Four Major Dealers Unite, Fake Banksy NFT Finds Buyer, and More: Morning Links for September 1, 2021

Four Major Dealers Unite, Fake Banksy NFT Finds Buyer, and More: Morning Links for September 1, 2021

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The Headlines

COMPETITION IN THE MARKET IS INTENSIFYING: Four top-flight dealers—Brett GorvyDominique LévyAmalia Dayan, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn—are linking up, the New York Times reports, to form “a consortium that will represent artists, organize exhibitions, advise collectors, and broker auction sales.” Its name: LGDR. (Not exactly catchy. Maybe give it time?) They will operate out of the palatial Upper East Side space where Rohatyn’s gallery, Salon 94 , now resides. Lévy and Gorvy, who were already in business together, will shutter their Madison Avenue gallery. (Dayan left her enterprise with Daniella Luxembourg last year.) “We’re a hybrid,” Lévy told the Times. “We’re not a gallery, we’re not an advisory.” Reporter Robin Pogrebin writes that the new venture “aims to be more nimble than most large dealers,” and that it will “move away from the exclusive representation of artists” and eschew participation in American art fairs. Probably not what the leaders of those beleaguered events want to hear right now.

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THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT ON THE NFT BEAT. A collector who goes by the name Pranksy shelled out £244,000 ($335,000) in crypto on Monday for what he believed was Banksy’s first-ever NFT, BBC News reports. Alas, it was a fake. Someone had reportedly hacked the pseudonymous street artist’s website so that it appeared to be a genuine offering. Amazingly, there is another twist to this story: Pranksy got most of his money back, with the fraudster apparently returning everything but the £5,000 (about $6,900) transaction fee. “The refund was totally unexpected,” the buyer said. “I think the press coverage of the hack plus the fact that I had found the hacker and followed him on Twitter may have pushed him.” Be careful out there, collectors.

The Digest

The artist Ben Quilty, who was Australia’s official wartime artist in Kabul, helmed a fundraising drive that brought in more than AU$4.6 million (about US$3.37 million) for the United Nations‘ refugee agency to support Afghans. [Ocula]

Fashion photographer Bruce Weber is said to have settled a lawsuit brought against him by a group of male models who alleged that he sexually assaulted them. Weber reportedly did not admit to any wrongdoing; the terms of the agreement are not known. [Page Six]

In its budget for next year, the South Korean government has included ₩5.8 billion (about $5.01 million) to manage and exhibit the 23,000 artworks recently donated by the family of the late Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee. Two Seoul locations are currently being considered for a permanent home for the collection. [Korea Herald]

More evidence that we live in incredible times. United Talent Agency has signed on to represent CryptoPunks, and two other NFT projects from their creator, Larva Labs, in potential deals in film, video games, TV shows, and more. [CoinDesk]

Here’s a look inside the Los Angeles home shared by dealer David Kordansky and his wife, artist Mindy Shapero. “Dave is kind of a Deadhead who’s become one of the pioneering art dealers of his generation, and that’s what the house looks like,” the artist Rashid Johnson said. [W Magazine]

An East Village loft that was once the home and studio of artist William Wegman is on the market. It comes with a bathroom mosaic by the artist and a serious art pedigree: curator Cay Sophie Rabinowitz and filmmaker and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders have also owned it at various points. Its price: $2.75 million. [6sqft]

The Kicker

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO ENTICE DONORS: galas, gifts, exclusive invitations, and so forth. Raising money for the renovation of its Jeff Koons Puppy (1992) sculpture via a crowdfunding effort, the Guggenheim Bilbao has taken the unique approach of having the rapper M.C. Gransan record a music video about the towering floral sculpture, Artnet News reports . Its chorus goes: “It’s the P, with the U, with the P, with the P, with the Y. So please don’t kill my vibe.” Great stuff! But you need to hear those words, not just read them. Give it a listen.

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