Search Results for ‘"visual artists rights act"’

NYC: 5Pointz building owner must pay graffiti artists

To quote John K. Ross’s summary for Short Circuit:

In 2002, owner of dilapidated industrial property in Queens, N.Y. entrusts its care to a group of artists, who improve its condition and cover it in graffiti, turning it into a tourist attraction and cultural site. In 2013, the owner, who plans to demolish the warehouses and build luxury condos, whitewashes over the art. District court: Which violated the Visual Artists Rights Act; pay $6.75 mil in damages to 21 artists. If the owner had waited a few more months while he got his building permits in order, he’d have been assessed a far more modest penalty.

More: Alan Feuer, New York Times, ABA Journal. More on the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 here.

Art and the law: “Against moral rights”

“My argument is that moral rights laws endanger art in the name of protecting it”. [Amy Adler (NYU Law), 97 California Law Review (Feb.) (PDF), via ConcurOp] The best-known American application of the moral-rights concept in art is the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which (among other provisions) gives visual artists a right to sue in some circumstances if later lawful owners of their artworks alter or destroy the works.

“Art vs. property rights”

One reason not to commission a mural for your building: the federal Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which with some exceptions “prohibits the intentional alteration, mutilation or destruction of artworks without the consent of the artists” and gives the offended artist a right to sue. Lawsuits under VARA have not been numerous, but have raised questions of fairness to art owners as well as of unintended consequences. (Daniel Grant, Wall Street Journal Leisure & Arts/, May 27; Cynthia Esworthy, “A Guide to the Visual Artists Rights Act”,, undated;