Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Samantha Boardman, and Aby Rosen
Artnet News reports that Aby Rosen, New York real estate developer, art collector, and artist evicter, has been appointed Chair of the New York State Council of the Arts. While the well-researched article goes into NYSCA politics such as Executive Director Lisa Robb’s history of getting the flu and and Rosen’s donations to Governor Cuomo’s reelection campaign, it doesn’t really go into the major conflict of interest in appointing a millionaire real estate tycoon art collector to Chair of NYSCA. Rosen would obviously have a personal interest in leveraging the careers of artists who he collects, and NYSCA is the state’s major grant-giving institution for the arts.
Further, Rosen’s bio on NYSCA’s website is pretty weird:
Aby Rosen was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, NYSCA, where his goals include advocating for and expanding the impact of the agency’s work with a vigorous emphasis on artistic expression and arts and cultural activity as a strong driver of community well-being and vitality and as a significant economic and jobs growth engine. He is also co-founder of RFR Holding, a privately held, Manhattan based, real estate investment development and management company. His commitment to the preservation and restoration of landmark buildings has been recognized by the Landmarks Conservancy and the American Institute of Architecture. He is actively involved with many philanthropic organizations and causes. In 2003, Mr. Rosen formed the Lever House Art Collection which invites artists to create site-specific work exhibited in Lever House’s glass-enclosed public lobby space. Dedicated to making art accessible and available to the community, he organizes innovative visual art exhibitions of established and emerging artists in public spaces.
“His commitment to the preservation and restoration of landmark buildings…” What? This article states that Rosen just evicted a community of artists living in a historic building on Vestry Street in TriBeCa so that he could build a glitzy 11-floor residential building, further impoverishing the neighborhood of its historic past.
What was NYSCA thinking? Who would be a better alternative?