Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 2006
  • California Institute of the Arts , M.F.A., Art, 1997. Philip Morris Fellow
  • University of Texas – El Paso, B.A., Art, 1995

SMS_Rhizome_2015_reducedI advise and represent a select group of visual artists, artists’ estates, art galleries and public charities on matters involving appropriation and fair use analysis of intellectual property, licensing and protection of intellectual copyrights and rights of publicity, artist-gallery disputes, negotiating and drafting complex contractual agreements, public art commissions, authentication disputes, moral rights claims, free speech controversies, and business structuring. I’m particularly interested in artists with complex practices and cases of first impression, that is to say, matters with new legal issues or controversies.

In brief, I have negotiated authentication disputes with major auction houses as well as advising and representing contemporary artists in complex copyright, appropriation, and moral rights matters. Along with settling  disputes between artists and galleries, I have also worked on and advised artists on moral rights matters, including one of the most important appeals under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 on behalf of the Swiss installation artist Christoph Büchel in the artist’s highly-publicized dispute with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and have co-written amicus briefs for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court regarding another high-profile moral rights case, Chapman Kelley vs. Chicago Park District, in support of artist Chapman Kelley.

I provide pro bono services to select artists and art institutions, and I serve on the advisory board of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Denniston Hill Artists Residency. In 2010, I founded The Art & Law Program, the first residency of its kind, as well as the Law School for Visual Artists, a seminar series on the practical legal issues for artists. Since 2000, I have taught in a number of universities, art schools and law schools, including NYU, Harvard University, Fordham Law School, Brooklyn Law School, the University of Southern California, University of California-Irvine, Los Angeles Pierce College, Occidental College and CalArts.

Please visit my main website, Sergio Munoz Sarmiento, for more information.

Lastly, I have lectured on and taught art law as well as studio art and seminars on contemporary art since 2000 in a wide range of institutions, including:

American Association of Law Schools
Arts Counsel of Texas, Dallas, TX
Bronx Museum
Brown University School of Art
Centre Sociologie de l’Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris, France
Columbia Law School
Columbia University School of the Arts
Cour de Cassation, Grand’Chambre, Paris, France
Cornell Law School
Creative Capital
CUNY Graduate Center, Center for the Humanities
El Paso Museum of Art
Fordham Law School
Fundación Cisneros, Caracas, Venezuela
Georgia State University
Harvard University, Department of Visual & Environmental Studies
International Center of Photography
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NYC
McGill Faculty of Law, Montréal, Canada
Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit
New York Law School
NYU School of Law
Rhode Island School of Design
School of Visual Arts
SUNY, New Paltz
SUNY, Oswego
Texas A&M School of Law
Triple Canopy
Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
University of California-Irvine School of Art
Vera List Center for Arts and Politics at The New School
Virginia Commonwealth University
Yale Law School
Yale School of Architecture
Yale School of Management