This artist's net worth is estimated at $1 billion! He is the world's richest, living artist. Van Gogh must be rolling over in his grave. Vincent sacrificed his health and eventually his life for art and sold only a few paintings over the span of his entire career and this Damien guy is a billionaire at 55 years old! How is this possible? British born (Bristol, England) Damien Steven Hirst, sometimes jokingly referred to as the 'enfants terrible' (bad boy) of contemporary art, is described as "an assemblagist, painter and conceptual artist who addresses themes such as beauty, death and rebirth". One of his most shocking pieces, titled "A Thousand Years'', is essentially a freshly severed cow's head being devoured by flies inside a walk-in plexiglass box! And then there's the black and white photograph of teenage Damien posing with a severed human head in a mortuary! Seriously, check out one of Damien's past exhibitions at the Tate Modern on YouTube. It will be quite an experience!
Executives initially rejected the original pilot of this legendary television series, which premiered on September 8, 1966. Luckily the pilot was produced at Desilu Studios, which was owned by Lucille Ball, an advocate of the show. Her influence was instrumental in the success of the series. The Guinness Book of Records notes that Star Trek had the greatest number of spin-off productions in television history including feature films and many television series. Of course, the genius behind the creation of Star Trek, The Original Series, was Gene Rodenberry. Set in the 2260s in the Milky Way galaxy, Star Trek's mission statement is practically seared into every sci-fi enthusiast's brain: "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." FYI: At an auction in 2016, Captain Kirk's Starfleet tunic and pants from the original show sold for a whopping $72K! May you "live long and prosper" and latch on to some great Trekkie collectibles along the way!
A literary giant has died at the age of 101. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a world-renowned Beat poet and proprietor of the popular City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in San Francisco (established in 1953), passed away on February 22 leaving many grieving fans and admirers throughout the world. He is heralded as being instrumental in the creation of the Beat movement along with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs and many others. Ferlinghetti is undoubtedly best known for his book of poems entitled "A Coney Island of the Mind" with over a million copies in print as well as translations in more than a dozen languages. Over the course of his career, he wrote and published 30 books of poetry. A DJR Authentication tribute to a gifted writer, a good man and a long life well lived. RIP, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Did you know? Meteorites, those bright streaks of light appearing in our sky, are simply chunks of space rock that fall through the Earth’s atmosphere. Referred to as shooting or falling stars, it is common to see a few meteorites per hour on clear nights and as many as 100 per hour during a meteor storm. The original source of these objects is mainly asteroids and comets. Most meteorites are relatively small and are vaporized by the atmosphere, but some larger pieces make it through and land in the oceans or on ground. The 60 ton Hoba Meteorite is the Earth’s largest known meteorite. The giant touched down in Africa over 80,000 years ago but wasn’t discovered until 1920.
According to a 1985 study, a meteorite will hit a human approximately once every 180 years. The last person was struck in 1952 which means that an unsuspecting earthling will most likely be struck in the year 2132!
A giant DJR Authentication congratulations goes out to this year's Super Bowl Champs, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buc’s franchise was granted on April 24,1974; their first season being 1976. Until this year, their one and only Super Bowl championship was Super Bowl XXXVII (2003) when they defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21. But this year due to the outstanding coaching skills of head coach Bruce Arians and the help of quarterback extraordinaire Tom Brady, the Bucs 'captured the rings' after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. And an outstanding game it was! FYI: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team to actually play an entire 14-game season and fail to win or even tie a single game (1976). What? Some disgruntled fans even started referring to the team as the "Yucks" and chanting, "Go for 0" during games. It wasn't until the fourth game of that season that they even scored a touchdown! But hey, they're the champs now!
Baseball lost a legend. Born in Alabama, Hank Aaron, one of the greatest players in the history of professional baseball, died today at the age of 86. Hank enjoyed a twenty-three year (1954-1976) career spending that time with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. On April 8,1974, with a sellout crowd looking on, Hammerin' Hank pulled off one of his most stellar lifetime achievements by smashing the Bambino's 714 home run record. When Hank retired his total home runs numbered a whopping 755! Hank became a Hall of Famer in 1982 with an impressive career batting average of 305. The Braves and the Brewers officially retired his number 44 uniform in 1976. The great Hank Aaron will be missed by so many.
They first appeared in Germany in the late 1800's, gaining fast in popularity. By the beginning of the 20th century, literally millions of these cute little tinplate, die cast toys were being produced in myriad countries around the world, including the United States! Although they didn't always cost just a penny, they were typically the most inexpensive toys to be found. As you can imagine, parents and children loved them from the get-go. Rare penny toys can sell in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars on the collectible market. FYI: A walking camel penny toy with an elaborately attired Arab rider sold in auction for a whopping $11,400! So if you're willing to do your homework, collecting, trading and selling penny toys can be an interesting, fun and lucrative venture!
International contemporary expressionist artist David Najar is a deeply spiritual man. He is known worldwide for his spectacular works (oils and acrylic on canvas) depicting the serenity and peace of nature in landscape form. For Israeli artist Najar, painting is a meditative, healing experience. David paints spontaneously, deriving his inspiration by "merely listening". While learning to be an artist, he had the wherewithal to rub shoulders and study with many experts in the art world. Before David became an artist he achieved status as an expert instructor of Krav Maga, a style of martial arts used by the military in Israel. David describes his studio space, in a building near Tel Aviv which was built a century before Israel became a country, as his "magical space".
Did you know that the actors who portray zombies on the megahit television show "The Walking Dead" have to attend "Zombie School"? Or that Daryl played by Norman Reedus, the most popular and highest paid actor on the series ($1 million per episode & approximately $20 million per season) does not even exist in the show's comic version! FYI: Over 4,000 Walkers (zombies) have been killed on the show to date! CGI or computer-generated imagery is used for many effects on "The Walking Dead". For instance, to erase zombie eye-blinks! Zombies are asked to try hard not to blink, but if they forget CGI will step in and fix it! Interestingly, the show is filmed exclusively in Georgia! Lastly, you can buy Daryl Dixon's iconic crossbows (a Bowtech Stryker or a Horton Scout HD 125) at Wal-Mart! The post-apocalyptic show is in its 10th season on AMC and according to its producers, cast and crew is doing quite well, thank you! In fact, "The Walking Dead" is the most-watched series in the history of basic cable!
DJR Authentication is one of the nation's premier appraisers, authenticators, and consultants of jewelry, coins, collectibles, art, sports memorabilia, and other fine goods, located in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. Schedule your appointment or learn more today at djrpro.com.