Episode 276: Hubert Neumann

December 13, 2010 · Print This Article

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This week: Tom, Amanda, and Duncan talk to super collector Hubert Neumann. He’s candid, he doesn’t mince words and he knows a ton of stuff, don’t miss it.

Also, Richard thinks that the Smithsonian and National Portrait Gallery are striving to redefine “spineless cowards” in their role in the museum word. Great job guys, I look forward to seeing what a Fox News curated museum looks like!

Please be sure to take a moment and e-mail the following people your thoughts on their caving in to political censorship.

Bethany Bentley
Public Affairs Specialist
bentleyb@si.edu

Julia Zirinsky
Public Affairs Assistant
zirinskyj@si.edu

Sherri Weil
Director of Development
and External Affairs
weils@si.edu

Charlotte Gaither
Deputy Director of Development
gaitherc@si.edu

Kristy Snaman
External Affairs Specialist
snamank@si.edu




Detroit Banksy Mural In Court Now Since Factory Landowner Claims Ownership

July 16, 2010 · Print This Article

Back in May & June we wrote about Banksy’s trip to Detroit and his mural that was created in the old derilict Packard plant there. That mural of a boy with a paint can saying “I remember when all this was trees” was quickly excavated from the cinder block wall it was painted on by the local art group 555 Nonprofit Gallery & Studios, they moved it to their gallery space and quickly came under threats and negative attention. Well now they are in court.

Bioresource Inc., the company owned by land speculator Romel Casab, filed suit this week in Wayne County Circuit Court to regain possession of the mural. The suit which names 555 Gallery and it’s executive director Carl Goines as defendants says the 1,500 pounds mural, which may be worth $100,000 or more, was removed without authority and that 555 Gallery did not respond to a letter dated June 7th demanding it’s return.

The 555 artists have attested from the beginning in May that they took the work to prevent its destruction and have no interest in selling it. Gallery attorney Don Lewis said  his clients were given permission to take the mural by a scrap metal removal crew foreman named Butch.

“That’s a key issue,” Lewis said. “Would a jury think it was reasonable to assume that he had the authority he said he did — that he was speaking on behalf of the owner?”

I keep saying this isn’t over and that eventually Bansky might make a statement since it serves his interests to be the final voice but he does have a history of disavowing works once they are removed or altered from their original state. This may be no different, but there will be more to come I am sure.




UPDATED Walter Massey New School of Art Institute President…..?

June 21, 2010 · Print This Article

Walter MasseyIt has been announced today that Dr. Walter Massey has been named the new President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This is a really hard article to write since it’s difficult to find much about Walter Massey in any kind of Art context and his business context is pretty basic as well.

Walter Massey, who currently sits on the board of McDonald’s (which is headquartered in Chicago lets remember), recently retired from the Bank of America board, president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, has worked in the Unviersity of California system and at Brown University, former board member of BP, National Commission on Smoking and Public Policy & ran Argonne National Laboratory is more like a madlibs result for the executive level of Chicago Business/General Science Education world. It’s a little of this and a lot of that.

The resume reads like a interim president who was a Chicago culture buff and said “yea, I’ll do it” when no one else would?

I know I am not the only one that realizes there is 15% unemployment (even for executives) but there is no one else eligible for this position? Someone who is a tad more focused in areas of use to the SAIC? Someone other then a 72+ year old scientist whose college administration background is “leading” his Alma mater (the self described “only all male historically black institution of higher learning in the United States”) for 12 years after he had retired from a career of  Science advocacy?

How is this even close to the needs of the SAIC and Art community in the 21st century other then he is a warm body that I am sure has a Rolodex (a literal Rolodex I mean) full of moneyed contacts.

I know the Art world lives on nepotism and dresses it up as “vetting someone” but could you at least try to hide it more in the future cause it really reads poorly to a lot of people right now?

*******UPDATE********

More information has come out from, SAIC Chairman of the Board, Cary D. McMillanhas (who is also on the McDonald’s board) who by telephone from vacation in Italy told the Chicago Tribune that Walter Massey is a interim President brought on to release pressure from Elissa Tenny, who has been appointed to the newly created position of SAIC provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.

By end of the first semester, we’ll probably have a good idea of what direction we want to go, and probably begin a search some time after that. We didn’t want to be feeling that we were rushed to hire someone, and Walter is just such a great guy

Nowhere in the press release that the School issued is the term Interim even mentioned or hinted at. I am sure Dr. Massey is a great person, wonderful guy and might via his connections or mere presence help others feel more free to make the changes or growth they need but no one thought to mention that in the press release? That the Chairman needs to clarify while on vacation in Italy 7 hours ahead of Chicago for the Tribune’s late night post; the fact this in actuality an interim position?

More can be read at the Tribune’s Article here




Detroit Banksy Work Moved After Threats to Gallery

June 3, 2010 · Print This Article

Bad at Sports posted a week or so back about the removal of a Banksy mural by 555 Nonprofit Gallery & Studios (a local Detroit gallery) from the old Packard Plant to their site. At the time I knew this was not the end of this tale and that they were potentially going to reap the kind of attention they really dont want regardless of the intentions behind the act.

As an Update the cinder block mural has now been removed from display after the gallery & work had been reportedly threatened with defacement or destruction (I would imagine the gallery more then the work). The gallery has also now updated their statement in regards to their claim to include that they were given permission by a scrap metal removal crew working at the plant at the time.

Carl W. Goines, executive director & co-founder of 555 Nonprofit, told The Detroit Free Press

There was a lot of anxiety with the threats, so our board of directors requested that we move it until it can be displayed safely.

I still think there is more to come on this still yet and might even include a statement by Banksy himself eventually.




Graffiti Artist Banksy Leaves Work in Detroit & Is Immediately Taken Down By Local Gallery

May 19, 2010 · Print This Article

Graffiti Artist Banksy who has been making the rounds throughout US cities recently (Los Angeles, Park City for Sundance, Chicago and Toronto) created a work in Detroit which has created a larger debate on the role of public art and its relationship to longevity, location & ownership. In short (and more can be read in depth at The Detroit Free Press) the work was created on one of the walls of the partially demolished Packard Plant in Detroit.

The stenciled work which shows a determined boy holding a red paint can next to the words “I remember when all this was trees” was discovered over the weekend of May 8th and by the 11th the 7′ x 8′ 1,500 pound cinder block wall was excavated by artist from the 555 Nonprofit Gallery & Studios to their grounds near the Ambassador Bridge in Southwest Detroit.

This has caused a stir in Detroit to an extent since it raises the question of did the gallery have either a legal or moral right to remove and relocate the work. What is the role of the work. Is it better to have it remain location specific in the old Packard Plant and risk/enjoy destruction or is it better off in care of some group who would put it on public display. Can that group make a profit on it & first of all can that group legally remove the cinder block material and claim ownership.

Many of these questions have either already legally defined answers that the art world might or might not like (regardless of it’s state the Packard Plant is owned by someone) and other questions as to the role of Banksy’s work in relation to the public are ripe for individual agenda. Regardless each of the questions are very good and lead to a greater debate as to how do we interact and relate to Graffiti Art which is not going away and is getting more refined and focused in it’s execution and voice.

It would be wonderful to hear from Banksy himself as to why he felt that location was optimal for the work and who he expected to see it there. Does he plan to coordinate in the future with galleries when the ownership of the work is in doubt and can easily be claimed? Does he prefer that his work have a limited shelf life or be location specific so as to have a greater contextual impact. I doubt we will hear either way but I am sure regardless of what happens he is loving the energy it has created & there is more to this story to be told.