Anselm Kiefer Applauds Damien Hirst for "Destroying Art," Michael Jackson Statue Ranked Among World's Ugliest, and More

Anselm Kiefer Applauds Damien Hirst for "Destroying Art," Michael Jackson Statue Ranked Among World's Ugliest, and More
German artist Anselm Kiefer
(Courtesy EPA)

– Damien Hirst Is the Great Anti-Artist”: In an action-packed interview with the Guardian (read it all, it’s great) on the eve of his biggest show ever in Britain, Anselm Kiefer talks about his affection for Angela Merkel, his plans to refurbish a decommissioned nuclear power station, and his thoughts on Damien Hirst. “To go to Sothebys and sell your paintings directly” — as Hirst did in 2008 — “is destroying art. But in doing it to such an exaggerated extent, it becomes art.” [Guardian

Hideous Public Art Freak Show: In the latest look at ugly statues inflicted on the world's helpless citizenry, Travel + Leisure has assembled a slide show of public works that should be draped in cloth, Elephant Man-style. New to this list? The obnoxious, inexplicable statue of a track-suited Michael Jackson appearing to do the locomotion outside Fulham Football Club in England. [HuffPo

– Take My Art, Please: In an effort to grow its business, a Melbourne hotel is displaying an original work by street artist Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy — and inviting people to walk off with it. For the next month, starting on December 15, any guest who successfully manages to steal “No Ball Games” — a painting valued at up to $15,000 — will be allowed to keep it. [Australian]

Export Ban on Manet: The UK government has placed a temporary export ban on Édouard Manet's unfinished "Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus," once owned by painter John Singer Sargent, until next February. The ban seeks to allow time for an individual or an institution to raise the £28 million ($43.6 million) necessary to keep the painting in the country. [Guardian]

Academics Muzzled: Owners seeking authentication of their works are more likely than ever to go to court if they don't get a stamp of approval, according to the Art Newspaper. This has lead to a freezing effect on academics now afraid to voice their opinions: "Specialists are often academics earning $100,000 [or less] a year and they can't afford litigation," said one art lawyer. [TAN]

Science Class: The American Museum of Natural History is starting a master's program for science teaching targeted at middle and high school Earth science teachers. The paid teaching fellowship with benefits aims to address the national shortage of science teachers. [AP]

Much Love from Google to Diego Rivera: The search engine gave a nod to the Mexican muralist, whose work is currently on view in an exhibition at MoMA, on yesterday’s home page. [LAT]

Tate's App: London's popular art gallery has released the "Tate Guide to Modern Art," an art dictionary for iPhone and iPad. "For many of us the language in which modern art is described is as mystifying as the art itself," said Tate publishing director Roger Thorp. "This comprehensive but concise guide is the answer." [Press Release]

MSU Broad Art Museum Appoints Curator: The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University has appointed Alison Gass curator of contemporary art. Gass, who was named a young curator to watch by the New York Times in 2009, currently serves as assistant curator of painting and sculpture at SFMoMA. [Press Release]

– Montreal Museum Craves a Major Extension: In order to show more of its rapidly growing collection, the Musée d'Art Contemporain (MAC) has called for a CA$88 million ($85.78 million) reconstruction of the building. The institution has committed to raising CA$10 million ($9.7 million) in private sponsorship. At the moment, only 1.5 percent of the collection is on display. [Radio Canada]

– Portland Art Museum Gets $2 Million Gift: The Portland Art Museum received a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor to fund its curator of photography position. [Oregonian

London Art Fair Announces Art Projects' Participating Galleries: Twenty-nine galleries are to take part in the curated section of London's other art fair, including Hannah Barry Gallery, Bearspace, and the newly-opened Salon Vert. [Press Release

Millionaire Withdraws from Zurbaran Deal: Jonathan Ruffer, who had offered £15 million ($23.3 million) to keep 12 paintings by Francisco Zurbaran in Auckland Castle, home of the Bishop of Durham in the North East of England, has pulled out, saying that Church Commission's conditions were "insurmountable." [BBC]

 A Result From the Gods: The antiquities sale at Sotheby’s in New York last night brought in $30.9 million, five times the $5-7.5 million pre-sale estimate. Much of the overperformance can be attributed to a marble statue of Leda and the Swan, which fetched $19.1 million (est. $2-3 million) after a four-way bidding war. [ITA