Russell Tovey and WePresent Spotlight Queer Artists, and Other News

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Russell Tovey. Image courtesy of WePresent

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Russell Tovey and WePresent Spotlight Queer Artists 

WePresent may be young, but the digital arts platform headed by WeTransfer has already enjoyed an impressive spate of wins. Editor in chief Holly Fraser earned the platform its first Oscar for director Aneil Karia’s short film The Long Goodbye while landing partnerships with FKA Twigs, Lisa Taddeo, and guest curator Solange Knowles. Next up is Russell Tovey, the British actor whose podcast, Talk Art, co-hosted with gallerist Robert Diament, features incisive yet refreshingly unfussy conversations with bold-faced names in the art world. 

Tovey’s curatorship will spotlight his personal idols and LGBTQIA+ artists, especially those lost to HIV/AIDS. The occasion will see WePresent debut its first full-length documentary, Life Is Excellent, in which Tovey embarks on a personal journey to honor the life and work of late artist-activist David Robilliard. Another involves screening live performances of Blue Now, a celebration of Derek Jarman’s poignant film Blue, which portrays the late artist’s struggle with HIV-induced blindness by having others read his diary against a background of Yves Klein blue. “As a 40-year-old queer man, I feel the responsibility to make sure that this stuff that matters to me and my kind actually matters to everyone,” Tovey writes. —Ryan Waddoups

Metabirkins. Images via Mason Rothschild

Another lawsuit is brewing between Hermès and Mason Rothschild over MetaBirkins.

Hermès International and Mason Rothschild’s legal battle over the sale of MetaBirkin NFTs has taken another turn with the artist requesting a new judgment and trial. The Manhattan federal jury had ruled in Hermès’ favor, awarding them $133,000 in damages for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and cybersquatting, but Rothschild’s legal team insists that the court’s instructions to the jury were improperly structured. Rothschild’s team also challenged the judge’s decision to not allow testimony from contemporary art critic Blake Gopnik. Daniel Tysver, an intellectual property lawyer, believes that even if Rothschild were to win and get a new trial, it wouldn’t mean an unlimited right to use other people’s trademarks.

The Musée Bourdelle in Paris has reopened after a two-year, $5 million restoration. 

The Musée Bourdelle in Paris has reopened after a two-year, $5.3 million restoration. The museum is centered on sculptor Antoine Bourdelle’s studio and home, 19th-century artists’ workshops, and courtyard gardens. To mark the reopening, a temporary exhibition of French contemporary artist Philippe Cognée is being hosted until July 16. The permanent exhibition has been expanded with 35 more works on show, including loans from the Giacometti Foundation, the Paris Museum of Modern Art, and the heirs of Germaine Richier.

Using blockchain, Loro Piana is letting customers trace the origins of its wool pieces. 

Luxury clothing brand Loro Piana has partnered with the Aura Blockchain Consortium to offer a new digital certification service. This nonprofit consortium, founded by LVMH, Prada Group, Cartier, and other brands, aims to enhance the customer experience through blockchain and Web3 technology while promoting sustainable practices and supply transparency. With the new service, customers can scan a QR code on selected Loro Piana products to access the garment’s history from field to factory to store, guaranteeing authenticity and traceability. The certification will initially extend to 20 products in the Palo Alto store, with plans to roll it out to all “The Gift of Kings” products worldwide from the S/S 2023 collection onwards.

A derelicty farmhouse in Herne Bay, Kent, featuring a Banksy mural. Photography by Banksy/Instagram

A derelict English farmhouse featuring Banksy’s latest mural has been demolished. 

The site of Banksy’s latest mural, Morning is Broken, painted on a derelict farmhouse in Herne Bay, Kent, has been demolished. The mural featured a silhouetted boy opening corrugated iron curtains, next to a cat in a window, and was confirmed in three photographs posted on the anonymous street artist’s Instagram account. The artwork’s demolition follows a similar incident last month in Margate, where Banksy’s mural Valentine’s Day Mascara was dismantled numerous times and eventually relocated to the town’s Dreamland theme park.

NASA astronauts headed to the moon will sport sleek, next-generation spacesuits.

Axiom Space is designing the next-generation spacesuits for the lunar surface, set to be sleeker and more flexible with a wider range of sizes. NASA has awarded Axiom Space a $228.5 million contract to provide the outfits for the first moon landing in more than 50 years, with the goal of landing two astronauts on the moon’s south pole in late 2025 at the earliest. The new suits will provide greater flexibility and more protection from the moon’s harsh environment and will be white to reflect heat and keep future moonwalkers cool.

Hariri Pontarini Architects designs Canada’s first zero-carbon performing arts center. 

Hariri Pontarini Architects and their team have won an international competition to redesign the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto. The winning scheme, called Transparence, aims to create a new cultural hub by preserving the center’s Brutalist form and materials while reconfiguring the interior and rotating the main theater 90 degrees. Inspired by Indigenous design elements, the concept will include a high-performance transparent facade and wood-lined interiors that radiate warmth, with the goal of becoming the first zero-carbon performing arts center in Canada.

Margaret Seaman’s knitted Buckingham Palace

Today’s attractive distractions:

Fast casual chain Sizzler is getting a redesign, but keeping the salad bar.

A nonagenarian knitter crafts an enormous replica of Buckingham Palace.

Disused electric car batteries are being repurposed to help power cities

These female artisans are honoring and reinventing Japanese Noh masks.

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