Finding the legal practice known as ‘art law’ burdened with a monolithic and static history and praxis, in 2005 I began writing about the relationship between art and law in Clancco: Art & Law, a blog focusing on promoting a new field known as art & law. Please visit Clancco: Art & Law to keep abreast of art & law debates, news and events.



I have made some of the following essays and interviews available either through hyperlink or via pdf format. My articles and essays are free for you to print. However, if you’d like to upload them to a site, use them in a classroom setting, or disseminate them otherwise, pleasecontact me to obtain permission.


*Catalogue essay, Structure, Sign and Play, for Five Continents and One City exhibition (Mexico, 1999). Analyzing the relationship between language, sculpture and architecture through the work of Jacques Derrida.

*Catalogue essay, “Love from Death Row,” for Capital Art: On the Culture of Punishment exhibition (US, 2001). Analyzing the relationship between visual culture, crime, and the right to die through the writings of Jacques Derrida. Published by Smart Art Press.

*Project essay, “Suburban Intervention #1,” in Cabinet Magazine’s “Property” issue (US, 2003). Detailing my architectural-sculptural interventions on private property and their relationship to contemporary art and law.

*Essay, “Suburban Interventions, A Question of Property, and Assigned Value,”in The Trouble With Pictures: Law and Visual Culture, in Law Text Culture (Australia, 2005). Analyzing three of my architectural-sculptural art projects and their relationship to Western notions of property.

*Interview, With Tom Lawson, Dean of CalArts School of Art (US, 2007). The interview covers a wide range of questions: from my artistic career, deanship at CalArts, and writing publications, to Lawson’s current thoughts on contemporary art, art pedagogy and the impact of market forces on artistic production.

*Interview, Reality Check, with artist Jackie Battenfield (US, 2008). The interview covers a wide range of questions: from my artistic career, blogging, law school and teaching, to my practice as an art lawyer.

*Essay, “Structures,” in Harvard Journal of the Legal Left, (US, 2008). Essay on the relationship between sculpture, the readymade, and tangible and intangible property.

*Catalogue essay, “Until Further Notice,” in Canceled: Alternative Manifestations and Productive Failures (US, 2012). On why cancellations happen and how they are remedied.

*Article, “Quality Counts,” in Room for Debate at The New York Times (US, 2012). Article on public and private arts funding.

*Essay, “The Adversarial Game Widens,” in Art Asia Pacific (Asia, The Pacific, Middle East, 2012). Describing the emerging field of contemporary art and law and its application in the US and China.

*Article, Judicial Activism and the Return of Modernism in the Cariou v. Prince Decision, in Hyperallergic (US, 2013). Article analyzing the Second Circuit’s Appellate opinion and where it went wrong.

*Essay, “American Law and Celebrity Culture or, Celebrity Law and American Culture,” in Art Asia Pacific (Asia, The Pacific, Middle East, 2013). Article analyzing the Second Circuit’s Cariou v. Prince appellate opinion and its celebration of celebrity culture.

*Blog entry: So, You Want to be an Art Lawyer?, (originally published December 2009 on Updated June 25, 2014).

*Catalogue Interview, Life After Death: Triple Candie and Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento in conversation (Detroit, 2014). Interview with Triple Candie on their project at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, “I Cancel All My Works at Death,” on James Lee Byars.

*Essay, “Damage, Inc.,” in Art Asia Pacific (Asia, The Pacific, Middle East, 2014). Article on violence against art as a form of art.

*Video Interview: Mine? Or Yours? Jill Magid and Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento. A conversation on intellectual property, local culture, and international commerce between Vera List Center Fellow Jill Magid and artist and art lawyer Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, facilitated by VLC director Carin Kuoni (New York, 2014).

*Law Review Article, Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments, co-written with art historian and curator, Lauren van Haaften-Schick, on what this case and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion means for contemporary art, art history, and the current state of artistic production and reception (Texas A&M Law Review, 2014).

*Symposium, The End of the Image, which considered the challenges posed to legal conceptions of images, objects, and data, especially as they concern intellectual property, by emerging technologies. The Symposium included Edward Lee, Jennifer L. Roberts, Allyson Vieira and Alexander Provan, and was organized and hosted by Triple Canopy. Transcript of symposium, Copy of an Original of a Copy, is available here. (April, 2015).

*Moderator, Does the Public Have a Right to Culture?, I asked five art and legal professionals to respond to my prompt concerning art, culture and the restrictions and freedoms created by law and legal structures. The online debate was sponsored and hosted by the Cisneros Foundation (Fall, 2015).

*Interview, “Sarmiento on Sarmiento,” in Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities (US, 2015). Interview on the relationship between art & law, as part of the Legal Medium art & law conference at Yale Law School (Fall, 2015).

*Essay, Primary Structure: Law, Power, Architecture in Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal. Essay outlining appropriation practices in visual art and architecture, as well as the appropriation of law as artistic medium (August 2016).

*Myriam Bellazoug Memorial Lecture, Law Ends, presented at Yale University's School of Architecture (December 2016). The lecture via video format is available here.

Podcast Interview: "The Artsy Podcast, No. 32: The Law Shaking Up the Art World." Discussion with Yayoi Shionoiri, Senior Counsel at Artsy, and Isaac Kaplan, Artsy Associate Editor, on moral rights, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, Cady Noland, 5Pointz, and the Charging Bull vs. Fearless Girl dispute (April 2017). 

Introduction, Law in the Work of Félix González-Torres, in Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Volume 26, Number 3. Co-authored with Eduardo M. Peñalver (June 2017).

*Interview, Should border wall prototypes be national monuments? in Fox News and Friends First (January 2018).

*Article, "Sir Anish Kapoor's Clenched Fist of Copyright, the Battle Over Fair Use, and the NRA." Article on whether U.S. Copyright law should be leveraged to silence political speech (June 2018).

*Podcast, "The Artist as Lawyer, an Interview with Sergio Sarmiento about Art Law.” A podcast conversation between Hyperallergic’s Hrag Vertanian and art lawyer, Sergio Munoz Sarmiento on copyright, contracts, appropriation art, Sam Durant, Banksy, art schools and a lot of other things. (October 2018).

*Article, “Should Government Criminalize Violent Expression?” (US, March 2019). Article on “true threats,” artistic expression and the First Amendment.


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