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Week in Review: Artist Arrested For Supporting Hong Kong Protests; Picasso Portrait Vandalized in London

Also, a historical mural in Santa Fe is facing destruction, a “Rainbow Embassy” was opened in Arkansas, a man graffitied “Bird God” in huge letters on Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza’s arch, and more.

Artist Okuda San Miguel’s “Rainbow Embassy” in Fort Smith, Arkansas (courtesy Justkids)

Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

Authorities in China have detained the artist Yang Licai for supporting the protesters in Hong Kong on social media. PEN America issued a statement demanding Yang’s immediate release, and so did his old comrade, the more widely known Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

A 40-year-old Chicano mural in Santa Fe, once named one of the city’s “living treasures,” is facing destruction in a recently approved design for the Vladem Contemporary museum, a planned extension of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Members of the community are objecting to the plans.

Gilberto Guzman, “Multi-Cultural” (1980) (photo by Ellie Duke for Hyperallergic)

Shakeel Massey, a 20-year-old from north London, is held in Police custody for allegedly ripping a $26 million Picasso portrait of Dora Maar at Tate Modern. The painting was removed from public display. Hyperallergic looked into the history of Maar’s abusive relationship with Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, “Bust of a Woman” (1944) (Photo by and courtesy of Paul O’Garra via flickrstream)

A man in Brooklyn hijacked a crane and sprayed the graffiti “Bird God” on the arch of Grand Army Plaza. He was apprehended shortly after. In court, the tagger claimed that he was instructed to paint the cryptic message in a 1960 letter from his great-great-grandfather. It gets even more bizarre. Click here for the full story.

A tagger in action at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn (courtesy of Instagram user @srt_bully_ and used with permission)

Artist Okuda San Miguel brings his colorful “Rainbow Embassy” to Fort Smith, Arkansas in collaboration with the company JustKids and a local nonprofit. It’s a feast for the eyes.

Simon Beck, a former engineer from the United Kingdom, creates spectacular land art pieces on snowy canvases around the world with just his snowboots and the power of his legs. See his best work here.

Did you know that Disney can be credited with producing 80% of the top 10 box office hits of 2019? See our report on the blockbusters of the year and the indie gems that hide among them.

In case you missed it, check out Hyperallergic’s 2019 list of the 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World.

Simon Beck’s “snow art” (courtesy the artist)

This Week in the Art World

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare announced establishing two artist residencies in Nigeria with Guest Artists Space Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering international artistic exchange. | Artnews

Melanie Pocock, who has worked as assistant curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore since 2014, was named curator at Ikon Gallery in London. | ArtAsiaPacific

In Memoriam

Wanda Pimentel (1943-2019), artist | artreview

Cheung Yee (1936-2019), artist | Artforum

Woody Vasulka (1937–2019), video artist | NYT

Neil Innes (1944-2019), humorist and musician | NYT

Kelly Fraser (1993-2019), singer | NYT

Sue Lyon (1946-2019), actor | NYT

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