Kara Walker Loves "Django," Stolen Banksy Sale Sets Risky Precedent, and More

Kara Walker Loves "Django," Stolen Banksy Sale Sets Risky Precedent, and More
The site of the stolen Banksy
(Photo: REUTERS/Neil Hall)

– Kara Walker Has 'Django' Action Figures: The Chicago Tribune sat down with Kara Walker on the eve of her new exhibition, "Kara Walker: Rise Up Ye Mighty Race!" at the Art Institute of Chicago. What do we learn? Walker, whose art unflinchingly depicts the antebellum South, is apparently a big fan of Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-nominated film "Django Unchained." "As a child, I was subjected to a lot of spaghetti Westerns and hated them," she said. "I wanted the Indians to win — or just not be so sad! So it's nice to have a badass black hero, though I left telling a friend that I wished Django had been a woman. I've got 'Django' action figures, actually." [Chicago Tribune]

 Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy Theft Sets Troubling Precedent: The recent disappearance of a mural by street artist Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy from a North London wall and the futility of subsequent efforts to prevent it from being sold abroad at Fine Art Auctions Miami suggest such public works could become increasingly popular targets for unauthorized removal, experts say. The U.K. does not require export licenses for artworks less than 50 years old. "People are rightly disgusted that a gift to the community could be privately sold for huge profit," said Alan Strickland of London's Haringey council. [FT]


Nasher Launches Public Art Program: To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Nasher Sculpture Center is launching "Nasher Xchange," an initiative to grace ten areas in Dallas with sculptural installations over the next year. The $1 million project, which director Jeremy Strick is calling "10 years, 10 artists, 10 sites," kicks off October 19 and features Alfredo Jaar, Rachel Harrison, Charles Long, and Ugo Rondinone, among others. [Dallas News]

– Jewish Museum Slow to Return Nazi Loot: The Vienna Jewish Museum in Austria has come under intense scrutiny after a close survey of its collection revealed some 490 works and over 980 books that are suspected to have been stolen from Jews by the Nazis during World War II. "To research the provenance of Judaica is extremely difficult. And our collection consists largely of ritual objects and only a very small part of art works," said museum director Danielle Spera. "Our situation is not comparable to any other museum in Austria." [NYT]

– UNESCO to Mali's Rescue: In hopes of remedying the recent devastation of historical sites and ancient manuscripts in the Malian city Timbuktu, UNESCO has developed an initiative that will see the organization raise some $11 million to help rescue the country's imperiled heritage. Between 2,000 and 3,000 manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute of High Learning and Islamic Research were destroyed by rebels, who also decimated 14 of Timbuktu's 16 ancient mausoleums. [TAN]

– Dunham and AIG at Jewish Museum Gala: New York's Jewish Museum is kicking things up a notch for its annual gala, titled "Purim Ball 2013: Who Wears the Crown?" on February 27. Actress Lena Dunham will be the master of ceremonies (also known, according to a press release, as the "Purimspieler"), tasked with telling the story of Purim to the guests at the masked ball. The event, which takes place at the Park Avenue Armory, honors artist James Rosenquist and (yikes) AIG CEO Robert H. Benmosche. [Press Release]

– Cooper Union's Denial of Early Art Applicants Protested: Last week's decision to turn away or impose deferrals on early admissions applicants to Cooper Union's School of Art is setting off renewed controversy. While the administration claims it was forced to pause all admission decisions until its financial situation is sorted out next month, some interpret the move as retribution for faculty voicing a staunch and public opposition to the school's proposal to begin charging tuition. [DNAinfo]

Pistoletto Designs Wine Label: Michelangelo Pistoletto has designed a special-edition wine label, following in the footsteps of Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali. The Italian artist's mirrored, spiral design marks the 25th anniversary of vintner Ornellaia. "A correlation exists between the cultures of wine and art, between Venus and Bacchus," said Pistoletto. "Neither of them has a practical function, but both are undoubtedly powerful in activating the human spirit." [ArtDaily]


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