On April 8, I wrote a story on Bravo’s Gallery Girls, a new reality show in the making, and the name and concept’s similarity to a popular independent webcomic, also called Gallery Girls. In this post, Bravo responds to the possible conflict and I take stock of commenter responses.
The Guardian reports that an extremist Christian group has attacked a print of artist Andres Serrano’s infamous photograph “Piss Christ” (1987), smashing an acrylic plastic barrier around the piece and slashing the print itself with a “screwdriver or ice pick” (WTF). This follows previous attacks on the same photograph in 1997 and 2007.
The bad news keeps rolling in for Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass, who yesterday was sentenced to one year in prison for his failure to enforce a court ruling. In other news, many Egyptians are outraged that Hawass used ancient Egyptian artifacts to promote his own menswear line.
US-focused graphic novel publisher Tokyopop, founded in 1997, has announced that it will be closing the doors on its American operation on May 31. Tokyopop was the first to publish Japanese manga (comics, or graphic novels) in their original, un-flipped state and did much to popularize what has been called the “manga revolution.”
It’s almost summer so Hyperallergic is on the look out for a few good interns. The internship would run from late-May through August (negotiable), and the deadline is Friday, April 22.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been missing for 12 days without official charge from the Chinese government. In protest, artists and activists all over the world are planning a global sit-in this Sunday, April 17 at 1 pm, staking out Chinese embassies with 1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei, a take on Ai Weiwei’s 2007 “Fairytale” project in Kassel, Germany.
All over the world, protesters will bring chairs to Chinese embassies and consulates and “sit peacefully” in support of Ai. Spearheaded by New York City’s own Creative Time, the organization writes that “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei calls for [Ai’s] immediate release, supporting the right of artists to speak and work freely in China and around the world.” See the event’s Facebook page for details, including gathering places and times all over the world.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has given out one of its annual “Jefferson Muzzle” awards to Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough for his removal of David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” video and censoring of Hide/Seek at the National Portrait Gallery. That’s one trophy we assume won’t be going on display in his home.
Andy Warhol was 17% of the Contemporary auction market in 2010, and 12% of the 2000-2010 total.
This is the most incredible jaw-dropping statistic from an ArtTactic report titled “Andy Warhol: The Art Market Zeitgeist.”
The list of domestic spending cuts for the new national budget announced by the US government this morning includes $13 million in funding cuts for both the NEA and the NEH, but that’s just the start of the damage. $8.5 million has been cut from the NGA budget, and reduced funding to a program that supports Washington’s private artistic organizations by 75 percent.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is still missing after his arrest over a week ago, so the story now turns around how the arrest is being discussed in international dialogue. US, German and French officials have called for Ai’s release, but others, including one German museum director and a segment of Chinese netizens, publicly disagree with Ai Weiwei’s personal political methods.
Ai Weiwei has not been heard from for or seen in over a week now, but despite the lack of news from the artist, the story of his arrest keeps developing. In this update, a protest is held for Ai in Hong Kong, with a prominent government opposition leader joining in, and Ai’s driver and accountant are also arrested after a visit from police. In a bizarre turn, the Chinese government’s Xinhua news service has accused Ai of plagiarizing the idea for his “Fairytale Project” (performed in Kassel, Germany in 2007) from a lesser known Chinese art professor, even though the professor and “victim” denies the claim.
There have been rumors that Bravo is developing a new “reality” TV show based around the lives of Chelsea’s young, questionably glamorous gallerinas, but with an April 6 announcement came confirmation and a title: the show in development is named “Gallery Girls,” and will “follow the lives of 6 young, 20-something women that work in New York City’s hippest art galleries.” The announcement was met with an immediate negative reaction — “Gallery Girls” happens to also be the name of a webcomic, created and copyrighted in October 2008 by Chinatown resident Mary Blakemore, that covers much the same territory as Bravo’s proposed show. Is Bravo’s show a rip off of Blakemore’s comic? Or could this be a case of unintentional copyright infringement?