Art Industry News: Social Media Users Lambast Hank Willis Thomas’s ‘Insulting’ Martin Luther King Monument + Other Stories

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Art Industry News: Social Media Users Lambast Hank Willis Thomas’s ‘Insulting’ Martin Luther King Monument + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most consequential developments coming from the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, January 16.


The future of democracy worries MoMA’s head – “What worries me is whether democracy itself will survive the next decade,” Glenn Lowry told art advisor and critic Allan Schwartzman and journalist Charlotte Burns in their newly launched podcast “The Art World: What If … ?!” said. The reasons?” The intolerance of other people’s opinions,” noted the veteran museum director. “[It] predicts a state in which we lose all ability to negotiate differences.” Rather than providing answers to questions, museums should be the space that puts art at the center of conversations, a place that provokes questions, Lowry said. (The Art Newspaper)

NFL Super Bowl to feature artist Lucinda Hinojos’ work – Next month’s Super Bowl LVII event will feature artwork and tickets designed by Chicana and Native artist. The Arizona-based artist will team up with fellow Native artists to create a 9,500-square-foot mural, the largest Super Bowl ever seen. She will also create artwork to appear on the cards, and a new design for footballs that will be available for purchase. (ART news)

Hank Willis Thomas’ Martin Luther King Jr. Monument – The artist’s sculpture in Boston has become the subject of unflattering comparisons. With the disembodied arms of the civil rights leader in an embrace with his wife, Coretta Scott King, a fair number of Twitter users—and at least one family member of the Kings—think it looks like a jerkor worse, a phallus. The “offensive” artwork “looks more like a pair of hands embracing a fleshy penis than a special moment shared by the iconic couple,” according to Seneca Scott, first cousin of Scott King. The artist, meanwhile, has just joined megagallery Pace, which in February acquired Thomas’ former representative, Kayne Griffin of Los Angeles. (Compact and ART news)

Art experts try to pick AI-made art from masterpieces – Apparently, AI-generated art is now so sophisticated that it can fool even the critical eyes of experts; even those like Bendor Grosvenor, art historian and BBC presenter Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, JJ Charlesworth, art critic and editor of art review, and Pilar Ordovas, founder of the Mayfair gallery Ordovas. In a recent test on the Guardian, they had some wrong answers. Can you do better? (The guardian)


SFMOMA acquires an NFT – Final Transformation #2 (2022) by artist Lynn Hershman Leeson became the first NFT artwork acquired by way of a gift from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The piece is a clip from Leeson’s film Ada becomes pregnant (1997); there are two extant editions. One was donated to the museum by Altman Siegel Gallery and Hershman Leeson for the 2022 Art Bash Auction, selling for $9,000 to an anonymous bidder. (ART news)

Hiroshi Sugimoto Monument to be Unveiled in San Francisco – Point of Infinity, a towering 70-foot tall stainless steel sculpture resembling a needle, is expected to be unveiled in May at Yerba Buena Hilltop Park on Yerba Buena Island. The $2 million public art commission is part of a $50 million park development. (TAN)

Kobe Bryant’s MVP season jersey could fetch $7 million – The signed jersey worn by the NBA star in 25 games during the 2007 and 2008 seasons will be available for sale on Sotheby’s online platform from February 2nd to 9th. (Robb Report)

Nine-year-old future paleontologist finds Megalodon tooth – Molly Sampson, 9, found a five-inch-long megalodon tooth while spending Christmas Day with her family in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay searching for fossils. Sampson had already found more than 400 teeth, but this was the largest she had ever found—it was bigger than her hand. (Daily mail)


Dalai Lama spreads the message of hope with art – 2023 is a year of hope, according to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who launched the video work The art of hope with the Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA) on public screens in London, Melbourne, Berlin and Los Angeles. The work airs on various screens throughout January at 20:23 local time. A limited edition screen print priced at £150 ($183) will also be on sale to raise funds for Tibet Hope Center and CIRCA’s free public art programme. (Press release)

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