Ian Peck and Baird Ryan at Art Capital Group. Via The New York Times
Art Capital Group founded in 1999 and based in New York is a company that provides financial and consulting services to art owners in creating liquidity from assets. In other words, Art Capital allows clients to discreetly get loans in using artwork as collateral. Whether it is due to the tender nature of the business that steps into the fields of intellectual property when dealing directly with artists, or the necessity on the company’s side for firm and assertive approach in an economic environment that is nothing short of unstable; Art Capital Group seems to often be caught up in lawsuits with its clients. One of the most prominent photographers Annie Leibovitz has recently become the center of one of those litigious disagreements.
For Annie Leibovitz, a Fuzzy Financial Picture [The New York Times]
That Old Master? It’s at the Pawnshop [The New York Times]
Lender Sues Annie Leibovitz, Seeking Her Homes to Pay $24 Million Debt [The New York Times]
Leibovitz, Photographer, Sued Over $24 Million Loan [Bloomberg]
Art Capita Group, Inc. [Business Week]
Annie Leibovitz pawns rights to all future work [Guardian]
Annie Leibovitz via Daily News
More text and pictures after the jump...
When last fall Annie Leibovitz has borrowed $24 million from Art Capital Group, she lent the rights to her photographs and multiple homes to the company. Annie has failed to pay off the loans and Art Capital has filed a lawsuit asking the judge to order their client to allow them to access her homes with the purpose of selling them. Homes, however, are not the controversial side of the story when that story concerns a photographer who has captured some of the most iconic images of our time. Guardian reports that Annie Leibovitz has put up as collateral “the copyright, negatives and contract rights to every photograph she has ever taken or will take in future until the loans are paid off.”
Mick Jagger, Annie Leibovitz. Via Vanity Fair
Artwork used as collateral seems to be a logical turn on a path full of auction houses, art dealers and monetary values attached to intellectual if not emotional properties. The romantic connotations brought up by the very term art, create a dissonance powerful enough to be newsworthy when they are juxtaposed to terms like “pawnshop.”