. It will be a virtual multichannel video programming service to include most major broadcast and cable networks, live sports and on-demand offerings.

Apple is entering into a crowded field that includes Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable Inc., Dish Network Corporation and DirecTV. Apple is sure to take away a sizable share from each of the existing service providers.

More and more people are opting to use their mobile devices to watch TV and other content and Apple is making a right move.

The American television drama series, Mad Men, is scheduled to be end after its seventh and final season. The drama has been airing on AMC. The seventh season consists of 14 episodes split between two parts. The first half named “The Beginning” started on April 13 and ended on May 25, 2014. The second half of the final season known as “The End of an Era” will begin airing on April 5 and will end on May 17, 2015.

The final season deal with the life and office issues and will be split between New York and Los Angeles. The Seventh and Final Season has been a good one for the show creators. Critics give it a “certified fresh” grade (Rotten Tomatoes). They say it rekindle viewer enthusiasm of the show and puts it back on track. Another critic, Metacritic, gave the first part of the seventh season 85 out of 100. At the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series has been nominated for Outstanding Drama series, actor Jon Hamm is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, Robert Morse has been nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and Christina Hendricks for the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

The 30th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony took place on February 21, 2015 celebrating films made in 2014. The Independent Spirit Awards was founded in 1984 by a group of independent filmmakers and awards are dedicated to the cause. The award itself is a symbol of the struggle independent film maker face. A non-profit group known as Film Independent holds the awards ceremony. A ceremony inside a tent on the beach of Santa Monica, California is held usually the day before the Academy Awards. It is currently being televised on Bravo network and Independent Film Channel.

Categories of awards include Best Film, Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Foreign Film and many others. Birdman and Boyhood were in the running for the 30th Best Film Award and Birdman edge out the rival at the last minute winning the award. Birdman also won the Best Actor for Michael Keaton and the Best Cinematography Award. Boyhood won the Best Director Award as well as the Best Supporting Actress Award. The Best Actress Award went to Julianne Moore for her portrayal of an early onset of Alzheimer’s woman in the film, Still Alice. The Best Documentary was given to Laura Poitras for her portrayal of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Citizenfour.

Actor and director Leonard Nimoy dies at age 83

Posted by elegant On March - 6 - 2015

Best known for his iconic character role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek franchise on TV and films, Leonard Nimoy died on February 27, 2015 at the age of 83 at his home in Los Angeles, California. The death has been blamed for end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The actor openly talked about his medical condition during the last few years of his life. He is best known for his role as Mr. Spock in Starship Enterprise, first officer to Captain Kirk played by William Shatner. He leaves behind his second wife, several children and grandchildren.

Nimoy played the part, Mr. Spock, for 40 years in Star Trek and Star Trek into Darkness. He is also a film director directing films including 3 Men and a Baby and Star Trek movies including The Voyage Home and The Search for Spock. He provided voice to two episodes of The Simpsons, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Transformers: The Movie, The Pagemaster and many others. He also released several albums including music from the Star Trek series. He is a contemporary art collector and an avid photographer. He was extremely generous in his support for art and philanthropic contributions.