Ai Weiwei Stands With Syrian Refugees: Last Week in Art

Plus: A Vladimir Putin calendar, manscaped masterpieces, and more of the latest news from around the art world.

by Sami Emory
04 January 2016, 2:50pm

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

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:  

+ Ai Weiwei is bringing the art world’s attention to the plight of refugees on the island of Lesbos in Greece. Check out his Instagram for daily updates. 

+ Siyuan Zhao, the accused Art Basel stabber, pleads not guilty to attempted murder in the first degree. [The Observer]

+ Italian police busted an art theft operation involving employees at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. [The New York Times]

+ Full-size replicas of the Temple of Bel, the arch that survived the ISIS attack on Palmyra, are to be constructed in Trafalgar Square and Times Square in April. [The Guardian]


+ The Vector Gallery in LA staged The Retrial of Charles Manson last Monday with the serial killer’s biological son, Matthew Roberts, playing the role of Manson himself. [Disinformation]

+ The 2016 Vladimir Putin calendar is wonderfully weird. [BBC]

+ Venice is nearing bankruptcy and mayor Luigi Brugnaro is threatening to auction off some of the city’s many masterpieces for funds. [The Wall Street Journal

+ There is a glorious 3D-printed brain sculpture, consisting of 100 bronze-and-stainless-steel neurons, coming to The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. [3ders]

+ Old Navy designed children’s t-shirts with a negative of the phrase “Young Aspiring Artist” (see below). The Internet went up in arms and the company responded by removing the product from their site. [Huffington Post]


+ Artist Gerda Wegener, one of the protagonists of Tom Hooper’s lauded new film, The Danish Girl, will be the focus of an upcoming exhibition at the Arken Museum of Modern Art near Copenhagen. [The Guardian]

+ New York law enforcement and tax authorities are cracking down on art collectors. [Barrons]

+ Arguments are being made to move the British Government’s expansive art collection of 22,000 works from behind closed doors into a public art gallery. [The Telegraph]

+ Egypt is proposing an underwater museum to display the city’s ancient artifacts and ruins which have been submerged for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. [Smithsonian Magazine]


+ A look at La Fabrica del Arte Cubano: Cuba’s eclectic hub of everything-art. [Washington Post]

+ Egyptian officials raided the Townhouse Gallery and Bookshop, allegedly under suspicion that the spots are popular venues for underground activism. [US News]

+ The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has changed a long-standing security policy by banning visitors from carrying concealed weapons. [Denver Business Journal]

+ Apple is holding workshops to teach customers how to increase the niveau of their iPhone photography. [CNet]

+ And finally, there is an Idahoan creating masterpieces by manscaping back hair. [Townhall]


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


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