Real estate mogul Luke Brugnara can’t stay out of headlines. In 2010 he was sentenced in federal court to 15 months in prison for poaching steelhead trout in a creek on his farm, and an additional 15 months for failing to pay $300,000 in taxes. Now, he’s accused of art-based mail fraud; federal prosecutors have accused him of accepting a delivery of art and then refusing to pay for the pieces or return them. In total, prosecutors allege he owes 10,785,000 million dollars to an unnamed art dealer from New York for 16 paintings by Willem de Kooning, an Edgar Degas sculpture, and three works by George Luks, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, according to the FBI.
The Chelsea art and tech landscape is changing. Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology is moving out of their current location in Chelsea at the end of June. They’re moving to their new 34-35th Street location in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood (Industry City), this September. This coincides with the digital art centric gallery, Bitforms’ departure from Chelsea to the Lower East Side, slated for this July and follows the departure Postmasters Gallery last year. This digital art friendly gallery and longtime Chelsea resident, left last year after their rent was raised to $30,000 a month. They are now in TriBeCa.
Across the country, adjuncts are pushing for union representation at colleges and universities. Today both Mills College (Oakland) and Northeastern (Boston) announced they voted “yes” to unionization. Howard University (Washington, D.C.) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore) have recently formed adjunct unions, too. Marist College (Poughkeepsie) is seeking union organization, and the San Francisco Art Institute and the College of St. Rose (Albany) plan to vote on unionization over the next few months.
On the heels of the NYPD’s disastrous social media campaign #myNYPD, which has provided an outlet for hundreds of New Yorkers tweet pictures of police beating them up, New York police continue to spread their bad rep beyond the outer boroughs. On Saturday night, police arrested 247365’s MacGregor Harp after he took photos of police brutality, which happened to be taking place outside of NADA’s afterparty at Tropical 128.