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Archive Monthly Archives: February 2018

Art market shrugs off forgery case but finders of fakes still flourish

A New York court recently heard how a gallery sold more than 70 fakes but one art authenticator says the case was such an outlier that its impact was minimal

Art Basel, which closed on Sunday, effectively rounds off the art markets annual program of fairs, sales and exhibitions. Coming after auctions in New York that clocked sales totals less than half of those a year earlier, art dealers have been cheered by apparently buoyant sales at the fair.

Dealers ticked off the highlights: a Sigmar Polke for 6.5m (5.1m) at David Zwirner and Paul McCarthys Tomato Head (Green) (1994) sold by Hauser & Wirth for $4.75m (3.3m) and a Mike Kelley Reconstructed History for $1.5m. The availability of such works suggested that dealers are getting more of the best work coming up for sale now that the auction houses have stepped back from offering sellers guarantees.

But whether these headline sales, like the auctions, are a gloss that disguises other weaknesses, is not yet clear. The art market has been going through a testing period, not least its sensitivity to fluctuations in the global economy and the uncertain political outlook.

But the one story that might have been expected to affect art market confidence the civil suit against the directors of the Knoedler & Company gallery in New York earlier this year, appears to have had scarcely had any impact.

A
A visitor looks at the artwork Tomato Head (Green) (1994) by US artist Paul McCarthy on display at Art Basel, in Basel, Switzerland. Photograph: Georgios Kefalas/EPA

Back in February, jurors heard how the gallery one of the most prestigious had passed off literally dozens of fakes said to be by abstract expressionist masters including Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock to unwitting collectors. The case was settled before Knoedlers directors, Anne Kennedy and Michael Hammer, were called to testify but not before the court heard how collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole had been swindled.

In total, the gallery sold upwards of 70 fakes to collectors who were readily and understandably willing to trust the provenance of the works offered by the gallery. A case like this tends to wake people up, Jason Hernandez, the lead prosecutor in the criminal investigation, told Artnet. It touched such a well-known gallery in addition to how much money was involved.

But the case also hinted at another issue: just how few artists estates now have functioning authentication boards. In 2011, following a lawsuit brought by the British collector Joe Simon-Whelan against the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board over its refusal to authenticate a self-portrait of the artist that Simon-Whelan had purchased for less than $200,000 in 1989, the Warhol Foundation closed down the service.

But that was not the Warhol Foundations only problem with provenance. Dozens of Brillo boxes it had authenticated over the years had to be reclassified as posthumous works.

Other authentication boards soon closed up: Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat. The cost of defending cases (the Simon-Whelan case had cost the Warhol estate $7m) and the threat of further lawsuits over issues of liability had made such services too risky to maintain, each said.

One of those to benefit is Richard Polsky, an art dealer, author and Warhol expert who is now running an authentication service, Richard Polsky Art Authentication. He told the Guardian recently that the Knoedler fraud trial had no effect because it was an isolated incident in terms of the scale of what happened. There were so many red flags. It was unbelieveable. Thats why it had no effect. It gave dealers something to talk about, and it was a lot of fun, but I dont know anyone who thought it made any sense on any level.

Thats not to say that things dont happen on a daily basis that arent always kosher, but that was one of the most unusual cases I or anyone has seen.

It was unusual, he says, because the intent to pass the fakes off was so clearly fraudulent. Sixty percent of the art that Polsky is asked to authenticate is fake. But they are fakes without fraudulent intent. Theres a huge difference between fraud with the intent to make money and, Oh, I love Basquiat. Im going to make my own, and somehow that reaches the market.

The motivation for faking art is sometimes hard to figure out, Polsky says.

Someone called me from North Carolina saying theyd found a carving of a cat with Warhol written on the bottom of it. Then they said they found a Picasso in the same market. I laughed, of course, but the point is, what was the intent? Maybe the guy that made the cat was doing it for fun, got bored, and put it in a market.

