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The Headlines

DOUBLE LEAK. In The Art Newspaper, Theo Belci reports that lists containing the names of more than 16,000 artists allegedly used to perfect the Midjourney generative artificial intelligence (AI) program have gone viral. The Google spreadsheet named “Midjourney Style List”, including references to Frida KahloWalt DisneyBanksy, and Yayoi Kusama, was supposedly retrieved from Midjourney developers while the program’s ability to mimic specific works and styles was being refined. If access to the web document was restricted, it remains partially visible on the Internet Archive). Many of the names in it feature on another 25-page list used for a 2023 class-action lawsuit. “Even though the practice of using human artists’ work without their permission to train generative AI programs remains in uncertain legal territory, controversies surrounding documents like the ‘Midjourney Style List’ shed light on the actual processes of converting copyrighted artwork into AI reference material”, Belci wrote. 

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BE PREPARED. What better way to enter the year (and the weekend) than to prepare for the events it holds? Galerie Perrotin, which has reached an agreement with the real estate investment company Colony Investment Management, is opening a new space during Frieze LA. In March, New York’s Grey Art Gallery, once relocated in a purpose-designed space at 18 Cooper Square, will officially become the Grey Art Museum. In Paris, the reopening of the Grand Palais multi-purpose venue for the summer Olympics is as expected as that of Notre-Dame de Paris. The entire Normandy region is celebrating, through some 150 exhibitions, the 150th anniversary of Impressionism. Giza’s Grand Egyptian Museum, which was 99% ready in October 2022, should finally be accessible by May. Lastly, 2024 is also the year of the 60th Venice Biennale.

The Digest

A show featuring a life-size digitally recreated avatar of Elvis Presley is set to debut in London later this year, before moving to Las Vegas, Tokyo and Berlin. “It will use a mix of artificial intelligence and augmented reality, which blends computer-generated imagery with the real world.” Thousands of Presley’s personal photos and video footage have been used for the occasion. [CNBC]

Dive into a selection of the most impressive properties owned by oil tycoon George Getty’s descendants across the US and overseas, including the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Pacific Heights estate, which houses part of the family’s art collection. “Growing up in that house and being around great parties my whole life, I never had to turn to Pinterest for inspiration,” said Ivy, Gordon and Ann Getty’s grandddaughter. [AD]

Beaux Arts magazine looks back on the 2023 record-breaking exhibitions in France. With a smashing 8.9 million visitors, 14% more than last year, the Louvre ranks first, which brings the institution closer to its pre-Covid number (9.6 million). Versailles is next in line with 8.1 million. As for the Musée d’Orsay, it’s the first time it has drawn as many as 3.9 million people… [Beaux Arts]

If body transformation challenges have become commonplace, try the Strada Easel Challenge, an international competition during which artists are to post their work on social media for a month. Rosanne Guille, a Guernsey based-landscaper, has decided to take a chance. [BBC]

Frieze LA is fast approaching. Chris Maywell listed 9 things to do in Santa Monica besides the highly-expected fair, which will take place from 29 February to 3 March. “[Its 2024] home has a rich history, from the Mexican rancho era to the Gold Coast 1920s and ’30s, and today boasts bohemian dining, starry architecture and Lalanne sculptures.” [Frieze]

The Kicker

OOPS! SHE WON’T DO IT AGAIN. Britney Spears has denied rumors that she was planning a comeback and lining up songwriters for a 10th studio album. “Just so we’re clear most of the news is trash!!”, the Baby One More Time singer wrote on her Instagram account, adding that she had not written a single song for herself over the past two years. “They keep saying I’m turning to random people to do a new album … I will never return to the music industry!!!“ The post was accompanied by Guido Reni‘s Renaissance painting titled Salome Bearing the Head of St John the Baptist. Does it mean that the pop star, whose artistic ambitions were revealed to the press in 2020, will dedicate herself to painting? [BBC]