On December 11th, 2017 I received an email from Greg Bonnier titled “About an African Journey.” I receive emails nearly every day with one pitch or another that are going to make my company Lauten Audio famous if only we send free microphones. However, this email was a little bit different.
First, the email started off with a referral reference from one of my most respect colleagues in the music business, Fab Dupont. Second, Greg already owned two of our highly acclaimed Atlantis FC-387 microphones, which is no small investment, and finally, the first paragraph ended with “…for the love of the music and people.” Gregs’ hook worked.
Here’s Greg’s opening paragraph.
My name is Greg, I’m a friend of Fab’s which was nice enough to put me in contact with you. I’m writing you about a project I’m about to do in Senegal. Mid-January, I’ll be leaving for the southern part of the African country where I’ll be recording bands which do not have access to recording ressources other than a computer microphone. My colleague did this 3 years ago and it resulted in a band even getting a recording contract. This is a project we are funding by ourselves, for the love of the music and the people.
Greg and I scheduled a call to discuss the project further. My gut told me this project could turn out very cool, and it was clear Greg and his partner Simon Walls had their heads on straight. My biggest concern was whether the microphones could survive such a trip and the environment. If they didn’t, my brand was not going to look very good.
Six months later I began to receive photos and snippets from Simon and Greg’s adventure. The microphones were taking a beating, but they were holding up to the task. When I hear the music that was being captured, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, I knew I had made the right decision.
Simon Walls is a music producer, songwriter and adventurer. After producing his own original records, he has been producing, recording and mixing for other artists such as Le Winston Band, David Jobin, Clay and Friends, ILAM, Tee Cloud, Sadio Cissokho and Aaron Lumley. He also produces for Wapikoni Mobile, Musique Nomade and AVATAQ offering recording services and mentorship to indigenous musicians across Canada. Between records, Simon is a motivational speaker at The Great Explorers where he tells the tales of his adventures.
Greg Bonnier is a record producer, sound engineer and film maker based in Montreal, Canada. Beginning at Musique Plus (Much Music) in 2000, he has since managed post-production facilities, mixed various TV shows, filmed and edited many documentaries, live shows, corporate films and web projects including a web series with renown french actor Pierre Richard. Since 2006, his work in music has led him to produce, record and mix all over the world with artists from all walks of life and diverse musical genres.
by Enhance your knowledge of artists and art history with these art documentaries and movies you can stream today. I have compiled a list of art documentaries and films I enjoyed, and that you can stream on Amazon.com. Some of these do not show up in a typical keyword search on Amazon.com, so I thought it would be helpful to compile a list. It is not all encompassing as there are still many I have yet to discover. Therefore, I am adding a “part 1” suffix to the title. I have provided the title, date it was released, quoted the summary description from Amazon.com, and added brief comments on the some of them. I have also stated whether it is free to stream with Amazon’s Prime Video, or for purchase.
Dan Cytron: One Artist’s POV – Amazon Purchase 2011 – An intimate and genuine art documentary all collectors and artists should watch. From Amazon – “Why do some paintings sell for millions of dollars? Following a lifetime dedicated to art, DAN CYTRON, a talented Los Angeles artist (abstract painter) and Sam Francis’ assistant and paint maker, candidly gives his point of view on the art business, critics, gallery owners, and collectors. This documentary questions commercialization and celebrity and examines value, creativity, and survival.”
Brice Marden – Circ. 1970’s – Amazon Purchase– An honest and personal art documentary of an artist in his prime – From Amazon – “After a few seconds of footage from 1968 of the artist working, this film moves into 1976, providing an intimate look at the enigmatic abstract painter, Brice Marden. Shot in 16mm shortly after Marden’s 1975 exhibition at the Guggenheim, it reveals, through interviews with Marden and numerous shots of his preparations and working process, the depth of intellectual creativity behind his works.”
Robert Williams Mr Bitchin’ – Free with Amazon Prime – 2013 – An art documentary on an incredibly talented artist who broke the fine-art mold. From Amazon – “Robert Williams Mr Bitchin’ Explores the remarkable art and life of painter extraordinaire Robert Williams an American underground legend, examining the territory between pop culture and fine art, and measuring the multiple meanings of “success” – financial, artistic, popular and critical.”
