Fiscal Cliff Spurs Art Show, Can Tattoo Artists Copyright Their Work?, and More

Fiscal Cliff Spurs Art Show, Can Tattoo Artists Copyright Their Work?, and More
"Make Deadbeat Corporations Pay. Stop Robbing Our Communities" by Melanie Cervantes
(Courtesy ARTSTRIKE)

– Online Exhibition Tackles the Fiscal CliffRebuild the Dream, an organization run by President Obama's former green jobs advisor Van Jones, is launching an art-related day of action called "ARTSTRIKE" to expose "the 'fiscal cliff' as a 'fiscal bluff,'" according to Jones. The event features an online exhibition of political art with works ranging from a riff on "American Gothic" in which the background farmhouse bears a sign that reads, "Bank Foreclosed" to a pop-inflected painting of sad-looking children titled "Don't Punish Our Future. Make the Rich Pay." [CNN

– Who Owns Body Art?: We know that artists own the copyright for their work — but what about tattoo artists? This question is the subject of a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, where tattoo artist Chris Escobedo claims that video game producer THQ, Inc., is infringing on his copyright in a new mixed martial arts video game. The game features fighter Carlos Condit, who — both in the game and in life — has one of Escobedo's lion tattoos inked on his torso. Now Escobedo, the artist, wants credit. [Clancco via Art Law Blog


– Are British Galleries Skirting Their Taxes?: The Art Newspaper has an in-depth report on British commercial galleries' tax payments, which are in some cases lower despite substantial sales. Hauser & Wirth, for example, earned UK sales of £33 million in 2011 (over four times more than its 2010 turnover of £7.7 million) but paid no corporation tax in the country. The gallery justified its losses from high overhead. But it also transferred £23.9-million worth of art from its UK subsidiary to its parent company in Switzerland — a tactic other galleries have adopted as well. [TAN]

– Pompidou to Shanghai: Paris's Centre Pompidou is sending masterpieces from its collection to Shanghai. On Sunday, "Electric Fields: Surrealism and Beyond — La Collection du Centre Pompidou" opened at the Power Station of Art as part of the Shanghai Biennale. The exhibition includes 65 cases worth of video art, paintings, sculptures, and manuscripts. Just last month, the Musée d'Orsay sent 19th-century French artworks to the Shanghai China Art Museum. [LAT]

– Modern British Art Sale BombsChristie's hit a painful bump last week when its sale of modern British art, which was estimated to fetch at least £16.5 million ($27 million), brought in only £8.4 million ($13.7 million). Half of the 252 lots found no buyers, including the most highly-valued works by LS Lowry and Ben-19076">Ben-19076">Ben-19076">Ben-19076">Ben-19076">Ben-19076">Ben-19076">Ben Nicholson. "It is hard to remember when a major sale in this category, which has been experiencing steady growth for over a decade, has performed so badly," writes Colin Gleadell. [Telegraph]

– Arts as Antidote for Academic TroublesTurnaround Arts, a new federally sponsored public-and-private experiment, is putting arts at the center of curricula. Eight at-risk schools across the country are currently participating in the pilot program, which receives extra funds for supplies and instruments, teacher training, partnerships with cultural organizations, and high-profile mentors like artist Chuck Close and Broadway producer Margo Lion. Students from the participating Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, Connecticut recently got a private tour from Close of his new Pace Gallery exhibition in New York. [NYT]

– Children's Museum Has New Hope for Opening: The Children's Museum of Los Angeles, a $21.8-million facility on the city's northern edge that has stood vacant since its completion in 2007, may become an attraction after all. Following more than two years of discussions with the nonprofit Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, the City Council has approved putting an additional $18.1 million into the project, which would enable Discovery to equip the L.A. site with new science exhibits and open its doors by March 2015 as the Discovery Science Center Los Angeles. [LAT]

– Iman Issa Wins New Spanish Art Award: Sculptor and installation artist Iman Issa is the winner of the inaugural Fundació Han Nefkens MACBA Contemporary Art Award. Presented by the three-year-old foundation and the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, the biannual award includes $66,0000, half of which goes toward the production of a new project. The Egyptian-born Issa, who is based in Cairo and New York, will unveil her new project in Barcelona in 2013. [AiA]

– Brits Save Art From Export: Nearly $50-million worth of artwork was prevented from leaving the UK this year thanks to a Secretary of State-enforced export ban that gives British museums and galleries more time to raise funds for objects deemed of national importance. Among the items staying put in England due to the loophole are Edouard Manet's portrait of Fanny Claus and "The Crouching Venus" by Flemish sculptor John Nost. [BBC]

– RIP Collector and Dealer Giuseppe Nahmad: The Aleppo-born collector and dealer died last month in Monte Carlo, at 80 years old. Over the course of his 55-year career buying and selling modern art with his brothers and business partners, David and Ezra, Nahmad built a collection worth more than $3 billion, according to Forbes. (It includes some 300 Picassos.) He opened his first gallery in Milan in 1957. [AiA]


Which Auction Houses Are Leading the Charge in Online Sales?

13 Questions for Painter of the Comic Grotesque Carroll Dunham

Dallas Museum of Art Loses Bid for da Vinci’s Spooky Jesus Painting

Dealer's Notebook: Stefania Bortolami on the Gallery's Role as Creative Catalyst

As the Battle for the Online Art World Sharpens, How the Players Are Adapting

YEAR IN REVIEW: A Look at 10 Controversies That Divided the Art World in 2012

For more breaking art news throughout the day,
check ARTINFO's In the Air blog.