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NFT NEWS NOTICES. There always seems to be drama in the NFT space. Quentin Tarantino and Miramax are feuding over the director’s plan to sell NFTs of Pulp Fiction–related material at auction, the Wall Street Journal reports. Miramax, which produced the 1994 classic, maintains that Tarantino does not have the right to mint the tokens. Meanwhile, former First Lady Melania Trump is drawing criticism for her plan to sell one of her hats, as well as an NFT of a watercolor of herself, CNN reports. “It’s unseemly,” an unnamed senior Trump White House official said. Lastly, Wikipedia editors have voted that, for now, NFTs should not appear on the site’s list of the priciest art sales, with one voter noting the ongoing debate about their status as art, per Artnet News.
A FRIDAY ARTIST UPDATE. Sculptor Hugh Hayden is about to unveil an ambitious new work in Madison Square Park in New York, with 100 school desks sprouting branches. “My wood is like bone-in chicken, with the foot even—you’re still seeing this is a tree,” he told the New York Times. A bit west of the park, artist-composer Haroon Mirza just opened a show at Lisson Gallery that involves “a mini-sun made up of halogen lights that is surrounded by an array of solar panels,” he told the Art Newspaper. “These solar panels will be generating electricity which in turn powers an ecosystem of works” in the space. Mirza said that he is thinking about whether we are a “parasitic species” or “a species that is symbiotic with the rest of nature and the biosphere.”
GOING PUBLIC. South Korea’s second-largest auction house, K Auction, will be listed on the nation’s KOSDAQ exchange later this month, the Korea Herald reported, and Sotheby’s, which went private in 2019, is said to be exploring an initial public offering, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley advising, ARTnews noted.
Aras Amiri, a curator for the British Council who was arrested on espionage charges in 2018 while visiting her grandmother in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison, is back in the United Kingdom after the nation’s Supreme Court ruled that her conviction was against Islamic law. [The New York Times]
The Americana collection of the late book dealer William Reese will be sold in a series of auctions at Christie’s, with a low estimate of $12 million. The house is billing it as one of the most valuable single-owner book troves to ever come to auction. [The New York Times]
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., will close its East Building from the end of February until June for renovations related to accessibility and its atrium skylight. [The Washington Post]
The Burning Man organization has come out against a proposed geothermal project in Gerlach, Nevada, where it owns land, saying that it “would forever alter the environment, viewshed, and quality of life in the area.” [Reno Gazette Journal]
An original page of a 1984 Spider-Man comic that shows the superhero in a black costume for the first time sold for a crisp $3.36 million at Heritage Auctions. [Sky News]
SKATING ON THICK ICE. For a three-day piece that runs through this weekend, performers are taking turns dancing atop a 2.5-ton ice block that has been suspended above the Sydney Harbor in Australia, the Guardian reports. Naturally, it will melt as they dance (for a total of nine hours each day). The work, titled Thaw, is the creation of Joshua Thomson, the artistic director of the theater group Legs on the Wall , who said he wanted “to push the conversation and the awareness around climate change.” Not exactly subtle! Also not exactly something you see every day. Thomson admitted that “yes, it has an element of spectacle.” [The Guardian]