Raven Awakens – Free With Amazon Prime – 2017 – An art documentary of a passionate man and his difficult medium. From Amazon – “Raven Awakens follows Sonoma bronze sculptor, Jim Callahan, through the whole process of creating a large bronze sculpture from inspiration to final result. Along the way we get an expanded look at what makes up an artistic life.”
Fritz – 2015 – Free With Prime – Art documentary of a somewhat eccentric man and his art. From Amazon – “Two young filmmakers discover a 70-year-old, hard-of-hearing artist named Fritz and they turn his world upside down. Fritz faces his past and rediscovers happiness as the group stumbles upon just how to “make it,” in the art world.”
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict – 2015 – Purchase on Prime – From Amazon – “A collector or art and artists, Peggy Guggenheim fought through personal tragedy to build one of the world’s most important collections of modern art, now enshrined in her famous Venetian palazzo. The film is a compendium of famous 20th-century painting and sculpture mixed with the wild and iconoclastic life of one of the most powerful women in the history of the art world.”
The American Artist – The Life & Times of George Caleb Bingham – Free With Amazon Prime – 2016 – From Amazon – “The American Artist” is a biographical docu-drama about George Caleb Bingham. He was a successful artist, politician, and family man… but it all fell apart. His home, family, career, and life’s work were all but lost as the American Civil War split his world in two. A century after his death, George Caleb Bingham’s work was not only rediscovered, it is celebrated as a National Treasure.”
The painting life of Rembrandt van Rijn – Free With Amazon Prime – 2008 – “A unique documentary of the life and the works of Rembrandt van Rijn. We are traveling with Van Rijn in a geographical reconstruction of his life. It shows beautiful pictures of which Van Rijn has drawn his inspiration for his works. A lof the buildings still exist. Through modern digital techniques, the current image changes into the painting that was made by Van Rijn for over 400 years ago.”
Renaissance Unchained – Free With Amazon Prime – 2015 Some hate him; I love watching his art documentaries. This series by Waldemar Januszczak makes learning about art fun. From Amazon – “Famed British art critic and TV presenter Waldemar Januszczak challenges the traditional notion that the Renaissance had fixed origins in Italy. He explores the ingenuity in both technique and ideas throughout Europe in great artists such as Van Eyck, Memling, Van der Weyden, Cranach, Riemenschneider and Durer. This series shines as it delves into the intersection of art and history and politics.”
The Impressionists – Free With Amazon Prime – 2015– Another excellent art documentary by Waldemar Januszczak – It’s more entertaining but equally educational to Tim Marlows 1999 with a similar title. From Amazon – “Famed British art critic Waldemar Januszczak explores the revolutionary achievements of The Impressionists. Journey from the West Indies, to Paris, to the suburbs of South London, where artists of the 19th century drew their inspiration. Waldemar describes, as only he can, the technical influences of the age that helped spark the artistic innovations and points of view of Impressionist painting.”
Exhibition on Screen: History’s Greatest Artists – Free With Amazon Prime – 2013-16 A more recent production covering some of the most famous artists. From Amazon – “Every year more people visit art galleries than football stadiums. Rare collections result in queues longer than working days and museums keep their doors open into the wee, small hours to accommodate throngs of visitors. This monumental series takes you into the world’s biggest art exhibitions and on location to enjoy, marvel and delight at the stories and works of history’s greatest artists.”
Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Works of Art – Amazon Purchase – 2011 From Amazon – “This exceptional series documents the Louvre’s study days, in which works by five major artists–Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Watteau, and Poussin–were collected together, removed from their frames, and set on easels, replicating the feel of an artist’s studio. Curators, historians, restorers, and scientists from around the world came to examine and discuss them in total freedom.”
Brushstrokes: Every Picture Tells a Story – Free With Amazon Prime – 2013 – From Amazon – “Acclaimed British art critic and television presenter Waldemar Januszczak investigates the stories behind four internationally famous works of art from Gaugin, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Dobson. Each episode focuses on one painting. Waldemar takes us deep into the world of the artist who created it, including popular influences, events in the artist’s life, and any hidden meanings within the works.”
