Art

Art Industry News: NFT Skeptic Bill Gates Will NOT Be Buying Any ‘Expensive Digital Images of Monkeys,’ Thanks Very Much + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Thursday, June 16.

NEED-TO-READ

Ada Calhoun on Being the Daughter of an Art Critic –The brilliant eye and dazzling wit that makes my art critic father, Peter Schjeldahl, beloved by his readers often comes across in person as, frankly, sort of mean,” writes Ada Calhoun, a journalist who writes under her middle name to avoid being compared with her New Yorker critic father. “In public, he is an enthusiast. In private, he is mercurial and unreliable, and prefers smoking cigarettes in his office to playing with his grandchildren.” Calhoun chronicles their complex relationship in her new book, Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me. She didn’t think Schjeldahl, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer three years ago, would live to read it. Turns out, he did, and he thought it was great. (New York Times)

Peter Max’s Daughter Files New Lawsuit Over Guardianship – The ongoing battle over the care of aging pop artist Peter Max, who has dementia, took a new turn this week. His daughter, Libra, has filed a new suit alleging that the artist’s current court-appointed guardian has inflicted severe emotional distress on her by withholding information about her father’s health and isolating him from friends and family. The artist’s court-appointed guardian, Barbara Lissner, claims Libra is co-opting the “Free Britney” movement for her own aims. (Rolling Stone)

Bill Gates Hates NFTs – The Microsoft co-founder came out swinging against NFTs at a TechCrunch talk on Tuesday, describing the craze for digital collectables as “100 percent based on greater fool theory.” Describing the whole industry as, essentially, an elaborate way to avoid taxes, he had particularly harsh words for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. “Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” he said with a laugh. “You know, I think that’s incredible.” (ARTnews)

Dan Colen Is Moving Into Do-Gooder High Fashion – The bad boy artist turned upstate New York farmer has reinvented himself yet again, now as a high-fashion designer. Sky High Farm’s nascent apparel company, which funnels its proceeds directly into the nonprofit farm, is collaborating with the likes of Comme des Garçons, Balenciaga, and Denim Tears. Current offerings include a $746 recycled cashmere cardigan and a $536 work jacket. (Wall Street Journal)

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Han Bing Joins Thaddaeus Ropac – The Chinese-born, Paris-based artist is joining Thaddaeus Ropac, which will represent her in Europe and Korea. She is still represented by Antenna Space in China and Night Gallery in the US Bing’s work hovers between abstraction and figuration, and the artist is particularly drawn to the “glitches” that occur in cities, like when an advertisement is torn from a wall. (Press release)

Sotheby’s Expands in Monaco – The auction house is making its Monaco pop-up gallery, which launched last summer, into a permanent private-sales space. It will be led by Louise Gréther, the newly appointed director of Sotheby’s Monaco. The gallery is part of Sotheby’s ongoing expansion of private sales hubs, with recent openings in Aspen, Palm Beach, and East Hampton. (Press release)

Artist and Activist Hunter Reynolds Dies at 62 – The artist, whose haunting and poignant work centered on the AIDS crisis and the damage it wrought on generations, died at his East Village home, his gallery PPOW confirmed. Reynolds’s art took various forms including performance, photography, and large-scale installations, and he was widely known by his drag persona Patina du Prey, an alter ego he created the year he learned he was HIV positive. An active member of ACT UP, he remained a vibrant and tenacious activist until his death. (ARTnews)

Nontsikelelo Mutiti Joins Yale School of Art Faculty – The Zimbabwean designer, artist, and educator has been appointed director of graduate studies in graphic design at the top art school. Mutiti will take up the post in August; she succeeds professor Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, who led the department for 32 years. (Contemporary&)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Welsh Parliament Unveils Portrait of Terry Higgins Nearly 40 years after his death at age 37, Terry Higgins, the first person in the United Kingdom confirmed to have died from an AIDS-related illness, has been honored with a portrait that will hang in the Senedd. The work by Cardiff artist Nathan Wyburn is made from heart-shaped stamps in the Welsh colors of red and green. The government has opened a 12-week public consultation on proposals for a plan to end new HIV cases by 2030. (Independent)

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