Headlines: The Sacklers, Aspen, Hong Kong
1) A Look at the Sacklers: Art Philanthropists and Opioid Manufacturers
A long read in the New Yorker about the Sackler family, who have helped build and fund some of the most well-known and beloved museums in the United States and around the world -- including the Met, MoMA, the Guggenheim, and even the Louvre. The family have long been noted philanthropists, using their fortune to fund not only the arts, but various charities and medical research. In recent weeks, however, numerous stories have cropped up concerning the family’s company, Purdue Pharma, a private medical research firm that was responsible for the development and release of OxyContin, prescription painkiller that is widely seen as the origin of the opioid addiction crisis in the United States.
2) Artist "Donates" Work After Being Banned from Aspen Museum
The Aspen Art Museum in Colorado has filed a police report after an artist dumped “trash” -- or was it art? -- outside of the institution. Artist Lee Mulcahy claims that the trash in question was in fact an artwork. Mulcahy told an Aspen Times interviewer that he was trying to donate the work to the museum. According to reports, museum staff were unaware of the donation, in part because Mulcahy had earlier been banned from Museum premises after attempting to climb its basket-designed outer facade.
3) Former Artforum Publisher Called Out for Harrassment
Knight Landesman, the publisher of the institutional magazine Artforum, has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment. The claims come from a former Artforum employee who left the publication in 2012, and filed a formal complaint against Landesman in 2016. A report on Artnet News included the revelation that 15 men and women who had worked with Landesman could recall instances of the publisher groping, making lewd comments, or otherwise harassing them. Following the resignation announcement, several more women came forward with complaints against the former publisher.
4) Hong Kong's Controversial Street Art Stance
Here’s an interesting editorial piece about shifting government attitudes toward street art in Hong Kong. While recent years have seen some efforts to beautify industrial areas of the city with the help of street artists, an even more recent spate of quick art removals has street many artists angry with city officials. Even polished-looking works by well-known artists have been removed overnight, with police and city workers noting that the placement of works could be a distraction or a hazard for drivers.