Sommelier Picasso Thief Pleads Not Guilty, Ties Between Wildestein and Strauss-Kahn Emerge, and More Must-Read Art News

Sommelier Picasso Thief Pleads Not Guilty, Ties Between Wildestein and Strauss-Kahn Emerge, and More Must-Read Art News

–  Picasso Thief Will Plead Not Guilty: How will our friend Mark Lugo, the New York sommelier who walked out of a San Fransisco gallery last week with a $200,000 Picasso drawing under his arm, plead? Not guilty, says his attorney. At Lugo's first court appearance on Monday, the judge agreed to postpone his arraignment until Friday. The New Jersey native is being held on felony charges of grand theft, possession of stolen property, and second-degree burglary. No news yet on how the defense plans to get around the whole security camera photo thing. [San Fransisco Chronicle]

The Ties that Bind DSK and Wildenstein: What is the connection between disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Guy Wildenstein, disgraced art collector? Both men fit a similar profile: Jewish, powerful, wealthy, well-connected, and currently in deep trouble. But Forbes lays out some pretty outlandish theories about closer ties. (They even drew a chart!) Would any of the stolen Wildenstein works have been part of the inheritance of Anne Sinclair, DSK's wife? Are the two cases a political tit-for-tat in Strauss-Kahn's quest for the presidency? We just want to know, since when did two men behaving badly become the least likely explanation? [Forbes]

Dutch Arts Cuts Move Forward: Despite massive protests, including a March for Civilisation attended by thousands of people last month, the Dutch government is refusing to back down over its proposed 25 percent cut of arts funding. [The Art Newspaper]

Why Soup?: In honor of the 49th anniversary of the public debut of Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans," Christopher Knightdares to ask: Why soup? Abandoning the stock explanation that the Popartist chose Campbell's because he ate it every day for lunch ("if youbuy that, you might also be in the market to acquire a bridge down inBrooklyn"), Knight poses an entirely new explanation. "Soup," hewrites, was essential studio slang in the New York School, a metaphormost often used by Willem de Kooning to describe his work. Who knew? [LA Times

Morgan Prize Winner Announced: Artist Wendy Jacob has won the newly reinstated Boston Museum of Fine Artsaward for local women artists. Jacob, who works in sculpture and site-based installation pieces, will receive a $10,000 purse and her workis to be shown in the museum's new Linde Family Wing in September. [Boston Globe]

Fraud and a French Painting: New York City resident Thomas A. Doyle pleaded guilty on Monday for wire fraud, in which he convinced an investor to go in with him on the purchase of a 19th-century painting by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Doyle, who has a long criminal record, solicited $880,000 from the investor and purchased the painting for $775,000. [NYT]

–  Illuminating the $200 Million Leonardo: The glass orb in Christ's left hand may be the most convincing evidence yet that "Salvator Mundi," a recently cleaned painting, is by Leonardo da Vinci.The sphere is consistent with the Renaissance master's obsession withtranslucent effects in painting as well as his well-documented interestin the cosmos. Now that the painting is off the market, you can go to the National Gallery exhibition and see for yourself if the orb is convincing. [Guardian

Chicago's Giant Marilyn Monroe: A "mystery sculpture" of a pairof long legs inside a windswept white skirt is being erected in Chicago's Pioneer Court. Thetop half of the 26-foot sculpture is being kept secret until the artwork isofficially unveiled on Friday in order to, according to officials, "build up hype" about the subject's identity. [MSNBC]

– TED Fellow Makes Art Fromthe Weather: Check out the work of TED Global Fellow Nathalie Miebach, whotransforms weather data into musical scores and then makes those into colorful,intricate sculptures that she uses for musical collaborations. [The Atlantic]

Song of the Day: James Franco's antics with multimedia artist Kalup Linzy continue, this time to music. The duo has collaborated on a new song, "Turn It Up (So We Can Turn It Out)," a preview for their impending dance EP. As far as we can tell, Franco's entire contribution consists of some mumbling of the phrases "Come on Child" and "Turn It Up" at the beginning and end. Also, doesn't the title sound like an Outkast song? [Huffington Post]

Pollution Goes Digital: In a bizarre video, Italian artist Federico Proietti turns a polluted river into a the natural equivalent of a green screen, replacing the colored water with a clip of a local news report on the strangely-hued pollution. It's pretty meta, and totally surreal to see a floating talking head. [Federico Proietti

The Failure of the Internet: Internet artist and GIF-maker extraordinaire Tom Moody explains how the internet has failed to match up to our utopian dreams in a worthwhile essay for new media journal "pool." If you're wondering why you haven't turned into a cyberspace being of pure energy yet, this one's for you. [

High Art: Paris's Le Louvre des Antiquaires has announced that it will host an exhibition "devoted to the rites and practices of opium smoking in 19th-century China," opening September 1. Among the objects on display are tortoiseshell pipes, ivory retainers, and cloisonné boxes. Like, check out the crazy colors, man. []

"Art Collecting For Career Women": Forbes wants you to know that "now that you are a success in business, it's time to start investing in the fun things with value." There's some good advice in here, actually. [Forbes]  

Kunsthalle Bern Names Fabrice Stroun Director: The veteran Geneva-based independent curator, who begins in January, has organized shows at institutions from MAMCO Geneva to Rome's Villa Medici. [Artforum