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$40 Jeff Koons, "Vagina Artist" Fined: Last Week in Art

Last week was filled with record-breaking (and downright mysterious) art sales, news-worthy selfies, and the artist f.k.a. George W. Bush.


A lot went down this week in the weird and wild world of Art. Some things were more scandalous than others, some were just plain wacky—but all of them are worth knowing about. Without further ado:

+ The vulva-shaped sculptures of Japanese "vagina artist" Megumi Igarashi, who was arrested last year for allegedly breaking the country's anti-obscenity laws with her work, were excused as "Pop art" by a Tokyo court. The artist still incurred a $3,700 fine, however, for the data she generated from a 3D scan of her own genitals. Ctrl+Alt+Del. [ABC News]


+ Own a Koons for $40: the artist teamed up with Google to design a limited-edition case for their new Nexus phone. The cases are adorned with images of three of Koon's Gazing Ball series and come with an animated wallpaper of Koon's first live-action video art piece, The Gazing Ball Ballet. [Vogue]

+ Your bedroom could be Yayoi Kusama's next masterpiece, thanks to her partnership with the Tate Modern and Airbnb. [i-D]

+ Maurizio Cattelan's Hitler sculpture, Him, sold for a record-breaking $17.2 million at Christie's and Sotheby's "Bound to Fail" sale. The piece, which depicts a child-like Hitler on his knees in prayer, was purchased by an unknown buyer. [The Telegraph]


+ The media artist f.k.a. George W. Bush. [Hyperallergic]

+ Man takes selfie, destroys 126-year-old statue. [Reuters]

+ A piece valued at $50,000 by an Antiques Roadshow appraiser, and believed to be reminiscent of the work of Pablo Picasso, was revealed to be a ceramics class project by a high school student. [The Guardian]

+ Meanwhile in an impressive feat of accidental art flipping, a London taxi driver sold a $58 yard sale painting for $133,500. The piece is thought to be the work of the Sikh artist Baba Bishan Singh. [Artnet News]

+ And, a mechanic in France snagged a Renoir online for a mere $790. [The Local


+ Huang Yong Ping is occupying the Grand Palais with a giant, skeletal snake, curving through stacks of 305 shipping containers and sporting a super-sized Napoleon hat. The work is meant as a metaphor for political power. [The Art Newspaper]


+ The New Museum, the "scrappiest sibling in the bursting family of contemporary art museums in New York City," is expanding its Bowery building to the tune of $43 million. [The New York Times]

+ Here is the 2016 Turner Prize shortlist. [ArtForum]

+ There's going to be a Zaha Hadid retrospective at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale. The show will be the first following the architect's death. [Curbed]

+ Japanese art collector Yusaku Maezawa spent nearly $100 million this week at Christie's and Sotheby's, purchasing a Jean-Michel Basquiat, a Richard Prince, a Jeff Koons, and more. ArtFCity calls Maezawa "The Art World's New Favourite Collector." [Financial Times, ArtFCity]


+ The French painter François Morellet passed away at the age of 90. [Artsy]

+ The New York arts charity for the disabled, poor, and elderly called the Healing Arts Initiative was shut down Wednesday. The charity was recently the subject of scandal when, after investigating the missing money that has been devastating the organization's finances, the executive director of Healing Arts was violently attacked with lye. [The New York Times]

+ The Shah of Iran's famed collection of art, from artists such as Monet, Bacon, Picasso, and Pollock, is coming to Berlin to show outside of Iran for the first time. [Artnet News]

+ Millie Brown: the contemporary artist who has mastered the contemporary art selfie. [Vogue]



Did we miss any pressing art world stories? Let us know in the comments below!


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