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U.S. Art Museums, Auction Houses, Galleries, Perceived as Corrupt Reforms Demanded "The whole business is corrupt from the (art) auction houses, galleries and museums..." reader logs public comment in May 2010 issue of The Art Newspaper detailing $8M litigation
April 30, 2010 Dear ally of artists' rights: The Art Newspaper published its second article online on April 29, 2010 about the current $8M litigation between Miami collector Craig Robbins and New York art dealer David Zwirner. Commenting on "Court Battle fuels call for less art market secrecy," a frustrated and angry “Joe” of New York City wrote: "The whole business is corrupt from auction houses, galleries and museums...needs controls. The whole art thing is a scam for the rich." It is we the taxpayers who ultimately pay for all of this through the substantial income tax payments which are avoided by museums because of their nonprofit status. The real art patron is the American public, us! That follows on the heels of the April 21, The New York Times article, "Second art dealer dragged into dispute betweenhigh profile collector and leading New York gallery." And prior to that, the New York Times broke the story on April 16 in "Lawsuit Describes Art "Blacklist" to Keep Some Collectors Away." Since 2004, the Council for Artists Rights (CFAR) has been informing the public about art world shenanigans beginning with the ongoing litigation of a Dallas Texas wildflower artist whose 20-year-old public artwork was altered by the Chicago Park District. Since then CFAR's campaigns have advocated for outraged visual artists whose work has been disrespected in one form or another. Its advocacy includes a sculptor whose commissioned public art monument of a standing Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was hacksawed at the feet by the local government officials of Rocky Mount, N.C.; a then-student of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago whose work was rejected by a Glenview, IL. park district official; a sculptor who in 2007 fought to have his outdoor Berwyn, IL work from being removed from a shopping plaza; a muralist whose public mural in 2009 was whitewashed at the request of a Chicago alderma; an internationally known sculptor whose public art went missing during the destruction of a hospital as part of Chicago's failed bid to snare the summer games of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. CFAR, has elicited reactions to our stand on art world issues. Our public comments have recently been logged on Houston-based Glasstire .com (scroll down to March 30) "DMA
Curators in the Crosshairs," Texas-based D Magazine, "Art Activist: DMA, Fort Worth Modern Curators Should Have No Business at Cowboys Stadium," CBS-TV, "Bringing Art to the People." DOESN'T THIS ACCUMULATION OF EVIDENCE TELL US THE ART WORLD IS SICK, SICK, SICK? JOIN THE COUNCIL FOR ARTISTS RIGHTS! An incisive account of the artists' position is available through the Chicago Artists Coalition's newspaper published in 2007 by Daniel Grant, page 8, "Travails and Triumphs: The Visual Artists Rights Act." And for a listing of books and papers which discuss art world issues in depth visit Scribd.com. The Council for Artists Rights is based in Chicago, IL USA. Its thrust is to educate the public about artists' rights and advocates for artists whose work is in distress. CFAR was spontaneously born in 2004 when devotees of public art learned a city park district had irrevocably altered--without its creator's permission--a 20 year old work of public art. Recognition of CFAR founding member John Viramontes: Honoree, Huffington Post blogger Esther J. Cepeda's Chicago Latino List 2009.
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