From Banksy’s Ill-Fated Trip to Venice to Ai Weiwei’s Lawsuit Against Volkswagen: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

The police busted Banksy in St. Mark's Square. Screen shot courtesy of Pest Control.


Banksy Strikes Again – The street artist was in Venice after all, though it looks like he ran into some trouble, according to a new video he posted to his Instagram.

The Whitney Violinnial? – artnet News’s Ben Davis spoke to musician Laura Ortman, one of the standout stars of the Whitney Biennial, and an unlikely addition to a show steeped in paintings, sculptures, and photography.

Steve Cohen Bought the Bunny – Art-world insider Kenny Schachter confirmed the rumors swirling after last week’s auction bonanza: the hedge-fund impresario and mega-collector is now the proud owner of Jeff Koons’s $91 million rabbit sculpture.

Free for L.A. – A $10 million gift from the president of MOCA LA’s board means that the museum will no longer charge a general admission fee, which it hopes will help attract more visitors.

A Pre-Teen Prodigy – Scholars recently identified a drawing made by Michelangelo when he was just 12 years old. While most teenagers these days can barely write longhand, the Renaissance master was already a genius in the making.

The Armory Show Adds a New Section – At the 2020 edition of the New York fair, a special curated section will debut at Piers 90 and 94 while the ill-fated Pier 92 undergoes renovations.

Most Wanted at the Whitney  – We’ve highlighted nine standout artists in the Whitney‘s 75-person show, including the oldest and the youngest participants, all of whom are poised to make a big impression on the contemporary art market.



Andrew Jackson Trumps Harriet Tubman – In an effort to avoid an “uproar,” Trump’s administration has delayed the long-planned redesign of the $20 bill to feature Harriet Tubman until at least 2028, missing its intended celebratory unveiling in time for the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

No Freedom of the Press – A filmmaker was arrested in China for posting images referencing the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which has its 30th anniversary next month.,

Ai Weiwei Gets His Day in Court – The vocal human rights activist and artist is suing Volkswagen for their unauthorized use of his life-jacket installation Soleil Levant in a 2017 commercial, claiming the company infringed on his copyrighted material.

Tariff Trouble – The Trump administration announced new tariffs that would apply to Chinese artworks and antiquities that are more than 100 years old, one more fusillade in the ongoing trade war.

Protesters Parade to Kanders’s Home – Activists with the group Decolonize This Place ratcheted up their tactics over the weekend when the protesters marched to controversial Whitney Museum board member Warren Kanders’s home in the West Village.

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