All the talk is about Art Basel — where an attack was at first confused with a work of performance art. Plus: the passing of pioneering performer Holly Woodlawn, financial drama at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, faking architectural photos in Chicago, and architect Denise Scott Brown and husband and partner
— A patron at Art Basel Miami Beach stabbed another visitor at the fair with an X-Acto knife. Many patrons, upon seeing the young woman covered in blood, thought they were witnessing a performance, reported the Miami Herald. The wounds weren't fatal, but when the 24-year-old assailant was apprehended, she stated, "I had to watch her bleed," according to the New York Post. She has been charged with attempted murder.
— Sort of related: Art Basel as the champagne-sipping symbol of global inequity. Party on, 1%.
— Holly Woodlawn, the transgender actress who appeared in films by Andy Warhol and was the subject of the Lou Reed song "Walk on the Wild Side," has passed away at age 69.
— In a memo to the board of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Dede Wilsey states she did nothing wrong in cutting a check for $450,000 in disability payments to a former employee without board approvals. Her action has made headlines in recent weeks after the museum's financial officer reported the transaction to the California attorney general.
— The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach has received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, which confers a greater credibility and should make it easier for the museum to secure important loans.
— The Philippines has started a crowd-sourcing website to track down more than 200 pieces of art once owned by former first lady Imelda Marcos — including works by Picasso, Van Gogh and Michelangelo.
— The Chicago branch of the American Institute of Architects gave an award based on doctored photography. Critic Blair Kamin analyzes the ethics of manipulated photography — and of giving prizes to buildings without visiting them in person.
— More importantly, architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown have been awarded the Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects. This represents a real shift from 24 years ago when Venturi alone was awarded the prestigious Pritzker, overlooking his wife and design partner. (I spoke in 2013 with her about that infamous snub.)
— Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has an interesting idea for that land accumulated by Cal Trans for the purpose of building the now-scrapped connector for the 710: build a new network of parks and affordable housing. Lord knows L.A. could use a lot more of both.
— Speaking of Hawthorne, his review of the Peterson Automotive Museum is pretty darn epic. Complete with references to "Office Space" and Michael Bay.
— Plus, because too much L.A. is never enough: D.J. Waldie on the internecine battles about the design of the Los Angeles County seal.
— Pantone has named its color of the year and it's actually two colors: eggshell shades of pink and blue — like the worst baby shower nightmare.
— Marijuana culture gets ever more highbrow: Gizmodo has a story on Tetra, a new company that features a range of design-conscious accessories chosen by a trio of art and design writers.
— And last but not least, a reunion of Bob Ross superfans in Virginia.
— SPECIAL BONUS LINK: My mom's empanada recipe. Now this is art…