TREND: Wherein I Speculate About Auction Houses Buying Galleries

Although news reports of record sales continue to herald the recovery of the art market, many galleries continue to experience hardship and are driven to close their doors. I believe that auction houses have discovered a new way to take advantage of  this unfortunate trend.

Continue reading “TREND: Wherein I Speculate About Auction Houses Buying Galleries”

Shepard Fairey Changes the Mainstream

Before Shep got to it, the wall had been tagged.

The wall at Houston and Bowery has sported Keith Haring’s crawling babies, and Os Gemeos’ trippy amusment park: now it’s wearing something from the OBEY line of products: a wheatpaste collage in Shepard Fairey’s best and latest fascist poster colors. It’s looking good.

The wall will be finished in time to promote Fairey’s upcoming show at Deitch Projects, May Day: a series of portraits of revolutionary personages who, “started out on the margins of culture and ended up changing the mainstream.”

But a few steps too many into mainstream, and one may not end up changing it, but only changing how one makes money in it.

From the OBEY site
From the OBEY site

For example: the May Day show will reflect the incendiary mood of spray can and eaves-clinging guerilla art, with it’s tribute to political activism; in the meantime it will also serve to promote Shepard Fairey’s OBEY clothing line. And the OBEY clothing line, will spring a pop-up store on Orchard Street coinciding with the Deitch show, thus providing a promotional supplement to it.

As if there’s not enough money in all that marketing, recall that this will be Jeffrey Deitch’s last show at the Wooster street location before he closes shop and moves off to LA MOCA. The draw will already be huge.

Shepard Fairey, May Day
Deitch Projects | 18 Wooster Street, New York
May 01, 2010 — May 29, 2010

MORE SNEAK PEEKS at Flavorwire

OBEY Pop-Up Store
151 Orchard Street, New York
April 30 – May 16


Addendum: On April 22, as Shepard Fairey and crew were clearing out and getting ready to go get some dinner after finishing the mural on Houston Street, I, and my husband, David Kaplan, a writer for PaidContent, stopped to chat with him. David asked him some questions about his law battles with the Associated Press. Here’s a link to the story.

Shepard Fairey: AP Suit Driven By ‘Crumbling Business Model’; AP To  Fairey: You’re The Hypocrite
by David Kaplan

Shep's Words on AP case

a nice little history of appropriation



Deitch Projects' May Day Poster

SoHo’s Deitch Projects will close its door on June 1 as Jeffrey Deitch takes on to the directorship of L.A.’s MoCA. The final show at Deitch’s Wooster Street location starting May 1, will be a Shepard Fairey send off appropriately named May Day.


The New Yorker this week contains a story about Goldman Sachs‘ recent acquisition, a 5 million dollar painting by Julie Mehretu, called “Mural“which, while huge and sprawling and visible from the street, has apparently gone uncelebrated (perhaps for obvious reasons).

Meantime, another Goldman Sachs commissioned work, a $10 million dollar Franz Ackermann mural gets to be “reviled” and “hated” by Goldman employees, according to various reports.


Mark Billy's missing bit

If you are looking for Mark Billy, or his penis, and you type you get a big splash page that reads, “I Stole Mark Billy’s Penis
and his domain name. Now he owes me $97.00. HA!”
The linked ‘HA’ used to lead you to some obscure photographer, but now it links to Mark Billy. Mr. Billy lost one of his brightly colored penis sculptures During the BYOA exhibition at X-Initiative. Mark Billy, perhaps glad to have his domain back is still not master of it: though he has leads, the bit is still missing.


The art market is bouncing back nicely: for a nice little romp through some, perhaps overly enthusiastic purchases, check out this article from Souren Melikian at The New York Times: An Art Market Suddenly at Dizzying Height.

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