Part of the reason that the Warhol Foundation was so detested by collectors was that it didnt just refuse to authenticate certain works, it refused to authenticate, then stamped denied on the back, and refused to offer any explanation for their decision.

The Warhol people had you sign a disclaimer stating that if they found the work to be inauthentic they were allowed to stamp the work on the back. Obviously, if they did that youd be bummed out. But if you asked them why, they wouldnt give you a reason. Theyd say something like, We dont want to aid counterfeiters. So now youd not only be bummed out but mad!

His policy, he says, is complete transparency. The service costs $2,500 for a painting, $1,500 for a drawing and $1,000 for a print. You get a letter explaining why, or why not, I think its authentic or inauthentic. Theres a legal disclaimer, of course, but at least unlike a multimillion-dollar art estate, hes not worth suing.

For the most part, the business of authentication is determining what makes sense. Warhol, clearly, directed his studio to make works for him and he was, to some degree, almost cavalier over what he chose to sign. Provenance, as the plaintiffs in the Knoedler scandal found out to their cost and embarrassment, is key.

If someone comes to me saying they inherited a Warhol from their mother whod bought it from a gallery in Cleveland in the 60s its fairly easy to determine that there were no galleries in Cleveland in the 60s that showed Warhol. But its a great feeling when something checks out.

But thats not to say that frauds are not taking place daily. A scandal over faked 18th-century French furniture, with two specialists under investigation for the alleged making and sale of counterfeit chairs for as much as $1m each, some of which were bought by Versailles, is currently making headlines in France.

Polsky says that though this art market has been in a boom far longer than anyone anticipated, that does not necessarily translate into a greater opportunity for fakery. In part, thats because the manufacturing involved in many artists work is simply too difficult, and too expensive, to duplicate. You cant fake a Jeff Koons it would cost too much to manufacture. The temptation to fake may be greater, but the more valuable art becomes, the more scrupulous usually people become about buying it, he says. As the saying goes, if its too good to be true it probably is. If youve got a Damien Hirst butterfly painting show me something. A letter from White Cube or Gagosian. Or where did the butterflies come from?

In those types of cases, authentication is relatively straightforward. But things can always get complicated. Polsky recalls a case in which Keith Harings estate refused to approve graffiti the artist had made in the New York subway. The work was real but the estate claimed the artist had not intended the work to reach the market.

So its all about intent. Did Haring intend these things to be works of art? The answer is yes, he did. Whether he intended them to enter the market is not my concern. My concern is: are these real, did Haring intend for them to be real?

The opposite is true in the case of Willem de Koonings toilet seat. The artist was living in the Hamptons when he took some paints to the outhouse and painted the toilet seat. Years later, someone tried to sell it. I would turn that down, says Polsky. Did De Kooning paint it? Yes. Did he intend it to be a work of art? No. Thats how the authentication works what was the artists intent?

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12 Blog Post Ideas to Help Your Content Kick A$$ and Take Names – Business 2 Community (blog)


Business 2 Community (blog)

12 Blog Post Ideas to Help Your Content Kick A$$ and Take Names
Business 2 Community (blog)
Coming up with blog post ideas every week that feel fresh, useful, and high-quality can be a struggle. Writer's block is real and during those times—when the mind goes completely blank—it can help to have a fallback list of great blog post ideas

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Celebrating World Book Day: Widening Participation's Boys, Books and Blogging project – QMUL (press release) (blog)


QMUL (press release) (blog)

Celebrating World Book Day: Widening Participation's Boys, Books and Blogging project
QMUL (press release) (blog)
This has led me to develop the Boys, Books and Blogging (BBB) programme. For ten weeks from November to February, three Queen Mary students and I met with nine Year 10 boys at Eastbury Community School in Barking and Dagenham, the 12th most deprived

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4 Ways To Give Your Bank Account A Makeover After Your Crazy Summer

Summer is the time to live it up.

You know, eating tacos and drinking margaritas like there was a shortage, taking Ubershome on late nights out and barely pulling enough cash together to split an Airbnb for a weekend getaway with your buds.

