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.
Bronze Dog Bolts
A bronze dog that was part of Glenna Goodacre’s installation “Park Place” in the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History‘s sculpture garden has been stolen. The 100-pound canine, nicknamed “Sparky” by visitors and museum staff, was sawed from its concrete base.
Verdict: Police would have better luck collaring the criminal if Sparky had been collared.
Meth Smugglers Find Inspiration in Art Supplies
Australia’s Federal Police seized $900 million worth of liquid methamphetamine that was being smuggled into the country in the guise of art supplies and silicone bra liners. The 190 liters of meth in the bra liners and 530 liters disguised as art supplies would have amounted to 3.6 million hits of meth.
Verdict: This is not the way to get the youth hooked on art.
Enter the Wu-Tang Legal Chambers
The Long Island-based artist Jason Koza, who previously claimed that his drawings of members of the Wu-Tang Clan had been used without his permission in the album art for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin… (see Crimes of the Art #48), is suing RZA, the producer Cilvaringz, online auction site Paddle8, and the buyer of the only copy of the album, Martin Shkreli, for copyright infringement.
Verdict: Who would’ve imagined, when this whole multi-million-dollar, single-copy album scheme was first announced, that the whole thing would backfire so spectacularly? Oh wait, everyone.
Airline Sued for Fontana’s Bumpy Flight
American Airlines and seven art and luggage handling companies — Elite Systematic Arts, MainFreight, CDG Handling, ARC Transport, World Freight, Socièté Nouvelle Cornu Emballeurs, and Kraft ELS AG — are being sued for damage sustained by Lucio Fontana’s slash painting “Concetto Spaziale” (1955–60) when it was shipped from Paris to New York City for last year’s Armory Show art fair.
Verdict: What was that blue chip art doing on American Airlines in the first place? Everyone knows Singapore Airlines is the preferred airline of masterpieces.
Dino Sculpture Used for Jurassic-Size Prank
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A 25-foot-long sculpture of a triceratops was moved into the middle of the road overnight, allegedly by drunken pranksters, in the village of Godshill on the Isle of Wight. The large sculpture had been dragged there from nearby Island Gems, a store that sells gems and fossils.
Verdict: If this is all an elaborate Island Gems publicity stunt, we think it’s T-rexxic.
Ring of Temple Looters Busted
Four men were arrested for robbing 21 temples throughout India over the course of more than a decade. Police also recovered a silver Parshwanath Maharaj idol that the gang stole from a Jain temple. A jewelry dealer suspected of buying much of their loot was also arrested.
Verdict: On top of their official sentence, ransacking 21 temples entitles these looters to several lifetimes of bad karma.
Motives Behind Glass Art Theft Remain Opaque
Verdict: The thief probably realized that the sculpture he’d stolen is horribly gaudy.
Ice Dragon Grounded
A 300-pound sculpture of a dragon’s head created by first-time ice artist Rob Kimmel at the 2016 Northampton Ice Art Festival was smashed within hours of its completion. Several sculptures at last year’s Northampton Ice Art Festival met with similar fates (see Crimes of the Art #1).
Verdict: Whoever did this must have a block of ice where his heart should be.
Columbia University exhibition thwarts the de-politicization of postwar abstract art with a series of provocative questions.
Some 500 satirical guerilla billboard ads posted across Europe featured texts such as “#SayYesToTheEndOfTheWorld” and “Low Fares to Plastic island.”
Open to scholars, artists, curators, and writers, this new fellowship embraces the interdisciplinary spirit of a pioneering fiber artist and comes with a $30,000 stipend.
Despite his reportedly encyclopedic knowledge of the region’s geologic and mineral makeup, Heizer has displayed a baffling incuriousness about the larger story of the land he digs, cuts, and plows.
Using the pressures of adolescence and indoctrination of the church as a framework, Campbell captures the stress endured by young women and their bodies.
These virtual talks will share details on the MFA and M.Arch programs, alumni experiences, financial aid and fellowships, student life, and more.
The investigation represents the first step of a process to return the works to families and descendants of those who originally owned them.
The menial work, combined $17/hour pay, no benefits, and a lack of support from higher-ups has reportedly led to severe staff shortages.
This new kunsthaus in Potsdam shows modern and contemporary works of art from East Germany in what was once a terrace restaurant.
Eliza Naranjo Morse and Jamison Chas Banks envisioned Giving Growth as a response to the forced isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Latinos represent 18.7% of the United States’s population as of the 2020 census, only 3.1% of lead roles in television shows feature them.
The museum and union have yet to agree on wages and healthcare.