Five stories from the art world this week which piqued our interest at MyArtBroker HQ.

1. Last month an historically themed French amusement park bought a silver ring, supposedly that of Joan of Arc, at auction in London for £300,000 (£286,000 over the top estimate). The auction battle for the French amusement park is, however, not yet won due to guidelines that state anyone exporting antiques worth more than £39,219, or have been in the UK for more than 50 years need an export license – this ring, which matches the description of the one Joan of Arc wore at her trial where she was burned at the stake, has resided in the UK for the last 600 years. The ring is due to appear in a ceremony at the Puy du Fou theme park tomorrow, but without an export license it will need to be returned until there is one, in which time, a British buyer may have appeared from the wings. (via Art Net)

2. Kanye West’s tweets are contemporary art, according to Kanye West. As whimsical as it may initially sound, West’s leap into contemporary art might not be that far a stretch – Ai Weiwei famously used Twitter as a vehicle to express his opinions and feelings from 2009-14 – which were later transcribed onto rice paper and exhibited in New South Wales, Australia. West, who’s twitter profile is a portrait of West by George Condo, said: “My tweets are a form of contemporary art only compromised by people trying to tell me what to tweet and not to tweet…” He may also be joining Instagram, but remember “no one can ask me or try to tell me what to Instagram… It’s my art…” And, you never know, he may well prove himself to be right. (via Art Net)

3. Francis Bacon once said to the critic David Sylvester “I loathe my own face.” But a rather flattering, and so rare, self-portrait of Francis bacon will be up for sale for the first time on the 11 May. Two Studies of a Self Portrait was painted in 1970, a year before his exhibition at Paris’ Grand Palais (which made him the second living artist after Picasso to have exhibited there). Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s senior specialist in international art, described it as “No 1 of all the paintings I’ve handled in my career.” He added: “Discovering a work such as this is like finding gold dust … It’s certainly among the greatest self-portraits ever offered at auction.” Exhibitions of Bacon’s work are planned at Tate Liverpool, the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. (via The Guardian)

4. Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides has teamed up with Sotheby’s for a second time for Asia’s first street art exhibition, They Would Be Kings, running in Hong Kong until Saturday 26 March. Artists featured in the show include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Os Gêmeos, Tsang Tsou Choi (King of Kowloon), Banksy, Futura, KAWS (pictured), Ramelzee, JR, and Vhils. As Steve Lazarides said in regards to the exhibition and its title: “I view what is now dubbed “street art” as a philosophy rather than a specific style of art. It is about a sense of freedom from the frankly boring and blinkered confines of the traditional art world. These artists forged their own path; they bludgeoned their way into the public consciousness, and then were finally noticed by the art world.” Lazarides currently represents JR and David Choe among a number of other street artists. (via Sotheby’s)

5. In a reaction to a street art exhibition being held in Italy, street artist Blu has erased all of his works. He covered 20 years worth of works with grey paint in protest of the exhibition Street Art: Banksy & Co, in Bologne, which features 250 works of art, some of which have been removed from their public locations without the consent of the artist – Blu being one of those artists. The exhibition has been organized by Fabio Roversi Monaco, one of the city’s wealthiest patrons and has sparked criticism from street artists as the city contradicts itself by fining graffiti artists one on hand, and on the other, hoards the works away and “valorizes” it. (via Smithsonian)


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