Art Appreciation: When collectors cash in on museum reputations

The Smithsonian’s recent Cosby quagmire stands as the latest, most public, instance of an unfortunate trend and its consequences: art collectors are leveraging public educational institutions and spaces to build reputations and provenance that add value to their collections. This is a whopping conflict of interest that has been, until now, only periodically acknowledged, and…

Cosby Power: the Smithsonian NMAfA feels it

Here’s the bottom line and then let’s be done with it: Dr. Camille O. Cosby sits on the board of advisors at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (NMAfA). She is also President of the National Visionary Leadership Project, formed to help preserve the priceless legacy of African American elders. Dr Johnnetta Cole, who…

Phillips Day Sale: Disaster or Purge? Tomayto Tomahto?

Recently this reporter’s inbox became a sort of debate forum with art world talking heads giving The Art Machine their two cents about what appears to be a “short career” phenomenon amongst emerging artists. Spurred by results of the recent Phillips London Contemporary Art Day Sale, one art advisor, communicating via e-mail on background called…

Nam June Paik? Past tense. OVer IT!

…saw Nam June Paik at Asia Society the last day of the show… (yawns, stretches) I have to say, I still don’t get it. In fact, I get it less than I’ve ever not gotten it before. I’m writing this the day after the Asia Society’s Nam June Paik retrospective, Becoming Robot, has ended. It…

Snapshots: TAM’s morning reactions

What does The Art Machine make of Stefan Simchowitz? In his Reactor piece for Hyperallergic, Marion Maneker piles some hate on the art market’s latest boogie man, Stefan Simchowitz: “If Simchowitz is distinctive, it’s in his ability to find the artists who later become the talk of the market.” But, isn’t that eXACtly what one…

Jerry Nadler’s champions ART (American Royalties Too)

“I firmly believe that the time has come for us to establish a resale royalty right here in the United States. By adopting a resale royalty, the United States would join the rest of the world in recognizing this important right”

How To Talk About Paul McCarthy

What, I ask you, should one expect if one asks artist Paul McCarthy to create a Christmas tree for the place of honor at a renowned, must-attend art fair? Well, it’s Paul McCarthy, so there are only two possible outcomes: a turd or a butt plug. This year, Paris got a butt plug. A —…

The Bigger Than Life Team Behind Paul McCarthy’s Inflammatory Inflatables

In the last few weeks, Paul McCarthy has catapulted into the public imagination as the infamous artist firmly behind Paris’s ill-fated “Tree” (aka #pluggate). The public artwork may have attracted all types of attention for the artist’s current exhibition in Paris, Chocolate Factory, and won the support of a wide array of high-profile personalities, including the French President. Following Hyperallergic’s coverage…

I Rant: Koons is OK with Me.

  While reading yet another article bashing Jeff Koons, I decided it was time to out myself once and for all: I am a Jeff Koons non-hater. Lately the volume of Koons bashing has gone off the charts. And while I usually try to straddle the fence regarding polarizing figures, peferring to feed and listen…

AUCTION: Monet’s ‘Nymphéas’ sells for £31.7 million

    Sotheby’s boasted a total of £121.9 million from their London Evening sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. Top lot, Claude Monet’s Nymphéas (Water lilies) achieved  £31.7 million and Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Blue and Grey,  went for £15.2 million.

The Armory Show: Where has all the weltschmertze gone?

One wonders if, instead of falling apart due to an imbalance cased by monied art fairs, perhaps the art market is adjusting itself by spawning a separate art fair culture which will have, in the future, as many tiers as the current hierarchy? Read more on Hyperallergic