Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi, circa 1500.


The Opioid Epidemic

Photographer Nan Goldin writes, in the pages of Artforum, that she became addicted to OxyContin after a surgery in Berlin several years ago, but is now clean. She has started a group called P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) that aims to pressure the Sackler family, and their company, Purdue Pharma, which has sold the drug, “to use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education.” Goldin adds, “To get their ear we will target their philanthropy. They have washed their blood money through the halls of museums and universities around the world.” [Artforum]


In case you missed it in the rush to the holidays: the latest episode of Call Your Ball Friends, a video series in which “women artists shoot hoops and discuss art,” features Wendy White, who notes that “there’s a lack of images of women in painting, in art, and there’s also a lack of documentation of female athletes.” White talks about her art and tennis great Billie Jean King, and nets some balls. [Call Your Ball Friends/YouTube]

A clarification: last week we told you that the Hammer Museum is looking to audition dancers to perform a Tino Sehgal piece. That is a paying gig, not a volunteer one as previously stated. The auditions are Friday. [Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi‏/Twitter]

Public Art

A neon sculpture of a uterus, created by Zoe Buckman and commissioned by the Art Production Fund, will go on view outside the Standard in Hollywood, on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Sweetzer Avenue, next month. “I find Sunset Strip to be objectification overload, with all these advertising images and movie billboards of young women not only promoting the same standards of beauty but also images that can be quite sexually violent,” Buckman told the New York Times. [The New York Times]


Now that his two-year ban from managing outside capital is over, art collector and hedge-funder Steve Cohen is back in the game. Cohen, whose previous firm pleaded guilty to securities fraud and paid a $1.8 billion fine, is managing around $3 billion to $4 billion worth of client money with his new firm, Bloomberg reports, as well as his own fortune, which is estimated to be more than $10 billion. [Bloomberg]

The Art Newspaper reports that, ever since that Leonardo sold for $450.3 million at Christie’s in New York, three Russian brothers, Semjon, Eugen and Michael Posin, who make copies of Old Masters for paying customers have received a spike in requests for works by the artist. “An authentic copy of the Salvator Mundi in the original size, framed, on a wooden panel with cracks and patina, would cost around €10,000,” Eugen tells the paper. That’s only about $12,000. [The Art Newspaper]

The Talent

Thorsten Sadowsky, the director of the Kirchner Museum Davos in Switzerland, has been tapped to lead the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in Austria, Artforum reports. [Artforum]

The Brits

Artist Richard Long is among the art-world denizens who were knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, Apollo reports. Congratulations, Mr. Long, but you have always been a knight in our book. [Apollo]

A government report argues that, rather building new museums, Britain should focus its funding on supporting the ones that are currently open, the Telegraph reports. The report also notes that government funding to arts institutions “has remained largely flat for the last decade.” [The Telegraph]

The Media

Jerry Saltz has taken a look at the January issue of Artforum, the first under new editor David Velasco, and he is enthused. “Velasco may be the perfect person in the perfect place at the perfect time,” he writes for New York magazine, and adds that “a new sensibility seems present, something driven, passionate, smart, and righteously indignant but not ironic, arch, coy, and cynical. I actually felt hope. Even inspired.” [New York]