Art Industry News: The Guggenheim Is Looking for an MBA to Teach It About NFT Art (But Just Pay Them an Intern’s Salary) + Other Stories
Plus, MoMA board chair Leon Black leaves Apollo four months early and Damien Hirst is a big fan of Beeple.
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 Tuesday, March 23.
Leon Black Leaves Apollo Four Months Early – The financier and art collector has stepped down from his post as chief executive of the private equity firm Apollo Asset Management four months ahead of his scheduled departure on July 31. Citing his health and that of his wife, he said he would also vacate the post of chairman, which he previously planned to maintain. Black’s term as board chair of the Museum of Modern Art in New York is up for renewal in July. He is under increased pressure to step aside in the wake of revelations about his financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein. (Artforum)
Damien Hirst Is a Fan of Beeple – The British artist makes a cameo in the New Yorker‘s profile of Beeple’s whirlwind rise to global fame. After the American digital artist’s $69 million sale at Christie’s, Hirst messaged to say: “My 15-year-old son showed me your work a while ago, this is fucking great, congratulations, you’re awesome.” As for the art world writ large, Beeple has little interest. Asked about the inspiration for one of his early “Everydays,” he said, “I’m going to be honest, when you say, ‘Abstract Expressionism,’ literally, I have no idea what the hell that is.” (New Yorker)
Is the Guggenheim Looking for a Crypto Expert? – The Guggenheim is on the hunt for MBA student interns who can help evaluate NFT-based art. The intern will consider how blockchain and crypto currency might inform collecting strategy and how the Guggenheim might extend into a digital experience. We’re not museum administrators, but don’t these questions seem… a little high-level for someone getting paid an intern’s salary? (Coindesk)
Park Avenue Armory Postpones Socially Distanced Programming – The Park Avenue Armory in New York has postponed the first of a series of socially distanced performances after several of the performers tested positive for the coronavirus. The inaugural event, Afterwardsness, is a music and dance performance conceived by choreographer Bill T. Jones that addresses the isolation and trauma of both COVID-19 and ongoing violence agianst Black bodies, and was slated to be performed by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. (The Art Newspaper)
Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sold for $2.9 Million as an NFT – Here’s a sentence you probably wouldn’t have understood if you read it a year ago: The first-ever tweet, by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, sold to a buyer with the username @sinaEstavi as an NFT for $2.9 million on the platform Valuables, which sells tweets exclusively. (Valuables by Cent)
Rare Bernini Drawing Sets a Record in France – On Saturday, Académie d’homme, a 17th-century drawing by Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, sold for €1.9 million ($2.3 million) at the French auction house Actéon. The red chalk work, which set a record for a drawing by the artist, was expected to sell for €30,000–50,000 ($36,000–60,000). (Art Market Monitor)
COMINGS & GOINGS
French Culture Minister Gets COVID-19 – Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, France’s culture minister, confirmed that she has tested positive for COVID-19. (Her predecessor, Franck Riester, came down with the virus last March.) A third wave of coronavirus is hitting many European nations, including France. (Twitter)
DC’s National Gallery of Art Names Deputy Director – The National Gallery of Art has appointed Eric L. Motley as its new deputy director. Motley, who begins the role in August, joins from the Aspen Institute, where he was executive vice president and corporate secretary. (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Museums Respond to Atlanta Hate Crime – The Museum of Chinese in America is one of many institutions in the US that has responded to the murder of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta, Georgia last week. “This is a frightening escalation of the racial violence targeting Asian American Pacific Islanders across the country since the pandemic began,” the museum said in a statement. “Attacks have occurred on the streets in broad daylight, just outside victims’ homes, and at their jobs—terrifying incidents that recall previous eras of anti-Asian bigotry.” (Hyperallergic)
Marc Quinn’s BLM Statue Could Get a Long-Term Home – A statue of Black Lives Matter protestor Jen Reid, made by Marc Quinn, could return to the plinth where it first appeared in Bristol last summer. The sculpture had replaced one of the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston, which was toppled last summer. The planning services company Interpolitan Ltd is seeking permission to reinstall the statue of Reid for a period of two years. (TAN)
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