More Art World Discontent


We live in a time of increasing art world discontent and disillusionment with more than a handful of critics and dealers bowing out from art for sentiments that could only be defined as anti-market. These anti-marketeers bemoan the size of art and galleries and the wide attention to high prices, rather than finding ways to continue in the trenches without having to tow any corporate line. Why shouldn't Gagosian continue to go-go? Jerry Saltz wants to dicate the size and price of art and square footage of galleries. I personally don't buy it. The options are more of the same with a dose of find another way. 

I am not big on politics and can't recall a leader I ever felt strongly about in my life, but problems in France, social, political, and financial point to how politicians can get it so horribly wrong they end up chasing away all of the country's talent. How stupid and wasteful. FIAC has been on the rise for sometime, but surely there will be a negative impact on buyers within the country, that is certain and as a result, it will negatively impact on the fair. After so much hard work by Jenifer Flay, it's nothing less than a travesty. the options are more of the same with a dose of find another way.  ... weiterlesen

The WWW: World Wide Warhol

A piece titled 'Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup', created by Andy Warhol in 1964, which will be part of an online auction of 125 paintings, drawings, photographs and prints at Christie's in New York (photo: dpa)
A piece titled 'Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup', created by Andy Warhol in 1964, which will be part of an online auction of 125 paintings, drawings, photographs and prints at Christie's in New York (photo: dpa)

Warhol, whose work presciently pointed the extent to which we like our pictures and pennies to proliferate (in perpetuity if possible), is changing the paradigm of how we pull together art, still. Even from his grave. The recent ongoing (and going) Christie's auction sales, as his estate continues to abdicate it’s selling/authentication responsibilities, is redefining the role of galleries and how art is disseminated to the general public—from New Jersey to New Delhi. And not in a bad way, just a different manner, but it is the sign of significant change afoot.

I could be the first prognosticator to pinpoint Warhol’s lowest auction prices (which would have plenty pissed the principal) but It’s a mere pittance at a few hundred dollars. There you have it: the most famous, financially successfully artist in history (with his pal Picasso), is also the cheapest and most accessible, for the penny pinchers among us.  ... weiterlesen

The Blake & Jerry Show


Beuys said everyone is an artist, and now Jerry Saltz states (complains?) now everyone is a writer, a concept he doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with. Isn't that a good thing? In the age of media accessibility through the likes of FB, we should sidestep pigeonholing, a favorite pastime of the art world. Why not an economist in the morning and a fisherman in the afternoon as Marx proposed? Can't I write about my art and sell yours? You still only need to read/look at what you want. 

A last thing on fairs, another Saltz peccadillo, they happen to bring us around the globe and are the closest we have to a nomadic sense of community in a cutthroat ecosphere. Then the other day Jerry stated that dealers should show/sell what they wish, except for Bruno Bischofberger. C’mon guys, consistency in your peevishness.   ... weiterlesen

Resolute Road

took a few shots to sort posture
took a few shots to sort posture

Guesting in a place where they must put short people on (tall) pedestals with waist high street signs and plenty of time to ruminate. Here I am on Resolute Road feeling as unyielding as ever that the art world is not such a horrible place to be in twenty-thirteen. There are incessant complaints that seem to have reached fever pitch: artists are making too much money or not enough, collectors are collecting, offloading or both, and some dealers hyper-dealing while others can’t sell crack to Courtney (Love).

For Nicole Klagsbrun, Jerry Saltz, Sarah Thornton, Dave Hickey, Souren Melikian, Blake Gopnik, Felix Salman, Roberta Smith and the rest yet to come, the focus on economics in the art world, bordering on obsession, is as dark as the plague rather than speaking to our interdependent lives and societies as much as an olive tree or self-portrait might have touched us of yore. When people say there is nothing interesting to look at today they aren't making a sufficient effort to see.  ... weiterlesen

Market Moaning


A fistful of art market writers have gone on record recoiling against the market and then quitting and now a dealer drones on how she doesn’t want to deal. I hate to break the news to her at this late stage but art galleries were always about selling art. And here is yet more market moaning, published only today, from Souren Melikian, probably the next writer to throw in the towel and quit. Sure collectors of connoisseurship are so rare today as to warrant appearing in vitrines in natural history museums, but the sentiment in the article is just a load of bullshit—look at Christies selling literally 100,000 Warhol’s at all price points, some for merely hundreds of dollars, well under the auction market threshold he alludes to. There is something for everyone in art (and the accompanying market if they so choose to participate), always has been and always will be.

Actually, this quote is quite hilarious and perfectly fits this. A company buys a Richter for a then record in 1998 and puts it back on the market 15 years later expecting a tenfold increase. The CEO, speaking of the deaccessioning, got the horse behind the cart when he stated: “We’re thrilled that a very good acquisition has turned into a very great masterpiece.” Silly man, the masterpiece turned into a wise allotment of corporate resources, indeed.

Ps: if you haven’t taken a look at you are missing something. The Germanic tendency to rigorously over-systematize and organize, expressed by Richter’s habit of numbering every artwork he’s ever made since an infant, has obviated the need for an authenticity committee, themselves becoming extinct (but that’s another story) as there is the certainty of viewing online his entire oeuvre to date, a lot of which even the artist couldn’t replicate.

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"Die Kunstwelt ist wie eine Mafia, es gibt ein ungeschriebenes Gesetz des Stillschweigens", sagt Kenny Schachter. Auf seinem Monopol-Blog bringt der britische Kunsthändler Licht ins Dunkle und macht die Mechanismen des Marktes transparent. In englischer Sprache