Featured Image: Diana Sinclair during Miami Art Week 2021. Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for eBay.

Christie’s is launching Christie’s 3.0, a platform that will sell NFTs on Ethereum’s blockchain making it the first art auction house to host on-chain sales. Launched on September 28th and running until October 1st, the inaugural sale offers nine NFTs from 18-year-old artist Diana Sinclair, who in 2021 was included on Fortune’s list of the 50 most influential people in the NFT world.

“Bringing the highest level of curation to the NFT and Digital Art market, Christie’s continues to be the venue for collectors to discover the best artworks of this emerging category,” said Nicole Sales Giles, director of digital art sales at Christie’s, in a statement.

In an interview with Artnet, the young artist explains:

“Christie’s making this first step as a global auction house is a huge message to the rest of the centuries-old art market that digital art and blockchain technology is a legitimate form of expression. As a young artist, and especially one who grew up seeing artists in my family being dismissed over discrimination, I feel so strongly about being part of a moment that indicates a greater shift in the arts….What’s beautiful about the blockchain and digital art is that we’re able to create art that can have a shifting existence. For this exhibition, which is highly focused on impermanence, there was no better way to create these works.”

Diana Sinclair, I Am That I Am. Estimate: 6 – 8 ETH.

U.K. dealer Rob Newland has pleaded guilty to a role in Inigo Philbrick’s $86 million art-fraud scheme. Philbrick’s former business partner was indicted by U.S. attorney’s office March 2022, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Having met at White Cube in London, Newland worked in the gallery’s finance department before becoming director of Philbrick’s company Modern Collections from 2014 until he resigned in December 2016.

The wire fraud helped perpetrate “a multi-year scheme to defraud various individuals and entities in order to finance Philbrick’s art business,” according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office. Philbrick is alleged to have sold shares in artworks he did not own, falsified contracts, created fictitious clients, and forged signatures in an elaborate scheme to dupe and swindle top collectors, dealers, and investors.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams states that Newland “conspired with Inigo Philbrick to take advantage of the lack of transparency in the art market to defraud art collectors, investors, and lenders in order to finance Philbrick’s art business,” and that “Newland has now admitted his guilt and awaits sentencing for his role in perpetuating this extensive fraud.”

As part of a plea deal with the US government, Newland agreed to forfeit $76,000 representing his proceeds from the wire fraud.

Rob Newland and Inigo Philbrick

The Met is putting on an important exhibition centered around 50 ceramic objects made by enslaved African American potters of South Carolina. “Hear Me Now” highlights how enslaved people were highly skilled artisans and sheds light on a lesser known history of African Americans in the United States.

“In the decades before the Civil War, a successful alkaline-glazed stoneware industry developed in Old Edgefield District, a clay-rich area,” the museum says in a statement. Works produced were largely functional pieces ranging from richly glazed and decorated pieces, to expressive high-relief molded works.

Jason Young co-curated the exhibition which began planning in 2017 after the institution acquired a face jug from an unrecorded Edgefield potter for their permanent collection galleries. Co-curator Adrienne Spinozzi saw the object as a vehicle to spur conversations about “American history and these really difficult and complex and challenging moments in our country’s past.” Young adds, “We want viewers to walk away with an appreciation of the full breadth and depth of this fascinating material…we want them to connect with the people who created this material, even while living under a harsh regime of American racism and slavery.”

The exhibition also incorporates contemporary Black artists who connect with and where inspired by these works such as Simone Leigh, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Woody De Othello, Theaster Gates, and Robert Pruitt.

Center: “Large Jug” (2021-22) by Simone Leigh, decorated with enlarged cowrie shells. Left: Edgefield jugs by unrecorded artists. Right: Edgefield face jug by an unrecorded artist; Leigh’s “108 (Face Jug Series)” from 2019; Woody De Othello’s “Applying Pressure” (2021).Credit: Lila Barth for The New York Times

Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth gets a statue dedicated to Malawian anti-colonialist by artist Samson Kambalu. The artist created the bronze resin artwork, “Antelope”, which depicts Malawian baptist preacher John Chilembwe, who fought against colonial rule and comments on Britain’s colonialism in southern Africa. Kambalu depicted Chilembwe with his friend and supporter, the European missionary John Chorley.

“People present colonialism as a kind of conqueror and victim (story)…But actually, it’s more complex than that. There are heroes on both sides. There is dignity on both sides.” Kambalu said at the unveiling.

The installation comes just weeks after the House of Commons proposed that the Fourth Plinth, reserved for contemporary art commissions since 1998, to be instead used for a statue of the late Queen Elizabeth II to be erected in honour of her reign.

Kambalu hopes that the work will highlight the hidden histories of Britain’s role in colonization and spark discussions around its colonial legacy.

The work ‘Antelope’ by Samson Kambalu is unveiled on the Fourth Plinth depicting baptist preacher John Chilembwe and missionary John Chorley. EPA.

The excavation of the ancient city of Philippi uncovered a monumental 2,000-year-old statue of Hercules. The ancient city located in Northern Greece has long been believed to be one of the most promising archaeological sites in the country. A team from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki including professor Natalia Poulou, assistant professor Anastasios Tantsis, and professor emeritus Aristotle Menzo along with a team of 28 students uncovered the sculpture. After excavating and uncovering two roads which converged at an ornate building and fountain in a main square-like area, the archeologists discovered the sculpture. The statue dates from 2 A.D. and was attached to the building, which dates from 7–8 A.D.

Established by Philip II, King of Macedon, Philippi was built on the Thasian colony of Crenides on the Aegean Sea. The city was later abandoned after the Ottomans conquered the region in the 14th century. Although Phillipi has long been believed to hold significant archeological artifacts, the site had not been excavated until 1914. The excavation halted during the First World War, resumed in 1920, and paused again during the Second World War before resuming the ongoing work.

2,000-Year-Old Statue of Hercules and Excavation in ancient Philippi. Photos courtesy The Greek Ministry of Sport and Culture