Facebook IPO Will Make Graffiti Artist a Millionaire, Crusading Law Students Sue Christo, and More

Facebook IPO Will Make Graffiti Artist a Millionaire, Crusading Law Students Sue Christo, and More
Graffiti artist David Choe
(Courtesy fresh888 via Flickr)

Facebook Graffiti Artist to Become Rich, Rich!: Who says artists aren't smart businesspeople? When graffiti artist David Choe was hired to paint the walls of Facebook's first headquarters, he opted to be paid in stock instead of cash. His shares are now expected to be worth north of $200 million when the social networking Goliath goes public. That may just make him the world's wealthiest street artist. [NYT]

– Law Students Rally Against Christo's River Project: A group of University of Denver law students calling themselves "ROAR" (Rags Over the Arkansas River) have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming environmental artist Christo's long-planned next project is an environmental threat — in fact, they claim that it is as risky as mineral development. The proposed artwork, "Over the River," involves stretching fabric over several miles of the Arkansas River. Christo, ever the optimist, said it was "gratifying" to see so many people talking about his artwork. [CBS Local

– Tino Sehgal Next Up at Turbine Hall: The performance artist who transformed the Guggenheim's ramp into a multigenerational discussion about "progress" will undertake the annual commission in the Tate's massive exhibition hall, starting July 24. One thing's for sure: it'll be easier to clean up than Ai Weiwei's "Sunflower Seeds." [Press Release

– Superbowl Spruces Up Public Art: Indianapolis used the arrival of the Super Bowl as an opportunity to launch a mural project aimed at improving some blighted patches of downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. [NYT]

– Beastly Art in London: An exhibition of paintings made by apes and elephants has opened at the Grant Museum of ZoologyUniversity College London. The manager of the museum Jack Ashby has touted them as "almost undistinguishable from abstract art by humans that use similar techniques." We know a cata monkey, and a Thai elephant that might concur. [Telegraph]

– U.S. Court Backs Spain Over Sea Treasure: Spain has won a major victory in its long court battle with a Florida-based deep-sea salvage company over the rights to $500 million in silver and gold coins. The treasure was recovered in 2007 from a 19th-century sunken ship off the Spanish coast. Officials expect the nearly 600,000 coins to arrive in Spain soon. (U.S. government machinations to help win back the treasure were the subject of a WikiLeak, incidentally, and one of our biggest stories of all time:  "WikiLeaks Art Expose: U.S. Tried to Trade Nazi Loot for Sunken Gold.") [CNN

– Urinal War: A group of women's rights activists is up in arms over the mouth-shaped men's toilets at the Rolling Stones Museum in northern Germany, which echo the band's famous logo. "Why does it have to be a woman's mouth?" asked one. But the museum's founder is fighting back. "That's not a man's mouth or a woman's mouth, that's art," he said. "They were damned expensive and they're staying where they are." [Der Spiegel

Czech Mies van der Rohe House Reopens: The Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic, will open its doors next March after a two-year, $9 million renovation. The house was commissioned by wool-factory owners Grete and Fritz Tugendhats, who fled to Czechoslovakia in 1938. Officials hope it will become a popular tourist attraction in the region. [AP]

– Trouble at the Cleveland Museum?: The Ohio institution's longtime board chairman and committed donor, Michael Horvitz, stepped down from his post after being excluded from important decisions, he said. Horvitz's departure is a rare sign of discord at an institution with a reputation for solid management. [Plain Dealer]

Band of Skulls Singer Moonlights as a Painter: Emma Richardson, the singer and bass guitarist of rock group Band of Skulls, is opening a show of her paintings at Londonnewcastle Project Space today. It includes covers of the band's debut album "Baby Darling Doll Face Honey." [Independent]

– ART HK Appoints First-Ever Projects CuratorYuko Hasegawa, chief curator of Tokyo's Museum of Contemporary Art and curator of the 2013 Sharjah Biennial, has been selected as the first curator of ART HK 12 Projects. [Press Release]

– RIP Surrealist Painter Dorothea Tanning: Married for 30 years to Surrealist artist Max Ernst, Tanning became well known in her own right for her vivid renderings of dream imagery. Later in life, she gained attention for her writing, producing a novel, autobiography, and poems. She was 101. [NYT]


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