Art Law and the Business of Art, 2nd edn.

AuthorDrawdy, Stephanie

ART LAW AND THE BUSINESS OF ART, 2nd edn, by Martin Wilson

Elgar Practical Studies, 2022, ISBN 9781800885776, 444 pages

Since the publication in 2019 of the first edition of Art Law and the Business of Art (1) by Martin Wilson, the global terrain has markedly transformed. As Phillips Auctioneers' Chief General Counsel and Head of Fiduciary Services, Wilson has been in a unique position to see how true this has been for the art world and accordingly has updated his art law primer. The result is Art Law and the Business of Art, Second Edition, an indispensable resource for all whose personal and/or professional lives intersect with art.

Within the same eighteen-section framework previously employed, this Second Edition covers a vast array of art world developments as of 2022 when it was put to press. In just over 400 pages, its newly expanded sections cover topics ranging from street art; forgery; and online art sales to scientific testing for authentication/attribution; US jurisdiction over Holocaust claims; UK and EU import VAT and licences; Brexit; AML regulation; and of course the NFT sensation.

In keeping with its predecessor, the book retains a particular focus on the laws and cases of the UK while also referencing relevant authority from other jurisdictions. Its breadth can be seen from a survey of the 80+ statutes, legislation, international conventions, instruments, etc. within its Table of Legislation and there are more than 100 citations spanning 300 years in the Table of Cases. A sample of the topics, legislation and cases covered in the Second Edition is offered below to give a sense of the absorbing and far-reaching nature of this writing.

Graffiti and Street Art

Adding to his coverage of graffiti in 2019, Wilson has updated the Second Edition with a discussion that also includes street art, distinguishing between the two (graffiti being 'tags' while street art includes imagery occasionally mixed with 'tags' or text). Wilson delves into street art's emergence as "a major category of contemporary art" following the 5Pointz case, Castillo v. G&M Realty, wherein a staggering $6.5 million judgment was awarded against a New York building owner under the US Visual Artists Rights Act 1990 (VARA) for destruction of artists' work on that owner's building. Wilson also discusses a UK case decided in favour of a building landlord who sought ownership of a wall that held a Banksy piece, Creative Foundation v. Dreamland Leisure, (2) and examines the theft of street art by recalcitrant retailers.


Wilson's handling of NFTs...

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