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Notorious Forgers Explain Themselves: 'We Got a Kick Out of It’

Wolfgang and Helene Beltracchi collected millions before they went to prison

(Newser) - Wolfgang Beltracchi, notorious forger of 20-century art, had standards. "I have to create something beautiful," he said. "I want to make people happy." With their prison sentences served, Beltracchi and his wife and forgery partner, Helene, have discussed their life of art crimes with Jeannette Fischer,...

Latest Crackdown on Russia: $46M Worth of Art

Customs officials in Finland seize paintings, sculptures, antiquities

(Newser) - Some $46 million worth of art on loan from Russian galleries to museums in Japan and Italy has been seized on the return trip. Customs officials in Finland seized the paintings, sculptures, and antiquities in three shipments at the Vaalimaa crossing of the Finland-Russia border on Friday and Saturday, in...

Turns Out, Rembrandt Himself Painted This One

Experts say painting long attributed to a pupil is by the Dutch master himself

(Newser) - A 1638 painting dubbed Landscape with Arched Bridge suddenly just became a lot more valuable. For the past three decades, the painting has been attributed to Govert Flinck, a student of 17th-century Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn. But as the Guardian reports, it has just been confirmed to be...

Bids on This Banksy Art 'Escalated Quickly,' for a Cause

Proceeds from 'CND Soldiers,' which sold for $106K, will all go to Kyiv children's hospital

(Newser) - An unknown donor has sold off a piece of anti-war Banksy art, with the funds raised from the sale earmarked for Ukraine's largest children's hospital. The BBC reports that the UK artist's "CND Soldiers" was auctioned off for just north of $106,000, which will be...

A Hermit's Art Is Famous Due to His Landlords. Who Owns It?

That question, specifically about Henry Darger, will get its day in court

(Newser) - As far as outsider—or self-taught—artists go, Henry Darger is one of the greats. The Chicago janitor lived as a hermit and died in 1973 at age 81, "leaving a single room crammed with his colorful illustrations, a 15,000-page book, and no immediate surviving relatives," reports...

The Painting's Heads Had No Eyes. Then, Suddenly, They Did

'Bored' security guard at Russia's Yeltsin Center is accused of doodling on painting insured for $1M

(Newser) - When most people working a monotonous shift get bored, they might listen to a podcast, text a friend, or play a round of Wordle . Or, if you're a security guard at a museum, you might whip out a ballpoint pen and deface a piece of avant-garde art. The Guardian...

Vandals Scratch Names Over 'Priceless' Rock Art

Repaired Big Bend petroglyph will never be the same

(Newser) - Some 4,000 to 8,500 years after a Native American artist made an etching in a 30-million-year-old volcanic boulder at what is now Texas' Big Bend National Park, visitors decided to leave their mark, too—directly on top. Four names and the date—Dec. 26, 2021—were carved across...

Hidden Work by 'the Painter of Maine' Surfaces in Bank Vault

Marsden Hartley's 'Friend Against the Wind' last seen in public 40 years ago

(Newser) - A painting by the American modernist Marsden Hartley that had been out of public sight for 40 years was located in a bank vault, a significant step toward uncovering the works of an increasingly appreciated artist who considered himself "the painter of Maine," reports the AP . The painting,...

Lawsuit of &#39;Nirvana Baby&#39; Dismissed&mdash;for Now
After Hiccup,
'Nirvana Baby'
Is Still Suing
UPDATED

After Hiccup, 'Nirvana Baby' Is Still Suing

Spencer Elden meets judge's deadline to file amended lawsuit

(Newser) - Update: The "Nevermind baby," now a 30-year-old man, is still suing Nirvana over the iconic album cover. Spencer Elden's complaint was dismissed earlier this month on a technicality, and late Wednesday Elden's legal team filed an amended complaint to reinstate the claims, Rolling Stone reports. The...

He Needed a Last-Minute Gift, Set Off a Wild Discovery
This Drawing
Could Shake Up
the Art World
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

This Drawing Could Shake Up the Art World

It may be the first Albrecht Dürer drawing found in nearly a century

(Newser) - The New York Times is calling it "one of the most extraordinary discoveries of Renaissance artwork in years," a find made all the more remarkable because it fell into a man's hands for just $30. That's how much an unidentified man spent in 2016 on the...

