Rihanna Arouses Fury Among Web Artists, Flashmob Defends Henry Moore, and More

Rihanna Arouses Fury Among Web Artists, Flashmob Defends Henry Moore, and More
Rihanna performing on Saturday Night Live on November 10th

– Rihanna's SNL Performance Upsets Web Artists: A small group of Web artists are up in arms over the garish 3-D animations that accompanied Rihanna's performance on "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend. Los Angeles video artist Jerome LOL claimed the graphics — which showed up on a green screen behind the pop star for the duration of her set — were drawn from a video he made in 2010. Others deny any impropriety. "Far from a 'rip off' the graphics are more of a homage to Internet and computer aesthetics than anything else," wrote Gizmodo's Mario Aguilar. "These styles never really belonged to the self-aggrandizing appropriators who call themselves artists in the first place." (Though, it must be mentioned, Rihanna was forced to admit that she ripped off art photogapher David LaChapelle just last year.) [Buzzfeed, Gizmodo]

– Performance Art Flashmob Aims to Prevent Moore Sculpture Sale: The outspoken artist Bob and Roberta Smith organized a flashmob demonstration outside Tower Hamlets council yesterday to protest its controversial plan to sell Henry Moore's public sculpture "Draped Seated Woman." Seated women, draped in green outfits to resemble the bronze statue, struck poses reminiscent of Moore's figure outside the council, which hopes to raise funds for key services by selling the beloved public artwork. [London24]


 Christie's Sues Rival "Chritrs"Christie's has sued similarly named Chinese auction house Chritrs for allegedly infringing on its Chinese trademark. The American auction house says its clients were being "misled and decieved" by the Asian house, which shares one of the Chinese characters used in the translation of Christie's. (The two names are also pronounced almost identically in Chinese.) For its part, Chritrs claims collectors are capable of distinguishing between the two businesses. In 2008, Sotheby’s won a similar case against Chinese company Sichuan Sufubi, a transliteration of Sotheby’s Chinese name, that had been holding auctions in China since 2003. [TAN]

– Finland Pick Venice Biennale Rep: Curators Miko EloMarko Karo, and Harri Laakso have selected conceptual artist Antti Laitinen to create a new installation in Finland's Alvar Aalto-designed pavilion — which was damaged by a falling tree in 2011 — for next year's Venice Biennale. Laitinen, whose installations, videos, and performances often investigate man's relationship to nature, will also create a performance on the Finnish pavilion's grounds, documentation of which will hang alongside a selection of his earlier work. [Press Release]

Bank Takes Over Deutsche Guggenheim: Germany's largest bank has announced that it will continue to run the Berlin contemporary art museum that it oversaw for 15 years alongside New York's Guggenheim Foundation, which pulled out in Feburary. The new institution will be renamed the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle and operate under new management. Rather than serve as a venue to display the bank's vaunted corporate collection, the venue will "be a place where young, promising talent can be seen first," according to spokesman Stefan Krause. It will debut with a solo exhibition of Imran Qureshi in April 2013. [ITA]

Christie's Andy Warhol Sales Begin: Yesterday, Christie's kicked off the first in a series of auctions to raise money for the Andy Warhol Foundation. The inaugural sale featured more than 350 works by the Pop art pioneer and fetched more than $17 million. (The rest of the foundation's inventory will be sold off in a combination of live and online sales over the next few years.) A print from Warhol's "Endangered Species" series — "San Francisco Silverspot" — fetched $1.2 million, while most lots sold for five- and six-figure sums. [BBC]

– Crystal Bridges First-Year Attendance Exceeds Expectations: In its first year, Walmart heiress Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art saw an impressive 604,000 visitors — nearly 2,000 per day — more than doubling administrators' expectations. Contributing factors no doubt include the big box giant's pledge of $20 million to pay all visitors' admission fees and the museum's partnership with Atlanta's High Museum of Art and the Louvre. [AP]

Seaport Museum Mops Up: The South Street Seaport Museum is still struggling to recover from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The water surged to six feet at the lobby entrance, wiping out the building's electrical systems. The timing couldn't have been worse: Last January the museum reopened after being closed for almost a year for the expansion of its galleries. Repairs will likely take months, though the institution hopes to reopen around Thanksgiving and run on generators. Since the storm, it has raised $25,000 via donations from the public. [NYT]

– Mining Museum Reopens After Gold Heist: After a Wild West-style heist of $2 million in gems and gold forced its closure in late September, the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa has reopened. Though the hooded, pickaxe-armed robbers were in and out of the museum vault in two minutes flat, they weren't able to lift one of the museum's prized possessions, the Fricot Nugget, a 14-pound mass of gold. The bandits remain at large. [Modesto Bee]

– Pompidou Returns to the Dali Well: The Centre Pompidou's 1979 Salvador Dali retrospective set an attendance record for the museum that stands to this day, but the institution hopes to surpass it this winter with its first exhibition devoted to Dali in 32 years. The blockbuster show, running November 21 to March 25, 2013, features not only photographs, paintings, films, and objects from the museum's permanent collection, but nearly 200 paintings on loan from the four foremost Dali collections in the world. [Le Figaro]


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