artnet News Cheat Sheet

The top 10 stories from the week of July 28–August 1.


Anna Syberg, Branche de pommier en fleurs.
Via Wikimedia Commons.

As rising rents and spiking taxes drive dealers out of Chelsea, the next gallery neighborhood of choice may turn out to be the Flower District. As Rozalia Jovanovic reported, low rents, large spaces, and easy access to public transit make the area—which one dealer described as having been just “five blocks of plants and sex” until relatively recently—very advantageous, and the galleries have begun to trickle in.

Art superstar Damien Hirst is venturing into the world of real estate development. His proposal to build a new town from scratch in the English countryside near Ilfracombe was just approved by the local town council. The planned community, which will feature some 750 homes and plenty of environmentally friendly features, is currently going by the working name “Southern Extension project,” but we’d like to suggest some options: Damienton, Hirstshire, Spottopolis, Medicine Hatinet (a pun on Hirst’s seminal series of medicine cabinet sculptures, inspired by the Canadian city of Medicine Hat), or simply The Physical Impossibility of Cities in the Mind of Someone Suburban.

Eileen Kinsella reported on the increasingly sophisticated methods being used by Chinese sculpture manufacturer VLA Sculpture to churn out cheap knockoffs of Jeff Koons’s balloon animal sculptures. The affordable replicas, originally only available in heavy and costly stainless steel, can now also be purchased in resin.

To the dismay of some, and the perplexing indifference of many more, the Tuileries gardens outside the Louvre have become overrun with rats. “Kids go up to them and chase them as if they were pigeons, and picnickers munch on their meals as if they weren’t there,” said photographer Xavier Francolon, who has been documenting the infestation, but sees nothing weird about that. ““They eat their pâté, drink their rosé, or quaff their champagne right next to the rats.”

Venice’s Giorgio Cini Foundation got some good news this week, and some bad news. A painting attributed to Rembrandt that was stolen from the foundation in 1979 was finally recovered thanks to a joint investigation by French and Venetian authorities. But, experts brought in to examine the painting discovered that it is not actually a Rembrandt, but rather the work of Pietro Bellotti, and therefore much, much, much less valuable.

Harun Farocki, Celebrated Filmmaker, Dead at 70

Palestinians Make Art with Gaza Bomb Smoke

18-Year-Old Instagram Art Sensation Quits School

Museo del Prado Finds Over €1 Million in Swiss Bank Account

Israeli Embassy Sparks Outrage with Racist Art Meme

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