William Dobson: The Lost Genius of Baroque – Free With Amazon Prime – 2012 – From Amazon – “Hosted by Waldemar Januszczak this film investigates the few known facts about William Dobson and seeks out the personal stories he left behind as it follows him through his tragically short career. Among the Dobson fans interviewed in the film is Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, who agrees wholeheartedly that William Dobson was the first great British painter.”
Colored Frames – 2007 – Free with Amazon Prime – I’m a huge fan of finding undiscovered 20th-century artists. This film brings many to light. From Amazon.com “A look back at the last fifty years in African American art, Colored Frames is an unflinching exploration of influences, inspirations and experiences of black artists. Beginning at the height of the Civil Rights Era and leading up to the present, it is a naked and truthful look at often ignored artists and their progenies.”
Understanding Art: Baroque & Rococo – Acorn TV Subscription – 2014– From Amazon – “In Baroque! From St. Peter’s to St. Paul’s, Januszczak follows the trajectory of baroque from its beginnings as a Vatican-sanctioned religious art style to its ascendance as the first global art movement. In Rococo before Bedtime, he pulls back the gilded façade of rococo to reveal the deep imprint it left on politics, culture, religion, and even America’s Declaration of Independence.”
How to Look at a Painting – Acorn TV Subscription – 2011 – Twelve, 24-minute, episodes with the casual Justin Paton. From Amazon – “Justin Paton is on a mission: to show the rest of us why looking at a painting is worthwhile and to help us figure out how to do it. In this thought-provoking series, Paton demystifies art and answers the questions we might be too embarrassed to ask. Along the way, the New Zealand author, curator, and art reviewer takes us on a dazzling journey across the painted world.”
Manet and the Birth of Impressionism – Free With Amazon Prime – 2009 – From Amazon – “Manet is often cited as the father of Impressionism, and yet he stubbornly refused to show with them and was careful to maintain an aesthetic distance from Monet, Renoir and others. He looked down on them, preferring his own departure from the traditional art forms. British host Waldemar Januszczak tells the story of a complex and difficult man who started a revolution that continues to today.”
Understanding Art: Impressionism – Amazon Purchase – 2012 – Once again Waldemar takes you on a fun educational journey. From Amazon – “In this four-part documentary, art critic Waldemar Januszczak reveals that in their time, the impressionists were artistic rebels. As Januszczak visits the locations that inspired them, he sheds light on a group that forever expanded the boundaries of art”
Masterworks – 1988-89 – Free With Amazon Prime – Twenty Two seasons of bite-sized sized art documentaries. I love downloading these and watching them during a flight. From Amazon – “Masterworks from the Great Museums of the World is one of the most successful series about art. The original, with improved image quality, takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of art. Comprehensively illustrated and compellingly presented, the 10min short art surveys provide a deeper insight into the masterpieces of painting.”
From Amazon – “Art21 produces features focusing exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists throughout the world, including the Peabody Award-winning biennial series “Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work and watch their process as they transform inspiration into art.”
Art of the Western World Season 1 – Amazon Purchase – 1989 – Although it’s dated, your mind quickly adjusts to the pan and scan format and 80’s sound quality, as you get drawn into excellent summaries of many great works and movements. From Amazon – “Beginning in ancient Greece and Rome, historian Michael Wood leads this eye-opening tour through 2,500 years of Western art. Four years in the making and filmed at over 140 locations in 10 countries, this nine-part documentary travels the globe.”
Masters of Modern Sculpture Part I, II and III – Amazon Purchase – You can stream parts I and III on Amazon video (via purchase) and part II on Vimeo. These documentaries feature minimal narration but a plethora of important sculptures.
Part I features; Rodin, Degas, Rosso, Bourdelle, Maillol, Lehmbruck, Matisse, Picasso, Lipchitz, Laurens, Epstein, Boccioni, Duchamp-Villon, Gonzales, Brancusi.
