Art Industry News: Meet the Crook Addicted to Selling Fake Damien Hirsts + More Must-Read Stories

Plus Irish photographer Richard Mosse gets arrested in Greece, and Sotheby's hires a new managing director in Europe.

Damien Hirst, Ergocalciferol (2007). Image courtesy Phillips.

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 Tuesday, June 20.


Photographer Richard Mosse Arrested in Greece – The Irish artist was observing an anti-immigration rally in Chios when undercover policemen arrested and detained him for several hours. Mosse’s arrest points to growing tension on the island between those who welcome refugees and those who reject their presence. (The Art Newspaper)

What Is the State of Art in Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule? – Since 1997, the scene has flourished with increased funding and a thriving creative environment. Artists, however, are expressing a growing a fear of impending censorship. (South China Morning Post)

Three Charged With Selling Fake Damien Hirsts Online – Scammer Vincent Lopreto pleaded not guilty to charges of peddling $400,000 worth of fake Damien Hirst prints over a two-year period in New York. The bust came just 15 days after his release from prison, where he was serving time for the same scam. Two other men have also been charged. (ARTnews)

The Arts Council of England to Enforce “Quality Metrics” Scheme – In an attempt to assign monetary value to the experience of art, the Arts Council will implement a program beginning next April that is based on audience questionnaires. Their answers will determine who receives future funding and who does not. (Telegraph)

Ei Arakawa Work Stolen from Skulptur Projekte Munster – The outdoor sculpture was pilfered on June 17 by thieves who remain at large. Arakawa remains in good spirits, though, calling the theft a “performance” that reveals “how vulnerable art in a public space can be.” (ARTnews)


Gallery List Announced for 1:54 Art Fair – 41 galleries and over 130 emerging and established African and diaspora artists are set to grace Somerset house from 5–8 October for the fifth edition of the contemporary African art fair, including 11 newcomers to the London fair and 8 solo exhibitors. (Press Release)

Ariana Grande’s Crown Goes to Auction – The Dangerous Woman singer’s headpiece designed by Mary Collins will be sold by a private collector, with bidding set to start at $5,000 on Thursday. Unlike the proceeds from Grande’s recent One Love Manchester concert, the spoils from the sale will not be going to charity. (Womenswear Daily)


Collector Carla Fendi Dies at 79 – Fendi, one of five sisters who turned her family leather business into a global fashion brand, has died at 79 after a long illness. The company’s longtime president was also a savvy collector whose holdings included work by Enrico Castellani and Giorgio Morandi and a philanthropist who funded the preservation of Italian heritage. (Bloomberg)

Jan Prasens Appointed Managing Director of Sotheby’s Europe – The former Sotheby’s treasurer will be based in London as he takes on his new role at the auction house. He will continue to oversee the management of Financial Services until a replacement is found. (Press release)

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2017 Grantees – The 53 grants awarded in support of arts and culture in the Philadelphia area will total over $10.3 million and fund 12 new Pew Fellowships, 39 project grants and two advancement grants. (Artforum)


US Billionaire Brings Dutch Masters to China’s Masses – American billionaire Tom Kaplan is showcasing 70 works from his precious Leiden Collection at China’s National Museum until September. The show is a version of a traveling exhibition that kicked off at the Louvre. (Press release)

Australian Activist Demands Return of Ancestor’s Shield  Rodney Kelly demands the return of the artifact, seized in 1770, from the British Museum. With the aid of performance protest group BP Or Not BP?, the aboriginal rights activist has organized a series of unsanctioned “rebel lectures” to expose the museum’s ill-gotten gains. (Hyperallergic)

See Artist Tobias Rehberger’s Jewelry – The German artist has designed three rings for the Art Jewelry Collection GEMS AND LADDERS, which he has named YES, NO, and MAYBE. This is his second collaboration with the Swiss project, created by art collector Thomas W. Bechtler. (Press release)

Tobias Rehberger, YES, NO, MAYBE. Courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc.

Tobias Rehberger, YES, NO, MAYBE. Courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc.

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