Featured Image: Frieze Seoul 2022. Photo by Lets Studio. Courtesy of Lets Studio and Frieze.
Ja Rule is putting Black NFT artist’s front and center with a new Web3 venture, Painted House. Partnering with Herb Rice, the rapper and businessman are linking NFT’s with iconic recreations of archival photographs which documented the history of jazz and hip hop artists in New York.
“When you look at the original photo and what it meant, these were young pioneers rebelliously blazing a trail and showing the world, ‘We’re here and this is something to pay attention to.’ Fast forward to us re-creating the photo for the hip-hop community, of a rebellious new art form of music that everybody counted out, and now we’re the No. 1 genre. It was the same energy then. And now fast forward to the great day in Web3. We’re saying, ‘You’re gonna see art through our eyes and vision and you won’t be able to control it.’ That’s a special moment in art, Web3, hip-hop and jazz.”
For their first project and inaugural drop, Painted House released a collection of 1000 NFTs. Each Non-fungible token “is a stunning depiction of the raw emotions of Black Americans navigating both the joys and struggles of everyday life in America.”
The Painted House’s goal is to educate Black Americans on blockchain and We3 technology and empower Black digital artists while giving 10% of proceeds from the sale of the NFTs to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help educate students in Web3. Ja Rule and ICONN Media, his live-streaming entertainment marketplace, will also contribute funds to the colleges.
An ancient Mayan archaeological site of more than 300 buildings has halted the $8 billion Maya Train project in Mexico. National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) director Diego Prieto confirmed that an archaeological survey along section 5 of the project, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, has uncovered an important archeological site.
Developed to connect Yucatán’s historical sites in an effort to encourage tourism and promote local indigenous cultures, the Maya Train project is slated to open by December 2023, along with the new Tulum Airport. Many archeologists, historians, environmental activists and communities argue the opposite effect.
To date, over 25,000 other immovable assets have been uncovered along all sections of the railroad including ancient roads, 431 ceramic pots, and 423 bones from human burials. With these discoveries, the site is set to be protected as an ecological and archaeological corridor with the artifacts expected to go on view at museums throughout the country.
The staff at the Dia Art Foundation announced Tuesday September 13, 2022 that they voted officially to unionize with Local 2110 Union of Auto Workers, which also represents museum staff members at the Guggenheim, MASS MoCA, the Whitney, and many others. The move comes in the wake of many museum workers moving to unionize in the wake of labour condition complaints. The vote passed with 90% in favor. Eligible staff includes archivists, managers, gallery attendants, curators and many more positions.
Announced on the Dia Union Instagram account on September 13th, the post read: “We are officially the Dia Union!…Thank you to our union-eligible colleagues, the wave of organizing in arts institutions, and everyone who supported our efforts. We are looking forward to sitting down with Dia leadership to start bargaining.”
Dia staff organized for a union around certain key issues, including low wages. “Dia’s development in Beacon has actually driven up the cost of housing here. Most of us can’t afford to live in the area, not on Dia wages,” said Joel Olzak, a gallery attendant at the Beacon space, said in a past statement.
Sotheby’s has secured an impressive collection of works from CBS founder William Paley. A foundation has been set up as the agent to sell the works which have been on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The collection of works by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and others is expected to fetch nearly $70 million at auctions in New York and London this fall.
A majority of the proceeds will go towards expanding the museum’s digital footprint, Sotheby’s said in a statement. Included in the selection of works is Francis Bacon’s 1963 small-format triptych, “Three Studies for Portrait of Henrietta Moraes”, which will be offered with an estimate of $35 million on October 14 during a London sale.
Paley had joined the museum board in 1937 and later served as the museum’s president and chairman. According to the foundation’s current president, the philanthropist’s son, Bill Paley, the organization worked with the museum’s curators to select which works would be auctioned. Glenn D. Lowry, MoMa’s director, described the forthcoming sale as, “a testament” to Paley’s “visionary philanthropy.”
Frieze Seoul wrapped up it’s inaugural installment on September 5, 2022 with positive feedback and success stories. The fair’s location was in the same building as Korea’s only international art fair, Kiaf, which ran concurrently. “Why not walk hand-in-hand and join our audiences instead of parachuting here?” said Frieze Seoul director Patrick Lee during the fair’s vernissage, which attracted massive crowds through the late afternoon. The mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon, expressed the city’s commitment to its art market at a dinner he hosted to celebrate both Frieze and Kiaf by the scenic Ran River. “After K-pop and K-cinema, we are ready to launch to the world K-art,” he said.
Frieze Seoul was met with over 70,000 visitors and housed more than 120 booths (including 18 focused on historic work in Frieze Masters).
“The local art scene welcomed Frieze in with tons of enthusiasm, and we made strong sales from across our contemporary program,” said Marc Glimcher, president of Pace Gallery. Lehmann Maupin co-founder David Maupin said his gallery also “saw strong Asian engagement with over 65% of works placed with collections in Korea, and over 83% sold to collectors based in Asia.” The top sale by international powerhouse Lisson Gallery was an Anish Kapoor sculpture for £775,000. The success of the fair proved that the appetite for art in South Korea’s capital was healthy and signaled a strong collector base for future iterations of the fair.