Crimes of the Art is a weekly survey of artless criminals’ cultural misdeeds. Crimes are rated on a highly subjective scale from one “Scream” emoji — the equivalent of a vandal tagging the exterior of a local history museum in a remote part of the US — to five “Scream” emojis — the equivalent of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.
D for Destruction
A sculpture by Sayeh Sarfaraz titled “D pour Démocratie” (“D for Democracy,” 2015) that is part of Montreal’s annual public art festival Aires Libres, was attacked by vandals. The giant statue, made to resemble a green-cloaked, democracy-spreading Lego superhero, had its right arm violently amputated last week.
Verdict: You can’t disarm democracy, it’s ambidextrous.
Collector Could Get the Boot Over Nazi Loot
Manhattan-based art collector Alexander Khochinskiy is fighting extradition to Poland after refusing to restitute a painting — Antione Pesne’s “Girl with a Dove” (1754) — that was stolen from a Polish museum by the Nazis during World War II.
Verdict: Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus” says “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” It doesn’t say anything about Nazi loot hoarders. Send him to Poland!
Neighbors Want Lewd Lawn Art Mowed Down
Tony Papadimitirou’s neighbors in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, want his lawn art installation — which includes a hot pink bedside table with a sign that reads “one night stand,” a pink mannequin wearing lace underwear, pink cherubs, flamingos, dogs, and more — taken down. Local residents have called the police claiming the artworks are “obscene.”
Verdict: Papadimitirou’s neighbors should embrace their local folk art attraction and start selling T-shirts.
Florida Man’s Cuban Paintings Stolen
Five paintings by Cuban artists — including Wilfredo Lam and Cundo Bermúdez — cumulatively worth between $200,000 and $350,000 were stolen from Edouardo Goudie’s home in the Coral Gable neighborhood of Miami. The works were cut from their frames, which were left behind. At the time of the heist Goudie was still moving into the house, and two doors at the back of the house had been left unlocked.
Verdict: If you own a major art collection, make sure you lock your doors — even on moving day.
Hands Up, Don’t Art!
A video posted by Flux Factory (@flux_factory) on
Members of New York City’s biggest police union are none too pleased with artists Atif Ateeq and Roopa Vasudevan over their installation “HANDS UP” at Flux Factory in Queens, which simulates the experience of being stopped by the police. The artwork, informed by accounts of the events that led to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was deemed a “piece of crap” by Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch.
Verdict: Right behind a positive review in Friday’s New York Times, a negative review from New York law enforcement authorities is the highest level of critical praise an artist can hope to receive — congrats to Ateeq and Vasudevan!
Guggenheim Descendants Fight Guggenheim Foundation Over Guggenheim Collection
Sandro Rumney, one of Peggy Guggenheim‘s grandsons, has launched a legal appeal against the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation — which runs the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice — to have the display at his grandmother’s palazzo restored to its original state. The appeal is the latest development in a long-running dispute between the foundation and Guggenheim’s descendants, who claim the foundation has violated the terms of its agreement with the late collector by displaying works from another collection alongside her own.
Verdict: The solution seems painfully obvious — house the intruding collection in a new, modern wing designed by Rem Koolhaas, Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, or Zaha Hadid.
From Remedios Varo to Francisco de Goya, artists have long turned to witchcraft as subject matter.
The auction house partnered with Highsnobiety to sell “Art Handler” shirts for up to $125, drawing ire from workers in the field who say they’re overworked and underpaid.
Funded fellowships support on-site graduate and postdoctoral research spanning a variety of disciplines on cultural works in the center’s collections.
Black-crowned night herons have not returned after abandoning their nests during a building project at the Chicago History Museum.
What is a feminist picture? A MoMA exhibition is the latest to attempt to answer this question.
Students work in a collaborative studio environment with a faculty of practicing artists and premier facilities in the heart of Boston.
With exhibitions like Sing Our Rivers Red, Danielle SeeWalker, JayCee Beyale, and others make visible the number of missing people for whom they are demanding proper attention and justice.
In this assemblage of multinational artworks, a cohesive postcolonial canvas fails to fully emerge, owing to Dream City’s lack of bold vision.
Students in this two-year graduate program in New York enjoy access to the Hessel Museum of Art, the CCS Bard Library and Archives, and opportunities to curate in practice.
The British monarch and Donald Trump have both tried to impose neoclassical architecture on their countries — and one of them actually succeeded.
Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” was sliced out of its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in a notoriously brazen theft.
The advent of AI generators has led to an avalanche of rip-off artworks that have used Grzegorz Rutkowski’s name as a prompt.