It’s been a wild and crazy week in the creative community, and art business owners should take note: there are a few lessons to be learned from the current events in arts this week. The news of another settlement related to the infamous Knoedler gallery scandal raised some eyebrows, the art world mourns the loss of a Polish-American abstract painter, luxury fashion brand Balmain has named a new CEO, and a few more juicy tidbits will give you plenty to chew on over the weekend.
Wrongdoings May Affect Some Art Business Titans
Galleries, comic book kings, and contemporary artists face the music.
Another Knoedler Gallery Lawsuit Settled
The news item everyone is talking about this week is the latest settlement in the Knoedler gallery saga. A suspected perpetrator of the fraud, self-proclaimed art expert Oliver Wick, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the remaining Knoedler Gallery suit. This particular lawsuit, brought by casino magnate Frank J. Fertitta III, was settled for an undisclosed amount – but Fertitta reportedly paid $7.2 million for a fake Rothko. Art collectors and artists, take note: provenance and authentication are becoming increasingly important in this global arts community. Read our thoughts on how you can learn to spot a fake. Via The New York Times
Marvel Comics: Keep Politics Out of The Workplace
Marvel Comics took a stand against religious intolerance this week, highlighting the importance of keeping your politics to yourself while on the job. A Muslim comic artist of Indonesian descent snuck religiously intolerant references onto the pages of X-Men Gold, the reboot of one of Marvel’s biggest properties. According to Marvel, the freelance artist will be disciplined though they failed to specify exactly how such action would take place. Marvel received intense backlash from its Indonesian fanbase and promised to remove the offending artwork from the comic book’s pages. Via The New York Times
Damien Hirst Under Fire for Animal Cruelty
One of the world’s most prolific contemporary artists is making headlines again for the nature of his work. According to this Artnet article, Damien Hirst has used almost a million dead animals to make his high-priced artwork. Over the years, animal rights groups have regularly inveighed against the artist, and with Artnet’s own tally, we’re confident that the artist will only continue to face the music. Via Artnet
Lawsuits Over Copyright Infringement and Visual Artists Rights Act Claims
From Andy Warhol to the Wall Street bull, these artists aren’t having the best week.
A Copyright Infringement Dispute Brews Between Two Icons
Photographer Lynn Goldsmith won’t take this lying down. Goldsmith claims that the Warhol estate is liable for copyright infringement because he used the photo she took of the late pop star Prince to make a screenprint of the famed musician. Though the Foundation sued Goldsmith and accused her of attempting to shake-down the foundation for a hefty payout, the artist refuses to be backed into a corner. She’s shot back with her own version of events, though some wonder what took her so long to realize her image had been bogarted by America’s most infamous pop artist. Plenty of examples of copyright infringement suits among artists highlights their trickiness –read our take on one particularly troubling one. Via Artnet
Fierce Feminist Icon Tames the Bull
The artist behind the ‘Charging Bull’ sculpture on Wall Street appears to be a little intimidated by his new companion. Kristen Visbal‘s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue, which was installed on Wall Street last month, stands directly in front of Arturo di Modica‘s iconic sculpture – and according to the artist, the Fearless Girl completely alters the context and meaning behind his work. As it turns out, he may have a case – the artist is claiming the installation of the statue violates his rights under the Visual Rights Artists Act. Read our take on VARA rights and find out why the law may send this fearless girl slinking quietly away. Via The Guardian
Changing Tides for Artists and Fashion Labels
The art world mourns, the art world makes moves.
Julian Stanczak Dies at 88
A Polish-born American abstract painter who survived a Soviet labor camp during WWII and was a leading figure of Op Art movement died on March 25 at his home in Ohio after a short illness. A pioneer of the Op art movement, Julian Stanczak’s fluid, Technicolor abstractions made quite a stir in the 1960s. The 88-year-old artist was born in Borownica, Poland, in 1928. Joining the Polish exile army in the 1940s, Stanczak learned to channel his trauma through painting. The artist moved to Cleveland in the 1950s, where he lived and worked for the majority of his life. Via The New York Times
Growth is on the Agenda for Balmain’s New CEO
Known for its dramatic beading and over-the-top aesthetic, Balmain on Monday named Massimo Piombini as the luxury fashion house’s new CEO. Tasked with drawing a new customer base to the brand, Piombini was previously a board member at Balmain. He’ll transition into this role just as Creative Director Oliver Rousteing introduces a new fall accessories line, already a favorite among loyal fans of the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West variety. Piombini says the brand is poised for skyrocketing revenue this year. Via WWD
Google Makes Creating Stock Art Simple
All those doodles you’ve scribbled on cocktail napkins may have a new purpose in your art business thanks to Google. The internet giant has launched a new app that allows users create clean and simple images quickly by transforming their doodles into professional artwork. Google says its new AutoDraw app is “a web-based tool that pairs machine learning with drawings created by talented artists to help you draw,” developed because “drawing on your phone or computer can be slow and difficult.” Artistry is hard? Tell us something we don’t know. Via Artnet
Curated by Wendy Pham
What do you think about the week’s art news?