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…

No Heirs Apparent

‘Millions of artists create; only a few thousands are discussed or accepted by the spectator and many less again are consecrated by posterity.’ So contended Marcel Duchamp in his talk on ‘the creative act’ in 1957 at…

A Curious Act of Vandalism

In June 2021 an accused vandal, who admitted spray painting a publicly sited sculpture by Antony Gormley, was found not guilty of committing an offence of criminal damage because the jury accepted the accused’s defence…

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…

Don’t You Trust Me?

Artists and dealers rarely if ever discuss in public their professional business relationships. Much praise, therefore, is due to London based artist Alvaro Barrington and his gallery dealer Sadie Coles for recently speaking publicly about the…

Don’t Delete Art

Given the understandable reliance by most of the world on digital technology for communications throughout the annus horribilis of 2020 (and its continuation into 2021, with no certain prospect of escape from Covid restrictions), social media platforms…

Exhibition Relief Funding

Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MEGTR) came temporarily into UK law to give financial support for mounting and/or touring new public facing exhibitions in the five years from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022, after…

Brexit Begins

Post Brexit future relations between the UK and the EU are contained in a document signed on 24 December 2020: the EU UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). On 30 December 2020 UK Parliament ratified TCA by passing…

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…

Online Image

The art world’s general manoeuvring towards online exhibiting and selling because of physical distancing restrictions during the Covid 19 pandemic has seen increased use of digital technologies to communicate images of artwork to spectators prevented from physical viewing.…

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…

Anti-Flipping

‘Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)’ is the title of a remarkable and unique online selling exhibition held by Christie’s from 21 July to 21 August 2020. Dedicated to the promotion of works by ‘22 young, emerging…

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…

Death of a Gallery

Blain|Southern’s sudden closure of its three gallery operations at London, Berlin and New York in February 2020 shocked the contemporary art world (Artnotes AM434). Apart from inevitable questions raised by Ernest Hemingway’s aperçu in The Sun…

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…