From left: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz at the opening of "Giants" at Brooklyn Museum, 2024. Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images.; Chief’s or Diviner’s Figure Representing the Belgian Colonial Officer, Maximilien Balot, (ca. 1931). Photo: Travis Fullerton, © 2015 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.; and Jeff Koons with his sculptures in front of the Odysseus Lander.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more, with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field. 

On this week’s episode of the Art Angle podcast, hosts Ben Davis and Kate Brown are joined by the newly-minted Artnet Pro editor and veteran art journalist and critic Andrew Russeth. We’re thrilled to have him as a part of our team, and he’s making his Art Angle debut with another edition of the Round Up, where we discuss three topics making headlines and sparking conversation in and around the art world.

The first subject is the opening of The Dean Collection at the Brooklyn Museum, a show featuring the collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys titled “Giants,” which is generating a lot of buzz for championing the works of Black artists including Kehinde Wiley, Ebony G. Patterson, Jordan Casteel, Henry Taylor, and Hank Willis Thomas, among many, many others. But that’s not the only reason it’s in the news. Andrew edited a piece by resident Art Detective Katya Kazakina titled “Should Museums Show Art Owned by Patrons? It’s Tempting. It Can Also Blow Up” that investigates the fraught history of institutions doing just that. Though Swizz Beatz resigned as a trustee of the Brooklyn Museum three months before the show opened, “Public museums, critics argue, need to guard their curatorial independence and should not be used by wealthy patrons to boost the value of their holdings.”

The next topic of conversation is about a long-standing issue of ownership and repatriation surrounding an ancestral sculpture from Africa that was bought and sold to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where it has resided since 2015. A recent push by the art collective Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) has resulted in a temporary loan agreement in which the sculpture will be shown at a local gallery in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and simultaneously live-streamed to the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Finally, on a lighter note, we turn to the recent news of Jeff Koons’s art making its lunar landing after hitching a ride on the Odysseus Lander. Koons set a record in 2019 when his mirrored sculpture Rabbit fetched a total of $538.9 million, the most expensive price for a living artist at auction. In recent years though, his market has faltered, and the trio discusses if his moonshot will help send his prices back into the stratosphere.


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