Automatic for the Beeple

Two inter connected lawsuits about the recent sale of a non fungible token (NFT) representing a born digital artwork were filed in July and September 2021, in the US and UK respectively. Both suits concern US…

It’s a Wrap

Until 3 October 2021 a live stream from Paris shows the Arc de Triomphe entirely wrapped in fabric: a project conceived by artists Christo and Jeanne Claude over 60 years ago, which they developed and financed, but…

Crypto Art Business

Free Comb with Pagoda, 1986, is a mixed media work on paper signed with Jean Michel Basquiat’s oft used pseudonym Lenny at the lower right. Bought in 2015 by a private buyer, the physical work together with…

Private Parties

Is there legal validity in ‘the well known custom and practice in the art world that the identity of a private buyer or owner of a painting is not revealed’? A recent trial held at London’s High Court…

Flower Thrower Law Report

Banksy’s guarding of his personal identity suffered a set back on 14 September 2020, when the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) cancelled Banksy’s 2014 registration as an EU trade mark of the renowned stencil image of…

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff died on 31 May 2020 in New York City, a decade after his spouse Jeanne Claude Denat de Guillebon also died there: they were astrological twins (both born on 13 June 1935) and for…

Things Have Changed

Covid 19’s devastating impact on the visual art world has required lockdown of artists at home; closure of art schools, galleries, museums, art fairs and auction rooms; and, in common with most of the rest of the…

Tattoo You

‘Where there’s a hit, there’s a writ’ is an old music business saying, which perhaps applies to legal responses in recent times to the rise in popularity of body art, tattooing in particular. In March 2020 landmark court…

Being An Artist’s Lawyer

In April 2020 a unique event will take place in Los Angeles at Southwestern Law School’s Donald E Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. As part of the Institute’s programme of Continuing Legal Education for California…

Legal Drivers

Banksy began his practice as a freehand street graffiti artist, subsequently using stencils to facilitate the swifter execution of work – and thus avoidance of detection and arrest for criminal damage or trespass to other people’s property. He…

Collecting Performance Art

A unique art fair exclusively showcasing performance art was held for 72 hours in September 2019 during the Brussels Gallery Weekend. Organised and curated by A Performance Affair (APA), a recently established not for profit share entity,…

Ownership

When is a ‘work’ completed? Is it when the artist releases it for public viewing, and/or only if released for sale? What is the status of a work an artist (or a deceased artist’s estate) disowns after its release?…

Authentication

Works by African American artists have recently been achieving unprecedented interest in both museum and art market worlds, possibly stimulated by the critical success of Tate Modern’s 2017 show ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black…

Love & Money

There has been an unprecedented amount of media coverage of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon (2006) shredding incident since it took place at Sotheby’s London’s evening sale of contemporary art on 5 October 2018. But none of this…

Reputation: Art & Artists 

Last month’s column explored the fragility of the public reputation of art business professionals in the digital age, highlighting how traditional laws of defamation are invariably unfit for the purposes of deterring or preventing social media…

Reputation

‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’ As legendary business magnate Warren Buffet says, reputation is hard won yet fragile. His remark responds to…

Fair Deals           

Cultural tourism is a rapidly growing sector of the broader tourism market and has become a thriving worldwide business. A key component of this expanding trade is art tourism that has significantly contributed to the globalisation of the…

Conservation Questions

Ethical practices of art conservation have become a renewed subject of debate following publication of a pre conservation image of Salvator Mundi, c1500, which was recently attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and subsequently sold for $450m at auction…