Saturday, January 19, 2019

Offshore art purchaser to pay NY State $10.75 million

as settlement “for tax fraud in connection with over $50 million of artwork and other goods purchased in New York from prominent art institutions. The settlement is the latest in the Attorney General’s continuing investigation into the abuse of resale certificates in the purchase and sale of artwork.”

“Wealthy art collectors are not above the law,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Just like any other consumers buying items for personal use, art collectors must pay sales and use tax when making a purchase. They cannot skirt the rules and make law-abiding New York taxpayers foot the bill.”

The purchaser was offshore art purchaser Porsal Equities Ltd.

More here.


Is purchasing a Tino Sehgal artwork really that radical?


Despite its lack of physical existence outside of the moment of actual enactment, Sehgal does sell his art — and often for quite a lot of money. His situations, or rather, the right to stage them, can be bought in editions, generally for five-figure sums, and can only be purchased by oral contract at mandatory in-person meetings between representatives from his New York City gallery, Marian Goodman, a notary and the prospective buyer; Sehgal or members of his studio are also usually present. No paper contracts, bills of sale or certificates of authenticity are exchanged.

Do these art work purchases function by trust, or, as many lawyers know, by figuring out other ways to document the transaction. For example, is the NY Times article one document memorializing the transaction?

Here’s the NY Times article on Tino Sehgal’s and the process for acquiring one of his art works.


College gallery closes exhibition after complaints about use of U.S. flag

Daniel Bejar's Rec-elections (False Flag), an 8- by 12-foot American flag based on Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 re-election campaign banner

Daniel Bejar’s Rec-elections (False Flag), an 8- by 12-foot American flag based on Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 re-election campaign banner

Westchester Community College’s Fine Art Gallery is closing a solo exhibition by Daniel Bejar today, a week earlier than scheduled, after it received complaints from veterans groups about a work in which the artist rearranged the stars on the American Flag to read “fake”. Bejar sees the early closure as a case of institutional censorship, but after discussing it with the gallery’s director, he complied with the decision to take down the exhibition.

I’m quoted in this Art Newspaper article.


Satan sues for copyright infringement


The Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Warner Bros. and Netflix, alleging copyright violation of its goat-headed statue, which appears in the new “Sabrina” series.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Temple, opines here.

If the lord of the underworld finds no subversion in copyright infringement, then you know things are getting pretty grim for content lifters.

More here.


After uproar, Washington, DC grant-making commission backtracks

 This past Monday, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities circulated a contract amendment to the recipients of its artist fellowships that placed content restrictions on grantee’s artworks. The amendment reads as follows:
The Parties hereby revise Section 5 of the Original Agreement by adding, as that section’s second paragraph, the following language: “Grantee warrants that neither Grantee’s performance under this FY19 | CAH Grant Agreement Amendment Page 2 of 3 Agreement nor any tangible manifestation of Grantee’s performance under this Agreement is lewd, lascivious, vulgar, overtly political, excessively violent, constitutes sexual harassment, or is, in any other way, illegal. The interpretation of what is “lewd, lascivious, vulgar, overtly political, and/or excessively violent” shall be at the sole discretion of CAH. In the event that Grantee’s Grant-related work product and/or performance under this Agreement is deemed to be lewd, vulgar, overtly political, and/or excessively violent, CAH reserves the right to terminate this Agreement (see “Termination” policies referenced below). These warranties survive indefinitely.”
I was notified of this and before I could get involved, yesterday Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office rescinded the amendment.
More here.

Jeff Koons ordered to pay copyright holder big money


Franck Davidovici’s “Fait d’Hiver” ad campaign for Naf Naf (1985).

A French judge has found Jeff Koons guilty in his four-year-long legal battle with the creator of a surreal 1980s ad campaign for a clothing brand who claims the American artist stole his work.

More here.


Kerry James Marshall not making any more public art because cities just want the money

“It just seemed like a way of exploiting the work of artists in the city for short-term gain in a really short sighted kind of way,” Marshall told the Chicago Tribune. “And so I made a decision at that time I would never do another public work.”

More here.


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