This potpourri of articles examines different aspects of the ‘commercial dimension’ of practice.  Different legal forms of practising (freelancer, partnership, limited liability company, and so on) are explored, as is working abroad, marketing, and bankruptcy.

Unusual items include Eric Hebborn’s fakes of works of old masters (1984), and Mail Art (2001). A piece on Warhol’s (then) recent death in 1987 offers immediate and contemporary thoughts about the artist as a brand name and marketing phenomenon.

Two pieces are of special importance. The 1979 interview with three generations of artists discussing together how they approached the business side of their practices – the (then) late middle-aged Eduardo Paolozzi, the early middle-aged John Hoyland, and the twenty-something Brian Clarke; and the 1986 interview with Mark Boyle about his own and the Boyle Family’s ways of working.

Reputation: Art & Artists 

Last month’s column explored the fragility of the public reputation of art business professionals in the digital age, highlighting how traditional laws of defamation are invariably unfit for the purpo… Continue Reading Reputation: Art & Artists 

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Digital Drivers

Sales of contemporary art have increased exponentially since the global economic downturn around 2009. Recent professional art market research shows that post-war and contemporary art sales account fo… Continue Reading Digital Drivers

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When Collaborators Turn

Marina Abramović is being sued for breach of contract by her former artistic collaborator Ulay over works they jointly created when working and living together in Amsterdam for a dozen years: Relation… Continue Reading When Collaborators Turn

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Moral Lights

Appropriation – without a capital ‘a’ – of images by artists has been common practice throughout art history. Artists whose images are appropriated can and do use national and international copyright… Continue Reading Moral Lights

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Film and Video

The Whitechapel Gallery’s current survey show ‘Electronic Superhighway 2016-1966’, is a reflection of the extent to which digital media are now being used by increasing numbers of visual artists, espe… Continue Reading Film and Video

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Deterioration and degradation of contemporary art increasingly concerns specialists in the field of conservation and restoration. Such experts are being asked for advice and assistance from key actors… Continue Reading Conservation

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Taking Care of Business

Damien Hirst’s autobiography will be published by Viking Penguin in Autumn 2015. When recently announcing the deal, the publishers promised that Hirst will ‘lay bare the modern art world’. The book wi… Continue Reading Taking Care of Business

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Suing Art Experts

Last month’s consideration of art after death suggested that artists might adopt straightforward and sensible practices to authenticate and inventorise their works, to avoid difficulty and complicatio… Continue Reading Suing Art Experts

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Why are Artists Poor?

Borrowing the title of Hans Abbing’s important sociological interrogation of contemporary art practice from 2007, let us consider a case in point. A young unknown artist relocated 30-odd kilometres no… Continue Reading Why are Artists Poor?

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Who Owns Street Art

A Banksy-style rat holding a sign asking ‘Why?’ was recently stencilled on the wall outside a London shop from which the Banksy-attributed mural Slave Labour had been hacked away a few weeks earlier.… Continue Reading Who Owns Street Art

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