Seriously, summer eats up all of your money. And even though it was all probably worth it, damage control is necessary by the time fall rolls around.

Of course, this doesnt mean youll have to cut back on having fun. It just means you have togive your bank account some well deserved TLC.

Heres are four easy ways you can give your money a makeover this fall, and still have enough cash at the end of the year to buy all your friends and fam some gifts for the holidays:

1. Live below your means.

Im sure youve heard this vague piece of advice before, but what does living below your means ACTUALLY entail?

Your means is your income. Living below it means thatyour monthly expenses are well below the amount you take home each month.

For example, if you take home $2,500 a month from your job, living below your means would be only spending $2,000 on living costs, while the extra $500 goes toward saving and investing.

This is easiest to do when you pay yourself first.

That means the second you get your paycheck, a percentage of it should automatically go to your savings account, student loans and/or investment accounts. Heres a great resource on setting up automatic savings.

After months and months of consistency with paying yourself first, youll actually see your accounts start to grow and regularly have money in them. What a nice feeling!

Ideally, you should aim for 15 to 20 percent. You might think you dont even have enough room in your budget for that, but Im telling you, you do.

For example, this year I took a hard look at my spending history in Mint, my favorite money managing app, to see where my money had gone.

I figured out that for the first two years I lived in NYC, I spent $4,000 on cabs and Ubers.

$4,000!

Taking fewer cabs was an obvious area I could cut back spending without sacrificing the quality of my life.

Once I stopped spending so much on transportation (this was on top of the $117 monthly MetroCard I use), I had lots of free cash to put toward saving and investing.

Having money feels good.And if you dont really know what thats like to save and see the results of effective saving, its never too late to start.

You can always use a tool like Fidelitys Budget Checkup to figure out the best way to tweak where your money is going.


2. Get your tax break.

Taxes suck, but we all have to pay them.

Theres actually a legal way for you to lower the amount of taxes taken out of your paycheck each month, and thats by upping your contributions to a retirement account like a 401(k) or another tax-advantaged account.

Heres why this works: Taxes are taken out on the income that comes home with youafteryour contributions to a 401(k). So the more you put toward that account, the fewer taxes you have to pay.

Even though you cant really touch the money in a tax-advantaged account until youre of retirement age, its stillyour money, not the governments.

Over time, you end up saving more by contributing more and also having fewer taxes taken out of your income.

In 2016, the most you can contribute to a 401(k) is $18,000 per year. You still have four more months to get your tax break before the end of the year!

So, if you dont have a tax-advantaged account set up, get on it. You dont have to contribute the max, even just a couple hundred dollars can make a massive difference.


3. Put your everyday spending to work.

You guys, Im telling you, if you dont have a rewards credit card, youre missing out.

You can collect points toward fun stuff like vacations and earn cash-back on everyday expenses like gas and groceries. Theres a card out there for every type of reward you can possibly think of.

Im personally obsessed with my United Mileage Plus card. Ive been collecting points on that baby for three years, and Ive been able to take a free round-trip flight once a year.

Not sure where to start looking for cards? Check out Nerdwallet. They have a great feature for comparing different types of credit cards.

Do not fear the credit card. Just make sure you pay it in full every month, and thats literally the only credit card rule you really need to stick to.


4. Create a saving, spending and investing formula that works for you.

Money is emotional. Everyones financial goals are different, but a having a saving and spending formula is the only way to make spending and saving habits stick.

You need to make money management simple and easy for yourself.

Not sure how to create a formula? Fidelity has an awesome one for spending, investing and saving, for example.

Their system is50 percent of your income goes toward essential living expenses, like rent, food and bills.

Then, 15 percent goes toward retirement and long-term investing.

Five percent should go toward short-term savings, like an emergency fund.

The last 30 percent? Do what you want with it based on whats most important to you.

That actually doesnt sound so bad.

These four ways to makeover your money are really necessary to do at SOME point in life, not just this fall.

Once you have a formula, a better sense of where your spending is going and regular contributions to savings, investment and retirement accounts, youll really be set for life.