Part II features; David Smith, Nevelson, David Hare, Lassaw, Roszak, Ferber, Bourgeois, Chamberlain, Di Suvero, Noguchi, Rickey, Barnett Newman, Tony Smith, Segal, Judd, Oldenburg, Morris, Serra, Andre, Kienholz, Christo, Heizer, Robert Smithson
Great Artists with Tim Marlow – Free With Amazon Prime – 2001 From Amazon – “Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art.”
The Impressionists with Tim Marlow – Free With Amazon Prime – 1999 – From Amazon – “The Impressionists and their circle have become the international superstars of Western painting. But whilst their popularity is greater than ever, it is easy to forget the revolutionary nature of the Impressionists’ art. In this series, Tim Marlow takes us on a journey through the great art movement of the late nineteenth-century and explores some of the most beautiful paintings ever created.”
Dali’s Greatest Secret – Free With Amazon Prime – 2017 – From Amazon – “As the great artist Salvador Dali aged, he found himself trapped between the atheistic beliefs of his father and the Catholic faith of his late mother. All changed when he got hired to paint The Vision of Hell, as seen by one child seer in Portugal. NYT Bestseller Paul Perry investigates what lies behind Dali’s greatest secret that was hidden for over 30 years.”
William Dobson: The Lost Genius of Baroque – 2012 – Free with Amazon Prime – From Amazon.com “Hosted by Waldemar Januszczak this film investigates the few known facts about William Dobson and seeks out the personal stories he left behind as it follows him through his tragically short career. Among the Dobson fans interviewed in the film is Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, who agrees wholeheartedly that William Dobson was the first great British painter.”
How the Devil Got His Horns – 2012 – Free with Amazon Prime – A fun story that reveals art portraying the devil as we know it today. From Amazon.com “Where did we get the popular image of Satan, with his goat horns and fiery red skin? In this captivating historical documentary, art historian Alastair Sooke investigates the Devil’s remarkable transformation – from fallen angel to terrifying demon – in medieval art”
Gauguin: The Full Story – Free With Amazon Prime – 2003 – From Amazon – “Gauguin is best known for his gorgeous paintings of Tahiti in which beautiful native girls disport themselves enticingly on perfect South Pacific beaches. But have these celebrated portrayals of an earthly paradise been misunderstood? And has the fame of Gauguin’s Tahiti pictures blinded us to the bigger truth about his achievements?”
The Caravaggio Affair – Free With Amazon Prime – 2015 – An entertaining and unique art documentary on a very talented, yet lesser known artist from history. From Amazon – “By the time Caravaggio died he had changed the face of the art world forever. But the paintings that now fetch millions and adorn the walls of the most prestigious galleries were painted by a murderer with a bounty on his head. In this captivating doc, archaeologists work tirelessly to track down Caravaggio’s long-lost remains, and finally establish the cause of the troubled young genius’ demise.”
Rubens: An Extra Large Story – Free With Amazon Prime – 2015 – From Amazon – “These days, nobody takes Rubens seriously. His vast and grandiose canvases, stuffed with wobbly mounds of female flesh, have little appeal for the modern gym-subscriber. Everything is too big: the epic dramas, the fantastical celestial scenery, the immense canvases. In the eyes of British host Waldemar Januszczak, Rubens has been tragically reduced by modern tastes and completely misunderstood.”
Frida – Amazon Purchase – 2005 – Salma Hayek, who from my understanding is a huge fan of Frida and art history, puts on a great performance. From Amazon – “Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Salma Hayek for Best Actress, Frida is a triumphant motion picture about an exceptional woman who lived an unforgettable life. A product of humble beginnings, Frida Kahlo(Hayek) earns fame as a talented artist with a unique vision. And from her enduring relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera(Alfred Molina).”
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Silent) – Amazon Purchase – 1920 Shockingly creative set design for all-time. From Amazon – “One brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world.”
James McNeill Whistler and the Case for Beauty – Amazon Purchase – 2014 – From PBS – Best known for the groundbreaking portrait of his mother, James McNeill Whistler was the original art star. But beneath the high gloss, the struggle of this genius to find his own voice resulted in a breakaway style that moved painting towards abstraction and would revolutionize the art world in his time-and beyond.
