Monkeys and copyright. Instagram and copyright. Lady Gaga and plagiarism. Artists are keeping lawyers employed! Plus: A biennial comes to the California desert, a report on Nazi-looted art in Israeli museums, the design of Los Angeles as it urbanizes, and a worthwhile history of Times Square urbanism. Here’s the Roundup:
— News flash: A monkey doesn’t own the copyright to his viral selfie, according to a ruling by a federal judge. Expectantly waiting for hot takes on what this means for the legacy of Colonel Meow (who likely never selfied but whatevs).
— Speaking of copyright, photographer Donald Graham is suing painter Richard Prince for using one of his images of a Rastafarian man in his Instagram appropriation series. (A number of articles on this story have pointed out that Graham only copyrighted his image after he learned of Prince’s Instagram paintings, but it’s worth noting that works do not need to be registered to be protected by copyright law. Registration is necessary only if you wish to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement.)
— And, because too many intellectual authorship conflicts are never enough: the legal team of French artist Orlan reportedly intends to subpoena Lady Gaga's creative team in New York courts, alleging that Gaga plagiarized concepts from her work in the video “Born This Way.”
— Because what the desert really needs is a biennial: “Desert X,” a biennial to run alongside the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is in the works.
— Here today, gone tomorrow: the giant statue of Mao in the Chinese countryside that was destroyed after generating criticism online.
— The Forward has a fascinating story about Nazi-looted art in Israeli museums.
— The mayor of Venice, Italy, has announced an interest in selling works of art “that don’t belong to the city’s history or tradition” as a way of plugging budget holes. Cue the outrage.
— The director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami has been fired by the city, reportedly for providing a lack of appropriate supervision for city employees and for allegations of sexual harassment.
— The long-awaited tax evasion trial of the renowned French art dealers, the Wildenstein family, has been delayed, possibly until September, because of a legal technicality. If and when the trial finally happens, it’ll likely pull the veil back on the professional and personal practices of one of the world’s most powerful art-dealing dynasties.
— A mysterious 16th century painting of a lady and a unicorn at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
— An interesting look at the work of artist Jean Dubuffet and his interest in “art brut” — often referring to forms of so-called primitive art and art by outsider artists — on the occasion of a related exhibition at the Folk Art Museum in New York. Further evidence that the line between high and low is highly porous. (Weisslink)
— Tyler Green has a meaty podcast interview with L.A. artist Frances Stark on her work and her process, in connection with her acclaimed solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum.
— Chloe Wyma has an incisive review of Dave Hickey’s new book: “25 Women: Essays on Their Art.”
— Plus, novelist Chris Kraus on the ambiguous virtues of art school. Good read.
— Ray Mark Rinaldi on how Colorado has tormented the artist Christo for his proposed Arkansas River project: "We do pay a price when we crucify the most imaginative people in our midst."
— The history of Times Square urbanism — a terrific piece by Karrie Jacobs involving everything from starchitecture to naked ladies.
— An interesting conversation between Christopher Hawthorne and Sam Lubell in the Architect’s Newspaper about the future design of Los Angeles.
— Your moment of Jello Biafra’s acting reel.
Find me on Twitter @cmonstah.