Art Industry News: Loïc Gouzer’s Fair Warning Sold a Basquiat for $10.8 Million, a Record for an In-App Purchase of Anything + Other Stories

Plus, Burning Man art gets a permanent home in Las Vegas and a new parody website calls out pay inequity at the Guggenheim.

Christie's Loïc Gouzer with the Jean-Michel Basquiat painting that sold to Yusaku Maezawa for $57 million in 2016. Photo: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/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 Friday, July 31.


Meet the Amateur Art Detective Trying to Prove Gauguins Are Fakes – An amateur sleuth is challenging museums on the authenticity of works attributed to Paul Gauguin. Fabrice Fourmanoir says there’s something fishy about Gauguin’s The Invocation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and Women and a White Horse at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Once dismissed as an obsessive loon, Fourmanoir has been taken more seriously after his suspicions eventually compelled the Getty Museum to recognize that what it had thought was a Gauguin sculpture in its collection was actually… not. The art detective goes even further, however, suggesting that nearly all of Gauguin’s assumed final works in museums around the world are fake. (Washington Post)

What Can You Really Do With an Art Degree? – You may have already heard this from your parents, but US News is here to tell you again: pursuing an art or design degree probably may not be particularly lucrative. Data on pay from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that most people working in the creative arts in the US earn less than $60,000 a year, with the median salary for craft and fine artists coming out to just $48,760. But art schools and alumni say there are many ways to make that degree more commercially viable, including pursuing careers in art directing, animation, and fashion design. (US News and World Report)

Burning Man Art Comes to Las Vegas – An outdoor art gallery devoted to sculptures created at desert festivals like Burning Man is opening in Las Vegas in September. The venue is part of Area15, an immersive arts and music entertainment complex. Among the works on view at the 10,000-square-foot open-air gallery is In Every Lifetime I Will Find You, a mirrored 14-foot sculpture of a couple embracing by Belgian artist Michael Benitsky that debuted at Burning Man last year. The display offers a chance to commune with the monumental art in a year when most festivals have been cancelled. (The Art Newspaper)

A Parody Website Calls Out Pay Inequity at the Guggenheim – The group Artists for Workers is taking aim at the Guggenheim after creating a mock New Museum website to criticize its politics. The latest parody site, called the “Guggenheim Transparency Initiative,” presents what the group claims are leaked internal documents that point to “significant wage gaps” across departments. It says that BIPOC workers in the facilities department are paid on average “$8,209.31 less than their white coworkers, despite having been at the Guggenheim an average of seven years longer than them.” (Hyperallergic)


Fair Warning’s Basquiat Sets an App Record – Loïc Gouzer’s Fair Warning app announced yesterday that it sold Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) for $10.8 million. The price is a world record for an in-app purchase. The oil stick on paper was estimated to sell for between $8 million to $12 million; it had a guarantee near its low estimate. (Instagram)

Paris Internationale Will Go On – Organizers of the FIAC satellite fair for emerging art have announced it will go ahead in October. The sixth edition of the fair will take a scaled-back approach: the roughly 35 participating galleries will not have booths, and instead contribute two to three artworks to a joint exhibition. The gallerists themselves do not have to be present. The fair will also have an online viewing room, participation in which will be included in cost of taking part in the fair. (Journal des Arts)


Baltimore Museum of Art Adds Six Trustees – The Maryland institution has added six new members to its board of trustees, noting that it is “essential that we continue to diversify the BMA’s board leadership.” New trustees include Denise Galambos, vice president of human resources at Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. (ARTnews)

Grindr Launches… an Art Section? – The gay dating app Grindr has launched a new section for art lovers. Its new “Circle” feature has a chat room function where users can discuss everything from activism to their love of queer art and photography. (TAN)


Sydney’s Cultural Sector Gets $1.4 Million – Sydney’s cultural and creative sector will receive AU$1.4 million ($1 million) in grants from the Australian city. First Nations storytellers, accessible experimental artworks, and a smartphone film festival are among the projects that will be given a boost. (Press release)

Pussy Riot Releases Protest Video – The Russian music and art collective has released a new music video, Riot. The thrashing song has some poignant lyrics: “All this cop cars give me anxiety, all these killers give me anxiety, politicians give me anxiety, all these fascists give me anxiety.” Watch below. (Email)

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