After that, it doesnt take much effort to keep it going. You just have to make sure you keep your steady income.

Im telling you, start now. And next summer, youll have even more money to spend on fun stuff like tacos, margaritas and Ubers.

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Killer Ways To Beat Boredom In Life's Dull Moments – Shout Out UK


Shout Out UK

Killer Ways To Beat Boredom In Life's Dull Moments
Shout Out UK
… and you don't feel like watching TV all night. You could start a blog to run from home in your spare time. It's really easy to set up, and if you don't want to put funding into it there are completely free options too. There's no limit on what you

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It's (semi) official: Dez caught it – Blogging The Boys (blog)


Blogging The Boys (blog)

It's (semi) official: Dez caught it
Blogging The Boys (blog)
When even John Mara is on board, it isn't just sour grapes by Cowboys fans anymore. By Tom Ryle@TomRyleBTB Feb 27, 2018, 5:30pm CST. Share Tweet Share. Share It's (semi) official: Dez caught it. tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email. It was an

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Cardi B wants fans to respect strippers, stop judging them

Cardi B isn’t shy about her pole-dancing past.

The rapper, who has been open about her previous career as a stripper, told Cosmopolitan on Tuesday she’s hoping her own rise to fame will encourage others to respect strippers.

“People say, ‘Why do you always got to say that you used to be a stripper? We get it,’” explained the 25-year-old. “Because y’all don’t respect me because of it, and y’all going to respect these strippers from now on… Just because somebody was a stripper don’t mean they don’t have no brain.”

Before Cardi B found instant fame with her hit track “Bodak Yellow,” the singer worked as a stripper in New York City at age 19 after she was fired from her previous job as a cashier.

Cardi B previously told Vibe that through stripping, she was able to earn enough money to become financially independent and move out of her abusive boyfriend’s home.

Time Magazine added that while working as a stripper, Cardi B created a social media following where she candidly discussed men, sex and money on multiple viral videos. She eventually quit stripping to make money hosting club events as an Instagram influencer.

And now that she’s a celebrity, Cardi B insisted she refuses to change her personality for anyone.

“Everybody got different beliefs and different religions and were raised differently, yet you also supposed to be careful you don’t offend somebody,” said Cardi B. “Everybody gets bothered about everything. Everybody got a f—ing opinion about you. If I change myself, then I’m going to lose myself, and I won’t be who makes me happy.”

And that’s not the only thing Cardi B has been candid about these days. She also told the magazine that despite allegations of her fiancé, rapper Offset of hip hop trio Migos, cheating on her, Cardi B is still staying by her beau’s side.

“It’s like everybody is coming down my neck like, ‘Why are you not leaving him? You have low self-esteem,’” she said. “I don’t have low self-esteem… I know I look good. I know I’m rich, I know I’m talented. I know I could get any man I want – any basketball player, football player.

“But I want to work out my s— with my man, and I don’t got to explain why. I’m not your property. This is my life… I’m going to take my time, and I’m going to decide on my decision… It’s not right, what he f—ing did – but people don’t know what I did, ‘cause I ain’t no angel.”

Cardi B’s April 2018 cover for Cosmopolitan hits newsstands March 6.

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Sky News faces uncertain future

Image copyright Getty Images

Walt Disney’s agreement to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s business for $52.4bn (£39bn) has raised further questions about the Sky News channel’s future.

Before news of the deal, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox had been trying to buy the 61% of satellite broadcaster Sky that it does not yet own.

That attempt attracted the scrutiny of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is investigating it.

But of all the channels that Sky has in its portfolio, including sports and movies, it is the ownership of its news channel that raises the most difficulties.

Last month, Sky sent shivers down the spines of Sky News journalists by threatening to close the channel if it proved to be an obstacle in Mr Murdoch’s takeover bid.

Now it seems that Sky News could fall into Disney’s hands as a result of this latest piece of corporate wheeler-dealing.

