Artists Mutiny Against German Pirate Party, Doctor Diagnoses Frida Kahlo, and More Must-Read Art News

Artists Mutiny Against German Pirate Party, Doctor Diagnoses Frida Kahlo, and More Must-Read Art News
Frida Kahlo, "Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill," 1951 (detail)
(Courtesy Wikipaintings)

– Mutiny in Germany's Pirate Party as Artists Abandon Ship: The Pirate Party, a political entity in Germany that has swiftly risen on its single-issue platform of Internet freedom advocacy, has suddenly started losing the support of what were once its most ardent members: artists. Many artists and intellectuals — most of them with intellectual property to protect — have split from the party in recent weeks after it proclaimed itself in support of deregulation of all digital content. "Political? No, politically there's nothing there," says essayist and poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger. "And certainly nothing revolutionary. It's actually surprisingly bourgeois. Like our grandparents, who were happy when they could get something for free." [Der Spiegel]

– Doctor Diagnoses Frida's Condition: Dr. Fernando Antelo, a Los Angeles-based surgical pathologist, has examined the paintings of Frida Kahlo in order to diagnose the cause of her infertility. “I think it’s one of those things where we owe it to Frida,” he said. He's settled on the rare condition Asherman's syndrome. [MSNBC]

– Tel Aviv Struggles to Save its Bauhaus Buildings: There are some 4,000 structures designed by teachers and pupils of the legendary German design school the Bauhaus in Tel Aviv, the richest concentration in the world. But the city is constantly struggling to restore all of the treasured buildings, and passing some of the duties on to its citizens. "Seeing historic architecture as a public issue was not part of the law until recently,” says Jeremie Hoffmann, director of Tel Aviv’s Municipal Conservation Department, though since a 2008 ruling "people are obliged to conserve their houses." [Bloomberg]

Vadim Zakharov to Represent Russia at the Venice Biennale: The giant of Moscow Conceptualism will take over the Russian pavilion next summer. This will be Zakharov's second installation in Venice: In 2002, he created an installation of video stills featuring sumo wrestlers. [Baibakov Art Projects]

– Yossi Milo Gallery Now Represents Tim Hetherington's Estate: An exhibition of works by the late photojournalist, who was killed in Libya last year, are currently on view at the New York gallery. "His estate has been a real discovery," said Yossi Milo, noting that Hetherington produced hundreds of self-portraits that "no one knew he was producing." [TAN]

Mo Copyright, Mo Problems: Want to include a Picasso painting — or even a reproduction of a Picasso painting — in your next movie? You'll have to jump through a few hoops first. Patricia Cohen takes an engaging look at the two major organizations — the Artists Rights Society and VAGA — that guard the intellectual property rights for tens of thousands of visual artists and their estates. Their complex bureaucracy is the reason Google Art Project includes no Picasso images, as well as the reason why James Cameron had to pay a fee for that unauthorized shot of "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" in his new "Titanic 3D." [NYT]  

– Clyfford Still Museum Mounts Rediscovered Works: On May 4, the Denver museum will mount the second part of its inaugural exhibition. The new installation features 20 paintings and 50 works on paper by the Abstract Expressionist, the majority of which were discovered by the museum's director, Dean Sobel, within the collection since the museum opened last November. [Press Release]

– Frieze New York’s Big Tent: The press got a glimpse of the site of the upcoming Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island yesterday, and one thing is for sure: Its going to be big. Organizers are saying that the SO-IL architects-designed Frieze tent is one of the largest tents ever built in North America. How big is it? The irrepressible tent already has its own Twitter feed. [ITA]

– Coming Soon, Tod's Colosseum: A committee has approved a bid from Diego Della Valle — owner of the leather and footwear company Tod's — to donate €25 million ($33 million) towards the restoration of Rome's Colosseum. As part of the deal, brokered by Rome's mayor, Della Valle would have rights to the iconic building's image for five years. A final hearing on the agreement is scheduled for May 9. [TAN]

Tracing the Fate of a Looted Masterpiece: The Italian government has been tenacious in forcing repatriation of its looted antiquities from the United States, but the tables turned in the recent case involving Girolamo Romanino's "Christ Carrying the Cross." The Los Angeles Times pieces together the story behind the looted masterpiece, which was ultimately seized from the Florida museum to which it was on loan and returned to its heirs. It is now headed for auction at Christie's next month. [LAT]

– Least Forgivable Art Crime Ever?: A man strolled into Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children last week, took nine large framed prints by artist Darren Rigo off the wall, and rolled them away in a cart. According to police, he may have left in a Mercedes, a fact that begs the obvious question: Why is someone who drives a Mercedes stealing art from sick children? [Globe and Mail]


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