– Disney Alums Crowdfund New Art Adventure: Disney animation vets Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams, who were key to films like "The Lion King," "Aladdin," and "Mulan," are leaving the studio system behind and turning to Kickstarter to fund a feature about the magical world of fine art. "Art Story" promises to tell the tale of a boy and his grandfather who get sucked into famous paintings including Grant Wood's "American Gothic," Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," and M.C. Escher's "Relativity," battling an evil painted character who is determined to escape to the real, non-art world. [TheWrap]
– Qatar’s $1-Billion Art Budget: Everyone knew that Qatar was big in the art market. But how big? The Qatari royal family, in particular Sheika al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, now has an acquisition budget that experts estimate at a staggering $1 billion a year. Recent acquisitions include a $70-million Rothko, a $20-million Damien Hirst pill cabinet, and the Cézanne’s “Card Players,” famously purchased for $250 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting. "They’re the most important buyers of art in the market today," said Patricia G. Hambrecht, the chief business development officer for Phillips auction house. "The amount of money being spent is mind-boggling." [NYT]
– Details on the Charges Against Cohen: Billionaire art collector Steven Cohen, considered such a key player in the art market that the Times ran a piece when he didn't show up at Art Basel Miami Beach last year, was charged over the weekend by the SEC for failing to supervise insider trading at his company, S.A.C. Capital Advisors. The SEC has filed an administrative proceeding against Cohen and the report full report claims that "[o]n at least two separate occasions in 2008, two portfolio managers who reported to Cohen obtained material nonpublic information about three different publicly traded companies. … In each case, Cohen received highly suspicious information that should have caused any reasonable hedge fund manager in Cohen's position to take prompt action… Cohen failed to take reasonable steps to investigate and prevent such violations." [Courthouse News]
– Deitch May Ditch MOCA for UES: Former New York art dealer and current Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles director Jeffrey Deitch has reportedly signaled his imminent resignation to the institution's board, and will leave before the end of July. Neither party is sulking over the end of their tumultuous relationship, though: Deitch has allegedly already begun looking for a home in New York City; MOCA has started searching for its next director, and is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday. According to L.A. Weekly reporter Tom Christie, writing on Tumblr, Deitch is shopping for a new gallery space on Manhattan's Upper East Side. [LA Weekly, ITA, Tom Christie/Tumblr]
– Metzinger Expert in Court Over Authentication: Art historian Bozena Nikiel, the leading expert on Cubist painter Jean Metzinger, is headed to cassation court in Paris after she refused to authenticate the painting "White House" and include it in Metzinger's catalogue raisonné, much to the dismay of its owner, the collector Laurent Alexandre. [Libération]
– Looted Antiquities Could Spawn Museum: The home of a man who lives in the mountain town of Aranda de Moncayo in Spain was recently raided by authorities who found over 4,000 antiquities that he had mostly extracted from the crumbling ancient buildings on the neighboring hill. If the town's mayor Rosario Cabrera gets her way, the find could inspire an archaeological dig and eventually a small museum to the quiet village. [NYT]
– This year’s Summer Streets car-free parties on Park Avenue will feature Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s three-block-long installation "Voice Tunnel," which transforms the Park Avenue Tunnel into a light and sound art installation. [DNAinfo]
VIDEO OF THE DAY
The Kickstarter promo for "Art Story"
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