Art: The $60,000 Dig

The history of art has always been speckled with digs and jabs by artists at real or imagined foes. But none of the victims—not even Picasso's distorted women—actually took their outrage or wounded vanity to court until 1975, in New York City, when two artists, Jacob Silberman and Anthony Siani, sued a colleague, Paul Georges, for libel. The reason: Georges' painting The Mugging of the Muse (right), which includes two sinister figures wearing masks that, the plaintiffs claimed, were their own faces. Complained Siani: "It lessens me in front of my peers because if an artist attacks the muse, he's...

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