Frida Kahlo TV Show In Development, Three Imprisoned for $637 M. Hong Kong Art Heist, and More: Morning Links for May 16, 2022

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The Headlines

A RECORD DEMOLISHED. After holding a series of major sales last week in New York (including one that moved an Andy Warhol for $195 million), Christie’s kept going on Saturday, with an auction of Surrealist art that saw a prime Man Ray photo, Le Violon d’Ingres (1924), go for $12.4 million. That is  the most ever paid for a photograph on the block—by a wide margin. The previous top mark in that category was the $4.3 million shelled out in 2011 for a 1999 Andreas Gursky, also at Christie’s. The Man Ray shows a nude Kiki de Montparnasse with a violin’s f-holes adorning her back. The piece had been owned by fashion retailers Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin JacobsAngelica Villa has a full report.

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CHANGING OF THE GUARD. The Whitechapel Gallery in London named a new directorGilane Tawadros, who has led the artists rights management nonprofit DACS since 2009. Maximilíano Durón has the story. Tawadros takes the place of Iwona Blazwick , who said in January that she would step down after two decades at the helm. Over in the Netherlands, Sjarel Ex is departing the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam after 18 years as director. Last year saw the opening of its new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen building, which the institution termed Ex’s “crowning glory” in a news release. And,  Stephanie Rosenthal was tapped late last week to be project director of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

The Digest

Three men who pleaded guilty to stealing more than HK$5 billion ($637 million) in art and artifacts from a Hong Kong collector were sentenced to up to two-and-a-half years in prison. The 2020 heist—believed to the be the largest in the city’s history—included a 1929 scroll of a report by Mao Zedong[AFP/Hong Kong Free Press]

A television series devoted to Frida Kahlo is in the works, via her estate and BTF Media. “The goal is to present a unique perspective based on what her family knows about her and show how she really lived her life,” Mara Romeo Kahlo, the painter’s great-niece, said. [Variety]

Picasso that the the Philippines has tried to seize from the Marcos family on the grounds that it was purchased with money stolen from the country has been designated as “missing.” But when the nation’s next president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., went to visit his mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, at her home after his recent election, the painting (or a possible replica) appeared to be hanging on a wall. [The Art Newspaper and The Guardian]

Fresh off her Golden Lion win for her show in the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale, artist Sonia Boyce got the profile treatment from Farah Nayeri. “It seems almost ridiculous that it takes into the 21st century for a Black British female artist to be invited to do Venice,” she said. [The New York Times]

After facing online backlash, actor Jason Momoa apologized for taking photographs inside the Sistine Chapel (which is forbidden) while in Italy to film the latest “Fast and Furious” film. Momoa said that he had made a donation for a private visit and asked permission to take photos. [New York Post]

On the hunt for a new online game? Meet Artle, an art-based riff on the wildly popular Wordle. Developed by the National Gallery of Art, it invites users to guess the artist responsible for works of art (rather than a word). [Smithsonian Magazine]

The Kicker

WILL ELON MUSK ACTUALLY BUY TWITTER? No one knows! If it happens, the social-media service will no doubt be in for some changes, and so the New Yorker asked various luminaries how it should be alteredAi Weiwei, for one, said that it is “inappropriate to selectively delete Tweets and block Twitter accounts.” The artist-activist’s stance: “Twitter should be part of natural phenomena, like weather; sometimes cloudy, sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny, sometimes stormy.” [The New Yorker]


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