Mike Tyson Tattoo Artist Settles Bout With "Hangover" Sequel, Arts Philanthropy Rebounded to $13.3 Billion in 2010, and More Must-Read Art News

Mike Tyson Tattoo Artist Settles Bout With "Hangover" Sequel, Arts Philanthropy Rebounded to $13.3 Billion in 2010, and More Must-Read Art News

Sounds Like a Knockout: Missouri tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill has settled a lawsuit against Warner Brothersafter complaining that the movie studio had not secured his permission to reproduce, in "Hangover Part II,"  the tribal-inspired tattoo he created for boxer Mike Tyson's face. The tattoo plays a prominent supporting role in the film on Ed Helms's visage, and comments from Judge Catherine Perrysuggest that Whitmill may have received a nice chunk of the film's $230million-plus gross to date in the undisclosed settlement. Calling Warner Brothers' defense "just silly," she said "of course tattoos can be copyrighted. I don't think there is any reasonable dispute about that." [NYT]

Arts Philanthropy Inches Back Up:According to the Giving USA Foundation's annual report, last year saw an uptick in charitable giving to the arts, which dropped by a precipitous 8.2 percent over 2008 and 2009. Now that the recession is lifting somewhat, giving has gone up by about 5.7 percent — an increase that has far outpaced the rebound of general philanthropy. [LAT]


Taking Art to the Streets in Yemen: In protest of the 33-year of rule of Yemen's President Saleh, artists have begun exhibiting their work in the street as part of a peaceful protest in the square outside Sanaa University."Art has really taken a central role in the square, especially since the revolution has taken over three months," says activist Atiaf Alwazir. [BBC

XXX Jesus Reborn as Regular Jesus: Artist Enrique Chagoyahas donated a painting of Jesus holding a banner that reads "love" to aColorado church after his work "The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals" was destroyed earlier this year by crowbar-wielding Montana trucker Kathleen Folden. The lithograph, which was on display in alocal museum, scandalized Folden with what appeared to be an image of Jesus engaging in a sex act. Church pastor Jonathan Wiggins apparentlysympathized with Chagoya's message and the two developed a friendship that resulted in the donation of the newer and decidedly less raunchy Jesus painting. [Coloradoan]

Record Attendance at Art Basel:The Swiss art fair drew 65,000 people this year, organizers say, makingit the biggest popular success it its history as well as a booming hotbed of commerce. [Swissinfo]

Remember Sister Wendy? These Nuns Blow Her Away:Nuns at the Gradac monastery on the slopes of Serbia's Golija mountain have created an enclave of private worship and icon painting. Mother Superior Efimija came to the monastery after graduating from the Academyof Fine Arts in Belgrade and has since then drawn in many more sister/painters. The creatively minded orthodox nuns are in demand and have traveled as far as Croatia to paint church walls. [AFP

Gormley Considers Sculpture Redux: Sculptor Anthony Gormley is forming plans to reinstate his "Sculpture for Derry Walls" in Londonderry's Fountain Estate.The work was destroyed by a group of Protestant protesters over 20 years ago during "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. The replacement ofthe sculpture would coincide with Londonderry's stint as UK City of Culture 2013. [BBC]

Leopold Pays for Nazi-looted Art:The Vienna Museum has paid heirs of victims of Nazi looting to keep two Anton Romako paintings that were taken from Auschwitz survivor Moriz Eisler in 1939. Rudolf Leopold,after whom the museum was named, claimed until his death that the museum was a private foundation and therefore not subject to restitutionlaws. Since his father's death, however, Diethard Leopold has promised to settle any claims of Nazi-taken art owned by the museum.[SF Gate]

In Other Restitution News:The descendant of a Jewish banker who was persecuted by the Nazis has been denied the return of an Oskar Kokoschka painting that currently hangs in the Museum of Fine Artin Ghent. The panel decided against returning the work because, "It cannot be established that we are dealing with a forced sale." [Bloomberg]

Are Art Prizes Ruining Art?: Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones considersthe recent proliferation of art awards and how they are shaping our reception of artwork. While he claims to be worried about the popularityof prizes, Jones might just be worried about his own job, since, after all, "juries are replacing critics, and they exert influence in a far more questionable way." [Guardian]

Medieval Badge Found With Metal Detector: A retired logistics expert in Lancashire found a medieval silver badge with his metal detector. The artifact will be displayed this week in a British Museumexhibition of shrines made for the relics of saints and martyrs. The badge is extremely rare and the first of its kind to be found in Britain. [Guardian]

Video Profile of Mark Bradford: Following the opening of his solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago last month, watch Dateline Australia's profile of artist Mark Bradford, during which the artist discusses his unique aesthetic and the influence of south-central L.A. on his work. [SBS]

Opie's Art to Heal Ohio: Photographer Catherine Opie has been commissioned by the Cleveland Clinic to create a site-specific permanent installation at Hillcrest Hospital.The 22 photographs will depict Lake Erie during the four seasons and are meant to "contribute to cultivating a soothing environment at Hillcrest Hospital that promotes health and wellness for its patients, families and caregivers." [Press Release]

RIP Former Whitney Director Thomas N. Armstrong: A galvanizing and controversial figure, Armstrong was responsible for such landmark acquisitions as the $1 million purchase of Jasper Johns's "Three Flags" in 1980 — then the highest sum ever paid for a work by a living artist —and Calder's "Circus," which today occupies a dedicated gallery at the museum. He was 78. The director, who started in 1974, was eventually run out of themuseum on a rail in 1985… for suggesting a 10-story expansion that irked the arch-conservative Upper East Side neighborhood groups and would have put the fate of the Marcel Breuer building in question. (Perhaps he savored watching as the Whitneybroke ground on the new downtown site.) [NYT]