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A GRAFFITI LEGEND IS GONE. Lance De Los Reyes, a revered New York graffiti artist who went by the name Rambo, has died at the age of 44, the Art Newspaper reports. A cause of death has not been released. De Los Reyes was known for public works that spelled out gnomic phrases in angular script. He worked for a period with Shepard Fairey , who said in a statement that they “did street art night and day for three days, napped for two hours and then started bombing again.” De Los Reyes had shows in 2014 at the Hole and earlier this year at the Ross-Sutton Gallery, whose owner, Destinee Ross-Sutton, told the paper that he “didn’t make art for money and saw himself as a messenger trying to tell us something—to open our eyes.” [The Art Newspaper]
THE PAPER CHASE. Last month, the Denver Art Museum said that it would voluntarily return to Cambodia four antiquities that have been linked to Douglas Latchford, the late dealer accused of trafficking in plundered art. Now, the Denver Post reports, U.S. prosecutors have asked a court to formally approve the forfeiture of those pieces since they were looted. Latchford, who died before standing trial, “papered over the problematic provenance of Cambodian antiquities with falsehoods, in the process successfully placing stolen goods in the permanent collection of an American museum,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. The recent Pandora Papers investigations identified 10 museums with art that passed through the dealer’s hands.
The nonprofit Anonymous Was a Woman, which annually gives $25,000 grants to women-identifying artists, has expanded the number of awards it provides, and announced 14 new recipients, including Suzanne Jackson, Autumn Knight, Julie Tolentino, and Marian Zazeela. [ARTnews]
The number of people visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York each day is roughly half of what it was pre-pandemic. Arts organizations throughout the city are hoping that the end of some restrictions on foreign travelers to the U.S. will help boost attendance—and sell tickets. [The New York Times]
More than 800 items that once belonged to the late singer Amy Winehouse sold for more than $4 million at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles, with many lots going well beyond their estimates. The material was being sold to benefit a foundation Winehouse’s parents started to support young people dealing with addiction. [BBC News]
Shala Monroque, the former creative director of Garage magazine, and onetime fixture on the international art and fashion circuits, talked to Leah Faye Cooper about choosing to leave the limelight and return to live in Saint Lucia. [Harper’s Bazaar]
Speaking of art and fashion crossovers, fashion writer Simon Doonan has penned a book about artist Keith Haring. Said Doonan, “I realized that it’s a great moment to revisit Haring because the social justice themes he once explored are once again of focus in the art world.” [Architectural Digest]
Google’s Arts and Culture app will now take a photo of your pet and find paintings with similar-looking animals. However, for one reporter, “the results were mixed—while the app was able to generate a beautiful (okay, mostly tan) color palette based on his fur, most of the art doppelgängers . . . didn’t end up looking much like him at all.” [The Verge]
And there is a critical mass of stories about artists, and one by an artist . . . Photographer Jeff Wall is on PBS NewsHour. Painter Jacqueline de Jong (one of two women in the Situationist International in the early 1960s) is in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Painter and writer Françoise Gilot is in Tatler Asia. And Ai Weiwei has an essay in the Economist lamenting that “contemporary art has become just a form of entertainment, detached from spiritual life.”
ONE MORE ARTIST ITEM. The irrepressible Grayson Perry, who is in the middle of performing a live show at London’s Royal Albert Hall, fielded questions from Guardian readers , and offered some wonderfully candid responses. Asked about surviving financially as a budding artist, Perry detailed his path. “I had scrappy jobs all through my 20s, like making sandwiches, being a security guard, life modeling,” he said, before going on to explain, “Then I married someone with more money than me. Not many men take that route. My wife supported me through my 30s.” That is something they do not teach in MFA programs! [The Guardian]