Jay Z Buys $4.5M Basquiat, Chihuly Con Man Gets Jail Time, and More

Jay Z Buys $4.5M Basquiat, Chihuly Con Man Gets Jail Time, and More
Jay Z
(Nicholas Hunt/PatrickMcMullan.com)

Jay Gets His Basquiat: Turns out Jay Z was the anonymous buyer of  Jean-Michel Basquiat’s "Mecca" at Sotheby’s last week. Valued at $4-6 million, the painting cost Jay $4.5 million. The black, white, and orange work, which depicts several skyscrapers and a signature Basquiat crown, should be perfect for the rap mogul’s "Empire State of Mind." [NY Post]

Chihuly Fakes Seller Gets 5 Months: Michael Little, a 35-year-old Washington native, has been sentenced to five months in prison and five months in a halfway house, and to repaying victims about $75,000, after he was convicted of peddling fake Dale Chihuly sculptures. Little, who lives at home, claims an unnamed mystery woman gave him the glass art. "I'm very sorry for all of the actions that I did and everything I told people to try to get them into buying this art glass," he said. [AP]

New MOCA Director: Maria Seferian, a lawyer who has been working for Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art since 2008, has been named the institution's interim director — an unpaid position she takes up immediately — while the museum's board searches for a replacement for Jeffrey Deitch. "I'm here to help bring these final pieces together and close out these initiatives — and others," Seferian said, referring to MOCA's $100-million fundraising goal. "I'm also a donor… That's a personal commitment I've made over the years. And now I'm donating my time." [LAT]

Tate Shows Off JFK Assassination Painting: British Pop artist Gerald Laing's 1963 painting "Lincoln Convertible," which portrays the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy — whose 50th anniversary is Friday — has been put on view at Tate Britain, where it's on loan from the late artist's estate. When he painted the enormous, lime-green work, Laing's New York dealer refused to show it. [BBC]

Opie Photographs L.A. Mayor: A new series of posters debuting at LAX airport on Thursday will feature artist Catherine Opie's photographs of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti kayaking on the L.A. River and standing alongside attractions like Chris Burden's installation at LACMA and the Watts Towers. "I always thought they could have been done better," Opie said of the posters that used to greet travelers arriving at LAX. [LAT]

– Art To Celebrate Failure: "It’s worth considering that we commission art for state events that we’re proud of — as when President Obama chose our friend Elizabeth Alexander to be the inaugural poet — and we also invite artists to funerals," Anna Deveare Smith tells Tom Healy in a Creative Time Reports interview about art and political debacles. "At the same time, I don’t think we recognize how important it would be to expect artists to do their best at a time of absolute civic failure." [Creative Time Reports]

Catherine Evans, previously chief curator at the Columbus Museum of Art, has been named the Carnegie Museum of Art’s new chief curator. [Pittsburgh Tribune]

– Artist Kerry James Marshall was appointed to President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. [Artforum]

– The opening day for the Louvre Abu Dhabi has finally been announced: December 2, 2015. [TAN]


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