After all, Fox’s efforts to take over Sky become less politically sensitive if the Murdoch family’s existing 39% stake in Sky has been sold to Disney, making it more likely that the takeover will go ahead.

Heavy losses

So now the question is: will Disney want to keep pumping money into a loss-making news channel that serves only the relatively small UK market?

Claire Enders, founder of research firm Enders Analysis, points out that we may not know the answer to that for another 18 months, since the Disney-Fox deal will itself have to clear regulatory hurdles and is likely to come under close scrutiny from EU competition authorities.

Image copyright Getty Images

However, she is sceptical about Sky News’s ultimate fate.

She told the BBC: “Inherently, Disney is not a company that engages in political investment. It runs businesses that make profits and that’s one of the reasons why it’s thought of as one of the best companies in the world.

“Sky News loses £40m a year and has absorbed $1bn of investment. It’s very hard to make money out of news in a small market like the UK.”

Media plurality

Former ITN chief executive Stewart Purvis, who is also a former senior executive at regulator Ofcom, is less pessimistic about the channel’s future.

He points out that there are a number of issues to consider, including the possibility that Disney might not wish to go ahead with acquiring the remaining 61% of Sky, even if the CMA approved it.

In fact, the UK’s Takeover Panel says Disney has told it that if Mr Murdoch fails to buy the rest of Sky before the Fox takeover deal goes through, it will not feel obliged to make a full bid for the satellite broadcaster.

Mr Purvis adds that it would be “slightly perverse” if Sky News were closed down over concerns that the various deals would lead to an unreasonable concentration of media power, because its absence “would actually reduce media plurality”.

After all, the outcome would be to leave the BBC News channel unchallenged as the only dedicated UK television news service.

However, he adds: “I’ve never found Disney to be very interested in news. It’s an entertainment company and maybe being in news is more trouble than it’s worth.”

Political kudos

Disney owns the ABC television network in the US, which includes its news service.

But as Mr Purvis says, ABC News is safe because it makes money.

“The way that networks look at their news programmes is that they look at the cost compared with advertising revenues within those programmes,” he says.

“By that measure, ABC News is profitable. Good Morning America is the leading breakfast programme in the US. There’s no way Disney would shut that down.”

Sky News, of course, does not enjoy that kind of status. But Mr Purvis says Disney would have to balance that against other factors, including the “political kudos” that owning Sky News would give it in the UK.

“We don’t know the outcome of that kind of consideration,” he says.

News loses?

In the US, analysts are concerned that Disney’s existing news interests might suffer from the merger, let alone Sky News.

“I would not look to the Disney-Fox merger to bolster the fourth estate,” Ben Gomes-Casseres of the Brandeis International Business School told the Washington Post.

“Whether ABC News will be affected in this way, as a side-effect, is also anyone’s guess, but there is no doubt that ABC as a TV channel will decrease in importance in the Disney group.”

For the moment, Disney is taking a positive attitude towards Sky News.

Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger was asked on Bloomberg TV whether the channel had a future after his company completed the Fox deal.

He replied: “Absolutely. All of Sky has a future.”

Cynics might reply that at this stage in the proceedings, he could hardly say he was going to close the channel. But if he does so once the deal has gone through, he may find that his assurance will come back to haunt him.

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This fashion influencer reveals how she makes money and how she decides what to post on Instagram – ABC News


ABC News

This fashion influencer reveals how she makes money and how she decides what to post on Instagram
ABC News
Bernstein dropped out of the Fashion Institute of Technology to pursue building her brand. "I was blogging more than I was paying attention in class. I was like 'OK, I need to try and make this a real business,'" she said. She took two semesters off

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Nathan Cunningham – Blogging Dirty (blog)


Blogging Dirty (blog)

Nathan Cunningham
Blogging Dirty (blog)
A graduate from BYU's school of communications, Nate the site expert of Lawless Republic. He likes colorful jerseys and pull-up fast break 3-pointers. Atlanta Falcons logo Expert. twitterrss. Falcons News 11m. Julio Jones Fan Gift Guide. by Nathan

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