Art Industry News: KAWS Has Designed the 2023 Jerseys for the Brooklyn Nets + Other Stories

Plus, Clarence Thomas's billionaire donor is a collector of WWII-era artifacts and a massive portrait of Picasso made by a tractor.

The 2023–24 City Edition jerseys for the Brooklyn Nets, designed by KAWS. Photo: Brooklyn Nets.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, April 10.


Clarence Thomas’s Benefactor Is a Nazi Connoisseur – Harlan Crow, the billionaire donor who funded the Supreme Court justice’s lavish vacations and free trips, is also a collector of Hitler memorabilia. Harlan owns two paintings by Hitler and a signed copy of Mein Kampf, and has a garden filled with sculptures of Hitler and other fallen dictators. Crow is depicted sitting alongside Thomas in a very strange painting by Sharif Tarabay memorializing one of their many luxury outings. (Washingtonian)

Museum Employee Sentenced for Theft of Artifacts – Preston Jay Spotted Eagle, a Browning, Montana-based man who worked at the Museum of the Plains Indian was sentenced to five years of probation for the theft of culturally significant artifacts including beaded moccasins, a bear claw necklace, and golden eagle feathers. The museum is based on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and is managed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board. (Montana Right Now) 

Nets Jerseys Get the KAWS Treatment – The Brooklyn-based artist has designed the 2023-24 City Edition uniforms for the Brooklyn basketball team. An abstract pattern of turquoise, black, blue, and red covers the jersey, with the Nets logo transformed by KAWS’s puffy, cartoonish font. The team’s 2022-23 uniforms were an ode to the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, featuring his iconic sketched crown. (Highsnobiety)

Rare Toy Robot Fetches $50,000 at Auction – A 1975 Radicon robot fetched more than five times its high estimate at Glasgow’s McTear’s Antiques & Interiors auction on April 7. The rare toy was produced by Japanese company Masudaya in 1957, and was only available by special purchase. (Evening Standard) 


Whistler’s Portrait of His Mother Returns to Philly – The famous painting known simply as “Whistler’s Mother,“ though actually titled Arrangement in Gray and Black No 1 (Portrait of the Artist’s Mother) (1871), has returned to the American city more than 142 years after it debuted in 1881 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The work is on loan from Paris’s Musée d’Orsay for the Philadelphia Art Museum’s exhibition featuring depictions of artist’s mothers. (The Art Newspaper)

Arthur Jafa Plans Permanent Installation for Maryland Museum – Jafa is in the midst of working on a permanent piece for the private Glenstone Museum founded by Emily Wei Rales and her husband Mitchell in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Potomac, Maryland. Rales intimated at the “very special” project on an interview for the podcast by Charlotte Burns (co-founder of the Burns-Halperin Report and Art Angle guest), “The Art World: What If?!…” (The Art Newspaper)  

Annie Armstrong on the Pod – In other podcast news, Artnet News’s own Wet Paint scribe Annie Armstrong made an appearance on the “Nota Bene” podcast with former Wet Paint writer Nate Freeman and adviser Benjamin Godsill. The trio chatted about the new generation of galleries cropping up around the Henry Street scene; the fateful plane crash that changed Atlanta, Georgia’s contemporary art scene; and the best watering holes in the East Village. (Nota Bene) 


Land Artist Creates World’s Largest Portrait of Picasso – An artist in Castagnaro, Verona has recreated a massive portrait of the late Spanish artist using a tractor as his brush and a massive field as his canvas. The work commemorated the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death, which was on April 8, 1973. Dario Gambarin has also depicted former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Pope Francis. (Reuters) 

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.