The .ART Weekly Art Market Recap: Jeff Koons, Disaster Girl and More

So little time, so many new things going on in the world of digital art and more...

If you want to stay clued in, but don't have the time to trawl through endless content, you've come to the right place. Every week, we give you a quick update on this week's hottest art headlines.

1. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is launching an NFT marketplace

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has revealed plans to launch its own non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where users can create, buy and sell digital collector’s items.

Helen Hai, head of Binance’s NFT project said “Our aim is to provide the largest NFT trading platform in the world with the best minting, buying, and exchanging experience, by leveraging the fastest and cheapest solutions powered by Binance blockchain infrastructure and community.”

2. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Estate Bans Sale of NFT

The NFT sale of Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s Free Comb with Pagoda has been pulled from OpenSea after his estate clarified that it will still retain the drawing’s license and rights.

The Basquiat archive’s licensing agent David Stark confirmed to The Art Newspaper that the Basquiat estate still owns the copyright of the 1986 mixed media work. “No license or rights were conveyed to the seller and the NFT has subsequently been removed from sale,” he said in a statement.

The auction of the NFT was sponsored by DAYstrom which initially shared that the sale will include “all related IP and copyright in perpetuity” and that the highest bidder can “deconstruct” the physical drawing if they choose to — allowing them to have “the NFT as the only remaining form of Basquiat’s work to exist.”

Although Basquiat’s estate did not confirm the authenticity of the artwork, DAYstrom claimed that the piece was authenticated by the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, along with “provenance including Michael Petronko Gallery in New York, private collection in Nevada, Heritage auction as lot #64054 in 2012 and finally sale to private collector in 2015 where it remains.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Free Comb with Pagoda (1986) Image: DaystromNFT

3. David Datuna, Who Ate $120,000 Banana At Miami Art Basel, Teams Up With Dole For NFT Collection

The Dole Sunshine Company today announced that it has joined forces with acclaimed artist David Datuna to create an NFT (non-fungible token) collection inspired by their Sunshine for All™ rallying cry. The aim is to increase awareness of food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide, while raising funds toward alleviating hunger today. The works will be available for purchase via NFT auction platform Rarible.com on May 6 at 3:30pm PST.

Artist David Datuna(Dole)

4. The “Disaster Girl” Meme Just Sold as an NFT for $500,000

Zoë Roth, popularly known as the girl in the “Disaster Girl” meme, has sold the image to the popular meme as an NFT for almost $500,000.

The image was bought by a Dubai-based music production company known as 3F Music, which spent $411,000 for the image from the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme in April. When asked to explain the reasoning behind their purchase, 3F Music provided NYT with the following statement: “Our management team is always in cooperation with some highly knowledgeable and experienced art advisers who believe that we must grow with technological movements that help us to not only promote our business but also to support artists and the art market.”

Source: Know Your Meme

5. Jeff Koons Has Cut Loose From Gagosian and Zwirner to Work Exclusively With Pace

Jeff Koons has moved on from longtime gallerists David Zwirner and Gagosian, with the world’s most expensive living artist opting for fresh representation under another mega dealer, Pace Gallery. Koons’ decision to leave Zwirner and Gagosian follows after personal reflections during the COVID-19 pandemic on how to elevate his work.

“Sometimes professionally in life we can find ourselves at a crossroads,” Koons said in a statement. “Going through the last year or so and having the opportunity to reflect on what I would like to achieve with my life’s work in order to bring it to its fullest potential, I have decided that a change in the environment in which my work is viewed and supported would be a positive thing at this time. I have known Marc Glimcher for decades and I’ve decided that Pace Gallery feels like an exciting situation for me and my work. The most important thing to me is the production of my work and to see these artworks realised so that they can be exhibited and viewed.”

Jeff Koons

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.ART Team
.ART Team
members are global citizens with interests ranging from art history to social justice. If we had an office cat we would have called it Basquiat.