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A DISPATCH FROM THE WILD WORLD OF NFTS. Male artists have a 77 percent share of the NFT market on the Nifty Gateway platform, according to a report from ArtTactic picked up by the Financial Times and the Art Newspaper . (This statistic is probably not entirely surprising for anyone who has glanced in the direction of the NFT market.) The lone woman to crack the top-ten artists is Grimes. In other NFT news, Vice reports that a collector claims that hackers stole his Bored Ape Yacht Club tokens, which he reckons were worth “over a million dollars,” and NBC News reports that actor Elijah Wood said that he sold tokens made by cartoonist George Trosley , whose early work has been criticized as racist, and donated proceeds to charity, including Black Lives Matter. Trosley has apologized for the works, and said that he made them to spotlight social injustice. Last but not least, Ocula writes that the APENFT Foundation—which aims “to promote the fusion of finance and art in the metaverse” (sure, why not?)—is hosting an open-call NFT contest with a grand prize of $20,000.
THE ART WORLD HAS LOST TWO ESSENTIAL FIGURES. Jaider Esbell, a Macushi artist who made radiantly colored paintings, drawings, and sculptures that he viewed as “a merger of art and activism,” was found dead on Tuesday at his São Paulo apartment, Shanti Escalante-De Mattei writes in ARTnews. Esbell was 41. A cause of death has not been made public. And artist Bettina Grossman , a reclusive figure whose inventive work ranged across mediums, and who “developed a small but growing league of followers in her later years,” has died, Alex Greenberger writes in ARTnews. Much of her biography remains obscure, but she is believed to have been born in 1928. Artist Yto Barrada, who announced Grossman’s death, is working on a catalogue raisonné of her work.
The National Museum Wales in Cardiff has taken down a portrait of Thomas Picton, who owned, abused, and executed enslaved people as governor of Trinidad. Two artists of Trinidadian descent will be commissioned to make works reframing the legacy of Picton, who died at the Battle of Waterloo. [BBC News]
Two Banksy prints are listed in a charity auction by Grant Marshall (alias Daddy G) of the band Massive Attack netted £155,100 (about $211,800). The funds will go toward a food-security nonprofit in Malawi and a refugee-assistance group in Bristol, England. [Bristol Live]
The Brooklyn Museum and Instagram announced the recipients of their inaugural #BlackDesignVisionaries grants, which aim to support emerging Black designers. Among the winners was Taofeek Abijako, the founder of the fashion label Head of State, who received a $100,000 Visionary Small Business Grant. [L’Officiel]
K-pop stars have been paying visits to museum and galleries in South Korea—and their fans have been following in their footsteps. Rosé of Black Pink and both J-Hope and V of BTS recently visited the Leeum in Seoul, which just reopened after being closed throughout the pandemic. [The Chosun Ilbo]
In a new book on the rise of private art museums, journalist Georgina Adam writes that wealthy people with a sense of “outsider” status tend to be attracted to that model, and that there is a rich history of such figures. The 19th-century art aficionado Richard Wallace, who founded London’s Wallace Collection, “was an outsider, because of being illegitimate, because of being married to a perfumer’s assistant,” Adam writes. [Financial Times]
Sixteen artists were kind enough to share their self-care tips. Byron Kim’s recommendation: “I sit quietly, without moving, for an hour.” Cao Fei’s: “Surround yourself with people.” And Hunter Biden‘s? “Make time for family.” [Artnet News]
TREASURE TROUBLE. In 2018, a man went hunting in Yellowstone National Park for a treasure chest hidden by the late art dealer Forrest Fenn, got lost, and had to be rescued by helicopter. He was subsequently convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and ordered to pay $2,880 for the emergency service. He appealed. Now, Courthouse News Service reports, an appellate court has affirmed that ruling, noting “ the obviousness of the risk of leaving a marked trail in rugged wilderness late in the day, without food or shelter, and with the knowledge that the area is populated by bears.” The treasure was reportedly discovered last year by someone else. [CNS]
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