Thursday, June 21, 2018

Immendorf: Copied, Faked, or Authorized

It has been left to a court in Germany to decide whether or not a work apparently by Jörg Immendorff–but probably signed by the artist–is or is not a fake. But to define “fake art”, we have to first define “art”. Of course the word was invented well before Duchamp opened Pandora’s Box. Before, that is, he decreed that the term included found objects, that art need involve only the artist’s choice, not his hand–that the idea is the art. Now that can be true if the idea is profound enough, or the object beautiful enough. But again it might just not be art even if the artist says it is.

More from The Art Newspaper here.


Fake Bomb Expels Student

Art student Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson, of the [Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD)], has been given a conditional discharge and placed on probation for planting an object resembling a bomb outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto….Jonsson said he wanted people to think about where art is placed and how that changes their view of it. He described it as a conceptual art piece, using plastic, wood and glass and a video.

Jonsson’s art project “triggered the evacuation of the building and caused the cancellation of a major fundraiser for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research scheduled for that evening.”

More from the CBC.


Maid A Suspect in Art Theft

LA Police have put out a world-wide bulletin regarding the theft of a dozen valuable artworks, and are offering $200,000 for information about the theft.

From the Washington Post:

A dozen valuable paintings including works by Marc Chagall, Diego Rivera and Emil Nolde were stolen from the home of an elderly couple, and police issued an international alert to recover them. A $200,000 reward was offered Tuesday for help in recovering the artwork, stolen Aug. 23 from a home in the San Fernando Valley. …Detectives have interviewed the maid, who has worked for the couple several years, and several other domestic helpers. No arrests have been made.

LA Detective Donald Hrycyk said “the thief or thieves will likely find the artworks difficult to sell as they have all been reported stolen in New York’s Art Loss Register, as well as FBI and Interpol stolen art files.”


Koons Exhibition Faces ‘Catholic Monarchist’ Opposition

With Jeff Koons’ Château de Versailles show set to open tomorrow, the French are complaining that the Koons paraphernalia will “cheapen” Versailles: a Disneyification of it if you will. There are also allegation that the exhibition poses a conflict of interest:

Rightwingers wrote to the culture minister, protesting that the “sacred” site of Versailles would be cheapened. Then the French media questioned whether the exhibition at a palace that symbolises the French revolution would benefit a billionaire French collector.

François Pinault, whose business empire includes Gucci and the Christie’s auction house, is one of the most influential private collectors in the modern art world. Alongside several other private collectors, he is a key patron of the Koons exhibition, lending six of the 17 works on show, including the giant outdoor flower sculpture Split Rocker.

Le Monde warned of a “possible conflict of interest”, saying that Koons’s first French exhibition would see the value of the works soar, benefiting their private owners. It pointed out that the chairman of the Château de Versailles, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, used to run Pinault’s private art foundation in Venice.

According to The Guardian, “yesterday, the leftwing paper Libération dismissed the conservative protesters as marginal ‘Catholic monarchists’.”

More on this from The Guardian.


Christ With Erection Elicits Lawsuit

koh.jpgSeems like the religious right is on the prowl again: first going after frogs and now, after a sexually aroused messiah (no, not Obama).

Lawyers for Emily Mapfuwa, a Christian who was offended by a Terence Koh sculpture of Christ with an erection, initiated a private prosecution against the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art for “outraging public decency and causing harassment, alarm and distress to the public.” Ms. Mapfuwa argues the Baltic would not have dared depict the prophet Muhammad in such a way.

After complaining to the Northumbria police and geting nowhere, Mapfuwa approached the “Christian Legal Centre – an organisation that aims to ‘promote and protect the biblical freedoms of Christian believers in the United Kingdom’ – agreed to pay her legal costs. The CLC also funded the case brought by Stephen Green against the BBC over Jerry Springer – The Opera. A CLC spokesman said Mapfuwa believed in freedom of expression, but ‘this statue served no other purpose than to offend Christians and to denigrate Christ’.

More from The Guardian here.


Man Sentenced For Painting Swastikas

This story can be found all over the place, but we bring it to you via The Miami Herald. Good thing he dropped a dime on himself!

A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to 11 months in jail for spray-painting swastikas on several Brooklyn buildings. … Prosecutors say he painted the Nazi symbol on 11 buildings, then called 911 to anonymously report the crimes.


Death Row Inmate’s Body Will Be Art

After a two week vacation in sunny Cali, Clancco correspondent Heather Loring reports:

Gene Hathorn, a convict on death row in Texas, has agreed to give his body to the Danish-based artist Marco Evaristti, should his final appeal against execution fail. Evaristti plans to turn Hathorn’s body into a work of art. “My aim is to first deep freeze Gene’s body and then make fish food out of it. Visitors to my exhibition will be able to feed goldfish with it[.]”

In the last year Evaristti has visited Hathorn several times at his prison in Livingston, Texas. “I wanted to raise awareness of the fact that there are people killed legally in our Western civilisation,” said the artist. “A lawyer put me in contact with Hathorn and after a few meetings I suggested that I use his body and he [said he] wished that I would.” He does not think that his plan is cynical or unethical. “The real problem is legally killing people,” he said.

More from The Art Newspaper.


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