Monday, January 23, 2017

Shepard Fairey Condones Destruction of Art

Shepard Fairey, the so-called “street artist,” has told the LA Times that he condones the recent destruction of the mural at LA MoCA.

“The situation is unfortunate but I understand MOCA’s decision,” Fairey told the LA Times.

Fairey, the same artist that deemed it unnecessary to contact The Associated Press and ask for a license to use their image of Barack Obama but allegedly found it proper to destroy and fabricate evidence, believes that this unfortunate situation could have been “avoided altogether with better communication[.]“

Isn’t this what curators do, communicate with artists regarding their proposals, sketches, models, and installations for upcoming shows, especially when they are of this magnitude and expense to the public? Have they stopped teaching this in curatorial schools?

Apparently Fairey, the same artist that wails the censorship war-cry over his recent litigation with The Associated Press while simultaneously threatening other artists who use his own appropriated works, believes that museums are entitled to censor an artist’s work because — showing a lucid show of intellect he tells us– museum shows are not the same as street art.

“This is a complex situation that could have been avoided altogether with better communication,” Shepard Fairey told the LA Times in an e-mailed statement. “I’m not a fan of censorship but that is why I, and many of the other artists of the show, chose to engage in street art for its democracy and lack of bureaucracy. … However, a museum is a different context with different concerns.”

And what concerns are those? It’s more than ironic that at the same time that The Warhol Foundation aggressively threatens The National Portrait Gallery for its withdrawal of David Wojnarowicz’s video, not much of a burp is made at Jeffrey Deitch’s outright destruction of an artist’s painting.

(A) Politics (B) Selective activism (C) Hypocrisy (D) All of the above

All is not lost. At least one street-artist is seriously concerned about MoCA’s and Deitch’s actions.

“This is making me worried that maybe they don’t know how to manage a show. This is the last thing I would have expected for them to do[,]” Alex Poli Jr. told the LA Times.

Via The LA Times.


Banksy Bankrolls Russian Radicals

Banksy is to donate over $125,000 (£80,000) to the controversial Russian art collective, Voina, two of whose members are in prison awaiting trial on charges of hooliganism. The proceeds will come from a print sale to take place tomorrow.

Voina is notorious for radical actions such as staging an orgy in a Moscow museum, painting a huge phallus on a bridge in St Petersburg, and throwing cats at McDonald’s employees to alleviate their boredom.

Via The Guardian.


Warhol Foundation Threatens to End Smithsonian Funding

Regarding the recent National Portrait Gallery fiasco over their removal of David Wojnarowicz’s video, the Warhol Foundation has taken an aggressive stance and threatened the Smithsonian with zero future funding if the NPG does not restore Wojnarowicz’s video.

The Warhol Foundation is proud to have been a lead supporter of Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, but we strongly condemn the decision to remove David Wojnarowicz’s video A Fire in My Belly from the exhibition. Such blatant censorship is unconscionable. It is inimical to everything the Smithsonian Institution should stand for, and everything the Andy Warhol Foundation does stand for.

After careful consideration, the Board voted unanimously to demand that you restore the censored work immediately, or the Warhol Foundation will cease funding future exhibitions at all Smithsonian institutions.

You can read the Warhol Foundation’s letter here. What do you  make of this move by the Warhol Foundation? Aggressive? Timely? And more importantly, will it set new funding standards?


LA MoCA Destroys Artwork?

A Clancco reader just sent me an e-mail asking why we hadn’t covered last week’s controversial move by LA MoCA to “remove” a mural painted by street artist, BLU.

Well, we hadn’t heard about it. Post-Miami has been crazy, but no excuse, which leads me to wonder why no major news source has picked it up (if you know of one, please let me know).

So what’s the story? According to LA Downtown News,

The paint was hardly dry on the mural, which covered the entire north-facing wall of MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary with depictions of wooden caskets draped in dollar bills, when the museum literally whitewashed the piece.

Why the change of mind? It doesn’t seem like anyone actually complained. Did LA MoCA have second thoughts? Or is this a publicity stunt?

Regardless, I’d like to see what the written agreement between LA MoCA and the participating artists looks like. In particular, I’d look to see if the artists waived their state and federal moral rights. As LA Downtown News reminds us,

The move may remind Downtowners of the 2006 whitewashing of Kent Twitchell’s “Ed Ruscha Monument.” The destruction of the massive work on the side of a building at 1051 S. Hill St. prompted nearly two years of legal battles that culminated when the artist was awarded $1.1 million.

If any participating artist has the agreement, please forward it to me at A slide-show of the whitewashing can be viewed here.


Frenchman Alleges The Met Improperly Acquired a Cézanne

A lawsuit filed by Frenchman Pierre Konowaloff in a Manhattan federal court on December 7 alleges that he is the rightful owner of an 1891 Cézanne painting included in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The plaintiff claims that the work, Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory, was stolen from his great-grandfather. The Met said in a statement Wednesday that its ownership of the painting is secure.

Via The Wall Street Journal.


Slippery Slopes

As luck would have it (or call me maladjusted), I was reading a bit on slippery slopes yesterday, specifically Eugene Volokh’s “The Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope,” and lo and behold this morning I wake to Mud coffee and Donn Zaretsky’s take on the latest anti-deaccessioning war-cry.

In a nutshell, Zaretsky argues that the slippery slope catastrophe can be avoided by simply “plow[ing] the roads now and then.” I say we use Duchamp’s In Advance of the Broken Arm.


Stolen Cézanne?

So claims a Frenchman.


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