Kanye Unveils "Immersive" Video Art at Cannes, Critic Compares Hirst to Ghaddafi, and More Must-Read Art News

Kanye Unveils "Immersive" Video Art at Cannes, Critic Compares Hirst to Ghaddafi, and More Must-Read Art News
Kanye West
(Courtesy Getty Images)

– Kanye's "Cruel" Arab-Themed Art Installation: Rapper and self-proclaimed voice of his generation Kanye West will be in Cannes this week to premiere his latest opus, a short film-cum-video art installation titled "Cruel Summer," which was made in association with the Doha Film Institute. Little is known about the mysterious Bananarama-referencing short — which will be on public view for two days and is described as an "immersive, seven screen experience" — except that West co-stars in it alongside four Arab actors. [Variety]

– Critic Deems Damien Hirst a Dictator: In his latest assault on the YBA punching bag, art critic Jonathan Jones doesn't review Damien Hirst's new exhibition of paintings at White Cube so much as tear it to shreds. "The last time I saw paintings as deluded as Damien Hirst's latest works, the artist's name was Saif al-Islam Gaddafi," he writes, referring to the late dictator's son. "This is the kind of kitsch that is foisted on helpless peoples by Neros and Hitlers and such tyrants so beyond normal restraint or criticism they believe they are artists." [Guardian]

Kentridge Rallies Behind Nude Zuma Painter: South African artist Brett Murray had a tough Tuesday. His painting "The Spear," which portrays the president Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, was defaced by two men wielding paint buckets as it hung in Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery, and the ruling African National Congress party took him to court to have the painting taken down. An expression of support in an affidavit from the country's most famous living artist, William Kentridge, likely provided little consolation. [NYTGuardianITA]

– Records Galore at NYC Latin American Sales: Fifteen artist records were set at Christie's recent Latin American art sales, including one for Chilean artist Roberto Matta, whose painting "La revolte des contraires" sold for £3.2 million ($5 million). Tonight, the attention turns to Sotheby's, where Diego Rivera's 1930 oil painting, estimated at $4-6 million, is also expected to break an artist record. [ReutersAP]

– Free Museums for U.S. Military: Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, 1,600 museums across the United States will waive admission for active members of the military and their families. The program, Blue Stars Museums, which is sponsored by participating museums, the NEABlue Star Families, and the Department of Defense, incorporates institutions from the Metropolitan Museum (which apparently waives the guilt trip-based "suggested admission" policy for our nation's soldiers) to LACMA. (See a full list of participating museums here.) [WaPo]

– Warhol Silkscreen Pilfered in Detroit: The FBI has descended on the Michigan city to investigate the recent theft of 18 artworks, as well as an original silk screen used to produce Andy Warhol's "Flowers" paintings, from an unidentified business in the Corktown neighborhood. The collection has been valued at between $200,000 and $1 million. [Detroit Free Press]

– West Virginia University Gets a Museum: The Morgantown, WV university is preparing to break ground on an art museum that will house its 3,000-plus collection of painting and sculpture, currently in storage. The 5,300-square-foot institution, which is expected to open in the summer of 2013, means students will no longer have to travel to "Pittsburgh, D.C., or Cleveland to see major museum collections," said Joyce Ice, the museum's director. [Daily Athenaeum]

– Jackson Pollock Painting Seized in Customs: The Jackson Pollock painting "Mural on Indian Red Ground" (1950) — strangely valued at a staggering $250 million, according to one report — was seized by Iranian customs agents on its way back from Japan, where it was on loan for an exhibition. Officials say the painting, which is a centerpiece of Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Arts, is being held in exchange for unpaid debt on the part of the culture ministry. [AFP]

– Performance Art Returns to Politics: It seems political pundits simply cannot help themselves from using the rhetoric of performance art in political debate. The latest comes from Mitt Romney aide Stuart Stevens, who described the Obama campaign's recent attack ad featuring laid-off Bain workers as "performance art gibberish." [Politico

– RIP Large-Scale Sculptor George Wyllie: The Scottish artist, known for creating huge versions of quaint and familiar objects like a towering wooden bicycle, a boat-sized paper boat, and a life-sized locomotive made of straw, has died at age 90. He was also a published poet and produced playwright; the Collins Gallery at Strathclyde University closed a major retrospective of Wyllie's work last month. [Guardian]


See video of K8 Hardy's fashion show at the Whitney, from Sunday (or read ARTINFO's review, here):


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