Gerhard Richter Painting (English Subtitled) – Amazon Purchase or Rental – 2012– From Amazon – Legendary German painter Gerhard Richter granted filmmaker Corinna Belz access to his studio in the spring and summer of 2009, where he was working on a series of large abstract paintings. In quiet, highly concentrated images, this documentary provides a fly-on-the-wall perspective of Richter’s extremely personal, tension-filled process of artistic creation.by
I recently discovered an artist who signed his work “R Mann”. Richard Mann 1940(?) to 1990(?) a “Playwright, Poet and Visual artist” according to a biography written about him on AskArt.com. I don’t want to confuse this “R Mann” with “Richard, Rich and/or R Mann” hailing from Southern California. I have questioned his birth and death dates as I’m yet to find an obituary, however, this is what is stated on AskArt.com.
This is a good lesson for any artist; ensure your name is unique. To be fair, these two “Richard Mann” were born around the same time and likely never knew the other existed until the invention of the internet, of which our Richard Mann likely never experienced at all. But if I were a Richard Mann today, I would use and sign my name with my middle initial and/or in a highly unique manner to help prevent confusion.
Influenced by surrealism, abstract expressionism and calligraphy
Richard Mann at some point became a Reverend, worked out of, and lived, in Harlem, New York. An unusual choice given it seems he lived there through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He is said to have been born and raised in Australia and again, according to AskArt.com, “At the height of America’s counter-culture revolution, Mann moved to New York City where he lived and worked in Harlem.” It’s said he was influenced by surrealism, abstract expressionism and calligraphy and was inspired by the social and economic environment of Harlem.
Very little published information on mann
I’ve found zero published articles about his art, and I’m usually quite good at quickly finding something. Granted I haven’t put a lot of time into researching him, at all. I bet, however, this Richard Mann would have a fascinating story to tell.
There are a few mentions of him involved with plays, “The Warwick Play of Everyman”, Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, New York) · Sun, Jun 25, 1972 · Page 15C, and curating an exhibit for Anna Walinska at the Museum of Religious Art of the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New Jersey. See: The Journal News (White Plains, New York) · Sun, Oct 28, 1979 · Page 97
Black Panther Supporter
Mann is also quoted in the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) · Wed, Apr 29, 1970 · Page 2 as a supporter of the Black Panthers. Intriguing, right?
The marchers came from an orderly outdoor rally on Newitt Quadrangle that had an almost picnic atmosphere. Public-address speakers were mounted on a large pop-art sculpture resembling an over-sized lipstick as they exhorted students to protest the Black Panther murder trial. Richard Mann, “People have seen that it is happening here- the Panthers cannot be convicted. We’re going to be out there and organized.”
Interesting, powerful, limited, art
I recommend buying his work as a possible investment. His work is a powerful expression of emotion, talented in its unique execution, and there’s likely a very limited amount of works available. I have provided a detailed example below, as well as additional Pinterest links.
FYI, I have no affiliation with this artist or anyone selling his work. I’ll let the graphics speak to the depth of his talent.
Example painting in detail
Here’s a few images and close ups from a Richard Mann painting entitled “Faces of Christ” from 1987. Not a subject matter I’d usually buy, and, given the title says “faces”, I’m assuming there was a series of these. I’ve only seen this one, and I think it is quite a powerful and symbolic work of art.
The right eye is perhaps the tunnel of light people speak of witnessing during a near death experience. Where-as the left eye is dark, sad, and crying with an obvious, yet abstract, depiction of Christs’ crucifixion, perhaps crying for non-believers.
Mann’s strokes are loaded with texture and deep, rich, mixtures of color. This piece is extremely vibrant and powerful, regardless of your beliefs. Looking at it carefully you begin to see much more than initially meets the eye. From what I have seen available, most of his pieces were quite large, this is on the small size at about 28 x 30 inches.
Addtitionally here’s a few i borrowed from the internet
Apparently I’m mistakanely PERCEIVED AS a Grammy nominated Recording Engineer FOR CarDi B.
The recent Capitol Hill hearings with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook got me thinking about how I was being tracked by the social giants of our world, namely, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (Instagram included).
