What We're Reading: 3/11/21
Following is a summary of current art news from our local art community and around the world, as shared by fellow arts writers and publications. Please click to reach the original source. We will continue to share relevant links each week as the news fills up our reading list. – CGN Staff
On weekend nights, off Western Avenue in Logan Square, on a street so thin it appears squeezed alongside the elevated 606 trail, a curious thing happens: The cubed glass installed in the ground-floor windows of the Bloomingdale Arts Building blinks to life, pixelate then chomp, gathering into a weekly tribute to Pac-Man. Jonathan Kinkley (who was at some point part of VGA Gallery, MoCP and the Art Institute), who worked with a designer in San Francisco to coordinate the animation, imagines the windows eventually becoming a playable video game, controlled by anyone who happens to walk past.
Via Chicago Tribune
A JPG file made by a digital artist known as Beeple sold Thursday for almost $70 million by Christie’s auction house. That price set a new record for the increasingly popular market for digital-only art — and makes Beeple’s piece the third most-expensive work sold by a living artist at auction, according to a statement by Christie’s.
The artwork, a digital collage called “Everydays — The First Five Thousand Days,” is what’s known as an NFT, or nonfungible token. NFTs signal ownership and authenticity of digital works of art by recording the sale through blockchain technology.
In 1891, sculptor Daniel Chester French won the most coveted (and lucrative) assignment of his burgeoning career: a monumental statue to symbolize the nation’s democratic ideal and serve as the centerpiece of the forthcoming World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. With “The Republic” French produced a colossus that, at least for a year, ranked as one of the most conspicuous and admired sculptures in the nation.
Though the original is long gone, a smaller but still-formidable replica stands today on a traffic island in Chicago’s Jackson Park, destined to re-emerge from obscurity when the new Obama Presidential Center is built nearby—that is, unless this version vanishes, too.
Via the Wall Street Journal
Last summer, protestors who tried to topple a Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park clashed with police. Activists reject the label of Columbus as a “discoverer” of America and point to his violent treatment of Indigenous people. Meanwhile, for some Italian Americans, Columbus is a beacon. Mayor Lori Lightfoot had some Columbus statues moved, but now the city begins its own racial reckoning with public art it owns.