From the Virtual Met Gala to Galleries Defying Lockdown Orders: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Billy Porter at the 2019 Met Gala celebrating
Billy Porter at the 2019 Met Gala celebrating "Camp: Notes on Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic.

BEST👍

Find Your Fortune – Members of the public are installing late artist Felix González-Torres’s work Untitled (Fortune Cookie Corner) in 1,000 locations around the world, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Marina Code – On this week’s episode of the Art Angle podcast, we delve into the crazy true story of a conspiracy theory involving Marina Abramović, Microsoft, Alex Jones, and more.

Frieze Frame – The VIP days for Frieze’s inaugural online viewing rooms launched with big-ticket sales and a flurry of activity despite the new virtual setup.

Studio Drift Lights Up the Sky – The art duo took to the skies with a swarm of illuminated drones, forming a heart as a tribute of thanks to frontline workers.

The Met Gala Takes Twitter – With the cancellation of the IRL Met Gala, a bunch of trendy teens took to Twitter for a virtual celebration of high fashion.

Banksy Gives Back – The anonymous street artist gifted a new painting of a superhero nurse to the Southampton General Hospital, where it will stay until it goes to auction in the fall.

Little Artist Everywhere – Reese Witherspoon, star of the art-centric drama Little Fires Everywhere, is trying out her hand at the craft, posting images online of her latest watercolors.

Seeing Spots – A cheeky art collective that cut up one of Damien Hirst’s spot prints netted a tidy sum when the left over paper fetched more than $250,000. (The original work was bought for $30,000.)

To BP or Not to BP – Self-taught artist Jiab Prachakul has won the annual BP Portrait Prize, which for he first time in two decades wasn’t actually judged by BP.

 

WORST👎

Defiant Cali Galleries Open Doors – Despite stay-at-home orders remaining in effect, at least two galleries in Menlo Park, California, are refusing to follow the rules.

Sotheby’s Precarious Finances – After a marked drop in sales, the auction house’s latest financial report paints a grim picture, which the company hopes to fix with drastic cost-cutting measures.

Philly Arts in Trouble – The city’s mayor released a new budget proposal that would eliminate the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, along with other arts and cultural entities.

International Ops – Some 19,000 stolen artifacts and artworks were recovered in an international police operation resulting in more than 100 arrests across 103 countries.

Earthquake Strikes Puerto Rico – After yet another earthquake struck the island, the Museo de la Masacre de Ponce is among the devastated buildings.

Napster Founder’s Old Master Mishap – Tech entrepreneur Sean King got into a legal tussle over a Peter Paul Rubens painting he bought at Christie’s, and then the consignor reneged on the deal.


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