I began by going through my ad preferences under the –> settings –> Ads section of my profile settings in Facebook. I started deleting companies that had me tagged, and removing interests that I had no idea were there. I can only surmise they got there by Facebook scraping my gmail account and the many advertising related emails I receive. I certainly hadn’t clicked on all these companies ads. I did notice a similarity between companies that email me and those tagged in my FB ads profile.
In the capitol hill hearings Zuckerberg said if we opted-out of these ad preferences, our Facebook experience would get far worse. However, mine has improved greatly! Now I see posts from friends I had almost forgotten about since I’m no longer being bombarded by ads I didn’t care to see in the first place. Try it, you’ll see.
I also noticed the “Your Information” section. I have very little provided there beyond my relationship status saying “Married”. There is also a “Your Categories” tab under that section. When I clicked this I noticed a “Mulitcultural Affinity” section (see graphic). This has me labeled as “African American (US)”. Isn’t that interesting? I’m happy to see I have a multi-cultural affinity.
It got me thinking, why I would I be labeled with this “affinity”? I figured because I have social friends of many ethnicity’s due to my involvement in my business, which is very rewarding and allows me to meet and know people of many ethnic backgrounds all around the world.
But then I decided to “Google” myself. I was quite surprised at the first result in Google. It was a link to my LinkedIn profile, with a picture of someone who isn’t me (see graphic). Google apparently thinks this is what I look like; a handsome young gentlemen with a nice shirt and tie.
The picture is actually that of Michael Ashby, who recorded the highly publicized and popular recording artist Cardi B. Michael and I have had many conversations both on and offline over the past couple of years. I consider us good acquaintances if not friends. My company had also released a press release with this photo of Michael. Did Facebook get my “Multicultural Affinity” from a picture on Google results? Maybe, maybe not, but it does give the perception that Michael is me.
Have Google and Facebook been scraping my data and incorrectly identified me as Michael Ashby?
I guess I’m now a Grammy nominated Recording Engineer for one of the hottest modern recording artists in history, in addition to being the owner of a microphone company.
What is alarming to me in all this is that we are living in an era where computer algorithms are running wild and generating our personas, without our control, and obviously falsely at times. As much as I’d like to turn back time a couple generations and have that young energy again, I’d rather just like to be presented as me, and not someone else.
In the mean time, I look forward to the Grammy’s sending me a trophy when Michael wins. I’ll be sure to forward it on to its real persona when it comes…by
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by My music appreciation goes back a very long way, and I am not exaggerating when I tell people, I appreciate ALL types of music. Sometimes people are shocked when I tell them I was and still am a huge fan of Slayer; I mean their 1986, “Reign in Blood” is the greatest heavy metal record ever made…
However, beyond Garth Brooks “Ropin’ the Wind”, which nearly everyone in the USA heard, I have never delved into Country music. I might have tuned the radio station to a country channel now and then, but that’s about it.
I’m seeking recommendations for must hear classic country records
So, I asked my “social media” friends, knowing some are country fans, many in Nashville in fact, and see what they recommended. My question was “I’m seeking recommendations for must hear classic country records”.
these two have stood out
I purchased all the recommendations and these two have stood out.
Anyone who isn’t hiding under a rock knows the media is getting a bad-rap for stretching the truth. Sometimes there’s some truth to that stretching, even in stories about Artificial Intelligence and theft prevention.
The systems aren’t just being used to prevent potentially fatal offenses. As Mashable points out, petty crimes like jaywalking or stealing toilet paper are also being monitored.
That’s not exactly what Yi Shu Ng of Mashable wrote. Here’s the actual quote I suppose DailyDot.com is referencing. It’s the only time “toilet paper” is mentioned.
China continues to embraced facial recognition technology in its public services. It’s used cameras to ID jaywalkers and watch over university dorms — to even limiting how much toilet paper you can get at a time.
“limiting how much toilet paper you can get”
Calling it a petty crime and stealing is a detour from the original context. If we dig a little deeper, by taking less than 1-second to click a link Yi Shu Ng’s article is referencing, like a good journalist should, we find the original Mashable article is referencing a Mashable video which states
This bathroom uses facial recognition technology to ration toilet paper
There’s no mention of “petty crime or stealing”. It goes to show how quickly the truth can change and the lack of effort in checking and understanding sources.