From a Big-Time Sotheby’s CryptoPunk Sale to Protests Against the Biennale in Venice: The Best & Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Images of CryptoPunks displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square on May 12, 2021 in New York City. Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images.


Crypto Sale Raises $54 Million – A collaboration between Julian Assange and Pak has netted a staggering $54 million to support Assange’s legal defense fund.

Sotheby’s to Sell CryptoPunks – The largest cache of punks ever to hit the auction market is coming to Sotheby’s, and it could bring in $30 million.

BAYC Founders Unmasked – A Buzzfeed journalist tracked down the real identities of the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, setting off conversations about anonymity in the cryptosphere.

Brooklyn Museum to Host Virgil Abloh Show – The first posthumous retrospective devoted to the late polymath is coming to Brooklyn this summer.

Long Live Immersive Everything – The company behind Paris’s famed Atelier des Lumières is opening a permanent space in Manhattan, where it will debut a Gustav Klimt experience.

Kimberly Drew Joins Pace – The curator and writer is pivoting from working in arts communication to working with living artists at the mega-gallery.

Tate Severs Ties With Sacklers – The institution is finally removing the Sackler name from various museums after announcing it would no longer accept funding from the family back in 2019.

Museum Moves – Curator Christopher Bedford is leaving the Baltimore Museum to helm SFMOMA.

Religious Panel Sets Auction Record – A long-lost painting by Northern Renaissance artist Bernhard Strigel set a $4 million auction record for the artist.

Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Arena – Researchers in Switzerland uncovered what could be the last Gladiator arena ever constructed.



Alleged Cyber Criminals Are NFT Collectors – A self-proclaimed artist and rapper and her husband are accused of laundering $4.5 billion in Bitcoin to buy Walmart gift cards and NFTs.

Picasso NFT Flops – After the controversy surrounding an NFT release based on the late artist’s ceramics, it turned out buyers weren’t keen to get in on the ploy.

Doodle Damage – A bored guard at a Russian museum drew googly eyes on a $1 million painting.

Protests at Venice – A Venice-based coalition is protesting the Biennale’s proposal to take over more space in the 12th-century Arsenale to house its archives.

Ukraine Art Scene’s Uncertain Future – As tensions with Russia escalate, artists and cultural producers are grappling with ways to keep working.

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