Sotheby’s Elevates Yuki Terase to Head of Contemporary Art, Asia: Best known as the business getter who worked with Yusaku Maezawa to buy the Basquiat head for $110m, Terase will be moving to Hong Kong. She previously worked with street fashion master NIGO®, as well as of #TTTOP in October 2016 to generate strong interest from not only traditional and social media worldwide, but also from the emerging young collecting community:
- “In her new role, Ms. Terase will lead Sotheby’s auction and private sales of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Western Contemporary art in Asia. She will also continue to play an instrumental role in the company’s business development efforts in Japan.” …
Phillips Adds Latin American Art to 20th Century Sales: Following its success with works by Carmen Herrera and others, Phillips announced today that it will Latin American artists within its Contemporary and 20th Century sales. This follows a trend begun by Sotheby’s last year. Here’s Phillips’ own announcement:
- “Beginning this spring, Phillips will fully incorporate Latin American Art within its sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art amid an increasingly globalized market for the category. Phillips is committed to celebrating artists from this region in a larger context and works of art formerly included in the company’s New York Latin America sales will now be offered in Evening and Day Sales, as well as the New Now category, across all of the company’s salerooms in New York, London, and Hong Kong.”
Swiss Art Dealer Gets Taken in Old Con Updated for Art Market: A Swiss newspaper reports on a scam perpetrated on a Swiss art dealer, who remains anonymous, by a Romanian gang who presented themselves as representatives of an art collector willing to spend 3.5m CHF on painting with a 500k CHF commission for the representatives.
To close the deal, the Romanians insisted upon going to the dealer’s safe deposit box to see the 500k CHF in cash. While there, the con men switched envelopes and made off with the “commission” without buying the work of art.
- “The Schweiz am Wochenende, quoting Swiss federal police statistics, wrote that rip-deal frauds are becoming more professional and successful at conning people. The number of recorded incidents in Switzerland rose from 14 in 2015 to 22 in 2016. The amount of money raised from the criminal activity doubled to around CHF10 million over the same two years.” …
Wendi Deng Murdoch, Art and Espionage: Everybody is having a lot of fun with the Wall Street Journal’s story claiming the Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were warned that their friend Wendi Deng Murdoch may be tied to Chinese espionage:
- “Generally, U.S. counterintelligence officials have been warning of potential attempts by the Chinese government to exploit ethnic Chinese living in the U.S. who have both access to power and family back in China, giving Beijing leverage.”
And there is no evidence that Deng Murdoch has a direct connection to Chinese intelligence. But the story brings to mind the Wall Street Journal’s revelations late last year that it had spoken to persons with knowledge of the art world and the intelligence community to determine whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman was the buyer of the record-setting Leonardo painting.
We’re not suggesting Deng Murdoch was the source. But the two stories together do raise an interesting question of how many art world participants are also acting as sources for the intelligence community given the geographical breadth of the industry and its existence as something of a cross-cultural neutral zone.