Best and Worst of The Art World This Week in One Minute

Featuring Spiral Jetty, Leonardo DiCaprio, and a whole lot of turtles.

Leonardo DiCaprio and artist Walton Ford are close friends. Photo:


1. An art-meets-science expedition in the Solomon Islands made a pretty incredible discovery: a species of glow-in-the-dark sea turtles that are works of art themselves.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio nabbed a Walton Ford painting for just $250,000 at an auction to benefit endangered turtles. What a week for turtles!

3. Ben Davis on the highlights from this year’s ArtPrize competition, where the best works are either engineered to delight or designed to challenge.

4. Egypt gave the green light to researchers to search for the crypt of Queen Nefertiti inside King Tut‘s 3,300-year-old tomb.

5. The French government is prepared to pay up to $89.5 million to keep one of the two exceptional Rembrandt paintings coveted by the Netherlands in the country.


1. Street artist Antonio Ramos was shot dead in Oakland while painting a mural commissioned by a community group promoting anti-violence initiatives.

2. Moody’s Investors Service released a report this week that called to attention Sotheby’s debt levels, observing that the auction house is “sacrificing its balance sheet to support its loan portfolio.”

3. Robert Smithson‘s Spiral Jetty, installed in the Great Salt Lake, is at risk. While authorities say there is no immediate need to take action to protect the work, there is definite cause for concern.

4. Leonid Nikolayek, a prominent member of the Russian dissident art collective Voina, died last week after an accident while cutting timber.

5. A man was charged with smashing a $120,000 Dale Chihuly sculpture at the Tacoma Museum of Art. Depending on your opinion of Chihuly, we suppose this could also be fodder for the “best” column.

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