Art Industry News: Why Artists Have Started Deleting Their Instagram Accounts + Other Stories

Plus, Fearless Girl moves to the New York Stock Exchange and mega-curator Kasper König is under fire for comments he made at a panel.

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 for Tuesday, December 11.


The Highs and Lows of 2018 – Who (or what) in the art world had a good year, and who (or what) had a bad one? Shredders, it seems, had a great year thanks to Banksy’s antics at Sotheby’s, although Jenny Saville, whose auction record was overshadowed by the street artist’s stunt, might not be as elated about this news. Meanwhile, it was a bad year for Jeff Koons, whose troubles in Paris over a gift and a plagiarism lawsuit might have soured his view of the City of Lights. (The Art Newspaper)

Asian Women’s Group Protests Araki Show – A group called the Angry Asian Girls Association protested at the opening of a show of photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki on Friday at the foundation C/O Berlin. The activists wanted to call attention to the #MeToo allegations made by Kaori, a Japanese model in some of Araki’s explicit photographs. She says that Araki didn’t give her a contract or pay her for all of her work. The group called out the foundation on Facebook, writing that it is time to get past “the times of sexual exploitation by male predators.” (ARTnews)

The Artists-on-Instagram Backlash Begins – More collectors are buying off social media than ever. But, against all odds, some artists are deciding to delete their Instagram accounts. Brad Phillips, who made his career through the app, says that what might seem like self-sabotage is actually self-preservation. Artists, it seems, don’t like how they have become addicted to the likes and are worried about over-exposing their work, as well as getting ripped off by other artists and big fashion houses. Artist Andrea Crespo says allowing social media to influence what kind of art you make—a growing danger in this Instagram-saturated world—is “really bad for art.” (Vulture)

Kasper König Criticized for Comments Made at Panel The prominent German curator and founding director of Skulptur Projekte Münster has been accused of making racist remarks at a panel discussion about the rise of right-wing politics in Germany on November 12. König referred to the “aggression” of Turkish immigrants, which he says is at odds with a “sense of society,” and cited the immigrant-heavy area of Kreuzberg as an example of a “multicultural extreme.” The Municipal Theater in Munich, which hosted the panel, has since apologized for König’s remarks. (Hyperallergic)


New York Gallery Hits Back at Gentrification Claims – The director of Tramps gallery in New York, Parinaz Mogadassi, has published an open letter responding to allegations that the gallery is participating in the gentrification of Chinatown. She says the location was not regularly being rented in the past and refuses to apologize for her presence in the neighborhood. (ARTnews)

Star Wars Lightsaber Withdrawn From Auction – The Los Angeles auction house Profiles in History has withdrawn a lightsaber with a $200,000 estimate that it had advertised as one of five used by Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars movie. Fans concerned about its authenticity pointed to claims from the maker that he created exact replicas of the lightsaber in question. (Reuters)

Fine Art Society Auctions Its Stock – The London gallery is selling more than 300 works by artists including James McNeill Whistler, Peter Blake, and Gluck at Sotheby’s on February 5 to mark a new era for the gallery as it relocates. It has been priced out of the tony New Bond Street space it has occupied for 142 years. (Guardian)


Qatar’s National Museum Will Open in March 2019 – The Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar will “definitely” open in Doha on March 28, 2019, French media reports. The spectacular—and long-delayed—$434 million building will house nearly a mile of galleries and a rebuilt palace to tell the story of the gas-rich kingdom. (Le Figaro)

Robin Nicholson to Lead the Telfair Museums – The director of the Frick Pittsburgh, Robin Nicholson, is heading to the Telfair Museums in Savannah. He will succeed Lisa Grove as Georgia art museum’s CEO. (ARTnews)

Tickets for the Taj Mahal Soar in Cost – To control attendance at the Taj Mahal, ticket prices will rise sharply. Indian citizens’ tickets will become five times more expensive, from 50 rupees ($0.70) to 250 rupees ($3.50). International tourists will pay around $19 to enter the UNESCO World Heritage complex, up from $16. (AFP)

The Warhol Foundation Expands Regional Grants– Grassroots and other under-the-radar projects in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Denver will be supported by the Warhol Foundation as the foundation expands its regional regranting program. Nonprofits SPACES, RedLine, and Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation will receive new funding as part of the $1.4 million effort. (Press release)


Doris Salcedo Turns Weapons Into a Peace Symbol – The Colombian artist has transformed guns handed in by the Farc rebels into an “anti-monument” to her country’s 52-year civil war. After the Colombian military helped melt down the decommissioned weapons, victims helped helped refashion the metal into tiles. Salcedo’s new work went on view in Bogotá on Monday; other monuments are due to be installed in Cuba and outside the UN building in New York. (Guardian)

Denver Museum Exhibition Vandalized – A teenager ran amok in the Denver Art Museum of Sunday before being arrested. Jake Siebenlist, 18, caused “extensive damage” to sculptures, artifacts, and paintings, according to a Denver police report. Ten works, including Mayan and Chinese pieces depicting animals, were damaged in an exhibition called, ironically, “Stampede.” (Westward)

Fearless Girl Takes on Wall Street – Kristen Visbal’s statue Fearless Girl has a new home outside the formerly male bastion of the New York Stock Exchange. Betty Liu, the stock exchange’s vice president, and Stacey Cunningham, its first female president, attended the unveiling on December 10. The sculpture with attitude “says in one image all that advocates can say in pages and pages of arguments and statistics,” said New York congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. (AFP)

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