I haven’t posted much (actually none at all) on the Barnes Foundation move mainly because of the overwhelming response to this spectacle by other bloggers and writers. However, if you’re still unsure of what exactly is going on in Pennsylvania (and I’m not just talking about art here), the LA Times’ Christopher Knight congratulates the Weekly Standard’s art critic, Lance Esplund, for what Knight calls a “splendid service” to readers for informing them on the tragedy of the Barnes move. Knight zeroes in on “Pennsylvania blockheads” specifically because, as he sees it, the move hinges on the tourist-trap misconception that crowds equal in-depth appreciation. Tough to argue with that conclusion.
Fordham Law School is launching the Fashion Law Institute, “the world’s first fashion law center, for fall 2010. The Institute will provide legal services for design students and designers, train the fashion lawyers and designers of the future, and offer information and assistance on issues facing the fashion industry. It was created with the generous support and advice of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and its President Diane von Furstenberg.” The institute is spearheaded by Susan Scafidi. There’s been a resent upsurge in law and fashion activity. For those interested in getting in on the action, check out Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts‘ fashion law classes, led by Elena M. Paul, on starting a fashion business, as well as on the ethical and legal issues in fashion.
Last but not least, Amy Landers, of the PrafsBlawg, comments on the legal differences between France and the U.S. when it comes to piracy of fashion products.
May 23rd, 2010 by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento in Criminal
Back from a nice week-long vacation. The good thing? Distance from daily news. The bad news? Distance from daily news.
Most of you have probably heard, but for archive reasons here it is. The BBC reported this past Thursday that five paintings by Picasso, Matisse and other great artists, estimated to be worth $123 million (100m euros) have been stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. They were taken overnight on Wednesday the 19th and reported missing early on Thursday, May 20th. The NY Times reported on Friday that the mayor of Paris has demanded an internal investigation to probe weaknesses in the city’s security system that malfunctioned during the break-in.
Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part V
Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster has done more for art, culture, and law than simply bringing together the froth of disenfranchised young voters. In fact, Fairey’s “Hope” poster campaign has reminded us (similar to Koons) of the ongoing implicit prejudice by artists and art educators against certain types of creative individuals: in Fairey and Koons’ case, journalism and commercial photographers. This is more appalling if one realizes that this prejudice toward other traditionally non-art practices has been, in theory, subverted and critiqued by critical theorists and their progeny in both art schools and art institutions. Why is the photographer who took Obama’s picture less of an artist than Shepard Fairey, and why is Art Rogers, the photographer who took the picture of couple holding nine puppies, less of an artist than Jeff Koons. If art historians, art critics, and art professors are unwilling—perhaps for hypocritical reasons—to speak out about these issues then yes, we do, and we must, rely on the discourse and practice of law to do so.
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Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part IV
The problem isn’t just a question of technique or form (brevity, resourcefulness, practicality, and precision), it is also about perspective and substance. In A Matter of Interpretation, Justice Scalia blames law schools for erroneously teaching that the U.S. Constitution is to be interpreted loosely and freely by judges at the expense of our legislative body.
Similarly, we can say that the blame for the staid and rotten methods of art interpretation and art criticism should be placed on our art schools and university art departments. As David Mamet and Michael Kinsley ask, why is everything always filtered through politics and why is everything always thought to be wrong or fucked up? Is the perpetuation of critical theory in educational and art institutions merely a ploy of tenure-track individuals to maintain their tenure-track careers? Is critical theory another excuse to publish the book PhD candidates have been working on for years for the simple joy of having it read by 100 other tenure-track individuals?
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Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part III
II. How Legal Writing and Interpretations Can Breathe Life Into Art Criticism
So, how to be a better writer? In order to proceed, I will break this section into the formal and the substantive. In his book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, Justice Antonin Scalia, of the U.S. Supreme Court, educates litigators on how to successfully write for and argue in-front of judges. Although Justice Scalia writes in order to educate a litigator in the art of persuading judges, his book contains many fine points that will help any writer polish the written word as well as oral argumentation. Justice Scalia’s ten main points necessary for clear, direct, engaging and economical writing can be essentialized as such:
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Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part II
Mamet continues to make insightful and on-point comparisons between John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush, and by foresight, a comparison of W. Bush and Obama (“Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson.”) Mamet questions his “hatred” for corporations, “the hatred of which, I found, was but a flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.” (This, incidentally, reminds me of the knee-jerk reactions on my Facebook page over the recent Supreme Court decision granting corporations free speech rights. The irony is not missed: people complaining about this “apocalyptic” decision as they type on Apple computers, Blackberrys, via Facebook while using web servers maintained by Microsoft.) Read the rest of this entry »