At Artomatic, a Rocket Ship Blasts Off; That's the Breaks

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, April 26, 2007

You know it was a good party when an expensive artwork goes missing -- and no one even seems to mind very much.

In the spot where Washington glass artist Tim Tate hung his sculpture "The Rapture" at the eclectic Artomatic art event in Arlington's Crystal City, there remains nothing but two holes in the wall. The cute rocket ship-looking thing, standing about a foot high and priced at $1,500, was one of 10 sculptures in Tate's booth at the month-long show, which involves some 600 artists. The last time anyone is sure it was there was at the lively opening April 13, which drew some 3,500 partyers. Days later, Tate started hearing from friends and art bloggers that it had apparently walked off.

Sondra Arkin, an Artomatic organizer, cast doubt on the theft rumor, saying she heard it was removed after getting damaged. "I don't know that anyone's been claiming any criminal activity," she said, adding that the show provides security but that artists are alerted to the risks.

Tate told our colleague Rachel Beckman he has no idea what happened to the piece, but that he's not complaining to either Artomatic or police. "I work in glass, and you know what happens when you work in glass? Things break. All the time."

Besides, "I like the two holes and the word 'rapture' next to it," he said. "I like the thought that it's been raptured."


  • Getting hitched: Conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan and his partner of three years, artist-actor Aaron Tone. The New York Observer set off a blogger guessing game yesterday when it reported that Sullivan is making it legal with an actor appearing in Studio Theatre's production of "The Pillowman," whom it erroneously ID'd as simply "Eric."
  • Andrew Sullivan, left, and Aaron Tone at the Bark Ball.
    Andrew Sullivan, left, and Aaron Tone at the Bark Ball.(Paw Prints Photography)
    No big mystery: Sullivan, 43, and Tone, 31, have been domestic partners in D.C. for two years, and will marry in Provincetown, Mass., this August. The couple originally planned to wed last year until a "book crisis" postponed the event. "There's no way to pull off a book and a wedding at the same time," Sullivan told us. No word what role their beloved dogs Dusty and Eddy will play in the small ceremony, but they're "definitely" in the wedding party.

  • Pitt stop: Angelina Jolie filed court papers to add Brad Pitt's name to their new son, Pax Thein Jolie. Tabloids speculated Brangelina were splitting because she adopted the 3-year-old in her own name, but it appears she did that simply because Vietnam does not allow unmarried couples to adopt.
  • THIS JUST IN . . .

  • Press secretary Tony Snow will return to work on Monday, the White House announced yesterday. A recurrence of the president's spokesman's cancer was diagnosed last month and he has been on leave while recuperating from surgery. Snow, 51, was a surprise guest at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
  • Former Motion Picture Association of America lobbyist Jack Valenti, who suffered a stroke five weeks ago, checked out of Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Medical Center on Tuesday but remains gravely ill, according to friends of the family. Crown Publishing has postponed the publication of his memoir, "This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood," until October "to give him more time to recover and be involved with the publication," said Crown publicist Penny Simon.
  • HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

    Christina Ricci, knocking on doors in the Rayburn House Office Building yesterday during a lobbying trip for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network -- she's just been named its celebrity spokeswoman. The "Addams Family" and "Black Snake Moan" star wore a black collared shirt with navy pants and black patent-leather heels. Oh, and an awesome black Chanel purse. And she's got bangs now, which she wore with a ponytail. And dark-red lipstick. Looked like a movie star, basically.

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