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PIVOT TO ASIA. Three key market players—all Sotheby’s vets—have linked up to form a new firm aimed at collectors in Asia, the New York Times reports. They are Amy Cappellazzo, Yuki Terase, and Adam Chinn, and their new firm is called Art Intelligence Global, or AIG (not to be confused with the bailed-out insurance giant with the same acronym). The venture will be headquartered in both Hong Kong and New York—in the latter case, in the former Pace/MacGill space on East 57th Street. Collectors in the United States “have so much already that they are only buying to fill in,” Cappellazzo told the Times, “whereas when you get a whole crop of new collectors they’re much more voracious because they’re starting to build something.” Asia, as reporter Robin Pogrebin notes, is now home to the second-largest art market after the United States. Sorry, Europe. You are number three now.
CRASHING DOWN. Artist Christian Rosa has been hit with federal charges for allegedly selling forged Raymond Pettibon “Wave” paintings for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the New York Times reports. Rosa has not entered a plea or responded to the claims. Prosecutors said that he left the country earlier this year, shortly after the Artnet News “Wet Paint” column published allegations that he was hawking a forged Pettibon. According to the indictment, Rosa wrote to an unnamed coconspirator at the time that the news broke that the “secret is out.” Rosa faces up to 20 years in prison on a wire fraud charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and a mandatory two years on an aggravated identity theft charge.
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In court, New York dealer Mehrdad Sadigh admitted to selling “thousands of fraudulent antiquities to countless unsuspecting collectors.” Federal prosecutors have asked that he be sentenced to five years of probation and banned from dealing in antiquities. [The New York Times]
The Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds installation that was partially vandalized and partially stolen (and then recovered) has been reinstalled at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. Native American professors and students at the university will host a celebration of the display on Thursday. [Associated Press]
Los Angeles has given the go-ahead for Destination Crenshaw, an ambitious public art project along Crenshaw Boulevard that will include pieces by Brenna Youngblood, Maren Hassinger, and many more. So far, $61.5 million has been raised for the $100 million initiative. [Los Angeles Times]
The Des Moines Art Center in Iowa announced that it received $5 million from Harriet S. Macomber, who died last year, after finalizing her gift. The museum is currently raising $11 million to mark its 75th anniversary. [Des Moines Register]
The Studio Museum in Harlem has republished 75 of its catalogues and 14 of its posters, and is offering them for sale. The museum is currently closed as its undergoes a major expansion, with construction slated to continue through 2022. (Read more about the Studio Museum in ARTnews.) [Hyperallergic]
Earlier this week brought discoveries related to the human consumption of tobacco and wine. Now analysis of ancient feces—paleofeces—found in the salt mines of western Austria reveals that, some 2,700 years ago, people were enjoying fermented products like beer and blue cheese. Can’t beat that pairing. [CNN]
THE BIG PICTURE. In a photograph that has fronted numerous British tabloids this week, embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can be seen on vacation in Marbella, Spain, partaking in a hobby that he shares with his hero, Winston Churchill: painting. As usual, he looks quite shambolic. Nevertheless, two of Johnson’s biographers told the Guardian that they believe the image was staged. “It’s meant to be a distraction from the shitshow and it’s obviously working,” Sonia Purnell said, adding, “Most would find it impossible to find the time with a toddler, let alone supposedly being the one meant to be dealing with the climate crisis, Northern Ireland, that damning report on his handling of Covid, food shortages, and a stalling economy. How come that picture just happened to get out?” [The Guardian]