Saturday, November 28, 2015

Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part I

The following essay was originally titled Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and the Space of Writing, and written for the 2010 CAA Conference in Chicago, Ill. I am now making it available in its entirety, and will appear in five parts, beginning today. The five part series will continue tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday, and conclude on Friday. Enjoy.

Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part I

Art criticism, as it stands, is devoid of any substance and content. As if that isn’t enough, art criticism suffers from a lack of relevance, freshness and, most importantly, timeliness. But it is art criticism’s own arrogant ignorance of law which has led it to its own demise, for the practice and theory of law has affected, and continues to affect, the production and reception of art.

This past January, The Atlantic‘s Michael Kinsley wrote about why people are turning from newsprint media to the internet. In his article, “Cut This Story!,” Kinsley particularly bashed the New York Times, and although his criticism was aimed at newspapers in general, his thoughts are apropos to this panel. In a nutshell, Kinsley’s sharp critique confronts not only the fact that newspapers like the New York Times are politically biased, but also that this political bias is but one factor in making news articles lengthy and wordy—needlessly so. Kinsley points out that the other factor in making print publications near-obsolete is the fact that writers and journalists speak at length about everything but the actual story; newspaper articles are too long, yet internet news articles get to the point.

Read the rest of this entry »


Collector Sues Collector for Failing to Keep a Secret

Marguerite Hoffman, a prominent Dallas art collector, filed suit this week against Mexican financier David Martinez for failing to keep her 2007 sale of a star Mark Rothko painting a secret. The suit stems from the painting’s public sale tonight at Sotheby’s, estimated to fetch as much as $25 million. Three years ago, after her 59-year-old husband’s death, Hoffman sold the painting to an undisclosed buyer, with the proviso that the details of the sale remain a secret, according to her lawsuit, filed in a Dallas, Texas, district court. Via Bloomberg News.


‘The Hurt Locker’ Producers Launch Lawsuits Against Pirates


Alleging lost profits, “The Hurt Locker” producers Voltage Pictures have declared war on piracy and are planning to sue thousands of people who illegally downloaded the Academy Award-winning picture on the popular file-sharing site BitTorrent. Voltage Pictures is represented by the U.S. Copyright Group, which already has filed lawsuits against people who have downloaded copies of about 10 other films. Via Daily Finance.


FBI Arrests Art Dealer

FBI agents investigating a long-running art theft ring have arrested Kurt Lidtke, a Seattle art dealer, convicted in a different theft three years ago. The move coincided with the arrests of Jerry and Georgia Christy, of Granite Falls, Wash., who were arrested at their home and were expected in U.S. District Court at Seattle later in the day. The three allegedly conspired to steal art from Seattle-area homes.

Via Seattle PI.


Graffiti Artist Criticized for Defacing Khmer Rouge Genocide Prison

Fabrizio Cammisecra, an Italian graffiti artist, has been sharply criticized for spray-painting walls at the notorious Khmer Rouge execution center, otherwise known as Tuol Sleng, or S-21, where thousands of victims of the Khmer Rouge were tortured and executed between 1975 and 1979. Via Earth Times.


Poster Boy Gets Eleven Months at Rikers

Doesn’t seem like a joke. Posterboy, aka Henry Matyjewicz, was sentenced to 11 months in jail by a Brooklyn judge this morning. Matyjewicz was taken into custody immediately and sent to Rikers Island. Originally expected to get 3 years probation, his no-show in court on May 6th seemed to upset the judge and garner Posterboy eleven months hard time. Ouch! Via Animal.


Photography, Copyright, Plagiarism, and the Internet

Jörg M. Colberg, editor and founder of the photo blog, Conscientious, has some thought on plagiarism and copyright vis-a-vis photography.

We have recently witnessed a steep increase in the number of cases of (presumed) plagiarism. I don’t think the issue will go away; but I also do think that we need to think about plagiarism itself – what it means and how we can approach it. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the subject matter, and I just summarized my current thinking in a longer article entitled Photography, Copyright, Plagiarism, and the Internet. While I’m sure that I overlooked some aspects, I’m hoping to advance the debate a bit by suggesting a set of four criteria that all have to be met in a case of plagiarism.


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