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Archive for the 'Legal' Category

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Warhol Athlete Series Stolen

(Via: Los Angeles Police Department)

A series of 10 unique prints from Warhol’s well-known Athlete Series were stolen earlier this month from the Los Angeles residence of collector Richard Weisman. A commissioned portrait of Weisman was also taken in the theft.

While other color versions of the print edition depicting sports icons of the 1970s exist, Weisman’s are arguably the most significant. It was at his request that Warhol created the series, and in turn the artist requested Wesiman to hand pick the ten athletes, many who he knew personally. The works have been heavily on loan over the past few years, appearing in exhibitions at the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA) in 2008 and the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in 2006.

In 2006 Wesiman noted, “I felt that putting this series together was a natural in that two of the most popular leisure time activities at that time were sports and art, yet to my knowledge they had no direct connection,” Weisman said. “I therefore thought that having Andy Warhol do the series would inspire people who loved sports to come into galleries, maybe for the first time, and people who liked art would take their first look at a sports superstar.”

A one million dollar reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of the works of art.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Legal, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Update :: Conor Harrington Mural Liberated

The newly uncovered Conor Harrington mural at the corner of W. 13 and Washington Streets in NYC. (Image: Public Ad Campaign)

Earlier this week we reported that an unsolicited  New York City street mural created by British painter Conor Harrington had been covered with illegal NPA City Outdoor advertising without necessary permits. Last night a Facebook post from Dickchicken alerted us to the mural’s liberation. It looks like The Public Ad Campaign and Chicken took matters into their own hands, removing the billboard frame from the wall. While we are happy to see that Conor’s piece is once again visible, the entire story does raise interesting questions in the debate over the use of public space.


Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Illegal Ads Cover Illegal Art

Image: amolho4

Looks like this great Conor Harrington that quietly resided for the past ten month on the corner of W. 13th and Washington Streets in Manhattan’s West Village has finally run it’s course. It would be disappointing but understandable if the mural had been defaced by other graffiti writers or reclaimed by the wall’s rightful owners. Instead, it has been covered by yet another illegal NPA City Outdoor advertisement, which the Public Ad Campaign have been diligently documenting. Keep up the good work guys, and a nod to LunaPark as well for being early on the lead.

Image: sabeth718

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Graffiti, Legal, Outdoor | 1 Comment »


Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Zevz Hit with $870,000 Fine

Video: SCMP

After being arrested and detained in Hong Kong last month for unlawfully applying one of his signature liquidated Chanel logos to the exterior of an Armani boutique, French artist Zevz (that’s “Zeus”), whose real name is Christophe Shwarz, has been fined a punitive $870,000 US (HK$6,746,000). While authorities have been quite harsh in their judgement, the artist’s Liquidated Logos exhibit is still on view and runs till September 30 at Art Statements Gallery. If you were ever thinking of purchasing one of his works, now’s probably a good time to support.

Info: Artnet

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Asia, Graffiti, Legal | Comment now »


Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Nara Painting Stolen from LA Home


Just another reminder how important it is to insure your art collection. The Art Loss Register has announced the recent theft of this Yoshitomo Nara painting, stolen from a private residence in Los Angeles. The owner is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the return of the artwork. Anyone with information can contact the Art Lost Registry at 877 ART-LOSS, or the LAPD Art Theft Detail.

Via: Art Market Monitor

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Legal, Los Angeles, Market Talk | Comment now »


Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

National Portrait Gallery Claims Copyright Violation Against Wikipedia User

A 1544 portrait of Mary I housed on Wikipedia and credited to the National Portrait Gallery.

The Independent reports that The National Portrait Gallery of London is taking action against a Wikipedia user for violating copyright laws. In question are some 3000+ images owned by the state-funded gallery that were uploaded to Wikipedia by Derrick Coetzee, a Seattle based PhD student.  Several issues complicate matters. First, the centuries old portraits in question are long out of copyright and within the public domain, while the Portrait Gallery claims they retain the rights to the reproduced images of them and are entitled to licensing fees. Second, with Coetzee in the U.S. and the NPG in England, there is dispute concerning jurisdiction and conflicting international copyright laws. As if all this wasn’t enoug, the gallery argues that Wikipedia’s servers are housed in the UK and therefor fall under their nation’s jurisdiction. Yet, upon investigation of  its own Wiki entry, we report that the non-profit parent Wikimedia Foundation is located in California, organized under Florida law where it was initially based, and holds servers across three nations – 300 in Florida, 26 in Amsterdam, and another 23 in South Korea. None, according to the company, are in the UK.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Europe, Legal, London, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Monday, July 20th, 2009

Zevs HK Arrest Update

Image: Art Statements Gallery

Our friends over at Wooster Collective clued us in to a South China Morning Post video news report (below) concerning the arrest of French artist Zevs in Hong Kong last week, after he and two others decorated the exterior of an Armani store with a signature liquidated Chanel logo. Upon further investigation, we report that SCMP now confirms Zevs’ has pleaded guilty and is out on $HK500 bail. More critical is news that his passport is being held until the case is called to court next month, possibly causing the cancellation of a project planned for New York. Zevs’ Liquidated Logos exhibit at Hong Kong based Art Statements Gallery is still running smoothly and continues through Sept 30.