Frida Kahlo's Legend Grows With Record Auction Sale

'Diego and I' self-portrait sets $34.9M record for Latin American artist

(Newser) - A self-portrait of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, also featuring her husband, has become the most valuable work by a Latin American artist ever to sell at auction. Kahlo's "Diego and I"—a close-up of the artist's face with a miniature portrait of her husband, Mexican muralist...

University of Hong Kong Wants 'Pillar of Shame' to Go

Creator requests immunity from national security law to remove pro-democracy symbol

(Newser) - The Danish sculptor behind one of the last pro-democracy symbols in Hong Kong is asking authorities for legal protection so he can remove it at the request of the University of Hong Kong. The Pillar of Shame, a 26-foot-tall copper sculpture depicting torn and twisted bodies—created in honor of...

Group 'Destroys' $20K Warhol Sketch by Hiding It Amid Fakes

MSCHF stunt meant to 'destroy any future confidence in the veracity of the work'

(Newser) - The art collective that brought you Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes says it's latest stunt involved "destroying" a one-of-a kind Andy Warhol sketch. Brooklyn-based MSCHF (pronounced "mischief") acquired Warhol's "Fairies," a 1954 minimalist ink sketch of three nude fairies playing with a...

Wiped From Facebook, Vienna's Nude Art Moves to OnlyFans

City's tourism board speaks out on social media censorship

(Newser) - Have you checked out the Vienna tourism board's hot new account on adults-only OnlyFans? It's full of nudity, though of the century-old artistic kind. As the Guardian reports, Vienna museums have come up against bans and other forms of censure after sharing nude artworks on more traditional social...

Back at Auction, Shredded Banksy Won&#39;t Come Cheap
Shredded Banksy Sells
Way Higher Than Expected
UPDATED

Shredded Banksy Sells Way Higher Than Expected

Fetches $25.4M at Sotheby's, compared to $1.4M for un-shredded price

(Newser) - Update: How much for a shredded Banksy? Try $25.4 million. A piece that was deliberately shredded in a prank sold to an anonymous Asian buyer for that amount at Sotheby's in London on Thursday, reports the Wall Street Journal . That is way higher than expected. Our original story ...

Afghans Hide Books, Paintings as Crackdown on Culture Looms

Taliban says Islamic law will determine what kinds of art are allowed

(Newser) - The bad old days are back in Afghanistan, where artists have hidden or destroyed paintings, musicians have stopped working, and residents are hiding books ahead of an expected Taliban crackdown on art and culture deemed un-Islamic. The group—which banned movies, television, and music during its rule from 1996 to...

Artist Takes Museum's $84K, Produces 2 Blank Canvases

'Take the Money and Run' is about artists' working conditions, Jens Haaning says

(Newser) - When Denmark's Kunsten Museum of Modern Art gave Jens Haaning $84,000, it expected the artist to recreate two of his previous works. Instead, the museum says, Haaning gave it two blank canvases. "The curator received an email in which Jens Haaning wrote that he had made a...

Given Cash to Broaden Their Cultural Horizons, French Don't

18-year-olds stick to manga, which $350 from government helps buy

(Newser) - Juliette Sega is operating within the rules for spending the $350 the French government is giving every 18-year-old when she buys comic books, if not the aspirations. "It's a really good initiative," said Juliette Sega, who lives in southeastern France. "I'm a steady consumer of...

Suspected Picasso Thief Isn't Who Police Expected

He's reportedly not a member of a sophisticated gang but just someone who loves art

(Newser) - On Tuesday Greece heralded the discovery of a precious Picasso painting that had been stolen from the National Gallery in Athens in 2012. The Guardian reports that the man suspected of taking "Head of a Woman," along with a work by Piet Mondrian, isn't who police expected....

Museum Dumps a Most Controversial Exhibit

Shanghai's OCAT gallery apologizes for Song Ta's display that ranked women from 'prettiest to ugliest'

(Newser) - One of China's most respected modern museums is taking heat for a multimedia exhibit that used university students as its unwitting subjects. The South China Morning Post and BBC note the artwork by male artist Song Ta at Shanghai's OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, or OCAT, was displayed under...

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