Art Industry News: On-the-Lam Art Star Christian Rosa May Be Hiding From the Feds in Portugal + Other Stories

Plus, two trustees depart London's Science Museum in protest of a sponsor and Britain's youngest Olympian is making an NFT.

Christian Rosa attends the Rema Hort Mann Foundation L.A. Artist Initiative Benefit Auction on November 21, 2013. Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage.

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, November 2. 


Italian Officials Return Ancient Ceramics to Mexico – Restitutions are happening at an increasingly brisk pace. The latest: Italy has returned three ancient artifacts, each more than 2,300 years old, to Mexico, which has become increasingly active in reclaiming its cultural heritage. The pieces, which were illegally trafficked from the country, include two ceramics depicting human faces and a clay pot. (Observer)

Billionaires Are Back for the New York Auctions – The pandemic-era trend of billionaires moving into the private salesrooms of auction houses to buy expensive art might end with the upcoming November sales in New York. Christie’s is planning to kick off the season next week, on November 9, with a 1982 Basquiat that carries a high estimate of $80 million, while Sotheby’s is planning to sell the divorced couple Harry and Linda Macklowe’s collection, which is estimated to bring in at least $600 million. (Bloomberg)

Christian Rosa May Be Hiding in Portugal – In the wake of news that the once white-hot painter is under investigation for selling fake works by his former mentor, Raymond Pettibon, Rosa hasn’t exactly been quiet on social media. Some friends and acquaintances now believe the artist is hiding out in Portugal. His wife, model Helena Severin, recently posted pictures a weekend getaway—and eagle-eyed Instagrammers spotted a water bottle with the label “Mil Fontes,” indicating that she (and her husband) might be in Vila Nova de Milfontes, a resort town on the Alentejo coast in the European country. (Vanity Fair)

Berlin Police In Trouble for Doing Pushups on Holocaust Memorial – A group of officers in Berlin are in hot water for exercising at Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. “The behavior of colleagues is a disregard for what this very memorial stands for and does not correspond to the respect that must be shown to it and that is also shown to it by the Berlin police,” said the German capital’s police chief. “It also violates for me the memory of those who were murdered.” (Monopol)


Britain’s Youngest Olympian Is Making an NFT – The 13-year-old Olympic medalist and skateboarder Sky Brown is joining the league of teens making NFTs with her first drop this month. Part of each purchase will go towards the charity Skateistan, which empowers children through skateboarding and education. (Press release)

Max Hetzler Opens in Blain Southern’s Old Berlin Space – The gallery is opening a fourth location in Berlin. It will take over the space previously occupied by Blain Southern, which closed in 2019 amid bankruptcy. The new space launches this Saturday with a show of André Butzer’s work. (Press release)

Carnegie Museum Names New Curator – Liz Park will be the new Richard Armstrong Curator of Contemporary Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Park previously served as associate curator for the 57th edition of Carnegie International at the museum in 2018. (Press release)

Two Trustees Depart U.K. Science Museum – The tension at U.K. museums over government pressure and corporate ties continues to simmer. Hannah Fry and Jo Foster have quit their positions as trustees of the U.K. Science Museum due to the institution’s ongoing partnership with the Indian fossil fuel company Adani, which plans to sponsor the museum’s forthcoming “green” gallery. (The Art Newspaper)


Google Doodle Honors Zuni Textile Artist – In honor of Native American Heritage Month in November, Google celebrated the life of We:wa, the late two-spirit Zuni textile artist, weaver, and potter, with their own doodle yesterday. The doodle art was created by Zuni Pueblo artist Mallery Quetawki. We:wa was born around 1849 in modern-day New Mexico. (Hyperallergic)


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