Video: SCMP

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Asia, Legal | 1 Comment »


Monday, June 29th, 2009

A Note on Internet Plagiarism

Image: Chris Tait / The Gauntlet

For regular blog readers, the issue of plagarism should be a familiar one, especially when concerning image content. Blogs and other sites who pass stolen photos or text off as their own create a virtual frankenstein in cyberspace. As more and more sites (often unknowingly) re-report falsely credited content an ongoing and out of control cycle of continual plagiarism grows. Case in point  – recently we contacted close to 20 blogs who had mistakenly used one of our photos, crediting it to another website who knowingly took the image from us and passed it off as their own.

Why are we mentioning this now?  – Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting photographer Tod Seelie, whose work we’ve admired here at TAC for some time. Tod has been victim of this sort of property theft by many websites, including some very highly regarded and trafficked ones. In fact, many of you out there owe Tod a thanks (and a credit) for the stunningly inspirational images he has captured during his ongoing aquatic voyages with Swoon. While TAC is also no stranger to this unethical conduct, his case is far worse in our eyes. Its one thing to nic a photo that was originally published  as edititorial content. Its far more shameful to steal the art someone makes a living off of.

There is federal legislation protecting against Internet copyright infringement. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) holds ISP’s responsible for removing stolen content. We urge all bloggers who have fallen victim to copyright infringement and content theft to download this cease and desist letter (thanks for the tip Tod!) and start sending it to the ISPs providing service to the guilty websites (you can easily find out a site’s ISP using a site like register.com). It only takes a few minutes and the potential impact is an important one.

Oh  – In an ironic side note, while searching for an appropriate image to use for this post, we came across the above one on at least five different sites, all accompanying articles about plagiarism. It took us some time before we actually found one that attributed it back to the original source.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Legal | Comment now »


Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Deaccession Controversy Hits Orange County Museum of Art

California Impressionist Granville Redmond’s Silver and Gold was one of 18 paintings sold by the Orange County Museum of Art to an unnamed private collector.

The Orange County Museum of Art has fallen subject to scrutiny over their recent sale of 18 notable California Impressionist paintings to an unnamed private collector. OCMA’s situation is far different from recent controversy surrounding other institutions, such as the National Academywhose deaccession was not linked to the funding of new art, and in violation of accepted museum standards put forth by the American Association of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors. In an interview with the LA Times, OCMA’s director, Dennis Szakacs, affirmed that the sale would only be used to support the acquisition of new works, adding that the relinquished pieces no longer fit into the museum’s new focus of post-1950s art.

So why all the controversy?  By arranging the quiet sale to a private collector, some argue that OCMA ignored its duty of keeping art in the public trust, and that other public institutions should have had an opportunity to bid on the works, either privately or through auction. In addition, the works sold for a total $963,000, far below their estimated worth. Some skeptics are questioning why the museum would agree to a sale so under market value, speculating a preferential deal. One LA gallery director told Artinfo that two of the paintings were worth more than $1.5 million, while the LA Times quotes two specialists’ estimates of  Granville Redmond’s painting Silver and Gold at $1 million alone.

Szakacs contends that OCMA did make the most financially and ethically sound decision, noting that the realized price was favorable in the current down market and that ten of the works are already on view at the Nevada Art Museum, demonstrating the importance of selling the collection to one private enthusiast, rather that splitting up the pieces at auction.

Meanwhile, Artinfo notes that Bolton Colburn, director of the Laguna Art Museum, is attempting to seek out the unknown buyer in an effort to buy the paintings for approximately $1 million, little more than what was paid.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Legal, Market Talk, Museums, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Employee Steals $600K+ from Brooklyn Museum


The NY Times reports that a former payroll manager for the Brooklyn Museum stole over $620,000 from the already strapped institution by creating fake payroll profiles with the names “Brooklyn Museum” and “Brooklyn,” which he then issued paychecks to and syphened into his personal bank account. The former employee, Dwight Newton, 40, is out on bond and faces up to 20 years if convicted for wire fraud.

As if the crime wasn’t shameful enough, it was just two months ago that the Times reported the museum was cutting salaries and raising admission fees to avoid layoffs and make up for a drastically depleted endowment, which, in addition to a 32% cut in city funding , has shrunk nearly 70% since last year, from 93.1 million to 65 million.

Feeling philanthropic? – Make a tax-deductible donation to the museum’s fund here

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Brooklyn, Legal, Market Talk, Museums, Uncategorized | Comment now »