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Seattle museum nixes showcase of Big Tech employees’ art amid backlash; and more from the world of art


While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!

‘Amazon vs Microsoft’ exhibition cancelled amid backlash


Plans for a Seattle art exhibition that would have showcased work by employees of Amazon and Microsoft have been called off after backlash from members of the city’s arts community and others on social media. Museum of Museums, located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, put out a call last week for submissions for a show it was titling “Amazon vs Microsoft.” The museum said the call for submissions was open to employees no matter what their position at the two tech giants or where in the world they worked. Deadline for submissions was Aug. 7, with the exhibition planned for Oct. 7. Reaction to the idea was swift and not supportive as many seemed to tap into the notion that art is a struggling endeavor in Seattle chiefly because of tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft and what they have done to the landscape of access and affordability in recent years. Geek Wire reports.


Christie’s launches venture fund targeting tech cos with art impact


Christie’s announced on Monday that it has launched Christie’s Ventures, an investment fund that will target emerging tech companies whose product could have an impact on the art market. While Christie’s would not disclose the exact amount of the fund, a representative offered a ballpark figure of “several million dollars”. The auction house was one of the very first art institutions to understand the impact that NFTs could have on the art market and quickly arranged NFT sales that would end up profoundly changing the auction house and the larger art market — like the March 2021 sale of digital artist Beeple’s art work \’Everydays: The First 5,000 Days\’ for a record-breaking $69.3 million. Christie’s Ventures has already made its first investment, a Web3 company called LayerZero Labs, which provides a protocol that allows different blockchains — such as Ethereum and, say, Tezos — to communicate and work together. ART News has more details.


Europe’s tallest piece of street art finished in Leicester


Recently, Europe’s tallest piece of street art — rising 82 metres (269ft) up the side of St George’s tower, known as the Blue tower, in Leicester — was successfully finished. It is almost double the height of the UK’s previous tallest piece of street art, Athena Rising in Leeds, which was 46.8 metres (153ft) tall, and it is now the fourth largest piece of street art in the world, beaten only by two artworks in Calgary, Canada, and one in Karachi, Pakistan. The latest tower is the only one of all those record-breakers that is painted and designed by local artists. The piece is a homage to the east Midlands city. It features a fox, in reference to the city’s football club, a tiger for the local rugby team, an astronaut to represent the National Space Centre, and a double helix as the University of Leicester pioneered DNA fingerprinting. Already people have been travelling to the city to take photographs, and the team behind it hopes it will become a Leicester landmark. The Guardian tells you more.


New York’s ‘Upstate Art Weekend’ is back — and bigger


On July 22, the Upstate Art Weekend returns for its third and largest edition of programs across the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. More than 145 participants have signed on in eight counties, encompassing over 100 exhibitions and 50-plus artists’ studios opening to the public. The full program and a map designed by Mosa Tanksley, spanning Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Woodstock, and elsewhere, are available to view online. Founded by Helen Toomer of Stoneleaf Retreat in 2020, Upstate Art Weekend’s first and second annual events brought in 23 and 61 venues, respectively. Exhibition spaces range from museums and galleries to sculpture parks and residencies in historic homes. Returning venues include Storm King Art Center, Female Design Council, and Art Mamas Alliance, while new participants Basilica Hudson, Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre, and Swivel Saugerties accompany more than 50 artists from Beacon Open Studios. Organizers encourage visitors to create an itinerary of their own using Google Maps. Hyperallergic explores.