Art Industry News: A Startup Is Trying to Combat ‘Gentrification’ and Flipping in the Sneaker Market to Save the Soul of Kicks + Other Stories

Plus, the Cranbrook Academy of Art gets a game-changing gift and cities across the US consider universal basic income for artists.

"The Ultimate Sneaker Collection" auction at Sotheby's in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

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 on this Wednesday, April 7.


Venice Passes New Laws Blocking Biennale Rental Properties – Authorities in Venice have tightened the rules governing exhibitions held in the city’s private residences. Temporary exhibitions longer than 180 days must take place in public buildings, foundations, or not-for-profit spaces. The new rules, which also require private spaces to apply for change of use status to host exhibitions and to maintain a 12-month gap between shows, spell trouble for ancillary events to the art and architecture biennales. (The Art Newspaper)

Some American Cities Test Universal Basic Income for Artists – American cities including San Francisco and St. Paul, Minnesota, are piloting programs to give a monthly stipend to artists to help them focus on their work and reduce the need to get a second job. In San Francisco, the city’s arts commission will give $1,000 monthly payments to 130 artists over six months, and similar programs are being experimented with in other cities. (New York Times)

One Couple’s Fight to Stop the “Gentrification” of Sneaker Collecting – Sneaker resale platform Another Lane wants to restore a sense of community to sneaker collecting culture as investor-flippers threaten to dominate the lucrative market. “You can sometimes no longer recognize the culture that you grew to know and love,” platform cofounder Adena Jones says. “Sneakers are being treated like wheat and oil.” The platform aims to bring fairness back and curtail flippers by vetting the sellers allowed into its membership-only community. (Bloomberg)

Hindu Nationalists Tear Down Statue of Indian Spiritual Teacher – Hindu nationalists have destroyed an idol depicting the spiritual leader Sai Baba in a Delhi temple. The figure, who intentionally kept his religion ambiguous, is worshipped by Hindus and Muslims. But videos have emerged of what appear to be Hindu nationalists demolishing the figure and declaring him “Muslim.” The figure has been replaced by a statue of the Hindu deity Ganesh. No formal case has been launched into the incident. (The Art Newspaper)


Sotheby’s Is Collaborating with Nifty Gateway for Pak’s NFT Sale – Sotheby’s will work with Nifty Gateway to sell artist Pak’s “The Fungible Collection” on April 12. It is the first time a major house has worked with the platform. (ARTnews)

New Art Fair Focused on the Middle East Will Open in Paris – The director of Beirut Art Fair, Laure d’Hauteville, is launching a new event in Paris in May. Called MENART Fair, it will include 20 galleries focused on modern and contemporary art from the Middle East and North Africa. (Le Journal des Arts)


Artist Winfred Rembert Dies – Rembert—who turned his trauma growing up in the Jim Crow South, including an attempted lynching, into art—has died at age 75 in Connecticut. He was known for carving figures and scenes into leather ranging from gangs of prisoners to pool halls. (New York Times)

Cranbrook Academy of Art Gets a $30 Million Gift – Michigan-based philanthropists Jennifer and Dan Gilbert have gifted $30 million to the Cranbrook Academy of Art near Detroit. The funds will create and endow 10 fellowships for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in each incoming class in perpetuity. (TAN)


The New York Times Collects Objects and Stories From COVID Dead – The newspaper has been collecting objects and interviews to memorialize the lives lost to the pandemic. The virtual memorial project, called “Those We’ve Lost” aims to provide an outlet for grief and to put faces and names to the numbers. See our round-up of other memorials here. (NYT)

Jefferson Davis Memorial Might Be Turned Into… a Toilet? – An activist group is holding ransom a Confederate monument, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair, until the Confederate organization that owns it agrees to hang a banner on its headquarters bearing a quote from a Black Liberation Army activist. The activist group, White Lies Matter, has threatened to turn the stone chair, estimated to be worth $500,000, into a toilet. (

The Jefferson Davis Chair, mocked up as a toilet. Photo: White Lies Matter.

The Jefferson Davis Chair, mocked up as a toilet. Photo: White Lies Matter.

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